In May 2016, my friend Geoff told me "Hey, I met a guy who says he has 12 arcade machines and wants $2,000 for them. They've been in storage for 10 years
and he just wants to get rid of them". This is the story of that adventure. I'm not sure how it is going to turn out (I'm writing this at 1AM between Day #1 and Day #2) but I have some
time to kill so I am starting the webpage.
After a few calls, the owner of the games told me he would take $1,000 instead of the $2,000 I had been told. He also said that there were eight to twelve games
and that he had not looked in the storage building lately (which was not even on his property). The story was getting stranger by the minute. My BS meter was
pegged out at this point but I was so curious to get to see them I could hardly contain myself. A few days later we finally met. I left my wife in our truck
(more on this sub-story later) and he drove me to the building:
It sure didn't look like much but as soon as he opened the door I saw that unmistakable yellow paint:
When I looked into the narrow building, I could not believe my eyes (I wish I had a picture of this). Here were eight games sitting in some of the worst storage
conditions possible. I had no idea what the games were and was afraid to even enter the building. He could see my disapointment and told me to make him an
offer. I thought about it for a few minutes and came up with $400. He took it and drove me back to pick up my wife who had been disconnecting the trailer (again,
sub-story). We hooked the trailer back up and drove to the shed. The first game we loaded was the PacMan machine. Even though there was a big drop off between the
shed door and the ground we managed to get it on the trailer just fine. The next to be loaded was the 750 pound and 7 feet high Indy Heat. This thing was a monster.
I had to put my hands inside the machine in a dark shed, laying on the floor in rat / roach / snake / bird poop to disconnect the massive control panel. We sat
it aside and loaded the main cabinet on the trailer. As I was pulling it onto the trailer I could hear everyone start screaming and watched the PacMan machine
come tumbling down beside me. It seems as though we never did put the pin back in the trailer hitch and it had come loose. I couldn't really tell because I was
backwards and bent over pulling that 750 pounds uphill. We sat the Indy Heat down and I started to get off the trailer (still not realizing we were up in the air).
When did get off the trailer the weigh shifted and it fell back down and threw the Indy Heat onto the ground. Wow, I almost got killed TWICE in 60 seconds:
After recovering, we finally got the first four arcade machines on the truck. I could see them better now and they were looking horrible. No, that is not a scope
mounted on the Lethal Enforcers gun, it is a mud-dobbers next:
Ready for the first trip back home:
A quick peak inside the building to see what we had left to load on trip #2:
I was relieved to get the first load home. The trailer was borrowed from the neighbors and its floor was rotten with holes in it. It was just too dangerous for
my wife and I to unload ourselves so I waited a few hours for help to come:
A picture of the inside of the Indy Heat control panel gives you an idea of the condidtion of the games. Yep, that was what I was sticking my hand into. I had
no idea if I was going to be pulling out a snake or a wasp nest:
Oh, I bet you didn't catch the pinball machine sitting in the back of the truck two pictures above. Remember my wife disconnecting the trailer as the seller and I
went to see the shed. The guy threw two pinball machines in with the deal. The first was a Mr and Ms Pac-Man (the guy told me it would not turn on - just
constantly blow fuses). The wood was coming apart and the playfield was really dried out:
The second was an Airborne. I did not look closely at this but he fired this one up and told me only one of the flippers worked:
The next day I took the second load home:
On the drive back, the marquee blew off the Ataxx game. OMG! This thing was originally a two player Gauntlet!
When I got home the first thing I did was open up the back of the Playchoice-10:
Jackpot!!! I see there is a fully populated board with 10 cartridges in there. I'm estimating I could get around $800 off Ebay if I decided to part them out:
I don't think my car is going in the garage for a little while:
Current status of the "barn find" games:
Afterburner - Still not working. Plays blind. Purchased a second Afterburner and it plays blind too!
Ataxx - Working. Very slight vertical collapse issue.
Danny Sullivan's Indy Heat - Have not worked on it yet.
Hang On - Still not working. Stole the monitor for another project.
Lethal Enforcers - DESTROYED (cabinet was in horrible shape). Kept the monitor, guns, pcb.
Play Choice 10 - Bottom monitor works but top does not. Still working on a fix.
Pac-Man - Ms Pac-Man conversion that I tried to convert back. Killed it. Swapped it out for a 60in1 and blew up the monitor.
Zero Point - The infamous "Possum Game". Plays fine after a ton of cleaning an electronic work.
Airborne Pinball - Did a three month shop out. Best game out of the bunch.
Mr and Ms Pac-Man Pinball - Did some light cleaning and wood work. Still not a working game.