Jump to content
Two-in-the-Belfry

The 2600 in the Sears 1977 Wishbook

Recommended Posts

I was 12 and went bed every night with the sears catalogue underneath my covers with a flashlight... dreaming... btw, look at those cart boxes...different

 

Love it! We'd do the same thing. And these catalogs were part of my mini-library. Not only was it fun to play under the covers but it was fun to make forts out of blankets and chairs and beanbags. And connect it (somehow) to the bed and bookcases.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another one.

I don't think Dad will win this one. Look how he's holding the joystick.

attachicon.gifSVA Ad.JPG

 

He could be playing the right player (for various valid reasons) :D There is a variation where you move your shooter left and right. And he could be thinking like a pilot where upstick is down and downstick is up.

 

Or maybe the joystick was mis-wired?

Or he re-wired it because his other thumb was sore from playing all these games?

Edited by Keatah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have too fond memories of browsing the games section in the Christmas catalogue, too, but Sears Canada sold the "generic" Atari version, rather than the Sears brand, so this model is not as common up here. Indeed, I have only ever encountered one example at a thrift shop -- though I do have a loose Target Fun cartridge.

 

I love that the Pong Sports cartridge includes a "built-in robot", and that Space War II is 3-D and gives "the appearance of flying THROUGH space". Heady stuff for 1977, that is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Love it! We'd do the same thing. And these catalogs were part of my mini-library. Not only was it fun to play under the covers but it was fun to make forts out of blankets and chairs and beanbags. And connect it (somehow) to the bed and bookcases.

 

Beanbags! I could really use a beanbag. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I was actually a little bit older so I could cherish this time period... alas, I was only 4.

 

Everything else I agree w/ on your statement excluding the Yankees. :-D

 

Lol! you either love 'em or hate 'em. Full disclosure, I grew up in the Bronx, so the Yankees will always be my #1 baseball team. Having said that, I've been living near Houston since '95, so I've adopted the Astros and proudly support them, except for when they play against the Yankees.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was 6 in 1977 and didn't hear about the VCS until Space Invaders came out years later. Then it was everywhere... the killer app.

 

My uncle got one and I would look through these catalogs constantly. This wasn't until 1980, though.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's hard to explain to younger people what an event getting these huge wish books was (including the JC Penney one). There was no Internet, let alone Amazon. Local stores only stocked so much. These catalogs were the way to see a wider selection of stuff you could dream about getting.

 

Plus, pics of women in lingerie!!! (Again, there was no Internet...)

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's hard to explain to younger people what an event getting these huge wish books was (including the JC Penney one). There was no Internet, let alone Amazon. Local stores only stocked so much. These catalogs were the way to see a wider selection of stuff you could dream about getting.

 

Plus, pics of women in lingerie!!! (Again, there was no Internet...)

 

Absolutely correct...

 

I also remember many of the catalogs sporting the "Sears Best" logo for the Atari.

 

One year, 1979 or so as I recall, one of the catalogs made the news, because someone at the printers used a pencil eraser to spell out an obscenity on the photo negative (it was on a curtain) that went to print in the catalog (I am not sure if it was a Sears or JCPennys catalog though). I recall after we saw the story on the news, I quickly looked it up in the catalog whereby my mom ripped that page out of the catalog and told me not to be telling my classmates and such about it. Pretty funny in hindsight.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very cool. I wish I could say this was before my time, but I was 10.

I remember playing Air-Sea Battle at Sears in probably 1978, 1979 at the very latest.

 

I was -3 :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still look at these catalogs online sometimes, mostly when I want to get a new toy off Ebay... those catalogs had all sorts of weird early electronic stuff.

 

But the thing I remember at the time, and it's still amazing when you look at these, is just how popular slot cars seemed to be. They always had like 3 pages of just slot cars. They were always the crappiest brands (like Tyco), but they made some giant sets. I do remember a couple of my friends had slot car sets and I got one myself one year (I think I used it like twice), so they must have been popular, but this is one toy category that seems to have fallen off the face of the planet. I mean except for real hobbyists, you just never hear about the entire category anymore. I'll bet if I said "slot cars" to an average person, they'd have no idea what I was even talking about.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Maybe it's the PAL version?

I saw a friend's father playing atari 2600 pacman with the background purple and the walls gray. Could that have been a pal version running on an NTSC tv?

 

Loved looking at the video game screenshots in the Sears catalogs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still look at these catalogs online sometimes, mostly when I want to get a new toy off Ebay... those catalogs had all sorts of weird early electronic stuff.

 

But the thing I remember at the time, and it's still amazing when you look at these, is just how popular slot cars seemed to be. They always had like 3 pages of just slot cars. They were always the crappiest brands (like Tyco), but they made some giant sets. I do remember a couple of my friends had slot car sets and I got one myself one year (I think I used it like twice), so they must have been popular, but this is one toy category that seems to have fallen off the face of the planet. I mean except for real hobbyists, you just never hear about the entire category anymore. I'll bet if I said "slot cars" to an average person, they'd have no idea what I was even talking about.

 

I had an AFX slot car race set. Came with the 'Flex' track. Hard to even find one of those now. :(

 

BTW, I was the one that looked at the slot car pages and dreamed of having all of the sets.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had "TCR Total Control Racing" where you could change lanes. However it didn't really work unless you were going close to full speed. If you weren't, it would stop halfway through a lane change. I remember I wanted that so damn bad. The commercials were powerful stuff.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still look at these catalogs online sometimes, mostly when I want to get a new toy off Ebay... those catalogs had all sorts of weird early electronic stuff.

 

But the thing I remember at the time, and it's still amazing when you look at these, is just how popular slot cars seemed to be. They always had like 3 pages of just slot cars. They were always the crappiest brands (like Tyco), but they made some giant sets. I do remember a couple of my friends had slot car sets and I got one myself one year (I think I used it like twice), so they must have been popular, but this is one toy category that seems to have fallen off the face of the planet. I mean except for real hobbyists, you just never hear about the entire category anymore. I'll bet if I said "slot cars" to an average person, they'd have no idea what I was even talking about.

Same could be said for model railroading. Huge in the '70s, and to a certain extent, the '80s as well.

 

I recall Toys R Us stores had a huge aisle devoted to train sets and slot cars.

 

I'm sure both of these hobbies are still going strong; they're are just not mainstream as they used to be.

 

*Why did you think Tyco was crap? I can't speak for slots, but I have many Tyco Train sets from the '70s still going strong to this day.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tyco was awesome. I know I had lots of huge sets. My favorite were the two chrome corvette cars that me and my brother raced for years as kids.

I am sure over the years different cars or tracks were crap but that goes for everything ever made.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved model trains. When I was in grammar school I had an HO set on a 4x8 plywood sheet that my dad put on a hinged assembly on a wall in my bedroom so it could fold up against the wall like a Murphy bed. It also had a hole in the center (covered by a mountain) so I could pop up in the center to reach areas of the layout that would otherwise be unreachable to a little kid.

 

Later on, I designed a layout I put in the garage, which could be drawn up to the ceiling using ropes and pulleys.

 

As an adult, I put together a layout in the basement. My wife and I had a lot of fun putting it together, from designing and building the table, to putting the layout down, to doing the scenery and assembling models. Great fun.

 

We did that from 2000-2002. At that time, there was a local model train/RC store and another store that carried all kinds of craft stuff (yarn, candle-making stuff, etc.) and also had a big model train section. Both stores are long gone.

 

And we haven't done anything with the train in years.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved model trains. When I was in grammar school I had an HO set on a 4x8 plywood sheet that my dad put on a hinged assembly on a wall in my bedroom so it could fold up against the wall like a Murphy bed. It also had a hole in the center (covered by a mountain) so I could pop up in the center to reach areas of the layout that would otherwise be unreachable to a little kid.

 

Later on, I designed a layout I put in the garage, which could be drawn up to the ceiling using ropes and pulleys.

 

As an adult, I put together a layout in the basement. My wife and I had a lot of fun putting it together, from designing and building the table, to putting the layout down, to doing the scenery and assembling models. Great fun.

 

We did that from 2000-2002. At that time, there was a local model train/RC store and another store that carried all kinds of craft stuff (yarn, candle-making stuff, etc.) and also had a big model train section. Both stores are long gone.

 

And we haven't done anything with the train in years.

 

Did you take any pics of the setup back then?

 

I occasionally set a simple layout (nothing too extravagant) maybe a couple times of year. Nothing brings me joy than watching a train spin around the rack endlessly. It's the perfect stress reducer. It's pretty neat having railroad engines and stock cars of companies past. Like Chessie System; Soo Line; Chicago North Western; Illinois Central Gulf to name a few.

 

The main problem with the hobby... it's just a space whore. I already collect arcade and pinball cabs which is enough a space eater.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Did you take any pics of the setup back then?

 

I occasionally set a simple layout (nothing too extravagant) maybe a couple times of year. Nothing brings me joy than watching a train spin around the rack endlessly. It's the perfect stress reducer. It's pretty neat having railroad engines and stock cars of companies past. Like Chessie System; Soo Line; Chicago North Western; Illinois Central Gulf to name a few.

 

The main problem with the hobby... it's just a space whore. I already collect arcade and pinball cabs which is enough a space eater.

 

Yup! The space is a tough issue. It's a rich man's hobby at heart, I think.

 

(There may be pictures of my layouts somewhere, but after all these years I wouldn't know where to find them. I wish we'd had digital pics back in the 70s!)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Why did you think Tyco was crap? I can't speak for slots, but I have many Tyco Train sets from the '70s still going strong to this day.

 

Well, a couple reasons.

 

1) I actually am also a model train hobbyist :) I've owned and run model trains since I was a kid, to this day. I've never had a big permanent layout because I move around too much, but I always own some pretty good trains. I started out with Athearn as a kid, then had some Marklin, then Walthers, now mostly Kato and Tomix. Right now I'm into Japanese stuff, which is great because they specialize in temporary layouts running N gauge (better for my small house) and are more interested in running the latest trains than in scenery and such.

 

Anyway, I have owned (and maybe still own) some of Tyco's engines and rolling stock. The engines always used cheap plastic motors with no flywheels - they didn't run smoothly. And they never looked quite right either. The rolling stock could be made to be ok with some work, but I always felt it wasn't really worth it.

 

Maybe something has changed - it's been a while since I've really been into American model trains, and I know some of the other less respected brands, like Bachmann, have pulled up their reputation over the years with things like their Spectrum series. So maybe Tyco has something similar now, but they didn't last I checked.

 

2) The slot car set I owned was a Tyco. A friend of mine had a much more expensive set; I don't remember who made it, but the quality difference was really obvious. It was the same deal as with trains. His set ran really smoothly and I remember his controllers were more like actual RC car controllers, whereas mine were just like little toy handguns with a trigger and that's it. His cars were also bigger than mine; like they'd occupy the full palm of your hand, whereas mine were like matchbox cars. You could basically only run my cars flat out, because they'd get really jerky and sometimes would even stop if you tried to lower the speed. But on my friend's set, you could run the cars at basically any speed, and the top speed seemed slightly more realistic (not like 1,000mph scale speed). Even his track just looked more like a real road.

 

I don't know if I ever used my set after that.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like most anything, there are different grades of quality. I always thought, as a kid, the frustration I had with Tyco and Aurora stuff was because I was retarded and slow. It seemed a major accomplishment to get them to go around the track just once without flying off at 1000mph or stalling at the furthest possible location from where I was sitting. Seemed to have a narrow range of speed that worked, and it was next to impossible for kid to hold the controller exactly so.

 

But one thing was cool, the smell of the overheating rheostats!! Wow!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...