Why Chuck E Cheese Is Finally Killing Those Horrifying Robot Animals

Matthew Loffhagen
Flickr/downing.amanda
(Photo: Flickr/downing.amanda)

Ding, dong, the creepy robots are dead!

Chuck E Cheese has announced plans to scrap the weird, disturbing, not-quite-lifelike animatronic creatures that perform shows at their restaurants (and roam around at night, if you believe the rumors).

As the test for an enormous rebranding exercise for over five hundred restaurants worldwide, a few Chuck E Cheese outlets have been redesigned, minus the creepy robot animals that have inspired nightmares in generations of young children. If these tests prove successful, over the next few years we might see more metal monstrosities banished from Chuck E Cheese restaurants altogether.

So why now? Why, after being fine with terrorizing children for decades, have the owners of Chuck E Cheese finally decided to ditch the robot puppets?

It’s nothing to do with kids being scared of these things. Quite the opposite, in fact: the robots have lost their shock factor altogether. Modern children simply don’t care about them.

According to Chuck E Cheese CEO Tom Leverton:

“Kids stopped watching the animatronic shows. What we’ve seen over time with improvements in tech, with screens, and the expectations of kids today, the animatronics aren’t the main draw.”

So essentially, with the advent of ever more impressive arcade technology, nobody really cares about these poor old robots anymore – kids going to Chuck E Cheese are more interested in playing new games or watching screens, than they are watching awkward, sputtering robot animals perform songs as they stare out at the audience with dead eyes and sickly sweet smiles.

Chuck E Cheese Robot
Source: Flickr/downing.amanda

 In the coming years, don’t be surprised if your local Chuck E Cheese trashes its robots in order to make more room for, say, a virtual reality space (hopefully not playing Five Nights at Freddy’s of course). A staple American childhood experience of nightmare-inducing horror is going to make way for more big, flashy video games instead.

Oh well. At least everything will still be covered in a thin veneer of pizza grease. That’s crucial to the full Chuck E Cheese experience!

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