Saturday, March 11, 2017

I bought RPGs literally by the pound at Breakout 2017 in Toronto today

I attended last year's Breakout here in Toronto (as discussed here), and went to this year's event. I won't bore you with the ins and outs, as it's pretty much the same as last year, though I noticed that the famous game designers were less conspicuous this year. Eric Lang, for instance, had a sign at the table he was sitting on last year, but not this year, which is too bad, as my buddy wanted to talk to him.

The hotel seemed to be taken by suprise by the number of attendees I found this year.. The ATM machine ran empty around noon for an hour or so and the hotel restaurant advised my friend and I it would take 45 minutes to make us lunch. 

But that is minor stuff...

Lots of people played in the main hall, same as last year which I always found odd as I personally don't like to play with strangers.

No, I was there for the deals. There was a bring and sell thing, same as last year, where people bring their used games, minis and accessories, for sale.

People would list 3 prices for different times (12 pm, 2 pm and 4pm) for each item, with in many cases a drop in price as time goes by.

Anyways, judging by the line up to get in at 12 pm, lots and lots of people were there just for that, same as me.

It was a very crowded room in there at times as people were jostling for deals.

I bought a ton of old 1980s RPGs for a song.. sometimes 2 for $5.. quickly.. including these:

I also got my favourite boardgame, Blackbeard from the old Avalon Hill days, for like $30 even though I already have it.

and I also got someone's entire Monsterpocalypse collection for just $30. Whomever sold it must have sunk at least $200 to collect all these boosters.

$30 was a great steal.. hell, even the plastic case that came with it costs $10.

I can use the minis for when I play Battletech with my friend Jeff as well...

Moreover, somebody was selling some beautifully painted Star Wars and fantasy miniatures for $25 and $15 respectively, which I snapped up.

Look at that paintjob.. Even Jabba is painted nice, with water-like effects on the bowls near him.

22 Star Wars minis for $25 is $1.14 a mini. I'm sure it took whomever painted this 5-10 hours per mini to paint and gave it away for $1.14 each.

The same for the fantasy ones I got.. 16 minis for $15 is $1.07 a mini.

A nice acquisition. 

Some of the dealers were very generous too. I met the people of and bought some excellent terrain which I can use for Frostgrave.

I was won over when I realized you can flip over the stone terrace pieces and make them wood ones too.

Got a nice gamer mug from a table hosted by Daireann Designs for $10.

Another dealer floored me when they were selling RPGs by the pound, I kid you not.

I have never seen that before. I bought some pounds of GURPS like it was a sack of potatoes...

RPGs are dying, you can tell, when they're being sold used 2 for $5 or by the pound like they were fish. I long stopped RPGing and bought all of the above just for the nostalgia, but I'm still saddened that the game genre of my 1980s youth is fading. Just glad "I was there" in the golden age of RPGing in the 1980s..

But I digress...

My friend Jeff texted me to buy on his behalf a game that was not yet commercially available, which I did, called V-Commandos.

It was not all spend, spend, spend, though, as I too brought games to sell. I brought in about 15 or 16, and sold 12 of them, pocketing at 6:30 pm my proceeds less the convention's 10% cut, of about $186.

I sold them primarily to free up some space as I don't play those games anymore. My friend Jim brought 5 games and sold 2 of them.

I was amused when I sat down at a table for a break, only to see a game I put up for sale, High Frontiers, there. I told the new owner it was my game and we exchanged some pleasantries.

All in all, a good day.


  1. Looks like a good day, like old times.

  2. Wow, looks like quite the haul!

    Are RPGs really dying? I know personal experience does not necessarily reflect statistical reality, but I'm pretty sure I know just as many, if not MORE, people playing role-playing games now as I did when I was a teen in the 80s.

    I think there has definitely been shifts in interest and the way people buy and play their games. Just because i can go to value village and buy cassettes for 25¢ or CDs for a $1 doesn't mean MUSIC is dying. It just means no one is interested in those old 80s bands and/or they don't have tape or CD players to listen to them anymore because they listen to everything on their ipod.

  3. You've got valid points Tim.. and yet I think things haven't been the same since the 1990s. I am old school though, a 1980s RPGer, so I may be biased in saying RPGs peaked in the 1980s, its golden age.

    Thanks for the comments.