Pinball Machines Almost Banned in 1978

Just like the pinball prohibition era in the US, an Australian council (Heidelberg, Victoria) took it upon themselves to ban pinball machines. This ABC TV report from July 13 1978 shows how close our silverball pastime came to being driven out of milk bars, cafes and fish and chip takeaway shops!

If this ban had gone ahead, we may have required the pinball wizardry of Roger Sharpe to reverse the ban order! Luckily cooler heads prevailed.

source: ABC TV


Things That Go Bump in the Night: The Spooky Pinball Story

From little things, big things grow. This is definitely the case with Spooky Pinball.

In a little rural Wisconsin town called Benton where the population is a smidgen under 1,000 people, we witness what the power of family, friends and community can achieve when they all work together towards a common goal. Charlie Emery’s vision of making his own pinball machines was a big risk, but he was never going to be swayed by all the people that told him he was mad for leaving his secure job of 20 years to pursue his dream.

Joel and Dana Reeves’ Things That Go Bump in the Night: The Spooky Pinball Story chronicles the story of how Spooky Pinball came to be, from its very humble beginnings with their podcast, its hardships in starting up the manufacturing of pinball machines to its eventual and continued success.

With unprecedented access to the Emery household, key folks from Benton and pinball industry luminaries, this documentary weaves a narrative that keeps you glued from start to finish. From Chuck’s re-theming of Firepower II to Godzilla and chance meeting with DIY extraordinaire Ben Heck (Heckendorn) at the Midwest Gaming Classic in 2011, to America’s Most Haunted, Domino’s Pinball Adventure and Rob Zombie Spookshow pinball table productions, you live through the ups and downs of being a pinball manufacturer.

If you are into documentaries that delve into the resilience and determination of people that strive to succeed in the boom-or-bust world of pinball manufacturing no matter what, then Things The Go Bump In the Night: The Spooky Pinball Story cannot be missed! Get on Vimeo right now and rent (or buy) this film – you will love it!

Oh yeah, we have our fingers crossed that Spooky Pinball will produce Ben Heck’s dream machine, Bible Adventures with its numbered modes; Adam and Eve 2-ball multi-ball where every shot scores except for the apple, 40 days and nights of flood, 40 years in the wilderness, 7 deadly sins, 10 Commandments and the 10 Plagues of Egypt – what’s there not to like!

Film: Things That Go Bump in the Night: The Spooky Pinball Story
Where: Vimeo
Released: June 30, 2017
Duration: 1 hour 4 minutes + bonus features
Price: Rent AUD$5.20 or Buy AUD$11.72

source: Things That Go Bump Movie


Making a 2 Player Pinball Game

Cristiana Felgueiras from Get Hands Dirty YouTube channel shows us exactly how to make an awesome mechanical 2 player pinball game – it looks like a lot of fun to play!

Skip to 14:28 to see the finished table in action.

Source: Get Hands Dirty via Laughing Squid


msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Co-founder, editor and writer at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

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Masters Of The Universe Future Pinball: I Have The Power!

When our friend Rusty Pinball made us aware of the Masters Of The Universe Future Pinball machine, we were thoroughly impressed and absolutely gobsmacked! Look at it, it’s beautiful to look at, audio is amazing, nostalgia tingling full motion video and a playfield flow that oozes Eternian spirit!

Not taking anything away from TerryRed’s masterful digital version of MOTU pinball, we just can’t help but wish it was a real table that we could bump, slam and tilt on! Oh yeah,we can also imagine the real MOTU table with a Castle Grayskull topper – how cool would that be?!

The thought of a real Masters Of The Universe pinball machine is truly making us weak at the knees. We just hope Jersey Jack Pinball is listening *nudge nudge wink wink*

source: TerryRed


Getting Our Retro Pinball Fix At Rosstown

When we visited Marcus for his Rosstown Retro Pinball Arcade competition in September last year, we were gobsmacked by the sheer number of classic titles that were available for play. When Marcus mentioned his new IFPA endorsed Rosstown Retro Pinball Tournament for 2017 and some new additions to his marvellous collection, we had to get him to tell us more! So here it is, take it away Marcus!

Rosstown always prides itself on having a collection that not only includes classic pinball machines from well-known manufacturers like Gottlieb, Bally and Williams, but also from the lesser known ones such as Zaccaria, Playmatic and Atari. Speaking of Atari, after searching for one of their machines for a number of years I finally found a superb 1978 Atari ‘Superman’ machine in good working order to add to the Rosstown classics collection. Atari pinball machines are rarely seen, even in private collections, and even if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon one – it’ll likely be in a non- or semi-working state. So it’s a rare treat to be able to play this working ‘Superman’ machine – it’s a wonderful pinball table. The backglass is faultless and the playfield is bright with no wear. The widebody (typical of an Atari pinball) makes sure there is plenty to do with some great long spinner shots on each side.

Atari Superman

The other new addition to the Rosstown line up is Bally’s ‘Vector’ from 1982. This is another hard to find machine that had to be added to the retro pinball collection. The outstanding feature on ‘Vector’ is its flip-o-meter that calculates the ball’s speed up the ramp and into the energy containment unit (ball lock). This game oozes cool features that were ahead of its time, thanks to its innovative design team. This machine has an elaborate (and perhaps wicked) drop target sequence that allows the player to shoot for the vectorscan ramp. The player must knock down the three drop targets in order, and if they fail, then another 3 pop up – talk about ramping up the difficulty! ‘Vector’ keeps the player on their toes by ensuring that they think and choose their shots wisely.

Bally Vector

With Atari’s ‘Superman’ and Bally’s ‘Vector’ added to the Rosstown Reto Pinball line up, it has made the IFPA sanctioned tournament even more interesting. As part of the Rosstown tournament, each entrant plays every pinball table in the collection to earn qualification. Qualifiers are spread across monthly sessions running from April to August (5 months), with the 12 highest ranked players being invited back to compete in the September finals.

Bayside Pinball Club’s new beer, Plunger Pale Ale!

But it’s not all serious. At the last qualifying round players got to enjoy the new pinball brew, Plunger Pale Ale produced by the Bayside Pinball Club. Let’s just say that the beer went down a treat and was the perfect tonic to let the players relax in-between playing some serious pinball. For those of you that haven’t entered the tournament, you better hurry as there are only three remaining qualifiers in June (17th), July (15th) and August (19th). For further details on the IFPA sanctioned Rosstown Retro Pinball tournament, head over to the Aussie Arcade forum. Flip it, flip it good!


The Force Is Strong With Stern’s New Star Wars Pinball Machines

In Stern’s factory far, far away (from Australia), Star Wars Pinball machines are rolled off the production line in record numbers!

With Star Wars celebrating its 40th anniversary, Stern Pinball has come to the party with three machines (designed by Steve Ritchie) that will have every Star Wars (and pinball) fan drooling uncontrollably! So strong is the Star Wars franchise, the pinball machines are reportedly selling like hot cakes, with the 800 run of LE machines already spoken for! Shipping (to Australia) for the Pro model begins in July, with the LE and Premium editions to follow not too long after. Don’t fret about the Pro and Premium models selling out, Stern will build an unlimited amount of these machines to fulfil demand.

Talking to RePlay Magazine, Stern’s Director of Marketing and Licensing Jody Dankberg states that, “There’s been a lot of excitement and anticipation around this title, resulting in record sales for a game that had not even been seen in person. Everyone loves the original trilogy: It’s the basis for all things Star Wars. We felt that these movies helped us tell the best story possible while being able to use cool elements from the original films. The majority of our customers are nostalgic for those movies.

For those curious to know why Stern chose to tap the original trilogy instead of Disney’s new Star Wars films, Dankberg told RePlay that the firm believes more customers are interested in the originals over the new movies. We reckon Stern have got that right!

Australian pricing for the three pinball models (including GST):

  • Star Wars Pro $8,350
  • Star Wars Premium $10,800
  • Star Wars Limited Edition (LE) $12,500

The force is definitely strong with these pinball machines!

source: Stern Pinball Inc.


Why Isn’t There An ABBA Pinball Machine?

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

Aerosmith, KISS, AC/DC and Metallica all have one. The Rolling Stones and Guns N’ Roses have one too.
Why doesn’t ABBA, who has sold more than 375 million albums and singles worldwide and been offered a rumoured nine figure deal to tour again, have a pinball machine on the market?

It’s hard to believe that Stern or Jersey Jack Pinball haven’t thought about obtaining the licensing rights for the Swedish super group that produced huge hits like Mamma Mia and SOS from 1972 to 1982.

Take a Chance On Me and Dancing Queen seem like perfect extra ball or bonus points sound cues for a pinball machine.

A DJ friend once told me, “There’s two types of people: those who love ABBA and those who love ABBA and don’t admit it.”

Some have called ABBA tacky; I think they were pop kitsch. And in all of that bubblegum kitsch, the music still brings joy to a great deal of people globally. Pop kitsch is ideal for an attention grabbing pinball machine.

An ABBA pinball machine would appeal to a large spectrum of music lovers. ABBA is a cross generational band. Ages range from teenagers to grandparents who love Dancing Queen. And the Meryl Streep film ‘Mamma Mia’ has strengthened people’s affection for a group that parted ways thirty-five years ago. However, ABBA never officially broke up.

I can just imagine a group of young people at an arcade or bar putting coins into an ABBA pinball machine, hearing Dancing Queen as their first game ball drops for play, “having the time of their lives.”