Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Story of an Atari 2600: Part 1

I’m not stranger to Atari’s, or its compatibles. As a small boy we had Coleco Geminis, Sears game systems, and actual Atari’s. I remember when I was 5 or 6 we fried a the Colecos, and the Sears, of course we are talking between 1983 and 1985 when these systems where a dime a dozen and my folks could pick up replacements for a few bucks. After we fried the last Sears system, my Mom came home with a 5200 and some games one day. No matter what anybody says about the 5200, I loved mine it was awesome, but that’s a story for a different time.

By about 1988 it became apparent I wasn’t finding anymore games for the 5200, and for Christmas that year my folks and sister chipped in and bought me a 7800. One problem, though I plugged the 7800 in and it didn’t work, at all. So after the new year I got dropped off at Toy’s R’ Us with the receipt and I was told I could get a new one or buy what I want with the money back, which was a bit over $100.00 since 7800’s where $99.99. I decided I still wanted a video game system but not a 7800 so I got myself a new 2600, this version of the 2600 was actually known as the Atari 2600 Jr and went for $49.99. If your not familiar with the breeds of 2600 the Junior was the last of them, and the smallest. Essentially it was a smaller version of the 7800, was black, and had a stainless (looking) band across the top, some of which had the rainbow like the 7800.

I loved my Atari 2600 Jr, and I played it all the way up to Christmas of 1989 when I got my NES. One of my fondest memories of this 2600 is a day we went to a rummage sale and I picked up a plastic container of 10 games for $0.50, they all worked too. I spent my summer playing those, and playing with a friend from down the road who was into 2600 as well. One of my favorite games was Skyjinks, I wanted to become a pilot when I was younger and this and Barnstorming where as close as I could come to a Flightsim. To say the least when the NES came the 2600 and 5200 went into the same box and into the attic. Finally in 1993 I gave the systems to my sister since she was a huge Demon Attack fan and I figured she would like relieve those memories. She still has both systems to this day but they are buried in her crawlspace somewhere.

When I got back into retro gaming I decided I wanted to get an Atari 2600, a 5200, and 7800. But having a family and needing to spend money on more important things, I have only gotten the 2600 so far, and of course it’s a 2600 Jr.

In part 2 I will tell you about adopting this old school technology to a modern TV set up, and some of the other issues and fun I have had. 

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