SALMON RIVER, N.S.
Have video games, will travel.
Stepping up into Stephen Lumsden’s mini bus is almost akin to walking into a live arcade. Gaming music emits simultaneously from four flat-screen televisions as strings of colourful lights add to the scene. Underneath the 43-inch high-resolution television screens are gaming consoles, while the floor of the bus has been covered with rubberized, interlocking mats of varying colours from blue to green, yellow, grey and red.
“I have headsets but I’ve been finding out a lot of people like the sound of all the TVs,” Lumsden says, in response to a question about the varying musical sources and sounds.
Welcome to Scotia Gaming and Entertainment.
The “video gaming bus” is one component of Lumsden’s newly created business. Alongside the driveway leading up to his house in Salmon River is a recently installed shed that appears rather innocuous until one steps inside. There, displayed on several shelves and hanging from practically every wall are action figure dolls and other movie and video game characters.
“My collector that I get them from (in Florida), he has over 20,000 items so he’s going to be my go to,” says Lumsden.
One of his oldest items is an action figure in its original, though slightly tattered, box from the rock band Kiss, dating to 1978. There are also Batman figures, X-Men, Wizard of Oz, GI Joes and the list goes on.
“This would probably be my favourite item,” Lumsden says, picking up a box containing a Galvatron Transformer from the Generation One series, and which dates to the 1980s.
That item is at priced $850, which Lumsden views as a bargain and which he expects to sell online.
“If it was new in the box it would be a lot higher in price,” he says.
Lumsden, 28, became interested in playing video games after receiving a Sega Genesis game for Christmas at age five. His interest continued to increase during his teenage years to the point where he eventually ended up studying video game development at the Truro NSCC campus. And, he says, it was during that period that he began to generate ideas for an action figure/collectibles retail shop as well as a way to create a mobile video gaming room.
Thanks to the help of his father and some of his dad’s buddies, the 2005 Ford mini-bus they purchased was converted into the mobile gaming unit it now is.
And based on the response during his recent grand opening and the bookings he has received so far, Lumsden is optimistic his new business will be a hit for birthday parties, fundraisers and so forth.
“They loved it, because, it’s like everything’s close together, so they still play with each other on the same TV if they want or they can play on different TVs and talk to each other at the same time,” he says. “They just want something unique. They just want something different.”
Lumsden says his mobile gaming bus is the only one of its kind in Nova Scotia that he is aware of, while the nearest one like it in Canada is in Toronto.
He currently has upcoming bookings in Amherst, Great Village and Halifax and is eager to go wherever else in the province his bus is requested.
“We go all across Nova Scotia,” he says. “And we also have fundraisers getting involved. Christmas Daddies want me to do something with them.”
Lumsden can be contacted by phone at 902-814-7639, on Facebook at Scotia Gaming and Entertainment and online at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Bookings are for two-hour intervals. Prices shown do not include HST.
Anything an hour outside of Truro is $400.
Within the Truro area, the price is $325.
When the bus in parked in public it will be $10 per hour
per person or $15 for two family members.