OMAHA, NE -- The new Brew Buck It redemption game has been performing spectacularly in its first installation, according to Coast to Coast Entertainment's James Chapman. Placed in the Old Mattress Factory tavern here, the game has proven a smash hit during the recent College World Series.
Designed by two Omaha inventors, Brew Buck It resembles a classic "claw" crane merchandiser, but replaces the mechanical gripper with a gloved hand fitted with an embedded magnet that can pick up a replica beer bottle. The player maneuvers the hand on two axes to position it over the desired target and drops it. If the aim is true, a magnet in the palm of the hand contacts a ferrous cap on one of the aluminum bottles, which then is lifted and delivered to the lucky patron for redemption.
During the Old Mattress Factory test, players redeemed their target bottles at the bar, receiving genuine beers as prizes. Coast to Coast points out that, in wider applications, the bottles can be redeemed for any kind of prize merchandise. The game itself and the bottle-shaped targets can be branded, and the entire system lends itself to promotional programs.
Inventors J.R. Bryant and Ryan Schwarz constructed a working prototype and conducted a proof-of-concept trial. The results encouraged them to contact Coast to Coast about manufacturing and marketing a commercial version. The company recognized the potential and engineered a production model for practical operation in the field. The first of these was used for the College World Series test, with striking results. Bryant and Schwarz have posted videos showing some of the action on YouTube; they can be accessed from the game's website, brewbuckit.com.
"On weekends, the game is generating just over $1,000 and during the week we are seeing daily incomes from $400 to $600," Coast to Coast's Chapman reported during the series, which was played from June 14 to 25. "At times, the line has been 20 deep to play. People are cheering each other on, kids are jumping up and down and, when a group of friends play, they challenge each other to see who will win first."
The production model of the game stands 75" high and has a footprint measuring 39.5" deep (including the control panel) by 38" wide. The display area and the control panel feature LED backlighting. For enhanced realism, the magnetic hand is equipped with realistically moving fingers. The piece weighs 300 lbs. empty.
Coast to Coast observed that a very appealing feature of the game is that the empty bottles allow each operator the option to make it an adults-only machine or one for families. "This game is a marketing machine," Chapman pointed out, "and the empty containers can be used as tokens redeemable for beverage or food prizes, or house gift cards or coupons."
The game is shipping now; information is available by calling Chapman at (800) 224-1717, ext. 726, or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.