New! Dark mode!

Browsing Pinside at night? Getting tired of all the white? Switch to dark mode using the button in the top right (or CTRL-B)!

A Short Pondering: Safecracker

By SuperFriend

September 15, 2020

45 days ago

"Safecracker.The Winning Combination."

Safecracker (Pat Lawlor) was released by Bally (Midway, WMS) in March of 1996. It's a payout game, and it's amazing. It is my 2nd favorite game ever. I'm kind of baffled by it's lack of success. Less than 1200 (1148 to be exact) were sold. I am still astounded whenever I read these numbers. 

Having seen success with Attack From Mars in December of 95 (3400+ units) and Johnny Mnemonic (2700+ units) the August before that, perhaps meant a distributor purchase saturation that made a more expensive machine less attractive as a purchase prospect? Similar trends can be seen across other manufacturers. In 1996 Sega and Capcom saw similar sale trends with concurrent releases, with Safe Cracker beating both of those numbers, even! 

"Safe Cracker has a playfield which is noticeably narrower and shorter than a standard pinball machine. The backbox has doors that swing open to simulate a bank safe, revealing the backglass. The backglass image and lights combine to provide an interactive board game where the player acts like a bank robber. The backbox has a token launcher, dispensing any of twenty different tokens when certain goals are achieved. Time-based game..." 

Check out the IPDB entry, too. 

Story photos

No photos are attached to this story.


18 days ago

Bought a Safe Cracker pinball in 1996 that was less than a month old. Has been in my collection since then. Was another one of Pat Lawlor’s with Bally/Williams fantastic games. Always one of my favorites

7 days ago

I have one as well and it is also one of my favorites. I think one of the reasons it didn't do well is that it is timed play, which takes some getting used to. Also, the token dispenser, which was meant to be one of the key attractions of the game, may have been problematic for many locations.

4 days ago

it's crazy

Add a comment

Wanna make a comment? Click here to sign in or register.