It’s ALL Fun & Games
Nearing Half Century Mark, Bob’s Space Racers Says It’s “Changing the Way the Game Is Played”
When some people in the amusement industry think of Bob’s Space Racers (BSR), the first image that comes to mind is their big, flashy park or trailer mounted group games they’ve seen at numerous theme parks, carnivals or tradeshows around the world, and for good reason. These types of games are what put BSR on the proverbial map of the amusement trade industry nearly 48 years ago. What they may not realize though, is that BSR is also a big player in the arcade and FEC market as well.
Bob’s Space Racers was founded in 1970 by Bob and Joyce Cassata, who through the years, have received numerous awards and recognition for building high quality games for theme parks, carnivals, fairs, arcades, and FECs and which led to Bob being inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame in 2014.
Though the company began by manufacturing and operating their famous trailer mounted racing games for fair and carnival operators across the United States, Bob, and then company President Jack Mendes, led the company into expanding with manufacturing park model group and skill games and then eventually arcade and redemption games for customers around the world. This expansion into multiple game venues for both international and domestic customers has given BSR one of the largest customer bases for an amusement manufacturer in the U.S.A.
BSR first entered into arcade and redemption over 40 years ago with the Whac-A-Mole arcade game when video and electronic pinballs dominated the scene. (That’s the evergreen classic with Jack Cook in the great team photo at top.) In the early 1980s, BSR, Skee-Ball, Bay Tek and Doyle and Associates, were among the early pioneers in the ticket redemption marketplace, which at the time, was a very small portion of the arcade market. While all eyes were on the video and pinball sector, BSR believed ticket redemption games would eventually begin to gain ground, and through the years, it slowly did. Today, ticket and prize redemption games are the leading type of arcade games.
After providing years of successful growth for the company, Bob and Joyce Cassata and Jack Mendes eventually retired from company management and passed the torch to the next family generation, Glenda and Jack Cook, who both maintain Bob’s high standards for producing quality games.
With Glenda and Jack at the helm, they set out to fill a niche market that large family entertainment centers and arcades have been requesting for over twenty years. These customers wanted to bring the fun and excitement of BSR’s large group race games found in theme parks, fairs, and carnivals into the FEC and arcade marketplace. They wanted the same look and feel of the large group race games with big plush prizes and have an “attendant” who would spiel for the game to draw in customers.
At first, BSR introduced their standard large scale group games into the FECs and arcades just as you would find in the theme parks and they did fairly well, but there were a handful of issues that really kept the games from being truly successful. The biggest obstacle was the fact that these games required an attendant, which proved difficult for many of the FECs to keep these games properly staffed.
With this in mind, in 2015, BSR set out to address the issues and created a completely new product line geared specifically towards FECs and larger arcades. They called it their “FEC Attendant-Free Group Race Game Model” line. The machines are basically scaled down versions of BSR’s most proven and popular park model games. They’re smaller and usually only contain 4-5 player positions unlike their larger counterparts which may contain 8 or more player positions…no attendant needed.
BSR designed and developed the games so that the game would self-spiel, automatically start after players were swiped in or coined up, and to display and then put larger merchandise into guest’s hands. The FEC Attendant-Free group games line had all the same key features that their customers were asking for from their larger park model games, but in a smaller footprint and no labor required to operate.
Ron Malinowski, an industry veteran, joined the BSR team specifically to head and market the sales of BSR’s FEC Attendant-Free line. Today, he says these products have been a huge success for both BSR and the customers who have them.
BSR currently makes a half dozen different FEC Attendant-Free Group Game in what they call “standard versions”: Water Gun Fun, Pixel Play, Water Race, Whac-A-Mole, Stinky Feet, Jumpin’ Monkeys and Roll-A-Ball. (See photos on the previous page.) They also have completed numerous, completely customized, attendant-free games for customers as well. This customization is one of the fundamental features that separates BSR from their competitors, they boast.
From the very first Whac-A-Mole arcade game that BSR made all those years ago to the games that are currently being built today, there have been thousands of Whac-A-Mole and other BSR arcade games sold and numerous arcade game concepts and patents created.
BSR prides itself on developing and designing arcade games that tend to be unique and to fill missing niches in the market. Their games look different and stand apart from others. Some of BSR’s current arcade games include Jersey Wheels, Gear It Up, Water Blast, Pixel Play 2-Player, Whac-A-Mole (the big one at top) and Puppy Jump.
Bob’s Space Racers brands each and every game with its owner’s name. Their goal is to create fun, exciting and consistent revenue-producing games for customers. “BSR strives and insists on building a durable, quality product that will outlast normal game life cycles,” said Malinowski. “And, we still provide a personal touch experience and strive for high customer satisfaction on every product sold.
“Our customers visiting IAAPA are most welcome not only look at our new games, but to discuss game operations, game features, and future changes in the works at BSR,” Malinowski continued. “Making games is only a part of what the company is capable of and our customers have come to expect from us. Bob’s Space Racers will soon be a 50-year-old manufacturing company in the amusement industry which still uses the same business model of creating exciting and durable games that has made it a global source for all of our customer’s games needs,” he proudly added.