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November 2015 Retro Gaming Article


November 23, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Robotron's price tag brought back great memories of my favorite retro gaming comic shop

I've assumed it's customary to display one's personal gaming items by holding them in one hand and photographing them with the other, as a way of indicating it is indeed YOUR item and not a random picture you are sharing. While I understand the desire to demonstrate ownership in a sea of imagery that floods social networks, I'd make a lousy hand model.

Robotron: 2084 for Atari 7800 & a Cookie Cat button Any game cart clenched in my fist would look more like a Walking Dead promo than pride in ownership. Thus, my Robotron: 2084 game cartridge is uniquely marked with a button I recently came across. I'm a fan of several Cartoon Network shows and thought this "Cookie Cat" button was a clever way to represent the Steven Universe show.

Many of my pictures are similarly litered with whatever trinkets are within easy grasp when taking pictures. That's my way of setting my gaming items apart without any TWD hand modeling. :)

My son and I have been playing a lot of Robotron: 2084 and were comparing the 7800 and 800 versions. Almost always, I prefer the 800 computer versions, but this time the 7800 won out. We prefer the 7800 version's visual clarity.

We also have the Midway Arcade compilation for PS3 (Robotron is one of the included games), but I'm not wild about that style of controller for classic arcade games. For me, the Classics need a real joystick - not a D-pad. Now that we've cleared up why there's a random ice cream pin resting on my preferred version of Robotron: 2084, let's get into the real issue. The price tag!

Robotron: 2084 for Atari 7800 & a Cookie Cat button

Dragon's Den

I suppose $4.95 was a reasonable price back in the mid 90's when I bought it. More importantly is the store from which I bought it. A few days ago when I saw "Dragon's Den" on the tag, a jolt of memories came rushing back. That usually happens to me via music, when an old song comes on the radio - it takes me back to a very specific time.

Dragon's Den was a comic book shop in New York and was a haven for everything cool. Great store! But better still were the circumstances under which I used to frequent this pop culture mecca. From Tank Girl comic books to Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, and Jaguar video games, they had everything I thought I'd ever need!

Tank Girl missile bra cover I once lived fairly close to Dragon's Den, but my job took me farther North resulting in a hour long journey each way. When the weekend arrived, friends would come over and we'd drink beer and play video games. Other times we'd slap our favorite comic books on a flatbed scanner and marvel at the great artwork - while drinking beer.

On a majority of weekends, we found an excuse to make the trek down to Dragon's Den to see what treasures had arrived. Never having a specific goal in mind, we'd hop in the car and see where the day took us. There were a few favorite eateries as well as an arcade and a well-stocked laserdisc retailer nearby.

It's hard to believe those carefree ventures were 20 years ago and that I'm sharing Robotron with my son! I was devastated when I learned Dragon's Den had closed. So many memories I hadn't thought about in a very long time. All it took was a yellow price tag and I vividly remember many of the occasions that filled out my collection of Tank Girl comics and Atari Jaguar games.

Next time someone tells you how to remove a sticker, price tag or sharpie markings from a game cart... tell them it's part of that game's history and might unlock a few good tales!

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