Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Dumpster diving? More like skip scanning.

"Dumpster diving", as it is called in the US and “skipping” in the UK, is the act of going through another person's dumpster in search of salvageable items such as clothes, electronics, food etc. and is one component of the freegan lifestyle.


While most would imagine such behaviour exhibited exclusively by tramps and weirdos, it is in fact totally feasible method of acquiring retro bric-a-brac, with there being numerous sites and blogs showing off people finds. This lucky diver (lukemorse1), for example, found a numerous Dreamcast maracas, a Saturn arcade stick and a boxed Dreamcast Dreameye,among other cool things. 

I myself am always on the look-out or cheap retro-treasures, and it doesn't get any cheaper than free! Of course in the British suburbia residential "dumpsters" aren't commonplace, so I tend to peer into wheelie bin overflow and skips; thus I would refer to myself as a "skip scanner" as I'm far too dignified (scared) to take the plunge and actually rummage through people's rubbish.

 Unfortunately I've yet to find anything as fantastic as lukemorse1. The only thing that I have acquired out of a skip thus far is a perfectly functional, yellow Gameboy Pocket, which I gave to my girlfriend for her collection.

However my constant staring into a skip only a few houses down from my house has paid off as I am now the proud owner of...

Star Wars: Electronic Galactic Battle!


All I saw were the words “Star Wars” peeking out from underneath an empty paint bucket filled with bits of wood; I knew I must have it, even though I had little to no idea what it was... What it is is an electronic, Star Wars themed version of the classic game “Battleships”. Although a few of the ships are missing, and I had to super-glue a tie-fighter back together, it is intact and in full working order. I popped in some batteries and pressed a few buttons and was rewarded with various Star Wars sounds such as a tie-fighter screaming, and the Death Star shooting, or whatever it is that it does when it blows up a planet. However it hasn't got the manual with it so I don't actually know how to play it properly. I hope to find the manual on-line when I can be bothered.

STAR WARS Electronic Galactic Battle: The electronic space combat game

My first thought when I got it home was, of course, “Maybe it's worth something!”. The game is copy-righted for 1997 and was probably produced to coincide with the release of the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition. Later, an “Episode I” version was produced when people still bought prequel trilogy merchandise due to the globe's population simultaneously convincing themselves that Episode I was actually a good film. I know I did.

Original trilogy version

Episode I version

So as far as it being “vintage” or “retro” and of some worth, well, it's not. I did a quick search on eBay and the going rate for it is £15-30, and that, of course, is for complete sets. So the thing really isn't worth selling on, and I couldn't really donate it to charity in it's incomplete state, which left me with the ultimate decision: keep it or bin it.

I'll just replace the missing ships with tiny cardboard cut-outs...


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