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Label mysteries


bikeguychicago
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Does anyone know the answer to either of the following questions regarding 5200 cart labels?

  1. Why do neither the Ballblazer or the Rescue on Fractalus carts contain the title of the game on the cartridge face when all other Atari-issued games do?
  2. On the CBS games, it appears that the smaller version of the cart title was intended to be on the cart's spine vs. the cart face. It looks silly to have the CBS on the spine for each cart and the cart name displayed twice (in two different size fonts no less) on the cart face. Does anyone know why this was done this way?

I noticed the aforementioned issues while organizing my 5200 collection and it just seemed a bit odd to me. I was wondering if anyone had the answers why these carts are the way the are.

 

Thanks!

Edited by bikeguychicago
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Toilettunes nailed it on the head. Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus Island were two of the last original 5200 games to be released and they were released in 1986. And that was of course when Atari Inc. Became Atari Corp. Under Jack Tramiel. I know Gremlins was released in 1986 as well and had "Atari" emblazoned on the label. I think it was going to be released at the time Tramiel bought Atari but was shelved for a couple years.

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Toilettunes nailed it on the head. Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus Island were two of the last original 5200 games to be released and they were released in 1986. And that was of course when Atari Inc. Became Atari Corp. Under Jack Tramiel. I know Gremlins was released in 1986 as well and had "Atari" emblazoned on the label. I think it was going to be released at the time Tramiel bought Atari but was shelved for a couple years.

 

Is that correct though? I thought Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus came out in 1984? True, they were some of the last 5200 games released but I thought the different packaging and artwork style was just because they were LucasArts.

 

As for the CBS labels, yes they were just put upside down. I guess after someone screwed up the first run they decided to keep CBS Electronics on the end for consistency. In another thread I posted this pic of two Blue Prints. I had an extra with a peeling label, so I took it off, reversed it, and it looks so much nicer that way!

post-24344-0-72538700-1446176481_thumb.jpg

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Rescue on Fractalus and Ballblazer were LucasFilm games that Atari published. That may be a factor in why they were given unique labels. Their titles don't show up on the standard Atari splash screen, either.

 

There were late prototypes produced for these that retain the titles on the logo/startup screen -- screenshots are on AtariProtos. The decision to ultimately remove the titles seems to have been a very last-minute one, and I'd love to know the reasoning behind it. Just a guess: perhaps Lucasfilm wanted the first on-screen instance of the game title to be *after* the Atari logo screen, better distinguishing themselves as the programmers/producers?

 

 

Does anyone know the answer to either of the following questions regarding 5200 cart labels?

  1. Why do neither the Ballblazer or the Rescue on Fractalus carts contain the title of the game on the cartridge face when all other Atari-issued games do?

 

There's also the title-less Vanguard 1986 re-release, not to mention the rumored but never proven Space Invaders in the same style. So, I think whatever is going on with the title-less Atari Corp. labels isn't specifically related to Lucasfilm involvement. My feeling is that Atari Corp. wasn't thinking all that hard about the labels (or spending very much on quality), regardless. Case in point: that Vanguard re-release has the Centuri trademark notice asterisked over on the side, but... the asterisk doesn't refer back to anything since there's no title on the cartridge! :lol:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Can I guess? (on Ballblazer / the Rescue on Fractalus labels)

 

Maybe the artists at Lucasfilm Computer division who designed the boxes for RoF or Ballblazer couldn't use their artwork on the cartridges because of a copyright issue with the copyright holder the label design template being, I am guessing, Atari). They agreed on using the photo only.

 

I don't think these two labels without titles are part of the late Atari Corp. quality issue, they both have nice boxes, colorful booklets and label. I really like both labels.

Edited by Henry Lee
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