First Atari - Missile Command

Celebrate Atari Day With…well…My First Atari!

It is once more the 26th of the month. Which of course means that it is time to celebrate Atari Day! Furthermore I felt that perhaps a more personal recollection would be in order. Case in point the memories of how I got my first Atari.
First Atari - Vic Sage

As you can certainly see I was rather excited to unwrap this particular Christmas gift. In addition I should say that it certainly wasn’t a bad holiday up to that point. If you look closely behind me you will spy the likes of Imperial Troop Transport as well as the remote controlled R2-D2.

[Via] Sarlaac Pit Podcast

Of course if you keep checking out that late 70’s photograph. You will likewise see a few more equally important toys in my youth. I will direct your attention to the then desired Mortimer Snerd ventriloquist dummy sitting…patiently…in the decorative chair behind me. Bear in mind this was before I was instilled with an overwhelming fear of dummies. This was naturally before Steven Spielberg delivered 1982’s Poltergeist!
First Atari - Poltergeist

Besides a collection of wind-up toys, something I will admit I was totally captivated by in my youth. We have some of those faithful blue friends, The Smurfs. Going off my memory I want to say that it the three present were Doctor Smurf, Lion Tamer Smurf, and possibly Hang Glider Smurf.
First Atari - Lion Tamer Smurf

Which I am sure you will be more than glad to hear leads us to my first Atari. Finally. So as I have already stated this was a good Christmas. It was all done or so I thought. My Grandmother asked what was that in the Christmas tree. I will admit to not being able to remotely find what had captured her attention. At this point my Father had joined in – trying to direct me to behind the tree where one wrapped gift remained hidden, nestled in the branches. It was small and box shaped, I literally had no idea what it was. Moreover when I ripped off that wrapping paper I discovered I was an owner of Atari’s Missile Command!
Missile Command

I think you can imagine how excited I was, right? The dawning realization that this obviously meant I got my first Atari! In the nearly seven years I have written for The Retroist have I ever let on I was remotely that sharp? I can vividly recall looking at the box and just shrugging my shoulders. I mean this gift was wasted as I of course didn’t own an Atari VCS.

That is when my Grandmother opened a closet door and pulled out a much larger wrapped gift. Heady with the joy of not just the Holiday but the thrill of civilized destruction I tore into the wrapping paper. You can see the absolute joy on my face in that photo, which was snapped by my Grandfather by the way. As much as I loved all of my Star Wars gifts and other presents…my first Atari was the best thing in my eyes.

In addition to Missile Command there was another Atari cart hidden in the tree. That was Adventure, a game I still love to this very day. Very quickly I was sitting in the middle of the living room floor with my Grandmother. After my Father had set up the Atari 2600 to that large television of course. But as you can see from this photograph of my Father and myself…even though he disliked video games in general. The fun of my first Atari was enough to coerce him to join me in game or two of Missile Command!
First Atari - Missile Command

Image courtesy of Atari I/O’s Facebook page.


To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari I/O/s site by following the link here!

Now that you have learned about my first Atari featuring Missile Command. Perhaps you would like to know another fan of that classic Atari game?


That would of course be none other than Steven Spielberg. Yep. The man responsible for many of our most cherished films as well as instilling a lifelong case of Automatonophobia was also a fan of the 1980 arcade game!

Fisher-Price Alpha Probe

I was four-years-old when the “Summer of Star Wars” hit back in 1977, so it stands to reason that most of the 3 3/4″ figures I owned were Star Wars-related. However, I was never above mixing and matching different playsets together, and one such playset that got assimilated into my collection of Star Wars toys was Fisher-Price’s Alpha Probe.

alpha-probe-01

The Alpha Probe was part of Fisher-Price’s Adventure People series, a couple of which our own Doug shared earlier this year. The Alpha Probe came with two astronauts and an escape pod, which fit conveniently into the Alpha Probe’s docking bay.

Although you can’t see it from this angle, on the right-hand side of the Probe there were several buttons which, when pressed, played electronic sounds and caused red lights on the Probe to flash. The set also came with an “air hose” that connected to the ship and the back of either figure. When connected, it gave the illusion that the astronaut was floating in space. You can see it in the picture below.

alpha-probe-02

Since the action figures were all the same size, it was not uncommon for the two astronauts to kick their boots off and play a round of holographic chess in the rear of the Millennium Falcon while Han and Chewie took the Alpha Probe out for a quick smuggling mission. At least in my bedroom …

Thanks to Babbling Point for the great Alpha Probe pictures!

adventure desk clock

Atari 2600 Adventure Cartridge Desk Clock

What time is it? Time for an Adventure clock!

This is an awesome Adventure Atari 2600 cartridge desk clock. The clock is made from from the original Atari cartridge, which is then mounted on a desk stand, and has clock movements inserted into it. The clock will make a great addition to an office, a bedroom, or even the center piece on your mantle. Great for a gift for that hard to shop for person or for yourself.

The clock movements run on 1 AA battery for 2-3 years and keep time within 2-3 minutes per year.

adventure desk clock

Adventure Atari 2600 Desk Clock [via] Etsy