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(Slate)   Pinball is not dead. Not if a visionary pinhead in New Jersey has anything to say about it   (slate.com) divider line 60
    More: Spiffy, New Jersey, pinball, Chicago Reader, Wizard of Oz, Space Invaders, beta versions, Chuck E. Cheese, hues  
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2342 clicks; posted to Geek » on 10 Jan 2013 at 7:33 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-10 07:45:39 AM  
Wizard of Oz? Really?

That ain't no High Speed.
 
2013-01-10 08:02:50 AM  
Some people build their own one-offs. Here's Ben Heck's first attempt, which was followed by a machine based on Lost. That machine was filmed during the construction process, and the Ben Heck Show shows his techniques, from building the case to soldering the circuitry. Finding those videos is left as an exercise for the reader.
 
2013-01-10 08:03:55 AM  
Bally Williams Midway was run by non-visionaries who pussed out instead of hanging tough. PB3k would have revitalized the biz had they given it a little more time.
 
2013-01-10 08:07:40 AM  
jesus...3.5K for a air hockey table? 7K for a pinball machine? No wonder pinball is dead. Seriously. You can get a xbox 360 for what? 350?
 
2013-01-10 08:14:30 AM  
Stern Pinball --The only major scale pinball maker still left.
 
2013-01-10 08:19:11 AM  
I was about to biatch about how ridiculously prohibitively farking expensive pinball machines were, but greywar beat me to it.
 
2013-01-10 08:45:33 AM  
As an engineering student in the 80's we dreamed of designing pinball machines but even then the righting was on the wall about video games.
 
2013-01-10 08:50:53 AM  
Pinball is dead in the traditional sense, that there isn't one in every bar and corner store...but the market for older, desirable machines has been steadily rising for the last few years. Also, video recreations of tables (such as Farsight's Pinball Arcade) have done fairly well. Pinball isn't really dead, it's just changed.
 
2013-01-10 08:54:03 AM  
Pinball is not dead. Not if a visionary A pinhead in New Jersey has anything nothing to say about it.

FTFY
 
2013-01-10 09:00:07 AM  
I have been eyeing this thing for a while, but I can't justify spending that kind of money on a game. Sure, I'll buy one someday, after I win the lotto.
 
2013-01-10 09:00:15 AM  
ghostradio.files.wordpress.com

/obligatory
//hot like the fires of hell
 
2013-01-10 09:06:15 AM  

deeproy: Wizard of Oz? Really?


This. Does he seriously think people who might be interested in pinball (which is who, exactly? Nostalgic hipsters at Barcade?) give one flying fark about the Wizard of Oz? Does *anybody* give a flying fark about the Wizard of Oz other than this guy??
 
2013-01-10 09:07:49 AM  

miscreant: [ghostradio.files.wordpress.com image 300x309]

/obligatory
//hot like the fires of hell


Your tilts will be legendary, even in hell!

I hope he can save the game, even on a small level. I loves me some pinball. I've already warned the Mrs. we will have a machine in the house at some point.
 
2013-01-10 09:09:39 AM  
Good luck to him, but Pinball machines are no longer a viable way to make money. They cost too much, sell to little, and will never make back their value on the street in a coin op environment. You'd be building for home-sale only, and that is a niche market at best.
 
2013-01-10 09:16:06 AM  
I spent way too much time playing pinball in the 1980s. Black Knight was cool (with its multi-level surface and Berzerk-esque synthesized voice), but my favorite was probably Comet. That machine was in the student center of my college, and I dumped a lot of money into it.

/My lawn, etc.
 
2013-01-10 09:16:58 AM  

Grither: deeproy: Wizard of Oz? Really?

This. Does he seriously think people who might be interested in pinball (which is who, exactly? Nostalgic hipsters at Barcade?) give one flying fark about the Wizard of Oz? Does *anybody* give a flying fark about the Wizard of Oz other than this guy??


Uh.... I think he moved like 7.5 million dollars worth of these already on pre-orders.

So, I'm going to outright tsay, "Yes - he does think so, and it appears he is correct".

Also, you appear to be a retard.

Good day sir.

I SAID GOOD DAY.
 
2013-01-10 09:23:43 AM  
Link Totally awesome (crack the safe and escape, the machine actually spits out a coin that you can then insert for a different game mode), but classics like Pin-Bot and as already mentioned Comet and High Speed will never really die in my mind.
 
2013-01-10 09:30:16 AM  
Very few people realize how big of a set of pinballs this Jersey Jack guy has. He's essentially gone from a pinball/videogame distributor to a manufacturer from SCRATCH. All in an era that is admittedly the worst time to develop an new pinball company.

Not only that, he didn't develop a POS game with a terrible photoshop playfield and generic everything like Stern. He's making the first wide body pinball since the 90's and it looks amazing. For all intents and purposes, he's making a "Twilight Zone" level pinball, which was the most complicated pinball machine ever, with the most patents; it even had magnetic flippers!

He's smartly realized that there is a market for new collectible pins, despite the high price. I paid about $2,000 for a Twilight Zone pinball about ten years ago. Now they're selling for $8,000. And it's not just because they're now collectibles, it's because they don't make good pinball games anymore. Stern has made some good games in the past ten years, but most of the games are commercial tie in crap.

Jersey Jack has already sold all of its initial run of WOZ pinballs, so I'd say it was a smart bet.

What would I would like to see would be a Monty Python themed pinball. Maybe Jersey Jack could deliver on that in future.
 
2013-01-10 09:36:27 AM  

Cybernetic: I spent way too much time playing pinball in the 1980s. Black Knight was cool (with its multi-level surface and Berzerk-esque synthesized voice), but my favorite was probably Comet. That machine was in the student center of my college, and I dumped a lot of money into it.

/My lawn, etc.


Check out Pinball Arcade. They have the Black Knight table.
 
2013-01-10 09:41:13 AM  
Got one of these in a bar in my neighborhood.  It's awesome:

media.nowpublic.net
 
2013-01-10 09:41:18 AM  

TwistedFark: Grither: deeproy: Wizard of Oz? Really?

This. Does he seriously think people who might be interested in pinball (which is who, exactly? Nostalgic hipsters at Barcade?) give one flying fark about the Wizard of Oz? Does *anybody* give a flying fark about the Wizard of Oz other than this guy??

Uh.... I think he moved like 7.5 million dollars worth of these already on pre-orders.

So, I'm going to outright tsay, "Yes - he does think so, and it appears he is correct".

Also, you appear to be a retard.

Good day sir.

I SAID GOOD DAY.


It sounds a lot better in sales dollars that the ~1500 units he says sold, or profit margin. I'd like to hear what the take on one machine is. He's already recouping on a 300K printer, facilities, parts, rising wire costs, ans the enormous labor cost to build a pin.

If 1500 units is the ceiling on a first release, I'm not to optimistic on seeing a second or third release.
 
2013-01-10 09:55:20 AM  
My former dining room.
sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net
/one of the best investments I ever made
//quadrupled in value
///wants a TRON Collectors Edition pinball next.
 
2013-01-10 10:09:45 AM  
stern doesn't release details but it seems about half of new machine sales go directly to people for use in their homes. plenty of older people have 5k to spend on each pin. i own 7 pins and maybe they are worth 5k altogether. the wizard of oz theme is not only being used in his pinball machines. he has been making casino floor and kiddy arcade type games for a year or two. the coin pusher games and ticket redemption type with the theme. i think woz is the perfect theme a baby boomer or older wants to see in a coin pusher. as for a pinball machine woz has a family theme and many ideas for playfield toys. i have never met him but what the scuttlebutt i've heard while at conventions is the guy is a arrogant jackhole who thinks he can't fail at anything.
 
2013-01-10 10:11:49 AM  

Grither: This. Does he seriously think people who might be interested in pinball (which is who, exactly? Nostalgic hipsters at Barcade?) give one flying fark about the Wizard of Oz? Does *anybody* give a flying fark about the Wizard of Oz other than this guy??


great, yet another hipster-bashing thread.

leavehipstersalone.jpg
 
2013-01-10 10:15:51 AM  

Cybernetic: I spent way too much time playing pinball in the 1980s. Black Knight was cool (with its multi-level surface and Berzerk-esque synthesized voice), but my favorite was probably Comet. That machine was in the student center of my college, and I dumped a lot of money into it.

/My lawn, etc.


pinball.flippers.info
This Comet?

/sits in my parent's basement
//Come on! Hit ME!
 
2013-01-10 10:27:05 AM  

MrSteve007: My former dining room.


Did you just eat off of the machine?
 
2013-01-10 10:30:06 AM  
I think it looks pretty cool... so there.
 
2013-01-10 10:30:26 AM  

MrSteve007: My former dining room.
[sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net image 717x538]
/one of the best investments I ever made
//quadrupled in value
///wants a TRON Collectors Edition pinball next.


Yeah, that's pretty awesome and a good investment.

I've got a South Park that I'm waiting on to go up in value when the show goes off the air.
Only got one pic in my bukkit of it and since I'm not home, can't get any more right now.

i521.photobucket.com

I bought my 10 month old son one of those little plastic tabletop ones they sell at Target. I'm going to probably give it to him next Xmas or so. It's the Transformers version. Then in a few years I'm going to buy the real one made by Stern. Hopefully they won't be rediculously expensive by then.
Paid $3,500 for my SP.

Also co-own a Mario Andretti, Cue Ball Wizard and a Diner with my dad.

Greywar: jesus...3.5K for a air hockey table? 7K for a pinball machine? No wonder pinball is dead. Seriously. You can get a xbox 360 for what? 350?


And a 360 weighs what, 2 lbs? A pinball machine weighs 350. Each one is hand made and designed to last for years. There's nearly a mile of wire inside each one. Your 360 is already 5 years old and can be smacked around by a netbook now. A pinball machine is a dedicated piece of hardware.

That's not saying they're a dated style of entertainment: they certainly are. However, there's just something organic about playing one. I can't affect the outcome of a video game by bumping and nudging a console or PC.

Most of them, especially from the late 60's - early 70's and then the 80's - 90's are things of beauty. The playfield artwork, the playfield design, the backglass, the sideart. All things done by extremely talented artists and designers. Your Xbox is a hunk of plastic.
 
2013-01-10 10:36:19 AM  

logieal: Your Xbox is a hunk of plastic.


I should qualify that: Chinese made plastic crap. All pinball machines have traditionally been made in the USA. There are some smaller, independent manufacturers around the world, but the giants were all based in the Chicago area. Stern is still there.

Yes, some of the individual parts might be made offshore, but they are designed and assembled here.
 
2013-01-10 10:37:07 AM  

Cybernetic: I spent way too much time playing pinball in the 1980s. Black Knight was cool (with its multi-level surface and Berzerk-esque synthesized voice), but my favorite was probably Comet. That machine was in the student center of my college, and I dumped a lot of money into it.

/My lawn, etc.


My favorite was "Fireball", followed closely by "Haunted House" and "High Speed". Unfortunately, "Fireball" is one of the ones that resells in the thousands. Really, for home, I just want one that accepts 4 players, and has analog scorekeeping, instead of digital.

And for the people who can't figure out why any arcade game costs more than a XBox, think about how shiatty you treat stuff at a bar, arcade, etc. Your fancy XBox would last about 30 seconds.

/And what's with the "hipster" thing? IS that just because people have to either bash hipsters or Mormons in every thread?
 
2013-01-10 10:48:36 AM  

Cybernetic: I spent way too much time playing pinball in the 1980s. Black Knight was cool (with its multi-level surface and Berzerk-esque synthesized voice), but my favorite was probably Comet. That machine was in the student center of my college, and I dumped a lot of money into it.

/My lawn, etc.


Black Knight was awesome! That was the first table to capture my attention and hundreds of my quarters.
My faves to this day are EarthShaker and Guns & Roses. EarthShaker was total fun and multi-ball shook the room. G&R was a well balanced table IMHO. Loved it!

/I'll get off your lawns now...
 
2013-01-10 10:58:18 AM  

Grither: deeproy: Wizard of Oz? Really?

This. Does he seriously think people who might be interested in pinball (which is who, exactly? Nostalgic hipsters at Barcade?) give one flying fark about the Wizard of Oz? Does *anybody* give a flying fark about the Wizard of Oz other than this guy??


Pinball has never been about the theme or license (except for maybe getting people to play the first time or two). The play's the thing. I couldn't care less about The Twilight Zone or ST:TNG, but they play on those tables was fantastic.
 
2013-01-10 11:30:29 AM  
Owning a pinball machine doesn't have to be expensive.  I bought mine off of Craigslist for $100.  A little cleaning and a $30 set of new bumpers and it works like new.
 
2013-01-10 12:01:14 PM  
www.arcadegamesuperstore.com

It's... ShowTime!!!
 
2013-01-10 12:06:29 PM  
pinballzarcade.com

We here in Austin are spoiled rotten.

Also, watch Special When Lit if you can find it.
 
Bf+
2013-01-10 12:13:57 PM  
Wizard of Oz?
I will play the hell out of that.
 
2013-01-10 12:21:41 PM  
Playing Pinball is like driving a fun car with a manual gearbox; overdosing on FPS games and Angry Birds is driving an automatic. Easy to do, easy to pause and rest. Good Pinball scratches an itch that nothing else really can.

Secondly, great games, like music, don't get old. Galaga and Pac Man are still out there and still bringing in enough money to justify a re-release with both games in one cabinet. Pinball died when the manufacturers pulled a Lucas and tried to re-invent the wheel, missing both the point of the game and screwing up playability.

And why biatch? More games to play? Twist my arm.
 
2013-01-10 12:31:19 PM  

MrSteve007: My former dining room.
[sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net image 717x538]
/one of the best investments I ever made
//quadrupled in value
///wants a TRON Collectors Edition pinball next.


I love that table!

quiotu: [www.arcadegamesuperstore.com image 500x667]

It's... ShowTime!!!


Greed!
 
2013-01-10 12:51:34 PM  
Any Seattle-area farkers:

1) F*ck you for trying to steal the Kings
2) there's a great retro arcade in Tacoma called Dorky's that's got dozens of old-ass pinball machines
 
2013-01-10 01:02:52 PM  
I used to go to a bar where I had the pinball machine beat. I'd buy a beer, put a quarter in and leave a couple hours later with the machine full of free games. The bar owner had every right to hate my guts, but never said anything, to his credit.
/I stopped doing it when I realized what I was doing.
 
2013-01-10 01:06:43 PM  
Listen, if someone could build another run of Black Knight 2000 tables (real or virtual), that'd be swell. Thanks.
 
2013-01-10 02:46:30 PM  

quiotu: [www.arcadegamesuperstore.com image 500x667]

It's... ShowTime!!!


Keep the ball! I have a WHOLE bucketful!

/fav board ever
 
2013-01-10 02:56:52 PM  
photos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

My current toys
 
2013-01-10 03:16:41 PM  

fat boy: [photos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 720x540]

My current toys


A Capt Fantastic AND a Taxi? I'm green with envy, you bastard!
 
2013-01-10 03:36:38 PM  
I bought "Game Show" from a bar for $500. A few minor repairs needed.
I keep it at the motel. In the summer I get up to $20 a week. 1 play, $.25, 3 plays, $.50.
I play every Saturday when I do my caretaker thing.
 
2013-01-10 03:45:30 PM  

oh_please: A Capt Fantastic AND a Taxi? I'm green with envy, you bastard!


Yeah, and the Taxi one even lights up.

I have played more pinball than all of you put together, and I have come to this conclusion:

99.5% of all pinball machines are currently in unplayable condition.

A few months ago the spouse and crotch-dropping and I went to Vegas to the Pinball Hall of Fame. It is waaaay cool. Just don't expect the machines to, you know, actually work.

About 25% of them have flippers that do not work at all, or are so under-powered that it is not possible to hit all the targets. Many of the "newer" ones have busted logic. Oh, and about 30% of them have targets that either don't come up, or don't drop. The ones that don't come up is not so bad, but if the idea is bonus through target drop, the targets have to FARKing drop.

BTW, there is a PBHoF annex in the Riviera Hotel, if you're ever in Vegas.

It was way cool to play the old games I remember from former years...just don't expect them to be effectively playable.
 
2013-01-10 04:21:41 PM  

SevenizGud: oh_please: A Capt Fantastic AND a Taxi? I'm green with envy, you bastard!

Yeah, and the Taxi one even lights up.

I have played more pinball than all of you put together, and I have come to this conclusion:

99.5% of all pinball machines are currently in unplayable condition.

A few months ago the spouse and crotch-dropping and I went to Vegas to the Pinball Hall of Fame. It is waaaay cool. Just don't expect the machines to, you know, actually work.

About 25% of them have flippers that do not work at all, or are so under-powered that it is not possible to hit all the targets. Many of the "newer" ones have busted logic. Oh, and about 30% of them have targets that either don't come up, or don't drop. The ones that don't come up is not so bad, but if the idea is bonus through target drop, the targets have to FARKing drop.

BTW, there is a PBHoF annex in the Riviera Hotel, if you're ever in Vegas.

It was way cool to play the old games I remember from former years...just don't expect them to be effectively playable.


The Taxi has only one problem, the jackpot display is out. All ramps and the spinout are original and in excellent shape. Am still thinking about a new playfield. Flash has all new Rottondog boards and displays. Flippers need rebuilding as most system 6 machines do. Wizard and C.F. I bought in 1980. Twin Win was given to me, and I just picked up Klondike last month.
 
2013-01-10 05:12:35 PM  

fat boy: SevenizGud: oh_please: A Capt Fantastic AND a Taxi? I'm green with envy, you bastard!

Yeah, and the Taxi one even lights up.

I have played more pinball than all of you put together, and I have come to this conclusion:

99.5% of all pinball machines are currently in unplayable condition.

A few months ago the spouse and crotch-dropping and I went to Vegas to the Pinball Hall of Fame. It is waaaay cool. Just don't expect the machines to, you know, actually work.

About 25% of them have flippers that do not work at all, or are so under-powered that it is not possible to hit all the targets. Many of the "newer" ones have busted logic. Oh, and about 30% of them have targets that either don't come up, or don't drop. The ones that don't come up is not so bad, but if the idea is bonus through target drop, the targets have to FARKing drop.

BTW, there is a PBHoF annex in the Riviera Hotel, if you're ever in Vegas.

It was way cool to play the old games I remember from former years...just don't expect them to be effectively playable.

The Taxi has only one problem, the jackpot display is out. All ramps and the spinout are original and in excellent shape. Am still thinking about a new playfield. Flash has all new Rottondog boards and displays. Flippers need rebuilding as most system 6 machines do. Wizard and C.F. I bought in 1980. Twin Win was given to me, and I just picked up Klondike last month.


If you haven't already, check out r/pinball on Reddit. There are some people there that may be able to help you with those, or at least point you in the right direction.
 
2013-01-10 05:35:59 PM  

thesockninja: pinballzarcade.com

We here in Austin are spoiled rotten.

Also, watch Special When Lit if you can find it.


It's on Hulu!
 
2013-01-10 05:37:45 PM  
When in Seattle, visit the Pinball Museum

A small entrance fee gets you free play on dozens of classic machines!
 
2013-01-10 05:53:57 PM  

quiotu: It's... ShowTime!!!


I'd never consider myself a pinhead, but that was a fun game back in the day. Another favorite from high school was Swords of Fury. It had the silliest dialog samples but that was part of the enjoyment. Sad thing was, I just wasn't that good at pinball.
 
2013-01-10 06:17:13 PM  
fatboy

i have a spirit of 76 and spanish eyes and i'll trade either for the klondike.
i have other em dog'ed route pins. spirit of 76 and spanish eyes are beautiful for route games. tax stickers and lock bar holes are the only disappoints
 
2013-01-10 07:55:48 PM  

zerkalo: When in Seattle, visit the Pinball Museum

A small entrance fee gets you free play on dozens of classic machines!


Charlie and Cindy are great, I have donated several games to the museum, including a Kiss that had been thru 2 fires, he has it up and running and is ready to put a NOS playfield on it.
 
2013-01-10 08:57:47 PM  

fat boy: zerkalo: When in Seattle, visit the Pinball Museum

A small entrance fee gets you free play on dozens of classic machines!

Charlie and Cindy are great, I have donated several games to the museum, including a Kiss that had been thru 2 fires, he has it up and running and is ready to put a NOS playfield on it.


Kick ass! I gotta get back there, it's been too long
wrists should just have healed up from the last trip
 
2013-01-10 09:33:33 PM  
Pinball Arcade for the Xbox360 is surprisingly good. I have Medieval Madness, Tales of Arabian Nights, Theater of Magic (my favorite), Fun House, Ripley's Believe it or Not, etc. You can also download some classic tables like Gorgar and Black Knight. The table physics are amazing and the realism is top notch. I encourage anybody who's a pinball nut to download the free demo. Link
 
2013-01-10 09:55:20 PM  
Revolutionized Pinball? By making just another pinball machine?

So the plan to revive pinball is by making just another pinball machine? Same old, no huge differences?

Ya, sounds like a great plan to go bankrupt
 
2013-01-10 09:59:21 PM  

wookiemonster: He's smartly realized that there is a market for new collectible pins, despite the high price. I paid about $2,000 for a Twilight Zone pinball about ten years ago. Now they're selling for $8,000. And it's not just because they're now collectibles, it's because they don't make good pinball games anymore. Stern has made some good games in the past ten years, but most of the games are commercial tie in crap..


Ugh, stupid pinball machine prices. Back when I didn't have enough money to blow on one, they were cheap enough that I could reasonably dream of someday owning an Addams Family and a Junkyard, and maybe even a third one, but now that I'm making decent money the farking things tripled in price so they're out of reach again.

I just want a goddamn Addams Family machine. I'd settle for just that.

/ Me and 100,000 other people.
 
2013-01-10 10:08:35 PM  
There's a pinball expo in Michigan every year. Admission price gets you unlimited play. I go for Haunted House pinball
 
2013-01-11 04:13:30 AM  

oh_please: It was way cool to play the old games I remember from former years...just don't expect them to be effectively playable.The Taxi has only one problem, the jackpot display is out. All ramps and the spinout are original and in excellent shape. Am still thinking about a new playfield. Flash has all new Rottondog boards and displays. Flippers need rebuilding as most system 6 machines do. Wizard and C.F. I bought in 1980. Twin Win was given to me, and I just picked up Klondike last month.If you haven't already, check out r/pinball on Reddit. There are some people there that may be able to help you with those, or at least point you in the right direction.


You should definitely give Retro Gaming Roundup a listen. Many of the shows have segments on restoring arcade and pinball machines, plus the forum is a fantastic place to ask any technical questions.
 
2013-01-11 07:37:33 AM  
WOZ looks good. Many of the Stern games strike me as weak. Why the hell are they still putting black rubbers on games? They just dirty up playfields.

I was spoiled rotten. A friend had a biatchin' gameroom and we had some awesome pins. We'd get them, fix them, shop them, play the crap out of them, sell them and get some more. Mostly Williams, a few Bally's. My first shop was Fish Tales... Black Knight, Comet, Funhouse, High Speed (both), Taxi, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Playboy, Gorgar, Theatre of Magic, Cirqus Voltaire, Star Wars Episode One...

Good times...
 
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