These gunslingers were allegedly seen somewhere in New York City, but I just don’t know where in the city. They were called Mr. Top Gun but I don’t remember seeing them at Coney Island nor at any other amusement park in the NYC-metro area. However, I did see them in action in (of all places) Blackpool, England many years ago while visiting my wife’s family.
The object of this Old West shooting contraption was to outdraw the presumably bad guy on the left or the ostensibly good guy on the right (especially to the tune of I Shot the Sheriff). You would stand at a coin-operated console, which held a holstered six-shooter, a few feet away from the gunfighter mannequin and play three rounds against him.
When activated, arecording provided the vocalized ambiance, the gunfighter baiting you into a fight. If you drew too soon, you’d forfeit the round; however, when his eyes flashed, it was your cue to draw and fire at the target on his midsection. If you got him before he got you, he’d scream and his eyes would flash, while your shooting time was registered on the clock below. A cheap but rewarding thrill during times of stress.
Finally, there’s a part of me that tends to avoid these sort of gunslinger games: I saw what happened to James Brolin when he cavalierly and, as it turned out, fatally went up against that shoot-’em-up android Yul Brynner in Westworld.
- The Truth About Gunfights in the Old West (neatorama.com)
- Gunfights & Gunfighters: Reflections from a Phoenix Police Officer online (mnqpcyfo.typepad.com)
- Outlaws and Gunfighters of the Old West book downloads (nyndqbba.typepad.com)