Lancashire-based Roll-A-Ball has just installed a 19-player Derby game into Coral Island in Blackpool, the largest of its kind in the world.
The new installation follows a recent addition of a 9-player Camel Derby game, which went into Butlins in Bognor – the first new Derby to go into a Butlins site in 18 years.
The Derby game used to be as much part of the arcade scene as the penny pusher, and dates back to the 1920’s when American jockey George Tonner operated the first game on Blackpool Pleasure Beach. However, the Derby really became synonymous with the Elton name from the 60s onwards and for the past four and a half years, three former Elton employees have been trading as Roll-A-Ball in the UK – supporting Elton games on site, with spares and servicing and actually manufacturing their own quality British product. They are Carl Spencer, Dave Bridge and Anthony Brown.
“We firstly developed a small four-player version of the Derby; aimed at the event market, it can be assembled on site in 20 minutes. Most of these we have sold to events companies in the UK but we had our first international order last Autumn, when we sent two over to the US,” says Carl. “Our first coin-op Derby was a bespoke theme which we installed in Europa Park – Germany, two years ago. The Coral Island installation was to replace an 18-player Elton Derby game, which was previously the biggest Derby that Elton had ever produced!”
“There are around 300 old Elton games still in operation around the world and as I am the only remaining original Elton electronic engineer, I like to think I am the only person left who fully understands how they work,” he adds.
“We are really excited to be creating bespoke, high quality Derby games for clients such as Butlins and Coral Island,” says Anthony. “We know that Arthur and Stuart approve and are pleased to see the tradition continue in the UK industry.”