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!
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!