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Philflound

When did you start collecting Atari 2600 and how?

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I've been game collecting in general for about 4 years, and while the 2600 has never been a priority of mine, I've picked up a few here and there on the right occasion. Lately I've been wanting to get a little more serious with my 2600 stack, I love coming across most anything usually that ranks a 4 and up on the rarity scale. Last year when I came across a small pile in an antique mall I actually stumbled upon a Waterworld for $3, and ever since I've had the hankering to start soaking up more Atari.

Edited by Warmsignal

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It's always a joy finding that R8 or rarer game for just a buck or two. The majority of my collection was had for $5 and under. But I had started when most people had no interest in it and Ebay wasn't really up and running, or maybe in its infancy. I do hate when people try and price according to Ebay, as they have pretty much no idea the amount of time and effort it takes to even acquire those prices, if you do actually get them.

 

As for new collectors for the 2600, I hear about it all the time. Many times collectors get into this particular system because of curiosity (hearing about it online or by friends), luck in finding a system with games in the wild for cheap, or they're looking for something new as was just mentioned.

 

The way the collecting bug usually works is that you get interested in one thing, collect it for awhile, and either peak the amount of items you are collecting only missing the really rare and/or expensive, or you get bored and move on to something else. I can say that most people who grew up with Atari will always have some sort of love for it.

 

Phil

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Interesting point...since I grew up with these systems, I really don't know what would compel someone today to seek out these games, lol!...I mean, they are fun and all but I would think that the only people who would find Atari cool are those who like video games on the whole, and can understand the 'genesis' so to speak...lol, kinda like how some people like old black and white movies or westerns, or other genres like that. Ultimately I think it's about making memories: if you don't really have any good times associated with your retro games, then you play em' once or twice until the novelty wears off and you go back to whatever you were playing before.

 

I guess we'll see: I don't really know many people collecting for Playstation (the first one) and that system has been out for quite some time. Almost like how you don't really hear about folks who collect old computer games (other thread)....it happens, but not to the degree where an entire website and forum is populated by enthusiasts. I could be wrong, though!

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Of course I grew up playing the 2600 in the 80s. My older brother had one back in '82, he had the woodgrain 6-switch. I got my very first own Atari 2600 in 1986,it was the Atari Jr. that was for under 50 bucks and I remember my brother giving me all his 2600 games for it. To this day I have no freakin' clue what happened to it. Might have given it away but not sure. All I remember was totally abandoning it once I got my first NES in early '87. Then I had a friend in the late 90s who gave me an Atari 2600 but unfortunately I left that one behind when I moved to a new place back in 2000.

 

Okay so it wasn't until 4 years ago in 2009 that I decided to start my own 2600 collection partly due to nostalgia and my own goal of collecting every console ever made. Back in March 2009 was when I started collecting for the 2600. I got a nice lot off Craigslist at the time that consisted of a boxed 4-switch woodgrain, boxed wireless joysticks, and like 30 games all for just a mere $28. It's been growing ever since!

Edited by lushgirl_80

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I believe I got back into it when I found this site 10 plus years ago. I have gone "off and on" about Atari 2600 for years, but now have a running collection (small, but I'm proud of it), and have transacted with numerous people around here about consoles, games, accessories, etc. Firmly in the Atari 2600 corner now, and I'm very happy that I've "grown up" a bit and stopped selling off my poor Atari stuff.

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Way back in 1984 I got what I consider my first collectable game, a boxed copy of slot machine, then a year later a friend of the families took my mom to an Atari store to buy x-mass gifts via her discount there.All the while I belonged to the Atari Age Club and bought all but one of the exclusive games from them.Then there was a ten year hiatus until I found E(vil)-bay and really started collecting.

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I started my collection when I received my Atari 2600 for Christmas in the early 80s. I asked for a 5200. In retrospect, I lucked out. I acquired many games and additional consoles along the way until just a few years back. While I no longer collect video games, I still pick up and play some of my older titles on occasion.

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I wanted VCS when I saw it at my uncle's house for Christmas 1977.

 

Finally talked my dad into buying me one for Christmas 1980, and never looked back.

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I haven't thought about this for a long time. I had an original Atari I got for Christmas in '80, and even after extreme amounts of begging I ended up with only about 12 carts by the time I was 14 in 1984. Fast forward to 1999, I dug out my old Atari from my parents basement and couldn't stop playing. My original 12 carts were Asteroids, Pac-Man, E.T, Keystone Kapers, Fishing Derby, Dragster, Kaboom, Combat, Space Invaders, Grand Prix, Laser Blast, and Defender. I was fortunate to have so many Activision games! All of those games are still some of my favorites since I had so few way back when, I even loved E.T. I discovered eBay in 2000 and AtariAge in 2002, and the rest is history. I now have about 600 or so carts (including homebrews) and still try to play for a while every week. My youngest son (age 10) plays with me sometimes, and he spent a great deal of time playing my latest batari basic project with me the last few weeks. He's been begging me to learn how to make his own game in bB! :)

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It was in the summer of 2000 for me. My family had just moved from LaGrange, GA back to the Rochester area. I was a pretty awkward 13-year-old at the time, and making friends was a little difficult. Anyway, perhaps because of this, in retrospect, I had a lot of opportunity to do extra chores around the house, for which my mom payed me more money than usual.

I was really into classic gaming even before then, and the Atari 2600, being such an iconic figure of video gaming's history, was just something I had to have. So after I had saved up some money, I bought a refurbished 4-switch woody and six games: Asteroids, Joust, Berzerk, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong Jr. and..... hm, I don't remember the last one. Anyway, my younger brother ended up having a lot of fun with it. There's probably a notebook somewhere in my parent's house that has our high scores written down from that summer.

I went nuts collecting after that, and made my poor dad drive me all over Rochester to different game stores and yard sales looking for every Atari game I could get my hands on. I joined AtariAge shortly thereafter (the next summer, actually), and I still own more games for the 'ol VCS than I do any other system.

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Hi this is my first post here in the 2600 forums.I just recently started to collect 2600 games it all started in 1994 with the atari Jaguar i collected for that system and absolutley loved it as time went by they went under and games became how do you say very exspensive.So with the new babies and all i no longer could afford to collect for the Jaguar and went on to cheaper systems sega saturn,Dreamcast mainly.So i put my Jaguar into a storage unit and time when on in 2002 i took a long needed break from collecting and went on raising my family and playing very seldomly.Around 2008 I took the Jaguar out and started collecting for it again i loved the thrill of the hunt finding those rare jaguar games having it out at auctions.Finally breaking down and buying the cd unit to the jaguar i found myself collecting the small but nice commercial list of games for the jaguar.Once i reached my collection peak with the Jaguar i was left feeling bored i didnt like the style of games on newer systems it seemed alot of the fun factor was lost in time as the xbox ps3 and wii came out just kept getting more annoyed by the lose of interest in games those systems had to offer.So when i joined atari age and jaguar sector 2 forums i found myself becomming interested in other atari systems so i got a 7800 being amazed at the games the system had to offer i found myself feeling the fun factor again as i started to buy more and more games for the 7800 i took advantage of its 2600 capatability and bought some games i remember from childhood like Battlezone,Gorph,and surrounded.In this moment i knew that the hunt was back on i love the thrill of finding my childhood games sitting back late at night while the kids are in bed and jammin some Gorph.Currently i am still collecting for the 7800 trying to get my quota in the games i am interested in.As for the 2600 i keep picking up more and more games double and triple what i do for the 7800 not to mention the 7800 dosent have a large library of games like the 2600 did to me i love the thrill of getting those games sitting back and reliving the joy i once had with them.To me i cant seem to fit in with todays gaming as many of us on these forums do we love the retro scene.Now i have just recently won a lot of 2600 games on ebay and i have a game called Tunnel Runner i played it tonight for the first time and was just amazed at how great that game was specially for its time of debut.That is one question i would like to know on the cartridge label it says Ram Plus i am asuming it has added ram to it.What is this for?Storage or graphics?In any event i am very very happy with it.So now im up to around a small collection of 40, 2600 games and 25, 7800 games not that many but a nice start and i am loving it ^^ .As for my Jaguar collection i still collect for it but the titles i am missing are those one's that are so elusive only time will tell if you get it or not.Well this is my story of how and when i started collecting 2600 games. :)

 

"Edited?" Not bloody likely.

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Sometimes I wish I had a huge "expendable income" to devote entirely to my Atari 2600. :( Unfortunately, I have to be very careful and wait (seems like ages) to buy games for it. Ah, if I was rich...

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I alway had about 60 games w manual but this year, for the first time, I came across about 25 2600 games in the wild CIB and all in great condition. I bought about 15 of them ... wish I would have got them all. But since then I have been actively seeking out 2600 games :)

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I finished my Atari childhood career (Christmas, 1980 - 1986 or so) with 153 games.

 

Fast forward to the fall of 2008. I was flipping through the channels and came across some documentary on IFC called "THE KING OF KONG." It was a fascinating movie that I'm sure many of you have seen. And it introduced me to a website called Twingalaxies.com. Intrigued, I checked it out. And I saw that in addition to arcade games, they also kept high score records of home video games - including the Atari 2600. Now I save everything, including my 1980's green notebook with all my personal high scores from my Atari and Nintendo games. And just for fun I compared my scores to the records. I was quite pleased to discover that a few of my scores were better than the records the website listed. A wave of Atari nostalgia then came over me. And the next thing I knew, I was hooking up my old Atari 2600 to the 60-inch projection TV in the living room.

 

I then discovered the Atariage website. And my 153 game collection (although a nice chunk) was about 265 games short (by my count) of what was actually out there. So I started buying games on Chasethechuckwagon.com and EBAY. A lot of the games I was able to acquire for a few dimes. Some of the rarer ones cost much more. But I was determined to get them all. In the end I had no choice but to get repros of the super-rare ones. Although an original River Patrol cost me $300.00. But in the end I got them all. And I also bought several homebrews from various sellers. I also bought a new system from someone here that had been refitted with an S-Video cord. That improved the picture quality to perfection. Does anyone here sell more of those? I'd like another.

 

After about a year of playing I boxed everything up again. But six months ago we made a "game room" in our house. And now every single game system we have is hooked up. And my Atari playing days are back again.

 

Life is good. :)

 

 

P.S. Does Twingalaxies list the high scores on their website anymore? I couldn't find the Atari listing anywhere. Or do they only list them in that book they're selling?

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I found my Grandparents Atari 2600 in there storage room about a year ago. They had 2 joysticks, AC Adaptor and like 8 games. I was curious, because I had never played one before. I plugged it in and it had a horrible connection, so I opened the system up and tightened the video/ audio wire and it worked fine. They bought the system back in 1981 and they let me have it. I've just bought more and more games since then.

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Had an Atari back in the late '70s & early '80s, of course. My video game attentions shifted to the Atari 800XL and Commodore 64 in the late '80s.

Only got started collecting in college in the early '90s after discussing classic gaming on the Internet (pre-WWW Internet :-) and bought a few used games by mail order...games I didn't have but had always wanted. Started to look for games at the odd flea market, garage sale, or thrift stores through the '90s. Best find was a NIB Swordquest Waterworld for about $5.

My collecting was only recently re-awakened after stumbling back onto eBay again...bought a few games in the last few weeks and will (maybe) finally enter my personal catalog of Atari cartridges into the computer, for easier searching. :-)

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I came to Atari later in it's life when my parents bought me a Jr. Prior to that I had been enjoying a relatives 4 swtich woody when I visited. Born in 76' so by the time I was ready for games I was probably 8 I guess and started out on Intellivision and remember playing Discs of Tron and Golf mainly. Then came the Atari Jr and I was hooked from there and games I can recall playing are H.E.R.O, Pac Man, Demon Attack, Road Runner, River Patrol.

 

Basically the A2600 got a big workout until I moved on to C64 and beyond. Fast forward to today and I am collecting video games. I used to collect for every system without really knowing why, if I saw something at a good price, at a yard sale, or something cool I bought it. I amassed a good collection of every main console, with games for each. Recently I started thinking, my collection is cool, but I never play them, and don't really care for them much. You see I was missing that link to my childhood. I think that is a real requirement for collecting a game system as it provides you that emotional link to the games and system. I already had a small collection of C64 and Amiga boxed games and when I looked at my shelved of those titles I knew each game, could recall playing it and was proud to own it.

 

So I have been selling off the consoles that possess no retro link for me personally, and am going to dedicate my collecting for a handful of systems that I mostly owned. Namely Atari, C64, Amiga and Genesis mostly because I have a good collection for that as is and it was the cart system I chose to keep as it is around the Amiga level of gaming which is about the sweet spot for retro gaming. Atari will always be special for me and that is what got me in to collecting for it.

 

The plan is to get one of each, A2600 Heavy, A2600 light sixer, 4 switch woody and vader, Jnr, Irish Jnr, Jr 128-1 Aus release, Short rainbow Jr, 7800, 5200, XEGS, and 2800 if I can find one. One of each main variant basically. I'm well on the way :-)

 

Step two of the plan is to collect a complete (maybe except Pitfall II) HES collection, then keep it going from there.

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Bought a 2600 Jr. with a couple of games on sort of a whim a few years back. Had been interested in it for awhile based on some online reviews of the games and because it had an extensive homebrew community.

 

For $20 I got Asteroids and I've never looked back.

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how did you start?

 

How? I took this thing called money, paid someone, and they gave me a 2600 game in return. It's a remarkably easy concept once you get the hang of it. I can teach you if you are interested, but only if you give me some money.

 

I think this is something you may regret, later, if you do it.

 

Or he might not. He might really enjoy the freedom. I haven't missed my loose Atari 2600 carts once in the last year.

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Warning: long post ahead!

 

Although I was born in 1985, I've always been interested in pre-Crash games, specifically "The Atari." When I was four or five years old, my parents got a Commodore 64 (which by that point was getting pretty long in the tooth), and I remember playing Blue Max, Ms. Pac-Man, Stealth, and Beach Head II; I don't know if that started everything, but it would explain a lot. Even when Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat were all the rage, I was playing more than my fair share of Galaga and Ms. Pac-Man, either on my NES at home or at the local arcade. I was fascinated by old books on computers in the school library (though they wouldn't have been much more than a decade old at the time), which often talked about computer/video games in some capacity. In junior high I read a [very poorly-researched, I now know] article in EGM talking about retro consoles; I was introduced to things like the Atari 5200 and 7800 ("there were THREE Atari systems?!"), Odyssey 2, Odyssey pongs, Colecovision (actually the DINA...incredibly, they used a DINA instead of a Colecovision for the photo), and Intellivision II.

 

From there, I really wanted to get some of that old stuff and check it out. It was like discovering long-lost treasure. Since the 2600 seemed to be the definitive classic gaming system, that's what I wanted most. I showed the article to a friend at school, and it turned out he had a couple of Odyssey 2s at his house (one belonged to an aunt at one time or something). We went over after school and dug it out and fired up UFO!, and it was love at first sight. I had to have it; not only was it great fun, it was old and funky, and it was "like" the Atari I coveted. Shortly thereafter, I traded him some then-current Playstation titles (the combined value of which, today, would probably be less than $30-35) for one of his Odysseys and about 10 or 12 of his 30 or 40 game cartridges. We played the hell out of the Odyssey and Playstation in equal measure.

 

A little while later (within a year, probably), a friend of my brother's turned out to have an Intellivision. I still wanted an Atari, but I was interested in anything old (hence the Odyssey). So I ended up buying his boxed Intellivision -a Sylvania, which I thought was weird because I read that they were made by Mattel- and about 15 CIB games for $40. (Side note: for quite a few years, it was my only Intellivision, and therefore, it was my "workhorse" system. Don't worry; the Sylvania has since been retired. ;))

 

A little while after THAT, I started to discover online retro gaming websites and stores, thanks to AOL. This was in 1999. I know this because I got my first real, honest-to-goodness Atari 2600 about two weeks before Christmas, 1999. I got it from a kid named Dade from Salt Lake City who I started IMing with (I have no idea how that started). But it didn't come with a power supply or any games. I got a power supply from Radio Shack, and a friend of mine brought over some 2600 games and a pair of paddles he had in a closet; I still have them. :-D I still remember wanting my first experience playing a real Atari to be "just right;" back in the day, people's first 2600 game probably would have been Combat, since it was the pack-in for a number of years...so Combat was the first game we played. And it didn't disappoint. Neither did Pac-Man (I don't remember having any prejudgements there; I don't think the whole "Pac-Man is the worst game of all time" thing had really gotten around yet).

 

And from there I started getting more games and more stuff for more systems. Things were so plentiful and cheap then...it was still just "old junk" to most people, and they just wanted to get rid of it. A trip to Goodwill was virtually guaranteed to yield a pile of Atari 2600 or Intellivision titles. But anyway, 13 years, 100+ systems and a thousand or two games later, here I am. And it all started with my quest for the Atari 2600. :)

 

Is it weird to be nostalgic about stuff that was 20 years old when I first got it? :-D

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My family never really had money for new systems, so my brother and I used to go with our father around to garage sales, flea markets, and look through classifieds for people selling old games. We grew up playing stuff about 5 years behind everyone else, but loved it. He came across an Atari woody version 2600 in a cool Atari display case with some awesome games, played it forever. Sadly, sold it, and then the date you see on my profile here is when I started it up again. Got back what I had, and then I got what I wanted. Now I play.

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I was an NES kid back in the day, always wanted an atari 2600

 

I went the other way. I was an Atari 2600 owner first, then collected the hell out of the NES for awhile.

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I've been enjoying the stories that everyone is sharing. I'm always happy to see how people began their collection. Whether they are vintage people like myself, who had an Atari as a child, and either kept it or reacquired it later in life. And then there are those who were not Atari age, and were introduced to it via friends or family or happened to stumble across it later on at a flea market or thrift store and was curious.

 

Many things from our childhood brings joyful memories. And when you see a vintage advertisement of a long lost toy, or actually stumble upon it on your travels at a flea market, thrift store, or antique store, you get that feeling inside of when you were small. It's a wonderful feeling.

 

Keep on sharing.

 

Phil

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Great stories so far.

 

My story's a bit unique. I never grew up with an Atari. I was born in 1980 but my family didn't have a lot of money and I didn't have much knowledge or interest in video games when I was really young. The very first video game I ever played was Pac-Man at the local mall when I was around 5... I probably lasted all of 30 seconds, stepped back from the cabinet and said, "Huh... so that's a video game."

 

It wasn't until Easter of '89 that I came downstairs to find an NES hooked up to our family TV. I believe a friend of my oldest sister was trying to sell it to raise money for a TurboGrafx-16 or something like that. At around the same time, and I don't remember why or how, but the same sister acquired a Sega Master System, so I spend a fair amount of time with both consoles, and thus a video game junkie was born.

 

Several years and several consoles later, I would be able to recognize myself as a "retro gamer." I had MAME installed on my PC, and around this time places like GameStop were liquidating their NES carts and I was stocking up. It was also around this time that I started picking up retro collections for the modern consoles at the time, particularly for the Game Boy/Game Boy Color. However, the big turning point for me was when I picked up Activision Classics for the original Playstation. All these games that I'd only heard of all of a sudden came alive for me and I was absolutely hooked. To this day, games like Pitfall!, Kaboom!, Seaquest, Spider Fighter and Enduro are still some of my all-time favorites.

 

Up until recently, I was still buying and playing retro collections, and despite its faults, I was really into the Game Room on the Xbox 360. It wasn't until a friend of mine, who's an avid collector and has everything from the Odyssey onward, was willing to just give me one of his 2600 consoles, that I experiened playing these games on the original hardware. As someone who had only played these games on modern consoles or emulated on Stella, I never realized how much I was missing out not getting the full experience. I now have my 2600 set up on a small tube TV in my office and my game collection, while humble, is constantly growing.

 

My wife supports my retro gaming habit (we're both nerds in love ;) ), but she plays more of the newer games than I do. She'll spend nights playing games like the new Tomb Raider until the sun comes up (she was also big into World of Warcraft back in the day), but I guess I'm the type of gamer that likes to play in small spurts, which is probably why the 2600 is such a great fit for me. Call it ADHD if you want, but with what little free time I have I like to have lots of variety.

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