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Archive for the ‘Wild Kingdom EM’ Category

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!