Puppy Pong © 1974 Atari.
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|Released in September 1974, this is a very rare and rather unknown Atari coin-op game. Basically it was Atari "Pong" without a coin box packaged into a very cute little table top wooden cabinet.|
The Puppy Pong was originally conceptualized by Nolan Bushnell, Steve Bristow, and various marketing guys.
The original idea was "Snoopy Pong" for which Regan Cheng (the man responsible for the ominous Atari 5200 look and he also created Atari's all new high-tech XL computer line styling) designed a red dog house cabinet with Snoopy on top as you see in the comics.
The original concept was called "Dr. Pong", an unit for pediatrician office waiting rooms to keep children occupied. It was originally designed by Chas Grossman, Industrial Designer. He was the design manager for Pete Tachaichi and Regan Cheng. The puppy house was left over from the Snoopy Pong, but painted yellow instead of red. It was the perfect game for small children and so simple to play all it took was a push of the button located in the center of the game under the main screen that would reset the game to play up to a winning 10 point score.
The reason very few people have ever heard of this version of Pong in a Dog House cabinet is that the dog house had a similar look to another more famous dog house belonging to a rather popular beagle from the 70's... Snoopy, according to Dennis Gregory who was the original owner of this Puppy Pong, apparently Schulz contacted Atari and requested that Atari not produce a game that too closely resembled his Snoopy & Dog House. So Atari's Puppy Pong's only spot-light in public was during its testing phase in the Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theater in California where it was placed on table tops in the restaurant for people to play while waiting for their pizza. This Puppy Pong has made its way to the Atari Historical Society courtesy of Dennis Gregory a former Atari employee and former Pizza Time employee.
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