This thread on the Plinko opening is very interesting to me because, from the very start of my tenure at TPIR, creating an impressive opening presentation that matched the grander of the game was at the top of my list. A lot of good ideas here! But, here's the story of how the new opening came to be.
First, Guint asked "does the old sign still exist". The answer is, sadly, no.
In my plan for the Plinko opening, the original sign did play a part in the new reveal of the game. In fact, I asked Bente if it was still around and if so where. I was told that, at that time, it did exist in our storage warehouse. I asked her to pull it from storage and bring it down to the stage so we could look at it, see what shape it was in, and if we could clean her up so I could demonstrate my new idea to the producers.
To my surprise, I was told that when "management" found out I wanted the sign, it was ordered to be destoryed to "make room in the storage area". With that, the Plinko sign was reportedly trashed. This is second hand information, but it seems the sign existed when I asked for it, but was destroyed with the knowledge I wanted to put it back on the air.
I did ultimately implement the rest of my vision for the reveal, but without the sign. It is what you see on the air now.
What's the missing part? In my re-imagining of the open, as I took the wide shot, and as the Race Drop started to fly away, the turntable would have spun. On it would be a restored version of the original Pinko sign prop. As it turned to camera, the blinds would have flipped from Plinko to $50,000. To me this would have been so dramatic as the entire set would have transformed and opened up to Plinko. During the game, behind Drew as he deposited the chips after they fell, we would have seen the sign with the Plinko logo turned back out to camera. So that's what might have been.
This moment represented my very first, huge disappointment at the show in so many ways. But, as a fan, most important was that a historic prop was senselessly destroyed (when it could have just as early ended up in Bob Boden's famous game show museum).
This all being said, I love the new Plinko reveal as it airs. The feeling is big and important, just as the game deserves, and the graphics are state-of-the-art and impressive, but very "Price is Right"!