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]

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