Chopstick Samurai

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A Retro Gamer’s Shopping Guide To Brexit

With the British Pound hitting a 31 year low in the after effects of Brexit, those of us living in the United States are looking at a really good exchange rate.  I remember years ago wanting to buy music and games imported from Britain, and basically having to double the price to get a rough idea of what it was going to cost me in US dollars before shipping fees.  Today’s rate was $1.33 US for one British Pound which is a long ways off from what it used to be.  Here are some suggestions on what to get while the getting is good:

Retro Gaming Books Galore!

Retro Gaming Books Galore!

There have been a lot of awesome looking books published in the UK these past few years.  But they can get to be expensive when you add in shipping fees since dead trees are heavy.  Now they are easily within reach thanks to Brexit.  I would suggest:

  • The absolutely lovely and amazing Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works.  A must own for any classic Sega fan.
  • Bitmap Books has many awesome books available.  I personally own the excellent Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection, Commodore 64: A Visual Compendium, and the English translation of Generation 64 – How the Commodore 64 inspired a generation of Swedish gamers.
  • If your as huge of a Commodore 64 fan as I am, Fusion Retro Books has you covered.  I’d recommend The story of the Commodore 64 in pixels_, The Story of US Gold, and The History Of Ocean Software.  All fantastic reads as well, and all of these books are deserving of their own blog post.


Bedrooms To Billions

Video Game documentaries!

If reading isn’t quite your thing, why not buy some movies?  Anthony and Nicola Caulfield’s documentary From Bedrooms To Billions charts the rise of the personal computer and gaming in the UK.  As American gamers we tend to know our history pretty well, so it’s fascinating to see how the same things happened on the other side of the pond.  Especially since many of us have no knowledge of many personal computers that were only released exclusively in the UK.  I loved this documentary as well as it’s sequel The Amiga Years, exploring the history and effects of the Commodore Amiga.  A computer I always pined after as a C64 fan.  Their upcoming Playstation documentary looks awesome as well.  Digital versions are easily available, but at these rates why not grab some physical copies for your shelf?


Retro Gamer #60

Retro Gamer Magazine!

As a retro gaming fan the only publication available for years was Retro Gamer Magazine.  When you could find it issues would (and still do) run you $13 a pop at Barnes & Noble.  Amazon offers physical subscriptions for $115.82 for 13 issues saving you about $50 off the newsstand price.  A international subscription directly from the magazine will run you £80 pounds.  But using this special link and entering the coupon code CLASSIC, you can get an international subscription knocked down to £50 pounds for 13 issues.  That’s $67 at today’s exchange rate!  I paid about $15 more then that pre-Brexit and thought it was a killer deal, but getting that many issues for not much more then $5 a pop is a steal.  Plus you don’t have to worry about missing an issue since they appear at Barnes & Noble two months behind the currently available issue.

Also back issues and bookazines are available through Imagine Publishing’s online store.  I love collecting the bookazines especially but you never know when or if you’ll be able to find them on store shelves.  The current exchange rate makes for a nice discount on their insanely high shipping rates.



Finally, why not just go crazy and buy whatever you’d like from eBay sellers in the UK?  That weird curvy L-shaped pound sign that used to signify high prices is now your sign of savings!  I’ve had my eye on a PAL Gamecube console for awhile so I can play Gameboy games in glorious RGB.  There is no time like the present to pull that trigger!

Happy shopping!



  1. Thanks for posting this. I went ahead and subscribed to Retro Gamer. The price at Barnes & Noble is ridiculous but I love that magazine the few times I’ve purchased it. I’m sorry you do not like social media. I miss your tweets and your “presence” (if that makes any sense). I hope you and your family are doing well!

    • No problem Derek, that’s just too good of a deal not to pass on. I needed to take a step away from social media. It was becoming too much of a time suck, and I didn’t feel like I was getting what I needed from it. Hopefully this blog will help scratch that itch. I may make a complete return to Twitter yet one day. 🙂

  2. I recently ordered a 1541 Ultimate II+, a replacement “disk” drive for the Commodore 64 that connects to a physical Commodore computer and allows you to use .D64 disk files as if they were real floppy disks. I have an early model of the 1541 Ultimate, but the newer ones have lots of new features that mine is lacking (a case, USB ports, an ethernet port — yes, for your Commodore 64! — and an internal speaker to emulate the grinding and bonking noises of an original 1541 disk drive). They run 149 Euros, and with the current exchange rate, I’m paying much less for this newer model with more features than I did for my original one.

    It’s nice when these things work in our favor. Years ago I pre-paid for a Pandora handheld gaming device. After waiting for more than a year, my order was cancelled. I received a refund, but due to fluctuations in the exchange rate I lost about $60 in the process. I paid (I think) 300 Euros and got a refund for 300 Euros and somehow lost $60 in the deal. That’s why I try to avoid casinos as much as possible.

    • I picked up my 1541 UII a couple years ago so I can’t justify upgrading to the new one. But man, that speaker for the disk noises sounds pretty awesome!

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