Bought My Abra Ca Dabra In 1982

Bought My Abra Ca Dabra In 1982

By MisterClutch

July 13, 2017

3 months ago

Gottlieb released AbraCaDabra while I was in high school and it quickly became my favorite machine. When the Surf Side Arcade in Rehobeth Beach, DE put the game for sale, I used the money I had gotten for a college graduation award to buy her. The arcade was asking $150 but knowing they had paid the license for the year I offered them a hundred agreeing to let them keep the machine til the end of summer so it could make money for them all through beach season. We shook hands and I picked up Abra Ca Dabra on Labor Day.

Besides replacing all the burned out bulbs and putting on a new rubber kit when I got the game home, she hasn't asked for much to eat these last 35 years. A friend broke the glass when he picked up the front and slammed it on the ground (dumb) and the speaker I had on the head (dumber) toppled forward. Fortunately the playfield wasn't damaged and $75 for a used glass ACD was rolling again. The machine went wonkers not long after that. A week of pulling out my hair trying to make sense of the schematic and she just started working fine again. Shrug. I figured a chunk of tempered glass got stuck somewhere and worked itself loose.

The machine fell into disuse as I got older but was always ready to play if you had a spare quarter. I have always made everyone pay to play. It keeps the incentive high and I used to break open the cash box for an annual party. I was really bummed when I fired up the game while we were getting ready to move two years ago and the flippers and play field were dead. After my last attempt at trouble shooting 30 years before I couldn't muster the effort to look at the machine til last weekend. I got lucky again this time. An afternoon of head scratching narrowed things down to dirty contacts on the ball count unit.

I have basically had the old girl since the end of her original arcade service, so the machine is virtually untouched (the counter shows right at 50,000 plays). She shows her age, but we have sort of grown old together. Other than a light bulb here and there or new bumpers I would never change a thing.

Story photos

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3 months ago
Great story.
3 months ago
Indeed a great story. I wish I'd kept my first pin, which I also bought in the early 80s. (GTB Melody... sigh...)
3 months ago
Thanks for sharing that great story.
3 months ago
Great story.
3 months ago
Love it!
I also started playing this one in high school. I played it again at the PHOF in Vegas a few years back and I decided I must have one. Got one out of Winnipeg Manitoba and had it shipped to North Vancouver British Columbia. Total price including shipping was about $1300 Cdn. I put blinking bulbs in the monster's eyes so it blinks at Game Over.
I have done a play field swap on another machine and I know Wade Krause is making some play fields for Abra in the next 6 months. His stuff is top drawer. I may or may not get one, but one thing's for sure. I will never sell it.
The first game I ever bought was The Amazing Spiderman, which I will restore and give to my daughter.
84 days ago
I had an Abra Cadabra that I trained pinball players with. I would remove the flippers and have tournaments in it. The reason I would take the flippers off was to teach "ball english" and how to maneuver the ball. Far ti many players are rigid, even more do not understand that english reverses when it comes off the rails, rubber in this case not pool felt. After a few weeks I would add one flipper and have competitions for a month, then I would remove that flipper and out one on the opposite side for a month. The remaining folks that endured this were now ready to really Train to become giants in pinball expertise! I used Abra for a sole reason......"the game has an open playfield and a heaping serving of extended rebound rubbers. The long slingshots make it the very best pin I've encountered for this training exercise. The boys and men, women that I mentored this way are known throughout the U.S.A. for extraordinary pinball expertise!
82 days ago
Yes brother! Abra Ca Dabra is my EM collections crown jewel. A game that always looks great and never gets old, well done keeping her pretty and I love that you make your friends cough up quarters. Pinball for life!
65 days ago
That's a really awesome story!! I love that you make them pay too! Guess some machines still pull their own weight!
59 days ago
I like this story. Very fun. Has anyone ever gotten angry when you made them pay a quarter to play a game in your house? Just curious as I feel like people wouldn't like that.

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