(Topic ID: 127724)

Woodrail Pinballs

By PinballFever

6 years ago


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  • 171 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 days ago by undrdog
  • Topic is favorited by 71 Pinsiders

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There are 1,579 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 32.
#52 5 years ago

You should hear them! 50 volt bell coils in those solid wood cabinets can wake the dead.

#53 5 years ago

Yes! What I like about my poly floor and cement walls is the reverberation. Amplifies real nice.

#54 5 years ago
Quoted from EM-PINMAN:

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

This is my first Woodrail restore by the way and there is a bit of a learning curve from working on 70's, to 60's, and now to 50's, some weird, unique, and common stuff. I'll be talking to PBR Steve tomorrow about some of these oddities when I place an order.

I like working and playing on my friends game so much I decided that I will add a Woodrail to my lineup one day, hopefully a super nice 1959 Williams Spot Pool as I played one a couple years ago and liked it and want a billiards theme pin.

Ken

#55 5 years ago

That Classy Bowler don't need restorin'

#56 5 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

That Classy Bowler don't need restorin'

Oh yea it do!!

It will be a Sassy Bowler when I'm done with it and that's without any Clearcoat.

#57 5 years ago

If anything this Kings needs me to get off the interwebs and finish restorin'.

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#58 5 years ago

Classy Bowler looks like a keeper. Love the name 'Classy Bowler'

#59 5 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

get off the interwebs
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I called it the 'Intertubes' to my kids the other day (the 70'e and 80's weren't kind to me).

#60 5 years ago

Some it seems will never need restorin' Don't let the trick of the light fool you.

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#61 5 years ago

Pm me if it ever gets in the way.

#62 5 years ago

I'ts not in the way and it only looks stained in the pics. Don't know where this 70 year old time capsule came from, but I know where it's staying. Lot of fun to play too.

#63 5 years ago

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#64 5 years ago

If you like late 50s Gotts, find a Universe. Some say it's no good, but I found it a lot of fun to play. Cool artwork to.

#65 5 years ago

I do like that one but I'm almost out of room! It's knockin out walls time.

#66 5 years ago
Quoted from presqueisle:

Classy Bowler looks like a keeper. Love the name 'Classy Bowler'

"Classy Bowler". Some would say that's an oxymoron!

#67 5 years ago

Hey I resemble that remark.

#68 5 years ago

A short story....Its a pleasure to see these beauties!

For me, I started collecting 1932-1938 mechanicals, I must have had close to 50 games, 30 years ago.
1940 to say 1950 was hard during the war years, and Pinheads wanted their favorite 1950's games in the early 60's.
I couldnt touch them. I could get 2 Newer games or older games for the same, and simply shied away.
Big Mistake. Those sharing these pics, or have a game(s) have such a joy in incredible art, and light...its quite remarkable
to look deeper into at this time!
I remember my Uncles, in 1965ish, arguing along with the battles of baseball, and Mantle, how the new Metal Side rails, changed the games, "too much" from wood rails.
They couldnt "shake" them the same way. "cold" to lean on, Girls were "less attracted", basically like a GB thread at this time, innovation was met with skepticism. Of course, they were older and married, and reflecting on their youth.

At least, those that have a passion for wood rails are free from the debate of code, flow, and LEDs!

Bring on the pics! What a joy to see! Some very Lucky Owners!

#69 5 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

it only looks stained in the pics

That is called patina.

Every serious pin collector should own at least one woodrail!

#70 5 years ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

A short story....Its a pleasure to see these beauties!
For me, I started collecting 1932-1938 mechanicals, I must have had close to 50 games, 30 years ago.
1940 to say 1950 was hard during the war years, and Pinheads wanted their favorite 1950's games in the early 60's.
I couldnt touch them. I could get 2 Newer games or older games for the same, and simply shied away.
Big Mistake. Those sharing these pics, or have a game(s) have such a joy in incredible art, and light...its quite remarkable
to look deeper into at this time!
I remember my Uncles, in 1965ish, arguing along with the battles of baseball, and Mantle, how the new Metal Side rails, changed the games, "too much" from wood rails.
They couldnt "shake" them the same way. "cold" to lean on, Girls were "less attracted", basically like a GB thread at this time, innovation was met with skepticism. Of course, they were older and married, and reflecting on their youth.
At least, those that have a passion for wood rails are free from the debate of code, flow, and LEDs!
Bring on the pics! What a joy to see! Some very Lucky Owners!

And the funny thing is they were probably right! Well, I am biased as these games have a kind of magic.

And as for rules or code as it is currently known as - woodrails had complex rulesets. Daisy My has 6 different ways to win! By the time the 70's came along most games just had one way to win. I love the 70's games as well but quality of the woodrails is just something else.

I should talk more quietly as there are a number of woodrails I still really want

#71 5 years ago

The two that i own.

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I actually own a 2nd Golden Bells, but it has retrofit metal siderails that fit over the wood siderails,
Apparently some operator felt the need to try and modernize and spruce up the older looking woodrail.
It looks terrible by the way.

#72 5 years ago

Though when WMS went with its new modern styling look,
I think it looked great.

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#73 5 years ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

I am biased as these games have a kind of magic.

I think they are.

Minimal TV and phone, a lucky transistor radio, no internet, cell phones, game systems!
I remind my 20 year son often.
They glow with people and life, appreciated after the Great War. Innocence, and invincibility,
These play like a dream! They float, then strike! They drain, and slap you, like the pretty ladies on the backbox.
Happy days, Elvis, and Rock and Roll! I like that magic!

While I was born in 1960, the 50's were there. Wood rails were all over the boardwalk on the East Coast.
In the back sometimes, hidden with the slot machines, but I grew up with the Italian families all around me, and they
were "connected"
(No disrespect to any Italian family that isnt. My most recent conversation was with Al Capones Grand Niece~)

So, I was playing at the age of 5, with a handful of memories.

But back to the magic, to those that are playing these...I am biased because I love Whoa Nellie, and I just started watching the Vids here on the play of these....What fun!

So Id like to ask, young and old, since I havent played anything in ages, other then Whoa Nellie, Do these grab you?
Do you come back for another and another?
I know its not Flow Fan Club....got that, but since I dont know the rules, and was too young to understand...how do you play these? Beat them often? 5 minute games or less?

I hope you dont mind, Im curious as to how others see their games, along with the incredible Art and Magic they bring.

#74 5 years ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

Though when WMS went with its new modern styling look,
I think it looked great.

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I used to 'hate' the way these cabinets looked.

But now... I think they look kind o' cool.

Took me a loooong time... to get to this point.

Sometimes things can look so bad... they're good.

By the way... I think you need to move that ugly Gusher along...

I might... I say, 'might' know somebody interested.

Don't get your hopes up too high though.

18
#75 5 years ago

As many agree, the woodies have a charm and mystique to them. They are noisier and more finicky than their modern day cousins. They are more difficult to play with their 2 inch flippers, wide flipper gap, big side drains, gobble holes, traps, etc. Some guests playing the woodies for the first time frustrate easily and move on to a different game as there is no question that they will get more play time and "bang for their buck" playing El Dorado and Bank A Ball, et al. But, the woodies will tantalize you with their multiple ways to win, playfield specials and strategy beyond high scoring. And as other woodrail owners know, you learn the nuances of your machine, develop the skill shots, learn how much to nudge and tap and realize that many can be tamed. The on going challenge is that for many titles, repro plastics and backglasses are hard to replace, so always a happy day if some of those marbelized pop bumper caps can be found at the pinball shows...

In the last few years, I sold many, have some still in storage, and just recently rearranged to the basement for these. Currently shopping and detailing 3 more and when finished I'll put up a blurb.

FYI-
1952 Genco Springtime
1957 Genco Showboat
1940 Bally Fleet (flipperless)
1948 Gottlieb Barnacle Bill
1951 Gottlieb Minstrel Man
1951 Gottlieb Buttons and Bows
1957 Gottlieb World Champ
1950 Gottlieb Knock Out
1956 Gottlieb Auto Race
1947 Gottlieb Maisie (flipperless)
1956 Gottlieb Dery Day
1935 Mills Cannon Fire (flipperless)
1935 PAMCO Major League (flipperless)
1957 Williams Jig Saw
1949 Williams Freshie

Also, sort of a woodrail pinball machine, are the vertical pinballs:
1952 Genco 400
1953 Genco Silver Chest

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#76 5 years ago

Yes, they do have that 'just one more' play appeal, for me anyway, and I had gravitated from the 70's pins (which I still like just as well). These are 50-70 year old pinball machines that, when tuned properly, are just as fast and responsive as the 'newer' EMs. And the sounds...and hearing two or more being played at once... You can't beat it. Real pinball.

#77 5 years ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

Though when WMS went with its new modern styling look,
I think it looked great.

One thing the later WMS woodrails and the mod cabs have in common is they are some of the most solid, well built cabinets and machines in general ever. And i've got others to compare them to.

#78 5 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.

Here is a 1950 Gtb Just 21 (not mine), but I did transport one of these for a buddy not too long ago.

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Beach themed pin with what looks to be a Saturn mission on the cabinet.

#79 5 years ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

That is called patina.

I'm not sure if it was the flash or the cheap digital camera's interpretation of all the yellow paint spots, but this Lady Robin Hood has a very clean and what looks like original cabinet to go along with that playfield.

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#80 5 years ago

It almost seems there was an entirely different Art department that made the Cabinet Stencils on some of these!
They have an Art in themselves!

#81 5 years ago

Coming from a guy named Art, that means a lot!

#82 5 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

I'm not sure if it was the flash or the cheap digital camera's interpretation of all the yellow paint spots, but this Lady Robin Hood has a very clean and what looks like original cabinet to go along with that playfield.

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Reminds one a bit of the cabinet art on "Bank A Ball".

#83 5 years ago

It has some rich colors and cool designs, but the most beautiful part of Lady Robin Hood is the mirrored backglass. It is a repro done who knows when, but pretty just the same. I am also impressed with the overall art package of Fiesta that I purchased today. Can't wait until it gets here.

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#85 5 years ago

They certainly don't make em like that anymore.

#86 5 years ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

So Id like to ask, young and old, since I havent played anything in ages, other then Whoa Nellie, Do these grab you?
Do you come back for another and another?
I know its not Flow Fan Club....got that, but since I dont know the rules, and was too young to understand...how do you play these? Beat them often? 5 minute games or less?

I hope you dont mind, Im curious as to how others see their games, along with the incredible Art and Magic they bring.

I grew up playing EMs in the late 60s and 70s and short flipper games were my nemesis. I'd play them but they were too hard to win on and pocket change was short. There were some woodrails around but titles I can't remember. I never stopped playing and got into DMDs big time in the 90s. Never thought about getting a woodrail or any game from the 60s or prior when I started buying.

Exposure to what was out there and doing research changed all that. What changed my thinking the most was when Big Daddy showed up. That game wet my appetite for more like no other had.

The DMDs are all but gone now and I don't care to play them much. With the old EMS and woodrails I'm lucky that I have a friend that is also taking the same route. We play fierce competition on the multiplayers and use the single players as fluffers while waiting our turn. It never gets old.

To think replacing a DMD game with a woodrail is a sacrifice, is dead wrong. These are more fun, challenging, look, feel, and sound better than anything I've played from the new millenium and I've had a few. And there certainly is a lot more variety.

#87 5 years ago

I appreciate you sharing! Its almost a brave thing to admit, but hopefully the thread title might keep away some
from arguing with you!

I can see your view, and its weird how Whoa Nellie supports and validates it.
Everyone who has visited and played it in a home environment, able to hear and play in Peace,
Marvels at the simple pleasure.
Most all, prior to playing, feel it will be "boring" next to the others.....no way!

Now, the "real" wood rails must be a blast! The sounds of the chimes in the videos ring to the bone!

How long will a game list, after getting skilled with a game?

Are there desirable game playing features, as a player with experience you look for?

#88 5 years ago

Oldcarz,
That Sir is downright impressive!!! Superb collection

#89 5 years ago

Studying the IPDB and going to shows has taught me that the most important aspect of a good pinball machine is its fundamental geometry. A good game has a variety of angles, things to shoot for, and ball flow. However, without satisfying goals and challenges to complete along the way... all of that is wasted.

For example, Flip-A-Card and King Of Diamonds have terrific layouts... but the goals are too simplistic: Light everything up and win. Repeat. Point values don't correspond well with risk and don't vary much across the table. Because of this, they end up appealing more to that OCD "gotta win a replay" feeling rather than because the game itself is fun. Which A LOT of Gottlieb's suffer from... Buckaroo, MIBS, Sweet Hearts, geez, tons. Which is one of the reasons I like Bally games so much. They tend to emphasize play over "completion".

My only woodrail is a '52 Gottlieb Crossroads. I've only played a dozen or so woodies, but so far this is my favorite. Good shot angles and no gobble holes... but there are traps... which will either work with or against you depending upon when you capture the balls. Failing that, you can try to chase the bumpers in sequential order and/or go for the 100,000 point pops when lit. It's got good artwork, flow, shifting goals, and shot geometry. Fun for the "completion" factor as well as the play. So I guess I can recommend at least one....

Crossroads plays more like a machine from the 60's than the 50's due to the side slingshots and long return lanes. Ball flow is consistent and always in motion. In the video above, I'd have let the last ball drain to earn that special!

#90 5 years ago

It's business as usual nearing midnight on the west coast.

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#91 5 years ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

Now, the "real" wood rails must be a blast! The sounds of the chimes in the videos ring to the bone!

How long will a game list, after getting skilled with a game?

Are there desirable game playing features, as a player with experience you look for?

They have bells, not chimes. And they all play their own special tune. Game times can vary. There are lots of features to choose from. Getting a good mix on a variety of games is what I strive for.

#92 5 years ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

I appreciate you sharing! Its almost a brave thing to admit, but hopefully the thread title might keep away some
from arguing with you!
I can see your view, and its weird how Whoa Nellie supports and validates it.
Everyone who has visited and played it in a home environment, able to hear and play in Peace,
Marvels at the simple pleasure.
Most all, prior to playing, feel it will be "boring" next to the others.....no way!
Now, the "real" wood rails must be a blast! The sounds of the chimes in the videos ring to the bone!
How long will a game list, after getting skilled with a game?
Are there desirable game playing features, as a player with experience you look for?

I wrote this on another thread - might be of interest.

I never ever played a woodrail anywhere until a few years ago. Apart from how they look, they are such great players. If they weren't fantastic to play I wouldn't buy them no matter how good they look.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/why-were-mid-50s-gottlieb-so-addictive#post-2493207

#93 5 years ago

Thank you! Great Read!

My ignorance that they were bells, not chimes....3 in a game, or were there more?

Sorry...Im a wood rail Newbie!

#94 5 years ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

My ignorance that they were bells, not chimes....3 in a game, or were there more?

Not ignorance, maybe lack of exposure. Some had two some had three. About the same time two inch flippers went away so did bells. Newest game I had with them was 1972 Fireball which may have been the last game with bells only.

#95 5 years ago

Thanks! Its as much fun to get excited about adding a wood rail to my home as a GB!

I think. like we see at shows, enjoying pinball is timeless, and "newer" isnt always "better"

I hope, two last questions.
I dont play in tournaments, so I dont know.

Do wood rails end up in tournaments?
Has a show done a separate wood rail competition?

Boy, would that be a blast!

#96 5 years ago

Hey now that would be great. An ALL EM tournament / League. And add in some p&bs...

#97 5 years ago

Clay is hosting an all-EM tourney at his Ann Arbor show. Woo-hoo! First tourney I've ever wanted to play.

#98 5 years ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

Its almost a brave thing to admit

Maybe, but it's true. If you weren't a private collector, you played what was on location. And by the mid 90s EMs on route were pretty much extinct. And all that was left for me was a fond memory of a few I remembered playing and that cold feeling when solid states started to replace them.

Most that start collecting go after the games they remember playing first, but I'm past that now and am going after the ones I never played. I'm younger than those that played woodrails when they were new, but as older collectors reduce the size of their hoards, I feel the torch is being passed and guys like me are the keeper of the flame so to speak.

But at the same time as more video gamers enter the hobby with little or no respect for pinballs glorious past, I feel that we may be the last.

#99 5 years ago

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#100 5 years ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

Thank you! Great Read!
My ignorance that they were bells, not chimes....3 in a game, or were there more?
Sorry...Im a wood rail Newbie!

Bells well implemented are very cool!

Sluggin Champ 1955. One of THE very best players, different ways to win.

Can win by scoring RBI's. What is cool is that there are 4 targets that score RBI's. Ball 1 you score 1, Ball 2 score 2 etc. Each RBI gets a crack of a 5 inch bell.

What it means that on ball 5 you may have scored zero RBI but on ball 5 continued hitting of the targets scores 5 at a time with 5 big bongs of the bell. This makes for frantic last ball play.

And of course you can collect all the teams, one league or both and win on points.

No wonder it was a MEGA earner in the 50's.

I think it would be now if put on location.

Try finding one with a really nice p/f - never seen one as this game was very heavily played!

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