I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there is surging interest in Sears Tele-Games cartridges. A recently glance through the AtariAge Facebook page showed a number of posts and extensive comments on and about these rebranded Atari beauties under the Sears name.
To those of you unfamiliar with the story Atari entered a partnership with Sears in 1977 to distribute their games under their label. Both companies would benefit from this as it solidified Sears as the de facto retailer of video games and Atari would get more systems into homes. The Sears games are identical to their 2600 cousins but with occasional name changes and new art. While the Atari art was superior in practically every conceivable way, the Sears art was still charming and some pieces such as Poker Plus were over sexualized.
In any case, the Sears text lables were as simple as you could imagine with the number of game variations taking up the largest real estate on the cartridge. Perhaps it was to convince consumers that quantity was more important than quality, or maybe it was just a design asthetic that worked.
With Sears being on the brink of death there is no doubt that the prices will surge when the final demise comes, and perhaps in a generation or so new collectors will remember Sears not as a century+ old retailer but as a video game manufacturer because after all, what other Sears branded products will continue to exist, or much less be collected by then?
Look forward to The Unauthorized Atari 2600 Sears Tele-Games Companion being released later this year…