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Random Terrain

Let's figure out when most people could buy VCS Superman

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There seems to have been a small run of Superman cartridges in December of 1978 to go with the movie premier:

 

retrothing.com/2013/06/its-an-8-bit-bird-its-a-blocky-plane-its-its-atari-2600-superman.html#comment-6a00d83452989a69e201bb08b2866d970d

 

But most people couldn't get their hands on it until sometime in 1979.

 

The gamasutra article below has many release date errors, but it also has release dates that are correct, so each release date needs to be triple checked. This is what it says about Superman:

 

www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3766/atari_the_golden_years__a_.php?print=1

"Superman was released in mid-1979, beating Adventure, which was released for Christmas that year."

 

Does anyone have any personal memories seeing the game in stores or receiving it for a birthday in June or July? Have you found any ads in newspapers or magazines that might give us a month in 1979?

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I doubt you'd see it in newspapers and magazines. Things like the annual Sears Wishbook were typeset months in advance and wouldn't have then level of specificity you want. Best bet would be shipping invoices from department stores, but it's been 40 years and I doubt anyone kept that kind of ephemera.

 

Superman for VCS is old, came out around the same time as Adventure, shares a graphical engine, has picture and text variants, and possibly a movie tie-in. That's enough detail for me!

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That Gamasutra article pulled its dates partially from copyright date info, which isn't always terribly accurate - I've seen Atari copyright dates well outside of when all other sources say a game came out.

Edited by ubersaurus
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We got ours Christmas of 1980.. yeah doesn't help you, but there you go.

 

Though now that I think about it, a neighborhood kid had Superman well before we even had an Atari.. I'll have to think on this.

 

He also had Adventure as well, but the next time I visited the kid, his father returned the game because there was no score or timer and thought it wasn't really a game..(idiot)

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According to the U.S. Copyright Office, "Superman" was published by Atari, Inc. on 6-01-1979. Interstingly, the manual isn't listed as "Published" until August.

 

post-30400-0-36387600-1503154426_thumb.png

 

post-30400-0-62559800-1503154434_thumb.png

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According to the U.S. Copyright Office, "Superman" was published by Atari, Inc. on 6-01-1979. Interstingly, the manual isn't listed as "Published" until August.

 

attachicon.gifSuperman_Copyright.PNG

 

attachicon.gifSuperman_Manual_Copyright.PNG

 

I'm gonna add - if Dunn did turn it into Atari as a finished game in late November '78 as he claims, it would take six weeks to two months to get mask roms made, never mind the issues with the holidays and such. I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest *IF* a handful of carts were made to coincide with the movie, they'd have been EPROMS in hand-built carts, without manuals, boxes, etc.

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According to the U.S. Copyright Office, "Superman" was published by Atari, Inc. on 6-01-1979. Interstingly, the manual isn't listed as "Published" until August.

 

The earliest box printing date at the web site below is 11/80:

 

videogamevariations.com/AtariCompanies/AtariGames/Superman/superman_boxes.htm

 

If anyone has a box that was printed in 1979, please post the box printing date that is usually on one of those little side flaps. Combined with the copyright info above, that should get us pretty darn close to the month.

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I got contacted by Scott Stilphen who sent me a photo of his flattened box with a tab flap date of 8/79. It is the special edition version 3 which I'll try and update sometime during the day when I get up. I've attached the photo.

 

Phil

post-1349-0-36764900-1503206571_thumb.jpg

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I initially thought I got mine for Christmas 1980...But after looking at my carts, (I got 5 games that year) and jarring my memory a bit; I'd say it was a little bit later, maybe for my birthday in January. I'm pretty sure this was the 8th or 9th Atari cart I ever got.

 

The tab says 7/79.

 

I had no idea these tabs even existed! Thanks Random Terrain!

 

vra2px.jpg

Edited by GoldLeader
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It is the Special Edition...Where would I look to find out what version?

 

I do notice a stamp on the other tab, it says REV 1 (twice) and below that is what I believe is a number 3...Is that what you are referring to?

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I initially thought I got mine for Christmas 1980...But after looking at my carts, (I got 5 games that year) and jarring my memory a bit; I'd say it was a little bit later, maybe for my birthday in January. I'm pretty sure this was the 8th or 9th Atari cart I ever got.

 

The tab says 7/79.

 

I had no idea these tabs even existed! Thanks Random Terrain!

 

Thanks. Every piece of the puzzle gets us closer to the release date.

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It is the Special Edition...Where would I look to find out what version?

 

I do notice a stamp on the other tab, it says REV 1 (twice) and below that is what I believe is a number 3...Is that what you are referring to?

http://www.videogamevariations.com/AtariCompanies/AtariGames/Superman/superman_boxes.htm

 

This is my site RT was referring to in the original post. Read the descriptions as I only show front and back of the boxes.

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Depending on dates, the earliest were the Bertco and Adpak, then Ivy Hill and Shorewood Packaging were used in the early 1980s. There were some other initials which probably represented companies such as "hop" and "AGI".

 

If you want better details, look at the various boxes I have examples of on the link below. I also put them in the order which I believe they were printed based on dates. If things go well, I may get some more info on these as Scott is trying to get me some data.

 

http://www.videogamevariations.com/AtariCompanies/AtariGames/GeneralAtari.htm

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http://www.videogamevariations.com/AtariCompanies/AtariGames/Superman/superman_boxes.htm

 

This is my site RT was referring to in the original post. Read the descriptions as I only show front and back of the boxes.

 

Thanks!

 

Yes mine is Special Edition Version 3. I didn't realize, over time, that there were so many box variants...Nice work!

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No help here, got mine w my Vader in 84. Of course used and sans instructions. Still liked flying around beating guys though, even with no clue what to actually do. Took till nearly 2k before I found what to do and finally beat it, thanks to the internet and ask anyone anything.

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Most people didn't even exist in the 70's and now billions of them can get it on eBay along with other online options. So, my answer is today.icon_mrgreen.gif

 

 

I gotta be honest...I started lightly laughing when I read this...and then slowly, as I re-read the Topic title one more time I began to laugh more and more...And louder :lolblue:

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I don't fully remember however one thing is certain.. it was one of the FIRST games I had for my Sears VCS (the others being Target Fun pack-in, and Space Invaders), and that was either the summer of 1979 or summer of 1980.

 

I never even heard of Adventure at all until much later in Junior high when my friends were raving about it.

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I don't fully remember however one thing is certain.. it was one of the FIRST games I had for my Sears VCS (the others being Target Fun pack-in, and Space Invaders), and that was either the summer of 1979 or summer of 1980.

 

I never even heard of Adventure at all until much later in Junior high when my friends were raving about it.

 

^ A lot of this is so much like my experience it's uncanny! After Combat and Space War, my next batch of 5 games was Air Sea Battle, Space Invaders, Flag Capture, Slot Machine, and Surround...And for some reason I was always getting Surround and Superman mixed up in my personal timeline, but I'm pretty sure it was Surround (in my Christmas gift where my sister bought me 5 Atari games) followed by Superman ..

 

Then I heard of Adventure later when I was in Junior High...And my friend raved about it :)

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That could just be a reference to Atari showing it off at the June CES show that year.

 

Offhand, I've seen an ad for the game indicating it was available from the October 19 Washington Post. I think I've come across ones from September too, but I'll have to check my notes.

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