ORLANDO — Coin-op's latest innovations are taking center stage at the IAAPA Attractions Expo, which opened today and runs through November 21 at the Orange County Convention Center here. Sponsored by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, the annual exposition is considered a premier event for members of the amusements and attractions industry. A myriad of coin-op manufacturers have announced plans to roll out new equipment at the fall showcase.
Stern Pinball's eagerly anticipated CSI: Crime Scene Investigation pin table will make an IAAPA debut. Stern adapts CBS's original Las Vegas-based "CSI" television series into a pinball machine that aims to please operators, homeowners and collectors. The pin game features Skull Multiball, enabled by a mechanical skull playfield device that preloads pinballs into its eyes, and Microscope Multiball, made possible by a microscope mechanism that captures pinballs on a magnet for examination and release. It also features original speech from Robert David Hall, who plays Dr. Al Robbins, the coroner on the Las Vegas show. "CSI" is the No. 1 program on TV in the U.S., averaging 21.4 million viewers weekly. Pat Lawlor Design and "CSI" creator Anthony E. Zuiker, described as a huge pinball enthusiast, collaborated on the new pinball machine.
Coastal Amusements will debut Sea Wolf-The Next Mission, based on Midway's 1976 arcade classic, at its booth (#1624). The video redemption game is available in a traditional sitdown cabinet, introduced a year ago, and the new upright design; either can be equipped with a 26-in. or 32-in. LCD. The game offers six missions plus a bonus level, with difficulty increasing as a player progresses. Officials said the increased focus on strategy would help better maintain player interest.
LAI Games (booth #406) is planning to show two extensions of its popular Stacker prize vender line. Mini Stacker will roll out in a smaller-footprint than the standard, and can have two or three major prize spirals and three or four for minor prizes. Double Up Stacker takes the game in a new direction - it dispenses tickets, not prizes, and was designed for FECs. Also new from LAI are Textminator, tagged as a "coin-op texting game," that employs a skill set many have acquired thanks to cellphones, and Starblitz, a photobooth with image- modifying features.
Family Fun Cos. (booth #431) plans to showcase several new games. Leading off the IAAPA show pieces are PeeWee Basketball, which challenges players to shoot miniature basketballs from a ledge into 14 baskets, and Rapper Ballin, a basketball-toss game designed to attract multiple credit insertions by requiring players to score a set number of points before advancing. Also making its first appearance is Time 2 Win, a skill-stop merchandiser that challenges players to stop the hands on a series of clocks within designated segments of their faces.
Namco America will show Barber Cut Lite in booth #1200. The new merchandiser employs a player-controlled scissors mechanism that is used to cut a string on which a desired prize hangs. Similar to a traditional claw crane, the scissors can move laterally to the right and forward when being positioned for the final cutting attempt. Namco points out that unlike other merchandisers, the visibly cut strings of previous winners relay to players that it is possible to win, which encourages trial play. Namco said that the game has performed very well in Europe, prompting its introduction in the U.S. market.
Coast To Coast Entertainment is offering three show specials to operators purchasing equipment at the upcoming IAAPA Attractions Expo. Customers can choose one of three options: a $500 discount on all show orders; 5.99% financing and no payments for 60 days; or 2.99% financing and no payments for 60 days. All orders must be written at the show, and there are minimum purchase requirements. Details will be available at Coast To Coast's booth, #2006.
Industry newcomer Aerr Technologies will show Jet-Ball, a game it introduced to the trade at September's AMOA International Expo in Las Vegas. The two-person game features an enclosed table and pneumatic controls, which players use to blast air for deflecting balls and shooting them into their opponent's goal. Described by the company as wholesome, social, skill-based and competitive, Jett- Ball will be displayed in booth #202.
Apple Industries will showcase its Onyx and Face Place photobooths, and will have professional models on hand (booth #806) to encourage trial of its coin-op imaging line. The Bronx, NY-based photobooth company is calling its IAAPA exhibit "Apple American Beauties."
For information about the IAAPA Attractions Expo, visit iaapa.org/expos/attractions/.