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Valhalla Games and Hobbies

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

Anyone seen Douglas, or has he disappeared?

Some news ...


This is an historic moment. I stand before you ... (it's one many thought would never come!)


Although the newsletter was supposed to be issued on a regular basis, even before we moved to the present location 'in September 1993, the gaps between issues were increasing as we were getting busier. Then, when we did move to ground-level (Phase 3), we were so busy for many months that we hardly had time to think.


Then mid-1994, one of our number here suffered a calamity which was to become a saga lasting to the present, and we were all under great pressure from this completely garbage case until a criminal court trial in mid-1996 (in which she was found 'not guilty').


That wasn't the end of the saga, as you will realise soon (not in TP). On many occasions I've begun work on 'the next issue' but, on the same number of occasions, halfway through its production, I lost concentration.


We will very soon be making other efforts on this continuing saga, and will then need volunteers for some (easy) work. What is happening in this will be of interest to you, although it has nothing directly to do with Valhalla. Some of you are aware of what has happened over this period, and will be pleased to know that we do intend to see the matter through (starting once we kick off for '98!).


Then we had the Great Raid of '96, but more of that next issue.


Thanks to the many of you who offered to help on getting out TP. Its delay has been only on my having the concentration to put it togethor. But we appreciate any news on happenings, and will incorporate such in future issues (and Website). There's the possibility at some stage of producing a magazine-format publication, if anyone has any ideas on that, to cover the various types of goods we have. As there's no games magazine in Australia, it would seem a good opportunity.


Now, the next item will also be of interest, and is of direct relevance to Valhalla. All through 1997, we 'rationalised' (read 'cut back') , in order to operate better and have goods in faster and more consistently. We had already reached the stage where we were often not getting enough items through as we needed them; in many cases, new items didn't ever make their way to the shelves, all being set aside for pre-orders (and, quite often, the pre-orders had increased to the extent that, by the time the goods arrived, even the pre-orders couldn't be met). We wanted to move past this stage, as it was appearing to many that we were not getting stock through, and some customers surmised that we were perhaps losing interest in some areas of Valhalla - and this is not so!


We had done a good job right through 1997 in cutting back, and we were looking forward to 1998 as another Phase. Then we were hit by the repercussions of the Asian Crisis, and the first half of 1998 has been the most difficult trading period I can recall (in the many years of business). Starting from our cut-back situation, we were unable to initiate our "Great '98" Phase, and not able to do all the amazing things planned. What to do?


We have many loyal customers, and we have many subscribers, and so we ask for your support and patience (and so many of you have already given us that) as we fire up for '98! We intend to increase ranges and availability, startmg NOW, of various areas of Valhalla, including Games (RPGs, boardgames, trading-card games), Computer Games (PlayStation and Nintendo 64, as well as PC and Mac, even Amiga, if we can - see later), Books, Miniatures (a number of ranges to expand and maintain), Kits and Scenic Materials.

How you can help?

Tell everyone you know about Valhalla (which might sound like it's not needed, as you've known us for years), but there are many who don't! Give them our brochure. Tell others to enquire about our membership here. Tell others about our Website. Put our brochures on notice-boards (schools, Unis, TAFEs, workplaces, wherever they're permitted), and in waiting-rooms, etc.. Tell educational staff about Valhalla - software, hobby materials, rockets - give them our brochure. Order goods through us (and collect as soon as possible when they arrive). Trade-in your goods to us. Let others know that we take trade-ins. Make your group aware of any One-day Sales we have, as the group can buy in the Sale if you're present. Let others know about our Sale.

The Sale ...


I'd found before (22 years ago!) that a traditional sale didn't work for us, so we've come up with a slightly different sale which we'll continue to have, on occasion, as well as implementing a few schemes. The Sales are on the lines of the larger chain stores' one-day sales, which can be done for them only by (expensive) TV advertising the night before. We can't match that.


As one of the aims of the exercise is to 'increase cash-flow (as in most sales), secondhand credit can't be used on these One-day Sales.  If you make the Sales roaring successes, we'll get Valhalla moving better than ever before! 

Website ...


We registered our Website October 1998, but it hasn't been developed to what we wanted as yet, due to lack of my time. By the time you read this, we hopefully will have the Site greatly improved, and we expect shortly to be putting news onto it more often, so it'll be worthwhile viewing, often! Once you see the changes, please advise others you know on the 'Net to access it - 'word of mouth' is stiII of great value!


Thanks to those who've offered to help out on the Website, but the main delay (like TP) was of my being able to concentrate on getting all this together.

Secondhand goods (trade-ins) ...


Since April 1996, new laws regarding the handling of secondhand goods have been in force in Western Australia. Many regulars will already know that there are some strict (and odd) guidelines on ID for our buying of goods from you (and a 'trade-in' is taken to be buying for this purpose) - check with us before coming in , if you're unsure. Our secondhand buying is always for shop credit, and this must be used within six months. Many of the goods we buy have to be held by us for two weeks, under the new laws.

Amiga, and games classifications ...


We still have plenty of new and secondhand Amiga software, and we can order in some hardware. Most of the software is of games, but there is a certain amount of productivity, too. Amiga is still being produced, now owned by a very large U.S. company, and its DOS is still being refined and adapted for use in other machines. We would like to have been buying more recent games, but the new laws regarding classifications prevent our doing this. And this brings me to a gripe:


I suggest that the computer game classifications have become quite ridiculously overadministered in this country. It's fair enough that some games have to have some restrictions placed on them as to content, if we are to have any standards at all, but to have all games with the same legal requirements is a counter-productive exercise.


It means that those games in which no-one is at all interested in their content (i.e. they offend no-one) are subject to the same ratings procedures (costs and delays) as the most obnoxious. It results in games which are likely to have smaller-volume sales in Australia (and that can include other formats, as well as Amiga games) not being submitted for classification and hence never available here.


Who really cares, for example, whether the government agency puts a G rating on a game? If the game-maker puts such a recommendation and an age-suitability on it (in the interests of guiding the consumer), and the game doesn't contravene standards otherwise, why should a government agency, with its costs and delays, be involved? Simply leave it to the maker (or distributor) to have the games on which the ratings which are important submitted to the agency concerned ('R' ratings), with severe penalties for ignoring such, and only for that.


This would allow many other small-volume games on the market.

Other news ...


Our 'old' firm, "Simulations", closed its doors during April 1994. I'll get back to the history of it all in the future.


Remember (and let others know) that we still have plenty of new and secondhand IBM floppy disk software, with all sort of games (some of them classics).

We're the only shop in Australia stocking them!


Games and software distributors are changing constantly, which may partly explain why some ranges of goods seem to be available one time and not another, depending on the whims, quite often, of various distributors. Goods which come from distributors which favour us are easier to get. 

Some products... 


(some lists available)

Eidolon is a local production of stories, published regularly. $10. Back issues 'in stock

Vision Aria is a local production of stories, etc. $3 (two issues thus far)

Alternity system (TSR) launched early '98

Legend of the 5 Rings RPG and card-game

Aeon RPG (White Wolf) was renamed Trinity due to copyright infringement

Babylon 5 products have appeared in various forms (RPG, miniatures rules, core rules)

Chivalry &-Sorcery is into its 3rd Edition, now by Highlander Designs

Conspiracy X (an X-Files type RPG) is expanding slowly

New Millenium (re-incarnation of Champions) produced by RTG, and uses Fuzion rules compatible with Cyberpunk

Greyhawk (TSR) has begun life anew

Dragonlance Fifth Age (TSR) has begun expanding slowly

Kult is into its 2nd edition, now by Target Games as Metropolis has closed down)

Mage: Sorcerer's Crusade RPG (White Wolf)

Vampire: Dark Ages RPG (White Wolf)

Werewolf: Wild West RPG (White Wolf)

Men in Black RPG (West End Games)

Senzar RPG quite popular already

Fading Suns RPG (Holistic Design) lots of stuff, but quite difficult at first glance

Spawn figures

Godzilla plastic figure (3" - size does matter) only one, so far $5

Hulk (Marvel) cold cast resin figure (limited to 1500) $180

Dr Strange (Marvel) figure likewise $180

Wolverine plastic figure $35

Leia's Rescue (limited to 1500) $120

Obi-Wan, Snowtrooper, Bossk, Tusken Raider (3" plastic figures) $5 each

Harlequin miniatures - full range expected into stock, as well as Heartbreaker. Grenadier UK figures look like returning to the market soon

Babylon 5 kits - Starfury (soon), Space Station (around Christmas)

Airbrushes - a good selection, ranging from $45 to $200. Spares and accessories available

Titanic kits - 1/550 just in $32, re-stocks of others in August (most have been out of stock in Australia for many months)

Testors acrylic paints - reduced from $2.50 to $1.50 for a limited period

Ozmade 54mm figures (no longer available) - Australian-made Australian military - Lighthorsemen / AIF etc. - what's left, from $10 each

Battalion 25mm Napoleonic figures - Australian-made universal range - these are great figures, from $16.50 pack (of 10)

Unusual aircraft kits - from East European countries

Armour and dioramas - 1/72 new resin range

Rockets - large range of operating rockets, engines, accessories. Ask about re-usables

Roll-up jigsaw mats - keeping your jigsaw off the table between bouts

Campaign Cartographer - software for creating maps of fantasy lands, cities, towns, dungeons, castles, etc.

Anime videos and some T-shirts

Star Wars collectibles

Star Trek collectibles

Decals - for Australian trucks, trains, aircraft, F1 cars

Wooden ships - plus tools and accessories

Building materials - including Plastruct

Woodland Scenics, and balsa, styrene, metal rods/plates/tubes, nuts/bolts, and tools