• magisterrex Retro Games


    I've been gaming since the days of Pong and still own a working Atari 2600. I tend to ramble on about retro games, whether they be board games, video games or PC games. Sometimes I digress. Decades after earning it, I'm finally putting the skills I learned while completing my history degree from the University of Victoria to good use. Or so I think. If you're into classic old school gaming, this blog is for you!

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    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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    Got a game or product you want reviewed? Send me an email! Will review board games, PC games, video games and accessories (Xbox 360 or Wii, but also new releases for classic systems - you know who you are!)
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All Good Things Come To An End…

Way back in 2001, when I was in between stints of gainful employment, I found a little online auction house called eBay, and began to stock up on some collectibles which had been on my wish list for a long time. After an orgy of collection acquisition, it occurred to me that I could sell off some of my unwanted stuff on that site, and with a little luck, make enough to buy even more of what I wanted.

A few months later, in 2002, I realized that I was making more money than I was spending, and there just might be a business model hiding in my hobby time.  I registered my trademark and began operating as a business, always known as magisterrex.com officially, although eBay’s many labyrinthine rule changes eventually required me to call myself magisterrex Retro Games if I wanted to stay selling there. For many years eBay was a good partner, and I paid my fees dutifully and happily, becoming one of their Power Sellers and staying that way until I left.

2004 is the earliest screenshot Wayback Machine has for magisterrex.com, forwarded to my eBay listings from the http://www.magisterrex.com URL.

Eventually, as the market transformed, I found eBay too restrictive and too little value for the money, and left for greener pastures. Before then, and after, I dabbled in other online venues: Bidville, Bonanzle, Dawdle, iOffer, Overstock, Amazon, eCrater, eBid, and others, with limited success. Some of these names you might not even recall anymore, as they have disappeared from the vast online retail landscape.

Looking fancier in the eBay store by 2005, but http://www.magisterrex.com is still forwarded to my eBay store.

What did work was running my own website, which permitted me much more time to devote to inventory acquisition and listing, rather the artificial emergencies of eBay. I learned how to code in HTML, which was the norm of the day, and put up what now would be an ugly, barely functional eCommerce site…but it did the job. Within a year of moving the bulk of my inventory to the website, sales matched my eBay sales, and two years later blew them out of the water, prompting me to shut down my eBay store altogether.

Here’s the earliest screenshot that the Wayback Machine has of the actual magisterrex.com website, a marvel of HTML.

A few years later my website’s stodgy look prompted me to contact a trusted website designer to bring magisterrex.com closer to the modern age. She designed my robot and overall look of the site, and delivered what, for the most part, you see today.

A new look for magisterrex.com, and a more familiar one for current visitors.

Yet the world continues to turn, and things are changing within the retrogaming community. There are fewer and fewer people who want to have the actual, original games in hand, preferring to purchase digital, virtual versions. The rise of digital delivery has meant that GOG and other sites like it can offer someone a game at a few dollars, send it to them electronically, and no one waits for the mail to arrive. Microsoft offers the same type of product through their Live service, as do Nintendo and Sony on their own networks. This, it seems, is a very attractive process to many people, though I still cannot bring myself to participate.  Unfortunately, original game resellers are soon to be a distant memory because of companies like GOG, as the bills still need to be paid, regardless if no one wants to buy a game that day.

Which brings me to my point.

I’ve had a great run, and I know I’ve mailed out a lot of happiness to a lot of people over the last decade. I’m content with that, but I do need to feed and clothe the children, and provide some measure of a lifestyle beyond the poverty level for my family. So, I have accepted an offer from a company to return to work doing what I did a decade ago. My website will stay live for some time yet, as I slowly clear out my inventory and give people the chance to buy what they want, but eventually I will shutter the windows and lock the doors.

So, a profound THANK-YOU to everyone who has purchased from my store over the past ten years. Because of your patronage, I was able to live out and pursue a dream, which is far more than many others get to do. I’ll still hang around Twitter from time-to-time, as my new schedule and responsibilities permit, and I hope to put up a blog post or two that someone might find of interest. All good things come to an end, and this…this was a great thing. Thanks for reading and remember: keep it retro!

New Product Line at magisterrex.com!

Original press release HERE

For immediate release

New Downloadable Product Line Now Available at magisterrex.com

Edmonton, AB, April 9, 2012 — A new line of downloadable Mystery Party Games is now available from the popular retrogaming and board game online retail website magisterrex.com

“The mysteries are designed and written by Mystery Writers Ltd., and are among the best received by players and reviewers of the genre. They constantly receive rave reviews from fans all over the world!”

Downloadable games are available for 6 to 14 players, with content suitable for a variety of groups comprised of children to adults, including games specifically designed for groups of girls. These games include party instructions, printable invitations, costume suggestions, menu ideas, character clues and solution. In fact they contain everything you need to host a great download murder mystery. 

“All the games include a content sample so prospective buyers can try before they buy. Best of all, there are no shipping charges as the games are delivered digitally!”

To browse the selection of downloadable Mystery Party Games available at magisterrex.com, visit http://magisterrex.com/products.asp?cat=126

magisterrex.com has been a trusted online source for retro and classic games, comics, accessories, and toys since 2002.

One More First…Or What Do I Sound Like, Anyway?

Well, this week I’ve finally pulled out my digital camera and made a quick video of some of the new listings at magisterrex.com.  I’m not a huge fan of video, as I prefer the depth of written works, but enough of my Twitter friends use the medium that I decided to give it a go, for a short time, at least.  It’s a bit rough, and my mind wanders in mid-sentence here and there, but I take comfort in the fact that it’s my first attempt.  Have a look if you’re curious about the games or what my voice might sound like!

R.I.P. Dawdle.com

Back in 2008, a new video game marketplace debuted which offered an easy and convenient way for gamers to sell their new and used games.  This site was called dawdle.com, and I was fortunate to be part of its early growth, being the very first Canadian seller and also one of the first storefronts that offered hundreds of games.  However, sales at dawdle.com were always a fraction of those on other sites, so eventually I pulled out and put that inventory directly into magisterrex.com.  A couple years passed, and I just looked in on dawdle.com to see if things had changed, only to receive the dreaded, “Oops! Google Chrome could not find http://www.dawdle.com”  Did they change their name (unlikely, as one would assume they would forward the old domain to the new one) or did dawdle.com simply pass into Internet history?  It certainly looks like the latter to me, and I’m sorry to see it go.   If so, rest in peace, dawdle.com.

Looking backwards and forwards: Good-bye, 2010 – Happy New Year, 2011

2010 is rapidly coming to a close, and with its passing comes the introspective ritual of analyzing all we’ve done over the past year, and the excitement of planning and committing to the next.  This year has been filled with much to be grateful for: I’ve seen a dramatic up-tick in both traffic and content at this blog, as well as at my retail website, magisterrex.com.  I’ve been able to partner with some great retrogaming websites, such as oldschooljunkie.com, gamesniped.com, and warriorlabs.net, and have met many wonderful people through my Twitter account.  Looking back at 2010 I see many opportunities that were grasped (and a few that were squandered), and some measure of accomplishment in both my personal and professional lives.

Thank-you to all who helped make 2010 a net success, and may 2011 be even better for both old and new friends alike! (and what New Year’s Eve blog post would be complete without Auld Lang Syne?)

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

This has been a fabulous year for magisterrex.com.  After much procrastination, the fabulous Francesca Cornell of Matatu Graphic Design Studio was contracted to redesign and relaunch magisterrex.com.  And what an amazing job she did!  With new graphics and a new shopping cart and more, the website quickly caught fire.

Now with 2009 at a close and 2010 arrived, here’s a big THANK-YOU to all the loyal customers looking for old school gaming gear that have visited magisterrex.com from all over the world since the relaunch.   The welcome mat is always out; drop by anytime!