The Video Game Critic's

Video Game Museum Volume 2

Strange and Wonderful Artifacts from My Personal Collection

Updated 3/11/2024

This is part two of my "museum" series, showcasing various game-related odds-and-ends I've collected over the years. You can click on the photos to examine more closely. I've included ebay links but I wouldn't hold out much hope of finding most of this stuff.

Some of these items were freebies, some were gifts, and some I purchased myself. To be honest I can't remember where a lot of these even came from!

Nintendo Art

Nintendo print
My old buddy Steve "Nukem" gave this to me as a gift about 15 years ago. I think he picked it up at some convention. It's pretty fantastic and people rave about it. I don't have much wall space in my game room (as you might imagine) but it fits perfectly on the back of the door. The white frame really helps the characters stand out. The print contains quite the cross-section of Nintendo personalities. Can you name them all? You'll find the answer at the bottom of this page.

Find Nintendo Artwork on eBay, Amazon, YouTube

Grand Theft Auto Swag

circa 2008-2013

GTA Swag

Before online culture encroached into our happy little offline world, company would send out promotional items in addition to review copies of games. Rockstar was great at sending out swag to all the relevant video game sites, and also The Video Game Critic! I kept all the items but the GTA IV items got mixed in with the GTA V stuff, so I grouped them all together. Lots of weird, random stuff here.

GTA Statue

This is kind of a goofy item but my nephew (big GTA fan) thinks it's the coolest thing. It's a scaled down version of the Statue of Happiness as seen in GTA IV. You can see "GTA IV" transcibed on the book along with the roman numeral version of 2008.

GTA Shirt GTA Paper
The Burger Shot T-shirt is a real head-turner. "Kill your hunger. Bleedin' tasty." No way would I wear this in public, but it is made of quality material, so in theory I could. The foam finger references a fictional baseball team called the "Liberty Swingers".

On the right is a smattering of stickers and some wrapping paper. I actually used this paper to wrap a family gift for a birthday, and it was a big hit! More memorable than the gift itself no doubt.

GTA bullet GTA keychain
Would you believe Rockstar send me a bullet with GTA V stamped on the side? That's awesome, and just a little bit insane. To the right is a keychain with a little Bugstars extermination service truck.

Find Grand Theft Auto Swag on eBay, Amazon, YouTube

Space Channel 5 Swag

circa 2000

Space Channel 5 Calendar Space Channel 5 Magnets
During the short-yet-sweet Dreamcast era (1999-2001), Sega released all sorts of fresh new games. One was a stylish dance title called Space Channel 5. It starred a fiesty redhead babe named Ulala with a figure some have compared to an anorexic chicken. At least she's fashionable, modeling all sorts of futuristic orange outfits. I don't quite recall where I got this stuff, but they may have been included with my Dreamcast magazine subscription.

The calendar is for 2000-2001, and man do I want to go back! Each month featured Ulala in a different pose. The magnets on the right are kind of like paper dolls, in that you can dress Ulala in boots, skirts, and other accessories. As much as I like Ulala I can't stand having magnets like these on my refrigerator. They look junky and are always falling off.

Find Space Channel 5 Swag on eBay, Amazon, YouTube

Sega Rapid Fire Control Stick

for the Sega Master System
circa 1988

Sega Joystick

What a piece of dookie this is! It's a shame too, because the Sega Master System could have used a premium joystick. The standard pad feels very mushy and inexact, yet is ten times better than this monstrosity.

Just look at the design! I suppose putting the joystick on the right makes some sense, as that's most people's dominant hand. But look at that huge, squarish knob! What was the thought process here? Did they expect people to grip it with their palms like a gear shift?

It doesn't even work. Trying to hit the diagonals is like pulling teeth. I guess much like the Sega Sports Pad, this thing wasn't made for the long haul. The only thing this controller is good for now is this lame museum feature!

Master System rapid fire unit
The one thing Sega did right is separating the rapid-fire unit from the stick. You can use it with any Sega Master system controller, giving you "rapid-fire" settings on both buttons. Granted, there's only one speed for each button.

I tried it with Rambo and I liked it. If nothing else it saves wear and tear on your thumb. It didn't really make sense for Shinobi since you can only throw one star at a time. Next I tried Fantasy Zone. That's what the kid is playing on the box and he looks like he's losing his mind! It works pretty well, although the shooting was more intermittent than I expected. It really depends on the game so your mileage may vary.

Find Sega Fire Control Stick on eBay, Amazon, YouTube
Find Sega Master System Rapid-fire attachment on eBay, Amazon, YouTube

Nintendo 64 Keychain

circa 2000

Nintendo 64 Keychain
I have no idea where I got this but it's a keychain with a miniature Nintendo 64 controller attached to it. The most amazing part is, the controller actually works! Not really. But that would have been awesome. I would love to be passing out controllers in my game room and hand this to somebody (sans chain) to see their reaction.

Find Nintendo 64 keychain on eBay, Amazon, YouTube

Onimishu 3 Katana

for the Playstation 2

Katana and box Katana

This is one of the centerpieces of my collection. If there were even a case of form-over-function, it's the Ominusha 3 Katana controller. It looks amazing on a shelf, and that's where it should stay.

Katana unsheathed holding katana
Yes, you can play the game with this; all the standard PS2 controls are incorporated right into the handle. Swinging the katana simulates hitting the "attack" button but the motion detection is erratic and swatting this thing around is tiresome. Within five minutes you'll go back to just pressing the X button on the handle. Better yet, you'll set this God-forsaken thing down and just grab a normal PS2 controller!

When you remove the sheath the "sword" looks suspiciously like a vacuum cleaner attachment. When it comes to the Cleaning Ninja (TM) dust and dirt don't stand a chance.

Find Onimusha 3 Katana on eBay, Amazon, YouTube

Wiimote Candy Holder

Wiimote Candy holder

Not much to see here. Just a normal Nintendo Wiimote right? Gotcha! You just fell into my trap. Take a closer look!

Fake wiimote Fake wiimote
I can't believe how gullible you are. Comparing side-by-side with a real Wiimote, you can just see it's just a fake tin Wiimote. Originally it held candy inside. What is the point of this? I have no idea.

Find Wiimote candy holder on eBay, Amazon, YouTube

Dragoncast Controller

for the Sega Dreamcast
circa 2000

First let me state that this joystick is awesome. I remember back in the day when Hawkman gave me a heads-up that they were selling these things online for $8 or something crazy like that. I'm glad I snagged one. Not only does the controller look amazing, but it works well too. The joystick has a loose "clicky" feel and the buttons are perfectly tappable. I need to pull this out more often!

The thing is, this controller has always taken a backseat to its packaging. Collectors tend to enjoy poor Japanese translations, sometimes referred to as "Engrish", and this box is just a goldmine of broken English and spelling errors. See for yourself.

Dragoncast box Dragoncast joystick
Front of Dragoncast box Back of Dragoncast box
Dragoncast side of box Dragoncast side of box
Some of my favorites:

"Cyber outlook, stable and convienct for user"
"* RUMBLE *"
"Arrival with different trans color... give you different control feeling"
"Can resist user force strongly"
"When use with DRAGON CAST DC memory card, the result much more better"

Find Dragoncast controller on eBay, Amazon, YouTube

Geltabs Performance Thumb Grips

Thumb grips Thumb grips
This is a solution looking for a problem right? How many people have trouble with their thumbs sliding off the thumbsticks?

Then I got to thinking. There have been times when I'm playing an intense game and my thumb is not quite centered on the stick, but I just can't risk that split-second to readjust. It happens!

These little rubber grips wrap around most thumbsticks. They have a tacky feel with raised bumps that keep the stick firmly in place under your thumb. They actually feel pretty good! I was skeptical, but if you're wondering if they work, I'd have to say yes!

Find Performance thumb grips on eBay, Amazon, YouTube

Kasumi Ninja Headband

circa 1994
Kasumi Ninja headband
If you're a retro gamer you've probably heard of Kasumi Ninja. It was a pretty weak Mortal Kombat clone for the Atari Jaguar. I think this headband might have come with the game. All I know is, it makes me look like Solid Snake of Metal Gear Solid.
Me as Solid Snake Solid Snake

Find Kasumi Ninja headband on eBay, Amazon, YouTube

Characters in Nintendo Art Print: Mario, Donkey Kong, Link (Legend of Zelda), Samus (Metroid), Yoshi, Kirby, Star Fox, Pikachu (Pokemon), Ness (Earthbound), Luigi, Captain Falcon (F-Zero X), Jigglypuff (Pokemon)

Museum photo by Dannie Jing on Unsplash

Playstation hats

Also check out the Video Game Critic Museum Vol. 1

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for the next edition.