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Atari Keychain Games from "Basic Fun": Stay Away!


110 replies to this topic

#26 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:33 PM

Excellent, being at the top of Google is probably the best one could hope for.

The rep from Basic Fun talking about an "engineer" (quotes theirs) is an ass, but entitled to his opinion. From his point of view, BF got the contract and brought the POS keychain to market, so I guess he's right in a way.

Whose idea was this weird plug-n-play, anyway? I'd like to see a product using a form factor like the cheesy Pelican VG Pocket over this any day.

#27 Jacob Rose OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:01 PM

True, but people are being ripped off, and I still think it's only right to do as much as possible to get the word out. Fortunately, nobody has to scour the AtariAge boards to be duly warned: if you do a Google search for the words atari keychain right now, this thread shows up at the top of the list. It's possible that those who don't even know about AtariAge can find their way here just by doing a little research.


I noticed the Google ranking earlier after reading their comments, wondering if they'd found the thread here. Did you also notice that the AA thread was showing up on Basic Fun's Google Finance page, too, under "Blogs?" It's gone now, though. I wonder if Google edits them per company request?

Edited by Jacob Rose, Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:03 PM.


#28 Jacob Rose OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:32 PM

Whose idea was this weird plug-n-play, anyway? I'd like to see a product using a form factor like the cheesy Pelican VG Pocket over this any day.


I think it's kind of a cool idea...you have this "nostalgic trinket" that looks too small to be functional, but it turns out to have a real (if FB2-equipped) 2600 inside. You can carry it around as a memento on a zipper-pull of your backpack* and if someone notices it and you get to talking with them, you can plug it in and play...

* requires serious durability

#29 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:53 PM

Maybe ... not my first choice for functionality, though. We still need a teeny tiny VCS with built-in LCD.

GBA Activision Anthology is great, but I want MORE.

#30 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:28 PM

Interesting....


Didn't finish it? It was done and delivered in Dec 05', they made numerous design changes, even to the point of changing the entire cpu design to their own CPU afterwards, and I still hung in there with them and gave them everthing they requested. Then in March I got an email saying its was a dead project and they weren't pursuing it any further and they disappeared.

What they don't know and perhaps now will if they are readin this forum - I am discussing this product with Atari legal, seems someone didn't realize that if this project was to be continued I was to be kept in the loop... no matter, they'll find out soon enough. Plus they never returned a development station which they now $$$ for according to the contract.

I'm not the one who started this thread and I only chimed in as the product is shoddy and since I was involved with it inception, I merely have pointed out this was NOT the way the product started out as, it was a much higher quality product and with far better quality games. Everyone else buying the units is making their own comments on their own, so their excuse about me has no merit to it all.


Curt

I wonder why they didn't make the battery holder look like a miniature 2600. The proportions would ahve been about right, and they could have had the reel for the cord fall behind a "woodgrain" flange in front. That would have been kewl. That, and quality production values...by the way, I wrote to the company and told them I'd been reading reviews of their product, and how sorry I was that I would not be buying one due to the durability issue, and proposing that they work on a "premium" version that would last. They wrote back with the following; I'm assuming that they're referring to Curt's team, which is mean-spirited and way off base, as evidenced by the FB2!


Hi Jacob,

You should buy one and judge for yourself. The negative comments are being made by an "engineer" that worked on the project, but could not finish it. He didn't have the know how to deliver what he promised. The Atari games were done directly with Atari, who not only approved the product, but is quite happy with the results. Do you think Atari would allow a product with their name and games to go to market if it was substandard?

Thanks for your comments on a "premium" product. It is out there - splurge and find out for yourself.

Basic Fun


If they're reading this forum, hi guys - I really do hope you make a high-quality version!

Jacob



#31 SteveW OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:01 PM

I'm guessing that Atari's finances are fairly dire, so they went with the NOAC design, cheaper quality build, and the higher $15-$20 pricepoint due to Atari's incompetent management not being able to make money with anything else they publish, and trying to squeeze out every single penny they can out of these things. And, let's face it, the Nintendo-on-a-chip is a beloved technology for Chinese pirate companies, so Chinese engineers can probably do more with that design than the unfamiliar technology inside a Flashback 2 that should have gone into the keychain joysticks.

Edited by SteveW, Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:02 PM.


#32 mstulir OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:11 PM

Didn't finish it? It was done and delivered in Dec 05', they made numerous design changes, even to the point of changing the entire cpu design to their own CPU afterwards, and I still hung in there with them and gave them everthing they requested. Then in March I got an email saying its was a dead project and they weren't pursuing it any further and they disappeared.


Like what Marty said earlier, I am also not at liberty to discuss the "keychain" device development specifics. However, I will echo what Marty said about the hard work Curt put in for this product before the carpet got pulled out from underneath him.

Curt and I were working on several different "Atari" licensed projects for Curt's company post-FB2. I remember the work Curt put into getting FB2 compatibility into these things and then he got broadsided with the CPU change. That was a phone call I will never forget.

Everything he says here is right, guys. If it were under Curt's control, this would have been a VERY different unit.

Personally, I will be keeping my head down now. Something tells me that sh!t is going to hit the fan.

#33 christianscott27 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:17 PM

best line...

Do you think Atari would allow a product with their name and games to go to market if it was substandard?


let us ponder...

#34 Shannon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:07 PM

Just another perfect example of why Atari is in so much financial debt right now.

#35 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:24 PM

Yes, their logic makes perfect sense. This "engineer" was able to design the Flashback 1, Flashback 2, and the core 2600-on-a-chip, but couldn't handle a couple of dinky plug and play key chains? It was just too complicated to make the same things he did before with less games. Right.

#36 jaybird3rd ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:48 PM

best line...

Do you think Atari would allow a product with their name and games to go to market if it was substandard?

let us ponder...

Heh ... I guess that explains Driver 3, doesn't it?

Just another perfect example of why Atari is in so much financial debt right now.

Personally, I'd say they deserve it. They're screwing Curt and his company, and they're screwing their customers, and "Atari" and "Basic Fun" deserve all the heat they've taken (and are going to take) over it.

It will be interesting to see how these developments play out.

#37 Shannon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:31 PM

Well I believe Atari also screwed over Chris Sawyer with the RCT franchise. Something about not giving him money that was due to him.

I don\'t have much faith in very many companies these days. They are more profit driven then quality driven. You would think after all the enron and dot com crap that went on that they would be wiser. But they aren\'t. Now they just bean count and audit the crap out of everything. Making them even less productive then they were.

Edited by Shannon, Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:33 PM.


#38 Jack Spencer Jr OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:55 PM

Do you think Atari would allow a product with their name and games to go to market if it was substandard?


Two letters: ET

I emailed the company, too. telling them that I like the idea, but talk of the shoddy quality coupled with the price point the unit sells for, I'm not going to be picking it it.

#39 eric_ruck OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:02 PM

For the record, prior to this thread I found and picked up the joystick with Yar/Centipede and the paddle from B&N (what they heck, I just got paid and I was there buying Retro Gamer). I'm as big a sucker as they make them. But anyway...

The joystick was DOA. The paddle worked by squeezing the battery case a little. So I can offer some feedback on the paddle.

1) I like the version of Warlords and Breakout, and I like the fact that you can access the various game options through the very minimal interface.

2) My six year old boys have been playing Warlords on it all week and it still works. So maybe the paddle is constructed better than the joystick.

Eric

#40 jaybird3rd ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:52 AM

I noticed the Google ranking earlier after reading their comments, wondering if they'd found the thread here. Did you also notice that the AA thread was showing up on Basic Fun's Google Finance page, too, under "Blogs?" It's gone now, though. I wonder if Google edits them per company request?

I just re-checked their Google Financial page, and it looks like this thread has returned:

http://finance.googl...e?q="Basic Fun"

:evil:

EDIT: Well, it was gone for a while, but now it's back again ... at the top of the list! Woohoo!

Edited by jaybird3rd, Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:31 PM.


#41 Jacob Rose OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:21 PM

Okay, I have a confession to make.

Edited by Jacob Rose, Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:04 PM.


#42 remowilliams OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:30 PM

Personally, I will be keeping my head down now. Something tells me that sh!t is going to hit the fan.

Well it certainly looks like it hit the keychain.

#43 Jess Ragan ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2006 6:15 PM

best line...

Do you think Atari would allow a product with their name and games to go to market if it was substandard?


let us ponder...


Even better, let's ask Marc Ecko!

Basic Fun may not know how to make enjoyable games, but they sure have a handle on spreading deceptive corporate BS and finding scapegoats to take the blame for their own incompetence. These guys missed their calling... they really ought to be working for Comcast or Verizon!

JR

#44 rockman_x_2002 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 6, 2006 12:31 AM


best line...

Do you think Atari would allow a product with their name and games to go to market if it was substandard?


let us ponder...


Even better, let's ask Marc Ecko!

Basic Fun may not know how to make enjoyable games, but they sure have a handle on spreading deceptive corporate BS and finding scapegoats to take the blame for their own incompetence. These guys missed their calling... they really ought to be working for Comcast or Verizon!

JR


I can hear you now. :P Right on the money.

#45 jaybird3rd ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:13 PM

Just a quick update: I stopped by my local Wal-Mart (in northeast Alabama) yesterday afternoon and visited the TV-games aisle for the first time since I started this thread. It doesn't look like the keychain games are selling at all: there seemed to be just as many sitting on the shelf as there were three weeks ago.

Meanwhile, there were only two FB2 consoles left in stock, and somebody walked off with one of them before I left.

#46 moycon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 12, 2006 1:25 AM

I saw these things at Wal-Mart a few days ago, glanced at the package and walked on after seeing the price. Even if they had been high quality I aint paying $15 to play two Atari games on a controller you know will give you hand cramps.

That response from Basic Fun explains a lot. I don't believe I ever had the pleasure of reading a bigger bunch of crap than what that dude tried to pass along....not unlike their products I guess.

#47 Jack Spencer Jr OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:01 PM

That response from Basic Fun explains a lot. I don't believe I ever had the pleasure of reading a bigger bunch of crap than what that dude tried to pass along....not unlike their products I guess.

Haven't read any Lucasfilm press releases, eh?

As for my email, Basic Fun still has not replied. I guess they're wise to us.

#48 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:36 PM

Chiming in... I thought the paddle controller keychain was kinda cute.

#49 jaybird3rd ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:24 AM

Interesting ... looks like their Google Finance page is gone ...

#50 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:05 AM

Its actually listed on Google as Basic Fun Inc. here is the correct link:

http://finance.googl...nce?cid=6505368



curt



Interesting ... looks like their Google Finance page is gone ...






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