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Last Update: April 17, 2011
It's no exaggeration to say that Pac-Man is the game that started the arcade
video game craze in the early 1980's. Like so many others, I got hooked and spent
way too many hours developing patterns and a callous on my right middle finger knuckle.
Much of what I have learned about arcade games dates
back to the mid-1980's when I was an auto mechanics teacher by day but purchased some
new and used arcade games to make a little extra money on the side. I had these
placed in two arcades and, as a vendor, I got a split of the money taken in.
But the bottom was already starting to drop out of that business. Back then, I couldn't
afford to pay others to fix things when they went wrong--and things always break down
on arcade games. This is especially true of electro-mechanical machines like pinballs. So I muddled
through on limited formal training in electronics and found ways to get them
working. In the end, I got back all of what I spent, less about $200. But I had
10 great games to show for it and a life experience. And now, a hobby.
You can still find these machines for sale online--especially on Craig's List and Ebay. Location
can be the biggest issue; it can cost more to ship one than its current market value.
They're also easily damaged and parts are getting increasingly
difficult to find.
Besides maintaining these machines, I restored a Pac-Man machine (see photo above)
that I bought for $300.00 on Craig's List. That went pretty well. I learned
a lot about what to do, but more importantly, what not to do. It's my goal
to share this information with you and hopefully learn more from the other Pac-Maniacs
At the time they were manufactured by Midway in 1980, Pac-Man cost well over $3000.00.
That put owning one for my home out of reach. Times have changed. These
machines have mostly fallen into various states of disrepair, retrofits, and no longer have
much commercial value. They can be purchased rountinely for $200 to $2000, depending
on the condition and modifications. more
There are many great sites out there where folks like us can share information and
tips on these old arcade machines. Click our Links
and please send me your own.