My first proper forum post, relatively new to the site and a total pinball virgin. I have been gathering information from here so I thought I should share my experience with this project. Please excuse the backstory, without it you may find my ignorance and processes perplexing.
Me, myself and Pinball.
I’m 38, from London UK and I know nothing about pinball outside of playing a few real games 20+ years ago in sea front arcades and a few Amiga computer games back in those days. I have / had zero experience of working on or understanding a real pinball machine.
So how did I find myself with this machine ?
I have two boys aged 3.5 and 1.5 and they are obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles cartoon series. One day whilst they were watching the green mutants eat Pizza and discuss the Krang one of my boys asked what Michelangelo was playing in the background. Pinball said I, thus I tried to explain it but got nowhere.
In the end I decided the best thing was to get them a cheap pinball machine from toys-r-us and let them have a play. It was the most disappointing experience ever but it sowed a seed.
I like to think I am a practical person, I work on IT, have done the house up, invented a few novelty and practical items such as baby gates, automated fish tanks and built some furniture from scratch so I thought my next project would be to build the boys a reduced size but proper pinball machine.
Now from reading the interwebs and doing some research I soon realized that building from scratch would not be cheap. Pinball is more expensive than I thought. I put a list together of parts I would need, got a sterling total and started scouting for parts.
Whilst doing my daily ebay search I stumbled across a picture of a pinball machine with the title ‘Bally Magic Circus 1965 Pinball Machine’. I googled it and found nothing under that name. However, it had all the parts I needed, was under my price cap and the condition of it meant nothing to me as I only wanted the guts. I placed a bid.
3 days later, I picked up this…
(Playfield pic missing pop and flipper as taken a few days after I got the machine)
The wife was not happy.
At this point I should point out that I live in a small 2.5 bed semi-detached 5 miles from central London. I do not have a games room, garage, out building, so the machine is put in the boys bedroom. I reassure the boss that it wont take me long to strip it down and they will have the space back that’s needed for a bed. That was January.
Now I make what some would regard as a mistake and other would treat as a ‘thank god’ moment. Later on you are all probably going to dislike what I do at some point so don’t get your hopes up that this is going to be all happy endings.
I googled the proper name of the machine, this threw a rather large spanner in my grand plan.
580 units made between Feb and June 1965. After a few more hours of searching for info I cant find much more on the machine apart from about 5 others that are advertised as in collections.
What have I done ? I got what I thought was junk for salvage, and I have ended up with something that maybe ignorantly I think should be preserved. At this point I seriously thought about re-listing it with its correct name and seeing if someone who knew something about pinball would take it off me. I didn’t for two reasons…
Firstly if I sold this one, there is no way I would find another pinball for parts at the price I got this for.
Secondly, I made myself a promise that I would have a pinball machine for the kids for Christmas.
So to follow is the torture that my playfield has endured over the last 7 months as the novice that I am attempts to do a job that I hope I am proud of.