A Tale of an EM Pinball Collector


September 27, 2012

11 years ago

Hello Folks,

My name is Ken.

Now a little history about me:

I got into the pinball hobby in September 2011 with the purchase of a 1976 Williams Space Odyssey 2 player which I traveled from Nampa, Idaho to Lacy, Washington to pick up with much happiness and no regrets. I still remember the first time I laid eyes on it through the sellers living room window, turned on, and flashing memories of me as a teen in the 70's playing a Williams Space Mission 4 player at "Fun Terminal" in S.F.CA. Good times.

I grew up in S.F.CA. and started playing pinball as a kid in the late 1960's in bars and bowling alleys following my mom around, however the biggest time for me playing pinball came between 1973 -1979 and slowed down quite a bit with the advent of Solid State games from 1980 - 1982 as Gottliebs Haunted House was really the end of me playing pinball except once in a blue moon for the next 30 years.

The bug hit me to get into the pinball hobby as I have not had a hobby in many years as I built muscle cars in my teens until I was 29 and entered them into car shows for 12 of those years finally winning a trophy plaque for my last project, a 1968 Plymouth GTX "Super Comando 440", then sold the car and that was that as it was just too expensive to keep going and frustrating at times as well.

I also was into Model Railroading for a time as well as a kid and young teenager, also another expensive hobby, so out I went.

My previous hobby before finding pinball again is a rather large S.P. Railroad collection that I am scaling back as I want to have a smaller, more unique collection. Selling off part of this collection has helped fund my pinball collection.

I signed up with Pinside on 9/26/2012 but have been on the RGP site since I started the hobby as I'm sure many here will recogize me since my name as EM PINMAN is the same.

Just in my first year in the pinball hobby I owned 8 different EM pinball machines as the Electro-mechanical era in the 70's was a great time in my life.

Currently I have no desire to own any DMD games as I feel no real connection to these machines although I respect that others love them, as I love EM's. Some early SS games I will play for old times sake but I have no desire/ability at this point to learn how to fix them unless one day I pick up a Joker Poker SS version as the EM version is very rare and expensive.

The good news though is that the folks that have saved these wonderful EM machines from the dumpsters/parts bins have inspired me to do the same and repay these old machines for all the fun I have had with them and help give them life for another 40-50 years.

I trained myself on EM repairs along with the help of folks on RGP and feel that I can repair or customize a mechanical part for one of these machines with relative ease, and have. Painting however is another story as my abilities here are pretty much that of using a black acrylic paint pen and out of the bottle exact color for touch ups. My wife is an artist so she helps me out with the more involved touch up painting when needed. She likes and plays pinball as well which is a big bonus.

I love fixing EM pins more than playing them, but just by a little. Currently I look for pinball machines to buy that are keepers but will always keep an eye out for a project to keep me busy especially once my collection is complete.............................if ever. :-)

That's pretty much a quick look at me. It's always a great time to meet other pin heads on discussion groups so looking forward to being on Pinside and meeting all you EM lovers as well as the rest.

Now lets play some pinball! ;-)


Story photos



10 years ago

I have the game that is on your wish list

2 years ago

Great story! Its funny how us EM era guys are synced. Nice collection. Klondike, the game that broke my cherry. 1973 and some of the greatest memories.

Take Care!

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