Trading Card Spotlight Steve Grunberger

Happy New Year ! 

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Steve Grunberger who is displayed on card number 906, from the Superstars of 2014 Collection.   Steve, who lives in Australia, is a passionate gamer who grew up in the early 80s and lived the arcade boom as well as the fall.  His real love came when he found a game called Dragon’s Lair.  This game changed his whole life.   He has one of the largest collectors in the world of Dragon’s Lair items.   He is also a collector of arcade games and has 15 machines currently in his home.   Steve co-owns Arcade Fever International Magazine which is a free online magazine for gamers.   He also is involved in MAME events online and competes regularly.

Who is your favorite arcade game character and what makes that character special?

Dexter from Space Ace (Also Borf), Dirk from Dragon’s Lair.  I just connected with them. Space Ace is the reason I believe I now work in IT. Just that ‘future’ aspect from the game. Oh, Discs of Tron was a favorite too. So, Tron.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Hector Rodriguez

Happy Holidays !

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Hector Rodriguez who is displayed on card number 253, from the Superstars of 2012 Collection.  Hector is also displayed on cards 300F and 2134.  Hector is a true competitive gamer and has a very successful gaming resume.   He competed in the Nintendo World Championship in 1990.  In 2000, he won an all expensed paid trip to the X-Games and entered a Tony Hawk Pro Skater tournament where he finished 6th.  He won a Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater tournament in 2001.  Hector has numerous world records on games of all kinds on such platforms as PlayStation, Nintendo GameCube and Sega Dreamcast to name a few.  He is also a record holder on arcade games such as Track & Field and Jail Break.   Hector is a serious weightlifter when he is not playing video games and working.  

If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?

Well, I own 25 arcade games and 180+ PCBS, but if I had to be left with just one it would be a toss-up between Hyper Sports or Track and Field for 2 different reason. Track and Field is easy mindless play for me so I can zone out and just relax. If I want a challenge Hyper Sports is one that I have yet to master but it can become frustrating at times.  So, I think I’m leaning towards Track and Field.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Zach Kaczor

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Zach Kaczor, who is displayed on card number 99, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection.   Zach is one of the youngest gamers to appear on a Video Game Trading Card.  When the card was produced, Zach was 11 years old.   He took over the world record on the arcade game Ice Cold Beer which was first achieved in 1984.   His score was 350,000 which still holds today as the current world record on Twin Galaxies scoreboard. Zach also loves the current games of today like Call of Duty and other games for the XBOX.  He holds the world record on Gunstringer for the XBOX 360.    Zach is proud to be a part of the gaming community and hopes ones day to set more records and be a top gamer for his generation.  

Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?

I used to be, I was one of the original Minecraft servers that existed right when the game was being released to the public. That ran up until about 2014-15 when I quit and had other people run it for me. I would like to believe I had an important role in the way servers were ran and continue to run. I often interacted with many other server owners of larger communities and would often find ways to manage and handle large amounts of people. It was a fun learning experience.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Michael Sroka

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Michael Sroka who is displayed on card number 25, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection.   Michael is also featured on card 1311.  Michael is one of the driving forces behind the old online podcast known as the “Twin Galaxies Show” which would discuss high scores and other Twin Galaxies information.  The show has now been recreated as “Settle it on the Screen” and can be seen on the twin galaxies website and YouTube.  Michael is an avid gamer as well with many high scores in the database on such games as Worm Whopper and Q’Bert for the Intellivision and of course his all-time favorite game Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis.   Michael is currently looking to break the Gorgar Pinball record and is currently in 5th place with a score of 435,420.

What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games?  How do you compare them to older, classic games?

I don’t see any difference between today’s generation of video games and classic video games. They are still a median of entertainment and since technology has gotten better, the in depth of entertainment has gotten better. I like to compare it to movies.  We used to have short movies without sound, black and white.  They were maybe 5 or 10 minutes, everything was just one take.  As time progressed, we added color, we added sound, we could edit the film, now days we are able to add special effect. I look at the entertainment of video games the same way.  It’s exactly the same, some people like older movies, some people like older video games.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Walter Day

It has been a little over a year since I have written my first Trading Card Spotlight.  I have featured a trading card once a week for over a year now.  With 55 trading card spotlights completed, it was only fitting to feature the man himself, Walter Day as the 1 year anniversary of the Trading Card Spotlight.   Walter was kind enough to answer some questions for the article, some which were provided by the gamers themselves.  I hope you enjoy it.

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Walter Day who is displayed on card number 95, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection.   Walter is also featured on cards 108, 523, 539, 591, 775, 1000, 1021, 1859, 2133, 2149, 2261, 2292, 2321, 2390 and 2462.   Walter’s visions include starting up the famous known brand of Twin Galaxies back in 1982.  He opened his arcade in Ottumwa, Iowa to current and future Hall of Famers when they were just kids.   He had his arcade and town declared the Video Game Capital of the world.  His gamers were featured in the Time Life Magazine issue taken in Iowa that gamers come to know as the birth place of the classic gamers.  Over the years, Walter has traveled all over to referee, issue awards and just give his insight to the gaming communities across the country.  His vision of Video Game trading cards and the idea of featuring and documenting gaming history came to realization in 2011 when his first batch of cards were printed and distributed.   Almost 6 years later there has been over 1650 cards printed and counting.    Walter can be seen at many events and conferences spreading his vision and trading cards, posters, and awards.   He is also focusing on his music career and writing of science fiction novels in his spare time.

What is your vision of the future of the Walter Day Trading Cards?

I see the card set as an invaluable resource for future historians to study the video game culture of the 20th & 21st Centuries. The card set tries to identify people and historic events that were important but which might be overlooked by the history books. There are so many stories to tell that I can see the card set encompassing more than 5,000 cards. This applies to the Fairfield and Science Fiction sets, too.

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