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Collectible Arcade Token Mailing and Contest Recap

Written By: Elliott Thomas

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2016 "Lucky Seven" Collectible Arcade Token - Limit 1000 Units

It's hard for me to believe that it has been seven incredible years since I first started the collectible arcade token give away. It seems like just yesterday I was giving the very first coin to actor Leonard Nimoy at the E3 Expo. Since that time the contest has grown larger and more popular with each passing year. Our collection of coins has grown too. It now includes an impressive 14 different tokens.

Every year we pick 500 lucky people to receive a set of our highly collectible coins in the mail. We also select roughly 25 people at random to receive special video game bonus prizes. The coins are mailed from our office in Hollywood, CA. We are just a few blocks from the legendary Hollywood & Vine. The collectible tokens are mailed to people across the country and around the globe. The entire process is an incredible amount of work. It is accomplished by just one person, yours truly. And as always, our coins are free to everyone, as they have been since we first started this contest.

The Gallery Countdown:

As always our contest began on June 1st. This was the final day of our yearly arcade token countdown. In keeping with tradition our new tokens were revealed in our arcade token image gallery. Every year we create a new art gallery filled with cool and unique collectible arcade tokens. Each day we post a new classic arcade token. The countdown actually starts on April 1st every year. The countdown lasts 60 days and on the final day we reveal our new coins.

New Exclusive E3 Expo Coin:

For many gamers the E3 Expo is the most fun and exciting event of the calendar year. For the video game industry itself, the show is also the most important time of the year. It is a place where dreams come true and fortunes are made in the blink of an eye. I have been lucky enough to attend every E3 Expo since 1999. One of the things I enjoy the most is collecting swag and promo items from the various companies at the show. That's the reason why I created our very first collectible arcade token. I wanted to give something back to the show that has given me so many wonderful memories over the years. I also wanted to create something for the people who are unable to attend the show. It's my way of spreading the fun and excitement of E3 to everyone!

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For many people seven is a lucky number. The number has always brought me tremendous good luck over the years, and so has the arcade token giveaway. This yearly tradition has brought tremendous attention to our website, probably far more than we deserve. It is always an incredibly fun and exciting promotion and it's a priviledge for me to bring it to you every year. That's one of the reasons why I created the Lucky Seven coin. To share my good fortune with you all. I also can't tell you how many times people have come up to me at a show and pulled one of my coins from their pocket. People really enjoy carrying our coins around with them, as sort of a talisman or good luck charm. That brings me incredible joy. This is the other reason why I created the Lucky Seven coin. I wanted people to have a good luck charm they could carry around in their pockets.

A Super Secret Coin for the SoCal Retro Gaming Expo:

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This year I was lucky enough to partner with Retro-Bit.com and Capcom to create a new exclusive coin that celebrates the upcoming Retro-Bit Generations video game console. This incredible new coin is officially licensed by Capcom. One side of the coin features Sir Arthur, the legendary hero from the Ghosts 'N Goblins franchise. The other side of the coin sports a new version of our iconic Pixel Invader logo. This is the largest version of our popular mascot ever featured on a coin. This amazing new coin was limited to just 1000 units. It was made exclusively for the SoCal Retro Gaming Expo. A small number of these awesome coins were also sent to the members of our highly exclusive arcade token collector's club.

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The Collector's Club Continues to Grow:

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In 2015 I announced a new arcade token collector's club. To join the club all you had to do was send me a picture showing at least 5 of our previous coins. Well the response was overwhelming. I never dreamed we had so many devoted fans. Your loyalty humbles me and I am extremely grateful for your support. The club was limited to just 100 members and spots filled up very quickly. If you joined the club you will automatically receive all new coins for the next 12 months. This includes convention exclusive coins that are not available through our mail away program. You are also automatically entered into any contests that we may have during the course of the year. The members of this exclusive club are very important to me. I can't thank you enough for your support.

The Mailing Begins:

The mailing process is an incredibly grueling and time consuming task. It literally takes several weeks to accomplish and most of the hard work is done by just one person, yours truly, the author of this article. This giveaway has become so popular that our mail server always crashes during the first couple of days. Once things slow down I finally begin the process of picking the winners. Each year I start by verifying the mailing addresses. This is no small task I can assure you. I often see people return from previous years. I can't tell you how happy it makes me feel to see so many familiar names writing in for a coin. After the addresses are verified I hand pick every single coin. That's right, I hand pick every coin that goes out in the mailing. I want everyone to get the best coin possible.

Tokens by the Numbers:

The first 500 people to respond to our promotion received our brand new Lucky Seven collectible arcade token. Members of our token club also received the exclusive Retro-Bit Generations Coin. However, I also chose a small number of people at random to receive the Retro-Bit Generations coin as well. This year I mailed tokens to 500 people around the world. In total, I have distributed roughly 20,000 arcade tokens worldwide since 2010. I have created fourteen different tokens over a period of seven years.

Tokens Across the Country:

Ever since we started this promotion in 2010 we have been able to mail tokens to every state in this country. That's an incredible accomplishment and it's something that makes me very happy. Once again, California lead the way this year with the highest number of entries. New York came in second, with Washington State coming in third. These states were followed closely by Texas, Illinois, Nevada and Florida.

Tokens Around the World:

Since the start of this promotion in 2010 we have shipped tokens to over 47 different countries around the globe! We shipped tokens to the following nations: Austria, Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Egypt, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Serbia, Sweden, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Trinidad/Tobago and the United Arab Emirates.

Prize Winners:

Contest winners are chosen in one of two ways. The first person to respond to our mailing always wins a prize. The rest of the winners are chosen through a lottery system. Basically everyone who sends in an email is assigned a number. That number is written on the back of a penny. The pennies are then stuck into a large purple sack. We shake up the coins and pick one out. We repeat this process for every prize. The last person chosen automatically wins the spam prize. Prizes are mailed separately from the collectible arcade tokens.

GRAND PRIZE: dreamGEAR My Arcade Retro Machine Gaming System

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Our grand prize winner this year was Jonah A. from Sacremento, CA. Jonah won the incredible dreamGEAR my arcade video game console. This awesome mini arcade machine features 200 built in games. We hope you enjoy it Jonah!

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Video Game Prize Winners:

  1. Bob M. - Tierra Verde, FL - Dark Souls II (Xbox 360)
  2. Derek R. - Portland, OR - Godzilla (PS4)
  3. Jamie G. - Parkersburg, WV - Game Party Champions (Wii U)
  4. Jesse K. - Hudson, MA - Beyond Two Souls (PS3)
  5. Kara M. - Springfield, IL - Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (PS4)
  6. John K. - Irwin, PA - Rhythm Heaven Fever (Wii)
  7. John W. - Chicago, IL - The Wither II Deluxe Edition (Xbox 360)
  8. Larry C. - Bell, CA - Evolve (Xbox One)
  9. Mitch M. - Hanover Township, PA - Marvel Super Heroes (3DS)
  10. Nikki T. - Fresh Meadows, NY - Gravity Rush (PS Vita)
  11. Paul B. - Beaumont, TX - Gears of War: Ultimate Edition (Xbox One)
  12. Sandy L. - Ontario, CANADA - NES Remix (Wii U)
  13. Simon W. - Tetris Ultimate - (3DS)
  14. Wayne E. - Buffalo, NY - Spy Hunter (PS Vita)

SPAM PRIZE: Julia O. - Reno, NV

The DANGER Prize Winners:

The Danger Prizes were prizes we considered so bad that no one would want to win them. However this year some people actually REQUESTED the danger prizes! People really wanted them. I couldn't believe it. I'm very happy that everyone got the joke and that you're all pleased with your prizes. I guess I'll have to try harder next year to find an even worse danger prize than those I offered this year.

  • DANGER PRIZE 1: Brian M. - Denham Springs, LA - Nickelodeon VICTORIOUS Taking The Lead (Wii)
  • DANGER PRIZE 2: Nicholas P. - Dunstable, MA - The Burger King Trilogy (Xbox 360)
  • DANGER PRIZE 3: Douglas F. - Capao Bonito, BRAZIL - Zenses (Nintendo DS)
  • DANGER PRIZE 4: Richard T. - Rapala Fishing for Kinect (Xbox 360)

Special Thanks:

I would personally like to thank the following people and websites for their continued support of our promotion. First up, I would like to offer my deepest and most sincere thanks to Cheapy D and the folks at CheapAssGamer.com. This contest simply would not be possible without that website. This is how I find all the games I give away each year. CheapAssGamer.com is the best deal site on the web. If you're not already a member of their forums I suggest you sign up right away.

I would also like to thank Albert Yaruso and the folks at AtariAge.com. Simply put, AtariAge is the best Atari and retro gaming site on the web. It has an incredible community of people dedicated to our collective love for Atari and retro gaming. The site is like a second home to me. Thanks to everyone on the forum who wrote in for a coin.

I also want to extend my deepest and most sincere thanks to Kris Mendez, Richard Igros and the rest of the gang at Retro-Bit.com. These guys saved the day for me at the E3 Expo when our regular sponsor dropped out of the show. That chance meeting lead to the development of one of our absolute best collectible arcade tokens. You guys are incredible and I can't thank you enough for your support.

Finally I would like to thank everyone who helped us promote this event. Special thanks to our friends at The E3 Expo, Comic-Con International, Rick Weis and the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, Kevin Troklas at Tokens Direct, and most importantly everyone who wrote in for a token. We would also like to thank John Hardie and our friends at the Video Game History Museum, who helped us get this promotion off the ground so many years ago.

One More Thing...

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We've got a special surprise coming to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo in October. Collector's Club members will want to start watching their mailboxes in early October. Please stay tuned!

See You Next Year!!

Arcade tokens are a testament to our love for video games. This is something that we all share. Tokens are a type of pop culture currency, and these coins are a tiny bit of video game street art, and our contribution to the gaming world.

We would like to sincerely thank everyone who contacted us for a token. We love doing the Arcade Token give-away. And it's great to do something just for the fun of it. We love giving something back to our fans and also to our friends in the global gaming community. Without your support none of this would be possible. We sincerely thank you all for your interest in this project.

We look forward to bringing you more exciting give-aways in the future. Until next year...

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