On 3rd December 2012, Buffalo, New York resident Michael Thommason made history by having the Guinness Book of World Records certify his gaming collection as the largest in existence. At the time it consisted of 10,607 games, though Thommason noted in a YouTube comment last November that it was nearly 12,000 titles strong.
Now, he’s auctioning it all off.
Along with the games, the winner of this GameGavel auction will also receive the actual Guinness certificate as well as a lifetime subscription to Retro Magazine – which includes an autographed copy of its premiere issue featuring this very collection.
Over 2600 games in the collection are factory-sealed with over 8300 complete with box and manual.
Thommason acquired his collection over the course of 30 years, where he operated seven independent gaming stores during the 90s and has worked at another retail chain for the last decade. As we’ve all suspected, he used his managerial powers to snag the best copy of every game. “Whenever I purchased a game that did not directly come from the distributor I was able to look through all our inventory and pick out the nicest copy of a game, including grabbing the nicest box and manual,” he explained in the auction listing. “As a result, the games in my collection are mostly pristine.”
Thommason, his collection, and his Guinness World Record certificate.
So why sell them all now?
“I simply have an immediate family and extended family that have needs that need to be addressed,” Thommason stated. “While I do not wish to part with these games, I have responsibilities that I have made to others and this auction is how I will help meet them.”
This isn’t the first time Thommason has sold his collection. When he got married in 1998 he needed to part with a good deal of his nest egg to finance the wedding. “I sold off complete collections for the Sega Master System and the TurboGrafx-16 to help pay fund the event,” he explained on YouTube. “I have since reacquired most of the games over the years, but some titles such as Magical Chase are still elusive, which is even more funny when one considers the name of the game!”
Furthermore, a few years back he donated nearly a thousand games to the Strong Museum’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games – granted those were all duplicate copies of his main collection.
The collector was adamant that parting with his record-breaking Shangri-La of games doesn’t mean he’s leaving his lifelong hobby – or collecting for that matter. “I love games and they are pivotal part of my identity. I will continue to champion them. I will continue to write for periodicals and publish books, teach my college gaming classes, occasionally partake in competitive gaming, operate GDG’s Homebrew Heaven, publish new games and gaming products, write business plans, make appearances on television, film and radio, manage retail gaming stores, help with trade shows, work as a consultant for third parties, etc” Thommason said in the listing.
He concluded his auction by stating “I’ve sold my collection many times in the past and still managed to capture Guinness’ attention, and it is entirely possible that I may again.”
The auction ends on Sunday, 15th June at 10.30pm EDT (which is 16th June at 3.30am UK time). The current bit is $9500, but the minimum reserve has not yet been met.
The world’s largest video game collection. Middle-aged white guy not included.