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Starting Atari 2600 collection from scratch, follow my progress :)

Crazy Climber

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20 minutes ago, Leonard Smith said:

You've made great progress for a relatively low investment.

Less than $2,500 and you have essentially 90% of the 2600 library.

Not easy to do in today's retro gaming market!


Thanks man!


If I were to try for CIB it would be impossible (unless I took out a second mortgage haha) Loose is obtainable though :)

That last "10%" loose gets pretty expensive too though :)


Not to ramble here but seeing I'm near completion (by my standards) I've worked out an "end game" plan...

Might as well write it down so I remember it...also serves as a great "in topic wanted list" if any of you reading this have any of these lying around the house ;)




These 20 or so games I'll be (hopefully) actively buying over the next months, basically I already have spots on my shelf reserved for them. Some are more expensive and harder to find than others though..but all are "obtainable" on the "working mans budget" lol. We'll see what happens I guess :)















































After those my collection is for the most part complete by my standards. I'm going to reluctantly collect these panda games too but they've been moved to low priority, and with their "seemingly high" prices they're teetering the edge of being cut from the line up completely haha














I guess these are games that are also somewhat HIGH PRIORITY but I'm going to buy in PAL format because they are considerably cheaper (plus more reliable *cough* BOMB games) They look identical and are just shelf ornaments for the most part anyways.















These following Label variations are now LOW priority. They served their purpose well by expanding my options and allowing me to buy more large cheaper/bulk lots but these last ones are going to have to be purchased separately (some at very high prices) and it really makes no difference when/if I get them at this point, today, a year from now, never? No big deal :) More of a boredom killing side-quest I guess.
















bg.jpg.ee6819c7136cdc6f51d43f06f5f1d4c1.jpg - I really should have this, it's not expensive or rare...










c_Blackjack_Text01_end.jpg.2a19bb57550c4a08ac3f0b62f3791218.jpg - not sure how I don't have this one either


c_AirSeaBattle_Text01_end.jpg.9754f65dff1ae9c59699bfa6452f5e06.jpg - this one too...


These xonox variations are a little higher priority...because I really like Xonox carts :)






I've cut all Sears TEXT label games I need from my wanted list. They are also teetering the edge of being cut completely from the line up (beside the few exclusives, I'd keep those) Most of these I already own 2, even 3 other versions of, the uneven label fade drives me nuts, they take up a lot of good shelf space and bluntly put, I just don't really like them haha. I'll sit on them for awhile and see if I change my mind...I don't miss my Sears pic labels at all so...




 And Finally...these are the R9's I am calling the "can fund" This will be a slow burn, but once I acquire these, I'm done...


I have an old cheeseballs can that I fill with quarters/etc. Once or twice a year I cash it in, it's usually around $300. I typically use it to buy something dumb (random video games, an arcade 1up, etc) We also recently got a Kuerig here at work so I no longer buy a coffee for $1 at Holiday every morning so I guess I'll throw that extra buck in too (although the actual coffee price was $1.07 so I guess I was already putting .93 cents a day in anyways...looks like it will even out haha)











c_Malagai_end.jpg.6b00fded1912bf0842876deb6801f9d6.jpg - I might do a repro for this and Gauntlet...




c_Quadrun_Silver_end.jpg.2f0e034602a838714079fd1f18fd9f2e.jpg - Pretty sure I'm just doing a repro for this one








c_XMan_end.jpg.f2ed3b1d753101e738b2e901238ad8b5.jpg - If the PAL version is still significantly cheaper I'll go PAL on this


c_CondorAttack_front.jpg.fe40f24ecba912659714aa61129af2c1.jpg - I used to own one of these with an end label!




And that's that!


13 minutes ago, sramirez2008 said:

This is a really fun shooter and its a paddle game.  You can never have too many paddle games.

I've seriously neglected many of my paddle games because I'm too lazy to swap controllers haha

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Oh, I forgot about this one...




Wasn't sure if I shut put it in the "can fund" section or the first HIGH PRIORITY section due to not knowing it's value. Anyone know the going rate for this? I lucked out last time and got it really cheap from atari2600.com (damaged label) I don't remember the last tiem I saw one for sale...

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7 minutes ago, Crazy Climber said:

Oh, I forgot about this one...




Wasn't sure if I shut put it in the "can fund" section or the first HIGH PRIORITY section due to not knowing it's value. Anyone know the going rate for this? I lucked out last time and got it really cheap from atari2600.com (damaged label) I don't remember the last tiem I saw one for sale...

I've seen these go recently for $100 or below a couple times. Of course, recently being within the last year. 

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I have to say, this thread has been both engaging and somewhat discouraging.


Engaging in that it was interesting enough to get me to dig up my password for this account - looks like the last time I posted was 15 years ago.


Discouraging in that it has taken me a heck of a lot longer to get to about the same point in my collection! My collection was built via yard sales/thrift stores in the early 90s (adding to my original games from the 80s), then Usenet auctions in the mid-late 90s. But once Ebay came along the thrill of the hunt was gone, so I didn't buy anything there, everything local dried up, Usenet died, and there was nowhere left to go. I think the last time I added a 2600 cart to my collection was 1998 at best. At least until I wound up buying some non-game stuff on Ebay about 3 years ago, and then was curious if any of the 2600 games I had long wanted were available for a reasonable price. So over the past 3 years I've filled in maybe 25 of the gaps in my 2600 collection, and as I said, I think I'm around the same place you are. So unfortunately, we'll probably be bidding on some of the same games...


After comparing to the list of 404 (not that I like to count them that way - to me same game from different company is a different game, and single and double enders are unique, etc.)... Looks like I'm at 352. I can see getting to 360 between a few that I really want and a few that wouldn't be stupid expensive, but 370 seems really far away.


I do know where I can probably get a Guardian for a reasonable price... A local store had one several years ago, before I was back in buying mode, and while I was pretty sure I didn't have it, it was expensive enough to not take that chance (I'm a cheapskate). I went back 2 weeks later hoping that it wasn't gone, but not only was it gone, the whole store was gone - they apparently packed up in the middle of the night and disappeared. After some misfires they reopened in a different location last summer, and they still had that Guardian for the same price. Of course, I had recently bought one from Ebay, so it didn't do me any good. I figure chances are good that it is still there now...

Edited by kingpong
Added some numbers nobody will care about
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  • 5 months later...

FYI, I just sold some extra Atari 2600 carts at Heroic Games in Minneapolis on Thursday (pretty much the only place in the Twin Cities that I know buys 2600 games), and some were pretty rare, including a few you don't have.  The owner is a great guy, knows 2600 collecting and offered me a fair price for selling to a dealer, and unless he keeps them for his own collection, you could head there and grab them, because if I remember correctly, you live there.  You haven't posted here in a while, so I don't know if you're still adding to your collection, or what he'll charge, but wanted to give you the heads up.

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  • 3 months later...

This was a really interesting read and also what you accomplished in a short time on a small budget is very impressive. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!


I remember reaching a point 10-15 years ago where it was so hard/expensive to add anything new to my collection that I contemplated selling it all and starting from scratch (didn't do it though!)

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1 hour ago, Keir said:


I remember reaching a point 10-15 years ago where it was so hard/expensive to add anything new to my collection that I contemplated selling it all and starting from scratch (didn't do it though!)

Pray tell why would you want to eliminate all items from a collection only to go out and buy them again? Just stick with what you got and build on it!

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3 minutes ago, Keatah said:

Pray tell why would you want to eliminate all items from a collection only to go out and buy them again? Just stick with what you got and build on it!

I missed the thrill of the hunt and the excitement of adding a new cart to my collection, and I didn't want to pay 100s of dollars for the ones I still needed.

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With all physical collections that's an inevitable condition as it moves into the future.


I found that with emulation, the initial results may not be as perfect as real hardware & carts, but the collecting and archiving aspect is far and long-lived. The thrill of the hunt is always there. Always something new to chase after. Always.

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On 10/18/2022 at 3:03 AM, Rom Hunter said:

Let's do a poll on how many years this will take you from now.

I'd say 10 (being optimistic).


Ha! Probably longer lol


I missed the last few updates due to my games being in storage containers and not properly displayed (had a lifetimes worth of stuff invade my basement when my Wife's parents went/rushed to a nursing home) I tried putting the games in my bedroom but with 3 cats, 2 kids and a wife that collects clothes like I collect games...it was a total disaster haha


I have a half dozen different ways to play these games so it was really all about the "hunt" and the "look" of them on my shelves. It was really nostalgic too since it's been a LONG time since I collected something this hard. Once all the games I needed cost $500 to $5000+ each and I had nowhere to display them I really lost the motivation to continue. I'll be "letting them bake" as @Keatah says.


I'm slowly reclaiming my "large closet" in the basement but have mainly just been picking up systems I haven't spent much (or any) time with over the years. Atari 8 bit computers, a Jaguar, a 5200, even got that Supergrafx I always wanted. I think for now I'll just set the room up with some classic systems/computers, a handful of flash carts/homebrews and a comfortable chair (and maybe a little fridge...)


It was a really fun ride though and with the help of Atariage (and a little work) I think we proved you can still build a sizeable collection of carts in todays times without spending your life savings lol. Thanks everyone for following, but yeah, any updates will probably be quite a ways out ;)



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Mmm yes.. Letting a collection bake and simmer in your psyche is an important component of collecting. Particularly if anything sentimental or nostalgic is involved.


When my most of my original hardware from the 70's and 80's got dismantled and scattered I tried to rebuild it just a few short years later in 1988-1989. But I failed hard. There were facets not in my favor. Times were pre-ebay, pre-atariage. General availability in stores was low and scattered across growing distances. No more clusters of department stores featuring videogames. 70's & 80's stuff was becoming passe'. Prices were creeping up to $40'ish per game. Thrift stores weren't helping unless it was contemporary sports and obscure platformer games - neither of which thrill me. Having to work part-time and attend school left little time to pursue videogames. So I gave up on it.


So the 1st attempt at rebuilding quickly became half-hearted. Perhaps it was good my expenditures never went beyond $1,000. 2 systems and a handful of carts for each. And I was done! It just wasn't gonna happen.


Then in the mid-90's emulation burst on the scene. A remarkable thing to play a variety of systems on one system, including arcades! Then ebay hit, allowing me to round out and solidify Apple II as my classic system of choice. Getting spare parts and the few unobtainables from when I was a kid was suddenly possible.


And I've been doing that ever since. Continuing on with Emulation & FPGA, while picking up the occasional Apple item. The past 25 years of ebay purchases have been spare parts and manuals and the odd piece of software here and there. Nothing major in the past 10. And in the past year or two, physical acquisition is essentially coming to a stop. I think my want list is down to less than 6 items by now, with no immediate plans on adding more.


When it comes to archiving and such I've got material to lest several lifetime's work at the scanner. Each completed scanjob is an acquisition to mine and everyone else's virtual stash.


Something like that!


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It's sad that it's ending. I started collecting for the system maybe 7 months ago now and I'm already in the 70 cartridges. Though, for my collection, I aim at having at least the game + it's manual, reading on anything else feels anachronistic to me, especially on a tablette 😂


Even collecting for games CIB is still affordable for most games, so a lot of the time, I just get it CIB as ebay sellers seems to think that having the game + it's manual = almost the price of it in box from what I find on ebay close to where I live.

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17 hours ago, sirlynxalot said:

Do you have a list of the doubles that you are selling? I'm not going for bulk, but my collection is 30 or 40 games so there are still some interesting looking common titles I'd like to get one of these days.

I sold any and all doubles while I was collecting them to pump the money back into the collection quest. I think most of it is documented throughout the 11 pages of text somewhere :)

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  • 3 months later...
On 1/8/2022 at 12:50 PM, Atari_Bill said:

I haven’t ever seen either that I recall.  Of course I haven’t been actively searching either.


On 1/8/2022 at 1:27 PM, Crazy Climber said:

Okay, that one I didn't know exsisted.... damn, another weird one to look for...


I guess you guys didn't see this one.  I'm sure glad that I did.  😉


There's currently a beveled case Gopher listed here if anyone is looking for that one.  Not in the greatest shape but it's a tough one to get ahold of.

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