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Albino Atari 7800

Spotted in the Wild!
Special Nolan Bushnell Signature Series Atari 7800 Model

This is a news article from the old site that I posted around September 2006. If you have seen images of these Nolan Bushnell Atari 7800's online, this is what they are... straight from the late, great Curt Vendel's mouth.

During September, in the year of our Lord of 2006... A rare creature indeed was seen grazing on the hills of a popular internet auction website. It was in fact, only one of three known prototypes of a "Signature Series" Atari 7800. The project of re-releasing a white Atari 7800 was wisely, but unfortunately, canned. The signature is from famed Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, and here is Atari expert Curt Vedell on what the hell we are looking at:

I had been working with Atari back in 2002 and was also being emailed by Bill OShea about wanting to reproduce the 7800 pro-system. Well I commissioned SunMark to do a new PCB design and I worked with a close friend and former Atari Industrial designer and together we came up with a new updated look for the 7800 case which some nice modern accents. Meanwhile Bill Oshea contacted Bushnell and cut a deal to use his signature, so after some design ideas we came up with the Signature Series 7800 console remake.

I had obtained the full chip "tape outs" for the Maria chip and we were set to go, but Bill wanted all of the work done upfront for free and would repay for the engineering after he sold 200,000 units. Costing would've been insane to reproduce the chipsets, build out the consoles, etc and there was no way anyone wanted to foot the bill upfront... so it got canned.

I had 3 special white cases done for the team - myself, Mark Diluciano and Tom Palecki, so only 3 whites were ever made making them even more valuable.

Well after the Oshea attempt failed, I kept the spirit of the project going and tried to get Atari to go for it, time contraints and price point scuttled the real-7800 project and Flashback 1 came out instead.


So... this was the beginning of the Atari Flashbacks... Hmmmmmmmm....