I’ve owned my Vectrex for 20 years. It’s crazy to think about, but the amount of time between its initial release in 1982 and when I bought mine off eBay in 2001 (19 years) is less than the amount of time passed from 2001 to now (20 years).
In these 20 years, my Vectrex remains one of my top five favorite consoles to talk about, show off, and devote attention to. It’s an enigma wrapped in an oddity dressed in a vector graphics cartridge-based console. And I love it.
A little over four years ago, in the fall of 2016, I highlighted my Vectrex collection here. I gushed over its unique place in gaming history and my favorable decision to buy one before they became as cost-prohibitive as they’ve become in the years since the dawn of the 21st century.
That sparked a reinterest in all things Vectrex, which prompted me to begin collecting for the console again seriously. The goal? A complete in box collection of all officially released games as well as peripherals. Four years and an amount of cash I am not comfortable sharing in a public forum later, I have almost accomplished this goal.
In the subsequent years since 2016, I have bought complete in box copies of all the titles I had previously only owned as loose cartridges. That’s a lot of selling off doubles of loose carts to pour back into my pool of disposable cartridge cash. It was well worth it, as I am now the proud owner of every single stand-alone cartridge that you could buy for the Vectrex. That’s 26 titles full of vector-gaming goodness.
I also added all of the games to my collection that I did not yet have—Polar Rescue, Star Castle, Star Hawk, plus the Light Pen peripheral. Additionally, I added all of the developed and released games with this peripheral in mind (Animaction, Art Master, Melody Master).
Lastly, I bought two of the three 3D Imager games (3D Crazy Coaster, 3D Narrow Escape) despite not owning a 3D Imager peripheral. One of the greatest regrets I have is not jumping at the chance to buy a complete in box 3D Imager, including a copy of the peripheral’s pack-in title, 3D Minestorm, back in early 2017. I had the choice between a complete Light Pen or a 3D Imager, and I chose the Light Pen because it was slightly less expensive.
When I look back at what the seller was asking for it, $700-800, and seeing how much they are selling for now on eBay (twice the price), I smack my head in disbelief. What was initially thought to be a costly add-on has now turned into a mythical unicorn, not unlike cartridge copies of Minestorm or the promo-only Mr. Boston that I may now never own. Of course, I am not giving up on my desire to own everything possible to purchase for the Vectrex, but procuring a 3D Imager along with 3D Minestorm remains an unlikely prospect as of 2021. I also don’t own a Vectrex console box, but the quality and condition of the boxes I have seen online do not warrant the asking prices, in my opinion, so I have not pulled the trigger. Maybe someday.