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Kid A

Pep Boys sold video games?

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So I was going through my collection the other day doing some reorganization and I came across my copy of Defender for the Atari 2600 and it realized I had the price sticker on it and the price sticker that says Pep Boys on it. I had no idea that they sold video games at pep boys!

 

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There was a small music store in my hometown called Unicorn that was the place to go to get any kind of rock music on vinyl and cassettes plus he sold the latest audio gear from turntables, amps, EQs, you name it. And swag...he had lots of shirts from concerts. The owner was a family friend named Curt. He started selling Atari stuff when I got the 5200. I remember seeing 5200 stuff at his store which is where I got my Star Raiders from. I don't recall him selling 2600 stuff. He sold them until the end after which he moved out of the area.

 

My copy of Popeye came from a truck stop in Springfield, MO. Mom and I had spent all day looking for 5200 games. Never found any until the trip home when she stopped to fill up the car. They had half a shelf full of unsold 2600/5200 games. Their price tags were over price tags from stores we stopped at earlier. My $5 game cost $15 as removing the price tags later revealed. What? I was curious.

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I can remember 2600 games at least being sold in many places in the early 80s. I can remember getting a few games from TG&Y, OTASCO and I think even some drugstores had them from time to time. I do know that a May's drug store in the mid 80s suddenly had NOS 2600 games (Some I'd never heard of) for sale for only like $5 each. I know that is where I picked up SQ:Fireworld and Starmaster as an example.

 

In the late 80s during the revival of the 2600 and the 7800 was in full swing, most of the games I got then came from TRU and Service Merchandise. Both used a similar system of having you grab a tag from the shelf and taking it to the cashier. Then after paying, you would wait at a service counter for them to bring the game to you.

 

I know many others mention seeing Atari games at places like Kay Bee but I honestly don't recall much Atari being sold at my area stores. Although I do remember seeing a NIB Jaguar for sale in the mid 90s once and I remember it was pretty expensive. I also remember when I first saw the Jag. It was at a Sears that had a display setup around Christmas one year, and all I can remember was that they had the JagCD VLM running on a TV but I was never able to figure out what produced it at the time. I also remember Saturn and Genesis commercials, but don't recall any Atari Jaguar commercials.

 

Then again, during the time the Jag was new, I was fully vested into PC Gaming only and rarely paid any attention to any of the consoles much less their commercials.

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Helzberg Diamonds is currently running a promotion that includes a Nintendo Switch with your holiday purchase. Effectively a jewelry store selling video games. I took a photo of my TV screen at the end of the commercial, as soon as I saw it I thought of this thread. Cool idea to get dad to come in and spend money on something nice for the wife and feel good knowing he took care of something big for the kids too.

I swear I've seen this before with Atari 2600 but I can't remember where.

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