Blaster from the past: Retro video game store opens in Ridge • Brooklyn Paper

Blaster from the past: Retro video game store opens in Ridge

Blaster from the past: Ralph Pugliese sells used and vintage video games — such as Duck Hunt — at his new store, Gotham City Games, which opened on Jan. 24.
Photo by Gerogine Benvenuto

He hit the reset button on some old favorites.

A Dyker Heights man opened a retro video game store in Bay Ridge on Jan. 24, offering consoles and games that are old enough to vote, booze, and rent a car. Still, the shop draws a mix of young and old, the owner said.

“I get mostly kids but, I do get a lot of people around my age — 25 to 30 — who played the games in the ’80s and ’90s,” said store owner Ralph Pugliese, who prefers pugilistic beat-’em-ups and ranks “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time” as his all-time favorite game.

The store mainly stocks games and systems from the 1990s on, and a treasure-hunting technophile could find an Atari 2600 or most of a ColecoVision (sans cables) at Gotham, but anything older will be tough to come by, Pugliese said. Stocking up on collectibles would be putting the cartridge before the horse — Pugliese wants to get his store off the ground before eyeing rarities, he said.

So if you’re looking for “E.T.” on the Atari 2600 — arguably the worst game of all time — you’ll have to dig through a landfill like everyone else.

The antique arcade aficionado was just a collector until he started selling games at garage sales and the Park Slope Flea Market about four years ago, he said. But his collection grew too large to lug around, so he decided to open the brick-and-mortar store, he said.

Pugliese said he is not worried about competition from the Gamestop a mere two blocks away, because that store doesn’t sell anything from the same era he does — and because he gives a better deal on trade-ins than the national chain.

“These kids came in yesterday. They said, ‘Gamestop is giving me $17 for these games.’ I took a look and said, ‘I’ll give you $25,’ ” he said. “My business is trade-ins.”

Prospective buyers can try games before they buy them, too. Plus, Pugliese plans to hold Saturday tournaments where joystick jockeys can face off in competition mainstays such as “Super Smash Brothers,” “Mario Kart,” and “Halo,” he said.

One customer said the store is already a hangout for the gaming set.

“The atmosphere is so laid-back — you could be six years old or 50 years old and everybody’s so nice to each other,” said Dyker Heights’ Roseanna DiLillo, whose sons Troy and Jagger stopped by the store’s grand opening to pick up some Nintendo cartridges that were three times their age.

Gotham City Games (503 84th St. between Fifth Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway in Bay Ridge). Tuesday–Thursday, 1 pm–7 pm; Friday and Saturday, 1 pm–9pm; Sunday, 11 am–5 pm; closed on Mondays.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeg‌er@cn‌gloca‌l.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.

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