Oops! Sorry!!

This site doesn't support Internet Explorer. Please use a modern browser like Chrome, Firefox or Edge.

Valhalla Games and Hobbies

A bit of History on Doug Thorp, he had Valhalla Games and Hobbies.

Anyone seen Douglas, or has he disappeared?

Updated 18 Aug 2006

Valhalla Games & Hobbies has been in existence as a retail store in Perth, Western Australia, since early 1991. Its beginnings were back in 1976, when Doug Thorp came back to Western Australia due to work commitments, and he began selling the strategy games available at that time, as he'd taken up this type of gaming as a hobby some years before and no-one was selling them in Perth. Doug began distributing the games and retailing, at first from home then, in 1977, from a small part-shop in Perth City, in Bon Marché Arcade, under the name "Simulations". The shop shifted to YMCA Arcade for Dec 1977 - Jan 1978, then was back to Bon Marché Building, on the 2nd Floor until mid-Jun 1979, when it was able to temporarily locate to a ground-floor location in Irwin Street, to then (Jan 1980) settle in great premises on 1st Floor, Cremorne Arcade.

A bout of ill-health occurred in 1977, which later, for financial reasons, required Doug to return to full-time employment involving shiftwork, this allowing him to part-run the shop, along with others. Many Perth gamers would have known "Simulations" in its location from 1980, upstairs in Cremorne Arcade. In 1985, Doug, having become Australian manager of the firm for which he was working, very reluctantly sold "Simulations" to an employee, as Doug was having to spend all his time at his fulltime work and felt that customers were not getting the attention they deserved; this proved to be disastrous, as the employee tried to run "Simulations" in a different way, in fact, ran it into the ground and then went bankrupt four years later, still owing Doug a massive amount, leaving him in a large financial hole.

In 1990, after urging by many former customers, Doug sent out a questionnaire to those on his (old) mailing-list, to see whether there was any interest in having a similar store operating again. He was astounded at the response to this, and "Valhalla" opened its doors (in a small upstairs room in Perth) in February 1991, and achieved rapid growth as former customers returned.

"Valhalla" quickly outgrew its premises, and burst into the adjacent areas some months later, managing to cram goods in there for two more years before having to move to its much larger 493 Wellington Street location, around the corner and at street level, in 1993.

In 2003, the West Australian Government gave notice of intending to resume most of the city block of which the Valhalla premises were part. To make a long story short (the longer story in below), due to a Dud Lawyer not carrying out his instructions, Valhalla was unable to relocate from the premises before the deadline of 29 Feb 2004. The whole business was put into warehouse storage (with no access by the business), leaving the circumstances entirely at the mercy of the legal industry. More Dud Lawyers failed to alleviate the problem.

In September 2005, media publicity on the extraordinary arrangement finally forced the Government to return the whole business, that happening during November. The huge task began on unpacking, sorting, cleaning, unpacking, sorting, cataloguing, unpacking, cleaning ... and we had our first customers (Kiwis from Japan) into the premises in January 2006. The 'work in progress' is still in progress, the plans having been changed, at times, to overcome quite a few financial obstacles, on the way).


Some history of recent 'developments' (2004/2006) in more detail:

15 Feb 2004

URGENT NEWS! Our premises are part of a new rail-station construction area in Perth City. Currently, the government here wants the area clear of all inhabitants by the end of February 2004, for construction work to start in March 2004.

I have a submission already before the government minister concerned for special consideration for Valhalla to remain in the premises for some time longer, with very extenuating background circumstances (not directly to do with the business) delaying our departure. Indeed, our building is NOT to be demolished, in the grand scheme of things, and project management personnel are being located upstairs in this same building. Part of our argument is that we are NOT standing in the way of 'progress'.

The government is required to allow us to relocate or to be compensated ('bought'), however, we still have no firm details of these options. It was only 12th February that we were advised that, as an interim measure, our stock can be stored in a warehouse before being relocated to suitable premises. I have no idea, as yet, what 'compensation' would be given, as another option. As might be imagined, it's difficult for us to make decisions without some definite details given to us.

I can tell you definitely, though, that we have many supporters who do NOT want to see our unique business disappear, the business I originally began 28 years ago. I'm well aware of what we mean to many people, locally and from all over the world, and I'm determined to continue the business, even if there's a short interim period of not having proper premises. As well, we continue to take membership subscriptions for one year or three ("Supporting Member"), the latter taken up by those who want to see us around for at least another three years! (Supporting Members also get more discount, for at least 12 months.)

If you're local, come to see us, as soon as possible, as we're having a Sale. If you're not local, please send enquiries on goods as soon as possible, and we'll try to answer questions and to get goods out to you with haste, in case we go into 'limbo' temporarily. There IS a possibility that we might end up with no choice in the matter, and have to accept some sort of compensation rather than continue - in which case we and our goods might disappear entirely. So BUY NOW!!!

We had a computer (hard-drive) glitch in October 2003, just one problem caused by the lack of maintenance on this building, and this caused us to lose our updates for more than the past year! Thus we're back to 'square one' for all the secondhand games records which were to be more easily sorted and searched for the website updates.  :(

Again, thanks for your patience, over the past years, in dealing with us! If you haven't received a response from emails to us, any time over the past few years, kindly resend the email to us. We want and need to sell as much as we can, through to February 2004. We also need your support!


20 Feb 2004

Good news: In the civil action taken against me almost five years ago, with some amazing twists and turns in that saga, the other side has formally offered to withdraw his claim entirely and carry his own costs if I withdraw my counterclaim and carry my own costs. I've always maintained that the claim against me was without foundation. That doesn't necessarily mean that the matter's going to necessarily end, just a different tone to it now.

Lots more to come! Keep looking out for more news, volunteer to distribute the public newsletter (if you're local), and let everyone know who's interested in any of our goods to tune in often to the website! Thanks! We have many interesting things happening and, soon, maybe, we'll even have a business again!!!!!!  :)


23 Feb 2004


We received notification late today that, despite the government minister wanting to find a suitable compromise solution for us, we cannot remain in the premises past the end of February!!  

All memberships (one-year and three-year) will be extended by whatever period (two years!) we're not available, as will credit-notes.


01 Mar 2004

We had our last day of trading in this location yesterday.  After 10½ years in these premises, a sad day for many, those who had been in contact over the past six days, as that's all the notice we had from the government that it was a definite thing, as we'd much earlier applied for an extension of time, due to the circumstances we'd advised the government minister then. For the government to not respond, in the meantime, then tell us (and various others in similar circumstances) "Out" in just six days' time, I think is appalling. Currently, it looks like our stock etc. will be catalogued and stored until we find the new location. We'll have no access to that stock, in the meantime.

We need the turnover (the government has offered us zero, as an interim amount, even if I offer to repay it later, as my 'situation' works out).


A team of eight completed the 3½-day(!) exhausting stocktake (8 - 11 March 2004), the packing and removal of it all took place 12 - 14 March 2004, as part of the resumptions forced on us. Removals were completed 14th March. 

We tried to get your orders out, right to the last, but didn't quite succeed in doing that for everyone, and our apologies for that. We'll get back to you on those orders as soon as we can.


15 Jan 2006

Big News!!!! (only 13 frustrating months after the last news!)

Yes! Finally re-opening! (See our address and contact details at end of this page.)

It's a 'work in progress' (progressing for a long while yet, as it's been a massive task so far), but come in and peruse! We need you to let everyone know of our inspection times ASAP, as we need the turnover urgently! We have a lot of recovery to do, if you want us to be even better than before (and we'd been increasingly prevented in progressing on that from around 1996, well before the storage fiasco). You'll be learning about what had been happening behind the scenes for those years, even before the W.A. Government so kindly packed us into a warehouse, that situation remaining so until publicity mid-September 2005 (through "The West Australian").

Thanks to those who notified us of possibly suitable premises, as requested here in December 2004. I did investigate many of those, and had an arrangement made in May 2005, in Perth City again, but .... By the way, when I managed to have publicity in September 2005 on the ridiculous situation of Valhalla remaining in storage, there was a legal action in progress at that time by the W.A. Government to dispose of the stored goods, to pay for the storage. However, some who contacted me, after the follow-up story a few days later of the Government allowing Valhalla to get to new premises, thought that all our problems were over then, and that the Government was financially aiding that process in some way. I'd like to make it clear that neither at that time nor when having us earlier cleared from the resumed area in Perth City (for the new Rail-Station) did we ever get one cent of help or compensation, to enable us to set up again (other businesses have also missed out entirely, so far, perhaps none suffering as much as we did).

I ran for Parliament in the W.A. State Elections, in February 2005, to try to throw some light on our plight and that of others caught up in those resumptions. However, having no funds and relying entirely on the media to publicise these matters, there was nothing ever made public on them, the media preferring to publicise such 'issues' as a water canal to Perth from the Kimberleys, as issue which died as quickly as the election process.

Locally, I'm getting out the printed newsletter broadsheet (which will be added to the website), as so often threatened before! If you'd like to join the Valhalla Volunteers (Distribution Division) to help produce that, or to put it out to the public in any form whatsoever (whether handing out in the street, or putting one on the notice-board at work, university, or wherever), please contact me!

In fact, if you're wanting to help in one of a number of ways, to have us re-established and a great place again sooner, contact us!

Please also let us know of anything on the site needing updating (apart from stock-listings, being worked on now!) or correcting, as these should be done immediately.

(Actually, there's far more to the history than the short one provided, involving a lot more than just retailing. At some stage, there will be memoirs produced! But you'll hear more about it all here, and soon!)