There is an undeniable allure to owning a full-size, authentic old-school arcade cabinet, but there are some major hurdles to arcade game ownership: They’re hulking, heavy, often expensive and require rather serious upkeep. One company is trying to give aspiring collectors a taste of the home arcade experience, albeit at a much smaller scale.
New Wave Toys is making a line of licensed arcade cabinets called RepliCades — 12-inch (or one-sixth scale) versions of ’70s and ’80s arcade games. Those miniature arcade machines are fully-playable versions of the original games housed inside wood and metal cabinets and displayed on a 3.5-inch LCD screen. The machines will include LED backlighting to light up their marquees and rechargeable lithium ion batteries. New Wave promises “smooth, lag-free gameplay.”
New Wave Toys’ first release, Centipede, is currently seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter. The project is part of a larger publishing arrangement with Atari.
The company’s founder, Shilo Prychak, said New Wave Toys is creating RepliCades with collectors in mind. The company is using original arcade ROMs and faithful recreations of artwork to give the tiny arcade machines an authentic feel. The miniature cabinets will even come with die-cast metal coin doors, with coin return buttons that feed credits into the machines.
RepliCades are priced to match their collectible status. The Centipede RepliCade will retail for $160 when New Wave Toys starts selling it next year. “Super early bird” pricing through Kickstarter is just $90. There’s also an “early bird” tier $110, but $130 seems to be the standard price for Kickstarter backers. New Wave Toys’ crowdfunding goal is modest: just $50,000.
Prychak said in a phone interview that New Wave Toys is well underway in bringing the miniature arcade cabinets to market, having signed a multi-title publishing agreement with Atari. He declined to say what other titles New Wave Toys has planned under that arrangement, but added that the company is in discussion with other companies, not just Atari.
New Wave Toys’ RepliCades are expected to start shipping in spring 2018. If all goes well, units will also be available at select retailers worldwide beginning mid-2018.