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Archive for the ‘Arcade Events’ Category

Big move to Alaska

Monday, May 29th, 2017

Born and raised in Illinois, I had considered moving a few times, especially with the high tax and piles of BS that come with living in the state. With so many good friends and family members close by, I really didn’t think it would happen. When my wife asked me if I’d consider moving, I told her I her I had been thinking about it too. I knew she was unhappy at work and had been job shopping, so I wanted to be supportive. I could find work easily and the idea of getting a fresh space to mold for an arcade was appealing. My current space was good but not perfect, and we always want more space. Where were you thinking of moving to dear…?

Big Move to Alaska!

Imagine my shock when Alaska was the answer! I figured Indiana, Wisconsin, or maybe out west to California, but Alaska? Yikes. After numerous discussions, a family “vacation” to check it out, and even more discussion; we decided to make the big move to Alaska. My lovely wife got an amazing job offer and flew off to Alaska to start right away. That left me to pack up the house, the kids and the arcade. After collecting for over 15 years I had accumulated a lot of stuff, this was going to be a challenge.

Insert coin to continue…

Stern production numbers and more CCI photos

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Among the Chicago Coin Industry press photos, Stern flyers and parts I found this little gem. (see the original post HERE) A two page, photo copied list of Stern production numbers! Stuff like this doesn’t come up too often so this is a great find. Sheds some light on how many games were in production and how long they were being produced. Insert token to continue…

Chicago Coin Las Vegas Shuffle advertisement found!

Monday, April 30th, 2012

A recent arcade purchase from a former Stern employee turned out to be a small treasure trove of arcade history. I was super excited to find a potentially NOS Stern Frenzy cabinet right from the factory floor! You can see it stuffed into the back of my 4 runner below, or check out the full post about the cabinet HERE. As exciting as that was, the real treasure turned out to be the plastic bin of miscellaneous parts and documentation.

NOS Frenzy Cabinet

In a Rubbermaid tote full of parts, photos, flyers and documentation, I found an original 8.5″ x 11″ marker rendering mock-up of the 1963 Chicago Coin Las Vegas Shuffle game. The artwork is drawn on vellum and then glued back to back onto a piece of white filler paper to create a double sided flyer. This was probably done in house by the marketing department, or by the person handling the company advertising at the time. The mock up is very similar to the flyer that was eventually produced and gives a rare glimpse at the creative process behind the arcade flyers we love so much. Insert token to continue…

Grabbed a handful of arcade assets today!

Friday, April 27th, 2012

If you were thinking Stern’s Moon War, you were right! Considered by many arcade enthusiasts to have the best game flyer around, Moon War is all about 80’s sexy. Just look at that game! 🙂 While I didn’t find the actual cabinet, I did get these arcade flyers along with a small lot of goodies from a former Stern employee. While many of the flyers, pictures and schematics had water damage I did come away with some interesting stuff.

Moon War flyer

I was contacted by Terry, a former employee of Stern’s video game division, about some old pictures and a Stern cabinet he had in storage. Could I help him determine the value? Was I interested? Of course! Getting a chance to talk to a former Stern employee and grabbing some arcade history is always of interest to me. Terry told me he saved the stuff from destruction when the division was closing down. Everything was being tossed into dumpsters and he meant everything! Heartbreaking to hear when you’re a die hard arcade collector, and sad to know that all the history and documentation about the company is gone forever. Here’s a glimpse of the small piece he was able to save. Insert token to continue…

Georgia or Bust! Part One

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

The annual arcade road trip was in jeopardy! Jeff had scored a fantastic new full time job and I was in school trying to finish up my RN degree. It was already October of 2011 and we hadn’t been on the road yet, time was slipping away and with the holidays quickly approaching, I didn’t think we’d pull off a trip this year. Never fear, the bulk deal would save us! Jeff had been working on securing a bulk deal somewhere near the east coast of Georgia, of all places, and was having some trouble. With a little help from our friend Steve, a collector in Georgia, the deal was secured and Jeff ended up with a nice Food Fight. He just had to pick it up or have it shipped. It was then that I remembered the trade offer I got from that same collector. Steve wanted a Tron and I just happened to have a nice working Tron. I wanted a Black Hole pinball and Steve just happened to have a nice working Black Hole pinball. Shipping wasn’t an option for me, so I’d have to drive there to pick it up. It hadn’t made sense before, but for some reason it did now.

Map

What a drive it would be, at just over 17 hours and about 1000 miles one way. Ouch. But now there were two games to pick up and the annual arcade road trip was starting to take shape. I was on winter break from school and Jeff took some vacation time. The trip to Georgia and back again was on!. The idea was to take our time on the way down and visit a few collectors in route. We’d meet up with Steve to grab the games and check out his collection, and then take a few short detours to see collectors on the way back, just to make it interesting. I was excited to squeeze in the trip before the year was up and this time we’d be bringing back some cool games. With the trailer secured I was ready to go. Insert token to continue…

Attack of the Astro Fighters!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Recently there was some drama on the arcade forums about a “warehouse” raid that was going to happen in Louisville, KY. Brent, a friend of the Operator and an avid arcade collector, was organizing a clean out of this 100,000 square foot, 120 year old school house. The school was closed down in the 1970’s and sometime afterward it was purchased by the Operator who used it primarily as storage for his thriving business. It turned into a bit of a mad house on the forums, but Brent handled the chaos like a pro and everything went smoothly. I planned to head down to check it out with my friend and fellow enthusiast, Jeff Rothe of rotheblog. Luckily, Jeff had organized our purchase from the space long before the sale announcement, so our games were secure. Our primary goal was to secure the games and just check out the space. I loaded up the kids Friday afternoon and headed to Indianapolis for the first leg of the trip, the next morning we would drive up to Louisville for a 9am meeting and planning session with Brent. We were going a little early to help out with the sale, which started at 10am. The trip was about 5hrs and 15min one way. Unless you drive fast 🙂

Map

We woke up Saturday morning to some wet snow, but still decided to take Jeff’s mini van instead of my SUV, it had more space. My youngest would stay with Jeff’s family and visit the Indy zoo, while I took my oldest along for the ride. Never too early to infect him with the collecting bug and I hoped he would enjoy the experience. The ride was easy and the school wasn’t that hard to find. It was huge and it was red. Insert token to continue…

Road Trip to Arcade Nirvana 2010 – Part 3

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Here it is, the final installment of our “Road Trip to Arcade Nirvana 2010”, documenting the amazing road trip I made with Jeff Rothe back in the summer of 2010. If you aren’t familiar with our exploits from that summer, refresh your memory by checking out the first two legs of our trip here: Part 1 and Part 2. After all the fun we had at the Freecade, and the awe we felt viewing so many rare laser titles at Morgan’s house, I wasn’t sure we could top it. Jeff had told me very little about our next stop, or perhaps I just didn’t remember the details, but we were on our way to see long time collector James Marous in South Vienna Ohio. I didn’t know much about James or his collection, but Jeff told me that he liked vector games and was also a big fan of Showbiz Pizza…hmm, this should be interesting. Here is a map of the final leg of our trip.

map

On the drive out to visit James’ place, Jeff filled me in on some of the details. Not only did James like vector games, but he has a bunch of super rare titles in his lineup. Some of them I had never seen or played before. The kind of games that just can’t be played in MAME. Rather than ramble on about his stuff, I’ll just let the game list speak for itself:

Armor Attack, Asteroids, Asteroids Deluxe, Aztarac, Battlezone, Berzerk, Black Widow, Blaster, Bubbles, Computer Space (yellow), Crazy Climber (deluxe), Cyberball, Death Race, Defender, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Dragon’s Lair, Food Fight, Frogger, Galaga, Gravitar, Gyruss, I,Robot, Joust, Lunar Lander, Major Havoc, Missile Command, Moon Patrol, Quantum, Reactor, Robotron, Space Duel, Spy Hunter, Star Castle, Star Wars, Tempest, Tron, Wacko, Warrior, and Zookeeper. That is 40 amazing games in one space, including every Atari vector (right? I’m not missing any?). I was truly going to be in Arcade Nirvana. Insert coin to continue…

Road Trip to Arcade Nirvana 2010 – Part 2

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

In the much anticipated part two of the “Road Trip to Arcade Nirvana”, I’ll continue our saga with headaches, travel plans and rare lasers. If you missed the first part and want to catch up, check it out HERE . It was tough to wake up early on Sunday morning, especially after that long stretch of drinking and gaming in the Freecade, but we did it. My head felt like I had slept under a train bridge, but Greg and Christy were ultimate hosts to the very end, providing us with coffee and a delicious breakfast before we headed out. We had plans to visit two more collectors while we were still in Ohio, and it was time to get moving. The first stop would be Morgan B. in Hilliard, which was only about 20 minutes away. Greg had plans for later that day, but wanted to visit with Morgan and introduce us, so we headed over in separate cars.

map

As we drove the short distance to Morgan’s place, Jeff and I discussed Morgan’s history on RGVAC and in the collecting community in general. Back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, Morgan was best known for his knowledge of Zwackery. Zwackery is an odd D&D style adventure game that was designed by a marketing person at Bally Midway. Zwackery had great potential as one of the early adventure games to hit the scene, but the controls are very complex which make it a difficult game to grasp and play effectively. Morgan had a comprehensive website with all kinds of information and history about the game, but it has been down for a long time. (more…)

Road Trip to Arcade Nirvana 2010 – Part 1

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Summer is winding down and the new school season is just around the corner, it was time. Time to hit the road and squeeze in one last weekend of arcade fun before fall arrived and I ran out of free time. I would be traveling with my friend Jeff Rothe of rotheblog and this years annual arcade pilgrimage would find us winding our way through Ohio to meet a few noted collectors and scope out their game rooms. I was really looking forward to the trip as it was a chance to wind down and talk shop! A weekend full of arcade nirvana, and who doesn’t love a good road trip?

map

While a few arcades still exist in the wild, they are typically filled with redemption machines and kiddie rides. You might get lucky and find a random pinball machine or arcade game, but who knows if it will be working properly. Today’s arcades are nothing like what I remember from back in the day.* These days, the very best classic 80’s arcade collections are in the hands of private enthusiasts. This trip would prove just how true that really was. (more…)

Grab that game, or it will slip away!

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

It’s true when you hear someone say, “You snooze you lose”. I was reminded of that when I returned to a local operators warehouse to check on some inventory I was interested in. Last time I was there I had found an Atari “Touch Me” game. An older, medium sized Atari, similar to the portable electronic game, Simon. An odd find for sure. I tipped off a local collector and he picked up the game for a reasonable price. While talking with the shop technician, we asked if he had any other games. He promptly led us through the back to check out the warehouse. What we found was a small treasure trove of old electro-mechanical games. Unfortunately I only took a couple of pictures.

combat

This one is a pretty cool looking Sega Combat EM game. According to Marvin’s site, you control a tank and blast away at targets with only 12 shots. I really wanted to grab this one as it was in great shape, just didn’t have the extra money or space at the time. My friend was interested in these…

chopper

A pair of 1974 Midway Chopper’s according to Marvin’s site. Amazing to find one, but two was unbelievable. Even stacked on top of each other, they still looked to be in great shape. A fun variation of the typical helicopter themed EM game such as Whirly Bird.

dog fight

While trying to climb over stuff to see what was there I saw a few Davy Crockett’s, a Midway Dog Fight, Fun Land (or Play Land?) and a couple western themed EM shooter’s. There was also a Pitch and Bat or two and a handful of older pins. Unfortunately for us we waited too long to follow up. A collector off the RGP forums (Mark the fireman in Hoffman Estates ~ I don’t like you!) swooped in and picked up 8 or 9 of the best games in the warehouse. Lesson learned for me. If you find something good you’d better make the deal and haul it away, don’t wait or hesitate, you’ll be sorry later. Oh well, I won’t make the same mistake again. Mark, if you’re reading this, I’d like an invite to play Combat once you get it working 🙂