Retro Coin Op Synopsis
You thought of it like an investment, didn't you? You would decide on the perfect place for your quarter to land, you would invest it and execute the landing perfectly, and then would win a gang of quarters back…which you could then re-invest in a CD fund or the stock market. Introduced in the mid-60’s, coin pushers were instantly popular, and why not? All that shiny coinage was right there—only a thin sheet of glass separating it from you. It looked so easy, and it's not like you didn't have a good business plan...
Crompton’s Wheel-a-Win in 1963 was an early pusher model, and the same company’s Penny Falls, released a few years later, became a standard in the pusher genre. All of Crompton’s fancy pushers thereafter had a little Penny Falls in them.
Bryans’ Double Decker was another favorite. With this one, there were two levels for the coins to fall through, dual sweepers on top and bottom, and best of all, nifty little models of double-decker buses which rolled back and forth on tracks.
Jackpot was a Namco one-player redemption game in which the player aimed his coins down chutes toward vertically-moving trays. The coins that the player successfully caused to drop were translated into redemption tickets.
Most of the models designed through the 70’s were built with anti-cheat devices, because sometimes the visual of all that cold hard cash was too much temptation for a person to resist—and the occasional arcader was known to tilt the whole machine toward him to try and get the coins to drop down into the return slot.
Coin pushers continued to thrive in the 80's and 90's, drawing in would-be moneymakers in arcades, at fairs, at carnivals, or wherever kid-friendly games of chance could be found. New models are still produced today, but the fundamentals remain the same: push or be pushed.