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Monochrome Atari 7800 Cartridge Labels

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Black & White cartridge label collection for Atari 7800.

Imagine thinking you can compete against Nintendo Entertainment System with this? Monochrome cartridge labels were one more thing that contributed to Atari’s perception of being a “bargain bin” discount brand by the end of the ‘80s. Incredibly, this is from a company still revered 40 years later for its fantastic box and cartridge artwork. Absolutely mind blowing 🤯💥:wreck-it-ralph:

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Have you ever seen those 2600 boxes that came in black & white?  I think they came in 3 packs of games.  Kind of crazy to see those. 

When I first got my VCS, the games came with text labels only, and even they were in color.  When they switched to picture labels (probably 1981 or so?), it was mind blowing.  I especially liked the colorful end labels on those. 

You are so right about these 7800 labels....cheap, cheap, cheap.  Cutting corners until you're selling an tetrahedron instead of a square. 

 

 

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Well, it could've been worse...😂

as.jpg.d994359de2440afdc005bbad097d923b.jpg

But in all seriousness, at least they picked it up and added color after the first set of games. 

Personally, I just wish they invested more in the actual development of the games, rather than farming them out to cheap, one man teams. The final releases were really good and games like that could've helped out a lot if they came out sooner.

Edited by nosweargamer

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15 hours ago, RickR said:

Have you ever seen those 2600 boxes that came in black & white?  I think they came in 3 packs of games.  Kind of crazy to see those. 

I have seen those! It doesn't get more generic than that. They look like the little white boxes that the CX40 Joysticks came packaged in with the 2600. Let's also not forget the Jack Tramiel era monochrome 2600 boxes. I bought this at Kay-Bee in 1994. Imagine the impression this made on people looking at video games at the time:

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18 hours ago, kamakazi20012 said:

Interestingly, even the 7800 monochrome labels come in variations.  Some will be the silver labels, others will be the dull gray.  I think I have one that might be a full-color label.

If you look at my first picture at the top of the page you'll see at least two variations. Centipede and Joust are black ink (1 color) printed on a metallic-looking label. These have a 1987 copyright. In my experience these have been the most common of the 7800 monochrome labels. Look at the Xevious label though. Xevious is black ink with silver ink used for the border (2 colors) printed on a white label. You can see in the artwork for Xevious that underneath it all is white. This has a 1986 copyright. Somehow they looked at that label and thought "You know what, we can eliminate one more color if we start with a metallic-looking label instead of a white label."

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15 hours ago, nosweargamer said:

Well, it could've been worse...😂

as.jpg.d994359de2440afdc005bbad097d923b.jpg

But in all seriousness, at least they picked it up and added color after the first set of games. 

Personally, I just wish they invested more in the actual development of the games, rather than farming them out to cheap, one man teams. The final releases were really good and games like that could've helped out a lot if they came out sooner.

At least those had some color.  The 7800 carts just felt like they came from the b/w days of television.  Box art was awesome!  Then you pulled out the cart to see that b/w artwork?  Blasphemy!  I can understand SEGA's thinking on the SMS cart labels.  They matched the color of the console and were never meant to be kept out of their case.  It was SEGA's first Western console that they really didn't market alone...they had help from TONKA which most likely had hands on final designs.  Atari making those black and white labels made it hard to enjoy the artwork on those carts.  

I do remember the copy of Ms. Pac-Man I had in the 1990's had a color label on it.  The one I have now is b/w on gray.  Also, the Robotron in my collection has a gray top label and silver end label.  I guess it's mix and match.  

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