Coin-op nostalgia was in full swing this past holiday season, and odds are that your heart was elevated when you first gazed upon the 3⁄4 scale arcade cabinets by Arcade 1UP in your local mall. My initial impression was that they were made for small people or children, but founder Scott Bachrach explains some of the thinking behind their micronized design.

“I absolutely remember where I played, Brooklyn’s Famous Pizza in Beverly Hills and another called Regular John’s Pizza in Westwood, California. I played everything from Pac-Man, Asteroids, Centipede, Millipede – basically all the old-school arcade classics. We’d go there, and we’d sit for a couple hours at a time. You probably did what I did. You took your quarters and you put them on the top, remember? So that you guarded your space in case anybody was going to come and try to play the next game.”

Of course we all remember stacking quarters. It was the norm of the time, now a ritual long passed. We all wanted the true arcade experience at home, but the 4K of addressable memory of the Atari 2600 just couldn’t deliver the real deal.

“I was an at-home gamer with the Atari, but I was actually way more into going to the arcade. I was fifteen years old and I was letting my cigarettes burn off the edge. I was spending three, maybe four hours on these really cool, fun, and addictive games.”

Even almost four decades later we still desire it. Retro gaming items have been in vogue the last few years. As a result, such products have moved from specialty novelty stores and into mass-media storefronts. From plug-n-play controllers housing games to miniature cabinets that fit in your hand we all want the arcade experience at home”.

“Years ago, I was walking in Urban Outfitters, bought such a device, went home, plugged it in, played it, and loved it. For about five seconds it took me back to being 14 years old. It was fun and I played it for twenty-five minutes. However, a year and a half later it’s still sitting in the exact same place. Why? Because I didn’t just want to play the game – I wanted the entire experience of returning to Regular John’s Pizzeria.”


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Michael Thomasson Michael Thomasson (63 Posts)

Michael Thomasson is one of the most widely respected videogame historians in the field today. He currently teaches college level videogame history, design, and graphics courses. For television, Michael conducted research for MTV's videogame related program Video MODS. In print, he authored Downright Bizarre Games, and has contributed to nearly a dozen gaming texts. Michael’s historical columns have been distributed in newspapers and magazines worldwide. He has written business plans for several vendors and managed a dozen game-related retail stores spanning three decades. Michael consults for multiple video game and computer museums and has worked on nearly a hundred game titles on Atari, Coleco, Sega and other console platforms. In 2014, The Guinness Book of World Records declared that Thomasson had “The Largest Videogame Collection” in the world. His businesses sponsor gaming tradeshows and expos across the US and Canada.  Visit