"A pinball machine would look good in the corner..."

By Garrett

June 01, 2012

11 years ago

Finally had time to get the basement finished. It's the in thing to have a nice TV and a pool table so we did the same as so many others have already done.

My wife said, a pinball machine would look good in the corner. Sure, why not I said. Would look good and if someone played it all the better I guess.

I had no idea at that time how that simple suggestion would turn into such a passion.

As a small kid I can remember seeing Pong in a shopping mall. I was hooked. Video games were a tremendous draw for me from then until now with PC gaming. I remember pinball machines in the game halls but was never drawn to them.

So, watching Craigslist and with some research I bought my first pinball machine. A working Bally Space Time that was really dirty. Got it home and played a couple of games and tore it apart for a good cleaning. The game also had a couple minore issues.

The first time I looked into the cabinet it was pure love. What struck me was the time and engineering that went into building a pinball machine. The electo-mechanical games are totally outdated by todays standards but can be brought back to life. To make a machine run like new again takes time, patience and attention to detail. This is the passion for me.

One month after getting the Space Time I was checking forums, E-Bay and Craig's List for my next purchase! Found a Spirit of '76 that had been sitting for who knows how long. Lots of minor corrosion and the backglass was rough but the playfield was in great shape. This was some serious satisfaction when it was back up and running again. Got a reproduction backglass form Shay. A cabinet repaint this winter and this thing will look like new!

Now the Spirit of '76, that's a fun EM game. Being only my second pin I saw why everyone was sweet on Gottliebs of that era. I played every EM game I could at the local events. Great way to see what you like before you purchase.

So, there's space left for one more game in the new game room. And I know my wife thought I was totally nuts but I grabbed a 1957 Gottlieb Majestic at an auction for a good deal. I first played a "woody" at MPE and fell in love with the design and feel of the machines. They fill you with the 1950's from the cabinet to the artwork...not to mention the butt holders!

Now we have an issue, the pin addiction is starting to set in deep and trying like hell not to let the wife now how bad this sickness has become! Oh boy, a good deal on a Gottlieb EM Cleopatra...."Congratulations! You're the winning bidder!" The wife is going to shoot me now!

This all started in March of this year. That "pinball machine in the corner" has evolved into a love and passion for the EM era. I'm in therapy once a week and my wife has blocked E-Bay and Craig's List on our home computer. :)

To my wife...she has been great about my "issues". I do owe her my thanks for her continuing patience when I spend hours working a long neglected pinball machine. And she does enjoy playing the pins as well.

What a great hobby this has become and to find the passion shared by so many was icing on the cake. If you have an EM machine for sale please do not tell me about it!!!

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11 years ago

Love the old EM's, grew up on them, and boy when the first SS machines came out it was on!!!!

11 years ago

Welcome aboard Garrett!
Post some pics of your handiwork in your images section.

11 years ago

Welcome, you have the bug

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