Marvin Yagoda of Marvelous Marvin's Mechanical Museum has died


  • Photo via
Marvin Yagoda, founder of Marvelous Marvin's Mechanical Museum, died Sunday evening, according to WDIV. He was 78.

The eccentric businessman created the Farmington Hills marvel, having started collecting items upon his graduation from the University of Michigan.

According to a 2003 Metro Times interview with his son Jeremy, Yagoda's "insanity" was to blame for the collection of creepy-looking carnival machines that you might expect to see in the film Big — everything from ancient pinball machines, kiddie rides, ’80s thriving arcade games, and stranger wonders such as P.T. Barnum’s Cardiff Giant and a once-working electric chair in which 30 people died. Those peculiar items reside inside the 5,500-square-f00t museum.

In the same interview, Jeremy Yagoda noted that the museum has attracted its fair share of celebrities — David Copperfield, Eminem, and several famous athletes have made appearance at the vintage arcade emporium.

Yagoda and the museum were also featured on an episode of American Pickers:
Read more about Yagoda, his museum, and his eccentricities here.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.