Arcade Raid! Wisconsin Rural Warehouse

Welcome to a different Arcade Raid right here on the weblog! A slight departure from the standard write-up course of this week. Weblog subscriber Alan obtained in contact and shared a bunch of images with me, asking if I’d prefer to share particulars of a raid he took half in. I requested just a few questions concerning the circumstances, and really kindly, Alan wrote the raid up with a ton of element! It’s so effectively achieved, that I don’t suppose me messing with it might serve a lot function.

So this raid happened in rural Wisconsin, USA again within the fall of 2002, and right here in his personal phrases is Alan’s warehouse raid story:

In June of 2001, I had bought my first two video arcade video games from an area “wheeler-dealer”, Jim.  Over time, we grew to become acquaintances after which good mates.  Years later, I’d be a groomsman at his wedding ceremony, and, after just a few extra years, he could be my finest man at my wedding ceremony.

In October of 2002, Jim despatched me an e mail.  He was occurring a street journey to purchase some video games from an operator’s warehouse, and he had been storing undesirable video games there for a few years.

Would I like to come back alongside?  Positive I’d! I’d by no means been on a “warehouse raid” earlier than, however I’d examine them on RGVAC and varied collector’s websites.  I put some money in my pockets, obtained out a flashlight, digital digicam, paper and pen, and dreamed about discovering actually cool video games for very low costs…

It was a cool and wet October Saturday, and we began out at about 5am.  Jim drove his pickup truck and pulled an open trailer. After a drive of about eight hours, we discovered the situation in rural Wisconsin – many miles from the closest city. That is what greeted usThis “warehouse” was truly a number of giant sheds all hooked up collectively.  One of many sheds was filled with dash vehicles, race vehicles, and sports activities vehicles.  The remaining had been largely filled with arcade video games and partsVideo arcade video games had been packed collectively tightly with no group or quick access to themSome gems right here. Vanguard and Gravitar!All the things was caked in dustMost of the video games had been damaged or partially stripped for components.  There was industrial shelving alongside the partitions stacked with components, pinball our bodies, and different gadgets.

There have been dozens and dozens of video video games, pinball video games, jukeboxes, new displays nonetheless within the field, arcade components and junk of all kinds…

The proprietor wouldn’t even think about promoting video games like Ms Pac-Man. “I’ve obtained consumers for these prepared to pay large bucks!”Newer drivers right here. Daytona USA and San Francisco RushI see Looping, Double Dragon, Carnival, Roc N Rope, CommandoHaving to climb over every part meant Alan obtained some attention-grabbing shotsTwo Breakouts and a Tempest subsequent to a Stunt CycleThere had been many 1970’s classic B&W video games like Tank, AntiAircraft, Breakout, Pong clones, Stunt Cycle, Night time Driver (sit-down), and many others.  There have been some classics from the early to mid 80’s

The problem was going to be discovering and placing working displays, circuit boards, and management panels again in these empty cupboards.

He additionally wouldn’t promote his one (worn and incomplete) Tron as a result of it was “value 5 thousand bucks”Crossbow was a cool discover. Jim ultimately took this away together with a Cheyenne for 75 bucks!A uncommon Atari Bronze Age recreation – AntiAircraftLots right here. Star Trek, Tempest, Qix, Gorf, Pole Place II and Burgertime. All classicsPepper IIThat Gravitar once more, mr Do’s Fortress & Operation Wolf

If I keep in mind accurately, this operator didn’t personal this cupboard space.  He was additionally within the strategy of clearing out one other warehouse and transferring its contents to this one.  Nevertheless, he (and the precise constructing proprietor) wished to filter out a whole lot of gadgets from this location too.

As you possibly can see, the video games had been packed collectively so tightly that I needed to resort to climbing up and strolling on prime of them simply to get to the again of the cupboard space and see what was there! Every kind of neat video games (a whole lot of which, in hindsight, I now want that I’d purchased).

Gravitars, Battlezones, Tempests, Tron, Star Trek, Burgertime, House Invaders, Pooyan, Double Dragon, Asteroids, Joust, and many others.  And naturally, a ton of junky conversions, unpopulated cupboards, and numerous video trivia machines.

I had fond reminiscences of enjoying Tempest as a youngster:

One Tempest was waaaaaay within the again.  I walked on prime of video games once more and dropped down right into a tiny house in entrance of it.  It appeared all proper, however I couldn’t get to the backdoor to test for monitor boards, and, wanting by means of the coin door, I assumed that one of many recreation boards is likely to be lacking.  Plus, it might have taken two hours to extricate itBut, hey, there’s one other Tempest over there!  As soon as once more, I’m going by means of a gymnastics routine to get to it.  Hmmm, appears pretty respectable, all of the components appear to be inside, simply the again door is lacking.  I point out to the Op that I is likely to be .  “I feel that it really works”, he says, so we feed an extension wire again to it.  Hmm, it does come up, it performs, however a few of the graphics are garbled.  Nonetheless, I’m .  “Tempests are value quite a bit”, the Op says.  To chop the story brief, I obtained Jim to discount for me, and we settled on $300 for the Tempest

To get the Tempest out, we needed to transfer about 15 different video games first.  As soon as out, I used to be disenchanted to see that the perimeters of the cupboard had been in very poor situation on the backside.  The leg levelers will need to have disappeared a few years prior.  Nevertheless, there was a superb situation Tempest cupboard in the identical space.  In fact, it was lifeless and had been transformed to a Common Eggs recreation.

After some extra bargaining, the Op supplied to throw in that cupboard on the deal.  We simply needed to take away the circuit board, monitor, and marquee for him first.  OK!  We had that achieved in below 10 minutes.  As an additional bonus, there was a full set of Tempest manuals and schematics mendacity within the backside of that transformed cupboard.

A dusty House Invaders Deluxe hiding within the cornerNintendo cabs, Hyper SportsAnother Bronze Age rarity right here – Halfway’s House Encounter. It’s a fairly good recreation too!Right here’s the 2 Atari Battlezones

Jim and I additionally ended up serving to to unload an enormous field truck filled with stuff that the Op had cleaned out of one other warehouse.  (Jim wished to take a look at a pinball that was within the truck.)  There within the truck was a whole Tempest management panel.  I requested the Op about shopping for it, and he gave it to me in thanks for my assist unloading the truck.

I discussed how this operator wanted to make room within the warehouse?  Nicely, whereas Jim and I climbed round and checked out stuff, the Op and his son had been going by means of recreation cupboards.  They’d choose a cupboard that was lifeless and/or empty, and that didn’t have any worth to them, take away any remaining components that is likely to be helpful, then cart the cupboard exterior and set it on fireplace!

Jukebox cupboards, outdated trivia cupboards, they went up in flames one after the other…  The one one which made me wince was a Gottlieb New York, New York.  I had seen it earlier, and it had caught my eye as a result of I vaguely recalled it being a uncommon recreation.  It was a pleasant cupboard, however no monitor or boards.  About the one components left had been the marquee and management panel.  At the very least they saved these earlier than the remaining went up in smoke.

Bizarre cab up prime there. An Atari Kangaroo transformed to a Williams Joust!The final recognized image of the Gottlieb New York! New York! earlier than it met its fiery demiseThat’s a Gravitar transformed to a Pit Boss. I do not know what that’s. There’s a Dig Dug transformed to a quiz machine additional alongside. OuchMissile Command cocktail!We had been there all day till effectively after sundown.  We had been drained, thirsty, soiled, and hungry with a protracted drive house forward of us.  However we had purchased some video games, and I had been on my first warehouse raid!

So what did we truly purchase?

My pal Jim purchased a Jurassic Park pinball.  He purchased it for components.  It had actually fallen off a truck which had smashed the top to items.  He resold it as-is, and the client utterly reassembled it.  He additionally purchased an Eight Ball Deluxe pinball and two traditional Exidy shooter video video games – Crossbow and Cheyenne.  I had the practically full almost-working Tempest, empty Tempest “Eggs” cupboard, and spare Tempest management panel.

Trying again now, Alan displays on the raid:

I look by means of these images now and wince.  I feel, “Why didn’t I purchase extra of these video games?”  As a novice collector, I didn’t even acknowledge lots of them.  I didn’t know that Gravitar was a vector recreation!  This was additionally lengthy earlier than sensible telephones allow us to immediately seek for info.  On the time, I used to be additionally within the course of of shopping for my first home.  That meant that I used to be brief on out there money whereas additionally not but having anyplace to retailer video games.

So there you’ve gotten it. 2002 was a unique time. These kinds of finds had been commonplace, and the destruction of cupboards was pretty typical. I’m fairly positive a raid of this magnitude in at this time’s market could be rather more costly for starters! (And only for the report, these video games are actually lengthy gone).

Enormous because of Alan for permitting me to share his story right here on the weblog.

Loads extra Arcade Raids lined up within the coming weeks, so maintain a watch out!

Thanks as at all times for visiting this week.

Tony

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