Index

RePlay June 2016Detailed Back Issues

Below, you’ll find a detailed listing of what’s in the issues from 1996 to the present in descending order. Click on the year to quickly get to that part of this extended listing. (For information on availability and how to order the books, please return to Back Issues.) Links are not yet working on this page, but feel free to scroll through the data or search while we get that wrapped up.

1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016


2016 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June —


June 2016

Cover: Sega Celebrates Sonic’s 25th Birthday

Bowling & Coin-Op: Happy Together!  The marriage between the coin-op trade and the bowling business normally delivers rosy profit and loss sheets. After hooking up with progressive game operating companies or investing in amusement game upgrades themselves, bowling execs have seen that the “coin” in coin-op adds up very nicely and takes up a lot of the slack from the shortfall in league play. The bowling show is coming to Vegas in June and our guys and gals will be showing off at this expo. Check out our useful spread of bowling articles inside this issue.

Casey at the Virtual Reality Bat – RePlay’s Casey Minter enjoyed a hands- and eyes-on demonstration of the VR Studios zombie shoot-em-up game at their headquarters in Bellevue, Wash., saying: “When can I play that again?” after popping off the headset. Meantime, Bob Cooney reviewed the VR activity at this budding industry’s convention (see page 12) and says they still have a way to go before this much-anticipated reprise of the concept is production- and FEC-ready.

Virtual Showroom  – Want a quick guide to new things on the jukebox and games market? Check into our very useful catalog of good ideas for FECs and/or route locations. There’s plenty to help liven up collections as we move into the summer months.

More Bedrock Advice from Cranky Frankie  – The great Seninsky sends down his third installment of money-making ideas for game operators along with some stern advice on building an honest and open relationship between owner and vendor. The case of  two “partners” hiding valuable financial information from the other gets the spotlight, and prompts a useful lecture from a gent who knows the skinny on working with locations for mutual financial gain. High five, Frank!

Antsy Ansky Off the Road & Loving It  – One of the most traveled countertop salesmen in the history of this once-huge bar game has hit the Florida beach, but reminisces about his colorful and successful career banging the drum for that sometimes controversial game. Mort Ansky could have been a pharmacist but we’re lucky he gave us his time, talent and great stories instead.


May 2016

Cover: JET/Jennison Entertainment Technologies Celebrates 10 Years

Vegas Expo Scores A+   If the reason to go to the Amusement Expo was to learn   (or locate) that “one good thing” to top off the cash box, it did its job. As far as most attendees felt, the best “good thing” was the show itself. It combined some very useful seminars with a bustling machine exhibition that included bulk machines and laser tag knowledge along with new games once again dominated by redemption. And, don’t  forget the Vegas fun! Was it a good mix, as the crane    people say? You bet! Next year in Dallas!

Pictorial Splendor On the Expo Floor – Maybe we’re prejudiced, but we think the folks. . .and the machines they make. . .can be pretty good looking. But, you be the judge as you scan a baker’s dozen pages of booth photos taken by RePlay   people at the recent Vegas convention. If a picture’s worth a     thousand words, here’s a hundred thousand or so of the activity coin-op generated out in the Nevada desert.

Incredible Mo’s – This aptly-named Michigan FEC was a labor of love for Chris Mohrhardt and his family. Having grown up in the bowling business, he and wife Sandra bought a place in Traverse City three years ago and made their dream of creating a true family fun center come true. Featuring games, tag, good chow along with bowling (natch!), Incredible Mo’s rings the bell. RePlay contributor Stephanie Wilburn does a great job telling you all about it.

Hey, Game Makers: Anybody Listening?  A fellow named Kirby Kasten loves all things about all kinds of ways to play video games, including ours. He covered the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in San Antonio and came to the conclusion that there are game programs out there that not only could, but (like Street Fighter V) should be brought out in coin-op cabinets. Any takers?

Guru Gets Stern On Customer Service – It can never be said too often that “winners make players,” and one of the best columns on that subject appears in this issue. Penned by Pinacle Entertainment’s George McAuliffe, his piece (call it a “lecture”) goes on-point on how good customer service translates into repeat business, while shining a family off clearly does not! (hence his title “How to Lose Money. . .”).


April 2016

Cover: LAI’s Snapshot 2 Photo Booth Family

Fruitful, Functional & Even Fun! The Mid-March Amusement Expo, held again at the Las Vegas Convention Center, was one very busy place for street and game room operators. Between the educational sessions and the machine show, there was a ton of stuff to hear, see and play. . .and some tried to do it all, as well as make a visit to a casino or a hotel pool for a relax. Call it coin-op at work and at play. PS: Georgia’s Gaines Butler, pictured at the association’s VIP Board dinner, was installed as AMOA’s new president during the show! Super gent!

F2FEC Rules at SoCal Seminar – The second running of the Three Amigos’ F2FEC conference scored high marks with about 130 family center operators gathered together at a San Diego resort. Mild weather outside masked hot action in the meeting room where people shared money-making ideas quite freely in this semi-competitive business.  An electronic poll conducted there disclosed that the combined annual revenues of all the FECs represented ran close to $1 billion! Oh. . .yeah!

Not Your Pappa-San’s Coin-Op – Once the springboard for some of the best game titles ever launched, the Japanese business changed dramatically after the video slide of the early ’80s. One result was combining their AOU (operator) and JAMMA (manufacturer) shows into one Japan Amusement Expo (similar to what the U.S. did with AAMA and AMOA joining up in the Amusement Expo). Globetrotter Kevin Williams reports on their recent outing.

AVS On the March – American Vending Sales, riding the crest of the gaming machine wave in Illinois, is expanding its interests in amusements as well, buying both Lieberman’s dealership in Minnesota and now Midwest Equipment Supply in Wisconsin. . .adding some big “rooms” onto the house that the Gumma Family built.

The Surprise In Surprise – There’s a Phoenix suburb named Surprise, and the surprise there is the upscale bowling FEC called appropriately Uptown Alley. One of the centers owned and run by the professionals at Trifecta Management, the location’s outsides suit the desert environment perfectly, while inside, the lanes, lounges and lineup of coin games is state of the FEC art. The locals are lucky to have this destination in the neighborhood.


March 2016

Cover: Apple Industries Face Place Photo Studio Deluxe

Coin-Op Compass Points to Vegas – The Ides of March are fast approaching (March 15) when this year’s Amusement Expo kicks off at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Produced jointly by AMOA and AAMA, this wingding runs an educational program on the 15th, followed by a full trade show the next two (March 16-17). AMOA’s agenda will also find affable route operator Gaines Butler assuming its presidency, picking up the baton from outgoing chief Jerry Johnston, who concludes an extremely busy year for the group. Lotza Expo stuff inside!

Peck Bros.-Style Family Fun – Starting from an old-fashioned street front arcade, Dave and Harry Peck branched out into the route business, and now run one of the largest street operations in Southern California. Guess what? That original arcade is still up and running! Their story traces the games business through the Boom to the Digital Age. It also shows that brothers can make great partners!

“I Am the Egg Man!” – Want to take a historical ride through bulk vending history,  specifically that part dealing with prizes in plastic eggs? Catch this tasty tale from a man who knows – All American Chicken Machine maven Frank Parisi. It’s fun and it’s learning, too.

Profile of Popular Triple Hitter –  We call him a “triple hitter” because the now-retired Jerry Marcus worked in all three parts of the coinbiz: manufacturing (e.g. Atari), operating (Dandy Amusement) and his favorite, distributing (Atlas Chicago). Residing in Florida with wife Denise, he keeps in touch with lots of industry friends, including former partner Eddie Pellegrini (Team Play).

Catching Up on the VR Buzz – Business seer Bob Cooney is back and dispensing hands-on knowledge of the reappearance of virtual reality and its possible future for the FEC world. Still in a formative stage, but a stage that’s light years ahead of its original appearance, VR just might end up as a decent “plug-and-play” attraction that finally lives up to its promise.


February 2016

Cover: Venco’s Newberry Goes Wireless

AVS Buys Lieberman Dist. – Talk about “Wow!” The Liebermans of Minneapolis have been in coin-op distributing since the ’40s, but no more. On Jan. 5, they sold that portion of the family business to another family: the Gummas of Chicago’s American Vending Sales. Welcome to the Twin Cities, Vince!

Skillful Gambling? Yup! The Nevada Legislature decided to allow engineers to put the skill factor into future gaming machines, which will allow players to manipulate the outcome just the way they do on our games. Bob Cooney penned an excellent story on what this could mean downstream. Must reading!

Ernie the Energizer! San Antonio operator Ernest Barberio just goes on forever, and is still reporting for duty at the age of 90, though on a more limited scale than in his younger days when he built his impressive juke and games route in the Lone Star State.

An FEC “Route?” Just Ask Ray – Golden Coin’s veteran operator Ray Shackleford and wife Sue have converted their business from the street to the FEC after paring down their many accounts to around 30 game rooms in bowling centers, trampoline parks, rinks, etc. Only one bar is left on the string.

Seninsky Sizzles – Frank Seninsky’s words about all things coin-op have appeared in the trade papers for decades, but his treatise on how to set up a family fun center in this issue is classic. This arcade and Foundations maven earns his stripes as one of the best journalists in the history of coin-op with this piece.

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January 2016

Cover: Barron Games: Youth, Talent, Now!

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)
This is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, importers/exporters, parts and service suppliers, trade associations…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

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2015 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December


December 2015

Cover: Elaut Goes Coast to Coast – Elaut Acquires Coast to Coast Making One Global Gamesmith / IAAPA News Insides

Swimming in Machines – Anyone who says “there’s nothing new to buy” has been vacationing in Antarctica. He’s certainly missed November’s IAAPA Expo that showed off everything new in amusements but the kitchen sink, and don’t be surprised is you don’t see that fixture pumping out tickets one fine day. Enjoy our extensive show coverage…we worked hard to bring it to you!

A Look Back at 2015 – With a minimum number of legal problems aside, the year we’re all closing out has been on the quiet side in coin-op. And a lot of people like it that way, with most FEC folks and a good portion of street operators feeling pretty sporty about the way they make a living.

Not So Fast, My Friend! AMOA President Jerry Johnson uses the RePlay “bully pulpit” to take issue with the not-uncommon thought that route operators aren’t serious machine buyers. His reality check on the proven buying power of the street man is pursuasive.

New AAMA Prexy Speaks – The AAMA has a new chief in town, and we caught up with him to discuss his overall agenda, including his thoughts on the role FEC execs might play in what originally was a manufacturer association. to Portland – If Specialty Coin’s Northwest machine showing up in Oregon mid-October was a sort of “warm up” for IAAPA, it was pretty hot all by itself. A full company of customers and suppliers lit up Mike McWilliams’ and everyone else’s faces.

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November 2015

No Boredom at Board Meet — AMOA, the national jukebox and game operator association, charts its future plans each year at its board of directors meeting. This year’s, held in Portland, Ore., was one of its more thoughtful and productive. See what the leadership is up to inside.

Orlando Bound! In a couple of weeks, the 2015 IAAPA Attractions Expo kicks off at the Orange Country Convention Center in Central Florida. Over 80 exhibitors serving and (selling) games, parts and services to coin-op will work their booths four straight days. Add a couple dozen helpful seminars and you’re talking BUSY TIMES!

Light the Candles! The folks at Michigan’s Incredible Mo’s FEC have come up with our industry’s version of the Make a Wish concept they call The Incredible Birthday Party Project. The idea is to throw a birthday party for a kid in need. Super idea!

The Laser Tag Landscape — That physical, fascinating and always fun FEC sport of laser tag is our target in a special section talking about its history, its big players and even its museum. Zero in on this helpful feature, and if you’ve got the room, maybe you ought to pull the trigger?

Rising Star. . .Barron Games — There’s nothing “barren” at all in the Barron Games design department. This relatively new but inventive gamesmith has produced 4-sided air hockey tables, soccers with self-contained balls, kiddie rides for really tiny ones and big games for big gamers. And, they have lots of years ahead with management still in its 30s!

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October 2015

Cover: A Passionate Pursuit — Josep Tarres of Digital Centre

Warm & Cozy — That’s the spirit IAAPA wants to create at its FEC gatherings in Orlando next month. Looks like this more-intimate roundtable seminar idea is catching on. Check out our preview of the November IAAPA mega-show.

Second Generation — Operator Del Guerrini (left) has been carrying on the family business founded by his late father Frank just the way Pop would have liked it. Read our profile on this second-generation chief of one of Pennsylvania’s oldest coin-op routes.

Table Tennis, Anyone? Birmingham ping pong champ Homer Brown (right) turned his passion for the sport into one of the more inventive FECs around. Read about this most unique attraction in a RePlay FEC Profile.

It’s Magic! Like Cinderella’s fairy godmother turning a pumpkin into a gorgeous horse-drawn coach, the folks at Sun Valley Lanes (Lincoln, Neb.) converted an unused closet, a dismal little game corner and some other neglected space into a sparkling new game center.

A Connecticut Jewel — Quassy Park, that lakeside attraction that’s been entertaining New Englanders seemingly forever, sports a sumptuous game center right in the oldest building on its multi-acre campus.

Photo “Phrenzy” — Josep Tarres makes photo booths . . . lots of different photo booths . . . at his Digital Centre facilities. He’s passionate about his products, like some others on the coin-op factory level. See this month’s Cover Story.

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September 2015

Cover: Valley-Dynamo — FECs & New Tech Have Execs Seeing “Green”; Inside: AAMA & Charity Efforts Shine Brightly at Chicago Galan + A Peek at New Games For Fall

Game Maker Gala –– Each year, the American Amusement Machine Assn. gathers its members to an annual business meeting combined with product seminars and a mini-expo of new machines. They call this five-day affair the “Gala” and, yes, there are also some things they celebrate –– this year including the election of a new administration headed by CPI’s Chris Felix, and the award of $53,000+ to charities. The capper at this year’s event was admittance of some special needs kids to the machine show. Heart warming? You bet!

IAAPA FEC Report Card –– The association that commands the biggest FEC membership commissioned a big “Benchmark” study on all things of interest to this sector of the industry. The answers to the financial and other questions posed to family center owners and managers world wide confirms the command position of coin-op.

Frankie’s Place –– FEC professor extraordinaire Frank Seninsky has spoken on the family fun center topic at hundreds of seminars, including those at his own Foundations University lectures. But. . .what does an actual “Seninsky” game center look like where his company revenue shares the collections with the location owner? Route operators will want to read this article, penned by the man himself.

Ready? Set? Rocco! The inimitable (and we don’t use the word lightly) Rocco DiNapoli of Superior Amusements in Connecticut has cut quite a career out of coin-op since he jumped out of a Dairy Queen and into this industry back when video games were the big chicken on the ROI rotisserie. Enjoy our profile on a guy who really enjoys the route business.

On the Cover –– Valley, as well as its sister brand Dynamo, have provided staple products to routes and game centers for many decades by now, and often set the pace when it comes to technical advances (from the magnetic cue to the Great Eight battery-op table drawer). Now they’re offering Embed readers already in place on a selection of those products. Looks like everything’s up-to-date in Richland Hills!

Where’s Chuck? Speaking of Valley, we decided to check in with our email pen pal Chuck Milhem, the company’s former prexy and pater familias of the VNEA, to see how he’s enjoying retirement. The great man provides his many friends among RePlay readers with a generous “postcard” of what he and Flo are up to down there in the Lone Star state.

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August 2015

Cover: Man on a Mission — How Mark Robbins’ Lifelong Passion Led to Gold Standard Games/Shelti; Inside: Bowl Expo Makes a Strike, ICE’s Angry Birds Flies Into Coin-Op, UNIS Hosts Fab China Event, State Associations Shine

The Legal Front –– From New Jersey to California with stops in Maryland, Indiana and in Pennsylvania (where Chris Vecchione says there’s a tasty pro-operator gaming bill in the Statehouse hopper), the coin-op legal situation is examined. We’d love to say it’s the “latest news,” but this volatile subject likes to surprise us. See News Digest right inside.

Here Comes Angry Birds! Based on the birds vs. pigs target app used on mobile devices the world over, ICE’s coin-op redemption centerpiece will hit on Labor Day after the 77-store Dave & Buster’s chain gets first taste (a treat for them since they’ll feature the machine on new TV commercials beginning July 27).

UNIS Wows Dealers –– Universal Space’s distributors from around the world were called to its expansive HQ in Zhongshan City, China, to learn about the game maker’s impressive and ambitious plans, plus get a sneak peak at many new games.

Bowling for Coin-Op Dollars –– RePlay returned from this year’s Bowl Expo in Las Vegas full of enthusiasm for what those locations continue to mean for the coin machine trade. See our report from Bowl Expo 2015.

Operators Interface –– RePlay steps it up with a question of the month for both segments of the trade –– FECs and street routes. Check in with game center folks to read their tips for keeping unruly kids in line, then see what our route operators had to say about closing bar locations and what they do to fill the gaps.

Operator? Sports Promoter? Both? That’s route owner Larry Elbert (Camden Amusement, Iowa), one of the most active and energized league and tourney promoters you’ll ever meet. We interview this non-stopper about the route business today.

Summer of State Meetings –– It’s not just baseball and BBQ season, it’s prime time for operator association meetings. We have reports from Ohio, Minnesota and Wisconsin plus notes from traveling man AMOA President Jerry Johnston.

Long Distance, Bigger Cashbox –– A guy in an American bar shooting darts against another in a Bulgarian bar live? For five hours? This and more about Arachnid’s “super” Super 8 and what it means to street operators in a feature by Kate Miller.

Cover Story –– There’s “Passion” and then there’s its big brother, “obsession,” which is what fires our cover boy Mark Robbins to make air hockey tables. Mark’s Gold Standard Games/Shelti builds quality pool tables, foosball and darts as well, but his fancy has been, and always will be, the playfield with the air holes with a little white puck dancing back and forth.

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July 2015

Cover: Gary Stern Sends a Great Big KISS to Pinball Fans Around the World

Passing of a Pioneer –– Chicagoland tradester Richard Oltmann, who built a strong street route and helped pioneer the concept we now know as the family entertainment center, passed away following a battle with cancer. Oltmann was always willing to share what he had learned about the business with others.

Technology Solutions –– We are offering a special section this month that examines various debit card and software management solutions for both FECs and route operators. These new tools offer the ability to provide creative pricing and promotions (including player loyalty programs and other rewards) and to manage the back-end of their business with various tracking methods and analytical reports. Furthermore, many of these tools are utilizing the latest in wireless technology to make it easier for both operators and customers/players to make use of these special features. Check out our profiles of the various providers and learn more about how to utilize these tools, as well as credit card acceptance, from our in-house experts: George McAuliffe, Frank Seninsky, Beth Standlee and Randy White.

Oregon Operators Gather –– The Oregon AMOA hosted its annual meeting, where they discussed the progress they’ve made with state police over amusement machines, honored their longtime lobbyist Roger Martin and welcomed AMOA EVP Jack Kelleher as a special guest. Native son Jerry Johnston is the current AMOA president.

Tourney Time –– We’ve got reports from two of the biggest annual coin-op tournaments, Arachnid’s BullShooter and the VNEA (“Valley league”) Championship.

A Good Combination –– The movie theater pros at Texas-based Cinergy have may be relatively new to the game business, but they’re learning fast. In the process, they are starting to build out their third location which aims to be the largest FEC in Texas (and that’s saying something in the state where “big” is what it’s all about).

Keeping the Flame Alive –– Stern Pinball had been carrying the silver ball torch for three decades now, all on its own for long stretches of that period. Learn more about how they have advanced the pinball cause during changing times and see some pictures from inside their brand-new home in Elk Grove Village, Ill.

Prize Power –– We check in with supplier Fun Express to learn about their high-tech order fulfilment system and more.

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June 2015

Cover: Jack & Gina Mann Made Their Toy Barn Dream Come True

Inside: A Prize-Packed Focus on the Redemption Prize Business

Big News from Florida –– Florida lawmakers have approved a measure that changes the legal landscape for the operation of redemption games in the Sunshine State. We’ve got the full story on prize value limits and other new regulations regarding amusement games.

If You Can Make It There –– AMOA-NY, the trade association representing game operators in the Big Apple, recently celebrated Allen Weisberg of Apple Industries as their Man of the Year. Allen was honored for his work with the association as well as his focus on reviving the popularity of the photo booth. Get the full story.

D&B Tutorial –– Following his riveting presentation at this spring’s Amusement Expo, we had a chat with Dave & Buster’s game guru, Kevin Bachus, who was a co-creator of the Xbox console system in a previous work life. Kevin offers a steady stream of insights about what makes Dave & Buster’s so popular and where the industry might be headed in the future.

Keeping Apprized –– This month’s RePlay delivers a very special section on the redemption prize aspect of the industry. This section includes the Cover Story on Southern California-based Toy Barn, a company started by an arcade and route operator; a compendium of prize supplier updates on the latest hot products and trends; an Operator Interface question and answer session with a number of industry leaders asking about their biggest concerns regarding prizes; and, finally a survey conducted online by RePlay with over 100 redemption and crane/merchandise game operators looking at many of the important and even controversial topics that surround this sector of the game business. This month’s Redemption Roundup kicks it all off.

PAMMA in Action –– The Pennsylvania operator group held a meeting and legislative cocktail party to promote a bill that could establish operator-run video gaming.

A Frenzy of Fun! An Iowa foursome (two couples) that hit it big by winning the lottery decided to invest in an FEC, Ft. Frenzy, as a way of giving something back to their hometown of Ft. Dodge, Iowa.

Two Flippers Hit the Market –– We’ve got reports inside this issue about two new silverball games: Stern’s latest title, KISS, based on the still popular ’70s glam rockers; and Chicago Gaming’s remake of the late ’90s long-standing hit Medieval Madness. Get the details on both new games.

The Ultimate Sound Man –– Ben Long of Noise Buffet delivers a crucial element to games by creating original music, sound effects and voice content for mobile, web, casino and coin-op titles. “I’ve been creating original music and sound for coin-op games including titles from ICE and Triotech as well as audio branding for console game developers and much more,” Long told RePlay.

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May 2015

Cover: S&B Prize Express Crane Earns Innovator Award at Boffo Las Vegas Expo

Cineplex Merges With Brady — Canadian distributor Cineplex Starburst has merged with Brady Distributing, creating a new business in the Southeast, Brady Starburst. Third generation Brady family leader, Jon W. Brady, will oversee the new venture.

Amusement Expo Show Report — We’ve got full coverage of this spring’s Amusement Expo including booth pictures, factory meetings, trade association news, charitable events like the AMOA Hesch raffle, a report on the full day of seminars, a look at the two co-located events (NBVA and Laser Tag Show), a peak into the nearby Pizza Expo and much more.

AMOA Update — The national operators association hosted its annual membership meeting during this spring’s Amusement Expo. The group installed new officers, including incoming president Jerry Johnston of Amusement Unlimited in Eugene, Ore., and elected a new class of directors to its board.

Interface About Expo — We caught up with half a dozen operators to ask them about their best take-aways from the show. Read what they had to say.

Tap TV Trivia Tourneys — AMI unveiled an innovative, location-based tournament system for Tap TV operators and locations. These competitive events afford location guests the opportunity to turn their trivia expertise into real-world prizes and rewards. Get the full story on this and other new products.

A Whizbang New Flipper — Stern Pinball and Whizbang Pinball have launched the joint venture flipper game, Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons, which takes players on a journey through the Mellon Family farm. Players score points on the farm operated by the lovely Melony Mellon and her twin sisters while avoiding the wrath of their shotgun-wielding father.

Going Mobile — A new firm called Rivalfly believes it has found an answer to the vexing question of how to marry on-premise entertainment with the consumer’s increasing focus on mobile entertainment.

New Owners at TouchTunes — A New York-based investment firm, Searchlight Capital Partners, has entered into an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in TouchTunes Interactive Networks. TouchTunes’ CEO Charles Goldstuck will continue to be a significant shareholder. Get the full story on this and TouchTunes’ new products and service.

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April 2015

Cover: The New Big Fish – ICE Brings 4th Game to The Real Classic Carnival Series!

A Sneak Peek from Vegas — This issue of RePlay went to press days before the Amusement Expo in Las Vegas, March 24-26, but we managed to sneak in a few early game previews based on what we learned from show exhibitors ahead of time. For those picking up this issue at the show, we’ve also got schedules and other important information for the show and related events. Look for our full, wall-to-wall coverage of Amusement Expo, as well as the bulk vending, laser tag and pizza shows in next month’s issue of RePlay.

Let the Learning Continue — Chicagoland distributor American Vending Sales recently hosted operators for a day of educational seminars on the latest technology and trends for promotions, leagues and tournaments.

Face to Face — RePlay publisher Ed Adlum and VP Key Snodgress attended the first-ever F2FEC conference in Phoenix, an event designed by and for FEC operators to share their insights.

Meet the President — Jerry Johnston of Amusement Unlimited in Eugene, Oregon, is the incoming AMOA president. Johnston’s dedication to the industry, not to mention his four decade long participation in his state association, position him well to lead the national operator trade group. We get some early thoughts from Johnston on his goals for AMOA.

A Higher Level — Namco Entertainment, the company long known as the nation’s biggest mall arcade operator, has launched a new concept store in the suburbs of Chicago called Level 257. The venue leverages the factory’s valuable brand, including Pac-Man, of course, in a novel and sophisticated way.

Four in One — Jolly Roger, the U.K.-based kiddie ride specialists, recently debuted the Ezee Swap, a video simulator platform with four interchangeable ride bodies. Operators can swap their chosen ride and place them on the universal platform.

Carnival Time — Combining the latest in state-of-the-art product development with the revival of good, old-fashioned fun in the Carnival Series of games, ICE has set a new mark for excellence in game development. Get the full story on this factory’s continued success in this month’s Cover Story.

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March 2015

Cover: H. Betti Industries – 80 Years and Beyond

State Association Summit — AMOA hosted its annual Council of Affiliated States meeting in San Diego in early February. State leaders, including operator volunteers and paid executives, shared their success and challenges, as well as heard from a series of suppliers in their own panel discussions.

Getting Ready for Vegas — Amusement Expo will take place at the end of this month, March 24-26, in Las Vegas. Check out our preview section of the show to see what’s in store. There’s still time to make plans to attend.

A Legend Passes — Dave Corriveau, co-founder of the iconic Dave & Buster’s LBE chain, passed away last month. Corriveau was an influential innovator who helped shape the modern amusement industry landscape and, in recent years, was busy trying to reinvent the concept he essentially invented decades earlier.

London Show Report — RePlay checked in with the organizers of London’s EAG as well as several key U.S. suppliers who exhibited there. Learn more about this first major international game show of the year.

State Association Summit — AMOA hosted its annual Council of Affiliated States meeting in San Diego in early February. State leaders, including operator volunteers and paid executives, shared their success and challenges, as well as heard from a series of suppliers in their own panel discussions.

California in Action — Members of the California Entertainment Merchants Associ­ation, the newish operator group, hosted an open-house type event earlier this season, and RePlay was on hand.

FEC Roundup — IAAPA hosted its 2015 annual fun center conference, FEC Dallas, last month in Rockwall, Texas. Operators gathered to hear from experts and share their own experiences. RePlay, which served as a media sponsor, provides first-hand coverage.

A Fun Job — Family Entertainment Center operators interface this month about which aspects of their job brings them the most satisfaction. Answers included bringing smiles to their customers, as well as doing business with fellow tradesters.

Going Mobile — Coin ConneXion, the company that has 18 years of experience providing handheld collection solutions, has released a new mobile collections app for iOS devices. This is the company’s first venture into the smart phone arena.

Coming to a Game Room Near You — Wahlap, the Chinese game maker that has been a major player in its home country for decades, has launched a full-fledged initiative to introduce its proprietary line of games to the U.S. market.

Renewed Commitment — Incredible Technologies, the factory that dominated the street market for over a decade with its Golden Tee Golf, has launched a new amusement campaign with the development of a touchscreen amusement redemption system.

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February 2015

Cover: Coast to Coast Entertainment – Expanding Product Line Shows It’s More Than Just a Crane Comapny”

Early Line on Expo — Amusement Expo is headed to Las Vegas March 24-26 with a newly revised schedule, spotlighting a day of seminars and celebration prior to the now two-day trade show. Check out our initial preview.

Good News from the Gov’t. — Late last year, the U.S. Mint submitted a long awaited report to Congress about the possibility of changing the metallic makeup of U.S. coinage. In its report, the Mint advised retaining the current design of coins in circulation, causing the industry to breath a sigh of relief.

Arcade Paradise — A labor of love like no other resulted in the inaugural Arcade Expo in Banning, Calif., where 3,000+ classic game afficionados converged on a warehouse space turned hands-on arcade museum for game play, speakers, tournaments and more.

Survey Says — FEC operators remain bullish on family entertainment, as evidenced by a survey we conducted last month of 50 location operators. Check out what they think about games, debit cards, birthday parties and the future of the industry.

Dave’s Doing It Again — Dave Corriveau, a pioneer of the amusement industry and cofounder of the successful Dave & Buster’s chain, details plans for a new amusement concept he hopes to launch this coming year. Dave’s got some pretty fascinating ideas about food and fun.

FEC Special Section — In addition to our exclusive look at Dave Corriveau’s plans for the future of the FEC as well as our operator survey, check out the rest of our special section including previews of FEC Dallas and F2FEC, a Guest Essay by Randy White, an interview with IAAPA’s FEC maven Leslie Hutcheson and special columns from George McAuliffe, Frank Seninsky and Beth Standlee.

Coastal Twofer — Coastal Amusements debuted two new redemption games at last month’s EAG show, including the mobile app derivative Subway Surfers and the novelty skill title Black Hole.

Kiddie Fun! Barron Games presented two new kiddie themed games including the mini photo booth Pictabotz and the interactive kiddie ride GoGo Pony.

Flipper Fest — Stern Pinball released its brand new WWE Wrestlemania pin, which will ship in both Pro and Limited Edition models. The factory also introduced Spike, a new scalable and modular electronics hardware system reportedly engineered for the rigors and complexities of pinball applications.

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January 2015:

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)
this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, importers/exporters, parts and service suppliers, trade associations…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

On the cover, Frezny at IAAPA – Team Play Makes a Splash!

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2014 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September 2014 — October 2014 — November 2014 — December 2014


December 2014

Cover: IGPM/Kalkomat: Bigger than Boxing

Walk Down Memory Lane — As 2014 comes to a close, we take a look back at the year through the pages of each issue of RePlay. Check out what we were talking about during the course of this past year.

Distributors’ Spotlight — We’ve got coverage of two recent distributor shows including Specialty Coin’s Northwest Showcase and the annual fall American Vending Sales Open House. Both events spotlighted a wide range of new produc.

Digital Divide — Our resident scholar Randy White turns his analytical skills to an in-depth discussion of consumer expectations when it comes to entertainment. The bottom line, according to Randy: location patrons with the economic wherewithal to patronize FECs on a regular basis expect a premium experience.

Parks Show Report — Check out our hot off the press coverage of the IAAPA theme park-focused expo in Orlando, which has become a major venue for amusement game makers and other industry suppliers to debut their latest goods. Our report covers new product, booth pictures and much more.

Education on the Go — AMOA followed up last year’s Road Scholar event in Chicago with a second installment last month in Denver. Participants learned more about analytics, social media, cashless payment technology and managing change. RePlay was there to cover the event in person.

“V” Is for “Fun” — When corporate executive Mike Zabawa of Omaha went looking for a fun night out with his family he was dissatisfied with his choices including outdated game rooms, mediocre family dining and dingy bowling alleys. So he set about creating the kind of location he would want to patronize. Read about the result –– The V –– with its upscale games, gourmet food and boutique bowling.

Outdoor Fun — The boxing game pros at IGPM/Kalkomat have another profitable idea for their customers, amusement equipment like air hockey tables, designed to withstand the elements and earn revenue on bar patios and at seasonal spots like community swimming pools.

There’s an App for That — Former street operator Paresh Patel has created a mobile payment solution for older equipment on the street. PayRange lets operators earn money from the new mobile generation, many of whom no longer carry cash.

Setting a Standard — IntoxBox’s David Kreitzer pens an essay for us advocating that states should set standards for the operation of on-location breathalyzer machines like the ones he supplies to route operators.

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November 2014

Cover: Elaut Celebrates its 55th Year!

The Amusement Trade Goes to Washington — Leaders of AAMA, AMOA and the NBVA bulk vending organization traveled to the nation’s capitol in September to hold approximately 50 meetings with federal lawmakers. Topping their agenda, concern over the possibility that Congress will change the way quarters are produced thus placing an economic burden on industry and consumers.

Musical Surprise — In a lawsuit between the popular oldies band The Turtles and Sirius XM satellite radio, a federal court ruled that music labels that own songs recorded before 1972 are due a public performance royalty under state law separate from that covered by the Jukebox License Office.

Orlando Readies for IAAPA 2014 — The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions annual Expo heads to Orlando, Fla., Nov. 18-21. IAAPA organizers say the show will likely attract more than 27,000 attendees including 17,000 buyers from more than 100 different countries. Total exhibitors will number more than 1,000 companies from 40 different countries. Check out our full preview including a sneak peek at new games that will be on display.

Memo from Marco Island — AMOA officers and the trade association’s board of directors met on a small island off the coast of Florida recently to discuss the group’s business and elect new officers. Coming out of the meeting, AMOA leaders said they will actively seek out younger members and leaders to keep the focus on relevance.

Going Mobile — Shaffer Entertainment in Columbus, Ohio, has launched a mobile app for its dart and pool players. Company topper Andy Shaffer says: “We are in a mobile society. Consumers have come to expect this kind of service. As an operator we are always trying to figure out a way to differentiate our business from other operators.”

Claw Game Experts — The Belgian factory Elaut has been setting the standard for cranes for more than five decades. The Verstraeten family, which founded and still owns and operates Elaut, continues its commitment to the amusement industry worldwide. Read their story, and take a look at their various products through the years.

All in the Family — Everybody in the trade knows the name Bushnell. Today, a second generation Bushnell, Wyatt, son of Atari founder Nolan, heads up a company offering technology designed to invigorate family entertainment. Virsix has developed an immersive simulator platform that injects players into a series of both visually and physically interactive games.

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October 2014

Cover: 50 Years in Coin-Op — The Eddie Adlum Story

Celebrating Eddie — The main focus of this month’s issue is a very special section honoring our publisher Ed Adlum’s half century covering the music and games business. Ed has authorized a witty, insightful and moving memoir of his career in coin-op. We also caught up with a few leading operators for memories of Ed in this month’s Operator Interface. We encourage you to set aside time to read this special section. You’re in for a real treat.3

Parks Show Preview — Check out our first look at next month’s IAAPA show, which is offering an expanded education line-up. AAMA President Pete Gustafson calls IAAPA a “must-go event” for the amusement game trade.

The Wireless World — Our regular contributor and data analysis guru Randy White digs deeply into the effects of our increasingly digitized world including smart phones, tablets and social media and what those effects mean to the entertainment industry. These effects may be unavoidable, but only by learning more can operators.

Associations in Action — We’ve got reports from the front lines of the trade with coverage of recent state association gatherings in Missouri (MoAMOA) and Wisconsin (WAMO). Listen in to what these operator groups are talking about.

Windy City Retro — RePlay continues to explore the barcade trend, which has put the spotlight on new and classic coin-op games and the value they can bring to entertainment locations catering to today’s social media saturated consumers. Travel with us to Chicago to visit Logan Hardware.

SoCal Sensation — L.A. area operator John English is aggressively growing his route and in the process demonstrating that the industry still can offer an attractive return on investment. English comes to the operating game after having run a big video rental business and an equally impressive electronics repair firm.

Day of the Dead — Stern Pinball has launched its Pro and Limited Edition models of AMC’s The Walking Dead pinball machine. Inspired by the popular AMC drama, players fight to survive the zombie apocalypse alongside series icon, Sheriff Rick Grimes, by battling zombies and completing various game missions.

High Flying — The popularity of a mobile app game, Flappy Birds, has spawned two new amusement games, both hoping to leverage the craze for the arcade.

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September 2014

Cover: Smart Industries – Boasting a 30-Year Winning Streak

Northwest Distribution News — Specialty Coin Products has acquired Mountain Coin Machine Distributors. Mountain Coin shut down operations in all of its offices, and SCP has already re-hired many key MCD staff in those markets.

On Target — The American Amusement Machine Association continues to focus on government relations, new product and honoring excellence within its own ranks, as evidenced by last month’s annual meeting, Government Relations Lunch and Gala including awards and new games. Check out our first-hand coverage.

Blast from the Past — A group of game enthusiasts recently gathered in Ottumwa, Iowa, long renowned as the Video Game Capital of the World, where they recreated an iconic Life Magazine photo.

Coin Talk — What would happen to operators if the U.S. Mint changes the metallic makeup of quarters? We Interface with operators on this very question, eliciting an interesting range of responses.

NEN’s Top Op — This month we took a closer look at National Entertainment Network, which operates more than 50,000 games in 15,000 locations across all 50 states. We caught up with the company’s Ed Flaherty to learn more about his unique background and his vision for the mammoth game route.

Golden Tee Time — Golden Tee LIVE 2015 is on track to ship at the end of this month. The new game showcases five new HD 18-hole courses, bringing the total course count to 50 for nearly unlimited variety.

Industry Stalwart — Smart Industries has built its success on providing customers with reliable staples like cranes, sports games and photo booths. Get the latest update on this Des Moines-based game factory in this month’s Cover Story.

Tablet Technology — Tanjarine, the new tablet created by TouchTunes, has begun to arrive in casual dining restaurants, sports bars and other table-service locations across the United States. Creators of this new platform say it will change the way patrons spend both their money and their time.

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August 2014

Cover: Legacy Coin-Operated Distributors — A New Day Dawns in Coin-Op Distribution at Legacy Coin-Op

Bowling for Dollars — Amusement suppliers continue to flock to the annual Bowl Expo, where members of the bowling trade seek out entertainment-related products and services in hopes of revitalizing revenues. This year’s show also welcomed former President George W. Bush as the featured keynote speaker.

AAMA Chicago Summit — Leaders of the American Amusement Machine Association are heading to the Chicago suburb of Lisle this month to address industry concerns, hear from a representative of the U.S. Mint and check out new games at the annual Distributor Gala. Read our preview.

Distributor Insights — A small handful of amusement distributors shared their perspectives on this unique and vital segment of the trade as part of an online survey we conducted last month. Get the inside scoop on the challenges and opportunities of distribution today.

Talking About My Distributor — Operators Interface this month about their relationship with local distributors, stressing the need for service and the importance of loyalty and relationships.

Speaking Out — Maryland amusement operators are protesting the potential enactment of redemption regulations by the state lottery commission, which has been tasked with the duty to oversee prize games. The proposed regulations would place onerous burdens on operators, they argue.

The Return of the Mall Arcade — Florida operator Game Time, which operates large-scale FECs and games on the street, has hit on a new formula for mall game room success. Learn about their experience with this new approach.

Associations in Action — Operators gathered last month in both Ohio and Minnesota to discuss the state of the industry, plan for state tournaments and other member benefits and hear from their national trade leaders.

Legacy Coin — The game pros at Legacy Coin are building a strong new edifice on the foundation of their industry experience from their former firm Green Coin. Learn how these savvy tradesters are bringing value to their customers and growing their bottom line in doing so.

The CenterEdge Story — The POS software pros at CenterEdge got their start developing solutions for their own FEC before offering their in-house innovation to others. Now, the supplier is celebrating a decade of success.

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July 2014

Cover: The Redemption Plus Kids Welcome the Age of the Prize Game

Players, Tickets & Toys — Merchandise Roundup Super Section

Talking Taxes — Industry leaders returned to Washington, D.C., in their continued effort to advocate for tax policies that incentivize equipment purchasing and hiring. In addition to meeting with individual Congressional members from Florida, AAMA and AMOA leaders also sat down with staff from several key policy-making committees.

Honoring Hesch — The Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association hosted its annual meeting, much of it focused on video gaming. The group also honored former AMOA president and Illinois luminary Don Hesch with the John Neville Award for achievemen.

Rose City Roundup — Oregon operators gathered in Portland in late May for the annual meeting of the Oregon Amusement and Music Operators Association, where they discussed pressing issues, heard from AMOA President Bobby Hogin and then hit the golf link.

Eyes on the Prize — Redemption Plus, this month’s cover story subject, helps anchor our special redemption prize section. Get the full story on this unique firm that puts life-work balance and the lives of its staff members to the forefront of its corporate focus.

Supply Side — We rounded up hot news, product trends and other items of note from the world of prize supply for this special section.

Big Gun Gurus — Two of our most respected columnists, Frank Seninsky and George McAuliffe, weigh in on the redemption prize biz and the nuances of offering prizes with perceived value and profit potential.

BullShooter Bonanza — Player participation was way up from previous years and many international darters represented their countries at the annual BullShooter, which offered more than $125,000 in prizes at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in late May.

Strong Foundations — The perennial Foundations Entertainment University will host an upcoming session in Chicago this month, on the heels of a special presentation by Foundations’ experts in Dubai.

A Wild Tal e– Marty Rosen, a veteran Long Island FEC operator, was looking to add something new to his facility when he developed the Wild West Target Paintball attraction. Now, he’s making the profitable attraction available to other.

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June 2014

Cover: Spotlighting Debit Card Systems — Coin Tech, Core Cashless, Embed, Intercard & Sacoa

Currency Update — AAMA and AMOA rallied members last month to submit comments to the U.S. Mint about a proposal to change the metallic make-up of coins, particularly the quarter.

10-Pin Possibilities — Amusement exhibitors will head to Orlando for the annual Bowl Expo to continue capitalizing on a trend toward entertainment in that industry. They will also hear from a high-profile keynote speaker, former U.S. President George W. Bushy.

Know Your Competition — Resident market analysis guru Randy White details the way that amusement operators are competing with the increasingly broad spectrum of digital home entertainment for discretionary dollars.

TouchTunes Pow-Wow — RePlay attended the Pacific Northwest edition of the annual TouchTunes Partners Meeting. This year, the broadband juke factory is hosting four meetings around the country, discussing the new Playdium unit with its customizable music interface, as well as other revenue opportunities.

Music Musings — Operators Interface this month about the state of their music business and their thoughts on emerging opportunities from both companies that provide music.

Dyamic Duo — This month’s issue features two FEC profiles of The Big Thrill Factory near Minneapolis and Andy Alligator’s in the suburbs of Oklahoma City. Their stories are similar with owners of both having previous experience in the entertainment industry (a Halloween attraction and inflatables, respectively) and both opting to take it to the next level with high-end family entertainment facilities.

Debit Card Central — Get the full story on debit cards from a half dozen companies that have helped pioneer the technology, including Coin Tech, Core Cashless, Emed, Ideal Software, Intercard and Sacoa. We profile each of these companies, looking at their background, core products and plans for the future. We’ve also got Frank Seninsky’s historical take on the value of debit cards, as well as what he hopes for the future from these technological innovators.

Table Talk — Suzo-Happ’s new Interactive Pro Table offers a table-based interactive platform that can be used in a host of different applications including amusement, hospitality or any use where there is a possibility for more than one person at a time to interact.

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May 2014

Cover: ICE — Breaking Through with Cool New Games of Skill; Boffo Expo — Amusement Expo coverage inside.

An Excellent Show — This year’s Amusement Expo adopted a new, two-day exhibit format, to great success. Show aisles were busy throughout the event. A preceeding day of seminars kicked off the event with a wide range of speakers discussing relevant topics. Meanwhile, IAAPA was hosting its FEC Las Vegas across town while the Nightclub and Bar and Pizza expos were also underway down the hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. We’ve got full coverage of the show including special events, exhibit booths, association meetings, a new product catalog and much more.

Changing of the Guard — AMOA hosted its annual meeting at March’s Expo, installing a new president, Bobby Hogin of Tennessee as well as other new officers and board members. The group also celebrated outgoing leaders, gave out awards and updated members on its ongoing efforts on their behalf.

FEC Pow Wow — IAAPA, the theme park association, followed up on the success of last year’s FEC Phoenix confab with this year’s FEC Las Vegas. FEC operators spent two and a half days networking, sharing ideas and best practices and hearing from expert speakers. Most of them also made the trip across town to the Amusement Expo.

AMOA’s New Prez — Tennessee operator Bobby Hogin got his start in the amusement industry moonlighting for an operator – in fact, his operator – while running a truck stop. He saw something in the work that immediately attracted him, and he never looked back. Hogin embraced the industry as well as the association that serves operators, AMOA. Read the story of his rise to success.

Show Reviews — Operators we interviewed immediately following Amusement Expo gave the show a unanimous thumbs up, praising the equipment as well as the educational seminars. Also, our own Endgame columnist Adam Pratt, who runs an arcade, found inspiring diversity among the games on display.

Digital Developments — Both providers of broadband jukeboxes — AMI and TouchTunes — came to the show with new jukeboxes. AMI presented their Continental, with a strong focus on music videos. TouchTunes offered the slim and modular Playdium. The firms also bolstered their video line-ups with AMI expanding its Tap TV brand and TouchTunes entering the POS tablet market for casual dining with their Tanjarine.

Growing the Picture Pie — Apple Industries recently launched a new national advertising program, which will utilize the factory’s photo booths and the recently released Video Billboard display terminal. The photo booth creator has also developed a new group shot print option.

Lasting Legacy — With roots dating back to the founding of Muncie Novelty in 1937, the Indiana Ticket Co. continues to play an important role in providing crucial goods to amusement operators. Company execs say they are constantly seeking out emerging products and solutions for the FEC industry.

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April 2014

Cover: Benchmark — Celebration!! There’s a New and Tasty Direction Over at Benchmark Games; Amusement Expo Show Book

Show Guide — Even though you’re holding the April issue, we rushed this magazine to press in order to hand out copies at the Amusement Expo in Las Vegas and we’ve included a show guide for those of you lucky enough to pick up this truly hot-off-the-press copy.

Survey Says — The phrase “coin-op” may be inadequate to describe the industry we serve, as well as the way consumers pay for the games and other services offered by operators. Yet tradesters say it’s still the best shorthand available. This month we surveyed operators about industry identity and changes in payment technology.

Talking to the Tax Man — Industry leaders traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby lawmakers, policy staffers and agencies like the Small Business Administration. They called on officials to craft predictable tax rules that create incentives for small business investment.

The Future of Video — Regular contributor Kevin Williams of Stinger Report fame takes a look at the latest crop of deluxe video games as a prime example of innovation and experience that transcends what the home game biz has to offer.

Talking to Others — Operators Interface this month about how they describe their industry to those who are not involved in the trade. Their answers cast an interesting light on how they think about their own work.

Valuable Experience — The route operating pros at Tricorp Amusements are working closely with FEC locations to increase their game room revenue, relying on their own expertise and the use of the latest cashless payment technologies to promote game play.

Good Call — Shelti’s Radikal Dart games feature a virtual referee to ensure the integrity of live games. Videos are recorded during game play and then sent to the servers and the event administrators. Then, the Remote Referee System allows them to view important matches and validate or invalidate the game.

Eye Candy — Coast to Coast Entertainment has begun shipping its new Candy Street, featuring a white background and candy red graphics. The factory has also added a colorful topper with a series of swirly candy suckers.

Setting the Mark — Benchmark Games, a factory known for creating high-earning redemption games, has rededicated itself to providing valuable attractions for operators. Learn more about the talented team at the Florida-based manufacturer.

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March 2014

Cover: Arachnid: Grandfather of All Darts

Showtime! The amusement trade will converge on Las Vegas at the end of this month for the annual spring Amusement Expo, which will be co-located with the National Bulk Vendors Assn. trade show. We have a full preview including at the day-long line-up of show seminars and special events, as well as IAAPA’s FEC Las Vegas conference, taking place prior to the show just across town.

Report from London — January’s EAG International show welcomed 5,460 visitors to London’s ExCel convention center, representing a slight increase over 2013’s attendance figures. Many exhibitors reported brisk business with orders being taken throughout the entire three-day event. Check out our first-hand coverage of the amusement machine sector from our RePlay contributor Kevin Williams.

State Association Pow Wow ­­ Leaders from state operator associations gathered in Tampa, Fla., last month to discuss their successes and challenges and participate in a series of panel discussions and presentations about issues facing the trade. RePlay attended and filed this extensive report.

The Young Upstart ­- Kentucky operator Chris Asher is a self-made success. He built his route through drive and determination. Get the lowdown on how this young buck of the biz got his start and grew his business.

Shooting for a Cause ­­ Women across South Dakota have banded together as part of a statewide dart league network called the Pink Ladies. They are shooting darts for a cause, namely local cancer patients to whom they are donating league fees as well as funds raised through various other efforts.

Hot Topic ­- Live dart play has helped revolutionize the soft tip sport, and Arachnid’s Galaxy 3 game has played an important role in that process. As Arachnid nears its 40th year making electronic darts, we checked in with the Illinois-based factory for this month’s Cover Story. New features for the Galaxy 3 Live leverage and extend remote play even further by adding options for players to hook up with friends and competitors in different ways.

Prize Partners — S&B Candy and Toy, the St. Louis-based supplier of cranes and redemption prizes, has partnered with California’s OKK Trading, which specializes in toys and licensed items that are specially designed for retailers at an exceptional value.

A Rewarding Option –Arizona-based Reward Card Solutions offers a flexible solution for redemption operators, a re-loadable Discover card that can be tailored to conform to requirements of various states’ prize rules.

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February 2014

Cover: The New Dynasty – How Hot Licenses are Making 2014 a Great Year for Raw Thrills & Play Mechanix

Advocacy in Action — Maryland operators proved the old adage that “you have to make friends before you need them” when they effectively turned back regulations that would have killed redemption. MAMOA laid the groundwork for this victory through years of active advocacy as you’ll read in this month’s news story.

Amusement Expo Sneak Preview — The game trade will gather next month in Las Vegas for the annual Amusement Expo. This year’s show will feature a daylong education session and two full days of exhibits. The NBVA bulk vending show will be take place side-by-side as it has for the past three years. Get the early line on these events.

Millennial Madness — Consultant and market analysis guru Randy White provides insight on the much-discussed millennial generation, which includes 80 million Americans, including many amusement customers (not to mention industry management and staff).

Survey Says — RePlay surveyed close to 100 street operators last month about their concerns as well as their outlook for the future. A majority expressed a positive attitude, but expressed concerns about the economy, a shrinking location base, government regulation and competition from mobile technology.

Future Plans — Operators responded to our Interface question this month by discussing what they have in mind for the coming year, whether that’s upgrading their route with new equipment or implementing a new route management system.

At Your Service — Canadian operator John Matheson has been heading up his rural street route since 1974. Today, the company focuses on digital music as well as some games, pool and darts, but John says his key to success is customer service.

In the Zone — ICE has captured the appeal of a classic Midway attraction by encouraging operators to bank redemption games including 2-Minute Drill, NBA Hoops, ICE Ball and more recently Milk Jug Toss. The newest additions include the carnie-style attraction, Down The Clown, as well as the updated ICE Ball FX.

A Redemption Twofer — UNIS recently debuted two new redemption titles, Up & Away and Congo Bongo, both of which engage players in dynamic, interactive game play and reward them generously with tickets. Get the full story on these pieces.

Resale Revolution — Captain’s Auction Warehouse, based in Anaheim, California, is aiming to change the way amusement auctions are conducted by using new technology to conduct live online auctions as well as traditional auction eventsthese pieces.

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January 2014:

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)
this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, importers/exporters, parts and service suppliers, trade associations…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

On the cover, Namco & Raw Thrills Go for the Gold with Super Apline Racer

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2013 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December

December 2013

Cover: The New Dynasty – How Hot Licenses are Making 2014 a Great Year for Raw Thrills & Play Mechanix

Year in Review — Take a walk down short-term memory lane as we review the biggest news from 2013, including high-profile people and product as well as a recap of the some of the most exciting developments of the year.

IAAPA Live! We’ve got hot off the press coverage of the IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando, including news of the latest games as well as booth coverage of major amusement industry exhibitors. Get the first line on what happened at the Parks Show.

Hot New Products — In addition to our first-hand coverage of the IAAPA show, take a good look at our product catalog, featuring many of the new games first released at that amusement park and FEC convention in Orlando.

Specialty’s Special Event — For the fourth year in a row, Specialty Coin of Oregon and Washington hosted its one-day Northwest Expo. The event included game exhibits from more than a dozen game makers and supply companies, as well as a trio of seminars on important topics for their operator customers.

Educational Adventure ­­ Creativity and technology topped the agenda at the first annual Road Scholar two-day educational event sponsored by AMOA last month, at a hotel near Chicago’s O’Hare airport.

A Packed House ­­ Georgia operators hosted their best- attended GAMOA state association meeting ever, as operators there prepare for the rollout of the new state-monitored redemption game initiative, a “partnership” between operators and the state lottery.

Guiding Light ­­ Family Entertainment Group recently made several key changes – including knocking out a wall, changing the lighting and expanding the hours of operation –– at its Northern Lights Arcade inside the Great Wolf Lodge near Olympia, Washington. The result: earnings are up nearly 40%.

Next Gen Leadership — The global amusement firm founded by Down Under luminary Malcolm Steinberg has a new leader in Adam Steinberg, who has taken on the role of CEO. We interview Adam about his priorities at the LAI Group and what he learned from his dad.

Thrilling ­­ Raw Thrills, the game factory known for high-adrenaline videos and well-earning video redemption games, came to last month’s IAAPA show with four new games including the Duck Dynasty update for the Big Buck platform.

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November 2013

Cover: Apple Industries – On Top of Its Game and Not Slowing Down

Parks Show Extravaganza — The IAAPA Attractions Expo will open its trade show doors Nov. 19-22 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. More than 25,000 attractions industry professionals from 100 countries are expected to show up for the event. Check out our full show preview

Mr. Coin-Op Goes to Washington — A small group of industry leaders visited Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, meeting with members of Congress and their staff to discuss tax and trade policies as they relate to the amusement business, as well the differences between amusement and consumer games.

A “6th Sense” of Entertainment — RePlay contributor and global consultant Randy White explains an important emerging dynamic in entertainment: constant connectivity. “The lack of digital connectivity to the physical venue experience, just using the old world five-sense experience, has lost its appeal,” he writes. White asserts that an interactive enterainment experience must engage the player’s smartphone and his 6th Sense.

Local Politics — Operators Interface this month about the legislative and regulatory issues that concern them the most in their day-to-day business lives. For the most part, they are focused on local and state issues.

Waiting Game — Coast to Coast Entertainment’s John Maurer talked to RePlay about the harrowing experience of watching the firm’s Seaside, N.J., arcade burn to the ground over a Face Time connection from a hotel room in China. Now C2C is waiting to rebuild.

Loving Kiddie Rides — Florida operator AJ Kress (son of Benchmark Games’ Al Kress) is a firm believer in the profitability of kiddie rides in today’s business. In fact, so much so that he’s planning on starting his own manufacturing company.

Experienced — Coin Tech has new FEC-focused applications in a package the company is calling the Xperience Generation. The product suite builds on the success of the firm’s Xperience reader with online software and mobile apps the company says will enhance a customer’s interaction with games on location.

A Snapshot of Success — Photo booth maker Apple Industries says its operator customers have sold 20 million photo strips in locations ranging from bars and restaurants to malls, arcades and theme parks. Learn more about this picture of industry success.

Dynamic Duo — CenterEdge Software has released joint ticketing and sales product in cooperation with debit card system provider Embed. The joint solution utilizes CenterEdge Software’s expertise with front-line ticketing, integrated labor control and crowd capacity management features in conjunction with the Embed System.

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October 2013

Cover: Sega

Obamacare Gets Underway — This month marks a major milestone in the advent of Obamacare, as participants in state exchanges start announcing plans and rates. States will have their various exchanges up and running by the start of next year. Get the full scoop in our report on AMOA’s recent webinar on the implementation of the new health insurance reform law.

AMOA  Leaders Meet — The Amusement and Music Operators Association board of directors met last month in Jersey City, N.J., to work their way through dozens of committee agendas, before the culminating Mid-Year Board Meeting. Leaders discussed pressing issues facing the national trade group and the industry it represents and elected new leaders for the coming years. Get our full, first-hand coverage.

Invaluable ­­ This month’s Operator Interface, conducted during the AMOA Mid-Year meeting, poses the topical question to trade leaders: Why did you join AMOA? Check out their enlightening answers.

Summer Dispatches ­­ State operator groups have been busy this summer. We have updates on happenings with the Florida, Michigan, Louisiana, Tennessee and New Jersey trade groups within our News Digest section. We also have a full report on Missouri’s recent gathering and fundraising effort.

The Traveling Man ­­ Florida operator Phil Juckem spent many years traveling his vending and amusement routes, but in more recent years, he has set his sights a little bit farther afield, the Czech Repbulic to be precise, where he recently bought a house with plans to visit there more often in the not-too-distant future.

Four Times the Fun ­­ Barron Games has begun shipping the next generation of its four-player air hockey, called the Galaxy Collision QuadAir. The table challenges players to protect their own goal because after a certain number of scores against them, their goal is closed off. Of course, they can buy back in for additional credits.

Out of this World ­­ Stern Pinball has begun shipping its new Star Trek pinball. The game puts players in Captain James Kirk’s chair of the U.S.S. Enterprise, embarking on a journey to protect and defend the planets of the Federation.

Ion Update ­­ Megatouch just released its 2014 software for Ion countertops. This update, the ninth since the Ion platform’s debut, is loaded with engaging educational attract screens and 14 entertaining new games, 10 of which feature Tournamaxx support.

A Classic ­­ Game makers ICE and Play Mechanix have collaborated again in creating a video redemption game, based on one of the most recognizable licenses in the world: the board game Monopoly.

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Cover: The Re-Invention of AMI’s TapTV; Inside: Fall Product Revue

AAMA  Meeting — The American Amusement Machine Assn. hosted its annual meeting and product Gala in the suburbs of Chicago last month, electing Sega’s Pete Gustafson as its new president. Bay Tek’s Holly Miedl was honored with the Joe Robbins Award. AAMA also announced plans to launch a legal defense fund in the face of ongoing controversy over redemption games and merchandisers in a number of states around the U.S.

2013 Virtual Trade Show — As we have for the past four years, we offer our annual fall virtual trade show including the latest equipment debuted at the AAMA Gala, as well as other new pieces from amusement manufacturers, a line-up of in-print seminars from our informed columnists and the latest prizes in Redemption RoundUp. It all starts with the coverage of AAMA’s annual meeting mentioned above; the product catalog of fall equipment starts on    pg. 47.

Getting Ready for Fall ­­ Operators interface this month about how they prepare for the fall season. Some say the Labor Day deadline isn’t as urgent as it used be, but everybody we spoke with is still busy prepping for a return to the bars and bowling alleys.

The Return of the Arcade ­­ RePlay takes a close look this month at the retrocade concept, personally visiting three variations on the theme, including a high-end mall arcade, a truly vintage game room and a hybrid offering some new and many used pieces.

Photo Lab ­­ Apple Industries has released a free upgrade for all networked Face Place photo booths that will increase the number of megapixels for each image, while improving auto-adjust features for contrast, color balance and accuracy, lighting and focus.

Summer Reading ­­ This summer saw the release of two industry-related books: an inside look at the Carousel kiddie ride dynasty by Steven Veatch and an arcade operator’s take on the rise and continued relevance of the video game trade by RePlay contributor Adam Pratt.

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August 2013:

Cover: UNIS – Fun Is Universal!

Gala Gathering — AAMA will meet this month to stage elections, take a close look at government relations issues including the legal fights over redemption and host the annual Distributor Gala equipment show in the Chicago suburbs.

Bowling for Dollars — Amusement firms traveled to Las Vegas earlier this summer for the annual Bowl Expo. The American Amusement Machine Association staged a 1,500-sq.-ft. amusement industry pavilion, which is designed to simulate the feel of a real game room complete with redemption prizes. Other amusement firms took their own booth space, too.

Good Eats — FEC consultant and data crunching guru Randy White offers one of his insightful looks at the family entertainment biz, this month detailing the importance of offering quality food as part of the mix of location attractions.

Florida Legal Battles — A lawyer representing an association of so-called senior arcades in Florida has filed lawsuits against Palace Entertainment’s Boomers and Dave & Buster’s, claiming games in those facilities violate the state’s new sweeps ban. The senior arcades were forced to close, and the lawsuits claims they were victims of selective enforcement.

Darts Thrive ­­ Operators this month interface on their dart business including the value of various leagues and tournaments and the effect of new equipment on the market.

The Wow Factor ­­ Tennessee-based Clarence Mabe and his sons Bucky and Rusty have built a small FEC empire with several impressive locations in the tourist town of Pigeon Forge, as well other facilities around the state and the Florida panhandle.

The FEC Kings ­­ Palace Entertainment operates 21 FEC locations as part of the firm’s 72 international leisure facilities that also include water parks and regional theme parks. Gregg Borman, Sr. VP of FEC Operations, says the goal with each facility is to strive for a unique appeal. “We encourage our GMs to be independent entrepreneurs,” he explains.

Universal Appeal ­- UNIS Games, the Chinese-based game maker that got its start in the U.S. making games for other game companies, now creates a wide range of games, including both video and redemption under its own brand.

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July 2013:

Cover: Bob Nowak’s Rhode Island Novelty — A Big Player in Today’s Prize Biz

A  Two-Day Show — The cacophony of calls for a two-day show heard at this past spring’s Amusement Expo was too loud to ignore, say leaders with AAMA and AMOA, who announced plans to shorten the exhibition at the annual show to two days.

Sweepstakes Spotlight — In addition to our extensive coverage of prize redemption, check out the latest news on the sweepstakes battles with a federal judge in Florida rejecting an effort to challenge the state’s ban while Ohio lawmakers enacted a ban of their own. Contributor Kevin Williams also opines on the problematic relationship between amusements and sweepstakes.

Operator Survey ­­ Take a look at what your fellow operators face in terms of redemption regulations, as well as their attitudes on the subject. We surveyed readers online, summarizing the results.

Operator Feedback ­­ Operators sound off this month on the question of redemption, specifically the rules of the road in their particular state, plus their thoughts on the matter generally in Operator Interface,

Redemption & the Law ­­ Columnist Tom Fricke gives us the lowdown on what’s happening from a legal standpoint in California. We’ve also got a news update on efforts to raise money to lobby for a change in Sacramento, as well as the report on a lawsuit filed against the Denny’s restaurant chain in connection with their crane games,

Columnists Corner — Several other regular writers — George McAuliffe, Beth Standlee and Jack Guarnieri — offer their perspectives on the current questions about redemption. Tune in to their editorials to benefit from their experience and wisdom.

Prize Patrol — In addition to our RINCO Cover Story, we profile several other suppliers and offer news updates from additional merchandise firms.

Still Going Strong ­­ Roller skating and FEC veteran Bob Chado, who founded the innovative Funplex in Littleton, Colo., in the mid-1980s, is still pushing the envelope in his own mid-’80s with plans to launch a new concept in entertainment locations.

BullShooter Finale ­­ This spring’s 28th annual Arachnid BullShooter Finals in Chicago played host to a victory by Team USA in the coveted International Cup. The five-day tournament took place May 23-27. Check out our report.

A Twofer — UNIS Games has two new games to celebrate including the Mini Train kiddie ride and the new video pusher Fruit Mania Xtreme.

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June 2013:

Cover: Great Day! The Pelican Group Marks 20th Year in Coin-Op! Special Section Inside

Trend Spotting ­­ RePlay contributor Randy White of the White Hutchinson Learning and Leisure Group offers his latest insight this month, focusing on trends in community based entertainment spending. Check out his fact-filled commentary.

Legal Battle — AMOA and AMI Entertainment both filed responses in Massachusetts federal court in late April, arguing that an antitrust lawsuit filed against the association and the digital jukebox maker should be dismissed because it failed to make a plausible case supporting its boycott allegation.

Team Dart Report ­­ The AMOA-National Dart Association’s 28th annual Team Dart, held at Bally’s Las Vegas, hosted 2,900 players from five countries all competing for over $500,000 in prize money.

Street Smarts — Wisconsin operator Donivan Molitor, a former bartender turned route operator, is on a first-name basis with 99% of his location owners, customers with whom he socializes on a regular basis. He also has up close and personal knowledge of his players, having thrown darts with them for three straight decades.

A Bright Idea — Edison’s, the new St. Louis area FEC, was the brainchild of two sports dads who wanted to create an attraction for area youth. The 30,000-square-foot facility includes bowling lanes, laser tag and a game ro.

Working Together — The operator consortium Promo Nation, which brings together 20 firms, has given out over 40 million points — worth approximately $200,000 in prizes, and their online shopping system has already shipped prizes worth more than $100,000.

Summertime Blues — Operators Interface this month about the summer slowdown or maybe the way their business picks up in the warmer months, depending upon where they do business, and how they adjust to this seasonal swing.

Managing Success — The Pelican Group of Danville, Calif., turned 20 years old this spring. This unique industry player has created lasting relationships with dozens of national locations including bus lines, retail stores, hotels, bowling facilities and movie theater chains. Get the full story on how this firm came into being and how they work with operators around the country to service and support amusement and vending machines in these national account locations.

Mobile Redemption — CORE Cashless now has a solution that will allow amusement operators to tap into mobile phones for the basics of their business including real-time promotions and awarding and redeeming redemption points at a family entertainment center.

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May 2013:

Cover: Versatile TouchTunes’ Celebrates 15th Anniversary; Spring Product Catalog Inside

Redemption Report ­­ A number of states around the nation have adopted changes to their laws as they relate to operating games for prizes. We’ve got details of these changes from states like Georgia and Florida as well as others that are considering amendments to their existing laws. Check out our omnibus report.

Remembrances of Things Past — Pittsburgh jukebox operator Dale Lazar has launched a new charitable effort to install CD jukeboxes in nursing homes around the country, especially those that cater to dementia patients. The goal: to stimulate their memories with nostalgic tunes.

Building a Foundation ­­ Foundations Entertainment University continues to carry the word forth about how to run a popular — and profitable — FEC. Their most recent stop, the Amusement Expo in Las Vegas where they attracted an impressive crowd eager to learn more about FEC success.
Show Reviews — Operators gave the March Amusement Expo good reviews in this month’s Interface, noting interesting product developments and the value of networking with fellow operators from around the country.
A Model for Fun — The Wilsonville Family Fun Center south of Portland gets an A+ in operations by focusing on the nuts and bolts of the business, including new games, accessible redemption, good food and plenty of attractions.
Celebrating 15 Years — TouchTunes Interactive Networks marked its 15th anniversary this spring by throwing a swanky bash in Las Vegas, where the firm announced its next big effort, live concert streaming to jukebox venues.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Flip Ou t– Stern Pinball released the new Metallica pinball game. The game features one of the world’s foremost rock bands, and Metallica’s notoriously fast tempos and aggressive musicianship set the tone for the player experience.

On High Alert ­- GameAlert is now offering web-based tracking of an amusement facility’s token-based games, providing real-time information and sophisticated monitoring, alarms and reporting. Amusement facility owners can watch their locations live from anywhere.

Games Galore — Check out this month’s catalog of spring product, gleaned from new releases at March’s Amusement Expo in Las Vegas. There’s plenty to choose from to refresh a route or game room.

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April 2013:

Cover: Coastal Amusements Celebrates 25 Years at Vegas Expo — Amusement Expo Coverage inside

Viva Amusement Expo — Check out our show coverage, which is literally hot off the press. RePlay traveled to Las Vegas, where we saw the latest games, special events and trade meetings. Check out our comprehensive coverage.

Anti-Trust Action — Lease America, a Massachusetts company that sells digital jukeboxes to locations and then provides music to those stops, has filed a federal anti-trust lawsuit against AMOA and AMI (both deny unlawful activity) involving a threatened boycot.

Georgia On Our Minds — As we went to press, Georgia lawmakers were preparing to enact legislation that would create a rigorous regulatory framework for redemption games, including an online tracking system for prize games that allow credit carryover. The state will be collecting 5% of revenue from those pieces if the bill passes.

A Sweeping Defense — RePlay writer Tom Fricke spiritedly defends sweepstakes, which couldn’t come a moment too soon as the feds have launched a multi-state investigation against one system provider and a chain of Florida locations (see News Digest for that story).

Coin-Op Goes to Washington — Leaders of both AAMA and AMOA traveled to Washington, D.C., in late February to meet with lawmakers and discuss issues pertinent to the industry, including a recent revival of concern over violent video games.

FEC Forum — IAAPA’s FEC Phoenix conference proved to be a forum for frank sharing among FEC operators from around the country. The event offered insightful speakers, excellent networking and exceedingly honest dialogue between fellow operators.

Man From Motor City — AMOA’s newest president John Pascaretti grew up in Detroit with plans to join the auto biz. Instead, through a long and sometimes circuitous journey, he launched a distributorship in Michigan, got involved in AMOA and ultimately, after a few false starts, ascended to the association presidency. (Click on the Hail to the Chief link below to read his profile.)

Location-Owned Equipment — Operators interface this month about the threat they face from location-owned equipment. Most said locations in their area are happy with the service and support they get from working with an operator, but even in this age of consolidation the potential for competition from a customer is never far from operators’ minds.

25 Years! Redemption game maker Coastal Amusements is celebrating its silver anniversary next month. Join us as we check in with company principals Lenny Dean and Sal Mirando for this month’s Cover Story.

Prospects for Plastic — The cashless processing pros at USA Technologies see a bright future for the amusement game trade. Company CEO Steven Herbert says there is one simple reason for operators to take the cashless plunge: more revenue.

Future Tense — Legacy Coin, the South Carolina distributorship that literally grew out of its roots at Green Coin, hopes to take the best from its past and grow into the future with a focus on what’s going to be important in the coming years.

Lights, Camera, Action! Apple Industries/Face Place debuted its new Scene Machine photo booth using “green screen” movie/special effects technology to create the illusion that users have actually become a part of a selected scene.

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March 2013:

Cover: ICE’s Milk Jug Toss

Amusement Expo Heads to Vegas — The now-annual spring Amusement Expo, co-sponsored by AAMA and AMOA, will take place March 20-22 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Check out our full show preview including a schedule of events, seminar and exhibitor listings and more.

Report from London — The EAG Show in London, which has now replaced the former ATEI show, gives international tradesters their first good look at new product for 2013. We’ve got a first-hand report from correspondent Kevin Williams.

Staying Close to Home — Industry consultant Randy White details the emerging staycation trend, which has been ongoing for more than a decade. “The staycation trend has serious implications for LBEs that depend on entertainment spending by consumers on trips or on vacations,” he concludes.

Meeting of the Minds — Leaders and executive directors of operator associations from across the U.S. gathered last month in San Antonio, Texas, for the annual AMOA Council of Affiliated States Meeting. They shared ideas and discussed hot topics.

Survey Says… Amusement operators report having either a better 2012 than the previous year or at least as good a year as 2011, according to the results of RePlay’s online spring operator survey.

A Real Pro — Southern California operator Michael Martinez of N2 Entertainment makes the most of this background in the military and corporate America as he runs a route that spans a densely populated section of the L.A. basin.

Two in One — The Roaring Springs Water Park in Merdian, Idaho (just west of Boise), found itself in a unique position five years ago when it decided to expand its operation by adding an indoor amusement center. The location simply purchased its next-door neighbor, Boondocks FEC, which they now call Wahooz. Check out the result of this combination.

New Name, New Face — Route management software developer RoutExcel finds itself taking on a new identity along with new leadership. The firm remains focused on growing and evolving under its new brand name, MCM Elements, and has brought on board a respected industry veteran in Lou Miele of Miele Amusements in Pennsylvania.

Sega Sensations — Sega hit the streets last month with its newest driving game, Grid 42” Dlx, the latest addition to Sega’s family of Grid driving games, along with the motion-based Dream Raiders game and the SuperBooth photo vendor, which puts users in front of a virtual professional photographer.

The Complete Package — CenterEdge Software, the company originally founded to create an in-house FEC software solution, today offers a full facility management product. These days, the firm adds 40 or so location customers a year, focusing on FECs and other entertainment venues.

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February 2013:

Cover: American Changer and Hoffman Mint – One Perfect Pairing!

Show Time — The Amusement Expo is just around the corner and we’ve got the early line on show attendance, educational opportunities and the schedule of events. Look for a full pre-expo report in our showbook next month, but meanwhile, get a quick preview.

Sweepstakes Lose Court Battle — The North Carolina Supreme Court dashed the hopes of sweepstakes operators when it upheld a state ban of the machines. A lower appeals court had determined the video sweepstakes were protected by the Constitution’s guarantee of “free speech,” but the state’s high court disagreed.

Video Content Redux — The violent video game issue came roaring back in the aftermath of the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting, largely because the National Rifle Association pointed the finger of blame at violently themed consumer video games. Even though the Supreme Court has said video games are protected speech, members of Congress and even the White House have responded by calling for more study of violent games.

Are Violent Vids Still Popular? Operator Interface explores the question of whether the amusement game biz still utilizes many violently themed video games. The consensus: while some popular videos still offer volatile content, the trade has shifted focus to redemption and games that provide an opportunity for competitive promotion.

Fiscal Cliff Explained — Last month, Congress passed legislation in the 13th hour to avoid an across-the-board tax increase and deep federal spending cuts. The move avoided what many had termed the “Fiscal Cliff.” Had we fallen off, many predicted dire ramifications for the nation’s still-struggling economy. Tax writer Bart Eilts explains what Congress’ actions will mean for most of us in this month’s installment of his Taxing Matters column.

Two Decades of Success ­­ PrimeTime Amusement, the international game supplier that has recently added a high-profile theming division, started out in founder David Goldfarb’s college fraternity house. Learn more about this unique operator and supplier.

Sharing Knowledge ­­ As part of their ongoing relationship with their FEC customers, prize supplier Rhode Island Novelty also offers in-depth consultation, advice and support to help their customers get the most from their operation.

Image Is Everything ­­ Photo booth maker Digital Centre has begun shipping its new Crystal photo booth, which is equipped with the firm’s Share Secure system that ensures reliable, private delivery of images via the Internet. Crystal also utilizes the factory’s unique QR Photo technology, which allows customers to access their photos from any smart phone.

Software Spotlight — The amusement software specialists at Ideal Software Systems are celebrating their 30th anniversary this spring by launching a handful of exciting new products to mark the occasion, including e-commerce, restaurant management system and turnkey debit solution, Cashless Express. Learn more in this month’s Spotlight Special.

On A Roll — Incredible Technologies has created Roll-N-Win, a new game feature for online Silver Strike LIVE machines. The automatic software is installed on all registered games at no cost to the operator. Roll-N-Win puts a new spin on the popular “Red Pin Bonus” event.

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January 2013:

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)
this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, importers/exporters, parts and service suppliers, trade associations…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

On the cover, Jersey Jack Pinball.

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2012 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May 2012 — June 2012 — July 2012 — August 2012 — September 2012 — October 2012 — November 2012 — December 2012

Decemb er 2012 Cover — Benchmark: Creating “Out of this World” Redemption Games

Political Science — U.S. voters went to the polls last month, re-electing president Barack Obama and sending 90 new representatives to the halls of Congress. Get the inside scoop on what the election could mean for the amusement game biz.

Looking Back at 2012 — Even though the year’s not done, we take the opportunity to look in the rearview mirror this month and see where we have been so far even as we prepare for the holidays and the impending arrival of 2013. Check out our annual Year in Review feature, complete with a look at some of 2012’s key games.

Parks Show — The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions hosted its annual trade show and convention in Orlando, Fla., during the week before Thanksgiving. Look for our first-hand, hot-off-the press coverage.

Operator Assessments — In the spirit of our year in review section, operators this month interface about how their businesses performed to-date relative to 2011. Some are struggling with video games and even pool, but others say business has held steady or even grown slightly.

Taking Aim — The operator group Partners Promoting Darts launched its inaugural Pearl Vodka Dart Tournament, paying out more than $300,000 in prize money. The goal of the group: to promote soft-tip darts tournaments in a way that grows league and tournaments and ensures fair competition.

New Game Releases — Check out our catalog of product released at IAAPA, which RePlay compiled in the days leading up to the show. (Be sure to also look for late-breaking game news in the IAAPA show news story.)

Setting the Standard — As its name suggests, Benchmark Games has raised the bar on what operators have come to expect from ticket redemption games. The factory continues to produce popular and profitable attractions, and debuted two new games at IAAPA (Explosive and Monster Drop Single Player, seen at right), along with a Tickets to Prizes update. Learn how they pursue their art in this month’s cover story.

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November 2012 Cover — All Keyed Up! Sacoa Celebrates 20 Years of PlayCard

IAPPA  Bound — Leisure professionals from across the U.S. and around the world are headed to Orlando, Fla., for the 2013 IAAPA show, including a mix of amusement game suppliers hosted by AAMA. Check out our full preview.

Seeds of Change — Industry consultant and writer Kevin Williams concluded the first U.S. DNA Conference focused on the emergence of the digital out-of-home marketing. Topics ranged across many disciplines including immersive tech to engagement through social media.

Meeting in the Mountains — AMOA directors gathered for the annual Mid-Year Board Meeting in Avon, Colo. The board elected officers, discussed membership and benefits and made a decision to accompany AAMA to a post-election visit to Washington, D.C.

Mid-Year Musings — AMOA board members star in this month’s Operator Interface, sharing their reactions and impressions from this year’s Mid-Year in Avon, Colo. The consensus was overwhelmingly positive.

Coin-Op Trader — Illinois operator Dick Hoyne, who left corporate America to pursue his dream of running his own business, is promotion savvy and knows how to barter his used street pieces for a lot more than distributor trade-in value.

Seaside Arcade ­­ The Pelican Pier Arcade at Long Beach’s Shoreline Village offers old-fashioned fun for visitors and locals alike. Fun Factory’s Linda Fernandez stumbled upon the location while traveling through Southern California. She has returned the facility to its former glory, complete with a beautiful carousel and coordinating redemption counter.

High Five! Former behind-the-scenes game maker UNIS steps into the limelight with five new games for the U.S. market. The line-up includes three video redemption titles, a traditional whacking game and a skip-stop redemption piece.

Best of Both Worlds — Sega recently began shipping two new video redemption games, Bejeweled and Super Monkey Ball Ticket Blitz. Factory execs say the format strikes the right balance between ticket redemption and video game play.

Air Time — Simulation game developer Injoy Motion, which first made its mark in 2005, will bring a new simulator to this month’s IAAPA show in Orlando. The Taiwanese firm tells RePlay that the new Air Series units offer a “favorable price and sharper motion movement.”

Jumping Ahead — Game makers Innovative Concepts in Entertainment (ICE) and Raw Thrills have launched a new redemption game based on a popular iTunes app, Doodle Jump, which has had over 15 million copies downloaded worldwide.

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October 2012

Cover — AMI Entertainment: Suppporting the Past, Greeting the Future!

Illinois Gaming — At press time, Illinois operators were oh-so close to seeing the first video gaming machines go live after waiting more than three years since lawmakers first authorized the initiative. Get the latest.

Sweepstakes Wars — Sweeptsakes games continue to cause controversy in many states across the nation as lawmakers, law enforcement officers and judges grapple with the legality of the games. Check out our overview story looking at the major issues in play.

Atari Reunion — Atarians, veterans of the iconic game factory that launched the video biz, gathered in the Bay Area last month to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the firm. RePlay publisher Ed Adlum was on hand to catch up with some familiar faces.

Partner Pow Wow in Phoenix — More than 200 operators traveled to Arizona to attend the third annual TouchTunes Interactive Partners Meeting, where they heard from top execs on the firm’s future plans and attended five break out sessions focused on the best ways to promote the factory’s jukeboxes, mobile app, karaoke and photo booth.

Associations In Action — Missouri operator group members gather in Osage Beach for their annual meeting and raise nearly $15,000 for their organization.

FEC Experts — Industry veteran George Smith, a former arcade chain exec and past IALEI president, is the driving force behind an emerging leader in the trade, the Family Entertainment Group, which operators in water parks, FECs, chain restaurants and bowling facilities. Learn more reading our profile.

Taking the Show on the Road — Operators Interface this month about a proposal to take the spring Amusement Expo on the road in future years. The operators we interviewed were ready for a change of scenery.

Golden Tee Updates — Incredible Technologies has done it again, releasing Golden Tee LIVE 2013. The update includes five new courses for the world-renowned video golf game, bringing the total playable course count to an impressive 40.

Games Galore — LAI Games has two new redemption games aimed at young players: Princess Castle and Choo Choo Train. The factory also released its popular Speed of Light game with an all-new cabinet as well as additional features.

Sega Shooter — Sega Amusements celebrates its latest first-person shooter, Operation G.H.O.S.T., which puts players on an elite, Special Forces team hunting a dangerous extremist group.

Taking a Long View — AMI Entertainment, this month’s cover subject, offers digital music, touchscreen games and more. The factory touts its long-term investment in products and services designed to bolster the route business. Execs say they may not be the most colorful company, but they are building a diverse platform for steady growth.

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September 2012

Cover — Triotech – Makers of Attractive Attractions

Billiards Anyone? A number of amusement game factories participated in this summer’s annual BCA Summit in Schaumburg, Ill. Learn more about the national home recreation show sponsored by the Billiard Congress of America.

Education in Action — Foundations Entertainment University recently welcomed 28 individuals its Chicago session. The participants came to hear six of the entertainment industry’s most knowledgeable presenters share their expertise and experience in starting and running a successful center.

AAMA Moving Forward — The American Amusement Machine Association hosted its annual membership and board meeting and Distributor Gala near Chicago last month. The group brought on several first-time board members in an effort to generate new ideas and fresh leadership. AAMA also played host to the debut of new games and honored retiring trade show legend Bill Glasgow of W.T. Glasgow and Associates.

Schulman Reminisces — Veteran prize pro Steve Schulman (HMS Monaco VP) pens a delightful autobiographical essay in this month’s Buzz about his four decades in the bix including some of his early experiences in the NYC coin game trade.

Living in a Virtual World — This month marks the third year in a row that RePlay has developed its own trade show in print, filling the hole left by the loss of the annual AMOA Expo when it consolidated with ASI to form the annual spring Amusement Expo. Our special section features: a fall product catalog including both games debuted at the AAMA Gala and other new releases, an overview story about the effect of show consolidation, our Operator Interface feature on the same topic, virtual seminars by our stable of insightful columnists and a preview of Kevin Williams’ new DNA show scheduled to be held in Los Angeles next month.

Making a Mark — Triotech Amusements, this month’s cover story subject, provides locations with a signature attraction that both generates impressive revenue with its motion-based entertainment and leaves a lasting impression on visitors.

Native Son — Second-generation Louisiana operator Troy Estopinal has come a long way since the fall of 2005 when much of his business was washed away by Hurricane Katrina. At that moment, he was facing some serious debt with very little revenue. The ambitious operator has rebuilt his route and distributorship and surpassed where he was before the big storm.

Windy City Retro — Chicago has long been home to the coin-op trade and now is playing host to a retrocade revival with the Emporium Arcade in hip Wicker Park as the latest and possibly most newsworthy addition. Learn how this new location got a longstanding city law about arcades changed in order to get its doors opened.

Lone Star Roundup — The Amusement and Music Operators of Texas (AMOT) held their summer meeting in Ft. Worth. More than 110 people including operators, distributors and manufacturers attended the convention.

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August 2012

Cover — Smart Industries Adding Prizes to Game Lineup

AAMA Agenda — The American Amusement Machine Association will host its annual meeting and Distributor Gala in the Chicago suburb of Lisle, Ill., this month. Association toppers say they will intensify the business focus of the event.

Bowling for Dollars –– The amusement game trade continues to seek out opportunity in the bowling industry, marked by a strong presence at the annual Bowl Expo. This year’s event in Reno was no different, with manufacturers and suppliers showing their wares both as part of the AAMA show pavilion and on their own.

The Future of Internet Gaming — The gambling industry is eyeing the likely emergence of Internet casinos in the coming years. At present, states that authorize gambling can allow for intrastate online wagering, and a number of federal provisions are currently before Congress. The proposal most likely to pass would allow for Internet poker, posing a serious competitive threat to the amusement game trade.

Store or Shred — RePlay’s new tax columnist Bart Eilts of Chicago’s Eilts & Associates gives readers the lowdown on how long to hang on to the piles of paper associated with each year’s tax returns. Read his debut column.
Survey Says — RePlay surveyed operators last month on a number of seasonally related topics. The big news from that informal poll: things are looking better for the majority, with close to 70% saying business was as good or better than last year.

What’s In Season — Operators Interfaced this month about their business year-to-date and how summer is treating them so far, offering a companion piece to our seasonal survey.

Associations In Action — This month, we have reports from Wisconsin and Illinois.

King Maker — Walt Smith of Arkansas’ King Koin route is one of the hardest-working men in the trade, constantly looking for a way to grow his business, either by acquiring another route or finding the best game-prize combination, all the while maintaining a low-key patience in an otherwise hectic line of work.

Man on a Mission — RePlay caught up with the dynamic and stylish TouchTunes CEO Charles Goldstuck, who shared his passion for success, his vision for innovation and quality and a few personal details including what he’s reading and his current playlist favorites.

Cranes and More — Smart Industries, this month’s cover subject, got its start as a crane maker. The factory remains a vital player in this sector, but they have also expanded to offer a variety of novelty games, as well as a new prize division called Smart Entertainment.

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July 2012

Cover: Play Time Toys Prize Power: RePlay Looks at the World of Merchandise

Time to Play — This month’s Cover Story subject, Play Time Toys, operates on a simple premise, expressed well by owner Dawn Noyes: “Our customers should focus on the operations side of the business while trusting Play Time Toys to focus on the merchandise.”

Prize Profiles — As part of this month’s focus on prizes, we profile four additional companies that offer prizes to various sectors of the redemption trade. Learn more about these firms and their unique specialties and challenges.

Desperately Seeking Prizes — This month’s Operator Interface delved into the intricacies of sourcing attractive prizes at the right prices. Listen in to our conversations with street and FEC operators about how and where they look for value and appeal.

Rolling a Strike — Strike Zone, an upstate New York bowling FEC, was originally built in the 1950s as a traditional bowling center. Following a $3 million modernization, the facility has nearly doubled its revenue. Get the full story.

Oregon Operators Gather — The Oregon AMOA met in Portland in mid-May, hosting national AMOA president Andy Shaffer to his first official state show visit. Oregon operators discussed the issues of the day, gave out some valuable prizes and then hit the golf links.

Jerry Marcus Retires — Trade elder Jerry Marcus, a veteran of the manufacturing and distribution sectors who ran the Chicago-based Atlas Distributing for decades with partner Ed Pellegrini, has retired. Jerry recently sold his interest in the national route he also co-owned with Pellegrini. Jerry reminisces about his years in the biz in this month’s Buzz.

X-Men to the Rescue — Stern Pinball is now shipping its new X-Men pinball machine based on the Marvel comic book series. The game celebrates X-Men, and joins Stern’s existing line-up of comics-inspired machines including Spider-Man, Iron Man and Batman.

Getting Smarter –– J&J Ventures recently debuted a powerful new amusement route management program called Amusement SMART (Service Management & Amusement Route Tracking). “Operator input led to many of the advancements in version 3.5, which includes prize percentage alerts for all your merchandising and redemption games, as well as many other features,” explained the firm’s Sam Westgate. Find out more in the article starting.

Wizard of Oz on Tour — Jersey Jack Pinball announced plans to begin building flipper games 18 months ago, and the development team got started working on the Wizard of Oz pinball approximately a year ago. JJP has debuted the game at E3 and a Seattle pinball show.

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June 2012

Cover: Print & Share Is the New Mantra at Apple Industries

Diverging Paths — AMI Entertainment announced last month that it will begin operating its music and touchscreen game divisions as largely separate entities, only a few short years after the company worked to consolidate the operations and brands. Learn more about the reasons why.

Legal Affairs — The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions has launched a new intellectual property policy that requires show exhibitors to protect their creations. IAAPA has also launched an educational campaign about IP protection, plus RePlay reports on a new anti-piracy movement among lawmakers.

Social Media Saturation — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Constant Contact, Pinterest and many other social media websites now dominate the cultural and commercial landscape. Learn more about how the amusement game biz is making use of social media.

Social Strategy — Operators share their various strategies for using social media to help grow their routes and communicate directly with players about leagues, tournaments and other promotions in this month’s Interface.

Salt of the Earth — Veteran operator B.G. Hauser takes a no-nonsense approach to running his route after more than 40 years in the business. “Right now, I’ve got a location that has somehow gotten the service keys to the table and they are shooting pool for free,” he told RePlay. “I am heading over there right now to pick that table up.” Read his story.

NDA — The AMOA-National Dart Association held its 27th annual international soft-tip dart tournament at Bally’s in Las Vegas April 13-21. This year Team Dart received more than 12,000 event entrants from six countries competing for over $500,000 in prize money.

Major Makeover — New Jersey’s Colonial Lanes was a traditional 64-lane bowling center focused on league play before Peter Sheft and his brothers took over the facility, closing its doors for nearly a year and transforming the location into a full-scale bowling FEC.

The Next Step — Coast to Coast Entertainment’s Stage 2 board offers a low-cost option to monitor any game in the location. The cloud-based application monitoring system will allow the operator to remotely monitor data from anywhere at anytime through any smart phone device like an iPhone, Android or Blackberry or any computer system.

Picturing the Future — Photo booth maker Apple Indsutries has embarked on a mission to transform the classic novelty attraction into a technology-driven, interactive service that appeals to an increasingly digital consumer public. Get the full story.

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May 2012

Cover: C2C “Steps” up with ReRave music video

Two Ways to Pay — NSM top executive Bob Cooney announced last month that the controversial juke factory will offer its digital music library on either a per month flat fee or revenue share basis. NSM made waves last year when it announced plans to sell to locations. Cooney said the company would only sell locations in areas where they lack coin-op support.

Words, Not Action — A North Carolina appeals court has opened the door to a powerful defense for sweepstakes game operators — that the machines are an expression of free speech that can not be prohibited if sweepstakes are allowed by the law of a state.

Dynamic Duo — A joint interview with two leading FEC consultants, Frank Seninsky and Jim Chapman, leads off our special FEC section. Learn more about what these mavens see as important trends and core staples of the family fun biz.

Experience Is Everything — Veteran FEC operators headline this month’s Interface discussion, providing first-hand accounts of what has been working in their locations of late and how they are preparing for the upcoming summer season.

Success Stories — This month’s special section on FECs includes two FEC profiles highlighting various paths to success. Jumpy’s Fun Zone in Troy, Ohio, offers a prime example of how FECs and independent game operators can work together for their mutual benefit. Likewise, The Castle Fun Center in Chester, N.Y., recently underwent a $1 million-plus expansion adding many of the facility’s premier attractions. Check out these two stories.

Spotlight on TouchTunes — TouchTunes Interactive Networks made big news this spring by securing The Beatles catalog for its nationwide Internet jukebox network. In no less impressive fashion, TouchTunes launched several new services for its award-winning Virtuo smart jukebox, Karaoke and PhotoBooth.

Big Game Hunting — Two years in the making, Play Mechanix’s Big Buck HD utilizes1080p high definition graphics. All Big Buck HD games will feature online connectivity, which will allow players to track scores through online accounts and compete in tournaments against players from across the country for cash prizes.

Going Live — AMI Entertainment has released Megatouch Live V2 for its ML-1 game units. This automatic update to connected ML-1 machines adds 22 new games to the software, with nine Megatouch favorites receiving the Battle Arena treatment, ten new tournament games and three HD games.

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April 2012

Cover: Venco Business Solutions – You CAN learn a new trick! John Newberry Shows Coin-Operators How to Make Fresh Bucks With ATMs

Looking Good — Amusement Expo, the trade show co-sponsored by AAMA and AMOA, posted increased attendance, good product and, most importantly, widespread goodwill among various members of the trade. The industry is ready to shake off the gloom of economic decline, and it showed. Check out our full coverage including a complete new product catalog and snapshots of special events as well as adjacent conventions like the NBVA, Pizza and Nightclub and Bar shows.

End of an Era — March 1 marked the end of one of the pioneers of the Internet jukebox industry. Ecast Inc. closed its doors for good, leaving operators of nearly 7,000 jukeboxes with a tough dilemma. Some opted to switch to the TouchTunes network, while others availed themselves of a dramatic solution from AMI Entertainment. The former competitor asserted its role as an unlikely creditor of Ecast and took over the network. More than 75% of the previous Ecast jukes have opted-in to the AMI solution.

Gaming Updates — Legalized gaming news abounds in this issue of RePlay with updates on the Illinois gaming market, the sweepstakes wars in the Southeastern region of the U.S. and the looming possibility of widespread state-sponsored Internet poker.

AMOA Moving Forward — The national Amusement and Music Operators Association met in Las Vegas last month, installing new officers and amending its bylaws in several crucial ways. Check out our first-hand coverage of that meeting in this month’s coverage of Amusement Expo.

Changing of the Guard — As the baton is passed at AMOA from outgoing president Donovan Fremin to incoming leader Andy Shaffer, we check in with both operators. Read our exit interview with the charming Southerner, as well as a profile of the passionate tradester from a legendary Ohio trade dynasty.

Rapid Response — Operators Interface this month about the collapse of Ecast, revisit the old fears of digital music dependency and lay out their plans for moving forward in the wake of this troubling news for the trade.

Golden Boy — Larry Hodgson, a co-creator of one of the all-time greatest coin-op video games Golden Tee Golf, has launched a new design business that will focus mainly on legalized gaming markets. He remains a strategic partner with his former company, Incredible Technologies, and is not ruling out making future coin-op amusement games.

A Breed Apart — Venco Business Solutions isn’t your average operator or equipment distributor. The Virginia firm headed up by trade veteran John Newberry has its hands full with a variety of disciplines including operating games and ATMs, distributing the latter, providing background sound, security cameras and even restaurant drive-through technology.

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March 2012

Cover: Innovative Concepts in Entertainment with Two Summer Blockbusters

Show Time –– Amusement Expo is making its third appearance in Las Vegas this month. Review our full preview including special events, a full seminar line-up and exhibitor list.

London Show Report –– Check out our first-hand photo coverage of this year’s EAG Show from London, which boasted an impressive line-up of new product and, as always, a diverse group of international buyers there to test the new wares.

Sino Amusement Scene –– Contributor Kevin Williams takes a close look at the rise of Chinese and other Asian manufacturers on the amusement game scene. A number of companies that have toiled in the background as contract game makers for more well-known Western brands are now coming forward with their own line-up.

The Buzz With Ken Anderson –– Renowned industry sales veteran Ken Anderson is the subject of this month’s interview featured called The Buzz where we catch up with long-timers about how they view the trade from their unique vantage point.

State of the States –– Trade leaders from around the U.S. met in Phoenix for the annual AMOA Council of Affiliated States Meeting, where they discussed association management, government affairs and the role of tournaments in supporting state organizations. This month’s Operator Interface is also dedicated to the hot topics operators are facing in various states.

Oregon Operator –– Jerry Johnston of Amusement Unlimited in Eugene, Ore., is AMOA’s new secretary, putting him in line to become the association president in four years. Get to know the well-liked association leader.

To Serve Or Not to Serve –– Industry consultant Randy White looks at the question of whether to pursue a liquor license for your FEC or not, concluding that alcohol service can represent a very lucrative revenue stream for the right location.

High Altitude Enteratinment –– The Jay Peak Resort in Jay, Vt., recently opened the 50,000-sq.-ft. Pump House indoor water park. A crucial element of the water park is the Elevation 1851’ Family Arcade Center, which measures 2,600 square feet and offers 44 games.

Golden Tee League Software –– Recently, Incredible Technologies gave the nod of approval to RoutExcel’s Golden Tee League Manager software program, which was developed by operators who were former players. The software generates schedules; calculates wins, losses, and handicaps; updates standings; tracks lifetime player averages and has flexible parameters for each league. GT League Manager also uses a handicap system to retain the interest of newer or lesser skilled players.

Hollywood Hits –– Already well-known for popular licensed games like Wheel of Fortune, The Price is Right and Deal or No Deal, Innovative Concepts in Entertainment (ICE) is again looking to capitalize on the existing brand strength of its two latest licensed creations, the Hollywood films Ice Age and Real Steel. Get the inside scoop in this month’s Cover Story.

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February 2012:

Cover: Incredible Technologies — Power Putt LIVE Packs a Punch

Amusement Expo Preview — AAMA and AMOA will host their third spring expo March 14-16 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Check out our initial preview of show activities.

Dollar Coin Debate — Officials have decided to limit production of the ongoing series of presidential dollar coins to the demand from collectors because of growing stockpiles of the non-circulating coins. Meanwhile, AAMA continues to lobby in Washington, D.C., for the elimination of the dollar bill.

Northwest Expo — Specialty Coin ended 2011 with a bang, hosting its second annual show for tradesters from Oregon and Washington. The day included the newest games, food and drink and a series of educational seminars.

Street Scene — As part of our focus on the street, RePlay takes a look at the latest trends in street promotion and how operators are dealing with the challenge of younger players who seem more interested in their smart phone than playing pool or darts with friends.

Promotion Talk — Operators Interface this month about their leagues, tournaments and other street promotions –– what’s working today and how they are using leagues and promotions to remain an important part of their location customers’ businesses.

Ghost in the Machine — Brookfield, Ill.’s Galloping Ghost Arcade is a 7,000-sq.-ft gameroom boasting nearly 300 game titles and growing, all set on free play for guests paying $15 admission. Locals, diehard gamers and fans of classic videogames across the nation have embraced the concept.

Two Heads Are Better Than One — Arachnid’s new G3 dart game incorporates a Flip-on-Demand, two-heads-in-one darthead assembly, where players can easily switch between a 13″ or 15” target to their hearts content—on the same machine.

Revo-lution — Ecast’s new Revo, which runs on the digital juke maker’s enhanced Juke 4 software, offers all the same features and functions of the firm’s award-winning EQ model in a smaller package with an appropriately reduced price.

Team Players — The Chicago-based game maker Team Play, founded by industry veterans Ed and Frank Pellegrini, is heading into the new year with two new amusement machines, the merchandise game Pirate’s Booty and the Fun Stop Photos image machine.

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January 2012:

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)
this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, importers/exporters, parts and service suppliers, trade associations…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

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2011 ISSUES:

January — February 2011 — March 2011 — April 2011 — May 2011 — June 2011 — July 2011 — August 2011 — September 2011 — October 2011 — November 2011 — December 2011

December 2011:

Cover: Coin Tech Celebrates 20 Years of Innovation

Fall Fun in Florida –– For a firsthand, hot-off-the-press look at IAAPA, check out RePlay’s coverage of new game debuts and family entertainment industry developments from the mammoth tradeshow extravaganza in Orlando. The special section, including a comprehensive catalog of new amusement equipment.

Civics Lesson –– This month, we take a close look at AAMA’s efforts to revive the dollar coin debate, the progress of legislation in Congress that would eliminate the dollar bill and the need for PAC support to keep the industry’s interests at the forefront. In a separate story, we report on the dismissal of the parent lawsuit filed against Chuck E. Cheese claiming several redemption titles violated gaming laws.

Retrospective –– We take a thorough look in the rearview mirror at this past year, assessing the gains and losses and all the side trips along the way.

Success Stories –– As 2011 winds down, FEC owners and operators reflect on the business year that was and what 2012 holds for location-based entertainment in light of this year’s IAAPA. Turn to Operator Interface.

Milwakee Maritimers –– Thumbnail Sketch captures Richard Jacomet of Red’s Novelty. Started by his father Red and now managed by his son Jay, Richard explains the factors that defined the arc of his career in the amusement business, including the dedication of wife Rosalie.

Prouct Mania! IAAPA showgoers were treated to looks at about 80 new products –– from deluxe videos and simulators to redemption and merchandise games to photobooths to kiddie rides –– as they toured the floor of this fall mega show. Wander through the pages of our equipment catalog.

20th Anniversary –– Debit card system supplier Coin Tech is celebrating 20 years in business this month, marking a long evolution from its humble beginnings to the firm’s current status as an international supplier.

Are You Sure? Sureshot Redemption, the heart of The Foland Group, has been instrumental in growing the fun center business to where it is today, not only through prize supply but partnering in myriad ways with locations and operators for improved profitability. Prize Patrol spotlights the team.

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November 2011:

Cover: Raw Thrills Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

IAAPA Showbook

Cover: Raw Thrills Game Kitchen Marks 10th Anny (IAAPA SHOWBOOK)

Bright Future in the Sunshine State –– This month, the amusement industry gathers in Orlando for the out-of-home entertainment expo event of the year, IAAPA. RePlay has tailored a custom guide specially for FEC owners and managers attending the mega show with news, special events and seminars geared especially for location-based entertainment business interest.

Live Update –– First seen on last month’s RePlay cover, AMI hosted a virtual tradeshow last month, unveiling its new ML-1 touchscreen game platform as well as the new Megatouch Live play format at a unique private webcast, hosted at two dozen distributorships across the country. Check out our own live coverage of the events.

Virtuo Performance –– The second-annual TouchTunes Partners Meeting in Phoenix treated operators to forthcoming features for Virtuo, analysis of myTouchTunes app revenue increases and other forward-thinking advances the digital jukebox manufacturer will make to support and drive music revenues on location. Get a front row seat to the meeting and festivities.

Down-South Summit –– AMOA leaders met in late September in Savannah, Ga., where they elected officers and hosted nearly two dozen committee meetings in which the volunteer board members charted the future course of the amusement trade organization.

Beyond Music –– After experiencing the karaoke and photobooth applications for Virtuo firsthand, attendees at the TouchTunes Partners Meeting share opinions and insights, along with reports from their smart jukes already deployed on location, in Operator Interface.

Johnny Rockets Takes Off –– Florida operator and equipment supplier Prime Time Amusements has partnered with a group of investors to transform a former Ft. Lauderdale area GameWorks store into a newly styled FEC featuring food as well as fun and games for the whole family. The 20,000-sq.-ft. FEC is located in Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise, Fla. Get the full story.

Celebrating 10 Years of Success –– This month’s cover signals our 10th anniversary celebration of videogame maker Raw Thrills, which was started by famed game designer Eugene Jarvis after he left Midway. The factory has produced a string of hits and helped keep the videogame relevant to street and gameroom operators, not to mention players. Check out our special section.

A New Ice Age –– ICE is heading to this month’s parks show with a raft of new product. The showcase piece, Ice Age, is a new, licensed video redemption game developed with the gamesmiths at Play Mechanix. The factory will also present a kit version of Deal or No Deal Mega, two new cranes and a debut merchandiser called Lift Mania.

License to Sell –– Superior Plush’s Mike Norton explains how he and business partner Eric Martin ensure this supplier lives up to its name in Prize Patrol.

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October 2011:

Cover: Megatouch Reinvented … AMI Unveils New Countertop, Multi-Touch Games and Megatouch Live

A Gala Affair — The American Amusement Machine Association hosted its annual membership meeting and Distributor Gala in late August at the Marriott Lincolnshire Resort. The group elected officers, set a new course for government relations and played host to a wide range of new product debuts.

Man for the Job — AAMA has tapped AMI sales executive John Margold as its newest chairman; he will hold the post for two years. Margold is a second-generation industry veteran who has worked extensively in both distribution and manufacturing.

Dollar Coin Revival — At its annual meeting, AAMA announced plans to re-invigorate efforts to promote the dollar coin, mainly by lobbying for the elimination of the paper dollar.

The Results Are In — In a RePlay exclusive survey, amusement trade professionals reported on their reasons for attending, and experiences at, Amusement Expo and IAAPA. The resulting data opens a window into business decision making today and the role face-to-face networking plays in a leaner industry. Read the full results.

X Marks the Fun Spot — FEC Profile heads to Quincy, Ill., this month where Scottie’s Fun Spot has been renovated from a former skating rink to a gem of family entertainment opportunities. Take the tour.

For Their Benefit — Operators present their company’s best practices for employee support and ongoing training in Operator Interface. How do your company’s benefits and strategies keep staff content and morale elevated compare?

New Products Galore — Our fall “trade show in print” showcases a new product catalog that includes pieces debuted at the AAMA Gala and more. Get a preview of what’s in store.

Going Live — This month’s cover story showcases the debut of AMI Entertainment’s newest touchscreen game platform, ML-1, as well as the accompanying Megatouch Live online play platform with social media applications, individual avatars, personal accounts and much more. Get the full story.

Tee It Up — Incredible Technologies’ Golden Tee Live 2012 update includes five new 18-hole golf courses and many new features designed to enhance the player’s entertainment experience. For starters, all 30 previously released Golden Tee Live courses, as well as the five new courses, can be selected for play at any time.

Part of the Whole — Nuts & Bolts spotlights Competitive Products, an amusement equipment parts supplier whose value lies as much in their knowledgeable staff as their expansive inventory, serving as a vital resource for the trade.

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September 2011:

Cover: Turning the Tables — Kelye Stites Revives the Valley-Dynamo Product Brand

Everybody in the Pool — Pool is not only the most stable equipment category thanks to player popularity and earnings. It’s also the one in most need of promotion. Strategies and tactics on how to enhance revenue are discussed in this issue as RePlay surveys the state of pool play today.

Covering Billiards — Street operators hold a symposium on pool, addressing flexible pricing, raising the price-per-game, service, league growth, ROI and much more in Operator Interface.

Return of the Native — Kelye Stites, who has been running his successful Champion Shuffleboard factory for more than a decade, has returned to his roots in pool. Two years ago, he acquired Valley-Dynamo from Brunswick Corp. Since then, he has returned the company to profitability and operator popularity, as well as to manufacturing in the U.S.

AMOA Looks Forward — The Amusement and Music Operators will meet this month in Savannah, Georgia, to chart a course forward for the association representing amusement operators across the country. President Donovan Fremin says maintaining relevancy and monitoring the effect of government on business top the group’s agenda.

Come One, Come All — The Clubhouse at Hacker’s is a diamond of family entertainment in the rough of rural Georgia. Discover how the business strategy of this FEC and golf park has captured the dollars and support of its local community and university in this month’s FEC Profile.

Brotherly Love — Capital Vending is the capital of amusement equipment in the Harrisburg, Pa., area. Get to know Joe Calla in Thumbnail Sketch and find out how he and brother Phil have built up the company’s reputation originally established by their father.

Northwest Distribution — This month we profile Portland-based distributor Specialty Coin Products, headed up by trade veteran Mike McWilliams. Specialty Coin serves amusement route and FEC operators, and the distributorship has developed a specialty in selling and servicing pinball games in the flipper friendly region.

On Target — Arachnid has long set the standard for electronic darts, and the Illinois factory continues to provide manufacturing innovation and promotional support to soft tip operators. Arachnid also continues to upgrade game software for its Super Shuffle game platform as well as automated league software.

Red Alert — GameAlert promises to bring real-time operations and information management data to tokens- and cash-based gamerooms. In Nuts & Bolts, TokensDirect execs and Frank Seninsky lift the veil on this breakthrough platform and business solution set to debut at IAAPA.

Knoble Quality — RMK Worldwide has achieved worldly success in prize supply. Meet founder Robert Knoble and discover how this giant of generic prize and novelty distribution lives up to its name in Prize Patrol.

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August 2011:

Cover: Kalkomat USA — Broadening Its Reach with Boxing Game Promos

Free Speech — The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected, once and for all, state and local government efforts to restrict underage players direct access to violent video games. In it is ruling, the high court upheld many earlier lower court decisions granting videogames free speech protection.

Mobile Media — AMI top exec Mike Maas has penned a guest essay for this month’s issue dialoguing with operators over their concern about the release of Megatouch games on mobile devices. Maas says the strategy is designed to increase pay-for-play on its touchscreens.

Survey Says — You took the AMOA survey, now get the results. In a RePlay exclusive, Circone + Associate’s Brad Circone reveals data from AMOA’s membership survey and a preview of the coming rebranding, makeover and new direction of the national operator’s group.

Hitting the Streets — The month’s RePlay features an extensive look at the street business including several columns from successful street operators, an update on Club Lucky, tips on promoting from NDA’s executive director and much more.

A League Apart — Professionals organizing and promoting various leagues, from darts and pools to manufactured-sponsored and bowling formats, share how crucial organized play around equipment is to their locations and business.

Back to School — If you missed the AMOA’s “Pool School” webinar, covering billiard table repair and service best practices, RePlay attended. We share our notes.

Pool’s Open — VNEA’s 31st annual pool championships made history for itself by moving to Bally’s, as well as for legions of charter holder winners. Get a full recap and feel like you were there.

Summer Show Season — If it’s summer vacation, that means it’s also state show season as operator trade groups across the country take advantage of good weather to gather for their annual meetings. Check out our coverage, in this month’s issue, of recent meetings by Wisconsin’s WAMO and their fellow tradesters in Minnesota (MOMA).

A Wisconsin Winner — Thumbnail Sketch pins down D&D Amusement Games, co-owned by Scott Dougherty and Gene Dankemeyer, and examines how the centrally-located route is the capital of coin-op in Wisconsin.

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July 2011:

Cover: TouchTunes — Music Innovation

Day in Court — A California mom is suing the iconic Chuck E. Cheese’s pizzacade chain claiming that nearly a dozen games in one of its San Diego area locations run afoul of California’s prohibition against slot machines.

Juke Joint — Our annual jukebox issue has a volume of features on today’s digital music supply, demand and profit on location. Tune into our overview on today’s jukebox technology and society, operator survey results and analysis, Operator Interface, TouchTunes cover story and product catalog.

Music to the Ears — Our survey of jukebox operations gives a cross-section of the out-of-home music business, from percentage of manufacturers’ product performing on routes to revenue splits to the capability of digital features to stimulate revenues. Discover how your experience matches numerous industry-wide averages and trends.

Rose City Roundup — The Oregon Amusement and Music Operators met in Portland in late May to discuss the state of the trade there, including a plan to safeguard touchscreen amusement games, and play a round of golf together. RePlay editor Steve White was on hand for our report.

Tournament Time — Late spring saw a flurry of national tournament activity. We have coverage of both the annual Arachnid Bullshooter and NDA Team Dart.

An Operator’s Operator — At the heart of the coin-op capital of Chicago is Jim Thom of Western Automatic Music. In Thumbnail Sketch, find out more about Jim’s route of 125 locations, his business supported now by its fourth generation and the things that make him tick.

Redeeming the Arcade — Upscale Livingston’s Amusement Center delivers family entertainment with a class. Owner Larry Adami gives a tour of the Sarasota FEC, explaining how catering to older kids and adults, delivering new attractions and fashioning a sophisticated ambiance has made Livingston’s, like its guests, a winner.

Setting Sail — ICE recently launched two new redemption games The Price Is Right Shell Game, sporting an easily recognizable license, and the pirate-themed Treasure Quest. Get all the details in this month’s Spotlight Special.

Give Them a Hand — Nuts & Bolts showcases Magline, the manufacturer specializing in hand truck and distribution solutions. Discover how their product line lightens loads, literally.

Safety and Service of Fun — Tectron International has built an impressive direct import business for wholesale prizes, contained in an 80,000-sq.-ft. warehouse and office space, by aligning their inventory with their principles. Find out how in Prize Patrol.

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June 2011:

Cover: Embed Celebrates 10 Years

The Hits Keep Coming — Boxing games have become a staple for many routes, especially as the games offer increased safety features and have become more amenable to street operation. This month, RePlay surveys the landscape of this unique sector with special commentaries by two major suppliers and a mini-catalog of the latest units.

Bowling for Dollars — The bowling trade will meet at the end of June in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area for the annual Bowl Expo. Amusement games and family entertainment will be high on the agenda as that industry seeks out new sources of revenue and growth. Check out our show preview, as well as a closer look at the continued growth of family entertainment components in the bowling biz.

East Coast Expo — Betson’s East Coast Expo at the Turning Stone Resort in New York saw record attendance this spring as operators made the trip to see the latest in games and tune in for a handful of targeted seminars.

By the Numbers — AMOA’s member survey took an industry snapshot to develop a plan for improved benefits and programs. Get a preview of some of the results with Brad Circone of Circone + Associates.

Attaining Perfection — Who says you can’t be perfect? Perfect Games is a perfect fit for Ames, Iowa, and the perfect bowling entertainment center to headline our bowling-themed issue. Take a tour of this 24-lane amusement destination that lives up to its name.

Bowled Over — In Operator Interface, bowling entertainment center owners and managers share their striking improvements to attractions and programs to boost revenues.

The Rhode Home — Prize Patrol celebrates Rhode Island Novelty’s 25th anniversary. Discover how this supplier from the smallest state has become one of the largest players in the prize world.

Need for Speed — Speedy’s One Stop Repair has a new home, updated technology and more capacity for repairing thousands of coin-op amusement devices and components. Check out the new facility with Ken Walters in Nuts & Bolts and see why Speedy’s just got speedier.

The Right Key — The latest and greatest crane from Sega tests players’ skills to unlock prizes by putting a key in just the right spot. Check out Key Master to discover what profitability your company could unlock.

Back to the Future — Stern Pinball is now shipping its newest pinball game, inspired by Walt Disney Pictures’ TRON: Legacy. The TRON: Legacy pinball features a 3D backglass that brings the film’s characters and story to life.

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May 2011:

Cover: It’s Time to Play Say Pentavision Execs

Consultants Corner — Our annual family entertainment center special section kicks off with a discussion by industry consultants on how FECs refocused and retooled during the Great Recession to reap rewards during the recovery.

Get Associated — In the post-IALEI era, two fun center groups have spun out of existing organizations to deliver benefits and services to FEC members. Get up to speed on the International Association of Amusement Operators and the National Association of Family Entertainment Centers in our separate news stories.

L.A. Retrospective — Former SoCal operator Gene Beley recalls how he secured the first L.A. arcade license after a long ban by local officials. This endearing look back at an earlier era for the trade offers an entertaining perspective on the industry’s roots.

Power to the Players — The new Power Play FEC concept, a sister brand to the high-end leisure bowling chain Lucky Strike, now has two fully themed FECs up and running. The Seattle area location is thriving and the recently re-launched Michigan store is building on that success.

iT’Z Alive! From one facility in 2006 to five in 2011, iT’Z has fulfilled its growth mission and now aims to be the next high-end eatertainment chain across the country. Brian Cohen takes us on a tour and explains their method for further expansion.

Game Time — In Operator Interface, fun center owners and operators discuss the latest products they’ve acquired to stimulate revenues, promotional and marketing programs they’ve implemented, updates to facilities and analysis of 2011 business to date.

Thumbnail Twins — Shawn and Scott Dean, the successful Minnesota operators of Dean – Superior, receive the RePlay Thumbnail Sketch treatment this month. Get to know their popular rewards program for videogame play and how their background has influenced the twin brothers’ thinking and decision making.

Eyes on the Prize — In a special edition of Prize Patrol, we hold a forum for prize suppliers focused on FEC redemption operations to elaborate on price fluctuations, safety, trends and their many services offered beyond hot product.

There’s an App for That — Nuts & Bolts showcases RoutExcel, the brand new company offering the time-saving collections management system for smart phones, Route Boost. Find out how two Minneapolis operators are driving a coin-op revolution that fits in the palm of your hand.

Marketing 2.0 — Using social media is about more than using new media for old-school marketing. The genius of sites like Facebook and Twitter is their ability to allow businesses to connect with customers, especially when those customers are other businesses, at all levels. That’s the message in a new book with a coin-op connection.

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April 2011:

Cover: Apple Industries Does It Again with Magazine Me

Upbeat Amusement Expo — By all measures, Amusement Expo in Las Vegas reflected growth in attendance and exhibitors as well as a renewed sense of hope for the economy and the industry overall. RePlay covered the show floor as well as many related events in and around the Vegas convention center. Check out our extensive coverage.

Education Nation — Off the Amusement Expo show floor, seminars were presented on redemption, promotions and more to attentive audiences. RePlay encapsulates the content of several not-to-be-missed presentations.

Three for All — The NBVA show and Pizza Expo both partnered with Amusement Expo to increase attendees and attempt to advance alternative forms of entertainment to operators and cross-pollinate out-of-home entertainment ideas to the pizzeria market.

Vegas Tales — Cautiously optimistic from improved first quarter over 2010, expo attendees discuss new product and experiences on and off the show floor that made their trip to Las Vegas worth it in Operator Interface.

Affiliated Predictions — AMOA legal counsel Mike Zolandz and a roundup of manufacturers gave forecasts on the near future of politics and amusement industry operations to this year’s AMOA Council of Affiliated States. In a follow-up to our Council coverage, delve deeper into the issues.

The First 30 — RePlay celebrates The Family Fun Center of Lakeland, Fla.,’s 30th anniversary with the Arcade Profile treatment. Check out the past and present of this destination that has truly changed the lives of staffers while shaping out-of-home entertainment in the region.

Games Galore! Amusement Expo offered the trade an up close and personal look at the latest jukeboxes, games and attractions, which we faithfully reproduce in the pages of the issue. Our thorough new product catalog is perfect for those who didn’t make it to the show or even as reminder for those who were in attendance.

Music and More — Three of the main suppliers of digital music rolled out exciting new products and technologies at last month’s Amusement Expo. We survey the landscape in-depth including TouchTunes’ new Virtuo smart juke, AMI’s NGX with re-themable skins and Ecast’s updgrade search technology and social networking suite.

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March 2011:

Cover: Sega’s Super Sonic Celebration + Amusement Expo 2011 Showbook

Gaming Gamut — Gaming remains a hot topic for operators across the country as Illinois struggles to get its effort off the ground while other states consider it as an option to plug holes in their tattered budgets. This month we survey operators on their thoughts about the possibility and problems associated with legalized gambling, as well as the latest news on this high stakes market.

London Show — The European Amusement & Gaming (EAG) Expo in London hosted 125 exhibitors, marking a successful second showing for the event sponsored by the BACTA trade association. Check out our first-hand coverage.

Vegas Bound — AAMA and AMOA will be hosting their second annual Amusement Expo this month at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Heading into the show, the number of exhibitors was tracking ahead of last year’s show, although there will be no Fun Expo this year. Check out this month’s full preview including seminars, show schedules and even an equipment preview.

State Summit — AMOA’s Council of Affiliated States Meeting brings together state association leaders and executive directors from the around the country to discuss the latest news for their operators. The meeting was held last month in Tampa, and RePlay was there to get the full story.

Vegas or Bust — Operators discuss their Amusement Expo agenda, what specific music and game product they are interested in taking home, and even recovering revenues on the route in this month’s Operator Interface feature.

A Rockin’ Good Time — Rockin’ Robin’s Amazone Family Entertainment Center in Medina, Ohio, covers 19,000 sq. ft. The jungle theme originated with the sprawling, two-and-a-half story, soft-play structure and has spread throughout the facility. Learn more in this month’s Arcade Profile.

Celebrating Sonic and Sega — Sega Amusements is kicking off the 20th anniversary celebration of Sonic the Hedgehog with a new video driver, Sonic and Sega All Stars, as well as a raft of other new product. Get the full scoop in this month’s cover story..

Video is Still Valuable — Videogames fueled the industry’s growth in the ’80s and ’90s, but today they face intense competition from consumer games. This month contributor Kevin Williams takes a close look at how game suppliers are creating relevant experiences that can’t be replicated at home.

Mechin’ Out — Coin Mech has been supporting operators and other industries with various mechs and other parts for over 40 years. Nuts & Bolts puts the supplier in the spotlight.

Quality and Quantity — Prize supplier Lakeshore Merchandisers of Spring Lake, Mich., is capitalizing on the emerging desire for value and quality with a formula for getting the right mix of these two factors that’s been proven over the last decade.

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February 2011:

Cover: Anamiro USA: Celebrating 10 Years of Pumping Up Profits and Fun!

Vegas Bound — It’s time to start thinking about making travel plans for next month’s Amusement Expo, if you haven’t already. Organizers of the trade show say the numbers are already looking good.

NSM Makes News — The trade was abuzz last month with news that NSM Music, a longstanding jukebox brand in the U.S., plans to import its European business model to the states. That means direct sales to operators and locations and a flat-fee music license deal for both.

Toy Stories — Plush costs have continued to escalate this year as suppliershave braced customers for permanently higher prices. RePlay delves into U.S.-Chinese trade economics and contributing sociopolitical factors behind the rise.

Austin Flip Out — Tchnology entrepreneur Darren Spohn started out as a game enthusiast but by late last year he was opening the doors to his new Pinballz Arcade, an Austin, Texas-based flipper focused entertainment facility designed to appeal to families looking for old school fun. Learn more about this unique family affair.

Member Benefits — In Operator Interface, professionals active in state associations across the country discuss what’s on their agenda for the 2011 legislative calendar and the vitality of their membership in preparation for the AMOA’s Council of Affiliated States Meeting.

Shine On — Virginia Toy and Novelty has empowered customers to enjoy bright success with light-up and glow-in-the-dark prizes in redemption centers.

Quadrupled Fun — Barron Games latest and greatest, QuadAir, not only introduces a brand-new game play to air hockey with a square play field for four players but also changes the style of game play to boot. Check out the new leap forward in the sport in this month’s Spotlight Special.

Paper or Cardboard — Paper Ticket Experts has been supporting the efficient transition of gamerooms from cardboard to paper tickets for almost a decade. Find out more about the necessary components and benefits in Nuts & Bolts from industry veteran Steve Shoemaker.

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January 2011:

Cover: Stern Pinball

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)
this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, importers/exporters, parts and service suppliers, trade associations…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

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2010 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December

December 2010:

Cover: LAI Games — Developing Games for Generation Z (IAAPA report)

Fall Fun in Florida — For a firsthand, hot-off-the-press look at IAAPA, check out RePlay’s coverage of new game debuts and family entertainment industry developments from the mammoth tradeshow extravaganza in Orlando.

Rearview Mirror — 2010 was a dynamic year with many ups and downs. The trade struggled to adapt to the economy and continued consolidation while celebrating the big spring show, co-sponsored by AAMA and AMOA.

What’s Next — Further along in our special year-end section, a group of regular RePlay writers and industry consultants play the crystal ball game for the benefit of our readers, drawing on their experience and insight to predict future trends.

Past as Prologue — In this month’s Operator Interface, amusement professionals reflect on the successes and struggles that characterized 2010 and discuss how they plan to protect their bottom lines in 2011.

Prantl’s Mantle — Pride Vending’s Lee Prantl has served bars and taverns across a swath of Oregon with the latest equipment and high-quality service for more than three decades. In Thumbnail Sketch, he discusses the business of taking pride.

Walk on the Wild Side — Take a tour of Jungle Golf in Virginia Beach, Va., and discover what a successful partnership between an FEC and amusement vendor can bring to a gameroom operations.

Scaling Upwards — Nuts & Bolts showcases QTech Business Products, an industry supplier of coin and ticket counting scales. President Kevin McCartney weighs the benefits of various product and the firm’s customer support.

Spotlight on Sega — The game makers at Sega have been busy in the R & D lab mixing up new product ideas. Last month, they launched a number of new products including the deluxe driver Grid and the redemption piece Super Monkey Ball Ticket Blitz.

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November 2010:

Cover: Benchmark Games Hits the Streets Running — 2010 IAAPA Show Issue

Greatest Show on Earth — IAAPA, the mega parks tradeshow and one of the largest expos in the world, returns to Orlando this month for the first of 10 shows in the Sunshine State. Be prepared with RePlay’s specially tailored guide for FEC owners and route operators, including topical seminars, special events and exhibitor booth list, to make the experience focused and easily manageable.

Go Northwest — Tradesters in the Pacific Northwest had ample opportunity last month to check out the latest new products at open houses hosted by Mountain Coin and the first Amusement Expo Northwest, sponsored by Specialty Coin. Check out coverage of these events and also an open house hosted by Los Angeles’ C.A. Robinson & Co.

IAAPA or Bust — Find out who’s attending IAAPA in Operator Interface, where FEC owners and street operators describe what they are hoping to see on the tradeshow floor and what they’re looking to get out of the fall tradeshow experience.

Sound Off — More feedback from RePlay’s equipment reinvestment survey comes in the form of operator testimony, commentary and advice on buying and selling in today’s coin-op market.

Twenty and Counting — Arcade Profile celebrates Papio Fun Park’s two decades in business with a tour of the facility and six-acre park outside of Omaha. Find out direct from owner and manager Margaret White how this family-run location has become a leader in family entertainment by steadily adding new attractions and changing with the times.

Toast of the Town — TouchTunes founder Tony Mastronardi and his partner, Chicago ad maven Steve Doroba, have jukebox operators toasting an opportunity to generate new juke revenue. Learn more about their promotions.

The Vision Thing — Korean game maker Pentavision has joined forces with the new U.S. start-up Pipeline Games. Under the leadership of industry veteran James Ko, the firm hopes to bridge the talents of the former with the market savvy of the latter.

Building Infrastructure — All Kids Play has custom designed numerous soft-play indoor units for FECs and CECs thanks to the expertise of Dave Wilson, a facility owner himself and consultant. Nuts & Bolts examines how he makes his attractions and those of others all fit together.

Take a Bite — Big Apple Vending, the New York bulk vending supplier, gets caught by Prize Patrol this month. Founder and co-owner Anthony Scarpella explains how they pass along savings to numerous cash-and-carry operators in the New York and New Jersey area, as well as the rest of the country.

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October 2010:

Cover: AMI Entertainment – Unlocking Doors to Success

Fall Back to Florida — Next month, IAAPA returns to Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center to take center stage as the amusement industry’s fall showcase. Get up to speed on what FEC professionals and others can expect from the mega expo.

Day in Court — The nation’s high court is set to hear a case next month that will decide once and for all if videogames are granted free speech protections or whether state and local lawmakers can regulate the games based on violent content.

Tune In — The digital juke pros at TouchTunes brought together over 200 participants representing more than 100 operating companies last month at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. Main topics included a revamped myTouchTunes.com complemented by a new mobile app and the future of the on-premise network with both music and advertising.

The Results Are In — RePlay’s equipment reinvestment survey captured compelling data on the rate and volume of new and used game purchases, as well as testimonies on buying philosophy and practices. Get a snapshot of the industry by the numbers plus analysis of the info gathered from this investigation that received large participation from amusement route, FEC and arcade owners.

Season of Striving — FEC owners and reps assess their location’s summer season performance, with several offering key evaluations of strategic decisions that resulted in business exceeding expectations despite the ongoing recession.

On a Mission in Missouri — For a portrait drawn of Tom Newman of Newman Amusement, turn to Thumbnail Sketch and find out how this 30-year industry vet is ensuring equipment performance and profits in the heartland.

Pigging Out — Arcade Profile goes Hog Wild, literally, with a tour of Hog Wild Family Fun Center in Russellville, Ark. Meet owner Buddy Grimes, who explains how the concept has transformed the region with entertainment options and continues to evolve to offer more.

Shine Forth — Super Bright LEDs has been making games brighter and more efficient with replacement lighting components for almost a decade. Nuts & Bolts shines a light on this supplier’s mission and extensive inventory for other applications.

New Face of Pinball — Stern Pinball is now shipping its latest flipper game, based on James Cameron’s blockbuster movie, Avatar. The game, coming on the heels of the rerelease of the 3D version of the movie, is turning the heads of players and pinball dealers.

Flush With Plush — This year marks the founding and rise of Parkway Toys, the plush and crane novelty supply division from A&A Global Industries. Jaime Navarro and Philip Brilliant discuss the first steps, leaps and bounds made by the supplier and how they’re now marching forward into the future with unique offerings.

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September 2010:

Cover: The 10th Anniversary of Big Buck Hunter!

AAMA On the Move — The American Amusement Machine Association hosted its annual meeting and Distributor Gala this summer in the Chicagoland region. RePlay was there to bring you first-hand coverage of all the new games as well as the latest from the national trade group representing game makers and distributors.

New Tradeshow Tradition — Check out our new product showcase, previewing the latest pieces from the industry’s most respected manufacturers, as well as several spotlight stories including our cover story coverage of the classic video Big Buck Hunter, the latest update for the legendary Golden Tee Golf series and a new Panther pool table on the prowl from Valley-Dynamo.

RePlay It Again, Sam — As part of our educational session lineup, get a recap of RePlay’s webinar on league programming and promotion with the NDA’s Alyssa Pfenning and the VNEA’s Brian Elliott.

Class Is In Session — This month, RePlay’s regular columnists including Jack Guarnieri, George McAuliffe, Brad Circone and Beth Standlee are doing double duty as “seminar speakers” for our special print-based trade show.

Stepping Up — Read our special Stepping Up feature this month, penned by RePlay editor Steve White, calling for a spirit of renewal and re-investment along with intriguing operator responses.

Golden Tee 2011 — Incredible Technologies is on the first tee this month with the newest update for their hit franchise Golden Tee Live. The five new courses are complemented by additional revenue features like special virtual tees and equipment as well as the ability to upload any shot to YouTube for a small fee.

Stuck in the Middle with You — Distributors serve as the industry’s pulse and nexus, bringing together product knowledge, business strategy, financial planning, technical understanding and regional awareness to advance amusement product performance. Operators share how the middle tier has shaped their business and decision making in Operator Interface.

Coin-Op’s Car Talk — Through the Arcade Repair Tips website, Tim Peterson and Jonathan Leung have garnered worldwide attention as go-to authorities on game repair for consumers. Now, the operating duo is turning to the operator community to inform and soon connect those with service issues to local professionals. Meet the guys in Nuts & Bolts.

Kingdom Come — King Plush celebrates its 25-year reign of plush distribution. Prize Patrol catches up with the Carson, Calif., supply firm, started by industry legend Pat Klasno, to survey its merchandise kingdom today.

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August 2010:

Cover: Elaut USA and Disco Round

Resolving the Shows — The amusement trade has spent many years debating the fate of our shows. In recent weeks, much of what has been long predicted has come to pass, namely the creation of a mega-spring show that caters to a wide range of leisure trades.

Bowling for Profits — BPAA’s annual Bowl Expo remains a hot property for amusement game makers and suppliers looking to grow their product or service base into a new market. Bowling remains entranced with the very real opportunity for growth through family entertainment. Check out our first-hand coverage.

League Life — As the fall league season kicks in, operators and league coordinators share new ideas for structuring programs, what benefits are especially meaningful to players and how organized pool and dart play is the foundation of coin-op, all in Operator Interface.

Coin-Op Charlie — Sacramento-area locations are blessed with the expertise and energy of one of the longest-serving industry veterans, Charles Gelatini of Tri Valley Amusement. At 75-years-old, this prototypical amusement operator is still going strong, a testament to his career of successful decision-making that’s revealed in Thumbnail Sketch.

Journey to Arcadia — The Game Grid Arcade, owned and operated by Endgame columnist and rising industry luminary Adam Pratt, gets the spotlight this month. In Arcade Profile, learn how this mall arcade is keeping alive the legacy of its predecessors in unique and competitive ways.

Drum Major — World’s Fastest Drummer, an extreme competition sport, has come to coin-op with a video version designed by none other than the sport and online game’s originator, Boo McAfee. Boo shares how WFD, The Game, currently in prototype design and in negotiations for production, has tapped, literally, into a primal urge for amusement and drums.

Creating a New Market — Palmentere Coin-Op, which is the brainchild of Joe Palmentere and several partners, has blazed a new trail in selling used games, often on consignment for larger operators. Learn more about this aggressive new player in the second hand market.

It’s All Good — Allgood Technical Services is one of the last CRT monitor board repair firms still standing — and proud of it. Carl Blessing explains how they are cornering the market on operators’ service needs with a blend of expertise and quality customer service in Nuts & Bolts.

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July 2010:

Cover: MEI

Jukebox Justice — AMI Entertainment is taking on the task of policing the marketplace for illegal digital jukeboxes, but they aren’t alone in their efforts. The firm’s Bob Fay, a former FBI agent, is working closely with federal law enforcement to educate operators and bring necessary cases to court.

AAMA on Tap — The American Amusement Machine Association will hold its annual meeting and distributor gala later this month. In addition to its official meetings and product showcase, the factory and distributor group has added education to its agenda.

Bowl More — Bowl Expo, one of the most striking out-of-home entertainment tradeshows, is bigger and better this year with a large amusement industry presence capitalizing on bowling centers’ game and attractions interest. Get the latest on this year’s event, including exhibitors’ expectations based on their growing orders and participation in that market and, of course, keynote speaker Sarah Palin.

Bowl Exponential — Bowling center proprietors and general managers told RePlay what was on their 2010 Bowl Expo agenda and how family entertainment interlocks with their anchor attraction to support their location’s concept. Find out who attended and why others were staying closer to home, all in Operator Interface.

Retro Progressive — Arcade Profile heads back to the future along Route 66 to tour Revolutions Entertainment Center. This young bowling entertainment center, backed by partners also young to the industry, has enlivened the out-of-home leisure and amusement possibilities of Barstow, Calif., bringing new life to the High Desert.

Tournament Time — If it’s summer, it’s time for the national tournament scene. In this issue, we have first-hand coverage of the 30th VNEA in Las Vegas. Publisher Ed Adlum checks out the tournament and looks back at where it all started. Meanwhile, the Arachnid BullShooter also celebrated its 25th anniversary at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, giving out over $125,000.

Lock ‘Em Up — Lock America’s founder and CEO Frank Minnella has been offering locking systems and filling high-security needs for the amusement and vending business for decades. Now the firm has spread to other markets and expanded their inventory of trustworthy product. Nuts & Bolts has the key to the supplier’s success story.

Money Matter — The payment technology pros at MEI will soon celebrate the sale of three million Series 2000 validators. Check out this month’s cover story to learn more about how the company leverages its technology across multiple industries while constantly striving for product innovation.

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June 2010:

Cover: Firestone Financial

High Court Hearing — The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by the state of California, which is hoping to revive a law that would ban the sale of violent vids to kids. Appeals courts have rejected that idea many times. Now, it’s up to the highest court in the land.

Business of Fun — IAAPA FEC specialist Ben Jones gives an extended interview on the diversified benefits for FEC members. Jones says the FEC Council has positioned itself to be a prominent force in supporting and shaping the future of the family entertainment industry, starting with their certification program in the works.

Back to Sales Basics — Industry veteran John Lotz steps up and speaks out about what it takes to be an effective sales person, whether you are offering new equipment or trying to nail down a prime location in your sphere of influence.

Why Notre Dame Matters — AMOA is grearing up for this fall’s launch of both a new Notre Dame Class as well as the second installment of its Masters class for previous graduates of the program. Editor Steve White offers a personal perspective on the value of the program, and we hear more on the same topic from operator and Around The Route columnist Larry Bershtein.

“The Fighting Operators” — After their recent session in South Bend, Ind., members of Class XIV of The AMOA-Notre Dame Management Program share valuable business tools they’ve already implemented back home, as well as personally memorable experiences from going back to school in Operator Interface.

At the Funplex — Funplex, the New Jersey-based brand of expanding FECs, opens the doors to its East Hanover and Mount Laurel facilities for a closer look at how their operations management style, balancing attentive guest service with attractions packaging, has created a force of fun to be reckoned with. GM and COO Brian Williams starts the tour.

Finesse in Finance — We are celebrating the 45 years of financing success achieved by Firestone Financial. The Newton, Mass., firm has specialized for decades in providing much needed liquidity to operators. These days they are doing much more to help their valued customers.

Full Business Screening — Rick Nieman’s extensive career tracks the history of video display technology as he has made a name for himself in the business — and for his business, Nieman Video Displays. Nuts & Bolts highlights the state of CRT-based product supply, the ascendancy of the LCD displays he’s developed and conversion solutions.

Grin and Bear It — New ownership of Bears 2 Go has grown this self-stuffer manufacturer and skin supplier deep into FEC market with a familial touch. Discover more about their stuffer models, sourcing ability and future endeavors in Prize Patrol.

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May 2010:

Cover: ICE

A Vision for the Future –TouchTunes CEO Charles Goldstuck said he sees enormous opportunity for the digital juke firm as it embraces social networking and reaches out to connect young consumers to the firm’s cross-platform brand.

Neutral Ground — A recent federal court ruling says that Internet providers don’t have to treat all content equally, but digital jukebox and game makers say the move will not affect their products and services, at least not yet.

VNEA’s 30th — It’s a big anniversary for the “Valley league.” An estimated 7,000 players will compete in the International Championships May 27-June 5 at its regular Vegas venue, the Riviera Hotel and Casino. Read our preview of the event.

FECs Today — This month’s issue takes a close look at FECs, kicking off with an interview of a half dozen respected operators and consultants and including columns, a look at the latest in cashless technology systems and a number of special features. Hope you brought a hearty reading appetite!

Survey Says — RePlay’s survey of FECs breaks down the performance of games, parties and corporate events, as well as the influence of the teen demographic by marketplace in one of the most extensive data collections of this industry. Find out how your facility correlates with the results.

Operator Forum — From social networking strategizing to summer camps, remodeling to redemption upgrading, just-for-fun leagues to fundraising, seven entertainment center owners and managers share their best promotions for the current season and what plans they’re implementing to increase summer traffic. Read what they had to say in Operator Interface.

Off to Oz — Metropolis Resort is an emerald city of out-of-home entertainment where guests can truly stay away from home overnight to fully experience the mega-sized FEC offerings and one of the most impressive and green waterparks in North America. Pack your bags and take a splash in our tour.

Bowling People Over — Arcade Profile travels to Tulsa, Okla., this month where the award-winning Andy B’s FEC has made over a traditional bowling center with FEC-style attractions while preserving and enhancing the sport for which this facility has been known for years. General manager Sharon Mooney gives RePlay readers a personal tour.

Paper or Plastic? Increasingly in FECs and arcades across the globe, the answer is “plastic” in the way of cashless payment systems. They streamline and enhance both the customer’s visit and the location’s operations. Find out about some of the latest systems.

Innovation on ICE — Buffalo-based game maker ICE continues to build on nearly three decades of design and manufacturing experience, creating a broad catalog of redemption, merchandise and video games for arcades, FECs and street operators.

Grab-A-Hold — Adastra Designs’ Beam Me Up crane retrofit kit utilizes vacuum technology to replace conventional claw mechanisms, adding new appeal and retail possibilities to traditional machines. Rise to the occasion.

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April 2010:

Cover: Triotech Amusements

One Show at Last — After years of contemplating what one national coin-op industry show would look like, we now know the answer: a vibrant convention filled with more than 60 new games, an impressive line-up of seminars and events and success on the charitable front for both sponsoring associations, AAMA and AMOA. Get the full story including a complete catalog of new product.

The Fun Continues — The Fun Expo continued to make its presence known this spring under new sponsor IAAPA, but a lackluster performance has called its future into question. Learn more about this year’s show.

Happy Hours — The 2010 Nightclub and Bar show was held in Vegas during the same week as Amusement and Fun Expos, and there were more than a handful of crossover exhibits. Get a first-hand look at the show held for many readers’ locations.

Heads of States — Association leaders from around the country gathered in late February at the AMOA-sponsored Council of Affiliated States meeting to discuss the most pressing issues operators are facing in the respective regions. Not surprisingly, gaming and government regulation topped just about everybody’s agenda.

Man of the Year — AMOA-New York toasted game design legend Eugene Jarvis of Midway and now Raw Thrills fame as its man of the year. Check out highlights from the event.

State of the Industry — As part of this issue’s concentration on state associations, a roundup of operators discuss the health of and their level of involvement in their association. Operator Interface casts a wide net to capture a range of issues and opinions.

Eye of the Beholder — Apple Industries continues to push the photobooth envelope by launching new software for its signature line of machines, transforming the capabilities of its iconic Face Place brand and debuting a whole new concept in on-location image marketing called Face Place Double Take. Get the picture of what’s in store from Apple.

Smart Scores — Smart Industries of Des Moines, Iowa, made headlines last month winning an AMOA Innovator Award for its new Easy Touchdown game. The piece combines elements of both a pusher and a merchandiser, and most importantly allows players to save credits for future plays, enticing them to come back and take their shot at high-end prizes.

A Deluxe Duo — Sega Amusements is now shipping two new deluxe video games, the 42″ Rambo DLX shooter and Let’s Go Island simulator. Both pieces were developed to offer high-end attractions for thrill-seeking game players.

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____________________________________________________________ March 2010:

Cover: Incredible Technologies

Amusement Expose — At long last, the Amusement Expo launches this month, and RePlay has your official guide to the inaugural event, including info on all festivities on and off the show floor, thoughts from show planners and attendees, resource materials, a special sneak peek at new product set to debut and much more.

Coin-Op Cares — Following the cataclysmic earthquake in Haiti, PrimeTime Amusements’ David Goldfarb wasted no time in developing a grass-roots donation operation that ballooned into a headquarters for a multimillion dollar relief effort from South Florida. He explains how the experience led him to Haiti itself and what he saw firsthand.

London Twofer — Our roving international contributor Kevin Williams offers first-hand coverage from January’s two big tradeshows in London, the venerable ATEI and the upstart EAG, both of which hosted amusement exhibitors debuting new product that will be making its way soon to the U.S.

Marketing the Medium — On-premise advertising continues to be a hot topic for operators as they weigh the different platforms that have emerged, including AMI Entertainment, Ecast, SportScape and TouchTunes/Barfly. This month, RePlay checks in with execs at all four companies to see where things stand and what’s in store for the future.

Great Expectations — Attendees of this month’s Amusement Expo share what they’re anticipating from this premiere event, as well as their assessment of the sponsoring associations in combining forces. Turn to Operator Interface where they describe how the current state of business affects the future of tradeshows and more.

Man of Menasha — Thumbnail Sketch captures Amusement Devices’ Kurt Jacobson who’s built an impressively diversified route as a substantial operator in the Fox Cities, Wis., area thanks to his outlook on the business that’s equal parts positive attitude and realism.

Tales of the High Seas — Blackbeard’s Family Entertainment Center in Fresno, Calif., gets the Arcade Profile spotlight for its wide array of park attractions. Hoist your sails for a tour with captain and co-owner Greg Florer.

Bowling for Dollars — Incredible Technologies is now in full production of its newest bowling game, the most recent in a long line of popular 10-pin videos. This month’s Cover Story takes a detailed look at this latest incarnation, Silver Strike LIVE, including the new, live tournament for cash prize format that mirrors what is already happening with Golden Tee LIVE.

Tasty Treat — Industry veteran Brian Duke has launched a new firm, VendEver, with the goal of marketing a self-vending cotton candy machine called Cotton Candy Factory. This machine was created by Feiloli Electronic Co. Ltd. in Taiwan and licensed exclusively to VendEver for the North American market. Duke is using Amusement Expo to introduce the piece.

Full Circle — Valley-Dynamo has returned to its coin-op roots, settling in a new factory a short walk from its old home in the same DFW suburb. Get a look inside the facility to see how owner Kelye Stites and a band of company veterans are bringing back the old spirit of quality and service.

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____________________________________________________________

February 2010:

Cover: Apple Industries

Getting Ready for the Big Event — AAMA and AMOA are getting prepped for their first-ever combined spring show, the Amusement Expo, which will take place next month in Las Vegas. Get the first line on this spring extravaganza.

Illinois Gaming Update — Tradesters in the Land of Lincoln are watching the progress of video gaming rules and regulations carefully as the state begins to put the infrastructure of legalized video gaming in place.

Coin-Op Cares — Small businesses can face as many challenges to providing affordable health insurance as there are health problems. Operators reveal their concerns about the healthcare system, thoughts on the national healthcare debate and measures taken to tweak or overhaul policies to provide a benefit that’s cost conscious yet fair to employees and families. Turn to Operator Interface.

Operator of Delphi — Mark Sales, owner of Reid Sales Music in Delphi, Ind., gets captured in Thumbnail Sketch in which he details his league of leagues, each catering to unique groups.

Plain Spoken — Roger Westmonth took over Modern Specialty in Wisconsin two years ago, but he has been giving his location accounts a dose of straight talk for decades. Westmonth uses his clear-cut communications style to strike deals with locations make for a healthier bottom line.

Makeover Reality Programming — Arcade Profile heads back to the future in spotlighting Laser Mania Family Fun Center in St. George, Utah. Jarett Waite discusses changes made to transform a local garden-variety arcade into a compelling regional destination, as well as the value of giving back, not only to one’s community but to one’s industry.

Game Time — Chicago Gaming started 2010 with the quick-coin GalacTix, whose cabinet designed for blast off is matched only by its interstellar game play, and Putt 66, a new course for Putt! Championship Edition now available with a ticket-option configuration.

Picture Perfect — Photobooths are in focus in this month’s issue of RePlay with an extensive look at cover story subject Apple Industries, as well as the latest in picture vending products from both LAI and Smart Industries.

Taking Aim — Stern Pinball has teamed up with some of the best designers in the video game business to create their new Big Buck Hunter Pro flipper game, complete with many of the same attractions that make the videos so popular on the street. Get the lowdown.

Live From Hollywood, Fla. — Cash-handling product supply and repair, along with cashless gameroom management, have secured a niche in the industry for E&D Trading. Shawn Mosayo discusses the supplier’s specialized product and services in Nuts & Bolts.

Bulking Up — Millions of sticker and tattoos, longtime staples of operators in flat vending, have come from VSi, which receives the Prize Patrol treatment this month. Find out more about the Tucson supplier’s business makeup, history and impressive market share.

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January 2010:

Cover: Namco America ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)
this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, importers/exporters, parts and service suppliers, trade associations…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

(Go back to main 2010 menu)

2009 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December

December 2009:

Cover: Pyramid Technologies, Inc.

Parks Show Dispatch — For a first-hand, hot-off-the-press look at last month’s IAAPA, check out RePlay’s show coverage of the hot new product debuts from the mammoth trade show extravaganza in Las Vegas.

Association Merger Finalized — Speaking of IAAPA, we’ve got the full story on the recent merger of the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industries into the parks association. RePlay conducted a one-on-one interview with IAAPA topper Charles Bray.

Spring Show on Track — The big spring show that will now combine AAMA’s Amusement Showcase International and the annual AMOA Expo, previously held in the fall, is on track for success, say top sponsors. Get the latest on planning for this big event in the December print edition of RePlay.

Counselor’s Corner — We have good news for our readers this month with the debut of a new column from industry legal expert Tom Fricke, a St. Louis-based attorney widely acknowledged as the preeminent expert on the law as it relates to redemption. He starts his column series with a look at Florida’s safe harbor for skill games.

It All De-Pinz — From the Twin Cities’ Anderson Companies comes the latest brand in hybrid bowling, Pinz. Arcade Profile puts their makeover of the sport on the map, as well as their network of traditional centers that have helped locally cultivate and grow the anchor attraction for decades.

In the Very Beginning — Few operators expect the economy to immediately take flight Phoenix-like in 2010 from the financial ashes of the past two years, but they have been generally protecting bottom lines and charting courses with business plans to turn today’s unknown variables into improved odds for tomorrow. From cost-cutting strategies to advertising plans to Swine Flu prevention methods, find out how operators are applying the lessons of this year to next, along with some frank concerns, in Operator Interface.

Maryland Maven — Weiner Distributing celebrates a quarter century of success in style with a profile specially penned by our own “Jersey Jack” Guarnieri, who takes a closer look at founder Chuck Weiner’s career, as well as the special team that keeps the dealership moving forward.

Prize Paragon — This year, Dennis Foland, founder of The Foland Group under whose umbrella is one of the largest and most respected prize suppliers in the industry, observed three decades in the amusement industry. RePlay celebrates by sitting down with Foland to discuss how his career helped to grow out-of-home entertainment and vice versa.

Going the Distance — Vendors Repair Service, along with sister firm Locking Systems International, gets the Nuts & Bolts spotlight for creative operator support and service, which, unlike the products they repair, never break down due to demonstrated long-term integrity.

Let’s Go for a Spinner — Spinner Toys and Gifts owner Sandy Iyer explains how the Southern California prize supplier mixes traditional novelties with unique generic prizes to enhance redemption offerings in Prize Patrol.

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November 2009:

Cover: Skee-Ball

Parks Show Dispatch — For a first-hand, hot-off-the-press look at last month’s IAAPA, check out RePlay’s show coverage of the hot new product debuts from the mammoth trade show extravaganza in Las Vegas.

Association Merger Finalized — Speaking of IAAPA, we’ve got the full story on the recent merger of the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industries into the parks association. RePlay conducted a one-on-one interview with IAAPA topper Charles Bray.

Spring Show on Track — The big spring show that will now combine AAMA’s Amusement Showcase International and the annual AMOA Expo, previously held in the fall, is on track for success, say top sponsors. Get the latest on planning for this big event in the December print edition of RePlay.

Counselor’s Corner — We have good news for our readers this month with the debut of a new column from industry legal expert Tom Fricke, a St. Louis-based attorney widely acknowledged as the preeminent expert on the law as it relates to redemption. He starts his column series with a look at Florida’s safe harbor for skill games.

It All De-Pinz — From the Twin Cities’ Anderson Companies comes the latest brand in hybrid bowling, Pinz. Arcade Profile puts their makeover of the sport on the map, as well as their network of traditional centers that have helped locally cultivate and grow the anchor attraction for decades.

In the Very Beginning — Few operators expect the economy to immediately take flight Phoenix-like in 2010 from the financial ashes of the past two years, but they have been generally protecting bottom lines and charting courses with business plans to turn today’s unknown variables into improved odds for tomorrow. From cost-cutting strategies to advertising plans to Swine Flu prevention methods, find out how operators are applying the lessons of this year to next, along with some frank concerns, in Operator Interface.

Maryland Maven — Weiner Distributing celebrates a quarter century of success in style with a profile specially penned by our own “Jersey Jack” Guarnieri, who takes a closer look at founder Chuck Weiner’s career, as well as the special team that keeps the dealership moving forward.

Prize Paragon — This year, Dennis Foland, founder of The Foland Group under whose umbrella is one of the largest and most respected prize suppliers in the industry, observed three decades in the amusement industry. RePlay celebrates by sitting down with Foland to discuss how his career helped to grow out-of-home entertainment and vice versa.

Going the Distance — Vendors Repair Service, along with sister firm Locking Systems International, gets the Nuts & Bolts spotlight for creative operator support and service, which, unlike the products they repair, never break down due to demonstrated long-term integrity.

Let’s Go for a Spinner — Spinner Toys and Gifts owner Sandy Iyer explains how the Southern California prize supplier mixes traditional novelties with unique generic prizes to enhance redemption offerings in Prize Patrol.

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October 2009:

Cover: Shaffer Distributing

Vegas Showdown — On the heels of the AMOA Expo, the amusement and FEC industry returns to Las Vegas in November for IAAPA. Find out what’s in store for fun center owners and managers at the mega product showcase.

Indy’s Legacy — As California pursues a hearing in the U.S. Supreme Court over their overturned effort to ban the sale of violent home video games, RePlay takes a look back at how the coin-op industry helped establish a crucial legal precedent in the now famous Indianapolis case.

80 Years Young — This month we celebrate a major milestone for one of the most respected names in the trade, Shaffer Distributing, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Get a first-hand look at the business Shaffer has become under the leadership of CEO Steve Shaffer and take a walk down memory lane to see how the four-generation firm got its start.

Centennial! It’s our “Ohio issue” as RePlay also celebrates the 100th anniversary of Cincinnati’s Pioneer Vending. Our first-hand coverage of the milestone’s celebration concludes with a conversation with the man at the helm, Bill Westerhaus, who’s happy to be carrying on the family tradition.

Gaming On — Operators from North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ohio, the states where video gaming initiatives similar to Illinois have been taken to lawmakers for consideration, discuss where their measures stand and future plans for attack in Operator Interface.

The World According to Bob — RePlay returns to Funspot in Wiers, N.H., to get an update with founder Bob Lawton, the 57-year industry veteran who’s still enhancing his beloved facility through renovation and new construction. Read the story in Arcade Profile.

New AMOA Prexy — Tennessee operator Gary Brewer is the newest AMOA president, having taken office at the AMOA Expo in Las Vegas. He participated in his first Hail to the Chief interview for this month’s issue, discussing the challenges and opportunities ahead for AMOA in maintaining its membership and annual trade show.

Dynamic Duo — MEI has two new bill acceptors designed to provide solutions to challenges in the contemporary market. The Cashflow 2000 VNR gives operators a way to reliably accept larger denomination bills and still be able to make change, while the MEI 12v battery acceptor has extended the life of the unit’s power supply.

Now on the Tee — Incredible Technologies this month launches the latest update of its global hit Golden Tee. GT 2010 offers new courses, a nine-hole prize play format, the return of skins, and the ability to connect with the social networking phenomenon Facebook.

Stuck on You — Prize Patrol heads to Arizona to put Brand Vending Products in the spotlight. Their impressive and original sticker and tattoo designs have put them at the forefront of the flat vending business, leading them to diversify into bulk prizes as well. Craigg Goodman explains.

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September 2009:

Cover: AMI

The Show Must Go On — Whether you are preparing your own itinerary for the trip to Las Vegas or need a one-stop resource once you’ve hit the show floor, RePlay has all the details on this month’s AMOA Expo. Our comprehensive coverage, including special events info, at-a-glance calendar, seminar descriptions and more, gets you off on the right foot.

A Gala Affair — Leaders of the AAMA hosted the group’s annual meeting in late July near Chicago. The organization elected new officers, including incoming chairman David Cohen (Firestone Financial), and offered a preview of fall releases at its annual Distributor Gala.

ATMs in Action — ATM machines are more prevalent on amusement operators’ routes as the units have improved and become more affordable. This month, we explore the ATM profit model through a special report including the results of RePlay’s survey, supplier profiles, product catalog, Operator Profile of Alpine Vending’s Dan Sunday and a focused Operator Interface.

Lone Star Operators Gather — Texas tradesters gathered recently for the 36th annual convention of the Amusement and Music Operators of Texas in Kerrville. The group elected Larry Lindelow as AMOT’s new president, reviewed their recent legislative campaigns and looked forward to the next session. Get the full story.

From the Land of Ice and Snow — Combine Nordic nostalgia and California-style amusement, and you get Scandia, the nine-acre family fun center and park overseen by Gert Jensen and sons Finn and Erik. We talk to the family about the unique facility’s attractions, past and present.

Summing Up — AMOA president Russ Mawdsley takes stock of his term as top cat at the national operators’ association, describing some of the extraordinary challenges posed by the economic crisis. Read more in his Hail to the Chief column.

A Twofer — ICE, the Buffalo, N.Y., game maker, is off to the races with two new redemption pieces, Photo Finish Racing and Go Ballistic. The former is a competitive ball-roll game themed around horse racing, while the latter is a multi-level ball toss attraction.

Road Trip — Bay Tek Games’ new, three-tier merchandiser, Road Trip, lets players step up and spin the wheel for a chance to accumulate miles and travel to high profile destinations like New York and Chicago, where they can redeem either small or large prizes. Get the details.

Baton Down the Hatches — Baton Lock has been securing equipment for decades with their range of trusty hardware. Showcased in Nuts & Bolts, the international supplier explains how locks are the most affordable and essential part of games and vending machines.

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____________________________________________________________ August 2009:

Cover: Arachnid Inc.

Board Business — The boards of both IAAPA and IALEI have approved a merger of the two associations, despite vocal criticisms from two former leaders. Now the fun center association members will get to decide.

Striking — The 2009 Bowl Expo looked mighty familiar to anyone used to attending an coin-op game show with exhibit aisles lined with amusement firms. Get an inside look at the bowling trade’s new favorite subject, FECs and amusements.

Vegas Billiard Show — RePlay stopped by this year’s Billiard and Recreation Show in Las Vegas, sponsored by the Billiard Congress of America, and filed this report on the state of the home recreation industry in America today.

Simply Masterful — A quick portrait of Bill Masterman, a career operator as innovative as he is engaging, is this month’s Thumbnail Sketch. Meet him in Tacoma, Wash.

Supplying the South — As Betson opened its first office in the Atlanta area and Brady readied to do the same, southeastern operators were discussing the role distribution plays in their businesses. How have their decisions been influenced by these developments? Can the combined forces of the national titan and the existing institution cultivate growth in the region? Find out in Operator Interface.

Back in the Day — In Arcade Profile, meet Brad Little, co-owner and general manager of Hey Day, the fun center that’s reinvented out-of-home entertainment in Norman, Okla. Your day has arrived.

A Bright Idea — Glow Machine’s new patent-pending Web Glow Machine vends glow product and then offers buyers a chance to log on to their website and get credits each time they buy premium goods redeemed online.

Updated — Get the latest on AMI Entertainment’s new Megatouch update featuring two new games, more content for its classics and a host of fresh features for operators and players, including a simplified network configuration.

Dynamite — Delivering higher value for lower prices and prizes that are a blast is the name of the game for TNT Amusements. Tom Hirt and his staff get the Prize Patrol treatment.

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____________________________________________________________ July 2009:

Cover: Redemption Plus

A Big Tent — AMI Entertainment is the new corporate identity under which the popular brands Rowe and Merit will now be marketed. The company has also acquired the commercial assets of Rock-Ola Manufacturing, bringing another venerable jukebox brand under its tent.

Getting Ready for Gaming — Illinois operators gathered just over the state border at Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wis., last month for their annual state meeting. This year saw a special cocktail equipment show, as well as a packed house for on-point seminars about the coming legalized video gaming initiative. Check out our first-hand coverage.

Strolling Down the Lanes — We’ve canvassed the country to showcase some of the most intriguing bowling centers and concepts, serving their communities and entire regions with out-of-home entertainment. From boutique bowling to bowling FECs to FECs with major bowling components, discover the diversity and profitability of the amusement formula in our special section.

By the Numbers — The information collected from RePlay’s bowing center survey has been tabulated and analyzed to create an insightful picture of the bowling industry and the supportive role that amusements plays within it. Get a closer look at the results.

Bowl Goal — In July’s Operator Interface, operators with games in bowling centers, along with facility owners and general managers, discuss trends in the alliance of bowling and amusement games, as well as decisions they’ve been making regarding games and traditional FEC attractions.

Kirkwood Concept — Big Al’s in Vancouver, Wash., is a prominent headliner of the hybrid bowling facility movement, and Arcade Profile has put the beautiful, 60,000-sq.-ft. facility in its sights. You don’t need to rent special shoes but put on your bowler hat and start the tour.

Fraternal Order — With a legacy dating to 1880, Kipp Brothers has refined its business to focus on the family, from its makeup to its mission. The family-run company, whose services are largely carried out through several families on the payroll all fulfilling the needs of family entertainment centers, is spotlighted in this month’s Prize Patrol.

Movers and Shakers — Head to Virginia, Minn., where Nortech Manufacturing has been improving the coin-op industry with operator-developed product for over 20 years, starting with their EasyLift pool table mover. Read Nuts & Bolts.

Slam Dunk — Stern Pinball shoots some hoops with their new pinball machine. The NBA pinball game, launched during this year’s NBA playoffs, features 20 players from 20 different teams.

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____________________________________________________________ June 2009:

Cover: TouchTunes

The Message on a New Medium — Several new advertising platforms are beginning to hit the streets, as operators begin to deploy marketing technology from jukebox makers turned broadcast advertisers as well as a new player made up of distributors. Get the full story on these initiatives, as well as operator feedback and a closer look at the new partnership between distributors called Rivals Media and their OnSite advertising system.

Ready to Grow — This month’s cover story on TouchTunes serves as an ideal complement to our thorough look at marketing and advertising initiatives for operators. Last month, TouchTunes unveiled plans to aggressively grow its Barfly ad network, rolling out 20,000 units by the end of the year. Read more about TouchTunes big plans for the future.

It Takes a Family — Rockwall, Texas, is the lucky home of Shenaniganz, one of the newest, most sophisticated and eye-popping eatertainment destinations that the industry has to offer. Take a first-hand tour of this major new player in out-of-home entertainment in this month’s Arcade Profile.

Advertising Their Thoughts — Operators compare and contrast on-premise advertising systems in this month’s Operator Interface, explaining their experiences installing them, what they hope to get out of the partnerships revenue-wise and their opinions on the overall model.

Equal Opportunity — In less than a decade, Larry Parsons and his wife Pam of L & P Vending in Barboursville, W. Va., have built a route operation of approximately 2,400 machines on location with more than 20 staffers. They have done so by treating all locations as an equal opportunity to grow their income and build trust in their service and support.

The Money Matrix — A master distributor for three major ATM manufacturers, ATM Network has a wide-spread and growing market presence across the U.S. by partnering with more and more amusement operators. Find out the latest developments on the cash-dispensing front, including the new frontier of ATM advertising.

Lucky & Good — Skee-Ball’s latest redemption game, Super 21, offers a skill-play spin on a popular card game, Blackjack. Players learn to time their coin drop to get as close to 21 in point value, without of course going over that limit and having to start all over.

On Fire — Medalist’s new Spectrum Fireball is a head-to-head, fast-paced action game with an aggressive price point and near service-free engineering, reports the factory. Get more information on this unique table game in our On the Market feature.

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____________________________________________________________ May 2009:

Cover: Elaut USA

Face Time in Florida — Enhancing this fall’s AMOA International Expo and improving member benefits topped the agenda for the national operator association’s mid-year board meeting held last March on Amelia Island. Get a full wrap up of their progress committee by committee in RePlay’s first-hand report.

IALEI Update — Leaders with the International Association of the Leisure and Entertainment Industry, the FEC trade association that sponsors and owns half of Fun Expo, has revealed more details about its proposal to merge with IAAPA. The group would become part of the theme park association’s FEC Committee.

Ecast Anniversary — Ecast Inc., the broadband music service that serves thousands of digital jukes across the country, reaches a 10-year milestone in style, promoting a wide range of solutions from affordable upgrade kits to their upscale EQ unit with music, advertising and social networking.

The Big Picture — Well-run FECs remain an important part of their community, offering families a place to have fun and enjoy each other’s company in a wholesome environment that offers real value for their increasingly hard-earned dollars. Learn more about this part of the industry in our special section.Sites of the Roundtable — Incorporating new attractions and upgrading existing installations are more important than ever in underscoring the family entertainment concept, whether it’s about playing mini golf or soft play, go-kart tracks or tracking redemption. The 2009 Fun Academy brought in specialized experts to demonstrate how to improve offerings for their Attractions Roundtable.

It’s No Mirage — Sahara Sam’s, a water park marrying the latest and greatest in water sports with amusement attractions, has just opened its doors in New Berlin, N.J., and made quite a splash in the region. Don your swimsuit and take a tour of this stunning, eco-friendly facility with owner Ilya Girlya as guide.

Gameroom Gambits — Operators across the FEC landscape have planted new ideas and promotions for growing business even in a cloudy economic climate. They share their novel ideas and successful strategies to implement them on location in this month’s Operator Interface.

Phazed and Amused — PhazerZone Extreme by Media Vision is set to revolutionize lasertag, paintball and video simulation with an intensely theatrical, sci-fi experience, creating a heart-pounding spectacle for FEC goers. Prepare to teleport to the next frontier in immersive, out-of-home attractions.

Big Winner — Andamiro USA has a new prize game, Winner’s Cube, that challenges winners to properly align the game’s controls in order to get their hands on one of many attractive prizes. Get all the details on this new redemption game.

Have You Got the Time? Family Fun Companies says it’s “Time 2 Win” with their new self-merchandiser. With a beat-the-clock scenario, the experience of potentially winning two tiers of prizes can’t be beat.

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April 2009:

Cover: H. Betti Industries 75th Anniversry

Vegas Show Report — Last month’s Amusement Showcase International and Fun Expo played host to smaller, but more focused, crowds in Las Vegas. We’ve got the full scoop on the Vegas expos inside this issue, including overview stories on both shows, as well as a piece on the Pizza Expo next door. Plus, there’s a RePlay exclusive new product catalog offering a detailed look at all the new equipment debuted at the show.

Playing for Keeps — Leagues have turned out to represent a cost-effective past-time for players, as well as a life support for amusement operators as the economic crisis has tightened its grip around the country. Industry leaders discuss how league programs have, in turn, grabbed hold of and kept players invested even when their total discretionary income may be less.

The Man from Michigan — In the second installment in our Why I’m Here series, featuring respected industry veterans and their philosophical take on what makes this biz tick, check in with former AMOA president and Michigan route operator Mike Leonard. We think you’ll get a chuckle at his wise and witty perspective.

Research and Development — In this month’s Operator Interface, tradesters step into research-and-development roles to share what specific product advances and thinking they would like to see come from factories to enliven coin-op’s sales and image.

Capturing the Castle — Kid’s rule, in all ways, at Burbank’s jewel in the crown of family entertainment, Kid’s Castle. Owner Michael Daglian and consultant Reggie Moultrie give readers access to the kingdom of fun, food, memories and profits.

75 Years and Counting — This month, we celebrate H. Betti Industries’ 75th Anniversary, chronicling the firm’s growth from a single restaurant in New York through its evolution as a successful operating company and then metro area distributor to the international equipment supplier the company has become over the last two decades. Today, the expansive company serves operators coast to coast with service and support while forging unique marketing relationships with several key proprietary game developers, including the increasingly popular Raw Thrills and Play Mechanix. This special section includes a look at the past and present plus a thumbnail sketch of each of its branches across the U.S.

The Tabletop Talk — The Shuffleboard Federation has been presiding over its namesake sport since the late 1980s. In this month’s Nuts & Bolts, we check in with president John McDermott to evaluate the status of the long table game today and tomorrow.

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____________________________________________________________ March 2009:

Cover: Smart Industries

Three For One — ASI and Fun Expo tie the knot alongside the co-located Pizza Expo this month in Las Vegas. RePlay’s comprehensive coverage, including special events info, at-a-glance calendar, seminar descriptions, planners’ thoughts and more, gets you in the mood for show time.

Slim Pickings for Coin-Op in Cuba — RePlay’s Eddie Adlum spent a weekend in the “forbidden zone” of the Caribbean, Cuba, where the music is hot, but it’s not coming from the jukebox.

The Post-Recession Consumer — Entertainment consultant Randy White, who has helped create many cutting-edge leisure venues, offers readers a rare glimpse into the kind of high-octane research his firm pursues, in this case on the evolution of consumers in these dramatic times. Don’t miss the invaluable portrait he paints.

Barack and Business — Operators get political on how President Obama may potentially affect small businesses like amusement operators through initiatives to re-energize the economy, as well as changes they would like to see implemented, in this month’s Operator Interface.

State Affairs — Leaders and executive directors from state operator associations gathered last month in Phoenix under AMOA auspices to compare notes and discuss strategies for moving forward in turbid times.

Funny Bone — The Boneyard isn’t a desert of death, but one of the most amusing eatertainment destinations delivering upscale amusement play. Arcade Profile invites you to bring your appetite and take a tour with owner Michael Schwartz and GM Scott Hoffman.

Century of Success — AMI, which started as a player piano maker called National Automatic Music Co. in 1909, is now the AMI Entertainment Network, a cutting edge broadband music service for jukes. A century later, the company is still providing affordable music for average people. Take the 100-year journey from then to now.

Hit ‘Em Hard — Kalkomat USA is hoping to blaze new boxing trails with their new Wheel of Boxing game, which rewards more than just brute strength. Players can walk away with a prize from the game’s multiple play formats.

Modern Play — Nuts & Bolts heads to Vancouver, where Orca Coast Playground has been designing and executing indoor playground installations for facilities around the world while growing their firm’s size and reputation year after year.

Kovens Culture — A&A Global has embraced the world by delivering prizes, novelties and candy to a myriad of industries with a special focus on amusement and renewed dedication to bulk vending. Find out more about the personality of the firm run by the Kovens family in Prize Patrol.

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____________________________________________________________ February 2009:

Cover: JVL

Three’s Company — The buzzed-about co-location between ASI and Fun Expo is around the corner. Get an update on advance planning, from activities on and off the show floor to news about The Pizza Expo taking place next door, all to better organize your trip to Las Vegas next month.

The Wide World of Games — The international amusement scene has been bracketed by rampant growth in location-based entertainment at one extreme and the worldwide credit crunch on the other, both of which have influenced export sales. RePlay gets worldly this month in a special focus on foreign markets.

Tackling 2009 — The ball has dropped, the shot’s been fired, and operators around the country and different segments of the industry have made their plans on how to make 2009 a better year. Operator Interface finds out how.

Tricorp Nation — From humble beginnings to a widespread operation, Tricorp Amusements has promoted quality product and attentive service on top of surefire business savvy. Get an inside look at the major route operation.

Off to the Races — Go-karting has become a more high-octane sport, albeit with electronic karts, because of the MB2 Raceway concept in Southern California. Put on your racing gear and pull up to the starting line.

Test Your Skiller — Skiller, the air-powered gun game attraction, has been reintroduced to the U.S. market after an extensive redesign by the folks at QubicaAMF. Take your best shot at this high-tech shooting gallery.

Take Your Best Shot — Coastal Amusements hits the market with two novelty shooters including the new Sea Wolf — The Next Mission, a followup to their naval hit from last year, plus the merchandise-ready Spider Bot.

Show Time — Jennison Entertainment Technologies is now shipping its two latest games including Intermission, the quick-coin game followup to Hollywood Reels, and Vegas Sensations, the well-priced six-player pusher.

Buggy Down — Bob’s Space Racers’ Bungie Bugs may be a redemption piece with free-falling insects, but the cartoonish attraction is riding high after winning IAAPA’s Best New Arcade Game Award for 2008.

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____________________________________________________________ January 2009:

Cover: Sega Amusements ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)
this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, parts suppliers, trade associations, music one-stops…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

(Go back to main 2009 menu)

2008 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December

December 2008:

Cover: Merit Entertainment

Parks Show Report — Check out our breaking news coverage from the IAAPA parks show, which concluded just days before Thanksgiving in Orlando, Fla. We’ve got a first-hand look at the latest products and prizes debuted there.

Weathering The Storm — The economy is issue number one for just about everybody, prompting us to reach out to some of the cooler heads in the trade for some sage advice on how to stay afloat in these troubled waters.

Celebrating Half a Century — Coin Acceptors Inc. (Coinco) recently celebrated 50 years of delivering industry-changing payment solutions. CEO Jack Thomas said they got there by “continually reinvesting in our markets and reinventing ourselves to better serve our customers.”

All The Young Dudes (and Dudettes) — Coin-op’s next generation of operators has spent the better part of the year giving us the news about their take on the industry and what role they intend to play in its future.

Interface on the Economy — This month’s Operator Interface looks at how operators are dealing with challenging economic conditions, especially as they begin making plans for the coming year.

Fun For A Fee — Rafiki is a 7,000-sq.-ft. FEC in Boise, Idaho, that utilizes a unique business model: kids are charged an entrance fee while their parents get in for free. Once inside, all attractions are set on free play with a deli and coffee bar where parents can relax while their kids have fun.

Multiball Mystery — Stern Pinball debuted their new CSI: Crime Scene Investigation flipper game. The pinball machine adapts CBS’s original Las Vegas-based television series into an exciting game, and TV show creator Anthony E. Zuiker, a huge pinball enthusiast, even assisted in the design of the pinball machine.

Delivering the Goods — Family Fun Companies put out a spread of market-ready product at IAAPA last month with six new pieces boasting fresh twists on the redemption formula. The manufacturer’s Jim Chapman describes their development details and fun-powered functionality in our final Spotlight Special of the year.

LAI Round-Up — LAI Games unveiled four unique products during last month’s IAAPA, including Textminator, Starblitz, Mini Stacker and Double Up Stacker. “These products demonstrate the out-of-the-box game play experiences LAI has come to be known for,” said LAI topper Alan Freimuth.

The World According to Theisen — Theisen Vending, the Midwestern kiddie ride operator and manufacturer and bulk vending supplier, takes center stage this month in Prize Patrol as president Tom Theisen details what each division of the company has to offer.

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November 2008:

Cover: ICE

The Greatest Show on Earth — At least in the amusement world, IAAPA is the largest product exposition and conference of its kind, offering the latest attractions, services and thinking across the location-based entertainment and leisure industries. Find RePlay’s complete guide to the show, including seminar and special event schedules.

A Brave New World — A handful of amusement companies are entering uncharted waters this fall as they work toward the convergence of music, games and advertising, connected across a broadband location network designed to deliver content on premise. Get the latest on this emerging story in our special section.

Ever-Green Fun — Environmental conservatism is not the only plus in adopting eco-friendly practices in FECs. Lowering expenses over the long term, as well as deepening brand identity and bolstering green awareness in youngsters are just some of the benefits discussed in our examination of green FECs.

Light at the End of the Tunnel — Smoking bans may be stubbing out more coin drop, but league play is more on fire than ever, if promoted thoughtfully and aggressively. Learn some proven methods and fresh ideas on developing leagues from the AMOA Expo’s seminar “Life After Smoking Bans.”

40 Under 40 — As the year winds down, so does our popular Operator Interface series on the youngest generation of operators in the business. Looking for fresh blood and new ideas?

Team Spirit — The recently opened Snapperz in Indianapolis scores a field goal in November’s Arcade Profile. Meet Justin Snow of the Indianapolis Colts and take a tour of this sporty new facility with partner Dave Wilson.

Merit’s Annual Update — Merit Entertainment has launched two major game updates, the 2009 Ion software and 2009 Force software. The Ion update features 14 brand new games and fresh content for over a dozen Megatouch favorites, while this year’s Force software features 11 brand new games plus fresh photos, puzzles and phrases for those same classics.

Along Came Arachnid — The dartboard manufacturer Arachnid has expanded their League Leader system to incorporate pool league data and management. Find out more about running pool leagues literally on dartboards, as well as the cross-promotional impetus for doing so.

Sterling Silver — Numerous fun centers have turned to Sterling & Sterling Insurance for providing coverage and protection of their unique locations. Find out more about the firm’s personality and policies with senior VP Ann Frantzen in Nuts & Bolts.

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October 2008:

Cover: Golden Tee Golf

Show Coverage — This month’s issue of RePlay is packed with first-hand coverage from the AMOA and Fun Expos, which were held last month in Las Vegas. Literally hot off the press, you are holding a thorough look at both shows including booth-by-booth coverage, an update on association news and events including AMOA’s 60th birthday celebration and a complete catalog of new games debuted at the conventions.

IAAPA on the Way — No sooner have you unpacked your suitcase from AMOA and Fun Expos, or returned from the latest distributor open house, then it’s time to start making plans for the mega-parks show that IAAPA is staging next month in Orlando, Fla.

Mr. President — Russ Mawdsley of Russell Hall in Holyoke, Mass., became the new president of AMOA at last month’s association show in Vegas. He becomes the second operator to follow his father to the group’s top spot. Meet Russ and learn what he plans to do as president.

All in the Family — Julie Nordeen shares the helm of one of the most recognized companies in coin-op, Stansfield Vending of Wisconsin. From the slopes to boardroom, get to know Julie, daughter of industry legend Jim Stansfield Jr., a little better through our portrait in Thumbnail Sketch.

Cranium Logic — Ed Cappola of C-M Novelty-Plush explains how incorporating cranes into his operations bolstered the bulk vending company enough to make several strategic business moves, expanding its coverage from Maryland to Connecticut.

40 Under 40 — We’re in the home stretch of our Operator Interface series as five more amusement and vending professionals of the younger generation share their stories and perspectives. Then check out the discussion on iPod and Guitar Hero Nights culled from RePlay’s blog.

Redemption Richers — Skee-Ball’s new Strike It Rich, this month’s Spotlight Special, is an exciting, stop-action game that challenges players to stop the scrolling LED light ball in the highlighted ticket area. If a player reaches the final level, they have the opportunity to play for a progressive jackpot.

Start Your Engines — Global VR is now shipping the new Need for Speed Carbon dedicated game. Operators can choose a standard cabinet that comes with a 32″ LCD display or a deluxe version with a 42″ LCD display, unique attraction marquee and molded side panel. The factory has also released team and track updates for their popular NASCAR driver.

Basketball Anyone? Sized properly for youngsters, Shirts and Skins Jr. is a kiddie basketball game where players earn points for each basket they make with more points per shot as they approach the sounding of the shot clock.

What’s New? A lot! Take a look at the brand-new product on display at the AMOA and Fun Expos in RePlay’s traditional post-show catalog.

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September 2008:

Cover: Expo Showbook

AAMA Gala Alert — AAMA held their annual meeting and Distributor Gala near Chicago last month, and RePlay was in attendance to chronicle the scene. Check out the latest news and equipment debuts from the factory association gathering.

It’s Showtime! Whether you’re preparing for the trip to Las Vegas or need a one-stop resource once you’ve hit the aisles, RePlay has all the details on the AMOA and Fun Expos. Our comprehensive coverage, including special events info, at-a-glance calendar, seminar descriptions, planners’ thoughts and more, gets you off on the right foot.

Celebrating 60 Years — This month’s issue is dedicated to celebrating the 60th anniversary of the national Amusement and Music Operator’s Association. RePlay published an exclusive special issue commemorating the group’s exciting 50th in 1998. With a special nod to their illustrious past, we pick up where we left off. And there’s been a good bit to talk about over the intervening decade.

Point, Counterpoint — Are chain locations the future of our industry or a less-than-advantageous opportunity for traditional route operators? What role should management companies play in securing those deals? Get the pros and cons of national chain operations from Chicago operator Ed Velasquez and management pro Richard Scherer of The Pelican Group.

Kruse Control — Ryan Kruse of Omaha’s Nebraska Technical Services steps into the spotlight in this month’s Thumbnail Sketch. Find out more about the man and the Kruse family behind one of the state’s largest route operations.

Second Generation Success — Florida operator Albert Miniaci, son of renowned jukebox operator Al Miniaci of New York, has built his own coin-op empire in the Sunshine State with amusements, vending and coffee.

A King and His Castle — Take a trip to Spokane and meet Brent Botzenhardt, owner of Wonderland Family Fun Center, a veritable palace of fun surrounded not by a moat but some of the most beautiful mini golf greens the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Feel like royalty.

A Shining Star — Rowe International recently debuted their new Solara 2 Internet juke, which offers a 19″ touch-sensitive LCD that replaces the prior generation’s CRT touch equipment and a 2.8 GHz CPU that more than doubles its processing speed.

Worldwide Acceptance — AstroSystems has been bringing bill acceptor solutions to a spectrum of marketplaces. Their latest combo feature allows for greater pricing flexibility for the U.S. market, especially for cranes.

Wish Upon an Allstar — Allstar Vending has grown from operator to vending and bulk goods supplier to manufacturer, permeating all levels of the North American vending market from their headquarters outside of Montreal. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the firm.

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August 2008:

Cover: RePlay’s Annual Jukebox Issue

Almost Showtime — Next month, the trade will make its annual fall pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the AMOA and Fun Expos. Get the early line on events, hotels, travel, etc.

Bowling People Over — Bowl Expo 2008 was the place to be for seizing coin-op amusement opportunities. More than ever before, the tradeshow demonstrated that bowling centers are adding and entirely rethinking gamerooms as part of a surge in upscaling facilities.

Three Years Later — August marks the third-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the life-changing disruption in the region’s amusement scene. RePlay checks in with New Orleans and Gulf Coast operators and others to find out the incredible strides they’ve made on the road to recovery.

Music Makers — RePlay continues its August tradition in fine style with another special jukebox section, detailing the latest and greatest from all of the major jukebox factories and checking in with two successful jukebox operators from very different parts of the U.S.

40 Under 40 — Our popular Operator Interface series continues with another batch of the industry’s best, brightest and most youthful explaining their unique stake in the industry.

Associations in Action — The state operator association show season is in full swing this summer and we’ve got reports from Michigan (MOMA) and Ohio (OCMA) inside this issue.

Making Over Fun — In one of the fastest expanding areas of the country, Fun Fore All FEC has experienced its own growing pains within a unique architectural space. The owner and general manager explain what has made their facility work before and after a remodel and more changes being entertained around the bend.

Dark Knight — Stern Pinball is out with another pinball game tied to a big summer movie release. This time it’s Batman, which came out last month along with the film Dark Knight. The new game offers many exciting features, including The Joker’s Reveal Mechanism, Scarecrow’s Crane, the Batmobile Bridge, an upper mini-playfield and lots of multi-ball action.

Power of the Electronic Touch — Elo TouchSystems’ line of touch and non-touch screen technology is familiar to many throughout the amusement industry. The manufacturer’s boldest product, the multi-touch platform, could also help revolutionize game play in the future. Find out more in Nuts & Bolts.

Esco in the Know — The coin-op industry has recently become a prime market for Esco Imports, a novelty supplier with a varied history in a handful of trades. Learn more about what potential the amusement business has for this established but relative newcomer in Prize Patrol.

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July 2008:

Cover: Eyes on the Prizes — Play Time Toys Focuses on Growing Product Mix & Customer Loyalty

A Gala Affair — AAMA is set to hold its annual Membership Meeting and Distributor Gala Aug. 8 near Chicago. The event has become an important chance for factories to debut their works in progress to distributors and other association members in preparation for the fall buying season.

Sporting Summit — Incredible Technologies hosted 80 operating companies to its annual Summit meeting held in Chicago. They debuted their newest video, Mini Golf Master, showed the latest on Golden Tee Live and spent some quality time with operators talking about marketing, promotions and the current state of the coin machine business.

They Brake for Games — The national route pros at Travel Center Entertainment have found a special niche providing amusements for long-haul big rig drivers at trucks stops across the country.

Tournament Central — This issue is heavy with coverage from several national amusement game tournaments including the annual VNEA, BullShooter and NDA.

Way Down to Kokomo’s — Kokomo’s Family Fun Center in Saginaw, Mich., is embarking on the newest chapter in its long and exciting adventure as the home to an Italian-made Galaxy roller coaster called The Serpent. Get the full story on this impressive location.

Power of Promotion — AMI, the broadband music service affiliated with Rowe, has launched their latest software update, Version 2.7. One of the powerful new features is attract-mode processing, enabling jukeboxes to update promotional attract loops more frequently.

Pyramid’s Architecture — In Nuts & Bolts, we shine a light on Pyramid Technologies, the currency acceptor manufacturer that has made interesting inroads in markets at home and abroad. Sit down with president David Mays for a look at the real innovations they’ve made in acceptor design, particularly in the Trilogy line.

The New Bonita Marie — BMI Merchandise has been busily cultivating more streamlined, automatic solutions for all types of prize supply. From Tickets to Prizes to their Tickets to Redemption program, BMI has staked its claim on fulfilling any prize need, instantly. Take a peek inside one of the largest amusement prize suppliers.

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June 2008: RePlay’s Annual FEC Special Issue

Cover: Coast to Coast: Celebrating a Decade of Growth

Bulking Up in Vegas — The 2008 National Bulk Vending show might have welcomed smaller crowds, but they were dedicated to buying. RePlay takes you to the show floor for highlights on product; issues facing vending and, increasingly, amusement operators; and the NBVA agenda for the rest of this year.

Brainstorming in the Big Easy — TouchTunes Music hosted its Operator Advisory Board in the historic New Orleans French Quarter. The jukebox firm’s top operators provided valuable input and got an update on their plans for growing a digital interactive network that includes music, ads and games.

FEC Extravaganza — This month’s RePlay showcases our third annual FEC special issue, including a special overview report, the cover story on Coast to Coast Entertainment and commentary from a number of family entertainment experts like Frank Seninsky, George McAuliffe, Bud Umbach and Scott Drumond. We’ve also got a closer look at one unique location, a brand new redemption game supplier and words of wisdom from more of our regular contributors.

Not Just Child’s Play — Camp Iliff in Newton, N.J., is the starting point for a new wave of revenue in family fun centers: child care. Owner and operator Theresa Iliff and others demonstrate how traditional day-care programming offered within a fun center location can both drive profit and improve a facility’s overall appeal.

Up, Up and Away — Justin and Kern Jennsion, the principal family members and certified pilots behind Jennison Entertainment Technologies, emerged from the FEC world to become the newest game makers in the biz. The two started out as operators and tried distributing and consulting along the way to becoming a factory. Go from the drawing board to their friendly skies in our profile.

Echaves Emerging– Longtime behind-the-scenes game designer Carlos Echaves, responsible for many redemption hits, is now launching his own product brand, and his first debut Monster Games is hitting the biz backed by a powerhouse of sales experience too.

What’s for Dinner? Nuts & Bolts showcases Quick n’ Crispy, makers of greaseless fryers. Their units offer the beauty of a full kitchen and none of the insurance premiums for a small portion of the cost outlay. President Paul Artt details product models with a healthy twist and what’s needed to jump-start food services for hungry players.

The Latest and Greatest — L. M. Becker, the bulk vendor manufacturer and supplier of sensational prizes, recently started distributing the Take II unit, capable of vending up to four-inch capsules and prizes valued up to $9.99. In Prize Patrol, learn more about this diversified family firm that’s putting U.S. operators in step with those in Canada and Europe.

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May 2008:

Cover: ASI: Quantity vs. Quality

ASI Show Coverage — A large section of this issue is dedicated to our firsthand coverage of the Amusement Showcase International held at the end of March in Las Vegas. We’ve got an overview story, booth-by-booth coverage, new product catalog and close look at all the special events including seminars, the Big Bar and a special Celebrity Coin-Op Olympics.

Another Spring Show — The Spring NAMA expo was held in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay convention center during two of the days ASI was also in town. Take a look at the news from the vending side of the business in our report.

Lucky & Good — The operator group Club Lucky, which has raised many eyebrows across the trade as it launched a national tournament program and struck direct deals with high-profile suppliers, continues to grow and forge new partnerships. RePlay checks in on the exciting and controversial group, which recently held a national summit meeting just before ASI.

A Moment in the Sun — AMOA returned to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, this spring for the association’s mid-year board meeting. Fortunately for the association, this year’s meeting was devoid of many of the stressful issues the group faced when it last met there a decade ago.

Meet Mr. Shaffer — Andy Shaffer, a fourth generation tradester, is the AMOA’s newest officer. As the head of a progressive street route operation in Ohio and with a family background in both operations and distribution, Shaffer brings a unique combination of youth and experience to his latest role.

More 40 Under 40 — RePlay continues its discussion with young operators as part of our 40 Under 40 series of interviews. We continue to seek out the next generation for their ideas and insights on the industry today and tomorrow.

Strategic Fortress — The transformative power of family entertainment has never been more evident than in the story of Stocktons Entertainment complex, an oasis of amusement in Fort Stockton, Texas, situated in a desert of convenient, out-of-home leisure options. Allie Slater starts the tour.

New-at-ASI Products — As has become a tradition in post-tradeshow issues of RePlay, we’ve compiled the brand-new equipment in a handy reference guide. Check out our catalog.

Reviving the Vision — The Vision jukebox, created by View Interactive, is back. The jukebox created by operators for operators had ceased production last year, but it’s set to make a comeback through a partnership with Rowe’s AMI music service.

Vending Vistas — A new firm started by an Animaland industry vet came to ASI to debut its new concept in vending, a fully wired unit that can vend just about anything through its touchscreen sales interface. Get the full story on this true innovation in this month’s Spotlight.

The Age of Advertising — With over 30,000 connected units, TouchTunes is set to capitalize on two growing markets, interactive and out-of-home advertising, but they need the help of their already loyal partners, street operators. Learn more about their plans.

The Golden Years — National Ticket has been celebrating their centennial milestone with the next generation of wristbands, along with emphasizing their variety of customized ticket options that have been implemented around the globe. Take part in the festivities in Nuts & Bolts.

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April 2008:

Cover: Apple Industries: Photobooths So Cool They’re Hot!

Red Carpet Welcome — The Amusement Showcase International has once again spread out the red carpet over the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. RePlay is your one-stop resource for the tradeshow, seminars and special events sponsored by the AAMA. Get up to speed on the latest news from ASI, map your way to exhibitors and plan for local entertainment.

The Other Spring Show — The 2008 Nightclub & Bar Show was a coin-op intense extravaganza with new amusement industry exhibitors including Club Lucky. Feel like you were there for all the action with our in-depth coverage.

A Solid Foundation ­­ Check out RePlay’s first-hand report from the Foundations University near Dallas, a three-day seminar for FEC operators put on by the industry’s top teachers.

State Summit — AMOA held its annual Council of Affiliated States meeting in Chicago. The event saw lively discussion of the state of the trade around the country plus visits to local coin-op firms and a trip downtown to see the industry’s lawyer.

40 Under 40 — Our series on burgeoning operators forging careers in coin-op continues with another batch of the youngest generation explaining their impressions of the trade’s past, present and future. Read what they have to say in this month’s Operator Interface.

Bowling Anyone? Bowling-based FECs are the hot trend right now with new centers opening across the U.S. and around the world. We check out one of these snazzy new centers near Dallas. Alley Cats actually grew out of a 20-year-old Putt Putt operation that still co-exists with its new sister location.

New Products Galore — This issue of RePlay is chock full of new product reports, ranging across the spectrum from the newest I.T. video bowler and Raw Thrills’ Big Buck Hunter Safari to a crane machine and novelty game by Smart Industries, a new rotary merchandiser based on a classic from Brady Distributing, Stern’s latest flipper Shrek and even a new twist on the photobooth from Fotozines, not to mention our cover story report from the photobooth kings at Apple Industries.

The Sweet Spot — One of the most diversified companies in the amusement business, S & B Candy & Toy Co. is much more than just candy and toys. Find out about their equipment operations, distribution company and more in this month’s Prize Patrol.

Full Time Parts — The growth of the Spanish parts maker and supplier Industrias Lorenzo encapsulates the history of the international amusement industry. Now, the company is embracing broader distribution ties to the biz. Visit their new Midwest facility in Nuts & Bolts.

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March 2008:

Cover: Leisure & Allied Stacks up 50 Years

Come One, Come All — The Amusement Showcase International is fast approaching with new product from the London show set to have their U.S. debut on the tradeshow floor in Las Vegas, March 27-29. Get up to speed on all of the details about exhibitors, entertainment and seminars in our comprehensive show guide.

London Show Review — Overall numbers were up and ATEI attendance was down, but exhibitors were happy anyway. Check out our extensive coverage, including an exhaustive look at new product, from RePlay’s roving reporter in the U.K. Kevin Williams.

Redemption is Still King — Redemption remains one of the driving forces in the amusement business, representing a key area of profitability for many amusement centers and even a significant amount of street operators. Find out what’s hot in redemption games from the key factories and listen in on a daylong redemption seminar held at Betson Texas.

Star Wars Redux — Laser tag has come back from the brink to become a must-have attraction in fun centers. Everyone’s favorite futurist game has never been able to predict its own future, but for now the sport’s model and growth mode is in full blast.

Jewel of the Gem State — One of the best and brightest models of family entertainment is found in the skinny, perpendicular panhandle of Idaho. Take a trip north to Triple Play Family Fun Park and discover how they have broken the mold in attracting not only local residents but families from hundreds of miles away and nearby Canada.

40 Under 40 — Those who say the industry needs young blood, look closer. This month’s Operator Interface Special Report kicks off an extended look at operators under 40 who have carved out a foothold in the amusement business.

Lone Star Legions — Operators in the Lone Star state got together recently to make plans for the future. The Texas legislature only meets every other year, and operators there are using the off season to broaden their appeal and get ready for upcoming elections.

All for One — A handful of innovative street operators in Illinois have forged Bar Stool Promotions to offer tournaments for prizes on JVL touchscreens to players all across the Land of Lincoln.

Celebrating a Half Century — Leisure and Allied Industries got its start as an Australian street route in 1958 and has grown to become a global entertainment center operator, amusement game factory and leading payment systems provider.

Tao Jones Industrial — International Currency Technologies has currency handling systems spread over most of the world, and their upcoming bill acceptor, the Tao, is set to show operators and even manufacturers a new way.

More for Less — In this month’s Prize Patrol, meet Redemption Headquarters’ Randy Gordon who holds down a singular niche in the amusement business: that of a toy manufacturer’s rep offering manufacturing pricing.

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February 2008:

Cover: Global Billiards — Old World Craftsmanship Meets Modern Technology

A Surprise Move — Allen Weisberg, the New York City operator turned photo booth maven at Apple Industries, has acquired the assets and rights to Face Place, a rival photo booth maker that closed its doors last year. Apple will make new Face Place booths and sell its Polaroid media.

We the Vendors — Congressional lawmakers have picked up the battle for increased regulation of children’s products in 2008 as the NBVA has lobbied and petitioned the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Learn more about what they are doing on behalf of the vending industry in the face of bill stipulations plus more about the political climate of toy importing.

An Inspiring Tale — TouchTunes sales veteran Dan Clarton is back to work after a year of fighting cancer. In an essay for RePlay, Dan chronicles his successful battle and the way it has changed his outlook on work, family and life in general.

Peach State Show — Operators from across the Georgia Amusement and Music Operators Association gathered late last year at the Stone Mountain Park Evergreen Conference Resort to showcase new products, discuss legislation and raise funds.

New Year, Same Issues — Operators sound off in this month’s Interface on their positive developments and concerns as the new year gets into full swing. Take the industry’s pulse through their opinions.

Making Tarzan Proud — Patti Garrand takes readers on a tour of the newest FEC in New York state’s north country, the TreePaad Family Entertainment Center in Glens Falls. Find out how this impressive destination got up on its feet, inspect their most popular attractions and find out why the bar on tree houses has been significantly raised .

Reggie to the Rescue — Industry veteran Reggie Moultrie has been working behind the scenes on some of the most impressive FEC and bowling facilities being developed. Reggie sits down to discuss the accomplishments of consulting firm Reggie Moultrie Inc. and the state of the fun center industry today and tomorrow.

Along for the Ride — Kiddie rides have long been popular with the industry’s youngest customers, and online game supplier BMI Gaming is now representing the popular Falgas line here in the U.S. and Canada. Check out what’s new with their ride line-up.

High Marks — Redemption factory Benchmark Games is coming off their best year yet, and they’ve got a few more tricks up their sleeve including a new mystery piece that sales topper and co-founder Al Kress says might be their biggest hit yet.

Partying Goes High-Tech — This month’s Nuts & Bolts shines a light on Party Center Software, a suite of facility management tools that automates celebrations, marketing and so much more. Meet Scott Drummond, owner of Bounceopolis in Folsom, Calif., who implemented the software in his own location to impressive results.

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January 2008:

Cover: Benchmark ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)
this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, parts suppliers, trade associations, music one-stops…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

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2007 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December

December 2007:

Cover: Sacoa: 50 Years in Entertainment

CELEBRATING HALF A CENTURY — This month’s special feature on Sacoa Entertainment celebrates the company’s 50 years of success, starting from the humblest of routes in Argentina, the company now operates dozens of FECs and a major theme park. They are also known worldwide for the Playcard System, an innovative card-based approach to currency on location.

IAAPA REPORT — The mega parks show staged annually by IAAPA was underway as this issue went to press. We filed a first-hand dispatch after the first two days of the show, reporting on new product and major news events. See this breaking new coverage. Click here to download the expanded version of our IAAPA coverage in PDF form. This file contains additional information and photos!

BY THE BOOK — Noted seminar speaker and FEC operator Michael Getlan has put his ideas and experience on paper in a new book about redemption entitled How Much Is That Doggie in The Showcase. Check out our preview of Michael’s impressive literary effort.

YEAR IN REVIEW — Wildfires, the stock market tumbling, escalating gas prices, company buyouts and more topped the most notable events of 2007 for various operators around the country. In Operator Interface, find more stories about 2007’s highs and lows and what some are predicting for the New Year.

COWBOYS & GALS — Launching Horseshoe Junction has been a grand exercise in theming amusements around an idealized 19th-century Texas with a saddlebag full of unique surprises for visitors and family entertainment tradesters alike. Set up camp awhile and take a tour with Brett Smith.

GAMES TO GO — Florida print shop owner turned operator got in the games business after a Eureka moment. If kids aren’t coming to the game room as often, why not bring the games to them in a customized motor coach.

GETTING IN THE GAME — Brunswick, the amusement giant that owns Valley Dynamo, is now getting in the amusement game business. After debuting their first piece, Ultimate Tic Tac Toe, they debuted three more new games including Block Party, Tot Shot and Cruisin’ Hoops, last month. Check out their line-up.

ART OF THE PARTY — Rebecca’s has three generations of amusement expertise backing their inventory of low- to high-end prizes. The company spent 2007 revamping and expanding their party supply business with more changes in store for 2008. Meet or get to know better the Nazzaro family and their take on the art of the party.

HOW ADVANTAGEOUS — Coin Acceptors has released its superior line of Vantage bill acceptors just in time for their 50th birthday as a present to their customers who made the milestone happen. Get an up close and personal look at the company and its latest and greatest product offering.

CAN WE HAVE A P — For pinball that is, specifically the new Wheel Of Fortune pinball with original speech by Pat Sajak, host of the show, as well as Charlie O’Donnell, the show’s announcer. Backglass art on this prime time pingame also features Pat Sajak and hostess Vanna White.

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November 2007:

Cover: Smart Scores a Solid Show (Expo Vegas Revue)

A Big Splash — This fall’s AMOA Expo offered a host of festivities including a dunk tank for trade celebrities, plus a show floor full of new product debuts, all brought together under the “Fun & Games” banner. There was also headline news and much discussion about the future of shows. Get the full story including booth coverage and new products.

For the Love of Fun — Fun Expo fostered quality deals for the family entertainment industry and saw one of the best Fun Academy turnouts in recent years. Get the full scoop on exhibitors and product, the seminar program and IALEI politics and events.

Courses of Action — Whether you were too busy prowling the aisles of the fall expo to take in AMOA’s seminars or want a refresher course, check out our in-depth coverage of the popular and informative estate planning and sound design seminars.

Expo Face Off — Operators of all stripes had lots to say about the 2007 AMOA and Fun Expos, as well as the souvenir show. Find out opinions about new product and perspectives on the industry in Operator Interface, direct from the show floor.

The Pecking Order — David and Harry Peck of Family Amusement Corp. have been keeping Angelenos amused for over three decades. Now it’s time for the second generation to learn the game. Take a close look at what makes this institution tick and keeps a major metropolis entertained.

The President Speaks — Incoming AMOA president Lloyd Williamson steps up to the plate for his first one-on-one Hail to the Chief interview. “I’m looking forward to a strong year for the association, which will hopefully bode well for the industry,” he told RePlay.

Getting in the Game — TouchTunes Music, the digital jukebox supplier, entered the touchscreen game business this fall with the acquisition of White Rabbit Game Studio, originally started by industry veterans Ken Fedesna and Ed Pellegrini. The firm developed the PlayPorTT handheld touchscreen game system, which will be sold and supported by TouchTunes.

Three for One — NRI, Cashcode and Telequip, all manufacturers of currency handling devices for diverse applications, have all been gathered under the umbrella of Crane Payment Solutions. Get to know this division of Crane Co. better, and what they have in store for the vending and amusement industry, in November’s Nuts & Bolts.

Madame Matriarch — U.S. Toy Company is a Midwestern titan of toy and prize supply, especially educational items for many marketplaces. In Prize Patrol, we honor the late great founder Frances Gershon, a pioneer in this field going back more than half a century.

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October 2007:

Cover: The Reinvention of Golden Tee

It’s Showtime! AMOA and Fun Expos, with all their new product, exhibitors, colleagues, industry politics, parties and more, were set to invade Las Vegas as this issue hit the streets. Our show coverage offers an easy, complete reference to make the best of your stay in Las Vegas. Let this be your first stop to get the lay of the land at the shows.

A Sad Loss — California route operator Rick Caviglia made news at ASI 2005 when he launched View Interactive, maker of the JukeBoost Ecast-powered kits for old CD jukes. He followed with a new juke model called the Vision and graced the cover of this publication but sadly in a hyper-competitive market had to shut their doors last month.

Homeward Bound — Long thought of as competition, home entertainment sales have emerged in the last few years as a healthy market for arcade games. This month, RePlay talked to a handful of suppliers about the success they have had selling to the home .

Home is Where the Games Are — Operator Interface continues this month’s examination of the state of home game sales. Take the pulse of the recreation market with operators who have incorporated a retail component into their business and compare their opinions with your experience taking games off the street and into the home.

Mr. Music– Many patrons in the Pacific Northwest have enjoyed his tunes, although they probably don’t know his name. Quiet in his behind the scenes role, operator Dave Ruthruff of Kent, Wash., got his start in the video boom but later transitioned to music, first CD jukes and now the broadband digital craze.

Fit for a King — Palace Entertainment’s star is in ascendance. Take a tour of Boomers in Dania Beach, Fla., to see how the largest operator of amusement parks in the U.S. has developed its showcase facility. Also get an inside look at major changes in the corporate structure of this mega-operator.

Roll Over — Roll 2 Win, the latest roll-down from Smart Industries, offers a dual cabinet and a flatscreen for promotional videos, both for the game and for the location. The game maker discusses their decision to put this self-promotion tool in the hands of operators, not to mention what looks like an impressive game.

A Part of Your World — This months’ Nuts & Bolts shines the light on Amusement Emporium, which has spent over 35 years maintaining an expansive parts inventory and providing knowledgeable and convenient customer service. Read more about this Colorado-based one-stop parts shop.

Rhodes to Hoe — Rhode Island Novelty, a supplier of oodles of prizes, has a keen business eye trained on satisfying redemption needs while opening up new avenues of business. Get better acquainted with Frank Bebjl, sales manager, and learn more about how the company is meeting these goals in Prize Patrol.

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September 2007:

Cover: Bay Tek’x 30th Anniversary

Remembering Bill — The life and legacy of industry icon Bill Cravens, who passed away at this spring’s ASI, was celebrated last month near Chicago as part of the annual AAMA meeting. “He was responsible for creating this brotherhood of sales reps. He made sure they took care of each other,” remembered Steve Walton.

A Gala Affair — AAMA hosted their membership meeting and fourth annual product gala last month near Chicago. More than two-dozen hot new games were unveiled to the trade. Meanwhile the trade group elected a new chairman plus officers and board members. Read our full coverage.

Get Exposed — AMOA and Fun Expos team up with Big Kahuna West for the largest annual amusement product spread at the end of this month in Las Vegas. In this second installment of our three-part preview, find everything you need to know about getting there, navigating the show floors and special activities, plus a calendar and list of exhibitors and seminars.

Show and Tell — Operators discuss plans to attend expo, their agendas or lack thereof and in what directions they are focusing their businesses in this month’s Operator Interface.

Hot Shots — For over 20 years, Hot Shot Amusements has been keeping central Florida amused and entertained with a variety of games. The experiences of owner Louis Riposte and Darrel Kainer have informed their side businesses, which are smoking hot, literally. Check out our Operator Profile.

The Swaders Way — Several years of hard work and even more future plans make Swaders Sports Park’s mission to combine sophisticated mini-golf attractions and family entertainment look like a hole in one. Take a trip to Virginia to meet Ken Swader and stroll one of the most handsome, award-winning mini-golf courses.

Start Your Engines – Global VR is roaring into fall with their new deluxe video attraction, EA Sports NASCAR Racing, a game that already has distributors buzzing. They also debuted the new shooter America’s Army.

Save Room for Desert – Gold Medal Products has created a legacy of taking traditional concessions to a new level with hundreds of product that make fun food as convenient and efficient as it is tasty and satisfying. Get your fill of SnoKones, Caramel Corn, cotton candy and some surprisingly company stats in Nuts & Bolts.

Slimming Down – Rock-Ola’s new Ecast powered Slimline juke, the first designed from the ground up for the digital age, may come in a smaller package, but under the hood it’s a powerhouse of Peavey sound.

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August 2007:

Cover: A Two-Way Street: Ecast Forging New Ways to Partner with Operators Via Its Broadband Network

Fall Show Preview — It may seem like the middle of summer, but this year’s annual fall shows, AMOA and Fun Expo, are just around the corner. Get the early line on these co-located trade events, both of which are scheduled to get underway in Las Vegas late next month.

BCA Returns to Vegas — The BCA International Billiard and Home Recreation Show made a successful return to Las Vegas in June, posting a 17% increase in attendance and a slight decrease in the amount of booth space sold. RePlay visited the show, where coin-op remains a significant presence.

Jukebox Special — What does the future hold for music, technology and the jukebox? Our special jukebox section kicks off with manufacturers and others discussing the ways music will continue evolving and what’s on the research and development front for the future. Our annual jukebox issue also includes a series of distributor interviews, input from AMOA leader Russ Mawdsley on licensing angles, our cover story on Ecast, the full Buy Line on jukeboxes currently available, an appreciation of the classic coin-op phonograph first published by the venerable Wall Street Journal and more.

State Show Season — If it’s summer, it’s state show time. This month, we have coverage and the latest news from two of the nation’s most active state operator associations, Wisconsin’s WAMO and Minnesota’s MOMA.

Young & Worldly — Florida operator Mike Matta is already a worldly veteran, despite his youthful appearance. He got his start operating pay phones in Michigan before relocating to Florida, where he now runs a traditional amusement route. Along the way, he traveled to Russia to follow his heart. Read about his adventures.

Menage A Trois? As the AMOA Expo looms, the debate continues over whether the AMOA, AAMA and IALEI should combine their forces for one tradeshow a year. Listen in on how operators view the pluses and minuses of one show or two in this month’s Operator Interface. You might be surprised.

Marketing Medalist — Medalist Marketing recently hosted 27 operator partners from 21 operating companies across the U.S. to its Annual Operator Council at the company’s headquarters near Seattle. Together, they finalized plans for several major new promotional initiatives.

Dreaming in Circles — M & J Fabricators are improving cranes and bottom lines around the country with a series of spinning turntables for higher-end prizes. Nuts & Bolts highlights this product series called Circle of Dreams.

Recall Mania — Boatloads full of imported items, especially toys, have been pulled from shelves due to rampant recalls over the past two years. In a Prize Patrol Special Report, we look at how certain prize suppliers are managing the politics of this problem and ensuring that their product is safe.

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July 2007:

Cover: Merit Celebrates its 30th! Mike Maas Reflects On Winning Legacy, Plus What’s New

Coin-Op Centennial — To celebrate reaching the rare 100-year mark, The Lieberman Companies family hosted a spectacular bash for their extended industry family, welcoming a Who’s Who of the trade to their Minnesota headquarters. Check out their history and centennial festivities.

High & Dry — AMA Distributors and Lucky Coin in New Orleans weathered Hurricane Katrina and unforgettable aftermath and are no worse for wear. Their remodeled facility is now one of the finest distributor bases in the country, which they showed off in a festive, politician-studded opening reception. Discover the new and improved AMA.

Summer Showtime — Find out about the AAMA’s high-profile summer calendar, including their presence at the National Restaurant Show and how they are preparing for August’s Annual Meeting & Distributor Cocktail Gala, where about 45 new games will reportedly be shown.

Standing Tall — Only two-years-old, Betson Midwest’s presence has gone from a foothold to a strong stance and is becoming stronger by the month. President Ryan Cravens gives an update.

Coin-Op Caravan — The AMOA met with the nation’s lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to keep the importance of amusement operators and their business interests alive in the eyes of politicians. Find out how association members and their stances on issues were received on Capitol Hill.

Give & Take — Publicizing the charitable deeds of operators on both local and national levels is one surefire way to improve the coin-op industry’s reputation. RePlay is doing its part by finding out how companies are giving back to their community, country and world in Operator Interface.

Eternal Recurrence — I.T.’s Operator Summit introduced operators to their new Golden Tee software update set to debut this fall, which signals a back-to-basics approach.

Stair Stepping — Lectro-Truck has been moving this industry forward, up and down, one machine at a time, for almost 40 years. Check out exactly why their series of motorized hand-trucks, comprising their Innovative Moving Systems, are so durable and multi-functional in Nuts & Bolts.

Prize Patrol — Strategic alliances with mainland China are key to keeping prize inventories stocked fresh. Manley Toy Direct’s parent company is headquartered there and acts as a direct siphon of goods to the U.S. supplier, passing the savings along to the customer. Check out Prize Patrol.

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June 2007:

Cover: Triotech: Fun in Motion

Buying in Bulk — Check out a snapshot of this year’s annual Bulk Vending Show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, including a look at the convention numbers in News Digest and a first-hand report from the American Amusement Machine Pavilion.

Delta Blues — They only play on the jukeboxes of Delta Music because Donovan Fremin certainly isn’t singing them. The third-generation operator was recently elected to the AMOA executive board and is poised for the association presidency. Get to know the man behind the name that will be cropping more and more.

Follow the Money — We take an investigative look at the investment phenomenon that’s putting the “fun” back into funding. Find out who is putting money into the new FEC concepts spreading across the nation and how they are navigating the risks differently than many of their predecessors.

Scary Fun — As part of this year’s special FEC issue, we profiled two unique locations, both relatively new and both leaning heavily on theming. The Ghostly Manor Haunted House FEC, located in the shadow of Sandusky, Ohio’s famed Cedar Point roller coaster mecca, is part of the popular haunting trend that’s made its way into amusements. Farther south in Florida, the route operators at Sunshine have revitalized an old-school beach arcade, turning Treasure Island into a true entertainment adventure.

Gurus Speak — The FEC industry is blessed with many great minds, and our annual special issue includes input from many of them, both in the aforementioned look at investment and directly. We have a Q&A on the state of the trade from Frank Seninsky plus a look at the leisure vs. entertainment argument from none other than LBE creator Randy White.

Factory Focus — Toy Factory lives up to its name by producing many iconic, licensed properties from major studios. Discover more about this giant of prize suppliers and what recent and new licenses have been acquired.

Movie Mania — Stern Pinball’s timing couldn’t be better as they released their new Spider-Man flipper game right as the latest movie in the series was breaking box office records its first weekend. Get the full story on this new silver ball adventure.

Drifting Away — Raw Thrills is on a roll, this time with another high-speed hit, The Fast and Furious Drift. The new driver offers 12 licensed cars with model-specific upgrades, 21 tracks and dynamic drift racing action.

Game Smorgasbord — No one can say this industry is lacking in new product with all the games Namco alone has been releasing (with more planned by year’s) end. Look under the hoods of several of these , including Shoot the Moon, Chase HQ 2, Family Bowl and the Rockin’ Bowl-O-Rama kit.

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May 2007:

Cover: Rowe’s Star is on the Rise with New Juke & Prexy; Product-Heavy ASI Draws Serious Buyers to Vegas

ASI Show Review — The spring ASI expo in Las Vegas headlines this issue of RePlay with full coverage of the show including feedback from attendees and exhibitors, the official line from organizers and sponsors, news about special events on and off the show floor, booth photos from one end of the convention to the other and a catalog of all the new product debuted.

Sad Passings — Amidst the hubbub of the ASI, trade members learned the sad news that industry veteran Bill Cravens passed away in his hotel room, after attending the first day of the show. Another industry luminary, longtime Windy City distributor Fred Skor, lost his battle with cancer. We have tributes to these two impressive men, plus the news of several others losses to the industry.

Thumbs Up — Appreciation for ASI 2007 was the prevailing sentiment in our survey of attending operators, whether they bought truckloads of equipment or went to examine product now to buy in the fall. Check out May’s Operator Interface.

SoCal Sitdown — The AMOA board of directors met in San Diego for four days of committee work to consider ways of improving the fall expo and the national organization. Find out where the group stands on everything from membership numbers and benefits to what this fall tradeshow holds in store and who will likely become the new powers-that-be down the road.

Associations in Action — Two of the nation’s largest state associations for amusement and music operators recently held crucial get-togethers with their state’s lawmakers. These events, which took place in Springfield, Illinois, and Austin, Texas, offered members of the trade valuable time to meet with legislators and their staff and put a face to the industry and its issues.

Advantageous — Advantage Entertainment has secured a foothold in the northeast with its special concept of the mall FEC. Discover Krazy City in West Nyack, N.Y., and what it bodes for transforming shopping plazas throughout the region.

Merit on the Move — Merit Entertainment, the touchscreen game specialists, brought their tested and production-ready Aurora, with its larger format touchscreen, to ASI along with new software and a renewed commitment to customers.

Reaching Out — TouchTunes Music was busy at this spring’s ASI, rolling out their Gen 3 system with easier navigation and online playlists for customers, auctioning a juke for the Lance Armstrong Livestrong cancer organization and raffling another for operators.

Refreshing Music — The digital jukebox kit pros at View Interactive have an all-new kind of upgrade for existing CD (and 45 RPM) jukes either on location or in the shop. Now, you can salvage all the key components and install them in the new InnoVision cabinet, powered by Ecast.

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April 2007:

Cover: Andamiro Puts Its Pieces Together for Spring Season

ASI “007” — The Amusement Showcase International is in full swing, and RePlay has assembled the complete guide to the show, as well as extracurricular activities, both sponsored by the AAMA and those throughout Las Vegas. Check out the latest news on tradeshow events and seminars, consult our exhibitor list with booth numbers for a quick reference and plan your entertainment options.1

Direct Threat — The prospect of a digital jukebox company, in this case upstart Jukes Direct, selling direct to locations caused quite a stir in late February. The controversy appears to have calmed, for now.2

Top Notch — Pool table maker Valley-Dynamo took distributors on a tour last month of their new manufacturing facility in Reynoso, Mexico, just across the border from McAllen, Texas. The world-class facility impressed the factory’s dealer network.

State Summit — AMOA hosted its annual gathering of state association presidents and executives in mid-February at the Omni Hotel in downtown Austin, Texas, where they discussed the state of the trade in their respective locales. Read our first-hand report.

Growth City — It may be Sin City to the thousands of visitors who go every year, but Las Vegas represents a growth environment for Desert Amusement, the route operation headed up by three newcomers to the industry who are already making their mark in the desert.

Developing Worlds of Fun — The popularity of pizzacade development shows no sign of abetting, as evidenced by Wisconsin’s stylish Stonefire Pizza Company. Meet general manager Ted Cutting and president David Church, a real estate pro making it in the amusement business.

They’re Nationwide — Club Nation is the second national operating group to form in the name of leveraging their street presence for promotions with larger prize pools. They have already run three national tournaments and are off and working on their fourth.7

Bayside Redux — Our Spotlight Special shines on Shelti’s Bayside pool table with a dollar bill acceptor. Coming in three different models, the table has been performing well on location and driving different kinds of enhanced play.

Coming to America — The Photo Play phenomenon, which has swept Europe over the last decade with more than 160,000 units in the field, is now making its way to the U.S. through a partnership with former Rowe topper Doug Johnson.

Andiamo Andamiro — Andamiro USA has slated an ambitious plan to release games from ASI through the AMOA Expo. In this month’s cover story, we take an early look at the product, including a redemption game, self-merchandiser and linked touchscreen platform, and find out how business has fared in recent years with EVP Satinder Bhutani.

Counting the Years — After over 75 years, KLOPP’s name has become indistinguishable from coin counters, but who are the people who have made it happen? Discover a company whose product still has rare, die-hard integrity and the record to prove it in April’s Nuts & Bolts.

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March 2007:

Cover: Family Fun is Heading to ASI

It’s Showtime! The Amusement Showcase International 2007 returns to Las Vegas for what organizers are claiming will be a bigger and better extravaganza, thanks to boosts in exhibitor and registrant numbers over recent years. The complete resource for navigating the show floor, seminars, special events, logistics and more unfolds in this issue.

London Calling — ATEI, known to most as “The London Show,” was sporting a new look and layout at the familiar Earl’s Court exhibit venue in late January. Amusement attendance was down this time around (while gaming was up) but there was still hot new product on display. Read our exclusive report from “Mr. Stinger” Kevin Williams.

Redemption Rules — That’s the word from distributors across the U.S. We surveyed a number of top dealers from different parts of the country from whom we learned that both ticket and instant-win redemption is thriving in games rooms and on the street. Read what they have to say, as well as a number of related articles on the subject of redemption, in a special section.

Lucky and Good — A group of 17 top operators banded together last year to form a promotional co-operative called Club Lucky. Now, they want to take it to the next level, working directly with suppliers on promotions, prizes and game purchases

A Diamond Day — Pittsburgh game operator H. Lazar & Son, now headed up by third generation operator Dale Lazar, celebrated 75 years in business last month with a jukebox-themed party in honor of the company’s forefathers. Editor Steve White attended in person and filed this report.

Two for the Road — Sunshine Companies and Sega have joined forces to create Sega Amusement Works. We check in with Robert Noell Jr. and Takeshi Inoue to find out more about this joint venture (two years in the making) and their plans for reciprocal success in street locations and game manufacturing.

Striking Out, On the Town — Strike Long Island, an entirely underground bowling center with a nightclub atmosphere, has transformed an industrial area of New York into a hip destination. Take a grand tour of this facility with the general manager and execs from the parent company, Strike Holdings, which has been busy spreading its vision of sophisticated whimsy around the country.

Prize Kings — Noel Industries has grown into a major supplier of prizes for rotaries and other instant-win games, thanks to a family history in the business, down-home friendliness and Chris Noell’s inventive game designs. Go south in Prize Patrol and drop in on the family business to find out more about why it’s Christmas year round – and not just because of the nam.

A Family Affair — Stern Pinball and famed designer Pat Lawlor have teamed up again, this time for a new flipper game based on the wisecracking comedy of Fox’s Family Guy. The game’s also got some snazzy new playfield features.

To Infinity and Beyond! Infinite Peripherals has been riding a wave of technological advances in remote receipt issuing, transforming basic printers into efficient, multi-tasking solutions. In March’s Nuts & Bolts, discover more about the near-limitless possibilities in this field.

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February 2007:

Cover: Medalist at 25: a global enterprise

Street Scene — We take a good look in this month’s RePlay at the state of the game biz on the street, the bread and butter for many operator readers. Conditions appear to vary from region to region, but promotion, new product and now prizes are key to maintaining revenues, say ops. Fortunately, our own Frank Seninsky also offers tips (see page 89) for doing redemption on the street.

ASI on the Horizon — This spring’s Amusement Showcase International, the AAMA-sponsored game expo, is already on the horizon. Check out the early line on the show including travel deals, hotel information and what to expect as ASI returns to Vegas.

Full Circle — The promotional pros at Medalist Marketing have come full circle, back to their roots in topper Lee Peppard’s first business, Tournament Soccer. Having established their expertise in building, operating and promoting darts, Medalist is celebrating its 25th anniversary by entering the table game business with new foosball and pool tables for coin-op.

Class is in Session — AMOA’s most recent Class XIII of the Notre Dame Management Education Program is already off and running with 40 students. Meanwhile, the association is launching a graduate version. Read the last of editor Steve White’s first-hand Notre Dame notes from Class XII.

The Year in Store — After taking stock of last year, operators are looking to grow or maintain their market presence in 2007. Find out how they are waging battles against consolidation through diversification, lobbying, firing locations and more, plus check out their New Year’s Resolution blog comments.

Mountain Top Fun — Fort Fun & Camp Thunder have helped make Gatlinburg, Tenn., one of the most attractive vacation spots in the east. Tour these facilities with co-owner April Montgomery.

Operators in Action — West Virginia operators met late last year to elect new officers and approve a name change in one of the few states that enjoys limited, operator-run gaming machines. Check out coverage of the WVA & LVLOA.

Star Struck — Bay Tek Games of Wisconsin is heading to Hollywood with their newest game, the American Idol merchandiser. In addition to specially licensed AI prizes, players will also get a shot at tickets to the show’s grand finale as part of special factory promotions in the works.

Double Whammy — American Alpha’s newest releases, Fearless Pinocchio and Fist Talks, are fun, engaging and addicting games for youngsters – and that’s no lie. The puppet-come-to-life and Rock, Paper, Scissors attractions combine to create memorable experience.

A New Video Juke — Barden Entertainment, the new video jukebox development firm started by casino mogul Don Barden, hopes to launch their digital video box this spring with a wide range of revenue-friendly features including special advertising screens.

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January 2007:

Cover: We’re Still Having Fun — TouchTunes

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)
this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, parts suppliers, trade associations, music one-stops…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

[Back to 2007 Main Menu]

2006 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December

December 2006:

Cover: Bowling Innovators at QubicaAMF Take Aim at Game Manufacturing.

Inside: 2006 in Review

Dispatch from IAAPA — The IAAPA parks show was ongoing in Atlanta as this issue went to press, but we managed to squeeze in a few pages of late breaking coverage. If you weren’t there, get the early line on the show.

A New Look — That’s what the annual London show (ATEI) will be sporting next month when it takes over all of the exhibit space at the world-famous Earl’s Court venue. Get a sneak preview of the new two-tiered show from our regular contributor Kevin Williams.

On the Road — Industry suppliers have continued to take to the road during this fall show season as regional distributors showcase new wares to their operator base. Check out reports from open houses in Chicago and L.A.

Class of 2006 — Members of the newly graduated Class XII of AMOA’s Notre Dame management program sound off on the courses, instructors, fellow alums and the lessons they took home to apply to their businesses in Operator Interface.

Christmas in the Boonies — For the third year, Boondocks Fun Center in Colorado has transformed its mini-golf course into the Winter Wonderland of Lights. Take a walk through the festive light extravaganza and among the FEC’s multitude of attractions.

Less is More — Micro-tournaments that cater to player schedules and are largely managed by locations have been popular for two operators in the heartland. Find out how and why this format has increased the tournament cashbox by as much as 20%.

Time is Running Out! Benchmark is busy shipping their newest pusher-style ticket game, Beat the Clock, which first debuted at AMOA in Vegas. Time your coins to spell the title phrase and win big! Check out the details of this timely license from China’s UNIS.

Back to the Future — JVL’s new Retro touchscreen game has got the latest in hardware technology, not to mention the factory’s most recent software update, all packaged in a flashy art deco-style cabinet sure to attract players with a taste for the classics.

Bowling for Keeps — After two mega names in bowling merged over a year ago, QubicaAMF has rapidly rolled out Highway 66 mini-bowling, renovated bowling centers all over the world and overseen the greater integration of their sport of focus and coin-op. The bowling specialists have now turned their focus to developing and manufacturing amusement games.

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November 2006:

Cover: Global VR Team Flexes New Product Muscles at the AMOA & IAAPA; Inside: Expo Fotoblitz!

Another Good Show! AMOA International Expo is on a roll in Las Vegas, hosting another successful convention along with the IALEI-sponsored Fun Expo, co-located in the same convention center hall. Attendees were upbeat, new product looked good and the numbers were better than last year. See our full coverage of this year’s show including news coverage, new products, booth pictures and a first-hand look at special events and seminars.

Considering the Unthinkable — The methods of shoring up operator businesses was the timely topic at the AMOA panel discussion, “What to Do Before Disaster Strikes Your Business.” Experts navigated the way through the thorny process of agreeing on an insurance policy and discussed ways of making certain the plan in place effectively offers an umbrella of protection before it is too late.

Open Season — The post-show open house season is underway and we have coverage of two of the early events: Birmingham Vending and C.A. Robinson.

Was it Good for You? Find out how opinions of expo 2006 stacked up as operators discuss new product, sponsored events and overall show design in Operator Interface.

IT’Z Here! Arcade Profile zooms in on Albuquerque where a new FEC has sprung up in the desert. IT’Z is no mirage but the conflation of coin-op amusement, dining and entertainment in a smorgasbord of fun. Start your tour and find out what is next in store for the curious brand name.

The Right Touch — This month’s Spotlight Special is on TouchTunes Music Corp., the digital jukebox pioneers who have now reached 20,000 units online and celebrated at AMOA by showing off their Gen. 3 operating system, giving out prizes and free jukes and basking in their AMOA Innovator Award win.

Tickets, Please — Muncie Novelty and Indiana Ticket have built a ticket-printing empire amidst rural Midwestern cornfields. Indiana Ticket in particular has supplied hundreds of millions of tickets to the amusement industry alone thanks to a 24/7 operation and a commitment to customer service. Discover the history of the company and the Broyles family behind it in Nuts & Bolts.

Element of Surprise — Peek-A-Boo Toys has built its business on designing and manufacturing genuinely adorable plush with the option of customized branding. Barry Lederman discusses the supplier’s knack for getting the details right that speak to both crane players and customers on the other side of the redemption counter in Prize Patrol.

Making Connections — Ecast Inc., the broadband music pros who have partnered with NSM, Rock-Ola and View Interactive, pulled back the curtains on their newest online platform. This new system will support videos and revenue-generating advertising.

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October 2006:

Cover: ICE Spanning the Globe with New Product

Vegas, Baby! It’s show time in Las Vegas for the AMOA and Fun Expos and the Big Kahuna West souvenir show. Use this issue as your guide for finding everything you need to know about exhibitors, seminars and extracurricular activities for each tradeshow in our coverage.

Dollar Coin Redux — Washington is once again abuzz with discussion of a new dollar coin. This time around the Mint will be producing a whole series of dollar coins featuring the images of deceased presidents. To promote circulation, an all-new coalition has been formed.

Coin-Op’s Future — The future of just about every industry, including the amusement game business, will be affected by the awakening of China’s mammoth economy. Check out what industry vets predict this growth in both manufacturing and a new consumer market will mean for coin-op.

Strange Bedfellows — Relationships with bar owners can be fortuitous or thorny, depending on the location and the incentives an operator has in place to nurture business associations. Find out from six operators exactly how they try to keep owners happy and, conversely, whether they are happy with their owners in this month’s Operator Interface.

Getting Lucky — Ten operators who gathered at Chicago’s Club Lucky this spring during ASI have formed a group under that same name to leverage their routes for Golden Tee contests, prize purchases and more.

State Show Update — Tradesters in the Show Me State gathered for the Missouri Amusement Machine Operators Association’s 10th annual show and general membership meeting in Osage Beach. More than 110 operators, staff and family attended, and 25 companies took exhibit space.

Madden Mea Culpa — Acknowledging that their first effort two years ago was fraught with problems, Global VR toured the country in August and September to re-introduce their new Madden Season 2 football video. “This time, we got it right,” said CEO Jim DeRose.

Tennis, Anyone? This month, we focus our Spotlight Special on the new deluxe sports video from Sega, Virtual Tennis 3. The game features the top players in the world from men’s pro tennis for singles and doubles action. Players can also select from a list of eight play styles and lots more.

Money-Taking Business — MEI has been steadily upping the ante on coin acceptors, bill validators and now combo payment acceptors. After being purchased by two private firms earlier this summer, the manufacturer now stands freely on its own in the field of currency acceptance devices. RePlay got to know MEI in its current incarnation and assessed its product.

Getting Your License — As soon as One Stop Toy Company embraced licensing, significant entertainment corporations embraced them. The supplier now has North American licenses for creating and distributing The Family Guy, Superman, Spider-Man prizes and more. Execs Evan Kaltman and Dave Schwartz discuss their product, from design to redemption counter.

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September 2006:

Cover: Namco: Where West Meets East

Go Expo! AMOA and Fun Expos team up with Big Kahuna West for one of the largest product spreads the industry has seen in a while later this month in Las Vegas. In this first installment of our two-part full preview, find everything you need to know about getting there, navigating show floors and special activities, plus lists of exhibitors and seminars.

A Gala Affair — The American Amusement Machine Association gathered in late July for their annual membership and board meeting, as well as the 3rd Distributor Gala, featuring a preview of new product in the pipeline. During this year’s meeting in suburban Chicago, AAMA leaders engaged in a soul-searching discussion about the group’s future.

True Brew — Our series on the AMOA executive board wraps up by training the spotlight on Gary Brewer, who will become secretary following the expo this month. He elaborates on how his family business has withstood the test of time and why involvement in the AMOA was a natural progression for a native of the Volunteer State.

Expo Agendas — Operators discuss plans to attend expo, their agendas or lack thereof and what the tradeshow might say about the state of the industry in Operator Interface.

Thumbnail Times Two — This month we have two Thumbnail Sketches for your reading pleasure. Meet Mississippi operator Ron Lott who hails from the Deep South terrain in and around Jackson, Miss., and Lou Georges, whose suburban Pennsylvania route has shrunk from its former interstate status. Both second-generation operators offer up tales of success and survival.

Associations in Action — Summer is the season for state shows, and this month we have coverage of two important stops on the circuit: the Amusement and Music Operators of Texas annual show and convention and, from earlier this summer, the annual gathering of the Wisconsin Amusement and Music Operators.

Stern Sets Sail — Stern Pinball is hitting the high seas of pinball with their newest flipper game, Disney’s Pirates of Caribbean. Stern honcho Gary Stern says the game has “lots of mechanical action pinball shots and toys for casual players, yet the story cries for deep rules to challenge the best players.”

Take the Wheel — Andamiro’s newest quick coin game, Winner’s Wheel, thrives on players’ timing skills. Release the coin at the right time to win tickets. Keep playing, and you might win the jackpot. Check out the details on this game, plus their newest pounder, King of the Hammer DX.

What’s Your Fantasy? Fantasy Entertainment has been manufacturing and operating thousands of innovative photo booths for years. They recently teamed up with Brady Distributing to sell product exclusively to the amusement industry. Step inside and get a picture of their cutting-edge technology and what the world can expect of self-imaging booths in the future.

All Aboard — Prize Patrol checks in with Fun Express to see how the supplier has further developed solutions for redemption centers, why the personality of the amusement/redemption team is so valuable to business and what new product expo goers can expect to play with at expo.

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August 2006:

Cover: More Fun Stuff Swell’s Bob’s Space Racers’ Arcade Lineup

A Million and Counting! Jukebox maker Rowe International threw a party last month at their Grand Rapids, Mich., factory commemorating their one-millionth jukebox rolling off the factory line. Industry leaders, media and factory staff were on hand to celebrate. See our first-hand report.

Set for Vegas — It’s already time to start planning your trip the co-located AMOA and Fun Expo shows in Vegas next month. New this year will be the addition of the Big Kahuna West prize show. Check out our initial preview including travel deals and a preliminary look at what’s on tap.

By the Numbers — The AMOA/University of New Orleans 2006 Jukebox Survey, released earlier this summer, is a gold mine of data when it comes to the association’s street operator members. We followed up this month with a closer look at some of the “other” numbers in the survey, providing an in-depth look at the size and scope of the so-called average operator.

Getting Warmed Up — August continues RePlay’s profile of the AMOA executive committee in preparation for the fall expo right around the corner. Treasurer Lloyd Williamson has grown Williamson’s Amusements throughout the Midwest through concentrated league play and homegrown tournaments. How will he continue to apply these fundraising skills to the association as first vice president next year and as president in 2007-2008?

License This — Operators across the country were particularly revealing about the issues and ordeals they face when obtaining licenses for equipment. Find out how your experience and expenses compare in this month’s Operator Interface.

Pizza Pie in the Sky — The Amazing Pizza Machine shows what fresh perspectives can accomplish when combined with one of the best minds of the industry. The Omaha FEC fuses an upscale pizzeria with an enviable environment for coin-op games. Meet the men who dared dream it: the Alesio brothers of Grand Italian Buffet renown and Reggie Moultrie.

Medalist Makeover — Medalist Marketing, the dart league and tournament specialists from the Pacific Northwest, have been busy expanding their reach both into overseas markets and diverging equipment lines including a newly created foosball table.

How it Happened — Last month, Happ celebrated 20 years of stratospheric growth that catapulted the parts supplier onto the international stage in the amusement, gaming and vending markets. Frank and Tom Happ, as well as Jim Norton of parent-firm Pfingsten Partners, discuss the past two years of changes since Happ was sold, as well as the firm’s recent acquisitions of the Mazzco and ProSource Group supply houses.

Takes One to Know One — A prize supplier with a sophisticated personality that goes the extra mile is needed to recognize product that does the same. Sadie’s Toy Box president Lee Ann Howell takes readers on a fascinating tour of the company, shows off new product and explains what sets apart Sadie’s inventory and customer appreciation apart from the rest of the class.

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July 2006:

Cover: Incredible Technologies & Silver Strike Bowling 2007 Bowler’s Club Now with Online Weekly Sweepstakes

A Hundred Years Young! Coin biz patriarch Sol Lipkin, the king of shuffleboard, celebrated his 100th birthday recently at a big Dave & Buster’s bash in Philly. RePlay publisher Ed Adlum was there for the event with Sol and brought back a special report on the grand old man of games.

Sound and Fury — The 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo drew large crowds and loud exhibits as always, but the focus was more on marketing new software than hardware, with only one new platform previewed at the expo. Check out our own Loni Reeder’s report.

The Throw Line — The year’s two big dart finales, Arachnid’s BullShooter and the AMOA NDA Team Dart finals, were held this past May. We’ve got coverage of both.

Tee Time — Global VR crowned their most recent EA Sports PGA Tour Golf champ in Las Vegas. A newcomer, Shawn Powers, walked away with $15,000 and serious bragging rights.

To Reinvest or Not to Reinvest — July’s Operator Interface tag-teams with RePlay’s survey of operators, mapping the rough and uneven terrain of route investment. Find out who re-investments what and how much .

FEC Forefather — Next year, Family Fun Center of Omaha will mark a quarter century in business during which it has quietly set a precedent for facilities of its kind. Meet Chad Reznicek and find out what has made this successful family business a renowned attraction not just in the Midwest but throughout the nation.

Treasuring AMOA — Our series profiling the AMOA executive committee looks at incoming treasurer Russ Mawdsley of Russell-Hall in Holyoke, Mass. Russ speaks further about the recently released jukebox survey and explains why he went from coin-op to law and back again.

Are You Happy? If not, Brady’s Happy Zoo will lift your spirits. This promising new game for kids combines entertainment and education in an explosion of sound and adorable charm.

Rock Around the Clock — Wurlitzer’s Classic 2100 brings back the days of greasers, poodle skirts and diners in a vision of glass and chrome. Combining yesteryear looks with today’s technology has created a jukebox that is a blast from the past for patrons.

Automatic Solution — Nuts & Bolts for July continues our idea of reinvestment by highlighting a new genre of product for some operators: ATMs. For those interested in something different, Western Reserve Group explains the ins and outs of ATM management and why adding cash dispensers can be one of the more fortuitous decisions an operator ever makes.

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June 2006:

Cover: Prime Time Revs It Up … FEC Special

Jukebox Update — The news is in and digital jukeboxes are hot, according to results from AMOA’s updated Jukebox Survey. Get the complete picture, including a look at average earnings for digital and CD jukes.

Do You Know What It Means? We must not fail to appreciate the scope of damage from Hurricane Katrina and lessons gleaned in her aftermath, so RePlay takes a look at Plush Appeal, the longtime plush supplier in the Crescent City and the company’s near-total obliteration. Daryl Fletchinger and Dolores Bergeron walk readers through the tragedy and painstaking recovery.

Family Fun — Family Entertainment Centers continue to represent a vibrant sector of the amusement game industry, although the focus has shifted much more heavily to redemption in the past half-decade or more. This month, we take a comprehensive look at that part of the business, including an essay on the state of the industry, as well as some sharp analysis from Randy White, plus our cover story on Prime Time, two more FEC profiles, a Q&A with IALEI prexy Frank Seninsky and the latest installment of Redemption Round-Up.

Play It Again, Jim — June’s Operator Profile trains a spotlight on Jim Catalina of Play It Again Amusements. The Houston operator’s outgoing personality, the driving force of his success in this second career, comes to life as he describes the inner workings of this truly mom-and-pop operation and the legal landscape of coin-op amusement in Texas.

Very Presidential — Howard Cole of Cole Vending will take the presidential reigns of AMOA this September. In our profile of the current first VP and president-elect, we look at Howard’s background to find out what makes this North Carolinian tick and what the industry can expect during his tenure.

How Far Will They Go? The home game industry has periodically been in legislative crosshairs for almost purely political reasons. While the AMOA aggressively monitors legislation on national and state levels, the question begs to be asked whether lawmakers might again turn their attention to coin-op. Operators sound off in this month’s Interface feature .

What’s So Funny? Surfnote is hoping to get into the touchscreen game with their Funny Touch, a multi-game unit that is specifically geared for five- to 15-year-olds. There will also be kits with the ability to outfit and refresh older units. Get your funny bone tickled.

The Great Outdoors — Bring the appeal of cranes into the elements with Smart’s Outdoor Crane, one of the most durable machines of its kind with ironclad security. Jeff Smart explains how the company’s newest and most customizable product opens up new venues and opportunities.

Covering All The Angles — Dave Ellison has carved out a unique niche in the industry with Mach 5 Products. The OEM manufacturer works each extreme of the field, serving manufacturers with an array of parts for games and operators with route data management and services. Find out how Dave’s talents for electronics and software development, combined with the efforts of wife Carolee, launched this far-reaching company in June’s Nuts & Bolts feature.

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May 2006:

Cover: Taking it to the Streets: View Ships Its Option Rich Vision Digital Downloader

TouchPlay Hangs in Balance — Iowa operators, at press time, were still unsure of the fate of their popular but now-banned TouchPlay lottery games. A compromise in the state house that would keep them on location through September appeared to be stalled, spelling imminent shut down.

Happy Hour in Vegas ­– As in year’s past, the AAMA took their traveling coin-op show to this spring’s annual Nightclub and Bar Expo in Las Vegas, just prior to their own ASI show in Chicago. Check out pictures and a report from their Location Trade Show Pavilion.

ASI Redux — RePlay follows last month’s initial coverage of the 2006 Amusement Showcase International with a comprehensive look at the show through extensive photo coverage of the show’s exhibits, stories on special events and a catalog of newly-introduced machines.

Hitting the Books — At ASI 2006, AAMA and IALEI teamed up to sponsor a seminar program that taught operators how to prepare for and soar over possible hurtles when starting an arcade. Other seminar coverage includes a report from the Michael Getlan/Ben Jones “Think, Win, Plan” session.

Bayou Rendezvous — The AMOA descended on the Big Easy for their mid-year board meeting to do what they do best: refine plans for the AMOA expo, evaluate committee goals and promote the amusement industry on all fronts. This serious work was balanced with plenty of New Orleans fun, cuisine and eye-opening excursions around the city still pulling itself up by the bootstraps after Hurricane Katrina.

Sound Off — ASI 2006: Thumbs up or down? Most attendees in this month’s Operator Interface section, who also weighed in via RePlay’s new online blog, gave the spring tradeshow enthusiastic marks though their reasons for doing so varied. Find out how your experience compares.

Welcome to the Jungle — Hawaii’s Jungle Fun arcade, that is. Set in the Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu, it’s part of the growing fun center operations of Linda Fernandez’s Fun Factory. With super theming and equally great mix of machines and prizes, it is truly a jungle of fun.

A Dynamic Duo — Namco America is known for classic action-style videos, and this spring they are it again with two much-awaited sequels, their latest shooter Time Crisis 4 and the newest coin-op version of the fighting franchise Soul Calibur.

Sacoa World — Sacoa’s PlayCard Marketing System has been installed in FECs around the world with more on the way. May’s Nuts & Bolts section showcases their highly flexible, all-encompassing, debit card product while analyzing its more technical aspects. Read the story of Jorge Mochkovsky, his sons and the cutting edge of electronic management technology.

Kemac Clan — Kemac is a supplier with one-of-a-kind prizes and a one-of-a-kind mascot. Ken Cipperly tells all about the New Jersey-based company in Prize Patrol, including the vision of CEO Maggie Mitchell and the main reason why one should never ever try to break into their office.

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April 2006:

Cover: Getting Hooked on Sega UFO Catcher — Sega Joins the Crane Makers; More ASI Product News Inside

Lifetime Achievement — Jerry Marcus, a figure long familiar on the U.S. trade scene, was honored last month as AAMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Marcus started his career at Rowe in the 1950s. After almost two decades there, he moved on to work at several Chicago area distributors, held a top position at Atari and then founded his own Windy City dealership, Atlas.

AMOA Gone South — The 2006 AMOA Mid-Year Board of Directors Meeting was set for a four-day session in New Orleans, where the national operator association will look closely at committee initiatives and elect new officers. Check out our preview of the agenda as well as AMOA’s efforts to support a city still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

Phoenix Rising — State association reps delved into wide range of topics at the 2006 AMOA Council of Affiliated States gathering in Phoenix. The meeting provided an insightful barometer of the industry at large, from the local to the state to the national level.

Sight to Behold — The jewel in the crown of the Huish family’s many amusement operations is The Family Fun Center and Bullwinkle’s Restaurant in Tukwila, Wash. Scott Huish and Rich Yee give a personalized tour of their fantastically inspired, 36,000-square-foot facility ­­ a must-see attraction of not just Seattle but the Pacific Northwest.

Midwest Maven — Downstate Illinois operator Stan Williams of Williams Enterprises in Carmine got his start working his father’s route. Today, after many years and even more colorful experiences, he oversees an operation that serves over 1,000 customers across three Midwestern states.

Impact of Gambling — Indian gaming, state lotteries, skill game payout, gray games: How are these and other related issues discussed at the Council of Affiliated States affecting routes around the country? Find out in operators’ own words in this month’s Operator Interface.

One Stop Shopping — One Stop Shop Vending and Redemption is a prize supplier that knows what game room operators need from first-hand experience. The company started last year as an offshoot of Global Vending, which handles game operations for the Marwin Group’s CiCi’s pizza locations in the Houston area.

Tournament Pinball — Starting with the new World Poker Tour game, Stern Pinball is shipping all of its new flipper games with their Tournament Pinball System (TOPS) built into the game. Now, the tournament details are spelled out for the player on the game’s dot matrix display.

Time and Money — Coin ConneXion continues to make life easier for operators with their ezRoute Pro system, handhelds and array of time-saving, money-making, error-reducing gadgets. Dave Jensen, founder and president, discusses the technology that has become indispensable to so many routes in this month’s Nuts & Bolts section.

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March 2006:

Cover: Rock-Ola: On the Front Line of the Digital Jukebox Revolution

SHOW TIME IN THE WINDY CITY – Tradesters blow into the Windy City to check out new equipment and future trends at ASI. Our coverage provides an in-depth look at exhibitors, seminars and extra-curricular events, complete with charts and maps, to make your holiday weekend as productive as it fun. .

PARTY ON – We are proud to introduce our newest column, Party Professor, featuring the expertise of Beth Standlee, the brainpower behind the consulting firm Trainertainment. Beth will provide monthly ideas to improve and grow party programs and group events through savvy, aggressive marketing campaigns. Her out-of-the-box ideas match her style: fresh, vibrant and inspiring.

LONDON CALLING – Under new ownership, this year’s ATEI London coin-op show drew big international crowds and played host to a crop of good looking new video – yes, video-games. For more, check out coverage from contributor Kevin Williams.

STRAIGHT TALK – Minneapolis operator Bill Lethert grew up in the business and, when he found himself at a career crossroads, restarted the Mendota Valley route founded by his father. Since then, this straight shooter has grown the biz and branched out into chain location management.

WHAT’S IN A NAME – The Mulligans FEC chain recently opened its newest dazzling location in Palmdale, Calif. Director of operators Tom Guagliardo gives a tour of this stunning facility, an oasis in the desert that definitely is no mirage of fun. He also shares historical tidbits on Mulligans’ other locations and their updates for the future.

SPRING CLEANING – Exactly how are arcade owners and operating companies jazzing up their inventory and business for the upcoming summer season? New games, different floor design, innovative promotions? March’s responses are extensive, diverse and brimming with ideas to consider when strolling the aisles at ASI and beyond.

THEY’RE NOT BLUFFING – The flipper fanatics at Stern Pinball are holding a winning hand with their new World Poker Tour pinball. Players use the game’s playfield to travel from city to city, playing Texas Hold ‘Em until they reach the final table.

ON TARGET – Sureshot Redemption has been a premier prize supplier since 1997, servicing the industry with not just phenomenal prizes but highly customized service. Rorie Keller discusses the factors that put Sureshot Redemption in the top tier of the prize game and what the future holds for merchandise counters and cranes.

MINT CONDITION – Token customers and coin lovers will find much to fascinate them in our profile of TokensDirect, a leading producer of the basic units of symbolic currency in game rooms. March’s Nuts & Bolts section starts the minting process.

AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER – Valley-Dynamo will unveil its newest and classiest pool table yet at ASI: the Metro. Get a close-up look here first at the table whose sophisticated image, execs hope, will open new doors for tables and operators. Jay Scanland also opens up about the manufacturer’s continuing foray into distributing redemption games.

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February 2006:

Cover: Jarvis & Company — A Thrilling Coin-Op Performance

A GRAND OPENING — Betson Distributing is now up and running in their newest market, the Midwest. The national dealership, which serves the east and west coasts, as well as Texas, opened Betson Midwest with a well-attended Chicago area soiree.

INSURANCE IS A MUST! Our latest report from the ongoing AMOA Notre Dame Management Program delves into the all-important issue of ensuring a small business, whether it’s property, liability, auto or umbrella.

LIFE OF THE PARTY — Trainertainment has bolstered party programs at FECs across the nation since Beth Standlee launched the company last year. Its success is due almost wholly to Beth’s vibrant personality ­­ a mix of enthusiasm, business savvy and wealth of professional experience across the amusement industry. She shares her party expertise.

TEXAS STYLE — Operator Charles Batson, whose Angleton Amusement route serves over 75 locations in towns along the Texas Gulf Coast, has been in the route biz since he graduated from high school in June of 1958. Learn more about his life in coin-op.

CUSTOMER APPRECIATION — -2006 is underway, ASI is next month and the busy summer season is around the corner. Looking ahead, what thoughts do operators want to share with customers and accounts about business in 2005, industry issues, fresh ideas and future expectations?

ALL ABOARD — In scenic North Carolina, one of the most beautiful sites happens to be indoors: Asheville’s Fun Depot. This FEC’s impressive coin-op element flows throughout the main depot room, connecting other attractions while surrounding an 18-hole miniature golf course. Celebrating only its second birthday, Asheville’s Fun Depot has caught the attention of IAAPA and IALEI, garnering numerous accolades.

LOOKING GOOD — TouchTunes Music is now shipping their newest downloading floor model juke, the Allegro, which features a nostalgia style cabinet and a new fan-less computer that cuts down on overheating problems.

CHANGE — This month’s Nuts & Bolts feature examines the factors that led to Hamilton Manufacturing Corporation producing some of the most widely respected change machines and token vendors on the market today. What makes them so durable, secure and affordable? The answer is a company story that mirrors the development of various industries.

What’s IN A NAME? The name of Prizes! says it all, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Brothers Tom and Bob Portale have become a premier supplier of sports-themed merchandise, among other prize genres, and for good reason: their belief that quality service is dependent on a quality staff.

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January 2006:

Cover: Rowe & Merit — Even Better Together

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)
this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, parts suppliers, trade associations, music one-stops…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

[Back to 2006 Main Menu]

2005 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December

December 2005:

Cover: Bay Tek’s Geared Up For Game Ops

HOT FROM HOTLANTA — The annual IAAPA parks show was in full swing as this issue of RePlay was going to press. Check out our late breaking coverage of new product and people from the show floor in Atlanta.

AN UNSETTLING YEAR — 2005 will not go down in history as the coin machine industry’s best year, unless you’re in the digital jukebox business, and then it may. One trade leader described it best as an “unsettling year” marked by natural disaster. Take a walk down short-term memory lane.

THE VALLEY LEGACY — Valley, often the standard by which coin-op pool tables have been measured, is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Today, the combine known as Valley-Dynamo is part of the larger Brunswick. Read about the early days of the brand and the company today.

CORPORATE SAVVY — Pelican Communications is a firm run by operators for operators. The company, which still runs a sizeable pay phone route, manages national chain accounts, partnering with amusement and vending operators across the U.S.

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER — California operator Gary Spencer says you should know potential customers, as well as existing accounts, if you expect to ever get their business. To that end, Spencer’s company California Coin keeps detailed database records on all the locations in their trading area.

WHERE WORM IS KING — There’s no place like home, and there’s no arcade that provides a sense of place like a family-run arcade. Little Squirt Sports Park in Lima, Ohio, is just such an arcade, covering seven acres downtown and recognizable by its spotted green mascot. The story of Little Squirt Sports Park is one of evolving along with, and moving deeper into, the world of amusements ­­ a journey made possible by the support of Lima’s residents and their love of Squirty Worm.

EYE ON THE PRIZE — Indiana crane operator turned distributor and toy supplier David Kamen of K&K Sales in Bloomington has steadily, and quietly, grown his business from one pinball game to an impressive business that includes designing and importing their own toy lines.

HANDS ON APPROACH — JVL’s newest countertop, Vortex, has been much-discussed by industry watchers because of many of its enhancements, but most of all for its power pad base, offering a whole new method by which to play a countertop.

DINO DUEL — LAI Games knows kids, and kids are obsessed with dinosaurs. The manufacturer’s newest game Dino Duel is turning heads for its ability to tap into that fascination in a straightforward, addicting card and video game.

THE RIGHT TICKET — The latest from the game mavens at ICE are Break the Bank (players race their coins or tokens down an alley ramp, aiming for the unlock target on the wheel) and Super Trivia game (where a far-reaching knowledge and luck of the draw come into play).

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November 2005: Cover: Coast to Coast Entertainment Has Cranes & Games…Plush Toys, Too!

IAAPA INVASION — The coin-op amusement industry will be a leading part of the 2005 International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions tradeshow and convention, which travels north this year to Atlanta on the week before Thanksgiving. Our full preview of exhibitors, workshops and special events makes the colossal show more manageable for operators.

BIG TENT APPROACH — Incoming AAMA chairman Jon W. Brady says the manufacturer’s association is hoping to pitch a bigger industry tent at this spring’s ASI show, attracting would-be entrepreneurs to the coin machine business through special seminars and even a drawing for a “free arcade.”

SHOW WRAP-UP — Last month saw our initial hot of the press coverage of AMOA. In this issue, we are following up with a complete look at the exhibit booths, new equipment, special events and a seminar on developments in debit cards. Check out our exhaustive show wrap-up.

TALKING TRADE SHOWS — This month’s Operator Interface voices the compliments, concerns and criticisms of a handful of tradesters who attended the AMOA and Fun Expos. They saw the new product first-hand. Read what they had to say and what their plans are as a result.

BALTIMORE TONY — Operator Tony Paszkiewicz is the second generation owner of Columbia Vending in Baltimore, a route which started out when his dad Raymond bought the gumball machines in the store where he worked. Today, Columbia is a major operator on the East Coast with a staff of 50 and more than 500 locations in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.

ON THE BOARDWALK — The Boardwalk Mall Arcade in Wildwood, N.J., has been a fixture on the legendary Jersey Shore for almost 30 years. When Michael Blickman took control of this seasonal location, he concentrated on emphasizing redemption while also providing the right amount of other game types. The methods used to create his ideal game room show how the Boardwalk became one of the most successful arcades in an area famed for them.

TOUCHY FEELY — Merit Industries took center stage at this fall’s AMOA Expo with the release of their new Ion touchscreen series, which includes Elite Edge and e.V.o. Wallette versions. The games feature Merit’s signature touchscreen as well as a new joystick interface. Merit also debuted the M-Box digital juke and their affordable Megatouch Champion location-based tournament unit.

ULTRA HAPPENIN’ — Vidgame maker Ultracade Technologies has entered the redemption game fray with five new licensed titles from Tecway. Get a first-hand look at these units, along with an update on a host of new features for their award-winning Breeders’ Cup thoroughbred racing game.

PLUSH DEALS — Discount Plush has turned rewarding customers into an art with a variety of incentive programs. Sean Weber details the company’s operator-friendly services, product features and impressive perks of doing business with the Arizona supplier in this month’s Prize Patrol.

THE LATEST CRAZE — Hot redemption items offered as the weather turns cool, and featured in our Redemption Roundup, include an awesome tattoo product and poker plush.

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October 2005:

Cover: Play Time Toys: Game Prizes with the Operator in Mind

AMOA and Fun Expo early coverage

SHOW REPORT FROM VEGAS — The news is in from Las Vegas, and it’s good news at that. This year’s amusement trade-show extravaganza was well attended and, by all accounts, generated nice business for exhibitors at both AMOA and Fun Expo. Check out our show report filed fast on the heels of the conventions’ final day. .

DISASTER DOWN SOUTH — Hurricane Katrina roared on shore in the Gulf Coast region August 29, and the world will never be the same again. In the face of downed communication lines and very little hard and fast information, RePlay tracked down amusement tradesters and began to chronicle industry response.

PINNING DOWN AUTISM — Attractions to pinball are as diverse as the machines, but Ken Walker’s passion for pins overlapped with his son Andrew’s in an intriguing way. What started out as a way to get out of the house became a renaissance of interest for Ken, a way to release Andrew from the effects of autism’s mental confines and a burgeoning interest for the youngest Walker, Anna. Discover the family’s unique story.

40 YEARS OF FINANCE — Firestone Financial, the national lender that has specialized in providing credit to the amusement industry for 40 years, celebrated its 40th anniversary last month in style. Take a walk down memory lane to see who they are and from where they came.

VIDEO BLUES — Operators may still fondly recall the days when video game collections were fueling unprecedented growth, but according to this month’s straw poll the video game’s star is in decline. Collections aren’t what they used to be, and operators are more selective than ever about new purchases.

FUN IN THE FOOTHILLS — When in West Virginia and environs, look no further than Billy Bob’s Super Wonderland for fun. The massive family amusement center boasts an assortment of redemption games, a laser tag center, a miniature golf course and much more. Rex Donahue, owner, expounds upon why people travel from far and wide to the heart of Appalachia.

A FALL BUSINESS BOOST — The infamous summer season has passed, and the AMOA and Fun Expos have come and gone. As the leaves change color, what plan of action will operators take to boost fall earnings and possibly make their businesses golden once again?

TIME TO PLAY — The staffers of Play Time Toys, this month’s cover story focus, believe that every item in their inventory provides the most perceived value for any vend. Dawn Noyes, president, explains what makes their product distinctive, elaborates on some tidbits of company history and describes the firm from the top down.

UNDER LOCK AND KEY — Innovations in security are essential to preserving profits, and Camlock Systems has been on the edge of these trends for decades. GM Dale Padjean tells us why the company’s integrity is not only evident in its strong security systems but in its people.

REDEMPTION ROUNDUP — RePlay’s section highlighting popular prizes is changing to a monthly edition to better serve buyer and seller interests and to move the coolest prizes onto redemption counters and into machines faster. The new section debuts this month.

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September 2005:

Cover: Merit Entertainment Unveils Its Trackball Multi Game.

AMOA & Fun Expo Showbook

EXPO EXTRAVAGANZA — If it’s September, it’s time to head to Las Vegas for the combined 2005 AMOA and Fun Expo shows, taking place at the Convention Center, Sept. 14-16. We’ve got all the details on special events, a list of exhibitors, seminars and more in our overview of both the amusement game and family fun center expos.

A GALA AFFAIR — Distributor members of AAMA were treated to a special preview of over two-dozen new products, many still in some phase of development, at late July’s factory association distributor gala. Check out our coverage of the gala and association’s annual meeting.

BOWLING FOR COIN-OP — Bowling venues have always been great locations for coin machine operators. Today, as that industry goes through a major transition, catering more to casual players and less to hardcore leaguers, we have coverage of the Bowling Expo from both AAMA and Frank “The Crank” Sensinsky, plus a related story on a new concept from Brunswick Bowling.

SOUNDING OFF ON SHOWS — September’s Operator Interface is a barometer reading of how the national trade shows and distributor open houses are valued and how perceptions of them may have changed over the years.

PIER GAZING — George Gordon, founder of Playland Arcade, is as much of an institution as the Santa Monica Pier on which he worked. RePlay looks back on the life and times of George, whose life story covers and is, in fact, indistinguishable from the narrative of Santa Monica’s beachfront development.

STRIKING IT RICH — Brunswick Bowling’s Build to Bowl program kicked into full gear over the past year, offering would-be ten-pin operators the ability to customize an entire facility with a turnkey package. Chris Albano, co-owner of Stars and Strikes Bowling, developed a Georgia center that features bowling along with a strong coin-op component.

CONTINUING EDUCATION — This month’s report on class XII of the AMOA Notre Dame Management program focuses on how small, family businesses can best handle the transition of leadership from one generation to another, either in a crisis or as part of a planned retirement.

ON THE HUNT — Chicago area game developer PlayMechanix has just completed their latest Big Buck Hunter game, called Big Buck Pro. They will release the two-player video offering head-to-head competition through a partnership with Raw Thrills and Betson.

SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS — Jukebox maker Rowe has released a new version of the software that controls their line of Internet jukeboxes including the interface with the factory’s AMI music network server. Among other new features, this software upgrade enhances music management and supports credit card transactions.

FIT FOR A KING — Pat Klasno’s King Plush is a mega-supplier of plush, and his kingdom of satisfied customers stretches far and wide. Pat and fellow King Plush staffers offer valuable insight about what makes their product distinctive and what buyers can look forward to this fall.

THE CHAIRMAN SPEAKS — Global VR’s newly-appointed chairman of the board Jim DeRose, who also serves as president and CEO, says he is putting the company back on track with solid fundamentals and a strong commitment to the future of the company and the coin-op industry.

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August 2005:

Cover: Ecast — Digital Day Dawns in Coin-Op

Jukebox 2005 Special

VEGAS ON THE HORIZON — The trade is already bracing for the one-two punch of AMOA and Fun Expos, set to open next month in Las Vegas. Catch our initial preview on these two important stops on the annual trade show calendar.

STILL JUKIN’! If it’s August, it’s RePlay’s annual jukebox special section with an up-close look at the music biz from the perspective of operators, manufacturers and even this month’s cover story focus, Ecast Inc., the broadband music service for jukes. We also have a look at the current crop of jukeboxes as well as a profile on a unique video jukebox that is doing well in Canada.

AMERICAN DREAM — From its founding vision of furnishing inexpensive, reliable change machines to becoming a corporation with near ubiquitous product recognition, American Changer has shared its success with its clients. They also share their own details and some product tidbits with readers in August’s Nuts & Bolts feature.

YOUNG AND OLD — In today’s workplace, offices are populated with workers who run the gamut from so-called veterans whose births predate World War II to Generation Y staffers born in the ’80s. Listen in on our latest coverage of the AMOA Notre Dame Program, as we delve into the nuances of managing workers from different generations.

STATE SHOW SEASON — Summer is the season for coin machine operators to gather for their annual state association meetings. They discuss the state of the biz and political hurdles past and future, elect officers, enjoy good food and fellowship, and often tee it up for a round of golf. This month, we have reports from Wisconsin and Minnesota.

CAN YOU SPARE A NICKEL? After many years in the biz with notable accomplishments to his name, Jon Daugherty has devoted his energies of late to the concept of nickel arcades. The performance of NickelWorld locations have survived the test of time and continued to pay out.

A COMBO MOVE — Roxor Games and Andamiro have teamed up in an alliance that promises to usher in the next age of dance games. Its first model in a projected series is Pump It Up: In the Groove 2, a technological synthesis of the best that each company has to offer.

START YOUR ENGINES — Stern’s new NASCAR Pinball, designed by Pat Lawlor and his team of creative engineers, features a playfield racetrack that encompasses the entire surface. The pin also sports a truck hauler that can launch a ball and a test toy car that the player can bang with the pinball.

MORE RACING ACTION — Global VR has driven its latest videogame, Need for Speed Underground, into arcades with new online tournaments. The game’s heart-pumping capabilities have been knocking the socks off of even the most accomplished game racers, thanks to a design that makes it the next best thing to sitting in a Ferrari.

INTERCARD’S INTERESTS — The electronic debit systems firm has seen the popularity of its ultimate product soar. Giving greater efficiency to operators and customers alike, Intercard’s One Card Solution tracks activity in multiple locations and provides convenience and various rewards.

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July 2005:

Cover: I.T.’s 20th Anniverrsary — Elaine Hodgson and Richard Ditton of Incredible Technologies

LEGAL DANCE OFF — Konami’s lawsuit against Roxor Games over its In the Groove dance simulation has sparked much talk in the industry and analysis on Internet message boards by players. The president of Roxor, Jason Asbahr, responds to the charges.

A REAL PLUS — Kansas-based prize distributor Ron Hill revolutionized not only the quality of prizes but their ordering and distribution as well. Redemption Plus’ philosophy of offering solutions for operators has created success stories for virtually everyone at all levels of business. An extended look at Redemption Plus is this month’s inaugural Prize Patrol feature.

THE FIRST 20 YEARS — Incredible Technologies has made its mark on the industry with the world famous golf video Golden Tee, as well as other popular games. This month, the game factory celebrates its first 20 years, as they look forward to the future with their new, always-connected version of golf, Golden Tee Live.

YOUR BIGGEST BEEF — What is it? That’s what we asked operators for this month’s Interface question. Their answers were individual and unique, just like the personalities of the independent business people that make up the operating trade.

VNEA SILVER ANNY TOURNEY — The “Valley League” has grown like a Canadian pine since its inception back in 1980, and its quarter century anniversary was celebrated in grand style at its recent Las Vegas international pool playoff. We also have thoughts from league patriarch Chuck Milhem.

BACKBONE OF THE INDUSTRY — That’s what Arizona route pro Jim Hall says of the American street operator in his impassioned Stepping Up and Speaking Out this month. Reacting to a story in our recent arcade issue about a pizza chain that took over its amusement operations, Hall says: “Do what you do best and leave the game operations to your local street operator.”

MORE HOMEWORK– RePlay continues its series of reports on the ongoing AMOA Notre Dame Management Program, Class XII, with a look at strategic positioning and how this kind of analytical approach can help you outdistance the competition.

A WINNING COMBINATION — Andamiro USA’s new Winning Shot, a smaller version of Real Shooting, challenges players to use their shooting skills to win prizes, either directly or through a unique key-based bulk vending hardware attachment.

A HYBRID SOLUTION — Namco’s newest version of Flamin’ Finger is called the Hybrid because it offers both tickets and a merchandise prize vending unit for the player that conquers the game’s maze. The game combines both tickets every time and high-end prizes for the best performances.

KEEP ON ROCKIN’ — Rock-Ola may have gone digital with their line of Ecast-powered jukeboxes, but they haven’t forgotten their roots. They are shipping a new CD floor model. The CD-9000-PV comes with a Peavey sound system (1080 Watts of true RMS Power) and vivid new graphics package.

GET IN THE ACTION — Brand new mixes with bodacious prize assortments have been released north of the border from ActionMatic. Details about these hot new mixes are discussed by the capsule maker and distributor’s sales manager, Greg McPhail.

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June 2005:

Cover: Great American Catches Electronic Pool Wave

REMEMBERING STEVE — Around 50 tradesters gathered in early May to honor the memory of Steve Blattspieler, who passed away earlier this spring of cancer. The memorial took place at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago, and RePlay was there to record the event for posterity.

A CLASS ACT — Chicago distributor Fred Skor, who retired earlier this year after more than 55 years in the business, tells how he got his start with World Wide in ’49, working his way up the ladder and ultimately buying the company, which he just sold to longtime competitor American Vending Sales.

TOURNAMENTS, ANYONE? Online tournaments remain a hot topic when it comes to pay-for-play video, and RePlay contributor Kevin Williams turns his keen analysis to a closer look at how they came to be and where there may be going in the future.

SCHOOL DAYS — AMOA’s newest class of Notre Dame students, including RePlay editor Steve White, was back on the South Bend campus last month for another round of high-intensity education.

A PREMIUM BENEFIT — AMOA members faced with rising health care costs now have somewhere to go for sage advice on lowering premiums and tailoring insurance programs to meet their needs. The association has partnered with a firm called Mass Market Insurance Consultants to broker the best policy for its individual members.

FILLING STATION BLUES — Operators, like most small business people, are feeling the crunch of rising fuel prices. Listen in on this month’s Operator Interface to hear how some route operators are dealing with the increasing cost of servicing and collecting locations.

DARTING FAME — Electronic dart game maker and tournament promoter Arachnid has just inducted the first four players into its newly-formed Hall of Fame: soft tip legends Bruce Holmes, Tom Pace, Teresa Nevills Murphy and Kathy Karpowich. Read more about their accomplishments.

THE GRAND TOUR — Sega is back with a new version of its hit driver OutRun 2. This follow-up called Special Tours offers new features and modes. The game will be available in two dedicated versions as well as an upgrade kit for OutRun 2 cabinets.

TAKING OFF — Skee-Ball is set to launch its newest skill-stop novelty game, Blast Off, a smaller version of the chasing light attraction Tower of Power. Align the lights properly, hit the stop button and win the jackpot.

A REVOLT GIVEAWAY — Tsunami Visual Technologies is using the Internet to promote its remote-control themed video driver ReVolt by staging monthly drawings for an $80 miniature remote control car as a prize for everyone who plays the game and enters their codes online.

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May 2005:

Cover:AO.K. Spins Out Their “Son of Gravity Hill” — GH2 Extreme Shipping Now

HOME RECREATION — For years, the amusement biz has been fighting competition from home entertainment, console and computer games in particular. But in recent years, coin-op found a niche selling amusement products to the home. RePlay editor Steve White hit last month’s BCA Billiard and Home Recreation Show in Vegas to learn more about this related trade.

ARCADE EXTRAVAGANZA — This month’s RePlay is devoted to the arcade, be it a traditional stand-alone game room, overgrown sports bar with high-end games, or multi-attraction FEC. We also conducted our own poll of top arcade operators across the country to find out what’s happening on the front lines.

PRIZE PARADE — Redemption Round Up, RePlay’s regular prize feature section, is a perfect fit with this month’s arcade special issue. Check out the latest prize offerings from the industry’s top plush, toy and novelty suppliers.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT — Arcade maven Steve Thomas, who has overseen game operations at high profile chains like GameWorks and Jillian’s, got his start in the pizzacade biz with ShowBiz in the 1970s. He’s back at it today, managing over 40 corporate stores for Peter Piper Pizza.

SPORTS & FUN — That’s what makes the Big Dog sports bar and FEC one of Boston’s hottest entertainment destinations. Learn how they went from humble bar to popular restaurant to a full-fledged family fun center with Merit games on every table and multiple simulator attractions.

GO IT ALONE — Can a stand-alone arcade make it in today’s on-demand, high-expectation consumer marketplace? It’s a tough question and one we posed to a group of top arcade operators across the country in this month’s Operator Interface. Their responses may surprise you.

MADE IN THE USA — Shelti Inc., which is headed up by former Valley executives, is back in the business of making their own electronic dart game, decked out with all the bells and whistles needed to run modern day leagues and location promotions.

GOLF, ANYONE? Video golf is still hot, and Global VR is on the first tee with their new PGA Tour Challenge game, which lets players customize their on-screen persona, save these changes on a player card, and challenge other competitors to player-run tournies.

ONE STOP SHOP — ICE has six new titles to add to their already expansive game catalog, including the new kiddie video Fishin’ Time, the 3-player Monopoly pusher, kiddie merchandiser Mighty Mini, their themed sports games NBA Hoops and Line Drive and a new NASCAR-licensed kiddie sim.

IT’S AN ACT — Cecropia may not be a household name to most in the game trade, but their work will look familiar to fans of modern animation. This group of movie artists turned game developers is hoping to break into coin-op with a unique video called The Act.

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April 2005:

Cover:A Global Journey: It’s China to Canada to America as Hip Coin Takes Eastern Goods West

MIXED RESULTS — Those who came were happy, reliving old times and checking out hot new product for times to come. But organizers of last month’s ASI convention at Chicago’s Hyatt were disappointed with the turnout. RePlay was there and has a comprehensive look at the people, product and special events that highlighted this spring’s Windy City expo.

TOUCHY SUBJECT — Video games have gotten a bad rap, and worse, they have been targeted by legislative efforts that amount to what legal scholars see as a violation of First Amendment speech protection. Now, doctors are suggesting that games can be a positive developmental tool.

VERY HIP — Canadian distributor Hip Coin is an emerging player in the game supply business, striking an exclusive North American sales and marketing deal for three dedicated products from the Universal Space game factory in mainland China.

STATE GROUP POW-WOW — Officers and top execs from state associations around the country gather once a year under the sponsorship of the national AMOA to discuss their work representing the amusement trade. Hot topics at the Orlando state council meeting included Indian gaming, music licensing and smoking bans.

30 YEARS LATER — Ohio’s Big City Vending route celebrates 30 years in the business by taking a break to talk to RePlay correspondent Joel Vance about how they got started and how things have changed over the last three decades.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT! Operators Interface this month about the weirdest locations they have ever operated in, or even contemplated placing, machines including everything from nudist colonies to fortune telling establishments and the ever-present adult-oriented locales.

GOING GLOBAL — Game whiz Tony Gatillo has got four new redemption game products from two separate firms including TJMPO’s ticket spitting Maze Me Crazy and Fastrack, as well as Global Entertainment novelty games Silver Falls and Invader.

SMART MOVES — Smart Industries, best known for their cranes, bowed a raft of new product at Chicago’s ASI, including the merchandise games Pile Up and Snake Charmer, the ticket game Crazy Weekend, a new version of their Toy Chest crane and the ticket eating/prize dispensing unit Prize Center.

MERCHANDISE MANIA — The redemption game pros at Benchmark have taken the plunge into merchandising with the release of three new units including two new ticket eaters ­­ one that gives prizes (Tickets to Prize) and another offering a coupon (Ticket Station) ­­ plus a merchandise version of their popular ticket game Slam-A-Winner.

WHAT A DEAL — Merit Industries is now offering operators a choice of two new price programs for their online MegaNet service. The Progressive Program lets connected operators purchase their software over 12 months, with no interest. The Ultra Program provides the benefit of the software kit program with the luxury of having factory staff handling all aspects of the TournaMAXX promotion.

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March 2005:

Cover:TouchTunes – Digital Music Drives Hot Cashbox

SHOWTIME IN CHICAGO! The coinbiz returns to its convention roots this month as AAMA brings its annual spring Amusement Showcase International back to the City by the Lake, the first time a major game show has been in Chicago in a decade. We’ve got a soup to nuts preview that includes a look back at ASI 1985 penned by publisher Eddie Adlum and a sneak peek at product expected to there.

THE RIGHT TOUCH — Music downloading in the coinbiz started with TouchTunes almost a decade ago, and they are still at it, growing their installed base past the 10,000 mark, driving down the cost of their hardware and boasting some pretty impressive collections, especially when the unit is hooked up to their mini TuneCentral server on location.

NEW FACES — This month’s issue of RePlay is filled with new faces, companies that are just getting their start building or supplying product for the amusement industry including downloading jukebox developer View Interactive (pg. 69), novelty importer Primetime Amusements (pg. 72), photo booth supplier Face Place (pg. 77), virtual reality attraction operator and creator 3001 AD (pg. 129) and video kit maker Roxor Games (pg. 134).

WISE BEYOND HIS YEARS — Arcade operator Amar Patel, who bought out the former Capcom Nickel City in Northbrook, Ill., may only be 22 years old, but he’s already a veteran operator, having started working at this same location when he was just 14. Learn how he has brought a fresh perspective to a traditional business.

ARCADE DAYS — What happened to the traditional stand-alone arcade, the location that used to drive this business? Hear first-hand how a number of well-known arcade operators have adapted to a changing world, and what their business looks like today.

ROUGH COUNTRY — Street operator Dan Thomspon covers a pretty unique stretch of real estate in America; his amusement and vending route services locations from Anchorage to Fairbanks, and farther north. No matter the temperature, his office is open for business and ready for a service call.

CRAZY FOR CAPSULES — Bob’s Space Racers has a new coin-op game perfect for operators wanting to tap into the self-redemption movement. Capsule Craze, honored as the best game at last year’s IAAPA, pits the player against a crafty air blower is a delicate games of skill and balance.

GOING UNDERGROUND — Over a year in development, the stage is now set for the release of Global VR’s much-anticipated Electronic Arts-licensed driver Need for Speed: Underground, tapping into the continued popularity in tuner driver culture with some pretty cool cars.

SKILL STOP CENTRAL — Skee-Ball’s new skill stop Spin-N-Win is easy to play and hard to resist; players simply pull the slot machine lever to start the lights spinning and then hit the stop button to stop the lights on a desired ticket value to win. Collections are already pretty impressive, we hear.

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February 2005:

Cover:Wells Gardner: Monitoring the Games Business for Generations

MERGER MANIA — The march of consolidation continues on with news of a major deal in the Midwest. Shaffer Distributing is acquiring the distribution business of competitor Cleveland Coin, giving them a foothold in Michigan and a bigger presence in Cleveland itself.

NEW DIGS FOR ATLAS — Another major player on the Midwest distribution scene, Atlas Distributing, recently opened a brand new office in the Chicago area. The 65,000-sq.-ft. facility boasts two separate showrooms and a full complement of parts, service, used games and sales. RePlay toured the facility in person.

CITY OF BIG SHOWS — Chicago used to be expo central for the jukebox and games biz, and it will be again next month when the AAMA-sponsored Amusement Showcase International returns to the downtown Hyatt. Check out our show preview.

PET PEEVES — In this month’s Interface, operators sound off about the toughest hurdles they face in their respective markets. Their concerns cover the bases from a sagging local economy to decreased game returns, the price of new equipment and local regulation and law enforcement.

THAT’S INCREDIBLE! Incredible Pizza’s new Tulsa location was named one of IAAPA’s best new FECs last year. The growing chain is more proof that good pizza and fun games are a great combination for the family. The new location has it all, including games, go-karts, bumper cars, mini golf, paintball and a bowling alley.

AND NOW, LIVE — As the holiday season approached, one of the most exciting experiments in the video game industry took flight as Incredible Technologies launched their new Golden Tee Live game. Immediately, the power of an always-connected competition became apparent.

VERY HIP INDEED — The coin machine business may no longer be cool to some, but Canadian distributor Hip Coin sees a lot of potential in the games being produced by a factory in mainland China, UNIS. The two companies have teamed up to offer three unique products to North America.

START YOUR ENGINES — Bay-Tek is set to ship the revamped Stock Car Challenge 2 car racing attraction, originally created by Victory Lane Ideas and acquired last year by the Green Bay-area factory. They have made scores of improvements to the remote control simulator.

HOCKEY, ANYONE? Lazer-Tron’s newest game, Spin-A-Zoid looks to be popular with both street and game room operators. The piece, designed by Bryan Hansen, emulates the play of air hockey in a much-smaller, street-friendly footprint.

FAMILY FUN — The keepers of the silverball torch at Stern recently bowed their newest pinball game, the HBO licensed Sopranos, based on the award winning series staring loveable wise guy Tony Soprano and the rest of family. The game features speech from the show plus a host of other innovations.

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January 2005:

Cover: Gary’s Game Show — Stern Pinball and licensed pinballs including The Sopranos.

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)
this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, parts suppliers, trade associations, music one-stops…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

[Back to 2005 Main Menu]

2004 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December

December 2004:

Cover: 60 Big Years fro Brady’s Bunch!

EXTRA, EXTRA — The 2004 IAAPA show in Orlando was huge on attendance, but a tad light on brand new coin-op product. See our speedy report.

TAKING STOCK — Lots of hot new games and upbeat shows all around characterized 2004, a year many see as a turn-around point for the consolidating amusement industry. Take a walk down memory lane as we look at the year’s big events.

PRIZES GALORE — It may be the holiday season for the rest of the world, but amusement buyers are already prepping for the warmer months around the corner. To help them get ready, we bring this year’s second installment of our soup to nuts look at prizes, Redemption Round-Up.

DISTRIBUTING DOWN SOUTH — Brady Distributing is celebrating its 60th anniversary this very month. We are commemorating that milestone in this issue with an anniversary special looking at the people and philosophy that have put Brady on the map down south, and kept them there.

LIVE AND IN PERSON — That’s right, more than 400 operators, representing more than half as many route companies, descended on Chicago last month for the Golden Tee Live Summit, getting them ready for the big 500-game test.

HITTING THE BOOKS — Class XII of the much-revered AMOA Notre Dame program got underway in late October, even as Class XI was graduating. Get an inside look from a member of the newest class, RePlay’s own Steve White, who reports on the course work, if not his grades.

PUBLIC RELATIONS — Putting a new face on the industry was the big topic at the recent meeting of West Virginia operators. They unveiled a new logo and marketing campaign to help them navigate the tricky waters of legalized gaming in their state.

SMART MARKETING — Kentucky’s B.J. Novelty is already known around the trade as one of the savviest street routes out there. Now, they have taken marketing to a new level, publishing a player-oriented magazine tailored to promote their games and special events.

STREET FIGHTER IS BACK — Ultracade Technologies last month pulled back the curtain on their latest retro-game initiative, a new video called Street Fighter: Anniversary Edition with a handful of the franchise’s most popular titles all in one cabinet.

POOL TABLES PLUS — The billiard pros at Valley-Dynamo continue to prove that they know more than just pool. This month, they are rolling out the sequel to Lighthouse, a new merchandise game called Stacker from LAI, plus two kiddie-focused air hockey tables, Blue Streak & Mini Splash.

FIVE FIGURES — That’s how many TouchTunes downloading jukes are now in the field. In fact, the factory recently celebrated the placement of that 10,000th unit down in Florida.

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November 2004:

Cover: 50 Years at Namco

A HALF CENTURY OF FUN — Namco Ltd., the Japanese video and redemption game factory known for hit titles that span decades (think Galaxian and Pac-Man to Ridge Racer and Tekken) is celebrating 50 years in business. The firm was founded by visionary Masaya Nakamura, who built the business from a two kiddie ride operation to a multi-dimensional global corporation that develops and markets arcade and consumer games, has operations around the world and is currently blazing new trails with wireless games. Check out our special anniversary special on Namco.

THE PARKS SHOW COMETH — Like clockwork, the week before Thanksgiving, the amusement and theme park trades get together for the mother of all trade shows, the annual International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions annual convention and show, taking place for the fourth year in a row at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

EVERYBODY WAS SMILING — Speaking of shows, this month’s issue of RePlay features full coverage of the side-by-side AMOA and Fun Expo held in Las Vegas to rave reviews from the trade. Praise was universal for the product and attendance was robust. Add in a range of show specials and off the convention floor events and you’ve got a trade show daily double.

CONNECTING TO THE FUTURE — Cable vs. DSL? What about routers and hubs? Broadband lingo has become the buzz of the amusement game and juke industry as more products go online and operators look at networking their locations. Nobody knows this topic better than Ajax Interactive, a game operator that helps troubleshoot connectivity for others too.

WHAT WAS HOT — From teddy bear vendors to high-octane racers and high-energy seminars, there was a lot to like at this fall’s AMOA and Fun Expo, and we polled those who attended for this month’s Operator Interface. Check out what impressed the real pros.

GETTING IT RIGHT — Oklahoma operator Jim Kamas, who now specializes in FECs, says competition may be a natural part of business but not when it involves putting profits over people. “Looking back at my years in the business, I’d say one of the truly important things is mutual respect for your fellow vendors,” he said. “I never bumped another operator. I never cut throats.”

MUSIC TECHNOLOGY SINGS — Two of the major players in music downloading have unveiled new offerings. Ecast Inc. is rolling out its Unplugged Wi-Fi product while at the same time beefing up its back-end management tools. Meanwhile, TouchTunes has released a new software platform that makes it easy for operators to tap into broadband and much more.

IN THE ZONE — On the heels of a comprehensive new software package released in September, Merit debuts two new hardware pieces, Fun Zone, a ticket or coupon redemption version of Megatouch, and the new slim profile Elite Edge touchscreen.

PRICING UPGRADE FOR POOL — Global Billiard Mfg. has entered the adjustable pricing fray with an electronic acceptor that can retrofit almost any existing coin table that’s already in the field. And here’s the best part, their Matrix can be installed in most table’s coin door opening with no routing or cutting of the cabinet.

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October 2004:

Cover: Great Day Dawns for Golden Tee! Every Game Online All the Time

Fall 2004 Showbook

SHOWTIME — The game trade will be arriving in Vegas (not long afer this issue rolls off the press) for the traditionally co-located AMOA and Fun Expos. Expect lots of good new product and special prices on both show floors, as well as a wealth of information in the seminar room and loads off fun away from the convention halls.

60 YEARS YOUNG — Charlotte, NC-based Brady Distributing celebrated its 60th birthday in late August with a first-class day of festivities including a traditional vending and amusement open house, seminars, tournaments and a tasty pig roast. RePlay was on hand for the fun.

MUSIC MAKERS — The jukebox remains an industry staple even as the nature of the beast has changed, from 45 RPM to CD jukes, and now to networked downloading. RePlay conducted an informal survey of operators and found that digital acceptance has become the norm for many.

MARION’S MOMENT — This month, Marion Paul becomes the third woman to ascend to the presidency of the national Amusement and Music Operator’s Association. The arcade operator has already proven herself a formidable power in a trade group dominated by route companies owned by men. Learn more about this dynamic leader in our profile.

THUMBNAIL TWOFER — Interestingly, both of this month’s Thumbnail Sketch subjects got the coin game start in resorts ­ Dan Sunday in the ski lodges of Colorado, Norb Meunier in his own Wisconsin Dells hotel. Both of these progressively oriented operators are opinionated and just plain fun to talk with.

TOURNAMENT TIME — Are you leaving money on the table? Game room operators who aren’t tapping into player demand for live competition are, says Namco product guru and avid player Jason Arney. In one of the more insightful pieces we’ve seen, he details the tournament player culture and how to tap into it for additional profits.

HOT, HOT, HOT! Dart maker Arachnid has expanded the abilities of their HotButton for a whole new dimension of game play by handicapping games in Casual Mode based on league scores. This lets players of any skill level compete against each other .

THE REAL THING — Toronto-based Visual Sports Systems’ RealSports simulator utilizes real-life sports equipment, is operator adjustable and fully coin-operated with no attendant needed. There are six sports to choose from, all in one system or customized to an operator’s needs.

GOING UNDERGROUND — Video game maker Global VR is set to release the latest in its series of Electronic Arts licensed driver, Need for Speed: Underground. This game, which sold 6.5 million copies to the home, taps into the “tuner” gamer culture with upgradeable cars.

MERIT MATTERS — Merit got a head start on the fall season this year when they started shipping new software for both Force 2005 and Maxx Jade in mid-August. With 19 new games for Force and 15 games for Maxx, this release offers a wide array of licensed content and operator features.

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September 2004:

Cover: Rowe ami — Making good times great, with new Jukeboxes and a new way to look at Internet music

READY FOR VEGAS — Check out our comprehensive preview of this month’s upcoming AMOA and Fun Expo shows. Everything you need to know to get prepped for the shows is right here at your fingertips including schedules and seminars.

WINDY CITY POW-WOW — AAMA held its annual meeting in downtown Chicago, complete with a Distributor Gala, as well as a series of official trade group meetings. Check out our first-hand coverage of the meetings and issues that were discussed at the leadership gathering.

SETTING RECORDS — That’s what Twin Galaxies is all about, helping amusement operators hold contests and, hopefully, setting new world records on arcade video games. The score-keeping wizards there will even help out with promotional materials and tournament assistance.

TEXAS JUKE JOINT — Music was the main motif at the 31st annual Amusement and Music Operators of Texas convention, held in mid-July in Corpus Christi. More than 235 members of the trade showed up to celebrate the jukebox and get down to association business in the Lone Star State.

IS IT TIME TO UPGRADE? That’s the question that route and arcade operators always face. New games are the lifeblood of any operation, but spending too much on the wrong ones can have dire consequences. Read how operators deal with the dilemma in this month’s Operator Interface.

A GRAYING VETERAN — Sal Lazuka may be counting gray hairs, as he told us in this month’s Thumbnail Sketch, but that probably has something to do with a growing route that numbers over 300 locations in and around the Cleveland area.

PRODUCT PIPELINE — That’s what AAMA distributor members got to see at this summer’s association Distributor Gala. RePlay was there, too, and brings you a look at what you can expect to see at this month’s AMOA Expo or your local distributorship open house.

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE — Product continues to take center stage in this special new machine driven issue of RePlay as we unveil the ultimate product buyer’s guide, something we have dubbed the Buy Line. In short, this is a list of all the current jukeboxes and amusement games in production. When it comes time to set a new account, remember to check it out for just the right pieces.

SLAMMIN’ SAMMY — Sammy USA, the domestic arm of the Japanese video game giant acquiring Sega, has already begun shipping their collaborative effort with SNK Playmore, King of Fighters Neo Wave. But that’s just the beginning with three more games on the way including Dirty Pigskin, Extreme Hunting and Faster than Speed.

PINBALL IS KING — The King of rock ‘N’ roll, Elvis Presley, is now given his flipper dues with the latest release from Stern. The game, licensed from Elvis Presley Enterprises and designed by Steve Ritchie, features music from the King’s two live TV specials.

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August 2004:

Cover: Global VR — Madden Comes To Coin-Op

TRADE SHOW TEASER — By the time you get this issue, the fall trade show season (AMOA and Fun Expo) will be right around the corner. Get your first glimpse at what to expect in Vegas, as well as all the necessary travel information.

PARTS BIZ BUYOUT — We first heard word last month that parts powerhouse Happ Controls had been bought out by a Chicago area investment firm. Get the full story on what the deal will mean for this vital supplier.

75 AND GOING STRONG! The distribution pros at Shaffer Distributing are celebrating 75 years in the coin biz, offering the operators of Ohio, Indiana and Missouri a strong tradition of service from four generations of Shaffer men. Read more about how they got there.

PREXY POW WOW — A group of 16 past AMOA presidents convened on downtown Chicago in late June, and not to plot out the future course of the industry. There were there, instead, to have fun, take in the sights and do a little reminiscing.

DIRECT RESPONSE — We polled our readers in this month’s Operator Interface about, guess what, I.T.’s decision to sell direct to AMOA members. Almost to the operator, they remain concerned about what this means for the industry.

SPEAKING OUT — In addition to our Operator Interface, this issue is packed with the voices of operators speaking out about the current state of the industry including an Around the Route contribution from Charles Rowland (pg. 62), a guest essay by Ed Velasquez (pg. 76) and two thought-provoking columns from Gary Spencer (pg. 101) and Jerry Monday (pg. 97).

HAVE A BALL with Benchmark’s new kiddie flipper game Monster Ball. The piece offers little ones a winner every time bouncy ball as well as a chance to win one of two gumball jackpots.

FAST AND FURIOUS — The name says it all. Raw Thrills is hitting the road with their new driver, The Fast and the Furious. Designed by some of the same creators that created Blitz, this game from the hot new developer will get your wheels turning.

FORTUNATE PUSHER — ICE is releasing Wheel of Fortuneyes, you read that right. It’s not the skill-stop novelty that was a big hit in 2001. This time, the license adorns a pretty nifty Crompton’s pusher that is sure to get your attention.

MADDEN KICKOFF — Global VR is set to release a coin-op version of EA Sports Madden NFL, a game that has sold more than 35 million copies to the home and boasts 10 million regular players. Read more in this month’s cover story.

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July 2004:

Cover: H. Betti Industries — celebrating 70 years

A DIRECT APPROACH — Incredible Technologies, the factory behind the ever-successful Golden Tee Golf phenomenon and other popular games, shocked the industry by announcing plans to sell AMOA operators directly .

WINDY CITY TRADE MEET — AAMA members (including game factories, suppliers and distributors) will gather this month in Chicago. See what’s on tap in the Windy City.

EAT, DRINK & SEE NEW MACHINES — This year’s National Restaurant Show in Chicago saw the debut of a handful of new coin-op products including the Merit Wallette and RMC E-Bubbler (we’ve got product features on these too).

HAPPY ANNY, HBI! It’s been 70 years since Humbert Betti Sr. placed his first machines on location and began the huge organization that includes today’s network of Betson and Imperial machine and parts depots. See our special celebratory section.

BIG DEAL DAY — On the very same Monday in late May, the trade learned of two different acquisitions in the national game operating trade. In the first, Seattle-based Coinstar purchased Sugarloaf for a whopping $235 million. Meanwhile, LBE chain Jillian’s went into bankruptcy, but not before striking a deal to sell its larger stores to Dave & Buster’s and some smaller spots to an outside investment firm. Read the stories in the news section of this issue.

TOURNAMENT TIME — Upstate N.Y. route operator Valley Vending started the New York 8-Ball Championship nearly three decades ago. Today, the tournament they run in conjunction with three other operators has come to symbolize the necessity of promotion in the coin machine biz.

DELTA MUSIC MAN — Louisiana’s Donovan Fremin, this month’s Thumbnail Sketch, is a third-generation route man whose family signifies all that is unique and charming about the Bayou State.

STRIKING A CHORD — Incredible Technologies made news in more ways than one this month, releasing the new bowling game Silver Strike to sell-out orders on the first day it was released.

FOUR NEW VIDEOS — Top Line Cabinets (TLC Industries), already well known as a maker of cabinets for games like Golden Tee, has begun manufacturing video titles of its own, licensed from consumer developers. Already they have four almost ready to hit the marke.

CHAMPIONSHIP III AND GT — Global VR has released their newest version of PGA Golf, the Championship III edition that contains a handicapping system that should drive player participation and earnings, as well as a new revved-up version of Need for Speed called GT.

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June 2004:

Cover: LAI Games’ Lighthouse Shines Bright Beam on Instant Redemption

FEW SURPRISES — That was the word coming from this year’s 10th Annual E3, the massive consumer game show held mid-May in LA. As the homevid industry finds itself in between hardware generations, the big buzz was handhelds and several long awaited software titles. Find coverage in Steven Kent’s column this month and our Jeremy Goldstone’s full report.

VEGAS SHOWS CONTINUE — On the heels of this spring’s ASI expo, a number of factories, distributors and operators have returned to Las Vegas once, and some twice more for the recent bulk vending and billiard shows.

SOLD! That’s what you will hear, if you log on to Super Auction’s Ebay simulcast this month, a first for coin-op, as the rapidly-growing auction firm connecting operators to consumers gives online bidders a taste of the games they have to offer.

LONE STAR WELCOME — Distributing powerhouse Betson Enterprises threw an impressive Texas-style party opening their newest branch, Betson Texas, in Dallas. RePlay was there firsthand to see the impressive line-up of equipment and meet some of their new operator customers.

AN EARLY START — This month’s Thumbnail subject, New York operator Larry Hilimire, got his start cleaning vending machines for his dad as a young boy. He says the coinbiz has been good to him and his family. “I look forward to getting up every morning,” declares Larry.

IN PRAISE OF PRIZE GAMES — Street operators are still relatively new to redemption, but a recent crop of games (Gravity Hill, Lighthouse, etc.) has opened up new vistas for the route biz, say this month’s Operator Interface subjects.

TAKE A U-TURN — Great American Recreation’s new Boom-A-Rang table is an air hockey bent into a unique V-shaped attraction, cutting down on floor space and offering players the chance to stand side by side as they compete.

PUMPED! Andamiro’s newest dance sim upgrade, Pump It Up Exceed, provides more than just new music. It also offers a chance to upgrade the game from a CD-ROM driven attraction to more reliable hard drive technology.

COLOR ME DIGITAL — NSM’s long-awaited digital downloading jukebox, the Chameleon, is set to begin shipping this month. Factory execs say they have put a tough year behind them and are moving full steam ahead.

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May 2004:

Cover: Back to the Future with Rock-Ola’s New Line of Digital Downloading Jukeboxes

SMOKE ‘EM IF YOU CAN because many locales across the U.S. are considering or have already passed a ban on smoking in public places, including privately-owned bars and restaurants. Get an update on what affect this kind of legislation can have on game, pool and juke earnings, and what the industry is doing to monitor and combat this trend.

EMERALD ISLE EXPO — The trade in Ireland is alive and well, according to reports from this year’s Irish Amusement Equipment Assn. Expo, held in Dublin. This year’s show also hosted a series of high-level association meetings and the first presentation of the Mary Openshaw Award.

ROCK ON-LINE — This month’s cover story takes a closer look at the emergence of a new line of downloading broadband jukeboxes from the CD and nostalgia mavens at Rock-Ola Mfg. in Torrance, Calif. Read more about the headway they are making in the marketplace, working in conjunction with the music providers at Ecast Inc.

THE OTHER SHAFFERS — That’s right, there are two families with the same name who have made a successful place for their companies in the Buckeye State coin biz. Read all about Pick, Kerry, Monica, Randy and Todd, who collectively run a growing amusement route in the Dayton area.

THREE IN ONE — Following up on last year’s extensive look at LAN gaming, we profile LanWerX, a Seattle-based location that is quickly growing into a small chain in the Pacific Northwest. The store combines PC, coin-op and console gaming experiences for a video game smorgasbord.

MAN FOR ALL SEASONS — Likeable tradester Steve Walton has worn several hats in this industry, running his own operation, serving as a factory sales rep and starting a manufacturers’ rep firm with brother Pete. Recently, Steve checked in with an update on his always-hectic activities.

JUST THE FACTS, PLEASE — Incredible Technologies’ Free Automated Contest and Tournament Software (FACTS) allows operators access to game-play data and enables them to use this information to conduct contests and tournaments from the convenience of their office PCs.

OFF TO THE RACES — Namco America is about to roll out two new driving attractions. Wangan Midnight: Maximum Tuning, set to be released this summer, utilizes a paper card reader that stores and updates a player’s progress. Ring Riders is the latest Gaelco license from Namco, offering a special twist on the classic motorcyle racing game.

A TAILORED BEAR — That’s what you get from the new interactive vending machine introduced this spring by uWink Inc. Customers can customize the clothing and accessories for their favorite bear, all of which is stocked in specially designed packaging inside the unit.

IT’S ROUNDUP TIME! RePlay’s Redemption Roundup has returned for this first time in 2004. Get a comprehensive look at the best and most popular items the major prize suppliers have to offer, all compiled in an easy-to-use format.

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April 2004:

Cover: Sammy’s Rangers Aim to Capture Multi Product Market

CHICAGO BOUND — Last month’s ASI in Las Vegas saw more than 60 new products debut, and good business was done by exhibitors despite the light turnout. But the big news of the show was that the 2005 event is moving to Chicago, hopefully to draw more operators. See our full coverage of this year’s Vegas show, including booth photos, new products and other special ASI events.

PRODUCTS GALORE — That’s what ASI show sponsors promised, predicting as many as three dozen or more new game debuts at this year’s spring show. Their expectations where surpassed, as it’s clear to see from our extensive catalog of product never before seen by the trade.

ANOTHER ROUND — The Nightclub and Bar Show was again held side by side with ASI last month in Las Vegas, although this year there were no free passes to the game convention. Coin machine exhibitors at the bar show said they still generated considerable attention for their wares from location owners and managers.

\CONTINUING EDUCATION — Incredible Technologies hosted their second annual operator summit in late February, this time in Atlanta, and more than 100 operators came out to learn more about how to maximize earnings through the factory’s online suite of promotional tools.

ROI BLUES — Chicago jukebox operator Ed Velasquez, an ongoing RePlay contributor, discusses the challenges operators face in today’s market when it comes to investing new dollars in equipment. The toughest part of the business, says Ed, is finding a game that brings new players or opens new location doors. The good news is that things are beginning to look brighter.

THOUGHTS ON HOME — Home video, that is. This month’s Operator Interface looks at what operators think about the rise of home games. We asked, “Friend or foe?” “Both,” said many we talked with, noting that today’s industry hopes to use the best from home in the arcade and on the street.

SMOKIN’ — Rowe debuted at ASI their newest digital jukebox, the smaller sized, value priced floor model, The Flame. With blazing graphics and content powered by Ecast Inc.’s Version 2 software, this juke is sure to heat up earnings at locations everywhere.

OUT OF THIS WORLD — ICE recently bowed their newest alley bowler, Dunk N’ Alien, featuring a moving, talking alien character who heckles the player, spurring them on to try harder, and play the game more often. Three hits wins a special bonus, and lots of tickets.

FANTASTIC FLIPPER ADVENTURE — Stern’s newest pin game, designed by Pat Lawlor, is the new Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Players travel with the legendary Robert Ripley across seven continents on the playfield to discover the strange, bizarre, and unusual, including a shrunken head.

ULTRA COMEBACK — Ultracade Technologies, maker of the retro game system featuring dozens of classics all in one cabinet, has been through thick and thin in this challenging market, and they continue to forge ahead with exciting new projects. Get the scoop on this game development dynamo.

THOSE WHO CAN — The old adage is those who can, do and those who can’t teach. The laser tag mavens at LaserTron do both. The Amherst, N.Y. firm recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of their own location, which helped launched the firm’s retail product line, by offering extensive educational opportunities to their customers.

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March 2004:

Cover: Sega — Truckin’ with Smaller 4-Station Derby Owner’s Club

MOVERS & SHAKERS — Two big names in distribution made news: Atlas Distributing sold out to fellow Chicago-based Signature Sales and Service, and Betson opened up a new storefront in Dallas, after acquiring Spirit Distributing.

SHOWTIME! If it’s March, it’s ASI. The coin-op business will descend upon the Las Vegas Convention Center March 9-11 for the Amusement Showcase International. AAMA toppers say we can expect dozens of new games, plus special events.

LONDON CALLING — ATEI is the first big trade event of the year, and we’ve got a first-hand look from editor Steve White, who made the trek to London and brought back a wealth of insight on new product and why U.S. tradesters make the annual trip across the pond.

RAW TALENT — Eugene Jarvis has been designing video games since Defender, his very first effort. Now, he’s formed a new company, Raw Thrills, and will be coming to ASI with its maiden effort, a shooter called Target: Terror, backed by the marketing muscle of Betson.

MEETING OF THE MINDS — Tobacco regulations, assault on video content and, of course, gaming were hot items on the agenda at this year’s Council of Affiliated States Meeting, held during mid-January in San Diego. Read more about this annual gathering of state association leaders.

SET ‘EM UP, JOE — A fresh, new RePlay straw poll on the U.S. “tavern route” shows the number of watering holes declining, according to operators who responded to our questionnaire. It’s still the darling of the route, however, so there’s no need to go hide in a bottle of hooch, yet.

THE FUTURE IS HERE — The U.K.’s Leisure Link, arguably the world’s largest operation with 90,000 machines, is blazing new trails in online games and music, linking their own 2.8 million-song digital juke system with amusement and gaming machines on location.

NO WALLFLOWER — The new wall-hung digital juke from Rock-Ola, the Wall-Rock, will be the first unit to deploy Ecast’s all new Version 2 software platform. “The beta boxes are working great and the revenue is unbelievable,” reports RMC prexy John Schultz.

LONG DISTANCE RUNNER — Sega’s four-player Derby Owner’s Club opens new markets including, most recently, the travel center industry. “This is a game that increases food and beverage sales and brings in a new player base,” said Barbara Joyiens. “That’s been proven across the board.”

SECOND GENERATION SAMMY — Sammy USA is unleashing its second generation of Atomiswave games including a sport shooter called Ranger Mission, the driver Chicago 1929 and two fighters: Guilty Gear Isuka and Rumble Fish.

BOWLING FOR (COLLECTION) DOLLARS — That’s the idea behind AMF’s new high-end bowling attraction, ThunderBowl. It’s a scaled-down version of real-life bowling that is self-contained and, most importantly, currency-operated for a wide variety of venues.

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February 2004:

Cover: An Ocean of Motion — Tsunami’s Out to Make Waves with Splashy New Cabinets and Software

SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN — That’s just one way to describe Memphis jukebox maven Cotton Pennington, longtime partner at Sammons Pennington, who is still going strong and serving music and games operators down south with his wit and wisdom.

MUCH NEEDED R&R — U.S. soldiers on leave from the fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan now have a state of the art game room to enjoy at a Bavarian rest and recuperation resort run by the military. Many of the new games were expressly donated by top coin-op game factories.

SOUP TO NUTS — Visual Technologies, the simulator game maker that is gracing this month’s RePlay cover, is now covering all the bases as they roll out new motion simulator cabinets and game combo packs, as well as an upgrade kit that will allow operators to run their popular software on existing upright cabinets.

BOUND FOR SACRAMENTO — No, we’re not talking about “The Terminator.” But longtime northern California route operator Chris Schneider of Schneider Vending is hoping to join the movie star turned governor in the state’s capital city. Read all about his run for the state senate.

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE — There may still be a cigarette vending machine, but it’s not healthy, say this month’s operators as they Interface on the state of the tobacco vending business. Suffice to say, the market is no longer red hot.

MIDWESTERN VALUES — Wisconsin operator Roger Westmont exemplifies much that is often lauded about the Midwest, including his can-do attitude combined with an industry veteran’s ability to weather challenges.

IT’S TEE TIME — Incredible Technologies will release their new Golden Tee 2005 update including seven new courses on Feb. 13. Operators have already begun ordering the new update online, and the factory is promising a host of new features for both operators and players as the much-awaited annual tee time for profits approaches.

THE ADVENTURE RETURNS — Dragon’s Lair, the classic “laser disc” adventure game that caused such a stir in the 1983-84 coin-op amusement world, is back, this time running on industry-proven electronics and at a great price, says its maker, Howell Ivy, seen here with a prototype at IAAPA.

SAME SONG, SECOND VERSION — The broadband content gurus at Ecast Inc. bowed their new media platform, known as Version 2, at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show. This Microsoft-driven system provides operators with a powerful new set of online tools for their Rowe and Rock-Ola digital jukeboxes.

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January 2004:

Cover: Ecast — Fueling a New Generation of Coin-Op

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)

this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, parts suppliers, trade associations, music one-stops…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

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2003 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December

December 2003:

Cover: BayTek: Making Automatic Prize Drop Games for the Street; New Games from IAAPA

SAFE HARBOUR — The investment group that acquired Merit last year snapped up jukebox and changer maker Rowe International by way of a last-minute bidding effort in late October.

LOOKING BACK — It’s been one heck of a year for coin-op, and we’ve got a look back at the newsmakers of 2003, not to mention a few thoughts on what may be ahead for the trade.

ONLINE GAMES — If players had access to more information about where coin-op games are located, would this drive more business? That’s what the new website Barcade.com is betting on. Set to launch this month, the Betson offshoot venture hopes to link players, locations and promotions.

TOURNAMENT TIME — Sports celebrities, fantasy prize packages and futuristic-feeling marketing technology characterize JDLs’ raft of traditional-games-turned-promotional-tourney-machines.

MORE THAN JUST GAMES — Industry guru Kevin Williams, in the second of a two-part series exclusive to RePlay, takes a look at how the high-end game room market has evolved.

CASTLE IN THE AIR — As Enchanted Castle (acknowledged by many as a prototype of what has become the modern, multi-attraction FEC) celebrates its 20th anniversary, owners and employees reminisce about what has made the Enchanted Castle great: people. (Hey, there’s even an FEC-based wedding story in there!)

GETTING INSIDE GAMERS’ HEADS — How has the LAN gaming phenomenon affected culture around the globe? Academic Mike Liskin addresses just that question with his study of gamer culture, from PC game tournaments to the teams who are addicted to competing in them.

IT’S A (LAN) WRAP — As the Year of the LAN draws to a close, RePlay revisits some of the highlights in our year of exploring the phenomenon of consumer games like PCs and consoles used in a consumer environment.

ENLIGHTENING — That’s what the LAI product Lighthouse has been for Valley Dynamo, their sales reps in the U.S. Read how they created a market for this high-end merchandiser, along with a look at some new games coming to the U.S. from the Pacific Rim gamesmiths at LAI.

TOYS & STUFF — Desert Collectibles brings their Create a Critter toy-stuffing kiosk to the plate. It’s a small-footprint, all-in-one toy stuffer that lets customers choose the empty toy of their choice, dress it up in a costume, and watch an attendant stuff their customtoy, complete with cradle and birth certificate.

VROOM, VROOM! Race Car Simulators’ NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway racing sim, shown for the first time at IAAPA, touts authentic styling based on the popular NASCAR franchise. Execs say the 12-to-15-minute attraction is a great way to generate location traffic.

X-TREMELY FUN — The new winner-every-time X-Treme Fun E Ball redemption machine combines skill maze play with fresh graphics and a host of merchandising options for round-vend balls or capsules and prize pucks. The factory also supplies a special prize mix especially for the machine.

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November 2003:

Cover: The Lord of the Pinball (Magical Moment: Gary Stern Bows His Spellbinder); IAAPA Showbook

A DIGITAL TURNING POINT — The jukebox business was the talk of the AMOA show as the last two major hold-outs, NSM and Rock-Ola, officially entered the digital arena by signing on with hardware offerings that will allow operators to tap into the Ecast online music network.

PARKS SHOW PREVIEW — It’s November and that means IAAPA to many in the amusement game trade. Long known as the most important event for the theme park biz, this mega-convention now hosts many coin-op debuts, too. Check out our full preview of the show in Orlando.

THE WHOLE ENCHILADA — This month’s RePlay contains comprehensive coverage of late September’s AMOA and Fun Expos, held side-by-side in Las Vegas. We bring you all the product and industry news from these all-important amusement trade shows, including reports on the shows and meetings and an extensive new product catalog.

LORD OF THE FLIPPERS — Stern Pinball will begin shipping their latest title this month, The Lord of the Rings. Through a license with Hollywood powerhouse New Line Cinema, Stern is bringing the movie trilogy to life on the flipper playfield in what may well be the most impressive release yet from the Chicagoland factory.

MEET YOUR MAKER — Organized by the national operator’s association, the Meet Your Maker seminar at AMOA Expo featured a no-holds-barred discussion of the challenges and concerns of all three levels of the industry. It opened up a line of communication between operators and suppliers and left both energized for the future.

HOW WAS YOUR SHOW? That’s what we asked operators roaming the aisles of the AMOA and Fun Expos on the last day of the events. Former AMOA topper Lee Wesson’s comments aptly sum up their feelings: “I think it’s the best show we’ve had in years. It’s Friday after 3PM and there are still people on the floor. The aisles are still busy. Since when does that happen?”

BOWLING FOR DOLLARS — Program X from major bowling supplier Qubica has risen from the ashes of what used to be Mendes. The Italian software firm has re-made the former attractions, producing two exciting bowling attractions, Buggy Bowl and Route 66.

USE THE FORCE — A new dedicated Star Wars game on an updated TsuMo base and helicopter shooter software for their existing TsuMo hardware highlighted Tsunami’s offerings at this fall’s AMOA. Get the details on these new releases from the motion sim pros.

PAINTBALL, ANYONE? Team Play’s Crossfire: Maximum Paintball is a first-person gun game that nonetheless comes with a yellow sticker for the simple reason that paintball shoots paint, not bullets, so it’s non-lethal. Read all about this new one-to-two-player shooter.

Ready, Set, GO! Chicago Gaming may be a new name in coin-op, but this Churchill Cabinet offshoot has been making home games for almost a decade. Now, they’re off and running with an impressive kiddie racer, Nicktoons Racing, sporting the Nickelodeon license ­­ and that means SpongeBob

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October 2003:

Cover: King Plush has Mickey and Friends!

SHOW REPORT — RePlay staffers were just returning to the office from AMOA and Fun Expo as this issue went to press. Look for initial expo coverage in several strategic areas throughout the magazine, including Hot Off The Press, for the latest news from the fall’s major coin game and FEC shows.

ROWE RESTRUCTURES — The venerable juke maker Rowe International is undergoing some radical surgery after years of struggling under a massive debt load. They are also rewiring their distribution network.

MORE SHOWS ON THE WAY — There’s no rest for the weary, and this doubly so this fall for route and arcade operators with the national NAMA vending expo (see next item) and IAAPA parks show still set to come. Kicking off the previews is our look at the IAAPA megashow ­­ its 85th annual event ­­ which opens in Orlando Nov. 17. Organizers expect 30,000+ to view the more than 1,300 exhibits.

NAMA DISHES UP FOODSERVICE — The new Foodservice Pavilion is slated to take center stage at this month’s NAMA National Expo with cooking demos, top chefs, educational seminars and more. Also on tap is a special pre-expo seminar on doing savvy battle with convenience store competitors.

MR. PROMOTION — Phil Webb of ASAP Vending is this month’s Thumbnail subject, and he is full of good ideas about how to promote games on the route. Read about this 30-something operator who is fast growing his route in the suburbs of Chicago.

ARCADES HOLD STEADY — Now that the vital summer arcade season has passed, our Operator Interface reports that collections have held pretty steady, with a few modest (and one enormous) increases. Arcade ops credit everything from weather to location, but two things remain constant in a successful arcade: a good mix of machines and attractions, and listening to the customer.

SECRETS OF THREE HYBRIDS — What do an FEC with LAN games, a PC game center with coin-op games and an experimental boutique arcade all have in common? Besides being consumer/coin-op hybrids (offering PC or console games alongside coin machines), these three locations all emphasize putting their customers first, providing value for players as well as the cashbox, and experimenting to find out what works ­­ even if what works doesn’t fit into traditional boundaries.

MERIT MAKES IT HAPPEN — Merit Industries rolled out a raft of new product at last month’s AMOA Expo, including the sleek-profile countertop called the e.V.o. as well as the Fusion upright, not to mention lots of new software and operator-friendly features. Get the full Merit scoop.

DARTING TO & FRO — Snazzy graphics and a color flatscreen monitor catch the eye in Medalist Marketing’s Spectrum Avanti, but execs say it’s the high-tech electronics that are the real powerhouse in this new dartboard. Read about its flexible programming, promotions, networking and more.

TOUCHDOWN — Namco America is already shipping their new football video NFL Classic Football. The game offers exciting, spinning trackball action that is both physical and rewarding when you complete your play, just like the original video football we all remember.

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September 2003:

Cover: Coastal Says Catch Slingo at Expo!

SHOW BUSINESS — As the AMOA and Fun Expos hit the Las Vegas Convention Center this month, so do new focuses for the side-by-side shows. AMOA has orchestrated such social affairs as a pre-show golf outing and Hoover Dam tour, with Fun Expo hosting the first Fun Expo Paintball Invitational. For more on the shows’ increased networking and alternate revenue stream themes, along with schedules, seminars and a peek at who’ll be on the show floor, check out our previews.

MORE THAN JUST GOLF — That was the message at Global VR’s San Jose distributor meeting last week. RePlay was there and saw the latest Championship Edition PGA golf game as well as a new licensed driver, EA’s Need for Speed, and a revived shooter, The Last Bounty Hunter.

SEGA SESSIONS — Game factory Sega showed its new line of games to distributors at three separate stops last month (New Jersey, Chicago and L.A.). Read about the new games including Border Down, Cycraft, F-Zero, Jungle Treasure and Virtua Cop 3.

EVERYTHING PLUS THE KITCHEN SINK — More than just a distributor, Chuck Weiner’s shop includes a wide selection of coin-op artifacts, signs, collector’s items and pinball memorabilia. (P.S. You won’t believe it, but he’s also got auto parts!) Check out our feature of Chuck and his eclectic collection.

ON TARGET — Even if operators can’t agree on whether dart leagues are up, down or truly profitable in a quantitative sense, one thing’s clear: running leagues helps cement relationships with location owners, and that’s always good for the bottom line. This month’s Operator Interface is a crash course in different marketing techniques, promotions and tactics for running dart leagues, along with some philosophy and history for good measure.

PC GAME CENTER REGS & OTHER BATTLES — From a task force to address pending PC game center regulations in Los Angeles to a licensing committee to face the ambiguous issue of PC and console games for commercial use, game center association iGames is broadening its public role in reaching government officials and game publishers.

NSM UPDATE — The phonograph pros at NSM Music are shipping product again, including their newly designed CD floor model The Phoenix. RePlay got a first-hand look at the units being built at Chicago’s Happ Controls and received last minute word (reported in Hot Press) that the U.K. factory has brought on more sales muscle, including U.S. distribs Deith and Betson.

BnB ARCADE KIT — The combination of block-breaking action and an all-out water balloon fight meets coin-op with BnB Arcade, the Eolith video available now as a universal kit from Apple. Players throw water balloons at their opponent in this side-scroller, which includes eight different 2D settings and various levels for a game that accomplishes both simplicity and depth. Find out more about the game that’s been a top winner in Korea’s online game industry.

ATOMISWAVE ASSAULT — Sammy USA is beginning to roll out a series of followup titles for its Atomiswave game platform including the gun game Sports Shooting as well as a fighting game, Demolish Fist, and a driver, Maximum Speed. The factory has a new electronic bulk vending machine, too, called the Sammy Prize Station.

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August 2003: Jukebox 2003 Special

Cover: TouchTunes’ Mastronardi and Perrachon are wild about their expansive 100k-plus digital song playlist

SHOW TIME — AMOA is all set with some fun new activities, including a tour of the Hoover Dam and golf outing, during next month’s International Expo in Las Vegas.

THE JUKEBOX REPORT — RePlay’s annual jukebox issue is here with a comprehensive look at the coin-op music market that includes an operator survey, market update from factory toppers, news on piracy enforcement, our cover story on the digital juke pioneers at TouchTunes, Operators Interfacing on their own jukebox perspective, new product from Rock-Ola and a brief profile of a possible new player (Songbird) in the digital music market.

PHOENIX RISING — That’s right, NSM began shipping their new floor model CD juke, the Phoenix, as well as product from their parent company in the U.K. last month. Read this jukebox story with a happy ending for a recently embattled company.

LASSO THAT MERCHANDISE — Check out Redemption Roundup, our extensive plush and novelty section cataloging more than 20 suppliers’ offerings for this season. Get an eyeful of hot licenses from Nickelodeon to Marvel, and trends from superheroes to playground balls, along with items to round out this summer’s cranes and prize counters and get them ready for fall and winter.

ASSOCIATIONS AT WORK — State groups across the country held meetings and conventions during the early part of the summer. Look for first-hand coverage of the Illinois show as well as reports from Michigan and Wisconsin elsewhere in this issue.

JUKEBOX JIVE — Jukeboxes are a route’s lifeblood, jukeboxes are inconsequential, digital jukeboxes are the best thing since sliced bread, digital jukeboxes just don’t cut it compared to CDs. This month’s extended Operator Interface poses a spectrum of viewpoints about the music route, from the debate about digital’s undeniable mark in today’s market to talk of music programming, pricing, the economy, and getting into resistant locations.

I LIKE COFFEE, I LIKE PC — Following the PC game center trend, California’s PlaNet Cyber Internet Café offers a coffeehouse vibe with food/bev service as an additional revenue stream to computer use, along with retail game sales and computer design classes. Check out their technologically-enhanced service strategy to bring players in and get them to stay longer.

IN THE ZONE — PC games incorporated into an existing arcade or FEC is the most strategic business model for pay-for-play networked games, says LAN Zone, the networked games venture of cabinet maker TLC Industries that provides plug-and-play coin-op cabinets for PCs and consoles. These PC/coin-op hybrid systems, tech support, marketing tools and other offerings mark LAN Zone’s reinvention as a PC game center one-stop.

TWO FOR TWO — Rock-Ola’s Digital 9000 and Vivo wallbox, the first two of their Digital SyberSonics generation of jukeboxes, are highlighted by bright, colorful design and great sound. The more efficient CD boxes are also capable of using the remote management system Get Connected, with programmable pricing and other features manipulated from the operator’s PC.

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July 2003:

Cover: Innovative Concepts in Entertainment’s 20th Anniversary

VALLEY-DYNAMO GETS NEW OWNER — Half a decade after the coin-op industry’s two top billiard factories merged, the combination now has a new owner in the form of an even bigger pool table company, home table maker Brunswick.

AAMA ANNUAL POW WOW — The American Amusement Machine Association has elected its new chief, Frank Cosentino of Namco America, who will serve as chairman for the next two years. Check out coverage of AAMA’s annual meeting as well a joint visit to Capitol Hill with AMOA.

E3 HITS L.A.– More than 62,000 homevid industry members descended on the E3 consumer show in Los Angeles to see console, PC and mobile phone game wares. Though there was excitement over a handful of new titles, a general sense of lackluster pervaded. Coin-op presence was practically nil, though some new sports titles were mentioned as possibilities for porting over to coin machines.

ICE-ING ON THE CAKE — It’s been twenty years since the very first Chexx hockey game shipped from the Buffalo, N.Y. factory Innovative Concepts in Entertainment, and they sure have come a long way from those humble roots in the last two decades. Read the story of their evolution and meet the people behind their success.

GOOD PR — Despite a past of questionable public portrayals, many of those polled in this month’s Operator Interface name improved technology, kid-friendlinesss, home games and savvy promotions as reasons the public perception of coin-op has brightened in recent times.

SUMMIT LEVEL TALKS — More than 150 operators from across the country traveled to Chicagoland last month for Incredible Technologies’ first-ever Operator Summit. The focus: making more money with operator-run promotions.

A COIN-OP PC ROUTE — When an arcade customer asked about networked PC games a year and a half ago, Canadian distrib/op Pacific Vend figured it wasn’t their business. Then they saw the struggling arcade turn around collections with this so-called consumer offering. Now the PC/coin-op hybrid company has more than 120 of their own coin-op PCs out on the route bringing in quarters and tokens.

RISING MACHINE — Arnold Schwarzenegger hits the big screen this month in the U.S. release of Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines. And from the key members of the design team that brought you Terminator 2: Judgment Day comes Stern’s newest licensed flipper based on the movie.

FIGURE EIGHT — A battery-operated bill acceptor, programmable pricing and new cloth and rails are just some of the new features on Valley’s new Great Eight pool table. Those who’ve been testing the new table seem to have good reviews, too.

CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION — That’s the name of the newest upgrade for Global VR’s EA Sports PGA Tour Golf game that will include crisper graphics, more courses and players and ultimately, later this year, the ability to host league play.

FORCEFUL — ICE’s new video gun Special Forces Elite Training, designed by Big Buck Hunter developer Playmechanix, is shipping dedicated and looks to come out later as a kit.

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June 2003:

Cover: Plush Appeal has three cheers for the Red, White & Blue!

Sega In Transition — Speculation over the future of video game powerhouse Sega is nothing new in the coin machine business lately, but it reached new heights last month as merger talks with both Sammy and Namco fell apart. Meanwhile, top coin-op execs Al Stone and Howell Ivy have both stepped down. Barbara Joyiens has been tapped to lead the U.S. organization.

Interesting Stuff — This month’s PC game center profile focuses on the Sacramento area’s Stuff About Games, a turnkey product supplier turned operator. But it’s also about founder James Mecham’s burgeoning relationship with a coin game veteran from the same area.

Back to the Future — RePlay contributor Joel Vance, a veteran coin trade journalist, covers the Betson Baltimore open house and takes us on a walk down the industry’s own unique memory lane, 10th Avenue in New York.

The MAINE EVENT — This month’s Thumbnail subject, Maine native Ross Furman, has been running a route for a quarter century now, employing good ol’ Yankee know-how to make the best of his home state’s harsh weather and good people.

The Name of the Game — Operators from around the country confirm what many of the trade’s gurus have been saying of late, namely that we are having a banner season for new equipment. Read their responses in this month’s Operator Interface.

Making Waves — Splash Lagoon is a 77,000-sq-ft. water park in Erie, Penn., that just opened up to much fanfare. One of the many attractions inside is a $1.25 million, 6,500-sq.-ft. game room on the main mezzanine offering more than 100 games that cover the spectrum of available product.

Pinball 2003 ­­ Europe’s TAB-Austria gave the U.S. trade a preview this spring of their new concept game called Virtual Pinball. The unique piece mimics the style of play found in traditional flippers on a 42-inch plasma display.

Making Big Bucks — Rowe operators around the country are using an optional feature on the factory’s online jukeboxes — namely a bill acceptor that takes $10s and $20s — to really boost collections. Read their ideas.

A New (Game) Player Emerges — Longtime FEC operator J. Richard Oltmann has opened his own game factory, Family Fun Companies, after more than a decade of designing games for other firms. Read all about his fascinating career in this month’s Spotlight Special.

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May 2003:

Cover: Rowe Goes Global with Digital Jukeboxes

Sound and Fury — That’s what preceded this year’s ASI show in Las Vegas, but the show ultimately signified something unexpected ­­ less controversy over the presence of location owners from the nearby Nightclub & Bar Show and more focus on what is being praised as some of the best game goods seen in years. Read our full report on the ASI show, along with a new equipment catalog, as well as coverage of the bar show and the Western NAMA vending expo.

A Hot Dish — Also in Vegas in late March, the International Pizza Expo dished more than 5,000 attendees, 900 exhibitors and a floor full of pizza parlor-related products and services. Sample a taste of how amusement industry exhibitors fared there.

A LAN Center Duo — Continuing our ongoing coverage of the curious PC game center market, we have two features this month. First, there’s a profile of iGames marketing director Sanford Betz. Learn more about this personality-plus organization man and clubhouse-style game center operator, from his beginnings to thoughts of the industry’s future. We also take an in-depth look at how the coin-op amusement business really views the connection between itself and its sister PC game center industry. Read this and other views (plus the debut column on all this by our own Kate Miller).

Last Call — Instead of our regular Operator Interface, RePlay polled visiting Nightclub & Bar attendees on the ASI show floor to find out why they were there, with answers ranging from buying equipment to “Oh, I thought this was the same show”.

Giving Away Money — Thumbnail Sketch subject Scott Tartaglia of Shamrock Vending in the New York area has focused his biz like a laser light on the ATM market. He says they are ideal vending units for street operators.

Hail to the New Chief — This month’s interview with the AMOA president marks the first time Chris Warren has been in our hot seat. Listen to his report on the association’s recent mid-year board meeting and other AMOA happenings.

Rockin’ Rowe — The subject of this month’s cover story is the venerable jukebox manufacturer Rowe International, often seen as leader of the CD market. Now, the Grand Rapids, Mich., factory is also getting into the digital game, both with its Ecast partnership and on its own serving as a music provider for digital customers in international markets.

Making Noise — Rock-Ola’s Digital SyberSonics jukeboxes come with the brawn of improved music machines and the brains of their new Get Connected remote access management software. Check out the full spread of their software and hardware offerings in this month’s Spotlight Special.

Driving and Diving — Namco bowed two new pieces last month including the new high-octane police driver, Tokyo Cop, a license from the Spanish game specialists at Gaelco, and the novelty piece SeaQuarium, a unique combination of roll-down and skill stop play dynamics.

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April 2003:

Cover: Global VR — “New” San Jose Gamesmith Has Arrived!

A TRAGIC LOSS — Members of the trade came to work on the first Monday in March to learn that AMOA president Rich Holley had been killed the previous Friday in a plane crash near his island home of North Captiva. Read more about his life, loss and the AMOA in transition.

PLAYING POLITICS — State lawmakers across the country have turned their attention, once again, to the issue of violent video games. Many have targeted the home game biz, but some are also looking to regulate coin-op.

OPS ON SLOTS — RePlay contributor Joel Vance hits the ground running with the first of two stories in this month’s issue, talking to operators about the possibility of legalized small stakes gaming machines in Maryland.

INSIDE THE TRADES — RePlay publisher Ed Adlum provides a rare glimpse inside the inner workings of the trade magazine business as well as a few entertaining reminiscences of his colorful and esteemed career in the industry.

A SECOND LIFE — Educator and public servant Paul Corey fought coin-op-threatening legislation, catapulted to the top of the Ohio Coin Machine Association and earned industry respect for what is arguably the model for a professional state association. As Paul retires and his son David takes the reins of OCMA, peruse the highlights of this trade leader’s remarkable career.

ENTER THE PC-ARCADE HYBRID — You’ve heard the debate about whether PCs and coin-op can work together; now get it straight from the horse’s mouth in this RePlay exclusive by contributor Tam Nguyen. Dream Machine, a traditional arcade chain that’s placed LAN game centers in some of their eastern U.S. locations, has been experimenting with just that question in their “laboratory” sites for the past two years. Learn the results of their experiment.

FORK OVER THAT CASH — As our culture becomes more and more geared toward paying with plastic, there is often less coin in coin-op. This month, a spectrum of leading debit card and key makers ­­ plus one convinced operator ­­ hails the merits of cashless systems, from increased profits and security to up-to-the-minute accounting reports and marketing information.

GOLDEN TEE KEEPS GOING — Incredible Technologies last month unveiled their newest line-up of Golden Tee Fore golf courses, seven this year including two amateur layouts and a new promotional Hole-in-One and Closest-to-the-Pin play modes.

I’M O.K., YOU’RE O.K. — That’s what many operators are saying about the bulk vending factory that entered the amusement biz with their popular self-contained merchandiser Gravity Hill and are back with two new products, VIPS and Skittle Ball, featured in this month’s Spotlight Special.

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March 2003:

Cover: Sega Ponies Up with a Collection Thoroughbred

SHOWS, SHOWS AND MORE SHOWS ­­ If you like trade shows, you are in luck this month. AAMA’s Amusement Showcase International is taking place in Las Vegas in the midst of three other loosely-related conventions including the NAMA vending show, the much-discussed Nightclub & Bar Show and the Pizza Expo. We’ve got previews of all four.

HEADS OF STATE ­­ AMOA held another successful Council of Affiliated States Meeting this past January in San Antonio, where association officers and executives gathered to compare notes on everything from taxes to tournaments.

MAJOR MERGER ­­ Just as this issue of RePlay was going to press, the industry was rocked by news that Sega Corp. and Sammy Corp. of Japan are going to merge. Read more about how this deal is expected to come together in this month’s Cover Story.

HAVE KNOWLEDGE, WILL TRAVEL ­­ Industry technical guru Randy Fromm was in the Midwest in mid-January, the coldest week so far in Chicagoland, to conduct a school sponsored by Illinois operator Ray Shroyer of Metro Amusements. The event drew students from across the U.S.

BAR SHOW SOUND OFF ­­ Last year around this time, RePlay asked operators what they thought about bar owners in ASI and everybody seemed to have a strong opinion. Industry thinking seems more ambiguous now, with many ops declining to even discuss the topic.

PROFESSOR PINBALL ­­ CSSK Amusements’ Chuck Martin, who taught 9th-grade math for 31 years before launching into the coin biz full-time, talks to RePlay about his untraditional methods of marketing pinballs to the home, including the “guerilla warfare” of targeting customers.

PRODUCTS GALORE ­­ We have a preview look at a cross-section of the new products slated for release in the coming months. So if you haven’t quite decided whether to travel to ASI and need that last little nudge in the form of a sneak peek at some, but not all to be sure, of what’s to come, turn to our ASI Product Showcase.

GOING DIGITAL ­­ Rock-Ola has released Digital SyberSonics (DSS), the most significant upgrade to its core SyberSonics Electronics technology since the system was first unveiled in 1996. Now RMC jukeboxes play music with increased power, fidelity, and clarity while providing operators with many new tools for sound system management.

DO THE SHUFFLE ­­ Pinballsales.com has succeeded in taking the classic shuffle bowler concept and bringing it into the new century with a complete redesign, including a 27″ flat screen color monitor, a high-profile license and the ability in the future to network the PC-based units for online tournament play. Read about what Shufflealley.com is up to in this month’s Spotlight.

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February 2003:

Cover: Incredible Technologies: Video Golf and Beyond

THE X FILES — The graduating class from AMOA’s Notre Dame management program talks up their alma mater in true collegiate style with tales of student camaraderie, learning over lunch and the warm fuzzies of school pride you just can’t find in books. Oh, yeah, and first-class education about the coin-op biz from accounting to people skills.

LAN LESSONS — Can PC game centers and traditional coin-op work together? That’s the hot question traditional coin machine operators and LAN gaming experts tackle with part two of the PC/coin-op pro-con, this time getting down to the nitty-gritty business aspects of LAN (local area network) game operations from business model to the nuts and bolts of collections, hardware and software ­­ along with the sticky issue of ugly media attention surrounding a few incidents of gang violence near cyber cafes. Join in on the discussion.

PRIME REAL ESTATE — How do you get into “resistant” chain locations like fast-food joints and family-style bar-and-grills? Well, getting your foot in the door is a tough first. Seven operators share their trials, tribulations and even a few success stories in this month’s Operator Interface.

VALUE JUDGMENTS — T.D. Rowe’s John Hulick talks straight about the practical rundown of “Buying and Selling a Route,” reportedly the AMOA show’s best-attended seminar. For both buyer and seller, learn how to judge the difference between wood value and objective accounting, protect privacy and assets, get the best price and other insider tips.

REDEMPTION HOT SPOTS — Redemption law expert and attorney Tom Fricke calls in an update from the front lines of redemption compliance in such “war zone” states as Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia. Brush up on key court opinions handed down in the past year and get wise to Fricke’s realistic approach to the legislature for skill definitions.

SIMPSONS REDUX — Stern went into full production last month of their newest licensed pin game, The Simpsons House Party, offering a split level playfield, fantastic art package and some of the deepest rules seen on a recent flipper.

THE ORION APPEAL — It’s sleek, chic, stylish, ergonomic, futuristic-looking, and has what JVL’s Dawn Young calls, “for lack of a better expression, sex appeal.” Not just a pretty face, the Orion upright touchscreen also has killer graphics and sound, and we hear good stuff about tournaments, too.

SPEED RACER — Jesler’s stock car racing sim Carismo comes with a three-quarter-scale Pro Challenge Series body, two degrees of interactive motion-based freedom, and Dirt Track Racing 2. It’s also designed to be used for tournaments and accommodate other racing software. READY FOR TAKEOFF — BugEye Technologies, an offshoot of commercial plane manufacturer, burst onto the scene late last year with a unique visual display that they hope will revolutionize high-end game play. Read more about where this flight sim technology came from and where it’s heading.

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January 2003:

Cover: Namco’s Best Got Better with TC3

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)

this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, parts suppliers, trade associations, music one-stops…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

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2002 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December

December 2002:

Cover: Coastal Puts Elvis in the Game Room

PRO-PINBALL OPS — In RePlay’s second installment of discussion about pinball earnings, operators talk about long-term earning potential, home sales, maintenance and other issues. Here’s some of their flipper philosophies, insights and tips.

THE DR. IS IN — Scott Sheridan, Dr. Scott’s Pinball Store owner/op, talks about getting hooked on pins, finding that spark of pinball life, and the untraditional business methods of coupling his long-term flipper passion with his day job.

HIGH NOON AT THE PC GAME CORRAL — It’s clear from recent growth figures that so-called home PC games can be an out-of-home enterprise in PC game centers, what some are calling the next-generation arcade. But how will traditional coin-op fit into this emerging U.S. trend? Coin machine operators face off with PC game center pros in this debate.

REDEEMING QUALITY — Redemption supplier Kemac Distributing builds their merchandise biz on a foundation of listening to operators, attentive personal service with high-quality goods, and shifting from the mindset of “We don’t have that” to “Let me see if I can find it.”

THE GREAT PRODUCT SEARCH — Now that the shows are over and the season’s slew of new videos, countertops, redemption games, pins, jukes and more have been unveiled, what are operators actually buying? Hear it straight from the horse’s mouth in this month’s Operator Interface.

ARNOLD2 — Two celebrity Arnolds (Schwarzenegger and Tom) helped Hollywood Games celebrate L.A.’s Inner City Games after-school program.

RIDING THE CREST– Kansas City’s Lee Vending runs its amusement division from a pretty impressive headquarter facility, the company-owned Cool Crest Family Fun Center, which the route acquired in 1997. Read how a full-line vendor delved into amusements and ultimately FECs.

HOT PROPERTY — The innovative product designers at dart maker Arachnid Inc. have released their new player Hot Button, which will allow shooters the ability to take their identity anywhere.

IN THE DEAD ZONE –The release of House of the Dead III not only marks the return of this wildly popular game franchise, but also serves notice to the coin-op world with a brand-new hardware system designed jointly by software giant and Xbox maker Microsoft and the game pros at Sega.

DOUBLE WHAMMY — Popcorn, Bay-Tek’s newest redemption title, grabbed the attention of distributors and operators alike when it was debuted earlier this fall. The factory has also released their newest alley bowler Bustin’ Balloons.

TAKING A HARD(WARE) LOOK — Video console hardware seems to have found a second home in new coin-op industry releases. RePlay contributor Kevin Williams attempts to chart the anatomy of these new releases and their impact on renewed sales.

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November 2002:

Cover: Tsunami — The TsuMo Flies!

DOUBLE COVERAGE — A spirit of enthusiasm was in the air at both AMOA and Fun Expo, the fall’s amusement and FEC shows held side-by-side in Las Vegas. We bring you full show floor coverage, as well as a catalog of new products and a look at many of the special events and meetings held during this late- September industry extravaganza.

HERE COMES THE PARKS SHOW — The convention season remains in full swing. Even as we bring exhaustive coverage of AMOA and Fun Expo to you in this issue, many in the trade will be packing their bags for the mammoth IAAPA show in Orlando. Take a look at what’s on tap.

REDEMPTION ROUND UP — The holidays are approaching and with it the industry turns it collective eye toward the season’s newest prizes for cranes, rotaries, merchandisers and redemption counters. Check out our fall redemption round up of “stuff”.

A VOICE FROM THE PAST — On the eve of AMOA Expo, we got an intriguing email from none other than former Microsoft coin-op evangelist James Plamondon, the man who filled a crowded auditorium for his Dallas AMOA seminar.

MEETING OF THE MINDS — How about some first-hand knowledge with those eggs? That’s what participants at the AMOA Expo supply chain breakfast were served when operators, distributors and suppliers all sat down to talk about their experiences one on one.

TOURNAMENT TIME — With a growing array of tournament products on the market, Operators Interface this month on their tournament plans, both present and future.

MACHINES GALORE — This is a product-driven business and we’re happy to provide a look at the brand-new-at-expo machines in our traditional post-show machine catalog, beginning with a “Games at a Glance” single-page reference of the products that follow.

LET IT FLY — After making big summer news with the launch of their much-awaited EA Sports PGA Tour Golf game, the team at Global VR is beginning to put their tournament and promotion plans into action with new software upgrades and the first competition on the horizon.

YOU’RE THE ToPS — That’s the word on the new Tournament Pinball System (ToPS) debuted at AMOA by Gary “Last Man Standing” Stern’s pinball factory. Learn more about how this automated promotional tool works.

SMALLER THAN A BREADBOX — That’s right, the new TuneCentral feature from TouchTunes offers the downloading juke factory’s entire universe of songs, all in a small metal box set for on-site, instant downloads without broadband.

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October 2002:

Cover: Market-Growing Product … from the Minds at Merit

THE MUSIC MAN — It’s not lonely at the top for TouchTunes’ new CEO and president John Perrachon. The former record label music marketer is already hard at work keeping the Canadian-based digital juke company focused on its core business and the key leverage points that will drive the firm toward future growth and success.

THE IMAX FACTOR — RePlay contributor Loni Reeder checks out the flagship Max Games video game tournament, which includes 300 young players getting involved in console competitions at a museum with their final contest projected on an IMAX screen.

WHO IS OUR CUSTOMER? — Game room attraction maven Kevin Williams takes a look at today’s LBE customer, and discovers that the patron attracted to the current crop of high-end game rooms is a far different animal than the classic arcade customer. They are older, have more to spend and are looking for unique experiences.

MARCHING TO HIS OWN BEAT — Rich Holley is an island native who found his mainland home in the coin-op industry. Last month the engineer-turned-professional-musician-turned-amusement game-operator took over as president of the national operators’ association, AMOA, having cut his teeth there dealing with the thorny issue of video content.

BUCKEYE BASH — The 28th Annual Ohio Coin Machine Association Expo of Music and Games may not have been the group’s biggest, but judged against the benchmark of current business conditions, the event passed with flying colors as one of the group’s best.

FORMER GLORY — Windy City trade veteran Herb Perkins, who was at one time or another an operator, distributor and manufacturer in the coin-op industry, remembers the post-war glory days when Chicago factories ruled the biz.

HERE COMES ATOMISWAVE — Japanese video and redemption game maker Sammy released a much-talked-about video game system at last month’s AMOA called Atomiswave. Priced right, the system also offers ops the ability to convert the cabinet to many different configurations and update the software regularly with affordable game cartridges.

THE ALL-IN-ONE MERIT MACHINE — The digital jukebox may have finally come of age with the marriage of downloadable music from TouchTunes to a Merit touchscreen game machine. Read all about it, and more from the touchscreen maker, in this month’s Cover Story on Merit Industries.

SPOTLIGHT ON ROWE — Rowe International released the first major redesign of its classic CD floor model last month. Check out this month’s Spotlight Special on the Rowe StarGlo, including a look at how the unit was re-engineered from the ground up.

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September 2002:

Cover: Andamiro’s Stepping Lively with New Product Lineup

SHOW SPECTACULAR — If it’s September, it’s time for the now annual co-location of AMOA International Expo and Fun Expo. This year’s Fun Expo will bring a whole new extreme sports crowd, too. To get you prepared for the two expos, we have an entire show section including a preview of what to expect as well as comprehensive seminar, exhibitor listings and schedules, plus a look at both show floors.

A YEAR LATER — The first anniversary of last year’s tragic terrorist attack on the U.S. is fast upon us, and RePlay’s Kate Miller gives us a fascinating look back at how those events unfolded for a handful of tradesters in the Manhattan area and what it has meant to them since that fateful day. She also used this month’s Operator Interface to check in with New York operators about the state of the trade there since the events of 9/11.

AROUND THE ROUTE — Virginia op Charles Rowland helps us revive a RePlay classic, the Around the Route column, with his thoughts on the state of the biz, namely that operators need games designed to earn for longer periods of time to create a healthier and more stable industry.

BULKING UP — Long considered one of the nation’s most prosperous music routes, Chicago’s Velasquez Automatic Music has been diversifying their product offerings in recent times, most notably with an expansion into the bulk vending arena for some of their high-traffic locations. In this month’s issue, Ed Velasquez talks about the results to date.

DIFFERENT STROKES — Operating a successful fun center in today’s climate requires a unique approach. This month we look at two ways to slice that apple, including an East Coast seaside gameroom, Sportland, which combines classic boardwalk attractions with high-tech VR, and a West Coast location, Hollywood Sports, that has resorted to Xtreme measures..

THANK YOU VERY MUCH — Coming on the 25th anniversary of the King of Rock ‘N Roll’s death, Coastal Amusements has released a unique Harry Levy pusher based on Elvis and featuring live concert music from one of his infamous Vegas shows.

AN IMPRESSIVE SHOWING — Innovative Concepts in Entertainment has been busy this summer, readying four new products for market including two new round-shaped cranes (Round Up and Yellow Submarine), a Bell Fruit pusher (Quarterback) that automatically manages tokens through a closed loop system, and a two-player version of Spacey Racers called Rock ‘N Moon Rally.

SEGA SADDLES UP — Sega Enterprises held a distributor meeting in late July to unveil its new product line including the twin driver with card reader, Initial D, as well as a new fighting game and soccer video. They also previewed coming redemption pieces designed by their new special products division. Read our coverage in this month’s Spotlight.

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August 2002:

Cover: Rock-Ola’s Diamond Anniversary

MOSS ON THE MOVE — Moss Distributing has opened a new office near Minneapolis where the dealer will represent a whole lineup of amusement product. Meantime, not so coincidentally, Minnesota’s Hanson Distributing is closing after selling to Australian slot machine maker Aristocrat

THE TRIPLE CROWN — Jukebox wise man Glenn Streeter has been making stylish machines for a quarter century now, the last 10 years under the much-respected Rock-Ola brand, a name that itself has been around for 75 years. We celebrate the success of this company with a history of its founding by patriarch David Rockola, the dynamic growth of the Chicago factory during mid-century and its transition to new owner Streeter, who now runs the show in southern California.

TEE TIME — Global VR held a distributor meeting last month in northern California where the quickly emerging factory debuted their product line, including a much anticipated video golf game

SUMMER SESSIONS — May and June mark prime time for operator associations powwows, especially in the Midwest, where state groups held meetings, and in some instances trade shows exhibiting new product and services. Operators also gathered to discuss state and national politics and the current state of the coin machine biz. These active states include Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. attended the ICMOA and WAMO shows in person. Check out our coverage of all of these events

CONSOLIDATION BLUES — Are all the small mom and pop operations being squeezed about by big national firms? Not exactly. See what operator readers had to say about this hot topic in our monthly Interface column

READY, AIM, FIRE — Incredible Technologies has launched their second major ITS initiative, Big Buck Hunter 2, which is tournament ready and can leverage all the same features currently being used by online Golden Tee Fore! operators

A WILD RIDE — Stern Pinball unveils their newest flipper, the amusement themed Roller Coaster Tycoon.

DELICATE NEGOTIATIONS — NSM Music execs talk with RePlay about their adventures in the world of music licensing as they move forward with their digital Remote Jukebox.

BIG CHANGES — Rowe International has made some big changes at the top levels, and announced a groundbreaking alliance with the one of the industry’s newest consultants, former Midway and Dynamo veteran Mark Struhs.

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July 2002:

Cover: Happy 40th Anniversary to Joel & Jon Kleiman and Pioneer Sales & Service

FOUR DECADES OF SUCCESS — This month’s cover feature offers an extensive profile of Wisconsin distributor Pioneer Sales & Service, which has been providing top-notch equipment and service to their customer base for four decades under the steady hand of Joel Kleiman and now his son Jon as well. Read all about the dealer’s history, and get an inside look at the crack staff who make it all happen behind the scenes

LAB RESULTS — New Jersey game lab veteran Nick Farley has opened a new testing house in Ohio, offering his evaluation and forensic services to both gaming and amusement machine makers around the U.S. RePlay’s Katie Martin profiles this new firm

E3 EXTRAVAGANZA — The other video game industry, the consumer biz that is, met in late May in Los Angeles for the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, and contributing writer Loni Reeder and RePlay columnist Matt Bettelman were on hand. Take in their impressions of this mega-show and what it might mean for coin-op

MAKING HISTORY — The Chicago Historical Society recently inducted one of our own, Windy City jukebox king Arturo Velasquez. Read about his civic contributions

TOURNAMENTS GALORE — The annual tournament season has come to a close, and we have full coverage of the majors including BullShooter, NDA and VNEA, as well as highlight wrap-up from the BCA, VIFA and Mall of America Golden Tee championship

HANDS ON OPERATING — Want to put those warehouse games to work for you? Secure a weekly minimum with location owners? Michigan street and arcade op Bryan Scopel talks about how diversifying, being thrifty and taking chances on unconventional venues has made a difference

SUMMER VACATION — Summer is traditionally good for many arcade ops, especially those who operate in seasonal locations and tourist areas. We caught up with a group of arcade heavies to gauge this year’s summer season as it gets underway

HIGH CALIBER — Namco releases Soul Calibur II, an upright fighter in which players choose from 13 default characters, each with their own unique fighting styles and unique weapons and fight their way through a variety of stages. The majority of the characters from Soul Calibur return to unearth and seize the “Sword of Souls.” There are four new combatants as well

A STAR IS BORN — Ecast and Rowe began shipping initial production units of their new GemStar touchscreen last month, featuring licensed Midway content and a plethora of additional online features. They have also introduced a software upgrade for their NetStar and StarLink digital juke

WHAT’S HAPP-ENING? The answer is “lots” at Happ Controls where their attention to quality has enabled the parts specialty firm to grow to include more offices and even the licensing and remanufacture of some classic video titles from Midway.

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June 2002:

Cover: Oldies are Goldies on HyperWare’s UltraCade

THE OTHER VENDING BIZ: The word vending often conjures up images of can drinks or pre-packaged sandwicheTRADE DEFICIT — A crippling tariff on U.S. goods may or may not be targeted at coin-op games. At first blush that’s how it looked, but trade leaders say the European proposal appears to be aimed at the X-Box and other consumer game products

THROW ME A LAN LINE — Still see PC games as coin-op competition? Here’s how LAN game rooms, an arcade-style setting of networked computers, can capitalize on the home game trend — while also lining the traditional arcade’s cashbox

FORGING AHEAD — Top Line Cabinets, a mainstay coin-op supplier in the Chicagoland area, is moving into new realms with their MegaRcade video system as well as a turnkey LAN gaming platform.

A BUYER’S MARKET — In this month’s Interface, operators from around the country talk about the current crop of spring product: what it is, what they like, and how much they’re buying,

MR. PROMOTION — Street operator Andy Shaffer of Shaffer Services in Columbus, Ohio, says keeping earnings up on the route requires constant promotion in order to pull patrons off their bar stools and out of their homes

ROCKY MOUNTAIN SUCCESS — Red and Jerry’s, the Denver area mega-LBE, offers an interesting combination of games, food, nightlife and off-track gaming. Learn more about their unique formula for success

SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL — TsuMo — short for Tsunami Motion System — simulates its way into arcades, FECs, LBEs, theaters and sports bars worldwide with the kind of 360-degree interactive play you can’t get rolling around in front of your computer screen

TEE TIME — Konami has released their newest motion capture video simulator, mocapgolf, which tests players’ ability to master exotic tropical links using the free-swinging club interface

A TWOFER — Sega has two hot summer titles: the new role playing upright The Maze of The Kings and their newest sports sim, Soul Surfer.

GO FISH — Namco’s Fishing Treasure brings a whole new hook to merchandisers with rod, reel and fish-shaped prize capsules plus special touches to let ops tailor the Treasure to their locations,

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May 2002:

Cover: Sammy’s in the Doghouse and They Couldn’t Be Happier!

THE OTHER VENDING BIZ: The word vending often conjures up images of can drinks or pre-packaged sandwiches, but there is another vending universe that handles so-called bulk product (gumballs, capsules, superballs and the like). A number of coin-op firms were in attendance at the recent NBVA show in Vegas.

FACTS AND FIGURES: Most FECs do not revenue share their amusement games with separate operating companies, although most amusement parks are utilizing an outside operator. That’s just one of the many fascinating insights provided by IALEI’s annual survey of the industry

PRIZES GALORE: Our periodic premium section, Redemption Roundup, continues to expand with our best section ever on prizes, big and small, for redemption and merchandise machine operators. See what new things the market has to offer in this installment

ALL OPPOSED: This month’s Operator Interface asks the burning question: Would you want to see bar owners allowed into the spring coin-op show? They responded with a resounding: No! Read all of their comments in this month’s Interface

A GROWTH BUSINESS: Odyssey Fun World with two impressive FEC locations in suburban Chicago (Naperville and Tinley Park) is experiencing a growth spurt under the leadership of operating veteran Rob Farrel.

MAN ON A MISSION: Southern California arcade operator and former route man Jim Rowton built his dream arcade in the San Fernando Valley hub of Van Nuys almost four years ago, and he has been loving life ever since.

CHECK OUT THEIR MOVES: Andamiro USA, the U.S. factory known for their competitively-priced product from Korea, has a new upgrade for their dance simulator platform as well as two new novelty games, Real Shooting and Musical Chairs

KERMIT AND THE GANG: Bromley, a household name in the coin-op redemption biz, has two new titles coming to market including Thunderation and the Henson-licensed Muppets Haunted House Adventure, designed by none other than flipper maven Roger Sharpe

TEE TIME: They’re here, five brand new international courses from Stonehenge to the Bayou, all rendered with a meticulous eye for environmental detail, not to mention an option for operators to purchase them online.

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April 2002:

Cover: Konami Takes a Swing into Spring at ASI with New mocapgolf Video

Spring Show Special — Check out our full coverage of the Amusement Showcase International, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center side-by-side with both NAMA and Nightclub and Bar (we covered those shows as well). So read our wrap up story, peruse the booth pictures, check out who won the big awards and review our catalog of new products debuted at the show

NAMA Western Show Scores — One thing you have to say about the more mundane side of the coin machine business ­­ vending ­­ it’s “dependable.” Their spring expo did the “usual” 3,000-plus attendees and lots of container drink machines stood out

Out To Lunch — The Italian food at the Melrose Park eatery was tasty, but it was the company that Alexander Woo and his wife traveled from Hong Kong to enjoy. The couple donated almost $2,000 to charity, through a special Ebay auction, to visit the Stern Pinball factory and lunch with Gary Stern and famed pinball designer Pat Lawlor

Online Security Redux — Following recent news that two factories have signed the AMOA Privacy and Security Policy, we asked several operators from around the U.S. to Interface on their own level of security when it comes to online data

The Next Generation — He’s opinionated, he’s young and he may well be the face of the industry’s future. Meet southern Louisiana operator Troy Estopinal, one of the youngest members of the AMOA board, and a real mover and shaker from the Bayou State

New Kid On The Block — This month, we profile Chicagoland’s newest distributor, Signature Sales & Service, founded by trade veteran Frank Gumma Jr. This new distributing company boasts decades of collective experience with a staff of coin-op veterans.

Simple Solutions — Amusement Solutions recently introduced two innovative products for the game room operator, a debit-based token replacement system called GateKeyper and the wireless data collector DataTrieve, both created to streamline amusement operations through technology.

A PC Pool Table — Sunline USA, backed by veteran tradester Jed Foreman, has introduced a new computerized pool table that will help operators control pricing and traffic flow on location, along with many other unique features

The Ultra Facelift — Hyperware has upgraded their new Ultracade system with the addition of eight new games, as well as a new player software interface that allows more intuitive access to all of the unit’s software attractions

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March 2002:

Cover: Benchmark Games: In the Quick Coin Zone

COIN BIZ DESCENDS ON VEGAS — The spring show is here! We’ve got a full heads-up on what to expect at ASI (March 6-8 in Vegas) and as a bonus, we’ve also got previews of the NAMA vending show and Nightclub & Bar Expo, also taking place that same week in Vegas

NEW DISTRIBUTOR OPENS DOORS — A new distributorship was born last month. Deith Amusement and Vending will ultimately serve the Northeast from four offices in Massachusetts, New York New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Read all about the new joint venture by Innovative Concepts in Entertainment and import/export pro Simon Deith

FINANCIAL TIMES — The finance specialists at Firestone Financial have made it their business to know yours. Now, this month’s profile of the firm offers you a chance to find out a little bit about what they do.

BEST OF 2001 — RePlay’s Katie Martin follows up on last year’s super chart of hit vids and pins since the mid-’90s, with a more focused look at the top games for the entire calendar of 2001

HOW’S BUSINESS? The age-old question, so appropriate to ask these days, gets some rather pleasing responses from a good group of arcade and route folks.

MR. NEW ORLEANS — The late Bob Nims, a New Orleans operator, distributor and former AMOA president, loved his adopted home city so much that even after he passed away, his legacy is still growing there under the direction of his widow Jeri

PUTTING PLAYERS FIRST — It’s all about the player, period. That’s the philosophy on which Cedars Rapids, Iowa street route Camden Amusement is run. Read our Katie Martin’s first-hand profile of this first-rate operation

THE QUEEN OF PROMOTIONS — “New promotions are what keep this industry going,” says Dorothy Lewis, operations manager at Fun Station USA. “You have to offer more than just a place to come and play games.”

THE WRITING ON THE FELT — What would prompt you to put an ad on your pool table cloth? How about $400 plus two free cloths (including installation) each year? Chicago-based Eightball Media is hoping the answer to that question is “yes” as they launch a nationwide advertising effort

PINBALL PEEK-A-BOO — Stern’s newest flipper game, Playboy, has some of the deepest rules yet, denoting a serious pingame for the avid player. But that’s not really the point, says factory topper Gary Stern. “The idea behind this game, from the players’ perspective, is to make shots and look at pictures of gorgeous girls.” Check out our full product preview

ADVENTURE TIME — Konami releases two new adventure themed videos, including Police 911 2, the sequel to their original motion capture video shooter, as well as the deluxe two-person dino shooter Jurassic Park III. Look for these games at ASI

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February 2002:

Cover: Apple & JVL: Teaming Up for Conquest — also inside: INDY, STATE/BETSON, GEORGIA POKER ANNIVERSARY TRIO ­­ Juke maker Rock-Ola celebrates three major milestones this year including 75 years of RMC product and a quarter of a century making jukeboxes for company owner Glenn Streeter. Also, on the eve of his 10th anniversary leading RMC, Glenn has appointed a new company president.

COIN-OP’S WEBMASTER ­­ Operator and distributor turned online coin-op entrepreneur Jack Guarnieri often spends 15 hour days filling orders for customers looking to brighten their homes with a vintage pinball or classic juke. He also spends some of that time providing high-quality coin-op equipment in service to good causes including both local and national charities

WHAT’S THEIR ANGLE ­­ Diversity is the name of the game for Angle Manufacturing, longtime maker of game cabinets. Today, Angle still builds cabinets primarily for the game sector, but they are also breaking into such other fields as health and public Internet access

THE GOLDEN DOLLAR – Despite the PR push by the U.S. Mint and other promotional efforts, the dollar coin has yet to catch on. In fact for most people, you have to ask at the bank to get your hands on one, or get change from a post office stamp machine. We checked in with U.S. operators on what’s been happening with the Sacagawea dollar on their routes

PEAK PERFORMANCE ­­ If you don’t maximize revenue during peak periods, you are leaving a lot of much-needed revenue on the table, says Frank Seninsky in this month’s Frank Talk column. Get the details on affordable ways to make the most of high-traffic times.

THE GOLD AGE ­­ Benchmark Games newest redemption piece is a quick coin attraction that uses its dynamic playfield to create coin pile-ups. These spur additional play enticing the players to break that log jam and push those sought-after tokens into, that’s right, The Goldzone

WIN, PLACE & SHOW ­­ Sega’s Derby Owner’s Club is a high-tech sensation that allows players to breed, train and race their very own thoroughbred horse in live action competition. The eight-player attraction is currently on test at D&B in downtown Chicago

ICE HEATS UP ­­ Even as they dug their way out of an early winter blizzard in the Buffalo area, ICE sales execs were hard at work, preparing to launch as many as nine new products from the Clarence, N.Y. factory during the first half of 2002.

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January 2002:

Cover: Rowe’s Music Men Tap into Trivia with Millionaire Vidgame
ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)

this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, parts suppliers, trade associations, music one-stops…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

[Back to 2002 Main Menu]

2001 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June ­­ July — August — September — October — November — December —

December 2001:

Cover: Namco Hooks Big “Pixy Prize” with “Fishin’ Treasure” Toy Dropper

PARKS SHOW EXTRAVAGANZA – The massive leisure product show held annually by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions returned last month to the theme park capital of the world, Orlando, Fla. See our first-hand report from the 640,000-sq.-ft. bazaar offering every imaginable product and service under the sun for the amusement park and FEC biz pg. 37

VENDING CENTRAL – RePlay saw many friendly distributor and operator faces when it visited Chicago’s McCormick Place, Oct. 25-27, for the 65th Annual National Automatic Merchandising Association Expo. This year’s main event for the vending industry showcased equipment advances, cutting edge technology and emerging services pg. 46

TAKING STOCK – The task of summing up an entire year, even as it is still unfolding, is daunting at best. But it can also help frame all of the year’s event in some context and maybe even giving us a second look at something that snuck past our view the first time around. So take a walk down short-term memory lane starting on pg. 53

HAVING FUN AND GROWING – Sam’s Fun City in Pensacola, Florida, has been open for just over a year, but the location is already gaining notoriety, having garnered two sought-after Golden Token awards from IALEI this fall. Owner Richard Sanfilippo tells RePlay the award-winning FEC is still in its infancy with big growth plans in the works pg. 93

LIVE AND IN-PERSON – No longer content to compete in cyberspace, Golden Tee competitors are now meeting around the country for live, organized competitions. These events are relatively new occurrences. Prior to last year, the only major live event was the National Championship held annually by the factory in Vegas. Now there’s talk of a national tour with monthly or bi-monthly tourneys pg. 113

FAIRYTALE FEC – Michigan’s top tourist attraction isn’t an automobile manufacturing plant or a Great Lakes resort. Its most popular draw is Frankenmuth, a themed fairytale village north of Lansing. Now visitors now have more entertainment choices than ever before as a result of a growing relationship between the tourist destination and Alpha-Omega Amusements. Read about this unique partnership pg. 89

TEE IT UP ­ Global VR, the virtual reality attraction maker that has begun producing more traditional video sims, now takes aim at the upright market as well with their EA Sports-licensed Tiger Woods video golf game. We’ve got the inside scoop on this major development in this month’s Spotlight pg. 103

WHAT GOES AROUND ­ Started by computer graphic specialist Quantum3D, Hyperware is now emerging as a popular game maker in its own right. Get the full story on this firm, now headed by Quantum vets Rob Ligetti and Dave Foley, and their UltraCade multi-game video platform pg. 105

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November 2001:

Cover: Good Expo! Hot Pin! Stern Bows Monopoly at Las Vegas Tradefest

GET READY FOR IAAPA ­ While most people begin to turn their attention toward the holidays at this time of year, those in the amusement trade gear up for the mother of all trade shows, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions convention. This year IAAPA is going back to Orlando for its feast of the senses including fun rides, thrilling games and tasty food.

A WIN, WIN ­­ Organizers of both the AMOA and Fun Expos, held last month in Las Vegas, breathed a sigh of relief on the opening day of the co-located shows as they saw sizeable crowds milling through the aisles of both. In light of the September 11 terrorist attacks and the ensuing mood of fear that fell over the nation, both shows surpassed gloomy expectations. They were good shows, everybody agreed! See our extensive coverage of both shows, including product, people and politics

STRAIGHT TALK EXPRESS ­­ Albuquerque real estate maven turned FEC owner and operator Gene Hinkle is the new president of the IALEI fun center association. We caught up with this straight talking tradester to get the inside scoop on that association and the Fun Expo

FIRST CLASS TREATMENT ­­ Sega Service staffers recently completed a third and final in-house training session in San Francisco with representatives from five national operating companies. Two previous sessions had seen technical mavens from all of the firm’s distributors travel to the Bay area for a hands-on education.

TAKING CARE OF BIG BUSINESS ­­ Minneapolis-based Weisman Enterprises manages over 100,000 pieces of equipment producing $500 million in revenue at 30,000 locations across the country. They serve over 230 clients, many large national companies, working with operators in every state of the U.S., as well as Canada and Puerto Rico.

A DYNAMIC DUO ­ This month’s Spotlight is on two firms that have partnered together to create a new and dynamic force in the coin-op industry, Ecast Inc. and jukebox maker Rowe International. The former has licensed content and technology from Midway for its online game and music network, working with Rowe to built out new hardware, while the latter has gotten into the game biz with their licensed Who Wants to Be a Millionaire touchscreen

DO NOT PASS GO ON THIS FLIPPER ­ This month’s cover story subject, Stern Pinball, has a real winner with its new Monopoly flipper designed in a “partnership” between the factory and former Williams pin designer Pat Lawlor. The game, debuted at AMOA Expo last month, is already creating a serious buzz for the last factory standing in the pinball biz

PRIZES GALORE ­ Once again, RePlay brings its readers the now tri-annual Redemption Roundup, a comprehensive look at the best and brightest plush toys and prizes for cranes, merchandisers and game room redemption counters

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October 2001:

Cover: Ecast: Playing a Leading Role in Future Tech for Coin-Op

The Shows Will Go On – In the face of national tragedy, the coin-op trade will march on with the co-located AMOA International Expo and Fun Expo, Oct. 4-6, in Las Vegas. Our preview includes exhibitor lists, event schedules and a double interview with incoming and outgoing AMOA presidents Michael Leonard and Lee Wesson. The AMOA, by the way, has donated a dollar per member ($1,706) to the Red Cross Disaster Fund and will be accepting additional funds from Expo showgoers at a kiosk in the registration area; IALEI and AAMA have also made contributions. Nice going!

A Fight on their Hands – Georgia legislators voted to end the operation of pokers and 8-line games for legitimate redemption purposes during a stormy special session last month. Operators vowed to take their fight to court in order to preserve the law, on the books since 1991, allowing limited prizes but no cash payout.

Back to the Future – Writer, commentator & coin-op video aficionado Loni Reeder takes us on a journey of discovery. Through extensive interviews with coinbiz veterans, plus game designers and consumer biz visionaries, she seeks to distill the essence of quality content represented by many Golden Era video titles and determine what that means for the present-day industry

OCMA Looks Ahead – The Ohio Coin Machine Association held its 27th Annual Expo, August 2-3, at the Columbus Holiday Inn, drawing nearly 200 participants. The event included two days of products exhibits, association meetings, the yearly Ed Shaffer Memorial Golf Outing and a much praised seminar on “What Does the Future Hold?”

Straw Poll Results – RePlay surveyed 60 operators from around the U.S., asking them 30 questions about a wide range of issues affecting their businesses, to bring you a snapshot of today’s coin biz climate. Take a look at what the participants had to say

Our Hat’s Off – Gerry Arca is the head game technician at Palace Entertainment’s Camelot Park in Santa Maria, Calif. He is also deaf. The 33-year-old local native has been with the location since it opened a decade ago, providing top-notch service and inspiration to all. Read his unique tale of success

IT Goes Touchscreen – Incredible Technologies will unveil its newest game platform this month, a touchscreen unit called Touch-IT. Boasting state-of-the-art hardware, the unit’s tournament-ready and the factory plans to launch online competition very soon

Prize Promotion ­ Tekbilt is also getting into the amusement touchscreen game with TouchTown USA that promises wholesome content and the ability to promote location patronage with a specially designed thermal Prize Coupon Printer

21st Century Vending – PlayMation builds close to 30 different bulk vendors, all designed to provide customers with a fun time and the chance to win a prize

Much More: This month’s issue also profiles games, prizes and components from Arcade Planet, Konami, Merit, Mr. Ticket, Rock-Ola, S&B Candy and Toys and uWink Inc., as well as a report on the growth of tournaments by Apple Inc./JVL and a look at the coin-op advertising specialists at On Premise Marketing

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September 2001:

Cover: Suspected of Pleasing Players: Arachnid’s Newest Dart Lineup

Merger Mania: The landscape of distribution looks markedly different this month after the completion of three major deals involving both mergers and acquisitions at Atlas, Cleveland Coin, Mountain Coin, Moss Distributing, Music Vend and Southgate. Get the full stories, starting on

It’s Almost Showtime! AMOA and Fun Expo have moved their show dates into early October this year, but it’s never too early to get ready for these two amusement expos, now held side by side in Vegas. Get an early look at schedules, seminars, etc.

A Hit Parade: RePlay’s Katie Martin has compiled a game compendium, highlighting the best of the best in video and pins from the last five years. Games are presented both by equipment category as well as by content per the industry’s Parental Advisory System

Sega Sensations: Sega Enterprises gave distributors and RePlay a preview of their upcoming product line in late July, including two fighting vids and two sports titles

Also: AMOA Chief hails upcoming expo; spotlight on new product from Smart; Ops Interface about the current state of pinball; Shop*Talk tackles intermittent switches; Jerry Monday on changes in distribution; AAMA leaders On the Record about international shows; an inside look at a dream juke collection in So Cal; Joystick Journal reviews new Sega vids; Randy Chilton divines a formula for success in tough times; and Len Pytlak concludes part two of partnership considerations

Hitting the Streets: Working with their local operating partners, the marketing pros at TouchTunes are reaching out to locations in the Seattle/Tacoma area in hopes of gaining more market share there. And they are planning to take this program on the road

Integrated Solutions: The new owners of Premier Data have been on the job for just over a year, but they are already well on their way to creating a whole new family of operator-friendly products for the route

Also: Street Smarts’ Gary Spencer provides a how-to on starting your own company website; Dart Scene looks at personnel challenges and triumphs; VNEA Juniors wow Mankato and our Thumbnail of Arrow Amusement’s Richard and Sue Poston

A Family Affair: Husband-and-wife-run FEC in small-town Virginia carves out a comfortable niche both for owners and customers

Pacing Themselves: Andretti Speed Lab, the Atlanta LBE that offers high-end racing sims, launches a teen driving lab to teach kids about real-world driving dangers

Big Day at the Mall: Twin Galaxies hosts first-time festival to celebrate video games past and present, and the crowds go wild at the world-famous Mall of America

Also: George “Fun By” Smith offers flying lessons for coin-op; John Ridgway Steps Up to discuss the virtues of low-tech; and Frank Talk(s) about the timeless opportunities in properly-run redemption

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August 2001:

Cover: Says Fun Express — “When it comes to fun, we’re all business!”

Midway Exits Coin-Op: Once America’s vidgame powerhouse, Midway Games announced this month that it is leaving the coin-op business for good to focus strictly on consumer software sales. For more on this sad news for the entire industry

New Products Galore: Three Chicago area game factories showed half a dozen new products last month to visiting distributors. The game makers included P&P Marketing, Namco-America and Sammy USA, and RePlay was there to report on what’s in store for the fall

Colorado Game Exchange Redux: Rich Babich has left route operating and returned to the ranks of distribution, “reviving” his “Exchange” as a no-nonsense sales & service machine

Also: Ops Interface on Midway exit; Shaffer Dist. presents first Bernie Flynn Award; state associations meet in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin; Shop*Talk looks at Brave Firefighter and a Promax chassis; BCA tourney results; AAMA goes On the Record about trade show talks, RePlay takes another look in our Rearview Mirror; and Len Pytlak examines the pros and cons of partnership

Wanna Buy a Route? So you’re in the market for another route, or one of your competitors decides to call it quits. How do you go about valuing that business for a possible acquisition? Streets Smarts columnist Gary Spencer walks you through it step by step

A Broad Range of Possibilities: Broadband is the newest high-tech rage to hit, and we wanted to know what it means for coin-op. So we caught up with top executives from one of the few coin-op companies using high-speed connections, Ecast Inc.

Also: the ADA bows a new steel tip coin-op machine; AMOA topper Lee Wesson takes our summer temp; Russ Warner is our Thumbnail Sketch; Dart Scene discusses potential new markets; Randy Chilton continues his AMOA retrospective; and Valley’s Dave Courington Steps Up and Speaks Out about the positive side of coin-op ­ leagues and tournaments

XS Orlando Opens: Namco’s much awaited XS Orlando opened earlier this summer, offering the latest and greatest in games and attractions, not to mention a true gourmet restaurant and extensive corporate meeting and group team building amenities

Community Service: A struggling Northern California market, now turned into an arcade, is actually a cleverly disguised youth center plotting to help local teens develop job skills while they hang out. Our new assistant editor, Katie Martin, reports the story,

Merchandise Mania: For the second time this year, RePlay brings you a comprehensive look at the universe of prize merchandise, all starting on

Also: Benchmark bows their newest game; JDL holds another Vince Carter promo in Philly; George Smith advises on customer rewards and Frank Talk(s) about lessons learned from the theme park biz

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July 2001:

Cover: Ronbotics — “Sensible Simulators” for the Arcade World

The Votes Are In: Benchmark’s Al Kress is the new AAMA Chairman. Al was elected along with a new slate of officers and four new board members at the association’s annual meeting.

That Other Vidgame Show: The seventh annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) drew more than 62,000 interactive entertainment professionals from more than 70 countries to the Los Angeles Convention Center. Read two special reports on the show including one from our own game reviewer Matt Bettelman

Serving Their Country: Gekay Sales is the exclusive coin-op distributor to the U.S. military. This unique job requires the pros at Gekay to cover the customer base of an average distributor. The only catch: t hose customers operate on bases around the world

Also: Trade leaders lobby Congress; Spotlight on Stern’s new Austin Powers pin; coin-op firms show at National Restaurant Show; new AAMA chair goes On The Record; get a Blast from the Past by visiting a company that refurbishes vintage videos; Frank talks about facing our biggest challenge; Randy Chilton reminisces on AMOA board meetings past; AMOA topper Lee Wesson prescribes an ounce of prevention; Ops Interface on their current attitudes about the biz; Rearview Mirror takes a look back in the pages of RePlay; Jerry Monday suggests new directions for AAMA; Shop*Talk takes up ticket problems; Len Pytlak revisits independent contractors in On the Money; and CAGS holds an open house

The Debate Goes On: Southern California music operator John Guthrie of G & G Amusement critiques the current crop of downloading jukes and the pros at Ecast and TouchTunes respond

Tournaments Galore: We have loads of coverage from three recent national coin-op championships including the VNEA pool tourney and BullShooter and NDA dart competitions, all starting on

They’re At It Again: Merit continues to make news, this month with a game & website licensing deal with Arcade Planet and a 2nd annual competition being held at distribs around the country

Also: Kendall College design students create new digital jukes; Gary Spencer educates us on the Street Smarts of seasonal locations; and ITS Canada takes off quadrupling their own expectations

Powerful Medicine: Family fun pro Steve Bennett and his power team (Ken Withers & Steve Hall) have got the cure for game room blues with their newest Power House FEC in Orange, Calif. It’s a model that has already proven itself, so look for more from this powerful and growing group of locations

Get Your Motor Running: The Tilt arcade chain operated by Nickels and Dimes has hit the road to drum up player excitement, both literally with their new Tilt Bus mobile arcade kiosk and figuratively at their new site on the information superhighway

Also: New product from Bromley, Benchmark, S & B Candy and Toys and Active Systems; as well as IALEI’s George Smith on providing good ol’ fashioned fun and value

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June 2001:

Cover: ICE’s Wheel is ready to take Cyclone earnings to the next level

No Wedding Bells: U.S. executives at both Sega and Namco say rumors of a possible marriage between the two companies are ill informed. There will be no merger, they assert, but maybe more cooperation

West Virginia Gets Legal Pokers: After many years of trying, West Virginians will be able to operate state-regulated video lottery. But the restrictive law passed there is nothing to write home about, say ops

Can Lightning Strike Twice? Our cover story subjects at ICE certainly hope so. The factory recently went into production on their newest attraction, Wheel of Fortune, and they predict the game will outshine their most popular piece to date, Cyclone

Also: Video violence continues to plague trade; Jerry Monday discusses the merits of open houses; Ed Bevilaqua of Fun-E-Business discusses coin-op’s need for venture capital; Betson Philly and Jersey and Commercial Music hold open houses; AMOA topper Wesson discusses NDA and Notre Dame; Shop*Talk examines Merit CD-ROM replacement and force feedback in Rush the Rock; AAMA leaders On the Record about trade events at Wal-Mart HQ & Dubai; Randy Chilton remembers his early AMOA days; Joystick Journal feasts on new Sega product; Frank Talks about worst case location scenarios; and Rearview Mirror offers a blast from the past through the pages of RePlay 25 years ago

Big Changes in the Works: In the past six weeks, GameWorks has announced its expansion into Europe and the addition of bowling and movie theaters to its stores. GW exec Ron Lam talks to RePlay about what all this change means

Taking Flight: New management and a newly designed M4-SX capsule are headlining new developments at North Dakota motion simulation maker FunFlight, formerly known as Adventure Quest

Trials & Tribulations: Real estate investor Gene Hinkle, this month’s Thumbnail Sketch, had to fight long and hard to finish his 30,000-sq.-ft. Albuquerque FEC, including trips to the federal and state supreme courts.

Also: GameCom acquires Ferris Productions; Fun By George counsels business to start thinking young; and Bay-Tek bows two new games

Making Headway! Los Angeles-based uWink Inc. made big promises last summer to deliver online game content and tournaments, and they are living up to those lofty goals. Read our update on Nolan Bushnell’s latest brainchild

Not Child’s Play: Former distributor John Lotz, now selling kiddie rides and carousels with Sunshine Equipment, discusses the 12 truths of running rides profitably

Also: OK Manufacturing enters self-vending novelty game arena with Gravity Hill; ops Interface about competition for the cash box; IT bows update for original Golden Tee and hosts top players at Vegas Championships; and Dart Scene provides tips on gaining new players

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May 2001:

Cover: TouchTunes…it’s a distributor box, too!

The Big Win in Indy: The coin-op industry won a major legal victory in its attempt to halt an Indianapolis law restricting the operation of violently themed vids. Read all about the court decision and what it means

Big Moves at ICE: The gamesmiths at upstate New York’s Innovative Concepts in Entertainment bowed their likely new hit, Wheel of Fortune. They are also making big news with a new product line, Fantasy Entertainment’s Portrait Studio, and an exclusive new distribution deal in the Northeast with State Sales and Service

ASI 2001: AAMA’s annual spring coin machine expo, March 29-31at the Las Vegas Convention Center, saw slightly smaller crowds, reflecting continued industry consolidation, but the mood was generally upbeat We follow that show coverage with a catalog of brand-new equipment bowed at the event

Also: LAI (Australia) and Arcade Planet (LazerTron) strike a manufacturing and distribution deal; Apple Photo to handles sales & marketing for JVL; trade leaders prepare for Washington Conference; Dave & Buster’s shoots hoops for St. Patty’s Day; Jack Guarnieri Steps Up and Speaks Out about pinball today; three hot new deluxe vids from Sega; American Alpha bows Smiley DBA in U.S.; distribs hold post-show open houses; Matt Bettelman picks his top three from ASI in Joystick Journal,; Roger Sharpe talks trade shows past & present; ShopHTalk examines wacky switch & heat related problems; Frank Seninsky discusses supporting upstart factories; Len Pytlak looks at constructive dividends; AAMA toppers go On the Record to discuss making headway in tough conditions; and Randy Chilton explores revenue sharing

Nifty Fifties: This chain of 1950s themed family-style restaurants based in and around Philadelphia recently experimented with a good-sized FEC addition. It was so successful that they plan to expand

Introducing Andamiro: This may be a new arcade game maker, but the faces and names are mighty familiar. Capcom vets Steve Blattspieler and Satinder Bhutani help company founder James Ko launch Andamiro USA, a division of the Korean firm that makes Pump It Up and more

Also: IALEI prexy George Smith looks at future trends in Fun By George; and Jerry Monday reviews ASI

TouchTunes on Stage! The digital juke maker returns to RePlay’s cover for the second time. The firm has been shipping downloading boxes ­­ with loads of new features ­­ for almost three years and has close to 4,000 in the field. They’re also now working with 10 U.S. distributors

Year of the Street Operator: That’s what Street Smarts columnist Gary Spencer concludes after visits to three location shows for bar and tavern, movie theater and pizza restaurant owners

A Tee Time for Profits: Canada’s Davis Skill Games just completed one of the biggest independent Golden Tee Fore! competitions seen to date. The event took place at one of that country’s premier golf clubs and the big winner walked away with a new Nissan Xterra sport utility vehicle

Also: NAMA West plays host to new machines and lots of vendibles; meet Indiana op Chuck Hescher in Thumbnail; AMOA topper Lee Wesson says state of the biz is mixed in this month’s Hail to the Chief; recent tourney action; and Ops interface on current product offerings

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April 2001:

Cover: Rainbow Crane: color them successful!

Midway’s Shakeup: once America’s vidgame powerhouse, mighty Midway laid off over 60 engineers, programmers and designers last month ­­ reportedly the bulk of their coin-op design force, countertops excepted. We cover what happened, why, and what it all means

Adieu, Ron! AAMA Chairman Ron Carrara passes the gavel this month to his successor, who will be elected during AAMA’s spring board meeting in Washington, D.C. The industry is also mounting a lobbying conference at the same time

London Fog: London’s ATEI Show usually sets the tone for the industry’s entire year but January’s edition may have left coin-op in a fog. Record attendance did not make up for relatively few new amusement games

Also: our Cover Story on Rainbow Crane; Merit exits from the Dart Scene while reaffirming its commitment to c-tops; new products, Unique Digital, Namco and Sammy USA; TD Rowe buys six more routes; Touchtunes creates new lease options; F rank Seninsky gives a “state of the industry” overview;, Matt Bettelman on the state of online video gameplay

Looking Up: According to a poll of Fun Expo 2000 attendees, the fun center market is actually getting better & more profitable for most. Sims and VR attractions are also reportedly on the upswing

Prize Guys: We reached out to the suppliers of redemption prize merchandise to learn what’s new, what’s hot and what’s in amongst the ticket-vending set these days. Result: your handy-dandy RePlay Redemption Roundup

Also: IALEI prexy George Smith looks at recent dot-com & hi-tech developments in relation to coin-biz; Jerry Monday sees a good-news, bad-news market

Rock-Ola Me Tonight: SoCal’s own jukebox factory has a nifty new lineup including The Rock, a wallbox with interchangeable art panels, and the Wallette remote speaker-selector unit

Tomorrow’s Operator, Pt. 1: Nebraska Technical Services just may be the most wired-in operators in America. They have avidly embraced online darts, music and videos. See how they run

Tomorrow’s Operator, Pt. 2: Jim Lesser is an operator. He owns his own games. He splits the cash box with locations. It’s just that he picks world class stops and ties in world class promotions. Results: world class earnings!

Also: AMOA prexy Lee Wesson reviews their midyear board meeting; Gary Spencer talks about redemption in bars; Operators Interface on the recent news from Midway; Randy Chilton calls for upgraded machine components; NDA Director Leslie Murphy comments on Merit’s exit from dart manufacturing; Shop*Talk looks at Rowe bill acceptor fixes

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March 2001:

Cover: Nice Shot! Incredible Technologies Tees Up New Golden Tee Fore! 2001 Courses; ASI Showbook

It’s Showtime! From a new website to a reported slew of new games, this month’s Amusement Showcase International (ASI) offers the industry’s latest and greatest. The 2001 edition runs side by side with the Western NAMA, too. We have show and seminar schedules and more

The Hayes Report: Namco America President Kevin Hayes says that R&D exclusively for coin-op is “almost a thing of the past” and most future arcade videos will run on consumer-type hardware. But Namco’s reorganization is finished and we’ll see more Namco games this year

Let’s Get Real: Are video gun games “murder simulators”? Is the industry’s voluntary ratings program just a superficial PR ploy? You’ll be surprised to learn who is leveling such charges

Also: Cover Story on new software & new technology from Incredible Technologies; new product from Konami, Lazer-Tron, Smart, Hyperware, ICE & NET; Midway boosts parts & service support; Game.Com buys Global VR; AAMA chiefs call for ASI support; tradevet Joel Hochberg honored as 2000 Man of the Year at charity fundraiser; Randy Chilton calls for new $1 coin push; Frank Seninsky reflects on personal (and industry) transitions; Jerry Monday on why hype no longer works; Matt Bettelman reviews Sega’s Air Trix; Len Pytlak’s part 2 of sales expenses

Confidence Plus: Simulator maker Ronbotics is beaming about new orders, a huge new factory, new team members and – coming soon – new product. It’s all a healthy sign for simulators

Meet John Barnes: The heir to the Barnes & Noble bookstore fortune has founded his own company, SimulTainment, and created an impressive new motion simulator with full software library. He’s an intriguing fellow with business savvy, industry smarts and a passionate vision for coin-op’s future

The “Virtual Playfield”: Software creator Keats Horstmann pens a guest essay that paints a vivid picture of where all this online development and hi-tech evolution is going. Hint: think convergence

Also: IALEI Prexy George Smith on “thinking young to survive”

The Artist’s Eye: The glorious tradition of “jukey” jukebox design did not die out with Wurlitzer’s Paul Fuller. Rock-Ola’s Jim Sullivan has picked up the mantle quite nicely, as we show with color renderings of work from across his four-decade career

Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation of coin-op games, that is. Tradevets Roger Sharpe chats about the state of the industry with Wells-Gardner’s Tony Spier and Marty Glazman. Rog and Marty have a clear prescription to revive sales to street operators

Music Men: P&P Marketing has quietly built itself a nice market with a series of economical jukeboxes called “Regatta”. The P&P stands for Pellegrini & Pellegrini, meaning brothers Ed and Frank

Also: Merit Industries set to launch its TournaMAXX Global Player Ranking System; Valley-Dynamo notes a surprising twist in table game sales; Rowe-Ecast’s downloading juke is now shipping; ATM launches new compilation CDs; JVL’s online tournaments enhance their touchscreen games; AAMA Prexy Lee Wesson on vidgame regulation, hi-tech security & $1 coins; Gary Spencer’s new & used game buying strategy; Rick Caviglia outlines tournament success principles; Shop*Talk focuses on faulty Rowe CBA-2s; Thumbnail Sketch of San Diego op Frank Rizzo; Operators Interface on how recession impacts coinbiz; tournament briefs

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February 2001:

Cover: NSM 2001 — Re-Engineering their Coin-Op Music Future in the 21st Century

$1 Coins, MIA? The new $1 coin remains nearly invisible to many consumers. Most banks are dragging their heels on using it. But Midwest operators Gene Winstead and Doug Diltz “Step Up and Speak Out” to say they are using the new coin aggressively in arcade and street operations, with notable success

Farewell, Kane: Much-loved & much-respected operator and distributor Kane Fernandez died in early January of a heart attack. He received a send-off worthy of a true Hawaiian and a pillar of his community & industry

One Ride Fits All: We’re pleased to report on the first kiddie ride that is fully accessible for disabled children, a creation of a married couple who engineered the product with wheelchairs…and parents…firmly in mind

Also: ASI 2001 is coming up; AAMA leaders advise ops to buy & use dollar coins; Stern’s new casino-themed pinball rolls the dice; Fantasy Entertainment’s new digital imaging booth “draws” your portrait; Apple bows all-new SNK fighting game for Neo-Geo; Atlas holds open houses; Matt Bettelman’s first column examines Midway’s Arctic Thunder; a personal memoir of Kane Fernandez by Jerry Monday; Randy Chilton sees cloudy future for violent video games; Larry Merritt updates “The Standard Location Agreement”; Len Pytlak advises how to handle sales expenses; Shop*Talk troubleshoots Golden Tee trackball

Mario’s LBE World: Andretti Speed Lab is a high-end, indoor go-kart facility near Atlanta. They focus on corporate team-building experiences and it’s a winning formula

Maxflight Takes Wing: The motion simulator company is launching VR2000. This two-person flight sim offers virtual interactive dogfights with 360 degree loop, roll, pitch, spin and spiral action. Jet-age Red Baron fun!

Also: Jerry Monday’s New Year’s Resolutions; IALEI prexy George Smith calls for more operator investment to keep the buy-sell-build cycle healthy

Highly Concerned About Hi-Tech: An open letter from ICMOA’s New Technology Committee has sparked a fresh debate about the future role of operators (and distribs) in networked entertainment. Read the full text here, along with factory replies

The State of the States: AMOA hosted execs from state operator associations around the USA to the annual January conference. National concerns got a good airing with solid info on hi-tech developments, jukebox licensing and video content regulation

One Strip Convenience: Harvey’s Music is distributing a new wide-format graphic title strip from Pure Note Publishing, containing both cover art & music tracks on the same sheet that’s easy to insert

Also: AMOA President Lee Wesson updates the jukebox license scene; Cover Story subject NSM confidently tackles 2001 jukebox market; NDA’s Leslie Murphy on the value of teamwork; Gary Spencer sends a valentine to women of the industry; Operators Interface on the new Jukebox License Agreement; Thumbnail Sketch of former operator (now state legislator) Dwight Wrangham; tournament briefs; Steve Epstein “Table Talks” on promoting that slanted table game ­­ pinball

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January 2001:

Cover: Merit Countertops — simply heroic!

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)

this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, parts suppliers, trade associations, music one-stops…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

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2000 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December —

December 2000:

Cover: A-MAZE-ING NAMCO … as busy as ever!

Your Show of Shows: The 82nd annual IAAPA show featured lots of coin-op exhibitors hawking brand-new games, plus plenty of operators and distributors walking the aisles. Meanwhile, arcades expressed renewed interest in simulators and VR (and this show had lots of both)

A Runaway Train? A member of the Chicago city council says political momentum to regulate local youth access to violent video games is a “runaway train”

Fall/Winter Catalog: We put together a nifty guide to new product that made its U.S. national trade show debut at the AMOA/Fun Expo and we even managed to include a few things that debuted at the IAAPA Show. Step right up and get your handy-dandy RePlay Magazine fall-winter coin-op equipment catalog right here!

Also: AAMA leaders outline red-label game defense strategy; arcade “Operators Interface” on the impact of possible video violence laws; preview of London’s ATEI show; MusicVend/Dunis celebrates Golden Annivesary; Cover Story on Namco America; Incredible Technologies wins honors & launches new programs; the L.A.P.D. warns against fraudulent redemption games and illegal gambling devices; new products by A.G.E. and Ham On Rye; Gregg Reeves reviews Capcom vs. SNK and Sharkey’s Shootout; Lynn Pytlak concludes two-parter on tax planning; Atlas & Betson open houses

Fat’s Where It’s At: Fat City! This $8.5 million revamp of the former FunPlex site opened this fall. It offers 140,000 sq. ft. of arcade simulators, minigolf, skating, bowling and more

Rotten! Lousy! Awful! Tradevet Harold Skripsky goes beyond just “Stepping Up & Speaking Out.” He takes off the gloves and comes out with both fists swinging at rotten service. Poor FEC management contributes to the problem, he charges. Okay, Harold, but what do you REALLY think?

Maxflight Takes Flight: The folks at MaxFlight are right in the forefront of the resurgence of popularity for big ride simulators. A growing number of locations across the USA are using and endorsing their products, as our “Spotlight Special” attests

Also: Jerry Monday suggests how factories could reduce…yes, we said “reduce”…game prices

Rowe Goes Internet: After shaking up the jukebox market this summer with news of Rowe’s partnership with Ecast, the factory says it will be ready to ship the resulting online jukebox to distributors this month. Downloading product sells & ships by Januaryg

Merit-orious: We interviewed Merit’s Dave Myers to learn the thinking behind the company’s renaissance. They’ve gone back to basics while embracing new technology and new markets

Music of the Spheres: A hi-tech R&D firm in Mexico has built a satellite-feed digital juke, have 1,200 units on location South of the Border today & plans to expand to the rest of the world soon

Also: AMOA President Lee Wesson on government relations priorities; Frank Seninsky and Gary Spencer focus on video violence; State Sales and Stern Pinball solve a Pennsy operator’s dilemma; Randy Chilton’s holiday wish list; Thumbnail Sketch of Pennsy operator Gina Dolby; Dart Scene’s Leslie Murphy on location pampering; Table Talk focuses on the BCA’s 25th anny; Shop*Talk covers monitor repair; tournament highlights

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November 2000:

Cover: Sega Raises Online Profile and Bows Even More New Games at IAAPA

Atlanta Bound! Plenty of coin-op factories and distributors (plus quite a few operators) will attend the USA’s biggest leisure expo this month. The International Assn. of Amusement Parks & Attractions stages its show in Atlanta. We have exhibit hours, seminar schedules, exhibitor booth numbers and more

Signpost to the Future: AMOA/Fun Expo 2000 offered an eye-opening preview of several possible futures for the coin-op industry. Along one way lies the smooth road of political unity; another path may take us down the bumpy road of hi-tech turmoil

Busted! AAMA’s undercover investigation of two California copyboard crooks led to surveillance by the FBI. Next came a search warrant, followed by indictments and arrests. Guilty pleas followed last month and the FBI says they’re working more cases right now

Also: new product from Sammy USA & Incredible Technologies; cover story on Sega’s new games & Internet ventures; guest essays by Todd Cravens & Roger Sharpe ponder our hi-tech future; Larry Merritt reveals “how to get locations to sign a contract”; AAMA toppers discuss video violence & the coming wireless revolution; Frank Seninsky reports on standardization progress; distributors host post-AMOA open houses

The Spot for Fun: Take a popular resort area (Weir’s Beach, N.H.), add 21 acres of games, bowling, golf, rides, fun food and mix in a wonderful family atmosphere and you get Funspot, one of the best arcades in the entire country

Eliminate Ticket Jams! Even the best ticket dispenser can have a jam when the cardboard or paper snags on the edge of an interior metal component. Solution? Quik Tick has simple, low-cost inserts to smooth the ticket’s “glide path”

Scooter Fever! The hottest kids’ toy of the year is the revised scooter. Bonita Marie shows operators of cranes and merchandisers how to capitalize on this sizzling trend

Also: new product from Dynamic Visions; Carole Sjolander updates IALEI personnel news; Mel Laforce of Fun Industries explains how to “get rich in your niche!”; and Jerry Monday warns of distributor debt dangers

Potential Partners? Debra Leach, executive director of the National Licensed Beverage Assn., says she believes NLBA and the coin-op amusements trade have many common interests – and she’s ready to lead NLBA to an political alliance

NSM’s Latest: Newly-reorganized following their management buyout, the once-German jukebox factory is touting a new floor model to go with their latest wallbox. Downloading technology will come, too

Report from Federal Prison: Randy Chilton recently visited former AMOA board member Ted Furkin, serving time for charges stemming from vidpoker ops. Read Randy’s most gripping column

Also: new route software from Premier Data; Gary Spencer on why 2001 will be “the year of the (online) tournament”; Jukebucks on keeping locations happy; Shop*Talk covers Rowe CDM-4 motor rebuilding; Operators Interface on downloading music & the jukebiz; AMOA’s Lee Wesson reviews Expo & programs

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October 2000:

Cover: CES: Emerging Gamesmith Shows Its Stable at Expo

Them’s Fightin’ Words! Coin-op video games escaped direct criticism in a September report by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on the marketing of media violence to youngsters. But coin-op gets tarred with the same brush in the public’s mind anyway, says industry legal counsel Elliott Portnoy. Our special section includes the FTC’s own statement…a chat with Elliott about coin-op’s Indiana lawsuit…plus broadsides from the Gore and Bush campaigns. Also, association chiefs talk video content issues in this month’s “AAMA On the Record.”

Sega Goes Online: One month before AMOA Expo, Sega’s newly “right-sized” network of U.S. distributors met in San Francisco. There, Sega previewed online coin-op games and online distributor services. A followup story examines Sega’s new chain of online arcades in Japan

Also: a brief preview of IAAPA’s November convention; PhotoNet has thousands of networked online games up & running in Europe; Spotlight Special on Konami’s new driver; Foto Fantasy gets a patent for their Portrait Studio; Cover Story on CES; Frank Seninsky & Randy Chilton call for free-market distribution; Shop*Talk studies Namco’s System 23; Lyn Pytlak on next year’s tax planning; Larry Merritt on contracts; and Gregg Reeves on games that “shoulda been” hits

Has Coin-Op Missed the Boat? A thought-provoking story was published last month by our fellow trade journalists at London-based Centaur Publications. Looking at the explosion of online video games and related entertainment services and technologies, and with Sega’s new online arcades opening in Japan, they asked: has coin-op missed the boat? Our thanks to Centaur for permission to reprint this piece

Just-right FEC Design: consultant Randy White has penned an entertaining essay on the importance of proper sizing in fun center design. Too big makes your place look deserted; too small can feel like Sardine City. Randy reveals how to make sure your center is built “just right”

Tag & Play: Amusement Soft’s John Ridgway and John Legge are gearing up for the next step in arcade management. Their new Tag & Play is a wireless, radio-connected, indoor-outdoor data-tracking & function-control system. It clocks machine income, sets or changes pricing, etc. All this is correlated with the “virtual money” on a player’s computer chip-embedded smartcard or wristband

Also: Fun Industries’ new Steer Crazy II; Jerry Monday on new trends in redemption and self-vending skill prize vending machines; IALEI George Smith re-introduces his association and its committee chairs

A Mature Industry: To help with music licensing negotiations, AMOA commissioned a study of today’s jukebox market by two University of New Orleans economists. Their findings may surprise you

What’s New? Lots! Merit Industries readied a lot of new releases for the trade this fall from software to hardware to alliances. See what’s up their sleeves beginning on

Everything Old is New Again: The title of Cole Porter’s classic song also describes the latest market-building efforts of the American Darters Assn. ­­ dart leagues for senior citizens. ADA chief Glenn Remick says their numbers are growing larger every minute

Also: Thumbnail Sketch of Alabama’s Frank Hughes; Gary Spencer on the many hats route ops wear; Operators Interface on whether or not they’ve got friendly relations with local competitors; Dart Scene on how to handle complaints; Tournament Briefs

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September 2000:

Cover: Midway Debuts The Grid “Vidgame” Show/VEGAS EXPOBOOK 2000

SHOWTIME! AMOA & Fun Expo will hold their 2nd co-located convention bonanza in Vegas this month. We’ve got a huge section full of details plus an nterview with incoming AMOA topper Lee Wesson

Rowe & Ecast Team Up: The most dramatic announcement, of many last month, came when Internet startup Ecast and jukebox stalwart Rowe announced plans to partner on a co-branded downloading juke. (In this issue, we also profile two other new Internet coin-op ventures, Fun-E-Business, and Nolan Bushnell’s uWink.com.) To get the details on Ecast and Rowe, as well as the others

Comeback Kids: Despite rocky times, Midway execs tell RePlay in this month’s cover story that they are bullish on coin-op with extensive plans for the Midway Tournament Network

Also: Industry mourns Gil Kitt and Bernie Williams; AMOA updates coupon & Notre Dame programs; system upgrade & new alliance for SNK/Apple; Stern releases tournament ready Sharkey’s Shootout; factory reps tour China with Entropy; Mars’ John Kelly talks about the new money; an anonymous operator discusses the worn but intact chain of distribution; Atlus gets on Pokemon craze; Jerry Monday on downloading; Larry Merrit explores success; Shop*Talk about Merit hard drive conversion; Millennium Memories from the early ’60s when Seeburg ruled and Rock N Roll was beginning to be heard; Len Pytlak analyzes expansion profits; and Greg Reeves reviews Sega’s 18-Wheeler

Tales of Arabian Fun: LouLou Al Dugong is a new 25,000-sq.-ft. fun center in Dubai. Designed by White Hutchinson, it’s focused on promoting cultural respect and environmental consciousness

Aye, Aye Matey! DisneyQuest recently introduced a new pirate themed interactive attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean, plus the SongMaker, a produce-your-own-music CD, novelty at its Orlando site

Mr. Smith Goes to Vegas: Namco Cybertainment VP of Business Development George Smith will be sworn in as the new IALEI president this month at Fun Expo. We interview him starting on

Also: Spotlight on Ferris Productions; a new bopper from Skee Ball; laser tag news; goings-on at IALEI; Fun by Judy Novak on the resilience of Fun Expo; and rapid expansion at Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard

It’s a Pool World: Get an inside look at pool table maker Global Billiards. A Gramstrup family enterprise, Global combines craftsmanship & market savvy to produce a handsome line of tables

Talking Darts: NDA’s Leslie Murphy says tomorrow looks bright for electronic darts. The association exec challenges ops to get a fresh start with their leagues for a leg up on the future

The Music Man: Semi-retirement has not slowed affable vending industry veteran Lester “Herschy” Herschman of Vendor’s Exchange, who also teaches violin and plays in two orchestras

Also: Gary “Street Smarts” Spencer says knowledge is power; Ops “Interface” on open houses and conventions; the latest from Rock-Ola and TouchTunes; coverage of fledgling Calif. association; Randy Chilton looks back on his days in the beer industry; a Day in the Life of Wallace Distributing’s Joe Ringo; the MOMA state show; tournament news; and U.S. Air Hockey Pres. Brian Accrocco discusses promotion in Table Talk

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August 2000:

Cover: arcades say Mexel’s Debit Key System looks good

SOLD! The coin-op industry’s three leading trade associations got together and bought Fun Expo from prior owner Reed Expositions Co., it was announced in June. AMOA, AAMA and IALEI will run Fun Expo as a partnership team under a new group called Leisure Entertainment Trade Shows

Teamwork’s in Fashion: Meanwhile, AMOA and AAMA are creating a bridge mechanism to combine certain “mirror” committees, ensure a single industry voice on legal and political issues, and save time and money. It’s called the Industry Council.

Vidpoker’s Vanishing Act: South Carolina’s video poker market shut down July 1. That means 28,000 machines are now illegal and a $2.8 billion business vanished overnight. Here’s how it happened

Also: preview of AMOA Expo and Fun Expo; Cover Story on Mexel’s DKS arcade management technology; AAMA’s Spotlight on Sega’s Nascar simulator; Merit & TouchTunes form alliance; new product from Smart, Midway, Gamecom; Greg Reeves reviews new games from Capcom and Midway; Shop*Talk looks at Sega’s Outrunner Twin; Larry Merritt reviews non-compete contract clauses

MTV & Coin-Op: Devecka has landed a prestigious cross-promotion deal with the popular MTV cable television channel. Promo focuses on the factory’s nifty MTV Drumscape musical novelty piece, where the player becomes a hot drummer. Catch the beat

Hyper Cool! A featured attraction in Sony’s Metreon complex (San Francisco) is a wild “virtual bowling” experience called HyperBowl. Now it’s available for fun centers everywhere

Also: Thumbnail Sketch of FEC super-pro (and super-nice guy) Lloyd Butterfield; IALEI prexy Phil DeAngelo on the Fun Expo purchase; Jerry Monday on “guessing games” and “blame games”

Service Checklist: “Street Smarts” columnist Gary Spencer says ops should use the summer lull for some back-to-basics upgrades. One nifty tip to save time, money and labor: a service checklist that can be attached to every unit of your equipment

Show Me! The Missouri AMOA held its very successful 4th Annual Trade Show at the Marriott Tan Tara Resort on beautiful Lake of the Ozarks, drawing 132 people and running a 28-booth expo (see photo of gavel passing to new prez)

League Loyalty: National Dart Assn. Director Leslie Murphy offers key tips on how to keep up the “loyalty factor” among your existing dart league customers

Also: AMOA President Frank Seninsky explains the Fun Expo purchase and Industry Council in Hail to the Chief; Millennium Memories of early jukebox days; Len Pytlak on choosing the right business entity; Warner Music’s Ed Borgia on keeping control of your pool leagues; Tournament Highlights including VNEA’s 10th annual “juniors” competition

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July 2000:

Cover: VNEA Marks 20th; Pool Table Special

Real World Distribution: Hal Lieberman is sales veep of Lieberman Music Co., now in its 10th decade of business and fast nearing the hundred-year mark. Our conversation includes his frank thoughts on “strained” factory-dealer relationships, on distributors who operate and on operator consolidation. The key to strong distribution today, he says, is diversification

Agora Steps Out: Howie Rubin, Andrew Prell & Frank Ballouz are three well-known trade names behind Agora Interactive. This hi-tech startup has unveiled an impressive prototype for a multi-application, multi-player, nationwide, networked platform. “Sooner or later, somebody is absolutely going to make this idea work – and we think it will be Agora!” they declare confidently. Major corporate sponsors seem to agree

Also: FBI busts vidgame counterfeiters; (re)introducing AAMA’s once and future prexy Mike Rudowicz; Smilin’ Mike & Chairman Ron Carrara look to the future in “AAMA On the Record”; Spotlight Special focuses on Namco’s new soccer-themed video simulator; Atlas hosts open houses in Chicago & Kentucky; Len Pytlak on accounting services; Greg Reeves reviews Capcom, Atari and SNK kits; Jerry Monday examines factory-distribution relations; Shop*Talk tech tips for Naomi & arcade games

Salute to Pool: the green felt table has reigned as “King of Coin-op Tavern Games” ever since Valley put a coin mech on a pool table more than 50 years ago. Now the Valley pool league, launched by the factory in alliance with key operators, has climbed its own 20-year pinnacle. Our comprehensive special section includes a history of pool, a VNEA history, a report on VNEA’s recent Vegas championships, a survey of operator news & views, a catalog of American pool tables now on the market, a “Thumbnail Sketch” of VNEA President Vince Leavey and a timely operating tip from “Street Smart” columnist Gary Spencer. It all starts on

Also: AMOA President Seninsky relates lessons from the road; “Operators Interface” on security problems; Randy Chilton on video poker; Glenn Anderson gets a visit from “Super Joe” Camarota; Merit updates its online network plans; Craig Beard “Table Talks” about ICMOA’s state tourney; tournament briefs

Good Stuff, Mate! Bar Code and Galactic Circus are a chain of highly themed, and highly profitable, LBE/FEC complexes in the Land Down Under. Now this Aussie-based concept has landed on American shores. Owners have big expansion plans, too

You’re in the Picture: That innovative Canadian firm, Vivid Group, has released a new software package. It lets third-party customers such as game developers, locations or other entertainment firms use Vivid’s “immersion technology” for custom applications. Vivid puts the player’s image onscreen for live interaction with the game or program

Coaster Madness: Ronbotics has revamped its wild roller coaster simulator technology to meet operator needs more closely. They’ve also hired some coin-op veterans to beef up their sales staff

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June 2000:

Cover: Gary Stern: This Wizard’s Pinball Passion is Boundless!

Sega Goes Internet: Excess inventory and odd pieces that distributors don’t care to handle will be sold to operators over Sega’s coin-op website. Sega prexy Al Stone vows it does NOT mean they’re going direct. The following story looks at Sega’s new “Star Wars” sitdown racing video & a deep-sea fishing sim

E3, Meet E62,000: Something like 62,000 people attended the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 show) in Los Angeles from May 10-13. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo & Sega bid for control of the home video market, as well maneuvered for position in the worlds of DVD and Net access

Thought-provoking! Keats Horstmann is a visionary businessman who’s got some real-world industry experience. He applied his farsighted analysis to this guest essay about the industry’s possible future direction. A radical new business model, not just new technology, is recommended

Also: Cover Story on Stern Pinball; bad precedent looms for video violence laws; AAMA’s outgoing Bob Fay reminisces about his tenure; new product from Incredible Technologies, Konami, SNK and BayTek; Touch Tunes VP Linda Komorsky “steps up” to analyze the Digital Millennium Copyright Act; Randy Chilton on creating “raving fans”; Larry Merritt on estate planning; Len Pytlak’s tips for self-employed workers; Shop*Talk tips for Sega, Atari & Wells-Gardner products; Greg Reeves reviews Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and SNK’s Metal Slug 3; Jerry Monday urges association and show mergers; distributor open houses

A Day in the Life of Greg & Joyce Frieden means the RePlay camera visits Fun Time Amusement in Kearney, Neb. The company was founded 10 years ago when Greg began fixing up old pinball machines as a hobby. It’s grown plenty since then!

Wall Boxing: Long seen as the wall box market leader, NSM has added a new machine called Cosmic Burst to their wall box stable. There’s a bit of new mechanical design under the hood, too

Also: AMOA President Seninsky updates association activities; “Operators Interface” on summer earnings; Rowe & Valley-Dynamo gear up for the new dollar coin; Ed Velasquez on upgrading to the new $1 coin and new $5 & $10 bills; Gary Spencer on machine security; NDA’s Leslie Murphy on boosting league visibility; tournament news

We Have a Winner! We recently visited one of the Jillian’s chain. They’re a successful location based entertainment center that combines grownup food and beverages with plenty of the latest videos, “cosmic bowling,” some unique attractions and very popular “retro” theming

Palace Is Confident: Columnist Jerry Monday interviewed a top exec at Palace Entertainment, the new & fast-growing, mega-FEC operators. The secret to their success? Experienced management!.

No Illusions here! SoCal simulator factory, Illusion Inc., is looking good with financing and a (pending) software patent. They specialize in race driving centers and that snazzy parachute-drop sim

Also: Spotlight Special focuses on Coastal’s new game lineup; Fun by Dave (Schwartz) weighs debit cards vs. coins & tokens

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May 2000:

Cover: Open Season! Sammy USA’s Deer Hunting video kit hits spring market

ASI 2000 took place at the Vegas Convention Center from March 29-31. Attendance was light, said most observers, but we counted 92 new products on the floor. Our coverage includes a convention overview, plenty of pix, new product catalog, and reports on the meetings of the Century Club and Standardization Committee.

Western NAMA 2000: This regional vending expo took place side by side with ASI in Las Vegas (and they’ll co-locate both shows again next year). Mostly a show of vendible commodities, the Western NAMA drew robust attendance including a handful of ASI crossovers

The Midway Tournament Network: the Chicago factory says it could “revolutionaize coin-op ” with this system. It starts with tournaments and eventually download game updates

Also: Rock-Ola closes Illinois branch to consolidate under one roof in SoCal; video violence laws now pending in six states and two major cities; AAMA leaders on Bob Fay’s departure; “Spotlight Special” on FotoZap!; new product from Incredible Technologies and Konami; Cover Story on American Sammy

Golden Moments: Nevada operator Doug Minter celebrates his 27th year in the coin machine business and his 50th year of marriage to his lovely bride

Surviving a Family Business: if anybody can speak with authority on this subject, it’s Randy Chilton. This month’s column is a definite classic, packed with true-life stories and excellent advice

Also: AMOA President Seninsky reports on their midyear board meeting; hardware upgrades & new game software from Merit Industries; Lou Miele “steps up & speaks out” on TouchTunes jukeboxes; Ed Velasquez on staff training; “Operators Interface” on key success factors; Gary Spencer on profiting with $1 coins; Larry Merritt on employee lawsuits; Len Pytlak on accounting terms; Star*Tech Journal looks at gun aiming systems & reset problems; Greg Reeves reviews Midway’s ‘Exotica’ and Namco’s ‘Rolling Extreme’; NDA’s Leslie Murphy says more league winners mean fatter cash boxes; VFI’s Dave Courington “Table Talk” on foosball promotions; tournament news; distributor open houses

The Sony Sim: Okay, they’re the king of the home video game industry right now…and with their PSX2 platform set to become key hardware for coin-op, they’re looming large in our industry as well. But, did you know Sony also makes a motion platform for video simulators? Neither did we

Lazer-Tron’s Latest: As their ArcadePlanet.com venture heats up, this No. Calif. factory continues offering nifty redemption novelties and low-cost new video software for their VRS platform as well

More On Doron! Yes, there is more on Doron’s menu as this respected East Coast maker of multi-seat ride platforms continues to offer new models & ridefilm attractions like “The Millenium Bug”

Also: IALEI Executive Director Carole Sjolander takes up the pen to author this month’s “Fun By” column on creative business thinking

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April 2000:

Cover: International Shoot-Out Soccer from Design Plus

Operator Poll: We faxed questionnaires to AMOA member operators about the state of the industry. Whilte operators are bullish about their own businesses, they are more bearish about the trade overall.

Smilin’ Sega: Sega’s U.S. coin-op team looks forward to a strong lineup of new games and aggressive use of new technology at many levels. A related feature shows how the Sega Service Center is upgrading its already-impressive Internet presence.

A Chat with Kevin: Namco America/Namco Cybertainment President Kevin Hayes concedes it’s a tough market right now, but he takes a relaxed view of the trade’s long-term prospects. Kevin also says the notion that video violence causes real-life violence is “nonsense” .

Also: coin-op website designers; Martin Dempsey’s IMA show report; a guest column attacks violent vidgame bans; new product from Quantum 3D, FanCard and American Sammy; Rick Parsons’ charity fundraiser; Randy Chilton on the art of negotiation; Larry Merritt on biased judges; Star*Tech Journal looks at steering problems on drivers; Greg Reeves reviews Sega & Namco games

Sunny Side Up! We spent a day or so on the route with Central California operator Gary Spencer, who specializes in rural tavern locations. He’s doing great business by applying the timeless principles we’ve all heard about.

Distributors & $1 Coins: Can distributors help encourage operators to use more dollar coins? We kicked this issue around with several top dealers and got some thoughtful replies.

Also: Thumbnail Sketch of Colorado’s Erik Christensen; Ed Velasquez on marketing music to locations; Gary Spencer on servicing far-flung sites; AMOA President Seninsky reviews new AMOA initiatives; “Frank Talk” about cutting expenses; A “Day in the Life” of Melody Music; Len Pytlak on business expansion issues; Leslie Murphy’s “Dart Scene” marketing advice; “Table Talk”; tournament news
Lauran’s Latest: If you combine the gameplay of Rocket Bowl and Wheel ‘M In, then add some extra pizzazz, you get Whirlwin, the new fast action redemption game from Bromley.

D&B in San Jose: Finally, coin-op’s West Coast capital gets a Dave & Busters to call its own. The big new store opened in March with a huge debut party and the RePlay camera was there.

Also: profile of the Magic Island FEC; Namco unveils WonderPark CEC plans; “Fun By” Linda Fernandez on rating your centers from the customer’s perspective; Amutec offers Bafco “TeleTubby” rides & sims; Zamperla’s transport & safari-themed rides; Cover Story on a soccer-themed novelty from Design Plus; Jerry Monday’s good-news review

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March 2000:

Cover: Rowe Execs Ring in Saturn Musicbox

ASI Showbook! The 2000 trade show season has already kicked off in Europe and Asia. Now it’s our turn. The U.S. industry heads to the Vegas Convention Center from March 29-31 for the ACME show, which partly overlaps the Western NAMA expo for the first time ever

$1 Coins: So What? The industry seems oddly indifferent to the new “Golden Dollar,” even though early indications are it’s a hit with the public. We review $1 coin equipment from leading currency-handling device makers; columnist Randy Chilton suggests how operators can best use the coin; and “Operators Interface” examines that same topic.

Goodbye, Bob Nims: The “quiet giant” of New Orleans was an AMOA past president and a highly influential, behind-the-scenes powerhouse. He was also a generous, caring community member.

Also: coin-op auction websites; Martin Dempsey’s ATEI show report; Elliott Portnoy on how operators can avoid violent vidgame bans; AAMA leaders on $1 coins; new product from Midway Games & Stern Pinball

Street Redemption: Can street operators use the redemption concept? “Yes,” says Australian tradevet Malcolm Steinberg of Leisure & Allied Industries. His guest essay discusses theory and practice, including some LAI games, that could help

Also: Cover Story on Rowe International; Thumbnail Sketch of Ray Shroyer; Ed Velasquez reports on music at the ATEI show; Gary Spencer on the tavern expo; AMOA President Seninsky on music licensing; Larry Merritt on location-jumping; A “Day in the Life” of B&K Enterprises; Len Pytlak on depreciation; Shop*Talk looks at new Merit c-tops; Greg Reeves reviews two new Sega “Naomi” games; Leslie Murphy gives gives “Dart Scene” marketing advice; profile of New Jersey’s NJAA operator association; tournament news

ArcadePlanet.com? That’s one of three new websites just launched by LazerTron. They’re still making traditional coin-op redemption games, but some of their video redemption concepts are also going online for home redemption play (players win points, not tickets; winners select prizes to be mailed). Can this blend help promote coin-op gameplay, too?

JumpZone! It’s the latest wild simulator around, and it actually dangles players in the air while they experience a virtual reality parachute drop. Illusion, Inc. is the manufacturer.

Also: new product from Benchmark, Skee-Ball, Smart, BayTek, MaxFlight and ICE; Devecka on music novelties; IALEI’s George Smith on competitiveness; Jerry Monday on

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February 2000:

Cover: Konami Aims for Smash Sequel

Outgunned: The issue of video game violence is back. This year, the industry may be outgunned, since 20 or more states are expected to consider a ban on shooting games

We’re In The Money! The new gold-colored $1 coins begin to circulate this month. But will the public accept them? Trade members are encouraged to promote the coin

Happy Birthday, Mrs. G! Lots of industry folks joined family and friends to salute Southern California jukebox operator Faith Guthrie at her 100th birthday party in December. She danced with about 25 guys (no kidding) and we have photos

Also: AMOA States Conference focuses on gambling; Cover Story on Konami; “Spotlight” on Rowe International; new product from Sega, Midway, Incredible Technologies, SNK & Dynamo; AAMA leaders see industry “healing”; ASI preview; Frank Seninsky calls for more R&D; Commercial Music’s post-AMOA open house; farewell to Frank Schulz

Pandora’s (Juke) Box: When ASCAP, SESAC & BMI told AMOA they wanted a new Jukebox License Agreement, they opened a Pandora’s Box of copyright law and hi-tech issues. The impact could go far beyond music, too

CD Copycats: Nobody admits it on the record, but jukebox factories, one-stops and operators alike whisper that it’s a growing practice: buying one CD and using a desktop CD-ROM burner to make multiple, illegal copies for your music route

OCMA’s 25th Anniversary: one of the best state operator associations in America proudly marked its Silver Anniversary in 1999. Here’s a report and photos from their big celebration banquet

Also: Ed Velasquez analyzes jukebox woes; Gary Spencer on operator financing; operators interface on their business outlook; AMOA President Seninsky on music licensing; “Thumbnail Sketch” of Courtesy Coin’s Phil Weezner; Randy Chilton addresses your business “legacy”; Len Pytlak on training expenses; Shop*Talk looks at pinball switches; Greg Reeves reviews new Midway & Sega titles; “Dart Scene” gives league planning tips; VNEA’s 20th anny is marked in “Table Talk”; tournament news

New Roc City: The Family Golf chain has opened a big new FEC in New York and it’s a doozy. From standard coin-op games to big attractions, two ice rinks & good eats, this one’s got it all

Power Station: How do you make a $1.5 million center look like a $3 million store? Steve Bennett and his team have done just that in their Irvine, Calif. FEC

Also: Coast to Coast makes cranes; Benchmark updates ‘Drill-O-Matic’; IAFEC VP Lorien Henry on education & planning; Jerry Monday on violence scapegoating; Tony Desiderio “steps up” to talk merchandising ideas

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January 2000:

Cover: SNK Joins Trade Toast to New Millennium

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)

this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, parts suppliers, trade associations, music one-stops…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

[Back to 2000 Main Menu]

1999 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December

December 1999:

Cover: Spawn-Capcom’s Cashing in on Comic Craze

Awesome in Atlanta: The 1999 IAAPA expo featured dozens of coin-op exhibitors among 500,000 square feet of booth space. Rowe, ICE, Midway, Benchmark, Sega, Namco and many others debuted new products at this whopper

Midway’s Net Plans: Their sister company Williams has stopped making pins, but Midway Manufacturing is stepping up to the Internet plate with an ambitious agenda for online tournaments, promotions and more

Goodbye 1999, Hello 2000! Our annual “Year in Review” encapsulates a super-busy, super-complex year that was jam-packed with industry news (some of it good). We also make several predictions in our “Forecast 2000” feature

Also: Williams exits pinbiz; a final visit to the WMS flipper factory; Cover Story on Capcom; new product from Sega; AAMA leaders talk technology & globalization; ATEI preview; Frank Seninsky’s prescription for the industry; Randy Chilton goes back to basics; Len Pytlak gives various advice; Shop*Talk on Atari repair & maintenance; Greg Reeves reviews new Sega & Konami titles; more distribs hold open houses; farewell to Stan Harris and Irwin Margold

Gambling-Style Redemption: Street operators have lost battles to legalize video poker in most states. But a growing number of state operator groups have quietly achieved legal status for gambling-style redemption gameplay

Also: Ed Velasquez on music downloading in this month’s “Jukebucks”; Gary Spencer’s holiday wish list; operators interface on a look ahead at 2000; AMOA President Seninsky updates group insurance plans; Table Talk on encouraging youth participation; Georgia operator association meets; a “day in the life” of Southern Games; tournament news

Never Stand Still: To an outsider it may appear that Dave & Buster’s sticks closely to their winning formula. Yet within that formula D&B seeks maximum variety, as their Reggie Moultrie explains

Amusement Soft: Early indications are super-positive for a new redemption counter and inventory software program out of Southern California. It comes preinstalled in a computer, too!

Also: IAFEC prexy Phil DeAngelo reviews the events of the past year; fun center operator Rod Marshall “steps up” to give video tournament tips

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November 1999:

Cover: Namco: Experienced, Strong & Still Havin’ Fun

The Combo Show: AMOA Expo and Fun Expo came up winners with their first-ever co-located show in Las Vegas. The September 23-25 event pulled in 8-9,000 people and generated upbeat moods (and some sales).

AMOA Awards: the surprise winner this year was Sega Pinball, which took home the “Most Played Pinball” honors for the first time ever. Their South Park got the nod from operators

Product Catalog: We present “brand new product only” from AMOA Expo in catalog format, with a sampling of Fun Expo’s new attractions as well. The combo show bowed nearly 20 new videos, three pins, dozens of new redemption titles and more

Also: Namco charts a path into the new millennium; AAMA’s Carrara & Fay review New York’s vidgame violence hearings; Rowe’s Rex Yannarell retires; ex-Atarians form Whatever Games; Randy Chilton on correcting mistakes; Len Pytlak on payroll headaches; Shop*Talk on testing transistors; Greg Reeves reviews Sega’s baseball game and Williams’ sci-fi pin; post-AMOA open houses; Ed Adlum’s latest “Millenium Memories”

Encore! Rowe/AMI bowed its “year 2000” Encore series of floor model CD jukeboxes at the AMOA Expo in Las Vegas. It offers an eye-catching 16 CD cover title display along with colorful new graphics

Jukebucks is the name of a new monthly jukebox column by operator Eddie Velasquez. This AMOA board member & experienced music op launches his first effort with a timely discussion of play pricing

A Day in the Life of Dan Sunday, whose Alpine Vending covers the Colorado Rockies. It’s a new, fun photo feature and we encourage operators to participate! Send photos and captions showing a day in the life of your route!

Also: “Spotlight” on Merit’s latest product and new website; new product and developments from NSM, Incredible Technologies, Arachnid & TouchTunes; AMOA prexy Seninsky backs three-show Spring Gala in 2001; Gary Spencer on those “other” tavern machines; operators interface on countertop content; NDA’s Leslie Murphy on advertising tactics

The Big One: Even AMOA President Seninsky admits that this month’s IAAPA is now “the” fall show. AAMA has a “group exhibitor” booth and plenty of coin-op factories are taking their own booths as well. We have show logistics, exhibitor info, seminar list and more

Good Advice: redemption expert Sue Monday offers some pithy and valuable advice on buying merchandise for cranes and fun centers. The lady knows whereof she speaks!

Dead or Just Resting? IAFEC treasurer Harold Skripsky poses that stark question about FECs as he pens a guest column under our “Fun By…” banner. This seasoned pro is realistic about the challenges but offers some commonsense solutions (hint: back to basics!)

Also: Jerry Monday on prospects for industry recovery; new products from ICE and S&B Toys

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October 1999:

Cover: AMOA’s New President (Frank Seninsky) has reason to celebrate!

Last Man Standing: Now the industry is down to two pinball factories, only one of which — Gary Stern’s Sega Pinball Inc. — still makes traditional pins. “I will be the last man standing in the pinball market,” Gary declares

Frank Talk: Frank Seninsky became AMOA President at the just-ended Expo. He’s also marking his 30th anny in the trade this year and celebrating his 50th birthday this month. Our special salute includes an interview, profiles of his company Alpha-Omega and his two partners, and more

Also: previews of the IAAPA and ATEI shows; new product from Sega, Tecmo and Capcom; AAMA’s Carrara and Fay on the future of trade shows; Angel Studios offers hi-tech expertise; Randy Chilton surveys the home vidgame market; Len Pytlak on yearend tax planning; Shop*Talk troubleshoots Deltronics; Greg Reeves reviews Rush 2049 & Savage Quest; Brad Brown “steps up” on video game violence; Ed Adlum’s latest “Millenium Memories”

Comets & Fireballs: Celestial fireworks abound at Rock-Ola these days. Prexy Glenn Streeter (see picture) bowed new products at AMOA Expo and sees a brighter future for coin-op music

TouchTunes Hits 1000: They said it couldn’t be done, but just over a year after the Canadian factory rolled out its first production unit, the 1,000th Genesis downloading juke was installed in a Wisconsin bar last month

Also: AMOA offers $2,000 Coupon Book to members; Ecast bows a new downloading jukebox and Internet kiosk; Gary Spencer on finding new locations; operators interface on using computers; Thumbnail Sketch of Montana op Chris Warren
The Big Picture: It’s actually a “mixed picture.” Yes, Sony, Disney, Sega, Dave & Busters, Wal-Mart and Carmike Cinemas keep getting bigger, but they’ve had their ups and downs, too

FEC Digest: a roundup of simulator news includes new products and new placements around the world for this still-growing product class

Also: IAFEC prexy Phil DeAngelo on trade shows; Jerry Monday on feasibility studies

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September 1999:

Cover: Lush Lazer-Tron Lineup on Board Expo Express

Double Your Fun: the amusement & music show takes place as a joint venture with the FEC show as AMOA and Fun Expo team up for a 1,000-plus-booth extravaganza. We have floor plans, exhibitor lists, seminar and event schedules, and more

Meet the Prez: You may think you know incoming AMOA prexy Frank Seninsky, but this profile could surprise you. Did you know next month he’s turning 50 — and celebrating his 30th anniversary in the biz? Learn Frank’s plans for

Next: Sega.com: Japan’s high-profile vidgame factory launches its new home video console this month, but what about coin-op? Sega’s chairman vows to release 30 new "Naomi" titles in a year and to take the U.S. subsid public

Also: new product from Midway, Sega Pinball, Namco, Konami, Capcom, Incredible Technologies, JVL, American Sammy, Interactive Light, Coastal Amusements, Quantum 3D; "spotlight" on ICE; Merit’s “Cash back” financing; Frank Seninsky advises a financial “checkup”; Randy Chilton’s game buying advice; Len Pytlak on estimating taxes; Shop*Talk on quality assurance; Greg Reeves reviews new titles; Eddie Adlum’s nostalgic look at yesteryear’s tradeshows; an introduction to our website; Steve Belmonte “steps up” to talk promotion

Another Nationwide Route: But this one has a twist — it focuses on kiddie rides. SunBelt’s Dave Patterson & former Sega prexy Tom Petit team up with a new venture that’s growing fast

Jukebox License Office: Jukebox License Office chief Isabel Landeo surveys the jukebox licensing scene. What is the JLO’s definition of a jukebox? What about downloading? What about a new agreement with AMOA? We ask the tough questions

Downloading Seminar: A recent trade show in Brazil (Salex) featured experts from the jukebox and telecommunications industries in a seminar on the future of music. Satellites, the Internet, cable delivery and DVD are all on the table

Also: AMOA-NDA’s Leslie Murphy debuts her new darts column; Table Talk on pool from Scott Nenninger; Gary Spencer on your most important purchase; AMOA President Stansfield reviews a successful year; operators “interface” on getting new locations; a Thumbnail Sketch of Indiana operator Jeff Collins; Rowe bill changer retrofits; tournament news

Back to Basics: Although Bay Tek has expanded its product line beyond rolldown games in recent years, they’re not neglecting their bread & butter. Two new rolldowns feature egg and fireman themes

New, Better Quik Tik: Steve Shoemaker’s paper ticket vender now contains fewer moving parts. There’s also an adapter kit for Deltronic Labs dispensers and a super-sensitive scale

Also: IAFEC’s executive educational program; Jerry Monday on redemption & joint ventures; IAFEC’s Phil DeAngelo looks ahead to Fun Expo; HMS Monaco’s Steve Schulman on millennium-themed merchandise

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August 1999:

Cover: Faith Guthrie

Atari Shakeup: Owner Midway Games has consolidated both firms, bringing Atari inside the Midway sales/marketing umbrella. Some industry vets have taken their leave, but the new team was brimming with determination, enthusiasm & ambitious plans at the first Midway-Atari combo distributor meeting

Meet Mrs. G: 99-year-old operator Faith Guthrie graces our cover this month and the Cover Story interview inside will amaze you. She’s sharp as a tack and ambitious as L.A.’s largest jukebox operator would have to be. And she still drives herself to work every day

Memory Lane: You can trace coin-op’s mechanical roots back to the 1880s and ’90s, but the industry’s organizational roots (including the distributor chain) were really planted in the 1930s and ’40s. Publisher Ed Adlum offers a breezy exercise in prewar nostalgia

Also: AAMA’s Baltic trade mission; “Spotlight” on Konami’s musical lineup; AMOA Expo preview; Irwin Knigin passes on; Len Pytlak’s retirement tips; Shop*Talk troubleshoots pinball; Greg Reeves reviews new titles; Betson’s annual golf fundraiser; “Stepping Up” to the Internet for small and medium sized businesses

T.D. Rowe: With over 18,000 machines on location in 20 states, operator Terry Davis runs the largest U.S. street route from the T.D. Rowe headquarters in Dallas and 15 branch offices. A former CPA and oilman, Terry combines financial discipline with wildcat ambition

Happy 25th, OCMA: The Ohio Coin Machine Assn. marks its silver anniversary this month. Their presidents recall highlights of a proud history

MOMA Meets: Those Minnesota tradesters always manage to combine work & play in their annual summer convention & “get-together.” This year was no exception as you’ll see in our upbeat story

Also: Frank Seninsky on old-fashioned operating; Randy Chilton spends a day with a route tech; Gary Spencer flips for pinball; operators interface on the value of state associations; AMOA President Stansfield on their summit with AAMA; “Ernie’s Tourney” from Valley; more tournament news

Broadway City: Dick Simon and daughter Gillian staged the grand opening of their new Times Square FEC, Broadway City, this summer. It’s a huge, handsome place themed around New York’s neighborhoods and offering food plus the latest coin-op fun

Also: Fun Expo preview; Jerry Monday reveals FEC lessons; a look at the recent Bowling show in Florida

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July 1999:

Cover: Sega’s new F355 simulator is driven by the Naomi board

Cooling Trend: Congress and the states have backed off from the anti-violence legislation which loomed so large after the April 20 massacre in Colorado. But experts say we’ve only won a temporary reprieve; this issue will definitely return strongly this fall

Meet the Prez: AAMA President Ron Carrara grew up in an operator’s family, worked on the route as he went through school, then worked for distribution for many years before becoming a top factory exec. His affability and openness make him a good rallying point in politically strained times for the biz

Switch Hitter: Midway has come up with a clever update for old Merit boards. You can now turn them into Midway’s Touchmaster 7000 game! Financing is available, too

Also: Sega reports big losses; Eric Brashear “steps up” to defend video; new product from Namco & Cashcode; “spotlight” on ICE; Frank Seninsky scouts new opportunity; Randy Chilton touts the Notre Dame seminars; Len Pytlak on “profits without cash”; Shop*Talk provides capacitor reference charts; Greg Reeves reviews new titles; more distribs hold open houses

Front & Center: Despite ups and downs, the jukebox is still mainstay of the street operating business. Operators say collections are fine, but factories admit sales have dropped sharply in recent years

Online Revolution: Ever heard of “MP3”? This and other methods of music downloading are turning the overall music biz upside down & inside out. Next comes satellites, DVD-Audio

VNEA 1999: Our publisher went to Vegas for the latest edition of this, the grandfatherof all pool tourneys. He found a healthy, thriving, vigorous, confident, operator-run organization (& happy players

Also: Jack Ewer integrates jukes with other systems; Gary Spencer’s thoughts on jukeboxes; Manley Lawson “steps up” to discuss music; operators interface on the Jukebox License Agreement; new CD compilation sources; AMOA President Stansfield on video content; Thumbnail Sketch of AMOA government relations chairman Rich Holley; tournament news

Empires Expand: Sony, Disney, Sega GameWorks and Dave & Busters all opened new facilities in June. The mega-chains just keep getting bigger and expanding their market share

Fun Expo Update: Great seminars have long been Fun Expo’s backbone and they’re planning the best lineup of educational sessions yet for this September’s Las Vegas outing

GameWorks Chicago: Their new “grownup-friendly” philosophy was front & center as GameWorks opened a new store. That includes a big, handsome, centrally located bar & adult-oriented menu

Also: MaxFlight’s roller coaster simulator proves popular; IAFEC prexy Phil DeAngelo and Jerry Monday on vidgame violence

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June 1999:

Cover: Y2K and Route Management Software

Video Under Fire: Our extensive post-Littleton coverage includes a political and legal report on anti-video laws; “pro and con” essays on games’ role in real-life violence; responses from operators both locally and nationally; in-house editorials; and views from our columnists

AAMA’s New Chief: Ron Carrara, sales VP at Lazer-Tron, was elected to a one-year term as president of AAMA during the association’s mid-May board meeting. He’s recently served as chairman of their foreign business development committee

The Massive E3 Show: Drawing nearly triple the attendance of an IAAPA, and big enough to fit an entire ASI or AMOA Show into the Sega booth alone, this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo testified to a vibrant $6.5 billion home vidgame biz

Also: Cover Story special section on Y2K issues and industry-specific computer software; new games from Konami, Namco, ICE and Atari; “spotlight” on Capcom’s lastest “Street Fighter” entry; Len Pytlak on employee motivation; Shop*Talk offers a resistance reference chart; Greg Reeves reviews new titles; more distribs hold open houses

Operators USA: with some 12,000 machines in the field and over 40 regional offices, American Coin Merchandisers (aka Sugarloaf Creations) is the most prominent nationwide amusement op

Hail to the Chief: AMOA President Jim Stansfield said ops may find violent videos less attractive purchases and factories may stop making them in the wake of the Colorado massacre

Street Smarts: tavern operator Gary Spencer holds forth on the subject of countertops this month. He likes ’em and has some useful suggestions on how to make them even more profitable
Success Story: The Super Centre FEC in Philadelphia is a big place with big competition, but they’re providing a positive alternative for lower-income kids in the neighborhood

Green Light: simulators are getting increased exposure with Thomson’s recent promotional tie-ins and Showscan’s coin-op themes including “Street Fighter 2: The Ride”

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May 1999:

Cover: The Coastal Group … Arcade/Redemption Special Issue

Growth Industry: In a historic turnaround, pro-gambling ballot measures and political candidates are winning nearly every voter referendum and election in sight, notes Professor I. Nelson Rose. Of course, that means growing competition for coin-op amusements

Sweet Diversity: The “Coastal Group” now includes redemption, hi-strikers and countertop videos, which makes them a strong presence for parks, arcades and street locations. The acquisition and merger strategy continues, as you’ll read in our Cover Story

Also: New product from Nova and Ferris; AAMA’s Rudowicz and Fay recount lobbying victories; Len Pytlak on auto mileage tax deductions; Star*Tech Journal gives a battery reference chart; Greg Reeves reviews new Midway and Capcom titles; and a RePlay photo caption contest

Vending Roundup: Western NAMA conventioneers see the state of the art in vending (especially in cold drink dispensers) at spacious, breezy show in Anaheim’s Convention Center

MOMA’s 50th! The Minnesota Operators of Music & Amusements’ 50th anniversary themes our “Thumbnail Sketch” of association exec director Hy Sandler

Also: AMOA President Stansfield’s association status report; Gary Spencer on how to increase pool earnings; new product by JVL and Midway; Randy Chilton’s tips for negotiating with location owners; tournament news

FECs Are Still Growing: That’s the bottom line of IAFEC’s just-released “1998-99 Industry Survey.” Birthday parties are still the biggest moneymaker; VR and hi-tech top the FEC market’s buying list. We’ve got IAFEC association news, too

GameWorks Grows Up: They’ve dropped plans to build a new LBE every six weeks and increased adult appeal with better food and bigger, more prominent bars in their locations. Flashship store number 10 opens this month near Chicago; they’ve also got 10 smaller “GameWorks Studios” up and running

New Concept in CECs: The L.A.-based Children’s Time Machine is a promising new children’s entertainment center that’s going all-out to make sure parents have fun, too. They hope to expand the first store into a fullblown chain

Also: our annual “FEC Digest”; consultant Randy White analyzes what works (and what doesn’t) in fun center design; HMS Monaco’s Steve Schulman reveals this year’s hot prizes; new product from LazerTron, Fun Merchants (see the Spotlight Feature), Benchmark, Smart, Bay Tek, Sammy USA and Carousel; ITLA’s laser tag news roundup; Jerry Monday examines pros and cons of direct sales; IAFEC prexy Phil DeAngelo on referrals; Frank Seninsky’s on redemption and FEC operating; arcade operators interface on today’s typical players

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April 1999:

Cover: On location with TouchTunes

Sunshine in Vegas: exhibitors across the board said they wrote good orders at the 1999 edition of the Amusement Showcase International. Operator attendance at the event remained stable, reported show sponsor AAMA. Our show coverage includes politics, product, parties, charity events and more

Tax Time! Accounting expert Mark Battersby says industry members may have overlooked some helpful tax information. With all the changes in the law, he’s may have some savings for you

New Dealership: Orange County Games held its grand opening in late February, drawing a big crowd of California operators to a new facility that reps many of the industry’s key product lines

Also: Arcade PC at the Game Developers Conference; AAMA issues new game ratings; new product from Sega, Konami, Traffic Jam and Rock-Ola; AAMA President Rudowicz on pending vidgame bans; Frank Seninsky’s AMOA memories; Randy Chilton’s career advice; Len Pytlak on tax filing options; Star*Tech Journal on monitor chassis fixes; Greg Reeves reviews new titles; more distribs hold open houses; Bob Sokol unearths “the last new Ms. Pac-Man.”

To the ‘MAXX’: Merit’s latest multi-game countertop shows why they are AAMA’s Manufacturer of the Year for the second year in a row. Read about their new technology and personnel changes at this factory in this month’s Spotlight Special

Buying Plans? Many operators say they’re basically in a “holding pattern” for new purchases this spring, except for touchscreen c-tops and (of course) those golf videos

Also: AMOA President Stansfield at home & abroad; Gary Spencer on getting monthly minimums from your locations; a “thumbnail sketch” of Virginia operator Charles Rowland

Light Show! All American SportPark, the new urban entertaiment center in Vegas, features state of the art lighting and theming to increase its appeal.

Fightertown Upgrades: FighterTown Upgrades: we visited their Pasadena, Calif., site to see the latest additions and improvements to this realistic flight simulation center

Also: IAFEC prexy Phil DeAngelo’s on the key to finding winning team members

[Back to 1999 Main Menu]

March 1999:

Cover: Midway Pops Innovative Lineup/ ASI Las Vegas Show Special

Showcase in Vegas: Look for a healthy ASI Show this month thanks to co-op deals with a gambling expo and support from AMOA and the the U.S. Commerce Dept. Our show coverage includes logistics, show hours, seminar and event schedules, exhibit floorplan, and more (photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority)

Anatomy of a Deal: What’s the story behind the agreement to hold this year’s AMOA Expo and Fun Expo side by side? Industry pressure and a leap of faith combined to bring out a result applauded by all

Coastal Buys Micro: Merger mania continues merrily along. Micro Mfg.’s touchscreen countertop line comes under the Coastal Amusements umbrella. This is Coastal’s second recent acquisition and they’re looking for more

Also: JLO chief talks jukebox stats in “Stepping Up”; AAMA chiefs predict ASI success; London’s ATEI Show breaks records; new products from Atari, Capcom, Interactive Light, Namco, NSM & Sega; trade photog Don Marshall; Frank Seninsky on global trade cooperation

Street Smarts! California tavern operator Gary Spencer joins our roster of monthly columnists this month. He’s a first-generation operator who is professional, yet very down-to-earth. You’ll enjoy meeting him

Sugarloaf Buying Spree: One of America’s coast-to-coast street operating firms is in an aggressive buying mode. They doubled their size in 1998; here’s a review of what they bought and how much they paid

Also: AMOA President Stansfield recaps the Fun Expo deal; Randy Chilton on truckstops; operators interface on tax & license fees; Star*Tech Journal updates a pinball novelty; Greg Reeves reviews new titles; Lynn Pytlak on succession plans; tournament news

Sim City! The latest generation of simulators is making a bid for fun center interest with smaller, cheaper units and bigger, better software libraries. Steve White reviews the field

Shoemaker Strikes Again! Arcade owner and factory chief Steve Shoemaker (Wedges/ Ledges, Redondo Beach, Calif.) has a new game, a revolutionary new ticket dispenser and a new company to create paper tickets

Amusement Solutions: This company offers a new computer software program that ties all your other programs into a single neat, tidy package. Sounds like a winner to us

Also: IAFEC prexy Phil DeAngelo’s “ten commandments”; Thomson simulator update; new products from Vivid Group & Holoplex; Jerry Monday’s arcade musings; Play by Play update

[Back to 1999 Main Menu]

February 1999:

Cover: Looking Good! Rock-Ola’s New 8000 Series CD Jukeboxes

Midway’s Chief: Midway CEO Neil Nicastro sees an upbeat future for coin-op games in this interview reprinted from the pages of Centaur Publication’s British coin-op trade journal

AAMA On The Record: this month we launch a monthly interview with AAMA’s Mike Rudowicz & Exec Director Bob Fay. They discuss the ASI Show, cooperation with AMOA & more

DBA Update: the new $20 bills are here! Tom Happ, VP of Happ Controls, tells you how to update your bill acceptors (those which can be updated, that is)

Also: big changes at NSM & EMT; Merit’s looking for acquisitions; AAMA at the China show; new games from Capcom, Interactive Light, Konami, Midway and SNK; Martin Dempsey reviews Germany’s IMA Show; Frank Seninsky says ops are “treading water”; Lynn Pytlak on record retention; Star*Tech Journal on switches; Greg Reeves reviews new titles; open houses at several distributors

Hit Show! Taverns love coin-op equipment more than ever. That was the message at the 1999 Nightclub & Bar Show, where dozens of coin-op factories displayed their goods

Affairs of State: AMOA’s Randy Flowe chaired this year’s conference of state leaders. For street operators, “Topic A” remains legal gambling: either getting it, keeping it or fighting it

Tim Norberg: we interviewed the third-generation owner-operator of that Midwest mega-route, C&N Sales. A very optimisic Tim told us that promotion is the name of the game today

Also: AMOA President Stansfield on AMOA’s new budget; Randy Chilton on Ken Anderson’s early days; operators “interface” on bar locations; Worlds of Games new product; tournament highlights

Dive! Dive! Exciting submarine action comes from Meltec’s new novelty, whose real 2-mirror periscope is a superfun player interface

School Days: AMOA’s successful Notre Dame education program now has a counterpart at IAFEC. They’ve also got a new FEC sales and marketing handbook

Great Debate: Debit cards were perhaps the most enlightening topic at an IAAPA seminar given by arcade pros Michael Getlan & Frank Seninsky. Our Steve White moderated the event

Also: IAFEC prexy Phil DeAngelo’s 10 commandments; an arcade operator “Steps Up” to exit coinbiz

[Back to 1999 Main Menu]

January 1999:

Cover: ICE Strikes Again with 5 New Games for 1999

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)

this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, parts suppliers, trade associations, music one-stops…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

[Back to 1999 Main Menu]

1998 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December

December 1998

Cover: Sega Pinball — “South Park” Cable Pheonom Themes Sega Pin

Big Show in “Big D”: Tons of coin-op distributors & manufacturers participated in the big daddy of trade expos ­­ the International Assn. of Amusement Parks & Attractions’ annual event. Simulators? Of course, but also street vids, jukeboxes, novelties & table games were strong

Poker Power: The aroused wrath of South Carolina video poker operators played a key role in the defeat of incumbent Republican Gov. Jim Beasley, a poker foe. The new governor favors more taxes and regulations on pokers

Year in Review: After a sixth straight year of consolidation, the industry seems to be coming to terms with being smaller and tighter. Political harmony between the AMOA and AAMA associations was a major highlight; and the future seems sure to offer more legal battles over video content. In the following “Interface” feature, operators recount the year’s highs and lows

Also: new or updated product from Atari, Sega, Lazer-Tron, Midwest Amusements and Traffic Jam Productions; IDSA reports on home video; Eastern Europe market report; Frank Seninsky touts legal preparedness; Randy Chilton defends smaller trade shows; Len Pytlak reviews new tax laws; Star*Tech Journal finishes a 2-part column; Greg Reeves reviews new titles; plenty of open houses at distributors

Price Tags: “How much is my route worth, if I want to sell it today?” Some very experienced operators, mostly AMOA past presidents, addressed that and related issues in this first-ever seminar which was the most popular educational event at the association’s Dallas show

Do Your Homework: The buy-sell theme for street routes is picked up & amplified by Marc Rosset, a professional vending route broker who’s expanding into the music & games biz. In this guest essay & debut column, Marc reviews some basics of getting your route ready to sell.

TouchTunes Update: The Canadian jukebox company should have product on site from coast to coast as you read this. They’re planning to ramp up production to hundreds per month by spring. Oh, and beyond coin-op they also think they can sell their technology to hotels and airlines

Also: AMOA President Stansfield on a possible Fun Expo merger; tournament highlights

Sony’s LBE: Now Sony is getting into the act with its own location based entertainment site. Metreon opens next year in San Francisco. It will include restaurants, shopping, movies, theme park and arcade type attractions

Movie Moola: Fun centers and movie theaters have always been a natural combination, but now the multiplexes are getting bigger and so is the gameroom (or FEC) component. Leading national theater chains are becoming their own operators, too.

Also: New products from Seidel, G.L. Technology & Benchmark; IAFEC prexy Phil DeAngelo’s FEC safety advice; Harold Skripsky “steps up” to discuss FEC labor management; Nascar Motor Speedway attraction opens in SoCal; Taiwan’s Spaceport 9 takes theming to the max

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November 1998

Cover: Konami — Reelin’ & Rockin’ with Popular Fishing Game

The Biggie: Many coin-op factories will exhibit at the Nov. 18-21 IAAPA expo and convention in Dallas. The list includes both novelty & vidgame makers with a number of companies planning new product intros – games not already shown at AMOA or Fun Expo. Check out our special IAAPA section inside this issue for an overview, seminar lineup and complete exhibitor listings

Vidgame Ratings: Operators are urged to support the industry’s voluntary rating system for video games to alert parents to content. Use this chart to see which stickers go on which games

Sammy Branches Out: Supporting the continued success of their smash hit novelty vender Sports Arena, American Sammy is opening a merchandise supply division to help operators maximize earnings from this popular unit

Fall Buying Guide: We assembled this useful catalog of new equipment which debuted or had its first national trade show outing at either the AMOA Expo or Fun Expo. A convenient roadmap to the latest and greatest goods on today’s market

Also: Warehouse of Vending & Games buys Colorado GamEx; new product from Elo TouchSystems, Midway and Namco; Sega Pinball’s modem tourney plans; CashCode validator study; Quantum3D upgrades ArcadePC platform; Gene Winstead reports on using dollar coins like tokens; Walter Day’s latest player promo; Frank Seninsky on AMOA member benefits; Lynn Pytlak on financial ratios; Star*Tech Journal on saving switchers; Greg Reeves reviews new sequels from Atari and Namco

Magic Seven: Rowe AMi bowed seven – count ’em, seven – new jukebox models and variations at the recent AMOA Expo. Zippy floor models include Encore and Starburst; wallboxes include Starburst and Sunrise (available with or without visible CD mechanism)

Bigger Than Texas: Houston-based TD-Rowe Corporation – a national operator of vending, payphones and amusements – plans to double its size over the next five years. They’re also putting the finishing touches on a financial plan to provide $50 million of capital for this expansion

Also: new products from Incredible Technologies & NSM; TouchTunes rolls out production models; AMOA prexy Jim Stansfield reviews Expo ’98; Bulldog’s street redemption program; open houses at Mountain Coin, Betson West, C.A. Robinson and State Sales (and more on tap for next month, too)

Faithful Barometer: The FEC biz has had its ups and downs, and the Fun Expo show – which caters to FECs – has faithfully followed that market’s trend lines. Exhibitors saw fewer (but high-quality) visitors at this year’s mid-October Orlando event

Water Sports: Stricor has placed its widescreen motion platform, now equipped with a nifty speedboat racing game, in some top arcades around the USA and site owners report fine earnings. The factory says they’ve taken ride simulators to a new level.

Also: Sega’s new driving game at IAAPA; Jerry Monday on values and professionalism; conclusion of 4th Wave’s report on DisneyQuest

[Back to 1998 Main Menu]

October 1998

Cover: Bay Tek — Busy Gamesmith Branches Out!

The New AMOA: the Amusement & Music Operators of America held its 50th anniversary convention and tradeshow in Nashville mid-September. Fine new product and superb strides toward industry unity with AAMA highlighted the event. We cover the mood, the numbers, the politics, the equipment, the parties and chat with new prexy Jim Stansfield.

Major Merger: What’s the industry coming to these days? Fewer companies controlling larger market share. The two leading pool manufacturers have announced plans to merge their table divisions; new firm will be called “Valley-Dynamo LLP”

Also: AAMA in Vietnam; IAAPA show preview; new product from Merit, Midway & Atari; Bay Tek branches out in our Cover Story; Frank Seninsky’s strategic advice for ops; Jerry Monday on walking the trade show floor; Lynn Pytlak on financial ratios; Star*Tech Journal on electronic coin mechs; Gregg Reeves reviews Sega, SNK & Capcom games

Fun Expo ’98 goes back to that kiddie paradise (Orlando, Fla.) for its second show under the ownership of Reed Exhibition Co. We preview the show and interview IAFEC’s new president, along with providing many IAFEC updates and history items

Randy White is one of America’s most respected fun center consultants. He enjoys a reputation for excellent feasibility studies and topnotch design work. In a chat with our Doug King, Randy shared his thoughts on the FEC biz, theming, and future trends in fun centers

DisneyQuest! We’re proudly publishing an in-depth review of Disney’s new venture written by industry analyst Dr. John Latta and his colleagues at 4th Wave, Inc. Their verdict: a bold experiment (part 2 follows next month)

Also: Harold Skripsky’s IAFEC “report card”; thumbnail sketch of FEC operator Ron Stiller; Randy Chilton on bowling center arcades; Coney Island Emporium wins “Thea” award

Love Those Countertops! the new favorite staple of the tavern location still has loads of potential in terms of technological evolution, product innovation and market penetration. Trade pros look at this flourishing phenomenon

VNEA: strategies and philosophies are discussed during the 10th annual gathering of the charter holders of this incredible tournament association

Also: tournament highlights from around the country

[Back to 1998 Main Menu]

September 1998

Cover: Benchmark Games, Inc. — Self-Redeeming Attraction has Benchmark Drilling for Gold!

Golden Anniversary Expo: This month the Amusement & Music Operators Assn. converge on Nashville for a 50th anniversary party as well as their traditional convention and tradeshow. We have a show overview, a profile of Nashville, seminar and exhibit schedules, booth floor map and more including interviews with both the new and exiting AMOA presidents, plus anniversary musings by association officers, trade leaders and rank & file operators

Violent Opposition: key members of the U.S. Senate strongly praised the trade this summer for our voluntary rating system to alert parents to vidgame content. Federal regulation now seems unlikely, assuming we get fairly full compliance. But, serious threats remain

All Systems Go! trade writer Kevin Williams turns his keen eye to the latest vidgame system platforms. Question: is Sega’s new “Naomi” system a rival to the Arcade PC? Learn the answer to this and other fascinating questions in a special guest essay

Also: new product from Atari, Sega, LazerTron & Midway; Sega GameWorks sells coin-op division; SNK’s Mexico PR smash; Betson’s charity golf event; an interview with Bondeal’s Fred Milner; the Imonex coin acceptor; Walter Day’s latest promo; Frank Seninsky & Randy Chilton columns on AMOA’s anny; Benchmark’s story of redemption product & more in our Cover Story; Len Pytlak on accounting systems; Star*Tech Journal on steering & accelerator fixes; Greg Reeves reviews new Capcom & Atari titles

True Blue Rock-Ola! SoCal factory says production versions of its new floor model (see photo), in the trademark bright blue cabinet, has some “intriguing” upgrades inside and out!

Leagues Today: Is there anything new to say about leagues? Yes, and our Steve White says it in his thoughtful way. Learn about the latest trends, challenges and opportunities

Ohio Ops Meet! Ohio operators continue to have one of the nation’s best organized, most professional and activist state operator associations. They proved it again when (in an industry first) two gubernatorial candidates addressed their latest convention

Also: Venture updates a classic pool and shuffleboard line; thumbnail sketch of Tennessee & Florida operator Marion Paul; Todd Erickson upgrades Blitz upright cabinets; tournament highlights

Ready, Set, Learn! Fun Expo based its initial appeal on a strong seminar lineup, and the ’98 show will continue that tradition. Here’s a glance at what’s lined up for the October show

Peak Experience: IAFEC, the International Assn. of FECs, signed a deal to keep their show at Fun Expo for the next decade. They get a slice of the profits, too. (See photo of their summit meeting.)

Thomson Muscles Up: you’ve been hearing more about Thomson simulators, and you’ll be hearing even more in future times. They’ve got new products, new rides, & a new U.S. rep

Also: Lazer Runner updates its laser tag product and services; Jerry Monday on FECs and vidgame charts; George McAuliffe’s medley of summertime musings

[Back to 1998 Main Menu]

August 1998

Cover: Dynamo Celebrates Silver Anniversary

Dynamic! Bill Rickett started as a part-time operator, graduated to building soccer tables in his garage & eventually built the Texas factory now marking its Silver Anniversary…read about it in this month’s cover story.

AMOA Show Preview: Nashville was the site of one of AMOA’s most successful expos back in 1992. Next month the national operator association returns to the Country Music Capital of the World and oh, yes, they’re celebrating a Golden Anniversary!

SNK Plays Host: some key U.S. distribs were treated to a tour of SNK’s factory in Japan this summer. Some say the maker is ready to reclaim its title as “king of system cabinets”

Also: a drum-playing music novelty game; NSM & distribs visits France for the World Cup; news from Atlas in Cincinatti; new games from Sega Pinball, Atari and Opus Entertainment; Frank Seninsky on the operator’s changing role; Lynn Pytlak on buy sell agreements; Star*Tech Journal on crimps & fuses; Greg Reeves reviews new Sega & Capcom; Totem’s snazzy gumball vender

Are You “Dart Smart”? our Steve White surveys the electronic dart scene. Ops, distribs and factory guys alike say it remains a valuable staple on the national street route

Missouri Meet: operators in the “Show Me State” held their second-ever state convention and trade show. AMOA President Don Hesch was one of those who “showed” up

Banker Turns Operator: Texas operator Windell Cannon took an unusual areer path into the industry; he was originally a banker! He says his financial know-how helps him keep the coins and dollars in balance. He also recounts his famous battle with the IRS (which he won)

Also: AMOA’s Don Hesch updates the federal tobacco picture; Minnesota operators have a get-together dinner; street operators interface on darts; Randy Chilton on the emotional impact of selling your route; Valley’s “Ernie” is back for promo chores; State Sales hosts pinball promo event

Combat Ready: a SoCal computer R&D firm called Holoplex has entered the vidgame biz with “Combatica,” an arena-type presentation system for video games. They install current hits (much like a universal cabinet); unit’s succeeding in top arcades

Disney, Again: Baltimore, Md., was the site for Disney’s own location-based entertainment concept, ESPN Zone. It opened in July with tons of hoopla to generally positive reviews

D&B, Again: store number 13 for the Dave & Buster’s chain opened in Irvine, Calif., last week & our Ingrid Adlum was there. Her one-word review? “Fabulous.”

Also: IAFEC’s Harold Skripsky on improving service; Jerry Monday surveys the news of this summerSticker City: The industry has made good progress in dealing with government concerns about violence in video games. But we’re not out of the woods yet. Everybody has to do their part. See Doug King’s interview of Elliott Portnoy

[Back to 1998 Main Menu]

July 1998

Cover: Incredible Technologies’ Golden Tee ’98 Drives for Green!

Sticker City: The industry has made good progress in dealing with government concerns about violence in video games. But we’re not out of the woods yet. Everybody has to do their part. See Doug King’s interview of Elliott Portnoy

WaveNet Launch: What do you call a network that links 50 Atari driving games in California via ISDN phone lines, allowing remote interactive, realtime play? Midway’s Wavenet!

Calling Dr. Latta: top level trade members make the Wave Report required reading for hi-tech news & views. It’s the brainchild of former defense industry analyst John Latta, a man with provocative views (but he can back them up with tons o’ research)

Also: Euromat talks Eurocoin; fishy fun from Konami; Quake Arcade ships out; Namco’s variety pack; Fun Merchants offers finance deal; Lynn Pytlak on small biz tax issues; a guest essay on pinball care & maintenance; Star*Tech Journal on wire splices; Greg Reeves reviews two gun games; distributor open houses: Music-Vend, Betson

VNEA ’98: There’s no biz like show biz, as the Valley National 8-Ball League proves year after year. The granddaddy of coin-op national tournaments keeps rollin’ along

Rock-Ola teamed with Harley-Davidson for this new jukebox (see photo)

The 13th Bull: Arachnid ran their 13th annual “BullShooter Championship” national playoffs over the Memorial Day weekend. It was another big, classy, dart-promoting event

Tavern Videos? they’re actually flourishing, according to the operators we spoke to for this month’s “Operator Interface.” C-tops and that golf game on our cover got repeated mentions

Also: AMOA’s Don Hesch on industry consolidation; the Medalist dart tourney; new cocktail vidgame from CES; Frank Seninsky on mega-street routes; Vending Connection talks promos; thumbnail sketch of Bruce Bauldridge; Randy Chilton on “selling out to the man”

The Wizard: New Orleans Novelty is not only a distributor, it’s also a creative arcade operation thanks largely to the inspired touch of Jack Boasberg (see picture of one of his locations). He reveals a few of his philosophies

Galactic Importance: Could be, if the idea behind this new Aussie fun center catches on. Also see sidebar on their novel idea for a themed bar with integrated amusement machines

Big Attractions! Jerry Monday says they make big money; he shares some of the current operating approach gleaned from leading French trade members

[Back to 1998 Main Menu]

June 1998

Cover: Hit Parade: Sega Execs & Designers Look to the Future

Atlas Moves Out…out to the suburbs, that is. After years in a gritty downtown location, Jerry Marcus & Eddie Pellegrini have a new facility (and room to grow)

Namco Meetings! Namco Meetings! From the sunny Dominican Republic, where distribs gathered with sales & marketing execs, to the Windy City environs where factory reps briefed arcade managers, Namco had a busy month. Two stories

Two Cheers for Arcade PC: mega-arcade operator Michael Getlan visited the Computer Game Developers Conference (Long Beach, Calif.) in early May. He was “underwhelmed” by the progress of melding the PC and arcade

Also: new product from Atari, PhotoVend, Williams; Sega corporate & product news; TouchTunes opens Montreal facility; more post-ASI open houses; Nelson Rose on Internet gambling; Frank Seninsky on route management; Len Pytlak on budgeting; Star*Tech Journal on pinball fixes; Greg Reeves reviews Sega & SNK games

Sweet Music: American operators remain fond of continuity, proven technology & long-term ROI. That must be why today’s juke market feels comfortably stable, if not spectacular, to most

Regatta Sails On: Eddie Pellegrini believes in the CD jukebox market so much, he’s building (and selling) his own. Next comes a wallbox from this Chicago tradester

Vandal Proof? Can a chemical expert create a way to make coin mechs vandal proof? One award-winning company claims to have done just that. If so, they’ll save ops a ton of dough

Also: AMOA’s Don Hesch sees healthier market; Dick McCannell honored in N.C.; street operators interface on jukeboxes; Randy Chilton assesses trade conditions; Vending Connection advice

DisneyQuest: the world’s most successful entertainment marketers have turned their talents to the LBE biz. The result, DisneyQuest, opens to the public this month. It’s huge, glitzy, fun and everybody in the industry worldwide will be watching

Chowing Down: Buster Corley is the food expert half of the Dave & Buster’s LBE duo. He chats in this month’s interview with Doug King on his philosophy (food & drink account for over half of D&B revenues!)

MaxFlight Takes Off! a new simulator center featuring jets? Yep, and it’s in a mall location! A visionary mall developer worked with the sim factory to install this place in Altoona, Pa

Also: Harold Skripsky on scoping out the competition; Jerry Monday on game prices; GameWorks Studio opens in the L.A. area

[Back to 1998 Main Menu]

May 1998

Cover: CoinSoft & PC Games

Rebound! The Amusement Showcase International was a nice hit. Fine attendence, very good product and moods so upbeat it was almost hard to believe, all added up to a true winner. Check our show overview, product review, coverage of parties & meetings, plus more

Intel Inside: Their much-touted Arcade PC products are now “inside” of Sega & Namco arcades, that is. Bah, humbug to the skeptics; this is reality, folks

Coinsoft Launched: H. Betti Industries & Interactive Light have teamed up with Immersia, Intel & Angel Studios to bring their unique insight, direction, support and know-how to the the Arcade PC initative. Don’t miss our related exclusive interview with HBI Chairman Peter Betti

Also: another expert view on parallels; Valley restructures; Western NAMA focus on changers; open houses by Betson and C.A. Robinson; new product from Sega, Namco, Midway, Unico and Atari; Frank Seninsky on when to buy & sell games; Len Pytlak on choosing accountants; Star*Tech Journal on pinball maintenance; Greg Reeves reviews two Atari games

Red, Black & Seductive: the Black Widow is a new side by side, dual target dart game system. The central computer is housed in a black box. We didn’t notice if it sports a red “hourglass” imprint or not, but concept seems ready to score some “green” in the cash box

Recovery Seen: AMOA prexy Don Hesch says he thinks the industry has entered a rebound period. “We’re not there yet but it’s underway,” he tells us in our exclusive monthly chat, citing the upbeat ASI, good equipment, good earnings for professional operators & other hopeful factors

Also: Randy Chilton on a new category of site called “LWGs”; Bill Johnston’s service tip; Vending Connection pushes service efficiency; tournament highlights

Redemption Roundup: Here’s the rundown on new redemption product shown at ASI. Consensus was: volume of brand-new titles was a bit down, but what was there, was choice

The LBE Scene: guest essay by Kevin Williams surveys the growth & evolution of location-based entertainment. He divides today’s LBE sites into four broad categories. Must reading

FEC Digest: news briefs from the busy worlds of lasertag, fun center associations & trade shows, related products & companies (& check out a new carpet designed just for FECs!)

Also: new products by Meltec and STRiCOR; George McAuliffe on getting sponsorship dollars for FECs; Jerry Monday on redemption trends; ops interface on voluntary game ratings; Steve Siegel explains AMOA’s Arcade Promo Committee in our “Stepping Up & Speaking Out”

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April 1998

Cover: Plans Building at SNK — Execs Give Details Inside

Shaffer Buys J&J Distributors: Believe it or not, J&J began life several decades ago as a Shaffer branch in Indianapolis. Now it returns to the original fold

Simulator Saga: Kevin Williams, freelance industry writer (& Disney Quest software supervisor) penned this superb recent history of coin-op vidgame R&D. He really puts it all in perspective

Global Biz: Intergame’s David Snook essays America’s role in the world coin machine market as more & more U.S. factories find growth & opportunity overseas

Also: more Sega ups & downs; U.S. Supreme Court rules on parallels; IRS okays income forecasting for ops; catching up with Grand Products; Don Shimel obituary; pinball history makes for entertaining video documentary; new products from Konami, Namco, Sega Pinball; Frank Seninsky on local operations; Lynn Pytlak on employee morale; the Irish trade expo; Star*Tech Journal on silicone uses; Greg Reeves reviews new Capcom & Namco fighters; Betson West holds pre-ASI product show

Intriguing! In its biggest booth to date at the just-finished ASI Show, Rock-Ola Mfg. Co. debuted five new models, added a juke sales pro to their team, and unveiled (with Premier Data) some nifty remote-access software

Cigarette Wars: Tobacco vending may have lost the political battle but ops could still win a financial windfall “If you can’t beat ’em, at least make ’em pay big compensation bucks”

Stepping Up: Payphone manufacturer Ric Stephan takes a shot at AMOA for defending the cigarette vend biz. RePlay replies that failure to defend this market could invite the loss of others

Also: the latest on JVL’s Concorde countertops; AMOA’s Don Hesch reports on board meeting; street ops interface on cig vending; Randy Chilton on parental advisory stickers; debut of a new “Vending Connection” column; tournament highlights

The Garage: Our recent visit to Betson Enterprises’ first FEC, themed around cars and service stations, revealed a promising concept, appealing execution and wise location strategy

Just Stick It! Photo sticker machines and other digital image venders are all the rage in Japan, though legal headaches have slowed their market penetration in the USA somewhat. Contributing editor Doug King surveys the field

Slamsite! A new arcade chain featuring Internet terminals alongside coin-op games has opened its first two stores in SoCal. They’re planning to merge coin-op & the Net in surprising ways

Also: LazerTrek is making “headway” with its Heads Up! laser tag equipment; Jerry Monday reports from Vietnam; Harold Skripsky reveals “secrets” of FEC success

[Back to 1998 Main Menu]

March 1998:

Cover: Namco : Gunning for Gold with Time Crisis II

Showcase! The Amusement Showcase Int’l. moves into the Sands Convention Center (Vegas) from March 27-29. Based on equipment seen at the recent ATEI and AOU shows, it should be full of new product. Check our overview, seminar & exhibit schedules, booth floor map & more

Dillon Passes: Joe Dillon, 58, succumbed to a brain hemorrhage in February after a long battle with cancer. The popular Williams/Midway sales top will be missed

London Pride: this year’s ATEI Show was the biggest yet, proving once again that nothing succeeds like success. International attendance was up again, too

Also: new product from Acclaim, American Sammy, Capcom, Dynamo, ICE & Sega; Sega corporate news; Atari’s rainy (but fun) distrib. meeting; Incredible Technologies passes the $1 million prize mark; home vidgame market booming; PAPA tourney boosts pinball; video game museum; interview with Namco prexy Kevin Hayes; Frank Seninsky on using consultants; Doug King interviews Doug King; Lynn Pytlak on employee morale; Star*Tech Journal on power supply; Greg Reeves reviews two Sega simulators

Small Box, Big Sound: Rowe has scored back-to-back coups with introduction of its handsome Berkeley wall-mount jukebox and industry-exclusive licensing of True Dimensional Sound

State of the SLATE: after a 1986 movie helped spark a huge pool comeback, the industry’s early-’90s recession slowed table sales for a while. Now pool is back!

“Indian” Holt: an interview with Texas operator Jim Holt reveals the team spirit and zealous customer service at the heart of the Dallas-based Bowling & Billiards Supplies street route

Also: AMOA’s Don Hesch predicts lower game prices; TouchTunes delays but improves its juke; street operators interface on the “3 P’s”; Dan Knack “steps up” on burglar-proofing for operators; Randy Chilton on street redemption; tournament highlights

D&B II: king of the LBE market, Dave & Buster’s, is rolling out a new, slightly downsized version of their popular concept. They plan to build up to 150 “D&B II” sites in the USA! Store incomes and profits remain high in their existing places, too

Big vs. Small: several fun center experts tell how owners of smaller chains or independent arcades can compete against the “big guys.” Knowing your customer and spending money wisely emerge as two consistent themes

Fightertown: its first store has long been popular near a California military airbase. Now this flight simulator center has opened more sites and plans to become a full-sized chain

Also: IAFEC’s member card & benefits; Jerry Monday on FEC planning; SureShot offers redemption novelties; Ohio op works with “Buckeye” LBE; George McAuliffe analyzes key LBEs

[Back to 1998 Main Menu]

February 1998:

Cover: NSM : Gem of a Juke: NSM America mines “Sapphire” music box

Happy Days: the tavern market revels in newfound popularity among yuppies, but worries about DUI and anti-smoking laws. AMOA joined AAMA and 30 coin-op factories at the vibrant 700-booth Nightclub & Bar trade show in Vegas (see photo at right), where bar owners loved those amusement machines

Hail to the Chief! AMOA prexy Don Hesch chats with RePlay’s Marcus Webb about the association’s plans & the state of the industry. Don sees the operator shakeout continuing a while

Valley Promos: this Midwestern pool and dart game factory is whistling up a bunch of lively new promotional tools and techniques for its classic street equipment. Remember “Ernie”? He’s back, and so are some other good ideas

Also: AMOA Conference of Affiliated States; street ops “interface” on their future prospects; Frank Seninsky on AMOA and the street operator; Side Pockets offers classy pool boutique franchise; Lynn Pytlak on new tax laws; Randy Chilton salutes Tami Norberg-Paulsen; Star*Tech Journal service tips; and new goods from Great American Recreation, Midway Games, NSM America (cover story), and Mars Electronics; tournament highlights & calendar

Take That, George! a former operator responds to Texas Gov. George Bush’s campaign against video eight-liners in this month’s “Stepping Up & Speaking Out”

Happy Birthday, Mrs. B! Everybody’s favorite, the gracious Leah Bettelman (at left), was honored at a big birthday party in Los Angeles. Lots of famous trade folks wished her well

Also: Betson buys two Mondial branches; post-AMOA open houses by Music Vend and Canadian Coin; new games from Atari, Williams Electronics and LazerTron; trade promotes video ratings system; AAMA seeks standard global safety regs; Canadian dealers share ice storm anecdotes; Bill & Sharon Johnston give software tips; Greg Reeves on favorites of 1997

Hollywood Connection: Carmike Cinemas teams with WalMart for glitzy FECs

Theming Advice: Contributing editor Doug King shows how smaller FECs can use creativity and common sense to achieve wonderful theming effects without spending tons of money

Wayne’s World! Wayne Fromm, owner-operator of the Video Invasion FEC in Canada, shares wise advice on how smaller sites can compete with the big boys. No surprise, it comes down to carefully studying your customers and giving them what they want

Benchmark This! New redemption attraction from Al Kress is Claim Jumper & it looks like a goldmine to us. Lots of tradesters must agree because it’s selling like nuggets of the real thing

Also: Jerry Monday sees a stronger industry for 1998; IAFEC’s Harold Skripsky on embracing change; Coastal Amusements puts American Hi-Striker in our Spotlight; American Sammy has a new redemption game; Goal Industries offers prize-winning FEC software

[Back to 1998 Main Menu]

January 1998:

Cover: Williams, Bally & Midway product help ring in the new year!

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)

this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, parts suppliers, trade associations, music one-stops…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

[Back to 1998 Main Menu]

1997 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December

December 1997:

Cover Story: Rowe’s Storm CD Wall Jukebox Debuts, expanding the LaserStar line.

Turning Points: our AMOA Expo lead-in story provides an overview of mood, headcount, politics & product news from the annual convention of the Amusement & Music Operators (yes, it’s still “operators”) Association held in Atlanta this year (photo at top is of the convention center)

Conventional Product: plenty of fine videos from the traditional factory guys graced the show. Few pins, but lots of good redemption, photo stamp/sticker units, and jukeboxes,

Developer’s Row: Expo had one big corner devoted to PC-based game hardware & software. Our “Spotlight” is on Intel, the umbrella company for much of this, and we also have stories on Dynamo, Hanaho, Quantum 3D, VideoNET, The OtherSide, NANI, Interactive Light & Jesler

Food, Fun & Awards: the traditional AMOA banquet gave its traditional “best of” game & music awards & some traditional companies walked off with many honors

Democracy in Action? Editor Marcus Webb held his fire on AMOA’s reform agenda all summer and fall, so as not to upset the association’s “quiet” strategy. Now that the votes have been cast, Webb says AMOA should have run a loud, aggressive campaign of public education. Essay is followed by this month’s “Frank Talk” & “Report from Randy” columns, on the same subject

Parallel Issue Defused: AMOA brokered an end to Sega’s parallel lawsuit + prompted the factory to pledge “more vigorous efforts” to offer vids as kits to the US when they’re kitted elsewhere

JAMMA-rama: AMOA’s Don & Sue Hesch and Jim & Marge Stansfield attended the ’97 JAMMA Show in Tokyo, then hopped over to China for a quick visit (see photo)

1997 Review/Forecast 1998: the industry found itself undergoing a recession and a renaissance at the same time this year. Traditional segments and smaller businesses are still consolidating; LBEs and other big new ventures are often booming

Also: the latest from Incredible Technologies; ATEI revs up London show; InTune has CD vender; new products from Konami; Rowe bows new wallbox in this month’s Cover Story; Namco’s new simulators; Greg Reeves reviews new games; Lynn Pytlak on buying & selling a business; Star*Tech Journal offers a nifty service quiz; tournament highlights

IAAPA ’97: Exhibitors were ecstatic as the annual “Parks Show” extravaganza drew about 30,000 visitors to Orlando. Coin-op & redemption firms were among the exhibitors

“Fun by George!” on part 3 of the George McAuliffe’s report on the LBE phenomenon surveys emerging trends in current and planned locations

Lazer Runner is the name of those laser tag systems & inflatable environments from Ascension. They just got better with auto-selectable LED vest colors & improved RDF signalling

Also: Namco Cybertainment enters LBE biz with “XS” title from Skyline Multimedia Entertainment; In the Zone is a big new basketball simulator; Jerry Monday on picking a consultant

[Back to 1997 Main Menu]

November 1997:

Cover Story: Hail to the King! a profile of Southern California plush supplier King Plush

Texas Tempest: Gov. George Bush calls for a crackdown on 8-liners, saying Texans never meant to approve casino-style gambling when they OK’d redemption

IAAPA ’97 heads to Orlando from Nov. 18-22. We’ve got the show schedule, a humongous exhibitor list, seminar info & more for this theme park show which has attracted a growing number of FEC & coin-op people and exhibitors in recent years (see photo of convention site in Orlando)

Coin-Op Websites: Our team has diligently compiled the most comprehensive list of industry-related Internet addresses they could, and it’s massive! Preceding the list, our Debbie Anderson tours some of the trade’s top websites (more to come, too!)…

Midway’s Off Road Challenge

ICE’s EggVenture

Atari’s San Francisco Rush: The Rock

LBE Systems’ SparkyNet brings “Quake” to coin-op

the wonderful world of weird machines

PlayPak Systems is ready to rock with PC vidgames

PAPA is ready to roll with pinball tourneys

Frank Seninsky & Jerry Monday examine the U.S.-Japan relationship…see “Frank Talk” and “Merry-Go-Round”

Gregg Reeves reviews two from WMS

Star*Tech Journal’s service tips on pinball machines (part two)

Gambling & The Law from I. Nelson Rose

Revvin’ Up: Rock-Ola bows two new designs, Black Legend & Chevrolet Corvette. If you think the outside is pretty, wait till you look under the hood at the “4.0” version of SyberSonics!

The Little Princess: Wurlitzer enters the wallbox market with a version of its famous nostalgic model. We think Paul Fuller, the genius who created the ‘1015,’ would be proud & charmed (see photo)

TouchTunes & Bose: the Canadian hi-tech startup made it official by signing on the dotted line with Bose. Bose will build downloading jukes & TouchTunes will market ’em

Kiddie Rides USA gets green light from Wal-Mart

Lynn Pytlak on small business taxation

Randy Chilton on making the transition from tech to manager to entrepreneur in this month’s “Report from Randy”

tournament highlights

Fun Expo ’97: a well-produced show with superb seminars drew a reported 6,100+ people; organizers said international attendance was up. The show’s associated trade group, IAFEC, is growing strong. Fun Expo seminar on coin-op’s future is also covered

Doug King profiles the new “FEC-sized” simulators

“Fun by Harold!” debuts as new IAFEC prexy Harold Skripsky takes up the writer’s pen. He calls for fun center operators to develop solid business plans & outlines just how to do that

Powercard! Argentinian trade vet supplies neat-o smart card system to Dave & Buster’s (among others). D&B credits the technology with a significant increase in revenues

Our “Spotlight” is on LazerTron as it bows Twister, revamps Prize Zone

LAI creates super simulator

Skee-Ball visits the Demolition Zone

Seidel has stellar entry with Star Catcher

George McAuliffe’s informative & interesting history of the FEC, part 2

tips for kids on life’s fairness

[Back to 1997 Main Menu]

October 1997:

Cover Story: PC-based Games: At least 15% of the booths at AMOA will show software & system cabinet hardware for CD-ROM based vidgames…see this month’s Cover Story (we print operator views on the subject as well)

Parallels: The latest from AMOA and Sega GameWorks

AMOA Expo heads to Atlanta Oct. 23-25…we’ve got schedules & features galore in large show section

Sunny Jim: an in-depth interview with distributor Jim Pietrangelo (AMA Distributors) covers every hot-button issue in the biz, from PC games to FECs and LBEs to gambling

Intel’s PC game forum

SNK debuts Neo-Geo 64 system… our October Spotlight Feature

AAMA’s latest show in Singapore

J&J Distributing co-founder Joe Flynn passes on

Dave & Buster’s profits at home & expands overseas

Sega GameWorks raises $76 mil for new centers

Sega brings distribs up to date in San Diego at meeting

X Files comes to Sega Pinball

Bootleg games in Europe

Greg Reeves reviews new games

Star*Tech Journal’s pinball tips (part 1)

Jerry Monday sees pros & cons of exclusive dealer territories

Lynn Pytlak’s “On the Money” on payroll tips

Star*Tech Journal’s service tips on pinball machines (part one)

Jerry Monday sees pros & cons of exclusive distributor territories “Merry-Go-Round”

AMOA to NC&B: in “Frank Talk,” see what happens when two brave AMOA directors face down those critical tavern owners at the the Nightclub & Bar Show

How Sweet It Is! Back when David Dinkins was Mayor of the Big Apple, he hit NYC ops with an unpopular tax. Current Mayor Rudy Guliani hit back and ops cheered

NSM Steps Up: a price cut on their Digital Thunder floor model CD-100 jukebox and a new service angle for CDM-12 laser players are keys to the factory’s aggressive new strategy141

Weymouth celebrates 40th anny

Cigar venders serve stogie’s hit status

New (and even better) video countertop from Micro Mfg.

Lynn Pytlak on record keeping in his “On the Money” column

More Merritt & Hagen legal advice on selling routes

OCMA state convention

Revenue sharing is the focus of this month’s “Report from Randy”

R.W. Goodtimes: take the sports bar/LBE concept to new heights. And, it’s in Atlanta so you’ll be able to check out the first store in the chain during your visit to AMOA Expo

Wizards of the Coast: a real showcase funcenter is up and running in Seattle (see photo at right)

Nickel Mania: Okay, everybody knows nickel arcades are out there but it’s hard to get them to reveal their secrets. Our Doug King visited one in Dallas & got the lowdown

IAFEC lands nifty insurance policy

George McAuliffe analyzes LBE and FEC success trends

One-Stop Toy supplies candy cranes

Fun new games from Fun Industries

[Back to 1997 Main Menu]

September 1997:

Cover: Mission Crane Service defines its mission

Sega Lawsuit: the parallel issue got hotter in August as defendants filed countercharges, AAMA called for an investigation into members’ parallel policy and AMOA considered complaining to Congress

Midway Meets: Mortal Kombat 4 and other new goods unveiled at Chicago confab

Atari Parties Down: 25 years of history celebrated by current and past Atarians…includes photos

Doug King analyzes the top video games of the past 5 years

Lynn Pytlak’s “On the Money” on payroll tips

Star*Tech Journal’s service tips

Jerry Monday on “Distribution Follies” “Merry-Go-Round”

Looks & Sounds Better: TouchTunes’ newly-upgraded prototype and Bose factory tour

NLBA Stands Pat: tavern group asks lawmakers to leave current msuic copyright structure alone

Merritt & Hagen on buying a route

Missouri operators hold annual convention

Randy Chilton on phone/voice mail etiquette in this month’s “Report from Randy”

Tournament highlights of Bud darts

Fun Expo: FEC & LBE biz takes center stage at coming Vegas show…complete section with seminars, schedule, exhibitors & floorplan and interview with new IAFEC prexy Harold Skripsky

Spotlight on Malibu Speedzone…latest attraction is dragsters that go from 0-70 in 3 seconds!

The Ultimate FEC/LBE Checklist provides “nuggest of wisdom” for success from three years’ worth of articles, columns, essays & interviews — a nifty fun center resource

Iwerks & Showscan announce merger

Namco bows Final Furlong horseracing simulator

Bamboola CEC opens big

follow your nose to Digital’s “Scentsational” simulator

GameWorks opens new California center

Disney announces plans for FEC chain called DisneyQuest

Morphis rounds out the ridefilm field

IAFEC’s Ed Pearson reviews the year’s progress

arcade ops interface on wannabes

FunSet Blvd. FEC brings Hollywood glamour to the Midwest

Tom Dudley brings EMT kiddie rides to America

Doug King wonders if FECs aren’t killing the goose that laid the golden egg

Frank Seninsky puts the spotlight on fun his “Frank Talk”

[Back to 1997 Main Menu]

August 1997:

Cover: Carousel’s kiddie rides and a focus on the “Kiddie Korner”

“Kiddie Katalog” — our Debbie Anderson put together this survey of kid-oriented rides, games & novelties on the market today

Winning at insurance: insurance pro Sharon Orr gives blunt, no-nonsense advice on how to win this challenge. Her key point: shift the blame somewhere else

ops interface on their involvement in the kiddie market

new games from Sega, Williams, Konami and Gaelco

Merritt & Hagen outline success factors in “Legal Questions”

Lynn Pytlak debates “lease vs. buy” in this month’s “On the Money” column

remembering Jean Coutu

Goodbye, cig vending? That’s what will happen if the proposed $365 billion tobacco settlement is approved “as is” by Congress. The FDA, state attorneys general and Big Tobacco have all got vending in their crosshairs. Get the story in our news report

AMOA interview: the association’s Terry Davis & Mark Levine outline their lobbying strategy to save cigarette vending, or at least get fair compensation if it’s banned

TouchTunes steps out: funded with $4 million from private and Canadian government sources, the startup music machine factory has hired former NSM exec John Margold to run their sales & marketing out of Chicago; Bose will build production units in New England

Greg Reeves reviews the latest games

Frank Seninsky reviews E3 in this month’s “Frank Talk”

Randy Chilton surveys the fall show lineup in “Report from Randy”

Tournament highlights

“NoBiz” like ShowBiz: Who says the “children’s entertainment center” is a thing of the past? ShowBiz’s revamped Chuck E. Cheeses are better than ever. Doug King explains why

Holiday Inn gamerooms: they’ve got a new fun center concept called “e.space” and the hotel chain is looking for more operators to work with!

“Lottery Style” redemption? Some tradesters hate it; some love it. Jerry Monday says itcan work with grownup-oriented locations, prizes & clientele in “Merry-Go-Round”

Fun Expo previewed in our up-front news

IAFEC’s Ed Pearson shares fun center survey results

Star*Tech Journal’s on LED alignment fix for Seidel’s Smokin’ Token

[Back to 1997 Main Menu]

July 1997:

Cover: Atari’s Silver Year! 25 years ago, a small startup company lit the fuse on the big rocket called “video games.” Read an indepth history of the firm, plus a look at Atari today in our 57-page special salute

Video Rountable: Happy 25th birthday, coin-op video! Contributing editor Douglas King asks half a dozen factory execs about the state of video games today

Fun & Sun at Namco’s five-star international distributor meeting in Grand Cayman

New CD-Rom video game system

New equipment from Sega, Atari, Konami and Fabtek

Sega Bandai merger nixed, but gaming sale OK’d

Frank Seninsky on trends

Lazer-Tron’s charity work

Merritt & Hagen on “Getting Law Smart”

Game reviews by Greg Reeves

Distributor open houses

Missouri operators holds association event

Valley Nat’l. 8-Ball Assn. holds world championships

Operators interface on summertime blues vs. blue skies

Randy Chilton on a day in the life of an operator

Star*Tech Journal service tips

Medalist’s Las Vegas dart event

Arachnid’s BullShooter

Evans & Sutherland’s Virtual Glider soars high

Sponor bucks for FECs — it can be done, explains Shonnie Brae

A pox on gloom and doom, by “Dr.” Jerry Monday

George McAuliffe offers real numbers on FEC operating

Worldwide Leisure launches Viper simulator

Linda Fernandez assesses redemption

Radi Todarov has a nifty redemption promo idea

[Back to 1997 Main Menu]

June 1997:

Cover: Merit Industries Turns 20!

AMOA Expo ’97: Update on the fall show

National Amusement Network: a behind-the-scenes look at this project by John Klayh

Sega’s House of Dead

Exidy’s ticket-blowing redemption novelty

Namco’s motion capture graphics and Tekken 3

United Technology & their hot “bean bag” crane

Incredible Technology takes network tourneys to video bowling

Konami blasts off with Operation Thunder Hurricane

Sega Pinball ventures into the Lost World

Merit Turns 20! An inside look at this factory and its product for street operators

Valley’s cats: a RePlay “Spotlight” on their new upscale pool tables

Wal-Mart’s new plan: Randy Chilton reports on new marching orders for operators from W-M execs

What’s up with pool today? Operators interface on current pros & cons

Dynamo’s new blacklight pool table

PlayNet updates on their field tests

Midway upgrades Touchmaster countertop & offers financing

Star*Tech Journal service tips

Greg Reeves & his most recent game reviews

Distributors host open houses

D&B’s latest: Dave & Buster’s have added virtual reality attraction plus “PowerCards”

Q-Zar’s new superstore in Dallas

Nickel arcades: Jerry Monday explains how nickels can add up to dollars…and fast!

Kiddies Mfg. debuts their Superman ride

[Back to 1997 Main Menu]

May 1997:

Cover: Seidel Amusement havin’ fun with their redemption machines!

AAMA’s successful India Amusement Expo

National Amusement Network: a behind-the-scenes look at this project by John Klayh

Genuine 3D at Infinity Multimedia

Ireland’s tradeshow sees the green of money

Interview with IAFEC president Ed Pearson & Executive Director Carole Sjolander

XS New York: “Too Much is Not Enough”

Street Redemption: Doug King on what’s happening with this concept, products & street operators

Roundup of redemption games, cranes & merchandisers…a comprehensive list of what machines are available new

New products from Carousel, Skee-Ball, Coin Concepts, 5 Star Redemption & ICE

Spotlight on Bob’s Space Racers

Randy Chilton likes change from “operators” to “owners”

ATMs…Skip Doyle explains the related factors & issues that apply to street operators

ShopTalk service tips

Bame Reviews by Greg Reeves

[Back to 1997 Main Menu]

April 1997:

Cover: Sega Gameworks Revs Up Faster Games & Hotter Fun Center

Vegas Victory for ASI: people & product abound at spring show…complete coverage of games, politics, parties, etc.

AMOA shakeup: at mid-year meeting, board proposes major changes

Competition for the entertainment dollar…who we’re battling against

Internet games highlight German tradeshow

New products from Fabtek (Raiden Fighters) and WMS (NBA Fastbreak pinball & Rampage World Tour video)

Pinball success: an essay on the operator’s role

Mickey Mania as Disney opens first FEC

FEC survey results from IAFEC

Dave & Buster’s new SoCal store

New games & rides from Carousel, EMT (Muppet Babies license) and Vivid Group

Do operators surf the net?

Voice mail…Randy Chilton says it gives you the important emotion behind the message

[Back to 1997 Main Menu]

March 1997:

Cover: SNK and their spring product lineup

Vegas Bound! Trade heads to Amusement Showcase International at Sands Convention Center March 13-15

Video game ratings issue heats up

London show bigger than ever…Martin Dempsey sends us a full report with photos

Saluting the Old Guard with tradevet Jerry Monday’s thoughtful essay

Surf the net with our Debbie Anderson’s report on coin-op internet terminals

New products from Atari, Capcom, Namco, Wedges/Ledges, Lazer-Tron, Sega GameWorks, Sega Pinball & SNK

Frank Seninsky with tips on making the most of your air-travel time

Tax tips from Len Pytak plus an essay on depreciation from Tony Bado

Merritt & Hagen’s “Legal Questions” asks who you’re doing business with
AMOA & AAMA merger? Randy Chilton talks about what happened

On target with successful dart promotion in Europe…the unique partnership between NSM & Valley

Midwest operator tells tavern owners to “get real”

Greg Reeves and the latest in video game reviews

Lightning strikes twice for Interactive Light…soccer game to be unleashed

Come to Coney Island! The Amusement Consultants Emporium in the Las Vegas “New York, New York” hotel & casino, that is

IAFEC prexy Ed Pearson debuts his column in our Playground section

Douglas King surveys the world of ride/film simulators

Frank Seninsky takes his Alpha-Omega into the realm of theme park & casino arcades and FECs

Carousel launches new kiddie ride

[Back to 1997 Main Menu]

February 1997:

Cover: JVL and their Concorde countertop videos

Focus on the Tavern … our street operating special

Amusement Showcase International set for Vegas in March

Incredible Technologies and their networked video game tourney program

Operating ATMs

Group game playing on-line … a report by Douglas King

Taco Bell’s pilot arcade program

Williams’ new Junkyard pinball

C.A. Robinson showcases new titles at their open house

Namco’s new System 12 technology & Tekken 3

Pinball fixes in this month’s ShopTalk

Frank Seninsky on the dos and don’ts of virtual corporations

Legal Questions focuses on the different types of business entities

Nightclub & Bar expo coverage

Tavern issues …DUI, smokes and music … face the bar owners and the operators…what to do about these worries

Interview with Dave Suhy, an operator who successfully mixes coin-op tradition with cutting-edge innovation

D&R’s “six-packs” of pre-cut billiard cloth

Betson Pacific spotlights tavern goods in unique showcase

Great American revamps with new products, name & more

CES and their wall games

Operators Interface on the state of the tavern business…Randy Chilton comments, too

Playground report on Virtual World’s popular simulator software & hardware

Namco wins awards at IAAPA

Mega Fun Center

MariahVision3’s new hockey attraction

George McAuliffe talks about games in FECs

[Back to 1997 Main Menu]

January 1997:

Cover: Midway’s Cruisin’ World

RePlay’s look back on 1996 and our forecast for 1997

MCI backs TouchTunes and their downloaded music plans

Gambling and why last Nov. 5th’s elections is a historic triumph for the gaming business by professor I. Nelson Rose

Distributors roll out the red carpet for customers at post-Expo open houses

Intergame provides a global news roundup

Mexel launches their own video network

remembering trade patriarch Herb Rosenthal

new products from SNK, GL Technology and Midway

the particulars of bilingual contracts in this month’s Legal Questions by Merritt & Hagen

Parks Show coverage…big simulators among the attractions

Club Disney’s first store set to open

new goods for FECs, arcades & more from Skee Ball, Namco, Virtuality, Interactive Light/ICE and Ferris Productions

Play Ball!’s nifty new redemption goods

Elvis jukebox from Wurlitzer

Operators interface on the route biz…things are looking up, they say

Frank Seninsky comments on growth niches & markets

Greg Reeves reviews new videos

[Back to 1997 Main Menu]

1996 ISSUES:

January — February — March — April — May — June — July — August — September — October — November — December

December 1996:

Cover: Namco on the bridge to the industry’s future with new games…”don’t miss the boat”

ANNUAL DIRECTORY (price: $25)

this is the industry’s premier reference annual with listings (addresses, phones, faxes, email, key personnel) of manufacturers, distributors, parts suppliers, trade associations, music one-stops…a must-have issue for anyone in the business!

[Back to 1996 Main Menu]

November 1996 (this issue is no longer available):

Cover: Gary Stern & his pinball team celebrate 10 years together
Full coverage of the Dallas AMOA show, the coin amusement machine biz’s biggest trade event
FEC biz also hosts successful expo…full coverage with words & pix
NANI is ready for December 1 startup
Microsoft’s James Plamondon in an exclusive interview about PC-based coin-op videos, etc.
IAAPA show preview
New Capcom video game
American Vending Sales celebrates a big anniversary
Frank Seninsky assesses today’s market
Merritt & Hagen’s legal guide
Data East’s new video system
King Plush gets Mickey Mouse
Pro & Con commentary on Microsoft
Distributor open houses galore
Playground report on Falconer motion-based simulator hardware & software
Video drivers
Super video wall display
Music Bytes: Aristo & TouchTunes are first No. American firms to show downloading jukes at a nat’l. show
Vintage juke biz rocked by restored boxes & demand for high-tech by consumers
Randy Chilton with his views of the latest AMOA show
Tournament season kicks off
StarTech Journal service tips
[Back to 1996 Main Menu]

October 1996:

Cover: Atari busts loose with fab new fall product lineup

Fun Expo Preview plus first news from the Dallas AMOA Expo

Aristo steps out with internet-connected countertops, jukeboxes and 8-player “team sports” video game consoles

Frank Seninsky comments on NANI

NSM’s John Margold speaks out on high-tech issues

Update on the coming IAAPA “Parks Show”

SNK’s King of Fighters 3 and Sega’s Virtua Fighter 3 arrive

Virtual Reality: the latest overview of what’s available from our Contributing Editor Douglas King

FEC expert Sue Monday and a case study of one large center from its conception, opening and flirtation with “sophomore slump”

George McAuliffe on IAFEC

Gameroom layout tips

Frank Seninksy and the Sports Plus FEC

the Monte Carlo arcade

Features on S&B Entertainment & Sherman Specialty

Ideal Systems and their arcade/FEC software package

Nifty 12-pg. booklet on jukebox operating tips now available from the AMOA Jukebox Promotion Committee

L.A. premier operator Dave Peck with no-nonsense advice on surviving

StarTech Journal service tips

Ohio Operators gather for state show

Randy Chilton talks about his trip to Japan

Thumbnail Sketch about an operator who chases armed robbers

[Back to 1996 Main Menu]

September 1996:

Cover: Capcom flips over their new soccer pinball

AMOA Showbook! tradesters head to Dallas for the coin-op’s biggest tradeshow … extensive preview section

Fun Expo — October Fun Center show in Vegas is just around the bend!

Troubles in Taiwan as government closes game centers over scandal

Essays on the future of video games/platforms by operator Brad Brown and Microsoft’s James Plamondon

What’s new in games, philosophy and future plans at Sega, Capcom, Konami, Namco & Williams

Modem-linked tourney golf game by Incredible Technologies

Smart Industries’ distributor meeting

CoinBiz vet Larry Berke on his 50 years in the industry

Product news from Dynamo & Atari

Profile of Louise’s Harness Shop

Spotlight feature on national parts supplier Happ Controls

Cleveland Coin’s newest office

New Column: Game reviews by Greg Reeves in “Just for the Fun of It”

Prizes! celebrates 10 years in the plush toy/merchandise business

Laser Tag! Contributing editor Douglas King gives the rundown on equipment, etc.

Products for FECs, arcades, etc., from Skee-Ball, Lazer-Tron, Thomson, ICE & Gaelco

HMS Monaco — suppliers or jewelry and all sorts of redemption merchandise

Sweet sounds of music — operators interface on the health of the jukebox biz

Williams debuts their “Touchmaster” countertop multi-game unit

Pennsylvania operators convene for annual convention & tradeshow

Tournament action from Valley, Bud Light and more

[Back to 1996 Main Menu]

August 1996:

Cover: Tekbilt’s Tenth Anniversary

Premier Technology closes down

A sneak peek at what the AMOA convention in Dallas has to offer

Distributor Profile of Betson Pittsburgh and their top-notch execs Jim Wittler & Lou Larson

California trade association ceases

Operators fume about cigarette vending attacks

VNEA Championships

Spotlight on Mayoni Enterprises

Fun center layout

[Back to 1996 Main Menu]

July 1996:

Cover: Plush-4-Play and their National Crane Network

Special Report on redemption merchandise,

including a guest essay on how to buy prizes for fun centers

Delegation of manufacturers & distributors on India trade mission

Medalist holds big tourney and distributor meeting

Sol Lipkin celebrates his 90th birthday

Distributor Profile of Lieberman Music’s Linda Winstead

Nickel Arcades

Fun Center signage

Rock-Ola’s Frank Schulz retires

Shop*Talk technical tips column debuts (from the pages of Star*Tech Journal)

Tips on installing jukebox speakers

[Back to 1996 Main Menu]

June 1996 (this issue is no longer available):

Cover: Kiddie Rides USA and their Mighty Tonka Dump Truck ride

Catch the latest scoop on Williams/Bally-Midway’s Wavenet (modem-linked video game
network permitting real-time, remote interactive play) in our “Hot Off the Press”

RePlay’s focus on the kiddie market…a round up of kiddie rides
as well as a catalog of ticket-vending machines made especially for the kid crowd

Incredible Technologies and their modem-networked video games

Namco holds global distributor meeting in Bermuda

How to value a route for sale

Standard location contract

E3 report

Soft Modular Play

Service tips for jukeboxes from NSM

FEC customer service essay by Sue Monday

[Back to 1996 Main Menu]

May 1996:

Cover: Smart Industries adds laser photo booth to line of prize games

AMOA’s Board Meeting focuses on budges, new officers and the September show in Dallas

Williams/Bally-Midway’s Joe Dillon reveals new directions…modems, countertops and more

Dave Patterson and his SunBelt distributing team celebrate their 10th anniversary at Texas-size party

Surf the Coin-Op Web with our “prosurfer” Douglas King; a look at coin-op internet sites

3Dfx bows their hi-tech OEM goods

Capcom’s classic-styled pingame

Just Kiddie Rides and their licensed line of Peanuts kiddie rides

93 years old and going strong! A profile of Southern Music’s Ron Rood

Fun center maven Michael Getlan: the secrets to success of this 3rd generation, 5,000-game biz

Tips on fun center marketing and promotions plus PR

Joseph Serino on urban recreation center development…last of three parts

[Back to 1996 Main Menu]

April 1996:

Cover: Dynamo continues to “go the distance” with pool, solitaire videos, air hockey…

Solid new product for spring market via ACME show … full report

Wico … one of the nation’s most prominent parts suppliers … goes Chapter 11

Discovery Zone chain of 350 children’s entertainment centers files Chapter 11

An operator who likes home games? Yep, Steve Siegel rents ’em at his arcade

AAMA president Rick Kirby on parallel games

The future of jukeboxes: several articles gaze into the coin-op music crystal ball

Rock-Ola debuts their “SyberSonic” electronics

Rowe dealers meet the firm’s new “Venus” jukebox

Joe Serino part two: urban development seminar report continues

Laser tag LaserTrek-style…movie-like special effects set them apart from the competition

FEC growth reported in George McAuliffe’s column on IAFEC’s annual survey

[Back to 1996 Main Menu]

March 1996 (this issue is no longer available):

Cover: Sega GameWorks…high-voltage excitement for players and operators

Preview of the ACME show in Orlando plus an interview with association prexy Rick Kirby & exec director Bob Fay

London calling…coverage of the ATEI by Marin Dempsey, RePlay editor Marcus Webb & columnist Frank Seninsky

Rowe’s Jerry Gordon retires

Operator Bill Beckham on parallel games

New product news from Acclaim, Namco, TWi/Atari, Capcom, Williams/Bally-Midway, PhotoVend…

Rowe’s new jukebox…Venus

Plush-4-Play signs basketball star to rep their National Crane Network

Konami’s pops super driving simulator…the massive R&D effort behind “Midnight Run”

Virtual Reality shines at CyberMind

Joseph Serino begins a series on an urban recreation center development seminar

National Kiddie Rides Association’s “Kiddie Ride Equipment Poll”

[Back to 1996 Main Menu]

February 1996:

Cover: NSM plays it again…the firm and their jukeboxes continue to romance the tavern market

I.C.E. get the Doyle redemption line… get the scoop in Hot Off the Press

Namco Buys Edison Bros. arcades

Incredible Technologies releases results of modem-based video game network tournament

Warning on parallel games

ACME show preview

Nightclub & Bar Expo provides lessons & opportunities for coin machine people

Tavern Operators & Owners…their bills of rights

Benchmark’s Caribbean “Hook” game

Street Specialists Micro Mfg. and their countertop videos, pool tables and jukes…

Mission Crane Service and their street redemption network

Sega’s new Titan System

Dave & Buster’s…an interview with co-founder & game operations expert Dave Corriveau

Randy Fromm visits Puerto Rico Stop’N’Go FEC

FEC expert Jane Adkins on how to beat FEC sophomore slump

[Back to 1996 Main Menu]

January 1996 (this issue is no longer available):

Cover: Bromley…midwest redemption game maker scores with “quick coin” games…

Elvis jukebox! Wurlitzer to bow limited-edition coin-op phonos

Year in Review…the trends of 1995 as viewed by editor Marcus Webb

Coin-Op forecast for 1996 by NSM’s John Margold, Rowe’s Joel Friedman & NANI’s John Klayh

Hank Tronick celebrates 80th birthday and 50th anny in coin-biz!

Operators make their own predictions for the new year

Vendgames and their street redemption

League promotion nitty-gritty by columnist Dave Lethert

Parks Show Extravaganza…contributing editor Douglas King reports on this super show

George McAuliffe debuts “Fun By George” column on FECs, LBEs and arcades

Virtuality…an update on this VR firm’s new plant, systems, games and awards

Namco’s continuing success with “Alpine Racer”

Operators interface on “quick coin” games

[Back to 1996 Main Menu]