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Collecting for the 2600+


Brad_from_the_80s

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Nice! That definitely looks like it would be fun.

 

What I'm most excited for with the 2600+ is the ability to play 7800 cartridges. Aside from emulation, I probably haven't played anything 7800 in at least 25 years. My family had the 5200 and the 7800, but the consoles bit the dust ages ago and I think the cartridges were probably disposed of at some point. These days, that sort of thing makes me sad, but back then it was probably a "cleaning out the house" kind of situation that I didn't think twice about. After all, who knew that Atari was going to release a new 2600 that plays both 2600 and 7800 games in 2023? I sure didn't.

 

Anyway, my first acquisition (more are on the way) since getting my 2600+ is a new in box copy of Tower Toppler:

 

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This was a lucky EBay find. This beauty was only $17.85 plus $6.15 shipping (USD.) I'm not an "in box" collector, I just buy cartridges that I like, but this was too good to pass up. The box is in very good shape, especially for being about 35 years old. I carefully cut the cellophane wrap so that I could open the box and get my cartridge and assorted goodies out. And, aside from looking good, Tower Toppler plays great on the 2600+. Luckily, it's not a game that requires 2 buttons, so it works great with the included CX40+ joystick. This brings back some happy childhood memories. 😁

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1 hour ago, Brad_from_the_80s said:

If you're collecting carts again or for the first time for the 2600+, rebuilding or replacing an old collection, why not share any interesting, unique or rare finds?  Or anything you were just pleased to buy.

 

Here's something fun I got recently:

 

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Oh, Snoopy is pretty cool, I love that game and even remember when I added it to my collection 🤙

Today I ordered Radar Lock and thanks to the 2600+ I don't care if it is PAL or NTSC 🤗

The game I bought right after I did my preorder was Robotron2084 (NTSC  only, didn't run on my PAL 7800)🕹🕹

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Edited by DEANJIMMY
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Yeah it's cool to get to experience 7800 for the first time really.  Some of the more common games are pretty easy to find sealed in box even, although that's not really my thing, and not always a bargain but sometimes not too bad.  And some other 7800s are getting uncommon or pricey.  I have a loose 7800 DK and got a new-in-box Joust that still had shrinkwrap but not completely intact.

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In anticipation of getting the 2600+, I bought four 7800 carts off eBay: Dig Dug, Ms Pacman, Pole Position 2, and Xevious.

I ordered Berzerk Enhanced with the 2600+ (great game with some noticeable improvements over the original).

I've also bought relatively cheaply three "new to me" 2600 carts off eBay: Beany Bopper, Moon Patrol, and Plaque Attack.

I also have some more used 2600 carts on the way that I've bought from eBay.

 

PS Thanks for ruining that label, 'Christy'...  😆

Screenshot 2023-12-09 3.22.57 PM.png

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While I was waiting for my Atari 2600+ to arrive, to start building my collection I ordered a bunch of Atari game cartridges I found listed on EBay (I just picked up loose cartridges for which games grabbed my interest and that also seemed low or reasonably priced). So now I currently have a couple dozen cartridges and several more are on the way. :)

 

Out of all the ones I have, so far the ones I find I'm enjoying more and spending more time playing are (see the picture included and excuse the light glare from the camera flash):

* Super Breakout (a great paddle-controller game),

* Enduro (A new-to-me 2600 driving / racing game that I've not played before getting my 2600+. I'm gradually getting better at it and I like it even better than Pitstop, which I have too).

* Missile Command (Included on the 10-in-1 cartridge that comes with the 2600+ console),

* Pitfall (A fantastic looking and fun to play game, though the alligator pits are a real bane ~ I'll hopefully get better at getting across them with more practice. The huge scorpions are a bit tricky to jump over too.
Overall I think Pitfall on the 2600 is a great game and an amazing game-development achievement considering the limitations of the 2600 console),

* Battlezone (A new-to-me 2600 game, though I've played other versions before. I'm gradually getting better at playing it. It's I think another great looking and playing game and amazing 2600 game-development achievement),

* Galaxian (A new-to-me 2600 game, though I've played other versions before. I'm finding it can be quite an addictive-to-play game and I enjoy it a lot. It looks, sounds and plays great.),

* Asteroids (One of my fav classic Atari 2600 games. I prefer the mode in which I can temporarily bring up shields. Once I get into the zone of playing this, I can go a long time non-stop playing it),

* and... Midnight Magic pinball (Another new-to-me game. A fantastic pinball game that I think looks, sounds and plays great. The ball-physics are rather good too I think for being a 2600 game. There's good replayability I find with this game too).

 

As I mentioned, I do have more games (some I like too though I may not find as replayable or as much interest to me, and then some I really don't like as much) and more are on the way, though so far these ones I mention are the ones I'm finding that I replay and enjoy the most from the games I have so far.

Cheers!

My_Atari_Games_01c.jpg

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I have been collecting for the original for over a decade now (my parents donated my original system and games years before). I am lucky to have many retro stores nearby and to have a wonderful wife who bought me my holy grail (Crazy Climber).

With the 2600+, I have started buying again (some would say I have gone crazy). I LOVE this hobby :P

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I've got a selection of more than 30 carts now, think I had 3 before my 2600+ arrived.  A lot of game sessions I'll go through Pac-Man/Ms. Pac-Man, 7800 DK, Pole Position, Haunted House, Missile Command, Beamrider, Asteroids, ESB, Q-bert, SeaQuest, River Raid, Stargate, the new Berzerk cart, and others.  I still have a couple "new" ones coming every week.

 

I thought this was interesting.  The game itself is historically significant but not that rare, but occasionally you don't just throw away the packing slip...

 

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10 hours ago, Hawkeye68 said:

I cringe every time I see one of those B&W labels.  Tramiel-era corner-cutting gone berserk.

I'll take those over the late 70s to early 80s Sears Tele-Games labels.

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I got these all in a random lot of 50 cartridges off of Ebay when the Retron 77 came out, because that was an easy way to start a collection. Since it was a random lot, sold as-is, I didn't even know what all I had until I opened the box and started doing an inventory. I didn't even realize at first that I had Asteroids, possibly my favorite game ever, because the top label had come off. I started looking at that "66 Tele-Games" cartridge better, trying to figure out what it was. Luckily, that one actually has the Trademark info on the front, so it says what game it is. The others don't, so if they didn't have their top labels, I'd have no idea they were. 3D Tic-Tac-Toe and Speedway II.

 

Then there are the "M Network" cartridges by Matel, which don't even have anything but a label up top with the name on them. If that comes off, you don't even have a clue:

 

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Luckily, I know this cartridge is Armored Ambush. How do I know this? Certainly not from putting it in and testing it out, as Atari 2600 games are known for not having title screens. The label actually came off and was in the bottom of the box when I took all of this stuff out to take a look at my collection and get a refresher on what worked and what didn't on my Retron 77 while I was waiting for my 2600+. These are also the games that don't even have box art in the Atari Vault collection. 🙄

 

I'm not saying they couldn't have done better than some B&W labels for some of the 7800 games, I'm just saying there are worse things.

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As a new collector of Atari I had an embarrassing moment where I was writing to an ebay seller to tell him that the copy of Missile Command he sold me was just an empty shell. I was just about to send the message when I decided to stick it in the console and I realized that some carts have a spring loaded cover and the PCB appeared like magic. 😂 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, YonderVittles said:

As a new collector of Atari I had an embarrassing moment where I was writing to an ebay seller to tell him that the copy of Missile Command he sold me was just an empty shell. I was just about to send the message when I decided to stick it in the console and I realized that some carts have a spring loaded cover and the PCB appeared like magic. 😂 

 

 

Haha, you gotta learn somehow.  Think this also confused somebody else around here.  Pretty cool design really.  After a few years even Atari relented and went with the basic approach of just the contacts and some guides sticking out of a plastic box like most 3rd parties did.  But really, the engineering on these things, considering it's just plastic and they usually still work so well and/or haven't just fallen apart after 40 years.  Kind of a future forward design that never really caught on much with subsequent cart-based consoles.  There was also a simpler version by the mid-80s where the cover was held by 2 springs and you could freely push it in to reveal the contacts.

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I was on holiday in my old hometown of Chicago in October and had been looking up places to get Atari carts in anticipation of getting my pre-order and man the Chicagoland area is a bloody goldmine of old carts for a lot of systems. I did get jacked at one shop compared to another where I was scoring Activision faves for as little as $2.

 

Recently I got a brand-new Star Raiders which appears to be the NTSC version from a seller in England off eBay. Considering it’s 40 years old I was stunned as there was no smell of old paper or anything. The main box wasn’t shrinked, but the touch pad had clearly not been used and the game box was sealed as they used to. Actually opening the game box felt wrong as there wasn’t really a clean way to do it, but opening it up and seeing not only the pristine Atari Force comic and the game catalogue was magic, like when I originally got the game at Hanukah when I was 12. Needless to say I was gutted to find the touch pad wasn’t recognised, but I’m hopeful the firmware update will sort that.

 

i also got Donkey Kong for the 7800 in box (used) with instructions, which is my second 7800 game - I got Joust in Chicago, which is an amazing port and will do me alongside MAME until Warners gets off their ass and shows some respect to the Atari Games/Willians/Midway legacy they control.

 

I’m currently waiting on my first PAL game, Wizard of Wor - another one I played a lot as a kid. Not sure if it’s new in box, but the implication is it’s complete.

 

I got some decent 3D printed cart cases off Etsy which I mounted on a wall and I note that there are folk on there selling printed reproduction 2600 boxes, but I don’t think I really need those, though I like the ones I’ve happened to find.

 

My collection is nearly complete, but now I have a reason to browse antique shops and I’m already contemplating another trip to Chicago since there’s stuff I overlooked last time 😁

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6 hours ago, scifidude79 said:

Then there are the "M Network" cartridges by Matel, which don't even have anything but a label up top with the name on them. If that comes off, you don't even have a clue:

I think some of the M-Network games are decent: as a 3rd-party publisher their games generally seem to be in the middle of the pack - but the shells are just awful!  Not only is there zero artwork and just the most minimal labels, but they can't be stacked at all!

 

Honestly I think if it weren't for 'Acti-plaque', Activision would be the nicest cartridges: unlike most other carts they have little grooves for stacking neatly, they have good artwork with a sample screenshot, they generally outline what the game settings are, and the end label is very easy to read.

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35 minutes ago, Sean_1970 said:

I got some decent 3D printed cart cases off Etsy which I mounted on a wall and I note that there are folk on there selling printed reproduction 2600 boxes, but I don’t think I really need those, though I like the ones I’ve happened to find.

Yeah I've seen reproduction boxes, manuals, even label stickers.  Unless a label is just missing or really torn up I like to keep the original.  It probably depends on storage conditions, but a lot of the Atari and Activision ones the adhesive clearly dried up into little specs, and then what was left of it reacted with and spotted the paper.  Probably kept in a hot attic or something.  Still, I like some of the age and the wear on these, it's as it should be.  Here's a perfectly good Pitfall that was probably played a lot.  The green has worn and faded away to brown along the edge.

 

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8 hours ago, Brad_from_the_80s said:

Haha, you gotta learn somehow.  Think this also confused somebody else around here.  Pretty cool design really.  After a few years even Atari relented and went with the basic approach of just the contacts and some guides sticking out of a plastic box like most 3rd parties did.  But really, the engineering on these things, considering it's just plastic and they usually still work so well and/or haven't just fallen apart after 40 years.  Kind of a future forward design that never really caught on much with subsequent cart-based consoles.  There was also a simpler version by the mid-80s where the cover was held by 2 springs and you could freely push it in to reveal the contacts.

It really is an impressive design! I was blown away when I realized what was going on. My previous 2600 experiences with real cartridges was at family members and I didn’t remember any having the dust cover. I’m really loving the 2600+ experience. I had gotten into playing 2600 games on my Analogue pocket but once the 2600+ was announced I knew I wanted one for the authentic controller and paddle

experience. 😃

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6 hours ago, ls650 said:

I think some of the M-Network games are decent: as a 3rd-party publisher their games generally seem to be in the middle of the pack - but the shells are just awful!  Not only is there zero artwork and just the most minimal labels, but they can't be stacked at all!

 

Honestly I think if it weren't for 'Acti-plaque', Activision would be the nicest cartridges: unlike most other carts they have little grooves for stacking neatly, they have good artwork with a sample screenshot, they generally outline what the game settings are, and the end label is very easy to read.

The M-Network carts don’t even sit in storage racks properly if they’re mounted. I guess they were trying to make them look similar to Intellivision carts?

 

Activision stacking is great, agreed 😁

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5 hours ago, Brad_from_the_80s said:

Yeah I've seen reproduction boxes, manuals, even label stickers.  Unless a label is just missing or really torn up I like to keep the original.  It probably depends on storage conditions, but a lot of the Atari and Activision ones the adhesive clearly dried up into little specs, and then what was left of it reacted with and spotted the paper.  Probably kept in a hot attic or something.  Still, I like some of the age and the wear on these, it's as it should be.  Here's a perfectly good Pitfall that was probably played a lot.  The green has worn and faded away to brown along the edge.

 

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Pretty sure my Pitfall looks similar. I didn’t buy any carts without labels. I had to get some double-sided tape for a couple Activision carts were the edge of the label had zero adhesive, but that’s it so far 🤞

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12 hours ago, YonderVittles said:

As a new collector of Atari I had an embarrassing moment where I was writing to an ebay seller to tell him that the copy of Missile Command he sold me was just an empty shell. I was just about to send the message when I decided to stick it in the console and I realized that some carts have a spring loaded cover and the PCB appeared like magic. 😂 

 

 

Don't feel bad. If you aren't used to something, it can be confusing.

 

The biggest issue I have with that design is cleaning them. It took me a while to realize how to get those open for some much needed Q-Tip action. I finally realized that I could stick a spudger into one of the little slots to release the mechanism and slide the plastic piece down. Though, once clean, they stay clean longer with the plastic piece.

 

8 hours ago, ls650 said:

I think some of the M-Network games are decent: as a 3rd-party publisher their games generally seem to be in the middle of the pack - but the shells are just awful!  Not only is there zero artwork and just the most minimal labels, but they can't be stacked at all!

 

Honestly I think if it weren't for 'Acti-plaque', Activision would be the nicest cartridges: unlike most other carts they have little grooves for stacking neatly, they have good artwork with a sample screenshot, they generally outline what the game settings are, and the end label is very easy to read.

Yeah, there are some decent ones for sure. In fact, Armored Ambush is basically Combat with more scenery. And who doesn't like Combat? I have a few other M Network games and they're not bad.

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On 12/9/2023 at 1:59 PM, DEANJIMMY said:

Oh, Snoopy is pretty cool, I love that game and even remember when I added it to my collection 🤙

Today I ordered Radar Lock and thanks to the 2600+ I don't care if it is PAL or NTSC 🤗

The game I bought right after I did my preorder was Robotron2084 (NTSC  only, didn't run on my PAL 7800)🕹

 

Radar Lock is hugely underrated. Nobody talks about it. It's basically Afterburner on the 2600 using the Solaris engine. Tough, fun, even has in flight refueling.

 

My theory is that it suffers from 'nobody read the manual' syndrome like so many of the more complex VCS games do. So nobody played it. Which is a shame, it's a great game.

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23 minutes ago, Lord Thag said:

Radar Lock is hugely underrated. Nobody talks about it. It's basically Afterburner on the 2600 using the Solaris engine. Tough, fun, even has in flight refueling.

 

My theory is that it suffers from 'nobody read the manual' syndrome like so many of the more complex VCS games do. So nobody played it. Which is a shame, it's a great game.

Think I'm gonna have to get that one.

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