Atari Oddities

The wacky Atari you don't know: Its digital photo booth, video phone, "Puppy Pong," and more.

Posted by  | Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Atari Jukebox
In 1976, France-based Atari Europe launched a line of coin-operated jukeboxes such as the Hit-Parade 144, this gaudy model from 1977.

Information on these machines is scarce, but it is rumored that the European branch of Atari purchased a local jukebox manufacturer and decided to get into the business. It must not have been very successful, because Atari Europe exited the jukebox market in 1978 — and the machines never made it to the US.

(Photo: Atari)

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9 Comments For This Post

  1. JM_Brazil Says:

    Thanks for the nostalgia Benj, this brings back many fond memories.

  2. Martin Goldberg Says:

    A little off on the Tank console and joystick history there. It wasn't the Tank console first and then the VCS/2600 and the sticks weren't chosen for one over the other. They were in development simultaneous. In fact the Tank console (called Tank II in the Atari version), the last of the dedicated consoles, was there simply in case something went wrong with the VCS. It didn't and the Tank console was cancelled accordingly. Additionally, the sticks used in this and the VCS were not CX-40's, they are the spring loaded CX-10's.

  3. Benj Edwards Says:

    I had a feeling I'd hear from you on this one, Marty. Thanks for clarifying that murky bit of Atari history for us.

  4. Martin Goldberg Says:

    Benj, not a problem. Great article otherwise!

  5. Mem Says:

    Wasn't that F-1 game in Dawn of the Dead?

  6. Guest Says:

    I actually owned a Hercules pinball game. It was easily the heaviest piece of electronics I have ever purchased for home use. It cost $500 from a Denver arcade refurbishing shop and came with free shipping back in 1993. Never broke down once in the 2 years I owned it but don't recommend putting this in the basement. Gave it away rather than trying to move it to my new house. Still, it was a lot of fun.

  7. Puffers Rabbinald Says:

    Just as a comment, the guy who eventually created programming to supercede scrolling as approximated in F-1 was Steve Hanawa, who worked as head of R & D for Sega of America during the Master System's initial launch. The game he did this in, which revolutionized racing games forever, was Turbo.

  8. Daniel B. Says:

    "Puppy Pong" did in fact get some kind of national exposure — it was a one-bid prize on a nighttime (Dennis James) episode of "The Price Is Right" during the 1974-75 season. Janice Pennington and Anita Ford were shown playing it.

  9. Daniel B. Says:

    AnitRa Ford, sorry. Also, here's the segment where Puppy Pong was offered (audio only, sorry):