Local game store boasts wide selection, customer care

Even before entering M&M Videogames in San Dimas, it is apparent that it is not a typical video game store. Alongside traditional store posters for upcoming releases hanging in the store windows are unique adornments, such as the “World of Nintendo” sign, a display only given to select retailers in the late ‘80s to advertise Nintendo Entertainment System games.

This rare display is for more than just decoration; it gives game players a hint of what is waiting for them inside.

“Nintendo will usually draw people in,” said Store Manager Mike Foster, explaining the significance of the “World of Nintendo” sign.

Once customers are drawn in by the promise of classic Nintendo games, they witness one of the largest collections of new and classic games in any store in the area.

The store’s walls are lined with new games for the current systems, as well as boxed copies of classic games for systems such as the Sega Genesis and Nintendo 64. The games are even more numerous in the display cases, which house games for everything from the obscure Turbografx-16 to the quirky Nintendo Virtual Boy.

“We try to carry a variety of everything,” said Mike Gassob, co-owner of all three M&M stores; San Dimas, Upland and Murrietta. “We have gamers that come in here that aren’t just looking for what they see on TV.”

Gassob prides himself on his stores wide selection of games.

“Sure, [items like Atari games] may sit here for six months before anyone looks at it, but you know what? I have it,” Gassob said.

Customers appreciate M&M’s willingness to carry the harder to find classic games.

“They have a lot of the old [games],” customer Michael Beanes said. “I’ve got an SNES, original Nintendo and all that stuff, and most of the time when I need an old game, they have it.”

Sometimes their biggest sales are for older games. Some of the more avid gamers are more than willing to pay upward of $60 for rare classics such as “Castlevania: Dracula X,” a Super Nintendo game that is very hard to come by.

Other times, collectors will buy games in bulk.

“I had one guy buy 200 [Sega] Dreamcast games,” Foster said. “That was about $500 or $600.”

M&M is adored by its customers for more than just its selection of games.

“They do a lot of other things most game stores wont do … such as cleaning,” regular customer Chris Fernandez said.

System cleaning and repairs is one service that definitely sets them apart from video game chain stores, especially since they offer repairs for systems that their competitors do not even sell.

Gassob is quick to point out that customer service is a big part of the store’s appeal.

“We wont mind going that extra mile for our customer,” Gassob said.  “We try to do what we can within reason.”

One such example of them doing what they can is picking up games from their other locations for their customers. Most chain stores offer to call nearby stores to check for particular games, but only M&M will actually pick it up for the customer within a couple of days.

Gassob feels that their employees’ helpfulness is even more important than their large collection of games.

“The difference between us and [chain stores] is we are family owned and we try to take care of our customers.”

Matthew Loriso can be reached at mloriso@ulv.edu.

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