VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – We’ve all at some point in our lives played an arcade game at a fair or amusement park. Have you ever wondered where many of those popular games are created?
It’s in the small city of Holly Hill in Volusia County. There you’ll find Bob’s Space Racers which has been designing and building arcade games for 50 years. The store has an impressive history, most notably, they are best known for the iconic Whac-A-Mole game invented in the 1970′s.
“We’re one of the few people in the world that really do custom game design and custom fabrication,” Jack Cook, President of Bob’s Space Racers said. “Chuck E. Cheese was one of the first people who bought the smaller version Whac-A-Moles from us.”
It’s game where you have to use a mallet to “whac” tiny toy moles on their heads before they quickly sink back into their hole. Bob’s Space Racers has been creating arcade magic in their 13-acre headquarters. They have been supplying machines for over 120 countries spanning across 6 continents.
“We have people that do plumbing, electrical, electronics. They design boards, PC boards, they’re carpenters, Cook said." "It takes all types of trades to produce the final product.”
The family owned business employs 80 people. They may be best known for Whac-A-Mole but Cook said they’re clients, from as far as Dubai, look for water gun games too.
“Our water game that we made 50 years ago is still one of the top games that we sell today,” Cook said. "We also build what we call skill games, which could be say, throwing a dart at a balloon, to ring on a bottle, to shooting a basketball, we build those type games, too.”
An industry Cook said, continues to go strong despite the changing times and improving technology in games. These arcade games brings smiles to children on land but are also bringing to joy to those on the sea. The company not only builds arcade games for amusement parks, but for cruise lines as well.
“You live this business and it’s always on your mind and you’re always coming up with new stuff and new products and it’s not a boring place to work.”