Hi, how nice of you to drop by! I’m John, owner and founder of Super Gangu.
Let me tell you about how our store was born, and why we’re in the business of selling old Japanese video games and toys.
The home land of video games, Japan
Born and raised in Sweden, my passion and interest for video games led me to Japan, and in 2008 I left my home country to start studying the language at a small school in central Tokyo.
In 2009, I co-founded a company (incorporated 2011) in Japan known as Go! Go! Nihon. It became very successful and is today the world leader in introducing people to Japanese language schools.
After working at Go! Go! Nihon for 6 years, helping people discover the adventure of studying Japanese in Japan, I felt like I needed to get back to my roots. Years of hard work had made me forget about my two biggest passions in life - tinkering with machines and playing video games.
So in late 2015, I decided to resign from my daily duties and sell my shares in the company. I still serve on the board of directors, but only as a consultant.
Building something new
I wanted to create something from the ground up, where I could combine my passions and interests, share them with other people and make a living at the same time. I knew for a fact that there are many other people like me out there, people with an avid interest in Japanese games and entertainment products.
One of my ways of relaxing was to find broken old video game consoles and make them look, work and play like new again. It gave me that satisfactory feeling of "saving a life", so to speak. Weird? You tell me.
So, there is still a lot of old games and consoles scattered around Japan. Some of it is still in good shape, but let’s face it, a lot of these consoles and games are now over 20 years old. No wonder you often have to put down a lot of work and tinkering to get everything working like it should.
Now, that’s something I enjoy doing.
Most people however, do not want to spend hours upon hours adjusting the belt in their Famicom Disk System or researching what the best cleaning solution (turns out it's not alcohol, imagine that!) for fixing a glitchy cartridge slot is - they just want to play (or display) the game!
Thus came the idea: Let's build an honest, easy to use and safe online store where you can acquire great Japanese gaming goods, rare and common, used and new, without the mess.
The perfect online store
I asked myself: If I wanted to buy a specific Japanese game, what would I look for in an online store? Here are the most important points I listed:
• Simple and fun shopping experience with big, detailed photos
• Professionally cleaned, tested and working items (no bullshit)
• Safe payments
• Packing with care, shipping with tracking
• Buying from people that care about the things that they are selling and have attention to detail
Why retro games? Isn't the Japanese market dead?
People say the Japanese retro game market is dead. I care to disagree.
Sure, you're not going to find a mint Mr. Gimmick in a bargain bin in Akihabara for 500 yen anymore, but just because the difficulty level of the hunt has increased doesn't mean there are still games out there to find.
Speaking the local language, knowing people in the community and going outside Tokyo to find games are some things that make it worthwhile.
But to be frank, I’m not doing this to make a quick buck. I wanted to do this because it's fun and something I'm highly interested in.
Truth be told, I have a few selfish reasons for creating this store as well.
Reason 1: Turning a hobby into something that pays the rent
Hunting, finding, repairing, playing and learning about retro games is fun. But a man's gotta pay the rent as well. Who doesn't want to get paid to have fun?
Reason 2: Building a personal collection
While I'm mostly into playing the games, I do also collect the ones I have a certain fondness for, play often or want my future kid(s) to play. Running this store means I see a lot of games, which means a lot of opportunity to pick up the ones I'm looking for myself. Don't worry, I'm perfectly happy with a loose cartridge in most cases - I'll leave the best stuff for you guys...most of the time.
Aiming for the best
My goal with Super Gangu is to be the go-to place for Japanese game, figure or toy lovers - without any of the trouble or worry of buying online.
I wanted to make sure that what you see is what you get, and that you could have that comfort knowing that the people you’re buying from aren't shady basement sellers, but really take things seriously.
When you get a game or console from us in your hands, it's ready to play.
That’s why we take great pride in being better than anywhere else when we inspect, clean, repair, test, pack and ship the products that we know that you are going to love.
To be perfectly blunt, we will never try to compete with places like eBay or Amazon. We put a lot of time and effort into making sure each item we sell is in the best condition it can be, and to give our customers the best service they can possibly get. With that in mind, we can’t compete on price all the time.
Also, selling (mostly) used gaming systems and games can be tough. Since they aren't made anymore, you have to:
- Find them.
- Repair, clean and test them.
- Shoot and upload photos for each individual item. Can't use stock photos.
All of this is easier said than done. Anyone can re-sell dirty and untested games on eBay. I want our store to be better than that.
We do our best to set reasonable prices that may or may not be a few dollars above what you’ll find in other marketplaces online. In return, we guarantee you that the item you see is the item you’ll get, it will work great right out of the box and we do not mark up shipping costs.
We would rather quit than to sell a filthy, half-working product for a couple dollars less.
When you open a package that we prepared and shipped, we want you to be excited, wowed and have that warm, tingling sensation of opening a present on Christmas morning.
Please criticize us!
We are constantly working on making the store better and better, so naturally we want to hear your feedback. Preferably criticism over praise, that means we still have something that can we can do better, and we love improving.
Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org - I'd love to hear from you.
If you read all this far - thank you. I hope you'll find something you'll like in our store.