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Archive for the ‘Gameroom’ 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…

Wild Kingdom EM video game

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

I’ve had the bug lately for a nice electro-mechanical game. There is something magical about these mechanical games from decades past. I recently missed a big stash of them at a local operators warehouse, including a Sega Combat, that would have been a fun addition to the collection. (You can read about it here.) It wasn’t a total loss because the guy who cleaned out the warehouse didn’t get to see everything 🙂 . Tucked away in another building was this little gem, a Midway Wild Kingdom.

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It’s pretty deep at over 35 inches, not including the gun stock, so it was a slight pain to get in the back of my Toyota 4 Runner. I’ve packed a lot of games into this truck and most fit with the door shut. This one needed tie downs to keep the door closed. The tech helped me load it up and I was on my way.

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While it has many of the key parts in fantastic shape such as the gun stock, trigger guard and bezel glass, there are some issues. Vandals at some point attempted to gain access to the side panel and ultimately kicked in the front. My guess is that the operator found it easier to just replace the damaged wood with this mismatched peg board front from another EM. They also put a metal plate over the access panel. Add a couple of lock bar holes and you have yourself the makings of a nice restoration. I know many EM collectors believe it is better to keep it original, but I’m not so sure in this case.

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Inside the game was the original key, a manual of sorts and a schematic. The game also powers up and the recoil works perfectly. Shots register and Charlie moves around, but the animals don’t. This should be fun to clean up and fix. Another EM collector alerted me to the pinball pal website, a treasure trove of restoration parts for the old EM games, including Wild Kingdom. Stencils, belts and even new 8 track tapes are available. Excellent.

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I’ve been told that Wild Kingdom is one of the better EM shooters, mostly because of the competition between the shooter and “Charlie”. I can’t wait to experience it first hand. Enjoy the pictures, I’m happy to be part of the EM club now!

Water issues in game room ~ ceiling leak

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Anyone familiar with my little game room will also be familiar with the constant battle I’ve had with water. Water from the window wells, water from the drive way, water from ice, water ruining carpet, etc. Well this time I have something new, a leak in the ceiling, yeah! (more…)

Phoenix Cabaret restoration pt 3

Monday, March 16th, 2009

This restoration has been a serious pain in the butt. I ruined one of my carefully laminated side panels in my last effort, (See part two for that story.) and would need to make another panel. I had enough scrap material to join and make a new panel, so I gave it a try. It worked out well and I figured that after laminating it, you’d never know it was two pieces. Unfortunately during the sizing portion, I cut about 4″ more off the bottom than I should have. Measure twice, cut once, words to live by. I bit the bullet and purchased another piece of material. This time I got it right.

panel blank

I carefully lined up the new, pre-cut blank on top of the other blank I had already laminated but not cut. I then used screws through the carriage bolt holes to secure the pieces in place. No movement this time. (more…)

Ghost in the Machine

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

I was working in the game room late one evening when the lights went out. It was dark and I couldn’t find my flashlight. That’s when I noticed an eerie glow near the Robotron.

I was lucky to snap off a few shots before the mysterious guest vanished. Haunted game room? Spirit of the long lost black light carpet? Perhaps, you decide!

Opening a NIB Stern pinball

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Every 5 or 6 years I have been the lucky recipient of a fantastic company bonus. The first one was a NIB Lord of the Rings pinball from Stern in 2002, this time it was a NIB Simpson’s Pinball Party from Stern. This game came from the most recent and final short run and has a manufactured date of October 24, 2008. Here it is after the driver dropped it on my driveway.

NIB tspp

I was anxious to open it up and move it into the game room, but I’d need help. I called my friend Bill K and he agreed to come over. (more…)

1st Annual Arcade Party

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Wow, what a party! With about 60 people in attendance and about 45-50 in the house at one time, we had a blast. Food, drinks, talking and gaming, it was a lot of work for my wife Lisa and me, but it was worth it.

moore party 2008

We had an interesting mix of people at the party as Lisa had invited lots of old classmates and friends through her facebook page. We also invited the neighbors (of course), co-workers, my friends and then the open invite on KLOV. Lots of people RSVP’d and even more showed up. (more…)

Phoenix Cabaret Restoration pt 2

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Picking up from where I left off with the restoration (part one), I got a postcard from Menards stating that my laminate was ready for pickup. The box it came in was huge. I got it home safely and pulled out a sheet of the wood grain laminate. To my surprise the stuff was longer than a sheet of plywood by about 4 inches.

laminate This would allow me to cover a whole sheet of plywood with room to spare, good if you’re building cabinets, but a pain to work with for a cabaret. (more…)

Basement floor epoxy with a twist

Monday, October 27th, 2008

I recently lost my black light carpeting to water damage. (Black Light carpet bites the dust!) It just couldn’t survive the last soaking, so it was time to pull it and search for another option.

naked floor

I hunted online for ideas and decided that epoxy floor covering would be my best option. Easy clean up in case of water and it wouldn’t impact my already low ceiling height. The only problem is that plain epoxy is boring, so with some help, I worked up some stencils. (more…)

Warlords Upright no. 851 added to collection

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Today I picked up a beautiful Warlords UR, easily a 9/10 and in all original condition. (Thanks Troy!) I realize this isn’t the desirable 4 player cocktail version, but with my limited space, it’s the only version I could squeeze into the game room.

Warlords Upright no. 851

Warlords had very low production numbers with the UR at only 1,014 units made. The UR is a fine example of fantastic Atari cabinet design, with highly detailed side art and a pleasing color scheme carried through the rest of the cabinet art. (more…)