Friday, May 14, 2010

Pinball Wizardry!

Its Pinball Time!  Here are the "Pinballs In Residence" down at the Tiki-Bar Arcade in my garage.  I own 3, one of which works and all of which came to me through bartering, as is the case with most of these crazy games.  Just about everything down in the garage needed repair (or still does) when I picked it up.  I barter and beg for repairs from anyone with even the smallest bit of electrical knowledge.  My Dad has received many a home cooked meal & pan of brownies in exchange for his time & skills!  Now, without further adieu, *cranking up The Who's Pinball Wizard*.... 

you might wanna do the same as you read this blog:

Here they are!  


This pinball machine is made by Williams in 1969.  It is not fully functional at the moment.  It has for months sat in my garage untouched.  Finally about a month ago, I plugged it in and viola, lights--and some electrical action.  It could be a just a blown fuse, but I haven't had the time to explore the machine.  The inside of a pinball is a dark & mysterious place...

 Ohh...Spooky...and electrified!

The play field on this game is unique because it has 4 flippers and a roulette wheel spinner. 

When I took off the glass and messed around with the play field, I discovered that the spinner was working!.  Here it is in motion...Wheel Of Fortune!
There is a captive pinball inside the spinner that racks up points and activates special options.

The artwork on this game is really 60's Mod.  I really like it and when it is lit, it is so cool looking!

Pinball's eye view from under the glass!


 This pinball was made by Gottlieb in 1969.  It is really cool but non operational!  I got this one for free, in a funny round-about kind of way.  The previous owner had come to a yard sale of ours and had noticed the gumball machines & was selling (I had over 30 at one time...long story!) and asked if we were interested in other coin-op stuff.  At that point we said yeah, and opened the garage...he nearly passed out!  He lived in town and had worked for a shop that restores old Coke machines and had a few of his own and a pinball...this pinball.  He told us to come over to his house and check it out, so John & I went over there later that day.  The guy wanted to sell us the pinball but I wasn't really lookin' for another project...

The mechanism for the score board and part of the graphics are missing

...that wasn't the end of it. I had gone out of town and my roommate called me to say that a strange little man keeps showing up at the apartment trying to sell me a pinball.  When I get back into town, he finally catches me at home.  He says in broken English, you want pinball?  And I tell him NO, i don't want to buy the pinball...why don't you sell it on Craigslist!  He says, Craigs-what? So I brought him inside and showed him how to sell it on CL.  He then says, can you sell cars on there?  I say yup, and he says can we sell one right now?  --So basically, I listed a car for him right then and there and a week later he shows up again, with his brother who wants to sell a car.  So I list that one too, and yet another car!  Then out of gratitude, he just gives me the pinball.  I came home from work one day and there it was in my driveway!  

But it is not working, doesn't light up or anything.  But wait...maybe I can see what the problem is from here...
 There seems to be something stuck inside the game.....let me just open the door and take a peek...
Oh my!  That could explain a few things!


According to The Internet Pinball Database, Stampede was the first pinball Stern made after buying out Chicago Coin Machine Company in 1976.  The game came out in 1977 .  This was our first pinball and only actual working pinball!  I traded two arcade games for it, a 1990's racing game called Super Monaco and a bar-top (not cocktail table) of Krazy Kong, a Donkey Kong bootleg.  I had always wanted a pinball and this one was and is in great condition.  The guy we traded with had a couple other games and wanted to have something new to play.  Bartering old games for new is a great way to keep the arcade fresh.  

The game play is fun and you get a lot of balls in one game.  The artwork is fun too!
Excuse the reflections, I had to photograph this one during the day.  

  Sexy girls are a classic theme among pinball art

There is a lot of wear in this spot, that means it was well played!  The guy told us it came from the Oxnard Boys and Girls clubhouse.  Somehow he got it and a really nice pool table from them on the cheap.  Maybe the kids grew tired of them....replaced by X-box no doubt!  

The next game is an example of "You get what you pay for".... as you know I paid nothing for my sorta workin' (but really cool)  pinballs up there, but if you are willing to drop some can get something like this beauty!

Bride Of Pinbot
This game belongs to my brother Paulie up in Oregon.  It is, as I type, being shipped to him.  I located it down in Reseda and sent him a link to the CL ad to taunt him.  He wrote me back immediately saying
wanted it bad.  He wired me the money and my Dad & I went down and bought it.  I got to play it for about a month while the delivery details were being worked out.  This game is HOT!  I can see why he fell in love with it as a teenage boy, she is one helluva a sexy robot, nuff said.

The game play is fast and furious, the lights and sounds are AMAZING.  She even talks to you encouraging you to "Make her real".  The object of the game is to convert her from a robot to a real woman...teenage boys across America were swarming to play this one!

Here is her face.  There are 4 different faces that flip over during the different stages of converting her into a woman.  You have to do skill shots into her mouth and eyes to activate her.  Ehem, yeah..."skill shots", not sexual at all game designers! LOL!

The art on the play field and cabinet is just stunning.  Very detailed and colorful. 

Look at her frikkin' space boots!  

The game was made by Williams in 1991 and is a top rated pinball on IPDB.  While she was in my arcade, I played her as much as possible.  My neighbor Shane got really good at it, he transformed her into a woman almost everynight....oohh la la!  I'll miss it but I know that she'll have no better owner than my brother Paulie.  I just hope his actual girlfriend doesn't mind sharing him with Mrs. Pinbot!

So, is your head spinning yet?  I know mine is and there is still much to show from the Tiki Bar Arcade!  Stay  tuned!  

P.S.  As a total bonus, check out Welcome to Deluxville's blog for a rad give-away! 
She is giving away this amazing lamp to celebrate for 400th blog follower.  How sweet!
 Click here to check it out: Welcome to Deluxville


  1. Wow, fantastic! Amazing machines! I want to play lol...

    Your cat cracked me up! Always in everything, aren't they? =)

  2. Great, great post. You're lucky to score those machines, working or not. Around here everybody wants $500 and up for anything. I keep looking, because I have to have a 1960s or 70s pinball. So many fond memories of playing in my teen years. The robot game is very cool too, the "skill shots" are a powerful lure. But there's something about the older art work and simplicity of those machines that calls to me. Great cat shot too, I love it.
    And I see you're also pimpin that giveaway lamp. We're all shameless, aren't we? ;-)

  3. Way too cool! Love the kitty thrown into the works! I'm sure she was working on fixing that machine!

  4. oooooooh! I've always wanted a pinball machine - you're lucky to have so many.

  5. Wow- my head IS spinning. Thanks for the music though- I love the Who. I my soul mate was Keith Moon (the drummer) even though he died when I was 7.

  6. you are so lucky! how cool! it's so funny, as i was scrolling down i did a double take on the first pic where you sorta see ka kitty, then i was like, 'awww, it is a kitty!' such a cute baby. i love cats. we have one very verbal calico. we had a kitty that looked a lot like yours but we had to put her down 2 yrs ago.

  7. My cat Boo thinks your kitty is pretty silly for getting up there in that non-working pinball machine. He says it makes MUCH more sense to jump up on kitchen tables and upholstered chairs where you can get yelled at more often. I would also buy those pinballs even if they didn't work just for their extreme beauty.

  8. That kitty in the pinball is my neighbor's cat, he is a little punk-weed. He gets into everything and especially loves the garage, there is so much to mess with. His name is The Professor and I believe he has earned his doctorate in being a pain in the ASS!

  9. BRIDE of PINBOT!! Oh how many quarters I pumped into that pinball machine as a kid. This collection makes me want to form my own home arcade Sooooo bad! (A fantasy I've had since I was a kid). Very nice collection!!

  10. I was wondering if I could get some hi-res pictures of the Stampede play field?


I Heart Comments too!