Let The Gamesmen Send You Into A Nostalgia Coma

Let The Gamesmen Send You Into A Nostalgia Coma
Image: The Gamesmen

Incredibly The Gamesmen, one of Australia’s last independent game stores, celebrates 35 years in business this year. Considering the amount of stores that have shut up shop, that’s a tremendous achievement.

This piece originally ran on Kotaku Australia on March 17, 2017. It has been republished as a weekend read.

It’s a family run business with an incredible story of pure resilience. I visited roughly five years ago when the store was celebrating its 30th anniversary and I remember the Cusamanos showing me some of their old catalogues.

Catalogues are a bit of a relic now, it’s essentially a list of new releases in a magazine format — but in the 90s these things were a pure delight. They’d arrive, you’d flick through (“I want this game for my birthday, this one for Christmas”) and then you’d bug your parents for the next three months.

But here’s what The Gamesmen have done: they’ve put just about every single catalogue they ever made online on their homepage. You can flick through them and reminisce yourself into a nostalgia coma from which you might never wake.

Every single page has been uploaded, and uses that funky plug-in that allows you to almost physically flick between pages. Very appropriate here.

I love it. I didn’t even grow up in Australia and feeling all giddy inside.


  • Not a native of NSW, so I don’t have the instant connection others might, but yeah that’s very cool.

    Nice to see to this day that the ubiquitous middle-man is getting his pound of flesh and is still involved in getting games to the store shelf, what with those prices being what they were.

    Jokes aside, support locally-owned independent Australian retail as best you can.

  • Wow, I had no idea they had been around for that long. You’re not kidding about the number of stores that have shut up shop too. I remember shopping with the founder of Video Games Heaven when he was running out of his garage. Bought some Master System games off him when I was around 10 years old. That became a large business and like GAME and others they have come and gone. A shame really but understandable when you see how little margin there is in games. Pre-owned, warranty and repairs is the only path to sustainable video game business and if you cant get that right, you’re out. Obviously Gamesmen have carved out enough of a niche that against all odds they have been able to pull through. Wouldn’t have been easy though. Congrats on making it this far.

  • I. Remember. That. Catalogue!

    My youth just flashed before my eyes in some sort of pixelated mode 7 spin montage. Good times.

  • LOL, opened up the first catalogue and there is the pack of the year that I bought for $19. The Last Ninja remains one of my favourite games to this day 🙂

    • They’ve only ever had a few stores. Penshurst, Penrith, Wollongong… and I think they had one in Newcastle or something at some point? I remember hearing something about a fourth place that I hadn’t heard of before.

      • main store was in hurstville iirc, its also where the christmas eve robbery and murder happened

        • That is the Penshurst one. Next suburb over from Hurstville, part of the city of Hurstville. Same diff 😛

  • What do you think the chances of them honouring some of those catalogue prices?

    Man I could do me with a Commodore Amiga!

  • $169.95 for Super Mario All Stars and $159.95 for Street Fighter II Turbo.

    Crazy times.

  • awesome bit of nostalgia, shame the staff that work at the store are absolute douches

  • Back in the mid 90s for $5 a year (I think) Gamesmen would post ~4 catalogues and you get a 5% membership discount card. In a country town with no internet this was the best way to order stuff!

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