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Released in 1988, Taxi was a pinball machine from Williams that had the player picking up fairs and taking them to their destinations. Passengers of this Taxi included the likes of Dracula
, Santa Claus
, Mikhail Gorbachev, Marilyn Monroe, and Williams'
Taxi is well known for its high quality side, backglass and playfield art, along with its extensive use of voice samples for the different characters. This machine brought many of Williams better known pinball innovations into one game. Features like a plunger
lane skill shot and a catapult made it both challenging and exciting. It is also the first machine programmed to show four different player scores using just two 16 character alphanumeric displays.
The creators didn't realize that they lacked permission to use Marilyn Monroe's likeness until early production models had been completed. Not having secured the rights, they were forced to change the appearance of the character, both in look and text, during the production of the machine. A small percentage of the early pinball machines retained the original Marilyn art on both the backglass and playfield, but later models have the redhead character "Lola", a simple hair color change, replacing the blonde Monroe character. The change to Lola remained for the duration of these machines after this switch. As a consequence of this mid production change, some machines have mixed art and text referring to the blonde character on the backglass as Lola and vice versa. The early models with the Marilyn Monroe figure are highly sought after.