I picked this system up more or less on a whim, but it’s become one of the pride and joys of my collection. This is an original 1977 Sears Video Arcade – the “heavy sixer”. Atari made these both under their own brand name and under the Sears brand name in order to be sold in Sears stores, and they only made the “heavy sixer” model for one year. Not particularly rare but becoming less common these days, as it seems most of those that remain serviceable have by now officially changed hands from the average consumers looking to dump them to the collectors (like me) that highly prize them.
I got mine through Ebay, an auction run by some guy who obviously knew nothing about this stuff, had a blurry pic that didn’t identify this as a heavy sixer at all (I thought I was just buying a common 6 switch model), and no real description. My final bid was around $13. You’ll never do that well today on a system like this. They are still available there, but the ratio of buyers to sellers favors high prices these days.
It came to me in a pretty sad state of affairs – dusty, dirty, nasty looking. A good bit of cleaning with a full roll of paper towels (add about a buck to the total price I paid), an alarming number of Q-Tips, and some Windex, and the result was this fine looking bit of machinery:
Rear label fully intact, serial number visible (box and label match):
My unit also still has its box (pictured above) and all of its original accessories, such as the original spring-loaded joysticks (note that it does not say “top” at the top of the dotted ring around the base of the stick as it does on later versions of the stick):
…the original Sears-branded paddles:
…and the original grey power supply:
Unfortunately, the power supply’s busted but I keep it because it’s rarer than the system itself. These power supplies are notoriously unreliable so most people with heavy sixers have replaced theirs. (I just use another 2600 power supply when I actually play games on this thing.) All the other accessories work perfectly.
I love this system; it’s easily one of my favorites. Just look at it! It’s a tank with that 1/4″ thick plastic base, and that faux-marble woodgrain! I think it’s even better-looking than the Atari-branded VCS.
I leave you with one more closeup pic of my baby – worship the woodgrain: