BEFORE MAILING AGH...
Nowadays, we receive so much mail
that we'd spend our entire lives if we attempt to respond to every single
one of them. Therefore, we thought we'd take the time and answer some of
your questions here.
Video 61 and 4Jay's sell rebuilt controllers and also fix broken ones. They're your best bet.
In brief, Atari was split-up in 1984 following the market crash. Time Warner kept the company's coin-op (arcade) division while selling off its home console and computer divisions to Jack Tramiel (former head of Commodore). Time Warner-owned Atari became Atari Games Corp. while the Tramiel-owned Atari became Atari Corp. Atari Games was sold to arcade giant Williams/Midway the early 90's, while Atari Corp. failed with its Jaguar and Lynx machines and merged in 1996 with JTS, a hard disk manufacturer. Finally, Hasbro came along in 1998 and purchased Atari Corp. for a mere $5 million, and and released a slew of revamped classic Atari hits for contemporary game machines and PCs. Hasbro fell on hard times and sold off its entire interactive group (including Atari) to French-owned Infogrames Entertainment. Similarly, Midway was affected by the downturn in the coin-op market and has exited from the arcade business -- which spelled the end of the Atari and Bally brand names in the arcades.
Don't expect Infogrames-owned Atari to bring out a videogame machine anytime soon -- if not forever. With multinational conglomerates such as Sony and Microsoft vying for console supremacy, it's highly doubtful that there will be room for another contender...
You can take the cheap route and scour your local flea markets, thrift stores and garage sales; it's much more rewarding to find things yourself. However, if you're pressed for time or would rather make your purchases via the internet, you have a few options. The USENET Newsgroup rec.games.video.classic, rec.games.video.atari and rec.games.video.marketplace are three of the better sources in my experience. You might also want to introduce yourself to the world of eBay, located at http://www.ebay.com, games can get pricey sometimes but you never know. Finally, you can always do a web search for classic and Atari game dealers. Sorry, but we don't have the time to direct each person to a dealer to cater to his or her specific needs; just do a little bit of research and you should be able to find what you're looking for.
Classic gamers should start with O'Shea Limited's Atari Cave, who stock a nice selection of brand new 2600 and 7800 games for cheap. Lynx and Jaguar gamers have three sources to choose from. Telegames, Go Atari and Video Game Liquidators are your best bet. Telegames has a good selection but their prices are on the high side, while Video Game Liquidators have the best regular prices but with the smallest repetoire of titles. Bits 'O Fun is somewhere in between, but they occassionally have excellent sales that are hard to beat.
As for AGH, we are merely enthusiasts like our readers; therefore, we prefer to trade rather than sell our extras. However, we do not have an overabundance of stock of products nor is it our goal to cash in by profiting from sales -- we have better ways of making money. So you can try us and make us an offer, but if we don't get back to you, you know why.
We don't have any extras for sale nor do we know of any place that offers authentic Atari T-shirts (at the time of this writing.) A simple web search might prove otherwise, of course.
We have purposely avoided creating a massive directory of web sites for several reasons. First of all, home pages come and go faster than a baseball leaving the bat of Ken Griffey Jr. And besides, Lee Seitz has a thorough link page at http://fly.hiwaay.net/~lkseitz/cvg/nexus/, which should be the starting point for classic and Atari games web searching.
Occasionally, we do grant permission for use of some of AGH's content. However, we did not devote a ton of our time to create a web page, only to have it available on everyone else's site. It wouldn't hurt to try us, but as we noted earlier, we get flooded with e-mail on a daily basis, so if your mail goes unanswered, we apologize.
We try to respond to all intelligent inquiries, but others may be in a better position to answer your questions. We also suggest you consider posting to the AGH Forum Message Board or USENET Newsgroups.
Don't get us wrong. We do appreciate e-mails from our visitors and love receiving comments, suggestions, criticisms and words of praise. But we are now to the point where we are incapable of responding to every single e-mail we receive.
Due to the massive amount of email we receive each day, coupled with the fact that we have lives outside of AGH, e-mails to us may go unanswered. Sorry!