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


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#101 StoneAgeGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:51 PM

FYI: These keychains are actually no longer being made, they haven't been made for awhile now. We just sold our last one we had in stock to a guy in Brazil about a month ago.

#102 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:45 AM

wow i cant belive youre actually giving them crap think about the fact that the chip that they fit into the keychain is so small the i was impressed they actually got it to work PLus the fact that have you ever made a product and got it to production and then sold it to wallmart I bet that would be harder than you thought ... <snip>

Just noticed that this thread got bumped after a year and a half; I had almost forgotten about it.

First of all, the "period" and "Enter" keys on your keyboard were put there for a reason. Punctuation and paragraph breaks are a good thing and would make your posts much easier to read.

Since the Basic Fun keychains are (thankfully) dead and gone outside of eBay, the discussion is moot anyway, but I couldn't help but notice the picture you posted of your paddle unit. From the looks of the on-screen user interface, that unit seems to be using the same software as the Jakks 13-in-1 paddle controller (or at least some derivative of that software), which is something I wasn't aware of before. I have praised the 13-in-1 in the past, and I still happen to think it's one of the best TV-game products ever made; I still own and play mine. Its accurate representation of the games is especially surprising given that the tiny NES chipset inside the unit is so different from the original platforms. I remain convinced (for reasons I describe in the review linked above) that Digital Eclipse somehow adapted the original game code for the new hardware, a very impressive accomplishment which represents the kind of ingenuity and expertise I've come to expect from them.

So yes, I am very impressed that these units are able to fit so much into such a tiny package, but remember that the hardware is nothing without quality software. Digital Eclipse showed how to do it the right way, but whoever did the bad rewrites in the Flashback 1 and Basic Fun Joystick units evidently didn't have the same level of skill, and that's the only reason those products didn't turn out nearly as well as the paddles did; it wasn't because of any limitations of the hardware at all. Charging top dollar for mediocre talent isn't my idea of a good deal, which is why I came down so hard on the joystick units. If the paddle keychains did in fact use the Digital Eclipse software, the people who bought them were a little less gypped than those who bought the joysticks; at least the paddles offered something playable. The original MSRP was way too high on both units, though, especially since they only came with two games when they could easily have included more. And no, I have never built a product and sold it to Wal-Mart. I've never made a movie, either, but that doesn't preclude me from calling Gigli a bad movie and being secure in my knowledge that it was bad.

I'm actually disappointed that the TV-game "fad" seems to have died off. In my opinion, inexpensive and simple dedicated consoles are the best way to introduce classic video games to new generations of players. It's a pity that most of the classic-themed systems we've seen to date (such as the Basic Fun keychains and the Intellivision handhelds) did not live up to the high standards established by the Jakks 13-in-1 and the Atari Flashback 2. If there is ever to be a TV-game revival, the next generation of consoles should learn from the mistakes (and successes) of the past. They should offer a more authentic experience and should not be completely closed systems, but should take full advantage of the very large and very cheap removable storage technologies available today, as well as the ease of Internet game distribution. I laid out some ideas for such a system in my Flashback 3 thread nearly three years ago. I still hope something like this comes to pass.

Edited by jaybird3rd, Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:39 AM.


#103 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:52 AM

Deleted; double-post.

Edited by jaybird3rd, Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:53 AM.


#104 [d2f]Iggy*SJB OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 2, 2009 6:41 PM

I bought a set of those mini's.... from a store called "Five Below".... I don't even remember what I paid for them, but it was mostly for the novelty of it. They are still in the packages, and only for show.

Edit: Wow... my 500th post. Far out!

Edited by [d2f]Iggy*SJB, Wed Dec 2, 2009 6:42 PM.


#105 GordoJones88 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:14 PM

I just got one of these at my used bookstore for $5 new still in it's package. I have a lot of other collectible mini key-chains like Lite-Brite, Etch-a-Sketch, and even Operation. I plugged it into my 1080p plasma (lol) and was pleasantly surprised it worked fine. I just ordered the paddle version because of the nostalgia these give me of my teenage years growing up playing the Atari 2600. These will sit proudly on the shelf next to my Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

#106 S1500 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:42 PM

I just wish they put more games, and not JUST the same games on these TV units. Do a search on this site for Atari-made 2600 games that don't have dumb licensing issues and there's plenty more to add.

#107 smashalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:25 PM

I found a Yars Revenge/Centipede keychain STILL for sale at a nearby Walmart while doing Christmas shopping on Sunday. The clearance price on this one remains $9. It appears to be the only one left. I thought about buying it then and there, but will probably pick it up after the holiday to mercifully get this last piece of product out of retail store circulation before some other sucker picks it up.

The keychain looks neat and I'll be satisfied if it plays at least a half-baked version of Centipede.

Edited by smashalley, Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:26 PM.


#108 awace OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:42 AM

I HATE emulated crap NOAC what the hell is that if it a nintendo on a chip then nintendo should sue atari for using NINTENDO on flashback as punishment for not using a pokey chip..for sound.

#109 bobotech OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:14 PM

I HATE emulated crap NOAC what the hell is that if it a nintendo on a chip then nintendo should sue atari for using NINTENDO on flashback as punishment for not using a pokey chip..for sound.

Actually if it was truly emulated, it would be good, the problem is that the NOAC is NOT emulation but rather recreations inspired by the original. They might play somewhat the same but you will still notice a strong difference if you are used to the original.

I hated my FB1 so I threw it away.

#110 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 1, 2011 5:24 AM

Wow, I want that one too, excellent collectable

#111 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 2, 2011 10:47 AM

I HATE emulated crap NOAC what the hell is that if it a nintendo on a chip then nintendo should sue atari for using NINTENDO on flashback as punishment for not using a pokey chip..for sound.

Actually if it was truly emulated, it would be good, the problem is that the NOAC is NOT emulation but rather recreations inspired by the original. They might play somewhat the same but you will still notice a strong difference if you are used to the original.

I hated my FB1 so I threw it away.


The games on the FB1 were ported code, modified to work on the NOAC.




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