Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum – WTF Wednesday

Fun fact – the clock runs backwards. I have no idea why. It’s just cuz Marvin is a weirdo.

Arcades are a very Bachelor Uncle kind of place. The arcades of old were dark, dangerous little dens of inequity where 20 something scumbags ruled the roost. In my hometown we had an arcade in the mall full of ridiculous games like Primal Rage and WarGods. If there was a shitty fighting game, this arcade got it.

But there was a time when arcades were full of fantastic machines that seemed to operate on magic and imagination. Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum is not an arcade full of Street Fighter cabinets and hardcore mid-90s nostalgia. No. Marvin specializes in the weird shit.

Doesn’t this just look like the home of a serial killer? It’s amazing.

So I find myself in Detroit again for work, and it’s 7 degrees outside. I told my co-workers I was going exploring and that’s when I found Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum (I just like typing that). Last month I wrote a love letter to Detroit, and honestly, our second date was even better. Last time Detroit showed me what a beautiful and dignified woman she is.

Today she told me her dirtiest joke and informed me she likes all my favorite bands. I think I’m in love.

What do you even do with this information?

So Marvin’s place is full if weird automatons and strange curiosities from the early 20th century. Yeah there’s a wall of pinball machines and a Pac-Man machine, but the heart of Marvin’s collection circles around animatronic strangeness.

Behold The Brain. He tells you a dirty joke and gives you a fortune.

What follows from here is just some of the strange things I found inside Marvin’s. Enjoy.

Ancient posters from long gone carnivals and circuses (Circi?)
Behold the prize counter! Win a Star Wars USB stick or a gumball!
K. Sure. This makes sense. I understand everything that is happening here.
Weird little animatronic vignettes for only a quarter.
A peculiar little steampunk pedalboi.
I put a quarter in this. I don’t know what I expecting. It’s exactly what you expect.
A real life FetLife machine.
Hey Kids! It’s a puppet show!
A mannequin wearing Steven Tyler PJs.
Bad touch. Bad touch.
Guys! It’s the Rock-a-fire explosion! Yay!
This was as cool as it was stupid. You put in 50 cents and you can choose from 3000 songs and then the instruments actually play the song. The instruments, however, are not in tune with each other, and I think those little black guys in the machine on the left are racist caricatures, but holy shit did Bohemian Rhapsody sound weird on this!
I mean… I had to take a picture of this right? WHO IS THIS PLACE FOR?!?
Apparently this machine marries you? I don’t fucking know anymore.
The guy has legit historical things in his museum.
The place also had weird Japanese arcade machines like this Mario & Sonic thing.
There’s a lot to unpack here, but instead I’m going to just throw the whole suitcase away and let you look at the Vibratory Doctor himself. I think you’re supposed to sit on his duct taped hand. Enjoy! Here’s a thing you now know.

So yeah, Michigan. You’re winning me over. You got a lot going for you and anyone sleeping on this state and the Detroit area is stupid. I’m a fan. I love that on a random Wednesday night I can bathe myself in weirdness such as this.

WTF Wednesday indeed. Love y’all!

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