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Posts Tagged ‘arcade artwork’

Willis Zoo Keeper cpo

Friday, January 14th, 2011

I recently got a peek at Brian’s amazing, scratch built Zoo Keeper arcade cabinet, and it got me thinking about this under rated classic arcade game by Taito. Released back in 1982, it combines simple yet challenging game play, with full cabinet artwork. A welcome break from Taito’s typical cabinet scheme. Somewhere in my artwork stash, I knew I had one of these.

Zoo Keeper

This particular Willis replacement overlay does a good job at trying to keep the original feel of the game. With bright colors, fun character’s from the game, and the brick motif, it could actually be used as it was intended – to replace your worn out original overlay. NOS overlays are tough to find and reproduction cpo’s have long been sold out, so this replacement might be your only choice. Insert coin to continue…

NOS Tapper marquee

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Well, perhaps not exactly NOS as I just pulled it from the game I’ve been working on. I figured that since I spent the time to clean it up I might as well take a few pictures and add it to the archive for future reference. Hopefully it won’t be hanging around too long as the Tapper will be hitting the auction block once it is up and running.

tapper marquee

This marquee is reverse screened on glass and in great shape overall, with none of the typical flaking frequently seen when artwork is printed on glass. It was a little difficult to photo graph and even harder to scan. The reflective quality of the glass was creating some weird shadows during the scanning process making the scans worthless. Anyway, a nice marquee for a great game.

Willis Atari Football cpo

Monday, March 8th, 2010

I’ve added another Willis overlay to the growing archive, this time the 4 player version of Atari Football. A big thanks to Jeff of rotheblog for this one. Now Atari is famous among the collecting community for fabulous cabinet artwork and the Atari Football cocktail cabinets were no exception. I had a chance to see and play a HUO example at a party not so long ago and it was amazing.

atari football cpo

The artwork and color scheme on that game exude 70’s funk and I love it. The cp artwork was originally screened right onto the metal panels, just like on Asteroids and Missile Command. Unfortunately that means when it wears off, its gone forever. So besides being a replacement overlay and not a metal panel, the Willis piece just doesn’t fit well with the Atari cabinet artwork. Sure, the big “football” and a bunch of football players make it obvious what game its for, but so boring. Still has all the earmarks of a quality Willis piece and makes a nice addition.

Bootleg Crystal Castles cpo

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

I purchased this one from a fellow collector along with a handful of other Willis overlays. I’ve seen it in pictures on other sites but have never had a chance to examine it closely. It is supposedly for crystal castles by Atari and I have no reason to doubt that. One thing is certain though, it’s not a Willis product.

crystal castles cpo

Besides lacking all of the usual clues that identify a Willis overlay (can you name them all yet?), it is one flimsy piece of art. Cheaply made and probably one of the thinnest overlays I have in the archive. (more…)

Willis Asteroids CT cpo

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Willis made a few different overlays for Atari games, the Asteroids cocktail table being one of them. This overlay has very simple styling, partly taken from the very understated original control panel overlay. The artist added some color and shapes to create an overlay that works well with the cocktail table, in my opinion.

asteroids ct cpo

Now I’m not saying that it’s super fantastic or anything, it just works well and looks better than the original in this case. Quality materials, die-cut button holes, part numbers and copyright info all in place. Another piece for the archive.

Willis Popeye cpo

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

If you haven’t seen it before, this is the Willis version of the Nintendo Popeye control panel overlay. Produced using high quality 3M paper with die cut holes and four or more colors in the silk screening, it was certainly a quality product.

popeye cpo

However, the original was reversed screened on lexan and the artwork was a little more refined than the Willis attempt. I keep thinking about prismacolor markers when I look at the details. (more…)

The Wico Willis partnership

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

If you know anything about classic arcade games, the name Wico should be familiar. They’re the famous makers of the Wico 4 and 8 way leaf switch joysticks, a “must have” for many classic restorations. While they were standard equipment on many of our beloved classics, finding complete NOS Wico joysticks gets harder and harder every day. Those knock off replacements just don’t stack up to the originals. So what does Willis have to do with it? I’ll tell you. (more…)

Willis Donkey Kong Jr CPO

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Here is another fine example of Willis artwork, this time a replacement overlay for Donkey Kong Junior. While this may not be the best choice for fixing up your DK Jr, you have to admit that Willis produced a quality product. I’m not talking about the design, bash that if you want, I’m talking about the materials. Quality screen printing on 3M paper with clean die-cuts, better than many of the overlays produced back in the day. (more…)

Beastie Feastie conversion overlay

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

This is an odd little overlay. Beastie Feastie was produced by Cardinal Amusements as an upgrade kit for Pac-Man cabinets. Cardinal Amusements has a short history of odd ball upgrades for popular games, their only other kit being Street Heat for Donkey Kong. (more…)

Stash of donated artwork arrives at my door!

Monday, November 16th, 2009

I connected with another video game collector recently, Steve23, located in Georgia. I had referenced a Wico catalog, on my resource page in response to Steve’s Willis side art post on KLOV. He liked my efforts to preserve a little bit of the history behind the video game industry and messaged me. After a brief discussion via messages, Steve offered to donate a box of miscellaneous artwork to my preservation cause; very generous. (more…)