After getting it home and taking a closer look, I found that about 50% of the box was filled with old ATARI manuals and catalogs. Some were from games I grew up playing and others were one I'd never heard of before.
My 13 year old son got a thing this last Christmas that has a whole bunch of ATARI games on it from his grandma. It was fun playing those together and watching my kids make fun of the poor graphics. I tried to explain to them that as a kid video games were a lot different. Even when the Nintendo first came out it was not the kind of thing a kid would just get as a Christmas gift for themselves (unless maybe they were an only-child?) it was a gift for the whole family to share. When I think back to the ATARI even more so. I can remember the whole family playing Pong and Frogger all sitting around together taking turns. It was a lot different back then I think.
Anyway, let's take a look at the manuals. It's a shame I can't scan the insides. It's already going to have to be a two-part post.
AIR-SEA BATTLE (1987)
ASTEROIDS (1979) <---I'm highlighting in green the games I remember playing!!
It looks like the basketball players have a penis? What is that supposed to be?
This game and a lot of others have a small cameo in an excellent short film "PIXEL". Check it out.
CHOPPER COMMAND (1982)
E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982)
The rushed production of this game (six weeks) to meet the 1982 Christmas holiday season resulted in one of the worst video games ever made, and according to the Wikipedia, "one of the biggest commercial failures in video gaming history."
E.T. is frequently cited as a contributing factor to Atari's massive financial losses during 1983 and 1984. As a result of overproduction and returns, unsold cartridges were also buried in a New Mexico landfill.
Due to high anticipation and unexpected competition between 2.5 and 3.5 million cartridges went unsold. (see more at Wikipedia)
JR. PAC-MAN 1986
I watched about half of this on late night T.V. a few months ago.
KUNG-FU MASTER 1987
MATH GRAN PRIX 1987
You can play this game online at
MISSLE COMMAND 1981
MS. PAC-MAN 1982
Here's the commercial for pitfall featuring 13 year old Jack Black.
POLE POSITION 1982
STREET RACER 1978
SUBMARINE COMMANDER 1982
Is it just my artist's imagination, or does this island from Submarine Commander look like a dead rabbit?
a little photoshop...
YARS' REVENGE 1982
Along with the manuals were an assortment of Atari game catalogs featuring listings of available games of the time and some ATARI FORCE mini comics that were included with the games.
ATARI FORCE was the name of two comic book series published by DC Comics from 1982-1986.
Along with the manuals, catalogs, and Atari stuff there were also 63 other 80's mini-comics in the shoebox. If anyone can comment a guess on what they are, I've got duplicates and I'll mail them to you???? I'll post the answer and pics in a week.