Interview with Justin Whitlock

Mini-Arcade Cabinets

What inspired you to make these mini-arcade cabs?
I found a picture of a Galaga Cab that was built for a 12" G.I. Joe. And I thought, "I have to have that for my Joes" (in a 1/18th scale of course) so I got some information from him and started hunting down materials and came up with (an UGLY) version of what he built. LOL. I admit my first version was ok but compared to what I build now it looks like a 5 year old made it

What ones do you plan on making in the next new wave?
wave 10 will include things like space invaders, Frogger, and (I've been told) has to include TRON, which it will, I just received some Pinball images so I'm going to try a pinball machine. And I have images for a custom designed RUSH'N ATTACK (they look awesome) and that was another one of my favorites, so I'm adding that too.

How many of them have you made so far?
Well I make 56 different models currently, but I have had many orders... MANY, I have several customers that collect them all and are buying special display cases to showcase them in their home... that is one of the most humbling things I have ever heard, That someone is buying furniture to show off Something that I have built. 'AWESOME SAUCE!"

If someone is interested in a cab, how can someone purchase one?
Simple, just make a PayPal payment to my account for the total price of just the cabs (shipping is free) and make sure you include the list of cabs you are ordering in the notes section of the payment. Once I get the payment, I'll get the buyer an estimated completion time.

How did you first get into video games?
I was the kid who had Atari while everyone else had Nintendo. So I spent a lot of my video game time staying true to the classic platforms, it wasn't until my brother bought a Sega genesis that I made the transition to more involved games. MERCs was the first, Loved it

What is your personal favorite arcade game of all time?
Galaga, hands down. It may not be the best game out there but I have FOND memories involving that game and being a kid.

What do you think the most under-rated arcade game is?
Well that's hard to say, I didn't grow up in a large city where arcades were easily accessible, so the only arcade games I played, were the popular one's. If I had to choose I would say any game that was a cockpit style game. Just the difference of sitting down in your game environment as opposed to standing in front of it is a huge difference that was overlooked by arcades where I grew up, the first time I sat down into the Star wars cockpit game "the one I build" I was energized. I told my wife if I could ever get my hands on one that was refurbished she would have to accept it being a part of our home decor. LOL

What has been your hardest cab to create?
The easiest would be galaga, no t-molding, no special controllers, simple design... the opposite of that would be the star wars cockpit, the only thing that would make that game harder to build would be adding t-molding. For all of you out there that buy a game with t-molding, that's all laid by hand... and it sucks! LOL that's one of the things about being a perfectionist, once you have an idea how to make something better, you can't build it without it, it doesn't feel right.

What is your best-seller?
Ohhhhhh, good question... my instinct says Pac-Man. Just because it was one of the first cabs I built, but no order is complete without Donkey Kong, so I'm going to call it a tie.

Do you do custom orders other than ones you've already made?
I have in the past, but most custom orders (if I can find the images to make them) end up in my wave eventually, it would be a waste of time not to add it. I did make one that was an original MAME design using the tempest body. Looked very cool

What cool things have happened since you've started making these mini-cabs?
LOTS, I was featured in the November issue of LEVEL magazine (a Danish publication) and I made Game Informer online site as well. I was also featured on PiMP DailyDose. You can watch that here:

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!
My pleasure Jason, thank you!