Thursday, March 1, 2018

ATARI Home Computer Merchandising Aids

This form is a 1982 ATARI Home Computers Merchandising Aids Dealer Administrative Order Form which lists various in-store merchandising aids available from Atari.

On September 17, 2017, the weekend after hosting ATARI PARTY EAST 2017, I was out picking with my wife, as you do, when I came across a huge collection of ATARI 8-bit related items at a local flea market. There was some hardware, a bunch of software and a large box full of ATARI dealer related items. I purchased some of the items that I had not seen before, such as the 5 1/4 floppy diskette-based ATARI 800 In-Store Demonstration Program, which I have already written about, and the ATARI 400 In-Store Demonstration Video VHS Tape, which has now been transfer to digital format and made available to the community. I've scanned much of the other paper materials and made it available in my library on

ATARI made a ton of marketing material, including the In-Store Demonstration Programs, the In-Store Demonstration Video Tapes, the Computers For People book, television commercials, printed ads and much, much more. All of these items were available for purchase by dealers or they could use their CO-OP Merchandising allowance in lieu of payment.

The purpose of the ATARI Cooperative Advertising Program was to increase retailers' sales of ATARI Home Computers. It was designed to fit each retailer's specific advertising needs for ATARI Home Computer products. Reimbursement for ATARI Home Computer advertising required adhering to the following rules:

  • 5% accrual based on net cost of purchases to retailers for purchases directly from ATARI.
  • 4% accrual based on net cost of purchases to retailers for purchases through distributors.
  • 100% of actual net cost of advertising up to accrual limit.
  • Available to all retailers (even through distributors).  

The ATARI Home Computers Merchandising Aids Dealer Administrative Order Form that I have, which you can see at the top of this post, lists in part:

  • CX302 ATARI 400 Demonstration Video Tape --- VHS
  • CX303 ATARI 400 Demonstration Video Tape --- Beta

As you can see in the photograph below, my tape is labeled ATARI 400 - THE BASIC COMPUTER In-Store Demonstration Tape Model No. CX303, but it is, clearly, a VHS tape. So there is some misinformation in either the order form or the tape label. The VHS version should be labeled CX302 as per the order form.

ATARI 400 - The BASIC Computer
In-Store Demonstration VHS Tape
Model No. CX303

Also according to the order form, in 1982, either of the ATARI Demonstration Video Tapes cost $23.00 or about $60.00 in today's (2017) money. 

Much like Anorak's Invitation, the video itself begins with the sound of trumpets and is just about five minutes long. The same video repeats over and over again on the VHS tape ... put it in, press PLAY, let it play over and over for a few hours, rewind, repeat. The video covers the ATARI 400 Home Computer, the ATARI Educator kit, the ATARI Communicator kit, the Programmer kit and the Entertainer kit.

Screen Capture From
ATARI 400 In-Store Demonstration VHS Tape

The ATARI 400 Demonstration Video Tapes were meant to be played in the ATARI Home Computers Point Of Purchase M Series Merchandising Displayers. The POP-M Series Displayer had a base which could hold a video tape player.

Point Of Purchase
Merchandising Displayer
POP-M Series

The point of purchase merchandising displayer was 25 inches wide, 56 inches high and approximately 26 inches deep. It had a wood base, silver, charcoal and black in color, with key-lock front access door, and an acrylic brochure dispenser. The displayer was designed so that the top portion could be removed and placed directly on a counter top doing away with the base. According to the marketing material, a key-lock acrylic cover was also available for an additional cost. 

"ATARI, we took a big idea and made it simple. ATARI, computers for people."

A big thank you to “Amiga” Bill Winters ( for transferring the VHS tape to digital format for me ... and for the Atari 8-bit community!


Bill (