(Topic ID: 127724)

Woodrail Pinballs


By PinballFever

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 692 posts
  • 93 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by jsf24
  • Topic is favorited by 35 Pinsiders

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There are 692 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 14.
#1 3 years ago

Which woodrail games do you think are the most fun to play with great backglass art?

I've always been fascinated with the old "one million", "two million" backglass light scoring system and would love to get one. There is something about a beautiful well taken care of woodrail pinball machine sitting there in your game room. If you have one you're willing to part with for a fair price, let me know!

My FIRST game was a 1953 Grand Champion many years ago but unfortunately I couldn't bring it with me when my family moved across the country.

What say you pinsiders?

#2 3 years ago

My favorite is Balls-a-Poppin. It was also released with some minor changes as Circus. You start multiball with a center saucer that is very easy to over-shoot but then things get pretty crazy. It's also extremely nudge-able and you can make some really great saves.

#3 3 years ago

For me there are so many great titles to choose from, especially in the 1952 - 1955 era.

The jackpot games are epic as they are comparable to modern day wizard features.

Frontiersman - 10 replay jackpot.
Wishing Well - 10 replays.
Sweet Add A Line - an amazing 26 replay jackpot for completing the game.
World Champ - 10 replays.
Easy Aces - 10 replays.
Ace High - 10 replays.
Derby Day - 12 replays.
Sluggin Champ - 5 replays.

And then there are so many pre 1955 beautiful games with multiple ways to win. These are so good as whilst playing it always feels like you are about to win, but somehow it never works out that way!

I have zero nostalgia associated with these games. I just love the art and the captivating gameplay.

#4 3 years ago
Quoted from jonnyo:

My favorite is Balls-a-Poppin. It was also released with some minor changes as Circus. You start multiball with a center saucer that is very easy to over-shoot but then things get pretty crazy. It's also extremely nudge-able and you can make some really great saves.

Jay Stafford had that game at the Wild West Fest pinball fest in AZ and I tried it. It's an amazing and fun game. I'm not sure if it's hard to find one though.

#5 3 years ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

For me there are so many great titles to choose from, especially in the 1952 - 1955 era.
The jackpot games are epic as they are comparable to modern day wizard features.
Frontiersman - 10 replay jackpot.
Wishing Well - 10 replays.
Sweet Add A Line - an amazing 26 replay jackpot for completing the game.
World Champ - 10 replays.
Easy Aces - 10 replays.
Ace High - 10 replays.
Derby Day - 12 replays.
Sluggin Champ - 5 replays.
And then there are so many pre 1955 beautiful games with multiple ways to win. These are so good as whilst playing it always feels like you are about to win, but somehow it never works out that way!
I have zero nostalgia associated with these games. I just love the art and the captivating gameplay.

Thanks! Will check those games out, I'm looking for a game that's fun to play and has beautiful art. Have you played those games yourself?

BTW that was one feature I loved about the Grand Champion, the fact you could win as many as 26 replays at one time (I think it was 26 and I also think it was a "gambling game"?), so different from games where you win one replay at a time.

#6 3 years ago

I guess it's really up to you as to what you like. Woodrails have so many different features from one pin to another and also year to year
Gobble holes hate em or don't mind them (nobody loves em) or what about Drop targets. Maybe you do or don't like roto targets and how about animation? There's so many different choices. Balls A Poppin, Jonnyo loves it,I for one couldn't get rid of my Balls A Poppin fast enough. Different strokes for different folks, so you need to choose, especially if you're only going for one. Ha ha, they're like potato chips. Bet you can't eat (buy) just one
I still have about 50 woodrails I've kept through the years. Lots of them are listed in my "collection". Do your research, play a few and make up your own mind. What one person likes, another might not. I rotate woodrails in my gameroom from time to time, but there are a few that never seem to leave. One is Kewpie Doll another is Sittin Pretty and my Knockout will always be up. One with Gobbles, one with Roto and one with the fantastic animation and an awesome backglass.
I wish you were closer, you're welcome here to play some. Or if you're ever by Vegas, stop in Tims place, there should be lots of them there.
Good luck on your search

#7 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballFever:

Thanks! Will check those games out, I'm looking for a game that's fun to play and has beautiful art. Have you played those games yourself?
BTW that was one feature I loved about the Grand Champion, the fact you could win as many as 26 replays at one time (I think it was 26 and I also think it was a "gambling game"?), so different from games where you win one replay at a time.

I have played Sweet Add A Line and it's close cousin Gypsy Queen and love both these games. Gypsy Queen can win 8 replays. Something about collecting the lines on the backglass and they both have a nice layout.

I love my Mystic Marvel - maximum 6 replays with double feature. Great art, great gameplay and gobble holes like sink holes!!!

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from waltrr:

I guess it's really up to you as to what you like. Woodrails have so many different features from one pin to another and also year to year
Gobble holes hate em or don't mind them (nobody loves em) or what about Drop targets. Maybe you do or don't like roto targets and how about animation? There's so many different choices. Balls A Poppin, Jonnyo loves it,I for one couldn't get rid of my Balls A Poppin fast enough. Different strokes for different folks, so you need to choose, especially if you're only going for one. Ha ha, they're like potato chips. Bet you can't eat (buy) just one
I still have about 50 woodrails I've kept through the years. Lots of them are listed in my "collection". Do your research, play a few and make up your own mind. What one person likes, another might not. I rotate woodrails in my gameroom from time to time, but there are a few that never seem to leave. One is Kewpie Doll another is Sittin Pretty and my Knockout will always be up. One with Gobbles, one with Roto and one with the fantastic animation and an awesome backglass.
I wish you were closer, you're welcome here to play some. Or if you're ever by Vegas, stop in Tims place, there should be lots of them there.
Good luck on your search

Ha ha I HOPE I can just buy one...
I have about 5 pinball machines in mind for a game room collection with one or two nice wedgeheads, a Fast Draw, a 1972 Fireball and a woodrail.
For features, I had a Sweet Hearts with gobble hole and it was OK. Kind of disappointing the gobble hole just ends the ball or the game.. Drop targets, roto targets and animation I like!
Gusher and your Rocket Ship look good, great backglass art but I haven't tried playing those games.
Wish I was closer too and I stopped by once to play the games at Tim's place but I need to stop by there again to make a list of games I like.
Thanks!

#9 3 years ago

I think every single pinball wood rail makes you look like you kidnap girls and keep them in your basement. Creepy if you ask me. With the exception when times were innocent in the 1950's and 60's, then it's acceptable.

Otherwise, freaking creepy.

Sorry, just reread the entire thread. It must be because I'm still in shock after seeing this "creepy" machine:

http://www.villagebbs.com/forum/index.php?topic=28466.0

#10 3 years ago
Quoted from eggbert52:

I think every single pinball wood rail makes you look like you kidnap girls and keep them in your basement. Creepy if you ask me. With the exception when times were innocent in the 1950's and 60's, then it's acceptable.
Otherwise, freaking creepy.
Sorry, just reread the entire thread. It must be because I'm still in shock after seeing this "creepy" machine:
http://www.villagebbs.com/forum/index.php?topic=28466.0

You sure do have a vivid imagination

#11 3 years ago

I've owned several wood rail pins over the years and the only one I've kept is Miss Annabelle.

#12 3 years ago

Clay Harrell has a thorough write up about the history of Gottlieb EMs, and for almost all of the woodrails, he includes information and ratings of each game.

His only A+ ratings are Knock Out, Minstrel Man, Mermaid, and Daisy May. Luckily, I had a chance to play all four of those at his show in Michigan this past weekend.

http://pinrepair.com/gtb/

#13 3 years ago
Quoted from mot:

Clay Harrell has a thorough write up about the history of Gottlieb EMs, and for almost all of the woodrails, he includes information and ratings of each game.
His only A+ ratings are Knock Out, Minstrel Man, Mermaid, and Daisy May. Luckily, I had a chance to play all four of those at his show in Michigan this past weekend.
http://pinrepair.com/gtb/

And did they live up to reputation?

#14 3 years ago

Oh yeah. Daisy May is probably my favorite.

I have yet to own a woodrail. I regret passing on a Gottlieb "Happy Days" a while back.

14
#15 3 years ago

1950 Gottlieb Madison Square Gardens:
Recent pre-Allentown purchase, I found this pristine survivor requiring very little beyond the routine shopping to get it going.

I had never heard of the game, but I was intrigued to add another boxing themed game to the World Champ and Knock Out. Not much information about it, but from what I understand, it came out in June 1950, a few months before the more popular Knock Out.

The game has a 'boxing ring' formed by four one-way gates with the pop bumpers representing the two boxers. So, for an old game, there is a lot of "action" within this area. Backglass has light animation of boxers fighting. Nice Roy Parker artwork.

As a boxing fan, I noticed the graphic of the two boxers on the playfield is almost identical (and assumed inspiration) to one of the photos from the Marcel Cerdan/Tony Zale 9/21/48 Middleweight championship fight. Cerdan, a 2-1 underdog, becomes the first non-American to hold the Middleweight title in the 20th century. The photo of the fighters was from a French newspaper. The graphic on the playfield even has a tiny drop of blood coming from Zale's nose.

right.jpg left.jpg front.jpg bg.jpg ring.jpg boxers.jpg boxers-newspaper.jpg instruction.jpg
#16 3 years ago
Quoted from oldcarz:

1950 Gottlieb Madison Square Gardens:
Recent pre-Allentown purchase, I found this pristine survivor requiring very little beyond the routine shopping to get it going.
I had never heard of the game, but I was intrigued to add another boxing themed game to the World Champ and Knock Out. Not much information about it, but from what I understand, it came out in June 1950, a few months before the more popular Knock Out.
The game has a 'boxing ring' formed by four one-way gates with the pop bumpers representing the two boxers. So, for an old game, there is a lot of "action" within this area. Backglass has light animation of boxers fighting. Nice Roy Parker artwork.
As a boxing fan, I noticed the graphic of the two boxers on the playfield is almost identical (and assumed inspiration) to one of the photos from the Marcel Cerdan/Tony Zale 9/21/48 Middleweight championship fight. Cerdan, a 2-1 underdog, becomes the first non-American to hold the Middleweight title in the 20th century. The photo of the fighters was from a French newspaper. The graphic on the playfield even has a tiny drop of blood coming from Zale's nose.

right.jpg (Click image to enlarge)
left.jpg (Click image to enlarge)
front.jpg (Click image to enlarge)
bg.jpg (Click image to enlarge)
ring.jpg (Click image to enlarge)
boxers.jpg (Click image to enlarge)
boxers-newspaper.jpg (Click image to enlarge)
instruction.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

Awesome collection you have there!! Would love to see them sometime.

#17 3 years ago
Quoted from oldcarz:

The game has a 'boxing ring' formed by four one-way gates with the pop bumpers representing the two boxers. So, for an old game, there is a lot of "action" within this area. Backglass has light animation of boxers fighting. Nice Roy Parker artwork.

Very neat. It would be great if you could upload a gameplay video of Madison Square Gardens pin; would love to the 'action'. It almost looks like Stern's new WWE copies the 'boxing ring' idea!

The playfield has layout similarities to my '49 Gottlieb K. C. Jones, which is awesome fun, imho.

#18 3 years ago

Only one woodrail in my collection so far: Crossroads from 1952. Great artwork and a completionists challenge to get all the bumpers lit in sequence.

If you get all five balls trapped in the center, you win 3 replays. But this is only possible if you trap each one. Lose a ball along the way, and they all work against you. Pretty cool twist... and so easy for victory to slip away at the last moment.

#19 3 years ago
Quoted from poppapin:

Awesome collection you have there!! Would love to see them sometime.

poppapin - Green Lane is only an hour from Holland. I am always pleased to welcome guests. Please PM me if/when you are coming in to the area.

Joel

#20 3 years ago
Quoted from oldcarz:

1950 Gottlieb Madison Square Gardens:
Recent pre-Allentown purchase, I found this pristine survivor requiring very little beyond the routine shopping to get it going.
I had never heard of the game, but I was intrigued to add another boxing themed game to the World Champ and Knock Out. Not much information about it, but from what I understand, it came out in June 1950, a few months before the more popular Knock Out.
The game has a 'boxing ring' formed by four one-way gates with the pop bumpers representing the two boxers. So, for an old game, there is a lot of "action" within this area. Backglass has light animation of boxers fighting. Nice Roy Parker artwork.
As a boxing fan, I noticed the graphic of the two boxers on the playfield is almost identical (and assumed inspiration) to one of the photos from the Marcel Cerdan/Tony Zale 9/21/48 Middleweight championship fight. Cerdan, a 2-1 underdog, becomes the first non-American to hold the Middleweight title in the 20th century. The photo of the fighters was from a French newspaper. The graphic on the playfield even has a tiny drop of blood coming from Zale's nose.

Odd cabinet graphics on that game for a boxing themed pin. I've seen others like that. For some reason, they were pushing air and space travel on their cabinets, regardless of the game's theme.

#21 3 years ago

Jet airliners were the "wave of the future" in 1950. The first prototypes were in development.

Gottlieb modernizing with their 4 color design (dark blue/light blue/brown/orange). Nice color theme.

#22 3 years ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

Odd cabinet graphics on that game for a boxing themed pin. I've seen others like that. For some reason, they were pushing air and space travel on their cabinets, regardless of the game's theme.

That's what I was thinking too, jr.

Almost thought the game was in the 'wrong' cabinet until I looked on the IPDB.

#23 3 years ago
Quoted from OTTOgd:

Very neat. It would be great if you could upload a gameplay video of Madison Square Gardens pin; would love to the 'action'. It almost looks like Stern's new WWE copies the 'boxing ring' idea!
The playfield has layout similarities to my '49 Gottlieb K. C. Jones, which is awesome fun, imho.
» YouTube video

Here's a video of it, as requested:

https://vimeo.com/128299295

As with all my titles, I am appreciative for the restoration help and guidance from Pinrescue...

Joel

#24 3 years ago
Quoted from oldcarz:

Here's a video of it, as requested:

Wow, nice video! Love that intro.

Great action! Cool, thanks!

#25 3 years ago

Those are some pretty cool gates at the top oldcarz! You have a nice line up of boxing games right now!

#26 3 years ago

Nice game

Like the way it plays and the bell sound on certain points.

#27 3 years ago
Quoted from waltrr:

I guess it's really up to you as to what you like. Woodrails have so many different features from one pin to another and also year to year
Gobble holes hate em or don't mind them (nobody loves em) or what about Drop targets. Maybe you do or don't like roto targets and how about animation? There's so many different choices. Balls A Poppin, Jonnyo loves it,I for one couldn't get rid of my Balls A Poppin fast enough. Different strokes for different folks, so you need to choose, especially if you're only going for one. Ha ha, they're like potato chips. Bet you can't eat (buy) just one
I still have about 50 woodrails I've kept through the years. Lots of them are listed in my "collection". Do your research, play a few and make up your own mind. What one person likes, another might not. I rotate woodrails in my gameroom from time to time, but there are a few that never seem to leave. One is Kewpie Doll another is Sittin Pretty and my Knockout will always be up. One with Gobbles, one with Roto and one with the fantastic animation and an awesome backglass.
I wish you were closer, you're welcome here to play some. Or if you're ever by Vegas, stop in Tims place, there should be lots of them there.
Good luck on your search

The gobble hole in San Francisco is pretty good. Technically it's not a woodraid, though. You have to advance the meter on the backglass and then shoot the gobble hole for big points. It's sort of like setting up a jackpot shot and then collecting, so not the usual mindlessness of some gobble holes.

#28 3 years ago

I have a standard 1955 Sluggin Champ for 8 years or so, and find it a one-more-game type of play. Love the Brooklyn Dodgers and Milwaukee Braves backglass for a measure of the time in baseball. National versus American League. Love one, hate the other....LOL.
Great to accumulate all the teams from both leagues and hit the lit gobble hole...nudge city.

Sluggin Champ is as good as Daisy May and Frontiersman. All three are to-the-grave keepers. World Champ is another keeper, IMHO.

#29 3 years ago
Quoted from BenetBoy78:

All three are to-the-grave keepers.

How old did you say are? Just curious...

#30 3 years ago

That's cold .... but funny at the same time.

Steve

Quoted from o-din:

How old did you say are? Just curious...

#31 3 years ago

Update: I may be getting a nice woodrail game soon with a "theme" and a history that I love and i'm excited. Will post pictures of it here if I get it.

#32 3 years ago

Here is my latest pic. The Paleo diet has done me wonders.....gluten free!!

OldmanIn-The-GravePinball.jpg
#33 3 years ago

Looks like you need a little more gluten in your diet.

#34 3 years ago
Quoted from BenetBoy78:

Here is my latest pic. The Paleo diet has done me wonders.....gluten free!!

OldmanIn-The-GravePinball.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

Man, that's sad. Do his friends call him "wingnut"?

11 months later
#35 2 years ago

Resurrecting a good thread.

I have a couple few from the late 50's early 60's. Dancing Dolls, HI-DIVER, Criss Cross, Wagon Train...and hopefully a Sittin' Pretty, soon. You reading this DF?

I like the jackpot features mentioned of the '50-'55 Gtb's (sounds like fun), but understand they may be easier to beat than the later years. ??? Were the replays much more liberal during the earlier years of woodrails?

#36 2 years ago
Quoted from presqueisle:

Resurrecting a good thread.
I have a couple few from the late 50's early 60's. Dancing Dolls, HI-DIVER, Criss Cross, Wagon Train...and hopefully a Sittin' Pretty, soon. You reading this DF?
I like the jackpot features mentioned of the '50-'55 Gtb's (sounds like fun), but understand they may be easier to beat than the later years. ??? Were the replays much more liberal during the earlier years of woodrails?

No, not particularly.... much like the metal rails, it just depends on what 'title' you're talking about.

Some woodrails are actually pretty hard to beat.

#37 2 years ago

Interesting thread. I have thought about woodrails too, and have pondered if I should get one example. I am thinking I'd like to find one really nice woodrail.... Maybe I should start looking ! Probably would be nice to have at least one. Would be tough to pass up a really nice one...

#38 2 years ago
Quoted from presqueisle:

Resurrecting a good thread.
I have a couple few from the late 50's early 60's. Dancing Dolls, HI-DIVER, Criss Cross, Wagon Train...and hopefully a Sittin' Pretty, soon. You reading this DF?
I like the jackpot features mentioned of the '50-'55 Gtb's (sounds like fun), but understand they may be easier to beat than the later years. ??? Were the replays much more liberal during the earlier years of woodrails?

Wagon Train is a great machine!

#39 2 years ago

Picked up and fixed up a '59 Gottlieb Straight Shooter last year but still have to record a gameplay video. Challenging game.

#40 2 years ago

Presently restoring a 1956 Gottlieb Classy Bowler pin for a friend that is already fun to play, challenging, and it even needs a pop bumper and flipper rebuild so that should tell you something.

Ken

#41 2 years ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

Wagon Train is a great machine!

Yes it is! Thanks. Having some problems uploading pics at the moment but I have a real purty one. I guess the later years had a lot of rotos eating up space...but I really like them. There is some variation between them. Also, some awesome back box animation going on at that time, Dancing Dolls being my favorite.

#42 2 years ago

Here's a distant shot of a few in the disco.

image_(resized).jpeg

#43 2 years ago
Quoted from NoQuarters:

Interesting thread. I have thought about woodrails too, and have pondered if I should get one example. I am thinking I'd like to find one really nice woodrail.... Maybe I should start looking ! Probably would be nice to have at least one. Would be tough to pass up a really nice one...

Yes, you should get one. And don't look back!

#44 2 years ago
Quoted from presqueisle:

Having some problems uploading pics at the moment

I'm not.

DSCN4422_(resized).JPG

DSCN4420_(resized).JPG

#45 2 years ago

Day yum. Do you still have the 'visitor' camping trailer?

#46 2 years ago

That's where I'll be living soon.

#47 2 years ago

Sweet. I did know of a guy who had pins and p&bs everywhere in his house. No kitchen appliances either, just pins. Still lived in the house though.

#48 2 years ago
Quoted from presqueisle:

I like the jackpot features mentioned of the '50-'55 Gtb's (sounds like fun), but understand they may be easier to beat than the later years. ??? Were the replays much more liberal during the earlier years of woodrails?

And to answer this question, the Frontiersman you can win lots of games at once, but not every game.

The Williams games are very hard to win a replay, something that continued on thru the 60s.

#49 2 years ago

I just don't see those around here, at least in the condition I look for. I'm a 'maintainer' (but slowly learning) at the moment. Yes, lots of great Williams and Bally games. I also had to streamline my maintenance time. Thought having similar years, maker, would be an easier curve for me.

#50 2 years ago
Quoted from presqueisle:

I just don't see those around here, at least in the condition I look for. I'm a 'maintainer' (but slowly learning) at the moment.

You don't see them because they didn't make many of each title and most got played into the ground. They cost a dime to play as well, but even with that and not giving out replays like candy, it didn't stop people from stepping up to the challenge. If you look at the pics you will see they are also very stout relatively speaking. I like having games from different makers to keep things interesting. If I stuck with only one, it wouldn't be as much fun.

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