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Posts Tagged ‘Bumper Car’

Bumper Car Wind-Up Toy

1930's Tin Litho Bumper Car Wind-Up Toy. Courtesy of eBay Seller Toy Claus

ATZ came across this delightful 1930s tin bumper car wind-up toy with two lithographed riders on eBay. At the moment, nine bidders are vying for it! The high bid is $71 in an auction that ends on Saturday, February 25th.

Earlier this month, a similar toy sold for $156 on eBay. In that auction the unsigned toy was said to have been made by New York’s Buffalo Toy Company. In the current auction, seller toyclaus ascribes it to the Wyandotte Toy Company. Either way, good luck to everyone who jumps in with a bid.

If vintage toys are beyond your budget but you want your very own fleet of bumper cars to play with at work, check out xUmp.com’s Never-Fall Bumper Car Wind-Ups. The plastic toy retails for $3.00-$4.99 and is engineered not to fall off the edge of your desk. In this video xUmp founder and physicist Anton Skorucak gives a demo and explains the science behind his toy bumper cars…

UPDATE March 1, 2012:

The vintage bumper car toy sold for $182.38 with the winning bid placed in the last few seconds of the auction!

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As we say in the amusement biz, it’s the front of the show that gets the dough! The front of Coney Island’s Eldorado, the popular disco palace of bumper cars, is famed for its lights and signage. On flickr you’ll find dozens of pix of the dazzling theater-style “Eldorado Auto Skooter” marquee and the sassy “BUMP YOUR ASS OFF!” signs by Dreamland Artist Club founder Steve Powers.

When you visit Coney Island, you can’t miss the Eldorado. It’s on Surf Avenue right across from Stillwell Terminal. On the inside you’ll find Scott Fitlin, who grew up working in his family’s business and is the Eldorado’s DJ extraordinaire. The Fitlin family also owns and operates the Eldorado Arcade on Coney Island’s Bowery.

The Eldorado was the first of Coney Island’s rides to open for business during last weekend’s balmy weather. Let’s just get it out of the way and say these bumper cars are our fave ride! We love to drive but seldom have the chance since we live in New York City and no longer own a car. It’s seriously fun not having to worry about getting a ticket for bumping into another car because that’s the whole idea!

Coney Islands Eldorado Bumper Cars. Photo © Barry Yanowitz via flickr

Coney Island's Eldorado Bumper Cars. Photo © Barry Yanowitz via flickr

We asked our friend Scott to tell us about the history of the Eldorado…

Eldorado was hand built by my grandfather Joseph Buxbaum, my Dad Sandy Fitlin, and my Uncle Peter Buxbaum, and a carpenter named Rafael. Opening date was March 21st 1973, admission was 50 cents and 25 cent re-rides.

Today it is $6.00 admission, $2.00 re-rides, and $3.00 re-rides on weekends.

The lighting is disco style from the Studio 54 era, and we are upgrading this year to newer LED technology effects.

Our sound is custom built, by us, and we have had professionals in from time to time, back in the old days it was Richard Long, famous for the sound at Studio 54 and The Paradise Garage. Our sound is extremely powerful yet very easy to listen to, it doesn’t hurt the ear. CRYSTAL CLEAR, lightning fast, and stunning transient response, the crack of the snare drum is scary. Our bass is tremendous, and I play dance music, the sound that has energy and life, and POSITIVITY!

Our Bumper cars are Italian made Soli cars. They look good, run fast, and bump good.

WE built the ELDORADO starting in 1971 when my family purchased the building and moved from next door. My grandfather originally had The Shamrock Irish House on Henderson Walk and Bowery, and they went out front with games in the late 50s early 60s.

The Eldorado Arcade opened for the spring of `71, the bumper cars were constructed during the winter of `72, and grand opened March 21, 1973. The FIRST record played was Cisco Kid-War!

Eldorado Bumper Cars & Arcade, 1216 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11224

Eldorado Bumper Car Crew. Photo © Tricia Vita/me/myself/i via flickr

Eldorado Bumper Car Crew. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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March 30, 2012: 60 Years of Family History in Coney Island End with Sale of Eldorado

October 17, 2010: Photo Album: Oct 15 Tribute in Sound & Light to Scott Fitlin

October 13, 2010: Rest in Peace: Scott Fitlin, Coney Island’s Eldorado Man

February 25, 2010: Happy Belated Birthday to Coney Island’s William F Mangels

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eBay Find: The control panel of a one-of-a-kind ride from Neverland Ranch: Current Bid $46,100. Reserve Not Met

eBay Find: The control panel of a one-of-a-kind ride from Neverland Ranch: Current Bid $46,100. Reserve Not Met

Michael Jackson’s Dragon Wagon Kiddie Coaster was brought to Coney Island for the summer by Butler Amusements, but now there’s an opportunity to acquire a Neverland ride on a permanent basis. Last week carnival owner Earl “Butch” Butler told ATZ of his plans to put the bumper cars designed for and by Michael Jackson up for sale on eBay. The one-of-a-kind ride has been on our watch and wish list for the past few days. Butler says the auction has hundreds of watchers and generated inquiries from all over the world, including a bidder who wants to recreate Jackson’s amusement park.

The ride  includes a 20 foot long Neverland sign and fencing with Michael Jackson's logo

The ride includes a 20 foot long Neverland sign and fencing with Michael Jackson's logo

The popular interest in the Neverland rides since Jackson’s death is what got us dreaming about putting together a consortium of people to buy Jackson’s bumper cars for the People’s Playground. Where’d we put it? How about Steeplechase Plaza, where the City has plans to build a skateboard park? We think an amusement ride, especially one designed for and by the King of Pop, is a much better idea. It could be a gold mine for Coney Island. The celebrity ride would draw tourists to the amusement park. Its neighbors would be the iconic Parachute Jump and the restored B & B Carousell. Or maybe the ride could be situated on Joe Sitt’s property. After Sitt sells to the City, of course. His Stillwell lot, which is zoned for amusements, is currently being misused as a flea market. And we couldn’t afford Thor Equities skyhigh rent in the so-called Dreamland Park.

In fact, the bidding on the Neverland bumper cars –$46,100, Reserve Not Met– has climbed beyond our consortium’s budget. What is the reserve? Butler’s not saying. When I asked him today if it’s $1 million dollars, he said no. Perhaps it’s a dollar less or quite a bit more! We’re secretly dreaming Mayor Bloomberg will set a snipe and win the auction for the people of New York. Don’t worry, Mayor Mike: The user ID is kept private. Nobody will know you are the buyer except the seller. You can donate the ride to the City of New York, just as you did with the B & B Carousell. The auction ends on July 10 at 12:34:29 PDT.

Bumper car tent at Neverland Ranch. Butler Amusements bought 5 rides from Neverland, but only this one is for sale

Bumper car tent at Neverland Ranch. Butler Amusements bought 5 rides from Neverland, but only this one is for sale

From the auction description:

This is a large ride and comes with fence that goes around the ride which also has the picture of Michael Jackson’s logo. Another main part of this ride is the dominant opening sign that says Neverland which is approximately 20 feet long. This ride was designed especially for and by Michael Jackson by Majestic Manufacturing in 1992. Michael Jackson put in an amazing sound system along with black lights and disco balls. The ride comes with the 16 custom made bumper cars with Michael Jackson logo on them. The model is a MJ 2700 with a length of 96 feet 6 inches by a width of 44 feet 6 inches. The floor size is 32 feet by 84 feet, 2688 square feet. The pit size is 32 feet 3 inches by 84 feet 3 inches, 2717 square feet. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity that no one should pass up. This piece would make any Michael Jackson collection the Greatest Michael Jackson collection.

Perhaps the bumper cars will be reunited with the original Zierer Wave Swinger ride from Neverland, which is also up for auction on eBay. That ride is owned by Helm & Sons Amusements of Colton, California. Starting bid is $850,000.

Michael Jackson's logo of little boy sitting on the moon is emblazoned on the bumper cars

Michael Jackson's logo of little boy sitting on the moon is emblazoned on the bumper cars

Update, December 26, 2011…

The Neverland Bumper cars were permanently installed at Cal Expo in Sacramento for which Butler Amusements provides the carnival for the California State fair. The other rides from Neverland Ranch–Lolli Swings, Jeeps, Dinos, Balloon Samba and Dragon Wagon– travel with the carnival’s different units, which play events in seven states in the West.

Neverland Bumper Cars

The Neverland Bumper Cars, owned by Butler Amusements, were first installed at Cal Expo for the California State Fair in July 2011. Photo courtesy of Butler Amusements.

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November 5, 2009: Museum Piece or Obsolete? Old Carnival Games, Stick Joints on eBay

August 26, 2009: Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ride for Sale in Coney Island!

August 5, 2009: Coney Island Has 56 Rides and 33 More Days of Summer!

June 30, 2009: Calif. Carnival Sends Rides to Coney Island….Including One from Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch

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