Japan Amusement Expo: JAEPO 2019 Highlights

We have always wanted to attend an amusement (trade) expo, and it doesn’t get any bigger than the Japan Amusement Expo (JAEPO), which was held over the last weekend.

The heavy hitters of the industry were all there showcasing their latest games and machines (Sega, Taito, Konami, Capcom, Bandai Namco), hoping to attract distributors and operators alike. Oh yeah, Taito’s ‘Mega Rage Darius’ throwback section was a nice touch and proved quite popular!

image source: megarage_mizo

Here are some highlights and new machines that caught our eye from JAEPO 2019. Obviously Space Invaders and anything pinball related caught our eye.

Taito stand

Taito’s Densha De Go (train simulator) – Standard and Kids versions

Taito – Space Invaders Gigamax (10P Space Invaders with a display that fits on a side of a building)

Taito / Raw Thrills – Halo: Fireteam Raven

Street Fighter V Type Arcade (Capcom @ Taito’s stand)

Taito – Space Invaders Pinball Jam

Arcade1Up Japan – Space Invaders 40th Anniversary

Konami – stand

Konami – Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) 20th Anniversary Edition

Bandai Namco Technica – Pac-Man Panic Pinball

Bandai Namco Technica – Super Panic Ball (pinball)

Bandai Namco Technica – unique tool display from a Jersey Jack Pinball cabinet

exA-Arcadia – the NEOGEO MVS of our time!

Arcade Buttons galore!

image sources: Arcade Heroes, Taito Zuntata on Twitter, Taito, Arcade1Up JapanBemaniStyle, exA-Arcadia & BK2000

 

Highest-Grossing Arcade Machines of All Time

Let’s reflect and gloat for one second – it was great to be alive during the Golden Age of Arcade video games and experience arcade joints first-hand; from the clean franchised ones to the decrepit dark and scary independent ones – we loved them all.

Oh yeah, we loved the games too, from coin dropping in Galaga, Bomb Jack, Pac-Man, Tron, Double Dragon, DragonNinja to Sega’s beasts like Space Harrier, Super Hang-On, OutRun, After Burner and Thunder Blade – we spent up big and loved every single second of it.

The 1990s started with us hammering coins into Atari’s Pit-Fighter, Capcom’s Final Fight and Street Fighter II. However, it was Sega’s Daytona USA that emptied our piggy bank of coins – we just could not get enough of it.

source: The Arcade Flyer Archive

Looking at the top 10 highest grossing arcade games (below), we can tell you that we played them all during their heyday and understand why the dot munching Pac-Man is perched right up top – the game was a breath of fresh air (for its time), as it wasn’t a derivative of the then plethora of space shoot’em ups. Pac-Man was truly a revolutionary title which had universal appeal, both male and female gamers loved chasing Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde.

So what of Atari’s Pong then? Well, the 1972 game did very well for Atari, they sold somewhere between 8,500 to 19,000 units (1972 to 1973) grossing them around $11Million US dollars – not bad for 1973!

The revenues generated were quite staggering, reaffirming the Golden Age of Arcade video games period as the most prosperous of them all, with Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam flying the flag for the 1990s.

Source: Wikipedia, USGamer and Goliath

 

Space Invaders 40th Anniversary Silver Coin

Special occasions like anniversaries usually come about a few times in a lifetime, so what better way to commemorate and remember a special anniversary than a beautiful and awesome memento to mark the occasion!

There were a few arcade games that came before it, but in 1978 Taito’s Space Invaders single-handedly propelled arcade games into mainstream popular culture and helped kick off the golden age of arcade video games.

When Tomohiro Nishikado created Space Invaders we bet he wouldn’t have thought that it would become such a global hit. With its legacy well and truly cemented in arcade video gaming lore, we wonder then what Mr Nishikado-san would make of New Zealand Mint’s commemorative Space Invaders 40th Anniversary 1oz Silver Coin? If we were to guess, he would be most impressed, just like we were.

The first thing that struck us when opening the package was the beautifully recreated (to scale) Space Invaders arcade cabinet. The base of the cabinet carries the numbered (out of 3,000 units) Certificate of Authenticity. The precious cargo is housed inside the arcade cabinet, which can be opened by lifting the cabinet off its base to reveal the gorgeous 1oz silver coin, cushioned in black felt.

Removing the coin we were impressed with its size – it is bigger than we imagined! On one side of the coin you will find Space Invaders engraved on a proof background and lenticular printed coloured aliens that move as the coin is rotated at different angles. The other side of the coin has Queen Lizzie (just like on all of our Australian and NZ legal tender). Holding the coin feels special as it connects us via nostalgia for the video game that kickstarted the arcade scene in the late 70s.

Rotate the coin to move the aliens, just like in the actual game!
 image source: NZ Mint

If you do want this beautiful and officially licensed limited edition memento to commemorate one of the greatest arcade games, then you may want to act fast, as there are only 3,000 coins available worldwide! This coin is a great investment for any gaming fan. Long live Space Invaders!

Specifications:

  • Metal: 999 Fine Silver
  • Finish: Proof / Lenticular
  • Weight: 1 TROY OZ
  • Nominal Diameter: 40mm
  • Edge: Milled
  • Denomination: $2
  • Country of Issue: Niue
  • Year of Issue: 2018
  • Mintage: 3,000 only

Disclaimer: NZ Mint kindly provided the Space Invaders 40th Anniversary silver coin for this article.

 

Ah the 1980s, We Miss You So Much!

Gotta share this video that was posted by video game history guy, John Anderson. Using John’s words, this is, “A 1981 TV news report by WMAQ-TV in Chicago about the makers of Defender (Williams Electronics) and inside the Midway factory assembling Pac-Man arcade cabinets (350 a day!)”.

Ah the 80s, we definitely miss you so much!

source: John Anderson via Twitter

 

The Incredible Arcade Warehouse in Japan

Oh My Gosh! Micah Moore, the cool peep that explores the strange and wonderful as part of his Legend of Micah Facebook page has done exactly that – explored the strange, wonderful and incredible arcade in Kawasaki, Japan, modelled after the Kowloon Walled City – an infamous slum in Hong Kong. The Amusement Game Park Kawasaki (Anata No) Warehouse has narrow alleys, flickering lights and the sounds of an underground marketplace that create a maze filled with 80’s and 90’s arcade games.

Taishiro Hoshino, an art designer for kabuki theatre, painstakingly reproduced signs and posters from the real Kowloon Walled City, which was demolished in the early 90’s. This arcade is going on the bucket list immediately!

Big thanks to Skooota for letting us know about this one!


source: Legend of Micah – Facebook

 

Japan Amusement Expo 2014

JAEPO_HDR

Forget Valentine’s Day, I know exactly where I would like to be on Friday 14th February – at the Japan Amusement Expo (JAEPO) 2014. JAEPO is on from Friday 14th February till Saturday 15th February, with Friday being for traders only. If you are part of the general public, then mark Saturday as your day. Doors open at 10am! Get there early, as there are six great zones to explore:

Arcade Zone: the main exhibit showcasing arcade machines, sticker photos, simulation games, prize and medal game machines.
Family Zone: this zone includes arcade games, rides and amusement park equipment for elementary school children and families.
Prize Zone: exhibiting the prizes for prize (redemption) awarding game machines.
Related Product Zone: showcasing products and equipment related to amusement and entertainment.
Publication Zone: main exhibit for publications related to amusement and entertainment.
International Zone: Main exhibitors from abroad (outside of Japan).

Taito_JAEPO

With iconic arcade exhibitors like Taito, Sega, Konami and Namco headlining the expo, you will be assured to be dazzled with what’s new in the amusement machines world.

If you are lucky enough to attend, share your photos with us all.

Event Details:
Event: Japan Amusement Expo 2014 (JAEPO 2014)
Organiser: Japan Amusement Machine and Marketing Association, Inc (JAMMA)
Date: February 14 (Trade only) & February 15 (General public)
Entry Fee: 1,000YEN (~$11AUD) or Coupon
Venue: Makuhari Messe

image source: JAEPO and Taito

 

The Thrill Of The Chase: Space Invaders Arcade Cabinet

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.

The prized prey is strapped down

The prized prey is strapped down

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.

SI_inside_wires                                    SI_long_trailer

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 a bit of loving care, she will be restored to her former beatuty

With a bit of loving care, she will be restored to her former beatuty

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.