At long last I have pop'n music! Getting it here was a very long and interesting process that is likely unmatched by anything else in my collection.
I had spotted a Beatmania III cabinet on eBay way back in December of 2007. It just happened that a pop'n music cabinet was visible in one of the pictures in that auction. I figured it couldn't hurt to inquire about the machine with the seller. As it turned out, the one in the picture had already been sold but the seller indicated that he could obtain another. And so began a string of events that would finally conclude over a year and three machines later.
After much discussion we finally came to an agreement in February and I received a pop'n music 14 in May. Unfortunately, the machine I received was in an Animelo style cabinet rather than the original style cabinet that I had requested. I really wanted the original style over the Animelo style, but I decided I would go ahead and keep the one I got and requested that the importer locate another machine for me. I figured that I could just keep the machine for the time being and sell it once I received the one I really wanted. I had no idea how quickly and then how slowly that plan would actually unfold.
I ended up taking that pop'n machine and my Pump It Up machine to Anime Central last year to be placed in the game room to help out baerish. I ended up selling the pop'n machine at the end of the event. So I think that was officially the shortest length of time I've kept a game--less than two weeks.
After ACen, the importer had another Animelo style machine that had been ordered by someone who was then unable to pay for and receive it. It had pop'n music 8 installed. I figured to buy it so that I'd have something to play with while I waited for the second machine I had ordered to arrive. Again, I figured I could sell it once I got what I really wanted.
I cut the deal in June and the game was supposed to arrive in July. However, by August it had still not left Japan. It seemed that the slowing economy was also slowing the ability to fill shipping containers with products to move from Japan to the States. When dealing with large items, it's best to get in with a lot of other large items in a massive shipping container so that everyone can share the equally large costs of moving big stuff across an ocean.
So toward the end of August I asked if he could price aa 15 instead of a 14. 15 would get me current hardware and I figured it might be a little cheaper since the game was getting older and 16 was now well established. It did turn out to be more palatable than earlier in the year, so we cut a new deal and were then looking at a September delivery.
September came and went. In October we were hoping for a November shipment. And then in November it got pushed to December. I'm actually not sure if that happened. I was too busy to really worry about it that month and contacted the seller again in January of this year when I hadn't heard anything. At that point the seller said he had been trying to contact me and the machine had been there about a month. Oh well.
I arranged to pay the balance I owed, waited for the check to clear, and then arranged for it to get to me from their warehouse in California. Finally, on February 6 I received a visit from the now familiar NAVL truck.
It woud be another 5 days before I would get the chance to try and get it into the house. On the 11th I managed to get it into the house with the hope of taking it down the basement stairs rather than taking it down the hill and in the back door as I usually do. I measured the width of the basement door and the width of the cabinet and they were basically the same, so I hoped I could just squeeze it through.
It's totally normal to have an arcade cabinet in your living room, right?
I managed to get it in the front door with the help of a couple friends of my neighbor that just happened to be stopping by while I was preparing to do it myself. Then I unwrapped it all in the living room in preparation of whitedragonlbp coming over to help me get it down the stairs. Unfortunately, when he arrived I discovered that the cabinet was about 1/8" too wide to fit through the doorway. So that plan was pretty much shot.
Flash forward another 4 days to yesterday. Chad, Brandon, Jim, Jeremy, and Tim came over for a DDR-A-Thon planning meeting. I called Heath, and the 7 of us moved the 15 down to the hill basement and the 8 up to the garage. The original style, while being more compact, is actually slightly wider and seemingly a lot heavier than the Animelo style. But fortunately having 7 people and a lot of patience got both jobs done without any major incident. All involved were rewarded with a trip to Golden Corral. Sadly, as I was rather involved in the whole process, I didn't get a chance to take any pictures.
I'm totally thrilled now that I have it though. I like everything about this style better from the way it feels and plays to the lighting, cabinet art, and overall aesthetic. It was well worth the wait and the effort in the end. The cabinet seems to have started life as an original pop'n music in 1998 and has been upgraded all the way to 15 (I'm sure with many--if not all--steps along the way). Even still, it is in remarkably good condition overall everything works--even all the button lights--and should only take minor cleanup work.
I haven't played much pop'n in the couple years since I got more into IIDX and subsequently go that cabinet. But now that I have this pop'n cabinet, I'm really looking forward to getting back into pop'n!