Benny Kong's Pickups in 7 Months

My Nintendo Switch Pickups of the Last 7 Months

The ones that are following me on Twitter, Instagram or keeping up with the blog, may have noticed that I haven’t been that active for a good portion of the beginning of the year 2020. Or let’s be more precise: In particular in the months of March – May 2020, especially during the uncertain and difficult events that started in Asia, spread to Europe, then to the United States and soon locked up pretty much the entire world, I went a bit on radio silence. The last time I shared my pickups was in February 2020 and haven’t shown much of my new additions since. So why haven’t I talked about my pickups on a monthly basis as I usually do? Or haven’t I bought any new video games? Keep reading and find out!

Home Office, Video Games and Economy of Scarcity

To me it is honestly (and luckily) not a new situation to work from home. Over the last years, I mostly worked more days per week remotely than spending time in the office. Of course there were also occasionally working weeks with a lot of physical meetings or business trips, but in general I had the freedom to work wherever I wanted to work from. But it’s a totally new scenario when it’s a recommendation to not only work from home but to stay (the fuck) at home, only to leave the house for the absolute most urgent and most important necessities and practise social distancing. It was a scary and unknown situation, especially in March, April and May 2020!

Often my girlfriend and I got up in the early morning with the intention to buy certain goods in the supermarket or drugstore, such as packed (spelt) bread, pasta or the obvious toilet paper. We were basically lining up in front of the store around opening time, but found ourselves leaving the store empty handed again. Sometimes this happened for several days in a row. Before the real world situation was officially declared as a pandemic, we usually also did our grocery shopping online and used services such as Amazon Fresh* or local food shopping in Germany such as Rewe Online, but during these times in Spring 2020, delivery services were booked out for weeks. Most of the food delivery services even stopped accepting new clients and were only serving regular customers. After several weeks of not being able to order online due to booked out slots, we could finally place a food order again at some point. It felt a bit like normality is coming slowly back.

But not only certain goods (and services!) were scarce! Also FIAT money, like the Dollar or the Euro were scarce – what resulted in crashing markets in March 2020. All major markets, such as the equity market, precious metals, cryptocurrencies or commodities were taking significant hits and investors were panic selling. Since I’m very interested in markets in general, I dedicated a lot of time in paying close attention. So markets started to become an intensive hobby for me in Spring 2020. I used this time to educate myself further, and opened up for instance an account with Trade Republic** Europe’s mobile and commission-free broker*, to trade directly via my phone.

So all of this kept me busy! But there was also a situation with our DHL delivery driver in March 2020 that made me think: We were standing in the stairways, roughly 3 meters away from each other, waiting for his scanner to reboot, while our driver was telling me that his current workload increased tremendously:

People are ordering now basically everything online, currently I’m only managing half my route in time. 

Back in our apartment I looked at my shelf and then in my excel sheet: There were 113 physical Nintendo Switch games in my collection, the majority still sealed, and a huge backlog of games I’m very excited to play. And Animal Crossing New Horizons around the corner! So do I really need to add more games to my collection – and cause my delivery guy more work? And maybe the cause why other people don’t get an immediate order in time, just because my delivery guy dropped a new game delivery at my house? No! I decided that I did not want to be part of the problem, that I want to be happy with the games that I already have and that I wanted to limit myself to only order what really matters.

But by writing this, it’s important for me to state that everybody has different priorities and different needs:

For one, a certain Nintendo Switch game is a necessity as it serves as the perfect item for distraction purposes during these difficult times, whereas for others the same game is just a collective item in the collection, which can also be added later. And for others it’s essential to add a certain game now to the collection, as collecting is the distraction and brings the joy. So we are all different and have different needs – both gamers and collectors. My personal decision to hold back a bit with buying video games is solely based on my individual situation. And that’s mainly also why I haven’t shared that much content on Twitter in spring 2020, but still enjoyed to see others posts on new additions.  

Hardly Any Pickups in April, May and June 2020!

In April 2020, there was no single game delivered to my doorstep, while in May 2020 I added Tetris 99* (because of the included Nintendo Switch Online membership) and Super Rare GamesWorld of Goo (SteelBook version) to my collection. In June 2020 I picked up some more games, but this was just driven by the fact that I did get a huge parcel from Limited Run Games, containing 7 limited print releases that I ordered a pretty while ago: 

Talking about Orders in 2020: A Comparison to 2019

When you are collecting limited print releases, then you know that very often there is a huge time gap between pre-ordering a game and actually getting the game. The Limited Run Games that I received in June 2020, contained in fact pre-orders from November 2019 and January 2020. So with my decision in March 2020 to not hunt down every limited print release, the result (meaning less pickups) will be visible in a couple of months and will not have a direct impact on my additions (and on my delivery guy’s work!) during the pandemic started in Spring 2020. But I really tried to discipline myself and held back in general with my Nintendo Switch orders! That’s the numbers of games that I ordered the last months:

  • March 2020: 2 LRG games (I ordered Animal Crossing New Horizons in February 2020) pre-ordered
  • April 2020: 1 LRG game pre-ordered
  • May 2020: 1 SLG game pre-ordered, 1 general release (Tetris 99)
  • June 2020: 1 LRG game pre-ordered (Shantae!)

As you can see, I really limited myself with new orders in the months of March-June 2020 and only bought basically 6 games in 4 months – which is on average 1,5 games per month. In the same time frame last year, meaning in March-June 2019, I placed orders for 35 games, which averages in 8,75 games per month. So just by looking at these numbers, I can proudly say that I definitely slowed down with ordering new games! That’s a start.

However in July 2020, I placed some more orders again (8 games), which is of course also sometimes (too often!) driven by the releases from limited game companies that you simply just don’t want to miss. So in July 2020 I pre-ordered for instance the Limited Run Games’ Star Wars Episode I: Racer Classic Edition, The friends of Ringo Ishikawa or Jay and Silent Bob: Mall Brawl Classic Edition, and I pre-ordered Untitled Goose Game*.

August 2020 was again a quiet month for me (I only ordered Chroma Squad from Super Rare Games), while also September 2020 was not that busy either: I only ordered the obvious Super Mario 3D All-Stars* release (which is also a limited print release – check my blogpost on this release here) and Tokyo School Life as well as Donut County.

Let’s look again into my ordering behavior of 2019 to better evaluate if I was really able to decrease the amount of Nintendo Switch game orders 2020: 

  • March – September 2020: In these 7 months I (pre-) ordered 19 Nintendo Switch physical games, what is equivalent to 2,71 games per month
  • March – September 2019: In these 7 months I (pre-) ordered 67 Nintendo Switch physical games, what is equivalent to a whopping 9,57 games per month

I hope these numbers above speak for themselves and show that I really changed my collecting behavior and that I limited myself with (pre-) ordering new Nintendo Switch games!

But now to the moment of truth: Which games did I add to my physical Nintendo Switch library during the last 7 months?

My Additions to the Nintendo Switch Collection between March and September 2020

Finally! After talking about plans to pick up less Nintendo Switch games, ordering numbers and lots of other things: The data we are all waiting for:

Benny Kong, what did you add to your collection between March and September 2020?

Over the last 7 months, I added 22 physical Nintendo Switch to my collection, which consists now (as of the time of writing) of 135 games.

In case you are wondering because you counted 23 games on the picture: I don’t count my duplicate Super Mario 3D All-Stars copy twice. In exceptional cases, in which I prefer to buy one physical copy to play and one copy to collect that I keep sealed, I count the game only once.

Along some pickups, the physical games came even some little goodies, such as a sticker, a keychain mini-case or a CD soundtrack, which is always a great value added:

To me, an important measurement for future decisions of buying or not buying normal retail releases is the size of the backlog and the spare time to play video games. So out of the 22 games that I picked up over the last 7 months, I only opened 4 physical games to play them: Meaning, I just played 18% of my new additions. 

I have friends that break the seal of every new game and play it briefly directly after they picked it up. On the contrary, I usually only open a game when I plan to play it for the next days/weeks. So the picture above represents my playing behavior: Usually I’m trying to 100% a game before I’m moving on and starting the next one. Hasbro Game Night* or Animal Crossing New Horizons* are exceptions here obviously, since I haven’t 100%’ed the games yet, and will certainly not do so. 

To conclude this blogpost:

In the course of the last 7 months it was important to me to slow down a bit with adding new Nintendo games to the collection. When looking at my Nintendo Switch additions at the same timeframe last year (March-September 2019), in which I picked up 55 Nintendo Switch games, I consider my plan as a success: As I only added 22 new games, I was indeed able to slow down a bit.

What about you? How many (physical) Nintendo Switch games do you add to your collection on average on a monthly basis? Do you give yourself a certain budget or do you just buy whatever you like? And also super important: Are you trying to save up some money – and even better: Invest some money in Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies), Gold, Silver and stocks? Happy to learn your strategy! 

Affiliate link: In case you haven’t bought the mentioned items yet or just you would like to support the blog, using my affiliate links for Amazon or PlayAsia would mean a world to me. Not to get rich, just to get the blog going. Thank you for your support!

** Sign-up for Trade Republic with my personal invitation link and receive 15 €:

Benny Kong Super Rare Games Shirt

Why I Have Subscribed Again to the Super Rare Club

Yes, I did it again. 

But it’s not a “oops, I did it again” – no, it is more like: Yes, I was enabled to do it again, since Super Rare Games, the European publisher and distributor for physical Nintendo Switch indie games, decided to run the Super Rare Club again in the year 2020. But why did I want to join the club again? In short: Based on my experience as a club member in 2019, it was totally worth it. Are you still undecided if you should join? Maybe I can support you in your thought process! Let’s find out which features of the club provided me value in 2019 and made me renew my membership.

Access to Games 48 hours Prior Their General Release

This pre-order feature before the official release is the most important benefit to me. With it you get 48 hrs prior to the official release an email with links to the products that are about to go on sale. You will get access to all Super Rare Game products, which are usually the Standard Game and the Trading Cards, every couple of months the Triple Game Bundle and the Triple Cards Bundle – as well as from time to time even the Collectors Edition. So basically, everything what Super Rare Games will have in store soon, can be bought  almost 2 days earlier – stress-free and with the guarantee that you will get the items which you want to buy. Being a member removes any potential stress associated with going through the buying process – what is a huge value added to me. Who doesn’t feel a certain kind of stress when putting items in the cart on release day and trying to finish the payment as quickly as possible, hoping that the items will not be sold out till the payment goes through? Been there, felt that!

In addition to this stress factor on release days, it is the increased flexibility you gain as a club member: You do not have to shop at a specific time – you have suddenly a specific timeframe to pre-order your items. Launch days were sometimes difficult for me: In my time zone, in Europe (Germany) games are usually available for pre-order at 7 PM; a time where I had sometimes already dinner plans, tickets for the theatre, was on a flight or still sitting in a meeting. As a club member though, I’m totally independent from this launch day.

What’s New in 2020: Quantities of Games & Number of Releases

In the context of any potential purchasing stress on the release day of games, I’m aware that Super Rare Games’ titles aren’t selling out that quick since the print number was increased from 4.000 to 5.000 units in 2019 – and some of the titles haven’t even sold out at the time of writing. Usually you never know how quickly games will be selling prior to their release, so in my mind I’m better off paying the price of a game for the membership for an entire year, instead of chasing a certain game I might have missed because I underestimated the popularity of it – and pay a premium for it. In many cases the markup for limited print copies is double or even triple the original price point on secondary markets such as eBay. And in case you didn’t know: Super Rare Games will be doing some smaller runs in 2020 again: 4,000 units instead of 5,000. Meaning: Some of the upcoming games might again sell out quicker than usual.

Another change for 2020 will be the number of releases: In both 2018 and 2019 Super Rare Games released 12 physical games per year – which meant basically 1 title per month. Recently it has been announced that we can expect 18 titles in the year 2020, which will be 1,5 games per month – or in other words: Every 3 weeks a new Super Rare Games release. Meaning: Without the club you have to block out a certain time every 3 weeks to not miss the launch date of a game you are interested in. In case you are a club member however, you can take it a bit easier, since you will have a launch window of 48 hrs in which you can place your order. Flexible and stress-free. Super Rare Games’ announcement of the decreased number of units per game, and the increased number of releases, contributed clearly to my decision to renew my membership.

Exclusive Game Announcements, Insider Information & Dedicated Super Rare Club Community

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Emails with this golden logo on top do mean: Club news – not to be shared outside the club!

All of the following perks are some club features that already made the sell last year for me! It’s great to be part of the club and get some information, first hand before they will be shared publicity. In most of the cases (not in all): The Club knows first which game will be dropped next. Sometimes some days before, sometimes just some minutes. Important rule here: What happens in the club, stays in the club. From my own experience I can assure you, that the community keeps a close eye on social media channels such as Twitter and immediately interfere, in case a club member shares information that should stay in the club. Once we had a situation with one of the very first game announcements that was shared via email with the club, since a big Nintendo exclusive media outlet posted the news on Twitter just minutes after. Some members, including me, were confronting the account immediately why they are leaking this kind of club news. We learnt later that the media outlet had the exclusivity to announce Super Rare Games’ latest release. So all good. But the system worked, members are protecting the club.

In addition to exclusive game announcements, you can also expect to get insider information on titles as a club member, as well as surveys which genres we are most interested in – or just things that George has in mind. Which is a great deal, as you just feel more connected to Super Rare Games by being part of this special mailing list. I personally would like to get more exclusive stories, such as why certain games were picked (as George did once for Adventure Pals),
who is playing what at Super Rare Games – just some random stuff in the world of Super Rare Games.

On top of all of this: As a Super Rare Club member you will be also added to the Super Rare Games server – which contains only members and the Super Rare Team. The community is pretty neat there: Active, friendly, supportive – and so is the entire Super Rare Games staff. A dedicated #Trading-Card-Trading channel or #Game-Suggestions are just two channels that I like to visit regularly.

Priority & Premium Shipping and a 25% Discount on Merchandise

The free premium packing and priority shipping is another feature of the club I value: Maybe not that obvious at first glance, but usually, games will be shipped out on the release date or even sometimes before it, by consequence you are really one of the first ones to get it. The free premium packing might be something you do not consider that relevant, but as soon as you get your first premium packaged game, you will not want to go back – as the packaging really protects your limited print copy. 

Another cool benefit (one use only) is a 25% discount on any purchased merchandise. To be frank, I’ve shopped almost all the merch Super Rare Games has in stock but completely forgot to use my code. As you can see below, I bought the Super Rare Trading Card Binder, the Snake Pass OST Vinyl Album as well as some Super Rare Games Shirts – the latter might be an item I will buy again by the end of January to not waste my discount.

For 2020 I hope Super Rare Games will expend their merch by adding a Super Rare Games Sweater/Hoodie or even cardigan. This would be perfect for Winter/Fall. Who wouldn’t like to rock such a hoodie? Maybe only with a little logo on the chest (as for the shirts) – without the print on the back?

So there you have it: This is why I renewed my membership. In case you are wondering: I did purchase 7 out of 12 games in 2019 – so I did not go for a complete 2019 set, as I was not interested in all the games. But the club membership did nevertheless pay off for me personally, as the club provides me with the certainty and flexibility to get the limited print games I really want to get – plus has some great add ons in place.   

Do any of these benefits justify a SRG Club Membership 2020 for you? Were you already a member in 2019 as well? If so, did you renew your membership – and if not, why haven’t you renewed it? Signups will be running for the duration of January 2020 – so you still have some days to make up your mind. Happy to learn what you think in the comments’ section.

* This blog post is not sponsored by Super Rare Games and solely expresses my personal experiences with the described club membership.