Rec Room Amusements

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:  Where is Rec Room Amusements located?

A:  We are based in Barrie and Toronto, Ontario and also have a warehouse in Buffalo, New York.  Our shipping agent has terminals throughout Canada, the United States and the World.

Q:  Can Rec Room Amusements Ship To Me?

A:  YES!  We ship games anywhere in the world, of course some locations are easier than others but we can find a way.  In North America we use air freight and trucking for shipments while overseas we use air or sea to deliver your game

Q:  Why are prices listed in U.S. dollars?

A:  Even though our main office is in Canada, a majority of our sales are in the United States.  Also, the internet is international and the most widely accepted international currency is the US dollar.

Q    How much should I pay for a pinball machine or video game?

A    That depends on the age and condition of the game.  For newer games the operators tend to set the prices based on how much money the game has brought in.  For older games the collectors tend to set the price which is based primarily on game condition (playfield, backglass, cabinets) and collectible value (themed games like Playboy, Kiss, Star Trek, etc) tend to sell for higher prices.    Also games that were very popular in their "prime" (classic videos and popular pins like Eight Ball Deluxe, Black Knight and Addams Family) tend to sell for higher prices.  In goes without saying that the machine should be in good working condition (non-working games sell for MUCH less that those that work).

Q:  What do the condition ratings mean?

A:  We rate every pinball machine that comes in.  The rating is made up of the wood playing surface and cabinet condition.  Any ratings are highly subjective so be sure to ask specific questions if you are concerned about rating accuracy.  

Q:  Why do you not rate or have any "mint" condition games?

A:  Mint is a very overused word when selling used items.  To us "mint" means brand new from the factory.  We do not rate any used items as mint.

Q    Does Rec Room Amusements deliver?

A    We make regular deliveries in Southern Ontario and deliver to Quebec and the eastern United States a few times per year.  American routes include the I-81 corridor (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, etc) and the I-75 corridor (Michigan, Ohio, etc).

Q:  What does "shopped" mean

A:  "Shopping" a game is basically taking it in and doing any necessary electronic repairs, making sure the lights and switches work, doing any necessary touch-ups like painting and cleaning the game.

Q:  What if I am looking for a game that is not listed on your site?

A:  Email us and let us know what it is, we will take your name and number and try to find it for you.  Some games (mostly in-demand pinball machines)  we get in stock but they don't even make it onto our website because someone has pre-ordered it.  Let us know in advance of a game you want to buy and we will contact you as soon as it is available.

Q:  What do some of those other terms mean?

A:  Here is a list of some of the more common terms in arcade lingo:

PCB:  This is the actual game board or brains of the video game, sometimes referred to as a CPU (Central Processing Unit) or MPU.

DEDICATED:  this means the game is the original game (ie not a pirated or copy) in its original cabinet with all of the associated artwork, decals, marquee, etc.

KIT:  This is when you purchase a PCB board, marquee and control panel and install it into an existing game or cabinet.

CONVERSION:  This is what the game is called after you install a kit in it (ie, it has been changed or converted to another game)

MONITOR:  This is the TV screen for the game, most often comes in 19" or 25" sizes.  The monitor assembly is made up of the tube (the actual tv screen), the deflection board and the metal chassis which holds it.

UPRIGHT:  This is the standard and most common format of video game (the one that you stand in front of and play the game)

COCKTAIL;  This is the sit-down version of the video game, named because it looks like a cocktail table.

COCKPIT;  This is a sit-down version of a video game that you actually get inside to play. 

CABARET:  This is a mini-upright about half the size of a regular upright, some classic games were produced in this format but they are quite rare.

Q:  Who makes up the amusement industry?

A:  The food chain starts with the MANUFACTURER who sells new games to the DISTRIBUTOR.  The distributor in turn sells new games to the OPERATOR and the RETAILER.  The operator may later sell used games to the retailer who refurbishes them and sells them to the CUSTOMER.

You have now passed BUSINESS 101!

Q:  If I am in the United States will I need to pay customs charges on any games shipped out of Canada?

A: As long as the games were made in the U.S. there are no charges when they are brought back into America.  This is known as "U.S. Goods Returned" and you cannot be charges any customs, tariffs or import duties on goods which were manufactured in the US.  Atari, Williams, Bally, Gottlieb, Stern, Sega, Data East are all examples ofUS manufacturers.

Q:  Are the prices of pinball machines going to rise now that Williams and Sega are no longer producing new games?

A:  It depends.  Most older pinballs (pre-1990) will not be affected by this, but prices for newer games will rise because operators will be more reluctant to sell them off when new games are not available to replace them.  It's basically supply and demand, as the supply drops, demand increases therefore prices will rise.  Most affected will be mid 1990's games.

Q:  Why do some machines like KISS cost so much money?

A:  In part because they are difficult to find in excellent condition,  games that were popular got a lot of use and therefore a lot of wear.   We have seen some older games like KISS priced in the $3000-4000 range which in our opinion is kind of ridiculous given that the electronics are almost 30 years old and somewhat unreliable.  The most you should pay for an older electronic game is $1000-1500 but if you really want some of these games be prepared to pay the market price.

Sometimes newer games like Addams Family for example are quite expensive compared to other games of the same age which can be purchased for up to 50% less in similar condition.  Despite this our most popular pinballs are Addams Family and Twilight Zone, which are both priced well above games of similar age.  When we get an Addams Family in, it is rarely available for more than a few days before it is sold.

Q: What happened to all of those classic video games like Pac-man?

A:  Two main things have caused the numbers of classic video games to dwindle, first is death as many of them have gone to video game heaven (the landfill/dump) and the second is conversion.  Lots of classics were converted to newer games by operators trying to save a buck. 

So in the case of Pac-Man, perhaps 100,000 units were made in 1979-80, of that total maybe 20,000 are still alive and kicking today and of that there are probably only a few thousand in very good to excellent condition to satisfy Pac-addicts around the world.  The same can be said for other classic games most of which have far fewer numbers than Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man.

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