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Atari 7800 Catalogs

Atari 2600 Catalog ScansBack in the heyday of the Atari 2600, most reasonably-sized game companies produced catalogs to promote their games. It seems this is a lost art, as companies rarely package in catalogs with console games these days. But back in the early 80s it was always a blast looking through the latest Atari catalog to see what new games you could convince (beg) your parents to buy for you. As the largest producer of games for their systems, Atari also produced the greatest number of catalogs. And, in our opinion, the greatest catalogs. Atari's catalogs were filled with wonderful art that made them a joy to leaf through. And their catalogs could take a while to browse since some of them were quite large. Activision also produced a good number of catalogs, from their early days as the first third-party publisher with only six titles, to their later times when they were also publishing Imagic titles. Most other third-party companies only produced a single catalog, such as Parker Brothers. It's interesting to note that several third-party catalogs depict games that were never released, whereas Atari and Activision were much better about not picturing vaporware.

We're someday hoping to build a complete library of catalogs. If you have any catalogs that we're missing and wouldn't mind scanning them in, please contact us as we'd love to hear from you!

Absolute Entertainment
Model Number: AG-946-126
Year: 1989
Titles: 7

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Model Number: CO25618-001 Rev. A
Year: 1984
Titles: 75

This is an unusual catalog from Atari in that it features games and hardware for the 2600, 5200, and 7800. While there are several Atari catalogs that feature multiple systems, it's unusual to see three generations of Atari hardware depicted in the same catalog. There are over 70 titles pictured in this catalog, 32 for the 2600, 30 for the 5200, and 13 for the 7800. There are many titles shown that never saw the light of day, such as Dr. Salk's "Peek-A-Boo", Elevator Action, Garfield, The Last Starfighter for the 2600 and Rescue on Fractalus! for the 7800. Also, at this point Asteroids for the 7800 was still listed as 3D Asteroids. Some unreleased hardware is also described, such as the Computer Keyboard, High Score Cartridge and 7800 ProSystem Game Adapter that would allow you to play 2600 and 7800 games on the 5200. The last page of the catalog features a description and a picture of the unreleased MindLink accessory for the 2600 and 7800 that would allow you to control games by sending "electronic impulses from your brain to the game console".
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Model Number: CO34003 Rev. A
Year: 1987
Titles: 133

Yet another poster catalog from Atari (these seemed to be the norm in Atari's later years), this one features games from the 2600, 7800, and XE Video Game System. This catalog lists 133 titles in all, including 16 from the 2600, 20 from the 7800 and 87 titles for the XE Game System (of which many of these are third-party). Roughly the same amount of space is devoted to each system, with the XE Game System touted as "The Ultimate System for the Advanced Game Player." The 2600 is listed as the, "World's Most Popular Video Game System" and the 7800's tag line is, "The State-of-the-Art Video Game System." Some hardware is also depicted, although nothing out of the ordinary.
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Model Number: C300593-001 Rev. A
Year: 1988
Titles: 29

Atari produced two different Atari Advantage catalogs, one for the 2600 and another for the 7800. This catalog features all the 7800 games that were available (or coming soon) when the catalog was published. Nearly 30 7800 games are shown, with 13 of those titles designated as "Coming Soon". All the games depicted in this catalog would see the light of day, although Deluxe Asteroids would be released simply as Asteroids (perhaps to avoid confusion with the earlier Atari coin-op Asteroids Deluxe?) This catalog featured a contest with the grand prize being a 7-day trip to California including a day at Atari Headquarters to "see video games designed." But in order to become eligible to enter an essay writing contest to win the trip you first had to purchase 25 game cartridges. In addition, purchasing games could net you free Atari T-shirts, game cartridges, and discounts on Atari hardware.
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