CONEY ISLAND, NY - One of the hottest games to hit American arcades in recent years is being imported and marketed by two Coney Island operating veterans. "The Boxer," an old-style punching bag game equipped with modern electronics and built to take a beating, is producing strong collections in a variety of locations.
Manufactured by Poland's Jakar, "The Boxer" has made its way to the United States thanks to Stan Fox, an arcade veteran here, and Manny Cohen, owner of the Coney Island Arcade. The two men first noticed the game a year ago when it was on display at the 2004 Amusement Trades Exhibition International in London, and decided to bring it to the U.S. under the Coney Island Arcade banner.
"It's difficult to find good product today," said Fox, who defines "good product" by earnings capability and reliability. "These are the two qualities in games operators are looking for most."
"The Boxer" offers three play selections: strength test, speed test and tournament mode. The first two impulse modes measure a player's power and reflexes, displaying the ranking on a digital readout. In tournament mode, three to nine players can compete in three rounds.
Fox reports that "The Boxer" was a top revenue generator last summer in many arcades, and is one of the highest grossing machines in Cohen's arcade. Operators are offering one credit , usually 50¢, but sometimes $1 , for one punch.
"Boxers or punching bag games have been in arcades for 100 years," Fox observed, "but this design is made for the 21st century." Engineered with a completely padded bag and arm mechanism supported by a player-friendly form factor, the game's design lowers risk of injury. Constructed of water-resistant fiberglass that rests on a steel base, "The Boxer" can operate booth indoors and outdoors. According to Fox, it's the first "all-digital" boxing game.
"This game takes a licking and keeps on ticking," Fox likes to say.
The machine provides audio instructions for players. In fact, there are 150 voice messages available in eight languages: English, Polish, German, Russian, French, Czech, Italian and Spanish. The Coney Island Arcade offers two models, standard and deluxe finished with airbrushed paint, that come with a one-year warranty. The company also stocks parts.
Cohen and Fox also believe "The Boxer" would be an excellent attraction at some street locations. In Austria, an operator is running a tournament on 60 machines placed in taverns and nightclubs in which the first prize is a Porsche Boxer.
Jakar manufactures a full line of strength- and speed-testing machines, including the new "The Kicker." The soccer game, which computes a player's kicking ability, also is available from the Coney Island Arcade.
The Coney Island Arcade is based at 30-19 West 12th Street, Coney Island, NY 11224. Information on "The Boxer" and other strength-testing games can be had by calling (718) 372-8811 or (973) 610-8555.