Jacob Waller always knew he would own a business selling vintage video games and toys when he grew up.
It was only a matter of time before Retro Reboot was born, at 315 Main St., and Waller had his chance to sell – and maybe test out – video games and toys from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
“I’ve been a collector for as long as I can remember,” Waller, a self-taught entrepreneur, said. Now, the collector gets to “mess with things I enjoy” for a living, which makes coming to work every day a lot easier.
The shop is packed with vintage games for consoles like PlayStation and Sega and vintage toys such as G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Transformer action figures and a 1987 Fortress Maximus Transformer.
Retro Reboot partners with GameStop sometimes to help people looking for older video games, Waller said, though adding his shop’s trade-in policy on video games is better than GameStop’s. A customer could receive 40 percent cash value or 60 percent credit based on what the shop would sell the game for.
But it’s not just vintage games and toys Waller is focused on. Retro Reboot also has a room with a 170-inch wall with a full projector. Once Waller can clean the room – it’s currently filled with trade-ins the store received over the holidays – he plans to host movie nights and video game tournaments.
Waller gained some experience running his own business while working with Magnolia, an electronics business owned by Best Buy. Not having any formal training hasn’t hindered Waller – so far, his business has been booming, especially during the holidays. Waller, who has one full-time employee, said that while the other stores on Main Street close at 6 p.m., that is typically one of his shop’s busiest times.
Waller looked at other places, such as North Davidson, but decided on Pineville because he said downtown has a vintage feel, almost like being in a “time capsule,” that reminded him of the town where he grew up in Ohio. He thought the vintage feel of downtown would go well with the vintage theme of his shop.
Waller said the most popular games he sells are anything involving Mario, The Legend of Zelda series and Metroid.
Pokémon also is making a come back because the adults who played the video games as kids want to recapture some of that nostalgia, Waller said. Thankfully, he’s an expert at helping people reminisce about their childhood.
“We sell memories,” he said of how he would describe the business.
Personally, Waller’s favorite games are Paper Mario and Super Smash Bros., but he’s up to date on all the current trends in the video game market, as well.
Retro Reboot is open Monday through Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.
Although the business is still working on a website to allow customers to see an inventory list, Retro Reboot does have a Facebook page that is updated with new items regularly. Find more information on Retro Reboot at www.facebook.com/pages/Retro-Reboot/128422474015741, or call 704-889-0314.
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