Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tokyo Game Action Auction [06.06.09]

TGA entrance
We attended the Tokyo Game Action auction in Winchendon, MA this morning. A sad day for arcades. After nearly six years in operation, TGA had to close their doors due to a combination of flood damage and financial troubles. More details on their website. The owner had no choice but to liquidate the entire business: every arcade machine, every piece of japanese "swag", every fixture, every sign, and even the property itself.

We estimated about 150 people attending (may have been more). It was a great turnout, but it was apparent that the owner was pretty devastated about the whole thing, and understandably so. Several people gave him and his wife hugs and kind words. We couldn't help but feel sorry for him, though. He had built this awesome arcade stuffed with games of which most are only available in Japan. Tons of Bemani, several Astro City cabinets (only found in Japan), and even 4 brand new Street Fighter IV machines. Truly a loss for the arcade world.

Final sold prices for machines
So what did we buy?

Nada. We came away with nothing, but it was a great experience. We even bid and ultimately lost on a few arcades. People got some pretty sweet deals (see image right), but we just weren't ready to drop several thousand on arcade machines today. Though there were a lot of "would've been nice to have" items (e.g. any of the DDR's, Pop 'n' Music, Marvel vs Capcom 2, etc), it was clear pretty early we'd be leaving empty-handed.

It was a lot of fun though, and worth it for the experience (not to mention making a pilgrimage albeit rather late to TGA). It was our first auction, and boy do those guys really get your heart thumping! Fast-talking, synchronized shouting when someone makes a bid, the auctioneer convincing people to make another bid - it was really exciting. Suddenly a few thousand bucks doesn't seem like much if you let yourself get lost in it. Dom and I looked at each other several times, torn as to whether we should bid. But we kept our heads and passed on some great deals (just too much for us to spend right now).

Below are some pictures I took prior to the auction.

Posters, swag, etc Astro City cabs SFIV (brand spanking new)

From left: Pump It Up, SuperNova2, DDR Extreme, DDR 5th Mix Note: In the Groove 2, far left Auctioneers and owners (sorry, blurry)

Pop 'n Music Fever Drum Mania V5 (brand spanking new) Shamisen Brothers (the least popular game there)

Puzzle Fighter

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