30 May 2000

Brag: NES Arkanoid controller

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

Okay, so I don't officially consider the NES classic, but if I stuck to the true classics, I'd hardly ever post a brag or find these days. 8(

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I took a short trip to another city. Visited a mall and discovered my first GameStop store. Inside, with the other NES controllers was an Arkanoid controller marked $1.99. When the cashier rang it up, it came up as about $4 instead, to which I objected. The manager, who was just at the end of the counter going through papers, saw it and said they weren't supposed to sell it without the cartridge. (He'd remembered when it came in and thought it had been pulled from the shelf since the cart was missing.) I said I was willing to pay $2 for it, so he had the cashier ring it up at the marked price.

Today provided an interesting footnote. At my local, overpriced, used video game store, I saw they had an Arkanoid controller which was marked $19.99. No thanks! (BTW, this makes up for the one I passed by a few years ago because I didn't know how rare/desirable they were.) Now I just need to find the game so I can test it.

[If I remember correctly, I found it at the GameStop in Century Plaza, Birmingham, Alabama. — 18 June 2010]

03 May 2000

Brag: Instant Astrocade collection & more

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

This is shaping up to be a good week. No doubt about it, it's spring cleaning time! First, at a church yard sale this weekend, I picked up a few common (Dr. Mario) and not so common (Klax) NES games that I didn't have yet for $0.50 each. I'd also spotted an NES Game Genie box, but didn't give it a good look. A kid came up behind me and asked if he could see it. I handed it to him and kept digging through the games. He said he thought it was actually a Super NES GG and handed it back. He was right! I got it for 50 cents, too! (Thank goodness he didn't decide he wanted it.)

Other finds at weekend yard sales were mostly more Nintendo stuff. (And I'm not a Nintendo collector, dammit!) I did pick up an Atari ST/Amiga/Atari 8-bit trackball.

Monday I found a couple dozen boxed, complete Intellivision games. I picked up Mouse Trap and Beauty and the Beast (which I may already have, I forget), and some box upgrades. Tuesday I remembered to take my not-up-to-date list and got some more as box upgrades.

Tuesday something had told me to go to Value Village, but I didn't have time! So I went today. The first thing I see, sitting right next to the door, is a boxed Sega Master System. I'm not really interested, especially for $38.99, even though I see some boxed games inside. So I wander around the store some more. As I make my way around to the second electronics section, I'm confronted by a big box that says "arcade" on the side. What's this?!? A Bally Profesional Arcade in the box!

I've never seen a single Astrocade item in the wild before. It's marked $24.99. Not knowing how much they go for on eBay, I debate buying it, but quickly decide it's worth it since I've never seen one before. (I also pick up NES Spy Hunter for $2.99 for the heck of it.) I get outside and it's raining. The box is already heavily taped, but I don't want to get it wet as well. So I decide to sit down and see what's inside.

I find 17(!) cartridges, 10 big game manuals, 9 small game manuals (plus three Football playbooks (Why do I have two for the blue team?)), the system manual, a keypad overlay, power supply, and four(!) controllers. No switchbox and no dust cover, but I'm not complaining! None of the cartridges are more than a 3 in rarity by the DPG. Somewhat annoyingly, I have manuals for Star Battle and Artillery Duel, but no carts. All the cartridges/manuals are the "Bally" versions except The Incredible Wizard and Artilery Duel.

Then I went down the street to another thrift and picked up a pair of Starfighter joysticks with a standard 9-pin (2600/C64/etc.) connectors. Never come across this particular type of joystick before.

Now, I just hope everything I've picked up this week works. I haven't had a chance to test any of it yet, and don't forsee being able to do so until next week.

[To date, this is still my only Astrocade find ever. — 18 June 2010]