A new store selling video games, both vintage and new, is opening in north Fort Worth: Called The Gaming Vault, it's an indie store from an avid collector and videogame aficionado, opening at 12412 Timberland Blvd. #324, Fort Worth, on April 22.
Owner Matt Burkhead, 29, is a native of Saginaw and a former teacher and coach in Arkansas where he and his wife went to college. But he grew up playing video games and wanted to put his knowledge and passion for games to work.
"I began collecting games about four years ago and wanted to create a store that would offer good quality games and service to gaming collectors," he says. "We'll have everything from vintage games up to new and current hardware, and we'll also buy, sell, and trade, which is a valuable service."
Video games remain popular, with a steady community of buyers always in the market for retro classic titles that have been previously owned. (There was recently some controversy over a pair of Super Mario games that sold by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions for millions.)
But the most expensive item at The Gaming Vault is a single copy of a Dragon Ball Z game for $180. This is a place for gamers and collectors, with a mix of new and old games plus equipment, from new XBox consoles to Play Stations to vintage Nintendo 64s.
"There's only so many of the older game systems out there, so if you have one in good condition, there's definitely someone who wants to buy it," he says.
"The thing that will distinguish my store is cleanliness," he says. "I'm Type A when it comes to anything I put in my collection, and I want to bring that to other collectors. If I have something in the store, it will be in good condition and nicely packaged for your collection."
His store is in a former insurance agency office, which he's transformed with a gray color palette and black accents; the wall boasts vintage gaming posters and cool retro neon signs.
His real catch are two original game kiosks that date back to the early 2000s, which are in working order so people can come in and play.
"I've already had people contacting me to ask if they are for sale, but I love having them in the store," he says.
There are Game Stops and a few other indie stores in the area such as The Nostalgic Nerd in Keller — "but the thing about this is, everybody knows each other, and we bounce clientele off each other — there's no bad blood," he says.
The store will open on April 22, and will be hosting Magic & Pokemon, with events and tournaments.
"If you have a large group for Magic, Pokemon, Warhammer, you can come play in one of the vaults at the store, up to 6 people per vault," he says.