Sunday, 2 November 2008

They're under starters orders...

Picked up this little beauty today at the local afternoon Car Boot Sale - 'THEY'RE OFF! - The Great Ronco Racing Game'. I've come across it before on my travels but never found one cheap enough to warrant buying. This copy was unopened and at just 50 pence had to be scooped up. My geek conscience was telling me to keep it sealed but curiosity got the better of me so I cracked it open to find out exactly what it is and how it all works.

So, as stated on the box, 'They're Off!' features "all the fun and excitement of a day at the races - in your own home. Two 12" records bring you a full four race programme. Eight runners in each race - any horse can win - but you never know which one!". The game includes: paper money; banker's records; 8 odds cards; win, place & forecast tickets; four racing cards with rules; and two 'Ronco MIRACLE Discs'.

Now, these 'miracle' discs feature a system, which really is quite clever. Those of you who own the U.S. pressing of De La Soul's 'Eye Know' 12" will be familiar with the process used to create it. Basically, the vinyl is pressed with more than one set of grooves which run along side each other. One side of the De La 12" has two different tracks cut next to each other, so depending on where you drop the needle, either one of them will play. The same process applies for 'They're Off!', only with eight tracks instead of two. In the case of the De La Soul 12" the novelty value of it is quite good fun but can become very annoying if you actually want to select a track quickly - it's pretty much down to luck which one will play. For it's application on 'They're Off!' though it works perfectly, as the random selection is exactly what the game needs to work properly and retain it's longevity.

Gambling, and Horse Racing in particular, is in the Krum family's blood so this is definitely gonna come in handy at the annual Christmas get-together. Stella, peanuts, cold cash, the Fisher Price portable and 'The Great Ronco Racing Game'. Apart from a Dart Board there's not much more to ask for.

They're Off! '1st Race' (needle drop - example 1)

They're Off! '1st Race' (needle drop - example 2)

As an after thought - wouldn't it be dope to have a vintage Kool G Rap cinematic crime story track, produced by Large Pro of course, pressed up on a 'Miracle Disc' with a number of different endings? Something for Traffic Entertainment to maybe think about arranging if they ever get round to re-issuing 'Live & Let Die' on special edition 4 x L.P. vinyl...

1 comment:

Daily Diggers said...


I'd like to place a tenner on Good Fortune in the 3.30pm.

ha ha I got this record - god knows how???

Sterling work Mister Krum!