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Activision (Re-)Labels: Critical mass



So over the last few days, quite a few cartridges started making their way into my collection.  I did one major batch/rush over a couple of days to get as many as I could.  Just because I'm basically doing reproductions by adding these new labels, I decided to keep the costs reasonable as an additional challenge.  Basically keep each cartridge under $10 (Canadian).  I was able to do this with the only exception being Robot Tank which ended up being $14.  Everything else was from $2 to $10.  With eBay I was trying to keep shipping free where possible but tax added a couple of bucks.  Overall I got some good deals especially a copy of Frostbite for $2, even though the label was in rough shape.


I ended up getting a couple of duplicates, one of Freeway and one Sky Jinks, as in a couple of cases I bought batches.


Facebook Marketplace was a great especially since I came across somewhere further south in the province that was shipped at a very reasonable price.  That was 7 cartridges there.


Found another one in FB for Spider Fighter.


On my way to my place up north came across a person selling a bunch for $5 each and picked up 8 carts via Kijiji.  Kaboom at a retro video game store for $10+tax.  


About half a dozen from eBay.  I'm still waiting for Megamania, Robot Tank and Starmaster to arrive from a couple separate orders.  Weird because these two were from Ontario and I received orders from British Columbia last week; they should have arrived quicker.  


Interestingly enough, there were 3 carts that were in better shape than the ones I had in my collection, so I swapped those: Commando, Decathlon, and Boxing.


Here is the Spider Fighter from last weekend compared to my original copy on the left.  Colours are fairly similar.




Here is a picture of an immaculate circuit board for Commando (this was my original copy):





Here are Enduro, Grand Prix, Seaquest, Pitfall, Hockey and Plaque Attack.  Six titles I picked up for $5 each.  I got Commando as well, but did it in a separate batch after wanting to compare with my original copy since it was in stellar condition.




Here they are again with originals (in the left).  Colours as before are not perfect matches, probably because of fading over the years (UV or just oxidation?).  Ice Hockey probably glows in the dark.





Here are the other 15 I picked up before I removed the labels.  Decathlon, Commando and Boxing were my original copies.  Some of them were pretty shoddy.  Chopper Command must have something spilled into it since I took ages to clean it up without any brown stuff getting wiped (blergh!).

River Raid was a mess.  Couldn't get the label out after 4 days of having sitting in Goo Gone.  I ended taking a Sky Jinks extra cart and re-purposing it (AG-019 for Sky Jinks, AG-020 for River Raid). Strangely enough, the RR had springs, why SJ did not.




Here are they with all the new labels.  This took 3 days in doing them in batches.  






And here are all the cartridges done so far.  They all work, although some needed some extra cleaning with the contacts with three of them actually needing to be sanded slightly.






At this point Megamania, Robot Tank and Starmaster should be done in a few days.  I'll keep looking for copies of Barnstorming, Bridge, Checkers, Dragster, Fishing Derby, Skiing and perhaps Pitfall II.  I will most likely need to spend more than $10 on some of those titles.


Edited by AlwaysOnPlanetPatrol


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Very nice and a lot of work. My original copies are pretty good. It is a shame so many games were in hot attics. I was very lucky that only six of my original boxes has UV damage to one side of the boxes, because they sat in an enclosed attic under a skylight for about 14 years. When I look at ebay items, sometimes I just say."Roasted!", because you can tell the game was in extreme heat or UV light. This heat exposure is why so many carts do not have end labels; they are probably still in everyone's attics! I am finding a lot of Atari labels from 1982, 1983 are not aging well. It seems Atari was being cheap at the time, or maybe a lot of overstock just sat in hot warehouses too long? For example, it has taken a few ebay purchases to get a good label copy of Math Gran Prix from 1982. The original Defender is this way too.

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You are right.  It's been quite a bit of work.  


One thing that I got out of this is that I feel that the carts are "clean" now.  It's not like I'm a germophope or a clean-freak, but I like the fact that I know that these carts have been cleaned properly inside and out.  


I have another batch on the way, so other than finding a better condition Double Dragon cartridge, that will be it.


Question for you @dwh, it sounds like you have quite the collection.  Do you have any display cases, if so can you share what you have?  I think that's what I'll look for next.

Edited by AlwaysOnPlanetPatrol
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It is kind of hard to see my collection since I have everything stored in 19 quart plastic boxes I got via Amazon. There are about 160 of these boxes. I got the boxes for two reasons; one, the dust from previous owners, and ,two, the cat hair I have in my home. There are 11 boxes full of just Atari Age loose games and boxed games. I like how Albert releases the game loose so I can leave the boxed version alone and still have a game to play. I did have all the boxed games displayed in a big bookcase at the last home I lived in, but they got so dusty I switched to the boxes. I have 16 boxes, 2 rows 8 high, right behind my computer chair; just hope I'm not there when a big earthquake hits....

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