Arcade Raid! The Cincinnati Trailer Experience

Well its been a few weeks since we featured an arcade raid here on the blog, so I reckon its high time we rectified that.

Arcade collector Adam was at home one night when his phone rang. It was his friend, who asked him what he was doing the following day. “Not much” was Adam’s reply.

“Well get your gear together, we’re going on a raid. And bring a torch!” – music to any arcade hobbyist’s ears!

Adam’s friend told him that he’d made contact with an operator located on the west side of Cincinnati who had machines he wanted shot of. The following day in the car Adam learned that the operator had run machines for years, placing them at events and carnivals all over the country.

The cabinets he had were stored in trailers, that were now sitting in a field – they had not been opened up for many years. Exactly what was in them was something of a mystery, and the condition of whatever was to be discovered was completely unknown.

On arrival, Adam and his pal were able to see the entirety of the collection. It was clearly a substantial haul!

Opening up each trailer was a new discovery. No one really knew what was in each, including the operator!
You get a sense of how packed each trailer was from this shot
Amusement machines, pool tables and Boxing games were also part of the inventory
Here’s a clue…..
An Ivan Stewart’s Off Road here
Couple of nice finds here. Midway’s CarnEvil (awesome art on those things) and a complete Sega After Burner

Dealing with the operator was challenging. They found him to be pretty hard-nosed and firm on pricing. But he had great stories about his time in the industry, particularly how we bought his games and the routes he would take to get them played and earning money.

Digging deeper into the trailers, did turn up some dedicated classic video arcade gems though:

A classic in anyone’s book: Atari’s Super Sprint
A Taito Chase HQ hiding way back in this one. Sadly as you can see, it was swollen from water. The roof was leaking right above it
Atari Road Blasters hiding under a tarpaulin – awesome game, adn this one was in nice shape
Probably the find of the raid – Atari’s Paperboy – complete!
Nice condition art on the After Burner
A Midway Off Road Challenge next to a Nintendo Cruisin’ World

The operator wanted to sell everything as a job lot. He wasn’t prepared to entertain offers on specific machines – this was to be an all or nothing deal. Adam and his buddy decided that they couldn’t take everything on, due to much of the stock being waterlogged, and the amount of garbage that would have to be taken away along with the cabinets worth saving.

The trailers were so packed they had to crawl on top of the arcade machines to get to the back. With some of the cabs having water damage to the point your foot would go straight through the top.

But amongst the junk and water-logged wooden remains, were some interesting cabs. Plenty of conversions too:

A Golden Axe in an old Defender cabinet. Spot the Sega Enduro Racer next to it too!
A Midway Mortal Kombat
A 1942 in what I think is a Centuri cabinet of some description?
This is pretty sad to see. A Rastan in a converted Atari Food Fight cab. Ouch!
Quite a bit of work has gone into this one. An old Atari Missile Command cabinet, converted to a Tecmo Ninja Gaiden. Atari Race Drivin’ to the left there too.

It took a huge amount of time to clamber across the carcasses of old machines to the back of these huge semi trailers with a flashlight just to see what was in there.

But looking at the scale of mission involved, the guys decided to pass on the opportunity. There was simply too much to manage, and the financial outlay required to buy the whole lot was beyond what the guys were prepared to shell out.

There were parts also. Moving the whole lot out was going to require too much effort. That’s an Atari Star Wars control panel up the top there
There’s a nice find. An unmolested Centuri Gyruss!
Hiding right at the back of this trailer was a Vs Duck Hunt in an original Nintendo cabinet
Here’s the view from above that Race Drivin’ cab
Adam and his buddy checked every nook and cranny
Here’s an idea of the conditions and the length of the trailers – this is the view from the very back. Bring a torch!

But Adam was able to get a second bite of the cherry. He mentioned his visit to another friend, who it turns out was more than prepared to put in the hard work that was involved in clearing everything out, so that the solid cabinets worth something could be saved.

Plenty of pinball tables and parts
These “Change” signs are really cool
A Sega Outrun sitdown
Two dismantled racers here. Sega’s OutRunners and Daytona USA
This Pac-Man has seen some life for sure. It seems it was converted twice? Once to Baseball Season II (any ideas anyone?) and Trivia Whiz!
No arcade raid is complete without finding a Ms Pac-Man! I’m pretty sure every US Raid I’ve featured here on the blog has turned one up!

So Adam was able to return to the scene of the crime, and everything was pulled out and taken away, leaving Adam with the cabinets he really wanted, including the Paperboy which he still owns to this day.

Adam recalls:

It was a crazy experience. I’m pretty sure others had picked through things before we got there. We didn’t want to make the deal originally due to the amount of garbage involved and the number of trailers. It was great to get another change at it all. My crazy buddy who eventually took on the haul allowed me to grab the machines I wanted and everything else was sold locally. And best of all, that Paperboy lives in my garage!

So there you have it. Trailers full of hidden cabs and a lot of junk. Great that it was all able to be saved, given the state of the trailers.

Huge thanks to Adam from Ohio, USA, who got in touch with the story and pictures. As always, if you have a raid story you think could be shared here on the blog, do get in touch!

See you next time!


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5 Comments Add yours

  1. schezz says:

    Finally!! 🙄😂



  2. stef1996 says:

    Gold mine !!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dan says:

    How much did the “crazy friend” pay for the lot?


  4. Tony says:

    No idea Dan sorry!


  5. Don says:

    What happened to the change signs? I’d live to buy one if they’re still around


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