Who owns coin-op/stand-up arcade games?

I’ve got three arcade machines right now, an Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Mortal Kombat, and a Pole Position. I bought the Indy machine when the arcade I was working at was moving and down sizing, I’m glad I did as they are hard to come by and is probably my favorite game. The Mortal Kombat I bought off of eBay years ago for cheap, much cheaper then I could get now. The Pole Position is Iris’, we got that at an auction a couple of years ago and is her favorite.

Along with the Mortal Kombat, I’ve got a MKII board set, and a number of chip sets for the original boards for the different versions. I wouldn’t mind picking up MKIII and MK IV boards, but that would involve cutting my dedicated machine and I don’t want to do that.

I’d pick up more games, but I don’t have to many other favorites. I wouldn’t mind an Indy pinball, but they are expensive. Plus I don’t have the time to keep up with keeping them running right. All three have some minor problems.

Just curious… how does one handle maintenance on these? If, say, your Pole Position quits responding to the steering wheel because a part no longer works, who ya gonna call?

One of those things I’ve wondered about.

I own Joust and an (unfortunately) non-functional 8-Ball Deluxe Pinball.

Engywook, the answer to your is “depends”. For most of the maintenance on Joust, I either figure out what’s wrong myself or buy replacement parts on-line (the joystick is a particular issue). For the pinball machine, I attempted some repairs myself, screwed things up further, and now I refuse to touch the thing. The one time I had it fixed it before, I had a maintenance guy for one of the local arcade/arcade suppliers come in. He told me what to buy, I bought it, he put it in. Total bill for that was around $100.

I have one… sort of.

I actually have a cabinet that I hollowed out, and modified with a PC inside. The controls are hooked up to arcade sticks and the games are all stored on a Windows-based PC inside the cabinet. From the outside it looks like any other game machine.

I have several (Pole Position, Star Castle, Cyberball, to name a few, and a pinball machine).


As for fixing them, there are mountains of information on the internet, plus many technically oriented collectors (read: electrical engineers) who will lend a hand, and several parts vendors.

As with many hobbies, it started out as a cheap diversion, then as more people became interested, the costs/prices spiked, then have dropped off since the stock bubble burst, with the exception of the most popular games. The hot coin-op collectibles right now are pinball machines.

I just want to say that anyone who owns one of these things is miles beyond awesome in my eyes.


Well in some cases, such as the steering wheel or joysticks, it’s mechanical so it’s not that hard. Plus some games they made so many of so parts are easy to come by. Other things, like my Indy’s sound problem, you have to figure out. I have the manual that came with the game, but for my case all it says is “The sound processor doesn’t work”, but doesn’t tell me where to find it. Other things, you can buy new chips and if you have a chip burner you can basically remake them.

The worst part is the size and weight. A small place is no good for them, and to move them takes a couple of people usually. They weight 3-400+ pounds.

Some friends of mine spend a lot of time on Golden Tee golf machines. The machines are hooked up to phone lines, and they have tournaments over the network. They tell me that some of the top “golfers” have their own machines at home.