(Topic ID: 57011)

No love for Atari pinballs?


By jibmums

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 49 posts
  • 40 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by BloodyCactus
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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PC040059.JPG
index.jpg
Playfield.jpg
Backglass.jpg
RR.gif

#1 6 years ago

Aside from numerous Superman tables available recently due to the release of the movie, I hardly see any mention of Atari pinballs here at all. Last time I think I laid hands on one myself was probably 1979 or so, so I assume they're pretty rare. Granted they're kinda cheesy overall, but Atari's artwork & presentation at the very least was always first-rate, so what's the story, are they just no fun? Poor gameplay? Haven't held up well over the years?

#2 6 years ago

I have only ever seen one atari, a Superman, and it didn't work so I didn't get to play it. So fairly rare these days and there isn't much info on how to repair them.

#3 6 years ago

I can't think of one i played that I liked.......

#4 6 years ago

I need to start making threads about "How Stern isnt like Atari/Capcom" or "I only play Atari/Capcom and High Roller Casino and Nascar. Also gotta have the "The build quality of the Atari/Capcom." Could be a new trend.

#5 6 years ago

They're often in beautiful cosmetic shape! That counts as a plus, right? Even though that's from them crapping out right outta the box and then just sitting for two decades.

#6 6 years ago

I love superman, if I found a fully working one I would be tempted, but like sealclubber said they are rare which means harder to find parts, less people that know repair etc..

#7 6 years ago

I need to get my Space riders up and going soon

--Jeff

#8 6 years ago

They are not too hard to work on. They are different from the more "standard" pins but once you understand them, it is easy to fix them.

I need a lock-down bar for my Airborne Avenger, I have to keep moving one between two of my machines, so I can not have them both setup at the same time If anyone out there has a spare they would like to sell let me know.

#9 6 years ago
Quoted from way2wyrd:

I need to get my Space riders up and going soon
--Jeff

Is Space Riders a fun game? What triggered my post was seeing an SR for sale nearby.

#10 6 years ago

I may go for an Atari someday after mastering the repairs on Bally -35 era and Williams Sys 4-7. The art work on the Atari machines is great. I have to say I haven't really played them enough to know if they are fun to play. I have played some Superman before and I enjoyed it though it's a bit slow playing widebody. Based on the ratings it sounds like I should try to play a Space Riders and see if it's fun.

#11 6 years ago

When I started collecting I managed to get all but two (Superman
and Hercules). Even had one of the '4X4' protypes. Artwork was great.
Gameplay was not. Still have a Middle Earth just to say I have one
Atari but space is at a premium so won't be getting another one.
For those that may not be aware, everything is unique. Electronics,
solenoids, switches. Plan on getting another one for parts which
isn't all that difficult to find.
Steve

#12 6 years ago

I keep wanting to get into making replacement boards for Atari stuff, but I'm just not good enough at doing the redesign work that's needed. The hard to read styling of the original schematics don't make things any easier for me either. Makes me a sad panda that I can't.

Hell, the first diagnostic board I made was designed so I could work on a Superman, so I do have a bit of a soft spot for them.

#13 6 years ago

I played a few Atari pins back when they first came out, but compared to the then newer Bally and Stern pins, let's just say , no one was plunking down quarters claiming ' dibs' on the next game. ~SpOoKy

#14 6 years ago

I've had two Atari Superman pins. Fixed both, sold both. Sure, they are a bit different, and some parts may be hard to come by, but same goes for so many other pins.

#15 6 years ago

I was tempted to pull the trigger on a proto ATARI Middle Earth at Allentown 2 years ago. It looked and played like brand new, for $700. (It sold)
I actually liked how it played- very different and challenging. Superman is the same way, it's a very fun older pin to play.

#16 6 years ago

I sometimes see the same Time2000 for sale and think that I might go buy it.

#17 6 years ago

The best one:

RR.gif

#18 6 years ago

I recently tried to fire up my Middle Earth again, and now it just sits there, and blows a fuse. Ugh. It used to blink the lights & at least work the flippers, but it's fallen apart by itself a bit.

#19 6 years ago

I've got two Atari's in the collection, Superman and Hercules and I love them both. Also have a RR translight in a light box hanging on the wall, it only took about 15+ years to get my hands on one. Cool stuff.

John P. Dayhuff
Battle Creek, Mi.
269-979-3836

#20 6 years ago

I have a Middle Earth. I fixed it to the point it was playable and man is it a boring game. Great to look at but BLAH.

Anyone wants to buy my Middle Earth here in Columbus, OH make me an offer! I have a 2nd populated playfield for it as well.

#21 6 years ago

i will speak for superman - i had my playfield clearcoated - raised the rear legs and lowered the front - lastly put a power ball in it. it's a great great game this way - super fast and challenging. it will not leave my collection. it is the most played of about 40 pins.

i have a spare set of boards that work - i think i will sell them someday as it's stupid to keep them as backups.

i suggest people try a superman that is set up right. i had middle earth and agree it was slow and boring - but a good first game for children because they only sell for about $400 working.

thanks ed

#22 6 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

I have a Middle Earth. I fixed it to the point it was playable and man is it a boring game. Great to look at but BLAH.
Anyone wants to buy my Middle Earth here in Columbus, OH make me an offer! I have a 2nd populated playfield for it as well.

There was a populated middle earth playfield on ebay a month or so ago with lights wired to a 110 power cord. It's a very cool looking playfield, aka nice wall art.

#23 6 years ago

The only one that I have had at the house is Superman. I really like it. It is also very advanced for the time and very reliable. I have one here right now next to two other Steve Ritchie games Hyperball and ACDC Premium.

#24 6 years ago

anyone ever play an Atarians?

#25 6 years ago

I'm happy to say that I no longer own my Airborne Avenger. Only nice thing I have to say about it is that it was easy to move out.

#26 6 years ago
Quoted from Chuck_Sherman:

I'm happy to say that I no longer own my Airborne Avenger. Only nice thing I have to say about it is that it was easy to move out.

The op I worked for had me scrap two Airborne Avengers. I save one of the backglasses though......

#27 6 years ago

I would love to get the Road Runner pin, but only one was made.

#28 6 years ago

IPDB says two units and and the pictures look like it may have been a decent game...

http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=3517

Backglass.jpg Playfield.jpg

#29 6 years ago

I guess its all in who you know, or maybe it was being in the right place at the right time......LOL.

John P. Dayhuff
Battle Creek, Mi.
269-979-3836

-1
#30 6 years ago

I guess its all in who you know, or maybe it was being in the right place at the right time......LOL.

John P. Dayhuff
Battle Creek, Mi.
269-979-3836

#31 6 years ago

RR is an awesome looking pin, and the layout looks fun as well. lt's too bad with todays technology that a game like this couldn't be duplicated...
Atari, you fail for not releasing this. (l'd like to know some of the reasons it was scrapped)

#32 6 years ago

Well, you can play RR using VPinMame: http://www.vpforums.org/index.php?app=downloads&showfile=1544

Haven't installed it yet to play but looks decent.

index.jpg

#33 6 years ago

It sure helped that Atari was owned by Warner Bros./ Communications at the time.

#34 6 years ago

All those early Atari pinballs suffer from crappy hardware design (boards, power supply, displays, etc).

What would be nice is if someone could refit classic Bally hardware boardsets and power supply in these machines and put them in the backbox where they ought to be.

Or maybe somebody could do some new boards using raspberry pi/ardino setup like this guy did with a Bally Fireball home pinball:

#35 6 years ago

That's a neat design feature in the Road Runner machine there, a spot target that can only be hit by catching the ball on the flipper and having it roll up the inlane to it. I don't recall seeing that on any other machine.

#36 6 years ago

I also like the messenger balls behind the drop targets.

1 month later
#37 6 years ago

I've been trying to find out how many Middle Earth were made. Is there any record of production numbers at all?

#38 6 years ago

I played a Roadrunner at Pinball Fantasy in Vegas in 96, it was a good playing game, a real shame it didn't get produced. Superman is undoubtedly the best production game they put out, I know where a bunch of other Atari's are sitting, have thought about getting one just to say I have one, always thought Middle Earth looked interesting with it's offset double flippers, but doesn't sound like it's a very good player. Any others besides Superman that are decent??

#39 6 years ago
Quoted from edcianci:

i will speak for superman - i had my playfield clearcoated - raised the rear legs and lowered the front - lastly put a power ball in it. it's a great great game this way - super fast and challenging. it will not leave my collection. it is the most played of about 40 pins.
i have a spare set of boards that work - i think i will sell them someday as it's stupid to keep them as backups.
i suggest people try a superman that is set up right. i had middle earth and agree it was slow and boring - but a good first game for children because they only sell for about $400 working.
thanks ed

I was about to make almost the same post. My Superman is cleared, is super clean, back legs up to max, front low (it looks the way it should) and works perfect. Flippers are strong and have no problem making the left shot up to the bonus rollover. When set up and working right, this game is fast. Really freakin' fast. I think that too often no one knows how to fix this game, so it languishes in disrepair, then people complain they're slow. It's also all about hitting targets, and is so challenging that I think so many ops and casual owners have it set to slow it down. I know when I picked mine up it had almost no incline.

An all-time favorite and so different than anything before it.

#40 6 years ago

I used to own a Space Riders, gameplay was just ok, beautiful backglass.

PC040059.JPG

#41 6 years ago

I've also heard that using a TZ Powerball can increase the speed on the playfield. I picked one up to try out on my Time 2000, but haven't actually put it in the game yet. I'm hoping that between raising the back legs and using a lighter ball, that it will make these Atari pins a bit more fun to play.

#42 6 years ago

Too bad the only pinball machines Atari made were wide body types.

2 weeks later
#43 6 years ago
Quoted from Andyj965:

I've been trying to find out how many Middle Earth were made. Is there any record of production numbers at all?

Mr. Pinball 2013 price guide says 1,108 were known to be produced based on published numbers, but is possible as many as 6,554 were produced. Not sure why the big range.

#44 6 years ago

i just repaired an atari space riders for a guy. the game was very clean, and he got it for free, so it was worth a shot. there were issues with the cpu board, but i was able to repair it. it took a while to figure out how they operated, its different than the other makers. they did offer excellent documentation and from that i was able to figure out how the board operated, and then repair it. that being said, i played it and its a good game. not great, but there are lots of bally SS game that i would barely rate as good. luckily, it didnt need any parts, other than some common IC's for the board. if i had needed other parts, then who knows. might never have gotten fixed.

#45 6 years ago

When Atarians came out I thought it was the coolest game ever. Great colorful artwork, widebody playfield, computer generated sounds. Hell, even the coin slots were cool.

Actually, I think it was just my endearment of the Atari 2600 that allowed me to instantly like Atari pins. Middle Earth was another nice looking game and its unique playfield layout was enticing, but as barakandl said, gameplay is BLAH.

Right after high school a friend and I started buying cheap pins. We bought a Space Riders -- another good looking game with its mirrored backglass. But if ME is BLAH, SR is DOUBLE-BLAH. Couldn't sell it fast enough.

From what I've played, Superman is the best. Wouldn't mind playing one again some day.

#46 6 years ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

Too bad the only pinball machines Atari made were wide body types.

Someone will say that about JJP one day.

#47 6 years ago

I love Atari artwork. Very nostalgic to me. Would love to have a book with all their artwork from the 70's to the mid 80's.

#48 6 years ago

An Atari artwork book is a great idea. Not just pinballs, but their video games, and the boxes/instructions for every home system from the 2600 up thru the Atari computers had great artwork. I'd buy a copy.

#49 6 years ago

played middle earth. fell asleep between the ball movements. played a herculees, didnt think much of it. played a superman a couple of times and it was ok, but still slow.

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