First off, a stern "Fuck you" to everyone who blows a gasket at every anti-funco reference they come across. Funcoland deserves every bit of criticism they get. Sure, the quality of the workers may vary from store to store, but even some of thier overall store policies are questionable. I mean, they charge $15 for a cleaner and give $2 commission for each one sold. Even when I ordered a game through the mail from Funcoland.com (which, btw, was a $2 game that I ended up paying $7 shipping for), the reciept included a solid 2 paragraphs warning me of the dangers of not cleaning my games, and how I should only clean with the kits THEY SELL, in a way not unlike a religious tract. What is with thier love obsession with game cleaners?
Now, I will get to the real reason I hate Funcoland. Simply put, and without exception, I have been treated with bad customer service at every Funco store I've ever been to (3 in total), every time I've ever gone. That is pretty bad. It happens a lot at other game stores as well, but not with the consistency or magnitude that it has at Funcoland. I could fill a book with Funcoland experiences (and I don't even go that often).
The Funco closest to me was the worst of all, it was even shut down over the summer, and rightfully so. Every time I went, I knew I was in for some major league BS. There was this one guy, I swear, that was working in there *every single time* that I went, over a period of years. He has been dubbed Funcoman, from his appearance in my comics, and yes, believe it or not, if you've seen my comics Funcoman does look much like that in real life. He is big, fat and smelly with long thick dreadlocks (or "shitlocks" as my friend eloquantly put it) going off in every direction. Man, did this guy ever like to make up shit. Many times I would go in and Funcoman would be talking games with the other store employees, saying such things as "Perfect Dark will be coming to Playstation", "Dreamcast plays DVD's", I even went there once to find him arguing that the DC is 256 bits! Despite all this, he was still very arrogant and thought he knew the gaming buisiness inside and out. Once I even went to argue back, I was playing SMB Deluxe on the GBC display whilst a customer asked him when the next Zelda game was going to come out. He said, and I quote, "the next one will be on Dolphin in 2004". WHAT THE FUCK? Like he, all knowing Funcoman, has beat everyone to the punch and has exclusive information on what games will be released for a system that's not even out yet in 5 years. I calmly went to explain that 5 new Zelda games were announced for GBC, along with Zelda Gaiden and Ura Zelda (which was still being expected at the time), to be outright ignored by both Funcoman and the customer alike.
Worse than this, Funcoman and the other employees (who were all quiet nerdy fellows in desperate need of sunlight) were all vehement against anyone who bought any NES stuff. I saw it happen on more than one occasion, I would be hanging around reading the magazines or looking at games or something, someone would come in and buy a few NES games, when they went to pay for them, Funcoman would get quiet and not say anything, whereas he is usually always eager to bullshit with anyone. Then after the guy left he would make smarmy remarks about it to the other workers, his 'yes men'. Then this one time, someone actually started an NES conversation with Funcoman and he acted like he was the demigod of all Nintendo! His brilliance was shown with the quote; "The ship in Xexyz looked awesome, back then it was the equivalent of what Mitsurugi's hair is in Soul Calibur today". Uh, yeah Funcoman, I came to the same conclusion myself.
Artists interpretation of 'Funcoman'
I never found Funcoland good for anything. They price games based on thier worth, which is BAD. You can never hope to get a Dragon Warrior game, Pac Man, even Contra for a fair price from them. I get a lot more enjoyment out of flea markets and pawn shops. Hell, Funcolands usually have 100-200 NES games while some pawns that specialize in electronics have a lot more than that, and for a flat price. I understand that some people don't have this option, I was out in Washington and asked someone "is there a pawn shop anywhere around here", and was amazed to here him answer "what's a pawn shop?". If Funcoland is indeed your only option, I feel sorry for you, from the bottom of my heart. BUT, I know that I, personally, can find new places that sell NES games quite frequently. Scour your local ghetto for thrift shops, go take a look in the phone book for anything that might sell NES games within a 30 mile radius, check out the flea market if you have one, you will be surprised. I can't stress this enough, you don't have to settle for buying all of your games from Funcoland!