Below are news stories that were released a couple of months ago. Go to the News Stories page for the most recent news stories.


Latest Slot Machine Facts

In the year 2000 there were over 200,000 slot machines in Nevada. In contract, in 1960 there were only 16,000.

In the Year 2000 50% of the slots in Nevada were quarter slots, 25% were nickel slots and only 19% were dollar slots. Bet, you didn't realize that there were that many nickel slots still around. For you big betters, there were 173 one hundred dollar slots

The biggest recorded payout was $27.5 million in 1998 on a Megabucks progressive slot jackpot. And you thought you couldn't win much by betting only a dollar.

Of all the high stakes casino games played in Nevada, slot machines are still the bigger winner. Slot machine payouts account for 65% of all of Nevada's gambling winnings.


New Video on History of Video Games

First there was Pong. Then came Asteroids, and Pac Man, and Nintendo.

At every stage of their development, a Video Games have pushed the limits of computing power, as the desire for realism, action and excitement have driven designers to develop new technologies to deliver cutting-edge graphics and performance.

A new video from the History Channel, entitled Modern Marvels: Video Games: Behind the Fun is now available to capture the fun and history of video games.

You'll hear from pioneers like Richard Garriott, the creator of Altima, about the breakthroughs that made the current world of gaming possible, and get an inside view of the industry from people like Neal Robinson of Sega and Trip Hawkins of the 3DO company. Video game historian Keith Jackson takes you through the developments--and games--that changed the face of the industry, and we'll get an inside look at the incredible technology that lies behind every game on the market today.

The 50 minute video costs $19.95 plus $4.95 shipping. It is available from the www.HistoryChannel.com website.


Court Requires Antique Dealer to Pay More for a Collectible

The Antique Week newspaper reported on a recent court case where an antique dealer was required to pay a greater amount that the dealer originally paid for a collectible.

An antique dealer bought a collectible for $1000 which he eventually sold at an auction for $100,000. The jury decided that the dealer took advantage of the seller lack of knowledge and required the buyer to pay ad additional $18,000.

Apparently, it is ok for a delaer to make a good profit, even a very good profit, but not an outragerous profit.


David Copperfield Collects Coin-Op

A recent issue of In Style Magazine featured the 4 story penthouse apartment of David Copperfield, the magician/illionist, which is located on the 57th story overlooking Central Park in New York City. It wasn't the great views or the pool that caught my attention. It was his collection of over 100 antique arcade machines.

David Copperfield starting collecting coin-op only 2 - 3 years ago. In 1999 his earnings were $50 million, allowing him to accumulate some of the most desirable arcade machines ever made. As he criss-crossed the country performing his 500+ shows a year, he visited with gameroom collectors and dealers buying their best items. In fact, last April if you were at the Chicagoland Slot/Juke Show, you would have seen him walking the ailes and parking lot of the show.

The ten page article with full page color pictures of his apartment and collection remind us that we are in a very unique and increasingly popular hobby.


How Close Can you Get to "Book Price" when Selling?

Harry L. Rinker, in a recent article in Antique Week the answer to this frequently asked question.

He quoted from his book The Official Rinker Price Guide to Collectibles: Post 1920s Memorabilia. "If you have an object listed in this book and wish to sell it, expect to receive30 to 40 percent of the price listed if the object is commonly found and 50 to 60 percent if the object is hard to find."

He further indicated that if an item was worth under $50, you can expect to get 15% - 30% of the book value.


Galaga Video Game Receives Most Hits

The web site, Clickto, maintains a database of information on arcade video games. It keeps track of what video games are accessed most often. Here's are the top ten. For more information, visit: clickto.com


The Return of Ms Pac-Man and Galaga

Video games are known for their short life cycle. New games are introduced. They become fads for a few months, then no one wants to play them again. Well that's not the case with Ms Pac-Man or Galaga. People still want to play them.

The popularity of these games are so great that Namco America is re-introducing these games. They are putting both games into a single cabinet with a larger monitor. The cabinet looks just like their 1981 version except one side of the cabinet says Ms Pac-Man and the other side says Galaga.

Best of all, it is being sold at the same price it sold for 20 years ago.


Pay As You Go Electricity

With electricity prices sky rocketing in San Diego, a variation of London's coin-operated heaters, is being introduced in Orlando this coming January.

Rather than being coin-operated it will operate on phone-type cards which transient tenants can buy at the local utility company.


Internet Fraud: Top Ten Online Scams

The Federal Trade Commission releases its Top Online Scams


James D. Julia's Summer Auction brings some Strong Prices

The top seller was a spectacular hundred year old Campbell Soup tin sign featuring an American flag that sold for $28,750.

You will recall that Julia set the world record for vending machines a few years ago, so it is not surprising to see rarities come up at his auctions from time to time.

The Somerville Pepsin gum vendor went for $10,350. A Tollwerck chocolate and gum vendor went for $3,565. A 7-Up Vendorlator VMC Model 81, beautifully restored, sold for $6,600


Sad News . . . again

We have just been informed that Dan Mead, one of our hobby's pioneers, passed away on August 2.

Dan was publisher of Loose Change Magazine, one of the first coin-op publications.

He also was the promoter of the Loose Change Fun Fair in Pasadena, California which was for years one of the premier gameroom shows in the country.

Dan also published a series of Owner's Pictorial Guide to Slot Machine repair, one of the hobby's most essential resource books.

In recent years, Dan and Nora, his wife, were a regular exhibitor at the Chicagoland and Pasadena shows. Several other books were also in the works

Memorial Services will take place on August 13 at the Christ Episcopal Church at 20000 South Maryland Parkway in Las Vegas. Donations in Dan's memory can be made to the American Cancer Society or the Episcopal Church of Las Vegas.

We will miss Dan


Disney to Build a Jukebox Hotel

Over the next five years Disney World will be building a 20 building budget hotel.

The theme of the hotel will be the 20th century with two building representing each decade of the century.

The 1950s will be represented by a gigantic jukebox.


New Video Games Postage Stamp Initiated

Video games, the fall of the Berlin Wall, "The Cosby Show" and the space shuttle program were among the memorable icons of the 1980s honored on 15 new commemorative postage stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service.

The 1980s stamps, were selected by the public during nationwide balloting. Of all the possible subjects, the video games stamps received the most votes. Photo ov Video Games Stamp

The Celebrate The Century program honors some of the most significant people, places, events and trends of each decade of the passing century. The public was offered opportunities to vote for stamp subjects honoring each decade. The Bubbler 1015 jukebox and jitterbug dancing was featured in one of the stamps of the 1940s decade. Photo of Jukebox and Jitterbug Dancing


The Automat Comes Back

About ten years ago the last Horn & Hardart Automat store was closed. Now with new technology, it seem it may be making a comback.

Today it is called Robo Shop. It is being tested in Japan as an unmanned convenience shop. It is like a vending machine that you walk into. Here are some photos and a more detailed description of the Robo Show


Pac Man Declared "Game of the Century"

At the Classic Gaming Expo, Pac Man was decalared the "Game Of the Century". It was projected that Pac Man was the most played game in the world. How's that for a millenium statement.


13 Billion Pennies Made Each Year

Antique coin machine collectors depend upon the penny. Well, you can rest assured. The US Government apparently make 13 billion pennies each year. They are all made by one company, Alltrista, in Tennessee. Despite talk of eliminating the penny, over 75% of public like pennies, suggesting that billions of pennies will continue to be made each year.

The process of making pennies start with bars of zinc which are melted and pressed into sheets. A stamping machine stamps out 22,000 blanks each minute. Another machine puts the rims on the penny and then a thin coat of copper is applied. The blank pennies are shipped to the US Mint in Denver or Philiadephia where they are stamped with Abraham Lincoln's face.

Prior to 1980 pennies were made of 100% copper, but when copper prices went up, a penny cost more than a penny to make so the US Mint switched to zinc which is less expensive


Use Your Cell Phones instead of Coins in Your Vending Machine

Yes, thatís right. On Good Morning America they demonstrated a new vending machine that will be introduced early in year 2000.

Instead of inserting coins, you use your cell phone to dial up the phone number on the machine. The recorded message asks you to press 1 if you want a diet coke, press 2 for an orange soda and so on.

Thatís all there is to it, and the cost shows up on your next phone bill. Our world of coin machine collecting may coming to an end. First, there were bill acceptors, then phone card type credit cards, and now cell phones. Letís start collecting cell phones.


It Took 19 Years to Beat Pac Man

It was in all the papers. Pac Man came out 19 years ago. Millions of people have played it and until this year no one was able to obtain a perfect score.

A Florida video enthusiasts scored 3,333,360 on the game. It took six hours to play and beat each of Pac Man's 256 boards.

Pac Man is still a favorite among video game players and collectors. More people request a Pac Man than any other video game.


Legislation to Require Identification of Reproductions

The National Association of Collectors have launched an initiative to support legislation on the permanent marking and dating of reproductions and fantasy items in the collecting and hobby areas.

The Association is not against reproductions, but believe it is important that they be identified. If you are interested in supporting this effort, visit: http://collectors.org/doc/theproject.asp


Sad News

From the Kansas News :

William Norman Enes, 54, Lenexa, KS, died Monday, December 20, 1999, in London, OH. A memorial service is being planned for a later date.William was born December 23, 1944, in New York, the son of William Norman Sr. and Joyce (Lenz) Enes. William had been self-employed as an antique dealer and author and was recognized as an international authority of vintage vending machines. Survivors include his wife, Peggy (Riggert); daughter, Teresa Wettengeland grandson William Wettengel, both of Des Moines, IA; mother, Joyce Levine, Mountain Lakes, NJ; sisters, Bonnie Morgan, Garden City, NY, and Pamela Munn, San Francisco, CA; nieces, Meredith Ruckh, New York, NY, Devon Robb, Los Angeles, CA, and Montana Munn, San Francisco, CA. (Arrangements: Eberle Funeral Home, London, OH)


Play Monopoly in Your Casino

The Willimas Gaming Company and the Hasbro Toy Company recently joined forces and are bring the popular children's game to your favorite casino

There are several models: Roll & Win, Advance To Boardwalk, Reel Estate, and Once Around. They all feature your favorite Monopoly symbols.

The first location for these slots will be at Bally Park Place, at Park Place and Boardwalk. Just like the board game.


Postage Stamp Features Jukebox . . . Again

In 1995, the U.S. Post Office issued a stamp commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Wurlitzer 1015 jukebox.

Now in 1999 the Post Office is doing it again. As part of its Celebrate the Century stamp series, one of the stamps in the 1940s series, is a jitterbug stamp that once again features a 1015.

Collectors may also like some of the following 1999 stamps


32 Million Collectors

The Antique Trader newspaper reported the results of a recent survey that revealed that there are 32 million collectors in the United States.

This survey is consistent with previous surveys that indicated that about 15% of the public are collectors

The new information, this time, was that approximately 10 million collectors, about 1/3 the total, use the Internet to further their passion for collecting.

As you would expect, older collectors rely less on the Internet while younger collectors rely more on the Internet.

By the end of the year 2000, it is estimated that half the collectors will be using the Internet.

For gameroom collectors and enthusiats, it means that there is no one place that will meet all your collecting needs. It appears that there will be a place for shows, auctions, magazines, as well as the internet for the next several years.


The Penny Slot Makes a Comeback

You have heard of the $100 slot, but believe it or not, the penny slot is also making a comeback in many casinos.

Check out the casinos in downtown Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin or Mississippi and you'll find penny slots.

Don't save your pennies, they take five and ten dollar bills. They are new state-of-the-art slots made by the VLC and called Winning Touch.

Apparently these machine draw players and when they are betting a penny-at-time, they don't mind playing all the multi-line combinations up to the maximum play is 225 pennies.

Since it's quicker to press a credit button than to insert coins, these penny machines can still make a little money.

Even more important, after a short while most penny players move up to the higher denomination slots.


Highlight of Atlantic City Show: 1908 Watling Derby Racing Machine

Over 20,000 people visited the Coin Operated Collector's Association Exhibit at the Spring Atlantique City Antiques Expo.

The highlight of the show for me was the 1908 Watling Derby Racing Machine.

For those who couldn't make the show, here is a photo of that wonderful rare machine.


A News Alert (from 10 years ago)

Ten years ago in November 1988 the Journal of the American Medical Association warned the public not to rock vending machines in effort to try to get a free can of soda.

The Journal documented 15 cases of vending machines falling on people, seriously injuring 12 and killing 3.

Apparently some soda machines that dispense can are top heavy and easily tip over. A typical machine filled with cans of soda weighs over 1000 pounds. If a 1000 pounds fall on you . . .you are likely to regret not inserting a coin.


Best Selling Coin Machine Book Ever

Marhall Fey announced that on December 8th Liberty Belle Books turned 15 with "Slot Machines: A Pictorial History of the First 100 Years," (fifth edition) reaching sales of 30,000.

Not only is it the best selling coin machine book of all time, it is the only one to ever receive a National History Award.


Digger Sells for Record Price

At the recent Randy Inman Auction in Pennsylvania, an Exhibit Supply Company digger in a rare art deco type case sold for $6820, an all time high for a digger machine.

The digger featured colored glass along to top and side edges. It is not unusual for a digger to sell in excess of $3,000, but this auction clearly indicates that diggers are becoming scare and extremely collectible.

A nicely restored Rockola World Series Arcade machine sold for $6600. A coin operated pool table sold for close to $1200. For information on future Inman auction, visit http://www.InmanAuctions.com


Dick Bueschel's Passion Lives On

Dickís passionate mission to discover and deliver on paper the history of coin machines is still alive. Many of Dickís friends shared his passion and have committed themselves to use his extensive collection of research materials to create new articles and books in the months and years to come.

Eric Hatchell, president of Wordmarque Design, the person who is responsible for designing many of the more successful recent books on coin machines and country stores, recently revealed how Dick Bueschelís legacy will continue.

Eric indicated that "Tom Gustwiller and Frank DeMayo have discussed their desire to share with interested collectors, the slot machine research material, patents, and other literature Frank purchased from Dickís collection.

Less than three months after acquiring Dickís pinball paper, author/collector Gordon Hasse has submitted into production the first batch of photographs for use in Volume 3 of the 6 volume Pinball Encyclopedia series.

Author/collector, Ken Rubin is the proud owner of Dickís arcade material and hopes soon to write a series of articles which may well find themselves expanded upon and compiled into book form.

It was Ken Rubinís idea to headline as "D.Bís" any article which is a product of Dickís research material. Hence Kenís articles will be entitled D.Bís Arcade. Eric Hatchellís articles on the history of the saloon, which recently appeared in Coin Drop International, are entitled "D.B.ís Saloon."

The history of saloons is an endeavor the Dick began some 30 years ago. Excerpts of Ericís efforts to capture and share Dickís years of research will periodically be included on this web site.


Dick Bueschel, Coin Op Historian and Author
Dies on April 19

Dick Bueschel, historian and author of many books on coin operated machines, revealed a few months ago that he had a fast growing Grade 4 glioblastoma buried deep in the right thalamus of his brain, i.e., an inoperable brain tumor.

While expected, we were all saddened when his daughter notified the coin-op community that Dick died shortly after the end of the Spring Chicagoland Slot/Juke Show.

Much of what we know about coin machines is a result of Dick's efforts to uncover the history of our hobby. Over the years Dick had ammassed a wealth of information. Before his death he made sure that his files were given to several coin op enthusiats who agreed to finish many of his book projects.

As a result, I am told that Dick's legacy will live on in the years to come with additional books on scales, pinballs, music and arcade machines.

A memorial service may be planned for Dick during the summer. I will alert you to the plans as they become available.


News Alert: Gumball Bandit Caught

Over the last several month, in Toledo Ohio, over 19 stores, banks, and other commercial establishments were broken into. The only item taken was the gumball machine.

Now after intensive police work, the gumball bandit has been caught (apparently with his pockets full of gumballs).

Can gumball machine owners now rest easy. Apparently not. The police report that there is a copycat gumball bandit. Three more stores have been broken into. Again the only item stolen was the gumball machine.

That's an interesting way to start a gumball machine collection.

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