(Topic ID: 61998)

Is Banzai Run worth coveting?


By starbase

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 26 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by mcluvin
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#1 6 years ago

Banzai Run was the one machine 20+ years ago that drew me away from arcade games, local pizza place had Enduro Racer next to a basically amazing shape Banzai Run. Been trying to add one to my collection for awhile but my fear is nostalgia is driving me in this direction and my memory won't live up to actual game play.

I just remember my hands shaking trying to get the last top shot. Can't really much about the lower playfield but I do remember the sound and announcer being memorable.

So should I trade something new like TFLE or MOPLe for nice one or this just crazy talk. I am scared to death to work on the upper playfield and most I have seen come up have been really trashed in some way.

Anyone who owns or has owned can chime in on fun factor or set me straight, because I am sick of thinking I am out of my mind for wanting this 80"s pin. I am space limited hence my wanting to trade something newer for one.

Thanks.

#2 6 years ago

I don't own it, but have played a few long ago and more recently.
It's a great game. I personally think it's overpriced right now, but that's just my opinion.
I'd pick one up if it was a good deal, but at the current "average" price I think I'd go with something else for the money.
Looks like you have newer games in your collection. Maybe a classic like Banzai Run is just what you need.

#3 6 years ago
Quoted from starbase:

my fear is nostalgia is driving me in this direction and my memory won't live up to actual game play.

My case exactly. Played it and loved it 25 years ago. Recently found one for sale at a reasonable price. Kept it for 9 months, then sold it. The vertical PF is unique. You won't get bored with it. On the other hand, the regular PF is just meh... So in the end, it really depends on many pins you can keep. My lineup is small, so it had to go.
If you find one at market's price, try it! I doubt its value will decrease, so you won't take a big risk.

#4 6 years ago

I to have been coveting banzai run for years, I have some great memories of the game as you do. At today's market price it does begin to become harder to justify. I still will hunt for one and hope to find one for a fair price. I hope you manage to find one for a fair price and if you decide it doesn't fit in your collection that it is easy to find a new owner for.

#5 6 years ago
Quoted from starbase:

So should I trade something new like TFLE or MOPLe for nice one or this just crazy talk.

BR is a great game for sure, but there are other system 11's that are more fun in the long run (WW and ES come to mind). $3200-3500 should be the top end for a minty BR, so make sure you get some cash in the deal if you do a trade.

#6 6 years ago

Banzai Run is my favorite SyS11. As far as gameplay, I always try to keep in mind what the pin was at the time it was introduced...1988. Compared to today's megadeep software, complicated layouts, moving toys, wizard modes, etc., it doesn't compare; but it's a very fun game for what it is. Trying to get King of the Hill by trying to hit that captive ball on the upper pf and then watching the ensuing light-show is a treat.

It was a major departure from other games of that era, with a vertical playfield, lifting magnet, odd cabinet, and was Pat Lawlor's first design. Besides there wern't that many made. Most are going to have worn playfields, broken ramps and broken plastics.

The weakest issue on this game is the interconnect board and broken ramps and plastics. There isn't much on the upper pf that's going to give you problems. Besides it hinges down and lays on the lower cabinet so fixing anything is very accessible.

Yes it's the most expensive of the Sys11 games. I'm going to guess about $2800 to $3,000 for an honest example and definitely more for excellent examples.

#7 6 years ago

Does the "backbox" fold down too for easy transport?

#8 6 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

Does the "backbox" fold down too for easy transport?

Yes.

Very fun game. Going for the million point jackpot is always my goal.

#9 6 years ago
Quoted from schudel5:

Banzai Run is my favorite SyS11. As far as gameplay, I always try to keep in mind what the pin was at the time it was introduced...1988. Compared to today's megadeep software, complicated layouts, moving toys, wizard modes, etc., it doesn't compare; but it's a very fun game for what it is. Trying to get King of the Hill by trying to hit that captive ball on the upper pf and then watching the ensuing light-show is a treat.
It was a major departure from other games of that era, with a vertical playfield, lifting magnet, odd cabinet, and was Pat Lawlor's first design. Besides there wern't that many made. Most are going to have worn playfields, broken ramps and broken plastics.
The weakest issue on this game is the interconnect board and broken ramps and plastics. There isn't much on the upper pf that's going to give you problems. Besides it hinges down and lays on the lower cabinet so fixing anything is very accessible.
Yes it's the most expensive of the Sys11 games. I'm going to guess about $2800 to $3,000 for an honest example and definitely more for excellent examples.

Definitely a great game if it can be found for that amount. There is one locally available but it is pretty worn and far above that price range.

#10 6 years ago

The game transports nicely in a 1986 Renault Encore. Top folded down . front hanging out

#11 6 years ago

I paid $750 for mine not working and sold it for $2K fully working (playfield was rough). That said, I do regret selling it as it was a great game to play and awesome to look at.

-BB

#12 6 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

Does the "backbox" fold down too for easy transport?

Yes. Just like any Sys11, WPC game. Once it is folded up for transport its a one heavy SOB and kind of awkward as far as it's center of gravity. It doesn't really want to sit on it's butt when folded up; so keep it strapped to a dolly and keep one hand on it at all times.

BTW, when setting it up, it does have a couple carriage bolts that run through the sides of the head to lock it in the upright position, FWIW.

#13 6 years ago

This game is fantastic. I agree with Schudel, up there at the top of the system 11 heap.

#14 6 years ago

BR was always a hit with kids while it was in my lineup, that upper playfield is what did it for them. Sold it and I personally don't really miss it.

#15 6 years ago
Quoted from lost8ball:

Very fun game. Going for the million point jackpot is always my goal.

Don't quote me on this, but I thought I read somewhere this was the first game to introduce "Victory Laps".

#16 6 years ago

This is super helpful the more I hear about its real details the more I think this is just nothing more then great memories and I would feel bad about trading my Tranformers for it.

My guess is three months I would be bored of it despite my love affair with Lawlor designed games.

I stopped checking Craigslist for a few months out of frustration of being to slow on every deal. First day back I see a minty Banzai Run for 3500 that I called about again was to slow. Guess it was meant to be that I missed it. I think my holy grail is my Tron Le and BR is just a pipe dream at this point. I just can remember nothing about the lower playfield that really excites. I also no for a fact that the upper playfield played a little funky physics and flipper and wise. Strange of all games that I could really remember from my arcade days this one stands out more than TAf and T2 of the games I played multiple times.I probably shoved 40 bucks into it over a year period which was a ton for pinball for me at the time, needed my slice of pepperoni more than games at the time. Good times though. Anyone in the Bay Area that has one would love to try yours.

#17 6 years ago

It took me 3 years to break one loose from a guy who used it as a filing table. It was covered with papers that were a few years old. Patience might payoff for you, but dont expect to find one for cheap. One of the local shows could be your best bet for playing one and deciding if the game still has its appeal.

I remember Starbase and played games there once. I am suprised to hear that they are still going today.

#18 6 years ago

I bring my XR-7 BR to the Texas Pinball Festival every year. If you ever want to play a super rare version of the game take a flight out to Texas in March

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from EEE:

It took me 3 years to break one loose from a guy who used it as a filing table. It was covered with papers that were a few years old. Patience might payoff for you, but dont expect to find one for cheap. One of the local shows could be your best bet for playing one and deciding if the game still has its appeal.
I remember Starbase and played games there once. I am suprised to hear that they are still going today.

Yes it is amazing my childhood arcade still is in business but barely. A shell of its former self most games in pretty sad shape and not much amazing but a few classics. Been friends with the current owner since I was 12 (Video Bob) and I go in and shove a few quarters in games just to support the place. Wish I had pics of it from 1984, when it had such a amazing linup including a cherry disc of Tron environmental, 720 and every classic you could imagine right out of the box. I shit you not they are still using some of the wood stools from the eighties which boggles my mind. I want to take some photos just to hold onto the place but I can't bare it's current state. They do have three pins including a xmen and sttng and Bob means well and is doing it just out of love and sharing with a new generation. My business resides on the same street so just a mile walk to a portal to my youth.

One day it will end but for now Starbase 1 is in business in San Rafael ca and Starbase 2 resides in my garage and is shockingly good. Seemed like a fitting name to use on pinside even though it has always been focused on video games. Sorry for taking thread topic but since most of us lost our home arcade so long I did not and it sort of lives on for now.

-Will

P.s. I still sort of want a Banzai Run but think its a futile hunt after missing out time and time again. Always next year I guess.

#20 6 years ago

In my opinion Banzi Run a title well worth the expence and floorspace ( floorspace the greater challenge for some ) . Gets as much play as any DMD " A " list title in my collection . Shane

#21 6 years ago
Quoted from bepositive:

In my opinion Banzi Run a title well worth the expence and floorspace ( floorspace the greater challenge for some ) . Gets as much play as any DMD " A " list title in my collection . Shane

This is encouraging. We have been trying to decide on whether or not to sell our Banzai Run or attempt to put it on location in a 24/7 laundromat. Initially I decided it would be far too bulky to move before someone told me the head actually folds down like a real pin. From reading the comments here I think we should pull the trigger and share this great game with the public again. Heck why not, we already have a Baby Pac Man at the place and it earns as much as any of the other pins we have there (at least $20 a week per machine). It's a well watched place and we don't have the typical abuse/vandalism issues that are commonly heard of.

#22 6 years ago

I've had one in my collection for about 3 years now and think it's a fun game, especially consdiering the era when it was produced and it was PL's first design at Williams! Very inovative design concept, fast play, cool sounds and art etc. Mine is also a restored XR7 example, next time you're in Los Angeles you can stop by and give it a try to judge for yourself.

#23 6 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

This is encouraging. We have been trying to decide on whether or not to sell our Banzai Run or attempt to put it on location in a 24/7 laundromat. Initially I decided it would be far too bulky to move before someone told me the head actually folds down like a real pin. From reading the comments here I think we should pull the trigger and share this great game with the public again. Heck why not, we already have a Baby Pac Man at the place and it earns as much as any of the other pins we have there (at least $20 a week per machine). It's a well watched place and we don't have the typical abuse/vandalism issues that are commonly heard of.

I will be placing my Banzai Run on location, too. Right after I get it in 100% shape. Bought the game just to place it out where the public can get a shot at it. It is a fun game that you just don't see very often as Williams didn't make that many of them and it is 25 years old.

Turns out mine is a relatively rare example with red lamp boards and the "XR7" test clearcoat. I think there are just a handful of those across the country. Thanks to Mike Schudel for helping me figure it out. That clearcoat really worked, too. No wear on the playfield.

#24 6 years ago

I have owned BR and loved it. What I would say is that if your collection is less than 4 games you are going to tire of it.
At the time I owned mine I had three machines and I found myself playing BR less and less so I sold it to buy a T2.
I do miss it though and now that I have six machines would buy another one tomorrow.

Great light show and superb sound when you get a credit. The Instant Rematch shot is a real nerve jangler. It also has the finest music I have ever heard in a pin ( King Of The Hill ).

#25 6 years ago

I thought I would love this game, but it's not for me. I played it at PAPA several years ago and it was not good at all. But then I beat Trent Augenstein on it at Pinburgh last year so I liked it a little more. It's very unique, but the game play is just not for me. I actually like the way the lower playfield plays much more than the upper. The upper is just too steep for me and feels more like a Pachinko than real pinball. YMMV.

1 week later
#26 6 years ago

I know it would not be my favorite game from the era, but I'd love to own one. Great example of the crazy cool shi* Lawlor did back then.

Chris

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