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Late Marvin Yagoda’s Farmington Hills arcade leaves legacy of joy, whimsy

Walk into Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum in Farmington Hills and you’re immersed in a cacophony of beeps, airplane motors and singing flamingos. 

Every nook, cranny and space on the wall is filled with arcade games, coin-operated machines and peculiar figurines with questionable purposes. Think of the Zoltar machine that turns a boy into Tom Hanks in the movie “Big” and then multiply it tenfold. 

Marvin Yagoda, the museum’s founder, is responsible for the fantastic mess. He started the collection in 1960 and the jam-packed space shows how it’s grown to become one of the World Almanac’s 100 most unusual museums in the U.S.

But last week, Yagoda died at 78 years old. 

“The world is a lot less marvelous today,” the museum said on its Facebook page.

Stateside's Lindsey Scullen and Menachem Kaiser made a pilgrimage to Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum just before he died and brought us back the audio postcard above. 

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