Retro Modding has supported Retro Dodo ever since we started back in 2019 and as of recent they are helping us even further by being the exclusive sponsor of A Handheld History: 88 – 95 (our new book launching soon).
Retro Modding, is a company run by talented, passionate retro gamers that I can now call friends.
In this article I want to take you behind the scenes, a look at how the biggest retro modding retailer runs, because in all honesty, I feel like many under appreciate just how hard this team work in order to make it easy for us to mod our beloved consoles.
This is a super-niche business that runs purely on community support, and it’s truly incredible what they have built, especially considering how crazy the economy has been over the last few years.
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The Idea Behind Retro Modding
I spent a lot of time with Oli, the founder of Retro Modding. We spoke a lot about handhelds, business and how Maple Syrup is made, but what stuck with me the most is how he has stood by the business through the good times and the bad.
His genuine passion for the company and the retro community glows like the sun and that shows through the way he runs his business, treats his team and involves himself within the community.
He could (and did) talk for hours about the way he creates custom boxes for Incube8Games with attention to minute details, how he has studied for months about the legalities behind shipping products that could potentially have issues at borders and how he purchases products from the community and other friendly businesses to support them and keep on top of retro trends.
He couldn’t speak more highly of the Evercade EXP as he unboxes it just before dropping me off at the airport, alongside helping our very own News Editor, Anthony launch his own Gameboy Game called The Mayor of Sanctuary.
Oli birthed the idea of creating affordable, and customisable upgrades for retro consoles, to give them a new life instead of letting them collect dust on shelves.
Now many years later he is building a phenomenal small business in the retro gaming space that supports the community all while supplying them with high end products and inventing new ones to push the niche forward.
It hasn’t been easy. Oli informed me of many road bumps, including the pandemic and a catastrophe that involved border control holding tens of thousands of dollars worth of stock.
All of this kicking off with a young child and a family to support, he’s a true entrepeneur.
Ran By Nerds
The Retro Modding team is ran by a group of lovely nerds, passionate about all things gaming. We asked their entire team which handheld was their favourite and it ranged from the original Gameboy DMG to the Steam Deck!
Each team member plays a big part in making the Retro Modding machine work. When a customer makes an order it’s not just “let’s pack it”. Someone had to design the product, get it delivered into Canada to then be sorted in their warehouse, for them to create content marketing about it, and then picked, packed and shipped.
All of this is done thanks to the awesome team, and even I was astonished at the amount of work that goes into to getting something as small as Gameboy buttons into a customers hands.
It’s pretty crazy, and each step is done with love and attention.
When I stepped into the Retro Modding office, I felt like a kid in a candy shop. There were thousands of shells, buttons, screens, mods and games that I could choose from.
Retro Modding gives their customers an unbelievable amount of choice, allowing you to craft something truly unique.
With choice though comes a boat load of product management, storage solutions and more so packers can be efficient, and then comes time to ship the products from their US warehouse or directly from their Canadian office for an affordable price!
They have designed their website to be easy to use, and offers you an easy solution to discover new and interesting products.
One of their best selling products is custom UV printed shells, which Gary looks after. Gary showed me around his printing setup and one thing that was immediately obvious was how much Gary cares about getting the print to a perfect quality.
He spoke about the design, how to select colours, and how to use them flawlessly on unique coloured shells so the print doesn’t get washed out.
Retro Modding made a huge investment into a high quality UV printer that looks like something out of Star Trek, just to give their customers the choice of unique shells that you can’t find anywhere else.
It’s a insight into how serious Retro Modding takes this niche, blood, sweat and Oli’s Father’s family grown maple syrup goes into the finest of details.
I spent a few days with the team. Oli and Gary gave me the privilege of showing me around Montreal, exploring the city in the refreshing crisp temperature.
I tasted my first ever corn dog, and they took me to a giant orange on the outskirts of the city that sell what can be only described as a half orange juice, half ice cream?
It was weird, but delicious. It’s known as The Big Orange and I can confirm… it was big.
I came over to say thank you to the team for sponsoring our A Handheld History books (our first now being available on Amazon), Retro Modding supported us by getting these books of the ground financially and I couldn’t be any more grateful for what they have done for us, and after meeting them, it’s clear that the whole team are passionate about the retro gaming community as a whole.
Retro Modding are a loving team, filled with happy faces and motivated minds and I believe they will be around for a very long time.
But that said, it’s not easy running these small businesses. Oli was open and honest about the business and how it can be affected by declines in retro gaming trends, or a single hiccup at customs.
So, selfishly I am making this article to make you, the Retro Dodo reader aware of this beautiful small business that create incredible products to help you bring your retro consoles to life.
Many of their competitors in the space are known for stealing designs, or straight up copying products, but Retro Modding are honest and transparent, so instead they work alongside other creators to build unique products that support the community.
If you’re after a new shell for your Gameboy, custom buttons, LED light mod kits or even just a new screen, Retro Modding is the place to go, and you’ll be supporting a small independent business if you do.
They were even kind enough to offer Retro Dodo readers 5% off their order using code “RETRODODO”.
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A 31 year old British fella that’s had a Gameboy ever since he was a child. Brandon is the founder of RetroDodo and has created a YouTube channel with 260,000 subscribers dedicated to retro gaming products. He now wants to create the No.1 site to showcase the latest retro products from around the globe.