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Arcade warehouse raid…wait for it…in Belgium Europe

Within collecting there are many different factions, interests, regional and even national groups and there are many different sites for those arcade enthusiasts. My general impression is that the real arcade collecting fanatics hang out at Dragon’s Lair Fans, and late October one of the more hardcore collectors (Level42) came across an operator with a warehouse that was like a step back in time.

Arcade operator in Belgium

This collector that goes by the handle of Level42 had gotten word of an operator in Belgium. Now, the guys who collect arcade games here in the US always say ‘if you were closer’. I doubt that phrase ever made it into a European collector’s vernacular. If there are classic games and they can drive, they’ll get them. Here is just one of the many views (nearly 100 photos) showing what was potentially available in this raid.

View from inside the Belgium Warehouse

He brought a trailer with him and a very Euro looking van and loaded up not one, two, but four Centipedes, three Berzerks and a Rock Ola Armor Attacks. Level does a nice job of building up some suspense and telling the story with photos.

Stern Berzerks and Atari Centipedes loaded upAtari Centipede unloaded for inspection

I can only imagine the excitement of the Euro guys, not having to pay to have something shipped to them, plus, Level left a ton of stuff there. I can only imagine the volumes of private messages he must be getting to get the other stuff. Read more about the European Warehouse Raid on Dragon’s Lair Fans.

Rock Ola Armor Attack

Differences between US and European Collecting

I think there is a possibility we would have grabbed a couple of those Centipedes and Berzerks, but certainly what we view as rare has a different value, say, in the Netherlands. But the mantra for anyone on a warehouse raid is, “Pay cash and be prepared to bring everything back with you that you want, because there will probably not be another opportunity.”

It sounded like Level was out of space to store games so he was constrained in that way and he planned a lot before he left, making sure that he wouldn’t have to store the Berzerks or Centipedes for long. The Rock Ola Armor Attacks went to Andysarcade.de, and sounds like the Centipedes to some guys that are big into the hobby. But if one of us had found that space in the US, it probably would have been cleared out, regardless of space or other constraints.

Unlike the US, he’s gotten guys coming out and outright asking him where it is, and other people trying to guess….which I don’t think happens with warehouses around here. Everything is done in private, one big secret hobby. Over there they seem to try to distribute the wealth a little more and help out other guys as much as possible. But if you look at the photos, he was careful to blot out all of the operator stickers on the cabinet to make it that much harder for anyone else to find the location, so maybe he plans to go back and get more.

What games would you have taken?

Let’s change the context and say this was in the US. Obviously this depends on price, but I would have taken a Berzerk or two, probably left all of the Centipedes, and grabbed the Armor for sure. I’m the weirdo and love artwork so I would have then probably snagged the Puckman and even all of those Taito cabinets.

Puckman Arcade GameAwesome looking Taito arcade cabinets - Photo 1Awesome looking Taito arcade cabinets - Photo 2

Berzerk and Centipedes in Europe are uncommon, around here you just don’t see those Zaccaria cabinets. So for the same plea for artwork I probably would have also grabbed all the Zaccaria games.

Zaccaria Arcade Cabinets

Then there are some games that have really no value to your average collector, but might have been cool to have because they are so rare – The Gee Bee, licensed by Nichibutsu would have been one, Vega by Olympia would have been another, but for that same reason I probably would have left the Crunch, Caterpillar, Crash and Blockade(s). Heck even those Belgium style cabinets are kind of cool, a little Steampunk with the wood engraved sides…but would have been much cooler if they had arcade engraved artwork instead. All about the one of a kinds. Then of course the pinballs, most of them are no brainers depending on price.

What games would you have taken? What would be your number one choice for import if you could?

Here are some similar arcade posts

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Comments
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Looks like a candy shop. Have to visit it myself very soon (: And what you say about the European collecting spirit is true, we try to share our passion, cab finds and possible opportunities for others with our fellow collectors. And driving large distances is no problem at all because we always know it's now or never.

But nothing beats Exidy's video, a discovery like that is like a wet dream. All those classics are awesome, just waiting to be found. I'm living on the wrong continent!

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Exidy’s video is pretty amazing, one of the few visuals from so many warehouse raids from across the nation during a time where digital cameras weren’t readily available, and now after a lot of those early websites have been lost 🙁

So, did some of the cabinets get damaged do you think after the operator moved them around after all of the pinballs were purchased?

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Hi

I’d like to know where I exactly I can find this place or whether you have the contact of the owner? I’d like to visit.

Thanks!

Georgina

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hi I am after an original taito space invaders up right video machine in original condition working or non working.

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yes, thanks for getting back to me but could you answer my question about the taito cabinets , i would appreciate it kindly if you could as i am interested in making a bulk purchase and i will make it worth your while, thankyou/.

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est-il possible d’acheter cpu et carte son zaccaria.adresse du vendeur et prix ou tel. merçi…(pour flipper zac.)

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