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Noteworthy Anniversaries: Atari, Chuck E. Cheese's And Canada's Loonie

Posted On: 7/22/2012

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The coin-op industry is marking several landmark anniversaries this summer.

Atari Games was founded 40 years ago -- June 27, 1972, in Milpitas, CA. Famed for such coin-op titles as Marble Madness, Paperboy and Gauntlet, Atari was sold to Warner Communications in 1984, to Namco the following year and to Midway Games in 1996. The latter shuttered Atari in 2003, but the name has been revived as a consumer videogame source.

To celebrate the company's 40th anniversary and that of its most famous game -- Pong -- Atari hosted a Developers Challenge with a $50,000 prize for creating the best new Atari game app.

Atari founder Nolan Bushnell is also the originator of Chuck E. Cheese's, which he launched 35 years ago. The arcade-pizzeria, which just updated its eponymous mascot this year, is still going strong with 558 locations.

Canada is marking the 25th anniversary of the $1 coin, known familiarly as the "Loonie" for its depiction of a typical Canadian waterfowl, the loon. The coin began circulating on June 30, 1987. Canada's $1 banknote was removed from circulation at the same time, ensuring the coin's success. Some 1.5 billion Loonies have been minted since 1987.

The coin also proved something of a popular favorite, leading to the release of a $2 Loonie, called the Toonie, in 1996. The Canadian Mint has issued a special commemorative Toonie to mark the Loonie's 25th anniversary; it sells for $34.95. | SEE STORY

SEE ALSO: Pac-Man's 30-Year Journey Back To The Top