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Blazing Lazers

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  1. Amazon exclusive and it requires Prime for a pre-order? You just lost a sale, Konami.
  2. This is definitely the right place on the Internet for Studio II related inquiries! I've never seen one quite like what you describe above. I own several and they either work flawlessly or are totally dead. Most of the issues I've encountered are with bad power supply switches and adapters, very rarely the systems themselves. Out of curiosity, what's the Serial Number on the bottom of your system, and do you have any games for it?
  3. A boxed system and game lot recently appeared on Ebay that at first glance seemed unremarkable but upon closer inspection it became evident that I was looking at something truly special and which I had never previously seen: the Canadian RCA Studio II packaging box! I had heard from some of the other collectors that Radio Shack did market the system in Canada, but not a single photo or even any references were to be found online. So it was just another bit of collector lore until now. I didn't hesitate to buy it. It just arrived, from a seller based out of Arizona, who obtained it and copies of most of the games at an auction. I can only wonder at how a Canadian Studio II ended up in Arizona, but I'm sure glad it did, and for the sake of preservation I've uploaded photos of the (for now, unique) box. It is regrettable that there wasn't a system manual (the seller said they'll look), but that is balanced out by something else that's special about this particular system: the Serial Number is 182,254- the highest one yet found! So as of now this is the "youngest" Studio II, and it makes sense that it might have been unsold factory stock that Radio Shack bought and attempted to sell in Canada. The box and system Serials also match (!!!) AND there's a brief mention of some sort of RCA Distributor and Special Products Division presence in Canada. So I hope that this might open up a new front in the ongoing Studio II research and documentation effort, and that this new discovery and proof of the system being sold in Canada (note the store sticker on the side) can be added to all the various other online information sites.
  4. Every time I hear Goodwill and videogames I think of a collector/reseller I once knew who took a job at Goodwill entirely to poach incoming donations to pad his collection or to flip. I've always since figured that only a small portion of "the good stuff" that comes in to any particular store gets poached, most of what's left ends up on Shopgoodwill, and what doesn't go there doesn't last long when it does hit store shelves because professional flippers are always raiding their local thrift stores.
  5. Glad that I'm not the only one who thought that something was really off about this recent listing. To my immense surprise, I was the high bidder... TWICE. And still didn't win. When I first noticed the listing it was already over $400 with several days to go, but I still put a bid in. I was automatically outbid by whatever the max bid was at the time. I probably wasn't going to do a manual snipe, as I don't consider D2 to be part of the full set. It is something contemporary, but unlike D1 (which does count toward the full set) it was never made publicly available. Nobody could have bought it back in the day. So, I wasn't too upset about this possibly passing me by. I already have the full set CIB plus homebrews, I don't need this one. Plus, there's been a fair amount of copies turning up in recent years, including a real boxed one a year or two ago. There's about 6 or 7 copies floating around. A day later I recieved an email from Ebay notifying me that I was outbid-again. Apparently, at least one other bidder had their high bid cancelled. At the time I hoped that schoolgirl or happiest had been speculating and that somebody had alerted the seller and got them removed from contention. Then I got the same email the next day saying that once again I was outbid. Bids by somebody else had yet again been cancelled. I've never had this happen before on an auction, so now I was really leery of any further. I had a bad feeling about this listing. As much as I hate to say it, this cart could be a fake. The cart label scans are readily available online, and all it takes is a blank white box and a regular cart shell to complete a very accurate replica. I know, because I did so myself a while back when an undeniably genuine boxed D2 sold on Ebay to a worthy collector. It was the first time a box had turned up for this title. The backstory as provided by the seller seems plausible, but somehow strikes me as iffy. Everything that had previously been known (to my knowledge) had D2 as being a salesmans tool, possibly only for international sales and demos. More than one of the first found copies were supposedly found outside the US. It also doesn't seem too likely to me that the very least common vintage cart would only be found along with the absolute most common titles, and only some time after a known genuine boxed copy had surfaced. I do hope the other Channel F collectors will chime in, and reassure us all that nothing was really amiss with this listing and that all's well and there are now at least two surviving boxed Democart 2s. In the past I haven't been concerned with fakes for pre-Atari systems, but D2 would be an extremely easy one to fake, especially if it is listed as "untested" and dead Channel F carts are a known thing.
  6. I meant to post this update a while back but forgot about it until now. The Wired Controllers were indeed sold, via the 1994 Radio Shack Catalog (see attachment). Almost nobody must have purchased them, though- only two other collectors I know of have them, and I've only ever seen two listings for them on Ebay. I also have a third Wired Controller, still unopened, if anyone is interested in trading.
  7. Still looking. In the elapsed time since I first posted this thread this title and a few of the others I need have come up 4 times on Ebay, but as always they were in large lots. I probably should have just accepted the minor inconvenience. Oh well. But I'm tired of waiting. In order to get the last 5 VIS titles I need, I'm willing to trade a few of my own VIS rarities: 3x Wired Controllers (two loose, one still unopened) and a special networking/communications adapter that may be a prototype. Plus money. So if you have the following in at least complete condition, please let me know: America's Parks, American Vista, Time Almanac, Movie Guide 1993, and Americans in Space. I'm also willing to trade a Vectrex, some Nuon rarities (RCA DRC 480N player, controller, demo disc, others), and other things. And of course, lots of money.
  8. Do any of the lids have an Astrocade or Home Library Computer emblem? And, how many controllers do you have?
  9. True, and to really sort this mystery out once and for all we need more data, particularly regarding the Family Stores. I've been trying to find info on them for a while now, and most especially if they were ever open to the general public. Back in the day, my area had similar employee/government workers/commissaries/etc stores that people who were with family of the workers could visit and shop at. Tony Robbi told me that the Family Stores did carry the "full range" of RCA products, and probably had things that were exclusive or were only made in small amounts for these stores. Low print run CED discs come to mind. For now though, the search continues, particularly for newsletters and store flyers. I'm also considering the possibility that if some copies really were made at Swannanoa, then it can't be ruled out that some would have been shipped out to RCA dealers from the factory. There's also the possibility that both of the known copies originated from the factory, even though we know at least one copy was present at RCA back in the day. The facilities that RCA had "up North" were apparently not sufficient for making more than a few copies- anything greater than that had to have been made at the main factory in Swannanoa. All of the various manuals, boxes, labels, etc for the games were printed by outside contractors and shipped in to the plant were the game copies were assembled and packed up for shipping, and Bingo is easily the most complex game for the system in terms of included materials. I've had the thought for some time now that perhaps it was this complexity that may have led to a production delay or even outright cancellation, but still don't have anything solid. And even though now it does seem as though some copies were produced at the factory, little to none might have actually shipped out, but for now I'm keeping my mind open to all possibilities.
  10. Pretty much. The odds are still highly against any formal release, unless one considers the Family Stores. And even that isn't certain, just an evidence-based theory. But if this game can be found to have at least been made in Swannanoa it would at least provide evidence of at least one copy having been "sold" back in the day. We do know that employees were allowed to buy the systems and games at a discount, so even if it is the narrowest possible window of availability it still is a sale.
  11. This is literally game changing information in terms of what we know about Bingo. None of the Swannanoa folks I spoke with remembered anything about this one game (but then again, why would they?), it wasn't among the titles I received from the head of the plant, and all of the other evidence to include both known copies was solidly rooted in the South Jersey/Philly area. If it was at the main production factory in NC then there would have been much more copies made, and this very well could have seen a release somewhere beyond the Family Stores. This is huge, and there'll definitely be more on this. Awesome catch on this one!
  12. Awesomeness! I think if we can find more anecdotes like this from back in the day we can come to a fairly sure conclusion about the longstanding TV Bingo mystery! I think if they really had this treasure it would be a 5th copy, at least. The following is the registry, off the top of my head: Verified surviving copies: 1) Boxed and legendary PC2K1 copy originally found and owned by Dan in 2000 at the Circle 40 Flea Market outside of Philly and displayed at PC2K1, resurfaced in 2018 and sold for $4,000 and now owned by Blazing Lazers. Has a red cart holder, as was with the big-box Schoolhouse release. Missing the red marker chips. Cart in good shape, bingo cards in mint condition with original plastic baggie. Has 2 manuals, which are internal RCA photocopies. Original owner unknown but the presence of internal RCA photocopies suggests an RCA employee. 2) Complete copy (minus bingo card baggie) with blue cart holder originally owned by RCA employee Joseph Santone in NJ, placed up for auction on Ebay in 2016, sold to a very worthy and reputable collector for $3,500. Source of our US ROM dump. Confirmed copies, present status unknown: 3) Copy seen with full retail packaging back in the day by the game's programmer Andy Modla. 4) Copy/copies? with manual used to make photocopies found with the PC2K1 copy. Other probable copies, may or may not be from the above: 5) copy used for internal RCA testing and instruction manual completion. At least one TV Bingo cartridge copy is mentioned in a surviving RCA game manual compendium. 6) Likely Tom Keiser copy, found among the trashed belongings of a former RCA employee (or relative of one). A dozen Studio 2 titles were found in a Philly suburb, among them a boxed Demonstration. Only ten games with one Demo gives us high odds of the 12th game being a copy of TV Bingo. The entire lot was lost as a result of Hurricane Sandy. 7) This newly known of copy, found by Ubersaurus on a Twitter post mention. Copy may no longer exist. More to follow on this. As with the other known and possible copies, there's an association with a former RCA employee.
  13. So when this is done it will be Videocart 29?
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