I’m so excited! And I just can’t hide it!

Well, I did it. After selling some items on eBay and getting enough money saved up, I was able find and purchase items I needed to complete a project I’ve been working on for some time! My 1982 Bally Tron Cocktail Arcade Game is almost done. It’s been a labor of love and nostalgia. When I remember the 80s, this is what I think of’

I remember my Dad jogging in 5 Ks all over the suburban metro area and my Mom, Brian and I going along to wait for him to finish. There was one outside of a Red Owl in Burnsville that I remember quite well.

I remember walking, biking and motorcycling down to the Taco House in Park Rapids, MN to play pool, the jukebox (Eddie Grant’s Electric Avenue was a fav) and the Super Pacman cocktail arcade game.

I remember going to The Pizza Factory in Farmington, MN and playing the one arcade machine they had: Donkey Kong. To my knowledge, it is also the place I first made any Jukebox selection: Eddie Rabbit’s “I Love a Rainy Night”.

I remember The Saturday Morning Arcade with such cartoon classics as Pac Man, Mario and Donkey Kong and Space Ace. Let us not forget other Saturday morning greats such as The Smurfs, The Looney Toons hour, Dungeons and Dragons and other silly cartoons that were much cooler 20 years ago. We all ran home from the bus stop to play the Atari 2600 or Coleco and catch cartoons like Transformers, GI Joe, He-Man, She-Ra, Voltron, Thundercats and yes, some people even watched Silverhawks.

I remember when Chuck E. Cheese opened and it wasn’t called ‘Chuck E. Cheese’s’. It was just plain Chuck E. Cheese. I also remember when ‘Chuck E.’ opened a teen “night club” called Widgets. I was never allowed to go to Widgets until after it was closed. I remember thinking Showbiz Pizza was cooler than Chucky Cheese. Birthday parties at these places were frequent in the 80s. Crappy cardboard tasting pizza was the norm. Of course, we were not there for the pizza. We were there to play arcade classics such as Dig Dug, Galaga, Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Star Wars, Spy Hunter, Defender, Frogger (The cocktail version!), Ski-Ball, Robotron 2084, Crazy Climber, Rally X, Pole Position, Gauntlet and one of my all time favorites: Tron.

Tron brings us back to present day. Darn. That was fun. OK, OK. Like my Dad is stuck in the 60s, so am I stuck in the 80s. As many of my friends know, I listen to 80s music incessantly. I have every classic arcade game ever re-released for the PlayStation. Ever since I played the Frogger cocktail again at my friend’s cabin a few years ago, I’ve wanted to get my own cocktail arcade game. I thought about getting a Gorf, Super Pacman or even a Frogger. But I wanted something that people would like to play and might offer different options. Tron was perfect! It has 4 games in one. The Light Cycles, The Spider Level, the Tank Level and the MCP Level. If you didn’t understand any of that, you need to watch Disney’s Tron released 1981. So here is my progress (I will post pictures of the items later):

Source Item(s) for Machine
Joe Leis owner of Leisure-man Enterprises He once fixed my jukebox and has been giving me advice helping me find parts. He provided me with the appropriate Bally/Midway cabinet. He will also be assembling the cocktail cabinet and building a new Power Supply unit to go into the game.
Jeff Moorhead – eBay NON WORKING Tron Boards. There are three boards per set. This one was in particularily bad shape upon arrival. It was sold as “untested” and had a very blurry picture on it. I took a chance and it turned out to be a bad one. The stands on these boards were broken and 3/4 of the connector cables were in very ratty condition. It was also shipped sans padding in a Priority Mail box.
Bob Forgues – Canada – eBay More Tron Boards! This set is tested and working! Bob also had this item stored in a static bag and made sure it was well padded in shipping. One of the cables shows a little sign of wear, but I will likely be able to replace it with one off of the bad board set without problem. I may just get all new connectors for the boards.
Quarter Arcade Control Sets ‘ This was the most difficult to obtain. There is a RARE joystick that is needed for this game that looks like a standard PacMan joystick but it has a button on the FRONT of the stick. It’s rare because it was only made for this game. In addition to the sticks I got the spinners.
Quarter Arcade Tron Arcade Manual.
Quarter Arcade Wiring harness. The wiring harness is also a very difficult item. Even in modern games like Dance Dance Revolution vendors are constantly in search of the wiring units. They are rare because of the specific connectors that attach to various interfaces on the game boards.
Warren Maiden – Ohio Original Underlays and Overlays. The Overlays for the control panels. MINT. Never used! They still have the adhesive on them. The underlay which displays the game play directions and Tron logo is used but in excellent shape.

So my quest is complete. Now all I have to worry about is getting it all put together. I should have it by late March!

:: :: :: u p d a t e :: :: ::

I dropped off all of the parts that I’ve acquired over the last 5 months at Joe Leis’ warehouse in Princeton. He has informed me he will be unable to work on it until the beginning of March but is confident that he will be able to make it work with everything I’ve given him. When he begins work, I’m going to go up and take some “before” pictures. Once it’s complete, I’ll take final pictures.

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