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How do you collect?

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Being new to 2600 collecting, I'm curious about the 'habits' of other people who have been doing it for a long time. Since collecting Atari is meant to be fun, I'm happy with what I'm doing and not asking for advice on how I should collect, but I am interested to know how others go about their collecting:

 

  • Label varients: Do you try to collect label varients for cartridges? I'm personally not going for variations, but where prices are similar I am trying to be consistent about which varient I have for each company (Such as picture varient insead of text varient for early Atari first party, and original Activision instead of Blue Label, etc.).
  • Selection: When you were still acquiring common titles, how did you decide what to get next? Since there are ways to play Atari Games without original carts you don't necessarily have to start out by getting favorites. It's possible to start with the cheapest, collect one company at a time, wait to find stuff in a thrift store, etc. etc. etc.

Thanks for the input!

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I collect only what I want to play, nothing more, nothing less (unless that game is too expensive). I try to nab manuals, but I'm overall not worried about it. I collect no cardboard and no cart variants.

 

I was thrifting/hitting up retro shops, but it seems the supply has dried up for the most part. The cheaper retro game stores have shut down now, and only the expensive ones remain. I mostly buy from forum members, however.

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I collect only what I want to play, nothing more, nothing less (unless that game is too expensive). I try to nab manuals, but I'm overall not worried about it. I collect no cardboard and no cart variants.

 

Same here. I have a few 2600 games I don't care for but only because they're games I've had since I was a kid.

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I tend to use the method WG: What god puts in front of me :)

 

Although recently seeing how many Imagic carts I have, I'm very close to complete a full set of Imagic carts for Atari 2600.

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I like to collect games and accessories that I wanted as a kid but never got, regardless of the company that made them. As far as first party cart variants go, I prefer Atari to Sears, probably because I had the Atari brand system. If I had the Sears brand, it would probably be the opposite. But I still made it a point to get the 3 games that were Sears exclusive-Steeplechase, Stellar Track, and Submarine Commander. Whether the labels are text or picture doesn't matter to me, as long as the main and end labels are both intact.

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I only collect what I want to play and I only collect CIB. Those restrictions keep the size of the collection manageable.

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I agree. Collect what you like, not for its possible future value. These things were made in the thousands, millions in some cases. They are not the Arc of the Covenant or some great painting by a master. Collecting (for anything) can get out of hand. Easier said than done, however.

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I pretty much only collect label variations if they are unique or interesting in some way "Raiders Lost Ark," but otherwise I stick to unique titles.

 

As for collecting, considering how few carts I see now and even 10 years ago, if I see something I don't have, its a purchase. If there is a wide selection I pick the game I remember fondly or long to play again first, then I pick games that look interesting or fun, but are new to me. Finally, I pick up the bottom feeders (Codebreaker, 3D Tic-Tac-Toe, etc.). Has served me well so far.

 

Good luck out there and happy collecting!

 

:spidey:

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I'm usually not too concerned with label variants either. I have a couple that I've picked up over the years, but for the most part, whatever version I find first is the version I have. I don't typically don't make a special effort to get boxes either, but I will pick up the manual if I can.

 

Lately I've been finishing up by publisher (just picked up Demolition Herby to finish off Telesys) and getting more into homebrews (I can spend 25 dollars on a rare but crappy game that I'll play once and stick in a drawer, or on a good homebrew that I'll actually enjoy playing). I'm lucky to live in an area with several good game expos, so that's where I do most of my buying now, but I'll occasionally get something from ebay or a local shop (last year I found Realsports Boxing at Goodwill, the first time I'd seen a game I didn't have a a thrift store in close to 10 years.)

 

When I started collecting, I just picked up whatever piqued my interest. I found a pawn shop that had huge bins of Atari games for a buck each, so every paycheck I'd go and get 10 or 20 games until all they had left were copies of Combat and Pac-Man.

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I wanted to collect one of every cartridge that was released back in the day. For the 18 or so that we're too costly, I had repros made. I personally didn't care about label variations. I just wanted the game.

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I used to collect everything I could carry, when prices were dirt cheap and nobody wanted the games, since I knew they were a good value and I could try games out and discover surprising fun.

 

These days, I have to think long and hard before I buy something because they cost real money, plus I'm mostly only missing the really rare stuff anyway.

 

I'm also now familiar with most games and most retro game libraries, so I'm starting to put those games I've decided I'll never want to play again aside...and it's turing out to be a whole lot of cartridges. and I pretty much have no interest in modern games PS2 era forward...

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I'm going for a complete "one of each" CIB collection of officially released games, i.e. no label or box variants, no pirate carts, no prototypes, etc. I started out buying game lots on Ebay, but once you have most of the common games they don't really make sense anymore. Now I buy almost exclusively from other members here, which has always been a great experience.

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I've been paring down my collection more then adding to it the past year or so. I used to be a "buy anything I don't own just to put it on a shelf and add a number to a column" kind of collector but that didn't suit me. Now my collection is much smaller and more enjoyable as I only buy and own games I'll actually play. I don't go out of my way to collect label variations but I have a couple of interesting ones for games I really enjoy.

 

As for what I get next or in what order, I used to actively go after the games that interested me the most but would fill out with other titles as I found them. Since I'm not actively collecting at the moment it's a moot point I guess but that's the way I used to approach it when I was.

 

Right now the only atari games I'm really after are homebrews

Edited by AtariLeaf
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I wanted to collect one of every cartridge that was released back in the day. For the 18 or so that we're too costly, I had repros made. I personally didn't care about label variations. I just wanted the game.

That's how I do it. If I've come close to finishing a certain company's list, then I will eventually collect those as well.

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I have about 500 2600 carts, I used to collect label variants but only major ones, I don't bother with ones of different year or other very minor label differences. I haven't actually bought any in a few years though. Mostly I just pick up homebrew games now.

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I used to try to get any game I needed for the 2600 and collect sealed new games. But I gave that up because I got bored with it. I haven't bought a game in over 2 years.

I spend most of my gaming time playing now.

 

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Living in Brazil, I grew up with many pirates/alternate cartridges.

 

So, the first thing I try to do is to get my 'original' collection back. It is very fun and difficult.

For instance, I'm yet to find the green "Microsoft" River Raid!

post-32348-0-90676100-1430230613_thumb.jpg

I'm also going for all M-Network and the "Intellivision" cartridges.

post-32348-0-20553200-1430231371_thumb.jpg

Beyond that, I buy some homebrew games. icon_smile.gif

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I've been collecting since the systems were new. I limit my collection to what I can obtain locally - thrift stores, garage sales, local classifieds, etc. I have never bought or sold games on eBay. If I find something that I don't have and it's cheap I will pick it up. I don't go after extremely rare titles that go for big bucks. (Although I have obtained a few rare carts for cheap from unknowing thrift stores.)

 

I don't worry too much about label variations. I collect boxes, manuals and sealed games when I can but don't consider them a must.

 

I guess my goal is to pick up titles that I don't have as cheaply as possible. I also generally limit my collecting to pre-NES systems. This prevents my collection from getting out of hand. While I have several post-NES systems and games I only collect if the carts are inexpensive.

Edited by awhite2600
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I haven't collected for a little while, but my goal usually is to get a complete in box game, usually no variants. Then I'll try to obtain a cartridge to actually play the game with, while leaving the box/game/manual intact for display. However, that didn't work out so well last time, as I bought a complete in box Stargate, didn't have a separate cart to play it, opened the (sealed) box, and played it. Oh well. It was worth it to open it and actually enjoy it.

 

If I'm going to collect "just carts", I try to make the labels as nice as possible for collecting. I have trouble with the Activision labels (as everyone else is) with the spotting over the ages.

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