MARGIN MAKERS: Guide to retro merchandise

Matthew Jarvis
MARGIN MAKERS: Guide to retro merchandise

Games of years gone by continue to spark nostalgia and reverence among consumers. MCV goes back to the past with a selection of retro-themed products

Next-gen titles might be grabbing all of the headlines as we approach Christmas, but retro gaming is still a healthy sector for retailers across the UK.

Retro gaming remains big news for us,” confirms Charlotte Knight, category director at GAME.

You only need to walk into one of our stores to see that previous generation consoles still provide viable retail opportunities.”

These opportunities include myriad accessories and spin-off products such as clothing, housewares and kitsch.

From Nintendo's pre-Wii success in the N64, NES and SNES to Sega's beloved Mega Drive and the industry's forefathers such as the Atari 2600, the consoles of the past have spawned franchises that continue to capture the hearts of consumers the world over.

This has led to franchises like Mario, Sonic, Final Fantasy and Street Fighter attracting an audience spanning multiple decades.

The number of iconic titles to have hit gamers' screens over the last 30 years means there's plenty on offer for retailers to stock in the way of retro merchandise, especially as older fans begin to reminisce about Christmasses gone by. Retailers should be wary not to miss out on cheaper ‘stocking-filler' products that see increased interest from holiday shoppers.

The transition of these titles to platforms such as digital stores and mobile also provides retailers with the perfect chance to upsell digital download codes for older titles alongside tie-in products.

There is no reason why retro and digital can't go hand-in-hand,” observes Knight.

She adds that merchandise itself can develop a collectable appeal: Well looked-after physical memorabilia and collectibles will continue to hold their value.”

Retailers should be paying close attention to the success of retro – or risk becoming stuck in the past.


PlayStation Coasters

PlayStation players can show their friends exactly which games are their cup of tea with this set of durable heat-resistant coasters inspired by a variety of PlayStation titles. The mats perfectly recreate the jewel cases of classic games including PaRappa The Rapper, Gran Turismo, Wipeout and Destruction Derby.

SRP: 14.99

Manufacturer: Numskull

Distributor: Rubber Road

Contact: 01707 800 881


Mega Drive Console Notebook

This official Sega product replicates the popular 1990s console, adding 96 140gsm pages for players' notes and drawings. It's perfect for jotting down Mortal Kombat II move lists and Sonic the Hedgehog cheat codes.

SRP: 4.99

Manufacturer: Numskull

Distributor: Rubber Road

Contact: 01707 800 881


Retron 5

Gamers can play their Mega Drive, NES, SNES, Famicom, Super Famicom, Game Boy, GBC and GBA games with this all-in-one box.

SRP: 119.99

Manufacturer: Hyperkin

Distributor: Hyperkin

Contact: sales@hyperkin.com


Bubble Bobble Plush Assortment

Bubble Bobble brothers Bub and Bob are now available in squishy plush form, with an internal soundchip for bubble bustin' effects.

SRP: 17.99

Manufacturer: Gaya Entertainment

Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK

Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com


Sonic the Hedgehog Socks

Fans of the speedy mammal can dress like Sonic himself, the nefarious Doctor Eggman or the Green Hill Zone level with these socks.

SRP: 9.99

Manufacturer: Numskull

Distributor: Rubber Road

Contact: 01707 800 881


Doom Cacodemon Plush

The Hellish one-eyed Doom demon's menacing grin becomes almost welcoming thanks to this soft recreation.

SRP: 22.99

Manufacturer: The IP Factory

Distributor: Gaming Heads

Contact: www.gamingheads.com


PlayStation Controller Cufflinks

These cufflinks are emblazoned with the iconic X, Circle, Triangle and Square face buttons and D-pad.

SRP: 12.99

Manufacturer: Numskull

Distributor: Rubber Road

Contact: 01707 800 881


Worms Super Sheep Vintage T-Shirt

This shirt celebrates the history of the Worms franchise by highlighting one of the series' most iconic weapons – the Super Sheep.

SRP: 14.99

Manufacturer: Gaya Entertainment

Distributor: Gaming Merchandise UK

Contact: hello@gamingmerchandiseuk.com

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