LAKEWOOD, NJ -- Even an enviable success can sometimes present more than its share of challenges. Such is the case for Coastal Amusements Inc., which in mid-March rolled out a new version of its Spin-Out redemption game at Amusement Expo, where it created excitement and sales. About three months before the coin-op show, robust early orders for the new game should have been a reason to celebrate. Instead, Coastal's entire factory operation went on red alert, amid one of its biggest production runs in recent years, as it prepared to move into a new plant.
"Early sales of Spin-Out surpassed our expectations," said Coastal's Sal Mirando. "Initial test results impressed Dave & Buster's so much, they included the game in their spring rollout for every store, so we had to gear up fast for the production."
When a new game is delivered to every outlet of Dave & Buster's, a nationwide chain of big box entertainment-dining complexes, it usually stimulates more sales. "Like anything else, if you have the top companies buying it, there’s a domino effect -- a good domino effect," said Mirando, who added that Spin-Out's international sales are brisk, too.
Standing almost 10 feet tall, Spin-Out is an ideal main attraction for redemption gamerooms. The cabinet, with a 41" by 57" footprint, is topped by a large spinning wheel. Players who stop the arrow on the bonus win the big prize. Bright lights, graphics and racecar audio create a drag-racing theme.
As production of Spin-Out shifted into high gear to meet shipping deadlines, Coastal was about to introduce another game that would also be well received. Monkey Mania, a two-person water gun game, displays a player's progress on a video screen in the form of monkeys paddling upstream. A fairly big piece itself, Monkey Mania is 81" deep by 34" wide by 74" high.
In early December, both new games had Coastal's factory running at full capacity. At the same time, the company had to prepare for its move into a new building, jeopardizing the production schedule into the summer months. Coastal's lease at 1935 Swarthmore Ave. in Lakewood, NJ, had expired, and the company was moving into larger quarters -- 50,000 square feet -- at 1950 Swarthmore (pictured here), about 100 yards away.
"The move came just in time, because Spin Out is a very big game," Mirando said. Coastal's new building is almost double the size of the previous plant.
The relocation had to be accomplished without disrupting the manufacturing schedules of Spin-Out and Monkey Mania. "Even though we weren’t moving very far, we still had to load the trailers and move the equipment," Mirando said. "We shut down on Friday the second week in December and were up and running on the following Monday."
The speedy move allowed the entire Coastal Amusements organization to relocate without missing a single day of production while delivering several benefits; there are additional loading docks, along with more space for offices and parking, compared to the previous building. Mirando said the new space allows the firm to assemble both games, side by side, in an improved setting.
As of mid-July, "we’re settled in nicely and the added space is very helpful," Mirando told VT. "It’s good being able to push out a large production run in a short period. We did the move at the right time, but I’d hate to do it again. Once every 20 years is enough."
Spin-Out is now in full production, and reportedly sold out through the end of July. It made Dave & Buster's top 10 list of best summer games. Sales inquiries for August and beyond can be made by calling (732) 905-6662 or emailing email@example.com.