I’ve had a lot of miserable experiences when it comes to moving arcade games. I’ve dropped machines, I’ve hit drive-thru signs with them … I even almost lost one off the back of my trailer once. Nothing, however, compares to moving a 720 arcade cabinet by yourself.
720 arcade cabinets are essentially a lesson in what not to do when designing an arcade cabinet. It’s tall, and top heavy. It has a 25″ horizontally-mounted monitor in it, precariously balanced on top of a thin pedestal. The pedestal goes into a base that, I think, may contain concrete. None of the sides are flat, so unless you’ve got a trailer lying it down is almost impossible — and transporting it standing up is like balancing a bowling ball on top of a soda can, throwing a few tie-down straps around it and hoping for the best.
The average video game weighs somewhere around 250 pounds, give or take. This one weighs at least 400.
Friday night was the cut off for us to have the old garage emptied out. I’ve been putting off moving the 720 cabinet for some time now. If it weren’t one of my favorite games of all time, I’d have parted with it long ago. I bought my first arcade cabinet back in 1994, and started looking for a 720 machine shortly after that. I didn’t find a good one until 2009, fifteen years later. They’re not impossible to find, but unmolested ones don’t turn up very often.
After somehow managing to get the thing rolled up on to the trailer last night, I made the scary 10-mile drive in the dark over to the new house. I moved mine standing up, using another machine and two straps in an attempt to hold the beast in place. With each pothole, the trailer would sway and I would tap the brakes, using the red light from the brake lights to illuminate the cabinet and make sure it hadn’t fallen off or over.
Unloading the cabinet is easier, with gravity as your mistress. I advise grabbing on to your dolly with both hands and chasing the machine down the ramp until one or both of you slows down. There’s no good way to do it. Make sure no small children or animals are anywhere around this runaway skateboarding train of madness. It won’t be pretty.
I have a spot for two or three arcade machines upstairs in the new house. This won’t be one of them. I’m planning on keeping this one, but as long as I own it the thing will never go up (or down) a flight of stairs. No, this one will be relegated to a life in the garage on a concrete floor, I’m afraid.