When it comes to purchasing Arcade Games, Shuffle Bowling Alleys, Pinball Machines, Skee Ball, CD or 45rpm Jukeboxes for your home GameRoom, you need to consider 6 important things. This guideline will help, whether you purchase from TNT Amusements or elsewhere!
Here are 6 important guidelines that you follow when buying arcade game of your choice:
Guideline #1 – Research the company you are buying from.
How many years have they been in business? What is their local reputation and/or complaints with the Better Business Bureau? Many companies are operating out of an office suite and maintain no showroom, unlike our company. Some do not even stock the machines! They simply take the order and then try to locate a machine to ship directly to you.
Guideline #2 – Try to visit the showroom and make direct contact.
This way you can see the operation of the company. If it is not viable, are their current pictures of their operation online? Although “one man” operations are generally fine, do some checking on your own!
Guideline #3 – Check into the Initial Warranty & Future Service.
Remember, that its very difficult to find QUALIFIED servicemen in this field. Most offer “free lifetime phone service”…BUT, if it’s to a cell phone that no one will ever pick up, what good is that? Do they maintain evening service hours when you are home?
Guideline #4 – Trade-Ins.
You should consider this, because in a few years, maybe you will want to get a different game. Is there a GUARANTEED trade in price? Selling your machine privately can be troublesome!
Guideline #5 – Deliveries.
Delivery options are important. Can the company deliver the machine to you with their own crew? Out of the area sales require a private trucking company. Curbside delivery (and you bring inside) is the norm. Will the company be open to assist you by phone when machine arrives and their are questions?
Guideline #6 – How much work is actually done to the machine?
Was it repainted, or new decals installed? Were the electronics removed and reconditioned? Were the unseen areas of the cabinet rebuilt (the bottom of many games is usually forgotten!)? Are there pictures or videos of finished machine available to see BEFORE delivery?
Guideline #7 – Finally, your GUT!
What is YOUR gut feeling about this deal, the machine, and the company you are about to give your $$$ to?
Follow these guidelines and you’d get a handy and entertaining collection of arcade games of your choice. The best thing is that you’d enjoy playing them all.
We shopped a 1980 Taito made ICE COLD BEER arcade game for a customer and filmed a fascinating YouTube video about it! Watch and learn andf also see the insides of this amusement game ! Your host Todd Tuckey, owner of TNT Amusements in Southampton PA, narrates and shows this machine! Go to YouTube and type in search window “Ice Cold Beer TNT Amusements” and watch this fun video!!
We just finished a HERCULES pinball machine made by Atari in 1979…we have put up on YouTube a very informative video about this game!! If you want to see the LARGEST pinball machine in the world, go to YouTube and type in search “Hercules TNT Amusements” and watch it! It”s a BLAST!!! Your host is Todd Tuckley, owner of TNT Amusements in Southampton PA
We also have our half hour “Reality Show” running on WTVE-TV from Reading PA–received typically on channels 19 through 32 on most cable networks in the three state area. It runs also on Mondays 11pm.
Also…look on YouTube for over 600 videos, all posted under TNT Amusements! These show you how nice our machines look when they are finished. Most were produced for the new owners right before we deliver them!
While thousands of Christmas shoppers wandered Willow Grove Park mall pondering their Christmas lists, Pam Metzger faced a bigger question — will you marry me?
Her boyfriend Todd Tuckey rigged a video game at Challenges Amusement Center last week to pop the question automatically. Metzger said “yes.”
“I was nervous,” admitted Tuckey who owns TNT Amusements, a pinball machine dealership in Southampton. Tuckey had to land the pinball in a certain slot before the machine would ask the question.
The engagement ring was tucked into the coin return. Tuckey smiled as he slipped the ring on his fiancé’s finger and gave her a kiss. Television camera crews no longer pretended to hide their interest and the diamond shown in the spotlight. “Nice ring,” shouted an onlooker. “Yeah,” said Tuckey. “Expensive too. It will take a lot of quarters to pay for it so I’ll have to sell a lot of pinball games.”
Tuckey said he thought the unique marriage proposal would be fun. He told Metzger, a Huntingdon Valley resident who tutors and works as a bank teller, that they were simply going to test the machine.
He then conspired with her mother to arrange that all her scheduled tutorials be canceled. “I was driving over, hoping everything would work right,” he said.
His technicians, Howard Poland and Curt Cesari had arrived early to double-check the machine. Challenges owner Allan Bruck was also in on the surprise, although he was not present for the proposal. Poland and Cesari guarded the hidden ring. A sign on the game said “Sorry Out of Order Please Try Another Game.”
Metzger said she was a bit suspicious when she noticed the television cameras. Tuckey assured her that they were there for something else.
In fact, according to Challenges manager Chris Schwartz, the news reporters who had assembled to cover the event were told that “if anyone asks, you’re doing a piece about the violence in video games.” On this occasion, however, it was love that made the pinball go ’round.
The couple has planned a small wedding ceremony at Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia to be held next May, according to Tuckey.
Todd Tuckey never imagined that after two decades of selling commercial-size arcade games for home use, his TNT Amusements would still be going strong, especially with the proliferation of home-computer games But thanks to nostalgia and the strong economy, things have rarely been better.
Plenty of people have been coming into his Southampton showroom and plunking down between $500 and
$4,000 for a standard game, or up to $10,000 for a used race-car simulator, such as Daytona U.S.A.
“Our customers might be 40 or 45,” said Tuckey “They have money and a car They want the one thing they can’t get at Kmart or Circuit City.” TNT’s revenues topped $1 million in 1997 and again in 1998, Tuckey said.
Donna DeFino of Voorhees said she and her husband, Michael, have furnished their basement with four games purchased from TNT, including two pinball machines, a basketball machine, and a football-tossing game “My husband will stay down there for hours for his amusement,” she said “When we have parties, the guests seem to gravitate there.”
Tuckey said he had sold more than 13,000 games since 1984 — everything from an $1,399 Centipede video game to a $2,799 Super Chexx bubble hockey machine Dozens of games fill TNT’s showroom, such as Bowling Shuffle Alleys, pool tables, Skeeball machines.
Ms. Pac-Man video games are still TNT’s biggest seller “A doctor told us he wanted Ms. Pac-Man because it got him through medical school,” said Tuckey “Couples may have met on the boardwalk in an arcade [The games] bring them back to simpler times.”
After the broadcast of a Seinfeld episode that featured George Costanza’s efforts to acquire a Frogger video game machine from a closing pizza parlor, TNT’s phones were ringing off the hook.
Tuckey, 44, began buying pinball and other arcade games in 1979, and ran a vending business for four years with a partner, placing machines in delicatessens, bowling alleys, skating rinks and other establishments After the arcade video boom had ended in 1984, the pair decided to sell their machines from Tuckey’s long driveway in Northeast Philadelphia Not only did they sell all the machines they had started with, they bought additional machines and sold them as well “It made us solvent again,” said Tuckey, who bought out his partner’s share in 1984 After selling almost 500 games from his driveway, the Temple University graduate was convinced there was a demand for an arcade atmosphere in people’s homes.
He left his full-time job as an administrator at Temple University, where he ran two game rooms and the movie theater, and devoted all his time to buying and selling He rented his first
showroom in Bensalem in October 1985 One month later, he purchased the Southampton building on Industrial Boulevard where TNT Amusements is based today.
The 5,000-square-foot facility contains about 120 machines on display plus a work area and storage space for thousands of circuit boards. An additional 1,500 games are stored at a 10,000-square-foot warehouse nearby. TNT has 10 full-time employees and six part-timers. Newly acquired games are subjected to a vigorous overhaul.
TNT has about 15 >private birthday parties a week for up to 50 children (or adults) who can play the games in the showroom an unlimited number of times. The company will also rent out games on a per-day basis to families throwing a party, and still serves as a vendor to a few stores.
But the majority of TNT’s business comes from home sales, accounting for 80 percent of revenues.
Tuckey said he does not sell pinball machines built before 1977 because they are neither computerized nor reliable. “With the digital machines, a customer can call us with an error code and most of the time we can solve the problem over the phone.”
Things are not so rosy for another segment of the game business. “Large arcade companies have been going bankrupt left and right,” said Michael Bershad, owner of Penn Vending Co. in Bensalem. “The cost of the equipment has skyrocketed, and the cash box is reduced.”
Bershad, whose vending company operates a large number of games and jukeboxes in the Philadelphia area, said a brand-new video game used to bring in $300 or $400 per week. Now a new game might bring in about half that, he said.
“Today, a giant deluxe game at an arcade might cost 75 cents to play,” Tuckey said. “But people still don’t perceive the value of the games to be more than 25 or 50 cents.”
While most of his business comes from word of mouth, Tuckey said he spends thousands of dollars on advertising in Yellow Pages and cable television, and maintaining a Web site. The Internet has been boosting the company’s sales, accounting for 30 percent of TNT’s business, he said.
A half-hour-long infomercial staring Tuckey airs nightly on Comcast cable TV systems, and weekly on WMCN-TV. During the show, Tuckey tours around his showroom cracking jokes and performing peculiar antics.
One viewer invited Tuckey to a catered party at his Main Line mansion because his son wanted to meet Tuckey.
Tuckey’s antics have attracted the media spotlight. The businessman proposed to his wife, Pam in 1994 in a Willow Grove Mall arcade where he supplied games. He had rigged the machine to produce the message, “Will you marry me?” as she played, and ensured that television news crews were present to catch the moment. A similar pinball machine was later placed outside the church where they were married.
Article by Claire Furia Smith