How to Collect Arcade Games – Laser Time#337

So you want to fill your basement and/or garage with the bleeps and bloops of classic arcade games and pinball machines? Slow down, my dear! On today’s show, we’re joined by an actual arcade proprietor/arcade preservationists, to talk about the triumph and the tragedy of obtaining, restoring and maintaining the few classic coin-ops we have left…


5 thoughts on “How to Collect Arcade Games – Laser Time#337

  1. I’ve always wanted an SNK cabinet where you could easily swap in titles. I’m a big fan of fighting games so that’s always a plus. As for Pinball machines I would love to have World Cup Soccer from Bally, with the short lived Dog mascot from the World Cup that year. That or the Hercules Pinball machine just because it’s such a MASSIVE unit!

  2. The closest thing I have to an arcade machine is the Pandora’s Box 4s (which is pretty much a two player arcade stick with a custom Jamma board with a bunch of ROMs in it) . Anytime I think about what type of arcade macine I’d get if money and space wasn’t an issue the first few games that come to me head are those light gun shooters (Silent Scope , House of the Dead , Time Crisis ,etc) or games with a crazy gimmick or cockpit (Top Skater , After Burner , Rave Runner , DDR , Beatmania ,etc) pretty much games where you need the actual machine to get the full experience.

  3. I have an arcade game I got for a great deal about ten years ago – the Sega racing game Power Drift. Well, let me tell you the first thing you need to know: these games are much bigger than you think they are. They take up A LOT of space. Not just the actual footprint, but the space you need in front of it to actually play it. They are also tall, and VERY heavy.

    Right now it sits in my garage with a dead monitor. It will cost at least $300 to get it fixed. That’s a lot to spend on a system that plays ONE game that you won’t even play that much. That’s another thing to keep in mind: no matter how much you think you will play it, you won’t. It will spend most of it’s time unplugged and taking up space.

    Not to be a Debbie Downer, but that’s just the reality of it all. But if you do have the space and the money, they are a lot of fun to own.

  4. I loved this episode! Arcades are fascinating to me. I’ve always wanted one, so I ended up building a Mame cabinet in my basement. Sure, it’s not the original, but the games play well enough and it’s far cheaper than getting a dedicated cabinet.

    Also, shout out to Galloping Ghost! When I lived in Chicago, I loved going there! They have nearly everything, including the Primal Rage 2 prototype, the tilting F-Zero GX cabinet, Midway’s The Grid, Dragon’s Lair, Space Ace, and both of those hologram games that were mentioned in this episode.

    And thanks for explaining what Jamma boards are. That confused me for the longest time when I was first getting into the arcade collection scene.

  5. Funny that you know someone who owns the Pinball Wizard machine, Chris. A family friend of my family has that same game. It’s great!
    As for owning a table of my own, I would love one, but I hear the upkeep is hell. If you are a gambling man, there is a charity called Pinball EDU that I sometimes donate to for tickets in their monthly pinball machine raffle. I have never won, but a guy can dream.

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