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What happened to TAITO Australia and what happened to their machines?

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  • What happened to TAITO Australia and what happened to their machines?

    Sadly this happened. As you can see, Taito owned a number of arcade names and sites. Westworld was their flagship site and it was a beauty. At one time they had the best dedicated imported original arcade machines in Australia. They did not copy or use pirate chips and software. A Hankin and Co. and Timezone were very worried about the competition from Taito, especially as they are a mega business who make the games out right, like Space Invaders.

    Does anyone know where all these arcade machines went to? I did not see any of the Westworld arcade machines turn up at any other arcade in Sydney. It is a GREAT mystery what really happened. Is it possible they were warehoused and they are still there? Were they shipped back to Japan or another country? Again, these machines were never seen in Sydney again. Does anyone have a contact at KMG to investigate the buyer?

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  • #2
    AMF Bowling Australia bought the Taito Australia operation in total. The machines become part of it's own amusement machine division and all the staff were brought across as well. This allowed AMF to operate there own machines in a division owned solely by AMF. Taito Australia was originally supplying amusement machines to AMF on a split share arrangement and when Taito Japan wanted to withdraw from Australia, it seemed the logical thing to do.
    AMF continued to operate it's own machines up until about 3 years ago. It is now a split share with LAI.

    What happened to the machines?. Machines become uneconomical to maintain as they age. After many bad experiences selling to the public, ( people with no experience buying cheap throw away machines coming back claiming warranty) , AMF started taking such machines direct to the tip with the only machines being saved being those bought by staff.
    Pinballs were traded back to importers reducing the price of new replacement pinballs.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Autosteve View Post
      AMF Bowling Australia bought the Taito Australia operation in total. The machines become part of it's own amusement machine division and all the staff were brought across as well. This allowed AMF to operate there own machines in a division owned solely by AMF. Taito Australia was originally supplying amusement machines to AMF on a split share arrangement and when Taito Japan wanted to withdraw from Australia, it seemed the logical thing to do.
      AMF continued to operate it's own machines up until about 3 years ago. It is now a split share with LAI.

      What happened to the machines?. Machines become uneconomical to maintain as they age. After many bad experiences selling to the public, ( people with no experience buying cheap throw away machines coming back claiming warranty) , AMF started taking such machines direct to the tip with the only machines being saved being those bought by staff.
      Pinballs were traded back to importers reducing the price of new replacement pinballs.
      That was very informative. Thank you for the feedback. That solves one part of a very old mystery. This explains why I did not see the machines I knew on the streets of Sydney again. They were sold or may have went to the AMF locations in the suburbs. I would have thought the imported cabs, that cost a fortune in USD or JPY to purchase, would likely not be dumped. Likely these were sold to staff or others. I am not a pinball expert like yourself, so I have no trace on them. I guess the records of serial numbers and the detailed inventory on the arcade machines may have been transferred to the AMF organisation. They would know what happened to every machine purchased from Taito. The Taito sites were according to the ad generating over 900K annually in 1984, so it is likely those records would be detailed with the information.

      Are there any former AMF members at AA with knowledge of the ex Taito equipment? Anyone else go to any Taito, Westworld, Skylab, Moonraker or Challenger One arcades? Did any AA members work at any of these arcades, or hired as technicians for Taito Australia?


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      • #4
        Originally posted by OOO View Post

        That was very informative. Thank you for the feedback. That solves one part of a very old mystery. This explains why I did not see the machines I knew on the streets of Sydney again. They were sold or may have went to the AMF locations in the suburbs. I would have thought the imported cabs, that cost a fortune in USD or JPY to purchase, would likely not be dumped. Likely these were sold to staff or others. I am not a pinball expert like yourself, so I have no trace on them. I guess the records of serial numbers and the detailed inventory on the arcade machines may have been transferred to the AMF organisation. They would know what happened to every machine purchased from Taito. The Taito sites were according to the ad generating over 900K annually in 1984, so it is likely those records would be detailed with the information.

        Are there any former AMF members at AA with knowledge of the ex Taito equipment? Anyone else go to any Taito, Westworld, Skylab, Moonraker or Challenger One arcades? Did any AA members work at any of these arcades, or hired as technicians for Taito Australia?
        The machines would have gone to AMF sites and once they weren't making money, no one in the industry would have bought them so most of the stuff was stripped of generic parts and dumped. That's how the industry worked in those days. Expensive to buy yes but after a year or two have well and truly paid for themselves and usually sat in the workshop as spares for similar machines in other states etc but in the end, sitting around taking up space so disposed of. AMF was operating several hundred machines in NSW.
        The records would have shown exactly what happened to the machines by serial number. Everything was tracked by serial number right down to PC board numbers. Record keeping was pretty intense at both Taito and AMF. Problem is records were only kept for around 8-10 years for tax reasons and when workshop locations changed, twice while I worked for them, old records were disposed of as well.
        Yes I worked for them for the best part of 20 years on and off and worked at Taito Australia as well. I took a seven year break from Taito to AMF where I worked at Luna Park on the maintenance team working on non coin op machines.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Autosteve View Post

          The machines would have gone to AMF sites and once they weren't making money, no one in the industry would have bought them so most of the stuff was stripped of generic parts and dumped. That's how the industry worked in those days. Expensive to buy yes but after a year or two have well and truly paid for themselves and usually sat in the workshop as spares for similar machines in other states etc but in the end, sitting around taking up space so disposed of. AMF was operating several hundred machines in NSW.
          The records would have shown exactly what happened to the machines by serial number. Everything was tracked by serial number right down to PC board numbers. Record keeping was pretty intense at both Taito and AMF. Problem is records were only kept for around 8-10 years for tax reasons and when workshop locations changed, twice while I worked for them, old records were disposed of as well.
          Yes I worked for them for the best part of 20 years on and off and worked at Taito Australia as well. I took a seven year break from Taito to AMF where I worked at Luna Park on the maintenance team working on non coin op machines.
          That's great information.

          I posted some of my photos that I took in 1984 of Westworld on George St. Did you work at or visit Westworld in the 80s? Do you know any of the employees in the photos, or any that worked there? You can even see the machines in the background. I also recall some brothers worked at Westworld in George St at that time. I remember the manager at Westworld was a balding elderly guy with glasses, and he worked with Neville G Ross, the person in the 1st photo below. Did you apply for one of the technician ads that were posted by Taito in the Sydney Morning Herald?







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          • #6
            No, I was an inside tech at Taito. Assembling uprights and tables mainly. While the machines were made in Japan, that meant the assemblies. Cabinets come in empty. Tubes come in in big shippers about 100 tubes per shipper. Tubes were all northern hemisphere so all had to be re-polarized for Australia, (southern hemisphere) and once that was done, set the convergence rings. Boards installed, coin mechs fitted, power supplys, header panels and Australian ID plates ready for sales or operations. I jumped many steps there but basically I could knock about 5 machines out a day. When I was there it was mainly Defenders and Colony 7s being assembled. Pinballs were many Williams Black Knight, Jungle Lord, Pharaoh etc as they only operated Williams.
            I just walked in off the street at Taito. I was working at LAI at the time after Goddards closed and was after more money so went to Taito, Hankin and got the three of them competing for my labour. Highest got me and Taito won, for 18 months anyway before Luna Park come up.
            I got that job because the operations manager remembered me from Goddards.

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