The purpose of this semi-regular column will be to focus on a person or business that I have come in contact with because of this newsletter. Most of these people I otherwise would probably never have talked to.
Video games give people a common ground on which to stand and begin to relate to one another. They are not usually thought of as social, when in fact they definitely are. I'm not claiming that they should replace other activities in which people interact. My point here is that many positive facets of video gaming are ignored or passed unknown by many people.
In my first issue, I listed all the people and dealers whom I knew of that carried classic systems. I included Video 61, and noted that the prices were a bit high. In a short time, I received a phone call from Lance at Video 61 to ask why I thought their prices were high.
Video 61 is an Atari dealer. I didn't know this. I thought that it was run by someone who combed the flea markets and tried to sell items for a large profit. Of course, being me, I was wrong. Instead, it turns out that Video 61 is a real business that has been around for a long time. (Lance gave me a specific date, but I have forgotten it -- sometime in the early eighties.)
When I received my first catalogue from Video 61, I was a bit disappointed. Although it had many items, it was a bad photocopy, which made it difficult to read. Also, the games weren't listed in columns. Rather, they were just typed across the page -- it was hard to find what you wanted. This didn't seem like the work of a professional. I figured that it was another hobbyist who saw money to be made. (The new catalogue is much better. It also contains a number of new items.)
As all businesses that have employees know, you must make a profit to stay alive. Such is the case with Video 61. They have been around for so long that they understand what it takes to survive. I wonder what they did to stay alive during the time when the classics were dying. I know that some people have been collecting since the systems were popular. Some never gave up on the classics. Rather than rediscovering orphans, as I did, they have stuck with each product because they believe in it.
Video 61 is no exception. They believe in what Atari produces. I have little faith in Atari as a company, but despite the business, they continue to dispense products that should have an impact on the market, but somehow don't. I like the fact that Video 61 has stuck through the thin times.
Here is the surprise: Video 61 actually has lower prices on the harder-to-find items. For example, Klax for the VCS is $34.95, compared to the fifty dollars I have seen charged elsewhere.
Video 61 is also the only place that I know of besides Best Electronics that rebuilds 5200 joysticks. You must send in your joystick to get it repaired; they don't sell rebuilt ones (although you might check with them). The cost for this is $19.95: five bucks cheaper than at Best Electronics.
They also carry both new and used VCSs and 7800s. This is also a good place to pick up a new 8-bit computer. They have most of them, including the XEGS, which has a keyboard attached by a cord.
I bet this is the only place where you can find classic IBM 5 1/4" disks like Jungle Hunt, Stargate, Centipede, Dig-Dug and many others, brand-new, for $9.95 apiece.
The largest cartridge collection available in one place is from Video 61, although B&C Computer Visions comes in at a close second. The price for new carts is $19.95, and they have Archon...order that game right now!
Although I really don't like to buy floppy disks for my 8-bits, Video 61 has tons of them for your Atari, plus some for the C64 and a limited number for the Apple.
Get in touch with these guys!
Video 61, 22735 Congo St. NE, Stacy, MN 55079, (612) 462-2500.