Games People Play At Home
(CBS/The Early Show)
(CBS) Many homeowners are turning their family rooms or basements into full-blown game rooms, but not like the ones with folding chairs, ping pong sets and pool tables. Best Magazine Senior Editor David Gregg says today's families are budgeting more money than ever to create showplaces that feature pro-level fun stuff. And, thanks to baby boomers and Gen Xers who want to relive their youth, full-sized arcade games are now more popular in homes than in the arcades. Although some of the most popular game room products (such as video arcade games, pinball machines, and jukeboxes) are expensive, many middle-class Americans are splurging and making the investment, Gregg says. These games also can be bought "used" at a fraction of the cost. Some secondhand pinball games can be had for as little as $300. Such games comprise one of the largest "collectible" categories on eBay right now. Here are some of the products that Gregg talked about on The Early Show Thursday:
HARVARD VICTORY II 15-IN-1 MULTI-GAME TABLE: The Harvard Victory Gaming table from Sears packs 15 games into one. The games include soccer, air-powered hockey, pool, table tennis, baseball, football, chess, checkers, shuffleboard, backgammon, bowling, playing cards, horseshoes, ring toss and darts. Two built-in drawers provide accessory storage. A 110-volt motor provides air-powered hockey action. Included are all the accessories needed to start playing, and that makes this gaming table cost-effective.
ARACHNID INTER-ACTIVE 6000 ELECTRONIC DARTBOARD: The Inter-Active 6000 and its optional interactive Heckler feature make fun of a poor effort and praise a super performance. This dartboard delivers 27 different dart games, an 8-player score display, 15.5-inch target area, LED display of player game and cricket scores, micro-thin segment dividers that dramatically reduce bounce outs, trademarked tournament colors, ranking features, voice prompt for player to throw, solo play feature and player handicap feature. The board has AC operation and can be powered by 4 AA batteries. Most importantly, it's safe, because it uses soft-tipped darts.
AUTHENTIC PACHINKO GAME: This Pachinko game hails directly from the famous Ginza Pachinko Parlor in Tokyo. As you turn the knob, steel balls are propelled into a maze of spinning wheels, bumper-action pins and bonus pockets. Lights flash, bells ring and music plays when balls trigger the jackpot, earning extra playing balls. Each player begins with 50 balls and the one with the most balls at the end wins. Moving parts constantly change the odds to challenge skill levels. Not a reproduction, each reconditioned machine was originally built for commercial, round-the-clock use in an actual Japanese pachinko parlor. Face designs may vary. Constructed of wood and steel, each comes with 400 balls. Plugs into any standard household (120v) outlet.
BUBBLER CD JUKEBOX: Deliver tunes to your fun room with this retro jukebox. Rock-Ola Music Corporation has reproduced the popular jukebox with its "Series V Bubbler". Watch bubbles of air perk to the top of the eight bubble tubes, while a kaleidoscope of colors flows through four color translucent plastic cylinders. It's the '50s all over again when the changer flips the 100 CDs right in front of you. All 19 trim pieces are die-cast metal, triple-plated with copper, nickel, and polished chrome. Fine hardwoods adorn it. The speakers provide 900 Watts of peak power.
1950s RETRO STYLE DESIGNER SERENADE DINER BOOTH: This commercial-grade 1950s-style diner booth set comes covered in Cascade Zodiac (glittery/metallic; many colors available) Vinyl Fabric and includes two 30-inch-wide seating booths and a 27-inch-by-30-inch table mounted on a chrome column pedestal.
SIGNTIME NEON SIGNS: Signtime offers a variety of items, including beer, business, custom, nostalgia and sports-related neon signs. Neon signs help put your personal signature on your home game room. They plug into any standard electrical receptacle and are easy to hang or mount.
ARCADE LEGENDS: Arcade Legends comes in a full-sized cabinet with a Wells-Gardner monitor and real arcade controls, including two joysticks, 3-inch trackball and buttons. Arcade Legends is now available in a cocktail table version as well. Arcade Legends comes with 35 games and is expandable so you can add more games as they are released.
THE SOPRANOS PINBALL GAME:: Stern Pinball's brand new pinball machine offers would-be wise guys an interactive venture into the world of the TV series for which it's named. This pinball machine challenges the player to rise through the ranks to Boss. It borrows many elements from the show, including the dancing girls of the Bada Bing and Tony Soprano's boat, The Stugots. This game offers a multi-ball feature and a safe that cracks open after being whacked by the ball. Also, the talking fish from Season Two jokes around with the players. The game features the real voices of many characters on the show. Approximately $4,400, sternpinball.com