29 April 1999

Today's finds [2600 Racquetball, Colecovision Spy Hunter & Spectron, Comp IV]

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

I hit a store today and was surprised to see they had some new Atari 2600 games in. ("New" as in used games that were new to the store.) I pick out what I thought was two 2600 carts and one Colecovision cart for about $1 each. Later, in the car, I glanced in the bag and noticed that there were actually two Colecovision carts. I had previously not noticed the distinctive Colecovision shape at the end of one of them. It turns out both CV carts are rare! Here's what I
  • Racquetball (2600; tradebait)
  • Spy Hunter (CV; now I *really* need a Super Action controller)
  • Spectron (CV)
The labels aren't in the best shape. In fact, the two CV carts look like they've been stored in an open box in someone's basement for several years. I also noticed after I bought them that the labels around the screw holes have been punched through, so I hope they really are what they say they are. (I once bought a Destructor that turned out to be a non-working Super Action Baseball.)

I also picked up a Comp IV at another store. For those that don't know, Leonard Herman says in Phoenix that this was the first electronic game produced commercially. This is my second one, and I still need the instructions. Anyone got them? (Photocopy, ASCII, anything!)

[I still don't have Super Action Controllers for my Colecovision. And I can't check at the moment, but I believe the two Colecovision games worked and were what they said. I believe I also found some form of instructions for the Comp IV as well. Interestingly, the silkscreen on the "screen" of the second Comp IV is different from that on the first. —15 August 2010]

26 April 1999

Good find or not? [2600 & 7800 stuff]

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

So how do you define a "good find"? I'll tell you what I found and you can tell me if I did good.

First stop was an annual church rummage sale. I bought a C-64 Fast Load cart for $0.25 just because it was so cheap. I don't have a C-64 or any real interest in owning one, but I figure I might end up with one someday anyway and carts typically don't get any cheaper.

A few stops with nothing from there. Then I hit a neighborhood yard sale. The first house has a box with some SMS games & a loose Colecovision Venture. The sign on it said "Sega system & games $20," but there was no sign of the system. I wasn't interested and didn't need the Venture, so I moved on. (I probably should have asked about more Coleco games, though.)

The rest of the neighborhood revealed nothing until the last pair of houses. I saw a TI-99/4a box and decided to stop. Very little TI stuff and nothing else classic. Then I walked to the house down the street.

One of the first boxes I see is filled with about a dozen boxed 2600 games and loose console. I ask about the Atari and the owner points to *another* box saying, "this here?" It contains two 7800s, two 2600s, and some loose games. I ask how much for all. He says $30. I only have $25. He takes it.

I haven't tested most of it yet, but here's some of what I got. This is from memory as I don't have the stuff in front of me.
  • 1 complete 7800 (power supply & two joysticks)
  • 1 7800 minus power supply w/two questionable joysticks
  • 3 2600s w/power supplies (I think it's 1 black 4-switch and 2 wood 6-switches.)
  • 2(?) standard 2600 sticks
  • 3 *gray* Atari power supplies (What the--?!)
  • Shrinkwrapped 7800 carts (all available from O'Shea):
    • Centipede (x2)
    • Choplifter
    • Donkey Kong Junior
  • Boxed 2600 carts:
    • Codebreaker
    • Combat
    • Jr. Pac-Man (shrinkwrapped)
    • Pac-Man
    • Space Invaders
    • Space War
    • Video Chess
    • more commons that I forget
  • Loose 2600 carts:
    • Astroblast
    • Fathom (the only one I needed; the label could be much better)
    • Gorf
    • E.T. (x2)
    • more commons that I forget
I figure I'll sell the complete 7800 with some games on eBay to make back my money. The other one will probably become a spare. (I rarely see 7800 consoles in my area.) I don't know what I'm going to do with the 2600s. I may turn them into complete systems with some games and sell them, too. I didn't have some of the game boxes and instructions, so I'll keep those. I guess the rest goes on my trade list.

If you've read my brag posts lately, you'll know that I recently found a copy of Video Chess while waiting for one in the mail. Now I find one CIB! Why is it I go years without finding this fairly common cart, and then find two of them?

The disturbing thing is the seller said, "these things must be getting popular again. I sold five this morning." I'm not sure if he meant five games or five systems (w/about 10 games each, from what he offered me at first). I fear the latter, in which case who knows what good stuff I missed out on?! Well, to whoever got it, you missed the Fathom! 8)

["CIB" stands for "complete in box," meaning it has the box, instructions, and cartridge. —5 June 2009]

19 April 1999

Hardly a brag [Mattel Football I handheld, 5200 joysticks, Pac-Man Fever 45]

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

When yard sale/rummage sale hopping on Saturday. The only video game items I saw at all were a Virtual Boy w/1 game($15; I passed), a Mattel Football handheld w/o battery cover ($0.25; I took), and a pair of 5200 controllers ($1; I took). The Mattel Football replaces my older unit which I've been unable to repair. (I don't have a screwdriver bit in the shape of a little triangle. Damn you, Mattel Electronics!) The 5200 controllers I haven't tested yet, but I only got them for spare parts. Someone's messed with them before because the two fire buttons are missing from one side of one and the flex circuit for the Start/Pause/Reset buttons has been incorrectly reinserted.

Finally, the minor brag. On a lark, I flipped through the 45s at one yard sale. About the third one in was the Pac-Man Fever single. One dime later, it was mine! This prompted me to finally hook up the turntable I bought at a yard sale last year. Now I've finally heard the instrumental version of Pac-Man Fever. I just need the Donkey Kong single now.

[I've since bought the Donkey Kong single on eBay. I still could use that stupid triangle-shaped bit, though! — 18 June 2010]

16 April 1999

First good 2600 brag in a while [Picnic, Stellar Track, Video Chess]

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

Today's thrifting started out bad. Went to a store not usually worth going to and found some computer & SMS stuff. (I don't usually pick up either, but it's been so dry!) I grabbed three mostly common, third party, 2600-compatible joysticks, Pengo & Star Raiders II for the Atari 8-bit, and a Master Gear Convertor for SMS. The guys there weren't the regular guy and didn't know how much anything was if it wasn't priced. (They said the store wasn't even supposed to be open.) None of my stuff was priced, of course. I offered $5. He claimed a joystick alone was worth that. I left it all there. They said the guy who runs it is only there two days a week, and of course he didn't know which two. I think it's time to just stop going to that thrift.

At the next store, I found a Sears 2600 set up that had apparently just come in. (It hadn't been there Monday.) Lots of Sears game, but I don't collect those and at $3 a piece, it's usually not worth it for trade bait. I picked out Picnic (Woo-hoo!!! Didn't have it!) and Stellar Track. Take them to the register and the lady says $1. I tell her I'm going to grab a couple more! (I gotta make sure I only buy when this lady's at the register!) Go back and pick up Sears Demons to Diamonds and Video Chess. I've never found Video Chess before. I have the Sears version that a friend gave me, but prefer an Atari label. Of course, I just sent out payment for a copy of Video Chess two days ago, but bought this one anyway out of principal. Why does it always work like that?!?

This makes the third new 2600 cart I've found in the past two months. Before that, I don't remember how long it's been since I found one. This year just might be shaping up. Maybe I'll finally break 300. Oh yeah, the Sears Demons to Diamonds and Stellar Track are up for trade. My incomplete trade and want lists are at http://home.hiwaay.net/~lkseitz/trade/.

[18 June 2010 comment: That URL isn't linked because it no longer exists. My trade pages never seemed to lead to any actual trades and it was a pain to maintain them, so I eventually ditched them.

For anyone that is local to Huntsville, the first store was in the 900 block of Oakwood Avenue NW, between Buford and Grace Streets. I don't remember the name. It was two different thrift stores, one right after the other. One was much better run and organized than the other, which you can guess means it wasn't the one above. I don't even remember which store came first any more, it's been so long.

I honestly don't remember the incident at the second store, but from the $3 price mentioned I'd guess it was the Breaking Free Thrift Store on N. Memorial Parkway just north of Oakwood Avenue.]

[10 Nov 2011 comment: And regarding Video Chess? In a few days, it gets worse.]

09 April 1999

Minor finds & unrelated grouse [Stop Thief, blue label Pitfall!]

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

I don't remember the details, but I dreamt of finding boxed carts last night. Unfortunately, this wasn't an omen. All I found was a Stop Thief board game (complete minus battery cover) and a blue label 2600 Pitfall. I passed on an Atari 8-bit Gyruss and a Comp IV. This is my third Stop Thief in two months, but the first with instructions. (Naturally, someone mailed me a photocopy of them just a couple weeks ago.) The blue label Pitfall is up for trade. See my trading post (http://home.hiwaay.net/~lkseitz/trade/) for my want list & a link to my have lists. (It's under construction, but the video game part is pretty much done.)

The grouse has to do with what I missed out on. Near the concentration of local thrifts is a Blockbutser Video. I've been visiting it weekly, waiting for them to get rid of their last set of SNES games, which included Atari's Greatest Hits:The Atari Collection. I went today and didn't notice any new SNES games for sale, but when I went to see if it was on the shelf, I found PlayStation games. I asked the clerk and AGH had already been sold. Bummer! (Not that I really needed it with MAME and a full-sized Missile Command in my garage.)

[I'm not sure why I passed on the Comp IV, although it's probably because there doesn't seem to be much of a market for them, despite their historical significance. Later in the month, however, I picked up my second Comp IV. The trading post link is no longer valid. I gave up on it because it wasn't generating any leads. —14 August 2010]

05 April 1999

Re: Is there a classic system you really DON'T like?

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

In article <19990405024751.06059.00002725@ng101.aol.com>, BluRoom wrote:
>I don't know if this has been thrown around recently, but just for fun - is
>there a classic system you just can't stand or have no desire to collect for,
>and why?

I have two Odyssey2s and a dozen or two boxed games collecting dust. This mostly has to do with the controllers not working properly, but even after getting at least one to work, Odyssey2 games just don't inspire me.

It's the same story for my two Channel Fs. Except one system doesn't work at all and I only have two cartridges. (Which both have one game in common. What's up with that?!? Atari never even stooped that low.) Of course, this is the sum total of Channel F stuff I've seen in all the years I've been collecting.

Also stored away are various pong-type systems, a Studio II (one cart), a Microvision (about six boxed games), and some original Odysseys. (Come on, who can honestly say they can't get enough of their Odyssey? The only reason any of us buy them is for their historical significance.)

It's quite likely I'll eventually sell the Odyssey2 stuff eventually. Maybe the Channel F as well. I've got to clean up my room so I can actually sort through it all first. For some bizarre reason, though, I kind of want to keep the Studio II. Maybe it's just because it was one of my early finds. The Microvision and original Odyssey are definite keepers, even if I don't play them much.

[It's now 2010 and I still want to get rid of the Odyssey2 stuff, but haven't. — 14 August 2010]

Small brag & Wico info

[Originally posted to rec.games.video.classic.]

I went to a thrift today and picked up a box for a Wico bat handle joystick marked $2. I wouldn't have been interested if not for the box. I opened it up and saw a Gemini Gemstick inside. (Bleah!) I decided it was still worth it because the box was in good shape. Looking around more, I found the joystick and swapped it for the Gemstick. I also picked up an NES Advantage and an Apple II copy of Ultima III (to go on eBay to support my classic video game habit).

Here are some part numbers from the box that might help people identify any Wico adpators they have:
  • TI 44/9a: WICO Adaptor 72-4530
  • Apple II: WICO Adaptor 72-4525
  • Odyssey^2: WICO Adaptor 72-4540

Also in the box were the original twist-tie for the cord and a manual that covers the installation and use of most of Wico's joysticks. That's probably about as close as I'll ever get to owning their 5200 stick and numeric keypad.