It seems that the Tanger Outlet Mall in Terrell, TX is something of a mecca for Kiddie Ride Enthusiasts (which I assume exist). Sure you may not be impressed by seeing characters like Batman (in some type of "Bat Cave Ride"):
But it's probably been awhile since you've seen our old pal Mighty Mouse:
Or Paddington Bear:
Or Tom & Jerry:
Of course there are any number of rides for those who crave more adventure:
This was a great fiberglass find with a lot of character!
In theory, Grossology is an educational, traveling exhibit whose purpose is to educate children about biology and various biological functions through a series of interactive exhibits and whimsical animatronic characters. However, in practice, Grossology is an orgy of terror populated by the most disturbing robotic creatures to ever haunt your nightmares.
Creatures like this:
Why do I bring this up? They had a pretty cool pinball machine. Made by Stern Pinball,"Gas Attack!" is a lesson about digestion in pinball form (yes, I think those are supposed to be intestines on the side of the machine):
Points seem to be accumulated based on the gas inducing potential of various food items. It's also worth noting that it semeed to be made to be played for free as a part of the exhibit and was very popular with the kids there (who weren't crying and screaming in terror at the robots).
The one on the left has an assortment of museum logos and western themes. I went with the one on the right. It only had one option but it was a bold option indeed: The Acrocanthosaurus!
It's a dinosaur whose fossils are found around the area. This machine was no nonsense. No levers, no buttons, no cranks. Just insert the money and watch the penny smashing magic happen. And that's just what I did.
Nott too far from Carlsbad Caverns (which coincidentally seems to be larger on the inside) there used to be a great roadside treasure call the Million Dollar Museum in White's City, NM. Two headed snakes and mummified alien babies sat alongside collections of antique typewriters, doll houses and jukeboxes and collectively they all seemed at home. Sadly the place is no more.
But it was the location where we found what will be our first entry in a new ongoing blog feature: Pinballing. Check out the classic Doctor Who Pinball Machine:
It features the first seven Doctors from the original series.
We also dug up some of the promotional material from when the machine was released:
And if you still have questions then take it up with the promotional one sheet:
White's City Million Dollar Museum will be missed. You can get a better look at it through this video we shot a few years ago while we were out there doing some documentary work (you can see several other unique coin operated games toward the end of the video):
It's time to, once again, smash a penny. This one is courtesy of a trip to the Dallas World Aquarium where, instead of a standard crank, they have a "turning wheel" model:
Is it meant to somehow fit in with a nautical theme? I can't say. But I can say that you have to turn that wheel quite a few times to get your penny. It's also worth mentioning that the gift shop near the penny smasher will provide you with a free shiny penny for your trouble. I've never seen that before and I liked it!
Design options include Leafy Seadragon, Crocodile, Toucan and Octopus. The Leafy Seadragon is the aquarium's pride and joy and it's pretty rare to see that as an option so that was my selection. In real life it looks like this:
He awaits you at the Wall Drug Store in Wall, SD and for about a dollar in change (if I recall correctly) he will sell you all the snake oil you can carry. Here's some crappy video I shot on a crappy camera of the good doctor in action:
It's about time this blog had a recurring feature and I can think of no machine more deserving than the Penny Press a.k.a. the Penny Smasher a.k.a. the Penny Crusher. This works out well for me since any time I see one (and I have the right amount of change) I tend to use one. So here we go!
The choices at this machine are Tiger, Parrot, Elephant and Chimps. There is at least one other machine at the zoo (near their monorail) but I didn't get to look at that one so I don't know if they had different choices.
So I picked the elephant and even afterward I can confidently say that I made the best choice. I mean, come on, it's an elephant!
More penny squashers coming soon (as soon as I see another one)!