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Activision manuals: Color, B&W and "cheap"


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I am trying to sort some things out in here and I´ve got a question. Couldn´t find it seaching the forums so I´m screaming for help. :)


Some Activision games came with a B&W version of the manual, probably due to costs. I assume it happened later in the Atari lifecicle. Question is, does anyone knows when it started to happen? At first I though it happened when they started using blue labels but apparently you can find them with picture labels too.


Blue label, B&W manual: http://www.lazzeri.online/vg/Atari_2600/IMG_3801.JPG

Picture label, B&W manual: http://www.lazzeri.online/vg/Atari_2600/IMG_4506.JPG


There´s also a "ultra-cheap" version of the manual, I got one with a Robot Tank cart: http://www.lazzeri.online/vg/Atari_2600/IMG_3838.JPG


So... Does anyone knows when this started to happen? And does anyone knows other games with the "ultra-cheap" manual? The AA database apparently don´t have scans of those.


I´m asking because I´m trying to match boxed games with correct catalogues. Since those B&W labels came later I guess it´ll match with later catalogs. Yeah, I´m a sick puppy. :D

Edited by lazzeri
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Yep, mid to late 80's for sure. I noticed it with the re-releases of Atari games, where the silver foil label was replaced with grey and they gave you either a b/w manual or a monotone colored one, usually in red. Crystal Castles is one such example whose manual went from color in '84/'85 to b/w in '86, then red later on.


Imagic had the same then: either a b/w manual with artwork and graphics or b/w text only by the time Activision acquired some of their titles.

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I don't suppose you can find any dates or other indicators of when they were printed? "Not playable on 7800" is a big clue, of course.


It would be neat to plot the average selling price of cartridges by the quality of the included paperwork. I remember there were still racks of Atari stuff at Toys R Us in the early 1990s. When they were the only game in town, the selling price for a new Activision VCS game was what? $30 or more?

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