So, quick inventory of known and possible Bingo copies:
1) Dan's copy from right after PC2K1, per his old post here:
Post PhillyClassic Brag (Studio II)Other recipients:I'm sure I'll never have a better brag, so here it goes....... My small contribution to PhillyClassic was setting up my RCA Studio II was the demo cart. I owned (at the time) about half of the Studio II catalog, but only brought the demonstration
I'm sure I'll never have a better brag, so here it goes.......
My small contribution to PhillyClassic was setting up my RCA Studio II was the
demo cart. I owned (at the time) about half of the Studio II catalog, but
only brought the demonstration cart to the show. I figured that few people
had seen the demo cart and the games are no fun to play anyway.
After talking with hardcore collectors at the show who don't have some of my
items, I felt pretty fortunate. I was ecstatic after receiving a boxed cart
that I needed (see previous post).
.... fast forward to the drive home
I was passing the "Circle 40" indoor flea on the drive home. I hadn't been
inside it for a few years, but I had a little time before my wife was
expecting me home. The first item I spotted was a boxed Odyssey 300. No
price on it, but it had a real funky smell. Pass.
I spotted a Ms. PacMan upright. This is the first arcade game I'd seen in a
flea or thrift store. The price seemed right at $150 until I took a second
look--$1,500. Guess I missed a zero. I moved on.
I stopped to poke around in an open box with some portable phone stuff on
top. I thought I recognized a familiar looking item about the size of a deck
of cards. It was a Studio II cart. I poked around some more and realized the
boxed was packed with Studio II carts (all boxed complete) and a console
plus.......the TV/power box. Got the lot for $10.
But that's not the brag. I suspected that this might give me a complete
Studio II collection. When I got home I pulled out the DP guide and checked
them off: Baseball...needed that; Biorhythem...needed that,
BlackJack...needed that, Gunfighter/Monship Battle...needed that, Space
War...needed that, Tennis/Squash...I just got this one this morning, TV
Schoolhouse...don't need that, Fun with Numbers...don't need that,
Bingo...don't see that one in the guide. Then it slowly sinks in. I FOUND A
TITLE NOT LISTED IN THE GUIDE!!! WOHOO! Sure its no proto, but a dream of
mine none the less.
Turns out that I still need Speedway/Tag and the diagnostic cart to complete
my collection. Anyone have these for trade?
Which, seeing as the copy that just turned up was in the possession of a former RCA employee and does not include a Demonstration cartridge, would indicate two separate confirmed copies, which each have a different naming scheme of TV Casino Series/TV Casino II.
Now, there's hints of more, possibly. The entry on the old Digital Press Rarity Guide indicates that Bingo has only been seen a few times among collectors. What it doesn't specify is if all of those sightings are from PC2K1, or not. Someone else could have seen or found a copy back in the day. That's how the Tester I/"Diagnostic" and Demonstration cartridges came to be on the earliest versions of the old collection checklists, lists that seem to have originated with Dean Dierschow and Andrew Krieg around '96. I messaged both and never got responses, somebody had to have had those titles for them to have gotten added to all of the lists, and it may be the same case with Bingo.
I've also heard from a fellow collector (not a prominent one, nor one active online) that actually remembers a Studio II (along with other systems) as a kid back in the day that his grandparents had, and some sort of Bingo game on the TV being played when he and his Dad visited. Apparently it got lost or thrown out or donated long ago, but his folks there lived in South Jersey, too. I've heard anecdotal evidence from other longtime collectors, too- but the memory may just be confusing them with the PC2K1 showing or thinking of old checklists.
Another possible Bingo is Tom Keiser's trashfind in a Philly suburb of what he indicated were a dozen Studio II games among other RCA material being thrown out. Now, only 10 are confirmed games, and one was a Demonstration cartridge, which leaves it a strong chance of the other being a copy of Bingo. Sadly he couldn't remember what the exact titles were, and they seem to have subsequently lost in Hurricane Sandy
The one thing that all of these copies and theoretical copies have in common is that they were all around Philly/South Jersey, that is, right around where RCA was and where RCA employees lived. None anywhere else, nor any indication that it was mass produced at the Swannanoa, NC plant along with the other games, nor any indication whatsoever it was ever sold at retail. Every single indication points to it having been a few sort of pre-production samples that some employees kept or got to test out.