Ultimate Arcade II With Tankstick Base Review

Posted: Jun 22 2007, 12:00am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 10 2010, 9:11am CDT , in Gaming Gear


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Ultimate Arcade II with Tankstick Base Review


Features & Specifications
I have always wanted a full size arcade game, since I was very young and Ricky Choder (according to Beavis) was on TV with Silver Spoons and his own personal arcade. I have looked into building one, which typically involves runs to Home Depot for wood and power tools. Normally that’s not such a bad thing, but I am not known for making the straightest cuts and if it looked like crap; my wife wouldn’t want it in the house. Any of you married guys out there know what I am talking about; I had to find something to slip past the wife approval meter.

This got me to thinking about arcade cabinets, I figured there had to be someone out there making arcade cabinets that were pre-cut and drilled like the Sauder style furniture, and I was right. Mameroom Designs does just that, they make and sell pre-cut and finished arcade cabinets in a variety of sizes that will work with their custom arcade controls as well as working with the popular X-arcade line of controllers. For the Home Depot crowd, they also sell plans with full size templates for parts needed.

A few emails later, they had their Ultimate Arcade II with the Tankstick base on its way to my door. The boxes arrived via FedEx in about 5 days. I saw as soon as the truck rolled up why they charge $125 for shipping and handling. The Ultimate Arcade II with the Tankstick base ships in five separate boxes with some of the boxes being quite large. The cabinet is constructed of CNC milled black melamine panels with post and cam assembly, includes control panel mounting brackets, black plastic T-molding and marquee retainers as well as all the hardware you need to complete the assembly. The only things not included in the kit are the Tankstick itself, the marquee and lights, and the bezel for around the display. The one thing you won’t find inside the boxes are assembly instructions, you download those from the website.

Having bought several pieces of assembly required furniture over the years; I normally expect to see at least one piece damaged in shipping. Mameroom Designs packed these boxes extremely well; the other assembly required furniture makers could learn a thing or three from these guys. All sides of the box were padded with half inch thick foam, and these guys even used small, cut strips of foam between the pieces that touch each other on the interior of the box. Once I extracted all of the parts, and there were lots of them, not one single defect was found on anything. The parts were as pristine as they were the day they were cut.

Build Process
Once I had my instructions printed out from the Mameroom Designs website, I was ready to start construction. Each page of the instructions has only one step with very easy to follow written instructions and graphics with what the parts should look like and how they fit together. I had not one problem following any of the steps to build the cabinet. All of the major parts went together without a hitch during the three hour build process.

The instructions call for two adults, though I did it all by myself. The only difficult part was attaching the top of the arcade cabinet to the base. The instructions called for two people to lift the top up and set it onto the base with the base standing upright. The two sections are held together with wood screws and cam locks. I laid both pieces on the ground, slid them together and connected them, then stood the cabinet back up. It was a snap to do, though if you have any back or health problems you will want help. The cabinet weighs about 180 pounds when assembled.

On all exposed edges of the cabinet are milled cuts that you press the black T-molding into. This makes for a very clean and finished look; all you see is black when you look at the cabinet. Since the most likely way to power, your arcade game is via a computer a keyboard shelf hides under where the controls would sit. This was the only source of frustration for me. The keyboard tray didn’t sit flush with the cabinet top so once I had the Tankstick base built, the keyboard tray overlapped the base by about a half inch. Not only did it look bad, but also obviously, the keyboard tray wouldn’t close.

To remedy this issue I removed the control base and move the hinges down half an inch, then once I had them secured everything lined up well and went together without a hitch. You can tell as the build goes on that the Ultimate Arcade II with the Tankstick base had lots of though put into it. The front is pre-cut for a coin door; I would have preferred to not have a coin door cut out.

I don’t intend to use a coin door so having the hole there takes a bit away from the overall look to me. Having the option to order a simple wood door to cover the cut out or even a panel that is simply not cut would be most welcome. The panels under the marquee are cut to allow heat out that the lights generate and the panel on the back in the display area has slits cut in it to allow heat out.

The Tankstick base assembles the same way the cabinet does and the edges are covered with same T-molding for a clean look. The base was cut to an exact fit for the Tankstick and holds it securely so that it does not move around no matter how spirited you’re gaming gets. Once completed, the interior of eth cabinet is very spacious so you should be able to get most any PC case inside. The display area is also very large so you have many choices with the size and type of display that you use.

Final Thoughts
Overall, the build quality of the Ultimate Arcade II with the Tankstick base is just top notch. The build-process is easy and straight forward with minimal issues with fit and no issues with the finish of the cabinet. If you are looking to recapture some of your childhood arcade memories or just have a sick arcade system for your game room the Ultimate Arcade II with the Tankstick base is an easy and fantastic way to do it. The system I tested carries a MSRP of $489.99 plus $125 for shipping and for the quality of the kit that is a bargain.




  • Great build-quality
  • Easy to follow instructions
  • Looks fantastic


  • Keyboard tray didn’t line up well
  • Cut out for coin door mars look for those not wanting a coin door

This is a fantastic arcade cabinet to complete your arcade or game room. Build quality is top notch, instructions are easy to follow and the cabinet is very sturdy. If you aren’t sure you can cut your own parts or just don’t want to bother with cutting raw materials, the Ultimate Arcade II with the Tankstick base is simply fantastic.


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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at shane@i4u.com.




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