Posted by Drew Rudman on Oct 12, 2015

Zaxxon Upright Purchase

Purchased my first new system in about ten years: Sega Zaxxon. I had been monitoring Craigslist here in the San Diego area for about two months and had seen quite a few games on my want list come up, but all were significantly over my price range. $2,000 & $2,500 for a Star Wars, both of which appeared to have sold. $850 for a Frogger, which has been relisted at least a half dozen times without any drop in price. The closest was a Missile Command for $500, but it was non-op, so who knows how it might have escalated (someone bought it, though).

Zaxxon hit CL for $260 and I jumped on it, setting up a meeting with Dale, the seller, in Mira Mesa the next morning. Turns out Dale is a bit of a hobbyist/opportunist and picks up “fixer upper” systems in his spare time, reselling them when he is able to get them back in working condition. No collectors pieces here, mind you, but he did have a non-working Tron upright that I inquired about. Turns out that one needs some e-prom reprogramming and a few other minor fixes, but he plans to keep it himself, which is probably a good call.

The Zaxxon system was a little rough, but perfectly functional:

Sega Zaxxon

The big negative was a missing panel on the backside that provides access to the neck of the monitor:


I’ll need to get creative to cut a new panel and notch it properly so that it fits together in the cabinet nicely. The left side art is in decent shape, but the right side has some missing pieces, still, perfectly fine and usable:

IMAG0491 IMAG0509

The particle board cabinet has some gouges that will need to be filled with wood puddy, but the t-molding is in great shape. The control panel is solid and the flight stick is in pretty good shape:


Monitor is sharp, sound and game play solid:


Coin mechs need some work, but I don’t use them in my collection anyways. The cabinet is a BEAST, as all particle board cabinets are. I was able to get Dale down to $220, which I thought was a pretty fair deal for both of us (especially since it seemed he really needed the room in his garage, which was stuffed to the gills with arcade cabs and parts).

The other drawback to Zaxxon in general is that it does not have a free play mode nor a standard high score saving mechanism. That’s not totally true — there is supposedly a free play mode, but apparently you are invincible in that mode, making for less than fun game play. Fortunately, our good friends over at Braze Technologies offers a Zaxxon High Score Save/Free Play kit for only $45 plus $5 shipping. I ordered mine as soon as I got the system back to my office for restoration.

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