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Great new interview on O'Shea, Limited company

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pretty interesting read.......uh oh...they only have 1 million games left!!! better hurry :D

 

sorry if old

 

 

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Q&A: Atari Cartridges In Deep Caves - The Hidden Stash

 

Q&A: Atari Cartridges In Deep Caves - The Hidden Stash [in an offbeat interview, Gamasutra mines the mindset of O'Shea, Limited, which stashed 3 million sealed Atari cartridges in a cave back in 1990, and has been selling them ever since.]

 

A Missouri limestone cave is hardly the place you’d expect to find a towering tribute to the excesses of the Atari era, but that’s exactly what a liquidation company created there years ago.

 

When Atari ditched its stockpiles of unsold games in the early 1990s, O’Shea Ltd. was there to buy up some three million brand-new copies of Joust, Galaga, Tower Toppler, Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man, and other common titles for the Atari 2600 and 7800.

 

O’Shea chose an uncommon place to store them: 150 feet underground, in a warehouse built from the unused space of a limestone mine.

 

In the 20,000 square of storage space leased by O’Shea, stacks of sealed Atari games stand in testament to Atari’s past dominance of the video game market, and every title there is available for sale to the public (along with a few Jaguar games) through O’Shea’s website.

 

In an interview, O’Shea president Bill Houlehan (right) revealed just how the market for mint Atari games is doing today:

 

How did you come to buy these games in the first place? How did you find out that Atari was liquidating them?

 

We've been in the closeout business for many years and we were notified by Atari that they were selling everything off.

 

What really inspired you to grab all of the games? Was there heavy bidding for the unsold games?

 

In our business it is important that if you have an opportunity to purchase an entire inventory instead of just part of it, you purchase all of it. Otherwise you run the risk of having another company purchase the remaining inventory. Yes, there was heavy bidding for the games.

 

What year did you buy all of these games? What was the market for Atari games like in the early 1990s? Had Atari 2600 collecting really taken off at that point?

 

We bought the inventory in 1990, and we had a great deal of business from overseas. We were selling container-loads of games to a company called Intertoys based out of Holland. At the time we purchased the inventory, Atari collecting had not taken off. That really happened in the last few years.

 

What games are the best sellers? Why do you think they're popular?

 

Pole Position, Ms. Pac Man, and Dig Dug are our three best sellers, followed by Battlezone, Galaxian, and Hat Trick. I think these are the most popular because they are the video game classics.

 

So many of our customers say how they feel like a kid again when they get these games. Atari started the video game industry and they built themselves on games like Pole Position and Ms. Pac Man.

 

Do you find that most of the people who buy your games are simply going to open them and play them, or do you get a lot of business from collectors who want their sealed copies to stay that way?

 

We have numerous buyers who buy two of each game so that they can play one set of the games, and then they can put the other set of games aside as a collectible set.

 

Do you see the demand for Atari 2600 games increasing in the years to come, or do you think that nostalgia-driven collecting has already peaked in the generation that grew up with the system?

 

The generation that grew up with these games have children now and with the new Atari movie coming out with Leonardo DiCaprio, it is bringing back childhood memories around the Atari console.

 

Their kids have the Wii, but they were the generation of the original video gamers and many customers want to bring back a piece of their childhood with these games and also show their children what they grew up on.

 

You've been selling these games for some time now. You started with three million, correct? How many games are left? How many do you sell a year?

 

Yes, we purchased Atari's entire inventory of just over three million games and we have about one million left.

 

There is usually a very steady flow of purchases for the games, but since the announcement about the movie Atari, we have noticed a drastic spike in sales over the past few months.

 

How do you decide to raise the price on these games? I see that you've gone from $2 to $5 per game in the past few years.

 

The cost to store and maintain the games has considerably increased since we first purchased the inventory in the early 90's, and it got to a point where we had to increase the price a few years ago to maintain a reasonable profit.

Edited by revolutionika

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Yes, especially since if you buy 100 (like I did), they don't give any reduced price.

 

But, I have to say, the guy was very nice. Let me switch out PPII for Hat Trick at the last minute.

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I remember getting "The O'Shea collection" back in the mid 90's when I first started collecting again. You couldn't beat $0.99 a game NIB. $5 a game isn't bad, but it isn't that great either.

 

Tempest

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I remember ordering from them a couple of times when they were 80 cents each (the mid-90's were great for cheap gaming). I kind of forgot about them after they raised the price...

 

I happened across their site tonight and the Atari page says ***SOLD OUT!*** right at the start of the first paragraph. When was the last time anyone placed an order from them?

 

http://www.oshealtd.com/atari.htm

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I remember ordering from them a couple of times when they were 80 cents each (the mid-90's were great for cheap gaming). I kind of forgot about them after they raised the price...

 

I happened across their site tonight and the Atari page says ***SOLD OUT!*** right at the start of the first paragraph. When was the last time anyone placed an order from them?

 

http://www.oshealtd.com/atari.htm

 

I wonder what they did with their inventory. There are not enough buyers of Atari games to support 1,000,000+ carts. Hopefully they didn't destroy them.

 

Telegames told me years ago that they had 300,000-400,000 games in inventory. I figured that they never would be able to sell all of their games either.

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From what I've heard, they scrapped the last ones a few years ago.

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I remember ordering from them a couple of times when they were 80 cents each (the mid-90's were great for cheap gaming). I kind of forgot about them after they raised the price...

 

I happened across their site tonight and the Atari page says ***SOLD OUT!*** right at the start of the first paragraph. When was the last time anyone placed an order from them?

 

http://www.oshealtd.com/atari.htm

 

I wonder what they did with their inventory. There are not enough buyers of Atari games to support 1,000,000+ carts. Hopefully they didn't destroy them.

 

Telegames told me years ago that they had 300,000-400,000 games in inventory. I figured that they never would be able to sell all of their games either.

My understanding is that they sold most of the inventory to a company that was going to recover the scrap gold off the pcbs. :(

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From what I've heard, they scrapped the last ones a few years ago.

Yes. They were looking around for buyers in late 2009, I believe. That was when I picked up a few cases of their cartridges so they could be used as homebrew donors instead of being scrapped, and I'm sure others did, too. Last I heard, they had a few pieces of inventory left, but the bulk of it is now gone.

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I was considering buying from him a couple of months ago and found out he said he only had 25 games left. Yes, he said 25, not 25,000. So they're gone. More value to what's left though. I think my final purchase back in 1997 was over 600 games from him. Cost was under a buck each shipped. I still have a considerable amount of games left.

 

Phil

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I bought a bunch of 7800 games and a few 2600 games from O'Shea about 2 years ago. Unfortunately, I didn't know about them when the games were selling for $.80, but getting them for $3-$5 each, sealed in box was still a great deal.

 

Wouldn't it be nice if another huge cache turned up somewhere else? ;)

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I remember ordering from them a couple of times when they were 80 cents each (the mid-90's were great for cheap gaming). I kind of forgot about them after they raised the price...

 

I happened across their site tonight and the Atari page says ***SOLD OUT!*** right at the start of the first paragraph. When was the last time anyone placed an order from them?

 

http://www.oshealtd.com/atari.htm

 

I wonder what they did with their inventory. There are not enough buyers of Atari games to support 1,000,000+ carts. Hopefully they didn't destroy them.

 

Telegames told me years ago that they had 300,000-400,000 games in inventory. I figured that they never would be able to sell all of their games either.

 

 

O'Shea definitely sold all but 25,000 units for scrap. Those 25,000 are now gone too. Not sure if he scrapped those.

 

Whatever happened to the Telegames inventory.

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One thing for sure is that the O'Shea hoard had it's effect on the market. I have seen a lot of sealed examples of the titles they had at gaming expos, for $5 or even less. I just would have like to have a few that actually came out of the cave..... :D

Edited by Chuck D. Head

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Damn it sux all the games are gone I'd definitely buy a bunch of games since I only have around 4 CIB 2600 games! :(

 

It seems CIB games are WAY too expensive now.

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Not good news.

 

If anyone knows where I can get a bunch of 7800 Ballblazers for a few bucks each, let me know :)

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Damn it sux all the games are gone I'd definitely buy a bunch of games since I only have around 4 CIB 2600 games! :(

 

It seems CIB games are WAY too expensive now.

 

You have to buy in lots.

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With gold now around $1,700 one ounce, i wonder how much they would of made it they would of waited to scrap them now?

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I've might have bought a few of these games at the Dutch Intertoys Toys shop a few years back.

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I remember buying several games from them several years ago. I still have them sealed. I also got a few t-shirts before they were gone as well. I wonder what they are using the space for now.

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Whatever happened to the Telegames inventory.

 

IIRC, Telegames' warehouse was destroyed by a tornado. I think that led to Telegames announcing they were no longer supporting classic game systems.

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