Index of Updates!
4/15/15 - Initial post (see below)
4/16/15 - Pixelboy Games Arrive
5/7/15 - New games & Overlays
5/9/15 - Repro Boxes
5/23/15 - Some rare carts
6/1/15 - Clear case SGM
6/4/15 - Some NIB games
6/7/15 - Rey's awesome ADAM Power Supply
7/8/15 - Amazing collection of Repro Boxes
7/31/15 - New Homebrews & a ColecoVision Press Kit
8/8/15 - Opcode's Juno First
8/20/15 - Super Sketch
8/28/15 - Shovel Knight for the ColecoVision!
9/24/15 - Frenzy!
10/1/15 - The awesome F18a ColecoVision review!
10/6/15 - Boxxle & more from Pixelboy
10/8/15 - F18a + HDMI Converter Results #1
10/22/15 - F18a + HDMI Converter Results #2
1/28/16 - Pics of my stuff
2/5/16 - Donkey Kong & DKJR Arcade Flyers
2/11/16 - More arcade flyer scans
2/17/16 - My daughter loves the ADAM!
2/20/16 - Even more arcade flyers
2/23/16 - Coleco ADAM Zaxxon Box
2/29/16 - Yay! More Pixelboy!
3/11/16 - Mr. Do! "Alternate" Coleco Box
Why I got back into collecting ColecoVision...
…It’s all the Flashback’s fault! Seriously!
Growing up, the ColecoVision was always “my system.” It really was the video game machine that I grew up on and followed religiously. Sure, I had a 2600 before it and a C-64 and then an NES after it, but it was the system that would change a part of my life as an adult.
My “video game childhood” started out with the original Sears Tele-Games Pong which I received for Christmas in 1975, and then two years later Santa put a 2600 under the tree. I was only 7 at the time when the 2600 came out, and while I played it to death, I was still a bit too young to really appreciate games and how important they were about to become.
But then 1982 rolls around, I’m reading Electronic Games Magazine and news about the ColecoVision at CES is talked about and I was blown away. At this point in my life I was addicted to any stand-up game to hit the arcades but disappointed in the current home-version offerings. Seeing what the ColecoVision was going to bring home blew me away, and I had to get one!
The two childhood CV stories that I remember distinctly… First - I always knew where my parents hid my Christmas presents and one day after school I had discovered that they had bought the ColecoVision system, Expansion Module #1 and several games that were available. But it would be weeks before Christmas and I just couldn’t wait. Knowing the exact schedule of when my parents would be coming home and how much time I had between getting back from school, I would go and take the ColecoVision, and very carefully remove it all out of the box, hook it up to the TV, play it as long as I possibly could, and then with enough time to reverse the process, put it all back into the box EXACTLY as it was before and put it right back to where it was “hidden.” And of course I played off the “surprise” perfectly fine on Christmas day! To this day, my parents still have no idea I did this!
The second was when I had saved up all my allowance to buy Donkey Kong Jr. For whatever reason that game came out (at least where I lived) at a higher price than other ColecoVision games and while at the store wanting to buy it, my parents wouldn’t let me due to the higher price. Thankfully, my parents didn’t pay too close of attention, and one day I rode my bike down to Gemco (big box store in SoCal in the 80s) and happily used up my allowance to purchase the game. They never even noticed that I had bought it.
My collection of CV games as a kid included pretty much all the “common” games. I had all the arcade ports and many of the original games that came out up until the end, all the add-ons, controllers, etc. The only thing I never had growing up was Adam.
Fast forward through the next few years…
My gaming career went from ColecoVision to the Commodore 64 to NES/SNES, etc… But even through all those years, I had kept a ColecoVision plugged in, and it would always be a system I’d go back to.
I ended up working in the video games industry from 1989 - 2011, which is an entirely other story, but I got into the industry because I was a fan. During those first 10 or so years, I would go to flea markets and collect games. ColecoVision was always the system I looked out for the most. At one point I pretty much had collected just about everything that was out there at the time. I want to say I had really close to a complete collection of loose carts, most games CIB, and at this point I even had an Adam up and running. ColecoVision was still “my system.”
At this point, I was also collecting stand-up arcade machines, and when I was living on the east coast I had about 40 machines in my game room and probably another 50 or so PCB’s that I could plug into various machines. I spent a great deal of time restoring dedicated cabinet 80s arcade games. Here's a few pics of my "game room" (wish I had more and at better quality, but in those days, the smart phone didn't exist!)
In 2002 I took a job with Activision and had to move back to SoCal. At this point in my life, I had become jaded with the video games business based on a number of different things that had happened and I was totally disenchanted with the industry. It was no longer a “hobby” for me, but a “job.”
I sold everything I had. Didn’t even look back on it. Didn’t really care and moved to SoCal totally empty-handed as far as any retro games went.
For the first couple of years at Activision, I didn’t even look at retro games, even though I was working for the company that is one of the most iconic in the eyes of retro game fans.
One of my co-workers was selling off some of their old game machines, and one of the machines was a ColecoVision with a hand-full of games. I instantly flash backed to childhood and I just had to have it. I bought it, took it home, made sure it worked, loved it, but put it in a box, and there it would stay, for probably about another ten years.
In 2011 I finally got out of the video games business, focused on my theme park blog which I had been doing on the side for many years and moved to Orlando.
If I said I had totally gotten out of retro gaming over those years, that would be a lie. While I was no longer collecting physical hardware or game carts, I always had an emulator or two on my computer. And it almost always consisted of MAME, ColecoVision, and Atari. I would find myself going back to play my favorite ColecoVision games from time to time. When I worked for WayForward, I did have a Vectrex sitting on my desk with a Sean Kelly multi-game cart, but that was mostly for “show.” In fact, when I moved to Orlando, I gave it away.
Orlando was a total fresh start for me. No more video games career, time to shift gears, have a different focus, move forward and not look back. And things have been going very well since. Still have the emulators on my laptop and would play from time to time, but I had pretty much forgotten about games and anything retro. I had not given up on games entirely though. I always had whatever the latest Nintendo system was and a few games, but nothing really interested me to be fanatical. We’d play Mario Party with groups of friends, I was slightly addicted to Animal Crossing and always had a handful of NES Virtual Console games, but that was about it.
And then the ColecoVision Flashback system came out…
I thought “What a cool idea… so many of my favorites as a kid all in one place, and easy to hook up to the TV!” (I totally understood the licensing aspects of games so I knew some games couldn’t be included.)
Two things went through my mind while playing the system: 1. This just isn’t good enough, it didn’t *feel* right, and that right there sparked my interest in pulling the ColecoVision I had sitting in a box for ten years out and playing the real thing, and 2. WHAT ARE ALL THESE HOME-BREW GAMES!?!?!
When I had gotten out of collecting games around 2001, there really wasn’t any home-brew (that I was aware of) out there for the system. At least not to the level that I was seeing on the Flashback system. I did some research and I simply could not believe that people were STILL MAKING GAMES for my childhood system keeping it alive! And not just tinkering around, home-brew games that looked like someone punched in some code from Compute! magazine, legit boxed games of arcade ports and original content that was just as good if not better than the original games that came out for the system 30 years ago.
I had to do a double take… “People are STILL making games for a system that hasn’t seen a retail store shelf in 30 years???” This was something that I realized that I needed to be a part of! And all of a sudden, something I hadn’t felt in 20 years was back… I was once again a “fan” of games instead of it being a “job.”
As I played games like Circus Charlie, Buster Bros, and Girls Garden, I’ve just sat there thinking to myself “I honestly cannot believe I’m playing these games…on a COLECOVISION!!! WTF?!?!?”
I had known of sites like Digital Press and Atari Age, but hadn’t really paid attention to them. Doing some searching around, it seemed like Atari Age was *the* community for ColecoVision fans and I registered. Seeing just how much I needed to get caught up on, I spent hours and hours neglecting my own business to read up on hundreds of threads (and I’m still getting caught up!)
Through the help of many of the forum members I have now collected over 100 of the home-brews that have been produced over the years and have re-collected many of the loose released carts. I have been totally blown away by this community since I found it and I haven’t been this excited in anything game-related in years.
So that’s my story… my introduction, etc… And if you read this whole damn thing then I’m even MORE impressed with this community! Looking forward to getting more caught up on the past and what the future of the system has in store!
Thank you for reading!
Edited by TPR, Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:46 PM.