(Topic ID: 38624)

Italian EMs...

By illawarra92

11 years ago


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  • 26 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 years ago by beadwindow
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#1 11 years ago

Hi EM collectors,

Have been collecting and restoring EMs since 1978 and have been very fortunate to buy very nice, unrestored Italian EM pins made by a company called Skillgame.

Basically what they did was made Italian clones of 3 Gottlieb pins of the early 1970s. Have purchased all 3 of their games: Texas Ranger, Galaxie and Super Orbit.

http://www.ipdb.org/search.pl?mfgid=442&searchtype=advanced

Now, since buying these games have been very interested in their history but have had nearly zero luck finding any information.

Have tried the Italian pinball forum 'Vecchi Flipper' and they have been little help.

Can any body here shed any information on these games?

Cheers
tony

#2 11 years ago

Tough one.

I thought I could help you by looking at Pinballowners where a lot of Italians are located. Unfortunately Skillgame is not referenced as a brand there so you would have to manually check if any is an EM expert.

As an alternative, try to contact the guys who provided the IPDB pictures?

#3 11 years ago

Wow I've never heard about them.. try to contact www.tilt.it as Frederico is the reference on italian games..

#4 11 years ago

Sounds like you have some interesting games Tony
perhaps a little info may turn up in one of those pinball picture books ?
I found one in my local library - may get lucky

#5 11 years ago

Here is a short vid we did yesterday:

#6 11 years ago
Quoted from illawarra92:

Here is a short vid we did yesterday:

Very cool.

Thanks,

Ken

#7 11 years ago

Will load up vids once they are up and running!

#8 11 years ago

I need a Texas Ranger. Cool!!!!

Can you post some backglass pictures in teh pinside gallery please.

I can make them "Splash" images for the machines

Thanks,
Jeff

#9 11 years ago

No Zaccaria EM owners here?
Might try to contact David Gersic.He knows a thing or two about Italians pins...

#10 11 years ago

Andre, could you please PM me his email (if you don't mind)

#11 11 years ago

David Gersic is THE reference for Zaccarias!
http://www.zaccaria-pinball.com/

Check for "Board Repairs and Contact Info"

1 year later
#12 10 years ago

Hi Tony,

Look at on www.subito.it (the Italian Craiglist), in Gottlieb's version (not Skillgame).

http://www.subito.it/hobby-collezionismo/flippers-originali-anni-60-ancona-89273105.htm

#13 10 years ago

Thanks for posting the video of the interior shots. I have always wondered if some or most of the Italian games were "conversions" of older titles. When you see various photos, it seems that they made games using whatever older models they could justify cannibalizing. Good Luck with your search!

#14 9 years ago

here is an update..the galaxie is alive but the texan ranger is in a sad way..that is at least 6 months away as it has been pushed down the queue of restorations..lots of terrible hacks on the bottom relay board

also this is a space orbit that was restored around the same time..when i got it all of the playfield parts were missing except for the plastics, so i went the custom path..it was also missing all the front door hardware, chimes, legs, ball shooter and a heap of coils from inside the main cab..

#15 9 years ago

That Galaxie is freakin' sweet. Clone of 2001/Dimension.

#16 9 years ago

"Space Orbit!" is really cool too. I counted eleven ways to score a "WOW". I think only "Neptune"/"Poseidon" have more. Oddly, the playfield layout is not like "Orbit" or "Outer Space" although the cabinet art and backglass art are similar. It's more like "Polo"/"Mini Cycle" (as noted on IPDB). I wouldn't mind owning one of those, but would prefer the Gottlieb export one.

#17 9 years ago

That's interesting about the Galaxie. IPDB shows it as a Gottlieb but are you saying yours has Skillgame badging?
I've got a NOS Dimension playfield hanging in my basement that is labeled Dimension/Galaxie.

#18 9 years ago
Quoted from beadwindow:

That's interesting about the Galaxie. IPDB shows it as a Gottlieb but are you saying yours has Skillgame badging?
I've got a NOS Dimension playfield hanging in my basement that is labeled Dimension/Galaxie.

That's because the two Gottlieb games had identical playfields and could be used in either game. Now, your "Diamond Jack" playfield was marked "Solitaire" because there are some differences in the two games playfields.
As you demonstrated, it's useable in a "Diamond Jack", but it wouldn't work vice versa.

#19 9 years ago

Yeah and that brings up another point. I wonder why GTB just didn't make all the playfields with the cutouts for replay/AAB or whatever Italian laws required. Once the PF is in the game you can't tell the difference and if the cutouts aren't used, it doesn't affect gameplay anyway.

#20 9 years ago
Quoted from beadwindow:

Yeah and that brings up another point. I wonder why GTB just didn't make all the playfields with the cutouts for replay/AAB or whatever Italian laws required. Once the PF is in the game you can't tell the difference and if the cutouts aren't used, it doesn't affect gameplay anyway.

More machining=more money. They wouldn't add a production step if it wasn't necessary.

#21 9 years ago
Quoted from beadwindow:

Yeah and that brings up another point. I wonder why GTB just didn't make all the playfields with the cutouts for replay/AAB or whatever Italian laws required. Once the PF is in the game you can't tell the difference and if the cutouts aren't used, it doesn't affect gameplay anyway.

Think back how much flack Stern gets when they have unused inserts on the playfield.

Italy was a very important customer to Gottlieb so they were happy to make things exactly how they needed. It often sold them an extra 2000 units of something that was already pretty much designed.

Is the playfield "Screened" Galaxie/Dimension or is it hand written? If the playfield is screened Galaxie/Dimension, that seems to indicate that the playfields were made by Gottlieb and shipped out for the conversions as opposed to bootlegging the games.

#22 9 years ago

no these are 'gottlieb bootlegs' watch the first youtube video posted above and i explain about them..
skillgame made 3 games back in the early 70s..they were 3 gottlieb rip offs of texas ranger, galaxie and space orbit..i bought the 3 that had been re imported back into australia from italy about 18 months ago..
i knew the chances of buying the real versions of these games was near zero and other than the gottlieb logo missing they play great..
have since sold the space orbit..galaxie rebuilt and plays great, will redo the cab down the line and the texas ranger is on hold because of terrible hacks on the bottom relay board..

#23 9 years ago

It's screened.image-387.jpgimage-387.jpg

#24 9 years ago

Gottlieb made the playfield and the entire game "Galaxie" just like they made all the export games with their name on them. The "bootleg" games are a different story. They were totally copied and manufactured by foreign companies.
The playfields may have similiar design and artwork, but they were not made by Gottlieb. Look at these photos of Europlay's "El Dorado" at http://www.pinballowners.com/juzzo72#67954 While very similar to the Gottlieb game, and likely that it has some Gottlieb manufactured parts in it, it was clearly made by a foreign manufacturer (look at the motor board for example). The playfield has some different artwork on it as well. Gottlieb made "Lucky Strike" for export to Italy, but this "El Dorado" is a copy. "Galaxie" was made by Gottlieb, but not for the US market. It has an identical playfield to "Dimension" and so they made one playfield that was useable in both games.

#25 9 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

That Galaxie is freakin' sweet. Clone of 2001/Dimension.

Actually it's a clone of Gottlieb's "Galaxie" which is their export version of "Dimension". "2001", being a replay game with different artwork, is more like a cousin rather than a sibling.

#26 9 years ago

Thanks for the clarification, jr. I wasn't aware that bootleg GTB pins were out there.

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