(Topic ID: 158662)

Alvin G. and CO - "A Tribute to the Gottlieb Name"


By xTheBlackKnightx

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 241 posts
  • 50 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 49 days ago by dung
  • Topic is favorited by 32 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 182 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

20190428_150231 (resized).jpg
IMG_20190208_180959.jpg
IMG_20190208_180959 (resized).jpg
IMG_20190208_181008 (resized).jpg
pasted_imageSound	PCA-008 CPU	PCA-009 Display	PCA-020 (A) Power	PCA-019A Power	PCA-028 Display	PCA-003 Sound	PCA-002 (resized).png
C7CF2B41-5EA4-460F-A29B-EEB45CDF39C1 (resized).jpeg
IMG_20181019_171203903 (resized).jpg
pasted_image (resized).png
93E46AEB-492A-4E7B-9BF9-8C3051269570 (resized).jpeg
76EA7B48-7CE9-4E5B-87D4-63B6B2C7B7E5 (resized).jpeg
E652D38D-B391-4B15-946F-F2AA582BAC20 (resized).jpeg
66AD5CE0-2488-4103-8187-91FC83352DB8 (resized).jpeg
ABB788F6-CC56-4D70-AEDC-BECBA6FD69A7 (resized).jpeg
2FF6D33A-0C29-45F2-A08D-6E035C663FD1 (resized).jpeg
C6A81B76-2CC5-4F56-8CBE-B64057E957A1 (resized).jpeg
812B4962-3057-41D3-9E9F-0952AD23DD5C (resized).jpeg

There are 241 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 5.
14
#1 3 years ago

I could not find ANY clubs directly related to the Alvin G. and CO name other than Mystery Castle (MC) and Pistol Poker (PP).
The details overall are very sparse across the spectrum of the internet as well, as AGC closed before much of the modern internet went online.

This club covers ALL Alvin G. and CO (AGC) pinball, two player, and redemption games as well as parts and board sets, which are basically identical in terms of electronics and to help owners and collectors.

This company seems to be directly overlooked on PinSide which I have no idea why as the production numbers and interest has gained significant popularity in the past 10+ years.
Trends indicate increased collectibility of all AGC games.
AGC lifespan was short lived due to Williams pinball industry distributor control.
The overseas market was their targeted audience.

Thirteen (13) Total Games
Game Titles, Abbreviations, Production Year, and Production Numbers from 2016 Mr. Pinball Price Guide:

Football, A.G. (AGF) (1991) (2 Player) - 500
Soccer-Ball, A.G. (AGSC) (2 Player) (1991) - 500
U.S.A. Football (UGAAGF1) (1992) - 11 (Redemption Game)
U.S.A. Football (USAAGF2) (1992) (2 Player) - 100
Al's Garage Band Goes on a World Tour (AGBGoaWT) (1992) - 350 (Mr. Pinball Guide 2016), historic numbers show closer to 1000
Dual Pool (DP) (1993) - Cancelled (prototype never finished, backglasses only)
Max Badazz (MBzz) (1993) - Cancelled (backglass produced only, no whitewood or prototype)
Mystery Castle (MC) (1993) - 200
Dinosaur Eggs (DEgg) (1993) -150-200 (Redemption Game)
Punchy the Clown (PtC) (1993) - 103 (All known examples)
Pistol Poker (PP) (1993) - 580
Slam N' Jam (SnJ) (1994) - 2 (Prototypes only, never finished)
A-MAZE-ING Baseball (AmingB) (1994) - 1 (Cancelled, Prototype) (Redemption game concept)

IPDB AGC Master Entry:
http://www.ipdb.org/search.pl?searchtype=advanced&mfgid=20

Produced game numbers remain in conflict with various sources (IDPB, Mr. Pinball, etc)
Personal worker and industry acquaintances at the AGC factory in the 1990s stated that AGBGoaWT was the highest production based on construction.

"Al's Garage Band Goes on a World Tour"

I recently decided to pull out my personal AGBGoaWT from storage after a LONG time (10+ years).
(NIB overstock Germany export purchase in the early 2000s + NOS parts and playfield)
I never put much play on this personal title in my collection, put maybe 250+ games, folded it back up, shrink wrapped it and got it crated. "Rainy day" in a matter of speaking, but I definately knew I was not going to sell the machine.

"Dial in" via burn test and tech overhaul required on all AGC games, even when it came directly from the factory.
Owners that believe games should work "perfectly out of the box" are $#@!ing uninformed.
That is not how pinball machines behave in the wild or in your house.
They are industrial technical devices that require dedicated care and maintenance, and left unattended will fail.

"Bulletproofing" is a better term, and I still need to add some tweaks to protect the playfield and correct weak points in playfield design for this specific title. It can be be a little wonky if you just fire it up, not in the electronics per say, but more about playfield switch matrix MPU design, not to mention the game has not been played in nearly a decade. The coding does not always properly detect "lost balls". The game design and coding is solid overall in compared to most foreign manufacturers such as Zaccaria, but construction of all AGC games is still lower quality than current Sterns, and significantly less than late model Bally/Williams machines. Electronic power module voltages need to be "watched" to avoid certain "Achilles Heels" for the remaining boards in order to avoid circuit damage.

AGB Pro Tip #1: One of the common "wear" parts is the spinning CD player rubberized decal similar to Whirlwind. The decal color easier rubs off and "flakes" leaving residue on the playfield. The decals have currently not been reproduced, and can be difficult to find. If you want to keep your decal looking "factory fresh", use paint on "LiquidGrip" which is a rubberized clear coat sealer. This is NOT a roof sealant! It is designed for things such as handrails. Brush this product on the decal, and the color and detail will be highly resistant to removal, and provide extra "tackiness" to the decal at the same time giving the ball extra spin and zip. If you decal has already been worn off, but you can still see the outlines, you can bring the decal back to life using enamel paint pens (not acrylic paint) and careful hand work. Then complete the above process.

AGB Pro Tip #2: Another common complaint is the "bounce out" of the CD player kickout which scores "record a song". This is usually common when the flippers have been rebuilt, as the game does require good strength to make the shots. Coils on all AGC games generally were more powerful than needed, but that was a design decision to "reduce maintenance requirements". This is also easily fixed. Use heavy wide adhesive target foam and mount the foam on the backside of the assembly and at the "lip". The ball will never bounce out again and get properly "trapped" for proper eject. The foam cannot be seen by the player as it the same color as the metal, and is easily replaceable when needed. The same type of foam can be used on the lock ramp or an adhesive hard blue rubber square is also a good alternative to prevent additional "bounce out" from ball speed and a broken ramp!

AGB Pro Tip #3: You can greatly enhance and protect your topper without use of "fancy LEDs". Buy an craft acrylic mirror sheet which is 12x24 inches. You want one that is roughly 1/16" thick. Thick is better, but it depends on what you have in tools to cut the material. Sheet metal is much harder to work due to the sharp trim angles and you can cut your fingers if you are not careful with tin snips, but could also be used. Template cut it to match size fit the topper. Attach with edge clips that cannot be seen by the player, and 3D adhesive foam at the bottom mount brackets. This provides a 3D effect, and it also provides the matching mirroring background and protection for the ink screening. If you don't want to use edge clips used for paper, you can use small 3M double sided adhesive tape in strategic locations that are not clear. Keep in mind use a small piece of mylar first, to avoid damaging the artwork, if you ever have to remove the tape.

AGB Pro Tip #4: Typically, most AGC games come with a extremely powerful outhole kicker coil installed at the factory. This leads to all sorts of problems during games that have multiball, as when less balls are in the trough, the kicker and actually force multiple balls past the wireform. In the case of AGB, if two balls are in the shooter lane, the autolaunch coil cannot get two balls into gameplay past the wireform easily, and it completely screws up ball locks at the same time. If the game is not serviced properly and the autofire assembly is very dirty (ie weak in power), the game becomes unplayable as the game will continue to try and serve the balls back into the playfield until the coil overheats and burns up. The solution is simple, use a stiffer resistance assembly return spring underneath the apron. Their is no need to swap out a weaker coil in the assembly. Multi shoot lane balls problems are resolved.

AGB Pro Tip #5: The curved "lock ramp" takes a lot of abuse due to proximity to the flippers and is predominantly riveted. There is a protector on the left side of the ramp, but not the right. The green video mode sign is also very vulnerable to air balls. Go to Home Depot and buy a 6X18" piece of sheet metal. Template the plastics to make a flat reinforcement metal bracket for the backside of the plastics to protect both of them. Take care install that the flasher bulb socket does not touch the bracket, which will cause a playfield short circuit. Cut another strip of metal to form fit the right side of the ramp. Install the right ramp protector with professional epoxy super glue. Install a WMS blue hard rubber 1" square at the end of the ramp to absorb the ball momentum. Final step, use a zip tie to secure the right side of the top clear protector (there are two holes that generally could not be riveted properly based on ramp molding) that keeps the ball on the ramp so it will not flex or break. This ramp is now completely "bullet proofed".

In the future, I may add additional photos, details regarding parts, game repair and restoration tips, and rare AGC backglasses I own along with additional AGC history.

David and Alvin Gottlieb live in great memory.
Michael Gottlieb would be proud.

Keep AGC Flipping and Alive!

IMG_20160430_205208.jpg
IMG_20160429_053625_(resized).jpg

#4 3 years ago

Alvin G. & Co. former factory building photos.

IMAG6304_(resized).jpg

IMAG6307_(resized).jpg

IMAG6309_(resized).jpg

IMAG6310_(resized).jpg

IMAG6314_(resized).jpg

IMAG6315_(resized).jpg

IMAG6316_(resized).jpg

IMAG6318_(resized).jpg

IMAG6319_(resized).jpg

IMAG6321_(resized).jpg

IMG_2038_(resized).JPG

IMG_2043_(resized).JPG

IMG_2046_(resized).JPG

#5 3 years ago

Rare TOUR of Pinball Factory ALVIN G & Company on 8mm film in 1993.
Mystery Castle under production.

Courtesy of Todd Tuckey at TNT Amusements

24
#6 3 years ago

Without a doubt Alvin G & Co. was/is a very underrated and underappreciated company. They did so much in a small amount of time, and I think it was nothing short of incredible. Although their production numbers were very small and they failed to get a foothold in the industry, they worked their butts off to pump out many titles with a lot of diversity. They deserve way more praise than they get, IMHO.

A bit of trivia here: The company started out in March of 1990 as a game design firm called A. Gottlieb & Co. Initially, the plan was to simply design games and have them produced by Premier/Gottlieb, but the idea soon fizzled because Gottlieb was too busy with their own stuff.... so Alvin set up a factory in extra space at the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital complex. At the same time, due to legal issues with Premier/Gottlieb, Alvin was not able to use his last name, so the company briefly existed as A.G. & Co. and then eventually settled on Alvin G & Co.

So, on to my obsession here. About 9 years ago I started getting away from buying the typical B/W and Stern games and I bought a Mystery Castle. Due to the theme I had wanted one for a long time, and after searching for what seemed like forever I brought one home. The game from this semi-unknown company was just incredible to me. Great sounds and artwork.... and I was hooked. This started me down a long road to learning as much as I could about this company and collecting all their games and much more.

I have since spent countless hours tracking down and buying an example of every title produced (and even some protos of titles not released), gathering other things like distributor items, prototype parts and artwork, company memorabilia, factory test fixtures, vintage photos, etc. I have also spent a lot of time tracking down former employees and doing interviews with them so things aren't lost to history, and I hope to be able to do a good write up of everything someday. For now though I'll leave you with some photos of some of my Alvin G collection. I'll try to post some others later, as well as some vintage factory photos. Stay tuned....

photo_(resized).JPG

20151206_173014_(resized).jpg

20151206_172906_(resized).jpg

20151206_172922_(resized).jpg

20151206_173027_(resized).jpg

20160501_112800_(resized).jpg

20160501_112921_(resized).jpg

20151206_172832_(resized).jpg

#7 3 years ago

Can someone explain the relationship between the Gottliebs?

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from dmbjunky:

Can someone explain the relationship between the Gottliebs?

Do you mean the people?
Do you mean the cross renamed investors in relationships under Mylstar Electronics and Premier Technology (this part can get confusing)?

People
David-->Alvin-->Michael
Grandfather (Founder, Grandfather)--->Alvin (Business inheritor, Father)-->Michael (Designer, Son)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gottlieb

David - Established the name in the coin arcade industry in 1927
Alvin - Continued the name as the head of the company through the 1970s,80s, and 90s and with its relations with other companies, not exclusive to the branch off with Alvin G. and CO (AGC)
Michael - Involved in the industry as a designer with his father

#9 3 years ago
Quoted from dmbjunky:

Can someone explain the relationship between the Gottliebs?

Gottlieb Pinball started out as D. Gottlieb & Co. back in 1927 by David Gottlieb (Alvin's father). The company remained in the Gottlieb family until '77 when Alvin sold it to Columbia Pictures. The company was renamed Mylstar and then it became Premier in the early 80's. Premier/Gottlieb closed in '96.

With Jerry Armstrong, Alvin opened A. Gottlieb & Co. in March of 1990. Alvin's sons Michael & Joseph Gottlieb, and Alvin's grandson Stephan Kohnke also worked with the company.... Michael being Vice President.

#10 3 years ago
Quoted from MattElder:

For now though I'll leave you with some photos of some of my Alvin G collection. I'll try to post some others later, as well as some vintage factory photos. Stay tuned....

I love the AGBGoaWT AGC Guitar promotion on the wall with some of the other prototype backglasses, promos, and other stuff.
Good memories.
I could not find one the guitar promo when the game was released.
I don't think that many were made for trade shows.

#11 3 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

I love the AGBGoaWT AGC Guitar promotion on the wall with some of the other prototype backglasses, promos, and other stuff.
Good memories.
I could not find one the guitar promo when the game was released.
I don't think that many were made for trade shows.

Thanks. There certainly weren't a lot of them made to begin with, and lots of them got trashed over the years because the foam deteriorated. Mine is still in decent shape for now. There is another version of the foam guitar out there that has all white strings/graphics. I know where one is, but no luck bringing it home to the museum yet. There is also a very small World Tour guitar lapel pin that was made, but it's tough to see in my pics. I'll try to get a better shot of it later....

#12 3 years ago

Why did Alvin sell the company? I'm sure it was the best time to sell with them being the top pinball maker and looking back they were trending downward. But it seems Alvin wanted to stay in the industry.

#13 3 years ago
Quoted from dmbjunky:

Why did Alvin sell the company? I'm sure it was the best time to sell with them being the top pinball maker and looking back they were trending downward. But it seems Alvin wanted to stay in the industry.

In order to answer your question, we need a bit of clarity.

Are you referring to the Gottlieb name and it's various reincarnations as Mlystar and Premier or its direct independent venture regeneration as AGC?

There is a lot of pinball history that is included in this question, not to mention the various eras of change. Without certain background, it may not all make sense. The late 80s were not a good time for pinball with slowed sales and WMS squeezed Premier and AGC in the early 90s during that revival period.

Another drought started to occur in1996.
WMS management during the whole 90s period were about the "easy dollar", disliked pinball due to conplexity and arguments, and even undercut production of games like MM that were popular by 1000s of orders never constructed. Ultimately, they did not want pinball to survive.

You just have to key on a specific aspect or this could turn into a serious biography monologue.

#14 3 years ago

To be fair to Williams, they didn't undercut the production of MM by thousands of orders, they only made exactly what was ordered. This was a big deal because before MM, they would run the line on whatever game was next and a lot of distributors and purchasers would wait to buy because they knew Williams would need to give heavy discounts to blow out the inventory that wasn't selling in the near future.

MM was seen as a big hit and had relatively strong distribution orders. Williams surprised everyone by filling those orders and then saying the game was done, leaving money on the table with the thought that distributors would go back to buying more to ensure they got filled after that point.

Instead, distributors just bought less and less.

It wasn't a good relationship for either side and Williams thought they could do something by withholding production. It didn't work.

Stern figured out how to navigate this year's later by being able to do really short runs of games. I was in the factory once where there were three different games on the line at the same time. By being able to do that, Stern isn't stuck manufacturing either far too many and needing to blow them out, or far too few and leaving the buyers wishing for more.

To bring this back to Alvin G slightly, Alvin G was unable to do this too, which resulted in the low runs that they did for each of their machines, followed by those machines needing to be blown out at heavy discounts.

#15 3 years ago
Quoted from goatdan:

To be fair to Williams, they didn't undercut the production of MM by thousands of orders, they only made exactly what was ordered. This was a big deal because before MM, they would run the line on whatever game was next and a lot of distributors and purchasers would wait to buy because they knew Williams would need to give heavy discounts to blow out the inventory that wasn't selling in the near future.
MM was seen as a big hit and had relatively strong distribution orders. Williams surprised everyone by filling those orders and then saying the game was done, leaving money on the table with the thought that distributors would go back to buying more to ensure they got filled after that point.
Instead, distributors just bought less and less.
It wasn't a good relationship for either side and Williams thought they could do something by withholding production. It didn't work.
Stern figured out how to navigate this year's later by being able to do really short runs of games. I was in the factory once where there were three different games on the line at the same time. By being able to do that, Stern isn't stuck manufacturing either far too many and needing to blow them out, or far too few and leaving the buyers wishing for more.
To bring this back to Alvin G slightly, Alvin G was unable to do this too, which resulted in the low runs that they did for each of their machines, followed by those machines needing to be blown out at heavy discounts.

Years ago there were tons of HUO Pistol Pokers around that nobody wanted, for around $1500. That seems to have dried up but regardless you certainly don't see these games much being traded, or at shows. I passed up many Al's Garage band games for under $700.

#16 3 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Years ago there were tons of HUO Pistol Pokers around that nobody wanted, for around $1500. That seems to have dried up but regardless you certainly don't see these games much being traded, or at shows. I passed up many Al's Garage band games for under $700.

Yup, due to the combination of a lack of distribution and no one knowing how the games were going to do on location, a bunch of them got blown out in the end. I somewhat regret not buying Al's Garage Band broken at an auction for $400 still as it is the only production "standard" Alvin G game that I don't own. From what I heard, around the time they closed, distributors were offered many of their titles new in box for around $1k.

#17 3 years ago
Quoted from goatdan:

To be fair to Williams, they didn't undercut the production of MM by thousands of orders, they only made exactly what was ordered.
It wasn't a good relationship for either side and Williams thought they could do something by withholding production. It didn't work.

More concise equitable description. I was not trying to turn this into a WMS biography within the market.
AGC has a much more interesting history but the situations have ties.
AGC was not tooled to do this type production as stated, as this was not the industry standard, nor were they established as a full production facility.

A little third party price history on MM as related to the industry (and modern Stern) by Aeneas - www.flippers.be.
Quite accurate in simple direct layman term understanding.

http://www.flippers.be/basics/101_medieval_madness_prices.html

The bottom line with AGC machines specific to buying NIB is if a collector wants one (of any title), then the days are fading fast, but can still be found one or two here or there, if you are extremely diligent. Usually either a PP, AGB, or AGSB. I probably would buy a PtC NIB, if I found one, which is highly unlikely. In any case, I would not recommend others waiting another 5-10 years. The jig is up, and the prices are quickly rising like the rest.

#18 3 years ago

Here is something I posted on West Coast Pinball Collectors recently for “pinball music” fans that many not ever had a chance to hear (or play).
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nz20vhn3ez2meps/AABra6a4RXbG2B0fwZeTiExfa?dl=0

Many of Alvin G. and Company’s games featured high fidelity quality STEREO sound that was FAR superior to most of the time period music.
In fact, much higher than most pinball machines today, unless a machine has a PinSound board installed.
The base sample rates were CD quality (320kps).
Even when BLY/WMS DCS came on (with certain advantages), it was still a contender.
AGC got this aspect right.

I recently did an EPROM sound extraction for kicks.

Al’s Garage Band Goes on a World Tour (AGBGoaWT) had some catchy tunes, including a mid-stride drum/guitar solo during the multiball windup, an unforgettable game over sequence (which was normally turned off by operators), and funny as hell game "tilt" voice laugh. *Almost* as good as pinball classics like Swords of Fury. If you are drummer, you are really going to like these music files. These are the actual raw extractions from the game files, and what you hear during gameplay with stock speakers.

So “Plug it in, Crank it Up!”

So check it out, sit back, enjoy and say hello to Stitchy, Gloria, Delmore, Dr. Skins, and Al for me.

AGB_Flyer.jpg

#19 3 years ago

A helpful Gottlieb Visual Guide.

Gottlieb_Whos_Who.jpg

#20 3 years ago

You never did answer his question as to why Alvin sold D. Gottlieb to Columbia if he wanted to stay in the game.

There's not a ton of history written down on the internet about these various companies - most of what I know is first hand from the people who were there or stories told at Expo.

#21 3 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

You never did answer his question as to why Alvin sold D. Gottlieb to Columbia if he wanted to stay in the game.
There's not a ton of history written down on the internet about these various companies - most of what I know is first hand from the people who were there or stories told at Expo.

Unfortunately in this case, I do not have a answer to both questions, only observations on the industry at the time.
With Alvin now passed on, only Michael, Roger, and a couple others would have a direct conclusion.
Other people who might have the answer closest to heart, either just moved onto other industries or are no longer with us either.

I can only offer my opinion based on what occurred in mid 1994 and the company.

#22 3 years ago

I was so happy when Columbia bought Gottlieb; As a kid, I was able to finally buy stock in Gottlieb as I already had Bally & Williams ( via Seeburg/Xcor International). Pretty cool to own a part of the "Big three" of pinball

#23 3 years ago

Max Badazz would have been a cool one, would have liked to see that

#24 3 years ago

It seemed like D Gottlieb was flying high in '77 according to sales but maybe there was something going on behind the scenes. I don't know first hand but I have heard they cut costs on machines in the '70s. They were still selling a lot of machines then but they could have been unsure of the future with companies converting to solid state. Did Alvin stay on at Gottlieb till he founded AGC or was there a job in between? Was there a change of ownership when D Gottlieb changed their name to Mylstar and from Mylstar to Premier? I always assumed there was because it didn't say Columbia on the machines anymore.

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from dmbjunky:

It seemed like D Gottlieb was flying high in '77 according to sales but maybe there was something going on behind the scenes. I don't know first hand but I have heard they cut costs on machines in the '70s. They were still selling a lot of machines then but they could have been unsure of the future with companies converting to solid state. Did Alvin stay on at Gottlieb till he founded AGC or was there a job in between? Was there a change of ownership when D Gottlieb changed their name to Mylstar and from Mylstar to Premier? I always assumed there was because it didn't say Columbia on the machines anymore.

Part of Gottlieb later problems were the slow growth to integrate innovations of the time into all their machine titles.
Particularly during the transition between EM to SS.
There was continuing "friendly" competition between Bally and Williams, overseas manufacturers were not an impact such as Zaccaria or even smaller US companies like Allied Leisure, because overseas sales provided a large majority of the market continuously and were overwhelmed.
No parties of the "Big Three" were "mortal enemies" by any means, in the later years, because they became good friends, just like with many of the old designers.
Alvin stayed on with the company in all its iterations, but also had other investments in the coin operated industry through the 80s.
The logo never went "Columbia" because that was the end of the Gottlieb production pinball era and Columbia was not interested in its developments. Alvin was by second hand knowledge was interested in retaining his continued involvement in the "lure of the silver ball", but the assets were liquidated.
It was not deemed practical.

Hopefully, this information is a bit more practical.
The only people who could really chronologically capture all the events are dead, in a few cases do not use the internet..., or if Michael really wants to go digging, which he does not have interest at the time.
He does have access to a lot of material in his archives, however.

#26 3 years ago

A couple of more AGC knowledge general tips:
#1 Due to the way that the lamp matrix voltage is strobed, standard #44/47 bayonet 1 LED bulbs will NOT WORK with AGC machines similar to older games. You have to upgrade with a "smart LED" in order for the lamps to work at all. #555/T10 socket bulbs have no issues, nor do #89 multi LED bulbs at the 13 volt range. I don't know if any AGC games used #906. I am researching what the best LED option is right now for these machines that does not turn into "retina burning" and "unicorn pinata sharting" playfields, as the factory lighting for both GI and insert lamps is sub par in my opinion. Additional spotlights, might be an additional improvement at various locations and could be a cheap fix.
#2 AGC owners should be aware that none of the produced games use an interlock switch for high voltage when you open the coin door. There is NO warning. This means two things when you are in "maintenance mode". One, you can get yourself electrocuted if you are being $@!#ing stupid. There are some serious voltages coming out of this game in certain areas. Two, you can blow things up if you are not careful. Shut your game down, even to change bulbs. It is too easy to inadvertently short something out, or have the playfield actually fall and hit something resulting in the same ending. These boards have harder to find components, you do not want to fix, if you do not have to overall.

Added over 3 years ago: Correction on my part.
All AGC games did use #906 bulbs in areas of the backbox or equivalent.
Some games did use #906 on the playfields.

#27 3 years ago

Another AGC game RECOMMENDED tip:

General AGC game plastic material thickness was rather THIN in construction.
Due to the near impossibility to find replacements for game ink screened plastics, protectors are pretty much a must in this case, due to flying air balls.
If you anyone has need, I template cut a full set of protectors of all plastics for AGB in 1/8 inch clear acrylic, which includes things like the Al, Delmore, and Stitchy standups on the pop bumpers, which I sandwiched with extra mirroring sheeting.
They will be difficult to break now, and could easily make a couple of extra sets in a pinch.
I seriously doubt most protector makers like PinBits or Laseriffic will ever offer these for purchase, due to low game production.

#28 3 years ago

Love the plastic protector thought, hope someone does it for their other games!

#29 3 years ago

This is a cool thread. I have had tons of machines but picked up my first Alvin G. last night and really don't know much about them at all. Rarity is interesting but makes things difficult when doing restores or repairs for sure. Thanks for the tips.

#30 3 years ago

If helps the conversation the flasher bulbs in the backbox of punchy the clown are all 904

#31 3 years ago
Quoted from jmountjoy111:

If helps the conversation the flasher bulbs in the backbox of punchy the clown are all 904

"Happiness is a 906 Punchy".
All knowledge helps.

#32 3 years ago

Another little known AGB production fact:

If you looks carefully at the game shown on the AGB flyer, it is a completely different game.
In fact, it was a sample prototype design machine:

- The game did not include the "piano keys" switch feature beyond the skill shot
- Skill shot coding was not finished
- Games plastics were different, or not included such as the "boom box" in the right corner
- Backglass colors were different, and additional mirroring was added
- Upper guitar mini-playfield was a different design in terms of art
- Playfield production colors were slightly changed.
- GI lighting was slightly different
- Feature insert colors were changed
- CD Spinner scoop had a a "cow catcher" front design
- Flipper bats included the AGC logo, and were removed

This and a host of other small stuff.

Most interesting of all, the game is actually missing cabinet parts.
On the front of the cabinet, the lockbar slide mount is missing a bolt on the right side.
DOH!

#33 3 years ago

Something I recently found in my pinball archives from a LONG time ago.
I did not make the purchase at the given time, but 10 years later...
AGC_Letter_(resized).png

Added over 3 years ago: I should have mentioned the "brochure" AGC sent me was not the flyer, as they were not ready yet, but rather a full color photo of the game cabinet, a separate photo of the playfield, and a final sheet for specifications and features. These all eventually ended up on the flyer we know today with more "pizazz".

#34 3 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

A couple of more AGC knowledge general tips:
#1 Due to the way that the lamp matrix voltage is strobed, standard #44/47 bayonet 1 LED bulbs will NOT WORK with AGC machines similar to older games. You have to upgrade with a "smart LED" in order for the lamps to work at all. #555/T10 socket bulbs have no issues, nor do #89 multi LED bulbs at the 13 volt range. I don't know if any AGC games used #906. I am researching what the best LED option is right now for these machines that does not turn into "retina burning" and "unicorn pinata sharting" playfields, as the factory lighting for both GI and insert lamps is sub par in my opinion. Additional spotlights, might be an additional improvement at various locations and could be a cheap fix.

I used standard Cointaker LEDs in my PTC without any issue. Maybe its a different lamp matrix then other A.G. machines?

23_(resized).jpg

#35 3 years ago
Quoted from Eddie:

I used standard Cointaker LEDs in my PTC without any issue. Maybe its a different lamp matrix then other A.G. machines?

These are different SMD non-ghosting #44 bayonet bulbs, than many dealers sell, that is why they are compatible.
I have a couple of sources that work, but all exhibit some small amount of "flickering", but not ghosting.

There are some differences in the lamp matrix voltages with AGB and Punchy based on the boardsets of the games.
There just is very little information AGC available, hence a good thread to provide individual game idiosyncrasies.
AGC factory lightning for GI is very poor in my opinion, but the inserts were alright.

#36 3 years ago

#376 Alvin G & Company WORLD TOUR Pinball Machine! Pretty Rare! TNT Amusements (Oct 22, 2013)
Classic TNT Amusements information and humor.

#37 3 years ago

"Punchy's Kinetic Playground".

An interesting, older stop motion film short about the disassembly and reassembly of the pinball playfield, designed as a project in appreciation for pinball as an art form.
Presented as a part of Pinball Expo 2011 by Robert Craig.
This was a metric $#@! ton of work here using over 3,100 still photos.
I bet everybody would like to have their machines disassembly/reassembly themselves during a shop out.

23
#38 3 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

Part of Gottlieb later problems were the slow growth to integrate innovations of the time into all their machine titles.
Particularly during the transition between EM to SS.
There was continuing "friendly" competition between Bally and Williams, overseas manufacturers were not an impact such as Zaccaria or even smaller US companies like Allied Leisure, because overseas sales provided a large majority of the market continuously and were overwhelmed.
No parties of the "Big Three" were "mortal enemies" by any means, in the later years, because they became good friends, just like with many of the old designers.
Alvin stayed on with the company in all its iterations, but also had other investments in the coin operated industry through the 80s.
The logo never went "Columbia" because that was the end of the Gottlieb production pinball era and Columbia was not interested in its developments. Alvin was by second hand knowledge was interested in retaining his continued involvement in the "lure of the silver ball", but the assets were liquidated.
It was not deemed practical.
Hopefully, this information is a bit more practical.
The only people who could really chronologically capture all the events are dead, in a few cases do not use the internet..., or if Michael really wants to go digging, which he does not have interest at the time.
He does have access to a lot of material in his archives, however.

I don't have to go digging to answer your questions.

Here are the facts:
Dad and my Uncle sold D. Gottlieb and Co. because they were headed toward retirement, no younger family member wanted to take it over, and Columbia Pictures made a very good offer.

Post 1977,when they sold, Dad had no financial investment in any coin-op company until Alvin G. & Co.

We used to visit Premier a lot and Dad was very close friends with Gil Pollack but it was a personal relationship, not a professional one.

#39 3 years ago
Quoted from Michaelgottlieb:

I don't have to go digging to answer your questions.
Here are the facts:
Dad and my Uncle sold D. Gottlieb and Co. because they were headed toward retirement, no younger family member wanted to take it over, and Columbia Pictures made a very good offer.
Post 1977,when they sold, Dad had no financial investment in any coin-op company until Alvin G. & Co.
We used to visit Premier a lot and Dad was very close friends with Gil Pollack but it was a personal relationship, not a professional one.

Michael,

Thank you for the historical and personal information regarding your family.
There is just is not that much overall information available for reference regarding AGC, even though old Expos and basic historical files.
Feel free to add any additional information, as you see fit and have time.

#40 3 years ago

Alvin was hard at work long before starting his own company.

http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=891

DSCN4638_(resized).JPG

1 week later
10
#41 3 years ago
Quoted from MattElder:

Without a doubt Alvin G & Co. was/is a very underrated and underappreciated company. They did so much in a small amount of time, and I think it was nothing short of incredible. Although their production numbers were very small and they failed to get a foothold in the industry, they worked their butts off to pump out many titles with a lot of diversity. They deserve way more praise than they get, IMHO.
A bit of trivia here: The company started out in March of 1990 as a game design firm called A. Gottlieb & Co. Initially, the plan was to simply design games and have them produced by Premier/Gottlieb, but the idea soon fizzled because Gottlieb was too busy with their own stuff.... so Alvin set up a factory in extra space at the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital complex. At the same time, due to legal issues with Premier/Gottlieb, Alvin was not able to use his last name, so the company briefly existed as A.G. & Co. and then eventually settled on Alvin G & Co.
So, on to my obsession here. About 9 years ago I started getting away from buying the typical B/W and Stern games and I bought a Mystery Castle. Due to the theme I had wanted one for a long time, and after searching for what seemed like forever I brought one home. The game from this semi-unknown company was just incredible to me. Great sounds and artwork.... and I was hooked. This started me down a long road to learning as much as I could about this company and collecting all their games and much more.
I have since spent countless hours tracking down and buying an example of every title produced (and even some protos of titles not released), gathering other things like distributor items, prototype parts and artwork, company memorabilia, factory test fixtures, vintage photos, etc. I have also spent a lot of time tracking down former employees and doing interviews with them so things aren't lost to history, and I hope to be able to do a good write up of everything someday. For now though I'll leave you with some photos of some of my Alvin G collection. I'll try to post some others later, as well as some vintage factory photos. Stay tuned....

Finally getting around to posting some of my old Alvin G photos. More of these oldies and other shots of stuff in my collection to come later. Photo credits go to Jim Schelberg.

WTwhitewood_(resized).jpg

WT-mGott_(resized).jpg

IMG_2893_(resized).JPG

IMG_2896_(resized).JPG

IMG_2895_(resized).JPG

IMG_2894_(resized).JPG

IMG_2892_(resized).JPG

IMG_2891_(resized).JPG

#42 3 years ago

Those are some priceless photos. Thanks for posting them. Love the A. Gottlieb & Co. Logo. Too bad Steve Young & Bob Fesjian were such pricks toward Alvin.

#43 3 years ago
Quoted from MrBally:

Those are some priceless photos. Thanks for posting them. Love the A. Gottlieb & Co. Logo. Too bad Steve Young & Bob Fesjian were such pricks toward Alvin.

Why what happened there? Wouldn't allow Alvin to use his last name in the company name?

#44 3 years ago
Quoted from Pinballer73:

Why what happened there? Wouldn't allow Alvin to use his last name in the company name?

Correct. He legally could not use his own last name as part of his Company name. Using the old D. Gottlieb & Co. font did not help. But it was meant to show the heritage of the Company.

#45 3 years ago

I don't know how I missed this thread up until now. I must be slacking. I'm a long time Alvin G fan and for years I ran this website to archive information on the company and the games. It hasn't been active for a long time, but I had collected quite the list of serial numbers there (particularly for Mystery Castle) which I passed on to Matt Elder. I believe it was also the first place to document the differences between the early 'prototype' machines and standard machines.

https://web.archive.org/web/20120712180810/http://www.tristatechapter.com/arcade/alving/alving.html

It's great to have Michael Gottlieb contributing to this thread!

#46 3 years ago

I notice none of them have a computer on their desks! Even in the early 90's they were common sites in offices.

#47 3 years ago
Quoted from Betelgeuse:

I don't know how I missed this thread up until now. I must be slacking. I'm a long time Alvin G fan and for years I ran this website to archive information on the company and the games. It hasn't been active for a long time, but I had collected quite the list of serial numbers there (particularly for Mystery Castle) which I passed on to Matt Elder.

I knew the website, I did not realize it was still up, so the contribution is appreciated.
If I recall correctly the website was built in the early 00s.
The scary part is I recognize a $#!@ ton of the owners (or previous owners) of MC.
Many have not changed hands.

Just a note: I just finished flat bed scanning one of my NOS AGB spinner decals at 1200 dpi. I am looking into the best supplier to reproduce the rubberized, textured adhesive decals, and have a small batch run when I get the time.

#48 3 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

I knew the website, I did not realize it was still up, so the contribution is appreciated.
If I recall correctly the website was built in the early 00s.
The scary part is I recognize a $#!@ ton of the owners (or previous owners) of MC.
Many have not changed hands.
Just a note: I just finished flat bed scanning one of my NOS AGB spinner decals at 1200 dpi. I am looking into the best supplier to reproduce the rubberized, textured adhesive decals, and have a small batch run when I get the time.

As Brian mentioned, the site hasn't been active for a long while. The link is to a cached version of the former site. A lot of the MC owners on there are not current. Many of those games have changed hands (some several times) in the last few years.

#49 3 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

Just a note: I just finished flat bed scanning one of my NOS AGB spinner decals at 1200 dpi. I am looking into the best supplier to reproduce the rubberized, textured adhesive decals, and have a small batch run when I get the time.

Thanks for working on the cd decals. There's definitely a market for them now that the NOS stock is drying up.

I'm still working on getting the cd spinner gearmotors reproduced, and also Alvin G flipper pawls. The gear motors won't be a problem if I can get enough preorders, but the pawls are a bit trickier. Finding a company willing to do those is tough enough, but the minimum quantity needed for a run might be an issue with these. We'll see what happens....

#50 3 years ago
Quoted from MattElder:

Finally getting around to posting some of my old Alvin G photos. More of these oldies and other shots of stuff in my collection to come later. Photo credits go to Jim Schelberg.

I want that LARGE AGB display promo that is sitting behind Michael.
Looks like cardboard though...

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
$ 50.00
$ 399.95
$ 279.95
$ 279.95
$ 279.95
$ 279.95
There are 241 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 5.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside