|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (May 2012)|
Super Chexx is a table hockey arcade game manufactured by Innovative Concepts in Entertainment (ICE). ICE began manufacturing these in 1982 and continues production to this day in Clarence, New York just outside of Buffalo. These types of games are also known as bubble hockey, rod hockey, table hockey or dome hockey because of the long rods used to control the players and the distinctive dome or "bubble" covering the playing field.
The game can be played by two opposing players who control all five hockey players and the goalie for their side (singles) or as a two on two game (doubles). Players control their five skaters with long rods that move in and out to bring skaters up and down the ice and spin 360 degrees. A knob is used to move the goalie from side to side. Each player also a "boo button" to simulate sounds from the crowd.
Vintage versions of Super Chexx feature the USA vs. Russia, Canada vs. Russia, or USA vs. Canada formats. In 2010 ICE introduced a Deluxe Home version of the game with no coin doors and started offering NHL and AHL licensed team versions. There is also a 30th Anniversary "Miracle on Ice" Edition of the game featuring the classic USA vs CCCP teams licensed through USA Hockey. Licensed games feature team colors and logos with custom hand-painted players in replica jerseys.
The early versions of the game were made with blue bases, but most of the games are now made with red bases. The first black bases were made for a Bubble Boys Tournament with Wayne Gretzky and Bud Light in 1999. There was a limited edition of 100 games with black bases made in 2005. A further limited edition with the black base was made in 2007. The home version of the game has a base which can be split and hinged to fit through narrow doorways and comes in red or black.
Fans and tournaments
Many areas of the US have local fan sites and tournaments. Owners are known to customize their games with hand painted players representing their favorite NHL Teams (and players) and their rivals. ICE organized an Official Super Chexx World Championship, and Super Chexx tournaments are held locally throughout the United States and Canada each year. The KONY (later KONE) Tournaments were started in 2001 and are held twice a year. The International Bubble Hockey Federation (IBHF) and the St. Louis Blues ice hockey team held a large national Super Chexx tournament in March 2006 with over 40 participants. This has been the largest independently run tournament in Bubble Hockey history. The event was repeated on March 9–10 in 2007.
The first black bases were produced in 1996 for (ASAA) All Sports Area Amusements out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jim Kershbaumer of ASAA sold the NHL Bubble Boys tournament to Anheuser Bush in 1998 and manufactured Bubble Hockey games up to 2003. Bubble Hockey name was coined by ASAA and had a black base and white top so any NHL logo could be used. In a court suit against ICE, the manufacturers of Super Chexx was not give TRADE DRESS for the white and black bubble hockey it was awarded to ASAA. The ASAA Bubble Hockey had thinner base to go through any door way and was slightly taller. The first NHL bubble hockey games designed in 1996 can still be found in use today at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
- ICE. Super Chexx