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Arcade Game Collecting in Indianapolis

“I am an arcade game collector in Indianapolis, IN”. It’s interesting to see the facial expressions when I explain to people that I buy, sell, do some fixing and restoring, but mostly write about collecting arcade games around Indianapolis and the neighboring states. Collecting huge, full size old classic video games in the jeye-normous wooden cabinets that play little 8 bit simple games may not seem normal to some people, but collecting classic arcade games has become such a passion for me. Collecting old arcade games fits in with so many of my other interests and it brings back a ton of fond memories that help me through those long working days.

Here is what I know about Indianapolis for collecting arcade games and pinball machines, or coin-operated machines (coin-ops) as they can be called. This terminology is used as broad canopy for pinballs, arcade games, jukeboxes, and anything that can be used with coins:). (I won’t talk too much about pinballs, because my interest lies more in arcade games)

Not unlike most cities and other game collectors, Indianapolis has a limited number of classic arcade games still kicking around. In the booming age of upright video games, Indianapolis had arcade repairs centers at places in the city, including a Bally/Midway center just off Brookville road. Today, Indianapolis isn’t dead for collecting games, but it doesn’t appear to have nearly as many classic games like Pac-man, Robotron, or Tempest kicking around as Michigan, Pennsylvania or California. There are a handful of arcade collectors in Indianapolis that make themselves known, and two in particular who have predominant presences on the internet. (Myself and Robert Spelman).

I have found a lot of similarities between arcade game collecting and comic book collecting, in that there seems to be a lot of introverted people who aren’t very good socially. But, like life, you will also make some great new friends who share your strange interest for those boring 80’s graphics and waka-waka’s.

Like many cities, finding arcades in Indianapolis on most of the common websites like ebay and Craigslist is all about timing and creativity. Especially on Craigslist, you have to be the first to respond, which involves a lot of monitoring the listings for new arcade games to get the good deals.

My blog posts about arcade games in Indianapolis (Rotheblog)

You can find auction results, classic arcade game purchases and deals that I have posted about by looking at my indianapolis arcade tagged posts. You will be able to find some information about market value for some of these classic games that can help you sell the games on Craigslist and other local outlets.

What is the point of the arcade game blog you ask? The point of my blog is four-fold. I want to meet new collectors in the Indianapolis area, I want an outlet to talk about my arcade interests, I want to offer valuable information about game values to other potential collectors, and, because I would like to bring new collectors into the arcade game hobby. Let’s face it, this is a fixed hobby. There are some new games being made for arcades, but not many, and most of them are the modern (the same old crap IMO) that is released for next gen consoles. I want to do my part to extend interest into the future to preserve these classic games that game the video gaming industry it’s start.

I buy and sell arcade games in Indianapolis

Interested in selling your old video arcade game? Or do you have a pinball that is taking up space and you need out? I will come, pick up the game with a smile and nice conversation:) But seriously, I am interested in all arcade games you are looking to sell, especially in the Indianapolis area, and if I do not buy them outright, I have a network of individuals that I might be able to broker your game to get it sold.

I have worked with a number of individuals to sell their pinballs and arcade games from Greenwood to Lebanon and Zionsville and now across the nation, and all that I ask is 5-15% on top of what you are asking for the game. This gets you what you want, and helps cover my time and helps me finance improvements on some of my games:) Interested in selling an arcade game on Rotheblog.com. Check out the submission requirement on my ‘Selling an arcade game in Indianapolis‘ post. Most notably, you will need to submit photos and your asking price.

This also means that if you are looking for a game in the Indiana or Indianapolis area specifically I might be able to help you out. So use my contact page and give me a shout if you are looking for a specific dedicated arcade game.

Games I personally want to buy

For nearly two years I was looking to purchase a Universal Mr. Do! I ended up buying a Mr. Do! in Chicago in early July of 2008 finally ending my quest. However, the one I have is showing its age so I would still be interested in another Mr. Do! If you have a Mr. Do! you are looking to sell in the Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio areas, please contact me (rothecreations at gmail dot com, or use my contact page).

Don’t know what a Universal Mr. Do! arcade game looks like? Visit my Mr. Do! posts to learn more, or just take a look at this post, the history of Mr. Do!, in particular to learn more.

The other two games I am interested in are possible a Sinistar, and a Galaga cocktail. I am not as actively pursuing the purchase of either of these games, and with Sinistar I am still trying to determine if I want to own one or not. I have written a whole page discussing my personal interest in the game and asking for help because I would like to play Sinistar in person. I have only ever played it on Playstation and game play sucks. If you can help me out, visit my Sinistar page.

If you don’t know what Sinistar looks like, there is a photo or two on that page and here is a post about a Home Use Only (HUO) Sinistar that someone sold on the arcade collecting forums a while back.

Resources for Indianapolis Arcade Gaming

There are a couple of places that I know of in Indianapolis who still repair and deal with classic arcade games. If you are looking for repair outside the Indianapolis area throughout the state, check out my new Indiana arcade / pinball repair page for a center near you to fix your machines.

If you are looking for services for your arcade problems dealing with your monitor, chassis board, main game PCB, damaged cabinet or power supply issues you might try some of these guys. The arcade service shops are listed in order of best recommendation first. If you would like to see your shop listed here, either for repair or sales of related equipment, please contact me. They are;

  • Doc Pinball (Formerly Wagner Gameworks Pre 2008) – Owned and operated by one guy, Mark Wagner. Friendly, helpful, and in my experience – truthful. I recommend them.
  • Pinball Tek – In house pinball machine repair and service, Pinball Tek is now back in operation as of Jan. 1, 2011.
  • Arcade Services Unlimited – Haven’t bought from Arcade Services, but the one time I called Mike Yosha wasn’t very friendly to me. I would suggest knowing what you want when you call, because he “doesn’t have time” for people asking questions or small time business. There are no general hours at Arcade Services location, their focus is more on rentals of arcade games to large corporate functions. So if you are a small time collector with an average man’s wallet, fo-getaboutit. I pity the foo who wants to look at the arcade machine before they buy.
  • Happ Controls – Happ had a physical office off Elmwood avenue on the southside of Indianapolis. The rep – Jill, now works out of her house in Greenfield. I will add that contact information here in the near future.
  • Shaffer Distributing – Located in a weird location off of Washington, US40 just after Post Road. I don’t know if they repair arcade games or not. My guess is not.
  • Classic Arcade Game Locations – Indiana – Website dedicated to listing where arcade games are located in the state of Indiana, including arcade games located in Indianapolis. Updated fairly regularly, look halfway down the page for Indianapolis games.
  • Jillian’s Downtown – Eat. Drink. Play (If you can). They have a whole floor of arcade games in downtown Indianapolis, half of which are broken or buggy. They could really use this list of gaming repair specialists. However, they’ll still gladly take your money in their half working bill machines:)
  • Dream Authentics – Ultimate Mame Arcade Cabinets for high end buyers. Also for those who don’t care about classic artwork and preservation, good for having one cabinet for every game. What is MAME? That is whole subject I don’t cover too much here, but information can be found at “Build Your Own Arcade Controls.com”
Indianapolis Arcade / Pinball History

History is made every day, an in my short time collecting there have been some small changes even in the local landscape for pinball and arcade game collecting.

This page originally had a chronological list of how the coin operated landscape has changed in Indianapolis. I now have an individual page to cover that information. Check out the Indianapolis History – Arcade games & pinball machine page.

Other Indianapolis Collectors
  • Madocowain (Robert Spelman) – Great friend, nice guy and so knowledgeable about repairs. Robert is a big reason why I got into the hobby, his Indianapolis auction results from the past 5-6 years prior to 2006 helped me get a better idea of collecting arcade games. He has done some major buys, repaired a lot of games, and has been around. Cool guy to call a fellow collector.
Add a link to the list?

Are you a local collector with another resource I forgot? Contact me. Are you an arcade business that wants to be added to the list, do the same. I will consider all Indy arcade links, but will not guarantee addition. Reciprocal links help my motivation:)