Do YOU Understand The FuncoLand GAMES Process?

Believe it or not, there was a time when a certain craze/addiction/collectors item called “Funko” didn’t exit, but another Funco did. They called it FuncoLand, and, well…other stores of its type killed it.

The Story of FuncoLand

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Funco, Inc. opened in 1989. Like GameStop after it (and Game Crazy during its time), FuncoLand sold consoles, games, and peripherals, but emphasized their used games. In 1999, the company was purchased by EB GameStop (EB Games is part of GameStop as well – remember them?), and by 2005, started selling lifestyle, accessories, and toys, marketing their products toward boys ages six to fourteen years old. By 2015, FuncoLand stopped selling video games altogether, and by 2017, the chain was sold to Dave-Spin Retail Group. Most stores are closed now, but some are now 77 Kids (the children’s brand of American Eagle).

For the uninformed, Dave-Spin Retail Group owned Blockbuster and Chi-Chi’s. I compel you to find one of those places these days.

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In 1998, FuncoLand released one of those “oh-so-entertaining-for-the-easily-amused” training videos that outlines the company’s sales process, featuring an employee who is having trouble (of his own design) learning the FuncoLand Sales Process, G.AM.E.S.

Adam, FuncoLand, and the G.A.M.E.S. Process

Our journey through learning the ins and outs of the G.A.M.E.S. process begins with Adam.

He’s a FuncoLand new hire, who’d rather play his Game Boy Pocket (because 1998!) than learn the policies and procedures. His manager (actually FuncoLand Director of Sales and Service, Chuck Simmons) gives him an hour to learn the G.A.M.E.S. process, and wouldn’t you know it, Adam falls asleep.

Because that’s what happens in training sessions, right?

Adam journeys into the terrible special effects-laden land of…The Game Master! Here, Adam must learn FuncoLand’s sales manual and apply it to his job, mastering the skills in one hour. Sounds easy, except Adam looks like a deer in the headlights.

If he doesn’t learn the G.A.M.E.S. Process, he’ll be doomed there forever. Or fired. We’re all rooting for Adam to lose his job. It isn’t our faults he fell asleep during his training. What happens in his “sucked into the instruction manual dream” is his disaster in the making.

We’re also loving Chuck Simmons as The Game Master, and his freakin’ huge hourglass!

And of course, he not only has to collect each letter, he has to apply them to his real world experience…

This guy.

And his son, complete with mid-1990s Mariners baseball hat.

In 1998.

I kid you not. I have not seen a hat like that in years!

Dad here has this perpetually confused look, but then again, Adam just randomly shows up next to him while he shops. I’d make faces like this too, if I were him.

Speaking of which, what is this G.A.M.E.S. Process Adam must learn?

Why…

G.A.M.E.S. Process

Greet

Advise

More Information

Encourage Add-On Sales

Saying Goodbye, and Thanks for Coming in!

Will Adam successfully learn the process?

You’ll find out when you watch…

That Crazy FuncoLand Training Video!

So go on, click play, The Game Master is waiting for YOU!

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And there you have it, another walk though employee training in its finest moments. They don’t make employee training videos like they used to. I’d say this was the end life of those “so great they’re terrible” training videos, but Game Crazy was a few years away from jumping into the waters FuncoLand was already swimming in.  Barely. Because GameStop was ready to catch them in their net.

I hate when a business I write about is effectively not longer in existence. But I love the cheesiness of training videos!

Anyone else think Mr. Simmons enjoyed his role a little too much?

Do You Have the Mad Skills To Work At Game Crazy?

Let me ask you a different question: Are you…game crazy enough to work in video game retail?

Ha, see what I did there?!

You clicked “Read More,” so obviously you’re either intrigued or a masochist. It’s ok, I’m a little bit of both myself.

After all, I do watch training videos like they’re awesome enough for Retroist articles.

(Related Reading: That time I sat through Montgomery Ward’s Loss Prevention Training Video)

Game Crazy: That Other Video Game Store

When I was a kid/teenager/college student, the top video game stores in my area were Game Stop and Electronics Botique. Oh, and there was Toys R Us, Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart (ick), and Circuit City. Lots of options for game buying. Heck, my mall had two Electronics Botique locations – the upper level, and the lower level. No, the store was not two floors, they actually had two separate locations. I’m serious.

Seriously. I am. Serious.

Anyway…

There were plenty of retail outlets to purchase games, but to rent them, my local video store sufficed. From 2003 until 2005, I worked as a cashier at a local mom and pop (you know the type of place, they always had an adult section), and I rented Game Cube, Playstation 2, and XBox games to bratty kids. At the beginning of my time there, we still had Nintendo 64 and Playstation games, though we phased those out to the Point of Sale racks.

In my time there, and the years both before and after, I’d never heard of a store called Game Crazy. In fact, I managed to get to 2016 without hearing of such a store…until I spotted an episode of The Spoony Experiment, where Noah Antwiler riffed (though “ripped” is a better descriptor) his way through a training video for a store called Game Crazy.

Unfortunately, I can only associate the store with what I saw in the training video, and um…yeah, there’s a reason the store didn’t last.

Ok, aside from competition.

The 411 On Game Crazy

Game Crazy existed within the Hollywood Video universe (located within or adjacent to their stores), based in Wilsonville, Oregon, and a subsidiary of Movie Gallery. The concept of Game Crazy was to sell new and used games, consoles, and peripherals, as well as host gaming tournaments. You know, it works like your standard Game Stop, except well, they dared to be different by having a “Try Before You Buy” policy. Isn’t that what renting games was for?

Game Crazy’s downfall came from over-saturation of the market (read: they had competition!), with Movie Gallery filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in November 2007. In September 2009, the announcement came that 200 of the 680 operating Game Crazy stores would close. By April 2010, with its doom in sight, Movie Gallery, Hollywood Video and Game Crazy filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, and began winding down business by May.

As for Game Crazy, the brand was relaunched as a gaming blog, but ceased to update since October 2014.

Check out the site, it looks nice!

Let’s Go Game Crazy

Dearly beloved, we gathered here today, to get through this thing called…Allison trying to be creative with song lyrics.

(Organ response)

Actually, the only thing you’re going to get through is this thing called …The Game Crazy Training Video. That’s not the official title, but it works.

Contained within this journey to effective salesmanship (or, “The Keys To the Game”) are your two “Not Ready for ESPN Players”…

And the most offensive training video co-host EVER!

And by “offensive,” she offends Ebonics/Hip Hop Speak.

I wish I was kidding!

Seriously, I’d kid about this, but I can’t. Because I’ve sat through this twice, and sadly, I’m convinced it gets more and more offensive each time.

So, whenever you’re ready, click play and go Game Crazy over the keys to the effective selling of video games, consoles, and peripherals!

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Hopefully, you didn’t go Game Crazy over the craziness of it all!

Bomb-diggity and BOO-YAH!

I think I’m going a bit…Game Crazy!

Oh, and if you want to see the riff that introduced me to this whole Game Crazy madness, I highly recommend checking out Noah Antwiler (aka “Spoony” from The Spoony Experiment) riff the heck out of it!  (Warning: The video does contain strong language of the infrequent sort).

Sega Virtual Reality

SEGA VR (virtual reality headset from 1993)

Thanks to what felt like endless press about virtual reality in the early 1990s and the film The Lawnmower Man, SEGA decided to throw their hat into the ring of VR. Obviously this had the possibility of making consumers look their way and maybe even tempt them to buy the Sega Genesis instead of the Super Nintendo. So what happened to this piece of technology?

VIDEO GAME STARS explains in their 90 second video. In the video, you’ll see former MTV host Alan Hunter on stage at a CES show to demonstrate this device. I wonder how people were more focused on his ridiculously loud shirt than the headset. Anyway..

If you’re wondering, I made the video. If you like it, you’re welcome. If you don’t, um, here’s Sonic going down an endless waterslide.

Allison’s Gameplay: Jeopardy! – Deluxe Edition

I lost on Jeopardy! – Deluxe Edition, baby! Come watch me get my book geek on in a play through of the 1993 Super Nintendo Entertainment System game “Jeopardy! – Deluxe Edition.” You may find yourself singing along with “Weird” Al Yankovic too!

It Was a Little Too “Vanilla”

I finished recording a gameplay video for Wheel of Fortune – Deluxe Edition the night before recording this gameplay, banking on it as my next Retroist article.

And then I saw how “vanilla” the game is.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the game is perfectly playable and fun (if you like word games), but it was so…bland. I finished making a 40-minute gameplay video that yielded few comments. There wasn’t much to say. But since I don’t waste good gameplay footage, I uploaded it to YouTube and scheduled it as an article on Allison’s Written Words. And then I tackled Jeopardy! – Deluxe Edition, because despite being a game of knowledge, it couldn’t possibly be as bland, could it?

The answer is no.

I Was Here, To Test My Intellect…

On Nesbox emulator…

Against Tim Allen’s lookalike, and an old lady. Probably both with PhDs.

I was tense, I was nervous…

And when you watch my video, you’ll understand why.

Oh, and its laden with commentary!

Jeopardy! – Deluxe Edition

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But Wait, There’s More!

Oh, and if you’re really itching after 49 minutes of Jeopardy! – Deluxe Edition to see the Wheel of Fortune play through, then by all means…

Gameplay: Exploring “Daze Before Christmas”

A few “daze” before Christmas, and all through the gameplay front, not a controller was being button-mashed to death, not even a mouse.

Actually, there was controller button-mashing, and all because of a Christmas game!

Phone Apps and Home Alone Emulators

Normally, if one is in the market for a Christmas game, one would turn to Home Alone as their (presumed only) game of choice. But if retro gaming isn’t for them, phone apps where one matches cookies and Christmasy stuff are always available.

And since I wasn’t willing to just play Home Alone (my boyfriend did a gameplay of it a few years ago, and it frustrated him), I sought out something different.

What I found was a game I’d never heard of before. A game where Santa turns potentially threatening toys and oversized rats into harmless presents to collect and drop on cities all over the world, all wrapped up in the bow of a side-scroller game.

That game, you ask? Why, Daze Before Christmas!

Daze Before Christmas

Daze Before Christmas is a 1994 side-scroller developed by Norwegian video game Funcom, and was released to the Sega Mega Drive in 1994 by Sunsoft, exclusively in Australia. A Super Nintendo release occurred in both Australia and Europe, but not in the United States. Daze Before Christmas was one of the last games released by Sunsoft’s United States division.

As Santa, you’re out to conquer the evil snowman who imprisoned your elves and kidnapped your reindeer. Using Awesome Magical Christmas Powers (my words), evil rats and toys become harmless Christmas presents. Santa collects these presents in each level, and drops them over major cities as the player progresses through the game.

The game consists of twenty-four different levels (like an Advent calendar), and pit Santa against the elements – dangerous toy factories, ice caves, snow, The North Pole, and the skies above London.

Yes, London.

Gameplay

The game’s colorful graphics and fun visuals are not merely cover for a substandard game. The controls are excellent, and compliment the fun visuals. I tried the first six levels of the game, and I had fun playing what I tried so far. The graphics are very 16-bit, the music Christmas, and it is not Home Alone. That puts it in a good light already!

So, whenever you’re ready, click play below and experience…

Daze Before Christmas

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