There are times that I think to myself, “I am in the right place at the right time”. One lazy afternoon last week, I was trawling through a certain online site when I stumbled upon an unloved Space Invaders arcade cabinet. My retro senses went into overdrive. I had been looking for such a cabinet for a while, but had given up of ever finding one.
Reading the advertisement, the machine had all the original innards, but the outside of the cabinet had seen better days. The usual story in these online advertisements go something like this: “I don’t have room and the wife tells me I got to get rid of it”, or my favourite, “I bought this cab to restore it, but I now need the money, so it must go”. The seller of this particular machine fell in the latter.
The price in the advertisement was negotiable. I immediately sent an offer to the seller and sweetened the deal by saying I could pick it up on the weekend. I honestly thought the seller would negotiate up, but to my astonishment, he accepted it. To say I was excited would be a gross understatement. I could not sleep properly till I had the machine in my possession.
With the trailer in tow, I showed up half an hour early at the seller’s house. Once we made some small talk, money was exchanged and the machine was loaded securely and driven back to its new home, my garage.
The arcade cabinet needs some attention, including the control panel, which isn’t original. However, with lots of tender loving care, she will be restored to her former beauty. She is rock solid – they don’t build them like they used to.