Mad magazine first broke cover in 1952, bursting onto the publishing scene as a wildly satirical comic before later becoming a fully fledged magazine. It was the brainchild of editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gates, and was notable for creating the character of Alfred E. Neuman, whose gurning face usually adorned the cover. And it is of course Alfred’s cheeky grin that features on the ‘Mad Money’ one armed bandit, both on the upper display banner and also on the reels themselves.
In the early ‘50s the United States outlawed slot machines and an individual called Martin Bromley, seeing the emerging Japanese market, purchased huge numbers from the government and imported them to Japan, setting up Service Games in the process. In the 1960s, when the machines were again made legal in the States, he started selling them back in to the US market but legal threats from Mad magazine over copyright infringement meant that these particular slot machines had to go elsewhere, with most ending up in Australia and the UK.
This example has been fully restored by our technicians and as you can see from the photos, is in beautiful condition. Unlike the garish paint jobs that adorn many slot machines this one has a very stylish, even understated feel, with a dark textured cabinet and art deco chrome details. To be honest we don’t know how the machine ended up looking so restrained and tasteful given the craziness of the magazine which inspired it!
Our founder, Reginald Waldersmith, was far from an avid gambler, but he was extremely knowledgeable about the industry. He specialised in ‘one armed bandits’, and they were an essential part of the business that eventually became the Games Room Company. After servicing slot machines and jukeboxes on American airbases after the war, the resultant friendships Reginald made in the US armed forces allowed him to begin shipping them to the UK, and begin trading as the Games Room Company.
We’ve been selling games tables since 1962, so we know a thing or two about our products! Our showroom will gladly assist you on any questions you may have before or after you purchase any Games Room Company equipment.