Chuck E. Cheese’s To Officially Retire Their Infamous Animatronic “Live Band”

first_imgSo, now begins the Pizza Time Players’ “Farewell Tour,” as the Players will be gradually phased out of all Chuck E. Cheese’s locations over the next couple years. However, with such notable pretend rock stars heading into retirement in mass quantities, you can be sure that some tech-savvy nostalgic will acquire some Party Time Players of their own and craft some homemade animatronic musical magic in their garage. And now that they’re free from the creative shackles of the kids’ circuit, perhaps their best work is still ahead of them…[h/t – NPR] It’s the end of an era, kiddos: The Pizza Time Players, the animatronic animal band fronted by Mr. Chuck E. Cheese himself, are set to be retired by the nationwide kids’ entertainment/pizza restaurant chain.Music fans love recounting their earliest concert experiences, trading stories about the first show they saw, the first time a performance moved them in some way. Though they may not mention it as such (or even fully remember it at all), many fans’ earliest “concert” experiences took place at Chuck E. Cheese’s: “Where a kid can be a kid,” and where the self-worth of every kid under the age of 5 can be proudly measured in how many tickets they’d won and how big a toy they’ve been able to acquire from the prize counter.Led by the chain’s singing rodent mascot with a bad New York accent, The Pizza Time Players have been helping parents tire kids out after a long day of games, ball pits, sugar-y sodas, and all-around innocent bliss for more than 40 years. However, in today’s world–where young kids were born with smartphones and tablets and a whole spectrum of high-quality technological entertainment at their fingertips–Chuck and his robot animal backing band simply weren’t getting the same reactions they used to. As the band’s “manager”/Chuck E. Cheese’s CEO Tom Leverton tells NPR, “Back [in 1977],” he explains, ” kids’ expectations of technology were much, much lower. A child today has such high expectations for entertainment that the animatronics, even at their absolute best, can’t live up to those expectations.” And, of course, the animatronics were not always at their absolute best. In many of the older restaurants, the robots have been in comically bad shape in recent years–exuding vibes closer to “creepy cackling monster nightmare” than “innocent youthful fun.”Watch this compilation of the Top 10 Chuck E. Cheese Animatronic Malfunctions below via YouTube user TPMvids:last_img