What the Heck Happened?

By Killerbooger

July 12, 2020


31 days ago

I think like most people on Pinside, I played a lot of games as a kid.  I grew up with Donkey Kong, Pac Man, Galaga, Black Knight and Eight Ball Deluxe.  When I was young, there was an arcade right next to my mom and dad’s shop. I spent a lot of their hard-earned money in that place.  Fast forward a couple decades, and my wife brought home a Missile Command and a Centipede that needed some love for my birthday.  That was the beginning of the beginning.  

I started tinkering around with them and learned how to work on the games.  I bought a defender, rebuilt it and made it look pretty.  Soon after, I refurbished my first Donkey Kong and it looked like a Smurf blew up in my garage. The first pin I refurbished was a Comet.  It was a mess and probably should have gone to the dump but I made it beautiful. I have a great picture of my 90-year-old dad playing that game. That was so much fun, that I bought a Tales From the Crypt pin that was in horrid shape.  I took it down to nothing, repainted and hand created the art on it.  Soon people started wanting me to redo games for them, which I loved.  I have redone games with rats in them, chunks missing, bad cabinets and have saved them from the dump and have put them in homes that play them every day.  

Ten years, and a lot of games later I have blown a lot of boards, necked a lot of tubes and made a lot of mistakes.  I have gone from repainting Donkey Kong in my garage, to a full-service shop rebuilding games and making pinball mods.  Compared to many others I am a noob at this, but I love it.  I'm a super nerd with a background in electronics, computers and have found that I am pretty darn good at the work on the outside of the game as well.  About a week ago I decided to go all in, and I put up a Kickstarter campaign to try and expand my shop, 59 days to go on that little adventure.  

What is going on right now with pinball and arcade games is amazing, and anything that I can do to keep that alive I want to do.  Both my parents are gone now.  I lost my mom about 4 years ago and my dad this year to COVID.  Had it not been for their entrepreneurial spirit and that arcade shop next door I wouldn’t be doing this right now.  I guess I should also thank my wife for buying me those two ratty games. I love doing this, I wish I would have started a long time ago.  Now it is time to teach my son.  

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Comments

30 days ago
Those games look amazing! Thanks for sharing your story
29 days ago
Nice story.
Good to hear about someone
bringing back the classics.
29 days ago
Nice work!! You'll have a great time showing your son the ropes. Thanks for sharing
27 days ago
Enjoyed reading your story. Can to relate to many of the things you talk about
27 days ago
great story and good luck.
26 days ago
Great story and keep up the great work!
26 days ago
Awesome story. Your parents would be proud. I can't wait to work on games with my son one day.
25 days ago
Great story! Can’t wait to get the ball rolling on my first project...
25 days ago
Great Story! Thank you for sharing it with us.
25 days ago
Thanks for sharing your story and sorry for your losses. Good luck as you pursue your dream!
23 days ago
Thx for sharing ..wish you many more years of success
22 days ago
Great story.
22 days ago
Thanks for your story, and for reviving those games! I hope that the pandemic doesn't devastate too many locations. I miss going out to play....
19 days ago
Great Story! So there is a hope for me yet!
16 days ago
Follow your passion!
14 days ago
Thanks for sharing your inspirational story.
10 days ago
Come fix my EM games!!!!
9 days ago
Good Luck! I would love to have a shop like this near me.

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