I play and collect video games from all eras, but those from my formative years hold a unique, nostalgia-filled spot in my heart. As such, our Pioneers of Home Console Video Games sale is tantalizing. This auction features a veritable treasure trove of games from the ground-breaking second generation of consoles, including the Atari 2600, Intellivision, ColecoVision, and Atari 5200.
Not just limited to these, the sale presents a few delightful wild cards that are bound to excite bidders. Expect to find a pair of Atari Jaguar games, an array of collectibles straight from Japan, and the first three initial issues of the coveted JoyStik magazine, among other fun odds and ends.
My personal collection of retro video games is extensive, yet there are select items in this auction that have thus far eluded me. Here are the top five lots that I’d love to add to my ever-growing gaming display:
Ultra Pong Doubles Console – Sealed, Pong Atari 1977 USA
I discovered video games in 1975, via local arcades and my cousin’s Atari home Pong console, which he got for Christmas that year. He invited me into his room to play the game, and I was mesmerized. Since I was unaware of the Magnavox Odyssey, I assumed you had to go somewhere—an arcade, a skating rink, a pizza parlor—to play video games. I had no idea up until that moment that you could enjoy them at home. This Ultra Pong Doubles unit, which is ultra rare considering it’s sealed, would look ultra-cool on my shelves. Better yet, I would probably open it to play—the four-player compatibility aligns perfectly with my family of four.
Lochjaw – Loose Cartridge, 2600 Apollo 1981 USA
My son is a hardcore Jaws fan and even collects memorabilia related to the classic film. I love the movie as well and have seen it many times. While Lochjaw isn’t an official Jaws tie-in, it does share some dubious history with the cinematic masterpiece. To keep the Jaws copyright holders at bay (so to speak), the publisher changed the game’s name to Shark Attack shortly after release, meaning copies of Lochjaw under the original title are scarce. I own a copy of Shark Attack, but Lochjaw is another story entirely. To paraphrase an iconic line in the film, “I’m gonna need a bigger collection.”
X-Man – Wata 9.4 A Sealed, 2600 Universal Gamex 1983 USA
Confession time: I love sensual book covers and alluring album art. It follows that I enjoy collecting video games that feature provocative box designs. The cover art for X-Man is actually sillier than it is sexy, but that buxom blonde is nevertheless tantalizing—I certainly wouldn’t kick her out of my game room (if I were single, that is). Unfortunately, the game is very hard to find, especially factory-sealed. Fortunately, we do have a beautifully preserved copy in this very auction. Regarding the game itself, it’s an adult maze title that is fairly entertaining for an oddball third-party title. It even includes a sex minigame, decades before God of War.
Rent Wars – Wata 9.2 A+ Sealed, 5200 Atari2600.com 2007 USA
Do any of you remember Atari2600.com? While no longer in operation, it was an awesome website for purchasing boxed video games, and the company would vend its wares at gaming conventions, most notably the late, lamented Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. They even published games, including Rent Wars, which was developed by First Star Software back in 1983 but remained unreleased until 2007, more than 20 years after the Atari 5200 was discontinued. Atari2600.com only produced 100 copies of Rent Wars, meaning there are far more collectors wanting the game than there are copies to go around. We’re offering #16 in the production run, and we have no idea if or when we’ll be able to list another copy.
Superman: The Game – Wata 9.4 A++ Sealed, Atari 400/800, C64 Main Street 1986 USA
There are two games in this sale I want strictly for display purposes as I couldn’t play them, even if they weren’t slabbed. These are Scooby Doo’s Maze Chase, which requires the computer add-on for the Intellivision (I have an Intellivision, but not the computer); and Superman: The Game, which requires a hard drive (I can only play cartridges on my C64 and Atari 800). Superman: The Game gets the edge because I like the Man of Steel even more than the Scooby Gang. I love the game’s box art, with Superman appearing to burst out of the box and the Super Powers logo taking me straight back to the ‘80s, when I collected that awesome line of action figures and other merchandise.
Let us know in the comments which items from this sale you would want in your collection!