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Domino Rally

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Domino Rally

 

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Produced by Pressman Toys in the 1980s and early 1990s, this was no ordinary domino set.

Domino Rally came in many forms, but a few domino-activated features showed up in most sets: The starburst, triggered by a single domino, sent out five new rows of dominoes from a covered circle. there were domino-friendly bridges that raised up high enough to allow a perpendicular line of dominoes to pass underneath. Zig Zags also had a row of stairs leading up to the top, but once the top domino fell, it sent a steel ball back down a zig-zagging path to strike a new chain of dominoes. In many sets, the crucial point was the rocket launcher. Triggered by yet another falling steel ball, the launcher not only sent a craft flying off the ground, but the rocket’s fins also set off three more rows of dominoes to keep the chain reaction alive.

It was designed by Jason Carroll, a 16-year-old boy, assisted by his father; originally named Domino Track. The design was sent to American Idea Management (AIM). However due to lack of knowledge and finances of the original inventor, the idea was first patented by Universal Product Innovations, Inc. and manufactured by Pressman Toys Inc. The original idea was robust, with well-designed interlocking track and high quality solid dominoes, but to avoid patent issues they surmised that a less accurate version was designed.

Most sets had at least one section of “pivot track,” designed so that dominoes could be snapped into place, always staying in a perfect line and resetting with a simple tilt of the track (the bridges were designed with pivoting dominoes as well). For those with less time or less sure hands, Pressman Toys also sold Domino Dealers and Pathmakers. These wheeled, domino-carrying vehicles would do much of the set-up for the users, laying out perfectly-aligned dominoes in their wake as you rolled them across the kitchen floor.

In the 90’s, Pressman introduced even fancier sets, from glow-in-the-dark dominoes to whiling helicopters to the Extreme Action set (hang glider, flying surfboard and more) to the icky Mad Lab Set (complete with Bubbling Brains and bouncing Eerie Eyeball). However, soon Domino Rally was discontinued, yet not forgotten.

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