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Label variant fight: Which one is your preferred label variant and why?

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Label variant fight: Which one is your preferred label variant and why? For Atari carts do you prefer the Text labels, Picture Labels, Silver Labels, Red Labels. Do you like the classic Activision labels or the later variants? Imagic text labels or picture labels. You get the picture.

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I prefer the picture labels, for both Atari & Imagic. Never cared for any of the Activision styles though I suppose the ones with screenshots represented a sort of truth-in-advertising.

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I really like the Sears variants. After that, I'd say the normal picture label.

I prefer the original picture variants, but avoid Sears variants if at all possible, I always look at them as the knock off variant as Atari was the source. I do have Steeplechase as Atari never released their own.

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I like them all! One of the most fun things about collecting for the Atari 2600 is the huge variety of label and cartridge shell designs. I think it's one of the system's biggest charms. :)

 

That said, I do like labels with artwork on them so I always go for games with a picture label whenever the option is available and my favorite cartridge shell design is Coleco's. I don't buy Sears releases since I've still got a grudge against Sears for screwing me over on an engagement ring (they said they'd ship it to me, the package never arrived, then they refused to give me a refund).

Edited by Jin
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I prefer the picture labels, for both Atari & Imagic. Never cared for any of the Activision styles though I suppose the ones with screenshots represented a sort of truth-in-advertising.

 

I also prefer the picture labels. In defense of Activision, their carts have the best design and stack well, they stand out with the bight colors with white text and they do show an accurate screenshot. What they also sometimes is have a brief mode list, giving the one advantage the text labels have over the picture labels. It makes those a nice balance between utilitarianism and aesthetic design.

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I don't buy Sears releases since I've still got a grudge against Sears for screwing me over on an engagement ring (they said they'd ship it to me, the package never arrived, then they refused to give me a refund).

Sorry to hear that, I avoid them because I see them as knock offs but you have a far more personal reason. Does that mean you won't collect sears exclusive games like steeplechase?

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Sorry to hear that, I avoid them because I see them as knock offs but you have a far more personal reason. Does that mean you won't collect sears exclusive games like steeplechase?

I'll still pick up a copy of Steeplechase if I ever stumble on one, just like I'd still get Miniature Golf even though it only got a text label release. I generally avoid Sears games when I can due to my aforementioned experiences with the company, but I'm not super strict about it. My current copy of Pac-Man is actually the Sears version since it came in a lot and I just haven't gotten around to replacing it with the Atari version yet, and I still play it. :)

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I always liked the early picture labels. I was pissed when they came out and I had a bunch of text labels. I redid many of my old carts with black marker, cutout pictures from the catalogs, and laminating tape when I was about 12 years old. It helped distinguish my carts from others. I had a "friend" who stole my shit regularly. I started cutting a 45 degree notch in my instruction manual corners and then he started doing the same when mine started to disappear. I then started cutting a square out of the corners. Kids suck. That one kid was such a thief and a liar.

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I always liked the early picture labels. I was pissed when they came out and I had a bunch of text labels. I redid many of my old carts with black marker, cutout pictures from the catalogs, and laminating tape when I was about 12 years old. It helped distinguish my carts from others. I had a "friend" who stole my shit regularly. I started cutting a 45 degree notch in my instruction manual corners and then he started doing the same when mine started to disappear. I then started cutting a square out of the corners. Kids suck. That one kid was such a thief and a liar.

That sucks, the only thing I can say in defense of the text labels are they normally have a mode list so you don't have to look them up in the manual I do prefer the pictures though. On your friend, what ever happened to that person, is that person in prison?

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I think Sega cartridges are the coolest. Pretty sure I only have Star Trek and Buck Rogers, but they're both fun spacey games that turn my crank, too.

 

Atari games? Silver please. With a color picture. The black and white 7800 labels are weak. Picture labels are nice, too.

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The text labels are my favorite Atari releases. Simple, clean and super retro looking. The early silver labels are my least favorite. They shrink the art down to a tiny little box that isn't even half of the label. I love the Sega and Tigervision carts. Some cool artwork and it fills the entire label. I like the simplicity of the arcade logo on a black background of the Coleco labels a lot too. (I mimicked that look for an early version of the Galactopus logo.) Most of the other label designs are pretty "meh."

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I like the original text labels and simple color variations among them. "Game Program" and a short summary/list of games seems to go together. and they seemed more durable unlike the later cheaper iterations.

 

I don't care for the red or silver variants. They all look the same. But there are some select picture labels I like, Asteroids, Defender, Missile Command. The full-size original picture labels were "elite" and "next generation" to us back in the day. So I would get only a few of them as long as I'd have their original text counterpart.

 

All other carts from other companies? I'm indifferent. They are what they are.

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Atari Text for convenience, Sears Picture for aesthetics, and AtariCorp for that WTH factor

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Atari: text labels, no contest. They lend an understated sophistication to the system and make the Video Computer System seem a little more...eh...computery. :P

 

I like all of the Atari/Sears variants, though. Sears picture labels and Atari Corp. red labels are high in the running. And I'm definitely into those bizarro Atari Corp. reprints that look like bootlegs. :-D

 

(Atari Corp. should really be treated as a separate label category. Not only was it a different company, after all, but there are distinct differences between Atari Inc. and Atari Corp. carts generally.)

 

I guess for Imagic I actually prefer text over pic--I like that clean silver look--but a few games were only available in one version or the other, so there's going to be some overlap anyway. Apollo, I can appreciate all the individualized labels they had early on, but the obsessive-compulsive in me thinks there's a lot to be said for the uniform blue style of their later ones as well (but again, some games were only one or the other). I suppose for M-Network I prefer the standard black/blue text labels over the generic white INTV Corp. ones. For Activision I prefer the originals, but the later blue ones are cool too.

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For the Atari, my label variants are all chosen as if I had been buying the games as soon as they came out. So the Launch 9 games are the text labels with the Dewey Decimal numbering. Then all the games that first appeared as text labels are collected in that form. Then the relatively small set of games that were first published as picture labels, then silver labels, then red labels are the ones that were only published as reds. With the red labels, if the game was first published by another vendor, then I do not collect the Atari version.

 

I do have some exceptions:

* Games that were renamed are in the collection twice (ie: text Championship Soccer and picture Pele Soccer)

* I have a few picture label games that survive from my original 1980s childhood collection. Those stay in the collection along with their earlier text counterparts.

 

For 3rd party, I'm only striving for completion with Activision, Coleco, and Imagic. I dont have any preference between Imagic text or picture, but with Activision its definitely original form versus the later boring blue labels.

 

No Sears.

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For the Atari, my label variants are all chosen as if I had been buying the games as soon as they came out. So the Launch 9 games are the text labels with the Dewey Decimal numbering. Then all the games that first appeared as text labels are collected in that form. Then the relatively small set of games that were first published as picture labels, then silver labels, then red labels are the ones that were only published as reds. With the red labels, if the game was first published by another vendor, then I do not collect the Atari version.

 

This is about what I do: the classic/representative titles of each Atari label type. If it came out as a text label and its a 70s style game with a blocky scoreboard then I'd prefer it as a text. For red labels I only am looking for original reds, not rereleases.

 

I do have some duplicates...I have the text and pic labels in rainbow order on the shelf so I'll go out of my way for unusual colors like purple.

Edited by CDS Games
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No Steeplehase or other Sears exclusives?

 

Meh. If one of the exclusives dropped in my lap I would not throw it away, but its not on my active wish list.

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Meh. If one of the exclusives dropped in my lap I would not throw it away, but its not on my active wish list.

 

There are only 3 so it shouldn't be enough to taint the collection. Steeplechase is also one of the rare 4 player games that can also be a party game.

Edited by redsteakraw
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I like the Sears versions, but mostly because that's the system version I had and still have. :love:

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Is there any way to tell with the older Atari games, whether the cartridge in the box will have a text label or a picture label from looking at the outside of an unopened box?

 

Dan

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I love the original Atari cover artwork, so picture for me. The later red ones I don't like that much, though.

 

Imagic: Text.

 

Absolutely lovely: all Parker Bros labels.

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I love the original Atari cover artwork, so picture for me. The later red ones I don't like that much, though.

 

Imagic: Text.

 

Absolutely lovely: all Parker Bros labels.

 

Imagic text is no more worse than Atari text in some cases. But yes the picture version are better. As for Parker Brothers they had far more consistency just you have to look for versions without the top part ripped off.

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I'm going to play opposites and say that the label variants that I like the *least* are the dark blue Activision ones. Those are just downright plain, ugly, and boring compared to almost every other design.

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