Rick started collecting for the Atari 2600 in Jan 1978, and now has the 2nd largest NTSC Boxed Atari 2600 collection in the world! He have always had a real love for video games. Even before the Atari 2600 came out he was hugely into Pinball. The event that changed his life was going to my first expo, "World Of Atari" in 1998. It was the best show he had ever been to and after talking to the main organizer he realized that he wanted to get involved with a show and make it something that would give others the same joy that first show gave to him. He started getting involved with many homebrew projects for the Atari 2600 such as NWCGE Ladybug 2007, Chunkout 2600, and Worship the Woodgrain 2 & 3. He met Lee Krueger when helping him with a homebrew projects. Lee is the founder of NorthWest Classic Game Enthusiasts (NWCGE) which was a small show in Seattle, WA. Rick moved to Vancouver, Washington in 2000 and promptly asked Lee if he could become involved as an organizer for NWCGE. Each year he became more involved until he was one of the main organizers.
In 2006 he decided to move NWCGE to Portland where it grew with more vendors and attendees. NWCGE changed names to Portland Retro Gaming Expo (PRGE) in late 2008 and now involves several organizers responsible for different aspects of the show. Rick is currently the President of PRGE and he also runs a smaller show called the NWCGE swapmeet, also in Portland.
You can learn about Rick's affinity for the Atari 2600 and more at his website: AtariCollector.com
Our only native Oregonian, Toby is a collector of various classic video game genres. He has a special affinity for the Mattel Intellivision as well as other more obscure US and Japanese consoles. His extensive Intellivision collection includes the rare "Blue Whale".
Operating under the name Y-Bot Classic Games, Toby was an exhibitor at various video game expos for years before he joined the PRGE team. He has travelled as far as Tokyo, Japan on the hunt for obscure and complete systems to add to his collection. He brings to PRGE strong "common sense" organizational skills. His deep ties in the Pacific Northwest gaming comunity have been invaluable in promoting the Expo and motivating other collectors to contribute their time and donate their games for the Freeplay Arcade.
Chuck is our jack-of-all-trades. In addition to maintaining our website, he assembles the master schedule and the show hall floorplan. You may also have see Chuck at past events as the MC of our live auction!
Chuck has been an exhibitor at every PRGE event and began providing graphics support for the 2008 show. He volunteered as one of the primary organizers in early 2009 prior to moving the show downtown.
Chuck likes to tinker with video game systems, repairing, cleaning and modifying them to work with modern televisions. He has produced his own line of game controllers modified to work with the vintage Vectrex home game system. You can find out more about what he's up to on his YouTube channel.
Nick and Lacy have been with the Expo from the beginning. They provided much of the promotional and financial support needed to get the Expo started. Their belief in the our show allowed us to build the momentum we have today as the largest classic video game event in the Pacific Northwest.
Nick and Laci are the owners of Portland's Video Game Wizards which features a large inventory of classic video games.
Gerald Levinzon, a Seattle native, has been a vendor with our shows for several years, going way back to the NWCGE days. He has always been an enthusiastic supporter of our show, and like several of the other staff members, signed on board as the show grew from a small local show to the expo it is today. He is friendly and knowledgeable, and is always willing to share that knowledge. We finally let him join the staff of the show because he kept showing up in the middle of the night and throwing rocks at Hancock's window until he relented. We let him join, but took away his rocks.
Gerald is the kind of guy who is passionate about everything he does, and he brings that positive enthusiasm and energy to our show. Gerald is the man you want to talk to if you are interested in tracking down info on an obscure japanese release because he likely has played it to death already. Gerald is also an idea guy. He thinks outside of the box and comes up with new and innovating ways to do things, a talent that he lends to our show, SpecialtyGamer.com and to the Seattle Retrogaming Expo, of which he is also an organizer. He's pretty easy to spot at our show. Just look for the the guy wildly gesticulating about how awesome some obscure Japanese Saturn game is to a group of gamers, and you've likely found yourself a Gerald.
Jake is a video gamer that dabbles in a little of everything. Not a completionist collector by any means but stays up with the current console as well as a wealth of knowledge on the older and random stuff. During a show it's hard to tell you where Jake will be, he may be at registration helping to distribute badges and then in a flash he is introducing our next panelist when you thought you just saw him hosting a console tournament. He is unmistakable when you spot him in the wild though as he is always wearing his top hat.
Along with Lacy, Jake helps to organize the 1-Ups, our awesome volunteer army. He has been volunteering at the show since 2010.
The following people have contributed to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo over our years of operation.
The Force is strong with this one. John Hancock is a long-time video game collector, enthusiast, and historian - by which we mean he has entirely too many games that he never stops talking about. We know he has been collecting games for many years because his name is on some really old legal document that lots of people get mad about around election time. He has been a visible face for the retrogaming crowd for some years, mainly because he is usually hovering, vulture-like, over the rarest thing on a given vendors booth. We're reasonably sure he has some kind of psychic game radar.
John is friendly, outgoing, and enthusiastically shares his love of gaming with everyone. He and his impressive game collection have been featured in several media interviews and articles over the years. John's game room can only be described as staggering. He often gets lost in it for weeks, and lives in constant terror of earthquakes (and he lives by three volcanos - go figure). Despite having around 5,000 games and hundreds of consoles, he somehow manages to have a wife and son (who is already sorting his building blocks by color and rarity), and he works as a counselor with mental health patients. Many of the people he works with have done remarkably well with his help, usually on the promise that he please, please stop talking about his new Odyssey 2 multicart.
One word of advice - don't ask John for his signature. For some reason, he gets annoyed when people bring it up.
Jon Rose is the red fighter/mage of the group. He has a plus 4 to agility with a specialization in mediation. Jon is very comfortable with his nerdom. If he is not ranting about how everyone needs to watch the entire Battlestar Galactica series at least once, he is getting excited about some 30 year-old strategy game with a manual the size of a Sears catalog for his impressive Atari 8 bit collection...a game which which no one has ever actually been documented as having played.
In all seriousness, Jon the jack of all trades of the group. Part collector, writer, and philosopher, Jon has a very large collection of retro computers, vintage handhelds, videogames, and consoles that span 30+ years of gaming. Jon was introduced to PRGE by John Hancock and soon after Hancock moved from Northern California to Vancouver Washington, Jon was helping him with NWCGE & PRGE conventions as well. Jon is a skilled writer, gamer, and enthusiast that enjoys classic computing, pocket handhelds, strategy board games (that are generally more complicated than IRS tax law), and most of all, wheat free, gluten free organic food in biodegradable packaging.
Corey joined the PRGE team after he met John Hancock a few years ago. They discussed rare games, systems, and how he found the rare items. Corey has been a long time supporter of vintage, retro, classic and Americana notions. In his spare time, Corey enjoys cars, sports, movies and music. Corey's passion for American pop culture, natural ability to find almost anything for anyone, and a large collection of records, video game gear and other rarities inspired him to open up a variety store in 2009.
As the proud store owner of Classics and Oddities in Kelso, Washington, Corey provides locals with nostaliga for the pop culture items of their youth.