Namco. Back in 1978, the majority of people wouldn’t have the slightest clue what these two syllables meant with in the united states of America, except for Masaya Nakamura, when he visited from Japan, who according to Wikipedia (Burnham, Van: 2001. Supercade. Cambridge: MIT Press. p. 181.) founded the company as Nakamura Manufacturing in 1955 and Hide Nakajima, who came to Namco from its acquisition of the Atari Japan company, and brought Namco to the United States of America way back in 1978. Over thirty years and one hundred and eighty released games later and the image is clear.
The sound effects play for me as I read it. The memories unclutter themselves. The sound of a wilting Ms. Pac-Man, falling short of her gluttonous pellet quest, and of my father, pulling out another stack of change from his worn blue jeans. When those ran out I’d proceed to beg him for more.
“Just one more game, daddy, please?”
He would look at me, grab another handful, unable to resist my puppy dog face.
Fractured images of the day I broke into my first high score flash across the eye of my mind. How proud I was of that score. How I boasted to all of the kids on my block. All of those pink bows and yellow faces printed upon every little imaginable product and how I had to have each one. It seemed as if even babies were being born with the logo on their foreheads.
The roller skating rink where I became a short-lived champ of the Ms. Pac Man arcade game, and my best friend’s face when he told me this far fetched sounding story about 255 points and the infamous ‘split-screen’ ending. We were going to train, night and day, and become Pac Man champions of the world.
With Ms. Pac-Man around, everything around you seems simple.
Their first release was Gee Bee in 1978, followed by Galaxian in 1979, a product that revolutionized the video game industry by providing the first pixels in red, green, and blue, spawning the franchise that became Galaga. Namco was growing, however it wasn’t until the 1980 release of Pac-Man that Namco became a worldwide cultural icon.
I never became a Pac-Man champion, but the franchise seems to keep supplying limitless time for me to achieve this youthful goal. Some windows never close!
Namco and Midway have been working together for more than 30 years, refreshing and revamping the image, developing brand new experiences with the Pac Man arcade game, as well as finding refreshing ways to redevelop and pay homage to their everlasting classics. So technically, I still have plenty of time to take over the world with my Pac Man skills, I just need to figure out some place to practice…
Celebrating 30 years of entertaining the masses, revolutionizing the video game industry and everything entwined in the Pac-Man culture, Namco has developed this high-end stand up machine. A new, high-graphics modern console can’t drop your neighbors jaw like this stand up machine will, and frankly everybody have those already, but this, with it’s crystal clear 19 inch LCD screen that flaunts the familiar color graphics that made Namco famous, will make all of the children on the block jealous. The grown ones too. This Pac Man arcade game from Hammacher Schlemmer (you can find the official page here) adds a classic, yet luxurious appeal to your office, den, recreation room or game room. This arcade machine is the perfect complement to your already (nearly) perfect man-cave.
Along with Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man and Galaga, this stand up machine includes ten additional classic games from Namco and Midway, those include Rally X, Galaga 88, and Pac-Mania. I’ve been thinking about purchasing an arcade for my home office and when this bad boy fell into my browser, “Schwing,” I knew this was something I had to put my hands on. Careful though, your kids are going to beg for it in their bedroom. The neighbor children will be begging to come over. You’ll have to clean all of that snot off of your beautiful new toy.
There are other options out there: console games or web replica rip-offs, modern games and computer emulation, but these forms seem to miss what this version offers. They aren’t as tangible. I can’t put my hands on them the same way I can with an arcade. There’s something wonderful about maneuvering Ms. Pac Man and blowing away spaceships in Galaga with a classic joystick, putting in quarter after quarter, attempting to claim the high score. Die-hard Pac-Man fans, arcade owners, and collectors everywhere should already have their hands on these.
Hammacher Schlemmer have been in business since 1848, where they first established themselves as a hardware store in the Bowery district of New York City, 13 years before the civil war. They back the quality of every one of their Pac Man arcade machines with a Lifetime guarantee. Here is a direct quote from this offer.
The Hammacher Schlemmer Lifetime Guarantee : We make an unconditional and unwavering promise: Our merchandise is guaranteed for life. Shopping with Hammacher Schlemmer means that you have access to one of the most unique and innovative collections of products available anywhere in the world. Our Guarantee is an assurance that the item you receive is of the highest quality.If any of our products ever disappoints you, for any reason, you may return it for exchange, credit, or refund. Even if you received the item as a gift, Hammacher Schlemmer will exchange it for another item or gift certificate of equal value.
We know you had a choice, thank you for choosing Hammacher Schlemmer.”
This is a huge bonus when looking for any product. If anything goes wrong with your purchase, any complaints what-so-ever, they fix the problem for you. A company who appreciates the fact that you spent money with them. A corporation willing to please you even after they’ve already taken your hard earned cash.
If this model isn’t for you, they also offer the 30th Anniversary Authentic Pac-Man Arcade Cocktail Table, intended to inspire head to head competition. The orientation rotates to accommodate facing players. The product is offered at the same price and under the same guarantee as the stand up machine. Speaking of the price….
The Pac-Man arcade is for sale on the Hammacher Schlemmer website for $3,500, with $250 for shipping and handling, and with so many going through difficult situations at home and the unemployment rate increasing, some will have a tough time finding the extra cash to spend on something of this nature. The product is intended for a those looking for quality and recreation with the budget for it. This is not meant to critique the value of the product at this price, however, meant to acknowledge the fact that many will be without the expendable income to handle it.
Adding even more games to the large line up could help draw even more people into the hunt, games like Professor Pac-Man, Jr. Pac-Man, and Pac-Man World were games I really wanted to remember again after playing through the games this arcade machine offers.
I know there are some of you who are ready to add this to your favorite room at home, or perhaps, to your business or office. This could be a gift for your husband or father, or some other significant loved one. I know this isn’t for everyone, but this is right up my neck of the woods. I put it on my list of gifts for guys as soon as I saw it. When searching Amazon for reviews of Hammacher Schlemmer, a very large majority of reviews of their company were positive.
“I find the items I have ordered to be of the highest quality and I look forward to my magazine to see what to order next.,” the response from Michael R. via bizrate.com. I advise anyone looking to shop with Hammacher Schlemmer to look over the reviews from a wide range of sources.
When making a purchase from the Hammacher Schlemmer website, scroll to the bottom of the product description and click the “Add to Shopping Bag” button. Verify the content of your purchase is correct. At this point, you may check out with a Paypal account, enter your previously created account information, or click ‘checkout’ if this is your first purchase. After filling out and verifying your address and shipping information, you’ll be asked to enter your payment information. Hammacher Schlemmer accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. If you have any trouble during your purchase, you may call their toll free customer service number at 1-800-321-1484, available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Customers in the United States of America and Canada can take advantage of product tracking via this number or by visiting their website at www.hammacher.com.
The 30th Anniversary Pac-Man Arcade Game from Hammacher Schlemmer is something geared toward men looking to build upon their personal space with something that embodies the days of childhood. This arcade machine is for hardcore Pac-Man and Namco fans, passionate collectors, video game enthusiast, fathers and mothers, grandparents, and anyone with a little expendable income, looking to rekindle the passion of their youth and share something near and dear with this generation. There are few things in life actually worth their price, products that transport you and immerse you in the giddiness of being a child. This is one worth your time and money. My advice to you: Get one before they disappear!