Tim Lapetino might be the luckiest “Tron” fan in the world. He found an ultra rare “Discs of Tron” arcade cabinet on the Chicago suburbs streets. Lapetino is a huge fan of the franchise, and has been since he was a child. He had been searching for “Discs of Tron,” as it mostly vanished after it was released in 1983. While he never did find it in arcades during his childhood, he did eventually play as an adult in a museum.
Lapetino found the arcade cabinet in May while driving around the Chicago Suburbs. The game was sitting on a sidewalk abandoned. “If you were to ask me if I had some ‘holy grail’ arcade machine that I would want to own someday, this would be it,” He said. “To drive up and just see it sitting on the curb, I just couldn’t believe it.”
After confirming the game was abandoned, Lapetino quickly got ahold of friends and family to help him move it. The arcade cabinet was in relatively good condition, and after a few weeks of tinkering, it was functional.
This coveted 1983 collectors item is worth well over $10,000 for it’s condition and “environmental” status. Circuit boards for this title can be found listed on eBay for over $1,000. Lapetino’s friend, James Zespy, advised him to hold onto the cabinet and not sell it. (Zespy is the owner of a Chicago arcade bar and knows the value of this find.)
He is writing a book detailing the history of the “Tron” franchise. While he may not be an arcade machine collector, he made an exception for this game.
After inspecting the cabinet, Lapetino and Zespy discovered the machine had barely been used. Once the few repairs it needed were complete, Lapetino set the game up in his home. His two children love it, and his 11-year-old daughter currently has the high score.
“Tron: Ares,” the third film from Disney, is expected to hit sometime in 2025.