In This Edition
- Breaking News
- Online Connectivity Connects at IAAPA
- The Younger Audience is a Major Focus as ‘Kid-Tainment’ Explodes’
- Knock It Off Rotary Continues to be #3 Ranked Game in the Industry
- Introducing ‘Tickets! Tickets! Tickets!’ the New Ticket Crane Designed by Frank ‘the Crank’
- Foundations Entertainment University Just Announces 2016 Schedule
- New Products & New Technologies
- How different people react to different technologies
- Lily Camera-Captures Our Experiences in a Unique Way
- Finger-Size User Interface Created by MUV Interactive, Herzliya, Israel
- Technical & Operations Tips – Ask Frank ‘the Crank’ Seninsky
- YouTube Video Shows How to Open a Popular Padlock Without a Key
- Kung Fu Panda Button Problem and Easy Solution
- Make More Money Using 18″ Knobby Balls in Your Giant Cranes
- Top Redemption & Merchandising Games and Test Games Spreadsheet Report
- Introduction to Top 60 Games Combined List
- Hottest Games the AEM/Alpha Team Gave a Thumbs Up at IAAPA
- New Games at IAAPA that the AEM/Alpha Team Approved for Testing
- Top 60 Redemption and Merchandise Dispensing Games Combined – Now 4 Test Locations
- Test Games Spreadsheet Report – The Revenue Results are Incredible!
- Introduction to Top 60 Games Combined List
- Top Redemption & Merchandising Prizes
- Ranking of 18 MERCHANDISERS at Test Location #1 & Prizes in Each
- Prizes Used by Alpha-Omega Amusements in Merchandisers December 2015
- What’s Hot – Showcase and Crane Ideas – Rhode Island Novelty – HMS Monaco – Sureshot Redemption
- Industry Events
Internet ‘connectivity’ is slowly gaining momentum in the leisure amusement industry. Game manufacturers are hearing the ‘buzz’ and reacting with new levels of investment to supply compelling and successful entertainment offerings.
Here’s the Ticket!
The ‘connectivity’ buzz was quite evident for anyone walking the 9 miles of carpet at the recent IAAPA Trade Show last month in Orlando, FL. There were several international companies showing off the future. However, the Western amusement business has been slower to embrace the need for online connectivity, social media, special applications and smart phone support. Here are four examples of new technologies that caught my attention:
• Universal Space (UNIS) launched its free and mobile app ‘FUN IS’ platform under the tag line: “Connecting families to fun.” The customer relationship management (CRM) tool is designed to drive revenue by notifying app holders when a location has set up specials or when a new feature is present. The UNIS press release states, ‘Additionally, the app allows for customization of branding images so brand loyalty can be enforced from anywhere. It creates a mobile bond between customers and their favourite local FEC or arcade.’ FUN IS also has a loyalty system that uses “Fun Points.” These e-points are rewarded for online and in-store activity and can be spent inside the app at a virtual redemption counter. ‘On top of this, a full mobile payment system is in the works for the app,’ reports UNIS. The app can also simplify many tasks including booking parties. www.thefunis.com
• Andamiro USA, premiered their ‘Smart Monitoring System’ (SMS) that alerts technicians and operators of game malfunctions and permits game changes to be made to the prize machines from anywhere in the world where the Internet is available. www.andamiro.com
• Play Mechanix has combined their CoinUP network and tournament infrastructure to empower their new motorcycle racer ‘MotoGP’ to attract more players and a higher frequency of play. This is the same new technology has driven the success of their ‘Big Buck Hunter’ series.
• Apple Industries’ (a leader in connectivity) Face Place-‘Photo Studio Deluxe’ provides game revenue-share operators, as well as owners, a great opportunity to knock on some fancy first class doors (family entertainment centers, parks, sports arenas, retail stores…) that were not previously open to traditional looking photo booths. Take a look at the best looking photo booth at IAAPA. I was very impressed to learn that all Apple Scene Machine owners recently benefited from Apple’s new Instagram feature, a social media option that was downloaded to all Face Place Photo Booths at no charge just prior to IAAPA. www.faceplacephoto.com
💡 What this could mean? In a nutshell it means that social media and connectivity are poised to play a major role in the amusement industry’s future. To date, aproximately 15% of game operators are using debit card systems and embracing that new technology to create multi-tiered loyalty programs, connect with customers, and drive revenues. The other 85% haven’t even taken this small baby step. What are they waiting for?
PayRange is making great strides in providing an inexpensive way for customers to interact with vending machines. The company’s next focus is on the amusement industry. With a $50 dongle, a vending machine or game can be put on-line wirelessly and immediately start interacting with customers. AEM is currently working with a cloud-based system provider on a wireless system that has no hardware components-no dongle even. Technology is moving faster than the speed of light.
Here’s the Ticket!
The need to draw a younger audience and keep them entertained has seen an explosion in investment and momentum in what has come to be known as ‘Kid-Tainment’. Developments prior to the IAAPA convention have seen an increased investment in pre-school entertainment packages, raising the bar of the traditional kiddie ride category. This is what we saw when we peered over the bar:
• Barron Games International offered a video game experience for the youngest entertainment facility guests with their new ‘Dolphin Star Interactive’, a simple rocking motion and steerable video game with an “edutainment” element.
• InJoy Motion brought their new ‘Kiddy Dido’, a compelling twin player child (2-8 years of age)-based cartoon racer.
• Universal Space (UNIS), as expected, showed a catalogue of titles that covered the age range from the youngest to the oldest, but this year focused on kid-tainment titles: ‘Ski Racer’ a slalom racing skiing game for young players, ‘Speedy Feet’, a foot-stomping based whack-a-mole style video game, ‘Monkey Shakedown’ (a ball launching video), and a children’s music theme game, ‘Drummer Kids’.
• Incredible Technologies (IT) is also currently investing heavily in developing content for a much younger audience than previously. IT has refined their videmption (video-redemption) category and featured their new touchscreen game, ‘Tickle Monsters’. This game offers a young narrative with a redemption ticket/point pay-out.
💡 What this could mean? Our industry has previously focused on the children’s entertainment center (CEC) category for a complete 14-year cycle and then the wind moved the pointer arrow in the direction of adult leisure entertainment centers (including bowling-hybrid and retro bar cade) for the next 14-year cycle (we are still in the middle of that cycle). It appears now that our industry’s weather vane has now come to a fork in the road and is currently traveling forward simultaniously in both of these two category directions mentioned above. However, the younger road is not headed toward more CECs but rather to a young audience that embraces an amusement video redemption segment. We applaud this courageous attempt to grow the future customer base that our industry pretty much abandoned over the past 14 years.
Knock It Off Rotary 4 Pl (Elaut) with ticket rolls as prizes priced at 50 cents/play shattered its all-time revenue record with a one-week collection of $7426.00 with a ticket win of 30.69% for WE 1-1-16. Knock It Off again ranked #3 overall and the #1 merchandiser by a wide margin. The story is even more amazing because 1 of the 4 player positions was down for the entire week. Had that player position been working, the KIO might have earned over $10,000! KIO awarded more than 300,000 redemption tickets for the week. Another reason why KIO isn’t making a lot more money is that there are now 8 other merchandise dispensing games at the Test Location that award bundles or bricks of tickets. The KIO is now almost 20 years old. I personally helped design and name KIO in conjunction with Elaut Belgium, incorporating 42 new innovations over the former Elaut 4 player rotary. This year I again had the opportunity to consult with Elaut on the design of their Tower of Tickets 4 player rotary. Tower of Tickets is now being manufactured in the U.S. by Bay-Tek for Elaut.
Here’s the Ticket!
As the ticket vs. ticketless (e-tickets) debate rages on, yours truly is laughing all the way to the bank!
Ticket Candy Crane again made the Top 10 Combined List ranking #7 overall and #3 in the merchandiser category, earning $3732.00 (it has done better) with a ticket win of 26.43% for WE 1-1-16.
Alpha-Omega Amusements & Sales has been working closely with Coast to Coast/Elaut over the past several months testing two updated version prototype ticket candy cranes that were designed to exactly replicate our Ticket Candy Crane. In each case, the prototype model Ticket Candy Crane (now called ‘Tickets! Tickets! Tickets!’) was the #1 merchandiser at each new test location and broke every merchandiser revenue record.
Coast to Coast/Elaut and Alpha-Omega Sales will go into production with ‘Tickets! Tickets! Tickets!’ that will be sold exclusively through Alpha-Omega Sales under the ‘Frank the Crank Approved’ label. ‘Tickets! Tickets! Tickets!’ will be available for sale in June 2016 at the very reasonable price of $1895 FOB East Brunswick, NJ. Flashing color LED lights are also included to make this ticket crane the best ROI new game in the industry.
Based on testing two ‘Tickets! Tickets! Tickets!’ for 3 months in B ranked locations and the Ticket Candy Crane for 2 years in an A+ location, with all 3 averaging higher than $1000/week gross revenue with an average ticket win% of 30%, the ROI on ‘Tickets! Tickets! Tickets!’ is estimated to be a net after prize costs of 17.5 times its purchase price (including shipping & sales tax) or 1650% ROI. Not too bad of an investment! Even if you place ‘Tickets! Tickets! Tickets!’ in B locations and average $500/week gross, that is an ROI of 825%. If you are a revenue-share operator with a 50/50 split, then your ROI would only be 412% 😀
Below is the marquee header of ‘Tickets! Tickets! Tickets!’.
THE FOLLOWING WEEK KNOCK IT OFF MOVED UP TO #8 AND TICKET CANDY CRANE MOVED DOWN TO #7. This is absolutely amazing!!!!!
The Ticket Candy Crane has been ranking in the Top 10 for the past several months and has been featured in previous TRR issues #22 and #23 . The Knock It Off has historically ranked between #40-#50 using round dishes with ticket vouchers inside for prizes. When the ticket vouchers were initially used as prizes 10 years ago, the KIO was a top earner but has fallen off over the years. If you want to increase revenue in a game that has coupons or ticket vouchers, like Knock it Off, replacing them with real tickets and increasing the hit frequency is the way to go. We learned this from experimenting with the Ticket Candy Crane (the smallest game in the FEC). We have found this to be true in most games using other means to represent real tickets. The KIO is another example of how tickets have the advantage over ticketless.
The KIO playfield is initially filled with 40 formations of ticket circles of 150 tickets each, 2 formations of 500 ticket circles, and one 1000 ticket dish as a major prize. Our ticket value is ¾ cent. The key here is to maintain a high hit frequency (# wins divided by # plays) and establish a goal of 25% ticket win %. Our current hit frequency is 1:10. A sign is helpful to encourage the winners to bring the won ticket circles to the Redemption Prize Center rather than take them apart and feed the tickets into the Ticket Centers. This will make it easier for staff to replace the ticket bundles won back onto the playfield to not only keep it full and looking enticing, but to maintain the 25% ticket win %. It does take some time and effort to keep making up replacement ticket bundles. Note that as the number of circles on the playfield decreases, the slightly more difficult it is for the players to win. The players know this and you want to keep the game looking attractive.
Another advantage of using a 4 player rotary is that 2, 3, or 4 players can work as a team to time their pushes to give one player an advantage of knocking the ticket bundle off the playfield-especially going for the 1000 ticket dish.
We will keep experimenting with different ticket formations and numbers of tickets to keep the customers interested. Every rotary model is different so what works for us may not work for you, but at least you now have the concept. Also note that the wholesale prize values we are using are $1.13 for 150 tickets, $3.75 for 500 tickets, and $7.50 for 1000 tickets, well under the maximum prize limits for all but 2 states.
(Thanks to Edwin Rodrigez, Alpha-Omega Super Tech, for helping make this concept work and for information provided)
Instruction on the best FEC operational practices, not unlike the VIP customer strategy described in this issue, is available at Foundations Entertainment University, which assembles three times a year. This year’s first FEU, class No 38, will take place during June 14-16 in Chicago, IL. The next two sessions will be held on August 22-23 in Atlanta, GA and on October 18-20 in Phoenix, AZ. The $689 tuition fee includes 2-1/2 days of classroom instruction; lunch and dinner on Tuesday and Wednesday (the special hotel rate includes 3 breakfast coupons); a Tuesday-evening tour of local entertainment centers; and a comprehensive manuscript book and CD. Informal one-on-one consultations with instructors and attending sponsors greatly enhance the value of the program.
FEU, now in its 14th year, covers financial feasibility, planning, design, financing, development, marketing and managing a successful location-based entertainment business. Frank Seninsky is a founding member of the faculty, which also includes Randy White, White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group; Jerry Merola, Amusement Entertainment Management (AEM); Frank Price, FL Price; engineer Peter Olesen, Entertainment Concepts; and Kevin Williams, KWP Ltd. Frank Price’s Birthday University is held in conjunction with Foundations Entertainment University. All FEU attendees can attend Birthday University for $10.
Graduates of FEU’s class No. 37 came from a wide variety of entertainment facilities operating in North America and Puerto Rico. They included operators of indoor and outdoor FECs, children’s centers, trampoline parks, skating, water attractions, bowling centers and roller rinks, along with laser tag arenas, nature farms, and arcade game operations.
|Dates||Name/Link||City/Country||Frank ‘the Crank’|
|January 2016||Attending/ Speaking|
|12 – 14||EAG Expo||London, UK|
|24 – 28||Bowling Summit||Honolulu, HI, USA|
|26 – 27||Birthday University 2-Day Masters||Orlando, FL, USA|
|28 – 30||AMOA State Council Meeting||San Antonio, TX, USA||💡 SPEAKING|
|31 – 02||IAAPA FEC Florida||Orlando, FL, USA|
|20 – 23||National Franchise Show||San Antonio, TX, USA||➡ ATTENDING|
|23 – 25||F2FEC Conference||San Diego, CA, USA|
|07 – 09||RSA Regional Convention||Indianapolis, IN, USA||💡 SPEAKING|
|07 – 10||Pizza Expo||Las Vegas, NV, USA|
|09 – 11||IAAPA Latin American Summit||Mexico City, Mexico||➡ ATTENDING|
|09 – 11||Asia Amusement & Attractions (AAA) Expo||Guangzhou, China|
|15 – 17||Amusement Expo||Las Vegas, NV, USA||💡 SPEAKING|
|15 – 17||Laser Tag 1-Day Seminar Program at Amusement Expo||Las Vegas, NV, USA||💡 SPEAKING|
|10 – 15||BPAA School for Entertainment Center Management||Arlington, TX, USA|
|11 – 14||CinemaCon, National Association of Teatre Owners Show||Las Vegas, NV, USA|
|25 – 26||Euromat Convention||Barcelona, Spain||💡 SPEAKING KEYNOTE|
FRANK ‘the Crank’ SENINSKY WILL BE PRESENTING
THE KEYNOTE ADDRESS TO THE 17 ATTENDING COUNTRIES
TRANSLATED INTO 17 LANGUAGES.
THE KEYNOTE WILL BE POSTED ON THE FRANK ‘THE CRANK’ BLOG
➡ FRANK WILL BE ATTENDING
💡 FRANK WILL BE PRESENTING A SEMINAR SESSION