If you go to my
page you can view the insides of an EM game with a couple comparison photos
of the insides of an Electronic game. Imagine that they removed all of the
"circuit board" components from the bottom of an EM game box. Where would they put them? That's right, on a modern circuit
board that could be stored in the Backbox so that playfield crap wouldn't fall on them. That one thing was a major
change in Pinball games. That means DC power rather than AC power you find in the old games. It also means an
intelligent display (dot matrix or gas tubes) with lots of flashing lights, strobing lights, sound
chips that enable the game to talk to you while you play, ramps,
multi-balls, and habitrails added to the
Cost Is Not An Option (yeah, right)!
I have a few newer games such as Medieval
Madness, Twilight Zone, and Theatre of Magic, but I've leaned in the
direction of buying Solid State games that need to be saved. At one time I
owned the top 20 DMD games (or was it 40 DMD games?) when I got on that kick, but
then my pinhead buddy Jim Swenson shopped a Joker Poker of mine and that
sent me down the Solid State path which I found myself occupying rather
seriously for a while. I think my wife Chris is getting very nervous because I started by paying around $500
for the first pair of electronic games that needed to be restored, and she probably sees another league up of money walking out
the door. In any case, they are in decent condition restored and I'm very glad that I bought
them. Right now I have over $50,000 "invested" in Pinball games (yeah, right!). I
won't tell you the total investment since it is getting out of hand and if Chris reads
this page she will kill me.
The descriptions below provide
some history of the games, or other details relevant to how I got the games,
and the links will take you to a page showing pictures of the games and a
flyer picture if one exists (usually does).
Sometimes I have more pictures than others because I bought a game, set it
up, then took it back down to free up space for another game before I got
around to taking pictures. Since some of the games are standing on end in the basement
rather than being set up for play, as I rotate them in to the playing lineup
I'll take pictures and update the web pages where pictures are lacking. If
you find a game listed that doesn't link to a web page, it's because I
haven't gotten around to creating the page yet.
Steve's Electronic Games
Banzai Run - I fell in love
with this motorcycle theme game after playing it at a John Graves open house. John
ended up selling some games and I bought this one along with Dr. Who and
Black Knight. Still need to shop the game and add new decals that
are worn off. Williams only made 1,750 of these games in May of
1988 and it was the first and only game to have a second playfield in
the upper backbox. I hated to get rid of this game, but sold it to
fellow pinhead Steve Dankanich in 2014 as part of a "thinning the herd"
Black Hole - I bought this game
on an eBay auction for $247 which seems quite cheap. The game had
some stuff missing of course and I scoured around until I could find the
various missing parts. The game also had some weird hacks due to a
wife that got angry with her husband and decided to teach him a lesson
by clipping wires she could reach through the coin door. They
ended up getting a divorce and that's how I got the game. I
include some pictures of the game so you can see what I encountered.
I ended up selling the game to local pinhead Steve for what I had in it
so I never did the restoration on the game.
- A fun early solid state game with speech from the 80s that is a
classic collectable game. Williams made 13,075 of these games in
November of 1980. I've bought and sold another 3 games over the
years so the game sells rather easily. This was the first game to have a "Magna-Save" along
with a bonus ball where the player with the highest score won some
additional free play time. The game has two buttons on each side
with one of the two buttons on each side used to enable the magna-save
(when lit). It was the first game to ever have a split level
playfield (upper and lower playfield).
Bobby Orr Power Play - I bought
this 1977 Bally game from Kim (Mr. 68) for 400 bucks. The back glass has some flaking here and there, but it isn't that bad.
There was the usual slingshot wear that was down to the playfield but some touching up of this area will turn it in to a decent game.
My buddy Bally Tim had one that I got to play so I restored the
playfield and clear-coated it.
- This is yet another Gottlieb System 1 game that I bought from Kim
Mitchell. The game was made in November of 1978 and there is evidence that
Charlie's Angels was the first of the System 1 games to be made as a solid
state game with a production run of 7,950 units. There's also an EM
version of the game. It was designed by Allen Edwall with artwork by
Gordon Morison. It features two flippers, two pop bumpers, a 5-bank and
3-bank of drop targets. There was some very minor flaking of the flesh
colored artwork in front of the girls' faces, but other than that, pretty
clean. It came with an original CPU board, power supply, and driver board.
I was able to get the CPU board to work so that saves on buying a
replacement board. The power supply was acting up and discovered that
there were several cold solder joints so pulled it apart and replaced the
old capacitors and resoldered all the connectors plus the power transistor
and the -12 volt regulator. Everything was there on the game, so I
restored it and have it set up for playing. It's a rather odd game
when compared to other System 1 games and you don't see one very often.
- Cleopatra -
A fun early Gottlieb System 1 solid state game that came to me as a game almost ready for parting out due to its condition.
This is a fun game that features a set of targets in front of the flippers. Basically you try to go down all the lanes at the top
of the playfield as well as also knocking down the targets which correspond to a color that matches the upper lanes. They put a
target right behind the center drop targets which is worth 5,000 points, but trying to hit this target to boost your points many
times ends up with a ball straight down the middle as it rebounds towards the flippers. Nice touch trying to entice the player to
rack up points the dangerous way. I would put Cleopatra in the top 4 of the System 1 games with Sinbad being the best or tied
with Joker Poker. There's a 4 player EM version of the game as well as a 2 player version named Pyramid. I no longer have this game since
I did a trade with my pinhead buddy Ryan for his Pro Football EM game and his Stingray SS game.
I traded the Stingray back to Ryan in another game deal but I still have
the Pro Football. I've left the page up due to the photos that show the restoration effort I
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
- Close Encounters is another Gottlieb System 1 solid state game which uses electronic scoring sounds rather
than chimes. It too was in somewhat sad shape, but I restored it to a nice player. This is an odd game in the sense that either you like it,
or you don't. I know others (this is you Jim) that think the game sucks, but many of my pinhead buddies think it's a great game to play. I'm
with them on this game. When I first started playing it I thought it was somewhat boring, but then I realized just how hard it is to get a
very high score on it and the tricks to racking up a good score and found it to be a deceptively entertaining game. I like this game and
it's a game that is often played when company arrives. Note that there is a
more rare 4 player EM version of this game that uses the
electronic sound board rather than chimes.
Island - I got my Gameplan
Old Coney Island from a former friend and VP at
Qwest. He had the game in his garage and hadn't really played it in quite a while so when he found out I was collecting pinball games he
asked me if I'd take it off his hands (the game was free). I still have the game and it works but is has a few problems.
The game is actually set up but it's been in a restoration phase for
around 2 years now. The backglass has
some significant peeling so it isn't the best example I've seen of this game
(although you may never actually encounter this game anywhere).
There were 3,000 games made in 1979 by Gameplan. After working on this
game over a period of years and not quite finishing things, I decided to
get the game out of the lineup and just gave it to fellow pinhead Basil
who is very familiar with Gameplan games.
Eight Ball -
I really like this
early solid state game and find it to be right up there with Joker Poker
for fun. Tough game to master and plays very fast. Clay and I
used to play this
game every weekend until I traded my game to fellow pinhead Abrie.
That's OK, I have another Eight Ball that I got in a trade with Bally
Tim that was in even better shape and included a NOS playfield as part
of the deal (the playfield is still in its original shipping container
from Bally). Bally made 20,230 games of these games in
September of 1977. Although the game is an early solid state game,
the sounds use no speech board but instead drive chimes as found in
older EM games. You can't go wrong owning one of these games.
Eight Ball Deluxe Limited Edition
- Well, I had an Eight Ball, so therefore I needed an Eight Ball Deluxe
to complete the collection. I ended up getting the Limited Edition
game only because it was available locally. The Limited Edition
has a smaller backbox but plays the same as the Eight Ball Deluxe.
Bally made 2,388 of these games in December of 1982. Some
collectors don't care for the smaller backbox compared to the full
backbox version of Eight Ball Deluxe. The original Eight Ball game
was so popular Bally decided to make additional runs with the Limited
Edition being the last run.
Fathom - This is another game I
got in a trade with my friend Bally Tim. I traded him a nice
looking Guns N' Roses for a Fathom, and the return of a Fish Tales game
that was part of another trade. I used to own the Fish Tales and
ended up getting it right back after only having it gone for a few
weeks. I sold the Fish Tales rather quickly for $1200 but still
have the Fathom which I don't intend to part with. Since we made
the trade, Fathom has really shot up in value so I ended up with a
pretty good deal on the trade. The game was not shopped when I got
it (although it was definitely playable), but since then I have completely torn the
game down and cleaned and replaced parts and also removed the mylar that
left behind a beautiful playfield. Tim was nervous about me removing the
mylar but it turned out fine. Loose inserts had caused lifting
under the mylar and the mylar was pretty worn so I decided to remove it.
Turned out great and it's a favorite game to play. I also bought a
full set of new plastics for the game in April of 2007.
Fireball Classic - I paid
$1,000 for this game that I bought from a local collector. I had
played the original Fireball game and found it to be quite fun so I
thought I would buy the remake of the game that is an electronic version
made in 1985. I ended up selling this game for what I had in it in
2014 to thin the herd.
- I started looking for this game when my friend Jeff was asking
about one back in 1998. I looked for years until I finally
found not one game, but two games in late 2004. I fixed up one
and gave it to Jeff as a present, and I got
the other one which I still have set up for play. I have some pictures posted regarding the restoration
effort I undertook to get Jeff's game in great shape. Flash is the
first game to have a constant background sound during play and the first
game of any manufacturer to have flash lamps. Williams made 19,505
games in January of 1979. Sold this game to a fellow pinhead in 2014
to thin the herd.
- I bought this game from my friend Tim (Bally Tim) and it
too is a collectible game. Fits nice with games of a similar era
such as Flash and Black Knight. Gorgar was the first production
"talking" Pinball game that said 7 words. The speech seems
primitive compared to today's games, but for the time, having any speech
at all was pretty impressive. Williams produced 14,000 Gorgar
games in December of 1979.
- I bought a Grand Lizard back in 1994 for nothing more than a
parts box. The playfield looked chewed up at the time but little
did I know that almost all Grand Lizards have significant playfield
wear. My game isn't as bad as many others I've seen. After
playing a couple other Grand Lizards, I've decided that I will restore
the game rather than use it as a parts box since everything is
there, just a bad MPU board. I found a spare MPU
board back in 2001 that I bought since the board in this game looked as
though it had been on fire. The power supply board had been
hard-wired which ultimately caused the MPU board to burn up. I
decided to repair the power supply board in early 2007 and at least I
have that part of the game done. The game is still standing on end
waiting to be restored but not sure when I'll get around to doing it.
I'll be sure and take lots of restoration pictures showing the before
and after state of the game when I get around to it. Unfortunately,
I ended up selling this game to fellow pinhead Steve Dankanich in 2014 in order
to thin the herd. After digging it out of the games on end, I was kind
of sorry I sold it since it really wasn't in that bad a shape.
- One of my favorite
games, Joker Poker is also one of the oldest of my Electronic games. An
electro-mechanical (EM) version of the game was built by Gottlieb as
well as this being one of their early entries in to electronic games.
The interesting thing is that I bought this game as a parts box for 50
bucks since nothing worked and most all of the pins were either missing
or corroded. Jim took painstaking care to replace each and every edge
connector and pins as well as replacing all the targets, pop bumpers,
new coil tubes, and even the motherboard with a Ni-Wumpf board. I play
this game virtually every week and never get tired of it. I have
actually gone months without playing Medieval Madness (huh?) but never
Joker Poker. I just keep coming back since I can never master the
game. Clay and I will usually play Joker Poker, and
then whichever game I've recently bought since it will be new to the
lineup. Funny that we rarely ever play my newer games that are
actually more popular than these old guys. Even still, we love
these old guys probably better than the new ones so they get played the
most. Nothing like whacking a drop target to make you feel good and
Joker Poker is loaded with drop target shots. The game is
virtually unbeatable since you can play good one night and then not
approach your old score for 6 months or more. I bought 6
more Joker Pokers in the last 10 years and have restored and sold them
for some pretty good money ($1800 was the least I got, $4,000 was the
most and I never paid more than $600 for any of the games when I bought
them). Gottlieb made 9,280
solid state games in August of 1978. There's also an electro-mechanical (EM) version
of Joker Poker that looks the same but doesn't have the solid state
electronics in it. Only 820 EM games were made so they are pretty
rare. Personally, I like the solid state version better.
two-player game that I picked up from Jim Swenson who had shopped the
game before trading it for my Star Trek The Next Generation. Jim ended up finding
another game in California and traded me the one I have and keeping the
game from California. When you play this game you stand across
from each other looking down on the game and play it similar to a
cocktail table game. Kind of a simple game but another one that
keeps you coming back since there is a strategy to causing your opponent
to get less points by your shots. Unlike other Pinball games,
you have some interaction with the other player by how you play on your
side of the game rather than just trying to top the other players score
where you had no real involvement. Williams only made 402 of these
games in April of 1983 and it's the first head-to-head Pinball game in a
flat table format. The game is rare to find due to the low number
of units made but I know of five of them here in Colorado. Another
truly collectible game.
Another classic game that is very
fun to play. I traded my Tales Of The Arabian Nights for the KISS
and a Flash Gordon and don't regret it one bit. Very fun and quite
collectable, probably more so than the TOTAN. Well, maybe. Bally made 17,000
KISS games in June of 1979. It's still known as one of the most
collectible games that can be owned not only for the celebrity theme,
but it's fun to play.
Mata Hari -
I got this game as part of a trade
with Bally Tim for my Fish Tales and his Mata Hari plus two extra
playfields (one still in its original shipping box). Tim thinks
the game worked at one time but was disappointed in the playfield
touchup that was done before he bought the game on eBay. He was
pretty disgusted when he saw the level of work that was done to hide
playfield wear and bought a couple extra playfields including a new one
that has never been on a game or out of its shipping container for
that matter. I plan to restore this game but we'll see how it goes.
Sold this game to fellow pinhead Kevin.
Medieval Madness -
Thanks go to Mike for selling me
this brand new game that has never been on a route (his personal game
that was new in the box).
The sale included the box the game came in since Mike had only
owned it for a few weeks. I've had many hours of fun playing this number one rated game, and the game
itself is in absolute perfect shape with no flaws at all. I have
never seen another Medieval Madness game that is in as good a shape as mine
(somewhat hard game to find in great shape due to their popularity).
Williams made 4,016 of this very popular game in June of 1997. It
features castles that "blow up" as well as trolls that pop out of the
playfield inviting you to knock the heck out of them.
This is another game I really like and I ended up restoring it. The game box was damaged on the butt-end
where it had been sitting in some water at one time, so I had to
replace the butt-end of the game and paint it to make it look like the
rest of the game. Bally only made 3,250 Medusa games in February
of 1981. This game is highly collectible for a number or reasons -
beautiful backglass artwork, digital displays in the playfield, upper
zipper flippers, "metamorphic" drop targets, and a player controlled
mini-post between the bottom flippers that is used to knock the ball
back in to play. Hated to get rid of this somewhat rare game in such
nice condition, but sold it to fellow pinhead Greg to thin the herd.
Paragon - I
paid $400 for a working Paragon in 2004. The backglass is in
pretty good shape for a Paragon which is known to have "lifting" of
artwork. This is a wide body game that is very fun to play.
The center of the playfield has rather extensive playfield wear, hence
the price of only 400 dollars. I've played the game so I know it
works, however, it needs some serious restoration work done on it to
bring it back to what I would call good condition. The playfield
artwork needs to be touched up, all the inserts need to be re-glued
since they are all loose, and the game box needs to be repainted since
the red is now pink. We'll see when I get around to doing it.
Paragon was Bally's first wide body game and the first to use inline
drop targets. It was made in June of 1979 and they released 9,120
games. Sold this game to fellow pinhead Steve Dankanich in 2014 to
thin the herd.
Pinball Pool - Yet another Gottlieb System 1 solid state
game from 1979, Pinball Pool has plenty of targets to hit with a pool theme. I bought my first Pinball Pool game which
required some repair and then found out that Kim (Mr. 68) had a game that was home use only (HUO). His game was beautiful
and looked just like it did the day it was made. It had battery damage as many of the System 1 games have if the NiCad
battery isn't changed out in time, so he replaced the CPU board along with the power supply, driver board, and sound
board with a Pascal Janin board that has all four boards in one board. I don't think I'll ever sell this game due
to it being rare in the shape it is today (like brand new).
Playboy - I bought this 1978 Bally game from
Bally Tim (Tim Leslie) for 500 bucks as a project game. There's a suspicion the game works but I haven't had time
to check it out yet. It had significant playfield wear as so many of them do, so I'll have to either do a lot
of playfield touchups or look for a better playfield. The backglass features Hugh Hefner with playmates Patti
McGuire and Sondra Theodore. This is a fun game to play, hence all that playfield wear when you find one.
Sold this game to fellow pinhead Kevin to thin the herd since I wasn't
doing anything with it.
Sinbad - I bought this 1978 Gottlieb game from Kim Mitchell (Mr. 68)
after searching for nearly two and a half years for one. They are quite collectable and can be hard to
find if looking for a nice specimen. The game has a near perfect backglass and playfield and the cabinet shows no signs
of wear. Kim did me a favor selling me the game in the condition it was in since he could've surely gotten twice as much
for the game. It has an original CPU board that had some minor repairs where the battery leaked, and it came with a
Rottendog power supply that appeared to be new. It also came with new plastics that still had the protective coating
on them as well as a few new drop targets. Given that the playfield has no wear marks on it and Kim polished it up
to look like brand new, my suspicion is that it had a low number of plays on it before it was taken down. Once they
stored it with the old ni-cad battery in it, the battery leaked and caused some traces to be eaten away which kept
the game from working for years. My suspicion is that someone was stealing drop targets off of it for another game
since there were a variety of drop targets that were probably added by the previous owner that worked in a Pinball
supply store. The game has almost no wear at all so it's hard to believe the targets were broken due to usage.
Kim had done an excellent job cleaning the game up, and all I had to do was buy all new targets and replace them.
Star Trek - I bought
this new in the box (NIB) 2013 Stern game from Trent at Tilt Amusement,
great seller by the way, in June of 2015 (they were still manufacturing
the game, it was that popular). Lots of cool stuff in the game and the
first new game I've bought since 2002. This is a very good game and I
bought it because I think it has staying power and will hold its value
for years to come. Pinhead buddy Abrie helped me set it up since you
don't often get to set up a NIB game.
Supersonic - I bought
this 1979 Bally game from fellow pinhead Gooch (Dan Gutchess) as a project game. I also got a very nice loaded playfield from him.
All of the parts are there and the playfield in the game has the normal wear which I will attempt to touch up
before I consider doing a playfield swap. The spare playfield has almost no wear at all
but would require a playfield swap due to wires being cut. I ended up
selling the game to fellow pinhead Dean Brewer in 2015 to thin the herd.
Theatre Of Magic -
Like new, this game is one of the
most beautiful games I've come across, and it's my particular favorite,
as well as my buddy Bob's. This is another John Popadiuk game and
shows his fine artistic prowess. Williams/Bally made 6,600 of
these units in March of 1995. There is a magic trunk on the
playfield that rotates and features a "levitating" ball effect that
begins multi-ball. Unlike most games the upper lanes are viewed by
looking at a mirror. The game also features a "spirit ring" that
captures the ball from the left side of the playfield and releases it on
the ramp on the right side.
Twilight Zone -
Lots of stuff to this
game. Don't know if I will ever master it. I bought it and
the Indiana Jones together sight unseen and it too was absolutely
filthy. I've seen cabinets in better shape, but the playfield on this
game is nearly perfect due to the dirt that protected it. Folks
should take better care of their games although their loss was my gain
in this case. Williams made 15,235 games in April of 1993.
It has more patents on it due to the numerous things that can be done
than any game made to date. It's the only game that has a ceramic
"Power Ball" that is 20% lighter than a steel Pinball and plays much
Viking - Viking
is another game I got in trade with Bally Tim that involved my Scared
Stiff game. Turns out that I
love Viking and doubt it will be a game I part with anytime soon.
Viking was made by Bally in December of 1979. They produced 2,600
units of the game. The artwork was done by Kevin O'Connor who
states that he designed the artwork for this game based on reading Frans
Gunner Bengtsson's "The Long Ships" at the time. The backglass is
O'Connor's vision of King Harald's Christmas feast. The character
in green (with a beard) to the left of the fighters is a self-portrait
by Kevin. Brook Shields (popular at the time) is drawn as a background
character on the right.
Graphics & Text © Steve Corley
pictures you see were created by Steve Corley unless otherwise
Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited