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 instantaneously. They also added a cacophony of sound effects to the machines repertoire of bells and whistles. Video games in video arcades 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

Renting Condos Is Fun and Games
Wall Street Journal, July 30th

The arcade room in Cielo Apartment Living in Austin, Texas, features mostly throwback titles such as “Frogger,” “Pinball” and “DigDug,” said Heidi Kormann, vice president of JPI, the building's developer. “Big Buck HD,” a hunting game, is one of the...Read more

Hot-spots along streetcar
Arizona Daily Wildcat, July 29th

Make your way down Fourth Avenue and jump on the pinball machine bandwagon. With over 30 different-themed, classic pinball machines, enjoy a night of old-school fun while “preserving the art and tradition of pinball,” said Owner Robert Noble. The...Read more

9 things to do if you're alone in Las Vegas — PHOTOS
Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 27th

Pinball's a one-man game. No need to take anyone with you. Row after row of new and vintage pinball machines make it easy to waste an afternoon there. It's open at 1610 E. Tropicana Ave. from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays, midnight on weekends...Read more

Full tilt: The expanded Asheville Pinball Museum
Asheville Citizen-Times, July 27th

It all started with one machine, a vintage Buccaneer, a birthday gift from his wife. Soon, one machine turned into three, and that's when T.C. DiBella heard about Seattle's Pinball Museum, a concept he thought would work perfectly in Asheville. "So I...Read more

Pinball in a train car? Strasburg Rail Road adds arcade that moves as you play, July 24th

"Somebody said along the way, 'would it be neat to put some pinball machines on the train?'" said Steve Barrall, the Strasburg Rail Road stationmaster. "Initially it was probably a little bit of a joke, but the more we talked about it, the more we...Read more

The Konami Code for vintage gamers, July 23rd

“It started with pinball. I would go to pinball shows and see 'Oh, these are worth money now!' So I started thinking after a few years, 'Oh, this is going to happen to video games too!' ” Lewin would buy the games for cheap prices and then collect them...Read more

Historic Strasburg Rail Road Launches New Attraction
PR Newswire (press release), July 21st

Housed inside an authentically restored wooden passenger car, the Pinball train will feature 12 vintage pinball machines, allowing passengers to test their skill (and luck) maneuvering the machine as the massive steam train chugs to Paradise, PA, and back...Read more

New Balance Celebrates Vintage Pinball Games With Latest Releases
Sneaker News, July 10th

First there was the whole Guitar aesthetic as a part of their Connoisseur's Collection and then more recently the running brand brought back the New Balance 1600 with a random pinball machine inspiration. The first installment utilized all of the...Read more