Production: 200+ units
Released: August, 1988
The first games in production were made with a blonde ‘Marilyn’ taxi passenger, a likeness of Marilyn Monroe. This was changed during production to be a darker-haired ‘Lola’, ostensibly a likeness of no one famous.
We asked Roger Sharpe about the reason for this change. He replies:
Suffice it to say that we did have some limited run of machines featuring a ‘blonde Marilyn’ — and I don’t know if these were for international only. However, we were informed that there were rights that needed to be secured in order to use Marilyn and the decision was made to just alter the artwork so that the female character was renamed ‘Lola’ for the main production run. If memory serves, and I can’t say with certainty—there might be games that were manufactured with a brunette Lola and then a redheaded Lola.
The changes needed to introduce ‘Lola’ include backglass art, playfield art, game software, and instruction card.
According to Mark Ritchie, as explained in the book The Pinball Compendium 1982 to Present, at least 200 sample games were in the process of being shipped with ‘Marilyn’ before the change had to be made. He also explained the name ‘Lola’ was taken from a 1970s song about a transvestite, chosen to befit her muscular arms as depicted on the backglass.
Marilyn’s face appears twice on the playfield: directly below the center drop target bank and also as an illuminating insert further down. We have seen one instance of the Lola playfield where she was still blonde near the drop targets but was a brunette in the insert. We don’t know how many playfields were made this way.
SOURCE: Internet Pinball Database