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

And the Cannes Film Festival 2015 winners are..., May 24th

I really tried to ask, 'What would that character really buy?'" Temime said. Suits .... For "As Long As You Love Me," however, he brought in backup dancers and interacted with the models while moving around a giant makeshift pinball machine. "It's like...Read more

Hopewell hall of fame, museum celebrates retro arcade games
Tribune-Review, May 22nd

The site is a nonprofit museum, a hall of fame for games and one of the world's biggest working arcades, with more than 400 vintage arcade games and pinball machines in 10,500 square feet of space in a former Dollar General store. There are 1,200 more ...Read more

Kiss Pinball by Stern is a definitive Rock n Roll vintage replica of the 1978 ...
Venture Capital Post, May 7th

Iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Famers KISS have a newly modernized vintage pinball machine, reworked from the original 1978 Bally game which stayed in circulation for well into the 80s. IGN reports that the new KISS Pinball machine was made as a vintage ...Read more

Stern Announces KISS Pinball Machine
IGN, May 5th

Their makeup, their look, it's just cool for pinball." This was likely the reason that Bally released their popular KISS pinball machine in 1978. Stern's new KISS machine actually reflects the vintage '78 game in its layout, featuring the same pop...Read more

Theater: "Salvage" twists like a corkscrew at Performance Network
The Daily Tribune, May 1st

The shelves and display cases are filled with a carefully selected array of collectibles such as old Pez dispensers, classic movie posters for “Frankenstein” and “Godzilla,” a vintage pinball machine, and other memorabilia that would make a true...Read more

This R2-D2 Pinball Machine Coffee Table Is Possibly The Droid You're Looking ...
UPROXX (press release) (blog), April 30th

If you're one of those people who laments the lack of a flat space to sit your beer while you're playing vintage pinball machines… This is probably not what you're looking for. However, if you want a flat space and simply enjoy pushing buttons and...Read more

Stern Pinball moves old-school machines to new facility
Crain's Chicago Business, April 29th

Stern Pinball, one of the last manufacturers of old-school pinball machines, is relocating to a larger facility to help accommodate recent growth. The company announced today that it moved to a nearly 110,000-square-foot facility at 2001 Lunt Ave. in...Read more

Playwright Joseph Zettelmaier off his game in 'Salvage'
Detroit Free Press, April 29th

How hard would it be for them to fire up that vintage pinball machine? The set, designed and stocked by Phill Harmer and Jennifer Maiseloff, reminded me of one of those unopened action figures over Jason's counter: cool to look at, but not much fun to...Read more