(Topic ID: 14825)

Lightening flippers


By pinballslave

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 45 posts
  • 28 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by goatdan
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    #1 7 years ago

    A recent topic (about BSD) alerted me to 'lightening flippers' which are apperently 1/8" shorter than standard 3" flippers... I never knew this, and it's brought some questions to mind that I'm sure many a knowledgable folk out there will have the answers to... questions such as:

    1) Were lightening flippers a feature on specific games?

    2) Were games with lightening flippers made with the flipper spindle holes closer together so that the gap between the flippers was made the same as other games?

    3) If the answers to 1 and 2 are 'yes', what is the gap difference between the games? Guess 1/4" to make gap at horizontal (max reach) equalised?

    4) If the answer to 1 is yes, is there a list of games that were made with LFs?

    5) Any idea what the benefit is? I guess they flip a bit faster due to the reduced inertia, hence the name... is that the only benefit?

    Thanks for any insight!

    #2 7 years ago

    The most notorious game for lightning flippers was fish tales, which gave the game its fast play and short ball time. Although it’s interesting to note that the lightning flippers were an afterthought and the game was designed throughout with the standard 3 inch flippers in mind. And no I don’t think the spindle holes changed their position for games with lightning flippers. It just makes the game different, I’m shure you will find many people on pinside that will attest to the vast differences between a fish tales with lightning flippers and without.

    #3 7 years ago

    The games that came with them were designed for normal length flippers. The shorter lightning flippers were used only to decrease ball time and increase OPs profit. BSD was originally going to ship with a dark "blood red" flipper color, that is darker than the standard red W/B flipper.

    #4 7 years ago

    On one of the TOPcast interviews, this is revealed. I believe it is the Mark Richie one.

    The French distributor was at the Williams plant test driving a Fish Tales prototype. He was unhappy with the ball time and said "Hey, how about making the flipper's smaller". And so they did. I don't think the position of flipper shafts was changed.

    A quick decision to agree on a quick suggestion from a guy responsible for a significant sale of games. And that's why.

    Now, I know that the distributers made feedback and had certain elements of game designs altered based on that (some relevant and good, some not). As well as cause some games to never see production. But this one seems a little too silly, I think.

    Also, I have a theory, that the German and French distributors had an unsaid rivalry, as to who could drag Williams around by the nose the most. In other words. The French wasn't eager to go along the Germans. And I bet Williams never caught this. I mean, just look that the very small differences on the difficulty pre-sets based on selected region. Come on.

    #5 7 years ago

    Lightning flip pins that I know of: FT, DW, BSD, Popeye

    Any others?

    #6 7 years ago
    Quoted from mickthepin:

    I’m shure you will find many people on pinside that will attest to the vast differences between a Fish Tales with lightning flippers and without.

    I'll attest to it kicking my butt regardless of which flippers I have on it.

    #7 7 years ago

    I remove them instantly. The machines were not made for them, and I find that extra 1/8 inch messes my timing on SDTM saves. They were a European guy's invention, can't recall the guy or if he was an op or what, to cause shorter ball times. Williams changed to them for a short time, but quickly opted to go back, hence machines were not designed for them, but fitted when they came out around this time.

    It doesn't seem like such a small amount makes a difference, but it seems huge when playing. I just got a HUO Popeye, and will be ripping them out ASAP.

    #8 7 years ago

    Can you Imagine a shadow with lightning flippers ?????

    #9 7 years ago
    Quoted from tpn2011:

    Can you Imagine a Shadow with lightning flippers ?????

    You just blew my mind.

    #10 7 years ago

    My best game of FT to date was in the first week that I had it and still had the lightning flippers installed. I swapped them out with standard green bats with yellow rubber. I did it for aesthetics more than anything. Maybe the old rubber was dead and I get more bounce off the yellow?

    #11 7 years ago

    I never would have thought 1/8" would make a huge difference, but it does. It must be because the brain is so used to timing shots so close to the tip of the flipper. I get on a game with lightning flippers and it looks like I am having a seziure trying to keep the ball in play. Lot's of @!&%$@!.... fustration

    I am sure with time the brain adjusts and you can do better, if they all had the shorter flippers from the factory, this thread would not exist

    #12 7 years ago

    I don't notice a difference between my two lightning flip pins and the others. Actually I'm better at DW than the rest, but that's because I've played the hell out of it. FT still kicks my ass, despite 6 years of ownership, but I think that's why I keep it around. I would never consider switching them to standard flips. May as well just block the outlanes and play with the glass off.

    #13 7 years ago

    I have only had my FT for a couple weeks now, but I have to say that I do like the play with the smaller flippers. Just feels like a faster and more challenging game! Or maybe it's all in my head? lol

    #14 7 years ago
    Quoted from Atomicboy:

    I remove them instantly. The machines were not made for them, and I find that extra 1/8 inch messes my timing on SDTM saves. They were a European guy's invention, can't recall the guy or if he was an op or what, to cause shorter ball times. Williams changed to them for a short time, but quickly opted to go back, hence machines were not designed for them, but fitted when they came out around this time.
    It doesn't seem like such a small amount makes a difference, but it seems huge when playing. I just got a HUO Popeye, and will be ripping them out ASAP.

    If anyone doesn't want theirs or has a pair to sell, I need a set for my Doctor Who. Preferably yellow, but I am open to other colors if need be.

    #15 7 years ago

    I would love to help you out, but I keep them with the game in case anyone down the road (as if I ever sell...) decides they want them.

    Sorry.

    #16 7 years ago

    I have lightning flippers on my BSD and have scored over
    A billion several times, I think the regular flippers would be too easy if it
    Makes the game easier. Maybe I'll try some banana flippers next.

    #17 7 years ago
    Quoted from TaylorVA:

    I have lightning flippers on my BSD and have scored over
    A billion several times, I think the regular flippers would be too easy if it
    Makes the game easier. Maybe I'll try some banana flippers next.

    My Doctor Who currently has one regular and one lightning flipper. I guess I get the best of both worlds that way.

    To follow up my previous post, I guess I technically only need one yellow lightning flipper.

    #18 7 years ago

    The originals seem to be very hard to find and go for a good bit of money. The repro ones suck and will break very quickly. I only have one that came on my FT, and I went through the process of trying to find a replacement a while back. I'm now running full size bats on it.

    #19 7 years ago
    Quoted from LesManley:

    If anyone doesn't want theirs or has a pair to sell, I need a set for my Doctor Who. Preferably yellow, but I am open to other colors if need be.

    Pinball life has black ones at a decent price that are pretty strong. It was the reproduction yellow ones that had some issues apparently.

    #20 7 years ago

    Black Rose ? I remember reading that it is supose to have black lightning flippers?

    #21 7 years ago

    How about mini flippers?

    #22 7 years ago

    I need to try the 3" bats on my FT...I drain like a mofo on that game.

    #23 7 years ago

    What about the rubber on the flippers. Do they make a special size just for the lightning ones or does normal rings work just not as tight? If that's the case it seems like that would make a difference in the bounce off the flipper.

    #24 7 years ago

    For further clarification on Dr Who, the 3rd flipper (mid left side) is a std 3" size.

    #25 7 years ago
    Quoted from GoneFishinLvMsg:

    Lightning flip pins that I know of: FT, DW, BSD, Popeye
    Any others?

    Didn't White Water also ship with white ligtning flippers?

    #26 7 years ago
    Quoted from TheCount:

    The games that came with them were designed for normal length flippers. The shorter lightning flippers were used only to decrease ball time and increase OPs profit. BSD was originally going to ship with a dark "blood red" flipper color, that is darker than the standard red W/B flipper.

    Thank You !! They were installed to make the OP More $$ .. I Hate tha Lil- Bastards .. Now I'm Glad I thought of myself and took them off........

    #27 7 years ago

    I tried putting lightning flippers on mine but one of them broke after like 10 games. I decided to stick with standard size.

    #28 7 years ago
    Quoted from Drano:

    Didn't White Water also ship with white ligtning flippers?

    Not that I know of. The manual lists the standard flippers and we actually had to remove the lightening flipper on our machine while getting it ready for route because some troll had it on there when we bought it used many moons ago.

    #29 7 years ago

    Ignore unintentional double-post.

    #30 7 years ago

    My Demo Man has a Lightning Flipper installed for the Upper 3rd Flip.. DF said he installed it to make it More challenge-n .. I'm Gonna leave it, It work's Fine..

    #31 7 years ago
    Quoted from Crash:

    Drano said:
    Didn't White Water also ship with white ligtning flippers?
    Not that I know of. The manual lists the standard flippers and we actually had to remove the lightening flipper on our machine while getting it ready for route because some troll had it on there when we bought it used many moons ago.

    Hmmm, the ones listed on Marcos site says the are used on White Water. Same on Mad Amusemenst and others. I swear I've also seen them on some WH20. Then again, the white water manual states that the left and right flipper coils are the same strength, and they're not supposed to be.

    #32 7 years ago
    Quoted from Drano:

    Didn't White Water also ship with white ligtning flippers?

    I'm sure I've seen lightening flippers on a few WH2O's come to think of it...

    Depending on how much you nudge to stop an SDTM ball, the lost 1/8" can make a hell of a difference in success rate...

    Thanks all for this interesting insight into pinball history... bloody French eh

    #33 7 years ago
    Quoted from Kiwipinhead:

    Black Rose ? I remember reading that it is supose to have black lightning flippers?

    Thank you, I put them on mine and have not looked back.

    #34 7 years ago
    Quoted from soren:

    He was unhappy with the ball time and said "Hey, how about making the flipper's smaller". And so they did.

    From what I've been told, this is exactly correct. Having said that, at a time when you had players lined up to check out the new game, the difference between a game that lasts 3 minutes and a game that lasts 4 minutes is a significant difference in the cash box. Lightning flippers were put on machines that otherwise seemed to play long.

    I think they are a good thing on every machine they were put on. None of the games they were on, with the possible exception of Popeye, are really deep enough to sustain longer play. If you find the games play better with the larger flippers, go for it -- but if you see any of these games in a big tournament, know you'll be expected to play with lightning flippers.

    #35 7 years ago

    Parts list for Dr Who that I looked at does list: (2) 20-9734-6, flipper euro w/shaft yellow, and (1) regular yellow flipper for the 3rd flipper w/ a different p/n. Thus, the word "euro" seems to confirm Soren's earlier post to some degree.

    #36 7 years ago
    Quoted from goatdan:

    Having said that, at a time when you had players lined up to check out the new game, the difference between a game that lasts 3 minutes and a game that lasts 4 minutes is a significant difference in the cash box.

    Granted operators where interested in adjusting difficulty/play time and adjustment have always been an integral part of coin-op.

    But flipper spacing are essentially only a (operator-) problem, if the tilt is too loose. I mean, there is loads of other ways to adjust a pinball mechanically and by game rules. I see lightning flippers as a quick decision to please an external yet important guy. Eventhough they'd spend, what, 6-12 months refining the layout of the game.

    #37 7 years ago

    I meant the upper right flipper, not any of the lower ones.

    #38 7 years ago

    "My Doctor Who currently has one regular and one lightning flipper. I guess I get the best of both worlds that way."

    Haha, that's funny. The BSD I went and looked at last week had the same arrangement. When I pointed it out to the seller he claimed he had no idea that lightning flips are shorter and he just thought the one was "a Gottlieb flipper or something." It made me laugh because this guy has been in the pin resale business for years. He's definitely a bit out of touch and it reflects in his pricing. Usually he's way above market, but once in a while he'll sell something too cheaply, especially if a pin's value shoots up rapidly (i.e. Fish Tales this past year).

    #39 7 years ago

    I have a FT and a DH, both have the lightning flippers. I figure they may have not been designed that way, but that's the way they were shipped. So, I'll keep them true to how they played in the wild.

    #40 7 years ago
    Quoted from soren:

    But flipper spacing are essentially only a (operator-) problem, if the tilt is too loose. I mean, there is loads of other ways to adjust a pinball mechanically and by game rules. I see lightning flippers as a quick decision to please an external yet important guy. Eventhough they'd spend, what, 6-12 months refining the layout of the game.

    Oh yeah, I'll agree with you there -- but, to be fair, a lot of operators took the machines out of the box, set them up and expected that was all that needs to be done. If a game was averaging 5 min without lightning flips, and 3 with them, that's enough to tell a lot of operators that they want the lightning flip version, aside from everything else.

    Interestingly, BSD is the only DMD era title that I found on route with five ball play enabled. I think that particular op figured out that the game was a little too mean, and tried dialing it back while leaving those flippers on.

    #41 7 years ago

    5 balls play came to be seen a lot more with the decline in general interest in pinball. Sort of like, when there isn't exactly a queue to play the game, why not offer people an easier way to get deeper into the game. As well as better foundation to improve skills. To get people hooked on mastering the game and seeing the finale.

    It's also a matter of culture. As far as I know 5 balls play have always been the standard in the UK.

    #42 7 years ago
    Quoted from soren:

    It's also a matter of culture. As far as I know 5 balls play have always been the standard in the UK.

    That's certainly true for the earlier pre-DMD games... I was brought up in the 5-ball era in the UK, and when they started moving to 3-ball I felt cheated, and when I started having games at home, I would always put them on 5-ball... I now use 3-balls on DMD games and 5 balls on pre-DMD games... I know in Holland the standard was 4-balls... which I felt was just odd... but that's the Dutch for you

    7 years later
    #43 4 months ago

    Its almost like greedy operators coming up with cheap money taking tactics pushed their clientele away... Thanks Obama!

    #44 4 months ago

    seven years huh

    #45 4 months ago
    Quoted from alexmogil:

    seven years huh

    Hey, it's important to realize that it was Obama's fault back in the 90s that made the decision to put lightning flips on the games, and led to the downfall of the pinball industry about 20 years later.

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    From: $ 99.99
    Cabinet - Other
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 30.00
    $ 86.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Super Skill Shot Shop
    From: $ 9.99
    Eproms
    Matt's Basement Arcade
    $ 79.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 2.00
    Various Other Swag
    Project Pinball Charity
    $ 42.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 64.99
    $ 16.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ULEKstore
    From: $ 5,799.00
    Pinball Machine
    Great American Pinball
    $ 69.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 129.00
    Displays
    Pappy's Pinball Palace
    $ 66.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Super Skill Shot Shop
    From: $ 18.99
    $ 79.95
    Cabinet - Armor And Blades
    Little Shop Of Games
    $ 209.99
    From: $ 200.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    CzTV Mods
    $ 49.00
    Cabinet - Other
    Chrome Candy
    $ 229.99
    Lighting - Led
    PinballBulbs
    $ 9.00
    Playfield - Other
    Hdmike mods
    $ 48.00
    Cabinet - Other
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 7,499.00
    Pinball Machine
    Nitro Pinball Shop
    $ 269.00
    Displays
    Boston Pinball Company

    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