Last Updated: November 5, 2015
My Rowe CD-100B Jukebox
Part lists of electronic components used to restore/repair some of my games.
For Sale Items
PCB Storage Rack Box
Coin Multiplier Board (CMB)
Introduction to the hobby ...
Around October, 2005, a good friend of mine opened my eyes to a hobby that, quite frankly, hadn't even crossed my mind up until that time. Now I am hooked. That hobby is collecting and restoring coin operated video game machines, the very same ones that you may have gone down to your local arcade to drop your quarters into. I used to have good times playing the exciting new games with my friends. Over the years since the arcades disappeared, I often found myself missing many of the old games. You'd think that with the new advanced computer and console games that nobody would care that the old classics are gone, but I missed them. They had their own unique look and feel that a desktop computer just cannot duplicate. I'm talking about the arcade machine style of controls, the upright stance, the presentation of the cabinet, the artwork, the custom lighting, and so on.
I never dreamed that someday, especially 25 years later, that I would be able to own them and play them to my heart's content but here I am. I enjoy the hobby because it includes many aspects, such as electronics, wiring, mechanical assembly and repair, woodworking, painting, and more. There's nothing quite like taking a beat up old piece of junk and bringing it back to its former glory. I also enjoy seeing people who visit my home get all excited when they see the games. It's fun to watch them enjoy themselves playing a game, especially if they haven't seen it in many years and had reserved themselves to the idea that they'd never see it again.
I started the hobby by purchasing my first machine from the friend who introduced me to the hobby. He had been into it for several years and invited me over to his house to play. I was shocked and amazed by his room full of classic games, all working. I knew right away that I had missed the opportunity during the past several years of my life to build such a collection. I wasn't going to waste any more time!
Visit my game room. One thing is for sure, if you are going to get into this hobby, you need a lot of spare space for your games.
Finding some games of your own...
Regarding games like Asteroids Deluxe and Defender, these are considered "classics" by old-guy collectors like myself who were about 16-18 years old around 1980 when these games came out. As a result, they are relatively rare and can be hard to find. They are much easier to find in the USA than in southern Ontario where I live, that's for sure. The main point I'm trying to drive home here is that finding the games will take time and effort on your part because after all they are 27 years old (or so) and most of them have suffered a lot of abuse. Guys on the cgcc.ca or klov forums offer them up from time to time. However, your best bet is eBay. You would have to keep searching the listings each week, possibly for several months, before something pops up. Finding classic machines in good shape is very hard so it is likely that you'd have to do some work to fix it up nice. There are a ton of con-artists out there who will charge you big bucks ($1500) for an old game in terrible shape. Only true collectors would sell you something nice for well under $1000. Some of the most over-used phrases used by eBay sellers is "fully shopped" and "crisp and bright". These statements mean nothing. "Shopped" is supposed to mean fully restored but some guys idea of shopped is pulled it out of the garbage and wiped it off. The term "Crisp" refers to monitors and is supposed to mean that it looks great. This is a buzz word that means nothing at all and "looks great" is nothing more than an opinion and not necessarily a good one. I could provide you a ton of help with regards to what is really shopped and what is not. I could show you my restorations up close so you know what you should be getting so you do not end up with a piece of junk that needs another $700 in parts and 100 hours in labor. Finding games is one thing, repairing games is another matter entirely. Repairs can involve electronics parts sourcing and installation, reading of schematics, wood repairs, metal repairs, a lot of painting, lots of tools, etc. I really enjoy the hobby but it is costly at times and usually very time consuming.