The following was written by Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report, covering the history of Chuck E. Cheeses which is the largest chain of Family Entertainment Centers in the world. How the redesigned Chuck will appeal to kids I have no idea, not being an expert in mascot creation but I suppose its past time for him to be 3d-ified.
Chuck E. Cheese’s Celebrates its 35th Anniversary
by Kevin Williams
Those of you that saw my Atari History Timeline – then you will have seen the 1977 entry that marked Atari opening the ‘Pizza Time Theatre’ concept, originated by Nolan Bushnell and his team. This would go on to be brought out by him from Atari owners (Warner Communication) for $500,000. Later he would leave, and the debacle between ‘Showbiz Pizza Place’ and ‘Chuck E. Cheese’s’ would embroil the concept. For more of the trials and tribulations that led to the company we now see today, I would point you to Wikipedia.
But in marking the 35th anniversary of Chuck E. Cheese’s we also have to mark the changing of the guard as the corporation and its 550+ facilities look towards a new rendition of the famous company mascot:
Prototype: 1977 to 1978
The First (official): 1978 to 1981
The Next: 1981 to 1989
The Next: 1989 to 1995
The Next: 1995 to 2004
The Next: 2004 to 2012
The Next: 2012…
As can be seen the new ‘hip’ re-design of Chuck will mark a new investment by the company with an increased build of new venues, and a update of existing sites – rumors are also that there are a number of new concept venues in the wings, building on the brand.
With 550+ sites who says the arcade scene is dead!
NOTE – The character Chuck was originally considered to be called Rick Rat (the chain was to be called Rick Rat’s Pizza, until the company’s PR stepped in). The Chuck character was to have appeared in his own game (Food Fight), but by then the Atari owners had split from the restaurant chain so ‘Charley Chuck’s’ took the center roll.