One of the coolest lines of gaming collectibles to emerge over the past few years is New Wave Toys’ RepliCade Amusements. The playable, 1:6-scale video game cabinets are a unique way to bring the classic arcade experience home in a form that doesn’t take up a ton of space. The high-quality craftsmanship and detail in each piece are what really sets the machines apart — something I’ve experienced first-hand as the owner of the Street Fighter II: Championship Edition RepliCade. Now, the company is putting that same level of care into a spinoff line: RepliTronics.
“Classic electronics made smart” is the mantra for this new line of products that backers pledged more than $90,000 on Kickstarter to help launch. The line aims to reinvent some iconic devices from the 1980s and ’90s as useful tools for what New Wave calls “the modern electronics ecosystem.” The first two products, the USB Charge Machine and the Hotline 16000 Power Bank, are shipping now, and some product samples made their way to the Pop Insider for a hands-on test. Like the RepliCades before them, the RepliTronics are impressive — and their usefulness is the true magic.
Hotline 16000 Power Bank
Housed in a shell designed as an homage to the classic, first-generation Sony Walkman, the Hotline packs a modern, 16,000 mAh rechargeable battery inside. On the top, USB-A 3.0 and USB-C 18W quick-charge ports auto-detect and auto-select the correct charging output required by the connected device, whether it is a tablet, a phone, or something else. On the side is a 10W wireless charging spot for Qi-enabled devices. The power bank can charge up to three devices simultaneously and is designed to charge and discharge at the same time.
Advanced safety features include surge protection, over/even charging protection, overheating protection, and short circuit production.
The top of the case also includes a flashlight, and the ’80s-style buttons and volume sliders really work, but they do nothing. That’s right — they’re purely tactile for clicking and sliding in an old-school way!
The Hotline 16000 is surprisingly light. For comparison, I carry a 20,000 mAh Pocket Juice charger with me on a daily basis as my dated iPhone 6 doesn’t hold a charge for more than an hour without it. My “brick,” as I call it, is heavier. The Hotline accomplishes the same thing, but it just looks cooler and is more fun to carry around.
USB Charge Machine
I first came across the prototype version of the Charge Machine at New Wave Toys’ booth at Toy Fair New York last year. At the time, I thought it was a neat accessory for the RepliCades, but what didn’t hit me was how functional it would be for a real-world application.
On the surface, this is a 1:6-scale replica of the classic change machines that we’ve all seen in arcades, movie theaters, and family fun centers for decades. It features a wood-grain front (the production version has less wood grain than the prototype — the sides are black), with metal accents, including a tactile lock, a coin tray, and a dollar bill slot. As an unexpected bonus, it comes with a dozen tiny gold tokens that can be placed in the coin tray just for fun.
On the back, you’ll find a power switch, LED on/off button, and six USB charging ports: one USB-A 3.0 and five USB-A 2.0.
Simply plug the USB Charge Machine into a standard wall outlet, attach some USB devices, and get charging!
For those collecting RepliCade cabinets, the Charge Machine is the perfect way to power them all while fitting into the arcade look. The USB Charge Machine is also a perfect desk or countertop charging station for anyone who loves some unique style to go with the function. In my office, I’ve been using a generic, no-name charging station that I bought from Amazon to charge or power devices ranging from phones and tablets to gaming systems, such as my NES and SNES Minis. The USB Charge Machine is a stylish replacement that does a better job.
Bonus: RepliCade Amusements UV Base Pad
Kickstarter backers had a few different reward options available to receive a UV Base Pad — a neoprene-backed pad with heat-transferred graphics that look just like classic arcade/family entertainment center carpeting. These are expected to be sold separately for around $10 at some point in the near future. This rug really ties the room together. I dig it. If you are using 12-inch-scale action figures as the players for your RepliCade Amusements, their arcade needs a quality carpet.
Photos: the Pop Insider, New Wave Toys