Throughout much of the 20th century, the names Bally, Gottlieb, and Williams have been pinball deities to pinball wizards worldwide. These were the big three companies, whose pinball machines were the precursors of today’s video games.

Gottlieb was founded in Chicago in 1927. One of its first tabletop pinball machines from 1931 was called Baffle Ball, which sold for $17.50 and gave players a half-dozen-or-so chances (depending on how the game was set) to get a ball into a hole for just a penny. A Williams game from 1952 called Horsefeathers allowed two players to play side-by-side, as balls bouncing on bumpers advanced mechanical horses on the game’s backbox. As for Bally, its Caperville game from 1966 featured stylized spies in an underwater world of angular heroes and heroines.

In the 1970s, the electromechanical pinball machines of the 1950s and 1960s were replaced by solid-state machines, which could compute scores almost instantaneously. They also added a cacophony of sound effects to the machines repertoire of bells and whistles. Video games in the 1980s almost wiped out pinball games entirely, but a series of lucrative licensing deals with movie producers in the 1990s made pinball popular again. In 1991, for example, Bally’s Midway division manufactured a machine based on the film "The Addams Family." It remains the best-selling pinball machine of all time, with more than 20,000 units sold.


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Recent News: Pinball Machines

Source: Google News

Berkshires After Dark: Barcade is retro fun for adults
Berkshire Eagle, July 23rd

By 10:30 p.m. there were about 12 people there, including our group of five, playing at two pool tables, a ping-pong table, several arcade consoles, two skee ball machines and a pinball machine. All off this happened as new groups entered and ordered ...Read more

Pinball Machine Desk: Insert Coin to Work
Technabob (blog), July 21st

Tim turns all kinds of old things into furniture. For this project, he used a vintage Charlie's Angels pinball machine. He removed the electrical components and cut a hole in one side. Then he added a drawer, a cabinet, and new sheet metal flashing. Of...Read more

Putting guilt to the side and moving forward
Alton Telegraph, July 19th

The thoughts that flowed through my mind during this traumatic time were uncanny. It was like a rush of bits and pieces of unfinished thoughts, pinging around like the ball in an old pinball machine, too fast and too many for my taxed brain to comprehend...Read more

A Landmark Game
FWWeekly, July 16th

Video game cabinets are pricy enough to maintain, and if you want to put an old pinball machine in your new bar, I hope you know a good repairman, because those parts are expensive, and all those little rubber bands are a huge pain in the ass to replace...Read more

Hipster Throwback Bars Can't Help My Quarter-Life Crisis
Munchies_ Food by VICE, July 8th

I went back inside to order another drink then tried to play the vintage pinball machine which, sadly, was not actually playable. It was only a decoration, as were the vintage framed beer cans, and the vintage record player. That itself became...Read more

Guns, pipe bomb, crossbow, found inside pinball machine at Conder home
ABC Online, July 6th

With the help of a sniffer dog, the items were found wrapped in blankets and plastic bags and hidden inside the vintage, 1970s-era machine. ACT Policing's Tuggeranong and Woden criminal investigations teams executed a search warrant at the home in ...Read more

Brothers test downtown potential with retro pinball arcade
Suburban Life Publications, June 25th

The business will feature 25 to 30 vintage pinball machines, as well as a few 1990s video arcade games and an electro-mechanical driving machine. “It's nostalgic for people who played in the 1970s and '80s when arcades were in their heydays,” said...Read more

Pinball to be made officially legal in Oakland, California, after 80-year ban
The Independent, June 25th

purchase from an establishment such as a fast food chain. The old pinball law is still upheld in other US cities, however, such as Beacon in New York, which had to close its pinball museum and arcade in 2010 because of the ban. A 1958 law review...Read more