I mentioned this one to one or two of you in chat. I don't like to think about it. True nightmare material.
Back in early March this year, on eBay, a former Atari employee posted an auction to unload eight giant bins of old Atari hardware and software he'd saved from his time working there. I happened to be surfing the 'Bay the minute it was posted. $999 for everything. But this particular "everything" included prototype games (including Xari Arena for the 5200), piles of 8-bit hardware and carts, a bunch of consoles, one thing I didn't recognize at all (that weird-looking thing made of the same blue plastic as the kids' controller), and... an Atari 2700.
$999 was an utter steal, just for the 2700 alone! And if there were working wireless controllers in the console compartment... oh man.
I'd have jumped on it immediately but it was a pick-up only auction, and the seller was in Sunnyvale. In hindsight, I *should* have jumped on it immediately and figured out all the details later. Instead, I quickly contacted my cousin who lives in Cupertino to see if he'd get in on this deal with me. But before we had a chance to get a plan pulled together, the opportunity was gone.
But wait! It gets worse! Much worse.
The thing I didn't recognize? I didn't figure it out until just recently. It's a CX-2000 "Val" prototype console. A sort of precursor to the 2600jr. The bottom left bin in the first photo even says "Val" on it, but... I didn't put two and two together.
A CX-2000 sold in 2009 for almost $7,000. The one from this auction? It's now currently for sale at rareearthvideogames for $10,500. You know, if you want one.
According to REVG's sale page, fewer than 10 are known to exist.