Over the last half decade, affordable arcade machines have become more and more popular. Until recently, the only way to own an arcade cabinet—whether full sized or compact—was by buying an expensive, old model. Fortunately, that has changed. Arcade1UP has been leading the way with their affordable arcade machines. The quality has always been consistent, and while they have more modern features, they still are very nostalgic. Let’s take a look at the PAC-MAN CollectorCade from Aracde1UP and see whether this is something you want to collect or play with!

Features of the PAC-MAN Collectorcade at a glance

  • 13 inches tall with a 3.2 inch screen
  • On/Off switch and volume dial on the back
  • Requires 4 AA batteries (not included)
  • Includes 3 games: PAC-MAN, Galaga, and Galaxian

Design of the Arcade1Up PAC-MAN Collectorcade

While the larger full-sized arcade machines that can be purchased today are obviously more impressive, there is something really great about the CollectorCade machines. Standing 13 inches tall with a vibrant 3.2 inch screen, this device does a little bit of everything. The arcade machine is powered by 4 AA batteries which are installed in the back of the device. Simply unscrew the cover panels and press the clip to open it up. It is worth noting that batteries are not included in the box.

Also on the back of the device is an On/Off switch and a volume dial. I would have preferred to see the volume dial on the side of the machine, with close accessibility to where your hands naturally go on the device. The buttons on the front of the machine are perfect however, matching the style of traditional arcade machines. The joystick feels great as well. That being said, because of the size of the cabinet, the joystick does feel a bit small in an adult’s hands. 

Collecting or playing?

Arcade1UP calls this line of products the CollectorCade for a reason. While fun to play, the device seems like more of a collectors item. The compact size makes it great for putting on a desk or small shelf. It can easily come down to be played with, and just as quickly be out back up.

The packaging also lends itself towards the item being a collectible. The front and sides of the box are almost completely free of labels and other interference. This allows the beauty of the product to be enjoyed, even when all boxed up and protected. This is a really nice touch⁠—especially for those who prefer not to open their products.

Even when open, however, the PAC-MAN CollectorCade is a fantastic looking machine. The yellow panels are really vibrant and catch the eye when displayed. The logos are beautiful and large. They not only highlight what fans will find should they power on the machine, but also give the entire machine an authentic look and feel. While a lot of design work has gone into this product, it could have been just a bit better.

Areas for improvement

I do think there could have been more done to better replicate an actual arcade machine. Including a few coin accepters would have been ideal, and really would have given the front of the machine a bit more character. Even a faux coin accepter would have been great, although one that actually took coins would have been better. That being said, that would have also driven the price of the product much higher. Still, while I enjoy the logos of the three games on the glossy front panel, it is the one aspect of the machine that doesn’t look authentic. Especially for collectors, something that looks a bit more authentic, albeit miniature, would have been a better option in my opinion.

Is the PAC-MAN CollectorCade worth opening for the games?

The PAC-MAN CollectorCade comes with three games that you can enjoy: PAC-MAN, Galaga, and Galaxian. In PAC-MAN, players move our favourite yellow friend around the map collecting dots and fruit, while avoiding ghosts. In Galaga and Galaxian, you will head to outer space and shoot down hordes of enemies. The three included games can only be played solo, which is probably fitting since the machine really is only big enough for one person at a time.

Ultimately, though, this device still has games on it. And these games are meant to be played. I can say that over the last two weeks, my kids have taken this down off the shelf almost daily to play a game or two. Sometimes that lasts just a few minutes before it goes back up, but in other scenarios they got really competitive and went back and forth for hours. I even had a few friends over on the weekend, and the machine did come down from the shelf and saw a fair bit of play.

For me, all of these CollectorCade devices are great in the moment. This isn’t something you buy to play for hours on end, but it is a great conversation piece and does come down for competitive bouts of PAC-MAN.

When I look at the features built into the system and the simplistic design, it is obvious this is meant to be collected. Even one of the front buttons is purely for show, and serves no purpose within the games. Further, all of these games are available to play in dozens of other formats and locations, some for free. If playing these three games is what you want, there are better options available.

Final thoughts on the Arcade1Up PAC-MAN CollectorCade

If you love arcade cabinets—which I personally do⁠—and want something you can display, this is a great product. It has functionality if you want it, but is also great for just putting on a shelf for display. As I noted above, I think there could have been a few adjustments made to make the mini cabinet look like the real deal. Some people collect old and rare video games consoles, and others action figures. And some people do collect arcade machines. For those people, the PAC-MAN CollectorCade from Arcade1UP machine is a great purchase. This is one I would love to have in my own collection.

You can shop the PAC-MAN CollectorCade from Arcade1UP online at Best Buy.

Adam has a strong passion for video games, and has been writing about them for almost a decade. Although Adam loves playing 3D platformers and adventure games, he can often be found playing a variety of games on his YouTube channel. He also believes Yoshi is the best Mario Kingdom character. You can chat with Adam on twitter, @adamroffel!


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