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Koopa64

Rarity/value of Sears Telegames Video Arcade console?

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Just wondering how much the Sears Telegames Video Arcade systems go for these days. Also how often they appear for sale (possibly here on AtariAge hopefully?). Thing is, if I'm gonna buy a real Atari 2600 (right now I have a 7800 and I hate the tight cart slot), I'm gonna go the distance and get a Sears version. I mean, my family has bought lots of things from Sears over the decades, it only seems right (or perhaps ironic) that I'd buy their variant of a popular game console.

 

sys_SearsVideoArcadeB.jpg

 

I suppose I'd settle for a 4-switcher, but a 6-switch would be pretty convenient too.

Edited by Koopa64

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Honestly, it makes no difference in terms of playability whether you get an Atari or a Sears. They were both made in the same factories and use the same carts and accessories. I recently got one of each of the heavy and light Sears 6 switchers to add to my collection only because I stopped collecting for a long time and had always ignored the Sears models so I needed examples of each for completeness. I do like the walnut front panel of the Sears units better than the one on the Atari's, but don't like the silver Tele-Games bezel on top.

 

They do appear to be coming up on ebay somewhat more frequently of late. I guess the recession is driving them out of people's closets and collections because they'd rather have the money for other things. Check the marketplace forum here, too. You can get ripped off on ebay if you aren't familiar with what things should sell for and most of the for sale ads I've seen here are better than most of the BIN prices there. I'm a cheap SOB when it comes to this stuff, though, so I never overpay. If someone outbids my best offer I shrug it off and move on to the next lot. I never engage in bidding wars, though I do sometimes snipe for something I really want. I just rode out a sweet deal for more than 4 days and snagged a nice system for the opening bid which was far below what the lot was worth, so it sometimes pays off to lowball. It also helps to keep your collection from growing so fast that you end up needing a bigger house (or a new spouse, they never seem to understand) if you allow yourself to be outbid most of the time. The good deals will come if you're patient.

 

Craigslist is also a good place to check, but more and more collectors and vintage game dealers are posting WANTED listings there and scooping up a lot of the best stuff. Craigslist sellers seem to be less sophisticated in many instances than ebay sellers and can't be bothered to look up rarities and prices. They just want the stuff gone as quickly as possible, which is why there's so many vultures circling Craigslist now.

 

Anyway, value depends on a lot of things. It depends if it's a bare system or whether it comes with lots of games and accessories, how rare the games and accessories are, whether it's a heavy or light model, but more than anything else it depends on how many bidders there are and how sophisticated they are. A bidder who knows a rare from a common can bid a listing sky high, people who just want a system with a few common games because they remember them from the past probably won't pay as much. Sellers who know the value of what they have also won't likely let it go too cheaply. They will set reserves, buy it nows or high opening bids to make sure they get the full value. It would be best to look in the marketplace here to get a sense of what you should be paying before diving in blindly on ebay. Most of the collectors here seem to be equally savvy as both buyers and sellers and know how to price things pretty accurately.

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Damn, you didn't need to write that huge wall of text just to tell me what the going price is of a Sears VCS... Thanks for going to all the trouble anyway.

 

I realize there is no difference between the Sears variants and the official Ataris, which is exactly why I wanted a Sears. If they are becoming easier to find, why not?

 

I'd rather buy a Sears off the AtariAge Marketplace, so far all my transactions have been really good. Nice selling community here. :) A Sears VCS isn't a priority at the moment, I just wanted to verify the market first. Right now I'm thinking of getting a real Sega Master System so I have a proper place to play all 18 of my SMS games. Also I'm currently waiting for some 2600 games to show up in the mail.

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I thought 2600 Jrs had bad switches. I'd prefer having an Atari that would last without needing to be fixed. I have a bad history of wrecking electronic hardware (simple software is no problem for me). I can't imagine Sixers/Woodys/Vaders would be much tighter than a 7800, otherwise I would have heard about people complaining about the overly tight 2600 cart slots, which I don't or ever had.

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I'm on a Atari fansite that has a huge community dedicated to the Atari 2600, yet I have never heard complaints about tight VCS cart slots. Even if it was mentioned before, it obviously doesn't come up very much if at all considering I've read lots of tight 7800 slots but none concerning the 2600.

 

Please point out what's wrong with this line of reasoning.

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Sorry if you thought my previous post was a bit verbose but you seemed new to the scene so I thought I'd just warn you of some of the pitfalls and give a few tips that might save you some money. Generally, like all collecting hobbies, this hobby requires a bit of research and education so you don't overspend on the things you want. That's all.

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Go the distance and get a Sears Video Arcade II!

 

I'd like one of those myself. I love the 7800-ish look of them.

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I'm on a Atari fansite that has a huge community dedicated to the Atari 2600, yet I have never heard complaints about tight VCS cart slots. Even if it was mentioned before, it obviously doesn't come up very much if at all considering I've read lots of tight 7800 slots but none concerning the 2600.

 

Please point out what's wrong with this line of reasoning.

 

I have an Atari light sixer. The cartridge slot on it is tight - although the main difference I've seen is that it's recessed/deeper into the console than my four toggles. Some carts go in fine, others are so tight they get scraped if I try to plug them in.

 

On the other hand, I've never noticed my 7800 to be tight, even with 2600 Imagic carts, which I've read aren't supposed to fit in at all but I've had no problems using on my 7800.

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It also helps to keep your collection from growing so fast that you end up needing a bigger house (or a new spouse, they never seem to understand) if you allow yourself to be outbid most of the time. The good deals will come if you're patient.

 

:lol:

 

Good one, though my spouse puts up with my collecting habits as long as it stays tucked away.

 

Anyway, to the original poster... I have a sears light sixer and a sunnydale heavy, and both play all of the games equally, and there isn't a tight fit issue. As far as value.... there were sears heavy sixers as well, and those are worth a bit more than any light sixer or four switch. So go that route if it has to be Sears. though it will have the same value as an Atari heavy sixer.

 

Of course CIB or NIB changes everything.

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I thought 2600 Jrs had bad switches.

The slide switches are fine, but the Select and Reset pushbuttons are poorly designed. If the plastic supporting them hasn't been broken by someone pressing too hard trying to get them to work, they can be modified to work much better:

 

First, disassemble the case (remove five screws, unclip three hooks near front edge) and carefully pull the printed mylar ribbon cable out of the socket. Set the case bottom with motherboard aside. Looking at the underside of the case top, inspect the plastic that the pushbuttons press against for any cracks or other damage, and repair if necessary (ABS plumbing cement works very well). Carefully pry the buttons out from the underside of the case top using a flat blade screwdriver or similar tool -- it should be obvious how they're held in place.

 

Now flip the case top over and inspect the pockets that held the buttons. You should be able to see that the printed ribbon circuit mylar which is folded over itself to form the button contacts, has small holes in it which fit over a tiny peg to hold the mylar in position. It isn't necessary to remove the mylar to perform this modification, but if the peg is broken off, you will need to provide another means to keep the mylar in the proper position. My case had its peg broken off, so I removed the mylar and put a small piece of double-sticky tape in the middle of each button pocket before threading the mylar back in place, being careful to make sure each contact circle was correctly positioned in its pocket before pressing it down. Avoid unecessary bending of the mylar, as these circuits are somewhat fragile.

 

Next, examine the bottom side of the plastic pushbuttons, and the insides of the pockets that they fit into. Notice that inside the pockets, at the two upper corners, are small protruding blocks of plastic which act as pivot points, forcing the buttons to press against the mylar at an angle. These are completely unnecessary and contribute greatly to the buttons' poor functioning. Since the pivots are hard to get at inside those pockets, the next best way to eliminate their effect is to remove plastic from the undersides of the buttons themselves. I used a combination of hacksaw, file and (sharp!) wood chisel to carve away the undersides of the upper corners of the buttons until the buttons will no longer be affected by the pivot blocks.

 

Another factor that contributes to the buttons' poor functioning is their hardness. Membrane keypads such as these work fairly well when pressed by a finger or similarly resilient object, but when pressed by a rigid object (against a rigid backing), contact tends to be made at only a tiny portion of the available area, which then wears rapidly and soon stops working. To duplicate the effect of a softer press, I stuck a circle cut from the self-adhesive vinyl which forms part of the backing that remains when removing self-stick "rubber bumpers" from their cards, onto the round stud on the underside of each button. You could also cut circles out of some 10 mil pipe-wrap tape or a few layers of electrical tape and stick those on to achieve the same effect.

 

Once your modifications are complete, check again to be sure the mylar is in the proper position, and snap the buttons back into place. Test press them to be sure the pivot blocks are no longer interfering with their movement. Make sure the slide switches on the motherboard and their corresponding sliders in the case top are all slid to matching positions. Line up the case halves and lift up the left side of the top, keeping the right edges of top and bottom close together, and reach in and carefully insert the mylar ribbon back into its socket. Close the case, fitting the sliders together properly and snapping the plastic hooks back into position. Reinstall the five screws.

 

Reconnect the console, test and admire your work. Now go play!

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Anyway, to the original poster... I have a sears light sixer and a sunnydale heavy, and both play all of the games equally, and there isn't a tight fit issue.

Atari Corp. games tend to have a really tight fit on six switch systems, my Sears Light Sixer included. You practically have to use a mallet in order to get those carts in sometimes.

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Just modify your 7800's slot. BTW, I've seen plenty of complaints about 2600 cart slots not fitting specific carts, many times on the 7800 forum when people bring up the 7800's own slot.

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They are quite rare I have a Sears Heavy sixer even though it is not in the best of shape it is still in very good condition for it's age and because it is a heavy sixer it is still worth more than a light sixer or a four switch woody would be in perfect condition.

 

f

Edited by gohmc

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