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Schitti

Atari 2600/VCS Distributors worldwide

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I'm in the process of putting together a list of atari 2600/VCS distributors. Maybe you can contribute something.
Do not ask me for what I need it. :P Maybe just like that, or to integrate on the website someday. I always wanted to summarize it since a longer time.

Or is there already such a list somewhere?

 

i have some others in mind, but can not remember the names right now.

and i have to check some consoles and manuals at home too.

 

here is my compilation from the Lunch break (upgradeable)

 

Atari 2600 Distributors

Australia 1978
Futuretronics Australia Pty Ltd

Canada 1980
Irwin Electronics (Irwin Toy), Toronto

France
Wea-Records B.V., Hilversum(Netherlands)

Germany 1979
Unimex (Unicom Consumer Electronics GmbH), Wiesbaden

Ireland 1979
Quintin Flynn Ltd.

Italy
Melchioni

Japan
Epoch

New Zealand
Monaco Distributors Ltd, Auckland

Netherlands
Wea-Records B.V., Breda

Norway
Inter-Salg A/S, Nesbru

Spain
Audelec, Malaga

Sweden (Norway / Finland)
Cherry Hemelektronik AB, Sundbyberg
Algavision AB, Sundbyberg
AB Alga, Vittsjö

Turkey
Me-Ta Elektronik Endüstri


UK 1979
Ingersoll Electronics Ltd.

USA
Sears

Edited by Schitti
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If I may, under France : Hilversum is in the Netherlands, not France.

 

ok,

i will correct this. it is written on the backside of the french AND dutch atari manuals.

 

will look later at my french sceam console for more infos

Edited by Schitti

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Well maybe you're right and there was no france based distributor. Later releases in belgium (red boxes for example) had the english notice and 2 ugly ones on white paper, in french and in dutch. Could be the same distributor.

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Sounds like a daunting task. Dozens, if not hundreds of stores distributed the VCS/2600/Jr. BITD. Here are a few in Illinois that I remember besides Sears:

 

Camelot Music

Child World

Children's Palace

Circus World

Kay*Bee Toys

Suncoast Video

JC Penney

K-Mart

Montgomery Ward

Musicland

Sam Goody

Service Merchandise

Toys R Us

Venture

Woolco

Zayre

 

Some music and video stores such as Musicland, Sam Goody and Suncoast sold the Jr. model in the late 80's.

 

I also vaguely remember some hardware stores like ACE Hardware selling the VCS BITD.

 

I know I'm forgetting some, so may update later as I think of them.

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oh, that's a lot.
Had some of them also printed their own manuals?

each of the distributors i listed above had them

Edited by Schitti

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More USA stores that sold 2600 games:

 

Target

Toys-R-Us

Texaco

KB Toys

Longs

Lowes

 

The easier question is who didn't sell 2600 games, they seemed to be everywhere.

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Distributor != Reseller ;)

 

I guess in the USA, Atari was his own distributor ?

 

Probably true. Sears was its own special deal, but I'll bet Atari sold directly to the US resellers.

 

You know who I would ask for confirmation? Al Nilsen. He's given interviews about his time as a buyer for JC Penney during the Atari games. Unlike some of his peers, he played the games and took an interest in trying to choose things that would sell, and limiting their stock to only a certain number of titles. He seems like he had an interesting time of it, and has plenty to say. I'll bet if you asked him a simple, straightforward question he'd give you an answer.

 

Good interview with him here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/254144-interview-with-al-nilsen-mattel-marketing/

 

Let's not make lists of stores that resold Atari games, that's not the same thing. Drugstores and supermarkets carried them, too. The list would be nearly infinite, and not useful to the question about distribution.

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More USA stores that sold 2600 games:

 

Target

Toys-R-Us

Texaco

KB Toys

Longs

Lowes

 

The easier question is who didn't sell 2600 games, they seemed to be everywhere.

Games yes, but systems no... some grocery and drug stores like Eagle, Jewel/Osco (and probably Walgreens too come to think of it) sold games, but not the systems.

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can not edit first post

 

addition:

Brazil August 1983

Polyvox, (IGB Group)

Edited by Schitti

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I've been wanting to make a similar list! I'm glad to see you do it, Schitti. You should add:

 

Canada

Paragon Entertainment Products -- See my Twitter post about these manuals; I think they may have only been included with launch titles in Quebec.

 

Mexico

Gradiente Mexicana S.A. -- See this AA post for my research about how Gradiente relates to Polyvox/Brazil.

 

Edit to add:

 

Singapore

Hin Sing / Planetary Headquarters - See my Twitter thread for some details.

Edited by Ballblaɀer
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Distributor != Reseller ;)

 

I guess in the USA, Atari was his own distributor ?

 

Yes, makes sense - especially for native or domestic companies like Commodore and Atari who had their own warehouses.

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Had some of them also printed their own manuals?

 

 

Sears only did their own manuals, cart labels and boxes for their Tele-Games brand of systems and cartridges.

 

Then there was the Columbia House/Gemini Atari 2600 clone deal. Music club companies did produce their own media, labels, inserts, manuals and boxes, but am not sure if that was the case with Atari gear. Someone else might be able to confirm this or if the music club companies simply bought up stock from Atari and the third party companies? I'd be willing to bet that was the case.

 

And Telegames USA based in Texas (now UK), that produced their own carts, labels, boxes and manuals for certain licensed VCS games as well.

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Another that I just confirmed the existence of today:

 

Indonesia 1981 (October)

P.T. Multipolar Corporation (Jakarta)

 

There's some discussion in this (Indonesian) thread, and I recently found a cart for sale in Indonesia with a PT. Multipolar sticker on it. It seems like it didn't last for very long, as a quoted article states that a national video game ban was instituted in mid-December due to the typical moral panic. I suppose that probably put a damper on Atari Expo '81 in Ratu Plaza in Jakarta, if not completely ending it before it was over...

 

post-43608-0-48268400-1550420882_thumb.jpg post-43608-0-91944500-1550420890_thumb.jpg

 

post-43608-0-74343300-1550421211_thumb.jpg post-43608-0-43478800-1550421231_thumb.jpg

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I remember getting Atari VCS and tons of games from my all time fave store Woolworth store in NYC hers the photo of that same store I got from Pongs, VCS, Coleco, right up to NES, Sega my last time getting games was in the mid 90s and never got back before they close down all the stores

 

Woolworth's 14th St - NYC Union Square, October 1997.

 

 

I also found some old Newspaper ads that shows some Atari stuff.

post-5587-0-66184100-1550537841_thumb.jpg

post-5587-0-14020700-1550537862_thumb.jpg

post-5587-0-07639300-1550537868.png

post-5587-0-08618600-1550537875_thumb.png

post-5587-0-61490900-1550537886_thumb.png

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Minor necrobump to add another international licensed distributor:

Denmark

DanHope ⅍, Hadsund -- See my Twitter thread for photos; currently no additional details, otherwise.

 

If anyone has any other examples of Danish language manuals, please speak up! Also, I'm interested in trading/buying anything from Me-Ta Elektronik Endüstri... PM me if you have something available, please.

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In the post-communist countries with the fall of communism, Atari 2600 clones appeared, called Rambo, and were popular until the famiclons were released.I found some information about the official distribution.

Poland

The Atari distributor in Poland-Karen decided to release a clone called CA-160 through the California Access brand. Sold in Pewex stores in 1990-1991 did not gain much popularity. In 1992, the Atari distributor in Poland was JTT Computer which released the original Atari 2600.

Hungary

From 1991, Novotrade 2C was a distributor of Atari 2600.

Czech Republic and Slovakia

This article states that the console appeared in the late 1980s. https://sk.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_2600

Yugoslavia

In the 1980s, Mladinska Knjiga dealt with the distribution of Atari computers. I don't know if they also distributed consoles, but I found a 1988 article describing Atari 2600.

originalslika_Decje-Novine-980-Zarko-Lausevic-SIVI-DOM--178849353.thumb.jpg.54987f8165f194959fe6e66f732210af.jpg

 

 

Slovenia

Mladinska Knjiga was still an Atari distributor and released Jaguar. And again I do not know if they also sold Atari 2600.

Romania

In some consignment stores it was possible to buy games for Atari 2600. I do not know if also consoles.

USSR

In the Soviet Union, there were small clubs where it was possible to play the Atari 2600. Unfortunately, there were very, very few of them and most of the owners had consoles probably bought abroad, so in the USSR most likely these consoles were not distributed.

 

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