"Bright light city gonna set my soul
Gonna set my soul on fire
Got a whole lot of money that's ready to burn,
So get those stakes up higher
There's a thousand pretty women waitin out there
And they're all livin devil may care
And Im just the devil with love to spare
Viva Las Vegas, viva Las Vegas"
(words & music by doc pomus and mort shuman)
- Elvis Presley from the 1964 movie 'Viva Las Vegas'
A classic Presley song from a classic Presley movie. When we first got to Vegas in '91, like so many others, we were taken aback by all the glitter, the excitement, the casinos. The first couple of years were really kind of neat. One of our favorite haunts was the 'Excalibur' which looks like a big fairy-tale style castle and had free puppet and magic shows for the kids up on the second level. Having come from Germany, and having seen more than our share of real castles, the kids just called it 'the fake castle' and that's what we called it for many years. Back then the 'Treasure Island' casino still had its Pirate show out front and we braved the crowds several times - people pressed shoulder to shoulder blocking every inch of the sidewalk out front - to view the show. The 'Luxor' was new as well and offered a neat little boat tour along The Nile - basically an indoor river or canal - passing reproductions of ancient landmarks, but the real treat was that really cool atrium. We watched as the MGM Grand was built, and in the back lot was the MGM Grand Theme Park, a great place to take the kids. And then there were the buffets!! I'm droolin' just thinkin' about them LOL. We used to like the old 'Aladdin' and would go to their buffet fairly often. On more than one occassion, older couples would see us with our kids and give us free tickets to the buffet - Wow! Then there was the M&M Store and the Coca-Cola Store and Museum. The Coca-Cola Museum was AWESOME. We're not gamblers though and that wasn't much of a draw for us although a few of our quarters did find their way into the machines :-)
It was during this 'ooh-aah' period that I bought this really cool pinball machine made by Marx, the #G-210A Casino Pinball Machine. It's a special Las Vegas edition with graphics reminiscent of old and new Vegas - 'new' that is as of 1975 when this toy was made. I had set the toy up once many years ago but didn't put the batteries in to check it out (don't ask me why, I just didn't). BUT, when taking the photos for this blog I FINALLY set it all up, and you know what? IT WORKS! Wow - how cool is that? So many of these old toys are 'for display only' because the mechanisms have broken long ago. The base slides easily into the back, or 'scoring case'. The scoring case holds four 'D' cell batteries and two wires lead from it and attach to the base. The scoring case has built-in legs but there are two separate legs which attach to the base. The steel balls are loaded into the 'loading port' on top of the base (my game is missing the dust plug for the loading port). As the balls are flung up into the game field, they bounce from bumper to bumper. At the bottom of each bumper is a spring that, when it comes into contact with a ball, lights the light atop the scoring base. If the ball hits the spring hard enough a bell goes off and the score-o-meter dial progresses (the bottom of the base is all metal with the graphics applied to the top so when the ball hits the spring it completes a circuit causing either the light to blink or bell to ring). Enjoy!
Old Style Gambler
'Lucky Luke' of the Frontier casino
Either Marx was unable to secure licensing or they didn't pursue licensing due to the costs involved but several popular casinos are hinted at without actually being named.
This is the old 'Dunes' sign lettered for a non-existent 'Cactus' casino
The 'Tropicana' becomes the 'Tropics'
'Caesars Palace' is just the 'Palace' for this game
I have not been able to pin down what casino Marx meant to depict by 'The Oasis'
The instruction sheet is large and took me three scans to try and get it all
I'll feature scans of the this 1975 brochure in another post