(Topic ID: 233780)

Totally falling in love with late EMs


By Sea_Wolf

1 year ago



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  • 116 posts
  • 56 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by PinballFever
  • Topic is favorited by 9 Pinsiders

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There are 116 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
#1 1 year ago

Grew up in the era of early SS pins of the late 70s. I don’t think those great memories will ever fade. My first 2 Pins were of that time but since I’ve acquired my first 2 EMs(Aladdin’s castle and Space Mission), I have had a change of heart. Would love to hear stories from people that have that passion for the 70s EMs and your favorites.

There is just something wonderful that goes through your hands when playing these machines.

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#2 1 year ago

Some say the art but I just find the electro mechanical engineering of these machines extraordinary.

#3 1 year ago

Zaccaria and Gottlieb single-player wedgeheads are the most I have most experience with.

#4 1 year ago
Quoted from Sea_Wolf:

Grew up in the era of early SS pins of the late 70s. I don’t think those great memories will ever fade. My first 2 Pins were of that time but since I’ve acquired my first 2 EMs(Aladdin’s castle and Space Mission), I have had a change of heart. Would love to hear stories from people that have that passion for the 70s EMs and your favorites.
There is just something wonderful that goes through your hands when playing these machines.

I too love the mid-1970's EM pins. I am amazed in what they could do with the technology that they had to work with. I'm partial to Bally pins of the era. Old Chicago, Captain Fantastic, Bow & Arrow -- great stuff. Working on a '74 Bally Amigo project right now.

#5 1 year ago

I have also rediscovered EMs as well.
I love the history of these old neglected and overlooked treasures. I really love bringing one back to life and the prices are usually pretty fair as well.

Respect Your Elders,,,,

#6 1 year ago

Yep. There is something really special about these games. I like to tinker and if money ever got tight I think I’d be perfectly happy just messing around with EMs.

Now Shhh! Or you’ll drive the prices up.

#7 1 year ago

Yes, there's a lot to like about the late EMs and early SS pins.
These make up the majority of my collection.
Steve

#8 1 year ago

The next 2 on my wish list would be Bally Wizard and Gottlieb Target Alpha but they don’t come cheap if they are in decent shape. Williams Grand Prix and Gottlieb Far Out would be my next 2. Anybody own any of these 4?

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from dasvis:

I too love the mid-1970's EM pins. I am amazed in what they could do with the technology that they had to work with. I'm partial to Bally pins of the era. Old Chicago, Captain Fantastic, Bow & Arrow -- great stuff. Working on a '74 Bally Amigo project right now.

How does your Bally Freedom rate with the rest of your pins? Does it have the pop bumper between the flippers? I saw one for sale last week in Indianapolis. About a 2 hour drive for me. I’m probably going to have to wait till the bank account grows a little but I’m always looking.

#10 1 year ago

Mid to late 70s EMs. Those are really the only EMs I’ve really liked. Fast Draw, Grand Prix, Hot Tip, Joker Poker, Argosy, and Space Mission are all really good.

My favorite single player is probably Volley.

This is the time when pinball design changed and each game was very unique from one title to the next.

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from snyper2099:

Mid to late 70s EMs. Those are really the only EMs I’ve really liked. Fast Draw, Grand Prix, Hot Tip, Joker Poker, Argosy, and Space Mission are all really good.

Agree. I’m going to the Arcade expo here in Louisville in 6 weeks and hopefully get a feel for my next purchase.

#12 1 year ago

The most symmetrical playfield EVER???!! 1975 Abra Ca Dabra

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#13 1 year ago

Mid 70’s seem like the only ones I’m interested in now. Besides Quick Draw and Surfer, all the others are Wedgeheads. Abra CaDabra, El Dorado, King Pin etc. Drop Targets!

#14 1 year ago
Quoted from Blitzburgh99:

The most symmetrical playfield EVER???!! 1975 Abra Ca Dabra
[quoted image]

Really miss mine. What a great game.

#15 1 year ago
Quoted from Sea_Wolf:

There is just something wonderful that goes through your hands when playing these machines.

It’s also the cash you’ve saved.

Late EM titles and early SS are enjoyable and the final frontier of affordability for those willing to jump in.
2001 is probably not late enough, but still really enjoyed it at a recent show.

#16 1 year ago
Quoted from wayner:

I just find the electro mechanical engineering of these machines extraordinary.

I wholeheartedly agree. For a closeup look at some of the engineering: www.funwithpinball.com/exhibits/small-boards

/Mark

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from Sea_Wolf:

The next 2 on my wish list would be Bally Wizard and Gottlieb Target Alpha but they don’t come cheap if they are in decent shape. Williams Grand Prix and Gottlieb Far Out would be my next 2. Anybody own any of these 4?

I own a Wizard and have played a lot of Target Alpha and Grand Prix. Wizard is a great looker but a so-so player in my opinion. Target Alpha is a fun player, especially if you like drop targets and Grand Prix is all about ripping the spinners. Don’t have a lot of experience with Far Out. Out of that group I would “target” the Alpha, the best bang for the buck there as Grand Prix has become more desirable and tougher to find too. YMMV....

#18 1 year ago

Just got the Abra Ca Dabra. I told my two kids “there are 10 drop targets up top, how many can you knock down?” They have been playing non-stop trying to one-up each other ever since! Looks so easy, right?!?!

#19 1 year ago

I’ve only had ABC for a week. One early impression is that I can play while listening to music playing in the room. With my DMD games, when I put on Spotify to listen to a playlist while I play, it is annoying “noise” conflicting with the pinball soundtrack. With the chimes, it doesn’t override the music I’m enjoying.

#20 1 year ago

I have always enjoyed 3" flipper EM's as much or more than any SS machine in our collection. To me early SS machines and later 3" EM machines are just pure pinball - no gimmicks - no BS - just down and dirty pinball at its best. Once you get into a bunch of ramps, DMD displays, etc something is really lost instead of gained in my eyes.

What is kind of funny is I am in the hobby with my adult son and in his eyes if a machine didn't have a ramp in it then it wasn't any fun. As time has gone on he has actually warmed up to playing earlier SS machines and they are slowly taking over our collection. I am sure EM's will be the next step down that path once he gives a few a second chance.

#21 1 year ago

I've had a few:
Flip-Flop
Spirit of '76 - Probably my favorite
King of Diamonds
Slick Chick
Drop-a-Card

Wizard, Quick Draw, Buckaroo, and Fireball are also some of my favorites.

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from too-many-pins:

Once you get into a bunch of ramps, DMD displays, etc something is really lost instead of gained in my eyes.
What is kind of funny is I am in the hobby with my adult son and in his eyes if a machine didn't have a ramp in it then it wasn't any fun. As time has gone on he has actually warmed up to playing earlier SS machines and they are slowly taking over our collection. I am sure EM's will be the next step down that path once he gives a few a second chance.

That’s the way I feel exactly. To each their own but when the ramps started in the early 80s, I lost interest in any new pins. I was 17 in 1981 but was hooked on the games from 1975-1980.

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#23 1 year ago

I kind of feel sorry for the guys that think they have to spend $7500 to $10000 for a new pinball machine to enjoy the hobby. Most of those guys don't even understand the hobby. Once you truly get what it is all about you can have one hell of a collection for that same $7500. Especially if you do your own repairs on your EM machines.

If you have the space - time - and energy and take your time buying for under 10k you can likely have about 25 to 40 pretty nice EM machines or over a dozen of the better EM titles. I don't care what anyone says playing 15 different machines in your collection is a hell of a lot more fun than just owning one!

#24 1 year ago

I graduated high school in 1976. Our school had an open lunch policy where we could leave campus during our lunch period. Down the street from school there was a lunch counter type place with about 14-16 games - all EM of course. That's where my first love of pinball started, and my love of EMs in general. Nothing like the sounds they make while playing, and after a good ball drained, it seemed like it ran forever, counting up the bonus. Great times.

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from Sea_Wolf:

How does your Bally Freedom rate with the rest of your pins? Does it have the pop bumper between the flippers? I saw one for sale last week in Indianapolis. About a 2 hour drive for me. I’m probably going to have to wait till the bank account grows a little but I’m always looking.

Well, my Bally Freedom is just parts. I picked it up a few years back for free from a guy who made a coffee table project out of the playfield & cabinet. I got the complete backbox (with broken backglass) & the lower cabinet board and put them in storage. Turned out to be a great pickup for me, as the Amigo that I am working on now needed a game over lock relay and several coils - all of which I harvested off of Freedom. NEVER pass on parts games!

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from dasvis:

Well, my Bally Freedom is just parts. I picked it up a few years back for free from a guy who made a coffee table project out of the playfield & cabinet. I got the complete backbox (with broken backglass) & the lower cabinet board and put them in storage. Turned out to be a great pickup for me, as the Amigo that I am working on now needed a game over lock relay and several coils - all of which I harvested off of Freedom. NEVER pass on parts games!

There’s one for sale near Cincinnati (2 hour drive) for $600. Said to be working. Playfield decent shape. The guy said the backglass is flaking and for some reason I’ve seen other Freedoms with bad flaking backglasses. Maybe just coincidence.

#27 1 year ago

99/100 times my friends come over they are playing Card Whiz, Dragon, Jumping Jack, Fireball, etc. EMs did a really good job on balancing points.

DISCLAIMER: My friends and I are in our early 30’s. Age or nostalgia plays no part in what we consider fun

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from Sea_Wolf:

The next 2 on my wish list would be Bally Wizard and Gottlieb Target Alpha but they don’t come cheap if they are in decent shape. Williams Grand Prix and Gottlieb Far Out would be my next 2. Anybody own any of these 4?

I’ve had all 4 in the past. Get Alpha (shots) or Grand Prix (satisfaction of ripping the piss out of the spinner).

#29 1 year ago
Quoted from MeNaCeFiRe:

99/100 times my friends come over they are playing Card Whiz, Dragon, Jumping Jack, Fireball, etc. EMs did a really good job on balancing points.
DISCLAIMER: My friends and I are in our early 30’s. Age or nostalgia plays no part in what we consider fun

Card Whiz is a fun player. I shopped out a really clean example for a friend who's dad bought it for them in 1980 & it sat in their basement since then. Fixed a couple of missing contacts in the player unit, & repaired the match unit.

#30 1 year ago

We always have lots of EM games in the free play rooms at Pintastic New England!
.................David Marston

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#31 1 year ago

I'm partial to the mid to late 70s gottlieb EMs. I grew up on these games back in the day when the large arcades were booming. I currently have seven refurbished games in my collection. Being an old fart, I appreciate the relative simplicity of the rule sets.

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#32 1 year ago
Quoted from Noobee:

I'm partial to the mid to late 70s gottlieb EMs. I grew up on these games back in the day when the large arcades were booming. I currently have seven refurbished games in my collection. Being an old fart, I appreciate the relative simplicity of the rule sets.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Beautiful collection and some of my favorites in there.

#33 1 year ago
Quoted from Sea_Wolf:

There’s one for sale near Cincinnati (2 hour drive) for $600. Said to be working. Playfield decent shape. The guy said the backglass is flaking and for some reason I’ve seen other Freedoms with bad flaking backglasses. Maybe just coincidence.

Freedom is a wonderful game. Especially if you like spinners.
Ours continues to be a family favorite!

E

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from Noobee:

I'm partial to the mid to late 70s gottlieb EMs. I grew up on these games back in the day when the large arcades were booming. I currently have seven refurbished games in my collection. Being an old fart, I appreciate the relative simplicity of the rule sets.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Lots of eye candy there. Would love Surfer and Quick Draw.

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from Sea_Wolf:

he next 2 on my wish list would be Bally Wizard and Gottlieb Target Alpha but they don’t come cheap if they are in decent shape. Williams Grand Prix and Gottlieb Far Out would be my next 2. Anybody own any of these 4?

I have many of the 2" Flipper machines set up, Subway, Diamond Jack, Hearts and Spades, and others which I really do like,
but do have some 3" Flippers which I can also get very much into. Wedge Heads 100%, but there was a time when I wasn't into
the Gottlieb multi-players (had Ballys and Grand Prix set up). After trading a really nice Surf Champ, I kept hearing how nice of
a player Surfer/Surf Champ was. Still having a Surfer stashed in a far corner, after digging and shopping it out, it's been the machine
I play more than any other given one. Also (for 3" flipper), the Joker Poker, and for single I'd say Lucky Hand, and of course a
2" Flipper will always be on my play list. Also Old Chicago, Bow and Arrow, and now and then I'll play the Sound Stage..
I never had a Target Alpha, The Wizard's appealing, but for me not a special player (same with Captain) but it's still set up.
The Grand Prix will always be in a line up. Years back I shopped out a Far Out, and me myself wouldn't have one in a line up.
I have quite a few more stored (along with 2" Flipper machines), but until I finish the upstairs addition, that's where they'll have
to stay. The way EMs are nudgable, but yet need to know the machines limitations, increases its fun factor..

#36 1 year ago

For an old, in years, EM guy, nice to read all the great comments about the games of the 70's. Still like a lot of 2" flipper games, 4 Square will never leave my modest collection. Drop a Card is always a fun challenge. But do love the later 3" flipper games as well. Currently giving Hokus Pokus a lot of play.

#37 1 year ago

Hi Sea_Wolf +
I started playing pinball in the very late 1960ies - "Shangri La" was my first love, my number one pin is "Far Out". One thing I dislike on the late EMs is the feature "every new ball given starts with one bonus given" --- I want the bonus to make by myself, the feature is complicated, we may have problems when we want to test (for example) the Ball-Release-Coil.

Owners of late Williams EM-Pins (Space Mission etc.) should know this video, see https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/em-pinball-circuits-basics-to-not-so-basic/page/3#post-3587920 - SteveFury made the video - I somewhere read in pinside that Steve went "R.V.". The whole topic is good - basics, Williams and Bally,a lot of Gottlieb specifics. Greetings Rolf

#38 1 year ago
Quoted from Mopar:

Still having a Surfer stashed in a far corner, after digging and shopping it out, it's been the machine
I play more than any other given one.

Surfer is a great game. Drops, spinner, star rollovers, a kickout hole, left lane shot back to the top, it has almost everything in a well thought out asymmetrical playfield. When set up properly, it is one of the best from that era IMHO.

#39 1 year ago
Quoted from DCRand:

Currently giving Hokus Pokus a lot of play.

I wish I kept a few machines, with H.P. being one of them. Those Spinners!
Just before the ball drained, I ripped through the center spinner, and when it
switched to the 2nd player, it was yet adding up his points!

Quoted from Noobee:

Surfer is a great game.

The Surfer I have is pretty nice, but I traded a Surf Champ that had a 9.8 for a
cabinet, and the rest was much better..
Should have went by the rule. Don't let it go before you played one..

#40 1 year ago
Quoted from electricsquirrel:

Freedom is a wonderful game. Especially if you like spinners.
Ours continues to be a family favorite!
E

I’m a Spinner Guy. All 4 of my current pins have them.

#41 1 year ago
Quoted from Noobee:

I'm partial to the mid to late 70s gottlieb EMs. I grew up on these games back in the day when the large arcades were booming. I currently have seven refurbished games in my collection. Being an old fart, I appreciate the relative simplicity of the rule sets.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Just beautiful. I’m now thinking my next pin is going to be a Gottlieb EM. I’ve got 3 Bally’s and 1 Williams, so it’s time.

#42 1 year ago
Quoted from Sea_Wolf:Just beautiful. I’m now thinking my next pin is going to be a Gottlieb EM. I’ve got 3 Bally’s and 1 Williams, so it’s time.

I have a great looking "Spin Out" for sale if interested.

#43 1 year ago

My pride and joy cleaned up finally. Cabinet touch up and backbox repaint next.
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#44 1 year ago

Nice!

#45 1 year ago

If you own Ballys or Williams Ems from the 70s and you can find gottlieb chime sets at a reasonable price, buy the rubber grommets and coil sleeves and put them into you games. Those chime sets are just SUPERIOR in sound! at least to my ears.
My first 15 years I owned a bunch of different games but eventually I ended up a bit heavy on the 70s 4 players Ballys. Now its 25 ,30 years later and I still own the first game I ever bought. Bally BOW & ARROW> still play and still love it. In all these years I have replaced bands, bulbs. TO this day the only breakdown its ever had was the first week I owned it one of the kick out holes went "poop". got a used coil and soldered it in. That is absolutely the only thing Ive ever had to work on besides maintenance.
Last ten years have been all about the 60s Wedgeheads from Gottleib that have backbox animation and are "add a balls" I guess cuz I grew up in New York State that was one of the two add a ball states. Only thing that will limit you is space. Pinball people are like goldfish, they grow thier collections to the size of the space they have!
I certainly welcome you into the fold , if you ever need advice there are some really incredible people here in the EM section!
Oh shoot, one other thing, comparatively speaking, I think most guys will tell you that the 4 player gotts are more complicated then the Wills or the Ballys. Thats been my expierience anyway. Your mileage may vary of course.
Good Luck to you!

#46 1 year ago

Thanks. Never knew how fun this one is to play too.

#47 1 year ago
Quoted from weeze:

If you own Ballys or Williams Ems from the 70s and you can find gottlieb chime sets at a reasonable price, buy the rubber grommets and coil sleeves and put them into you games. Those chime sets are just SUPERIOR in sound! at least to my ears.
My first 15 years I owned a bunch of different games but eventually I ended up a bit heavy on the 70s 4 players Ballys. Now its 25 ,30 years later and I still own the first game I ever bought. Bally BOW & ARROW> still play and still love it. In all these years I have replaced bands, bulbs. TO this day the only breakdown its ever had was the first week I owned it one of the kick out holes went "poop". got a used coil and soldered it in. That is absolutely the only thing Ive ever had to work on besides maintenance.
Last ten years have been all about the 60s Wedgeheads from Gottleib that have backbox animation and are "add a balls" I guess cuz I grew up in New York State that was one of the two add a ball states. Only thing that will limit you is space. Pinball people are like goldfish, they grow thier collections to the size of the space they have!
I certainly welcome you into the fold , if you ever need advice there are some really incredible people here in the EM section!
Oh shoot, one other thing, comparatively speaking, I think most guys will tell you that the 4 player gotts are more complicated then the Wills or the Ballys. Thats been my expierience anyway. Your mileage may vary of course.
Good Luck to you!

Thanks Weeze. I’ve noticed how awesome the people are in this community. Thrilled to be here. I too think the Gottlieb chimes are better than the Bally and Williams. I always wondered if you could to put them into other companies’ 3 chime games. I guess the question then would be, do you want to change the originality of the games? Those are some sweet sounding chimes though.

#48 1 year ago

Chimes are great but man, there is nothing like a Gottlieb with bells, including a 100 point big bell. I have my Sing Along and King of Diamonds in an alcove in the gameroom.... it’s almost deafening..... in a great way!

#49 1 year ago

keep the originals, if you sell it put em back in. You will definately enjoy those music makers!

#50 1 year ago

NOOBIE< you have some beautiful games there Sir!

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