It's here and it's awesome. I'm so happy to say I finally have a Japanese 10¥ machine in my collection! Yes, it's Circus aka サーカス from Taiyo Sangyo in 1978.
When I got into Smart Ball (スマートボール) I started also discovering the world of 1970s Japanese 10¥ arcade machines. These were games that you'd find in candy shops and would dispense tokens that could be exchanged for sweets or prizes.
It seems like lots of them did not survive. Many were operated outdoors at the front of shops. Sometimes under an awning, sometimes not. Just lined up front along with vending machines. Japan's a relatively small island with lots of coastline, so atmospheric conditions in many parts were probably not conducive to long-term preservation.
But what's really special about this one is that it is "New Old Stock". It seems like a small number of Circus machines (and a game called Home Run Fever) popped up on Yahoo Japan Auctions. Here was a chance to own a nearly brand-new 10¥ game from the 1970s, probably the only chance I'll ever have to get one in this condition too.
10¥ arcade machines do come up on occasion, but very rarely, they're often in quite poor condition, and they sell for hefty sums of money.
Enough preamble, let's open it up and take a look!