- FULL REVIEW BELOW
Two disclaimers to start: 1). I was sent one of these free of charge to do this review. 2). My son filmed the unboxing sideways and I didn't realize it until editing. Ya'll will just have to get over it.
Pac-Man was the first video game I ever played, way back in 1981. A product like this would have been a dream back then and if you'd told someone back then such a product would exist in 2018 they'd have laughed in your face.
This is advertised as an 'exact' 1/4 scale Pac-Man arcade game and it's pretty close. Naturally, the copyrights have been changed from Midway to Namco on the cabinet, but that's to be expected. The marquee is maybe a little too short or maybe the marquee bracket is just too thick, but other than that the shape is pretty close.
The kickplate, control panel and bezel artwork is almost perfect, save for the control panel overlay maybe being a little wider than it should be. The side art is also awfully close; the lines and "smear" on the art is a little thicker than the original but I'm one of the few dorky enough about this game to ever notice that. Note that this cabinet does NOT have the "blue specks" that many-to-most original Pac-Man arcade cabinets had on it. Not a big deal to me (the original arcade version I have in my home doesn't either, an early one off the assembly line) but some may notice it.
The back door and copyright plate on the back are a nice touch. The marquee keeps the original mistake over the blue monster's eye, too, which I think is great. I'd rather have the flaw than have it fixed.
The game boots-up with the original test pattern, which made me smile from ear to ear. I wish it hadn't included two copyright screens before it, though, but for legal purposes they might not have had a choice. It uses the original ROMs, even including the original demo mode exactly, which is also great to see. No copyright on the title and coin up screens is a little disappointing but again, that's from a guy who has loved this game since day one... few other than me will care.
I'm a big guy, so controlling it with the joystick is a little challenging for me, but to be honest this product isn't going to be played much. If I want to play the original Pac-Man I have three original arcade cabinets and a myriad of downloads of it for consoles. This is a collectible meant more to drool over than play a serious game of.
Flaws: The coin door was slightly pushed out when it arrived. It easily popped back in but I found that worth note. Power switch is a little finicky. The weight of the box makes carrying it by the handle with the product inside a risk once the tape sealing it has been removed. It bows out and would likely tear after a little time.
Some complain that the screen is too small but it is in scale with the original arcade cabinet. I'd personally rather have it to scale than bigger.
Others have issue with the price point of around $200. I personally think this is a steal at that given the amount of work and detail put into it. This is NOT an item for someone who wants to just play some Pac-Man... this is a collector's piece of high quality and near perfection in most areas.
Think of it like the retro arcade version of those Transformers Masterpiece toys. Nobody complains those are worth the money, but they are clearly not for kids that want to stage battles between Optimus Prime and the Evil Decepticons. They are for display and collecting more than play. So is this cabinet.
They're talking about doing Galaga next and based on what I saw here, I can't wait to see that one.
If you have the means and want it, this is limited to just 10,000 pieces worldwide, so don't wait. I could see this commanding a very high collectible premium in years down the road, making it one of retro gaming's true modern-day investment pieces.
This lifelong Pac-Man fan is very, very happy with the final product. I look forward to the future products in this line.