TRIBUTE TO KEN RUBIN
Coin-op collecting pioneer, legend and COCA Hall of Fame honoree Ken Rubin passed away on October 28, 2023. Ken’s fascination and interest in coin-op machines began at an early age growing up in his beloved Brooklyn, New York where he lived his entire life.
Beginning in his childhood Ken spent countless hours in the penny arcades that dotted Coney Island. While his fascination with coin-op began there, it never wavered for the rest of his life. In 1979 Ken wrote Drop Coin Here the seminal reference book of our hobby. It is and always will be the go-to book for coin-op collectors old and new.
Ken was a fervent collector of all vintage coin-ops with a keen collector’s eye and a passion that always burned hot. While the machines in his collection covered the full gamut of coin-op collecting, his particular fascination centered on the rarest and best vending machines, with a great passion in particular for cigar machines.
Over many decades Ken relished going to every coin-op show, auction, convention as well as visiting countless collectors worldwide. That said, he took his greatest pleasure in having folks visit his home in Brooklyn to see his collection, after which he would regale them with stories about his machines, but even more so to share a friendship with other collectors.
Ken was a mentor to many of us as we entered the hobby, which then continued over decades always being there to offer advice, honest feedback and most importantly friendship.
Ken is survived by his loving wife Kathryn who was by his side for too many coin-op adventures to count. More importantly, over many years they were always there for each other with genuine love and affection.
Along with a handful of others, Ken pioneered and made coin-op collecting what it is while also setting the table for what it will be for future collectors along the way.
Ken’s impact on coin-op collecting will always be felt, and he will be sorely missed by everyone in our hobby who was lucky enough to know him.