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How did you receive your first Atari "back in the day?"

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     Got mine for Christmas in '84, a Vader 2600.  It came from the local Toys-R-Us for $49.95.  This price was finally within the realm of my folks' reasonability range.  I didn't care that Atari consoles and games were on clearance tables many places, didn't care that technologically superior systems had been available for a couple years at that point.

     Didn't care.  I was so happy to finally have one that I played it morning 'till night the first week (was out of school for Christmas break.)  That first week I wore out and blistered my hands on Combat, Asteroids, Dodge 'Em, Pac-Man (of course), Pitfall, and Bermuda Triangle.  That Atari 2600, for me, was the equivalent of Ralphie's BB gun.

     I'm a hopeless nostalgia junkie, so if YOU'VE got a story, PLEASE share.

 

     Larry

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Pretty sure I got mine around 1980 for Christmas. It was a 4-switch woodgrain model. I remember the system came with Combat. When my parents bought it, they didn't realize that you had to buy games separately. They were thinking it was basically a Pong console. So, for several months afterwards my only game was Combat. Whenever my sister or a friend was available it wasn't too bad, otherwise it was pretty boring playing target practice. I think Space Invaders was my first game after that.

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My town had a thing called "Junk Day" where everyone put unwanted but not-completely-useless household items (chairs, tricycles, shoes, old TVs, encyclopedias) out by the curb. Anyone could take anything they wanted, otherwise it would all be collected and thrown in the dump I guess. Us kids would wander around town and grab anything that caught our eye. Wearing lampshades on our heads, battling with old brooms, etc. Pretty fun times.

 

At some point in the late 80s/early 90s (my memory is hazy) someone tossed out their old 2600 and i snatched it up. My first console. I slowly built a collection of games mostly from garage sales or toy stores going out of business (I remember getting Commando and Kung Fu Master on discount at Kiddie City... along with a Boglin).

 

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I was born with a Sears Tele-Games Video Arcade.  My mother spent hours playing Pac-Man and other games on it.

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I never had one as a kid.  I purchased my first 2600 in 2008 and promptly discovered AtariAge.  I did, however play my cousins Sears H6r whenever I’d visit.  The Sears model was the first actual Atari I played and the reason I have a Sears H6r in my collection today.

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Posted (edited)

Out of the blue in 1987 or 1988, my mother brought home a woodgrain 2600. I don´t know if she bought it or received it from a relative or friend who had upgraded to something better. I was 5 years at the time, and had not seen video games before (except electronic games like Game & Watch), so it was great.

 

My favourite game was probably Donkey Kong, and it didn´t matter to me that it only had 4 screens or whatever, because I rarely got past the first one anyway. :)

 

I played Mario Bros. and Double Dragon in co-op with my two years older brother. He would hate that I would use the thing that stuns or awakes all enemies at screen at inappropriate times. :) 

 

I am not sure you could really call Double Dragon on the 2600 co-op game as you are fighting separately. And what is worse is that when we got to the end, he would always kill me. I still haven´t completed that game because of that.

 

We had two vertical shoot´em ups, but I don´t know their names, and I don´t think I would recognize them. One was a sidescroller where I remember you could shoot a bridge early on. I always thought it was Xevious, but I don´t think Xevious was made for the 2600. Maybe it was River Raid.

 

The other was a space shooter where alien ships would appear now and then and shoot at me. The alien ships would move like they do in more modern shoot´em ups, not rigidly like in Space Invaders or something. I remember that if I flipped a switch on the 2600, I could steer my shots after I had fired them.

 

We also had a winter sports game. My brother was impressed with how I handled the bodsled. I have seen videos of Winter Games, but I am not sure if that was it.

 

We also had Ghostbusters. I didn´t like it. It was too complicated for us.

 

I remember we borrowed the Smurf game from somebody. I thought it was very bad.

 

Two years after receiving the 2600, we bought an NES, and we either sold the 2600 or gave it away to a relative or friend of my mother.

Edited by Lord Mushroom
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I spent the summer of '81 watching my brother while my parents worked. I was promised an Atari at the end of the summer, and sure enough, I got mine in late August of '81. I had several friends with games, so I had a few choices of games to play right away. 

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I mostly played a 2600 at my cousins house in the early 80s but remember getting a used one at a yard sale much later.   Had to be around summer of 1987.  Lots of people by then were moving onto NES and Computer games so I was able to get one cheap with a bunch of the more common games.    This is around the time when I got my first TV set in my room, which was black and white.   It was a perfect console to play on that TV! 

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Posted (edited)

Never had a 2600 but a friend 30 minutes away did.  But I remember going to Toysrus to buy a 5200 and some games.  I remember calling them around 1990 and they said the 5200 was discontinued or they stopped selling it about 5 years ago.

Edited by 0078265317
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Christmas 1982. Had wanted a VCS for a while, but when Donkey Kong was released earlier in the year, "promised" my parents that the system wouldn't become a money pit of endless cartridge purchases. We were good with Combat and DK for a while, but...  🤣

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had to be summer 78. Dad went to sunnyvale couple times a month for work. came back one time with couple bags of what looked line electronics junk. it was the main board and switch board , the aluminum case, no bottom cover or plastic case at all. there were several carts almost all with no cases. There were jsticks paddles and indy 500 controllers. all sorts of random cables and components. apparently there was a place in some stripmall that would dumpster dive and get tons of rejects, I guess qa fails. This one had the rf box smashed we had to replace it and wire up and fix some controller issues. Had to hand craft a bottom cover for the alum box. eventually Dad got a plastic enclosure on one of his trips. it had the gray 9v wall supply and some early jstick versions at least from what I see in the forums. 

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Mowed lawns all summer in 77 to earn enough to buy a small motorcycle that I wanted.  Before I could make the purchase I walked into a Sears and saw the Atari and walked out with the system and several games.  I still don't have a motorcycle, but I still have the Atari and a Crosman 760 BB gun I bought that year.

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Christmas 82.   After it seemed everybody I knew already had one, finally got one of my own.    Got a 4-switcher with Combat,  also got a few carts-  Frogger, E.T., Empire Strikes Back.

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I was late to the game as far as consoles go.  We had a 994A and a C64 in the house for gaming until around 1986 when I got an NES.

 

Dad picked up a Vader at Goodwill around 1988 that had the usual suspects (Combat, ET, Grand Prix, Frogger, Air Sea Battle).  I think we picked up some other carts, too, but it just couldn't compete with the NES at our house unfortunately.

 

I wouldn't get back into the 2600 until a few years ago, now I have significantly more carts for it :D

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I received mine for Christmas and I want to say it was probably 1980. It was a light sixer.

 

It was a gift from my parents (specifically, this one said from mom) and I was surprised because we were DIRT POOR at the time and had almost no extra money. I still have it to this day.

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Bought a used system with some games from a newspaper classified ad (remember those?) with my first "adult" paycheck so would have been July or August '79. I had just moved to a different part of the country after graduating college and didn't know anybody so the 2600 was a good companion while I was slowly building a new social life.

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I got my first Atari from a yard sale from a family that had outgrown it, after many envious years of playing with the system at the houses of friends. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had one earlier on -- would I get sick of it like the others, or would I still obsessively collect all the crash-priced games?

 

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We got a 4-switch Woody from my dad's boss sometime before we moved in the Summer of 1984. I would have been five or six at the time, and I remember using chore money to buy my first game -- Pitfall! -- at a Children's Palace toy store that was local to us before the 1984 move. I am fairly sure it was wintertime. This means that we got the system in or around 1983, although it's hard to be certain.

 

Things kicked up in the Fall of 1984 when my dad came home with a whole bag of 2600 games that he'd either bought from or been given by a co-worker. My favorites were Defender, Kaboom!, Yars Revenge, Berzerk, and Missile Command, although there were maybe a dozen more including Donkey Kong (which I played pretty often) and Slot Racers (which I didn't). I bought a few games after that. The last one was Super Breakout, which was on clearance at the local Big Lots. This was in 1992 or '93.

 

 

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My Parents randomly surprised me with an Atari 2600 in 1982. It was like April or May, so not a usual gift-giving occasion.

 

It came with Combat and Asteroids as pack-ins, and Father also picked-up Donkey Kong.

 

A friend and classmate also had a 2600, and we traded games back-and-forth. I persuaded him to buy Airlock. 🙄

 

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2 minutes ago, jhd said:

My Parents randomly surprised me with an Atari 2600 in 1982. It was like April or May, so not a usual gift-giving occasion.

 

It came with Combat and Asteroids as pack-ins, and Father also picked-up Donkey Kong.

 

A friend and classmate also had a 2600, and we traded games back-and-forth. I persuaded him to buy Airlock. 🙄

 

I remember that distribution, with the Asteroids thrown in.  My buddy get a 2600 for Christmas 82, and it had asteroids, which was a great game for the time. 

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I know this is under the 2600 forum area, but I never got any Atari console while growing up, and had to endure many of my friends having one while I did not.  Most of the kids I knew had a "VCS" and not the "2600" strictly speaking as they got theirs during the late 70's.    I had to get stolen time on the next door neighbor boys' set. They were around my age and we were all part of the bigger neighborhood set of friends.   

 

As for my first "Atari", my parents got us(5 kids) the Atari 400 computer for Christmas '79, and I got my revenge as many of the kids in our group suddenly became envious of this new more powerful Atari.  To them it was little more than a gaming console, but me and one brother of mine put it to good use as a computer, first learning to program on that machine.  

 

Christmas '83, my 2nd oldest brother got the 800XL with all the trimmings, which was just his, for Christmas, as he had a real interest in computers by then.  He was already a junior and shortly moved on to more jobs/girls/social life, etc..and so I was the lucky beneficiary being the only other basement denizen out of the 5 of us kids still living at home!

 

Like I said, I never got any Atari console growing up, but I did get the ColecoVision for Christmas '82 and I got the NES for Christmas ....I think for Christmas '85..but I'm not sure on the year on that one..but I am pretty sure I was a freshman.    Being the 2nd youngest of 5 kids in a very working class family did end up benefiting my younger sister and I as I think my parents realized they had a lot more disposable income for us once the first 3 were out of the house and on their own, and my parents I think made up a little bit for years earlier when they couldn't get us all the things they would have like...which is why I think I actually got those consoles.  Who was I to complain? :) 

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Christmas 1978 from my parents after playing my uncle's system to death for a year. 🙂

 

-Chip

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