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Ars dives into the pricey-but-fancy world of miniature arcade cabinets

in great shape , 20 oz. soda bottle for scale.

Sam Machkovitch

The category of miniaturized classic arcade cabinets has exploded in recent years, and I’ve found I’m in its target demographic. My struggle to juggle fiery arcade-era nostalgia with limited apartment space means I’m not at the point of opening my own plush basement arcadeLet alone buying every “small but still heavy” cabinet made by the likes of Arcade1Up.

Instead, I’ve settled with some space-saving options. In addition to the virtualized pinball machine, which combines a mix of pinball and arcade games into one “full-size” unit, I also appreciated the Sega Astro City Mini as a bookshelf decoration. Today, let’s look at some more options in the latter category.

If you’re willing to spend $140-$160 per game, some companies offer decent (but not perfect) replica arcade cabinets that measure no more than 17 inches and come with built-in screens, buttons, and batteries. none of these are highly recommended methods Play Play The game in question, but if you like the party trick of powering junior-size arcade cabs and sharing them with gamers of all ages, they get the job done.

hands on

Two new smaller sized cabinets from New Wave Toys recently arrived and are still on sale. The company’s sixth-scale replica cabinets are usually pre-sale in limited batches, so if you don’t strike out while the iron is hot, you may miss out. But with prices over $100, they’re not cheap, so we’re glad we can offer our recommendations before stocks run out.

New Wave Toys’ latest machines based on early ’80s classics Q*bert (originally from Gottlieb, costing $160) and 1942 (Originally from Capcom, priced at $150), mostly offer great physical reproductions for shelf decoration. These cabs use real wood in an economical-yet-appealing way; They’re not a solid-oak construction that weighs 60 pounds (closer to 2.4 pounds), but their exteriors match their source materials. 1942 Comes with a factory-pressed grain effect that includes carved streaks, and the resulting color and texture look pretty. Q*bert The body of the cab has an authentically solid, lightly dimpled texture that is treated with a uniform coat of arcade-perfect yellow paint.

The bodies of the rest of the units are modeled after official spec sheets and design documents, and the best accessories arrive thanks to a pipeline of high-resolution assets and immaculate sticker work. The massive stickers on the sides of the cab are a one-to-one match to the original arcade versions, and they’re precisely affixed and aligned. The arrangement around the screen of art and game instructions stands up to scrutiny. New Wave emphasizes the use of original art assets; Nothing looks like it has been badly blown up or cheaply reproduced.

These cabs also reproduce elements such as the CRT door mount, light-up marquee and coin slot, but the latter are made of painted plastic, and as a result both machines have the same cheap looking elements. Q*bertOn coin doors and “metal” coin tools 1942) are neither a dealbreaker, but they turn out to be issues on otherwise impeccable replicas. My biggest problem comes from misaligned stickers on 1942 Cab (see above, last image 1942 Gallery). Its location is only off by a hair, yet the resulting “fold” is noticeably different.

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