Adding a Dreamcast Kiosk to the Collection

Dreamcast Kiosk (1)

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.

Dreamcast Kiosk Dreamcast Kiosk (2)

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.

Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (1) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (9) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (8) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (7) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (5) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (4) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (3) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (2)

You can see how the metal tabs on the top of the stand slide into the base of the top unit.

Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand Locking Connection (1) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand Locking Connection (2)

I removed the back of the kiosk to take a look inside and to clean it up.

Dreamcast Kiosk Back Shell (5) Dreamcast Kiosk Back Shell (4) Dreamcast Kiosk Back Shell (3) Dreamcast Kiosk Back Shell (2)

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.

Dreamcast Kiosk Back TV (4) Dreamcast Kiosk Back TV (3) Dreamcast Kiosk Back TV (2) Dreamcast Kiosk Back TV (1) Dreamcast Kiosk Back Power Strip

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.

Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment (2) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment (3) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment (4) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment TV Controls

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.

Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment Console Tray (1) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment Console Tray (2) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment Console Tray (4) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment Console Tray (3) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment Console Tray (5) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment Console Tray (6) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment Console Tray (7)

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.

Dreamcast Kiosk Fans (2) Dreamcast Kiosk Fans (1) Dreamcast Kiosk Dreamcast Kiosk Fan Replacement (5)  Dreamcast Kiosk Fan Replacement (4) Dreamcast Kiosk Fan Replacement (3) Dreamcast Kiosk Fan Replacement (2)

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.

Dreamcast Kiosk Plexiglass Door (5) Dreamcast Kiosk Plexiglass Door (4) Dreamcast Kiosk Plexiglass Door (3) Dreamcast Kiosk Plexiglass Door (1)

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!

The Glory of the Neo Geo MVS Arcade!

Growing up in small-town America, the local roller rink was a kid’s dream. Not only could we roller skate to Ghost Busters and fall dead to a weird “Dead Bug” song, but it was the only place in town with an arcade.

The Neo Geo Romance Begins

In an era dominated by the beloved NES, arcade machines stood tall and maintained command of our curiosity and our quarters. Within the dazzling array of arcade machines, the Neo Geo created a lasting impression on me as a 10 year-old. Not only could this machine produce deeply rich visuals, but it provided fantastic, engaging game play!  Just as incredible as the Neo Geo was, we kids were equally intrigued by the idea that some rich kid could own a home version. Yet with a price tag of around $650.00, we kids simply placed the Neo Geo into the ethereal category of unattainable gaming systems.  Naturally, that made us all the more attracted to it. It was the holy grail, and the closest we’d ever come to owning a Neo Geo would be to plunk in our quarters and to buy a few minutes of time in front of our local Neo Geo MVS arcade machine.

Some twenty years later, with that same childhood dream still smoldering in the subconscious, I decided to start looking for a Neo Geo. After doing a bit of research, I realized that the Neo Geo MVS was a bit more reasonable to purchase than the home AES version.  Sure it’s a full sized arcade machine, but price and game selection won out! Armed with my trusty Craigslist app, I checked for Neo Geo items every day for about a six months before pulling the trigger…and I couldn’t be happier!

Apparently this particular MVS had a tough life in east county San Diego.  However, the previous owner Lou took incredible pride in restoring this machine:  painted, new decals, new joystick, buttons, plexiglass, locks, etc.  Heck, he’d even added high-end cup holders to the sides (‘atta boy!). The price was right, and Lou was even cool enough to help set it up once a buddy and I trucked it over.

Moving the Service Panel

One mod that Lou hadn’t finished was the service panel mod.  He had cut a 6″x6″ hole, moved the service panel to the side, and horizontally mounted it. The hole was cut quite well actually, so the door he recommended I order worked quite nicely.

Due to the depth of the door, I had to flip the panel’s mounting bracket inside out and mount it vertically so that it wouldn’t hit the door.  Aside from my questionable paint job, it came out quite nicely…so pretty.

Lessons Learned

1) I seriously need to work on my painting skills.

2) Having purchased and collected countless retro gaming items and having experienced the onset of buyer’s remorse more than a few times, I have to say that my MVS has become a favorite purchase and a solid continued sense of entertainment!

3)  If you buy an MVS, introduce your wife or significant other to Puzzle Bobble.  It turns out my wife both loves this game and is able to consistently destroy me in it.  As they say, happy wife…happy life…and happy collecting! 🙂

Thrifting: Found a Teasure Chest of Odyssey 2

While out thrifting last weekend, I came across nothing less than a treasure chest full of Magnavox Odyssey 2 stuff.  It ended up being a system and 31 games.  That makes up a pretty large percentage of the games produces for the Odyssey 2!  Naturally, it was something that I couldn’t resist, and I’ve photographed it for your viewing pleasure.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the Odyssey 2 (or Magnavox Odyssey²), the system was released here in the United States in 1978.  Magnavox was breaking ground in the video game world in the 70s.  In May 1972, they released the original Magnavox Odyssey as the first home video game console.  That’s several years before the infamous Pong home console was released into American homes.  Magnavox followed the original Odyssey with the production of the Odyssey 200 in 1975.

Not only did Magnavox made the leap of adding cartridges to their Odyssey², but they created several games that blended video game and board game:  Quest for the Rings!, Conquest of the World, and The Great Wall Street Fortune Hunt.  The sheer presentation and quality of these games is simply unmatched in current video game production.  Add to that the fact that Odyssey² has groundbreaking audio and speech capabilities, and these were attractive games for their time.

As great as the Odyssey² may have been, Magnavox was competing on a flooded playing field.  The Atari 2600 and Intellivision were two of the biggest competitors, and both boasted better graphics.  While the Odyssey² enjoyed some popularity and sold over a million systems, their lack of strong 3rd party developers and being a less graphically impressive system meant a challenging existence for the Odyssey².

Space is a limit right now, and I can’t say that this is something that I’m planning on collecting.  So you’ll probably see the lot appear up on eBay this weekend.  If you’ve ever thought about collecting Odyssey 2 stuff, here’s a fantastic start (See below for a list of games).

Of note is the fact that the system has silver controllers rather than the usual black ones.  Anyone know about this color variant?  (Update:  Silver controllers are an indication that the system was part of an early production run before they controllers were switched to a black colored model.)

Games Found:

  1. Alien Invaders-Plus!
  2. Alpine Skiing!
  3. Baseball
  4. Blockout!/Breakdown!
  5. Bowling/Basketball
  6. Casino Slot Machine
  7. Computer Golf
  8. Computer Intro!
  9. Conquest of the World
  10. Cosmic Conflict!
  11. Dynasty
  12. Electronic Table Soccer
  13. Football
  14. Hockey!/Soccer!
  15. Invaders from Hyperspace
  16. K.C. Munchkin!
  17. Las Vegas Blackjack
  18. Matchmaker/Buzzword/Logix
  19. Math-a-Magic!/Echo!
  20. Out of This World!/Helicopter Rescue!
  21. Pachinko!
  22. Pocket Billiards
  23. Quest for the Rings
  24. Showdown in 2100 A.D.!
  25. Speedway! / Spinout! / Crypto-Logic!
  26. SubChase!/Armored Encounter!
  27. Take the Money and Run
  28. Thunderball!
  29. UFO!
  30. Volleyball
  31. War of Nerves!

Mystery NES Controller Accessory?

Anyone know what this item is?  While out thrift hunting, one of my favorite vendors who knows I like weird video games items pulled this out for me.  We both scratched our heads as we looked at it…

This weird accessory accepts a NES controller.  Two arms extend over the “A” & “B” buttons and contain adjustable plastic screws.  From what it looks like, those screws allow a person to keep one or both of the buttons depressed.

The only markings on the item are as follows:  “Model No. 52950, Patent Pending”

That all seems straight forward, but why?  Why would someone what this?  Who made it?  Anyone have any knowledge of these?

(Update October 31, 2010)  Thanks Speedy_NES at NintendoAge for identifying this item and for the photo!  It turns out that this strange NES accessory is called “The Power Clip”.  Below is s a photo from him.  What’s interesting is that mine has no branding in the indented space just above the two red lever arms.  His reads “PROGRESSIVE PRODUCTS INC, MADE IN USA, PAT PEND”.  Otherwise, from what I can tell, they seem identical.

An Interesting Find: Runaway Gakken Handheld

While out thrift shopping this past weekend, I spotted this sweet little gem in a mixed pile of items!  I’m not a handheld collector, so I can’t say I knew anything about Gakken handhelds.  But something about it simply told me it was old and interesting.  I picked it up on a hunch, and it turns out that my hunch was right!  These little games are fairly rare.  The cheapest ones on eBay are about $40.  Bummer mine is missing the battery cover.  Otherwise, it’s in pretty good shape for its age.

Here‘s a bit more info on them.  Since I don’t collect these, I’m happy to pass mine along through eBay for cheap.  Starting bid is 99 cents, so have at it!

Goodwill = Retro Video Games

I have a fantastic fiancee. One of her many fine qualities is her love for thrift shopping and retro gaming. The two of us hit up about four different Goodwill stores this weekend.  Sure enough, we found a fantastic number of retro gaming items for cheap.  We passed up a number of items too (mostly PS1 systems, sports games, etc.).

Naturally some of these items will go into the collection and the rest will hit my eBay Store.  I’m especially excited to have found Mario Teaches Typing for PC and all of the old-school Blizzard games.  I’m holding onto those.  Plus, the Quest for Glory PC games by Sierra were a fantastic find.  A collector friend of mine was happy to add those to his collection.

The moral of the story here is that Goodwill is still a solid place to hit if you’re a retro gamer.

Here’s the loot list:

3DO Road Rash
CABLES 5x AV Cables
DS Guitar Hero On Tour + Decades Box Set
DS Guitar Hero On Tour + Decades Box Set
GCUBE Metroid Prime
GCUBE Super Smash Bros. Melee
GENESIS Controller
GENESIS Maximum Carnage
MISC Star Wars Figures Lot
MISC Mario Ball
NES Yobo System
NES NES System (no wires)
PC Warcraft: Orcs & Munans
PC Warcraft II Expansion
PC Diablo II
PC StarCraft
PC Phantasmagoria
PC Alice
PC Full Throttle
PC Quest for Glory I
PC Quest for Glory II
PC Quest for Glory III
PC Mario Teaches Typing
PS1 Intelligent Cube
PS1 Diablo
PS1 Mega Man X4
PS1 Final Fantasy VII (Disc 1 & 2)
PS2 Eye Toy Play
PS2 Eye Toy Groove
PS2 RC Revenge
PS2 Tarzan Untamed
PS2 Fatal Frame
SNES Controller
SNES Controller
SNES Controller
SNES SNES System (no wires)
SNES SNES System (no wires)
XBOX GTA San Andreas

Game Hunting: Moonwalker, Turbo Touch 360, Taiko Drum Master

I hit the usual flea market this weekend and found a number of rare and interesting retro games and accessories.  My top find was a loose copy of Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker (sadly in rough shape).  Surprisingly, this is actually a decent game to actually play.  Since Michael’s death the game has become quite hard to find and has been hovering at about $40-60+.  Putting this one in the eBay store.

My other favorite find was a Turbo Touch 360 controller for the Sega Genesis.  It still blows my mind that there was anything touch sensitive 20 years ago.  I can’t say it’s the best controller out there, but it’s not that bad either.  As you can see from my finds, I love toying around with weird turbo and programmable controllers.  This one is staying in the collection.

Taiko Drum Master for PS2 was a great find especially since it’s complete in box.  I’m not sure whether to hold onto this one or not, so it’s going into collection/eBay limbo.

The rest of my finds were as follows:

GENESIS Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker
GENESIS Space Harrior II
GENESIS Turbo Touch 360 Controller
GENESIS Turbo Controller
N64 Beetle Adventure Racing!
N64 Space Station Silicon Valley
N64 Star Soldier Vanishing Earth
PS2 Taiko Drum Master Complete
PS2 Everquest Online Adventures
SNES Donkey Kong Country
SNES Donkey Kong Country 2
SNES Race Drivin’
SNES Jammit — Game + Box
SNES Programmable controller
XBOX Star Wars Republic Commando
XBOX Star Wars Battlefront

Game Hunting: 2 Flea Markets = Dragon’s Lair Deluxe Pack

I had a great time at the local swap meets (flea markets) this weekend and found some great retro gaming loot.  I’d say my favorite find for the weekend was the Dragon’s Lair Deluxe Pack for PC.  This gem not only contains Dragon’s Lair I & II + Space Ace, but it’s a fantastic example of video game box art at it’s best.  I don’t collect computer games, so I’ll probably be listing this one on eBay…but not until after I try to play through it first.

I’m trying something a little new.  Since I track all my purchases, I figured I’d share out the lists below for those of you who are more into text than photos.  enjoy!

Swap Meet #1:

DREAMCAST Airforce Delta
DREAMCAST Coaster Works
MISC 6x Rolls of Packing Tape
MISC Admission to Swap Meet
MISC Business Cards for Printing
N64 Banjo-Kazooie
N64 Lego Racers
N64 Ms. Pac-Man
NES Mendel Palace
PS1 Psone System + 5 Games
PS2 Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance
PS2 Dance Factory Sealed
SNES 2x SNES Power Adapters
SNES 4x SNES Manuals
SNES Generic SNES Controller
SNES SNES Controller
SNES Super Mario Kart Manual
TSHIRT 6x Tshirts
XBOX Fable Disc
XBOX Halo 1 Complete
XBOX Halo 1 Loose
XBOX Halo 2 Complete
XBOX Karaoke Revolution Party
XBOX Unreal II

Swap Meet #2:

GAMEBOY Track Meet
GENESIS Maximum Carnage (w manual)
GENESIS Rocket Knight Adventures
MISC Admission to Swap Meet
PC Dragon’s Lair Deluxe Pack
PS1 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (sealed)
PS1 Dance Dance Revolution Konamix
PS2 Destroy All Humans!
PS2 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (sealed)
PS3 Batman Arkham Asylum
SNES Head-On Soccer