Sunday, November 17, 2019

Promotional postcard for arcade game with Bimbo the clown


Hey, it's The Original Bimbo 3 Ring Circus!!

Does anyone remember playing The Original Bimbo 3 Ring Circus??

I don't.

This undated, unused postcard has the following explanatory text on the back:
BIMBO
The Singing and Dancing Clown
is a tested located proven moneymaker, suitable for Arcades, Discount Houses, Five and Tens, Department Stores or any other place where children congregate. This sure-fire winner takes floor space of 24 x 27 inches. Bimbo features a solid state tape cartridge player, dust proof plug-in relays. Housed in a top quality laminated cabinet, Bimbo is another product of United Billiards, Inc., 51 Progress St., Union, New Jersey 07083. (201-686-7030)
So, let's turn to the experts. The International Arcade Museum®, which describes itself as "the world's largest educational center focusing on the art, inventions, science, and history of the amusement, coin-operated machine, game, and videogame industries," has an entry for Bimbo, which states that it was released in 1981, five years before Stephen King's It slammed the door on any hope that America would make clowns fun again.

The International Arcade Museum® adds that United Billiards began releasing arcade games in 1975, and its other games included Omicron Cocktail Table, Sportacard, Super UBI Cocktail Table, UBI Cocktail Table, and Daddi-O. (And there's a good chance that's the last Daddi-O reference on Papergreat.)

Another website with some good information about Bimbo is pinrepair.com. The author explains that the 1981 game was actually a remake of a musical 1956 arcade machine called Peppy the Clown. (Check out those pictures. They're great.) Here are some details on Bimbo's "game play" from that site:
"Designed for kids, Bimbo the clown talked and sang, moving his head from side to side, player could press buttons on the front console which controlled Bimbo 3 Ring Circus' arm and leg movement. ... Each game play is approximately one minute long, depending on the length of the original songs. The song titles include 'Yankee Doodle', 'Oh Susannah', 'The Farmer in the Dell', 'East Side, West Side' and other standards, sung in a sing-songy way to appeal to young children."
If you feel the need to have your very own sing-songy The Original Bimbo 3 Ring Circus arcade game, perhaps so you can put it beside your Annabelle doll, you're in luck. There's one on eBay with a Buy It Now price of just $995. Have it delivered just in time for the holidays.

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