Bonkers Toon Police Force (retheme)

(Topic ID: 231820)

Bonkers Toon Police Force (retheme)

By DS_Nadine

36 days ago

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  • 32 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by DS_Nadine
  • Topic is favorited by 16 Pinsiders


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#1 36 days ago

Short Version:
I’m trying to do a Disney’s Bonkers retheme for the Williams Police Force pinball machine and I’m kinda hating it.
So I’ll do a little documentation of that as well as way bigger analysis about art in pinball in general and where/ how it succeeds… or totally fails.
So you may read this… or just look at some pictures.

Way more elaborate Version:
Since I had to sell my (more expensive) pinball machines about a year ago (for more urgent/ meaningful purposes) I really wanted to have a new shiny machine to play and sit in my office,… while on the same time still being on a tight budget.
That said, both my Johnny Mnemonic and Bally Atlantis, look gorgeous,… but only for what they are. The cabinet art on Johnny Mnemonic is blend and in general the more modern games don’t have these mostly black cabinets anymore. They just look friendlier and while I had my Ghostbusters machine even though I may have stopped playing it, I always thought of it as a little artpiece sitting in the room.
And in addition to that, while I love my JM, every game sitting alone in your room for months or years, gets a little bit old.
What I personally need in a game is good music and what my wife needs is for the machine to be child friendly (since I have my main office at home).
So I was looking for a colorful, modern looking, child friendly game, with great music, actually working and basically free… WHAT CAN GO WRONG?!

So I was searching for months, having a couple of games in mind. But of course when you look for something specifically it won’t show up and I hesitated to ask in the forum for specific titles just so the seller wouldn’t think to ask a higher price because I’m “searching”.

So I posted a “general” search for games under 1000 bucks, working… and with music.
Got some offers but most interestingly a Mousin Around, wich I’ve completely ignored until then, because of the theme. More specific that ugly guy with the cigar and the antropromorphic mice.

Next I found a Police Force, again an antropromorphic animal game, wich I dislike, but even for that gone horribly wrong.
I mean honestly what were they thinking? – Don’t get me wrong the art is well executed, the translite colorful, but the theming of the game in general, the artstyle(s) and partially the composition is... not that great.

backboxes (resized).jpg

The reason to use animals instead of humans is usually to make something appeal more kids friendly.

But this games art package does poop on everyones plate while kind of trying to broaden the target audience. The animal cops on the translite look absolutely terrifying and kinda photo realistic. The composition on the Translite (wich I will go in more detail later when rethemeing) is the same as with Batman (the game this was meant to be) and High Speed; with the Cops sitting left & right of the display wich is implemented as a car dashboard. Problem is, there is NOTHING in the centre of the picture but an empty street.

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The sides of the cab look way more cartoony and in case of the weasel even funny, but the cops still look intimidating and that car is lacking any dynamic (just think of the sides of Ghostbusters) drawing strictly from the side and geometrically correct. (Wich saves the artist a lot of work when mirroring the image – something I’ll also come back to again, later in the process.) That backbox side art just scream lackluster. The playfield (more in detail later) again looks way different, even funny, with that turtle showing it’s poophole… but I’m personally crying on the inside at that point.
So that game, while working nicely, was (and still is) pretty beat up and no bondo and new original cabinet decals can make this abomination of an art package a beauty.


And here’s why:
Police Force in general is a Cops & Robbers game wich is one of the most broaden appealing things to boys (but not only) of all ages. Additionally that game has its police lights on top, so my children will go absolutely nuts about it (and it costed not much more then my GB topper alone). - Don’t forget that little police car.

On top of that it has a great music and sound package and the goal of the game is pretty simple to understand.

So my question to myself before buying was:
Can I tailor this game to my needs & taste while not going completely overboard?
And I came to the conclusion that I can. (If I have the patience and will that is.)

So as I wrote, Police Force in itself is a great theme, I just don’t like the art. The playfield itself is pretty generic so it could stay nearly as it is, only the animals would still stick out and have to vanish somehow…

But –at least for starters- I don’t want to redo the whole playfield. So I can’t retheme this game into a “Police Academy” or anything. On top of that the music wouldn’t fit.

So I can’t retheme this game with “low effort” unless I make it a Police themed game with antopromorphic animals. But although I prefer the game to be child friendly I don’t want an all animal game.

So I thought really hard about it, about only 2 seconds, then I remembered “Bonkers”. – That (pretty messed up in the production background) cartoon show Disney did surrounding the Roger Rabbit & Toontown idea. I never was a fan due to various reasons (wich I happily tell but this text is getting way too long already) and had long forgotten but it was well made and it fits all my needs to NOT ONLY slap that license over the pinball game, but mix them up. – Meaning, the Drug Rat and all the Police Force Characters (just not the Cops) can fit into the game and Bonkers is so long forgotten that no one would notice the absence of the title music. (And there may be the possibility for Pinsound later.)

Only problem with that is:
Bonkers never was a big hit and with it long forgotten you can’t get the series on DVD (I bought 2 VHS tapes just to get a hang of the series) and you can’t find any high-res picture material or artwork. On top of that, because of the messed up production background, that existing artwork may actually not fit in the ‘cannon’ or the design of the characters and props has changed from the first batch of promotion material.
So, while having visual aids, I basically have to redo (and change) all those assets as well as verify them within the series (waiting for that VHS tapes).


So for all the ones endulging me, here’s some pictures of the web I found…

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…and made this first draft of:

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I will go to every piece in detail later while revisioning; but in general the parts where I can 1 copy some existing artwork is relatively easy but for the most part I have to add or change a lot of stuff. So I have to get a hang of the artstyle and rework things like the Police Force Characters on the cabinet side to make it fit into Bonkers world. With things like the front (wich is about completely original) I’ll need way more time to get that right. The composition on the front is still subject to change while I’m already pretty happy with the sides. As far as the already mentioned “verifying” goes, I have to have a look at the actual TV-Show, since the car in the promo material for example looks totally different every time, this one here having no side mirrors btw., and they all look kinda different to the animated version (wich I only have seen snippets of yet).

So if you like, stay around and enjoy a bonkers journey!

(Including drawing, restoring, reworking & changing (backglass illumination & displays), learning how to lasercut / cnc acrylic, plotting your own stickers, getting to learn everything about a license no one cares for and last but not least a lot of ranting about other peoples work! )
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#2 36 days ago

I loved that show. Can’t wait.

#3 36 days ago

The cabinet art looks awesome.

#4 35 days ago

So, having a look and playing my first games on the actual machine...

Anyone can post a link to the screws that are missing there in the outlanes?

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Coin door is bend to a degree that it only opens with some force, center ramp is pretty beat up, playfield shows some wood and that spinner is... masterfully re-enigeered. - But it's working like a clock, so that's a good thing.

I took the 'actual' measurements of the backbox including screw and keyhole positions and tested if the first sketch would align, wich it didn't, since the angle the backbox tilts is much wider. So I had to re-arrange the backbox artwork a bit, space the characters out a bit.

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So while doing other stuff around the game I can now slowly redraw/ clean up that picture.

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Took some freedom with Mirandas eyes, but putting the eyelashes from 'Anime style' back into their Disney Cartoon position.

Her Police Badge and Pocket are actually seperate layers so I can change that when mirroring the image.
It would be actually be possible to use the picture without mirroring, but I prefer to have Bonkers always jump out towards the player, not away from the game.

Edit: And yes, I like Miranda.

#5 35 days ago

WOW! Can't wait to follow the progress, those sketches are making it look great, already!

#6 35 days ago

What a fantastic retheme! Bonkers is great!

1 week later
#7 23 days ago

The last days I was conceptualizing how to make the backglass work (forgot the sketches at work *cough* *cough*), how to change plastics, replace the car... basically dreaming all over the place not getting any stuff done JPop style. It's the holidays.

But what better time to sit down and grab some VHS (and luckily due to some help the rest of the series digitally) and get familiar with the show.

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As said earlier, it's kinda hard to draw anything as close to 'cannon' if all the promotion material doesn't seem to have one.

Well, watching the show that definately is the case. The "main" Bonkers TV-Show comprises of two iterations of the show, done seperately.
Those familiar with the show know Bonkers has 2 partners, but that is just the most obvious difference. Depending what partner that is, the cast, tone, character design, artstyle and assets change alltogether.


So, the beaten up, more round shaped police car wich I 'copied' onto the cab and put Miranda inside is from the Lucky (Guy) episodes, while Miranda (Girl) drives a police car looking like a Dodge Monaco from Chips. - So I either change the character back or I change the car...

Another big difference most people won't notice (and I didn't see it in any wikis) is the coloring sheme.
The Lucky episodes try to be more close to the Roger Rabbit idea it is founded on. So Lucky is not only the more family friendly version of Bob Hoskins private detective character and partially recreating a film noir athmosphere, it tries harder to seperate Toon and Non-Toon characters,... wich is hard come to thing of it since this is an animated show and not the mixture of Roger Rabbit.

These episodes try to show this by matching the non-toon characters color table to the surrounding light.
That is not common for hand colored 'cel' TV-animation, because it takes a lot of preparation and planning.
But they did this and so the toon characters will always look saturated and stick out, while the real live characters will blend in.

https i.ytimg.com_vi_qjIaV4IhK8g_hqdefault (resized).jpghttps i1.ytimg.com_vi_7DeI0Mi2P1M_hqdefault (resized).jpg

The Miranda episodes don't do this. Everything is colorful.

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BUT, I like the script in the Miranda episodes much better. They satirize a lot of cartoon and media stuff, while the other episodes (didn't watch them all to be fair) feel like a blend immitation of Roger Rabbit.

So.... Full color or toned down non-toon Cast?

Well I have to finish the first drawing yet. XD

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#8 23 days ago

Very nice. At least being able to actually draw, you're WAY better off than I was (am?) with my Voltron re-theme and just vectorizing existing assets. If you don't mind my asking, how long did it take you to draw what you have so far...looks really good, especially the lower cabinet side.

#9 23 days ago

I like the full color idea. Great sketches and I'm excited to see this thing through. I remember watching the show a little but now I want to go back and rewatch it haha.

#10 23 days ago
Quoted from Frax:

Very nice. At least being able to actually draw, you're WAY better off than I was (am?) with my Voltron re-theme and just vectorizing existing assets. If you don't mind my asking, how long did it take you to draw what you have so far...looks really good, especially the lower cabinet side.

Thx. So for the sketches in the first post it took me 4-5 hours from refining the idea, collecting pictures, make a mock up montage and then draw the first draft.
The actual time spent drawing was propably about 30 minutes only, but sketches are sketches and a clean drawing is a whole different story.

Quoted from PapaKilo:

I like the full color idea. Great sketches and I'm excited to see this thing through. I remember watching the show a little but now I want to go back and rewatch it haha.

Better not...

https memecrunch.com_meme_BI7_don-t-do-it_image.gif w=400&c=1 (resized).png

It has it's moments but it wasn't stellar when it was new and it didn't age that well.
I like the series for some of it's ambitions, like the coloring distinction between toons and non-toons, but if you don't know what the reson for this design choice is it just looks strange.

So yeah: Full color all the way!

Edit: I have to add I still like it for some reasons I'll maybe go into detail later on, or I wouldn't make this reskin.

#11 22 days ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

sketches are sketches and a clean drawing is a whole different story.

Right......but still...that's like...'holy crap' levels faster than me.

#12 22 days ago

Now for the color...

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1 week later
#13 11 days ago

Preparing the Backbox, not yet decided what to do with the graffiti.
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But first, let's finish the first decal.
Maybe I'll get it ready this week.

Still on the coloration (WIP)...

#14 11 days ago

Getting there... ...sloooooooooowwwwwwwlyyyyyyyyy...

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As Zombie Yeti mentioned in one podcast:

After one day of work (illustration) you don't do home continue 'working' for fun usually.

( If this would be work the whole thing would long be done. XD )

#15 11 days ago

Backbox is going to be some kind of purple, because I want a sunset in the background on the lower cab sides.

Still thinking if I put some cloud and stuff in the background of the backbox sides or just a fitting color.

What I changed is, Lucky (the fat guy) doesnt lean out anymore, giving this pic a more rectangle shape... I don't have to mirror it.

I have played around with this and since on the left cabinet side MIranda (girl) would be facing the player it's still ok.

( And because I forgot to put that Hollywood Sign on a separate layer. )


For the cab sides I have to do the whole picture without the steering wheel and the driver... not looking forward to this. XD

#16 11 days ago

Man, I love what you're doing and would love it if you posted a few vids of your Illustrator process, showing us how you're coloring it and the different layers, masks, etc... GREAT WORK!

#18 10 days ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

Man, I love what you're doing and would love it if you posted a few vids of your Illustrator process, showing us how you're coloring it and the different layers, masks, etc... GREAT WORK!

Thanks for the compliment.

Not sure if anyone wants to see/ read what I do in even more detail, I personally would be bored to death watching this baby steps in progress.
So while I do things on the side (trying to cut acryllic for making custom pastics and Playfield overlays), I try at least to post some pictures with any update.

I may make a video when I'm really done with the whole thing,... but that would be far, far away.
The cab is only the first thing.

Side note not for the illustration process but for the coloration in general:

Disneys movie poster coloration/ gradients are way smoother then what what I did here. (Shadows are harder, more contoured while trying to avoid Anime style.)
But honestly I never liked that and since this is for me and not for any customer, I want it to look good (for me) and to modernize that look... like SEGA did when inventing Sonic as a classic cartoon mascot and then doing an (airbrush, grafitti strangely highlighted kinda metallic look) overhaul when releasing Sonic Adventure for Dreamcast. (Wich is now also 20 years ago and out of date but still.)

You MAY find some resemblances in the coloring aka shadows. XD

Edit: And thanks for every post and like, that drives me to move the progress along a bit faster.

Edit 2: And since I want to show stuff with every posting if possible, here's some (way to early - you have to use a lot of imagination) concept stuff for translite and playfields bottom half plastics,... wich I can hopefully cut with that plotter I got (above). (It cuts thin makrolon so if I can't cut a little bit thicker acryl/ plexi I should still be able to sandwich a sticker between 2 slides of makrolon and make them this way.)
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For the Translite I definately want the characters to look at the player instead of showing the back of their heads, so this is basically a picture of every villain running from the police car. At least if I want to keep the current backbox illumination and have the possibility to light up each character seperately.

And I want to move the display down and use the classic Williams DMD/ Speaker Panel, putting in those alphanumeric displays and a 'stripe' in the middle between them for the bonuses you can achieve, wich are currently sitting in the dashboard of the police car of the translite...

So that's a lot of work, I'll adress later.

First goals are to get that siren flash as bright as the sun (waiting for parts from china) and finish that cab so I can put it up from the basement in my room and gain my kids interrest.

#19 9 days ago

When looking up that logo I found...


Srsly, I didn't know that... or is this fake looking at the domain name?

There's nothing on IMDB and honestly if ther were to remake something I'd guess it would be Darkwing Duck.

#20 8 days ago

I'm gonna have to say not real.

Seems to be a wiki where people post stuff they wish would exist.

#21 8 days ago
Quoted from KellyCorcoran:

I'm gonna have to say not real.
Seems to be a wiki where people post stuff they wish would exist.

Hmmm... strange. XD

(Edit: Andy yes, fake I'd say. The summary of the first episode doesn't mak eany sense either, not introducing the character but telling the story how to dump Piquel... who never was introduced.)

Whatever... continuing.

Was searching for the logo but didn't find it in good quality, so I had to remake this as well.

The logo exists in two versions. A plain colored one and a gradient one.

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So I remade both in high res.

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Usually in 1990'ish you'd only use the gradient color one on the Backglass, this the Cab itself was not printed in CMYK, but with 'real' mixed, but therefore limited colors. (Don't know the english vocabulary for that.)

But I think I go for the gradient color one on both (I'm not restricting the colors anyway), using the other version maybe on the Apron.

#22 8 days ago

Awesome work.
Great English writing as well.

#23 8 days ago

Made Logo, colored Lucky, corrected/ added some colors/ effects... I guess the backbox decal is done and I can call it a day.

Only thing that's subject to change is the background color, depending on how the cabinet itself turns out.
But I'm aiming for a friendly purple.
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#24 7 days ago

While first priority is to get that cab done, I'm still looking around gathering other ideas and stuff for the future.

Found that toy figurine for the playfield. Liking it!

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(The tape is for getting a idea of the size.)

#25 7 days ago

Really digging that shade of purple. Thanks for the updates.

#26 7 days ago

This is so awesome on so many levels, thanks for sharing.

#27 4 days ago

Working mostly on work stuff (as one does weekdays) when my son came in saw me refining the little mockup above, for diversion.

He liked the idea but came back today he wants me to make a PHineas & Ferb pinball machine...

http img.memecdn.com_speechless_o_2899449 (resized).jpg

Actually if I'll ever finish this one I might get into this.
Roller Coaster Tycoon seems like the perfect basis to be honest.
But can you allready fumble in code with pinball browser and change the DMD also?

Well first, finishing this anyway.

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Watched some more episodes, now of the first season with Piquel as Bonkers partner.
Had to find out that the lights on his police car don't work, instead he has a toon light doing the job... or not.
It's just sitting on the roof telling jokes. (Is that a play of words that couldn't be translated? That absolutely makes no sense? XD )

Not sure what to make out of this mess with the different cars yet.
Piquels car is definately more iconic (and it's way easier to just redo the image) but hers is a bit more fitting.

#28 4 days ago

Got the LED panels I want to put into the blue lights (flasher) in the topper today.

48 SMD 12V crystal blue LED panels for automotive purposes.

Tested one with an external power supply, now I'm kinda blinded on one eye since a couple of minutes.

That should light up that dim thing.

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Honestly, I had a F-14 and a Ghostbusters with Topper, and that F-14 lights lit up the whole place while you could barely notice the Ghostbusters topper.

It's a police light. You're supposed to see it from the next solar system!!!


So, where did I put my sunglasses?

#29 4 days ago

Wow, just wow. You are very talented.

#30 3 days ago

So, it's in place... and I'm blown away!

Before (with room lights on and then switching them off):


Lights installed (with room lights on then switching them off):


Before you could NOT notice the lights when light is turned on and you're playing.

Now it ups the Fun by 100%!

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But MAYBE I have to go for a smaller version... I think this might consume more power than the incondecent lights. And it definately gets pretty hot.
We'll see when the first fuse blows. XD

#31 3 days ago

They’re so bright you might be able to mount them flat shining straight toward the ceiling, that way you don’t see the light panels and the light is more diffused.

#32 3 days ago
Quoted from Luckydogg420:

They’re so bright you might be able to mount them flat shining straight toward the ceiling, that way you don’t see the light panels and the light is more diffused.

Will propaby try that.

Allready mounted them a bit lower then in the video so you don't see them as much (because of the Police Force letters).

Kids are unpredictable by the way. Son (6Y) likes that toy car way more an then found out about that center/ million shot. It's easy to shoot and satisfying, sp kinda perfect for beginners.

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