(Topic ID: 170287)

Join the middle-pop club!


By NicoVolta

2 years ago



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  • 295 posts
  • 57 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 46 days ago by phil-lee
  • Topic is favorited by 23 Pinsiders

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There are 295 posts in this topic. You are on page 6 of 6.
#251 10 months ago

Hot DAMN, Odin... YOU are the Indiana Jones of the middle-pops! So cool to keep finding these. And WHAT a find considering it predates all the rest! Could Neyens or Williams have spotted this beast on a European business tour? Awesome find.

I may be a fan of the middle-pops (and now a museum curator it seems), but I’m only one person when it comes to having an opinion about Carolina. To me, it doesn’t quite make the cut... but....

....maybe we should host a poll on it? Opinions?

#252 10 months ago
Quoted from NicoVolta:

I’m only one person when it comes to having an opinion about Carolina. To me, it doesn’t quite make the cut... but....

Doesn't really matter to me now!

Perhaps we should be discussing the origin of metal flipper bats instead.

#253 10 months ago
Quoted from Pecos:

Everyone knows there are almost always fewer AAB games made!

Almost always, but there are exceptions. I was surprised to discover recently that Gottlieb produced more copies of "Hurdy Gurdy" than "Central Park"! And, they made an additional Italian version as well.

#254 10 months ago

Also more Magic Towns than Magic Cities!

#255 10 months ago

Hey all,

I am working on an article about middle-pop pins (not sure where it will live yet, probably Pinball News as I've relied on them for several of my other historical articles). But, I need some help. I'd like to include photos of as many of the lower playfields as possible (to give readers a good view of the middle-pop layouts), but I cannot simply take what is on IPDB and cite it, as they do not have permission to re-release provided images. So, I figured a club full of owners would suffice.

As noted, lower playfields in particular showing the middle-pop. Glass off preferred but if it is a low-glare situation do not go out of your way for me. I need the image and your name to cite in the article as being the provider. PM is fine of course. I've got a line (I think!) on some already. Here are the ones I definitely need help with:

Palm Beach (Marchant 1950)
Rose-Bowl (Gottlieb 1951)
All-Star Basketball (Gottlieb 1952)
Majorettes (Williams 1952)
Marble Queen (Gottlieb 1953)
Lazy-Q (Williams 1953)
Hawaiian Beauty (Gottlieb 1954)
Tim-Buc-Tu (Williams 1956)
Derby Day (Gottlieb 1956)
Shamrock (Williams 1956)
Cue Ball (Williams 1956)
8 Ball (Williams 1966)
Millionaire (Sega Enterprises 1977)

As is obvious, the woodrails in particular are a challenge for me. I know some of these are likely just not going to have a photo provided, but the more the better (I think). Also, I'm defining middle-pop a very particular way in the article, so some games discussed in this thread are not included (that doesn't really change the picture needs, but FYI so no one is shocked later). I'll post a link here when it is out of course.

Thanks for reading and to anyone able to help me out, it is most appreciated.

2 weeks later
#256 9 months ago

The middle-pop article is now live at Pinball News. Here is the link:
https://www.pinballnews.com/site/2018/08/30/middle-pop-pinball/

While I think I've contacted everyone individually who gave me permission to use photos, I want to express my thanks here as well, and to all of you for the discussion and research contained within this thread. And of course to nicovolta for convincing me to get off my duff and write it.

#257 9 months ago

Congrats Dennis! The middle-pops deserve the love too. It is a shame only three games were made using Norm’s most-evolved layout with 3” flippers. It really is one of the most clever lower geometries in pinball.

We currently have quite a few of these at the museum: Miss-O, Magic City, Spanish Eyes, and Fan-Tas-Tic. I plan to bring my Freedom prototype later this year... so all we’d need is an 8 Ball to fully represent the Norm Clark-era. Middle-pop row ahoy!

#258 9 months ago
Quoted from NicoVolta:

We currently have quite a few of these at the museum: Miss-O, Magic City, Spanish Eyes, and Fan-Tas-Tic. I plan to bring my Freedom prototype later this year... so all we’d need is an 8 Ball to fully represent the Norm Clark-era. Middle-pop row ahoy!

I assume that would probably give you the only full Clark middle-pop representation of any museum. Not sure where all the others stand. Pacific Pinball Museum was the source of three of the photos I used, so they might have the largest middle-pop woodrail collection, but I'm not certain. Would be cool if someone could source them all, but that Marchant one has to be a nightmare to find.

If I could play just one that I've not, it would be the Sega Enterprise's Millionaire. I want to see if that flipper placement (angled much more like a typical game) works well with the middle-pop. I think the rest of that space beneath the pop isn't as interesting as Clark's 3" work, but I think some people who don't like the middle-pop games actually don't like the angle on the flippers (it feels too foreign to them). Millionaire might have addressed that. I'm curious about it.

#259 9 months ago
Quoted from NicoVolta:

Congrats Dennis! The middle-pops deserve the love too. It is a shame only three games were made using Norm’s most-evolved layout with 3” flippers. It really is one of the most clever lower geometries in pinball.
We currently have quite a few of these at the museum: Miss-O, Magic City, Spanish Eyes, and Fan-Tas-Tic. I plan to bring my Freedom prototype later this year... so all we’d need is an 8 Ball to fully represent the Norm Clark-era. Middle-pop row ahoy!

We picked on decent 8 ball several weeks ago. Maybe we can work something out at some time. Still working on getting it fully functional.

#260 9 months ago
Quoted from DennisK:

The middle-pop article is now live at Pinball News. Here is the link:
https://www.pinballnews.com/site/2018/08/30/middle-pop-pinball/

I read the article and with the rules you set down-

1. The game must have at least two flippers. Check
2. A pop bumper must exist between the lowest two flippers, and this pop bumper must: Check
a. Be horizontally centered between the lowest two flippers. Check
b. Can occupy a range of vertical positioning, so long as the pop bumper is not so high as to not have at least a portion of the mechanism at the same level as the lowest flippers. Check
c. Be able to reasonably return the ball into the field of play (posts, lane guides, and similar obstructions would disqualify a game from consideration). Bumper is in field of play with two kick out holes still lower than that, so check
d. As the name implies, must be an active bumper (passive bumpers do not count). Check

It still all comes back to United's Carolina from 1949.

b37b3190028a3ae7490c54b47e306cce35fd621a (resized).jpg

#261 9 months ago
Quoted from o-din:

I read the article and with the rules you set down-
1. The game must have at least two flippers. Check
2. A pop bumper must exist between the lowest two flippers, and this pop bumper must: Check
a. Be horizontally centered between the lowest two flippers. Check
b. Can occupy a range of vertical positioning, so long as the pop bumper is not so high as to not have at least a portion of the mechanism at the same level as the lowest flippers. Check
c. Be able to reasonably return the ball into the field of play (posts, lane guides, and similar obstructions would disqualify a game from consideration). Bumper is in field of play with two kick out holes still lower than that, so check
d. As the name implies, must be an active bumper (passive bumpers do not count). Check
It still all comes back to United's Carolina from 1949.
[quoted image]

Sorry, the provision of 2(c) means obstructions to the flipper area's field of play. My apologies if I was not clear in that, but due to the lanes segregating the pop bumper from the flippers I disqualified it. Just my personal judgment call of course. Carolina is a fascinating game design; I really hope to try it someday!

#262 9 months ago

I've played one and it's real fun, but it is what it is.

How this one would not get the credit as the prototype and inspiration for all those that followed is beyond me.

1 week later
#263 9 months ago

MIDDLE POP NEWSFLASH!

Mark Gibson (of Fun With Pinball fame) is doing it again! His latest contraption gloriously re-imagines Norm Clark's original intention of merging a color wheel behind Magic City's fountain. Get a load of this awesomesauce!

https://www.funwithpinball.com/resources/magic-city-color-wheel

*sniff* it's just so... beautiful..... must... have...

magic (resized).png

#264 9 months ago

Wow, VERY impressive!!

#265 9 months ago

I think I'll just leave this here.

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#266 9 months ago
Quoted from o-din:

I think I'll just leave this here.[quoted image]

Is that an upwards kicking hole?

#267 9 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Is that an upwards kicking hole?

Don't know. But even though it predates Palm Beach, I was waiting to see if the rule makers of this little game would say if it is disqualified or not.

#268 9 months ago

O-din is the master unearther of edge cases.

I wouldn’t quite call it a middle pop, but then again, it does exhibit some significant aspects of the format.

Dennis, what say you? Or anyone else?

#269 9 months ago
Quoted from o-din:

Don't know. But even though it predates Palm Beach, I was waiting to see if the rule makers of this little game would say if it is disqualified or not.

I hope everyone is making their own criteria and judging things. It's just for fun after all (or is for me).

Quoted from NicoVolta:

I wouldn’t quite call it a middle pop, but then again, it does exhibit some significant aspects of the format.
Dennis, what say you? Or anyone else?

No, I laid out my criteria in my middle-pop article and it violates condition two, which mandates the middle-pop be between the lowest flippers.

For those that don't know, the game is Super Hockey (Chicago Coin 1949). The image provided is a crop of the middle of the playfield (I'll attach an IPDB image for those curious about the entire layout).

According to the flyer (http://www.pinball-gallery.com/images/grandes/341-1.jpg) the game has hockey-stick flippers, which obviously those little flippers are not. I saw a 2009 Pinball News article (https://www.pinballnews.com/shows/vierzon2009/index.html) which mentioned the game had flippers replaced with hockey sticks, but it didn't discuss how they were controlled.

As such, I reached out to mesz here on Pinside, who owns the game. He confirmed the hockey-sticks at the bottom are indeed flippers, and so the game has four (the two small ones and those two at the bottom). Looks like IPDB assumed they were slings in the write-up.

So, long story short, the kick-out hole and where it fires the ball is moot (for me), because those are upper flippers, and there is no pop bumper down between the lower ones.

SuperHockeyIPDB (resized).jpg
#270 9 months ago
Quoted from DennisK:

the kick-out hole and where it fires the ball is moot

I don't think it matters either, I just think it's cool!

#271 9 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I don't think it matters either, I just think it's cool!

Oh yes, just meant regarding the aspects I apply in this club. The game is curious. I was very sad to not find a gameplay video.

#272 9 months ago
Quoted from DennisK:

the game has hockey-stick flippers, which obviously those little flippers are not. I saw a 2009 Pinball News article

Yes, they are called "flippers" or referred to as "flipper action" labeled on the game , but obviously do not pivot and operate like slingshots or kickers instead, whether they are button controlled or not, as you can see the slot in the middle where the paddle operates.

By your logic, then all games that had what was referred to at the time as Thumper Bumpers, Jet Bumpers, or even Active Bumpers instead of Pop Bumpers or going by any other name should also be disqualified.

Here is another from April 1949 with nothing that I can tell could be mistaken as flippers lower than the other two. "Madame Butterfly"
image-1 (resized).jpg

#273 9 months ago
Quoted from o-din:

YYes, they are called "flippers" or referred to as "flipper action" labeled on the game , but obviously do not pivot and operate like slingshots or kickers instead, whether they are button controlled or not, as you can see the slot in the middle where the paddle operates.
By your logic, then all games that had what was referred to at the time as Thumper Bumpers, Jet Bumpers, or even Active Bumpers instead of Pop Bumpers or going by any other name should also be disqualified.

I've always gone with a definition similar to IPDB's on flippers, "Those thingies that move when you hit the flipper buttons. Some people use these to propel the pinball."

For me, the key factor is if they are user controlled, not the label the manufacturer applied. This could lead into an interesting discussion about what should or shouldn't count as a flipper (A good modern case of discussion would be the upper playfield on WWE, I imagine).

But, that's starting to get away from the topic of this club. For me, these are flippers, and thus the game is clearly not remotely a middle-pop title. My logic is not about the branding, it's about the control. I totally understand if you disagree, I'm just hoping you see the perspective I'm coming at it from.

As for Madame Butterfly, it has an obstruction (lane guides) between the flippers, which compromises the ability to return the pinball into the field of play for the flippers. So for me it's a "no", but I doubt that surprises anyone. Given it's a conversion kit for a flipperless game, I have no idea what the goal there was (I'm more interested in the spring compression bumper version... I've never seen one before).

#274 9 months ago
Quoted from DennisK:

For me, these are flippers, and thus the game is clearly not remotely a middle-pop title.

Then as mentioned neither are any of the other games that did not use pop bumpers, but used thumper bumpers or jet bumpers instead. It's all relative to how particular you want to be.

Note the flyer for Majorettes or even Saratoga, the first game with such a device. There is no mention of them having a "pop bumper".

https://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=1529&picno=7818&zoom=1

https://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=2055&picno=7795&zoom=1

#275 9 months ago
Quoted from o-din:

Then as mentioned neither are any of the other games that did not use pop bumpers, but used thumper bumpers or jet bumpers instead. It's all relative to how particular you want to be.

I am choosing to not be that particular, then (in my own write-up I clearly indicated pop bumper was used to imply active bumper). Middle-thump just sounds strange.

#276 9 months ago
Quoted from DennisK:

I've always gone with a definition similar to IPDB's on flippers, "Those thingies that move when you hit the flipper buttons. Some people use these to propel the pinball."

For me, the key factor is if they are user controlled, not the label the manufacturer applied. This could lead into an interesting discussion about what should or shouldn't count as a flipper

To further confuse your issue, here is a list of games that use flippers that are not user controlled, but are called flippers just the same.

https://www.ipdb.org/search.pl?ft=automatic+flippers&sortby=name&searchtype=advanced

Stated in the description of Holiday on ipdb- "Flippers (4, 2 are automatic flippers)"

#277 9 months ago

IPDB often classes "automatic flippers" as its own thing, though glancing at your list it seems sometimes they did and sometimes they didn't. It does have its own placement in the glossary though (and one company it appears used the term to describe slingshots).

Don't forget about phantom flippers too. Their electromagnetic pivots are the most crafty.

#278 9 months ago

Whatever.

So, does Madame Butterfly qualify as a middle pop game or is there something there that would disqualify it as well?

#279 9 months ago
Quoted from o-din:

So, does Madame Butterfly qualify as a middle pop game or is there something there that would disqualify it as well?

I assume you're asking others since I addressed it above. I just wanted to note that I am glad you've provided so many interesting cases to look at. I don't see it as a big deal that you and I have different games on our middle-pop list. It will never be as clean as just labeling things System 11 or whatnot. I'm going to step back now to let other voices have the floor, since I think anyone following along knows where I'm falling on this topic by now.

#280 9 months ago

As it is a conversion (vastly altered from the original design), My vote would also be a "No" for Miss Butterfly to join the club. It does not support the "Action" I would believe a middle pop/thump/jet bumper to be.

#281 9 months ago
Quoted from DennisK:

I'm going to step back now to let other voices have the floor, since I think anyone following along knows where I'm falling on this topic by now.

Yeah,

All I'm pointing out is there are several examples that may or may not be considered to fit the bill depending on how you look at things.

I see in them pop or thumper or even jet bumpers, between and below the flippers, and some are certainly more in the "middle" of the playfield than many of the others examples here, and predate them as well.

1 week later
#282 9 months ago

Exhibit Supply of Chicago released at least two middle pop games in 1950 that may or may not predate Palm Beach. Judy from 7-50 and Oasis from 10-50.

Not really that hard to find these with a few minutes research.

image-1 (resized).jpgimage-11 (resized).jpg
#283 9 months ago

To me, these look like the closest edge-cases yet. But is Humpty Dumpty also a middle pop? I see flippers on the sides, I see a bumper in the middle... has to be one?

humpty (resized).jpg

Register also has backwards flippers and a bumper in the middle. Middle pop?

register (resized).jpg

I didn't consider either one because Humpty's layout was less of a deliberate middle-pop design and more a matter of covering the playfield with them newfangled flipper contraptions and seeing what happens kind of thing. Yes, there are technically "pops in the middle", but it's more a matter of circumstance. Reverse-flippers play differently than most games and have different ways of interacting with the geometry. As for Register, it has a dead pop like Safari which disqualified it.

In Judy's case, it has a cluster of dead rebound posts in the middle... like a dead pop. As such, the lower pop is the only zone where any action would take place. Considering the flippers are backward (and most upward kicks would be blocked by the post zone) they'd hardly be able to interact with the lower active pop. Which means the design wasn't intended for that kind of interaction. And, if not, it wouldn't make the cut in my estimation. Looks more "Humpty" than "Rose Bowl" here.

Oasis gets us a bit closer. Pretty much the exact same design as Judy except the pop bumper is active, in the right place, and can interact with the flippers. However, again the layout strikes me more as a circumstantial holdover from the Humpty-era than not. But still... a tougher call on this one. Clearly some deliberate thought was applied to the flipper/pop interaction in the middle. Hmmmmmm... need to kick this one around for a bit.

If not a hard yes then certainly an inspirational one!

Thus far, the Marchant you found is the earliest obvious pick. Deliberately designed to be a middle-pop, no question.

1 week later
#284 8 months ago

If Humpty was like my jack n Jill - which I’m pretty certain it is - the triangular bumper wasn’t a ‘pop’ bumper but just triggered scoring - really fun games tho - just FYI

#285 8 months ago

Noticed this Magic City in the background of the trailer for the forthcoming Rocketman movie on Elton John. I would assume that Wizard and Captain Fantastic will also make cameo appearances.

F2CFCCCC-2E0E-409E-A967-DB5B17A729A9 (resized).png

It even has a color mod for the fountain.

3 months later
#286 4 months ago

I just restored my Magic City cabinet.
It looks so great. I've built my own stencils.
2 coatings of primer, 2 coatings of paint for each blue and red colors + an additional 2 coatings of clear-coat.
My playfield is splendid.
The backglass is mint too...
I've restored the mechanic side to the perfection using NOS coils and part to keep it "Original".
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#287 4 months ago

Great looking Magic City! You did a great job on your restoration. MC is one of the few games I've owned that I truly regret selling/trading, and that I'd like to get again.

#288 4 months ago
Quoted from inicksf06:

I just restored my Magic City cabinet.

Love the layout on the playfield, let's see more of the internals.

#289 4 months ago
Quoted from CactusJack:

Well, I am a member but with only 2: FanTasTic and Spanish Eyes.

I love spanish eyes. so many times i have recovered from a drain with a nudge into the pop and the pop just sends it up and around back into play.

#290 4 months ago

I have a Spanish Eyes Clean PF if any one is interested.

#291 4 months ago

Not an official middle pop game, due to fact it has retrofit flippers installed.
Saw this on woodrails topic thread
Game is Exhibit's Contact.
pasted_image (resized).png

2 months later
#292 70 days ago

FYI... if you would be interested in a Freedom prototype conversion kit (new playfield, plastics, parts, and instructions) click the like button on this reply. We'd need to get to about 30 commitments to make this a reality. Could be done with enough interest.

3 weeks later
#293 46 days ago

It's a little rough but I made the club

IMG_2966 (resized).JPG
#294 46 days ago

That thing looks great. Could you tell what it is? I cant tell. Are all of those live pop bumpers?

#295 46 days ago

Never mind, figured it out. A Worthy Candidate.

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