(Topic ID: 224169)

EM A-list?

By n1teowl

1 year ago

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  • 133 posts
  • 58 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by phil-lee
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders


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    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from Zep:

    If you think River Boat is the Number 1 EM, how much more proof do you need?

    It's not number one in my collection, but a hell of a lot better than some of the other more talked about games on this forum, and one of the games I do play very often.

    #19 1 year ago

    There are too many EMS for most to have played them all, especially set up and playing correctly. So all I can do is have my own list based on what I like in regards to gameplay, artwork, and that one more game factor. And what works for me, won't always be what others are looking for.

    I certainly won't buy games based off a top 100 list that others have made up.

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    That's the big thing with EMs always.

    Yeah, mine are all set up and playing real good.

    I've had a lot come thru here, in many cases just to try them out, and the ones that get played stay. The ones that don't or have artwork that doesn't appeal to me get gone in a hurry. Many that have been booted are in many case someone elses favorite game.

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from unigroove:

    Pinball Magazine No. 5 is covering a lot of Gottlieb EMs, who at the time were the #1 pinball manufacturer.

    Quantity wise, most years they were. Except when Williams in the late 60s caught up and one year actually produced more, and Bally during the last EM years and perhaps during the 30s when they were churning out games like Bally Hoo.

    For me, I tend to like short flipper games. Gottlieb from the late 40s to the mid 50s had quite a few gems, then mostly Williams from the mid 50s to the late 60s are my games of preference due to not sticking to one formula and adding variety in features, artwork, and layouts.

    #35 1 year ago

    My list as far as long term keepers, overall design, artwork, and replay ability for myself and my guests.

    As mentioned when they stop getting played, they get shown to the door and that list is a lot longer than this one.

    Pit Stop
    Big Daddy
    Trade Winds
    Magic Clock
    River Boat
    Arrow Head
    Eager Beaver

    Eight out of the nine being Williams from the late 50s to late 60s. They stay because they get the most play and I like to look at them.

    #40 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinwiztom:

    You might get more of a concensus
    as to what EM pins are on
    the D or F List!!!

    Give us an E for El Toro?

    I give my Williams El Toro a solid B+.

    As a two player it is going to outlast Fashion Show, which will probably be the next to leave the building. Not a bad two player, if you have two to play it. Multiplayers that stay have to also be able to function as a single player and stay fun for the long haul.

    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinwiztom:

    I agree that WMS El Toro
    is a very good game
    but not great pin.

    It's kinda been on and off the chopping block as I whittle down the collection to my all time keepers and that is why it didn't make my top list, but has surprisingly outlasted quite a few others.

    It has a few things going for it like two of the hardest to knock down drop targets in pinball, and one of those brutally hard to keep the ball in play layouts Steve Kordek is famous for in that era. And doesn't hand out points like candy, you have to earn every one.

    Also when two play, it has very balanced scoring, and there is no lucky shot that awards one player a big amount of points that both have worked for just because he happens to do so at the right time. And those games tend to stay close and it is usually a fight to the finish.

    But, if I ever say I'm putting my two player Pit Stop on the chopping block, somebody please slap me.

    #44 1 year ago

    Sure, why not?

    Anybody that is of the opinion EMs play slow, especially the older wobdrails with two inch flippers has probably never played a Rocket like the one on the far right. In fact, I think I'll go throw down a few games on it right now.

    My first wood rail has made the never leaving team. And deservedly so. I think at one time it was actually near the top of the pinside top 100 EM games without my vote. Not bad for such a rare machine. I think I will probably be keeping all of these.
    Woodys (resized).jpg

    #49 1 year ago

    Take the pinside top 100 list with a grain of salt. It seems to change like tide. And myself, I have no influence on it.

    If you want all the most expensive games all in a row, then you have your list. If I want to keep all the best looking, best playing games I have come across, then I have mine.

    #50 1 year ago
    Quoted from tamoore:

    But the ONLY game I have that he was truly impressed by was my Fireball 72. he calls it "the biggest collectable from my generation".
    He just asked me if I was ready to sell it yet.

    That's some random dude's perspective.

    He must have read that article in Playboy.

    What Fireball did do in the 70s was took the ideas Ted Zale had been working on in the 60s and put them together in one package. But this time an artist new to the pinball scene named Dave Christensen gave it a new look and it became an instant hit. Christensen's art went onto help propel Bally to the top of the flipper pinball world by the end of the decade. At least that's the way I saw it at the time.

    #57 1 year ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    replays are more or less useless in a home environment

    I don't see it that way at all. That's like saying having a game that was designed to make money is more or less useless in a home environment.

    For me the goal is to score as many specials and pass as many score thresh holds that I can in any given game and is more rewarding than scratching the new high score on the cabinet because obviously the game doesn't keep track of that.

    Older games when 5-10 specials at one time are even better as that knocker goes off in machine gun fashion. But to each his own I guess.

    #60 1 year ago
    Quoted from Agent_Hero:

    This might be a dumb question, but was there any certain preferred pinball machine over others for those who would use them for gambling purposes?

    They are all gambling machines.

    In my parlor it has been the two player Williams games with short flippers that fit the bill the best, but any game that in most cases will offer close scores between competitors works well.

    Back in the old days it was the games you could rack up the most credits on and sell them to the bartender or somebody else, and again this would be Williams which on some games 100s of credits could be won.

    Edit- see above post mentioning "star feature"

    #62 1 year ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    Don't tell that to Roger Sharpe!


    #63 1 year ago

    Just joking. lol.

    Back to gambling, on a game like Pit Stop which is a two player game, there are both scores and laps counted, so I suppose you could wager on the outcome of both if you were so inclined.

    I had one in here called 21 by Williams which is a Blackjack themed game which keeps track of your blackjack score on two score reels beside the lighted score, so there were all kinds of different wagers that could be made. High score, getting black jack, beat the dealer, beat the next players hand, special, match, etc. So I suppose, as far as a flipper game is concerned, it could be called "the ultimate gambling machine".

    #71 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinballinreno:

    any of the Harry maabs machines

    Mabs. I have to agree he is one of the all time great innovative designers.. I have his very last game and it is certainly one of the best.

    But how does such a rare game like Magic Clock become an A title?

    It just grows roots and never leaves, that's how.
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    #74 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinballinreno:

    I saw the typo and fixed it

    But yes, we lost a great one when Harry passed...

    When Williams hired him was when the company really started to take off.

    Between the two Harrys, the late 50s saw a huge boom in development and machines that were of the highest quality. Mabs might have retired in 1960, but at the same time Kordek joined the team keeping with the theme of hiring great people that had already left other companies for one reason or another. And that was their way of doing things until the very end. Get all the best people they could when they were available.

    #76 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinballinreno:

    Sounds like Deeproot is following that exact method.

    Perhaps. Except that Williams was already a company founded by the man that first brought electricity to pinball and had made many other innovations.

    #83 1 year ago
    Quoted from tamoore:

    Williams games aren't as popular as Gottlieb games, but Williams games have more unique rules.
    Bally games are almost always the best with regards to layout, features and rules.

    I won't argue with the first of what you said, but as far as the second part, most of the more popular short flipper Bally games are multiplayers and going up against most of the 60s Williams multiplayers, the rules and features lead to very unbalanced scoring, where rarely will games with more than one player be close in score. Which is why Capersville is no longer here.

    #85 1 year ago
    Quoted from SuperDaveOsbourn:

    Hold over features make multi player EMs from the WMS factory are unique and add strategy. However, 95% of all games played on a multiplayer machine are single.

    This is what makes Pit Stop such a great, fun machine. It is as good whether there is one player or two. I'll play it just like I'll play one of my single players and it is more fun than many single player games that have come thru here, and is probably the best of the multiplayers that have.

    #87 1 year ago

    At one point Williams made a two player game that was actually two complete single player games in one, but probably decided that was a bit much if they could make multiplayer games with a variety of features like drop targets and swinging targets and carryover features that were interesting enough to keep it close during competition and also make it worthy of being played by one player, which they went on to do.


    #89 1 year ago
    Quoted from Electrocute:

    I'm guessing the drop targets reset on Joker Poker after each ball.

    Yes, that was one of the downsides to having this game in the home. You knock them all down, get the extra ball and special, and that's pretty much it until the next ball where you do it again. In the arcade that never bothered me though as I liked chalking up free games.

    By the mid 70s all manufacturers were using pretty much the same formula on their multiplayers. Build up a bonus and collect that bonus. The differences were whether you could collect it during a ball and run it up again or just after the ball leaves play. Some had drop targets that would reset when completed, others did not. But basically every ball played was pretty much the same.

    #91 1 year ago
    Quoted from Electrocute:

    Didn't think I'd like 2001 since the drop targets don't reset. Game seems faster when all the targets are down. Really fun game.

    2001 and Dimension are neat games with all those drop targets and the short flippers, which is a combination I like. I think those might have been the only Gottlieb single players with that combination? On all the older Williams with short flippers and drops they can all be reset during the ball I believe and have some pretty slick rules to go along with them

    If you prefer the longer flippers on single player games then you gotta go with Gottlieb for the most part as that is what they were specializing in at the time and made way more of them than anybody else. Although Bally and Williams made a few neat ones, they were on a multiplayer kick and still sold a lot of them.

    1 month later
    #103 1 year ago
    Quoted from n1teowl:

    I was trying to find out what the titles are (if any) that most consider to be A-list. When talking about DMDs, most people would consider Twilight Zone to be an A-lister,

    If you want to go that route, look no further than the pinside top 100. It never lies....

    And unlike the DMD crowd, with so many great games to choose from, you will rarely find somebody that feels the need to hype one manufacturer over another.

    #108 1 year ago
    Quoted from Electrocute:

    Centigrade 37 seems like the one in most demand. 124 on the wishlist. Definitely an A game.

    Different strokes for different folks for sure. I found nothing about that game to be overly special.

    And people that really want games, usually tend to go out and get them.

    #110 1 year ago

    A buddy of mine had two of them, collector quality sitting right next to each other. I played them both. It was a while ago in my early days of collecting EMs. He wanted to sell me one. They were fairly priced, but to me just weren't much fun or all that great to look at. I then started playing his Grand Prix and after ripping those spinners for a while, I took that one home instead.

    #113 1 year ago
    Quoted from Electrocute:

    Nothing wrong with making money. You should bought the Centigrade 37.

    I get that, ya know.

    But for me it's more about finding games I haven't played that I like the artwork and layout, or one I play and think it's a riot, more than buying them just to play middleman or get them because others say they are the greatest. Believe me, I've already played middleman with quite a few games others raved about, but couldn't make the cut here.

    Rule#1- As long as it keeps getting played, it stays.

    #118 1 year ago

    You take a game like Heat Wave that also has a thermometer, in fact the first game to do so, and you not only have a great artwork, but also great gameplay and rules.

    But alas, after a while it also went away and I kept River Boat instead. It's not that I didn't love the game, I did, but too many swinging targets makes me dizzy.

    #120 1 year ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    After 4 years of research I have figured out my top 10 list. Shame I can't share it, as Pinside carries a lot of weight with pricing and desirability.

    I already posted mine in this thread, and for now they are done coming in and done leaving. Of the maybe 100 or so that already did.

    I would still consider getting another Beat The Clock if one in nice condition came my way, as that is an all around neat game and perhaps the only single player EM with multiball. That one doesn't even make the pinside top 250 list, although with the price they go for and the rarity of them actually coming up for sale tells me it is a very desirable game that people hold onto.

    3 weeks later
    #124 1 year ago
    Quoted from spinal:

    Gameplay of C37 is just OK compard to other top 70’s GTB’s IMO but in a larger collection *it’s OK to have pins that exhibit some diversity* of characterisitcs of great pins - they don’t all have to be the top players as the only way to judge. Of course I do agree that playability and fun is most important I’m just saying not the only factor. For example, I would love to own a TKO someday for yet a different reason. Not best art, not best player but rare as hell - I’ve only seen pics.

    For fun drop-target happiness, I prefer my Volley but art is not outstanding - luckily they are available everywhere.

    My point is that another difficulty of a having a single pin ranking is that *pins can be desirable to different collectors for different reasons AND for combinations of different reasons*.

    Personally, even in a larger collection, I wouldn't have any games that didn't both play well and look great. And rarity sometimes only takes up space and then trying to find a buyer when you decide it's not all it's cracked up to be and you no longer want to be the caretaker.

    So yeah, none of those would be "A" games in my book . Or ones that I would even care to own.

    Or to each his own.

    #126 1 year ago
    Quoted from stashyboy:

    I agree with Odin that superior gameplay trumps rarity but looks are Subject to approval by the owner.

    Truth is for me there has been a lot of trial and error in getting my current collection where it is now. Way more games have come and gone than what is there now. That's probably the only way I could have decided what to keep and what not to and be satisfied with the end result.

    Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to possess or play not only most all the games I remembered playing when I was young, but also a wide variety of other games from different manufacturers from the beginning of the flipper era all the way to the end of the EM era and beyond.

    As of late I have thinned the herd quite a bit so those that have stayed have to be the games that not only continue to get love and be played on a regular basis, but are also what I want to look at day after day and they need to compliment each other. It hasn't been easy as the thinning continues, I have parted with some great games that would have otherwise stayed.

    Beside Big Daddy and Fun Park, which are in the house, this is all the EMs left. They have all been here for some time, get played regularly, and are a joy to look at day after day. None I ever played when I was young. That works for me!

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    #128 1 year ago

    Thinking back, when I first started buying games, a Fireball, a Klondike, and an EM Joker Poker were some of the memorable games I did play when I was young and looked to acquire one of each.

    At first it looked to be a daunting task especially the EM Joker Poker, but I had played one at the local community college walking home from high school and I remembered it well. Used to win a bunch of free games so my quarter went a long way.

    Soon a beat up Klondike and Fireball appeared on CL so I grabbed them and proceeded to make them work and play the heck out of them. Then I got a German Fireball and soon after a collector quality original Fireball.

    Somewhere in between Mr68 hooked me up with a HUO EM Joker Poker.

    In the end none of these stayed around too long as others wanted them and reality is it wasn't too long before they were no longer that fun to play for one reason or another. So what I thought at one time were "A" titles became "C"s at best and those pictured above are now my true "A" titles that have never gotten old to play. But I did get it out of my system and I will say this hobby has been very very good to me!

    #130 1 year ago

    Funny, I don't feel old.

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