My quest for a century of pin tech

By stavio

March 31, 2024

This story got featured & frontpaged on April 02, 2024

23 days ago

A long time ago, I realized I have an appreciation for machines and technology, and more prominently the evolution of same. It amazes me to think of how much innovation has played a part in advancing features, playability, and the general wow factor of pinball. It increases my appreciation for where we are now by knowing how we got here. I decided to make it my quest to have machines, with unique period attributes, from 10 decades to create a century of pinball awesomeness! I am currently seeking an example from the 1940's to accomplish my goal.

In 1978, when I was 5 years old, my father purchased a 1974 Super-Flite. I was mesmerized from the very first snap of the switch, the lights glowing, and the whirling, clicking and clacking of relays after pushing the start button. It was euphoric. Camp grounds, amusement parks, bowling alleys, shopping centers, restaurants, games were everywhere but this one was ours! No scrounging quarters!

Fast forward a few years, after a promotion at work, Addams Family from the 90s joined my family. The next year my first new in box, Attack From Mars, 20teens, machine arrived along with Simpson's Pinball Party, 2000s. Now I was really cooking having 4 machines. It occurred to me that if I had a machine from the 80s, I would have half a century of pin evolution. I knew I wanted an Elvira and the Party Monsters ever since the pizza shop I worked at as a 16 year old got one brand new. I thought I could find one locally and that probably would have been the end of the collecting...

Then I found Pinside... Mind blown!

Pre-COVID prices, my friend's thriving amusements company, and newly found Pinside connections (I don't do face page or tik tube or any other social media) all conspired to turbo charge my pinball experience. Things were great. I picked up a 1964 Soccer and then a cool 1958 woodrail. Iron Maiden joined in and even though a 20teens release, it's build date was 2021. Just as I was getting into my stride, COVID happend. Then the prices went crazy. Then my friend got sick and passed. 

Things slowed a bit but I did manage to get a 1934 World's series. The pre-war games are truly mechanical marvels. Now to find a good 40s example. That is proving to be a challenge. Ideally a '48 or '49 with interesting flipper arrangement will materialize. It's hard to tell how the pinball fates allocate their prizes. I am just along for the ride.

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21 days ago

Very cool story. I have never seen a 1964 Soccer, must be very cool. The WCS 1994 is a great time piece game, too.

14 days ago

Great story. Good luck with a 40s game. Here is a list for games from 1947-1949 You'll have to learn to use outward facing "backward" flippers.

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