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Q*bert bootleg artwork added, only took two years!

One thing I’ve learned in this hobby is that patience really pays off in the long run. Sometimes a new or interesting piece of arcade artwork will pop up for sale on eBay and you just-gotta-have-it! Letting your emotions control your buying decisions can be an expensive proposition, so I like to evaluate the piece and determine the maximum I’ll spend. Then I set my snipe software and walk away. If I win great, if not I’ve learned that there is a good chance a similar item will show up for sale. I’ll wait it out. OF course this technique won’t work with any rare NOS artwork, so don’t let that stuff slip away 🙂

Q*bert cpo

Take this little gem for example. Pretty easy to recognize, it’s Q*bert! At least I think so… The nose isn’t quite right, those feet are too long, the swearing balloon text is all mixed up and the other characters have issues as well.

It’s someone’s interpretation of Q*bert, printed up because they were bootlegging the game or just didn’t want to pay Gottlieb’s price for replacement overlays. I spotted this artwork on eBay back in April of 2010 and figured I would get it cheap. I’m a big fan of the wacky bootleg arcade artwork and this piece looked very well done. I set my bid and walked away. Wasn’t I surprised when the high bid was almost $60, yikes! That’s more than I care to pay for an overlay, so I stuck to my guns and about two years later another one showed up on eBay. I didn’t have any bidding competition and walked away with it for $9.99, the opening bid. Groovy.

Bootleg Qbert cpoBootleg Qbert cpoBootleg Qbert cpo

So you’re wondering why this isn’t a Willis overlay, right? Well, the Willis version of the Q*bert cpo can be seen HERE or on the artwork page. If you take a closer look at this piece of artwork there are a few clues that tell you it’s not Willis artwork. The first is the lack of company markings, dates, or part numbers. Willis liked to identify their stuff. The player one and two characters are not the re-used icons seen on many of the Willis cpo’s.

Bootleg Qbert cpoBootleg Qbert cpoBootleg Qbert cpo

The control panel overlay does use quality backer paper and it has die cuts for the buttons and joystick. The die cuts give us a clue as well. Willis die cuts did not have the tabs for the buttons, those little notches that kept the button from spinning around in the panel. Willis just cut circles. So while anything is possible, I’ll say this is a bootleg Q*bert control panel overlay. A very well done bootleg, but a bootleg. Into the vault it goes! Game on.

Q*bert cpo

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