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Atari TANK II & Odyssey 5000 Pics!


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#1 pboland OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 4, 2007 9:43 PM

My wife and I use to have a website called www.vglist.com. Well, it is back up and running and while I was going through some old material to update the website I found some interesting pictures. I could not find these on the web. (that is not to say that they don't exist, but I could not find them) So, here you go:

Atari_TANK_II.jpg

Odyssey_5000.jpg

#2 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 4, 2007 10:46 PM

Neat stuff!

The Odyssey 5000 eventually became the Odyssey 2, is that correct?

It's kind of funny you posted a photo of Tank (well, Tank II), since I was actually just about to post a thread here asking for information about the Sears Tank console. Info on it is awfully scarce!

#3 pboland OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 5, 2007 11:09 AM

Neat stuff!

The Odyssey 5000 eventually became the Odyssey 2, is that correct?

It's kind of funny you posted a photo of Tank (well, Tank II), since I was actually just about to post a thread here asking for information about the Sears Tank console. Info on it is awfully scarce!


Yes, you are correct about the Odyssey 5000. I have read on several websites that the Odyssey 5000 became the Odyssey 2, but never found proof of this in a picture. I was very happy when I found this. I would love to have a color version, but I guess the black & white will do.

As for Tank II, I read on several websites that the Atari 2600 controllers were modeled after the Tank II's controls. Again, I never found proof of this in a picture, until now.

This is why I wanted to post the pictures, and I decided to post them here first as a way to give back to this great forum. I know it is not much, but it is the only unique thing that I could give to the community.

#4 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 5, 2007 6:02 PM

Its really interesting that the Odyssey2 would get its shape from the Odyssey 5000, this is the first time I've seen such a picture.


Curt

Neat stuff!

The Odyssey 5000 eventually became the Odyssey 2, is that correct?

It's kind of funny you posted a photo of Tank (well, Tank II), since I was actually just about to post a thread here asking for information about the Sears Tank console. Info on it is awfully scarce!


Yes, you are correct about the Odyssey 5000. I have read on several websites that the Odyssey 5000 became the Odyssey 2, but never found proof of this in a picture. I was very happy when I found this. I would love to have a color version, but I guess the black & white will do.

As for Tank II, I read on several websites that the Atari 2600 controllers were modeled after the Tank II's controls. Again, I never found proof of this in a picture, until now.

This is why I wanted to post the pictures, and I decided to post them here first as a way to give back to this great forum. I know it is not much, but it is the only unique thing that I could give to the community.



#5 pboland OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 6, 2007 3:40 PM

Its really interesting that the Odyssey2 would get its shape from the Odyssey 5000, this is the first time I've seen such a picture.


Curt


Well I had to put two & two together to figure out that this picture was the Odyssey 5000. Based on other website information that state the OD 5000 was a two or four player unit and the OD 2 design was base on the OD 5000 design (I took that to mean its shape). Knowing this, I found a set of three pictures in a Radio Electronics magazine. The three pictures had this caption:

"THREE GENERATIONS of the Magnavox Odyssey. Lack of programmability was a major drawback of those units-the first that could be played on a home TV set. The eventual introduction of the programmable videogames-such as the Odyssey2-solved that problem."

The first picture is the one I believe to be the Odyssey 5000, the second picture is a Odyssey 4000, and the third picture is an Odyssey 2000.

So, I guess I should say that I believe this to be the Odyssey 5000 since the caption doesn't state the models. However I am pretty confident this is the elusive Odyssey 5000. :)

#6 Warriorisabouttodie OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 6, 2007 5:34 PM

What excactly is an Atari tank? What is inside that box?

#7 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 6, 2007 9:53 PM

Here's a scan from the Sears 1977 Christmas Catalog (taken from eBay).

Sears Tank makes a rare(?) appearance. It's not Tank II, but still really cool.

You don't see those Speedway IV games too often, either.

Attached Thumbnails

  • searsxmas19773.jpg

Edited by BassGuitari, Thu Dec 6, 2007 9:55 PM.


#8 pboland OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 6, 2007 10:43 PM

Here's a scan from the Sears 1977 Christmas Catalog (taken from eBay).

Sears Tank makes a rare(?) appearance. It's not Tank II, but still really cool.

You don't see those Speedway IV games too often, either.


Something tells me that Sears Tank & Atari Tank II are the same thing (don't know for sure, just a guess). BTW that catalog is cool. :)

I don't have a Speedway IV, but how about just Speedway:
speedway_1.jpg
speedway_2.jpg

#9 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:46 AM

Here's another scan from the same catalog (again, taken from eBay...it's not mine), in case you're interested, although it's not really related to the topic. It's of the Telegames Video Arcade system. It is pretty cool though, because there doesn't seem to be much out there in the way of early, EARLY Atari catalogs/clippings.



Anyway, back to the topic, I noticed that the joysticks of the Sears Tank and Atari Tank II are different.

The joysticks in Sears Tank are, for all we know, identical to the ones that would appear with the Atari Video Computer System (I like calling it that, it sounds more technical and advanced :D ) and its Sears equivalent. The joysticks with the Atari Tank II console have round sticks instead of the familiar hexagonal shape, and the top half of the stick tapers outward. It sort of looks like the stick has an extra "grip" covering the top half of it, if that makes any sense. Incidentally, these strange "proto-joysticks" -or models very similar, at least- also appear in at least one very early Atari VCS ad. The rings around the joysticks are different though, and the Tank II sticks have an additional disc on their tops, with some kind of emblem on them.


Can anyone shed some light on this?

Attached Thumbnails

  • searsxmas197721.jpg
  • interview_bob_whitehead_5.png

Edited by BassGuitari, Fri Dec 7, 2007 12:48 AM.


#10 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 7, 2007 1:51 AM

Can anyone shed some light on this?



I think what's more interesting is, look at that power cord coming out from underneath the sixer. Besides looking like a traditional appliance cord, it being in the photo (and not removed) says it was hardwired then which would also state the sample unit in the picture had an internal power supply. It could also be the cord from the tv behind it, but it would be kind of odd to string the tv cord from behind the television around to the front and underneath the unit.

#11 pboland OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 7, 2007 8:54 AM

I think what's more interesting is, look at that power cord coming out from underneath the sixer. Besides looking like a traditional appliance cord, it being in the photo (and not removed) says it was hardwired then which would also state the sample unit in the picture had an internal power supply. It could also be the cord from the tv behind it, but it would be kind of odd to string the tv cord from behind the television around to the front and underneath the unit.


I agree. I wonder, there is a lot of space in the VCS. I even noticed that my heavy sixer has speaker locations molded into the case. If Atari originally planed to put speakers and a power supply in the VCS, would there be all that space under the hood? It seems to me that might take up all of the empty space in the VCS's case, and if that is the case, that would explain why the VCS is so large.

(maybe I am thinking too much about this? :( )

#12 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 7, 2007 10:37 AM

Just like the other dedicated consoles - Pong, Super Pong, video Pinball, etc... it is a dedicated chip to play a home version of Kee Games Tank II.

I have the actual mechanical drawings, the artwork and I think I have the chip plots as well. It was announced and built, but only a small handful of units ever went out, its a tough little bugger to find.



Curt

What excactly is an Atari tank? What is inside that box?



#13 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 7, 2007 7:30 PM

I agree. I wonder, there is a lot of space in the VCS. I even noticed that my heavy sixer has speaker locations molded into the case. If Atari originally planed to put speakers and a power supply in the VCS, would there be all that space under the hood?



Yes, they originally planned speakers (hence the speaker posts). AFAIK all heavy sixer's have them. I also have some weird transitory '78 models that have partial speaker posts and some other odd features.

The power supply though, I'd never heard of and this would be the first clue I've seen regarding that. I'll have to look in to it further.

#14 fsuinnc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 9, 2007 7:41 AM

Here's a scan from the Sears 1977 Christmas Catalog (taken from eBay).

Sears Tank makes a rare(?) appearance. It's not Tank II, but still really cool.

You don't see those Speedway IV games too often, either.


Was this Tank unit actually released and available? I have never seen one before. I remember trying to order the Stunt Cycle from Sears in 78 or 79 and it had been discontinued even though it was in the catalog that year, but the stand alone Atari Tank is a new one to me.

#15 biobern OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:33 AM

The II in Tank II probably just means the number of players. As it was for some other Atari games from the 70s like Sprint 1, Sprint 2 and Sprint 4.

So, it is very likely that Sears Tank and Atari Tank II is just the same. But we still don't know if such a tank game ever was released.

According to the 2016 book "Atari Art", it was just a prototype.

 

Bern



#16 bradhig1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:53 PM

I wonder if Tank II is what  became the VCS 2600?



#17 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:43 AM

But we still don't know if such a tank game ever was released.

Yes, we do; and it wasn't. ;)



#18 Swami OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:09 PM

Those Sears Christmas catalog pictures are a whiplash trip to some exciting times as a young kid looking through them to make up our Christmas lists. Actually, my primary memory was drooling over the Empire Strikes Back full Hoth compound set.




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