Pre-built cabaret arcade cabinets

Pre-fabbed / built arcade cabinets is not a new idea, but it is always an expensive one that comes down to proximity. I was researching on RGVAC the other day and came across this attempt by Scott C. and a wood worker to reproduce cabaret cabinets.

Tough balance – Ease, Price + Shipping, Demand

Building an arcade game from scratch is expensive. If you buy a nice piece of cabinet grade Birch plywood, 3/4″ thick, you are going to be right around $50 from your local shop. You’d need 3-4 pieces to build a full size arcade cabinet at least, that is a rough estimate – (certainly ask Brett in the Toledo area, he’d probably be able to tell you exactly how much is needed) 😉

Using a Pac-man cabaret as a base, at 19.5″ deep, in my estimate that should mean you could fit both sides of a mini on one piece, and then maybe all of the other parts – kickplate, back door on another sheet? Maybe not, maybe you’d need three sheets, so let’s say $150 in wood costs.

Here are some photos showing this finished cabaret cabinet from Bill Wood and the pre-cut pieces of wood for a cabaret.

Galaxian Cabaret ReproductionGalaxian Cabaret Wood Pieces

At $375 plus shipping, although that may be reasonable when you take into spec time and other non physical costs, that is getting to be an expensive game. That is just the cabinet, no artwork. This seemed to be a common piece of feedback, that the artwork isn’t available making the cabinet almost ‘worthless’ in a sense if that isn’t available. But for a Pac-man, there isn’t sideart, so all of the other pieces should be available via re-sale. Maybe its the immediate availability, I don’t know.

Regardless, looks like after about 6-8 months they gave up. They did leave a mirror of Bill’s website for the reproduction cabinets online. Here are the original discussions;

What are the ‘actual’ cabaret wood costs?

I would be curious to know what the ‘exact’ costs were. Were the costs $375? I doubt it. Outsourcing it to a non collector, that shop would need to make some sort of profit. Not that they should do it at cost either.

What would you pay for a repro cabaret?

They probably should have asked what would have been the most appropriate price point for these cabinet first to see if it even made sense to explore. Maybe I missed that question.

I would think $250+ shipping? That seems more reasonable to me at least. By the time you talk, marquee, control panel, bezel, and then possibly a Jamma to original converter you are going to be looking at an additional $200-$250.

I’d like to hear your feedback. What price would you pay for a pre-fabbed, really nice quality birch cabaret cabinet? I don’t want to hear “I don’t like cabarets, so I don’t care”. Don’t answer if you don’t like cabarets. But there are guys that do, mostly for space reasons and due to where they were used (bars) they seem to be pretty beat so a new cabinet would be a breath of fresh air.

Here are some similar arcade posts

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I enjoy reading your site, but admit I haven’t been here in a while and certainly missed this one. Interesting article.

I suspect it might have made better reading had you contacted me for some background on what happened and why. Yes, I am the Scott C. (Caldwell) mentioned in the article.

Have a nice day.

Scott C.

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The article summarized what was posted for historical purposes. Certainly if you would like to provide insight into what the actual costs were at the time I know that would be useful information to those considering to go this route now with Brett up in Toledo. It’s not cheap, and not a profitable venture for sure who the undertakers, and I think folks should realize that who have no contextual concept.

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