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emslots
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Anyone remember these large multi-players?

Postby emslots » Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:46 pm

One of the most vivid memories I have of the arcades in the 1960s is playing on a 1d multi-player machine which seemed to dominate the entire arcade - it consisted of a large, hexagonal(?) top display, featuring fruit machine symbols arranged in a circle. When the Play Now light came on, you placed your bet, and the symbols would be lit in rapid succession, to eventually slow down and stop on one symbol. You won a cash prize if the light stopped on the symbol you had bet on.

I believe the payouts were the standard cherry=2d, plum=2d, melon=4d, orange=6d, bar=8d, and bell=10d (or something similar).

I loved the way the machine seemed to "think for itself", and the wonderful sound it used to make as all the relays pulled in, noisily buzzing and clicking. All very impressive to a 10-year-old, alone with a pocketful of pennies while Mum tried to win a transistor radio on the bingo!

Does anyone know who manufactured these monsters, and what they were known as?

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pennymachines
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Re: Anyone remember these large multi-players?

Postby pennymachines » Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:56 am

My guess is a version of Cromptons Lucky Stars which was derived from their Derby Races. See Inventing the Penny Pusher for Jim Crompton's description and a small picture. This would have had film star symbols, but maybe fruits appeared on a later version.

They were floor-standing monsters which needed room on all sides for the players. Dave Hooper had one at the Elephant House a few years ago (maybe still does). Very impressive with all its relays and motors clicking and whirring.

One from this era which sticks in my mind worked like a vacuum cleaner in reverse blowing plastic practice golf balls out of the middle a la bingo machine. There were stations all 'round the machine, and you inserted a penny to light a lamp for a few seconds. Then you prayed some balls would cascade into the hoop nearest to you while the light was lit. It paid 2d per ball. The first time I played I did quite well, but I came back a few days later to find the light only stayed on half as long. :-x
Last edited by pennymachines on Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

emslots
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Re: Anyone remember these large multi-players?

Postby emslots » Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:13 am

PennyMachines wrote:My guess is a version of Cromptons Lucky Stars which was derived from their Derby Races. See Inventing the Penny Pusher for Jim Crompton's description and a small picture. This would have had film star symbols, but maybe fruits appeared on a later version.
I certainly remember Film Star (there was one at Gt. Yarmouth), but the machine I am thinking of had a round or hexagonal base, and an upright hexagonal top section, perched on two chromed poles, housing the lit fruit symbols.

And speaking of Derby Racer, it reminds me of a similar machine in the Oasis at Yarmouth, which featured such worthy jockeys of the day as H. Wragg and Lester Piggott! I think it must have been a scaled-down version, because I don't remember there being so many playing stations. The rotating platform was certainly the same, but the stations were not so elaborate in their artwork.

emslots
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Re: Anyone remember these large multi-players?

Postby emslots » Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:02 am

PennyMachines wrote:
One from this era which sticks in my mind worked like a vacuum cleaner in reverse blowing plastic practice golf balls out of the middle a la bingo machine. There were stations all 'round the machine, and you inserted a penny to light a lamp for a few seconds. Then you prayed some balls would cascade into the hoop nearest to you while the light was lit. It paid 2d per ball. The first time I played I did quite well, but I came back a few days later to find the light only stayed on half as long. :-x

I can vaguely recall this one too - it was very noisy, but exciting to watch as all those balls bounced around. Still can't remember the name though.

Now you have reminded me of yet another, but this time I know the name of it. This one was called "Tinky", and there was one on the lower floor of the Brittannia Pier, Gt. Yarmouth, around 1967.

It consisted of several playing stations, either side of an upright glass case, in which was a huge array of pins. You could see straight through to the other side of the glass, so players on both sides could see the action.

The little plastic ball was blown up a chute to the top of the playfield (with a strange accompanying "hairdyer" motor sound), from where it cascaded down the pins in a random fashion, until it reached the metal pockets at the bottom. If you had bet on the amount shown on the pocket, you won. There were several VOID pockets, for obvious reasons!

Strangely, the sides of the metal pockets would mysteriously move for no apparent reason and at random - quite eerie really! The machine certainly lived up to its name, as the ball made a tinkling sound while going through the pins.

I never forgot that machine, and would love to see a picture of one.

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pennymachines
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Re: Anyone remember these large multi-players?

Postby pennymachines » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:59 pm

Reviving this old thread because I can now put a picture to three of the games discussed.
emslots wrote:One of the most vivid memories I have of the arcades in the 1960s is playing on a 1d multi-player machine which seemed to dominate the entire arcade - it consisted of a large, hexagonal(?) top display, featuring fruit machine symbols arranged in a circle. When the Play Now light came on, you placed your bet, and the symbols would be lit in rapid succession, to eventually slow down and stop on one symbol. You won a cash prize if the light stopped on the symbol you had bet on.
167.jpg
Octagonal top from Coventry auction
pennymachines wrote:One from this era which sticks in my mind worked like a vacuum cleaner in reverse blowing plastic practice golf balls out of the middle a la bingo machine. There were stations all 'round the machine, and you inserted a penny to light a lamp for a few seconds. Then you prayed some balls would cascade into the hoop nearest to you while the light was lit. It paid 2d per ball. The first time I played I did quite well, but I came back a few days later to find the light only stayed on half as long
This Basketball game is similar if not identical to the one I described.
basketball.jpg
Basketball
basketball2.jpg
emslots wrote:Now you have reminded me of yet another, but this time I know the name of it. This one was called "Tinky", and there was one on the lower floor of the Brittannia Pier, Gt. Yarmouth, around 1967.
This Brenco-built game was depicted in the World's Fair Coin Slot. Apart from Britannia Pier, Gt. Yarmouth in '67, it was also to be found at the Grand Pier, Weston Super Mare (Brenco property) and (according to visitors at the Brenco Museum), a Southport amusement arcade, Harbour Amusements in St Ives Cornwall in the '70s and the Regent Arcade in Sandown, Isle of Wight in the late '60s - early '70s.
Tinky.jpg
Tinky, Brenco, 1964
Tinky2.jpg

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clubconsoles
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Re: Anyone remember these large multi-players?

Postby clubconsoles » Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:49 pm

Remember playing the Film stars model as a young lad on holiday at Butlins.
It was Clacton or minehead, not sure now?
What I remember most is that on one bank of coin entries, the lock outs where not working and this allowed me to place a bet one the winning light had already stopped.
Needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled to have bulging pockets of 2p pieces running back to my chalet once i emptied it.#
Would love to see a picture of this machine if anyone has one?


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