Arcade Game Or Pinball Machine – Which is Right For You?

January 16th, 2013 by admin | Permalink

by Jon Ferraro |

It’s an age old question: pinball machine or arcade game?

It’s a tough a call! The majority of us are not lucky enough to have the money and/or the space for both. If you do, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.

Obviously they are two different kinds of machines that have a very different fan base. Generally, but certainly not all the time, arcade machines tend to have a younger following than their pinball counterparts.

But the most important thing to remember is what goes well with the machines. How does the game fit the decor of your home.

For instance, arcade games tend to go really well with a room that has more of a college atmosphere. You should college banners as well as ping pong table, big screen TV, etc.

Arcade games, like this used mocap boxing arcade game, tend to go really well with a room that has more of a college atmosphere. Get yours at

Pinball machines have a more sophisticated (for a lack of a better word) vibe. They give that impression of a stylish bachelor pad. Perfect for a game room with darts, billiard tables, etc.

Pinball machines can also work perfectly with the decor of the home. For instance if you put an arcade game in the hall or living room they would tend to stick out like a sore thumb. Meanwhile pinball machines can work under the right circumstances.

I don’t care who you are. Seeing an old pinball machine from the 1950s in someone’s house just adds an element of “cool”. Just like an antique that’s hanging on the wall, it really adds a lot of charm to the presentation of a home.


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How to Start an Arcade Business

January 3rd, 2013 by admin | Permalink

by Family Entertainment Center |

If you are looking to start an arcade business, the new amusement entrepreneur must first understand the local market opportunity, the demography of that local market, and just as important, his or her own arcade business goals.

There are many options to consider when looking to start your arcade business, including the arcade games you will need for your target customers, and the type of game play your arcade business will offer. This includes different arcade machines, redemption games (ticket games) and the play value of each of these game types.

Start an Arcade Business

If your goal is to start an arcade, you may very well be looking at starting a fun center business with an arcade game room. The reasons for this are many, check out the article Video Arcade Game – A Business in Decline to see how and why the arcade business is changing.

When starting an arcade business, there are several things to keep in mind. Your arcade game room is a player in the overall family fun center attraction mix. Depending on your fun center business goals and your target market demographics it might be a key player, or it might just be a necessary component to the long term success of your business. Make no mistake, arcade game machines are still in fashion and profitable in the right location, with the right mix and game room design.

The point of this conversation is to open the eyes of the new arcade startup to the bigger picture. Old style, stand-alone video arcade game room just doesn’t have the pull, or the community attraction they once had. However, a successful arcade business has become an integral component of your overall attraction mix and the fun center or indoor party center business itself.

Family fun center businesses are smart to include an arcade game room, if it makes sense for their target aged customer and local demographic. For a younger indoor party center demographic (typically 10 years and under), video arcade games are not as popular as redemption games. Secondly, mothers are the primary buyer for this younger demographic and justified or not, often see the content of these video arcade games as violent and destructive. If on the other hand, your market includes tweens, teenagers and young adults, a video arcade game room is expected and will do well with the right arcade game mix and game room design.

Arcade Business – Design for Profit

Among all the video games and redemption (or ticket) games available for your arcade business, each one has it’s own playability or play value. When combined together into a cohesive arcade game room, the total mix of your video game selection should provide your arcade business customers a well rounded and highly playable guest experience. Depending on your target demographic, a good game room needs to offer your guests an assortment of arcade machines and gaming experiences.

For example, you need quick play games, novelty games, merchandise and redemption games, shooting games, driving games and traditional pinball games. If you are going to be catering to a younger demographic you may also want to include kiddie games.

How to Start an Arcade – Space Planning

Here are some base rules of thumb when looking at designing a successful arcade game room:

  • Use an estimated 50 sqft of floor space per game (100 games = 5,000 sqft).
  • You can bunch games up side by side, or back to back to save space.
  • Video arcade games need approximately 4 feet clearance in the front of the game.
  • Basketball or SureShoot type games require 6 feet of clearance in the front of the game.
  • Redemption games can vary dramatically however, a minimum of 2-3 feet in front and 1-2 feet on each side.
  • If you are using multiples of the same type of games or titles, you can push these games side-by-side to reduce the amount of space required.
  • For larger, multiplayer arcade coin games or redemption games that can be played by 4 to 6 players at a time, this type of cabinet game should be used as an eye-catcher and placed in a visible spot with a minimum of 4-6 feet around the entire game.

Your family fun center, indoor party center and other amusement attractions are a fun place for families, tweens, teenagers and groups of friends to go play and spend some time (and money) together.
 There are a wide assortment of video games, arcade machines and coin operated games that can help make this experience diverse, entertaining and time well spent for your guests.

To develop a successful arcade game room you need to offer your guests a good variety of game-play and play-ability, from a diverse set of arcade machines and redemption games.

 When designing your game room, the game mix and game room layout are the key areas of planning for long term success in your attraction business. As with space planning for your amusement fun center in general, providing your guests with a visually pleasing and traffic friendly layout is the corner stone of arcade game room success. At a glance, your fun center guests should be able to quickly feel enticed to enter the room and select an arcade game to start playing.

Arcade Game Room – Final Thoughts

Once your guests find games to play, how they play those games are just as important as which arcade machines and games they play. Some games are multi-person games and require a lot more space than a single pinball machine would need. Popular games tend to draw a crowd, and having a visible location for such games, with enough surrounding space to accommodate those crowds is also important.

When looking to purchase arcade machines for your business here are a few key things to keep in mind;

  • Your target demographic – who are your customers, and what ages are they? This will help you to determine the ultimate make-up of your game selection, arcade games vs. redemption games.
  • The amount of floor space you can devote to a your game room. As mentioned above, arcade machines and interactive games vary in size and can require a lot of square footage if you intend to offer 60-70 games.
  • Consider good crowd control and space management when placing games. Focus on visibility and popularity – bringing the hot games to the front of your game room will encourage play and guest participation as friends watch friends play.
  • Use lighting to enhance the room and direct guests focus to specific arcade machines that are proven revenue earners.

Spend the time to plan and design a good game room with the right game selection and space planning now, and it will help draw strong repeat visits and revenue opportunities today and over time. If you need help in arcade game selection, click here to find a list of arcade amusement companies at the amusement equipment directory website.


To read more about arcade games, arcade machines, and used amusement center equipment, visit our website:

Cotton Candy Vending Machine

December 19th, 2012 by admin | Permalink

There couldn’t be a better time than the present to consider the possibilities of a vending machine business. With the state of the economy becoming more questionable by the minute and the possibilities of vending machines profits remaining steady, it just makes sense. The benefits of vending have become more worthy of consideration as the possibilities of being laid off, having your pay cut and just not having enough cash become more real. Even if you aren’t worried about your job you might just be bored, and owning an electronic vending machine is a great way to start a business and be your own boss.

A cotton candy vending machine business could potentially become your full time job. Check out for used cotton candy vending machines.

Most people start a vending machine business because they want a source of passive income to supplement their salary, but some people turn it into a full time business that serves as their primary source of income. While 65 percent of these industrialists start out using their vending machines profits as a part time income source, 80 percent of those will eventually build the business into a full time job. If you start with one electronic vending machine you can eventually use the profits from that to buy another, and continue doing so until you have vending locations all over town making money for you.

If you want to turn a vending machine business into your primary source of income, you will need to start out by writing down a business plan so all of your ideas will be clear and uncluttered. Then you will probably have to evaluate your capital investment and analyze the areas where you are going to allocate your time and money. The vending locations will be extremely important. You want to place your machines in areas that are crowded with foot traffic where people might feel the need to stop for whatever it is that you are selling. Also make sure to buy your electronic vending machine from a reputable dealer that offers vending machine guarantees and warranties.

cotton candy vending machine business could potentially become your full time job. Plan carefully and act wisely, and you could be your own boss in no time.


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Bouncy Castles

December 6th, 2012 by admin | Permalink

Recognizing a well run bouncy castle

Before giving into your child’s pleadings to go on inflatable bouncy castles, spend a couple of minutes checking out the operation. We recommend parents ask themselves the following questions:

  • Is the bouncy castle securely anchored? All anchorage points should be used and if situated on hard ground, mooring straps should be affixed to solid points.
  • Are impact absorbing mats positioned at the open side of the bouncy castle, extending a sufficient distance forward to ensure sufficient protection? (Mats may not be necessary on soft ground).
  • Is there at least one person constantly supervising the children on the bouncy castle? An attendant who is collecting money cannot also supervise the activity.
  • Does the bouncy castle seem overcrowded? If children are constantly knocking into each other, the attendant may not be following the maximum load recommendations.
  • Are children of different ages/sizes mixed? If the demand is great the attendant should operate a rota to avoid larger children crushing smaller ones.
  • Are children instructed to remove sharp articles of clothing like shoes, buckles, and jewelry and is the rule enforced?
  • Is there evidence that the attendant is controlling the children? Horseplay should not be allowed, and children should not climb on the walls of the inflatable.

Thinking of hiring or using your own bouncy castle?

Before deciding which firm to hire a bouncy castle from, ask them for detailed guidelines which should include information relating to the following:

  • The selection of an appropriate site for the castle, plus additional measures such as cushioning hard ground at the open side.
  • How to perform an inspection of the castle.
  • Inflation and mooring of the castle; stakes should be at least a foot long. NEVER hire one without means of anchorage if the inflatable is for outdoor use.
  • Recommended maximum number of children that can be safely accommodated on the castle at any one time. This will be influenced by the age and size of the children who are to use the inflatable.
  • Advice on the use of additional equipment such as perimeter barriers.
  • What to do in the event of wet or windy weather.
  • Proposed supervision arrangements – a responsible adult should supervise and manage children at all times while it is being used.
  • Implement rota systems which avoid the mixing of different ages or sizes.
  • Appropriate behavior of children (Children should not climb on walls, attempt acrobatics e.g. somersaults, or take food or drink onto the inflatable).
  • How to protect children and others from electrical equipment.

Important notes

  • Extra insurance cover may be necessary if you hire a bouncy castle.
  • We recommend that adults and children should not be on bouncy castles together.
  • Adults should only use bouncy castles made specifically for adult size and weight.


Go to:, to get more information about inflatable games, inflatable bouncy castles, and giant inflatable slides.

How to Find Used Arcade Equipment

November 21st, 2012 by admin | Permalink

by Lee Johnson |

If you’re looking to get an old arcade game for your house, it’s hard to know where to start looking. There is no consistent demand across the population for old arcade games, so the means to find them seem hidden. But getting hold of a used arcade game will lead to hours of fun, and provide a talking point with new visitors to your house for years to come. Finding used arcade machines is actually easy to do, bringing you one step closer to anything from pinball to Pac-Man.


1. Search online. There are many websites that sell used arcade games. You could visit BMI Gaming, Vintage Arcade, Money Machines, or many others (see Resources). If you are looking for a specific machine, you can search many competing sites to find which carry your machine. If you’re just looking for parts for a machine, you could visit websites such as Jamma Boards, Arcade Shop Amusements and Quarter Arcade, who deal in specific parts from machines (see Resources).

Pursuit Zone carries a wide selection of new and used arcade games. Order yours today at

2. Use auction websites. They are a great source for used equipment of all types, and arcade games or parts are no different. The only issue with auction websites is that they rely on the sellers themselves, and although there are usually feedback scores on these websites, you cannot be certain that you’re getting what you asked for. Any errors or omissions in the item description, for example, may lead to you getting something you don’t want. Usually, you can judge if a seller is trustworthy, but be careful.

3. Search local public advertisements. Although searching through want-ads may not turn up an arcade machine or parts all of the time, there is a chance you can hit on a good purchase in this way. Spending your money online is tempting because it is so easy, but the old fashioned method of listing items for sale locally can often turn up better deals.

4. Go to a local amusement arcade. If you are looking for specific parts for a machine and have a general understanding of how arcade machines are put together, you may be able to salvage parts from an old machine. Amusement arcades have to deal with broken machines frequently, and if you’re lucky, you may be able to grab something useful from a machine that is going to be scrapped.

5. Ask about the monitor when buying a used machine. According to Arcade Equipment, the monitor is the most likely cause of problems or failures with machines, and when buying a used machine. Ideally, it will have been previously replaced, but if not, you can invest in a capacitor kit to get a bit more life out of the old one.

Tips & Warnings

  • Only tinker with the machine’s internals if you know what you’re doing. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you don’t!


Are you interested in arcade machines, used arcade machines, or used arcade games? Get yours and more entertainment center equipment at:

Types of Vending Machines

November 10th, 2012 by admin | Permalink

by Mary Jane |

Small business owners who wish to operate a vending machine business have choices when it comes to the types of vending machines the business will offer. Although people generally think of snacks and soda vending machines, there are several other types self-serve vending machines that offer products for people need and want in various situations and different environments. A business owner may operate several vending machines in different settings and for different target audiences.

Candy and Soda

The standard vending machine comes to mind is one that offers candy, snacks and sodas for spare change. These vending machines are available in various locations, including office buildings, schools, train and bus stations, mall and shopping facilities. Other types of vending machines include gumball machines or smaller vending machines that only offer specific types of candies including chocolates, hard candies or candies with a toy.


Some vending machines also offer freshly brewed coffee, hot chocolates or teas. These vending machines allow users to choose specific types of coffees for a given price and provides the cup, the coffee and milk or cream, if selected. Each vending machine offers a full coffee menu. These vending machines are located in offices, university and college environments and some shopping facilities.


A vending machine offering change in exchange for bills is also a useful vending machine in certain environments. For example, this type of vending machine is useful in places where change is required, such as parking garages or laundry shops. A change-vending machine works by offering smaller bills and coins in exchange for larger bills or credit cards.

Toiletries and Medical Supplies

Vending machines filled with toiletry and medical supplies are located in public bathrooms at the airport, bars, restaurants and clubs. These vending machines provide supplies, such as tampons, face cloths, teeth floss, small toothbrushes, toothpaste and condoms. Those located in airports may also have deodorant and temporary body spray, so travelers can refresh themselves after a long flight.

Office Supplies

Some vending machines offer products, such as office supplies. These types of vending machines are useful in scholastic settings, airports, libraries and career centers, where students may be looking for work. These vending machines provide pens, paper, UBS flash drives, notepads, pencil sharpeners, small staplers and mailing products, such as envelops and stamps.


To continue reading about vending machines, beverage vending machine, and drinks vending machines, visit our website:

Things to Consider when Buying Vintage Pinball Machines

October 22nd, 2012 by admin | Permalink

by Randy Sorrentino |

Looking to buy vintage pinball machines? It is hard to find vintage paintball machines in mint condition with all of their original parts intact and still working flawlessly and if you are new to collecting vintage pinball machines, it may be hard for you to determine which brands are authentic vintage pinball machines you plan to purchase. Here are some things to consider when buying vintage pinball machines:

1. The well-known major manufacturers of vintage pinball machines are Gottlieb, Williams, Stern, Bally, and Chicago Coin, just to name a few. The more reputable the maker is, the more valuable the vintage pinball machines are.

2. Being antiques, expect them to be pricey. Brand new pinball machines would usually cost around $5,000. Used pinball machines with high end restorations are the priciest with prices ranging from $9,000 to $18,000, some special edition vintage pinball machines even more. So, when looking for vintage pinball machines, if the price goes way below $9,000, it is okay to be skeptical.

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3. When buying a pinball machine, it is best to find out more details about it like if it is new or pre-owned, its mechanical and cosmetic condition, its machine popularity and rarity and its game rules and complexity of the game play. Buying online is okay and safe, but if you buy from a physical store, you will be able to check for cosmetic damages and other flaws. There is more information that you can gather regarding vintage pinball machines, such as pinball machine repair services, shipping and delivery, warranty, returns and refund policies.

4. As much as possible, buy vintage pinball machines that do not have too many damages. You might think vintage pinball machines that cost less than a grand area a steal, but you might be stricken down with repair fees later on that you’ll end paying as much as you would for brand new pinball machines.

You can look at photos of new and used vintage pinball machines online to compare them and find the price range for each model. Researching more about vintage pinball models is the key to purchasing and excellent quality product. Now is the time to buy classic arcade game machines, as prices will only increase in the near future. Add vintage pinball machines to your arcade game collection and impress and entertain your family and friends!


Visit our website:, to obtain further information about used amusement equipment, used arcade games, and vintage pinball machines.

Healthy School Vending Machines

October 10th, 2012 by admin | Permalink

by Eliza Martinez |

Vending machines are found in schools across the United States; 43% of elementary schools, 74% of middle schools, and 98% of high schools have them, reports the National Association of School Nurses. However, most of them are filled with unhealthy snacks that include chips, candy and soda. With the rise in childhood obesity, many schools want to make changes regarding what snacks are available to students. Healthy snack vending machines are an option that many schools have tried out with success.

Healthy snack vending machines are an option that many schools have tried out with success.


When a school chooses to set up vending machines on campus, it benefits monetarily when students purchase snacks. For this reason, many schools worry that removing them would cause financial struggles since the profits have come to be relied on. Several companies have come forward with healthy alternatives to typical vending machine fare, including Fresh Healthy and Human Healthy Vending. According to Vendu-cation, these machines have been just as or more successful in test situations than traditional ones, meaning that schools are still able to profit from them.


Snack selection depends on what company a healthy vending machine is contracted with, but the selections include nutrient-dense snacks that support a child’s health and learning. Typical offerings include granola and cereal bars, string cheese, yogurt, pudding, trail mix, nuts, baked chips, fruit cups and sliced vegetables. Those that sell beverages usually offer low-fat milk, water or 100 percent fruit juice.

The results of a Gallup Youth Survey presented by USA Today reports that 67 percent of high school students purchase food from vending machines. Substituting healthy snacks means those children are not consuming as much fat, calories, salt or sugar.


Schools see financial benefits from placing healthy vending machines on campus, but these snacks offer benefits for each student who chooses them. Growing children need extra nutrients to support their development, and healthy snacks are an important part of a child’s diet. The right snack will satisfy hunger and contribute to nutrient intake at the same time. Children who eat a snack in the morning and afternoon are better able to concentrate in the classroom, improving comprehension and retention of material. Most hungry children tend to eat what is there, so placing healthy snacks in the vending machines makes it likely that most students will choose one.

The School’s Role

While placing healthy snacks in the hallways may promote more children to eat them, teachers are responsible for educating children on the importance of healthy snacking habits. Health and gym classes are good opportunities to discuss nutrition and fitness and how they both play roles in a healthy lifestyle, now and as children get older. A healthy vending machine is a good way to introduce the topic.


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How to Start a Bulk Candy Vending Business

September 24th, 2012 by admin | Permalink

by Rick Suttle |

Bulk vending is a cheaper option for starting your own vending business. Unlike the larger snack and drink vending machines, which can cost several thousand dollars each in 2010, you can purchase most bulk candy vending machines for less than $200. The bulk machines are also easier to repair than the larger units. You have several options from which to choose when starting your bulk candy vending business.

Step 1
Research bulk candy businesses online and determine products that typically sell the best. Decide which products you want to sell.

Step 2
Check the Internet, local newspaper and other business publications for existing bulk vending routes. Search online for new bulk vending units, including counter-top and self-standing units. Make sure to look primarily for three-head bulk machines, because they are a lot more convenient and will usually produce more sales than single- or double-head units. Compare the purchase price of the existing route vs. that of the new bulk vending machines. Consider purchasing an existing route if the difference in price is nominal, as the locations are already set up for the existing route.

Step 3
Make an appointment with several owners of existing bulk vending routes, and have each one show you his locations. Ask each owner if you can see the sales figures for his current locations. Compare his sales figures against the national average, which is about $200 per year or about $16.67 per month, according to vending owner and expert Dave Clingman in his article titled “Bulk Vending” at

Step 4
Inspect the condition of all the owners’ bulk candy vending machines. Weigh your options between purchasing new bulk machines or buying someone’s existing route, then start with the number of machines you can afford.

Step 5
Search online for confectionery distributors or bulk candy wholesalers in your area. Compare prices and select the one that charges the lowest unit price. Make sure the price of your bulk candy allows you to make between 20 or 25, or up to 50 times your unit cost, using 25 cents as a base price for a handful of candy.

Step 6
Make a list of some high traffic retail locations, including automobile service places or dealerships, and beauty salons, in your immediate area. Consider places where people have to wait for long periods of time; or workers spend many hours per day. Select two or three locations for each bulk candy vending machine you own as some locations will not permit you to place them. Try to locate the machines yourself, but consider a professional locator if you need assistance.

Step 7
Try to find a charity in which to donate part of your profits as this will help you avoid paying huge commissions to each location. Set up regular payments to the charity, and be honest in paying them. Try to keep commissions limited to less than 20 percent of your sales, if you must pay a portion of your sales.

Step 8
Fill your bulk vending units up about two-thirds of the way, because this helps prevent product from going bad, according to; and it gives the impression that your candy is fresh and selling.

Step 9
Service your machines as often as required, based on your sales volume. Clean the units during each visit as clean machines are more appetizing to the public.

Things needed
Product supplier
Bulk vending units
High traffic locations

Consider selling a salty snack in at least one of your three units per location. Not everyone likes sweets. Also, evaluate your sales every month or two, then consider relocating the lowest 10 percent to 20 percent of them to higher traffic areas. Use your profits to purchase more machines. There is certainly full-time income potential in the bulk candy vending business, but you will need several hundred machines to achieve those kind of profits.

Do not fall for the vending machine scams of unscrupulous vending machine sellers. Be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints against bulk vending machine distributors.


To continue reading about candy vending machines, candy vending machines for sale, and coin vending machine, visit our website:

How to Get an Establishment to Let You Put Up a Vending Machine

September 10th, 2012 by admin | Permalink

by Matthew Schieltz |

Vending machines take in an estimated $20 billion to $30 billion in annual gross sales in the United States, the National Automatic Merchandising Association reports. Vending machines can be found in all types of places, from college campuses and grocery stores to airports, hotels and office buildings. A vending machine’s profitability remains tied to its location. The more people visit an establishment, the higher your chances of vending success. Even though a high-traffic establishment may already have vending machines placed, you can still negotiate with the business owner to allow you to put up your vending machine or find other establishments in which you may have equal chances for success.

There are different types of vending machines like beverage vending machines, candy vending machines, snack vending machines, office supplies vending machines, and many more. A business owner may operate several vending machines in different settings and for different target audiences.

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Step 1
Estimate the monthly profit potential for the vending machine. Observe the level of foot traffic during peak and non-peak times at the establishment. Multiply an estimated number of daily sales by 30 to calculate an estimate of the vending machine’s monthly gross sales.

Step 2
Calculate your cost of business. Add together the estimated monthly costs associated with filling, operating and maintaining the vending machine, such as product inventory, vending supplies and transportation costs. Subtract your total cost of business from the vending machine’s estimated gross sales to determine your monthly net income.

Step 3
Compile a proposal detailing the vending machine’s potential earnings. Outline your responsibilities to the vending machine at the business owner’s establishment. For instance, explain who will be servicing the machine and how often it will be monitored. Create a section concerning the compensation you’ll offer to the owner of the establishment. Explain that you’ll offer a percentage of the net sales received from the vending machine.

Step 4
Approach the owner of the establishment with your proposal in-hand. Introduce yourself as the owner of a vending machine business in the area and explain why the establishment may be a good match for the machine. Explain the benefits of having the vending machine available on-site for both employees and customers.

Step 5
Negotiate the percentage of sales you’ll pay to the owner in return for the vending machine’s “rent.” Offer in the low-to-mid range of what you can afford to pay and wait for his response. For example, assume you’ve figured anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent of net sales. In this case, offer 15 percent to 20 percent initially and then offer a higher percentage if the owner negotiates for more. In addition to the percent of net sales, offer to pay a minimal flat-rate amount for electricity, assuming your vending machine uses an electrical outlet.

Step 6
Type up a final agreement or contract. Detail the terms and conditions to which both you and the owner of the establishment agree. Present the document to the business owner and, once both you and he have reviewed it a final time, sign the agreement.

Offering the establishment’s owner a percentage of net sales instead of a flat monthly fee means you can still keep some of the profit in case the machine isn’t as successful as you would have hoped.


Visit our website:, to get more information about how to buy a beverage vending machine, a coin vending machine, or candy vending machines.