Time for me to drone on again. I've been busy, but here's how things went last week.
I found the box with all inserts for the NES Action 52 cart. These carts go for a quite a bit on eBay, so I tore up the bins where I found the box. No cart. 8( Farther over, I find some pristine label 2600 carts and a labelless Parker Bros. cart. I'm not sure that I need the label upgrades on these, but pick up four plus the PB cart. I figure I can afford $0.50 a piece. I get to the check out and the lady, who's been charging me $0.50 (instead of $3 like another lady there) says $3 each! I end up just getting Worm War I so I can get the Action 52 box & docs for free. BTW, this thrift also charges $3 for Sega & NES carts. It's my least favorite in town, but seems to have stuff the most often.
One day I went with very little money. I saw a Sears 2600 in the box at Value Village marked $25. More than I care to spend (even if I had it on me), but the box looks like the first release. (The picture on the front has the little Sears labels on top of the joysticks.) There's also a brandless 2600 holder and interesting cart holder for $3.99 each. Then at Salvation Army I see a Video Pinball console (white version) for $5. I already have one so I figure I'll come back tomorrow after I've gone to the bank.
The next day I go to Value Village and get them to let me open the 2600 box. I told them I wanted to know if it had any extra games in it (which I did want to know). The box said "complete as pictured," but you never know. It turns out the 2600 was a Sears version, but they substituted Combat for Target Fun
I do, however, pick up the funky cart holder. It reminds me of a 5-1/4" disk holder. It has a transluscent cover that swings to the back when you open it. It holds 18 carts in two columns of 9. There's a small slot for instructions at the top. Anyone seen one of these before?
Then I get to Salvation Army and the Video Pinball is gone. No great loss, but it might explain why I never find much. Too much competition.
[I don't know why I called Target Fun the same game as Combat with a different label. Target Fun is the Sears equivalent to Air-Sea Battle. I posted a follow-up the same day berating myself.
Jeff Salzman responded a month later, saying, "The funky cartridge holder sounds like a TI-99 cartridge holder I have several of them myself and the cartridges are stored at an angle."]