I didn’t start making Fight Sticks with the intention of turning it into a business. In 2012 I built a SuperGun and needed a controller to use. Based off a build photo I saw on the NEO-GEO forums using a Hammond Enclosure I broke out my tools, paint, and wiring skills and got to work to replicate what I saw. It was functional and nice when done but it was labor intensive and prone to human error when drilling, sanding, painting, and wiring. As I worked on the project, I kept thinking their had to be a better way to do this… someone has to offer an arcade stick shell I can use for other builds. After a few days poking around on the internet, I couldn’t find anything that fit my needs, so I opened up CAD and designed my own. Once it was designed and the final case was built I knew it was going to simplify my future builds and I thought it was neat. I began showing it off to friends and forum members across the internet and the next thing I knew, people were asking me to make them one as well. Jasen’s Customs was born; little did I know that 10 years later I would be still toiling away trying to find new ways to build functional, high quality all metal fight sticks that were accessible to everyone no matter what their skill level was with a screw driver.
Here’s the Panzer Fight Stick development timeline:
2013. The Early Years.
Panzer Fight Stick: The Original.
The first commercially available DIY all metal fight stick enclosure. Conceived to help those wanting a high quality, simple arcade stick build they could use on SuperGuns or Consoles.
Panzer Fight Stick: Widebody.
The Widebody clocked in at 22” wide, rivaling the Hori VLX. It had PS360+ stand offs and Kaimana standoffs inside for clean mounting and plexi for those that wanted to add paper artwork.
2015. The Follow Up
Panzer Fight Stick 2.0
The first Panzer Fight Stick with swappable panels that sit flush with the rest of the case. This Panzer introduced the SYSTEM OF SYSTEMS – the precursor to the EZ BUILD system making assembly a snap. Each wiring board included indexable LEDs making LED controller addons a cinch. Custom vinyl wraps were available, and the entire beautiful SYSTEM OF SYSTEMS could be seen through the etched plexi bottom window.
Panzer Fight Stick Wireless
This Panzer had a short lifespan. Development started in 2014 and reached its final form in mid-2015. It had an EZ BUILD system type of wiring setup inside that include battery mounting and the killer Morpheus wireless TX setup inside developed by my friend Mike W. This was geared more towards SuperGun users that wanted low latency wireless arcade stick options that simply didn’t exist at the time.
2016-2018. The Age of Awesome
Panzer Fight Stick 3, 3i
This Panzer Fight Stick took influences across all previous Panzer builds. It combined the simplistic lines of the original and updated the SYSTEM OF SYSTEMS to the EZ BUILD system making assembly even cleaner and easier. Plexi overlays were added for more artwork options and the case supported all levers on the market and had a hitbox style option too!
Panzer Fight Stick VT
Fighting games are always more fun head-to-head, or rather shoulder to shoulder. The Panzer VT was the first and last two player stick I designed. This limited run featured the PFS3 EZ BUILD system and a couple of extra DB25 ports, like the PFS2.0, to let users connect new external PCBs to their VT or use a DB25-DB15 cable making it useful with SuperGun setups. Less than 20 of these builds exist!
Panzer Fight Stick: NG
Another one-off Panzer, this had a special EZ BUILD inside that had both LEDs and their controller on a single PCB. The knob allowed the user to change the button layout between the three standard NEO-GEO layouts used as well as the CAPCOM 6 button layout. The LEDs would light up the buttons based on the layout selected. It drew inspiration from some NEO-GEO cabinets in Japan that was brought to my attention by Arcade Shock.
Panzer Fight Stick 3i SouthPaw
The Panzer 3 allowed a lot of fun to be had, even if it was custom work based on the PFS3 ideas. The Southpaw edition allowed players to control action buttons with their left hand and the lever with their right.
2020-2022. Jasen earns his MBA and suspends operations.
Panzer Fight Stick Modular.
The second modular Panzer Fight Stick was designed as a smaller, more simplified version of Panzer 2.0 but have the features of the Panzer 3. Swappable Panels would sit flush with the chassis but instead of using printed vinyl artwork, these were going to have printed plexi overlays. Only two prototypes were made and are in the hands of a collector. The number of parts and costs associated made these unrealistic for production.
Panzer Fight Stick: M.
Time to mix it up. This was the first milled aluminum arcade stick I designed. It was a complex piece that weighed nearly 18lbs assembled! Like the PFS: MODULAR it had a swappable panel that with plexi installed sat flush with the overall case. I took design cues from the Madcatz VS series and the Panzer Fight Stick 3 to realize this stick. It would be great to produce these, but each stick would be about $800+ due to the time and material costs associated with milled aluminum!
Panzer Fight Stick Unibody.
This Panzer was awesome. It was a single block of aluminum that was milled to shape, bead blasted, and then anodized. The top and bottom panels were removable making layout changes a breeze. Plexi sat flush with the edges of the stick and because of the way it was designed, the artwork truly was the center point of the build. Due to cost I didn’t think it would sell in quantities that made business and fiscal sense, but it was a great one-off project. Both remain in my personal collection.
Select Custom Panzer Builds over the years.
As we move forward into 2024 I am excited to formally announce the Panzer Fight Stick 4. I have taken all the lessons learned over the years, from all the Panzer and custom builds, and developed an awesome platform that could be the final setup for many FGC members. It’s clean, familiar, and adds features found on commercially available fight sticks but on very few custom/DIY build option. Stay tuned for more details or browse my Discord channel for further information on Panzer 4 and updates. But here are the teasers: Swappable panels, light weight design, EZ WIRING system, Player LEDs, Custom Aux buttons, and more! Ready to start build preparations? Pick up one of my Panzer 4 panels TODAY in any of the following layouts: Vewlix, Sega P1, Sega P2, Namco Noir, Hitbox, and Shiokenstar. More options are coming in the future!