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Posts Tagged ‘Electro Mechanical games’

Midway SAMI step rebuild

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Midway’s SAMI, or Surface to Air Missile Interceptor, is an electro-mechanical game from 1970. It’s also one of my recent acquisitions. The game has received a lot of coverage recently, with at least two nice examples showing up on eBay and an EM game feature in the July issue of GameRoom magazine. I couldn’t be happier with my example, but it does have a few issues, including a missing step. You can see the step (or platform) pictured in the promotional flyer below.

SAMI flyer

Due to its massive size and height, a missing step makes this game pretty tough for little kids to play. I would need to recreate the step so my boys could enjoy the game and with Fall quickly approaching I wanted to get this done ASAP! I had nothing to start with other than some basic dimensions from the void at the front of the cabinet, but a request for help out to fellow collectors yielded great results. (more…)

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!

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.


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…


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 🙂