Playmeter April 2015 : Page-37
COVER STORY Elaut USA provides top quality E-Claw entertainment E Elaut USA headquarters. laut USA is widely known for the Wizard of Oz game, which changed the style and operation of coin pushers. And while this machine is still in the company’s vast arsenal of equip-ment, it only touches the surface of the entertainment options that Elaut USA has brought to the marketplace. The company has a rich history going back to 1959 with its parent company based in Sint-Niklaas, Bel-gium, and the Verstraeten family, origi-37 nators of the Big Choice and Top Choice cranes of the 1980s that set the standard for quality and reliability and became known as “the Belgium crane.” Fast forward to 2015 and Elaut USA produces no less than 11 standard model cranes including the popular E-Claw series; container, custom, and trailer models; Plucky Ducky; also the Mistral and Blackbeard’s Bounty coin pushers; the Ticket Wheel; and the Ticket Eater Redemption Center. APRIL 2015 PLAY METER
Elaut USA provides top quality entertainment<br /> <br /> Elaut USA is widely known for the Wizard of Oz game, which changed the style and operation of coin pushers. And while this machine is still in the company’s vast arsenal of equipment, it only touches the surface of the entertainment options that Elaut USA has brought to the marketplace.<br /> <br /> The company has a rich history going back to 1959 with its parent company based in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, and the Verstraeten family, originators of the Big Choice and Top Choice cranes of the 1980s that set the standard for quality and reliability and became known as “the Belgium crane.”<br /> <br /> Fast forward to 2015 and Elaut USA produces no less than 11 standard model cranes including the popular EClaw series; container, custom, and trailer models; Plucky Ducky; also the Mistral and Blackbeard’s Bounty coin pushers; the Ticket Wheel; and the Ticket Eater Redemption Center.<br /> <br /> Elaut USA games can be found in arcades, family entertainment centers (FECs), and large and small amusement parks in the U.S. and around the world. The company is located in Lakewood, N.J., and has a wide network of distributors.<br /> <br /> Play Meter caught up with Elaut USA officials for more information on the company, its products, and the future.<br /> <br /> When was the Elaut USA office established?<br /> The concept of Elaut USA and the opening of a U.S.-based office of Elaut began in late 2000. Eric Verstraeten of Elaut and Neal Rosenberg of Betson had built a strong business and personal relationship over the previous 15 years of Neal handling the Elaut account on behalf of Betson. Betson decided to end its representation of Elaut in the U.S. at the same time that Neal decided to make a career change and so the inevitable happened. As they say, “Right time, right place.”<br /> <br /> What was the first game introduced here by the U.S. office?<br /> There was never really any game first introduced in the U.S. or by the USA office because everything came out of Belgium, so it was natural for all Elaut product to be introduced in Europe first.<br /> <br /> But the first big success for Elaut USA was the Big One Crane. At the time Elaut USA had a cooperative working arrangement with Skee-Ball Inc. to manufacture and distribute for Elaut. Skee-Ball had a close relationship with the Dave & Buster’s chain and they took the initial run of product and placed one unit in every store.<br /> <br /> What are the newest games in production for 2015?<br /> The newest games are Blackbeard’s Bounty coin pusher, Plucky Ducky Play Till You Win Crane; Put in a Buck and Win a Duck!; the E-Claw series of cranes; and the redesigned Shocker Electric Chair.<br /> <br /> The Ticket Circus coin pusher and the Tower of Tickets redemption game were shown at the IAAPA Expo 2014. Are they currently available?<br /> Yes, they are available along with the entire Elaut line of products.<br /> <br /> Does the company follow a particular business philosophy?<br /> Without a doubt, and if the company did not have a strong business philosophy it wouldn’t be here today. That philosophy hasn’t changed in over 30 years as set down by the company’s Founder, Achiel Verstraeten: “No matter what the concept, build the finest product possible and make it last.”<br /> <br /> Cranes are mainstays on many amusement routes, fun centers, and parks. What makes cranes endure and remain popular?<br /> Cranes are certainly popular but only so far as the way they are operated. You can build the best product in the world but if the operator doesn’t pay attention to the merchandise they select to run and the initial set-up of the crane, then all is lost. Remember: WINNERS MAKE PLAYERS!<br /> <br /> This phrase was coined many years ago and should be the mantra for any and all involved in the crane business today from the manufacturer to the operator. If you don’t have any winners you will certainly not have any players.<br /> <br /> What are the most important elements to consider when designing a new crane?<br /> Keep up with current technology to improve what is already in hand and always try to build a product that carries the gold standard of excellence that Elaut has become known for, while keeping the players first in line. Elaut has always taken the player into consideration before anything else.<br /> <br /> What kinds of games does Elaut produce specifically for parks?<br /> Elaut produces the same units for all venues but with a lot of customizing to fit into a game stand in an amusement park or a road trailer for the carnival industry or traveling showmen.<br /> <br /> Most everyone knows about the Big One crane, which is approximately eight feet by eight feet by eight feet, but what most have never seen is a Big One that is 12 feet by 26 feet by eight feet, which was built for a specific location within an amusement park. Elaut continuously strives to satisfy its customers no matter what the request.<br /> <br /> Will Elaut USA branch out into different kinds of games in the future?<br /> Elaut USA is always on the lookout for something new and different, so if readers have any ideas, let us hear from you.<br /> <br /> How important are trade shows in gaining feedback from customers?<br /> The age old question is: “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” Some of us have seen product sold in large quantities long before it is shown at a trade show and then again just the opposite has happened as well.<br /> <br /> Trade shows are a great place to socialize with customers and keep your name out in the forefront while affording customers the opportunity to converse with not only the sales representatives but also the technical staff. However, the big factor still remains that if you’re not at a trade show everyone thinks you’re out of business.<br /> <br /> What are operators at trade shows saying they need for their businesses to grow?<br /> Every operator has the same question, “What’s new?” Elaut finds itself in a very difficult position due to the fact that it is trying to satisfy many different venues and operations with the same product so it’s become a juggling act to satisfy each avenue. This is the very reason that you will see Elaut product in various sizes: one player, two player, or three player models.<br /> <br /> What is truly lacking in the market today is a true redemption or merchandising game that can fulfill the needs of the street operator. Small in size, but large in value! We’re working on it.<br /> <br /> Where would Elaut USA like to be in five years?<br /> Elaut is committed to the amusement industry on every level by delivering top quality entertainment and fun to the player through its games and will continue to do so as set down by its Founder and guiding light, Achiel Verstraeten.<br /> <br /> For more information on Elaut USA, visit (www.elautusa.com).