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Are people still playing with coin operated machines? What are the trends? Is pinball still a hit?

We'll periodically post short articles on coin machine trends. Today's trends may help you decide what will be collectible in the future.

The most recent article is on top.


Video Arcade Night Clubs

The latest fad or trend hitting the country is the Video Arcade Night Club.

You play your favorite video games & pinballs from the 1980s and 1990s in a night club environment.

Below are several of the arcade night clubs with a brief description from their web site:

Barcade in Brooklyn, Jersey City and Philadelphia

In 2004, five friends came together and opened their own bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Each had been working in either film/tv or graphic design in New York and four of them had attended Syracuse University together. They were enthusiastic about American craft beer and had grown up in the 1980’s playing classic arcade games. Looking to start their own business, they decided to take a chance and combine the two passions. Barcade opened in Brooklyn on October 13, 2004.

Barcade is a bar with a dual focus; an endless rotation of American craft beer and an equally eclectic lineup of classic arcade games.

In 2010, work began on two new locations; Jersey City, NJ and Philadelphia, PA. Jersey City would be first to open its doors on April 22, 2011 with Philadelphia opening on October 10, 2011.


Insert Coins Interactive Nightclub in Las Vegas

A gamers paradise which doubles as a club goers playground. Guests have the option of partying in gorgeous custom VIP gaming booths complete with cocktail/bottle service and the game & console of choice, sitting at a 50+ capacity LED-illuminated Beta Bar and play the latest Xbox 360 and PS3 games on 14 large screen HDTVs, or taking a trip down memory land via the 60 vintage restored cabinets of the past featuring everything from Ms. Pac Man to Street Fighter II to Tetris. INSERT COIN(S) is equally as unique in its nightlife experience featuring the trail blazing resident DJs and special guest DJs from all over the world. Music lovers can indulge in a variety of options throughout the week and you never what artists will pop up for a surprise performance. INSERT COIN(S) is INTERACTIVE NIGHTLIFE™!


Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade in Portland Oregon

Ground Kontrol is the West Coast’s premier classic arcade, preserving and celebrating video gaming’s “golden age” by operating over 60 classic video games and 27 pinball machines. Ground Kontrol also serves beer & wine during evening hours, hosts DJs and Rock Band karaoke, and is available for public and private event rentals.


Emporium Arcade Bar in Chicago

24 craft beers on tap constantly rotating, a very big whiskey selection and 37 arcade games from the 80's and 90's to keep you entertained, Does it get any better than that?!?


Pinballs Lose Appeal

The Vending Times Census of the Industry reports that the number of pinballs on location decreased again by 15%.

Ten years ago, there were almost one million pinballs on location. In 2001 there were only a little over 250,000.


Gum Ball and Peanut Machines are Everywhere

There are almost 900,000 gumball machines in the country. Add to that almost 380,000 nut and candy vendors.

Unfortunately, the penny gumball is no longer in existence. Now-a-days, it is usually 25 cent with a third of the machines even costing 50 cent.

As in the past, charitible organizations still account for a large percentage (over 30%) of gumball machine placements. That explains why we see so many Ford Gumball machines.


Video Games Lose Popularity

There are 50% of less video machines today than 10 years ago.

An average video or pinball machines generates only approxiately $50 - $60 a week in income. The high cost of new machines is causing many neighborhood locations (the corner bar) to drop these cames from their premises.


Arcade Games Gain Popularity

Skill games have always been a staple of penny arcades. In the 1930s and 1940s, players were rewarded tickets for high scores that they could exchange for merchandize. Skee-ball machines were everywhere. These machines disappeared from most arcades because of the high coast of having attendants hand out reward tickets.

These types of games are making a comeback. Today, they are called ticket redemption games. The tickets are automatically dispensed without the need for an attendant. As a result, the number of these games grew from just 3000 in 1986 to almost 124,000 in 2001.


Playing Darts Is In

In the last ten years, the number of people playing darts have doubled, growing from 10 million to 20 million people.

One of the reasons for this popularity is the emergence of coin operated dart boards in bars across the country. It is estimated that there are 190,000 such boards.

The coin op dart boards use the safer soft tipped darts and feature electronic scoring so that anyone can play.

Will dart boards become the next coin op collectible?


Today's Juke Box Facts

The CD jukebox now represent 30% of all units on locations across the country. While more and more operators are converting to CDs, the growth is very slow.

The 25 cent play is still the most prevalent pricing. Almost 60% of the jukeboxes use the 25 cent play. While an increasing number of jukeboxes have converted to 50 cent play or three-for-a-dollar play. Believe it or not, there are still some jukeboxes that play for 10 cent a song.

Country & Western music is still the most popular category.


Where Do Juke Box Collectors Live

Have you ever wondered where all the jukebox collectors live?

The Jukebox Collector magazine compiled a listing of their subscribers. Here are the results. The top ten states are:

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. Texas
  4. Florida
  5. Michigan
  6. Ohio
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Illinois
  9. North Carolina
  10. Georgia
If you want to subscribe to the Jukebox Collector Magazine, it's $33 for 12 monthly issus. Email: durham@GameRoomAntiques.com


Most Popular Pinballs

Which pinballs do people put in their gamerooms. Now we have the answer. A recent survey by Frank Giarratan revealed that the top 10 are the following:
  • Twilight Zone
  • Black Knight
  • Addams Family
  • High Speed
  • Funhouse
  • Black Knight 2000
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Firepower
  • F-14 Tomcat
  • Haunted House
For the next 40 visit: http://www.visi.com/~scraig/PAPS/ftp/incoming/Top50.html


How Much Change Do You Have?

American's are hording over $7 billion in coins. That's almost $70 per household.

One in four Americans keep coins in a jar. One in eight keep them in piggy banks. Piggy banks are most popular on the west coast and least popular on the east coast. (Don't we provide you with valuable information?)

Want more? Even if you don't. . . here's some more.

Men keep an average of $75 in change around the home. Women keep only $25. One in nine have over $300. (These must be the coin machine collectors.) Have you ever counted how much money you have in your machines. You'd be surprised.


A Coin Op Hit in Japan

One of the hot new coin machine in Japan is Star Audition.

You insert approximately $2 and you are given a small part to play in a movie. Your performance is then recorded by a digital camera. The computer gives the "player" is a performance score and the top socres are transmitted each week to a talent agency.

Over the last several years new coin machines have been first introduced in Japan and then, if successful, introduced in the United States. It appears that Star Audition will be arriving here in the near future.


Slot Machines are Everywhere

Antique slot machines may be getting scarce, but there are close to a quarter million slots being used today in gambling parlors and casinos.

Nevada, as you'd expect has the most with 149,000 machines. Can you guess the state with the most machines after Nevada? It's Mississippi with 30,000 machines. New Jersey, with Atlantic City, has only 25,000. Colorado has 10,000 and Connecticut has about 7000.

According to the statistics compiled by the International Gaming and Waging Business magazine, the best place to gamble is Nevada. The % Hold (the amount of every dollar that is kept by the casino) is only 5%. Puerto Rico is the worst with 11%. Illinois, Colorado, and Mississippi are reasonable at around 7%.

As collectors, we think that a dollar slot machine was a lot of money. Now-a-days, the big dollar machines are the $100 slots. Nevada has 91 of them, New Jersey has 40, Mississippi has 22, Illinois has 8, and Connecticut has four.

It's clear that gambling is big business. Over $40 billion is spent on gambling each year, more than three times the amount spent on recorded music and eight times the amount spent on spectator sports or movies.


Who Listens To What?

OK, here is the run down according to the Recording Industry Association of America.. Most people, as you'd expect, say they listen to rock music. But the percentage is not 60%, or 50%, or even 40%. It's only around 34%.

Country comes in second at 17%, Third place is tied at about 10% each for Pop and Urban Contemporary.

Next comes, Rap at close to 7%. Classical, Jazz, and Gospel are at 3% each The remaining 16% are other categories.

Other News Stories

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Ken Durham
For more information, please email: durham@GameRoomAntiques.com