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The Groovy Game Gear TokenTop
Spinnin’ in Style

A very few of you know of my former “spinner knob habit,” my collection of practically every after market arcade spinner knob. With all of the spinner reviews that I've done I suppose it was inevitable that I'd start collecting knobs, but I finally broke that habit this year, giving away my entire collection. That was that, I told myself.

Well, I wasn’t quite as far along in recovery as I thought I was—when Randy over at GroovyGameGear.com announced a brand-new spinner top design with an inlay area for .984” tokens on the top, I was sold immediately.

Grooy Game Gear Token Top
The Groovy Game Gear Token Top (with RetroBlast token)

Unfortunately, it took him a while to get the product to market, but it’s here at last, and since I had custom .984" tokens made for RetroBlast (and GameRoom Magazine), I just had to have one of these cool-looking knobs.

The TokenTop is a 1 3/8"diameter stainless steel knob (1.5” base) that stands approx. 7/8” high. It features a rubber ring around the knob for easy grip, and an inlay area at the top of the knob designed to fit any .984" token (a common size, Pachislo tokens and Chuck E Cheese tokens are both .984”)

It's designed to fit standard 1/4" shafts, so the TokenTop knob will work with any spinner on the market.

Groovy Game Gear TokenTop
The knob and included torx wrench for installation

Since it’s made of stainless steel, the knob has an impressive amount of “heft” at 4 ounces. It’s a lot heavier than it’s small size would seem to indicate. The Groovy Game Gear site also includes a big heaping helping of marketing hyperbole about the knob:

Features:

  • Accu-Twist™ -The Worlds FIRST and ONLY "on-the-fly" arcade spinner resistance adjustment technology. Go from free-spinning to any amount of knob resistance you desire with a simple 3-second adjustment. Finally, you can have both the precision and original control feel of Arkanoid-style games.
  • No ESC Required - The Energy Storage Cylinder is no longer required for prolonged spin when you use the TokenTop knob. Reduces the vertical footprint of the TurboTwist 2 to an amazing 1.5" below 3/4" wood panels with no spinner performance penalty!
  • Ultra-Durable - Solid CNC machined Stainless Steel Construction provides timeless elegance even when used in harsh environments.
  • Ultra-Comfortable - Thick, soft rubber grip is inlaid over the entire contact surface of the knob to make extended use more enjoyable and slip free.
  • Ruggedly Stylish - The beautiful satin finish and precision token inlay gives the TokenTop spinner knob a one-of-a-kind appearance that will enhance the look of any control panel.
  • Installation Tool Included.

The Accu-Twist™ system is nothing more than a piece of felt attached to the bottom of the knob.

Bottom of TokenTop
The bottom of the TokenTop, and the Accu-Twist™ felt pad

To adjust the spinner resistance, you can use the included torx wrench to lower the knob so that it rubs against the control panel. It’s a simple and effective idea, especially for Arkanoid fans, but giving it a trademarked “catchphrase” seems a bit overblown. It does increase the spinner resistance, but it doesn't quite give it that "Arkanoid" feel, although it probably comes closer than anything short of a geared spinner.

The rubber grip is nice, but probably an acquired taste—it provides great “stopping power” on fast spins, but it felt a bit too tacky for me (as in grip, it is certainly not unstylish!) I suppose I’ve gotten used to knurled metal grips, although this knob definitely doesn’t feel like it’s sanding away your fingertips as it spins! I'm also fairly certain it will become less "grippy" as time goes on and sweaty-fingered players give it some serious gameplay time.

Installed TokenTop
The TokenTop installed on a control panel

The inlay area of the knob is unique, and a stylish touch for those who have a favorite token. It certainly looks great with a RetroBlast token! Groovy Game Gear supplies the knobs with either a brass or nickel-plated BYOAC token, or your can get the knob with no token and supply your own.

The knob comes with either a red or black rubber grip, and is available from Groovy Game Gear for $22.95. While it’s a bit expensive for a knob, it does bring some new “spinner knob tech” to the party, and it’s stylish as well.

Pros

  • Smart looking
  • Token inlay area
  • Rubber grip
  • Felt pad allows resistance adjustment

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • Rubber grip may be too “grippy”

Groovy Game Gear's TokenTop

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