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Thursday, September 23, 2021

    We’re Off to See the Wizards: LeeAnn and Mike Rankins Open Land of Oz Arcades in Muscatine

    Margaret Hurlberthttps://discovermuscatine.com
    Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

    Muscatine Living

    Mike Rankins has a passion for all things from the ‘70s and ‘80s. For nearly thirty years, he has repaired and refurbished vintage arcade and pinball machines. About eight years ago, Rankins began making his own machines, as well as electronic dartboards, and selling them online. With his internet business booming, Rankins and his wife, LeeAnn, decided to open their own retail store, bringing the Land of Oz Arcades to southend Muscatine.

    Though the Land of Oz Arcades only opened in May of this year, Rankins says the roots of his store go much, much farther back. He explained, “We’ve always made arcades for years. We made a cabinet with a dartboard where you can play with anyone across the world. . .. We have just a ton of different machines, or, if someone has an idea, we draw it up and make sure it happens. . .. There was enough demand, so we opened a store.”

    A shop that caters to many interests, the Land of Oz Arcades features an astounding variety of arcade and other products. “We sell custom dartboards, cabinets, skateboards, skate supplies, dart supplies, new pinball and arcade machines, air hockey and foosball tables, and retro things,” detailed Rankins.

    So far, Rankins has found that people get a real kick out of coming to the Land of Oz Arcades to indulge in some good old fashioned nostalgia. “Now the clientele is older . . . [and] people love seeing the old machines and reliving the good old days when they had no bills or cares,” he shared.

    By having a retail location in addition to his online shop, Rankins has found he can attract more collectors interested in seeing his rarest vintage items. He explained that the brick and mortar location, “is nice because people come down from Chicago and Wisconsin. We get the collectors who can pay $10,000 for a machine.”

    Even if you would like to purchase something a little less pricey, Rankins still encourages everyone to come and checkout the Land of Oz Arcades. “This store is just set up cool,” he enthused. “We have old stuff like Star Wars and old Nintendos in the box. Skateboards are just awesome. You won’t see anything else like this from here to Chicago.”

    Whether you want to create your own personal arcade, bring home a new electronic dartboard, or take a walk down memory lane (complete with a visit to the ultra-rare Zoltar fortune teller) the Land of Oz Arcades has exactly what you need to get your fix. Located at 801 Oregon Street, Muscatine (just across from the skate park), and with convenient hours from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm Wednesday through Friday and 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Saturday and Sunday, the Land of Oz Arcades definitely merits a trip. So, whatever your passion, make a point to see the Wizards at Land of Oz Arcades and let them show you all the delightful items they have to offer.

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