30 June 1999

Odd cart holder & one that got away [NES Action 52 box]

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

Time for me to drone on again. I've been busy, but here's how things went last week.

I found the box with all inserts for the NES Action 52 cart. These carts go for a quite a bit on eBay, so I tore up the bins where I found the box. No cart. 8( Farther over, I find some pristine label 2600 carts and a labelless Parker Bros. cart. I'm not sure that I need the label upgrades on these, but pick up four plus the PB cart. I figure I can afford $0.50 a piece. I get to the check out and the lady, who's been charging me $0.50 (instead of $3 like another lady there) says $3 each! I end up just getting Worm War I so I can get the Action 52 box & docs for free. BTW, this thrift also charges $3 for Sega & NES carts. It's my least favorite in town, but seems to have stuff the most often.

One day I went with very little money. I saw a Sears 2600 in the box at Value Village marked $25. More than I care to spend (even if I had it on me), but the box looks like the first release. (The picture on the front has the little Sears labels on top of the joysticks.) There's also a brandless 2600 holder and interesting cart holder for $3.99 each. Then at Salvation Army I see a Video Pinball console (white version) for $5. I already have one so I figure I'll come back tomorrow after I've gone to the bank.

The next day I go to Value Village and get them to let me open the 2600 box. I told them I wanted to know if it had any extra games in it (which I did want to know). The box said "complete as pictured," but you never know. It turns out the 2600 was a Sears version, but they substituted Combat for Target Fun (same game, different label) and 7800 sticks for 2600 ones. There was also an extra boxed 2600 stick in it. (It wasn't plain white, but had pictures on it. A football player is all I remember.) No extra games and definitely not worth $25. I also leave the 2600 console holder as it's generic. (No Atari label on it.)

I do, however, pick up the funky cart holder. It reminds me of a 5-1/4" disk holder. It has a transluscent cover that swings to the back when you open it. It holds 18 carts in two columns of 9. There's a small slot for instructions at the top. Anyone seen one of these before?

Then I get to Salvation Army and the Video Pinball is gone. No great loss, but it might explain why I never find much. Too much competition.

[I don't know why I called Target Fun the same game as Combat with a different label. Target Fun is the Sears equivalent to Air-Sea Battle. I posted a follow-up the same day berating myself.

Jeff Salzman responded a month later, saying, "The funky cartridge holder sounds like a TI-99 cartridge holder I have several of them myself and the cartridges are stored at an angle."]

19 June 1999

Today's finds (future classics?) [N64 clock, strategy guides, Stop Thief]

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

I only had time to hit four yard sales today, but the first one was good. It advertised computer & video games. Turns out the guy was a former Electronics Boutique manager and was dumping a bunch of stuff. I picked up several expensive hint books for games and systems I don't have (yet) at $0.50 each! I even picked up a little bit of software, too. But the coolest item had to be a Nintendo 64 clock for $5. It has the big 3-D N logo in the middle. I don't have a clock in my office, so this will do. It might even be worth something to people like us in 20 years. 8) Of course, I'd trade it for an Atari logo clock in a heartbeat. 8)

Quick notes on some of the books:

The Battlezone Strategy Guide has some quotes from the creator of the classic arcade game. He talks about how being a home game allows the new Battlezone to have more depth.

The Summer 1999 Expert Codebook actually tells you how to find the secret room in Adventure! It's an "Extra" in the Saturn section. (Yes, there really is a short Saturn section.) Right below it is another Extra that talks about the stuff you can get by frying your 2600. They don't actually call it that, nor do they mention that you could potentially damage your system doing it.

The only other things I found were at my second stop. A Stop Thief board game ($1, eBait) and a computer data switch ($2). I think I'll eventually use the latter for the Intellivision Controller Interface when I get the money for them.

[The N64 clock is still on my wall, but I still don't own a N64. Nor did I ever buy the Intellivision Controller Interface, which is probably just as well since computers have all gone USB since. — 15 August 2010]

[Galen Tatsuo Komatsu posted the following regarding the Adventure secret room instructions four days later (6/23/1999):]

This originally appeared in the August'98 issue of Expert Gamer, in an article, "50 Greatest Videogame Tricks of All Time" which also appears on their videogames.com website.

Since you have the item in front of you, grab a copy of Atari B-TECH and compare the text of the trick in the two.


03 June 1999

Last week's finds [joysticks]

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

I've been meaning to post this for a while. This is stuff I found last Friday (May 28th). A couple weeks ago, Alex added a picture of the Accuball controller to the 2600 Nexus. Well guess what I found in a box full of Commodore 64 stuff? Yep. Plus three Super Champ joysticks. These are the ones that let you wind the cord into the base. Very handy. Two of them work fine. The third was completely disassembled, but in the box. I told the lady I really just wanted the box and showed her the parts inside. She sold that to me for $0.50. My total was $5.50. I could have sworn I got something else, too, but I can't remember what.

I slapped most of the parts together. The previous owner apparently disassembled it because the plastic ring that presses the direction contact broke. It looks like this wasn't the first time someone tried to fix this problem. All the parts are there, except a couple screws, but they went a little overboard on their disassembly. They not only desoldered the fire button wires (which is necessary to get it apart for the fix), they also cut the ones going from the top button to the trigger button. Oh, and it's missing a suction cup, too. If anybody wants the broken one, just let me know. It's yours for the cost of shipping. I'm happy to have two working ones now, plus a box!