|Re: OT: There are still deals to be had...|
Message #9 Posted by megarat on 19 May 2008, 2:14 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Jeff Kearns
On two separate occasions, I've found HP 12c calculators at a Seattle-area thrift store for $5 apiece. Nothing to brag about, but fun regardless.
Probably my best story of this sort was back when I was collecting old arcade games.
A local seller had advertised an Asteroids machine for US$300 (which at the time was a screaming deal, as the market value was US$500 or more). When I went to pick it up, it was in terrible condition -- much worse than advertised, even deceptively so. The control panel overlay was mostly peeled off, and in spite of the seller's claims that the game was playable, it wasn't: a fuse would blow about thirty seconds after the machine was turned on.
(The seller had even tried to turn the game off before the fuse blew, because I think he knew about the problem and was trying to conceal it, but I insisted on playing out a game, which revealed the problem.)
It was a disappointment, but I was already there with a truck, so I talked him down to $200 and bought it anyway, because it's always fun to restore those things and find them a proper home.
While moving the machine, I remember thinking of how *heavy* it was. This wasn't peculiar, as the earlier vintage games (say, 1979) are significantly heavier than the later ones (say, 1982). Asteroids in particular is obscenely bottom-heavy, with a base that must be made of concrete, to keep those teenagers from walking off with it.
But during the restoration process, imagine my delight when I discovered that part of the game's mass was caused by a coin-box that was packed full with roughly US$280 worth of quarters.
(This was 2002ish, and not a single quarter was dated later than 1986.)