Meet Sandy Lechtick: Inside the Collection
It only takes a penny to play! Take a look at Sandy Lechtick's massive collection of games and coin-operated machines!
Aug. 28, 2023
Sandy's collection of coin-operated machines and automatons has grown so large over decades of collecting that he's built an in-home penny arcade to house his rare finds.
From fortune tellers reminiscent of boardwalk arcades to rare jukeboxes from the 1940s, if it takes a coin, Sandy's all in.
While his home houses some of the rarest coin-operated machines, the adventures of collecting and the relationships he's built have kept Sandy hooked on this life-long collecting journey.
It started with an evolution of appreciating elegant and unusual machines that you don't see today. With over 250 machines as part of his collection, we hope you find them as wonderful as we do. Take a look!
1. Cleveland Grandma Fortune Teller
There are many different types of vintage fortune tellers, from plastic to wax and composite. This is the Cleveland Grandma fortune teller from the 1930s.
The Cleveland Grandma is a holy grail piece for many collectors because of her wax face, hands, realistic appearance, and life-like breathing.
Sandy had been looking for her for about five or six years. According to our expert, almost every penny arcade in the United States had a fortune teller.
What's all you have to do? Put a nickel in, and get your fortune read. She's complete with her original deck of cards, which was made specifically for her.
This item is very rare today, with less than 15 or 20 around. He must have had a good fortune because she is worth one.
Today, the Cleveland Grandma would be worth around $50,000. Granny said, "Buy it!" and he listened.
2. Drive-Mobile Machine
Who doesn't love a good racing game? Are you the person who usually wins or loses?
This Drive-Mobile machine was made in the 1950s. It was one of the original racing machines before it became an arcade staple.
It works by putting a coin in and using the steering wheel to try and avoid smacking into other cars. Sandy found this vintage machine in Chicago at a coin co-op show. Everyone wanted to buy this rare piece. It took dedication... and a lot of timing for Sandy to get it.
It's in working condition and is worth around $6,000 today.
3. Owl Lifter Strength Machine
This Owl Lifter Strength Machine was made by Mills Novelty Company in 1904. It was a popular competition machine during the decade. Sandy found this machine at an auction. The guy who put it up for sale? Our expert, Ira Warren.
Strength machines were very popular, especially for teens trying to impress their dates with their strength. It's a timeless machine.
Today, this machine would be worth around $12,000.
4. 1941 Wurlitzer Peacock Jukebox
This beautiful jukebox is originally from 1941. The Peacock is one of the most stunning and desirable jukeboxes ever made. When he came across this one and two others, Sandy was looking for something unique with cool attributes.
He couldn't decide, so he bought all three jukeboxes! Despite having all three, the Peacock is his most prized possession.
According to our expert, you can't find a Peacock Jukebox in this condition for less than $35,000 today. Ah, the sweet sound of a rare collectible.
5. Apollo Muscle Test Machine
The Apollo Muscle Test Machine is another competition machine from the 1920s or earlier. Sandy liked how this machine looked because it was unusual. This machine was not made to be beaten; it was designed for people to lose.
The point of this machine is to arm wrestle, but the spring is so tight that you'd have to put in a lot of effort to beat it. Even with two hands, our collector couldn't get it!
There are only six or less of these in existence today. When people stopped using these machines, many of them were destroyed.
This is a great piece of history that can also double as an art piece. Today, this item would be worth around $35,000. Sometimes, you have to wrestle it out for the right deal.
6. Arcade Bowling Alley
Sandy wasn't sure where he was going to put this arcade bowling alley, but it looks like he made enough room! Originally, this piece was 16 feet long, but Sandy wanted it longer! He was able to extend this bowling alley by four extra feet, making it even more rare to own.
Getting it out of his house would be an art form Sandy isn't willing to try quite yet. Today, this item would be worth around $25,000. Under normal circumstances, you wouldn't find anything of this size in any collection, but Sandy is just larger than life!