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RickR

Atari Touch Me

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LOOK what I found!  I got this in a bundle of broken handheld games.  It just needed some serious cleaning, and a new battery connector soldered in.  Now it works perfectly and looks great. 

 

What an uncomfortable name they chose though.  "Touch Me".  Things were quite a bit different in the 70's I guess.  I suppose you'd put on your polyester leisure suit, head on down to the Regal Beagle, and ask attractive people if they'd like to play "Touch Me".  Then whip this thing out of your breast pocket, and everyone gets a good laugh.  Yes, that's exactly how it was in the 70's I'm sure. 

 

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Aw..here I was jumping in here, certain that someone was calling me to share a moment, but it turns out to be about a 70s handheld toy.

Story of my life.

 

But seriously cool, still.

yeah, I can bet the marketing team that came up with this name were high-fiving each other.

 

The Simon color-match craze was rather fun.

The memory game tested your concentration mettle in a way that was intriguing for everybody.

 

Did not have a SImon myself, had an 'Einstein', from Castle toys - a rectangular, white, four large buttoned apparatus that did its job well enough.

 

As for Touch Me, I'm sure Mr. Furley could have made good use of it.

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Some interesting things related to touch me. Many believe Atari stole Pong from Ralph Baer and that Ralph Bear stole Touch Me  from Atari and turned it into Simon, which became more successful than Touch Me.  So in a way, Atari made more money than Baer from his invention Pong while Baer made more money from Atari's invention of Touch Me.

 

Also, Brain Games for the 2600 is basically based off of Touch Me;

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Here's the other two in the lot I got.  Both are working now.  Just needed some TLC.  Mostly it was the power switches that went bad. Coleco Football and Milton Bradley Comp IV. 

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And here's a shot of the whole handheld collection I've been building over many years.  These things are a lot of fun, and don't take up much space.

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A Tale of Two Touch Me's

 

I received two broken Atari Touch Me's from Ebay, and they were both in really rough shape.  I was able to cobble parts together from both to make one working unit.  And it works great!  Buttons all cleaned and restored.  Electronics touched up.  Replaced speaker.  Replaced 9V battery connector. 

 

The other is forever broken, but makes a nice shelf display. 

 

The good, working, darker one is now up for trade if anyone is interested!

 

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That's interesting that one is more orange than the other one. I wonder if they were manufactured in different countries, or if one of these is "the Heavy-Sixer of the Touch-Me's"

I was thinking the same.  My first one in post #1 is the same "orange".  There are slight differences throughout...circuit board, label, plastic thickness all a little different.  I'd guess the yellow is newer/cheaper. 

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Man, I'd really like to learn more about this. I've always been intrigues by the idea of Atari handhelds and the lack thereof. I want to know why so many Atari handhelds were cancelled, and why Touch Me didn't become as known as Simon. Also the name, I wonder who came up with "Touch Me" and who in the marketing department thought that was a good name for a kids game.

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Man, I'd really like to learn more about this. I've always been intrigues by the idea of Atari handhelds and the lack thereof. I want to know why so many Atari handhelds were cancelled, and why Touch Me didn't become as known as Simon. Also the name, I wonder who came up with "Touch Me" and who in the marketing department thought that was a good name for a kids game.

It is interesting.  I may take a video of Touch Me so you can see it in action.  The problems I see that Simon seemed to fix:

  • The  name.  "Simon" is a perfect name for this game.  "Touch Me" is creepy, and not even descriptive of the game action.
  • Buttons - they are tiny on Touch Me.  Much larger on Simon.
  • Color - The lights on Touch Me are all red.  Simon used light up colored buttons instead. 
  • Sound - Not very pleasing on Touch Me.  Almost musical on Simon.

What Atari got right:

  • Size.  Touch Me is totally portable.  It fits in a pocket easily.  Simon is huge.
  • Timing.  Touch me came out years earlier than Simon.
  • Engineering - Touch Me is really well made considering it was Atari's first handheld.  Simple design, small size, reliable components. 

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