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Original Space Race Game Donated to Museum
First group game of its kind

4/7/2011

By Ron Weber, Editor

Photo courtesy of BSR

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The IISF announced that Bobs Space Racers, Inc.(BSR) has donated its first free standing group game for exhibit at their museum. Bob Cassata, founder, and Jack Mendes, president (retired), originally installed the game at Riverside Park in Agawam MA in 1972. The game ran continuously until the unit was replaced by Cassata and Mendes in 2000 with a new electronic water race. Since then, BSR restored the game to its original luster and now has donated the game to the new museum. 'This was my first group game built specifically for a park. It is just like the first one we made in a trailer. Although we are best known for developing the Whac-A-Mole and water games, this game was very important to the industry. It was an early carnival race game that was successful in an amusement park. It proved a common link between carnival midway andPhoto By BSR park games. I wish the club much success with the museum.', said Cassata The games painted, outer-space background with racing rockets and special effects drew a crowd in 1972. People called it Bobs space racer and the name stuck, eventually becoming the company name. The game uses a handle and pulley system to flip a ball past a target. Each time the ball passes the target a rocket ship moves upward. The first player to reach the top wins. This seems simple today but it was new technology in the 70s. It was also the first game that incorporated sound effects, music, and lighting effects according to BSR Beau Pugh, President of the Showmens Club, accepted the game on behalf of the museum. Pugh said, 'We are happy to accept this early innovation in games. The museum is dedicated to the traveling show and will contain many carnival and related exhibits. The museum has an early Conderman ferris wheel from 1908 and early wagons from Royal American Shows.' The museum is expected to be open to the public late in 2011 and will feature historical wagons from various carnivals and traveling shows, several rides, rare games, photographs, and other carnival related artifacts.

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