We recently featured a couple of LEGO Sony PlayStations smaller than your finger, but those things can’t really play video games. These miniature arcade machines, however, can play retro games and don’t require skipping school and a pocket full of quarters to operate.
RepliCade is a series of miniature arcade machines designed to play classic video games on tiny 3.5” LCD screens – something, I might note, that would seem ludicrous before the advent of mobile phones with screens just as small. The games are officially licensed by their original developers, with the first RepliCade featuring the Atari game Centipede.
Shrinking this traditional machine to 1/6th of its original size took some advanced, present-day technology. While the cabinet and LCD screen aren’t exactly new age tech, the custom trackball, buttons, and built-in Lithium-ion battery definitely are.
Let’s talk buttons first. The Centipede version of the RepliCade has a dedicated on/off switch, a volume control knob for the 3-watt amp speaker, the iconic trackball and buttons built specifically for playing the game, and coin return credit buttons which start a new game or bring players back to the title’s main menu.
The game runs on a modern chipset which, unlike the original arcade machine, is less prone to lag. The Lithium battery which powers the entire thing can also be recharged via USB cable, which I’m sure they didn’t have back in the 80s.
Encasing this marriage of old and new tech is a beautifully constructed arcade cabinet. It uses heat transfer and vinyl overlays to recreate the classic paint job from the full-sized Centipede cabinet and a perfect fit for Barbie and Ken out for a night at the arcade.
Players who buy this $160 arcade machine can’t use it for different games unfortunatly, as each game is tied to a specific arcade cabinet. RepliCade has already surpassed its Kickstarter goal of $50,000 (it currently has a funding over $81,000) and is planning to recreate more old school video games for dolls… erm, I mean, for you to enjoy.