Der EM fans!
Amusement is welcome about opening a club for a machine with a production run of only 70 - and maybe a dozen or two in existence still. Nevertheless, the machine is nice and I think, it deserves a club. So, please join me on my restoration with comments, advice and fun, add your stories and knowledge on this machine, s hare pictures of ones you own or saw at events, and everything else that comes to mind on this machine.
Background: why is this machine so rare:
From what I learn by browsing through ipdb, around 1971 Bally tested a concept of creating small runs of machines and apparently placed them next to existing ones to compete on earnings. Of course a new machine should always attract significantly more players and money than older ones - thus this was intended to be a good market test. The following five machines did no make it to market during this time:
Bali-Hi - 80 built - 4-player
Double-Up - 55 built - 1-player
Time Tunnel - 70 built - 4-player
The Red Max - 70 built - 1-player
Round Up - 70 built - 2-player
With Bull's Eye, Joker and others, Bally had used this concept before and with Fore and SlapStick, they did so later, but never as often, as during this one year around 1970/71.
With my The Red Max being labelled "Switzerland" on a paper tag attached to the relay board, it appears that one machine was shipped to each of the main distributors globally. With the ipdb dates being project dates, The Red Max probably competed with either El Toro or with Odds & Evens to be mass produced - and lost.
Why so?- the game is actually really fun to play - with complex shots, backbox light animation and a really nice theme and graphics. Yes, the left side with that messenger ball is a bit lame indeed, but was that really the reason?
Here is my guess: Despite only haveing less than 5200 original plays on the counter, my game shows significant wear at the entry of the messenger ball: one of the clear plastics is broken and the screwholes of the plastics are worn. So, the messenger ball mechanics seems to lack durablility. Did the test games break on side during the test phase?