December 2016

In This Section.



Breaking News

TRR Welcomes BMI Merchandise (Bonita Marie International), Lakewood, NJ to its Family of Advertisers as #79 “One Source. One Solution” is the 30-year old company’s tagline.  BMI received AAMA’s Supplier of the Year Award.

David Katz, President.  [email protected] or sales@bonitamarie-intl-com.  800-272-6375.


Face Place


IAAPA 2016 Amusement Entertainment TV YouTube Videos Have Been Completed.

There are 59 Videos to look at.



BUZZ BOYZ (Frank ‘the Crank’ and Scott Borowsky) Recap IAAPA 2016 and Year-End Trends in Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine (Nov. 2016):

It’s a Wrap. Perspectives from the 2016 Season’s End.




Test Games Update for WE 12-27-16 Raw Data Just Came In

  • Crazy Claw Jr. 1 Pl – $439 @ 31%
  • Cruis’n Blast A – $498
  • Cruis’n Blast B – $511
  • Pop the Lock – $1445 @ 13%
  • Crazy Tower – $1,672 @ 26%
  • Choppy Wood – $596 @ 30%
  • Shooty Skies – $743 @ 19%



Alpha-Omega Amusements & Sales is Your One Stop Shop for Everything Related to Amusement Games



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Foundations Entertainment University Announces its Pre-Amusement Expo (Dallas, TX) Seminar Program + 2 Additional Dates for 2017 – its 15th Year as the #1 Ranked Industry Educational Program! Attend Foundations University  … on AEM Scholarship.

March 12-13 Dallas TX Sheraton Dallas Hotel
Sunday/Monday-2 Days/2 Evenings.  Foundations Attendees Receive FREE Amusement Expo Pass to Tuesday Seminars & Trade Show ($175 Value) and also includes Laser Tag Seminars ($225 Value alone) and Laser Tag Convention Trade Show. In addition, every Foundations attendee will receive a FREE 1-year subscription to Tourist Attractions & Parks Magazine ($49 Value). Additional Value Total = $449. WOW what a deal!
Early Bird Registration for Foundations University/Amusement Expo is $395 and for you procrastinators, regular registration is $495.  Registration will soon be up on www.foundationsuniversty.com.
Frank ‘the Crank’ has dozens of FREE Scholarships available.  Email [email protected] if interested.
Two Additional Foundations University 2017 Programs.
May 10-12 at the FunPlex FEC in East Hanover, NJ – In conjunction with Montclair State University.  This will be the start of the Foundations ‘On-Line’ Program for college credits.
August 8-11, Chicago, IL (hotel TBD).

ORCA Coast



Attend Birthday University  … on AEM Scholarship!

Orlando FL

Hilton Garden Inn (Lake Buena Vista)

Jan 25-26, 2017 

8:00 am – 5:30 pm

AEM’s sponsorship with Birthday University allows us to extend free scholarships (for up to 3 people) to attend Birthday University at no charge ($399 to $799 VALUE!!!). 
AEM will take care of the registration fee. You take care of your travel. Seating is limited, so please contact Frank ‘the Crank’as soon as possible to reserve.

Bonus Workshop: Thursday, January 26 – 8 am to 9 am.
Frank ‘ the Crank’ will be doing a special seminar titled:  “Financially, What is a Family Entertainment Center All About?  How Can the Staff Help an FEC Make More Money?”
Frank ‘the Crank’ also has several scholarships available for Birthday University. Email [email protected] if you are interested.  Go to www.birthdayuniversity.com for more info.





Mixed Reality – Could It Be the Next Big Thing? Or Will It Be Augmented Reality?

Kevin Williams, Editor Stinger Report

The New Year offers us a cornucopia of new technology to marvel at – and much of this technology plays a part in the future revenue of the amusement scene. One of the most talked about applications is that of virtual reality (VR), but VR is just a small part of the new technology explosion that is ‘Mixed Reality’ (MR).

What is meant by MR is the use of display technology (projection, display and wearable) that immerse the user within a synthetically created environment. We have already seen Mixed Reality applied successfully to Redemption, with the Team Play ‘Fishbowl Frenzy’, using a translucent display to add a digital screen element to the physical redemption game (described as Augmented Reality (AR)). We are also seeing new developments in the sector using immersive display screens (VR) applied into the video amusement and theme park attraction scene.

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While VR may be getting most of the media attention, it is the ability to mix the technology to offering the most compelling experience that has many observers looking towards AR as the more compelling technology, not dependent on totally isolating the user from the real world, but marrying digital imagery with the real-world. But it is always important to remember that whatever the MR technology applied, it will always be the level of enjoyment generated by the game that will give the platform success.

TRR Comments- What This Could Mean?  A lot of fancy words and mumbo-jumbo, but we all know that Fishbowl Frenzy is a great game and has had a huge positive impact on our business. We know lots of people have the inexpensive VR headsets that you attach your smart phone to the front of and you have a virtual 360-degree experience (good, average, or bad (nauseating).  I fall into that last category as I get dizzy and temporarily lose my grip on reality after just a few seconds of being in some kind of VR, MR, AR world.

But that’s me and perhaps like you, we have to be open minded about what is happening right before our eyes (or not).  Well, here is a virtual ‘eye opener’ I stumbled across right here in Florida:

Magic Leap is a huge mixed reality development company located in Plantation, FL that has raised over $1.4 Billion since its inception in 2011 from well-known investors such as Google, Alibaba, and Andressen Horowitz. The company currently has a valuation of $4.5 Billion.  Its 800+ employees are spread across the globe in Israel, New Zealand, and in 5 major US cities. [Note that Oculus had only 75 employees when Facebook recently purchase it for $2 Billion.]

Currently Magic Leap is designing and patenting a mixed reality headset to be the focal point hardware for numerous video game and entertainment platforms. Their new coined name for their new technology is ‘cinematic reality’.  Magic Leap is not the market leader yet, as Microsoft’s ‘HaloLens’ is already producing development kits for their $3000 headset, using the marketing leverage of Windows Holographic operating system.

Other new description names Magic Leap uses are:

  • Projector = special light modulator
  • Optics = photonic light field chips

One new product that could reshape our world is their patented projector, called a fiber scanning display, that is the size and shape of a 6-inch length piece of spaghetti.

The point I want to drive home is that all of this video and entertainment research and development is being done by companies that are not connected with our traditional amusement game industry.  The closest connection I could find is Eugene Jarvis of Raw Thrills who presented at the Twitch.tv annual conference, but this had more to do with the eSports and our industry’s driving games and live streaming video.

Magic Leap may be a company to watch, as their technology could take that ‘magic leap forward’ and replace the common computer screen as well as i-phones, tablets, computers, and televisions.  Just my 2 cents out of the $4.5 Billion.







“Iran opens chilling kids’ military theme park with AK47s where children as young as 8 years old fire bullets at US flags and effigies of the Israeli Prime Minister” – Raja News

“Children dress up in full combat gear and pretend to be attacking enemies like Israel and the West”

THE Iranian government has opened a sinister kids’ war-based theme park which instead of roller-coasters and roundabouts has military checkpoints and AK47s.

The City of Games for Revolutionary Children Park lets youngsters dress up in full combat gear and pretend to be attacking Iran’s enemies like Israel and the West.”


What this Could Mean?  We all know that amusement games and attractions can be used for training purposes but I just wanted you to be aware of what goes on in other parts of the world. Other than that, I really have no comment other than to just shake my head in ‘no’ format in a sad way.

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New Products & Technologies

ETF Ride Systems – New Solar Car – Amazing!

Shown at IAPPA 2016, was a Solar Car from ETF Ride Systems – Solar Team Eindhoven, Netherlands.  This car is not only powered by the sun, but generates additional electricity that can be sold back to the electrical grid for additional cash.  The solar car can reach speeds of 80 mph!  Take a look at the YouTube Video we did at IAAPA with Ruud Koppens, President and Tim Jansen, VP Sales.

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What this Could Mean? First off, we should all be proud that an amusement industry ride manufacturer is using its expertise to use new technology to not only entertain people but to improve their lives and help reduce the world’s dependence on oil. I am so glad that we were able to get this video firsthand.

For more information – www.solarteameindhoven.nl  – [email protected] – +31 (0)40 247 4254.




Animated Climbing Wall (Spectrum Sports International)

Spectrum Sports, Hyde Park, UT, makers of mobile & stationary rock climbing walls, won an IAAPA Brass Ring (2016) for their new Animated Climbing Wall.  Take a look at Rod Leishman (President) detailing this new FEC attraction:



What this Could Mean? The RGB LED climbing handholds really make any climbing wall attracting stand out. Spectrum’s ‘plug & play’ design makes is so easy to install on any existing or new climbing wall. With a small investment and practically overnight, your cimbing wall revenues can see an instant increase. The YouTube Video shows the DigiWall (9-foot tall) traverse climbing wall that also has a video game system.  Players can jump/climb and get an exciting workout and experience.

The LED lights have a ‘slow fade’ feature as they change from one color to another. There is also an app that lets the operator control the colors from their cell phone.  We noted that the ‘white’ handholds (grips) are the most popular color for indoors.

Spectrum Sports also supplies:  Klime Waltz, Zip Lines, Ropes Courses, Coconut Tree Climb and Auto Belays. For more information – [email protected] – US-888-563-0163, 435-792-3883.



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Ask Frank ‘the Crank’ –  Technical Tips

‘A Game Technician’s Letter to Santa Claus- Deliver this letter to All Water Game Manufacturers and Technicians World-Wide’

(Ray Dachik, Alpha-Omega Amusements, North Central Regional Technician/Manager)

Dear Santa,

I am an arcade technician for Alpha-Omega Amusements – corporate office is in NJ but I work out of one of their mid-west sites in Wisconsin (has about the same climate as the North Pole).

About a year ago, I received a Water Blast 2 Pl water game that is made by Bob’s Space Racers. This game is a popular game and almost every one of our customers wants to play it.  You may know BSR because you have probably seen their space ship that is often out on Christmas Eve delivering games throughout the world, much like you and the raindeers do.

The game looked great but I soon discovered that it was somewhat of a maintenance nightmare to keep running.  Note that we do not have free labor Elves available, just me. Easily ten or more times per day I had to take apart both of the water gun nozzle tips to remove many small particles (about the size of salt crystals) that were clogging the tip opening. This would happen six or more times during a shift to each side, and each time I would have to remove the tip and ream it out with a wire.

I tried replacing the water with distilled water instead of tap water but that did nothing to improve the situation. I did notice significant corrosion of the internal and external threads of the two aluminum gun barrels. The female threads of each of the aluminum barrels actually ‘crumbled’ as did the male end of the barrels.

Eventually, I replaced both barrels with new ones from the manufacturer. This cost my company money and made me look ‘naughty’ when they totaled up my parts bills for the year.  Within a week, the newly ordered aluminum barrels developed the same corrosion tendency and the continuous plugging of the nozzle tips continued unabated.

After a little research, I discovered that mixing aluminum stock with brass was not a good idea, in fact, it was a very bad idea. The anodic corrosion index between these two metals is more than twice the accepted maximum allowed.  It was the mix of metals that was causing short life for the aluminum gun barrels and the repeated tip cloggings were due to the result of the galvanic corrosion between the aluminum and the copper with the aluminum crumbling and flaking off.

* Most experts, which I certainly am not, suggest that when you have 2 dissimilar metals you will get corrosion in a wet environment if the anodic index rating of the 2 metals is greater than a 0.15 differential. We have a 0.30 differential between the index values of brass and aluminum.  To quote the experts:  “Brass is incompatible with aluminum, per Mil-STD-889 [link is to free spec at Defense Logistics Agency, dla.mil] (and Notices 1, 2 & 3 thereof).”

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I decided then that I had to take the aluminum out of the equation so I made a ‘Plan’:

The Plan.

 1) Replace the aluminum gun nozzle with a 1/4” ID – 3/8” OD red brass pipe nipple 6” long.. Cost $4.

2) Then put a 3/8” cap on the pipe (Cost $1) and drill and tap the cap to accept the OEM brass gun tip.

This should put an end to the corrosion problem ….and all for only $5 per side. I am also hoping to use the aluminum nozzle (with a larger bore drilled through it) as a loose sleeve over the brass pipe. I don’t know if that arrangement would also be corrosive but it would look better than just a brass “pencil” sticking out of the gun barrel.

The Actual Process. I removed the aluminum gun barrel, sliced off the threaded male end, and bored a hole through it so that a 1/8-inch brass MIP pipe nipple 6” long could be passed through it. I re-tapped the female thread in the gun body to match the 1/8-inch brass pipe end. I used a brass ‘reducing coupler’ on the other end to match with a steel pressure washer gun tip that I bought online, and which has the same opening as the OEM brass tip. The brass pipe inside of the aluminum decorative cover would now be the conduit for the water—not the aluminum. The aluminum is now just a decorative cover and is no longer in contact with the water.

Aluminum “Gun Barrel” O.E.M. Brass Nozzle (far right). I sliced off the right end (last ¼-inch thread) of Gun Barrel to remove corroded internal threads.

RESULT – My little project was completed around Halloween. After 60+ days I have had ZERO clogs and it has not been necessary for me to clean either gun barrel tip even once. I think it is safe to say that this was a successful improvement modification that took less than an hour of actual work, cost $10 in parts for the two guns, and saves me a few hours per week of ‘boring’ maintenance.  Needless to say, the Water Blast now makes more money.  Reminds me of the past Christmas’s TV ads showing the Maytag Repair technicians waiting by the phone with no service calls coming in.

Santa, the balls in your court.  Please get this information to Bob’s Space Racers, to all water game manufacturers around the world, and of course to every game technician. This could be a Christmas present that will keep on giving. Best of all, Bob’s Space Racers makes many other models and they do have the best water games in the industry, so even they should like this gift.

Water Blast (Bob’s Space Racers) Modified Gun Barrel Nozzles. Result:  Zero Corrosion – No More Maintenance Problems for the Past 2 Months!!!

Santa, one other tip… Please include in your letter to the game manufacturers:   Do Not paint the inside of the plastic shroud of the targets. THE PLASTIC IS WATERPROOF!! It does not need to be painted. By painting it the manufacturers have doomed some poor technician to fishing out the peeling paint pieces that the water pressure gun routinely “blasts” off the targets, until the technician gets sick of it and stresses out. I eventually removed the PLASTIC shroud and used an electric drill with a wire brush attachment and scraped the hell out of the inside of the shroud in order to get the damn paint out of all the nooks and crannies of the shroud interior!  Just a suggestion……..doesn’t cost the manufacturer a penny to not paint the plastic and would have saved me several pounds of labor.

That’s about it Santa… Please deliver this letter, and as the saying goes, ‘the sooner the better’ and make the New Year an easier one for all my fellow techs around the world.

Yours truly,


TRR Laser-Blast Button Logo + Text in another document 1-23-16

laser blast text

Industry Events January-April 2017

Dates Name/Link City/Country Frank ‘the Crank’ Attending/Speaking
17-19 EAG International Expo 2017

London, UK

25-26 Birthday University

Orlando, FL



26-28 2017 AMOA State Council Meeting  Tampa, FL ➡ ATTENDING
29-31 IAAPA FEC Summit 2017 Scottsdale, AZ
7-9 ICE 2017 London, UK
22-24 IAAPI Amusement Expo 2017 Mumbai, India
2-4 RAAPA Expo 2017 Moscow, Russia
8-11 AAA Expo 2017 Guangzhou, China
12-13 Foundations Entertainment University at Amusement Expo Dallas, TX ➡ ATTENDING


14-16 Amusement Expo 2017 Dallas, TX ➡ ATTENDING
14-16 Laser Tag Convention Dallas, TX ➡ ATTENDING
27-29 DEAL 2017 Dubai, UAE
27-30 CinemaCon 2017 Las Vegas, NV ➡ ATTENDING
4-6 Birthday University Chicago, IL ➡ ATTENDING