is the AtariAge rarity guide? How do we arrive at the values? This page
will attempt to explain some of that, and give further detail to each
of the numbers we assign.
First of all, this guide reflects the availability of cartridges from
all sources: thrift stores, flea markets, retailers, and online auctions.
In some cases, the games may be extremely difficult to find "in the
wild", but they may be readily available online. For example, Telegames
Tele-Games) cartridges are quite hard to find at the local thrift
store or flea market, but you can simply go to their store online and
purchase them with ease. They may be more expensive than other games of
a similar rarity, but not necessarily more rare.
Another thing to consider is that rarity does not explicitly dictate
value. Popularity/notoriety of a game has much to do with it. For example,
the Chuckwagon and Guardian
are both rated 8, but Chase the Chuckwagon consistently sells for more
on the collector market. Why is this? Chase the Chuckwagon has a colorful
history and has earned a certain degree of notoriety. Guardian on the
other hand has no really interesting story behind it and is not as well
known. On the low end, games like Pitfall!
may sell for more than others of a similar rarity because they are so
much fun and are often the first games that new collectors seek because
of their fond memories about the games.
We arrived at the ascribed values after much consideration and input
from a great number of collectors. While we have been collecting for many
years ourselves, we could not have put this together without input from
others in the hobby. We realize there is always room for improvement,
and if you feel that a particular rarity is inaccurate, we encourage to
post about it in the Rarity
Guide message board where others may discuss it as well. If the consensus
is that a value needs to be changed, we will take that into serious consideration.
Here are some further details about the Rarity Guide numbers:
||The most common of all games. These are the titles
that you almost always find when you buy a stack of games at a flea
market or thrift store. Any longtime collector probably has stacks
||Almost as ubiquitous as Common, but may vary slightly
from collector to collector. Even beginning collectors can find almost
all of these without much difficulty.
||Scarce cartridges are those that you don't find
in every pile, but you will find them often enough. Although you may
have trouble tracking down every Scarce cartridge initially, you can
eventually get them all.
||Getting harder to find, it may be difficult to
track down all the Scarce+ cartridges if you are only hunting locally.
For that reason, you may have to resort to online resources to track
down all of these, although you should be able to pick them up inexpensively.
||You don't see these everyday, unless you're really
lucky. We're just getting into the rare territory, and you will probably
have to do some trading or online buying to acquire all these cartridges.
Expect to pay in the $10-$20 range on the collector market for these
||Ah, now we're talking. Dedicated cartridge hunters
can find these in the wild with perseverance, but it will take considerable
effort. If you must resort to Ebay, expect to give up $20-$30 each.
||Very rare, cartridges you will rarely run across
in the wild.. You might even have a hard time finding these on Ebay,
but they show up often enough that you should wait for a good deal.
||Worth bragging about if you find it in the wild.
If you buy one of these on Ebay, expect to pay well for it.
||Extremely difficult to find, although these are
attainable. Even veteran collectors of many years are excited by finding
one of these babies in the wild. Consider yourself lucky for any Extremely
Rare+ cartridge that you find.
||These games are almost impossible to find in the
wild. Even collectors who have been at it for years may never run
across one of these, and they often make up the showcase of an individual's
collection. These rarely show up even on Ebay, and if they do there
will most likely be a bidding war.
||Homebrew cartridges are programs that were written
after the demise of Atari. The first homebrew cartridge was Ed Federmeyer's
SoundX written in 1995, and new games continue to be written today.
Sometimes there are special limited editions of homebrews, but most
of them are available in some form indefinitely.
||Reproduction cartridges are newly manufactured releases of old games. Often these are reproductions of prototypes but they can also be games that were officially released.
||Prototypes are games that were not released commercially,
and they range from demos to fully working versions. Prototypes are
generally very rare, although in some cases there may be dozens floating
around. Beware of fakes. This icon refers to original prototypes only,
not reproductions of prototypes.
||These games have not been assigned a rarity yet
due to insufficient information. This does not necessarily mean that
they're rare. If you'd like to help us determine rarity for these
games, please feel free to participate in our Rarity
AtariAge Rarity Key