Latest Acquisition: Atari 2600 Store Kiosk

Aug 28, 2012   //   by Joe Santulli   //   Museum News, News  //  Comments Off

Ever since Museum co-founder Joe Santulli opened his Digital Press Videogames store in 2005, he’s been watching a daily eBay search for store displays. Several years ago, this gorgeous, never-before-assembled Atari Video Games kiosk appeared but was way out of his price range. It was generally considered to be way overpriced by the gaming community (even though Joe wondered how you could figure a price on something so “one of a kind”). It eventually disappeared from eBay and he figured someone with deeper pockets than him had snatched it up.

SEE THE ATARI 2600 KIOSK PHOTO GALLERY

Then, in July 2012, it turned up in Joe’s ebay search again. Definitely the same unit, same location, and now at HALF the price it was originally. Joe was already planning on making some room in his shop as two arcade machines were about to be shipped to Classic Gaming Expo. Was this the time? The seller had a “make offer” option on the item so Joe submitted his best offer which was still well below the asking price. An hour later, the seller called Joe’s shop to make sure he understood that this was brand new, unassembled, local and very heavy. The offer was accepted.

According to Joe: “We had to wait until after Classic Gaming Expo 2012 to get it put together, and it was a lot of fun. I invited some of my local buddies to the store and we made an event out of it: essentially unboxing and assembling something that no one had done in 30 years. It took roughly 2 hours to put together, and we spent an additional 2 hours playing with it.”

The kiosk has a flourescent lighted display for its marquee, and hardwired joysticks and paddles. The sticks are not standard 2600 sticks but rather arcade leaf-switch style controllers. The paddles are amazingly accurate. The display allows for 32 games to be shown along the bottom section and 4 more up top. No television or game console was supplied with the unit, but it wasn’t hard to find a nice matching “old” TV and a heavy-sixer right there in the store. The kiosk also allows for the installation of a pre-programmed board containing 42 games, this also allows you to use the touch-sensitive select and start buttons on the kiosk rather than the system.

As you can see, it was worth the trouble. It is now a centerpiece at the Digital Press Videogames store, where it will remain until the Videogame History Museum finds a permanent location, at which time this kiosk shall follow.

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Museum Spotlight

Nintendo World Championships '90 Cart

NWC90

This month's Museum Spotlight is Nintendo World Championships ‘90 cart #132, originally owned by Josh Caraciolo, a tournament winner from the Philadelphia area who played in the age 12-17 group. Josh sold it to a guy named Dave (trustey1 on eBay) at a con called "Wizard World" earlier this summer (2012). Dave took offers on eBay but the deal fell through. We explained to Dave our intention of giving this item a permanent home in a physical museum and he sold it to us at a very fair price.

History: Nintendo hosted a series of competitive events across 29 cities in 1990. The competition was held using this custom game that lasts for 6 minutes and 21 seconds. It starts with Super Mario Brothers and switches to Rad Racer when you gather 50 coins. Finish the course in Rad Racer and it switches to Tetris where you play until time expires. There were 3 age categories and the contest spanned a 3-day period. The finalist for each age group in each city won a trophy, $250, and a trip for two to the World Finals at Universal Studios Hollywood. There are 116 special game cartridges in all: 90 gray cartridges were given out to finalists and 25 are gold colored and were given out as prizes in a separate contest held by Nintendo Power magazine.