This news had already spread out around the internet, but I just got a press release about it, so with that, we can discuss what’s going on in a little more official detail.
The Museum of Pinball may not have the most distinctive name you could find among pinball-focused locations out there(given how many pinball places use the word ‘museum’ in their name), but they certainly had a memorable collection of games. Located in Banning, CA, this ambitious project got it’s start way back in 2013, and it was home to the Arcade Expo for several years. Unfortunately, the stresses of lockdowns over the past year proved too much for them to continue operations, and instead of sitting on the $8 million collection, or attempting to sell it off on their own, they have gone to the popular Captain’s Auctions Warehouse in Anaheim, CA to auction off the equipment for them.
All the details are found in the press release below; Hopefully all the machines find great homes. I am certainly tempted to participate, although with the way pinball pricing has been lately, I expect a lot of the auctions to get a bit crazy. There are some video games in there too, but it sounds like a lot of them are rare, so those will also go for a pretty penny.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WORLD’S LARGEST COLLECTION OF CLASSIC ARCADE GAMES AND PINBALL MACHINES
TO BE AUCTIONED OFF AS HISTORIC
MUSEUM OF PINBALL CLOSES ITS DOORS
— Captain’s Auction Warehouse to Auction Over 1,100 Games From Museum of Pinball’s Remarkable Multi-Million Dollar Collection Of Pop Culture Rarities —
BANNING, CA., August 10, 2021 – Lucky bidders from around the globe will have a chance to own a piece of history as the entire collection from the world-famous Museum of Pinball, the world’s largest pinball museum, will be auctioned off next month.
Over 1,100 vintage and modern pinball machines and classic arcade games will be auctioned off over two weekends in September, allowing both live and online bidders once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to rehome the museum’s extraordinary trove of collectible items. The auction, which has an estimated value of over $8 million, will be hosted by Captain’s Auction Warehouse — the only arcade game and pinball machine auction house selling coin-operated amusements on the West Coast. It will take place at theMuseum of Pinball’s 40,000-square-foot facility, located at 700 S. Hathaway St, Banning, CA 92220.
Owner John Weeks’ extraordinary personal collection of over 500 pinball machines is housed at the museum, and all are up for bid at this historic event. Among the hundreds going under the gavel will be such remarkable items as an iconic Addams Family Gold Special pinball machine, a Big Bang Bar pinball machine, and a one-of-a-kind Magic Girl Pinball Machine.
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The auction also will include hundreds of rare solid-state and electro mechanical games dating back to the 1960’s, and a stellar collection of arcade games from Weeks’ collection that includes Atari Star Wars Cockpit, Bally Midway Discs of Tron, Atari Paperboy, three Original Nutting Computer Space games, Atari Major Havoc, Death Race by Exidy, and many more. According to Collector’s Weekly, Computer Space was the first mass-produced videogame, developed in 1971 by Atari’s founder Nolan Bushnell and modeled on a popular space battle game that had been designed by MIT students.
Museum Unable to Overcome Covid Consequences
In July, the nonprofit museum announced it was closing its doors after enduring extensive economic challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and attempts to relocate the nonprofit Museum to elsewhere in Southern California were unsuccessful.
“While it’s disappointing to see the Museum of Pinball close its doors, I am confident that Captain’s Auction Warehouse will steer the games in the right direction as we’ve worked together for many years,” Museum Owner John Weeks said.
“I’m thrilled to be working with John Weeks. This once-in-a-lifetime private collection of games from the Museum of Pinball will never come up for auction again. Although the Museum’s era is coming to an end, its legacy will continue through the distribution of its iconic collection, as pinball and classic arcade fans all over the world play on with the very items that made the museum so special,” said Chris Campbell, owner of Captain’s Auction Warehouse & Captain’s Arcade Showroom in Anaheim, CA.
The Museum of Pinball’s historic auction will take place September 10-12 and September 24-26, 2021. Friday sessions will begin with a hands-on preview at noon, followed by bidding that will begin at 3 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, hands-on previews will begin at 9 a.m., and bidding will begin at 11 am. This monumental event is open to the public but will require a fully refundable $300 cash deposit at registration for in-person attendees. Real-time live online bidding will also be available at www.captainsauctionwarehouse.com and attendees can watch the auction live via Twitch TV at https://bit.ly/2Cn6zt9.
About the Museum of Pinball
Located a little over an hour from Los Angeles and Orange County and 20 minutes from Palm Springs, California, the Museum of Pinball is a non-profit organization with an 18-acre campus that includes 40,000 square feet housing over 1,100 vintage and modern pinball machines and arcade games.
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About Captain’s Auction Warehouse
Captain’s Auction Warehouse is a family owned and operated local Orange County business located in Anaheim, CA, established in 1999. With a mission to help people play in a pirate sort of way, Captain’s Auction Warehouse is proud to be the only Arcade Game & Pinball Machine Auction Warehouse selling coin operated and amusement games on the West Coast.
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