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Action 52 Prototype Is it possibly MORE unfinished than the released game?!

Jun 4, 2010 at 4:26:10 PM
Pat the NES Punk (23)
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(Patrick Contri) < Meka Chicken >
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From my friend's site:


The blue cart (prototype 1) definitely is unique. The one in the middle with the black board is interesting too, although I think I've seen some Action 52 carts with a black board (probably leftovers they made into production?).

It would be interesting to know what the hell is on the prototype cart being that the production release should be considered a prototype itself due to its abysmal quality. Could it be even more broken?



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Edited: 06/04/2010 at 04:32 PM by Pat the NES Punk

Jun 4, 2010 at 7:57:33 PM
SamSpade (61)
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(Joey Pimkowski) < Bowser >
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It really amazes me that this game ever saw the light of day. I've never actually played it, but by watching you and countless other people slog through it, I'm glad that I haven't. Everything about it just seems so rushed and slapped together without care. I've played through a lot of games that could have spent more time baking in the oven but that thing appears to be a bunch of half assed badly coded prototypes. It is legitimately criminal that Action 52 was released, they should have just made a collection of atari games instead because that would have been a hell of a lot better than what the poor bastards that bought this ended up with.

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Edited: 06/04/2010 at 07:59 PM by SamSpade

Jun 4, 2010 at 8:44:36 PM
GamesOgre (0)
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(Mark Weber) < Little Mac >
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Thanks for the post Pat!  I'm definitely interest in learning where this prototype fits into the Action 52 history books.  It's a sketchy area of Nintendo history, which makes it all the more interesting.

And, yeah, you're both right.  It's probably one of the least playable games in my NES collection...but it looks so pretty on the outside.



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Owner of VideoGameMuseum.com
Collector of NES, Dreamcast, kiosks and RC model boats.

Jun 4, 2010 at 8:46:47 PM
the_wizard_666 (157)
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(The Fat Ninja) < Wiz's Mom >
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I dunno, I enjoy playing it. *shrug*

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"It's always amazing to me how some of the most worthless games from a gaming perspective tend to fetch outrageous amounts of money. But then again, it could be said that something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. I'm curious if the high bidder of the $873.04 Stadium Events (cart-only) realizes that it's nowhere nearly as rare as about 20+ games I can think of that sell for 1/10th that amount?  At any rate, I wanted to draw attention to this trend: if people say it's rare, it must be true, and therefore it must be had at any price."
-Dain Anderson, October 14, 2006
Originally posted by: kryptk33p3r

im used to dick jokes i get to see one everytime I pee

Jun 4, 2010 at 9:19:44 PM
Pat the NES Punk (23)
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(Patrick Contri) < Meka Chicken >
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Originally posted by: the_wizard_666

I dunno, I enjoy playing it. *shrug*


What game, pray tell, is enjoyable on that cart? Streamerz? Fuzz Power?

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Jun 4, 2010 at 9:22:42 PM
the_wizard_666 (157)
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(The Fat Ninja) < Wiz's Mom >
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I just enjoy playing the entire damn thing. I figure that, for me at least, it falls into the "So Absolutely God-Awful It's Fun" category

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"It's always amazing to me how some of the most worthless games from a gaming perspective tend to fetch outrageous amounts of money. But then again, it could be said that something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. I'm curious if the high bidder of the $873.04 Stadium Events (cart-only) realizes that it's nowhere nearly as rare as about 20+ games I can think of that sell for 1/10th that amount?  At any rate, I wanted to draw attention to this trend: if people say it's rare, it must be true, and therefore it must be had at any price."
-Dain Anderson, October 14, 2006
Originally posted by: kryptk33p3r

im used to dick jokes i get to see one everytime I pee

Jun 5, 2010 at 1:52:07 AM
nightstar6999 (54)
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(Shatter Hand) < El Ripper >
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Bubblegum Rosy alone is better than both the Zeldas combined.

Jun 5, 2010 at 12:48:12 PM
NationalGameDepot (279)
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(Dr. NGD) < Bonk >
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Action 52 has a bunch of variants anyways, so I am not sure we could for sure if one was a proto or not. There are like 5 or 6 known variants anyways, this just might be one more to add to the list
~~NGD

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Jun 5, 2010 at 12:54:52 PM
qixmaster (126)
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(Josh B) < Wiz's Mom >
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It really doesn't look like a prototype to me. Like NGD said, this very well could be a variation. I know i've seen the paper label type before. I'm sure each copy/revisions have different bugs they tried to work out, hence so many variations. What the guy has is probably one of the first produced action 52 carts.

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Jun 5, 2010 at 3:13:17 PM
Speedy_NES (150)
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(< Pieter >) < Kraid Killer >
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I've seen tons of Action 52s, but I've never seen one with a blue PCB and a different mold + screws, so I would not be surprised if that one is an actual prototype or preview copy. But, the copy with the black PCB is a known variant. It's listed in some places as having a blue label, but the blue label came packaged independently in some Action 52s as a sticker (slightly oversized for the label area in the mold, anyway), so there's a good chance that it's not an actual label variant and simply applied on the cartridge by the end consumer.

Jun 5, 2010 at 3:16:24 PM
Speedy_NES (150)
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(< Pieter >) < Kraid Killer >
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By the way, aren't there just three variants confirmed? Black PCB no REV, green PCB Rev-A, and green PCB Rev-B? The box variation with & w/o suggested msrp is likely just linked to one of these three releases, and as I said in my previous post, the blue label really shouldn't be seen as a variant as it came as an insert in some (and possibly all) copies of at least one of these three PCB variants.

Jun 5, 2010 at 5:30:37 PM
NESMASTER14 (26)
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(color dreams) < King Solomon >
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Action 52 definitely has a ton of variants, so it's unlikely that these are genuine prototypes. But, for some reason the blue one sticks out to me. The fact that it has screws is a sign that the cart may have been disassembled many times; which I'd assume is needed to tweak things during the production stage. I don't believe Active Enterprise would waste money on having screws on every production model, so I would come to the conclusion that it is indeed a prototype.


*edited for grammar

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Edited: 06/05/2010 at 05:32 PM by NESMASTER14

Jun 6, 2010 at 9:58:30 AM
nensondubois (18)
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(One Two) < Eggplant Wizard >
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I've only seen two versions of Action 52: A later revision where Alfredo and the other game works, and the standard one where they don't.

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Looking for Tiertex developed Super Game Boy game prototypes, official Nintendo developed SGB SDK demos, SNES Tetris & Dr. Mario, Super Mario Kart prototypes with known differences. Interested in other protos. I may trade CIB Gimmick! or other rare and valuable gaming items.

Jun 6, 2010 at 11:54:14 AM
NationalGameDepot (279)
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(Dr. NGD) < Bonk >
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Originally posted by: Speedy_NES

By the way, aren't there just three variants confirmed? Black PCB no REV, green PCB Rev-A, and green PCB Rev-B? The box variation with & w/o suggested msrp is likely just linked to one of these three releases, and as I said in my previous post, the blue label really shouldn't be seen as a variant as it came as an insert in some (and possibly all) copies of at least one of these three PCB variants.

I think it is up to at least 4 Pieter, and I was thinking 5 for some reason.  Dain is the pro on Action 52 though, he was all about them a few years ago.

I know sealed ones have been opened and they didn't have the blue stickers packed in them, so all copies def did not have them.  Who knows on this one.  I was in contact with one of the company owners a few years ago trying to get some answers, but then he stopped responding to me :-/
~~NGD


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Jun 11, 2010 at 12:37:52 PM
CHEETAHMAN (2)
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(GREG PABICH) < Little Mac >
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Many thanks to Jason at National Game Depot for the FANTASTIK info available on his most comprehensive list . This info really helps clear the picture on the various versions of Action 52.

It does appear that the Black PCB version I have, although rare, is likely an early production cart.

It also appears that the BLUE PCB version with the BLUE label, screws( to provide access to the Board), a different cartridge molded body and the "MADE IN AMERICA" lettering on the Board appears to be a prototype/test model previously undiscovered.

Much closer examination shows that there are in fact EPROMS on the board hidden under the BLUE label, but they are unlike any of the production models. Mike at CHEETAHMEN CORNER asked that I open and photograph the board which I will do and share.

Jun 11, 2010 at 12:46:01 PM
CHEETAHMAN (2)
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(GREG PABICH) < Little Mac >
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I visited Active in Florida before production models were made. I think the original plan was to use the BLUE label on the production carts, but early into production, I believe Active switched to the decal label. I think, until they ran out of them, the BLUE label was included in the gamebox as a "premium" -kind of like the Cheetahmen comic.

Jun 11, 2010 at 2:37:47 PM
Tootai (4)
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(Winston O'Boogie) < Crack Trooper >
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Wow, someone who has had contact with Active. What can you tell us about them? Were they just a garage operation or something bigger?

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Jun 11, 2010 at 4:16:09 PM
CHEETAHMAN (2)
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(GREG PABICH) < Little Mac >
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I owned a very large preplayed movie and game distribution business located in Dallas, TX. I set up the game buy back/trade in programs for Babbages, Toys R Us, Software,Etc. and others. We also built the opening store Inventory(movies and games) packages for the Blockbuster Franchisees in North America, Hawaii, Mexico, Canada, Panama, ETC, ETC See: http://www.inc.com/magazine/19971...

I was introduced to Vince Perri, one? of the owners of Active as a potential U.S. distibutor of the Action 52 cart. I went to Florida in either late 1990 or early 1991 to discuss the "deal". He had a large warehouse/office building and appeared to be a legitimate business. I was discussing the purchase of many 1,000's of games and it involved a tremendous amount of money. In a business like I was in that was full of con artists, I was wary because I was told the carts were going to be assembled "offshore" -the Bahamas according to Perri and that they must be paid for in full -IN ADVANCE!

He did not have pallets of finished games in evidence, only a handful of what he called "Prototypes" of which I returned with one(which he was very reluctant to part with). There were employees and activities going on (mock ups, advertising posters,promotional stuff, etc) and Active appeared to be a real business. He never mentioned any partners

We talked and talked, had dinner and I left Florida knowing that the deal was too shaky for me to risk a million dollar upfront payment being wired to the Bahamas...


Jun 11, 2010 at 7:15:22 PM
Tootai (4)
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(Winston O'Boogie) < Crack Trooper >
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That is incredible. I know there has been lots of people curious about the whole Active Enterprises thing. I guess they were serious about all those announced plans? Not that they were realistic. Someone needs to interview this Vince Perri.

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Jun 11, 2010 at 8:44:07 PM
dangevin (219)
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(Dan Langevin) < Wiz's Mom >
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Originally posted by: Tootai

That is incredible. I know there has been lots of people curious about the whole Active Enterprises thing. I guess they were serious about all those announced plans? Not that they were realistic. Someone needs to interview this Vince Perri.


They tried.

http://www.neswarpzone.com/active...

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Jun 11, 2010 at 9:02:56 PM
Elijah (161)
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(John (JD) Heins) < Wiz's Mom >
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Originally posted by: dangevin

Originally posted by: Tootai

That is incredible. I know there has been lots of people curious about the whole Active Enterprises thing. I guess they were serious about all those announced plans? Not that they were realistic. Someone needs to interview this Vince Perri.


They tried.

http://www.neswarpzone.com/active.html


Good read, sounds like they are paranoid, like thought he was a lawyer or something digging up evidence.

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Jun 11, 2010 at 9:59:23 PM
GamesOgre (0)
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(Mark Weber) < Little Mac >
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Greg, in hindsight you must be pretty happy you didn't hand Vince Perri a huge wad of cash...or wire it to him in the Bahamas. Then again, if you had done so, perhaps his business wouldn't have gone under and we'd all have had Action 52 carts as kids.

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Jun 12, 2010 at 9:06:06 AM
CHEETAHMAN (2)
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(GREG PABICH) < Little Mac >
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Mark:
Remember we're talking about the "infamous" ACTION 52. They might also have become an organized mob and hanged me!!

Even though the BLUE test cart of the ACTION 52 might one day be considered one of the rarest and most sought after games on the Planet, it will probably be sold under (tongue in cheek!)the billing "THE ABSOLUTE BEST OF THE WORST- THANK GOD ONLY ONE COLLECTION WILL EVER HAVE IT"

GREG
gpabich@live.com

Jun 12, 2010 at 10:57:46 AM
qixmaster (126)
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(Josh B) < Wiz's Mom >
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^greg,
I sent you a message. I hope to hear back from you.

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Jun 15, 2010 at 12:49:49 PM
CHEETAHMAN (2)
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(GREG PABICH) < Little Mac >
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LET ME COPY A POST I MADE IN THE CHEETAHMEN CORNER EARLIER:
MIKE:

I RECEIVED THE GAME FROM AUSTRALIA AND IT IS A "REV B" VERSION. WHAT IS INTERESTING IS THAT THE REV B LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THE CHEETAHMEN ll GAME. IT HAS THE EXACT SAME PINS MISSING, THE WARNING DECAL ON THE REVERSE OF THE CART IS NOT IN PLACE AND IT HAS TWO ORANGE CAPACITORS. THE MAJOR DIFFERENCE CHEETAHMEN HAS IS THAT IT HAS LESS PRODUCTION PROMS AND OF COURSE, THE CHEETAHMEN 'S PROMS SAY "CHEETAHMEN".
IT LOOKS LIKE CHEETAHMEN WAS MADE OF LEFT OVER REV B CARTS WITH A CHANGE IN A VERY FEW PROMS.
WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THE MISSING PINS ON REV B (SAME AS ON CHEETAHMEN)??? THERE HAD TO BE A REASON FOR THIS DELIBERATE CHANGE. DID REV B HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE OVERSEAS MARKET?( I BOUGHT THIS IN FROM A GAMER IN AUSTRALIA) DO YOU KNOW IF REVISION B IS MORE OR LESS SCARCE THAN
REV A??