The Daily Ping

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August 17th, 2001


I haven’t been able to spend any of my summer days at the Wildwood shore in the last several years, and I got to thinking today about how much I miss my days there. One of the fondest memories comes from trips to the boardwalk with my grandmother, where we’d play a casino-type game called Fascination alongside many blue-haired women in the hope of winning points towards prizes.

The game was pretty basic: you sat at the end of a table and rolled a racquetball-type ball over a small bump. The ball would bounce around a bit over top of 24 holes. When the ball dropped into a hole, the corresponding light on the wall at the end of the table would light. The wall was a 5×5 grid, with the center light always lit as a freebee. The ball would then return and you’d continue rolling. In a normal game, the goal was connecting five lights vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. The first person in the casino to do so would be the winner and get points towards a prize. There were bonus points for certain rows or columns based on difficulty. There were some variations of the game, one being “Cover-all,” where the winner was the first to light up each spot on the board.

I had a major urge to play this game today while at work. Does anyone remember this particular boardwalk favorite? -ram

Posted in Childhood Memories

DATE: Friday August 17, 2001 -- 12:29:50PM
Like God, I've always had a weakness for skee-ball, which sounds very similar to the game you like so much.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday August 17, 2001 -- 2:05:51PM
Skee-ball (another favorite) was kind of similar... except Skee-ball had those concentric circles (is that the right word?) and you acculmulated points. Fascination was slower paced (players sat), too.

But in both of them, you rolled things. :)

FROM: Robert
DATE: Friday August 17, 2001 -- 6:02:27PM
I have a fondness for rapper Skee-Lo.

DATE: Friday August 17, 2001 -- 7:09:26PM
Which of course reminds me of late (at least I think she's late) country singer Skeeter Davis. Which makes me think: "Jeezus. Skeeter???"

FROM: Josh
DATE: Saturday August 18, 2001 -- 1:00:04AM
Hrm...That does sound familiar. At the arcade I used to work for, we
had a game there called "Light-A-Line" that worked along the same
lines as to what you're talking about. Only on this game, every hole
corresponded to one or two numbers that would light up on the card
(or cards, if you put more than one coin in) on the backglass, trying
to complete a line or another payout combination within 5 or 6

I know that probably wasn't what you're thinking of, but I hope it

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Saturday August 18, 2001 -- 10:18:16AM
Josh -- That does sound similar...

Here's one page that mentions Fascination and refers to it as the "Roll the Ball Game" (about halfway down).

FROM: dave
DATE: Sunday August 19, 2001 -- 9:26:55PM
I remember playing it as a kid at amusement parks. I think you got tickets when you won, to redeem for prizes. I like the new variety where you roll a golf ball into hole marked with different numbers, that advance a horse up on the wall a certain distance toward a finish line.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday August 20, 2001 -- 1:17:21AM
That sounds more like a Price is Right game to me. :)

FROM: Jim \"The Guesser\" Desrosiers
DATE: Friday February 15, 2002 -- 11:47:12 pm
"Roll the ball, light the lights, it's BINGO in electric light! Come on in sit right down, If you've never played, we'll show you how! Only ten cents to play the game, Fascination is the name" I spent many an hour barking these very words. Fascination was my life for the summer of 1996. Old Orchard Beach, Maine had the oldest most decrepit gameboards of them all. I spent two hours a week cleaning telephone relays that made the game work. I don't know if it was the toxic contact cleaner or the fast paced banter that I used to shpeil off that drove me nuts, but one thing is for sure . . . there's no other game like it. Win on the green line, play for free until another player wins on the green line. Win on the yellow line, win double tickets. Win on the red line, win triple tickets. Blue line special prize . . . usually something we normally couldnt give away (we called it the boobie prize behind their backs) white line, share the wealth . . . you and the people on either side of you got equal amount of tickets. We had 42 game tables and could fill them all for hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, what the heck . . . it was only ten cents a game. We would finish a game, have the money for the next game picked up by the second roll and as soon as the game was over hand out tickets . . . all while the sound of the bell indicated the start of the next game. By midnight the girls (game attendants) and I (caller) would be worn out. We would curse the game and swear under our breath because some old lady dropped a dime into a trough, slowing game play and giving the players (mooches) a chance to count just how much they spent . . . most games ended within eight rolls. Solid action for five or six hours . . . but it's gone now. we tore out the game tables at the end of that summer to make way for a night club, (it lasted a month) the game sat in storage for a year until it met a timely demise at the scrap yard. As much as I hated that game at the time, I could appreciate the draw, the action and the urgency it created.
I still keep my hands in the Amusement Industry, guessing people's ages and weights, running the occasional quarter pitch or conning some joe into a friendly game of four ball, but there really is nothing like fascination.

May all your wins be "Red Liners" and all your prizes be reminders, come on back and see us again, we'll save you a seat for just ten cents"
Jim Desrosiers - Old Orchard Beach, Maine

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday June 20, 2002 -- 12:08:43 pm
I have a couple of pictures posted of a recent game of Fascination, if anyone's interested.

FROM: Kevin
DATE: Thursday August 15, 2002 -- 10:32:11 pm
I loved Fascination and I really miss the game. Is there any website where you can find where Fascination still exists? I know that it's a dead game as far as young people today are concerned, but I love it and still want to play. Thanks for posting this question and let me know if you have information about where I can find this great game.


FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday August 16, 2002 -- 12:24:09 am
Kevin -- You can definitely still play at the boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ. I think it's still around in Atlantic City, as well.

FROM: Travis
DATE: Sunday August 18, 2002 -- 8:36:23 pm
This game is still alive and well out here in Sylvan Beach, NY (about 30mins East of Syracuse). You play for $.25 per play but on Wednesday its $.10 per game which is a more popular game and you win tickes to get misc prizes. There are about 30 to 40 machines in play and in fair condition. Its only about 4 miles from my house and I go play $5 worth at least once or twice per week.

FROM: Travis
DATE: Sunday August 18, 2002 -- 8:42:44 pm
I've decided either I'm going to track down a classic set of Fascination games (unlikely) and repair it... or build one from scratch. I know there are newer varieties bet I refuse to buy this plastic crap they use now-a-days. I know plastic type games can be mass produces and WAYYY cheaper to build but it isn't the same. The same goes for Skeeball. There seems to be at least 1 company making new Skeebal machines that seem nice ( SmartBall ) but their balls are solid plastic and just don't have the exact feel & weight of the classic wooden balls. I'm defiently buying a Skeeball machine even if it's a new one and replacing the balls with wooden ones, even if I have to make my own. Lately I'm starting to like the idea of possible re-creating classic boardwalk games but at this point in my life I don't have the free time ( I'm 26 with a long term girl ) nor the money ( at least $10,000 needed just te buy the equipment to make them ).

FROM: Ellie
DATE: Friday October 4, 2002 -- 12:37:03 pm
I have been playing Fascination on the Wildwood Boardwalk for about 40 years. I'm only 50, so you can imagine how many hours I spent there with my mother. She's gone now, but every time I roll the ball, I think of her. After accumulating tickets for a year I won a suitcase and a steam upholstery cleaner last year. Of course, it probably cost me a thousand bucks to accumulate that many tickets (at 20 cents per game), but it's the thrill of maybe "getting a red line" that counts. They have a website. I think it's

FROM: Sandi
DATE: Friday October 4, 2002 -- 12:57:47 pm
Ram: Fascination in Wildwood, NJ is very much open and very much running. You can catch a glimpse of it (just to put a picture in your memory) at

The system is the same (20cents per game), only now everything is electronic. No more of the attendants coming around collecting dimes, it takes token's that you purchase ahead of time and load into an electronic tube.

Prizes are some of the best on the boardwalk, with realistic redemtion numbers. None of the 360,000 points for a stuffed monkey the size of your thumb.

You really should get yourself back down there -- Wildwood is still a fun place to vacation, and they are really working on revitalizing the area to make it more eye-catching and appealing.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday October 4, 2002 -- 1:11:14 pm
Sandi -- Thanks for passing that along... great link! If you read through the comments, I also posted a few pictures from this summer at that very Fascination location.

FROM: tom c
DATE: Wednesday November 27, 2002 -- 2:03:45 am
I spend my summers at wildwood with my grandmother fascination is the best. Also was lucky to be able to play in my home state upstate ny. We live on one of the finger lakes, which had a amusment park called roseland fascination was big. The park is no longer. Still have the house in north wildwood go there every summer my kids love it. How can you not.

FROM: Chris
DATE: Thursday December 5, 2002 -- 1:38:35 pm
I worked at the Long Beach, NY Fascination - I was there in 1965 and probably got the job cause i won too often. I was definitely addicted. Sure would like to track down a machine to keep in my game room at home, but it seems they are scrapped when the places close down like at Cedar Point. Anyone hears of one offered please let me know! cpr

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday December 5, 2002 -- 10:39:34 pm
Wow... a Fascination game (or a pair!) *would* be quite a fun addition to a game room...

Now you're giving me ideas. :)

FROM: Randy Senna
DATE: Tuesday December 24, 2002 -- 11:41:33 am
Well, I guess that I would be " Mr. Fascination " !

I am the owner and operator of the world's finest Fascination Game located at Young Ave. and Boardwalk, in Wildwood, New Jersey, ( just north of the new convention center ).

As far as I know I am the only person with fascination tables in both of my homes and I also own all of the Fascination equipment from Hershey Park...Dorney Park...Keansburg Amusement Park...Seaside Heights...and both systems from Kennywood Park.

The Fascination game has all but disappeared today mainly because of high operation costs, ( including hourly wages of attendents, high electric bills, high square footage requirements resulting in high rents, and expensive equipment costs and/or maintenance ), plus the required specialized and talented master of ceromonies.

In this world of varried interests, with mega shopping malls, home entertainment centers, and internet websights, the entire amusement park experience has changed shifting its focus to " entertainment " that requires little time spent by patrons while charging a large fee and offering the promise of a quick win on items to lure the patron; the Fascination Game is not that type of operation.

Today I operate Flipper's Fascination at a cost to play of only .20 cents per game, which is the same cost that I gladly paid which I was a kid in the early 70's ! Add that to countless added features and free games given away and it is clearly the best deal found anywhere in the amusement industry.

Fascination is also know in the amusement industry as the hardest game operation by far with the smallest return on investment for the owners.

Amusement parks today look for the most profit for the smallest square footage and effort of operation. Amusement park planners miss the big picture when they do not plan on the guest attendence that is drawn to major entertainment anchors like the Fascination game.

The bottomline profits of the fascination games are seen in the surrounding operations with major increases in guest foot traffic to the area of the park and the ultimate guest purchases of food/drink and gifts items offered.

The problem comes in when the Fascination owners do not own the surrounding operations and therefor do not add to their bottomline by the generated foot traffic to the area.

When the park owners do not give conciderations to the foot traffic generated to other area attractions when they look for rent increases it results in the main draw being priced out of business and this was the fate of many fascination games.

I am not only a Fascination game operator, but I am also a custom amusement game creator specializing in group challenge games of which the Fascination game is the finest example of.

I have customized Fascination games to include a system that can actually run itself and is controled by a life size Audio-animatronic figure who announces all the happenings as the game's master of ceromonies and actually responds to the current events taking place on the game at the time by creating its own responces based on need of the games !

In addition I have coin/token automated the payment systems on the equipment releasing the operation of the collection attendent burden both in cost factor and dependence.

Countless game features have been re-engineered into my Fascination game system which now offers automatic floating free players, flashing line board bonus boards, super stop light bonus boards, traveling light bonus systems, player's choice level of play systems, special feature bonus wins, Add-a-light bonus systems plus a mryid of others as the list goes on !

Yes, although those beloved Fascination games of our memories have passed on, through my personal passion for the game and my unusual talents as the games engineer, Fascination lives on at Flipper's Fascination at Young Ave in Wildwood New Jersey !

And although some people's memories reflect upon " blue haired " ladies playing Fascination, that is not true today. Infact, Fascination is one of the few places that the entire family can enjoy. The game's appeal is timeless and for all ages... " Fun for all, small and tall, as long as you can roll a ball... " !

So if you get the chance, treat yourself to a goodtime.... " be a big shot for a buck ".... come on down and see for yourself and bring your friends !

Flipper's Fascination is open on weekends in March, April, and May...
Everyday in June, July, Augest, and half of September, and Weekends in October, and November. Call for current hours of operation... 609-522-4747.

As for the other great games found in the amusement park arcades from the 50's through the 80's, I currently own the world's largest collection of these memories as well and I am in setting up a " hands on " museum of all those great games in Wildwood in the historic Woolworth's Building at the corner of Wildwood and Pacific Aves. which will be home to hundreds of collectable amusement games and memories from the past and will be opened sometime in the future.

Keep in contact with Flipper's Fascination for infomation on The Goodtime Emporium.

I will see you there !!!!

Randy Senna

Owner: Flipper's Fascination
The Goodtime Emporium
Outstanding Amusements
Randyland Engineering

3210 Pacific Ave.
Wildwood, New Jersey 08260

FROM: nikke
DATE: Tuesday January 28, 2003 -- 12:35:37 am
you can also play the very classic version of fascination with original machines in nantasket, MA....about 1/2 hour outside of boston....its located on the boardwalk...i'm addicted :) i play everytime i go out to visit a friend out there....
just thought id give ya a heads up in case youre ever in the boston area...

FROM: Rachael Rifkin
DATE: Monday February 10, 2003 -- 5:18:10 pm
Fascination is being turned into a casino video game called Xingo. It's starting out at Hollywood Park and moving across the country. It's being made by a company called UWink.

DATE: Thursday February 13, 2003 -- 5:38:43 pm
I played Fascination as a kid in Rockaway Playland! I have been looking to play again for years. Does anyone know of a place near NYC, but closer than Wildwood?

FROM: John
DATE: Tuesday April 1, 2003 -- 11:08:51 pm
Fascination--practically the only game I've ever played in any amusement park. As a child, I'd always walk by Fascination, wondering what the deal was. It took me until I was 25 to actually get in and play a game at Cedar Point despite at least one trip a year there. All it took was one game, and I was hooked. I'd spend at least $20 every trip to CP on Fascination, and once I got a season pass, I was going around 5 or 6 times a year.

After the 2000 season, as many here probably know, CP unceremoniously dumped Fascination after 46 seasons without any prior announcement in favor of a franchised restaurant which I wouldn't eat at even on the days it looks like it might actually pass a fire safety or health inspection (no, it's not that bad, but I hold grudges). Sure I enjoyed my last game of Fascination at CP, but I would have enjoyed it more if I had known it was going to be the very last time I played it there. At least I can take consolation in knowing that I won my last game at what I considered my lucky table, number 21.

My Fascination urges are now met periodically (once approximately every 2 years) by trips to San Francisco. A Fascination parlor exists on Market Street, between 6th and 7th. This parlor appears to be on its last legs. The number of broken tables seems to increase every time I go there, and it doesn't appear as busy as it was when I went there for the first time in 1997 (when I found it completely by accident). It would not surprise (but would greatly disappoint) me to find out it had closed by the time I make my next visit.

I hear there's Fascination still at Indiana Beach amusement park. It's good to see other Fascination parlors are still in existence (regardless of equipment) and I look forward to visiting them should I ever happen to be nearby. I'm surprised Kennywood, "Park of Things Antiquitous" as I call it sometimes, removed theirs. I didn't even know Kennywood ever had one until stumbling upon this website.

Count me among the numerous fans of the game that would LOVE to have a set of two or four tables (and the ubiquitous starting and ending bell) to include in that basement rec room. Maybe some day--a guy can hope, can't he? It would be nice to turn this dream into a reality.

FROM: Travers
DATE: Tuesday May 13, 2003 -- 3:00:31 pm
Wow. I worked at Fascination during the Summer of 1985. But I still have so many memories of working there--and living in the apartment above the games. Any other alumni from 1985, please contact me. But I have one question: WHAT HAPPENED TO MARTY SHAPIRO?????? I hope he is well and enjoying his horses somewhere in Florida.


FROM: mega wildwood fan!
DATE: Wednesday May 28, 2003 -- 9:38:55 am
I love Flippers' not only for the thrill of beating the smoking cursing lady next to me, but I enjoy sitting down, relaxing, hearing the distant sound of the Great White roaring by, and watching disappointed patrons as I once again win a stack of tickets. If you were to play any other game on the Boards, you would easily drop $2 per game which would last about 20 seconds if you're lucky and you can walk away with your own junky sponge bob doll or some cheesy puppy with eyes that fall off the second you walk into the wind. Flippers is nice because you can spend $5 and stay for an hour if you get floating free plays and win a game that allows you the opportunity to play unlimited free games. My favorite is the cover-all where people turn into ball throwing maniacs, trying desperately to beat their neighbors. screams and shrieks can be heard from players on the upper level as Randy adds to the tension announcing we're down to 3 lights to light. people change. I've seen it. They hit the players choice box for 5X the amount and they smoke 3 cigarettes at a time. Randy remains calm, inviting guests who wander in off the Boards curiously observing this ritual. they seemed perplexed, but soon find themselves calling over the attendee for tokens, they put their junky sponge bob doll down, and boom. they're hooked. I love this game. I plan on visiting Wildwood all summer and seeing my favorite announcer, randy who sounds as though he could be hosting a TV talk show...maybe someday Randy. all must try this once. I promise. You WILL be hooked before too long!

FROM: gargoyle
DATE: Thursday May 29, 2003 -- 2:26:14 pm

FROM: gargoyle
DATE: Thursday May 29, 2003 -- 2:33:36 pm
Well I think I've found it. A place to spend my time in Wildwood. The employees of your establishment are always quite helpful as well as pleasant. they make you feel like one of the family. I can assure you that I will highly reccomend your arcade to people that I know are coming to Wildwood. By the way tell Jackie and Sam I'll be back to see them soon!

DATE: Monday June 2, 2003 -- 12:43:03 am
I found a rejected 10cent Fascination token on the coin counting machine in the Somers Point Acme Sunday PM.
It's from 1597 Broadway(48th St),NYC
The game was going great on the Atlantic City Boardwalk in the '30s and '40s.

FROM: Bob Mehlbaum
DATE: Monday July 21, 2003 -- 12:20:08 pm
What Randy did not tell you from Flippers is that he is the same operator who screwed hundreds of folks out of thousands of dollars of merchandise leaving them stranded when he closed up his games in seaside. Some of those same folks holding tickets trying to redeem them got the story that he does not own flippers well now you see he does. Also he has his workers accepting the real fascination coupons from 26th and Boardwalk and he has the redeeming down there to put prises in his showcase charging folks ten times that.

Save yourself the agony only play real fascination at olympic casino.

FROM: Big Kev
DATE: Friday August 8, 2003 -- 3:42:53 pm
As per a reply to Mr. Mehlbaums comment. Shall I call it slander or favoritism? I believe that both are correct. If you have a preference to a particular Wildwood Fascination, you don’t need to try and generate business to a slow dying fascination (yes I checked the guest book from Olympic). I think sir, that you should get all the facts before expressing a negative opinion for one and praising another. I could tell you some things about Olympic, but I am better than rumors and gossip. I have played both, and I am far from the stereotypical "blue-haired" lady. I am 28years old and I like Flippers better. There is more action, you can choose to play or not to play if you have credits in the machine, “cover-all” only costs one token (unless you want more) and $5 bucks last me a whole lot longer. Try that at the other place. Then again that’s my opinion. Judge for yourself.

And may all your lines be BLUE.

Only Flippers players know!!!

FROM: Wildwood Flippers Fanatic
DATE: Saturday August 9, 2003 -- 9:52:50 pm
Mr. Mehlbaum must work for Olympic Fascination. I have known Randy and have been going to Flippers for the past three years and I love it and so does my entire family. I have been going to Wildwood since I was a child and Fascination has been a game that I have loved and played for all of those years. Because I have always played and loved Fascination I used to play at Olympic Fascination (then the only place to play on the boardwalk). When I bought a summer home in WIldwood, my son and his finance also got hooked on the game. We played there for an entire summer and one night "Mr. Fascination" showed his true colors and made a very rude comment about my son - apparently he had won too many games that evening. We decided to turn in all the tickets we had won there and we started going to Flippers. What a wonderful change we made!! Randy is one of the nicest people we have met and his fascinaton is definitely the best - with free games and all the lights and action you could want in a game. For $5.00 you can play for over an hour. Flippers just celebrated it's third season on the boardwalk and hopefully Randy and Flippers will be there for many years to come!!!!

FROM: Marlene
DATE: Sunday August 17, 2003 -- 8:28:31 am
I remember the game of facination very well. Cover all was fun, but to
get the gold, blue or red line was the
best because you got more points if
you were able to get those color lines
straight across. I played with my grandmother and mother too at Wildwood and Seaside Heights, NJ. My grandmother was the best at this game. She would always win big prizes to take home at the end of our week long stay. I remember toasters and waffle makers, but most of all, I remember my mother and grandmother putting their prize tickets together for a carriage and baby doll for me. We would play into the wee hours of the morning, but of course I would fall asleep eventually with my head on the table where you roll the ball. This summer I went to Wildwood with my daughter and 2 year old granddaughter and introduced them to Fascination. My daughter loved it so much, she would go there at 11 am and stay until closing. The baby enjoyed rolling the ball too. I think Fascination is still one of the better games for all ages at the jersey shore. I wish there were more games of fascination at closer shore points.

FROM: sherri
DATE: Saturday August 23, 2003 -- 5:29:07 am
I'm here in Long Beach, Ca. and i know not too long ago we had a game called "Light-A-Line" or something like that. I have heard that they moved it to another location nearby but I don't know where. Can anyone help me to find its new location?

FROM: gail
DATE: Sunday August 24, 2003 -- 11:11:06 pm
as a child in the 50 & 60 my parents and i would go to coney island or rockaway playland there was always plenty of time saved for fasination. my folks got dishes and lots of other great stuff. i would like to find a place close to sacramento ca that had the game. it was the best

FROM: Another Flipper Fan
DATE: Wednesday August 27, 2003 -- 2:50:25 am
I am yet another person to take issue with Bob Mehlbaum's comments. I am one of those individuals who had coupons from Randy Senna's "Lucky's Fascination" at Seaside Heights. When I happened to find Randy's new establishment days after he opened in Wildwood, he proudly told me that he had been the same owner as the Seaside Fascination. He told me he would gladly match and honor any old Lucky's coupons I had without even asking how many I had. I doubt he'd remembered me from my teenage years and he made no attempt to deceive me. In fact, when I told him I used to enjoy the Seaside location, he seemed to welcome me as a long-lost friend. In my opinion, Randy is a brilliant, sincere, creative man with a passion (if not an obsession) for the love of electronics and games, which he demonstrates daily in his dedicated operation of his business. He is not the reason I first chose to vacation in Wildwood, but he is one of the main reasons I return each year.

FROM: Nolan
DATE: Sunday August 31, 2003 -- 8:45:47 pm
There is a Fascination parlor alive and well in Upstate New York. It is at a small amusement park in Sylvan Beach on Oneida Lake. You can even print out coupons to play for a mere ten cents a game. Check it out for yourself

FROM: Real Fascination
DATE: Wednesday September 17, 2003 -- 8:56:14 pm
Real Fascination is played on aged wood not the plastic piece of garbage randy has with his few prizes for outrageous amounts of coupons. I wonder what he did with all his stock when he robbed the customers of there prizes at Seaside. Ive been to flippers everytime you go buy nobody is in there and it costs more money much more money to play then the original

FROM: John
DATE: Monday September 22, 2003 -- 6:41:57 pm
Fascination lives in Seaside, Oregon!

In my post of April 1, I noted that I welcomed the chance to visit any Fascination parlor I possibly could. One such opportunity presented itself by accident this past weekend, when, while visiting Portland, OR, I decided to drive to the coast. In the town of Seaside, just a block or two off the beach on Broadway, was a 40-table parlor! I got to play my fill (around $8.00 at a quarter a game) and even won my final game of the evening at lucky table 21 in the best way to win Fascination--by surprise (working so hard at another opportunity that I won with another, unrelated one).

Hopefully it was just a sign of the off-season, but when I first entered, there was NOBODY in the parlor at around 5 PM on Friday evening. After a visit to the beach and some souvenir shops, I returned. Again, there was no one, but this time I stayed. After a few practice rounds, more people wandered in and I got to hear the sound of the bell that literally gets the ball rolling. At one time there were perhaps around 15 players, but there were not enough at 8 PM to allow the scheduled coverall game to take place, which was disappointing.

This parlor is well-maintained, unlike the one in San Francisco. According to a few other players I talked to, the place does get jumping during the tourist season, which, to me, was a good sign for its survival (as well as the fact that it was part of a larger gaming complex and not a “stand-alone” operation). The entire experience was enjoyable from start to finish, with the friendly staff adding to the atmosphere. I cashed in my winning coupons for a six-in-one travel game case, an “Oregon” magnet and a deck of cards, keeping the ticket from my final win in my possession.

I now treat every visit to a Fascination parlor as possibly the last one I'll ever take. My desire to get even just a few tables for my very own remains as high as ever. While it's unlikely I'll return to Seaside within the next several years, I’ll remember fondly the good time I had there and look forward to my next Fascination visit.

DATE: Saturday September 27, 2003 -- 1:30:08 am

DATE: Saturday October 18, 2003 -- 11:42:55 pm
comment deleted

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday October 20, 2003 -- 10:33:54 am
My mouth is still agape at the fact that "Fascination drama" has over taken the Ping. Should this be call "mud-pinging," perhaps?

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday October 23, 2003 -- 10:08:49 am
Commenting for this Ping is being disabled, pending legal action.

esther September 6, 2006, 9:13 am

They have Fascination at Seaside, OR. Open all summer. Open weekends in the winter. This game is addicting. We love it…and we are a young couple

Zooch September 13, 2006, 12:18 am

Hampton Beach, NH upstairs in the Casino. Game is called Roll-A-Bingo there.

Dominick November 5, 2006, 12:14 am

What do you win Money?? Fascination rocks Best one in the world is in Wildwood, NJ Olympic Casino

steve November 16, 2006, 6:18 pm

“Mr.Fascination,” the feature-length documentary about Randy Senna and his 2006 season on the boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ, will be coming out in 2007!!! This movie is destined to be a classic.

Stay Tuned!!!

For more info visit

ted kraus November 30, 2006, 6:45 pm

I owned the Fascination in Long Beach LI from 1965-1970
Anyone “outhere” that use to work there, please send me an e-mail

Dave Walls November 30, 2006, 9:35 pm

I’m curious as to what happened with the “legal action” in 2003. Did anything ever come of that?

(At least I didn’t say I was “fascinated” with the legal action…wait….doh!)

randy senna December 3, 2006, 12:04 am

what happened with the “legal action” in 2003….? Sad to say, it is still in the courts as of December 2006. I am surprised that this sight is again accepting postings… hopefully certain people will be more responsible with their actions; although I already see one on the edge… Ryan, please keep track of postings, and verify those doing the posting on your sight…

charlie Malings December 29, 2006, 3:51 am

Add me to the Fascination Fanatics, as a teenager in Rockaway in the 60’s, I worked at Lenny’s Fascination on B35th St Boardwalk. Many wild and crazy nights with Mad Mel and his methshakes just rapping away while we played coverall into the wee hours of the morning..I want a couple of tables in my house!!

butter February 8, 2007, 8:34 pm

good times summer of 89

Jim March 3, 2007, 7:15 pm

Randy of “Flippers Fascination” and I share the same interest in pinball and arcade games and that is how we first met a few years back. He has always treated my family and I as VIPs whenever we come down to play. He makes the game interesting with his antics. It is in my opinion one of the best deals on the Wildwood boardwalk. Randy works hard at making this simple game exciting. I will be there this summer trying to get the “red line rolling” Can’t wait to see the movie starring the Master of Ceromonies, Randy Senna!

JOHN May 12, 2007, 2:48 pm

I lived in Rockawat Beach and went to ST. Camillus Catholic school on Beach 100th Street in the 1970’s and we used to go across the street to “Pinky’s Fascination”.We would spend hours there, i remeber there was also a light that ran around the top of all the tables very quickly and if happened to land on yours when you won (and it never did) the you hit the jackpot, which I dont remember what that would have been.Of coures Playland was just across the street asw ell, and we would hit that when we had money. Good memories.

Mr. Fascination (Randy Senna) May 30, 2007, 2:18 am

John remembers well !

The running light was called the “travelight”, as it would travel from table top, to table top. Pinky’s used a fast moving travelight that would run across the tables, and then not appear for a long time; this was why it was so hard to actually win with the travelight.

Mathematically, if the travelight was always on one table or another, without disappearing, the odds would calculate as 1 in however many tables were within the system, (usually 40 or 50).

Some Fascinations would offer a large or “jackpot” prize for winning a certain line with the travelight. The operators would select a hard line for this bonus award, which would make the odds of achieving that line with the travelight very difficult.

In theory, if there are 12 ways to win, and all lines win the same amount of times in average, then the odds of actually winning the big prize offering would be 12 times the number of tables in the Fascination. Based on 50 tables, 50 times 12 would be 600, making the odds of hitting the jackpot 600 to one.

If the average game runs one minute, and there are 60 games an hour, then the actual odds would calculate of winning the special line with the travelight, one time in TEN hours.

Adding in the factor that the selected line for the travelight special, does NOT win as often percentage wise as the regular lines; days could pass without the winner actually winning with the travelight bonus.

That is why John does not recall anyone ever winning the “jackpot”!

Pinky’s also operated a Fascination on Broadway in New York City; all are long ago memories now.

Today, when most operators run travelight specials, they try to make the award modest and achievable. At Flipper’s Fascination in Wildwood, we have engineered FIVE travelights on the game system. When we run travelight bonuses, there are actually FIVE running lights, (each a different color), and on each table. By having FIVE travelights, the odds of winning with a travelight becomes mathematically achievable within a short period of time.

As the games designer and operator, I favor the use of bonus features with an easy hit frequency. Players enjoy hitting the bonuses, and intelligent people today are not easily fooled by large bonus which are extremely hard to win.

Fascination is a fun game to play, and should not be played for the greed of winning a “jackpot” prize which will disappoint the average player who will never hit the travelight like John.

It is very pleasing to hear that John still remembers the Fascination game so vividly, and yes, even the elusive travelight jackpot !!

I hope you get the chance to relive some of your memories by visiting Flipper’s Fascination in Wildwood, New Jersey; it is not that big of a drive from New York John!

Check out the national magazine, American Heritage, May 2007. It is published by the Forbes group. and should be available at newsstands.

The online link does not have the photos, but the text is clear:

Mr. Fascination
Randy Senna

Ed September 16, 2007, 5:41 pm

We used to go to Olympic Casino’s Fascination. Our entire family of seven loves the game. This year we could not take the rude comments of the man running the show and started going to Flippers. We usually spent upwards of $100 a night at the fascination and casino between the seven of us. Randy at flippers is much friendlier and much more fun to play.

We play for love of the game not the prizes. We come down every weekend, and spend most of the summer here in Wildwood. The last time I walked into Olympic I asked for tokens and was greeted with a smart ass remark about the fact that they would be closing.I guess they don’t want our money and that’s fine.

If you have never played fascination, it’s a lot of fun. If you want to listen to complaints and whining go to olympic. If you want to just sit down and have a goofy fun time, visit flippers. Try them both and decide for yourself.

I’m thinking about building a table of my own just to have some fun at home during the winter months.

Howard H May 6, 2008, 2:41 am

I was born and raised in Coney Island and lived in Coney Island Houses and now living in Florida, every day I can remember going to Eddie’s Fascination everyday with my parents it was like a second home to me. I remember when it was 5 cents a game then went to 10 cents a game, I don’t know what ever happened to all the pit girls or guys that walked from table to table to that collected the money for each game. The owner was Pete r Agripides he also bought across the street Williams cotton candy shop and Pete’s food stand right next door. He is still alive and is working both businesses. This has brought back memories and if anyone knows where there is a Fascination please let me know so I can go visit

Linda May 11, 2008, 1:42 am

Memorial day is almost here. Just can’t wait to get down to see Randy and play the games. My grandson loves playing also. He loves trying for the bloue line to see the bubbles. Flipper is the best.

Sal June 12, 2008, 4:02 am

What ever happened to the Mr. Fascination documentary?

Also – Randy: I am eagerly waiting to play that massive collection of pinballs you have. One summer in Wildwood you allowed access for a daily fee. That was totally amazing!

Graeme McRae January 2, 2009, 8:13 am

I worked for Marty Shapiro in the summer of 1975, the year Jaws came out. I was one of the boys who worked at the Fascination at 2406 Boardwalk in North Wildwood. His partner had another Fascination in Wildwood, about half a mile away. He had an old beat up car that barely moved, and we used it to drive to the supermarket which was a mile or two from the beach. One day I left the window open, causing the entire car to fill up with water from one of the frequent New Jersey thunderstorms. Marty was not pleased. I wonder how he’s doing?

Howard H January 27, 2009, 3:03 pm

Does anyone know if there are any Fascinations that are still open, and where is it located.


Kathleen July 27, 2009, 8:52 am

Yes both Wildwood locations are open. Love both palors for different reasons.

Olympic Casino Fascination at 2406 Boardwalk in North Wildwood

Flipper’s Fascination
Boardwalk at Pacific Ave.
Wildwood, New Jersey 08260

Philip August 15, 2009, 11:54 pm

Indiana Beach has an operating parlor of about 40 tables. They are the original wooden ones that have been there for MANY years. My wife’s grandmother used to go there when she was a kid and play. To this day, our ENTIRE family of about 40 still go up and stay for a week. Fascination is a big part of the trip. I’m sad to say that it is $0.50 a game and the prizes are super cheesy, but that adds to the fun, I guess. If you “Wikipedia” fascination, you’ll see Indiana Beach’s parlor along with our favorite Korean that runs the tables. To quote her, at the end of each game we hear, “We have a rucky winna on table 23…give that rucky winner 1 coupon, and if evrybody ready, we have anudder game”. I love her to death! LONG LIVE FASCINATION!

Jeff January 2, 2010, 12:39 am

Randy, I used to love playing Fascination at Pinky’s place in Times Square back in the 70’s. I think that they closed in 1981 or thereabouts.

One thing about your calculations. If there are 50 tables, each with the same chances of winning, then the odds are 50-1 and not 600-1.

In your example, each table has 12 ways to win. So there are a total of 12 ways to win per table x 50 tables = 600 chances. If you are sitting at any table, you have 12 out of those 600 chances to win, or 600/12 = 50. Each table has a 1 in 50 chance to win.

You bring back wonderful memories of some of the better things about Times Square back in the day. I miss Fascination in Times Square. Maybe I will make it to Wildwood now that you mentioned it and have a ball.


Mary August 5, 2010, 10:56 pm

We just came from Seaside, OR and played a lot at the 40 table parlor there. I can’t believe there are so few of these places left….it is addicting!! The parlor was almost always full and still a great deal at 25 cents a game. They also play “Blackout” with two balls at 75 cents a game. You do win coupons to cash in for prizes, but who really cares about the prizes, just playing the game is fun. We’re both fortysomething and found ourselves coming back to play again and again.

Randy Senna December 1, 2010, 9:35 pm

Hey Fascination lovers…

Just released is the book on Fascination, titled;
The lifetime Boardwalk Adventure

Ask for it at vook stores. or try

Here is Amazon’s link to the book !

Dominic January 6, 2011, 10:27 pm

Olympic Fascination played on real wood tables the only fascination parlor stil in business in wildwood.

Ryan January 7, 2011, 11:13 am

Um… I’d suspect that Randy would disagree with that statement.

Ryan January 7, 2011, 11:15 am

(Also, I hope we don’t have to re-enact “Dumb Ass Mode.” Let’s keep the personal attacks off of the site.)

randy aka Mr. Fascination July 28, 2011, 12:00 am

Hi gang,

Did you see me on the Hoarders Televison Show???

If you missed it, it will air again ! I was told this Saturday, July 30, at 9 pm… A & E check your listings !!!

I am also told that the Feature Documentry… Mr. Fascination and the Wonderful World of Randy, will be released in the coming months…

See the trailer on line….

I miss Flipper’s Fascination…. It will return !!

Ryan July 28, 2011, 2:04 am

Sure did, Randy! I’m a regular viewer of the show. I sat down to watch this week and said, “Hey, wait… I know that guy!”

Jack February 25, 2013, 6:15 pm

I still Enjoy Fascination …mostly for teh great people Ive met along the way. Ive always found Randy to be a bit too much carnival barker for my taste but I admire his committment! Guys like him keep memories alive single handedly! Last I heard Dominic (previous poster and caller at 2400 boardwalk fascination) was very ill. Hope he recovers as he is a nice guy!! I know Marty Shapiro from Gateway 2600 and he flat out creeps me out. HE was involved with 2400 Boardwalk before operating the gateway 2600 which I dont really like at all. I miss Walter at Olympic fascination (and his wife) who were great folks! Believe they still own the building. Love the frog bog they also operate.

Randy May 2, 2013, 10:34 am

Hi folks,

Well, as some of you might know, last summer I added some Fascination at the Hoarder’s Retro Arcade at the Boardwalk Mall.

I used the Fascination tables I had in storage that were last used at Hershey Park nearly 30 years ago.

I updated them to do a few neat tricks of course.

Flipper’s Fascination and the Flipper’s Fascination tables are still hiding at the original location behind the wall at the store there now.

It is still something that will reappear in the future; only circumstances will decide.

Meanwhile, I was selected to be on another Reality TV show just this past March.

American Pickers wanted to have their Hosts, Mike and Frank, come down and explore Randyland and the Retro Arcade.

I had much reservation about doing the show, because I really can’t see Mike and Frank from American Pickers actually paying enough money to buy any of the treasures I am entrusted with.

After all, their goal is to try to get people to sell things for less then their value so that they can turn around and resell them making profit.

To me, the entire premise is Mike and Frank searching for suckers, more so then searching for history.

Therefore, I couldn’t see myself actually selling them anything, but I felt in doing the show it would allow more people to see some of the treasures that I have saved from Amusement Park history over my lifetime.

As the years pass, I see the need to get everything in the massive collection set up in some kind of foundation so they can live on for generations long after I am not around anymore.

But it will require a huge building in excess of 100,000 Square Feet to do this… and it should be part of some large “corporate” resort, so that it can be an attraction drawing visitors to the Resort, and subsidized by the resort under an entertainment/attraction budget.

Disney would be perfect, however, who knows?

However, the American Pickers show had several issues in their Appearance Release Contract that I simply could not agree too.

This went back and forth with their Producers and the Production Company for a while, and it all came down to 1 word in the contact that they could not remove without Network approval….

The word? “Incidentally”

They had a clause preventing anyone from ever being allowed to talk about the experience of dealing with American Pickers on the Show, and I could never agree to surrender my liberties of freedom of speech.

I agreed to not speak about it until the show airs, so as not to leak out secrets or surprise, just as I agreed to on Hoarders, but they wanted it forever.

Finally, the night before the 8 am shoot, they had their RV bus, with their film crew and entourage, outside of Wildwood ready to ride in the next morning, and I was still on the phone with the Producers and their Lawyer…

They agreed to allow me the right to talk after the show aired, however, only “incidentally”. so if someone asked me if I did the show, I could say yes….

That is all; no detail.

They said that it would take 2 weeks to even hear from the network to remove the word “incidentally”, so the end result was, that I had to refuse to do the show.

Not exactly as it appears on TV with Mike and Frank just driving around and knocking on doors now is it?

This went on for more then a month, with advance visits from the Location Scout and their Appraiser…

And lots of emails, and phone calls….

And contracts…..

Ah, the reality of Reality TV.

Always remember, TV can never really be complete reality unless it is unedited raw footage of something happening.

This whole thing ended up in my witting another great book !

It is called, “So You Want to be on Reality TV ?”, and it tells the whole story !

And since I was told that I was the ONLY one who refused to sign the contract in five seasons of shows, it would appear that I was the only one who could tell this story, because I did not sign away my rights to talk about it !!!

And I included ALL their emails, contracts, revised contracts, and conversations in the book !!!!

If you want to experience what it is like to be selected to be on Reality TV; get the book !

It is a big, 8 x 10 size, 300 plus pager, and Amazon has it.

Here is a link:

This summer, when you stop in to play Fascination at the Retro arcade at the Boardwalk Mall, I should have copies available, but I do not have any yet.

Hope to see you there !

Randy Senna aka Mr. Fascination

Randy Senna September 22, 2014, 10:48 pm

Yesterday, September 20, 2014, was one of the rarest days in the history of my being in the amusement business….
My Retro Arcade and Fascination operations were open almost all day and night, and I was no where to be found.
In all my near 40 years of Boardwalk operations, I have always been at my operation from opening until closing, each and everyday we were ever open.
The only exceptions to this have been the times that I was with my mother or father during their last years requiring hospital attention.
Yesterday was another sad day of loss for me.
I opened my Retro Arcade and Fascination at 10 am, and them immediately ran to spend the entire day witnessing the end of Olympic Fascination and Fun Center.
Those who have played at Flipper’s Fascination over the many years of operation, might have known of certain issues where I, as the operator of Flipper’s Fascination, was less then a welcome addition to the Wildwood Boardwalk as viewed through the eyes of my friends at Olympic Fascination, but I want everyone to know that at no time were the owners of Olympic Fascination ever considered anything but a friend in my eyes.
These were, and still are, people who I looked up to from the time that I was a child playing Fascination in their store, as I was dreaming of one day owning my own Fascination operation.
And it was only because of my great skills as a Fascination operator, that I was perceived as a threat threw the eyes of Olympic Fascination, and as such, a very un-welcome person as an individual, and as a place to play Fascination.
When I was forced to close Flipper’s Fascination when my dad became ill, there were persons working at Olympic Fascination who seemed to celebrate in victory, and I heard the tales of announcements which were made proclaiming that Olympic Fascination was now the ONLY Fascination on the Wildwood Boardwalk, and the Only Fascination in the State of New Jersey….
However, after two years where Flipper’s Fascination went into hibernation, I added Lucky’s Fascination at my Retro Arcade, and once again Olympic Fascination was not alone in the World of Fascination on the Boardwalk in Wildwood.
Only three short years later, Olympic Fascination and Fun Center closed it’s doors for the final time.
There was a big wall to wall, everything must be sold auction which took place yesterday, and this is why I could not be found at my Retro Arcade, as I had to attend.
Lucky’s Fascination at my Retro Arcade was closed out of respect in memorial, during this period as the all day and night auction took place.
In my usual tradition and quest of preservation, I tried to purchase some items at the auction, to be someday displayed as tribute to Olympic, in my Amusements Museum.
A tribute not only to the place which created memories for countless people over generations of tradition from 1968 until 2014, but a tribute to the owners and operators who spent their lives in such pursuit.
In highlight of the few things I was able to save for future museum operation, are the Grey Hound Race Game, which in itself, was the very start of the owners of Olympic, as Walter’s, (the owner), father had invented the Grey Hound Race Game, and had manufactured them for sales to Amusement Parks across the country.
This particular Grey Hound Race Game, was in operation just north of Olympic Fascination for many years, and was the last one actually manufactured, as told to me by Walter himself.
A few roll-down poker machines, video poker machines, and some signs, were preserved as well as many other little treasures along the way…
And a table of 4, from the Olympic Fascination game itself !
The rest of the Fascination Game was auctioned off, as Walter, and Marty, (the original owners), and Steve and Jarred, (the current owners), watched.
There were at least two dozen others plus myself there for this, the finally climax of the 13 hour day of auctioning, and as the bidding started, I watch Walter as if he were the only one in the room standing.
Walter made no bid to purchase the Fascination Tables, as the opening bid was announced.
I crossed the room and spoke directly to Walter, and I said, “are you going to let this get sold?”
Walter indicated that he was indeed going to allow this to happen, stating that he could always build a new one, and I quickly encouraged Walter to bid, as it is only a matter of money, and he should not lets this happen.
Finally Walter said he would give it one shot, and he sparked up to make a bid !
He was out bid, and then was given quite a while to bid again….
The crowd watch in silence.
Walter did not bid again, and Olympic Fascination came to an end with the final words from the auctioneer, “sold”.
Marty went to speak to the buyer, and to find out where he was from….
Ocean City Maryland Marty later told Walter and his wife, as I stood there with them just outside the Fascination doors.
With tears in my eyes because of the end of the era, I looked into Walter’s eyes and said, I am more upset about this then you, and Walter replied, no, he is very upset only he won’t show it…. and Walter walked away with his wife.
Walter did purchase the High Striker and Frog Bog at the front of the complex, and I assume that as the owner of the real estate, that he will operate at least these two games next season.
After all of this drama, and 13 plus hours of grueling havoc of the auction process, I returned to my Retro Arcade to find people waiting for my return so they could play Fascination.
I turn the Fascination machines on, and we began to ring the bells.
The balls started rolling, and I ran around as the only one working the game until nearly 1:30 am.
It was very gratifying to see the people so happy playing the Fascination Game again, after witnessing such a farewell at Olympic.
However, unlike when I was forced to close Flipper’s Fascination a few years prior, I had no pleasure knowing that people were rolling the balls and lighting the lights, and I was ringing the bell at the last remaining fascination Game on the Wildwood Boardwalk, and in the entire State of New Jersey.
Time is not our friend; we must preserve these things for future generations, or there will be none left at all.
This has been my quest with the preservation efforts of creating the Amusements Museum.
A tribute to not only the wonderful places which once were, but to the wonderful people who owned and operated them, spending their entire life in so doing.

Randy Senna April 9, 2015, 10:43 am

For anyone who used to play at Olympic Fascination Casino, on the Boardwalk in North Wildwood, and still has Fascination Game Tokens, ( the ones which were purchased to play the Fascination Game ), I am honoring them at my Fascination at the Retro Arcade in the Boardwalk Mall; 3800 Boardwalk, Wildwood.

The Mall is not open until May, however, Fascination, and the Retro Arcade, are open each weekend from Palm Sunday until November… use the Ocean Ave street entrance not the Boardwalk when the Mall itself is closed.

Prize redemption coupons for Olympic Fascination and Casino were all handled through the Arcade Point Redemption System, and I am told that those who have outstanding Prize Redemption Points can have them honored by bring them to the Arcade in Avalon, NJ, which is owned by one of the former owners of the now closed Olympic Fun Center.

The owner is Jared, and he and is wife are very nice people.

Even though they lost so much at Olympic, and were forced to close their business, they still want to do what they can for those with Prize Redemption Points.

They do not operate a Fascination anymore, which is why I am honoring all Fascination Game Play tokens in my location.

For those who love to play the Fascination Game, I hope to serve you and provide a fun time playing Fascination where the game still lives on.

Personally, I have ben a Fascination Player for over 40 years, and I played at Olympic as a child.

I loved the Fascination Game so much that in high school I had 4 Fascination tables at home which I would play with my friends.

I operated my own Fascination Game on the Boardwalk from age 18 until my present age of 54.

As many of the great Fascination Games closed down over the years, I made extreme efforts to purchase and preserve the Fascination Tables, and today I have 8 complete Fascination Game systems in my preserved collection.

I was able to obtain the Fascination Tables and Game Systems from Olympic when they closed down in September, and I have them safely stored away for some future use yet to be seen.

Fascination is not really gone my friends…. it still lives on, and will be around somewhere for many years to come.

For now, we say goodbye to Olympic Fascination on 24 th Street in North Wildwood, and we shall all meet at Lucky’s Fascination just 14 blocks down the Boardwalk at the Boardwalk Mall in the Retro Arcade where you will find all kinds of pinball ball machines and old-time arcade and classic video games from decades gone by.

Corner of Garfield Ave… 3800 Boardwalk and also 3800 Ocean Ave with the direct street entrance right into Fascination.

Can you hear the balls rolling now??

See you their….


Ryan July 30, 2015, 2:34 pm

Thank you, Randy, for continuing to come back here to comment.

I hope to bump into you later this summer when I’ll be down in Wildwood for a day or two.

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