Regret is a powerful motivator for collectors.
Back in 2007, I spotted an abandoned Dreamcast kiosk along the side of the road. I seriously debated throwing it in my Honda Accord and taking it back to my tiny beach apartment. Space for surfboards and a fear of scaring my new female roommate won out. Unfortunately, I kept driving. I’ve been kicking myself ever since.
Since then, with 200+ titles in my beloved Dreamcast collection, I’d been scouring eBay and Craigslist for just such a gem. Unfortunately, these often pop up out of state, and shipping would cost as much or more than the kiosk is worth.
Several weeks ago, lady luck looked down on me. Sure enough, a listing popped up on eBay, and it was here in San Diego! I quickly messaged the seller about local pickup options and then realized that he might also be listing it on Craigslist. Sure enough, it was on Craigslist too, and we were able to arrange the sale. Best part about buying locally was that I was able to connect with another fellow collector.
Ok, let’s take a look at this fantastic store display unit!
If you’re a stickler for details, I believe these units originally had white controllers. However, I think it looks great with the translucent ones.
The gaming unit sits on the top of a custom base that interlocks with the main unit by a series of metal tabs and a machine screw. It’s no big deal that this screw was missing as I easily found an appropriate screw in our workshop.
You can see how the metal tabs on the top of the stand slide into the base of the top unit.
I removed the back of the kiosk to take a look inside and to clean it up.
What’s surprising is that inside the unit is a standard Samsung TXH1370 CRT TV. For a VGA-capable system, it seems like the kiosk should have been designed to included a computer monitor or a nicer TV to show off the insane graphic potential of this system. The system plugs directly into the TV with just the standard composite video cable and mono sound. The unit doesn’t seem to feature an external power switch. Instead, you simply power on the kiosk by plugging in its 4-receptacle power strip / surge protector. Each receptacle is used for the following: Dreamcast console, TV, left fan, right fan.
The Dreamcast system is accessible through a removable plexiglass door on the front of the system (see below for more info). The base of the compartment is recessed for controller cable routing and for the machine screw that interconnects the top unit to the stand. The TV’s controls are hidden by a plastic flap.
The system itself sits on a metal tray which raises the system up about a half an inch from the compartment floor. This helps to nicely hide the cords and keeps the system firmly in place. There is still plenty of room in the compartment for switching out games.
The Dreamcast kiosk is notorious for super loud exhaust fans. I pulled out one of the fans to clean it, and due to age the plastic was brittle enough that it cracked. It sounds like I have a great excuse to put in a quieter fan! Just for reference, the original fan is a Comair Rotron Sprite Model SU2A5 and is 115 volts requiring AC power.
Unfortunately, the kiosk didn’t come with the original plexiglass door. Instead, mine came with a piece of hand-cut, flat acrylic. I was curious what the original piece looked like, and the seller was able to show me one instantly. Funny enough, he actually had two Dreamcast kiosks at the time! Collectors are the best sort of nuts! I photographed the original door in comparison to my replacement piece. If you happen to have one of these for sale, please let me know.
Regret is a powerful motivator for collectors. After six years of kicking myself about “the one that got away,” my eyes have happy Dreamcast swirls as I gaze on my kiosk.
In case it isn’t already 100% clear, I love retro gaming advertising and display items! If you or a friend have an old kiosk, promo sign, poster, etc, please let me know. I’d love to take a look at it and to chat with you about it.
Happy retro gaming!