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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An enormous database focusing on pinball machines and other arcade games from the 1930s and on, from a collector wh… [read review or visit site]

Internet Pinball Database

Internet Pinball Database

For an in-depth look at thousands of different pinball machines, head over to the Internet Pinball Database, where … [read review or visit site]

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International Arcade Museum

International Arcade Museum

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Elliot Avedon Games Museum

Elliot Avedon Games Museum

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Electronic Plastic

Electronic Plastic

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Recent News: Pinball Machines

Source: Google News

Rumer has it: Brit songbird returns with vibrant new album, March 27th

I'm maybe a little bit too old. I'm just not that kind of performer. But I do like disco music. On Into Colour we were trying very hard to keep true to being authentic to whatever song form we were going for, whether it was the power ballad “Better...Read more

Happy Hour
Urban Milwaukee Dial, March 26th

The wood interior is decorated with vintage photos and posters of the Brewers, Packers, Ireland, Guinness, Miller, Harley, and some sports memorabilia. They have shuffleboard, darts, Golden Tee arcade, a South Park pinball machine, four gambling games, ...Read more

Classic arcade games find a home at Woodlands-area business, March 25th

Most of the games at The Game Preserve are, on average, 25 to 30 years old. One pinball game there was made ... Additionally, the arcade offers various pinball machines and skeeball, which Key said is a customer favorite. All of the games are on free...Read more

Pinball wizards coming to festival in Frisco
Dallas Morning News, March 25th

The 2015 Texas Pinball Festival is returning to Frisco. The event will feature a variety of pinball tournaments for kids and adults; vendors selling parts, supplies, equipment and memorabilia; and more than 400 vintage and new pinball machines and...Read more

Midwest Gaming Classic to bring plenty of fun to Sheraton
Brookfield Elm Grove Now, March 24th

Some highlights of the event will include the chance to chat with the hosts of PS Nation, the longest running PlayStation podcast, a bus trip from the hotel down to a Brewers game on Friday night, and an arcade hall including 200 different pinball...Read more

Pinball paradise lives on in Budapest basement
Business Insider, March 22nd

In the basement of a nondescript apartment house, Balazs Palfi displays a unique collection of over 140 working machines that has turned into pilgrimage site for pinball enthusiasts. "Video games cannot replace them," insisted the 42-year-old Hungarian...Read more

Arcade bars in Triangle offer cocktails and vintage video games
News & Observer, March 19th

The first thing to know about the combination bar/arcades showing up around the Triangle – temples where you can get your drink on and play such throwback money-suckers as “Joust,” “Donkey Kong Jr.” and that Playboy pinball machine that excited you a ...Read more

Halifax's pinball wizards
The Coast Halifax, March 11th

"It all started with a wrestling belt,” says Danny Baldwin, owner of Halifax Vintage Arcade in his corner store, Daily Sweets (2860 Oxford Street). Two years ago, he traded his WWF belt on Kijiji for a videogame, which turned into a pinball machine...Read more