(Topic ID: 284186)

1965 Gottlieb Bank-A-Ball & Flipper Pool Club - Welcome

By PinballFever

2 years ago


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  • 142 posts
  • 35 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Pbpins
  • Topic is favorited by 16 Pinsiders

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There are 142 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
#1 2 years ago

From The Internet Pinball Database www.ipdb.org

Bank-A-Ball / IPD No. 170 / September, 1965 / 1 Player
Production: 3,400 units
Specialty: Mechanical Backbox Animation

Flipper Pool / IPD No. 896 / October, 1965 / 1 Player
Production: 700 units
Specialty: Add-A-Ball

The Italian model is Gottlieb's 1965 'Electra-Pool'. Electra-Pool owners are welcome too.

Design by: Ed Krynski
Art by: Roy Parker

Notable Features: Flippers (2), Pop bumpers (3), Slingshots (2), Standup targets (7)

"'Bank-A-Ball' was the first pinball machine produced with flipper return lanes, which are wireforms that allow the ball to roll behind the slingshot and towards a waiting flipper."

"Two backbox animations: at start of game, billiard table in backglass shows all balls lit up and all mechanical balls above it are reset out of view. Hitting lit numbered target on playfield turns off corresponding lit ball in backglass and mechanically drops that ball into view."
1965 Gottlieb Bank A Ball Flyer (resized).png
1965 Gottlieb Flipper Pool flyer (resized).jpg

#2 2 years ago

Bank-A-Ball is one of those games truly deserving of its reputation and attraction.

The playfield is tight and reflexive. The theme provides a layer of strategy approachable by any player. The artwork and animation are peak mid-60’s Gottlieb.

This is the kind of game you can build an entire collection around.

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#3 2 years ago

I have a populate playfield for this game.
What would I need to build a game around it? I.e. other cabinets and heads that could be used to build one up.

#4 2 years ago
Quoted from brobra:

I have a populate playfield for this game.
What would I need to build a game around it? I.e. other cabinets and heads that could be used to build one up.

Thats pretty tough. You need the head and the ball mech. without that no game.

#5 2 years ago

I love Bank a Ball, fast flowing game and good to play. But wasn't the release Pleasure Isle held back ( that too had side return lanes) to get BaB out first to market? I guess it made more sense to release the single player as it might have had a larger audience?

#6 2 years ago

Do owners of "Flipper Pool" get to join the club?

#7 2 years ago
Quoted from Vintage-Pinball:

I love Bank a Ball, fast flowing game and good to play. But wasn't the release Pleasure Isle held back ( that too had side return lanes) to get BaB out first to market?

Yes. From IPDB: "According to the book All About Pinball, Paradise and its add-a-ball version Pleasure Isle were the first games designed to have return lanes. However, Gottlieb rescheduled the production of Bank-A-Ball so that it could be released first."

#8 2 years ago
Quoted from paulace:

Do owners of "Flipper Pool" get to join the club?

I don't see why not. Most of "Flipper Pool" is the same as this game.

#9 2 years ago

Is this wire factory? It looks like a ground wire or something.

BAB wire (resized).jpg
#10 2 years ago

Love the manual ball lift. You can also go multi ball if you feel like it.

#11 2 years ago

In that photo, are you missing that wing nut, or did you just take it off for the photo? I have 2 wing nuts on either side of that rack that hold the plastic ball rack in place, and even with the wing nuts as tight as I can get them, they would still eventually loosen and the mech would fall. I used eye hooks and piano wire to make a hanger of sorts that holds the swinging part of it up - haven't had it loosen since. I wonder if the wire was an attempt at something like that - a support. That rack does take a beating from being reset often. In any case, it doesn't look factory.

And does "Bank A Ball" have 5 balls in it? "Flipper Pool" only has one ball in the machine....so no multiball for me.

flipper pool (resized).jpg
#12 2 years ago

I’ve ended up with two of these machines. Count me in twice.

#13 2 years ago
Quoted from paulace:

And does "Bank A Ball" have 5 balls in it? "Flipper Pool" only has one ball in the machine....so no multiball for me.[quoted image]

You put in 3 or 5 balls according to how you setup the game.

#14 2 years ago

If any body bought a new set of plastics and has a good left sling left -or- happens to have an extra left sling I can use one

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#15 2 years ago
Quoted from paulace:

In that photo, are you missing that wing nut, or did you just take it off for the photo? I have 2 wing nuts on either side of that rack that hold the plastic ball rack in place, and even with the wing nuts as tight as I can get them, they would still eventually loosen and the mech would fall. I used eye hooks and piano wire to make a hanger of sorts that holds the swinging part of it up - haven't had it loosen since. I wonder if the wire was an attempt at something like that - a support. That rack does take a beating from being reset often. In any case, it doesn't look factory.

You're right. It's missing the wing nut on the other side too and your photo is helpful. I noticed the topics in this forum about the racks tending to stick while resetting. Will inspect the rack to be sure it's working properly and see if I can get wing nuts for it.

#16 2 years ago
Quoted from PinballFever:

Is this wire factory? It looks like a ground wire or something.
[quoted image]

you are missing a wing nut, looks like the wire was used as a retention method... you do need to get a replacement wing nut. Home Depot should have this

#17 2 years ago

If anyone is temped to repaint Ive got a pretty good match on the colors/webbing

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#18 2 years ago
Quoted from pinhead52:

you are missing a wing nut, looks like the wire was used as a retention method... you do need to get a replacement wing nut. Home Depot should have this

I'm also missing the wing nut on the other side. There's a nut and washer there instead. I'll use the nut to find the size at Home Depot.

#19 2 years ago

You definitely need the wing nuts, but in addition I needed another sort of support for it as those wing nuts worked their way loose eventually, no matter how tight I made them. Maybe a lock washer under the wing nut would work...that would be simpler than what I did! *laugh*

#20 2 years ago
Quoted from paulace:

You definitely need the wing nuts, but in addition I needed another sort of support for it as those wing nuts worked their way loose eventually, no matter how tight I made them. Maybe a lock washer under the wing nut would work...that would be simpler than what I did! *laugh*

Nylon insert locknut if you really want to fix it.

#21 2 years ago

Yeah, nylon locknut will probably do it. I'm a piano tuner, so I have tons of piano wire laying around....just used what I had.

#22 2 years ago
Quoted from paulace:

I used eye hooks and piano wire to make a hanger of sorts that holds the swinging part of it up - haven't had it loosen since. I wonder if the wire was an attempt at something like that - a support. That rack does take a beating from being reset often

I was looking at your fix lol. Do you think wing nuts with washers and lock washers would keep it from loosening?

I added Flipper Pool and the flyer for your game. There's even an Italian version "Electra-Pool". The Flipper Pool backlgass is so cool. Are there any photos of a Bank-A-Ball and a Flipper Pool next to each other?

#23 2 years ago

Thanks for including the Flipper Pool crowd. Love the guy chalking up on these games.

E5BE0D2E-D591-41B7-ACBA-EF1840B19D24 (resized).jpeg
#24 2 years ago

Agreed, great artwork. I'd get a drop of IPA and a magic sponge on that playfield though

#25 2 years ago

I love that you could be cool back in the '60s with blue hair, horn-rimmed glasses, a suit that matched your hair and a tie!

It was my first machine, and they say you always remember your first. The art's a bit different from Bank-A-Ball, isn't it?
fp1 (resized).jpg
fp2 (resized).jpg
I wanted to play with the colors a little, so I went with green and yellow rubbers, had a friend powdercoat the center of the lockdown bar a nice metallic green, and of course, a fun shooter rod:
fp3 (resized).jpg
fp4 (resized).jpg
Since it was my first machine, I learned to make my shots on the fly - wasn't trying to catch the ball on those 2" flippers. It's a good skill to have.

#26 2 years ago
Quoted from Vintage-Pinball:

Agreed, great artwork. I'd get a drop of IPA and a magic sponge on that playfield though

Wow, I never thought of using an India Pale Ale to clean a playfield
One drink for me, one drop for the playfield; repeat. I'll have to be careful not to overdo the ME.

Happy Holidaze!

#27 2 years ago
Quoted from Runbikeskilee:

Wow, I never thought of using an India Pale Ale to clean a playfield
One drink for me, one drop for the playfield; repeat. I'll have to be careful not to overdo the ME.
Happy Holidaze!

Lee, you must have missed cold one I had sitting on the Bucanneer in my first pic. I try to keep it below 6%ABV or it starts to lift the clear.

#28 2 years ago

Dan, LOL, I totally missed that in your photo. I was looking at the BaB. When are you going to try your hand at repainting that cabinet

#29 2 years ago
Quoted from paulace:

The art's a bit different from Bank-A-Ball, isn't it?

Below is mine before cleaning and after cleaning / waxing with Blitz. Yours has "Mystery Score" where this game has "Special".

Quoted from paulace:

Since it was my first machine, I learned to make my shots on the fly - wasn't trying to catch the ball on those 2" flippers. It's a good skill to have.

I was obsessed with learning to bank and trap the ball for shots at the Specials. Did you grow up playing AAB pinball machines? I had a Palooka because I heard AAB games are more fun than Replay machines but I enjoy winning free Replays over free balls, probably because I grew up playing Replay pinball machines.

132736025_1089147521534767_8809612286066746852_n (resized).jpg133207617_226443918890162_569246084719389714_n (resized).jpg
#30 2 years ago

Man, you got a lot of dirt off that thing - good for you - looks beautiful! There are a few differences in the artwork due to the change in rules between the machines...it's interesting to have a good look at your playfield. I do like the "Mystery Score" lanes on the right and left on the AAB version - you get a random score between 100-500 when you go through the lit lane. When the lane is unlit, you get 50 pts, like everything else on the pf.

I did not grow up with AAB machines, well, with any pinball machines, in fact. I grew playing video games and only got into pinball 3 years ago - but the bug bit me pretty hard. I had to own a machine (I have 5 now) and the first one was Flipper Pool, so I played the hell out of it. I didn't even know catching balls on flippers was a thing until I got a machine with 3" flippers. *laugh*

I've never used Blitz before for cleaning a pf....you like it? Did you use magic eraser with it, or something else?

#31 2 years ago

I just got one of my BAB working and I have some questions:

1) Are the top rollovers that have two balls supposed to register both on one pass or is there setting to split them so you have to go through twice for both

2) Once you get ‘special’ to appear it remains until you max out the credit wheel. Is this correct? And if it is already maxed the special doesn’t come on? Is a there a way to score points for the special instead(I assume that would be a hack)

Mike V

#32 2 years ago
Quoted from Vintage-Pinball:

Agreed, great artwork. I'd get a drop of IPA and a magic sponge on that playfield though

Indeed! I gotta get the guts to do it, though. I’ve read about folks taking off paint with the ball swirls when using that combo.

...then again if one IPA is poured into me, while the other IPA is poured onto ME then everything will probably work out fine so long as the right IPA goes with the right me...

#33 2 years ago

Bank A Ball was one of my first machines in a package decal with a 61 Showboat.

I got them fairly cheap however did not know the conditions of either being as there was more weight in dust than the machines weighed.

I knew buying the both back glasses were toast but no idea about the play field.

As it turned out both cleaned up very decent and with new glasses looks decent.

My Back A Ball has seen its days, probably at a bar, so the cabinet isn’t perfect but has “character”.

I will past a picture soon.

Fun game over all, especially being over 50 years old!

#34 2 years ago
Quoted from paulace:

I've never used Blitz before for cleaning a pf....you like it? Did you use magic eraser with it, or something else?

I didn't mean to mislead you. Novus 2 is what I used to clean the playfield with. Blitz is just the wax which I like a lot. I didn't use magic eraser because I don't want to clear the playfield. I wanted to get it cleaned up and waxed asap to protect the wood and artwork from further deterioration.

I didn't want to take on this project because of the amount of work but finally went to look it over after it was listed at $275 for a week. I made sure everything was there then gave them the $275 cash they were asking for and wished them a Happy Thanksgiving.

126245514_383675849615725_6766127524140812249_n (resized).jpg

#35 2 years ago

I'll join the club.

DSCN2515 (resized).JPG

DSCN1542 (resized).JPG
#36 2 years ago

Vic, how'd you even find it in all those machines?? Geez, I want to visit you...

Fever - yes, I've used Blitz wax too - good stuff. Thought maybe they made a cleaner too. Lately, for waxing, I've been used this S100 stuff that I like...comes off easily and doesn't leave any powdery residue.

#37 2 years ago
Quoted from Vic_Camp:

I'll join the club.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]

Single players, wedgeheads especially, will create an awesome collection.

#38 2 years ago
Quoted from RacingPin:

I just got one of my BAB working and I have some questions:
1) Are the top rollovers that have two balls supposed to register both on one pass or is there setting to split them so you have to go through twice for both
2) Once you get ‘special’ to appear it remains until you max out the credit wheel. Is this correct? And if it is already maxed the special doesn’t come on? Is a there a way to score points for the special instead(I assume that would be a hack)
Mike V

From a 5 ball setup (dont know if it holds true on 3 ball)

1) Yes, one pass thru should score both balls. There are two switches stacked under those rollers, one for each ball. One switch might be dirty or need adjusting.

2) Special remains lit until the game ends and you can rack up credits. Im guessing if the credit unit is maxed, the special remains lit but you don't get credits and might not even get knocks. I'm never burdened with a max credit unit

#39 2 years ago


Quoted from SilverLiningMan:Indeed! I gotta get the guts to do it, though. I’ve read about folks taking off paint with the ball swirls when using that combo.
...then again if one IPA is poured into me, while the other IPA is poured onto ME then everything will probably work out fine so long as the right IPA goes with the right me...

Yeah, dont mix the two up

#40 2 years ago
Quoted from Runbikeskilee:

Dan, LOL, I totally missed that in your photo. I was looking at the BaB. When are you going to try your hand at repainting that cabinet

Someday! Seems like a good project but I’ve got too many of those right now!

#41 2 years ago

My Bank-A-Ball

Everything works 100%. New back glass from Ron Webb which mad the machine look 100% better.

Due for a good cleaning though.

As I said earlier cabinet is a little rough in spots but completely solid.

Picked it up for $250, but have probably over $600 into it with the back glass and normal wear parts.

Fun game!

47C2788F-AF56-4152-B2BF-6B9AA9A62AE6 (resized).jpeg
#42 2 years ago

Oh, and I forgot to ask, as you can see my start button is missing.

Any wedge head I seen had metal start button, mine had a wooden button that finally broke, it looked home made but wasn’t sure.

#43 2 years ago

I joined the club recently. Flippers have already been rebuilt. The wrong flipper coils were in the game so I had to change those out and a flipper rebuild kit was installed. I just started tearing everything else down for a cleaning. Pops were previously rebuilt so that’s an added bonus.

#44 2 years ago

bigfoot53 made some apron cards for BAB. I haven’t had a chance to print one out to see whether I would like it or not in the machine. Either way, he does great work. He has a whole custom apron card thread if anyone is interested.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/custom-apron-cards-printable-versions-only

E3E8D34D-E3A2-4125-BDAB-2D114400C4F6 (resized).jpeg

#45 2 years ago

Oooh...pretty! I'm going to print one out and see what it looks like in the machine. I'll post a pic when I do. Thanks for that!

1 week later
#46 2 years ago

Anyone have the ring chart they can post for this? Thanks

#47 2 years ago

Here is some paperwork I found in my package. There is a ring chart too.

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#48 2 years ago
Quoted from Vic_Camp:

Here is some paperwork I found in my package. There is a ring chart too.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Thanks Vic

#49 2 years ago

I was looking at that rubber ring chart - I think they must have stretched a 3" rubber around that center island. Man, that would be tight! I used a 4" Titan there and that felt good to me. For what it's worth...

#50 2 years ago

It's not always best to go by the ring chart. It's good have every size in stock for custom fit.

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