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.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

PinballHQ.com

PinballHQ.com

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]

Museum of Talking Boards

Museum of Talking Boards

Prepare to enter the strange world of Ouija, the Wonderful Talking Board game, which captured imaginations en masse… [read review or visit site]

International Arcade Museum

International Arcade Museum

This site boasts more than 13,000 pages of educational content on arcade and coin-op collecting, including innumera… [read review or visit site]

Elliot Avedon Games Museum

Elliot Avedon Games Museum

This in-depth University of Waterloo virtual exhibit showcases vintage games in a variety of categories, from class… [read review or visit site]

Electronic Plastic

Electronic Plastic

From Tomy to Coleco to Mattel and Nintendo, check out this collection of over 660 handheld and tabletop videogames … [read review or visit site]

Pong Story

Pong Story

David Winter's tribute to early video games, and to Ralph H. Baer, 'inventor of the video game.' Offers a detailed … [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Medieval Madness Pinball Machine - Many Upgrades - Paypal - Low ReserveRare "friendship 7" Pinball Machine, Beautiful Bright 1962 Colors, Ready To PlayStern 'nugent' - Ted Nugent Pinball Machine - No ReserveTales From The Crypt Pinball Super Clean, Shopped And Not Overpriced At $5000Sharpshooter Vintage Pinball Machine 1979Kiss Pinball PartsBally 1976 Captain Fantastic Elton John Pinball Machine1981 Nos Bally Centaur Pinball PlayfieldTwin Cities Shuffle Alley Bowler By Williams / United (non Pinball)Older Coca Cola Soda Pop Coke Pinball Machine Really Works Mint In BoxLethal Weapon 3 Pinball Shopped And Working!!!Star Wars Trilogy Arcade By Sega 1997. Game Plays Flawlessly, Looks GreatBlack Pyramid Pinball Machine! Working Condition!!!1979 Bally Harlem Globetrotters Pinball Machine 100% Working Bally Bobby Orr Power Play Pinball Machine Everthing Works Fine Nice PinballRescue 911 Pinball Needs Repairs!!!!!!!!Vintage Bally Pinball/arcade Gaming Coin Door With Coin SlotsSega Pinball Machine Mpu Board # 520-5136-43-03 Parts Or Repair Clean BoardWilliams Bally Wpc Pinball Machine Mpu Board # A-12742-50017 Parts Or RepairGottlieb Woodrail Ball Plunger And Beehive PartsChichago Coin Bowling MachineWilliams Bally Wpc Pinball Machine Driver Board # A-12697-1 Parts Or RepairWilliams Bally Wpc Pinball Machine Mpu Board # A-12742-50002 Parts Or RepairWhirlwind Ww Pinball Plastics Set - New - Mostly CompleteWilliams Bally Wpc Pinball Machine Mpu Board # A-12742-50023 Parts Or RepairKiss By Bally 1979 Original Pinball Machine Promo Sales Flyer Brochure W/ DamageWilliams Bally Wpc Pinball Machine Driver Board # A-12697-3 Parts Or RepairNos Disney Girls Stern Tron Pinball TransliteWilliams Bally Wpc Pinball Machine Driver Board # A-12697-1 Parts Or RepairBally/williams Midway Safe Cracker Pinball Promotion Token Display Token Pin Gottlieb Pinball Back Glass | GalaxieKiss Pinball PartsWico Af-tor 1984 Arcade Pinball Machine Mint Rare Road WarriorOld Chicago Pinball Machine (so. California)Stern / Sega White Star Pinball Cpu Board, 520-5300-00Lot Of 4 Dmd Dot Matrix Display 128x32 Pinball Machine Bally Williams Stern WorkTwilight Zone Screen Printed Cabinet Decal Set No Reserve! Final Sets!1988 Very Rare Marilyn Williams Taxi Pinball FlyerRobocop 1/6 Pinball Table Model Hot Toys Sideshow Ed-209 Alex Murphy1965 Gottliebs Buckaroo Complete Backbox With Backglass Tales Of The Arabian Nights Pinball Cabinet Art Set - Genuine ReproductionStern Mpu-200 Pinball Game Board - Lightning Rom Set. Beautiful & Original Williams 1980 Black Knight Pinball Machine Backbox Back BoxData East Pinball Machine Digital Sound Board # 520-5002-01 Working Clean BoardVintage Gottlieb Pinball Machine Early 1960's Lockdown BarClose Encounters Of The Third Kind Pinball Machine Playfield Made By Gottlieb Co1992 Nos Data East Hook Pinball PlayfieldStern / Sega White Star Pinball Driver Board, 520-5137-00Data East Pinball Machine Mpu Board # 520-5003-02 Parts Or RepairPinball Summer Ost Lp (celsius) Qc Canada Les Sinners Germain Gauthier Power Pop1994 Nos Data East Tommy Pinball PlayfieldWilliams Bally Wpc Pinball Machine Driver Board # A-12697-1 Parts Or RepairNew Play Pinball Here Game Room Real Glass Neon Light Sign Beer Bar SignM639. Vintage: Dc Comics Superman Spinball Pinball From Mattel (1978) ~Gottlieb Pinball Lockdown Bars3 Bally Pinball Machine Flyers, Indi 500, Twilight Zone (fold Out), Scared StiffPolice Force Pinball Machine Populated Ramp SetNew Play Pinball Here Game Room Real Glass Neon Light Sign Beer Bar Sign1930's Whirl Pinball Tin Game No. 770 By BrinkmanGame Boy Advance Gba Games- Sm3,mario Pinball,pro Skater,need For Speed,mlb 2002

Recent News: Pinball Machines

Source: Google News

Do the write thing
Philippine Star, July 4th

National Book Store branches, and the press got to sample the sleek pen lines at a launch held at EDSA Beverage Design Group, a decidedly hip coffee bar that caters to designers and retro café lovers (there's even a vintage pinball machine in the...Read more

“The first instinct is usually right when it comes to songwriting” — Dance ...
Substream Magazine, July 3rd

The album cover is a nod to the singularity and the struggle between organic and machine influence on the world. The lyrics ... I bought a vintage Roland Jupiter 6 synth and have been dying to use it. The rap ... It couldn't just be about a pinball...Read more

Roanoke Pinball Museum Proves “Old is New and Vintage is Cool.”
The Roanoke Star, June 30th

Rachel Hopkins, project manager of the new Roanoke Pinball Museum in Center in the Square, looks closer at one of the space's forty-plus pinball machines. “They tripped the tilt,” she says as she moves to correct the machine. Such is the way of some of...Read more

Play games at these 10 Atlanta bars
Access Atlanta, June 30th

Let's face it, playing games never gets old. Whether you're an Xbox fiend, checkers master or a Pac-Man fan, Atlanta's bars and restaurants have the games, drinks and meals you're looking for. Ormsby's - You've spent a hard day shopping at the Westside ...Read more

Fundraiser for Grand Forks assault victim draws crowd
Grand Forks Herald, June 26th

Family members and friends pitched in items for the auction, with his aunt Sandy Saure donating a vintage pinball machine, Owen Dahl donating a metal flower sculpture and family friend Evelyn Hensrud donating homemade lefse. Several businesses and ...Read more

Roanoke Pinball Museum: Calling All Wizards
WVTF, June 12th

There's an old saying: Buy a girl a dress, and she looks pretty for one night; buy her boyfriend a pinball machine and she looks pretty for life. The saying might be old, but the games are older. Pinball machines as we know them today were invented in...Read more

Collecting Treasures: Pinball machines not kids' play
azcentral.com, June 12th

Yet, vintage games like arcade pinball machines are rising in popularity with the gamers of today as well as the gamers of old. In fact, a Bally's 1976 Captain Fantastic pinball machine can put a large dent in your wallet. Quite a shock, when you...Read more

Pinball purists keep the ball in play at Tacoma show
TheNewsTribune.com, June 6th

For many, the show's biggest attraction is the array of games — more than 400, all set on free play and ranging from vintage pinball machines from the 1950s to prototypes of games still in development. This year's prototypes include “The Hobbit” from...Read more