Todd Tuckey began a video game route in 1979, installing games in stores in the Philadelphia area. He also worked full-time at Temple University Student Activities Center where he ran two game rooms and the movie theater. But by 1984, the video arcade boom was over and he had dozens of games with nowhere to sell or place them.
Todd placed games outside his home in Northeast Philadelphia in late August 1984 with big “For Sale” signs on them – and dozens of customers came! Every Friday and Saturday until Christmas of 1984, games were sold for $100 to $600 each on an as-is, cash and carry basis. During the week, unsold games were covered with plastic and kept outdoors, with sometimes as many as 90 games lining the long driveway!
With almost 500 games sold from his driveway, Todd realized there WAS a big demand for commercial-quality games for home use. Todd quit his job at Temple and resumed sales full-time in January 1985 from his garage, renting his first showroom in October of that same year.
In November 1986, with sales climbing and storage space expensive, TNT Amusements purchased its current building. The new 2,000 square foot showroom was divided into multiple rooms with connecting doorways and lit with neon lights, creating a maze-like space that was fun to explore.
In 1988, a customer suggested renting the space for his son’s party, giving the idea of private party rentals of the showroom. Since no other party facility can offer the unique concept of just ONE party per time slot PLUS the “FREE PLAY” feature on all the games, party rentals were booked solid week after week.
As each year passes, the average age of the games sold gets older, requiring more and more extensive rebuilding. For example, in a typical video game, the TV monitor must be removed and new parts installed on it to restore bright, sharp pictures. The game board, power supply – even the cabinet now requires hours of work. Pinball machines need even greater rebuilding. With many of the older machines, TNT sometimes has to put two games together to produce one excellent one. Only the BEST games are sold!
Over the years, we have developed a very thorough overhaul procedure for each game. We perform many factory updates along with several dozen checkpoints (forgotten or unknown to others). Many video games require an additional $400 to $800 in parts and labor; pinballs and shuffle alleys may require $800 to $1200 in extra expenses! We rationalize this expense easily – IT REDUCES SERVICE CALLS TO A FEW OR NONE. Our FREE Over-The-Phone Service solves 90% of many problems and our generous trade-in policy (guaranteed in writing) allows customers to upgrade their games from time to time without the annoyance of selling their games privately to strangers.
As we enter our 40th year of business, we have expanded our showrooms to include Bowling Shuffle Alleys, Skeeball, Air Hockey, and Jukeboxes. We now have the largest used game showroom in the world with over 120 pieces on display in a 4,000-square-foot area. Our number one sales reference is STILL “word of mouth” from our customer base of almost 15,000 families.
Todd Wins “Best Tech” in 1997 Las Vegas Pinball Repair Tournament
Each participant was given 10 minutes in which they had to diagnose 10 defects in a Bally Twilight Zone Pinball and list how to solve each problem. Todd won 1st Place! Todd also entered the “mechanical” pinball contest, again needing to diagnose 10 defects and provide the answers to their repair. He took 2nd Place! Once again, Todd proves he really knows his stuff!
The Golden Eagle Award
On Wednesday, November 18th, 1998, George Washington High School hosted the 11th Annual Golden Eagle Award Presentation. Mrs. Sandy Kern, President of the Alumni Association, presented the award to this year’s recipient, Mr. Todd Nicholas Tuckey, who is from the graduating class of 1973. Mr. Tuckey was on the committee for class reunions of ’83, ’88, and ’93 and has been the treasurer of the George Washington Alumni Association for six years. He has also hosted all alumni meetings at his place of business, TNT Amusements, Inc. — the number one seller of entertainment machines such as jukeboxes, ping-pong machines, etc. Mr. Tuckey has always had an interest in technological devices. At George Washington, he was the school’s movie photographer, a projectionist, and a member of the choir.
Mr. Tuckey has also sponsored many fundraising events for churches, associations, and schools. One noteworthy event was a haunted house that brought in thousands of dollars for youth groups. Todd Tuckey had no idea that he was to receive the Golden Eagle award because according to Mr. Gutelius, “If he had known, he would have told the alumni association not to give it to him because that’s not the kind of person he is.” Mr. Gutelius also stated that “Todd Tuckey is a self-made man who literally came out from behind the scene to center stage.” His family was invited to the presentation and kept off stage until Mr. Tuckey received the award. We are very fortunate to have Mr. Tuckey as a positive role model to the class of ’99. Also present were Mrs. Gottlieb, the CHAIN Cluster Leader, and Mrs. Sherri Perlman, President of the Home and School Association.
Todd Tuckey also received a citation from Senator Frank A. Salvatore. The presentation ended with Mr. Zweig leading the Varsity Singers with the zealous alma mater. The Golden Eagle Award is presented to the Washington alums/alumna who has contributed to the community and mankind in general, as well as for outstanding achievement in his own field.
Todd Tuckey also has won two Industry Awards for Best YouTube Channel for 2021 and 2022. Called the “TWIPY” Award issued by the magazine THIS WEEK IN PINBALL and voted by hundreds of Pinball Enthusiasts all over the world.