Creative Engineering Inc. (partially lost audio of animatronic character's showtapes; 1970s-2000's)
Creative Engineering Inc. is an animatronic company founded in 1975. They are most recognized for producing the Rock-afire Explosion band that operated in Showbiz Pizza Place food chains in the 1980s. Other than the Rock-afire, Creative Engineering manufactured several other animatronic bands/retrofits for their own shows. Many showtapes/segments of showtapes have never surfaced online or have since disappeared.
The Rock-afire Explosion[edit | edit source]
Debuting on August 14th, 1980, The Rock-afire Explosion animatronic show was Showbiz Pizza's primary distinction from other arcades at the time. In 1990, however, Showbiz Pizza made the decision to remove the Rock-afire entertainment from their restaurants after Creative Engineering, Inc. refused to give Showbiz Pizza the copyrights and trademarks. This led to a process known as "Concept Unification" in which not only most Showbiz Pizza's being converted to Chuck E. Cheese locations as Showbiz brought all the assets to Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre in 1984, but also included all of the Rock-afire characters (expect Billy Bob and Earl) being retrofitted intro Chuck E. Cheese characters with the show being renamed to Munch's Make Believe Band. However starting in 1987, after Showbiz and Creative cancelled the original "Manufacturing, Sales and Licensing Agreement" and created a new "Settlement and License Agreement" which was much looser than the original agreement, and gave Creative full rights to the destiny and future of the Rock-afire Explosion, Creative started to sell The Rock-afire Explosion to other venues such as Pistol Pete's Pizza, Circus Pizza, Fun Time Pizza, Fun Zone, Fun Station USA, Flamingo Land, and Billy Bob's Wonderland. While most Rock-afire showtapes have been found, a few are still missing.
|Showtape title||Release Dates||Status||Notes|
|ShowBiz Pizza Place Tape #1 (ShowBiz Pizza Place Tape 1)||August 14th, 1980 (Completed in January of 1980)||Found||The first ever RAE showtape. It consists of 5 segments: 3 center stage segments, 1 stage right segment, and 1 stage left segment. Interestingly, this tape was completed before the first ShowBiz Pizza Place opened (which was 2 months later). This showtape also marked Duke Chauppetta's debut as Dook LaRue.|
|3 Birthday Reels||1981-1988 (Beatles Birthday and Happy Birthday Medley) and 1982-1988 (Sal's Birthday)||Found|
|ShowBiz Pizza '82 Tape||January or February 1982||Found|
|Spring Shows '82||Spring 1982||Found|
|Best Of The Rock-afire Explosion '82 (Best of Rock-afire Explosion '82)||July 1982||Found||An early compilation tape featuring some of the Rock-afire's best hits of the time. This showtape was also used for a consumer study on how CEI can improve the show.|
|Tribute to Abbey Road||October 1982||Found||Often considered one of the best Rock-afire showtapes of all time and a monumental turning point for the RAE. It's also known for being Shalisa Sloan's first show as Mitzi and Aaron Fechter's final full show as Beach Bear. Also Rick Bailey's first show. (But not as Beach Bear)|
|Christmas '82 (RAE Christmas '82)||November 1982||Found||Rick Bailey's first show as Beach Bear.|
|New Years '82 (RAE New Years Eve '82)||December 1982||Found|
|SPP Show Selector Tape #1||Late 1982||Found||A showtape made for CEI's first try at the Show Selector concept for Showbiz Pizza. (And the only documented time the Show Selector concept was ever used at Showbiz) The concept was only tested at two locations in Flordia.|
|SPP Show Selector Tape #2||Late 1982||Found||Another showtape made for the tested Showbiz verison of the Show Selector concept.|
|Crazy Colander Head Night||February 1983||Found||Produced as part of Showbiz Pizza's "Crazy Colander Head Night" event, which encouraged guests to wear colanders adorned with various decorations.|
|Best of the Rock-afire Explosion 1983 Part 2||March 1983||Found||Another compilation tape with most segments recycled from Tribute to Abbey Road.|
|Country Night||June 1983||Found|
|Fatz Showtape aka 'Klunk Installation'||July 1983-1985||Found||This showtape was used at locations that got Uncle Klunk. This tape was for the other 2 stages while Klunk and the rest of his setup were being installed on Rolfe and Earl's Stage.|
|Uncle Klunk (Jeff Howell version)||1983||Found||A demo tape Creative made for the executives at Showbiz to get a good idea of Uncle Klunk (and sent to some of the stores that installed Klunk first) with Jeff Howell performing the voice of Klunk and Burt Wilson (Fatz's Voice Actor) performing the voice of Klunk's pet bird Click and everybody calling in on his talk show. Sadly for some reason, the executives at Showbiz were disappointed with the demo and asked CEI to hire a professional company to make the audio for the show.|
|The Uncle Klunk Show (Uncle Klunk Showtape)||July 1983-1984||Found||Released to accompany the then-new Uncle Klunk animatronic, who replaced the Rolfe and Earl animatronic briefly. While the audio was not made by Creative Engineering they still did the programming for this showtape.|
|Beatles White Album||September 1983||Found||Considered one of Rock-afire's greatest showtapes of all time.|
|Christmas '83 (Christmas 1983)||November 1983||Found||This showtape was used for many years during the holiday season.|
|Uncle Santa Showtape||November - December 1983 & November - December 1984||Found||Accompanied a retrofit of Uncle Klunk as Santa Clause.|
|Magic Night||February 1984||Found||Often considered the best Rock-afire Explosion showtape ever made and another fan favorite.|
|Senior Citizens||March 1984||Found||Contains the theme for the 1984 World's Fair written by the voice actor for Fatz, Sun, Moon, and Antioch The 'Birthday Spider Burt "Sal" Wilson.|
|Trivia Night||July 1984||Found||This showtape was released alongside a promotion at ShowBiz, where you could purchase Professor Hoyle Trivia cards for $1.00 with a large pizza. This is also the show where Choo-Choo (the baby bear in front of Dook's drum) gets his name. This show is also considered a fan favorite just like both the Beatles' White Album showtape and Magic Night.|
|After Hours Showtape (Afterhours Tape)||August 1984-1985||Found||Showbiz began to notice that a lot of teens were coming in and partying. Sine Showbiz wanted to be seen as a family restaurant, and not a teen hangout, they started Teen's Night. Every Friday between 9:00 pm to 12:00 am ShowBiz would allow teens between the ages of 13 and 18 to come in and dance. This show was made for Teen's Night and featured songs from the '80s that were hits with kids at the time like Jump by Van Halen, No More Words by Berlin, and Beat It by Michael Jackson. However, Teen's Night was discontinued in 1985 around the same time ShowBiz merged with Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theater as the newly formed ShowBiz Pizza Time, Inc and now wanted to keep the image of a restaurant for kids.|
|Country II||October 1984||Found||AKA The No Theme showtape.|
|Birthday Intros / Junk Skits||Per 1985||Partially lost|
|Country Klunk||January 1985||Found||A special showtape of country-themed songs for the Uncle Klunk animatronic.|
|Top Ten Hits of 1985 (Top Ten Hits)||February 1985||Found||The only normal Rock-afire Explosion showtape released in 1985. This would also be the last showtape to be programmed by Creative (with Showbiz's permission). When Showbiz would both record the audio and program most of the shows between 1986 and late 1987. Creative would come back to fully making shows again with Rock-N-Roll Classics in September 1987, however, Creative was only writing the scripts and recording the audio with Showbiz Pizza Time Inc still doing the programming until their business partnership with Creative Engineering ended in September of 1990.|
|"Magic" Test Rebranding/"Magic" Stage Showtape||November 1985||Found|
|Time Machine / Hits 1 (SPP Time Machine / Hits 1)||March 1986||Found||First showtape made by Showbiz Pizza Time Inc. instead of CEI. Often called not only the worst showtape made for The Rock-afire Explosion, but one of the worst showtapes ever recorded for any animatronic show.|
|Happy B-day Liberty (SPP Happy B-Day Liberty)||June 1986||Found||Made for the 100th anniversary of The Statue of Liberty. It not only includes Rolfe's animatronics retrofitted into the Statue of Liberty but also includes two separate versions of the Statue of Liberty show. One was made by CEI and another was made by Creative Presentations for Showbiz Pizza Time Inc.|
|Circus / Monkees (SPP Circus - Monkees)||July 1986||Found||Contines two new shows (Tribute to the Circus and The Curly Shuffle) made by CEI (A rarity during the time this show was released) and a reused show (Monkees Medley from the Beatles White Album showtape).|
|Christmas Live||November 1986||Found||A showtape that was quickly made and sent out to all Showbiz Pizza Place locations by CEI without Showbiz Pizza Time Inc.'s permission as a way of rebelling against Showbiz's decision to start making showtapes on their own. It also was made as a gift to everyone who worked at the stores and the fans.|
|Westerns / Movies / R&R (SPP Westerns - Movies - R&R)||February 1987||Found||Made by Showbiz Pizza Time Inc. and Cry Wolf Studios|
|Summertime / Westerns (SPP Summertime - Westerns)||April 1987||Found||Made by Showbiz Pizza Time Inc. and Cry Wolf Studios|
|Liberty '87 Edited (SPP Liberty '87)||June 1987||Found||An edited rereleased of Happy B-day Liberty that only includes the CEI version of the show.|
|Working / Summertime (SPP Working - Summertime)||June 1987||Found||Made by Showbiz Pizza Time Inc. and Cry Wolf Studios|
|Yogi Bear Showtape||June 1987||Found||This show saw the Rolfe DeWolfe (his puppet, Earl, was removed) and Looney Bird animatronics retrofitted cosmetically to become Yogi Bear and Boo Boo respectively. This showtape was made and produced by both Showbiz Pizza Time Inc and Cry Wolf Studios and had nothing to do with Creative Engineering, and featured the same unidentified voice actors for the Center Stage characters, while Daws Butler and Don Messick reprised their respective roles as Yogi and Boo Boo. On August 15th, 2020, the full audio was posted to YouTube by fan website ShowbizPizza.com as a part of their "Rock-a-Palooza 2020" event for the Rock-afire Explosion's 40th anniversary. The audio was preserved on a cassette by co-producer and scriptwriter Steve White and is complete with only a few seconds missing from the song "Every Breath You Take". The tape was created as a test which was installed at three stores (Augusta, GA, Omaha, NE, and Colorado Springs, CO) to replace the Rock-afire Explosion characters with other licensed characters after Aaron Fechter, founder of Creative Engineering, refused to hand over the rights for the characters after Showbiz corporate tried forcing him to do so for free.|
|Rock-N-Roll Classics (SPP Rock-N-Roll Classics)||September 1987||Found|
|Homely For Christmas (SPP Homely For Christmas '87)/SPP Christmas 89||November 1987 - 1992||Found||The last Christmas showtape made for Showbiz. This show would be rereleased in 1989 as a Cyberstar showtape and renamed SPP Christmas 89.|
|Country III / Classics (SPP Country III - Classics)||December 1987||Found|
|New Years '88 (SPP New Years '88)||December 1987||Found||The longest Rock-a-Fire show tape, recorded in one continuous take. This showtape was created to emulate the feeling of a true "live concert" from the Rock-afire Explosion.|
|CyberVision Segments||Early 1988||Found||The earliest prototype of what would become Cyberstar, which was tested at a few Showbiz Pizza locations in Texas in early 1988. Those shows included Oldies Medley, Beatles Tribute (Both from Rock-N-Roll Classics) and both segments of The Tune Machine showtape.|
|Tune Machine (SPP Tune Machine)||March 1988||Found||First show to be released on the new Cyberstar format. Also released on Reel to Reel tape.|
|Summertime (SPP May 1988 Show)||May 1988||Found||Released on both Cyberstar (SVHS) and Reel to Reel tape.|
|Grammy / Summertime (SPP Grammy - Summertime)||August 1988||Found||Released on Reel to Reel tape only.|
|Dance / Grammy (SPP Dance - Grammy)||October 1988||Found||Released on Reel to Reel tape only.|
|Bach to Rock / Dance Contest (SPP Bach to Rock - Dance Contest)||December 1988||Found||Released on both Cyberstar (SVHS) and Reel to Reel tape.|
|Kids / Tune Machine (SPP Kids - Tune Machine)||March 1989||Found||Released on both Cyberstar (SVHS) and Reel to Reel tape.|
|Best of 1988 (SPP Best of 1988)||May 1989||Found||This is the final showtape that was released on reel to reel tape during the ShowBiz era, as by the end of it's run almost all ShowBiz stores (with a few exceptions like the Parkersburg, WV location) had updated their computers to Cyberstar and were using SVHS tapes to run their shows.|
|Cyberstar Segments||1988-1990 (Last showtape reusing older segments released in late 1992)||Found||The first Rock-a-Fire shows to feature video (SVHS tapes) playing alongside the animatronics. Programming was done by Showbiz Pizza Time and had several programming errors (mainly characters singing with the wrong voices), while audio was done by Creative Engineering. All of the per August 1989 segments were also released on Reel to Reel tape for stores that couldn't afford to convert to Cyberstar.
Faith/ Dreams / Kids (SPP Faith/Dreams/Kids Wave Bday) Faith Show, Dreams Show, Kids 1, Kids 2, and Hidden Bday - Birthday Spectacular: August 1989
Neighbors/ Faith/ Dreams (SPP Neighbors - Faith - Dreams) Neighbors 1, Neighbors 2, Faith Show, Dreams Show, and Hidden Birthday - Birthday Spectacular: September 1989
April 1990 Show / SPP April 1990 Show (Tribute to Moms, TV Themes, Neighbors 1, Neighbors 2, and Hidden Bday - Birthday Spectacular): April 1990
SPP Emergency Backup Tape (Kids 1, Kids 2, Beatles Medley, and Oldies Medley): July 20th, 1990 (NOTE: This was a tape that was issued to stores as a back up, in case the main VCR (SVHS VCR player) broke down or if the main showtape was damaged. This tape could be played in a standard HIFI VCR.
September 1990 Show / SPP September 1990 Show (Rock-N-Roll Show, Friends, Tribute to Moms, TV Themes, and Hidden Bday - Birthday Spectacular): September 1990
SPP January 1991: January 1991
SPP Best of #1: 1990 - 1992 (NOTE: This and rest of the Best of series of showtape were made for store that Concept Unification yet. All 5 of these tapes are just compilations of previous Cyberstar Segments)
SPP Best of #2: 1990 - 1992
SPP Best of #3 (Hidden Bday - Birthday Spectacular, Tune Machine 1, Hidden Bday - Birthday Spectacular, Tune Machine 2, Hidden Bday - Birthday Spectacular, Bach to Rock, Hidden Bday - Birthday Spectacular, and Olympics) : February 14, 1991 - 1992
SPP Best of #4: 1991 - 1992
SPP Best of #5: 1992
|The Rolfe & Earle Show||1990 - 1992||Found||A four-segment showtape consisting of just Rolfe and Earl. Made By Showbiz so that they could covert the other 2 stages into Chuck E. Cheese's Munch's Make Believe Band while still having a show that could play in the stores. Rolfe and Earl would be the last to be converted overnight after installing and retrofitting the other Rock-afire characters into Munch's Make Believe Band.|
|Showbiz Pizza Fiesta Showtapes||1980s-1990s||Partially Found||These were showtapes made for the Mexican franchise of Showbiz Pizza Place known as Showbiz Pizza Fiesta. Various advertisements have also surfaced on YouTube. A record album that had a few songs and skits from the showtapes that was sold at the restaurants has resurfaced and has been made public online in recent years. There's also a clip of them singing the Spanish song Bazar on a children's TV show called Los Vip´s.|
|Talking Billy Bob Walk-Around Shows||Early 1990's||Partially Found||These showtapes were created to work with Creative Engineering's new talking walk-around (costumed characters) technology. Only a Billy Bob walkaround was produced, with two other ones (suspected to be Mitzi and Fatz) having been in the works, but scrapped during its construction. There exists a small sample of the show in action in which a performer in a talking Billy Bob customer acts out a humorous skit with a standard Fatz Geronimo animatronic.|
|Show Selector Showtapes||1990s||Partially Lost||These were used with the "Show Selector" to allow customers to pick from different segments on any of the showtapes. Many have resurfaced in recent years. There are a few that are still missing.|
|Show Selector Karaoke Showtapes||1990s||Partially Found||Showtapes made for the Karaoke version of the Show Selector system. It's unknown how many showtapes were made as only one tape has been found.|
|Golden Showtape Collection||Mid to Late 1990s||Partially Lost||Many shows have resurfaced and many other shows made for the Show Selector Showtapes were reused. However, a few are still missing.|
|TiVo Shows||Late 1990's||Partially Lost|
|The Hannah Banana Shows||2008||Found||This was a retrofit animatronic produced in 2008 for the "Hannah Banana" chain of restaurants in the UK.|
Looney Bird's and New Rock-afire Explosion Showtapes[edit | edit source]
Looney Bird's was a different restaurant compared to Showbiz Pizza Place. However, they largely featured the same entertainment, and are therefore included on this page. The New Rock-afire Explosion was an updated version of The Rock-afire Explosion (Then known as The Classic Rock-afire Explosion) now with the animatronics in the "Mijjins" style. The New Rock-afire Explosion was not as successful as The Classic Rock-afire Explosion as not that many shows were made or sold.
|Misc. New Rock-afire Explosion Showtapes||Mid-Late 1990's||Partially Lost||While there were new songs and skits made for the New Rock-afire, there were still some songs from older showtapes (especially from the Cyberstar era) from the Showbiz days and a lot of the newer songs from the Show Selector Showtapes used for the Classic Rock-afire Explosion were reused for the New Rock-afire Explosion. Quite a few shows have resurfaced in recent years. There are a few of them that are still missing.|
|New Rock-afire Explosion Show Selector Karaoke Showtapes||Mid-Late 1990's||Partially Found|
|Golden Collection Showtapes (New Rae versions)||Late 1990s||Partially Lost||Like with the Classic Rae, the New RAE also had a few Golden Collection Showtape sets. A lot of the shows on the Classic Rock-afire Explosion Golden Collection Showtapes were reused on the New Rock-afire Explosion Golden Collection Showtapes.|
|Looney Bird's Showtapes||1997-2000||Partially Lost||These were produced specifically for the Looney Bird chain of restaurants.|
|International 1990's Rock-afire Explosion Showtapes||Mid to Late 1990s||Partially Found||Many of the 1990s showtapes were programmed in different languages for international audiences. "The Twist" and "Para Madura" have resurfaced in full. A clip from "Que Pasa" has also resurfaced in the 1994 Rock-a-Fire promo video. Many other shows are still missing.|
Wolf Pack 5:[edit | edit source]
Created in 1978, the Wolf Pack 5 was one of Creative Engineering's first animatronic bands. In December of 1979, Bob Brock approached Creative Engineering about installing their entertainment into the then-unnamed Showbiz Pizza Place. On March 3rd, 1980, the Wolf Pack 5 was installed in the first Showbiz Pizza location at the Antioch Shopping Center in Kansas City, MO. Later, in 1981, the Wolf Pack 5 was removed from that Showbiz Pizza Place location, as the Rock-afire Explosion animatronic band had debuted earlier on August 14th, 1980 at the second location in Jacksonville, Fl, and became their primary show. A couple of years later for some yet to be known the Wolf Pack 5 that was used at the Kansas City, MO store would be installed at the installed in Dublin, CA location, facing against the RAE in the same showroom. It's also yet to be know how long they were installed at the Dublin, CA store, but it's know that they still used the same showtape that was used at the Kansas City, MO location.
|The 1st IAAPA Showtape||November 1978||Partially Lost||This was the demonstration tape for the Wolf Pack 5 used at the IAAPA convention in Atlanta, Georgia. The tape is also noted for also using the song Clap For The Wolfman by the Canadian rock band Guess Who as an opening intro for this showtape.|
|The 2st IAAPA Showtape||November 1979||Found||This was another demonstration tape for the Wolf Pack 5 used at the IAAPA convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. Unlike the 1978 demonstration showtape, this show features a narrator who has the same voice that would later be used for Rolfe DeWolfe, a character in the Wolf Pack 5's successor, the Rock-afire Explosion. This would also be the same show along with The Hard Luck Bears that Bob Brock and his associates at Topeka Inn Management would see at the convention that impresses them to the point of seeking out a contact for CEI to make animatronics for their new restaurant concept ShowBiz Pizza Place.|
|Japanese Wolfpack 5 Showtape||1979-Unknown||Lost||The first Wolf Pack 5 Show ever sold. This show was the same show that was used at the 1978 IAAPA convention in Atlanta, Georgia, but most likely had a new Japanese showtape made for this show since it was set up and performed in Japan. It's unknown what happened to this show and all that exists is are four pictures of the show.|
|Misc Wolfpack 5 Showtapes||1979 - Early 1980's||Partially Found||The Wolf Pack 5 is known to have been sold to amusement parks and theme parks (Examples include Kings Dominion, Pyramid Place, Italpark, Fame City, and Man and his World). Little information exists about the contents of these shows. All that exists of Kings Dominion's show is a clip in a TV commercial for the park from 1979 and a clip from the children's tv show Romper Room. Only a clip of the Italpark show exists. Only a small clip in a commercial is all that exists of Fame City's show. Only a couple of videos and a few pictures exist of Man and his World's show. And only pictures exist of Pyramid Place show.|
|Showbiz Pizza Showtape||Mar 3rd, 1980 - 1981 and 1982-????||Found||This was an edited version of the IAAPA Showtapes made for the first ShowBiz Pizza Place in Kansas City, Missouri. It was split into six parts with new songs added, along with an intro and outro jingles, as well as a different announcer and Queenie the Fox being edited out and her songs and lines being either redone or dubbed over for Mini Mozzarella.|
|Showbiz Pizza's Disco Room Showtape||Mar 3rd, 1980-1981||Lost|
|Beto Carrero World Introductions||Unknown||Partially Found||The Wolf Pack 5 is known to have been present at the Beto Carrero World theme park in Brazil. They are known to have sung a sped-up version of "Sing A Simple Song" and talked about the stores inside the tent at the park. All that exists of this show is a video found by a fan who re-uploaded it to Youtube.|
Hard Luck Bears:[edit | edit source]
These characters were installed in a wide variety of venues, primarily theme parks, but also have permanent residence in other venues.
|Showtape title||Release Dates||Status||Notes|
|Original Creative Engineering Showtape||November 1979 - Early to Mid 1980s||Found||This was the most widely heard showtape. The tape contains their most well-remembered personalities. This would also be the same show along with the 1979 version of The Wolf Pack 5 that Bob Brock and his associates at Topeka Inn Management would see at the convention that impress them to the point of seeking out a contact for CEI to make animatronics for their new restaurant concept Showbiz Pizza.|
|Honey's Bear Bunch||1980-1990s||Lost||This was a retrofit of the Hard Luck Bears into a fully female band with lipstick, new outfits and almost all of the characters have different names. This was the first Hard Luck Bears show ever sold and was the same show used at the 1979 IAAPA convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was sold to Carowinds amusement park in Charlotte, North Carolina and was sponsored by General Mills. The contents of the showtape however remain largely unknown and have been lost since the show was removed in the 1990s.|
|Blackpool Beach Park/Frontierland Tape||1980-1999||Lost||The Hard Luck Bears were installed at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. A single showtape was produced. This show would later be removed and sent or sold to Frontierland in Morecambe, Lancashire, England where it ran until 1999 when Frontierland closed.
On Feb 25th, 2017, A worker at the Blackpool theme park has been stated to have the show in its original quality. He said it included a quick and rushed character introduction, but with deeper voices than the CEI original promo tape. They sang a song called "Feet Nailed to the Floor" and included the same Pete/Repete gag from the promo tape, many other songs from the CEI show were featured in this tape as well. It is known they would sing "Mama don't allow no guitar playing in here" and another song called "The Blackpool Belle". Thanks to Lukas for this new information!
|Show Dos Ursos||1981-1998||Found||A custom remake of the original Creative Engineering Showtape that was rerecorded in the Portuguese language that was made for Playcenter in brazil.|
|Hard Luck Bears (Bear Country Jubilee) Showtape with Mortimer and Buford||Early 1980's||Found||This is a modified and updated showtape that was made for the Bear Country Jubilee that was sent to Morey’s Pier in Wildwood, NJ (It's unknown if LeSourdsville Lake Americana Amusement Park in Monroe, OH used this showtape). Gooney Bird was edited out of this showtape (except for one line) and had Mortimer and Buford added to it.|
|Gorilla and Mama Grandbags in Piano Showtape||Early 1980's?||Lost|
|Orsi Show||1983?-1993 (or 1994?)||Partially Lost||This was a showtape made for and by Italia in Miniatura in Viserba, Italy. Ivo Rambaldi founder of Italia in Miniatura was very impressed by The Country Bear Jamboree in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World and thought a smaller-scale version of it could be very interesting for the people visiting the park. The park brought a Hard Luck Bears set from Creative Engineering and installed it around 1982. During the first year the show was in the park they used the Original Creative Engineering Showtape as there was no time to adapt it. The following year a custom Italian showtape was made (However there is footage of park using the Original Creative Engineering Showtape in 1991). Not only all of the characters were renamed with more Italian-sounding names (examples included Gooney Bird being renamed Francesco, Mama Granbags being renamed Mamma Italia, and Billy Willbur being renamed Gennariello), but all the characters spoke in different Italian dialects. Also, the only custom stuff recorded for the show was the character's dialogue as all of the songs used for the show were original artists' recordings (example: Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi). The show was removed by the end of either the 1993 or 1994 season of the park. Some pieces, such as the pistons that managed the movement of the characters, were recycled to create some other animations of the park, but everything else was destroyed.|
|Country Bear Picnic at Knobels Groves||Mid 1980's||Found||A custom showtape made by CEI for Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pennsylvania.|
|Knoebels Hard Luck Bears Custom Showtape||Late 1980's???-Early 1990s???||Partially Found||A custom showtape called the "Hootenanny Hoedown Show". In this showtape, Choo-Choo is called "Punkinhead" and Mama Granbags' and Gooney Bird's voices sound like Aaron Fechter's.|
|Rockin' Billy Wilbur and the Bearcats||Early 1990s-1995||Found||Another custom showtape made by CEI that was produced for the Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pennsylvania.|
Hard Luck Bears (Rock-afire Retrofit):[edit | edit source]
This was one of the many Rock-afire retrofits to have been produced over the years and was installed in the 3 Gulliver's theme parks. The characters in this show have all been retrofitted to appear more country-esque, and very little of the show remains unchanged.
|Regular Showtape 1||1993||Lost||This is the only confirmed showtape to have been programmed by Creative (The audio was still made by Gulliver's however) and it's also been confirmed by Aaron himself that he still has a copy of the showtape in storage at Creative.|
|Christmas Showtape 1||2001||Lost|
|Regular Showtape 2||2002||Lost|
|Regular Showtape 3||2005||Lost|
|Christmas Showtape 2||2005||Partially Found|
|Regular Showtape 4||2008||Partially Found|
|Christmas Showtape 3||2008||Partially Found|
|Regular Showtape 5||2011||Found||This show primarily contains country covers. It is considered to have poor programming and lazy voice acting.|
|Christmas Showtape 4||2011||Found|
Misc. Creative Engineering Shows:[edit | edit source]
|Willy Wabbit||1976||Partially Found||Willy Wabbit was the first character produced by CEI. He was made while Aaron Fechter was still working for Main Street Designs. He is known to have stood in a booth at the Orlando airport singing songs and doing little skits for the visitors and advertising the "Mystery Fun House". Very little information exists on the contents of his showtape besides what was seen in the news clip from 1976. His current fate is unknown.|
|The Scab||1976||Lost||The second character produced by CEI. He was a talking head (that used a Tor Johnson mask) with 4 movements. He was believed to have been sold to DJ's Oyster Bar in Tampa, FL, until Aaron Fechter revealed in a post that it was not the Scab that he sold to DJ's, but an animatronic clam. It's unknown what happened to him or where he was actually sold.|
|Friendly Freddy's Test showtape||1977||Partially Lost||CEI's first fully animated character. He was made for and sold to Magic World in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee at the request of Jim Sidwell after seeing Aaron's 2nd character The Scab and being impress with it. According to Aaron, Sidwell gave him a thousands of hard earned dollars to make Friendly Freddy. A showtape of Freddy mostly lip syncing to Dang Me by Roger Miller and talking about how well built he is was made before his was sent out to perform in Magic World to test Freddy out. All that exists is film footage shot by Aaron (Fechter) on 8mm sound film. Two other Friendly Freddy animatronics were made; one for the Gaslight Jamboree show at Gaslight Village and another one with much more red-looking fur that turned up on eBay in the early 2000s.|
|Friendly Freddy's Magic World Showtape||1977-1978||Lost||This was the showtape used for a year at Magic World in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It's unknown what happened to this showtape as he was retrofitted into General Cornelius Bearpatch with two new characters were added and the show now being rethemed into The Confederate Critter Show.|
|Friendly Freddy, Dracula, and 3 Heads IAAPA Showtape (or Showtapes?)||November 1977||Existence Unconfirmed||After the 1977 season of Magic World was over Freddy was sent back to CEI so they could retrofit him into General Cornelius Bearpatch for the Confederate Critter Show. This gave CEI the chance to use Freddy at the 1977 IAAPA. Not only did they show off Friendly Freddy, but also Count Dracula which was going to use in the Castle Dracula dark ride and the 3 talking heads that CEI had sold to another customer. It unknown if they all used the same showtape together or if they used the same showtape that the places they would perform at (or had performed in Friendly Freddy's case). All that exist are photos taken at the conference.|
|The Confederate Critter Show||1978-1996||Partially Found||The Confederate Critter show was CEI's first show with more than one character. Produced in 1978, the show was made for Magic World in Magic World Pigeon Forge, Tennessee with Friendly Freddy being retrofitted into General Cornelius Bearpatch and two new characters added to the show Colonel Stonewall J. Fox and Major Mosby Greyhound III. The show also includes interaction with a live actor portraying a Union Officer and would often have conversations with General Bearpatch and would comment on the various shenanigans that would occur. The show was removed when Magic World closed down in 1996. It has been said and confirmed by a fan that a former park employee in Tennessee now owns them but wishes to remain anonymous. However, it has also been said that the show was sold to Celebrity Golf and later destroyed. However, that is yet to be confirmed as true. The only other things that exist for this show are behind-the-scenes photos at CEI before the show was shipped out, a photo of the show when it was at Magic World, and a home video of the show from 1989 on YouTube.|
|Castle Dracula Dark Ride Audio||1978-2002||Found||This was one of CEI's early animatronic shows, as well as their first and few Dark Rides. The audio was freely released online by CEI.|
|The Santa Claus Revue / The Jingle Bell Jamboree||1978-2006, 2010-2016||Found||A Christmas theme animatronic show made for Santa's Village in Jefferson, New Hampshire. The original CEI version ran until 2006. The show was remade with new animatronics made by Advanced Animation in 2010 using the same audio from the CEI version of the show and ran until 2016. While no full-on clean audio from the showtape exists to the public there are videos of both versions of the show where the audio is pretty clear enough where you could hear everything the characters are saying. However, on June 15, 2022, Aaron Fechter uploaded full footage of The Santa Claus Revue that he captured on his video camera in 1979 with full-on clean audio to his YouTube channel.|
|Bear Country Jubilee||1978||Partially Found||The Bear Country Jubilee is CEI 3rd full show that was loosely based on Disney's Country Bear Jamboree. It was sold to both Americana Amusement Park (Originally known as LeSourdsville Lake Amusement Park) in Monroe, Ohio and Morey’s Pier in Wildwood, NJ. The characters were Pierre, Waldo, Fingers Dan, Chet Faddikins, Buddy Crash, Boom Boom Bosco, Beatrice, Mortimer, and Buford and had a forest and country theme. Around the early 1980's Morey’s Pier switched the showtape from the one made for Bear Country Jubilee to one that's a modified version of the Hard Luck Bears showtape with Gooney Bird edited out and new skits with Mortimer and Buford added in. It's unknown if Americana also got this modified showtape or if they continued using the original showtape. Morey’s Pier sold their show back to CEI around 1984 or 85 and is still owned by Aaron Fechter. It's been said that Americana sold their show when the park had their first closure in 1999 to Jungle Jim's International Market in Cincinnati, OH and sits in storage (however it's unknown if this is true). A brief clip of the first minute of the original Bear Country Jubilee showtape, which mostly contains dialogue from Pierre and Waldo, has surfaced. However, the full version of said showtape has yet to surface.|
|Gaslight Jamboree Showtape||1979-1989||Lost||This was a custom show that was custom made for the vaudeville-themed amusement park Gaslight Village in Lake George, New York. It performed at the park's Palace Theater and featured the Wolfman and Fats Geronimo from the Wolf Pack 5 and Friendly Freddy in a 3-character show. The show was removed and auctioned to a family that owned a junkyard in Tennessee. The show was found and later sold to superfans Jack Tuner and Connor L. No showtape was found. The only thing that 's known about the showtape was that Aaron Fechter recalls that he programmed the show on-site in the theatre the show was presented in.|
|Bubba the Shakespearean Gorilla||1981||Partially Found||This animatronic was praised for his variety of sophisticated movements, as well as a charming concept. A few pieces of footage have surfaced online. However, it's unknown whether a full showtape was produced.|
|Clown Animatronic Showtape||1983||Lost||This obscure animatronic that was made to be used for information booths at malls and other venues that never went into mass production. The only picture of him in good condition can be seen for a fraction of a second in a 1991 Creative Engineering demo tape. Although many believed that the showtape was completely destroyed, Andrea Nieves (aka cavitysam), who has worked with CEI, has confirmed that the tape is not corrupted. Due to this, the current status of this showtape is unknown; Although it has been found, further testing must be done by those at CEI to confirm that the tape can still be played.|
|Reginald J. Flootsnoot||1983||Lost||This character was made for an unproduced show known as The Extravaganza of Electronimation Excellence Show (EEE). A programming test was made where Reginald sings the song Puff, the Magic Dragon (sung by Duke Chauppett) and puffed out smoke while singing. He was shown at the 1983 IAAPA convention to promote The Extravaganza of Electronimation Excellence Show. A picture of him was featured on the 1991 Creative Engineering demo tape.|
|Wizard of Oz Show||1983||Partially Found||This was Creative Engineering's attempt at a Wizard of Oz dark ride. Only The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, a Talking Crow, a Talking Tree, and a few Talking Flowers were produced and were shown at the 1983 IAAPA convention. It was featured in the 1992 Creative Engineering demo tape. The Scarecrow is known to sing part of "If I Only Had a Brain", and the Tin Man is known to sing part of "You Gotta Have Heart". CEI still has Scarecrow, Tin Man, and The Talking Trees, while The Talking Crow and Flowers were sold to a fan. The Tin Man was featured at the Orlando Looney Birds location.|
|Dook and Mitzi 2.0 Prototype Shows||1983||Existence Unconfirmed||Prototypes of these characters were produced and are recognized as being significant upgrades to their predecessors, with Dook being able to play a full drum kit, and Mitzi sporting new hip movements that drastically increased her range of motion. A 2.0 Beach Bear was planned but never built. Footage of these characters showing off rudimentary movement has surfaced, but it is unknown if these characters were ever put to practical use. These characters are still in the Creative Engineering building but have not been used for a long time.|
|The Jungle Juke Band||1983||Non-existent||Pictures of the Jungle Juke Band, which contained a monkey, tiger, and hippopotamus were featured in a 1983 CEI Promo brochure. It was confirmed by a Creative Engineering employee that it, along with the Cosmic Combo, never materialized. It should be noted, though, that a mask for the hippo character was prototyped.|
|The Cosmic Combo||Unknown||Non-existent||This show was advertised as having five alien creatures. However, like the Jungle Juke Band, this show never got beyond a conceptual stage. It's possible that this band may have been reworked into The Moon Rockers.|
|The Moon Rockers||1985||Partially Found||This was a retrofit of the Rock-afire Explosion. It is unknown how much of the show has been uncovered, but numerous clips of it exist on the physical releases of the Rock-afire Explosion Documentary (2008). It has been said that the show aimed to promote world peace and was prompted by the rise of Cold-War tensions in the mid-late 1980s.|
|Mini-Billy Bob Showtapes||1985||Existence Unconfirmed||This animatronic was advertised in the early 1980s as being a forerunner to a full-scale mini Rock-afire Explosion. There exist a few clips of the animatronic in action, but all of them were shows that were already produced for the Rock-afire Explosion. It is unknown if any shows were produced solely for the animatronic.|
|The Mijjins IAAPA Tape||1991||Partially Found||The Mijjins were a line of animatronics rolled out by Creative Engineering that were featured in various locations. Creative Engineering's 1991 Promo/Demo features clips of the animatronics performing covers, but it is unknown how much of the show has been discovered.|
|Talking Head Shows||Unknown||Existence Unconfirmed||These were one of Creative Engineering's earliest projects, featuring talking heads. Virtually no information exists (except for one photo), and it is unknown whether any showtapes were produced.|
|Lazlo the Fortune Teller||Unknown||Partially Found|
References[edit | edit source]
- Creative Engineering's/Aaron Fechter's official YouTube channel
- Showbiz Pizza.com
- A list and reviews of most Rock-afire Explosion Showtapes (Showbiz Pizza.com)
- The Radio Showbiz Master Archive (Showbiz Pizza.com)
- History of The Rock-afire Explosion (Showbiz Pizza.com)
- History of Chuck E. Cheese's Overview (Showbiz Pizza.com)
- Rock-a-Palooza 2020 (Showbiz Pizza.com)
- Character page on Uncle Klunk (Showbiz Pizza.com)
- Review of the Uncle Klunk (Jeff Howell version) Showtape (Showbiz Pizza.com)
- Review of the Uncle Klunk Showtape (Showbiz Pizza.com)
- History of the ShowBiz Pizza Campground Stage (Showbiz Pizza.com)
- History of the Yogi Bear Stage (Showbiz Pizza.com)
- CEI Early Animatronics (Showbiz Pizza.com)
- 1977 Electronimation Brochure.
- Entertainment 1980 Brochure.
- 1981 Animation World Champions Pamphlet.
- 1983 Creative Engineering Inc. Brochure.
- Mini-Animatronic Billy Bob Doll Fold-out.
- Mini-Animatronic Billy Bob Doll Folder & Documentation.
- Bandwagon to Higher Profits Brochure.
- 1987 Rock-afire Explosion Promotional Postcard
- Moonrockers / RAE Brochure.
- Billy Bob Talking Walkaround Brochure.
- The Mijjins Promotional Brochure.
- New Rock-afire Explosion Fold-out Brochure.
- New Rock-afire Explosion Pamphlet.
- CEI 20th Anniversary Promo Kit.
- Pizza Time: Investigating the Rock-afire Explosion "Magic" Stage
- The Rock-afire Explosion Beatles Medley (Stars on 45) Cybervision Version
- The Rock-afire Explosion Oldies Medley (Cybervision Version)
- The Rock-afire Explosion The Tune Machine Part 1(Cybervision version)
- The Rock-afire Explosion The Tune Machine Part 2(Cybervision version)
- Cyberstar Intro
- A found Show Selector Showtape.
- Another found Show Selector Showtape.
- A third found Show Selector Showtape.
- A fourth found Show Selector Showtape labelled Jams Reel.
- A Google Drive link containing showtapes for The Wolf Pack Five.
- A Dropbox link containing showtapes for The Wolfpack 5.
- A Dropbox link containing showtapes for The Hard Luck Bears.
- A forum thread where a fan confirms that a former park employee in Tennessee now owns The Confederate Critter Show
- A clip of The Rock-afire at Showbiz Pizza Fiesta singing the song Bazar on a children's TV show called Los Vip´s.
- A history video on both the Bear Country Jubilee and Hard Luck Bears.
- LET'S TALK ABOUT ALL THE HARD LUCK BEARS SHOWS EVER MADE! | PART 1/?
- LET'S TALK ABOUT ALL THE HARD LUCK BEARS SHOWS EVER MADE! | PART 2/3
- LET'S TALK ABOUT ALL THE HARD LUCK BEARS SHOWS EVER MADE! | PART 3/3
- LET'S TALK ABOUT EVERY BEAR COUNTRY JUBILEE SHOW EVER MADE!
- Video of Orsi Show from 1993 at Italia in Miniatura.
- Footage from 1991 of Italia in Miniatura using the original 1979 Creative Engineering Hard Luck Bears showtape
- 1991 Creative Engineering Promo/Demo.
- 1992 Creative Engineering Promo/Demo.
- Info on and pics of The Honey's Bear Bunch.
- Full video of Show Dos Ursos.
- Full clean audio of Show Dos Ursos.
- Video of The Wolf Pack 5 at the IAAPA convention in Atlanta, Georgia in 1978.
- Another Video of The Wolf Pack 5 at the IAAPA convention in Atlanta, Georgia in 1978.
- Photo of the Japanese Wolf Pack 5 Show.
- Another Photo of the Japanese Wolf Pack 5 Show.
- A third Photo of the Japanese Wolf Pack 5 Show.
- A fourth Photo of the Japanese Wolf Pack 5 Show.
- Kings Dominion commercial with The Wolf Pack 5
- Clip of Kings Dominion's Wolf Pack 5 from the children's TV show Romper Room.
- Full clip of Italpark's Wolf Pack 5
- An edited clip of Italpark's Wolf Pack 5
- A home video of Italpark's Wolf Pack 5
- Clips of Fame City's Wolf Pack 5 in a Fame City commercial
- Video of The Wolf Pack 5 at Man and His World
- Another video of The Wolf Pack 5 at Man and His World
- Photo of The Wolf Pack 5 performing at the Showbiz Pizza Place in Dublin, CA
- An podcast interview with Aaron Fechter. Halfway through he talks about his early years, how he got into the industry, and Willy Wabbit.
- Picture of the Scab (Second slide)
- Picture of the Scab (Also second slide)
- 1977 footage of Friendly Freddy running on his test showtape.
- A video made by Jack Turner on how he and Conor L found the Gaslight Jamboree and the history of the show.
- Rare video of The Confederate Critter Show.
- A promotional flyer/brochure for "Magic World with pictures of The Confederate Critter Show.
- Audio-only video of The Santa Claus Revue / The Jingle Bell Jamboree that was taken from another youtube video.
- The original Santa Claus Revue made by CEI.
- The Advanced Animation version of The Santa Claus Revue / The Jingle Bell Jamboree .
- Another video of Advanced Animation version of The Santa Claus Revue.
- Video of The Santa Claus Revue / The Jingle Bell Jamboree captured by Aaron Fechter in 1979 with full on clean audio of the show.
- A tiny bit of audio from the Bear Country Jubilee showtape.
- Creative Engineering Made in Florida Segment
- A forum post discussing the obscure creepy clown animatronic.
- An Instagram post by user "markigee55" in which CEI contributor "cavitysam" confirms that the showtape of the clown animatronic is not corrupted.
- Lazlo Promotional Card.
- A forum post discussing Lazlo the Fortune Teller that was at Indiana Beach.
- Recent footage of Lazlo the Fortune Teller in operation.
- All About The MoonRockers (previously unreleased info!)
- A video from 1985 of Aaron Fechter showcasing the Mini Billy Bob doll and show.
- 5 Examples of Animatronic Related LOST and FOUND Media video.
- A video on Lost Rock-afire Explosion Showtapes.