Author Topic: Personal Grail score tonight with a cool story...  (Read 2167 times)


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Personal Grail score tonight with a cool story...
« on: July 23, 2012, 11:55:29 PM »
Well the guy hit me up last night on this, so I jumped on it.. didn't really care about the Ms. Pac and Galaxian anyways, I've owned a Ms. Pac and don't have room for the galaxian.

This has been a game I have wanted for a VERY LONG time, and while it's not really considered a grail to many, and it's not worth a lot of money, it's a game that means a lot to me as an arcade collector as it was the very first arcade game I remember playing.. and getting addicted to.  The nostalgia with this one for me is as high as it gets. 

I can clearly recall playing this game endlessly at the Davenport Pizza Works in Davenport, IA when I was 11 years old.. can still picture where it sat in the restaurant and playing it.  I spent so much money on it that I could complete the game twice on one quarter.. and never saw anyone else that could do it.  In late 1981 we travelled to Reno, Nevada to the Circus Circus arcade, one of the biggest arcades I'd ever seen, and it was a competitive arcade that kept a list of high scores.  On my 3rd game there, I beat the high score and Circus Circus made a bid deal of it, putting my name and score on the scoreboard, giving me a gold metal, and taking my picture (polaroid) with me standing in front of the game with the metal.  It was pure arcade goodness and solidified me forever as an arcade rat!  I still have the pic.  I really don't recall the score, and I'm sure I wasn't a national phenomenon.. but at 11, it was a kick ass experience that I've never forgotten. 

This was listed locally on craigslist with a Ms. Pacman and Galaxian, with an asking price of $75 each.  The pics were crappy, but I could tell that it had the aviator artwork and looked decent with the crappy cell phone camera pics that had been downgraded by craigslist.  I hit the guy up via email, text, and voicemail, expressing an interest in only the Scramble.. I really didn't care nor do I have the room for the others anyways.  He hit me up late last night and said it was mine.. but I was still worried it would get snagged since someone else was coming over for the other games. 

Long story short, I meet up with a younger guy who was very nice, and he escorted me up to a 2nd floor room that had the game in it..  I almost hit the floor when I saw the scramble, it's in MINTY all original condition with zero cabinet damage or fade, and even even the bottom corners are like it just came out of the factory.  I had mentioned that I had been trying to find a Scramble for a long time, and he was happy that it was going to a good home. 

After painfully dragging it down a large flight of stairs and down a dirt driveway, I loaded it up.  I asked him what the story was on the machine, and he told me that his father bought the machines at least 14 years ago, perhaps longer, as he remembered having them up in the room when he was a kid.  The games were always very well kept and handn't moved in that long.  He then told me that about 9 months ago, his father passed away and that he just wanted to clear this stuff out and hopefully get it go a good home.  I had mentioned my story about having a pic of myself with the machine when I was 11, and he could tell I was stoked to get this one.  He told me that he was happy that I got the machine, as his father would have been happy it went to me.  I could sense that he was almost tearing up as he said that.  I shook his hand and left as the others were arriving to pick up the Ms. Pac and Galaxian.

This was an all around kick ass night for me as an arcade collector.. and a great experience all the way.

First, a pic of me at Circus Circus in 1981, wearing my gold metal.  The woman was doing something inside the machine and had opened the coin door, in case you were wondering :)

Tonights score.. it's a beauty!  Super clean, appears untouched inside and out, and best of all it has aviator artwork in very nice original condition!  I haven't even cleaned it up or wiped it down yet in these pics, so it's a little dusty... :

Offline mECHsLAVE

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Re: Personal Grail score tonight with a cool story...
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2012, 08:37:10 AM »
Hah cool story!!  I like Scramble as well, used to have one about 10 years ago for a breif time. 

Man that thing looks really clean, it's rare to find any original machine from that era, that nice, not in a collection these days.  Well it is now, great find!  Congrats!

Saint Augustine, FL

Offline John I

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Re: Personal Grail score tonight with a cool story...
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2012, 07:33:56 PM »
Great story!  Congratulations.  That was one of my all time favorite classic vids too.  I spent a lot of time playing it back in the 80s.

In other news, I have a special package arriving here on Thursday. 


Wanted to buy: 
Gottlieb Dodge City

Offline Miracleman

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Re: Personal Grail score tonight with a cool story...
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2012, 12:20:13 PM »
Great story!
Mine is not so happy.

When I 'got out of the hobby' (ha) years back, it was at one of the super auctions here in town.
They had an equally minty Scramble there, and I said if it sold for 200 or less I'd get it.
As the selling approached the game I started getting an odd (stupid) feeling in my gut that I didn't NEED this game. That I didn't need ANY games.
So when they got to the Scramble and my friends and I stood there, NOBODY bid on it! Rob did his usual start high/work low routine, and it got down to $20 and I didn't bid. I think it ended up being a buy-back.

Missing out on that Scramble and selling off my Eros One cocktail pin are prob'ly the two dumbest things I've done.