For today’s museum post, I have a collection of games for the Sega Master System (SMS), collected over a period of nearly 30 years. The SMS was the first gaming console I ever had. I remember coming home from primary school one day and our parents taking us to New Town Plaza in Sha Tin. On one of the higher floors, there was a stationery shop where the SMS was sold. I have no idea why my father picked the SMS over the more popular Nintendo Famicom, but that’s what he did and the rest is history, and now I’m a Sega fanboy for life.
A funny thing that happened was that after we brought the new SMS home, we set it up and started playing, and then my father said “Hey, this isn’t motorcycle racing”. I guess he was sold on the motorcycle racing game Hang On and somehow we ended up with Bank Panic, a completely different game. We took it back to the store to exchange it. So, although I’ve thought of Hang On as my first SMS game for the past 30+ years, technically Bank Panic is the first SMS game we ever had.
Pretty soon after, we added the second and third games to our collection. It would appear that we were big fans of driving games:
Our move to America was, in my memory, quick and sudden. Somehow, either I or my parents was able to pack the SMS and all its games and accessories into a suitcase and bring everything over. Looking back, it’s amusing to me that at this life-changing crossroads, the most important thing to my childhood self was my Sega Master System and its games.
Over the years, I continually added games to my library. One of my favorite places to buy games was Kay Bee Toys, but they mostly sold their games at retail prices. Later, when most retail stores no longer sold SMS games, I hit the mother lode in a place called Toy Liquidators, on Howard Street in San Francisco where the Burlington Coat Factory is now. I bought many games there on the cheap, brand new and still shrink-wrapped. I loved that place. Even later, when I was in college, I chanced upon a comic book store that had a bunch of games that were, though used, titles I had always wanted, but could never afford. I remember running to the ATM to get the cash to buy them, worried that someone else might discover and snatch them away from me.
I have mentioned before that there are some items in my life that I will never part with. My Sega Master System and games are some of those items. I hope you will enjoy the rest of the gallery below.