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Sad tales, near misses of collecting


RickR
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Pull up a bar stool and share your sad tales of collecting -- items you almost had, things you should'a bought, etc.

 

I have one from very recently.

 

I was at one of the "end of line/last chance" Goodwills that sells stuff by the pound.  In one of the bins were two professional quality foosball tables.  Some wear, some missing bolts...but they were easily fixable.  Price on each:  $5.  But here was the rub...there is no one there to help you at these last chance depots.  I could not lift one of these by myself.  Plus, it wouldn't have fit in my car.  Finally, I kept thinking of having no room in the house for it.  So I left them both there.  Sadly.

 

 

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About a year ago i missed out on an original pacman cocktail table. Guy said there was a problem that made it sometimes turn on and sometimes it didn't. He said he had it estimated by a repair man. Only a $60 fix and he wpuld give the number and name of the repair man to the buyer of the table.

 

He only wanted $200 OBO for it. I was a day late on it and bummed i couldnt get that steal of a deal

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I have 2 off the top of my head...

 

1st one was sometime in the late 90s- I was a Flea Market regular and always went to the same lady who would always hold fresh 2600/7800 carts for me in case I didn't have them already. Every weekend I would go and spend between $20-$40, leaving with 10-20 new games. I didn't have the money at the time but she just got in a huge pile of Atari 800XL stuff with a bunch of boxes, disks, drives and printer in. She only wanted $60 for it all and said she would hold it for me but I already had an Atari 800 just not all the juicy software that came with the XL. I ended up passing for whatever reason but have always regret doing so.

 

2nd one was recently and while not gaming related, it was definitely a cool find. A Disco 200 Jukebox that needed a little bit of caring for and for only $50. I missed it by like a day in my procrastination in figuring out if I really wanted it or not and to basically gift to my parents. It was really nice and a no brainer really... now I'll be kicking myself for that one for some time to come...

 

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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.

 

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$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.

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Wow, that sucks. I totally missed this. Do you know who the employee was? I've seen that blue controller before but I don't know what it is either.

I don't know for certain, but if you google the seller username it pulls up a name that matches one in the Atari Employee Directory ('83?) that can be found online. Whether that's who it is, or someone they married, or it's just a red herring, I don't know.

 

I guess maybe they had extra blue plastic leftover from making the Kids' Controllers for the CCW games? It's an odd look for a console for sure.

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I guess maybe they had extra blue plastic leftover from making the Kids' Controllers for the CCW games? It's an odd look for a console for sure.

 

 

Blue was purposely chosen after market research. The 2000 was being evaluated as lower-cost product aimed at young children. Marketing had requested blue consoles for evaluation along with the standard black/brown units to determine their appeal in focus groups The idea being that the 2000 could potentially be marketed with the Kids Controller and Sesame Street games.

 

The Sunnyvale team wasn't impressed with the CX2000 that the WCI team had made in New York. They found it to be a pretty flimsy product with unnecessary and expensive changes to the motherboard. Sunnyvale responded with the CX2500 proposal, which was a similar all-in-one console. It used the standard CX2600-A motherboard, it was built like a tank, and it incorporated the all-in-one Joystick/Paddle stalk from the 2700.

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I can't count the number of times I've shown up to a garage sale and asked about video game stuff only to hear, "Someone just left here and bought all we had...."

The worst was coming into MY Goodwill and seeing an old dude in a suit with a pile of REALLY nice SNES titles on the counter being rung up as he looks at what they sell for on eBay.   There were probably a dozen titles, all of them very nice!    Easy come, easy go.

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First, the really bad: I recently tried a sniping service in search of a reasonably priced CIB Adventure...and found out that I beat out a friend's high bid at the last second...thankfully he's still speaking to me though. :)

 

Now, the bad one that happened to me: Videogames Then & Now, the store in Norridge, IL that Sean Kelly owns...inside the store he has one of those glass cases where the more collectible stuff is. Loose Crazy Climber there that a friend mentioned before he needed to get. Picked it up for him as a Christmas present. And saw a Chase the Chuckwagon in there for a good price, too, on a previous trip (and bought it).

 

Anyway, both times I went there was a copy of Atari Video Cube. Couldn't justify a purchase, so I figured I'd wait until after Christmas and a few more paychecks and save a few bucks up. So what happens? Before I get a chance to get back there....I found out that someone bought it. And who was that someone? Freakin' ED KELLY OF EDLADDIN!!! ARRRHGHGHGHGH.. :) :) :)

 

heh. Turns out I ended up with a better deal: recently I got a copy of Video Cube CIB for the same price that Sean Kelly was charging for just a loose copy. :)

 

(In all seriousness, I cannot say enough good things about Ed in terms of friendliness, customer service, and products.)

Edited by dauber
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Oh oh oh man do i have one for this!!! So this is in my EARLY days of collecting i saw a copy of stadium events for the NES pop up on Craigslist. It was actually pretty close to me. He was asking $500 for it. I laughed saying "$500 for a game hahaha. later after asking i found out someone from maine drove all the way down to Georgia to buy it.

 

I think about this one often to be honest.

Edited by jmjustin6
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I once went to a video store to buy some video games they had for sale. I noticed they had "Track & Field," for the A2600. I went to get some money to buy it. When I got back, it was gone. Someone beat me to the punch. I was disappointed, but I persevered with other games in my collection. It would have been great for my personal collection. Bummer.

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My worst missed opportunity involved a Saturn game. My ex-wife and I were visiting relatives in another part of our state for the weekend. While there, we hit up all the junk, secondhand, thrift store businesses we could locate. Mostly just to look around and have fun. One of these was located in what I think was an old chicken barn. One of those huge ones that extends back for some distance? The back half of the place had the roof caved in slightly and the walls tilted to the sides a bit but still standing and they were still showing items in it. Anyway, as we got ready to leave I noticed some Saturn games standing up between bookends on an old console TV I believe it was. One of those games... was Panzer Saga. It was listed at $45 but at the time I didn't know its value or familiar with the game. Additionally, my ex wasn't into the hobby like I was so spending $45 for a Saturn game I didn't know anything about in the early 2000s wasn't something that would sit well with her. So I left it behind with it always making me wonder in the back of my mind. Sure enough when we got home a few days later I looked it up and found out what I had missed. I insisted we go back for it the next weekend. I had a feeling it would still be there because of how obscure the place was. 

Obscure was right. We weren't even able to find the place again when we went back the next weekend to look for it. We must have visited well over a dozen such places that day and finding that exact one I figured would have been easy, but nope. Never did locate the place and now I wonder who got that amazing deal on Panzer Saga to this day. Because I know only one thing...

It wasn't me.

 

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42 minutes ago, CrossBow said:

Obscure was right. We weren't even able to find the place again when we went back the next weekend to look for it. We must have visited well over a dozen such places that day and finding that exact one I figured would have been easy, but nope. Never did locate the place and now I wonder who got that amazing deal on Panzer Saga to this day. Because I know only one thing...

It wasn't me.

 

OMG, this sounds like a Twilight Zone story.  

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My most recent experience was not grabbing the in the box O2 for $20 at a garage sale a couple of months ago. I'm not into the Odyssey so while I was thinking about it, someone swooped in and snagged it. I probably should have grabbed it while thinking about since I could have put it back. Since I don't go thrifting or to garage sales, I don't have many stories of the ones that got away. I only went to this garage sale because it was run by a member of the local gaming group and was a five minute drive from my house.

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15 hours ago, socrates63 said:

My most recent experience was not grabbing the in the box O2 for $20 at a garage sale a couple of months ago. I'm not into the Odyssey so while I was thinking about it, someone swooped in and snagged it. I probably should have grabbed it while thinking about since I could have put it back. Since I don't go thrifting or to garage sales, I don't have many stories of the ones that got away. I only went to this garage sale because it was run by a member of the local gaming group and was a five minute drive from my house.

Don't feel bad, I would have passed on that O2 myself as I have zero nostalgia for them. I never even knew the original Odyssey existed as a kid much less the O2. I only knew of the smaller pong clones they released like the Odyssey 300 that we had first before getting the VCS.

 

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