It’s believed that only around a dozen copies of Air Raid for the Atari 2600 have ever surfaced, so naturally those retro gems are in the hands of collectors, and probably locked inside a hermetically sealed glass cabinet, never to be played again.
But now a new cartridge has been discovered in the attic of a US gamer’s parents, and is perhaps the most pristine example ever seen.
Originally released in 1982 as the debut title of developer Men-A-Vision, Air Raid features a very unique cartridge housing made from light blue plastic with a T-shaped handle. Its distribution was almost non-existent, probably due to it riding the back of the Space Invaders wave as a decent, if unimpressive clone.
It’s not the gameplay that makes it so desirable to collectors, of course. The last copy of Air Raid to surface complete with its box raised a mind-boggling $31,600 at auction, with poor quality unboxed cartridges still reeling in a staggering $3000 - $5000 when they’re found.
This one, located in Pomona, California, is in outstandingly good condition, box and all, after being given to the owner as new by a small-time video game sales rep in the early 80s. With several days still to go on its auction it’s already at $17,850 at the time of publication, having started at just one dollar. Our guess is that amount will double by the November 4th closing date.
We’re never throwing anything away ever again. Ever.