Pinball Love....

Pinball Love....

By retrodelee

June 05, 2012

5 years ago

When I was younger, I played my first game of pinball on a Spirt of 76' machine that a friend of the family owned. I would say that it is safe to say I was hooked on those shiny steel balls zooming around a waxed playfield from that point forward. The sad part about it, I lost my connection with pinball games and fell in love with things like Atari and Nintendo. One thing I have noticed throughout the years were my love for good pinball games on those video game consoles. To this day, I absolutely love playing Pinball Quest on the NES, and I used to love playing Sonic Spinball. Heck, even the ol' school Video Pinball that the Atari 2600 offered me was something I really liked to play (Come chat with me about Atari 2600 sometime... I have a major collection and can vouch for much better pinball games on that system).

So pinball went to the back burner for many years. I missed all of the great tables when they came out, because pinball was no where on my radar. Beating Contra, or playing my butt off on Friday the 13th for NES was more important. When I got married to my lovely wife, I had already began collecting for the Atari 2600 and the Atari Lynx. Now I'm one of the bigger collectors in the Atari Lynx world (130+ games and unreleased prototypes)... and very quietly have become a pretty respectable collector in the Atari 2600 worl (nearly 700+ different titles). Now that I'm nearing the end of what I can collect in that area, I was a bit hugry for other things.

One day I spotted an ad for a Carribean Cruise cocktail pinball. I thought that it would be perfect for the smaller house we had and contacted the owner. He had three of them in his garage, and I bought the best of the three (practically a brand new cocktail). One of the others had a rat tear up the insides, and the other played well... but one of the flippers were a bit weak. Hindsight, I would have bout all 3 if I could have done it again. Having the security of knowing I have another glass top in case mine breaks is kind of like having good life insurance for odd ball pins like these cocktails. But I didn't so I now go to another part of the story.

While research how to take care of my pinball, and how to clean it, I learned about a few good websites. One in particular told me about the first annual pinball show in the Detroit area. I went to that show and quickly fell in love again. That show wasn't too busy so I became very intimate with a Creature from the Black Lagoon that was there. I think I played 40 games or so. I didn't even know about this game, and fellin love with it. I also played a lot of a Haunted House. That is yet another game I want in my collection now (and one the wife approves of).

One day I wandered into the 'HARDCORE PAWN' store in Detroit... and I noticed they had a really beat up pin sitting on the floor. I didn't think much of it until I returned there one day after about three months. That pin was still there and was sitting in the back. So I decided to ask what they wanted for it... and they said $800... but then the guy just said to low ball the owner (Les) and offer $150 and he'll take it. So I did, and so he did. That game was featured in one of their shows when they bought it. They made no cash off of it at all. The game is called Stop N Go. It has a lot of issues, which I will be calling someone to help with because I'm a bit overwhelmed on this one. I bought it mainly for one reason: for my and my son to work on it together. We are going to repaint some of the playfield, repaint the cabinet, and get it going again 100%. That will be my 'garage pinball' unless it turns out really nice and then we'll move it to my basement.

Secretly... I've been scouring the local ads for a cheap Gorgar after missing out on 2 of them. I have the PS3 version of Pinball Hall of Fame to thank for this addiction. I am glad I missed out on one because of the playfield being so worn... but the other belongs to a collector and I should have grabbed it. But that's okay... because another one popped up and I jumped on it. I asked all of the right questions and went by the person house to check it out. I didn't want to drop any money on a Gorgar unless the playfield was outstanding. And frankly... after looking at the playfield... there wasn't anyway I could lowball this guy. He set it at a great price, which was $150 lower than what he advertised it for (actually $300 lower than the first ad). I shook his hand and said we had a deal. That my friends... is what led me to here.

I haven't picked up the pin yet, but will be going there again in about a week to get it (I had to arrange for a truck). At that time, I'll post some pics. This game has been in this guy's finished basement for over 13 years, and has been well taken care of. It has the occasional time where the 1496 error pops up, but he said he could cyle past it and it never was an issue. Researching a bit more has led me to believe that I can replace a chip with a $30 chip from some location and I can solve that battery problem right off the bat. I plan to do this right away... as well as upgrading the sound with a few speakers. Nothing beats playing this game and listening to that heart beat quicken as you rack up the points. So... I'm here... and I'll be asking a ton of Gorgar questions I'm sure. If anyone is up to wanting to help withmy Stop n Go... feel free to drop me a line or two.

Story photos

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5 years ago
Sounds like you've had a great run of luck. The time spent with your son working on your pins will create memories he'll remeber for the rest of his life. Welcome to pinside and good luck with the pins!
5 years ago
Welcome to Pinside!
5 years ago
Thanks for the story retrodelee!
Welcome to the fun!

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