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Help -- Is This an Atari 2600 Prototype for Crash Dive?


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#1 Chief Beef OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 29, 2017 11:25 PM

Hi guys,

 

I recently came into a collection of Atari 2600 games through a friend.  I was able to identify most of them, and their different label versions, but this one for Crash Dive is new to me, and research hasn't turned anything up.  So I figure if anyone in the world can tell me anything about this, it'll be someone on this site.  Unfortunately it's an incomplete label, but what's there is strange enough to have me curious as to whether or not it's some kind of prototype.

 

First things first: I tested it, and the game is definitely Crash Dive.  The cart type is also correct for a 20th Century Fox game.  So far so good.  Here's where things get weird though.  The top label has been mostly removed, but two things are obvious (please see the pics I uploaded):

 

1) The label is definitely not the one that came on the store-bought version of the game, and 

2) The part of the label still there clearly says "Fox Video Games, Inc" and "Games of the Century", and has been put on sideways.

 

My first thought was that this was a rental, and somehow the label came off and was replaced.  But for one thing, I don't think they rented Atari 2600 games.  And even if they did, if what's on there is a replacement label, it really doesn't look like one.  It looks like it prominently featured the production company (20th Century Fox) as opposed to the name of whatever store would have been renting it.  And of course, there's no game name on it, and the label is on sideways.

 

So the rental thing doesn't seem like a possibility, but then who would have replaced to original label with this one, which still has the company info on it?  It looks professionally printed to me.

 

As for the front label, that appears pretty clearly to be something someone printed out on an old label maker, so I don't think it's helpful, but I included a picture just in case.

 

 My friend had no idea where the individual games came from; his dad got some of them on his travels for him and his brother when they were kids, and it was really his brother who played them more anyway.  His dad and a couple of his older siblings work in programming, and do know some industry people, so I'm wondering if maybe this came to them through that connection.  Unfortunately they're not all around anymore.

 

Or maybe it's just a really weird, professional-looking replacement label someone printed for this old game in the mid-80s, and it's nothing at all.

 

So if anyone has any opinions or ideas, please let me know.  Thanks!

 

-AJ

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#2 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 7:14 AM

Looks like a review copy to me.

 

8)



#3 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 7:17 AM

Like Rom Hunter said, it looks like some sort of review copy.  That doesn't mean it's the same as the final though.   Does it play differently.



#4 Chief Beef OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 9:22 AM

Like Rom Hunter said, it looks like some sort of review copy.  That doesn't mean it's the same as the final though.   Does it play differently.

I'm not entirely sure if it plays the same or differently -- this is actually the first time I've ever come across Crash Dive, and I'm not an expert on these things, so I don't think I'd be able to tell much a difference from watching a game play video.  I'll try that, of course.

 

Speaking of not being an expert -- I don't really know what a review copy is.  Is in an in-house thing that companies put out to make sure the game is ready for release, or more like a salesman's sample they send to electronics sales stores, or something else entirely?  How does it differ from what you would call a prototype?

 

And is it special in any way?  Should I take steps to preserve it for rarity's or history's sake, or is it a common thing for this game/games in general?

 

Thanks for your advice, guys!  You've been a big help already.



#5 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 9:55 AM

Speaking of not being an expert -- I don't really know what a review copy is.  Is in an in-house thing that companies put out to make sure the game is ready for release, or more like a salesman's sample they send to electronics sales stores, or something else entirely?  How does it differ from what you would call a prototype?

 

And is it special in any way?  Should I take steps to preserve it for rarity's or history's sake, or is it a common thing for this game/games in general?

 

Yes.  Basically it is a complete or nearly complete version of the game that the company either gave to their testers to playtest or to magazines so they could write a review.  Usually they are the final versions, but sometimes they're late stage work in progress versions with some differences.

 

Yes it is special.  While review copies are more common than true WIP prototypes, they're still quite rare. Especially from smaller companies.



#6 Chief Beef OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 2:52 PM

Wow!  Thanks for the info!  Seems like we found a little treasure.

 

The question now is, what to do with it.  My personal collection is generally for use, but I don't like the idea of just chucking this one in with my regular carts now.  Or I could just display it, but it's not very "pretty".  Is there some kind of Atari museum interested in these?  Or I could sell it off, but how much relative value are we talking here?  I see ebay has plenty of "loaner" carts for sale, but no review copies.  Or are those the same thing?

 

Sorry for all the questions.  I've never found a rare game before, and it probably sounds silly, but I'd like to "do right" by it.



#7 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 3:05 PM

The price generally depends on if it's different than the final version or not.  



#8 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 3:30 PM

I see ebay has plenty of "loaner" carts for sale, but no review copies.  Or are those the same thing?

 

Loaner carts can contain a WIP version, review copies usually contain the final version.

I'm sure I've seen a Fox label like that before.

Have to look in my personal archive.

8)



#9 Chief Beef OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 3:49 PM

Atarimania!  Good site.

 

Thanks for the details guys!  



#10 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 3:51 PM

Atarimania!  Good site.

 

Thanks for the details guys!  

Check out Tempest's site:
http://www.atariprotos.com/

to learn more about protos and lab loaners.

8)



#11 Crimefighter OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 4:52 PM

Tempest hasn't reviewed Crash Dive.



#12 jhd OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 30, 2017 5:03 PM

My first thought was that this was a rental, and somehow the label came off and was replaced.  But for one thing, I don't think they rented Atari 2600 games.  And even if they did, if what's on there is a replacement label, it really doesn't look like one.  It looks like it prominently featured the production company (20th Century Fox) as opposed to the name of whatever store would have been renting it.  And of course, there's no game name on it, and the label is on sideways.

 

I have no opinion on whether or not this game is a prototype, but I can assure you that Atari 2600 games were available for rent back in the early-1980s. I have no idea how common the practice was, but the small video store near my elementary school rented games for at least a year. As best I can recall, the games had the original factory labels on them -- of course other places may have done things differently.  



#13 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 31, 2017 7:14 AM

Tempest hasn't reviewed Crash Dive.

 

Yet.  :)  

 

If we can get a dump of this proto then I'll be happy to review it.  The only real interesting thing I know about it is that it was originally called "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" as a movie tie-in that never happened for some reason or another.



#14 ianoid OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 31, 2017 7:25 AM

You should sell it. It's probably worth at least $1378.



#15 Chief Beef OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 31, 2017 10:19 AM

 

Yet.   :)

 

If we can get a dump of this proto then I'll be happy to review it.  The only real interesting thing I know about it is that it was originally called "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" as a movie tie-in that never happened for some reason or another.

 

Pretty sure I don't have the equipment to do that, unfortunately.  How would I go about getting it done?



#16 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 31, 2017 10:37 AM

 

Pretty sure I don't have the equipment to do that, unfortunately.  How would I go about getting it done?

You can contact some people here who would be happy to do it for you.  CPUWIZ for one.



#17 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 31, 2017 1:16 PM

You should sell it. It's probably worth at least $1378.

 

LOL

 

You can contact some people here who would be happy to do it for you.  CPUWIZ for one.

 

Not worth the time, I am pretty sure this is the final version.



#18 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 31, 2017 1:21 PM

 

Not worth the time, I am pretty sure this is the final version.

 

I'll take your word for it.  I really don't know much about later TCF lab loaners.






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