T2 lit the fire for me. They had it in our local pub/dive bar ...91/92 We played the living cr*p out of it for months ...after that I was hunting everywhere for pins to play
Centaur and Haunted House I remember seeing and being intrigued by in local arcades, but at that point in the 80s it was all about the vids for me.
I can still remember and visualize many of the first e-m pinball machines I ever played back around 1973-'75 in a couple large laundromats and a couple gamerooms/pool halls near Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.
We'd ride our bikes over to these places, ...well til we got our drivers license and first cars.
1971 Play Ball
1972 Flying Carpet
1972 Jungle (& 2-player Wild Life)
1973 Pro Football
1973 Jack in the Box
1973 King Pin
1973 Hot Shot
1974 Big Indian
1972 El Toro ==> "El Boro"
1972 Space Time
1973 Monte Carlo (& 1-player Odds & Evens)
1973 Hi-Lo Ace
1974 Twin Win
1972 Spanish Eyes
1973 Jubilee ==> it sucked
1974 Triple Action
Spirit of 76 was the first game I remember "playing"...although that usually consisted of trying to find unplayed balls on the pin at the bowling alley.
The 2 pins that cemented my love for pinball were TZ and TAF. I used to spend hours playing them at bars in NYC, including one that was a hangout for the Hells Angels. Mind you, I'm a stereotypical science-fiction geek girl who usually didn't go out drinking, so it was really shocking to my friends at the time to find out that I had a bunch of scary looking biker pals making sure I could play my pins in peace.
Star Trek may not have been the first pin I ever played, but it is the one I remember. There is no other pinball title of which I have specific childhood memories.
I spent my winters growing up at a long-extinct ski area called Hahn Mountain in the northern tip of Berks County, Pennsylvania. Both my parents were ski instructors so I spent a lot of time there. It was at Hahn Mountain that I discovered Star Trek. I liked pinball when I was a kid. But I wasn't very good at it. My typical game would last about 20 seconds. And I often was not willing to part with 25 cents. At my young age, back in the early 1980s, a quarter still seemed like a lot of money. But I must not have had anything better to do with my allowance during the winter because I played Star Trek regularly. I know my allowance at the time was $2/week because I remember being able to play Star Trek eight times (plus, hopefully, a few replays and matches). I remember the game was three balls for a quarter. Most of all I remember the "Time Warp" shot back to the shooter lane. That shot was as rewarding and exciting as earning an extra ball. I don't remember having any particular grasp of the game rules. Maybe I wasn't even aware that pinball machines had rules. But after some practice I was able to keep my balls in play long enough to earn replays with some regularity. All this happened during the new craze of arcade video games. I remember that Star Trek shared space with two video games. One was Asteroids. The other was Space Invaders. Or was it Pac-Man? Maybe Pac-Man replaced Space Invaders. But I always found video games were about as much fun as tossing quarters in the trashcan.
I skied Hahn Mountain from when I was about four years old in 1973 until around 1984 when the ski area closed for good. Obviously Star Trek was not there before 1979, but in my memory it always was.
Harlem Globetrotters at the bowling alley, Space Invaders at the arcade. Played for hours and hours, occasionally well. I still remember when Space Invaders went away, and I was crushed...but they replaced it with Black Knight and Firepower.
When I saw all the hot girls all the pinball dudes were pulling I just KNEW I had to dedicate my life to the silver ball.
The first game I can remember playing is a Williams Smarty. I will never forget that backglass with the little kid in the lower left corner smiling. I saw that at a campground in Canada IIRC.
The first game that I played a lot was a Gottlieb Majorettes that I played up north in at a campground in Wisconsin. That is the machine that I believe got me hooked. The first game that I fell in love with was Bally Wizard which is also the first game I purchased.
I hope to get a Majorettes for my collection someday.
AFM. I remember playing it in the arcade as a kid and I thought it was a tie-in to Mars Attacks. I was pretty young and I only played by myself so I never understood that there were rules and lots of nuance to pinball in general. Didn't start getting into that until I got the Pinball Hall of Fame Williams Collection for the Xbox 360.
The Gottlieb and Williams collection PS2 games definitely helped me experience pinball and love it even more Even helped me master the post pass and many other techniques!
It wasn't a pin, but my lifestyle. I was poor. My friends had all the money and we would hit the arcades and they had 40 bucks to waste, I had a buck fifty. I found that by playing pinball, I could earn free games by grabbing high scores, and get another off a match. There was many times when they would be broke in two hours, and I would still be rocking Big Guns, Whirlwind or Funhouse with that buck fifty.
There was a big arcade with all of 1975's latest and greatest... and then there was this ancient little burger stand across the street that had decade-old relics like Central Park, Bank a Ball, and Kings & Queens. Some days I would pass the arcade and head straight for the relics.
K&Q still gets a lot of play.
There are quite a few that have reinforced my passion for pinball, but the first one I remember really getting me into it was meteor. I was maybe 10 or 11 years old, it was summer vacation from school and we found meteor in a nearby restaurant lobby. I remember playing all my money on it, the background hum slowly increasing in pitch clearly showing how far you got. I think I can still remember that sound, and it was at least 35 years ago! Pinball, what a drug
Big Guns!!!!!! Visited my uncle every summer, and he is a collector. He had like 30 games and Big Guns was my favorite. Keep in mind this was the early to mid 90s so a lot of the DMDs hadn't existed yet. Then I went back one year and he had just gotten a funhouse. You couldn't pry me off of it. I would stay up all night and play. I mean all night. I still think that is the best game ever made.
Santa brought this to the house when I was just a youngin'. Felt like a full size machine to a kid.
Even though my 1st pin to fall in love with instantly and bring home was Paragon, the pin that introduced me to the concept of home ownership was Little Chief. When I was growing up in the 70s pins were everywhere. I played waiting at the gas station pizza place, bowling alley, restaurant. A friend of mine around the corner in grade school had a Little Chief in his parent's Playboy Grotto style basement. I would run over his house after school every day during that magical year before jr high school. I loved the gate that let you back in the shooter lane to collect your bonus. That pin introduce me to the idea that I could talk my parents into owning one in our basement one day. Thank you Mr. Missakian!
I worked at McDonalds in a Walmart and WM has a Roadshow when you first walked in. Fell in love with that game at my greasy would you like fries with that job extended an hour on each end for me to pour my minimum wage into the game.
I love Walmart and McDonalds for getting me into the hobby
My local convience store had
And space shuttle.
The 7-11 by my grade school
Had Taxi brand-new just before I went to highschool.
My whole childhood from Grade 1 to grade 8
Ever single convience store had pins or vids.
In highschool they all turned to street fighter
And later mortal kombat.
Then the mall arcades started to close.
And none in the stores either. But I played the crap out of Addams family my last year of high-school.
The first machine I ever bought was the same Buck Rogers that I played at the store.
I played a ton of pins when they were brand new at the local mall's Time Out and Galaxy arcades.....Playboy, Xenon, Firepower 1 & 2, Black Hole, Space Invaders.....but the ones that hooked me were Black Knight, Centaur, Haunted House, and Caveman.
My friend-of-a-friend Ira had a pin in his house around 1979, likely a mid-70's EM, and I thought that was just the coolest thing ever.
Pirates Of The Caribbean at Chuck E Cheese of all places shortly after it came out. Been hooked ever since.
I was at a bar with my wife about 2 years ago. I'd never played pinball before and grew up in the Mortal Kombat days. Only the old people played the pinball machines at the back of the arcade. Anyway, they had an Avatar sitting in the corner that I decided to play. About an hour later, I turned to my wife and said "I'm buying one".
Fast forward 2 years later and I now own 9. The most recent purchase was the same Avatar I first played. I bought it from the operator.
It's at a friends house right now because I'm finishing my basement and don't have the room. But once I do, it's scheduled for a trip to dmacy's house for a full cleanup. I can't wait. The guy is a master.
Paragon. My best friend growing up had one in his basement that was left there from the previous owner of the house. I couldn't even tell you how many hours we logged on that poor machine.. we had post it notes on the back glass full of high scores once we started rolling it.
When i was a child,my Grandpa retired to the Russian River ,a resort area here in norcal!During the summer,at the "center" there was a pinball arcade! It was full of early Ems,a big blu machine gun ,and of course "scee Ball" I played those Ems for years,not really knowing there was a way to play these pins! The year was 1955! Then,Vietnam! I would see a pin here and there,and occasionally drop a dime! Then,many years later,working as a municipal bus driver,for the CountyConnection in CC county,the union put a Adams Family,and a Funhouse in the break room!! I was hooked! Adams Family took all my Quarters! I now own seven pins!
Played a ton of Dungeons and Dragons one summer in high school when there was one set up at my work.
Fast forward 10 years and I buy a Strikes and Spares from the local classifieds for $50. Such awesome and hilarious artwork and a fun early SS pin. I'm hoping to get another and do a high end restore on it, now that I actually know how to maintain these things.
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