Bradley Czech is a child of the 80s. And if you walk down to the basement of his Green Bay home, you’ll quickly find out that he never grew up.
Czech collects and restores video arcade games.
“I remember going to these arcades and seeing these elaborate cabinets with this incredible art work on them, and hearing these new sounds,” Czech says.
Those sounds and graphics made such an impression on Czech that he began saving up his money to buy his own game. At the age of 13 he bought his first game.
“I ended up paying $60 for an Asteroids game,” Czech said. “That’s what started it!”
Over the years he’s amassed a collection of around 225 games. A collection that includes popular titles like Donkey Kong, Pac man, and Tron, to more rare titles like Bubbles and Professor Pac man. Restoring these games is a big part of Czech’s hobby as well.
“Restoration is far more extensive than most people will realize,” Czech said. “The process can take months and months.”
With his collection growing, Czech began to wonder if other people had the same fondness for these games that he did. So he started contacting local museums to gage their interest in displaying his machines in an exhibit.
“I began thinking how can I show these to people again so they can appreciate and enjoy them,” Czech said.
In 2013 the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay displayed Czech’s collection in an exhibit titled, “The Golden Age of Video Arcade Games”. The exhibit was widely popular. So much so that Czech received another offer to display his collection at the Seymour Community Museum in July of 2016.
Czech feels like the exhibits are a bit of nostalgia for a lot of the visitors.
“To me having these games and seeing people play them kind of brings me back to that time,” Czech said.
To see more of Czech’s collection you can find him on Facebook where he runs a page called Silver Coin Arcade. The page is designed for people to show off their own arcade collection as well as follow Czech and his quest to collect more.