View Full Version : I want to buy a arcade game

kool-aid killer
09-20-2004, 04:03 PM
Hey guys, as the title states ive recently begun looking into buying a used arcade game and was wondering whether anybody had any tips on what to avoid, what company sells good ones, or perhaps even just share your experience and any type of info you think i should know. I was looking at one (via the internet) that i was interested in but it had the words "reconditioned" by it so i was wondering what it means? Any type of assistance or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

09-20-2004, 05:02 PM
I have been wanting to do this for years. I had a chance about 10 years ago at an auction and the only thing they had was the Moonwalker game and some other game I never heard of. I would get the reconditioned one, if it had a warranty on it. You might want to check local newspapers for stores going out of business and auctioning things off. You might find a good price there.

Lord Malakite
09-20-2004, 05:06 PM
I was looking at one (via the internet) that i was interested in but it had the words "reconditioned" by it so i was wondering what it means? Any type of assistance or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I would think "reconditioned" means pretty much the same thing for an arcade game as it would with a piece of furniture. At some point the cabinet in which the game is housed probably got damaged and was then later restored (repaired) to resemble the way it did when it was new. Could also possibly mean it has new buttons or joysticks I suppose (as those types of things can wear with use over time). I doubt it had any effect on the games electronics itself though, like say the motherboard.

Another thing to probably be aware of is conversions. Conversions are games that aren't original to the cabinet itself. The original game's motherboard is removed and is altered or replaced with a completely different game. The Atari arcade game of Empire Strikes Back is a good example of this. ESB was sold as a conversion kit for the original Star Wars Atari Arcade game.

You can probably find more information on this site (http://www.gamearchive.com/Video_Games/FAQs/game_buyingfaq.html) about finding and buying certain games than I can ever give you, as well as answers to any further questions that you may have.

09-20-2004, 08:18 PM
There are a lot of places in SoCal that sell used arcade machines, many older games go for only a few hundred, so you may want to try major metropolitan areas to look for them. When a machine is said to be refurbished, often that means that either the monitor has been changed (which is not usually that big a deal) or the cabinet has been altered in some way (that issue depends on the change) or most likely it means the buttons and/or controllers have been changed (which can be a major deal but is oftentimes necessary). Those controller/button swaps are the type of thing you'll want to examine carefully before buying, sometimes you see machines with the totally wrong type of joystick or new buttons that are cheap and don't fire.

There are machines on ebay, but I would be very careful about that sort of thing first, do a lot of research on the seller and be extremely cautious when reading the details of the machine.

Monitors can usually be replaced, so sometimes Burn-in can be your friend since that drives the price down yet can be swapped out by you whenever you feel. Display graphics on the cabinet, especially the glass at the top, is harder to find but if you know the machine or don't care about the aesthetics, this condition also drives the price down (though it usually means the controls are also not original).

kool-aid killer
09-22-2004, 01:33 PM
Kidhuman, i had thought about it before but never made a serious inquiry into obtaining one. Went to an Uncles house over the weekend (ive never really known him) and he had 1942 in his basement. Spent a good portion of my time there just playing it and thought to myself how cool it would be to have one in my house. Got the wheels spinning. Im looking for a couple of games that never came out on any type of home console, no point in buying Mario when i can pick it up for the Nintendo, SNES, Gameboy etc.

Lord Malakite, many thanks for the link to the site. Lots of useful info on it and i havent even gone through it all.

JT, online i found a website that had one of the games i would be interested in and its located in California. But i imagine shipping would be a killer. But looking through the phone book i found some local business that deal in amusement devices so im going to see if there are any places i can go and actually look over the game(s) with my own eyes. Hopefully they have something im after that way i can just haul it myself.

Thanks for the replies all and i will keep you posted on any developments.

09-22-2004, 03:08 PM
Cool beans! And if you drive, you could rent a truck and haul it back to your home yerself, if you don't mind the road trip.

When I was a younger lad, we had a pinball machine in the living room, it was super awesome, even better than an arcade machine really because it was "real" in that way, picked it up for $200, real bargain.

kool-aid killer
10-22-2004, 01:47 PM
Finally got around to checking some places out and i visited two businesses that sold games. The first one really only had new ones and was looking for some big bucks. But i was guided to a nearby place that had ones that were more within my interest and price range. Found a game that i liked, but im going to hold off on it until i try some other places. Something tells me the game i really want wont be found around here.

10-22-2004, 08:21 PM
WHat ya looking for? Crystal Castles?

10-24-2004, 02:14 AM
Earlier this year my buddy Paul bought a ST: The Movie pinball game. It was made around '79 or '80. He found on eBay in a Local search. He was lucky enough to get it for a couple hundred less then it usually goes for.

Search eBay for current and former listings of your game to get a ballpark price range. Like others said, games that don't have original graphics are not worth as much.

We transported it in the back of his pickup [about 40 miles], but seemed to get a little upset when I "jostled" the machine to keep the ball from going down (crazed).

12-12-2004, 09:08 AM
you could also always build your own, using emulator software on a computer and building a cabinet around it. there's a book i saw a barnes & noble about it, found it on their website : here (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=pB5lZ33Aq6&isbn=0764556169&itm=1)

it's a project i'm looking to conquer in the future, as soon as i have the space...

kool-aid killer
12-12-2004, 08:05 PM
Wow. Thats something i had never thought of. Right now the idea of obtaining one is on the backburner (due to the holidays and the subsequent money they devour) but its still on the oven. Im going to try and find the book at a local Barnes and Noble, and give it a looksy. Many thanks for providing another avenue to do this.

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
12-24-2004, 11:28 AM
My guess is if you look hard enough around, you'll find them plenty cheap. I can just imagine some huge warehouse containing a graveyard of old arcade games from the 80's.

I always wanted to buy one and set up a 'rumpus room' downstairs complete with vintage arcade games, a pinball machine, a poker table, and a bar. Of course, not owning a house puts a few kinks in my plan. :frus:

12-26-2004, 02:25 PM
I would really like one too - but it's hard to try and figure out which particular game you'd want to blow the money on. As silly as it might sound, I probably blew more quarters on Ms. PacMan than any other machine, I wouldn't mind having her in all her pink-ribboned glory standing in my basement. An old Space Invaders machine would be very cool as well, I still waste time every week blasting those little rotters on my Atari 2600 simulator. :evil:

Others I might consider:

Dragon's Lair (used to look so cool going through the demo, WAY ahead of it's time graphically), Gyrus, Rally X, Stargate (the evolution of Defender) and possibly DigDug.

12-27-2004, 10:54 PM
If you can find it, a combo box would be a good way to go since the variety makes things a lot better, like Defender/Defender 2 (recently seen on The Price is Right). IIRC, there was a combo version of Pac-Man/Ms Pac-Man back in the day.

12-28-2004, 01:20 PM
Three games I would own- Ms Pac man (or even better the combo with Galaga and Ms. pac), Star Wars Arcade (duh!) and Tempest! Tempest was the best. I can't quit playing it on my Atari Anthology for Xbox, but only wish I had a spinner for that authentic feel. Centipede and Millipede are awesome too, and would be worth getting just to play Track-Ball style.

80's arcade cabinets are harder to find than many people think, as many were gutted and retro-fitted for newer games once they came out. Finding good condition cabinets is even more difficult. I was actually thinking about building me a cabinet and slapping a TV and Xbox in there with the Midway and Atari collections. Then I'd just have to hack the controller for some old school authenticity.


12-28-2004, 08:44 PM
Earlier this year my buddy Paul bought a ST: The Movie pinball game. It was made around '79 or '80. He found on eBay in a Local search. He was lucky enough to get it for a couple hundred less then it usually goes for.
Anybody who has a ST:TMP pinball machine would have had to have already had my ornament, man! ;)

kool-aid killer
12-29-2004, 10:44 AM
I was hoping that i would be able to pick up either a Ninja Turtle game, Alien vs. Predator, or Double Dragon. Just a game to mash the buttons, no thinking really involved. I would also be interested in a Pac Man game, as long as its cabinet was the little table-ish design. That would be cool and space convenient. I can see it now, after a night of drinking KAK comes home to play some Pac Man only to pass out, but thanks to the table top of the game it catches his noggin.

12-29-2004, 01:26 PM
This is what we all need. But first I guess I need about 2 grand, as I want that cocktail table!



kool-aid killer
12-30-2004, 06:32 PM
Does anybody have an arcade by them or within a mall they frequent that sells the games too? I was at a mall that i hardly ever visit earlier today and while i was playing various games i noticed they all had sale prices on them, should you wish to purchase one. For Tekken 5 they wanted ten grand, various others were multiple around or slightly below a thousand. My interest was caught by an old Capcom Dungeons and Dragons game, looks fun and it seems like it would take some time to get through it all.

12-31-2004, 01:38 AM
Gak! I have a hate-hate relationship with tabletop games, the Marie Calendars in West LA had a 1941 there for a while, so hard to see what's going on because the screen and controls are laid out so flat, and my knees and knuckles kept hitting the machine by accident. And 2-player games on them were impossible for the poor sucker trying to play upside-down. I guess this is definitely a personal taste issue.