Zachary Hall has always had a passion for video games.
For most of his life, he’s bought and collected vintage video game cartridges and consoles and has since turned that hobby into a fulltime job.
He and his wife Leslie Hall recently opened up Retro Hall Video Games and Collectibles which is a new haven for gamers.
The store is located in downtown Odessa at 415 N. Grant inside the Copper Rose building.
“We started out as a little flee market for a few months but that was more of a hobby than a fulltime business,” Zach said.
The store opened for business on July 5.
“I was a game collector,” Zachary said. “I love to collect older consoles and I would go to state sales and different things. I would add different things to my collection. It was an accidental business but it was the best accident to happen to me, besides my wife.”
For him, video games have been a lifelong hobby for him.
“I did stop for a while because I was in the oil field for several years,” Hall said. “Once COVID happened, things started slowing down for me and I was able to do the things that I enjoy again. It really re-sparked everything.”
Since opening up their store, Hall said business has exceeded expectations.
“We put a lot of what we get back into the business because we really enjoy what we do,” Hall said. “Everyone that walks in here, feels the same way and they get that vibe from us.”
The store sells video game consoles going as far back as the original Atari as well as the ColecoVision and Intellivision to the original Nintendo Entertainment System to even recent ones for consoles such as the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Nintendo Switch.
But it’s not just video games and consoles that Retro Mobile Gaming Hall offers as the store also sells vintage collectibles such as comic books, Pokemon cards and VHS tapes and action figures.
They also buy, sell and trade vintage games.
“I also do specialty appraisal like if someone isn’t sure what their games are worth, I’ll give them an appraisal on what I believe it’s worth,” Hall said.
Hall has also collected rare consoles such as Famicom and the Super Famicom (which are the Japanese versions of the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Super Nintendo).
“It’s not rare in Japan but it is rare here in America,” Hall said. “But we keep anything as old as the Intellivision, Atari, Famicom and Super Famicom.”
They also repair consoles but mostly the older ones, anything from the NES to the Nintendo GameCube.
The most expensive (and rare item) in the store is a double-game package of Metroid Prime and Zelda: Wind Waker for the Nintendo GameCube.
A simple eBay search will have the package come up for as high as $1,000.
Originally, the game was bundled with a GameCube console and was only available during the 2005 holiday season rush, making it rare.
“It’s a dual pack in which very few were made,” Hall said. “These, in better condition, will go up to over $1,000. This one is probably valued at $500-$600.”
When he’s not busy running the store, Hall said he will scan the internet for about 6-8 hours a week, looking to purchase other older consoles and games.
“A lot of times, you really have to scan eBay and you have to spend hours on it and you have to enjoy it or you’re not going to find the right kind of deal to make it worth importing because it is a lengthy process to find a good deal,” Hall said.
He said the feedback from customers has been positive so far.
“A lot of people have been impressed with the different variety of items that we have,” Hall said. “I don’t know of any other store in West Texas that has the Famicom or Super Famicom kind of games and it’s our Japanese game collection. We have some Japanese Nintendo 64s still in the box that people are really excited about.”
The store also takes part in Downtown Odessa’s First Fridays of each month where it will be hosting a Game Night as well as offering five percent off everything in the store.
They systems the store will have setup for the Game Night include Xbox Series S, the Switch and the Nintendo Wii and Wii U.
For Hall, video games have always been important to him.
“Not to get too deep but I’ve had certain moments in my life where video games helped me through hard times,” Hall said. “It’s something that’s very important to me and it’s something that I like to pass on my love of video games to my kids because I know through those hardships, they’ll find peace in something they enjoy.”
Hall’s favorite console is the original Sony PlayStation and his favorite game for that system is “Final Fantasy Tactics”.
“That’s a tough one,” Hall said. I would say the original PlayStation. I like JRPGs from my favorite final fantasy. They had some of the best library for that sort of game.”
For Leslie, she prefers the more recent game consoles, specifically, the Switch.
“I’m more of a newer generation,” Leslie said. “I like the Switch. I like the fact that I can play it with both of my sons and my favorite game is “Stardew Valley” because I can play it with my family.”
Zach and Leslie have been married for eight years now.
Running the business has been a family affair for Zachary and Leslie and they’ve enjoyed meeting new people who also share the same passion for video games as they do.
“For us, it’s more than a business,” Zachary said. “We want people when they come in for it to be an experience. We enjoy conversations and share this love of gaming with them.”
For more information about the store, go to https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100088960958375.