My pinball history

My pinball history

By Tuukka

November 29, 2018

53 days ago

It all began in 1977, when a pinball arcade opened up near my school. I was 14 years then, and became a pinball addict very fast!

Being interested in electronics, I soon got my first pinball game, a Bally 50/50, that a local operator had as a spare parts donor. Eventually I got all the missing parts and was a happy owner of a working pinball! And in 1981, the local arcade technician quit, I applied for the vacant job and soon had the responsibility of taking care of the about 30 games - most EM, with some Gottlieb System 1's, while still at school. I bought some trash games, repaired and sold them. I kept a Williams Space Odyssey for a long time.

The arcade shut down after a few years and I moved to another town, got my BSc in computer engineering, steady job and other boring stuff. In 1994 I spotted a "part time pinball technician wanted" ad, responded to that and then I was back on track again! Did some evening work for an operator, learned about the new games and had a fun time. The operator was not doing so well, so they offered me some games instead of paying me. That was OK for me, so I got Truck Stop. Police Force and Creature before quitting the job. And soon I bought a TZ for 600€.

After that, I have had many many games. In 2004 I acquired a warehouse and filled it with games, I think the peak was at about 40 games owned mostly by me and some together with a friend. Had many great gameplaying nights with friends and coworkers.

But keeping 40 games in great condition takes a lot of time, and I just couldn't do it, and the warehouse rent was not so small either. So during the last 3 years I have been downsizing the collection, and in summer of 2018 I moved the remaining games to a smaller and cheaper place. Currently I have 16 pinballs, 3 jukeboxes and a slot machine. Bad Cats and Rock-Ola 451 at home, others in the warehouse gameroom.

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