(Topic ID: 174267)

60s drop target games. What are your favorites?


By o-din

2 years ago



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  • 46 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by mojonitro
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 2 years ago

In 1951, Gottlieb released two games, Wild West and Minstrel Man that had a decorated plastic behind a stand-up target that dropped into the playfield when that target was hit. These aren't really drop targets as we know them today because the target itself doesn't drop, but may have served as an inspiration for what was to come a decade later.

It wasn't until 1962 that the standard drop target we know today first showed up in a game. Best available info I have is it was Williams Vagabond designed by Steve Kordek, however Keeney's Arrowhead designed by Ed Krynski may have been, but IPDB hasn't determined the exact production date so it could be either.

These were mostly single bank drop targets with some games having as many as five of them placed strategically around the playfield and added an element to the game of pinball that made it more exciting and they are still a standard feature even to this day. I have several of them in my collection and they are all top players.

By the 70s, drops were commonplace and came in rows with Bally being one of the last to finally install them on Air Aces in 1974.

This thread is for the original handful of games from the 1960s that broke ground and introduced us to the modern drop target.

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#2 2 years ago

Funnily enough it would be Big Daddy

If only I had more room.......and then I would need to find one...

#3 2 years ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

Funnily enough it would be Big Daddy

That was the first one I owned and still do. It set in motion the need to find and get more of them.

#4 2 years ago

1963 Williams reverse wedgehead.....SKILL POOL

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#5 2 years ago

Skill Pool is a fine game.

One of the only machines to feature both a drop target and gobble holes (I believe Jumpin' Jacks is the other). And quite a few rollover buttons as well.

#6 2 years ago

I have had quite a few drop target games over the years. Eventually I settled on Teacher's Pet. It's fine game and a keeper.

I'd like to put some time on other 60s drop target games. Not limited to Williams either. I'd like to give that Keeney Arrowhead a whirl also.

#7 2 years ago

+1 on Teacher's Pet. Although I no longer own one, sometimes I wish I did.

As rare as some of these are, Keeney's Arrowhead may be the hardest to find. I've never seen one in person, but would really like to some day.

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#8 2 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

As rare as some of these are, Keeney's Arrowhead may be the hardest to find. I've never seen one in person, but would really like to some day.

A gem indeed and on my double secret radar.

#9 2 years ago

Vagabond is a good game. I'd say it's about as good as any 60's Williams game without a drop target though, but it's cool to own it. It's a good game feature but definitely enjoy drop target games much more when they have a bank of them. Considering you need to raise the target again (as an objective), it definitely helps a ton though - adds not only one major feature to the game (knocking it down) but two (raising it back up again to hit it again).

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#10 2 years ago

Also shown in my picture (I took at my home) is 1972 Williams Super Star which also has a single drop target in the center of the playfield (like Vagabond) but the cool thing about that is it blocks a path to a kickout hole which is needed to score and/or add balls. Kind of like a gate. You don't see that too much. I know Metallica has three targets like that all down one "alley", similar kind of idea.

Sure, it was 1972, but that was still back before games started having tons of them. I don't even know if Williams even got on the drop-target bank train until the SS era. I own some pretty late Williams EM titles that still don't have banks of targets, but multiple drop targets placed around the playfield.

#11 2 years ago
Quoted from Otaku:

Considering you need to raise the target again (as an objective), it definitely helps a ton though - adds not only one major feature to the game (knocking it down) but two (raising it back up again to hit it again).

That's part of what I like so much about Teacher's Pet. Your not just flailing away at a bank of them. There are only two but sometimes you need them up and sometimes you need them down. You can manipulate that and it's challenging, which makes it fun.

Quoted from Otaku:

Also shown in my picture (I took at my home) is 1972 Williams Super Star which also has a single drop target in the center of the playfield (like Vagabond) but the cool thing about that is it blocks a path to a kickout hole which is needed to score and/or add balls. Kind of like a gate. You don't see that too much.

It looks like Pretty Baby from 1965 has something similar. Two targets blocking kickout holes. Seems like a neat feature.

#12 2 years ago

"Teacher's Pet" is a good one.
"Big Deal", "Vagabond", "Skill Pool", and
"Heat Wave" are great too.

#13 2 years ago

Teacher's Pet is true pinball. Thanks O-Din, for mine. Thanks, Steve Kordek!
Skill Pool is a whole lotta fun. I scored one cheap and was stoked! Thanks again, Steve Kordek.
Heat Wave is next (no, not yers Yo-Din... I found one in NorCal--coming soon). Oh wait, thanks AGAIN Steve Kordek.
Ain't nobody wants to sell his Big Daddy. Evar. To me or ennybody else... Steve Kordek is God.

They had an Arrowhead @ PPE16 a couple weeks ago. Fun indeed.

#14 2 years ago

El Toro has the hardest to hit drop targets of any game I've ever played. Getting one down in an entire game can feel like an accomplishment, but can be enough to secure a victory.

Hitting the reel target to advance value or collect the extra ball is no picnic either. Lit pop bumpers can give you points, but much easier to turn them off than to light them. And very hard to drop the ball thru any of the top rollovers.

All in all a very tough game including just keeping the ball in play. But it's earned it's keep.

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#15 2 years ago

Gotta add Palooka to the mix here. In the same Era with FIVE single drops. Knock down the 4 outer red ones, then the center to collect add-a-ball. That center target is also worth more every time you do it. (100, 300, 500, 1000!) I would love to aquire a few of those listed already, but am pretty content with my very nice example of Palooka

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#16 2 years ago

Glad to see Palooka get some love. I'm not much of an add-a-ball guy, but my Palooka provides a lot more fun than I expected it to.

Teacher's Pet is also a good time. I usually get too excited when I have successfully spelled TEACHERS PET, and I lose the ball before hitting one of the drops. It's so frustrating... just like it's supposed to be.

BTW, I sit at my desk in this same saintly pose when I'm teaching.

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#17 2 years ago
Quoted from monsonb:

BTW, I sit at my desk in this same saintly pose when I'm teaching.

hahahahahaha. Me too!

#18 2 years ago

I certainly wasn't the kid with the apple. More like the kid with the shit eating grin.

#19 2 years ago

Teacher's Pet was my first 60s WMS EM
so i have a special soft spot in my heart for it.
Heat Wave, I think of more of a swinging target and popmbumper game.

#20 2 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

Keeney's Arrowhead may be the hardest to find. I've never seen one in person, but would really like to some day.

You will have to go to the next PPE show as they have one in Alameda CA.

#21 2 years ago

If I ever get up there I'll have to check it out.

Although Steve Kordek seems to be the major driving force behind them, as most of the games they appeared on throughout the decade were designed by him, Norm Clark's 1965 Eager Beaver featured three of these single bank drop targets and are very important to scoring in the game. Another machine I am very proud to own.

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#22 2 years ago

I really like the beefy look of a drop-down cabinet. It blends in well next to a 70's pin. I also like the strip of light a backglass marquee provides.
The drop targets are cool, too.

#23 2 years ago

Pretty game, isn't it? I had sold this one a while ago to free up some space, but now it is back, and maybe this time for good. I'm enjoying it a lot more this time than the first time around.

Four drop targets down adds a card to the backglass. The way I have it set up now makes that no easy task.

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#24 2 years ago

1963 WMS Big Deal was the 2nd WMS EM from the 60s that i bought,
Actually bought the Dave Christensen alternate BG from Herb Silvers first,
then found the game later, buying it from Terry with TLC pins in Northridge CA,
even though it had a badly flaking BG.
Bought a extra Big Deal off Craigslist a few years later that was located
in Eureka CA, so that made for a long road trip.
Bought a spare repro BG from Ron Webb when they came out.
This game is a definite nudgers game, what with the wide flipper gap and rebound
below/between the flippers and if you are very good & lucky
one can even get the ball to bounce/rebound back up thru the flippers
from the side drains.

#25 2 years ago

The only paint loss on that Big Deal glass is some of the black spades on the cards that won't be too hard to touch up. The cabinet is a less than stellar repaint, but looks decent from a distance. Playfield and plastics are really nice, so considering this machine is old as me, I'm very happy with this example and it might be tough to find a better one.

#26 2 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

Pretty game, isn't it? I had sold this one a while ago to free up some space, but now it is back, and maybe this time for good. I'm enjoying it a lot more this time than the first time around.
Four drop targets down adds a card to the backglass. The way I have it set up now makes that no easy task.

Really neat art work on this classic machine; looks like 7 pop bumpers up top and the drop targets look inviting.

I have never played one but would like to give it a try if I see one.

#27 2 years ago

The four top ones are dead bumpers, the three lower are pop bumpers. And the ladies are about the sexiest I've seen on any machine.

It really is a good looking, inviting machine that once you've played a game, there's no reason not to play it again, and again, and again, and again...

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

And the ladies are about the sexiest I've seen on any machine.

Agreed.
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Merry Xmas.

#29 2 years ago

She is one of them. I'd like something like that under my tree.

#30 2 years ago

Awe...nobody mentioned Merry Widow.

#31 2 years ago
Quoted from Dr_of_Style:

Awe...nobody mentioned Merry Widow.

You just did. Never played one. Any good?

#32 2 years ago

I've never played Merry Widow either but it is a theme that has always appealed to me. A lady who's husband has died but she's not letting that get her down. Looks like another great layout with four drop targets, two swinging targets and a pair of lower kickers.

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#33 2 years ago
Quoted from AlexF:

Never played one. Any good?

Yup, its a fun little butt kicker!
you hit a drop, then each time the swinger is hit, it cycles thru the 10,20,30 points for each next hit.
so, you can add up points kinda quick, or, if you dont get the drops first, your score goes up by a whopping...1 point at a time.
the side drains are a killer tho.

#34 2 years ago

Hi
unfortunately I do not have such an pin. In post-9 Otaku says about "Vagabond": Can get the Drop-Down-Target down - but also can lift it up again. In post-11 AlexF says similar words about Teacher's Pet - down then up then down - challenging.
By now there are 8 "pins / games" linked to this topic --- I wonder: Do ALL have this neat feature of "lift up again", greetings Rolf

#35 2 years ago

Rolf, most have this feature. However some with multiple targets will reset after they are all down. Some go both ways, meaning all down will reset them or they can be reset individually like on El Toro thru the upper rollover lanes. I need to play it again to make sure they do reset when both knocked down, but I believe they do. It's hard to hit one in a ball, let alone both.

Example-

Big Daddy, you must hit either kickout hole to raise target.

Eager Beaver, Big Deal, resets after all targets down.

#36 2 years ago

We played some El Toro last night and the drops reset after both are knocked down as I thought. Also the left upper rollover will reset the left one, the right rollover the right one, and the center one resets both.

Heat Wave is another great game that deserves all the praise it gets and the value of the drop target increases as the thermometer temp in the backbox increases. To reset the target requires hitting both swinging targets.

#37 2 years ago

Hi O-din
thanks for the information. You guys make me jealous - I do not own such an lovely "Single Targets" pin. In the "list of games": MOST are ONE-Player pins --- almost every pin imported into Switzerland was an Four-Player pin (and the few single-player pins have "long gone"). Greetings Rolf

#38 2 years ago

Most of these games are not common around here either. I chose to ship several in from other parts of the country with the exception of El Toro, and that was a long drive, but well worth it.

Williams tried to make the multiplayer games in the 60s as interesting as possible by trying various things, and for the most part they succeeded. IMO their single player games of this era are some of the best machines of all time. Some of their multiplayers as well.

#39 2 years ago

Hi
I accidently came across "Williams Seven Up, 1969" http://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=2104&picno=4318&zoom=1 the Number-7 Target to be raised - then can be hit - questions: Does it stay up or does it drop (again) ? - the text in ipdb "Notable Features" does not tell - and then: Can be raised again ? Hit and drop (again) ? And again ? Greetings Rolf

#40 2 years ago

Rolf,
I have not played one but according to the flyer-

http://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=2104&picno=4318

Make targets 1-6 raises #7 target (drop target)

#7 scores 500 pts or special when lit.

Don't know if you can do it more than once in a game. But if it ls like the others, it probably can.

#41 2 years ago

Honorary mention today for Friendship 7, though it lacks drop targets, the theme/artwork is awesome! RIP John Glenn, you were one of those guys with 'The Right Stuff'.
(Manned Friendship 7, first orbit of earth for those that weren't aware)

#42 2 years ago

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#43 2 years ago

I posted this question in the Tech forum, but I'd thought I'd ask in this thread, too.

I've recently noticed that the value of knocking down the drop targets on my Teacher's Pet never increases. If I spell T E A C H E R S P E T the red light comes on and I can score a special, but I'm stuck on 50 points until then. The lights don't move through the 100, 300, 400, and 500 point values.
Anyone know where I should look? Thanks!

#44 2 years ago

monsonb: Sounds like you've never gotten them in order before! You hafta drop T and E before you drop A and C before you drop H and R. If you get them all out of order it will jump straight to Special.

#45 2 years ago
Quoted from fireball2:

Sounds like you've never gotten them in order before!

Ha! You're right! I'm not that good.
Thanks for explaining that.

2 months later
#46 2 years ago

No you don't. As long as you get the targets down, the rewards await you! BUT, if you don't have T and E before A and C, the reward for A and C won't advance. If you get them all but S, then get S, it ratchets up to the Special. The advances await you, but you do have to work down the table to get them to build.

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