Chrisbee's Pinball Life

By Chrisbee

June 06, 2012

11 years ago

I was sent to this site after asking a question on REC<GAMES<PINBALL, and now I’m a member, sweeeeeeeet.
After reading a few stories on this site, it became apparent my pinball story was much like others, so I thought I would go back to the very beginning and see what I can remember.
First of all I live in Australia, firstly Queensland then West Australia, so places I refer to will be in Oz. same with currency and measurements. If it helps 1 mile = 1.6km and the 1AUD = 1 USD and the date is the same.
Ok, when I was just a little tacker, maybe 10 or 11, I only got to see people play pinball while out with mum and dad as they thought pinball was just a waste of money, but on occasions mainly when on holidays in small country towns in north NSW and my parents fancied a drink at the Pub, they’d flick me a couple of bucks and drop me at an arcade that had a couple of Pinball machines (they’d have to do time behind bars if they did that today. LOL) I was as happy as a pig in mud. I don’t remember what machines they were, but the year was 1972 and games cost 10 cents.
We lived in, what was, an outer suburb of Brisbane for my growing up years. At age 15 or so I had 2 jobs, milk man after school and trolley boy at the local supermarket on Saturday mornings, made 10 smackaroochies a week (smackaroochies is the same as dollars, just kid talk). After diner most week nights, I would hop on my deadly treadly and ride 3km to the Caltex service station. I reckon more than half of my wages went into those two pinnys. Of course they were both EM’s and SS machines were very new and not at my local service station, it’s now 1977. By the time my local service station got an SS machine, Space invaders was around, I’d got my driver’s licence and girls looked really good too. That’s round one of my pinball obsession.
Through the 80’s and into the 90’s, I remember seeing ads “ PINBALLS FOR SALE” and I often thought about buying one, but when I looked at the modern machines they just didn’t cut it with all their fancy wire bridges and multi levels it just didn’t seem right, to me that’s not how you play ball.
Moved to Western Australia, Got married, had a few kids, build the house ETC ETC. In 2002 we extended our house and as we were looking over the plans of our new foyer with an open staircase I could see this as being the perfect spot for a pinball machine.
Last year (2011) there was a well advertised auction of over 100 pinball machines in Perth and that’s when I decided that I was going to get that pinny for under the steps. My wife and I checked out a few machines the day before the action, as we lived over 200km away we placed 3 absentee bids, and eagerly waited by the phone. We got none of them. They went for much more tdidn’t even get a look in, I think the cheapest machine in the auction went for $3000 plus buyers premium, plus tax. I was a bit disappointed to say the least but not put off.
On a local buy and sell website, Gumtree, I found my first pinball machine, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (CE3K), a real pinball machine a 1978 Gottlieb SS.
My original plan was to buy an EM machine as I know I could fix and maintain an EM machine, so I was a little concerned that it was an SS machine. I did a little Googling on early Gottlieb SS machines, full bottle on what to look for like warning signs of a leaky battery on system 1 MPU. I couldn’t get my wallet out fast enough after I opened the back box to see a shiny new Ni-Wumpf System 1 MPU.
CE3K with its weird little blue alien dud now lives under my stairs.
Since then I have purchased
“Baseball” 1970 Gottlieb EM,
“Monty Carlo” 1972 Bally EM
“Fireball Classic” 1985 Bally SS.
What’s funny is I’m now looking for a mid-90s to early 2000 machine, you know, one of those unpinny like multilevel machines I mentioned earlier, how things change.

Story photos



11 years ago

Welcome to Pinside Chrisbee. I'm sure you will enjoy this website. I'm another Pinhead that first started playing e-m type pinball machines in the 70's, and now have a small collection w/ some early ss type pins from late 70's - early 80's (Gottlieb & Bally).

11 years ago

Welcome Chrisbee! Nothing compares to the sounds and artwork of the old Gottliebs. I've a running love affair with them; they can be contrary to work on at times but, as you'll learn there are alot of great pinheads on this site that will be more than willing to help troubleshoot anything that comes up.

11 years ago

Welcome Chrisbee. You have some great purchases!

11 years ago

Thanks for the warm welcome guys, already made a few new friends.

10 years ago

I sent a plea for some Hokus Pokus assistance. I am in big trouble on THIS one. Dave

10 years ago

HI chrisbee,good to see another country w.a. pinball fan!

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