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Atari's Landfill Adventures, I now have the proof it's true.

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It's still a fun mystery to talk about...because nobody can really know without seeing beneath the concrete. :D

Such discussions are entertaining and, of course, harmless.

And I am still a little miffed they did not bust the caps. The specimen under the concrete would likely have been better preserved than what was found, but we will never know will we. Why were not any consoles unearthed? Yes someone found a broken joystick as per the documentary but still...

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So, for what it's worth...

 

I've been eyeballing the auctions for these dig carts. My wife and I wanted to get a couple of games we liked, if we could get them cheap. I got poached out of a Warlords at the last minute a few weeks ago, but snagged one just the other day, to go with the Berzerk we got.

 

But I noticed a few things about the ones currently available from the City Of Alamogordo. The first is that all of the listings are now including a disclaimer IN BIG RED LETTERS about how this is "Round 4" and "the last batch". They say there are about 150 games in the batch, but about 50 have already posted/sold. Leaving about 100 left. So guess those that want one oughtta get one if they don't have one already. Because when there weren't any being offered by Alamogordo last week, the two being resold had outrageous prices.

 

The listings also note that "approximately 200 games for archives and possible distribution to museums", for those trying to keep track of numbers and cataloging. I have a passing interest, but record-keeping ain't my bag.

 

That said, I was thinking... what about a registry HERE of whatever people have purchased directly from official sources? I mean, they're Atari carts, this is AtariAge... the unofficial repository of all things Atari. Perhaps a listing here with provenance might help people not get burned later by unscrupulous resellers? Anybody willing to curate a basic list? I wouldn't think pricing and stuff would be necessary, just documenting what we, the public, have. I was thinking something like the following:

 

Item # -- Title, (elements contained in lot) [owner]

 

Example:

#8691 -- Berzerk (cartridge, box, manual, catalog) [mikey.shake]

 

What do you think? We could add things like "how bad it smells", too. :-D

 

I figure better for us, as a community, to start now than start later. I'm also trying to procrastinate on a bunch of work, so this post seemed as good a way to do it as any.

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So, for what it's worth...

 

I've been eyeballing the auctions for these dig carts. My wife and I wanted to get a couple of games we liked, if we could get them cheap. I got poached out of a Warlords at the last minute a few weeks ago, but snagged one just the other day, to go with the Berzerk we got.

 

But I noticed a few things about the ones currently available from the City Of Alamogordo. The first is that all of the listings are now including a disclaimer IN BIG RED LETTERS about how this is "Round 4" and "the last batch". They say there are about 150 games in the batch, but about 50 have already posted/sold. Leaving about 100 left. So guess those that want one oughtta get one if they don't have one already. Because when there weren't any being offered by Alamogordo last week, the two being resold had outrageous prices.

 

The listings also note that "approximately 200 games for archives and possible distribution to museums", for those trying to keep track of numbers and cataloging. I have a passing interest, but record-keeping ain't my bag.

 

That said, I was thinking... what about a registry HERE of whatever people have purchased directly from official sources? I mean, they're Atari carts, this is AtariAge... the unofficial repository of all things Atari. Perhaps a listing here with provenance might help people not get burned later by unscrupulous resellers? Anybody willing to curate a basic list? I wouldn't think pricing and stuff would be necessary, just documenting what we, the public, have. I was thinking something like the following:

 

Item # -- Title, (elements contained in lot) [owner]

 

Example:

#8691 -- Berzerk (cartridge, box, manual, catalog) [mikey.shake]

 

What do you think? We could add things like "how bad it smells", too. :-D

 

I figure better for us, as a community, to start now than start later. I'm also trying to procrastinate on a bunch of work, so this post seemed as good a way to do it as any.

Not a bad idea. I have the following....

 

#08478 Defender (cart)

#08632 Centipede (sealed/clamshell)

#08727 Centipede (sealed/clamshell)

#08758 Missile Command (sealed in shrink wrap)

Edited by sciflyer25

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Nothing personal to anyone who owns or wants to own these, but having crushed, smelly relics that were buried in a landfill doesn't really seem to excite me. The thought of finding stuff was cool, but actually owning it for what I consider rather larger sums of money doesn't seem to be worth it. Just my opinion.

 

Phil

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Nothing personal to anyone who owns or wants to own these, but having crushed, smelly relics that were buried in a landfill doesn't really seem to excite me. The thought of finding stuff was cool, but actually owning it for what I consider rather larger sums of money doesn't seem to be worth it. Just my opinion.

 

Phil

+1 To each his own, but what phil said.

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What I find funny is that they have a ton of Defender, Star Raiders, and Warlords with everything starting at $35 for boxed samples. Then someone else is trying to get $300 for a Warlords. How sad.

 

Phil

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#08343 Defender (cartridge, box, price tag, manual, catalog), Smell level from 1 to Putrid = Putrid

Bravo! I'd be scared to open mine (if I was into this sort of thing), but curiousity would eventually get the better of me.

 

Did anyone recieve a sample, and have sampled the fumes from within, that didn't smell putrid?

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Bravo! I'd be scared to open mine (if I was into this sort of thing), but curiousity would eventually get the better of me.

 

Did anyone recieve a sample, and have sampled the fumes from within, that didn't smell putrid?

Yes, the 2nd Centipede I purchased, the clamshell's integrity was almost 100% intact, just a few sand/dirt grains from a tiny crack got inside the clamshell. It had a very slight odor. I went over it with a damp cloth and let it air out for a few days. No smell.

Edited by sciflyer25

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And I am still a little miffed they did not bust the caps. The specimen under the concrete would likely have been better preserved than what was found, but we will never know will we. Why were not any consoles unearthed? Yes someone found a broken joystick as per the documentary but still...

There were console parts unearthed. You can see them in a lot of the photos as well. The hardware portion buried was material from the Service Center hub itself, i.e. consoles and computers sent in for repair or exchanged. The largest lot of those were actually destroyed back in Sunnyvale before they moved the service hub to El Paso, and those were all chopped up and stripped for metals, etc.

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#08390 Phoenix. Afraid to open bag and smell.

 

I wonder if some of the special guests who were involved in the documentary would be willing to autograph dig carts at the upcoming Classic Game Fest in Austin?

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I'm guessing someone has already linked this here or elsewhere, but went back a few pages and didn't see it: http://www.benheck.com/atari-landfill-cartridge-resurrection/

Yep. It's amazing that the garbage juice created a corrosive gunk that not only erodes metallic traces breaking connections, but also conducts electricity in itself!

 

I once put similar effort into restoring a Panic Restaurant NES cart whose contacts were covered in roach feces. After eventually sanding down the connectors to bare copper there was still corrosion visible and the game simply did not work. I transplanted the mask ROMs onto a Home Alone 2 PCB with identical board and mapper revision. Ended up selling it for $230; not bad considering I originally paid $4.95 for the Panic Restaurant and $4.95 for the Home Alone 2 donor board... :D

http://www.nintendoage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=10&threadid=100979

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Hey! I got one of those excavated Carts as well - Defender - and want to put it up on the wall. Has anybody found a cure to the odour problem? So far I only opened the ziplock twice, only to close it asap again. I read something about cleaining it with some dish soap and cleaning rags..... is that the right way to go?

 

Thanks.

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Hey! I got one of those excavated Carts as well - Defender - and want to put it up on the wall. Has anybody found a cure to the odour problem? So far I only opened the ziplock twice, only to close it asap again. I read something about cleaining it with some dish soap and cleaning rags..... is that the right way to go?

 

Thanks.

Cleaning a landfill cart defeats the purpose of owning one. Yeah put some baking soda in there. That'll kill any odor.

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Cleaning a landfill cart defeats the purpose of owning one. Yeah put some baking soda in there. That'll kill any odor.

 

Right. I actually not want to clean it that it looks like new, only want to get rid of that bad smell. Right now, everything is in a dirty ziplock, that is covered with dirt and dust so that you can barely see whats inside and smells like... well... dumpster (how come? ;)).

 

Baking Soda might be an option... good one. Thanks.

 

Next summer, I will try to expose it to sunlight and fresh air, for a couple of days. Maybe this will help too.

Edited by DaNDeE

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Right. I actually not want to clean it that it looks like new, only want to get rid of that bad smell. Right now, everything is in a dirty ziplock, that is covered with dirt and dust so that you can barely see whats inside and smells like... well... dumpster (how come? ;)).

 

Baking Soda might be an option... good one. Thanks.

 

Next summer, I will try to expose it to sunlight and fresh air, for a couple of days. Maybe this will help too.

And fade the ink on the label...

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I think you should keep it sealed and in the future you can be the one to authenticate them according to the smell :)

 

I heard the Oder free kitty litter does well also

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ive been thinking...do you guys think in maybe another 40 or 50 years, they'll go back and break the caps? now they know where everything is. they could go back and find god knows what in there. they werent thorough and made a big mistake.

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ive been thinking...do you guys think in maybe another 40 or 50 years, they'll go back and break the caps? now they know where everything is. they could go back and find god knows what in there. they werent thorough and made a big mistake.

There isn't any "God knows what" down there, there's just more of the same. Jim Heller, the man who dumped everything, has already thoroughly discussed what he dumped and provided full color pictures of the dumping before and during the concrete cap was put in. It was just stock returned from stores as part of the credit program and parts/hardware from the service center hub, all fromin the El Paso center.

 

http://youtu.be/6A-aE5bAKkw

Edited by Retro Rogue
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well, not necessarily 'god knows what', but i guess from an archaelogical standpoint, im talking 'god knows what' in terms of a matter of how well this stuff would hold up in a landfill. from the pics of everythin gthat's been recovered and auctioned off, i'd say this stuff is pretty resilient, heh!

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ive been thinking...do you guys think in maybe another 40 or 50 years, they'll go back and break the caps? now they know where everything is. they could go back and find god knows what in there. they werent thorough and made a big mistake.

I doubt it. I mean, what is down there isn't exactly rare. The only value in the items is nostalgia, and the story behind it all. In 40-50 years, the nostalgia is gone, and it's doubtful there will be any value in these as "antiques." The market for the dig carts is small, much like homebrew games, and easily oversaturated. According to eBay, they sold just under 900 items from the dig, and that probably covers all real collector interest, plus a few speculators and curiosity seekers. Digging up any more would have been pointless.

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Well someone is reselling these things and if you look under "SOLD LISTINGS" you'll see that they're commanding $250+ on games. I think it's pretty stupid. I passed on them at $35. Didn't want some smelly crushed crap in my house. I have enough stuff as it is.

 

Phil

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