PINBALL EXPO '86 -THE SECOND 'HURRAH'-
By Russ Jensen
Well, they did it again! Another very successful Pinball Expo; the second in what we hope will be an annual event for many years to come. As with Pinball Expo '85, Expo '86 was held at the Holiday Inn O'Hare/Kennedy in Rosemont IL, and again on the same November weekend as the winter Chicagoland coin machine show. A very useful coincidence for coin-op lovers.
This year's show, while quite similar in many respects to last year's, seemed to me to be a little more oriented toward the modern 'digital' pins than the older machines, especially in the content of many of the seminars. But, this is as it should be since Pinball Expo is a "pinball show", not an "antique show".
As most of you know, my personal preference is for the older electro-mechanical pingames, but I can appreciate the new games as well. Modern pinball is certainly vastly different from the pingames of the past and is reflective of the space/computer age in which it was spawned. I can see how these flashy, colorful machines, with their complex multi-level playfields, and space age and rock music sound effects, attract the player of today as they rightly should. In order for pinball to live on it must attract a contemporary following, and it looks like it may be doing just that. Well, enough preliminaries; on with the show!
After the opening remarks by show producer Rob Burk, the first seminar speaker was introduced. He was Don Hooker, former designer of "bingo type" pinballs for Bally, who is now 82 years of age. Mr. Hooker began by stating that he first joined the games industry in 1936 when he went to work for Pacific Amusement Manufacturing Co. (better known as PAMCO) where he worked until 1938. He recalled working on a game at PAMCO called LITE-A-LINE which was somewhat similar to the bingo pinballs he designed twenty years later at Bally.
Sometime later (he did not mention the exact year, but it may have been 1938 when he left PAMCO) he went to work for Bally. He mentioned working on the "one-ball" horserace pin CITATION, which came out in 1949. He remembered that it had "guaranteed advancing odds" (Author's note: It was the first "one-ball" with that feature) like the bingos which came out later.
Mr. Hooker then said that a man named Bernie Bernside came up with the idea of the "Reflex Unit" which was used in the later "one-balls" and all of the "bingos". The purpose of this unit was to 'tighten up' Or 'loosen up' the payout chances for the player based on how well the game had been paying out in the past. This was a marvelous invention and many people connected with bingos don't have any idea how it works, certainly not the players.
He talked about bingos having very complex electro- mechanical systems. He said they developed automatic test equipment to test the games in the factory. He also said Bally had quite a few years of big production of bingos (the mid 1950s) until "the government declared bingos were gambling devices." (Author's note: he was apparently referring to the "Korpran Decision" of the Supreme Court in 1957 declaring bingo pinballs to be subject to the Johnson Act.) The players, he said, still liked the bingos but "the Government said 'no' ".
Finally he talked about testing the games in New Orleans. He also said he left Bally in the early 1970s and he and a partner designed a dice game which Bally bought from them. He then went back to Bally until around 1980 when he finally retired. He said he was the primary designer of most of the Bally bingos.
Next on the program was one of my favorite personalities from last year's Expo, Mr. Harvey Heiss, chief designer at Genco from 1938 until the Fifties. Last year Harvey had said the show was "his 'last hurrah' in the coin machine world", but, as I had hoped, Rob Burk persuaded him to come again this year.
Harvey told how Rob had tried to persuade ("pester" is the word he used) him to design a game. He said Rob had sent him a Christmas card containing hints at this. Anyway, Harvey said he did come up with a design for a new version of the old "roll- down" games he designed for Genco in the late Forties. (Author's note: These games were supposed to be a substitute for pinballs in areas where pins were outlawed, since in a "roll-down" the player actually held and rolled the balls up the playfield and this therefore made them definitely a "game of skill"). The idea for Harvey's new game, he said, came from the game he played as a kid called "Baby In The Hole", which he described in his talk last year.
He said he came up with sketches of his design, built his own parts, and assembled his model in his carport at home. He used a modern plastic type of material for the playfield, and pool balls, and designed his own "rebound" at the upper end of the playfield to cause the balls to rebound back into the field. He did the mechanical design only and built his model without the electrical circuits.
He developed the complete play and scoring concept, based on "Baby In The Hole", and had the play and scoring instructions displayed on the playfield. The scoring concepts were quite intricate but precisely defined. The complete model of Harvey's game was later displayed during a "hospitality suite" gathering in Rob Burk's room at which time Harvey gave demonstrations, complete with detailed descriptions of the game's play and scoring system.
Harvey said that after he had completed his model he put out "feelers" to the industry in hopes that someone might like this novel idea for a game and produce it. He said he did not get much response but still believes that a game like this is novel enough to catch on and he hasn't given up hope that someone might produce it.
To conclude his talk Harvey told a couple stories, including a comical incident that happened to him while at Genco. He said as a joke a group of eight girls at the plant once grabbed him, tied him to a dolly, wheeled him through the plant, and shoved him into his boss, Myer Gensberg's, office. He said they also took his shoes and he had to walk around barefoot. There was lots of fun at the plant in those days, he said, and everyone had a happy time. Well, I must say it was certainly nice to see and enjoy Harvey Heiss at another Pinball Expo. Hopefully again next year!
The next speakers on the program were Steve Young and Gordon Hasse discussing a subject that is certainly important to all pinball collectors, backglass restoration.
Steve first passed out to the audience copies of his excellent article "All Lamps Are Not Created Equal" which discusses the various types of miniature lamps available for use in pinballs, and describes the pros and cons of using them. Steve began his talk with the observation that "a pinball with a poor glass is not a pinball at all." He then stated that the two major "enemies" of backglasses were dampness and temperature change, plus others such as the ultra-violet rays in sunlight which can affect certain colors of paint.
To protect the glass from dampness he suggested using a de- humidifier or storage in a place with low humidity. He said a most important thing to do to protect your glasses is to avoid sudden temperature changes of 10 degrees or more, but remarked that this probably would not be a problem for California collectors.
He then went on to say that the lamps behind the glass constantly cause temperature changes when they are turned on and off during operation of the game, and that this is what generally leads to paint flaking off the glass. He recommended using the lowest heat lamps (NEVER type '55') and even modifying the lightbox by moving the mechanism panel further from the glass. Steve then said that lamps which have become darkened at the top produce more heat and should be replaced (something that I, for one, was never aware of). He recommended using short lamps and those which require less current (which he also mentioned results in less load on the game's fuses.), remarking that a type '130' lamp was "the best of both worlds." He also said that "flasher" lamps produce less heat and might be used. Finally, he remarked that better lighting means the game is more enjoyable.
Following Steve's remarks on the preventative aspects of backglass care, Gordon Hasse took over with a discussion of backglass restoration. He began by saying that as far as pinballs were concerned, there was probably no subject more controversial than that of backglass restoration. He then presented a list of options available to collectors who have games with deteriorating backglasses. The list included: 1) do nothing - not really an option if the glass is really bad; 2) prevention - change lamps, etc., as Steve had discussed: 3) preservation; 4) Restoration; and 5) reproduction. He then began discussing some of these alternatives in greater detail.
He said that "reproduction" (creating an entire new glass) was quite expensive, costing about $1000 in set-up cost for a 10 color process. Using a four color process is considerably cheaper, he said, but not really suitable for pinball glasses as far as he was concerned.
The subject of "preservation" was next discussed. Gordon first outlined four methods which have been used to try and preserve backglasses. First came "taping and spray painting" the entire glass, which he described as "horrible!" The next was to cover the entire glass with a clear plastic, adhesive backed, sheet. This he said was also a bad choice since the adhesive can actually pull some of the paint off the glass' surface. A similar idea of attaching a thin piece of glass to the back of the glass and taping them together was then mentioned. Gordon said he considered that method only useful for good glasses as a preventative measure.
Finally, he talked about using a clear spray to "seal" the back of the glass. He claimed this was dangerous since these products were made for other purposes and their solvent bases vary and could sometimes 'attack' certain colors of paint. He also mentioned the very important fact that the force of the spraying operation could cause loose pieces of paint to be blown off of the glass making it even worse.
So then, what was left?, he said. He stated that there had been one product on the market which was advertised just for that purpose. That product he said was not very good (primarily because it 'attacked' certain colors, as this author can attest to) and it had been taken off the market. Gordon then went on to describe a product that he and Steve had developed and which they highly recommended for backglass preservation.
He said that he, Steve, and John Fetterman had been searching for a solution to the backglass preservation problem for years and had finally come up with a solution which "met their standards." They call their product "cover your glass" and they claim they have samples of glasses which were covered with it five years ago which have shown absolutely no adverse side effects. In fact, they had such samples at the show and they really looked good.
Their product was described as a "slow drying polymer" which should be applied to the glass' surface without the use of a brush, and allowed to flow over the entire surface. The glass should then be allowed to dry for a week to ten days. The product is somewhat expensive, and they said one can would cover approximately two glasses. But, if you value your glasses, the cost of about $9.00 per glass is really not unreasonable.
As a final note, Gordon talked briefly on the subject of actual restoration of damaged paint on a backglass. He said there were two primary methods: "Reconstruction" by a silk screen artist, and repainting by a "fine arts restorer." He said that careful amateurs can do a passable job using sign or model paints, especially on large opaque areas. He went on to say that colors should be mixed on the front surface of the glass first to get a good match of the original color. For "translucent" areas (where light must show through) he said the task was more difficult. For these areas he suggested using "tints" used in oil painting. He said that you might either use "Cover Your Glass" first, and then touch up the bad paint areas, or vice versa.
That ended this interesting and informative session on a subject that is of vital importance to most pinball collectors. The new product described sounds very promising as a good preventative measure, but "touching up" paint is still the most uncertain part of backglass restoration in this writer's opinion.
The next presentation was a seminar on the subject of pinball art featuring two important and productive people from that world, Dave Christensen and Paul Faris, both of Bally fame. Dave started with Bally in 1967 and was responsible for much of the Bally pinball art of the Seventies, including CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, ODDS AND EVENS, and more recently, DOLLY PARTON. He even got into slot machine art at Bally starting around 1975. Paul Faris worked for Bally from 1975 to 1984 and became their Art Director in 1977. Some of his better known game art included PARAGON and LOST WORLD.
The format of this seminar was questions from the audience with answers provided by one or both of the speakers. All in all, some 25 to 30 questions were asked and answered. I have divided the questions into topics, and will discuss each topic, giving a summary of the information provided by the questions and answers. In a few cases single questions will be described separately. For instance, Dave was asked where he got the nickname "mad dog". He answered that it was probably because he was an "independent Norwegian" and would often "fight back" when given orders.
The subject of some of the questions were various incidents and rumors of art of a "sexually suggestive" nature. Dave was asked approximately how many of the CAPTAIN FANTASTIC backglasses were released which contained some of his secretly done suggestive drawings (the glasses referred to by many collectors as the "porn glasses"). He replied that he did not know, possibly between 50 and 500. Paul was asked if the rumor that Hugh Hefner had a PLAYBOY pin featuring "topless" girls on the backglass was true. He said "no", but went on to say that Mr. Hefner did get involved with the graphics and that he had to ("poor guy"!) visit the "Playboy Mansion" to discuss the artwork. A rumor that some of the LOST WORLD glasses had a nude girl on them was also questioned, but again Paul said it was not true.
Several questions dealt with celebrities used in pinball artwork. Paul was asked if he interviewed Dolly Parton. He said she got quite involved with her portrayal on the glass and requested changes to the original art. He said when it was finally released the girl on the glass looked more like Linda Carter than Dolly. It was also asked if the "stars" got paid for using their names in connection with games. They said it was sort of a "licensing agreement" where the celebrity got a "percentage" of each game sold. It was brought out that Bally WIZARD was the first game of the celebrity type.
In connection with CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, it was asked if Elton John provided any input, and did the game help Elton's career, or vice versa? Dave said he did not meet with Elton, but Paul said that he did on one occasion. Paul remarked that he thought there was sort of a "cross promotion", the game and Elton 'helping' each other to some extent. Dave was also asked why he put the 'Hitler' character on the backglass. He replied he thought it had something to do with the proposed Nazi march on Skokie Illinois around that time, but couldn't remember for sure.
Other questions were concerned with the general topic of styles of, and methods of producing, the artwork. Dave was asked who decided to use 'mirrored glass'; he replied it was his idea to use in on CAPTAIN FANTASTIC and that he got the idea from the Bally bingo pinballs which still used it. They were asked if in four player machines they had to design their artwork around locations already chosen by game designers for placement of the score reels. Paul replied this was generally the case as the engineers did not want to change the location for the reels to conform to the art.
When asked to comment on the cost of producing "color graphics" Paul replied that until around 1978 they used what was called "line art", with each color requiring a separate silk screen. He said that the cost of "color separations" was expensive (2 to 3 thousand), but production cost was low (about $5 per glass). They were also asked why ROGO used two different color schemes. Dave replied that they started with a gray color which looked too much like the German Army, so they changed it.
The artists were also asked for their opinion of the new type of artwork used by Premier, which was somewhat like a "poster" with a light behind it. Paul said Bally resisted going to it, saying it reminded him of "point-of-purchase" displays used in stores to advertise a product. He said there should be more 'activity' in a backglass. Dave's only remark was that he thought they should "put sex back into pinball art."
They were also asked to comment on their personal favorites in pinball art; both their own creations and those of others. Dave said his favorite of his work was probably CAPTAIN FANTASTIC. As for other's work he said his all time favorite was probably SPANISH EYES. Paul said of his work he liked LOST WORLD because it represented a change in screening technology to "printing on glass". For his all time favorite pinball art he chose MATI HARI.
Other questions were of a more personal nature. Dave was asked about his training and he answered that he attended an art academy and also had one year of engineering, which he said helped him in understanding the "engineering restrictions" in the art. When the artists were asked if they ever worked together on a game they replied they did on FUTURE SPA only.
The artists were asked what they were currently doing, and if their popularity led to increased pay. Dave replied that he had not become "rich and famous" and was now doing free-lance art, including "railroad art" and designing belt buckles. In regard to pay, Paul remarked that Bally paid well and said that Dave helped in getting them to pay better. Paul said he was currently setting up a small art studio which was about 90 percent complete.
When asked which game designers each had worked closely with, Dave replied Greg Kmiek and Paul said Greg also, as well as Jim Patla. Paul was asked if he was the first artist to autograph a backglass. He said he was the first to not do it discreetly, but that Dave had done it 'minutely'. Other questions dealt more with details of their work. For instance, they were asked how much they were involved with other game artwork, such as playfields and cabinets. Paul replied that they started with the backglass, but did the "complete package", including playfield, cabinet, etc. Dave then mentioned that Norm Clark had ideas about playfield artwork and that it was important to work with designers. When asked about the "time frame" for designing the artwork for a game, they both agreed that 6 to 8 months was about right.
They were also asked what happened to the original art, including the artwork for older games. Paul replied that the artists generally kept copies of glasses, but that color paintings were company property.
Well, that sums up what was said in this interesting and informative seminar on the important subject of pinball art. And, as I am sure all of you will agree, a pinball without art would be dull indeed. At the conclusion of the seminar Rob Burk asked that other artists present introduce themselves. They included: Greg Freres (HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS, STRANGE SCIENCE); Doug Watson (with Ad Posters doing art for Bally and Williams); Tony Romunni (Williams ALIEN POKER, and Bally SPECIAL FORCE); Pat MacMahon (MR. & MRS. PACMAN); and last, but not least, George Molentin, one of the last years' fine speakers.
After the seminars on Friday morning, the next order of business was the pinball plant tour. Last year we toured Premier, and this year it was Williams' turn. We all boarded school buses and were driven to the Williams plant on California St. in the city. This is an old plant which was once occupied by United Manufacturing (another company founded by Harry Williams) back in the Forties.
When we arrived at the plant we all gathered in the employee's lunch room and Steve Kordek (Williams chief engineer and Pinball Expo honored guest for the past two years) got up, welcomed us to the plant, and then introduced the company's general manager, Mr. Rich Wilkins. Mr. Wilkins began by saying "we make the games that make the industry." He also remarked that they had "the best designers in the industry." He told us that their current game was PIN-BOT, which was "on the line." Steve Kordek then informed us that the tour would be in groups, and that those who were waiting to start the tour could play Williams latest games in a game room, off the lunch room, which was provided so the employees could play pinball during their breaks.
Our tour leader, Neil Smithweck, Steve introduced to us as a man who "really knew the ropes at Williams." We then started the actual tour. We were told that they built everything in the plant except the cabinets. We first saw an assembly area where playfield production began. They had machines for punching holes in the back of the playfield used to mount the wiring harnesses. We then saw the fields being wired. Nearby, at another station, parts were being assembled onto the backboards.
We next saw the "incoming area" where incoming parts/materials were received and inspected, and then the "model shop" which provided model services for the engineers. We were told by our guide that all artwork was done "in-house", except for the actual production of the silk screens. During the tour we were also told that Williams produced video games and coin telephones at another plant.
We saw one production area where the small 'mini playfields', used in PIN-BOT, were being assembled. We were then taken through a parts storage area and to a special area where malfunctioning printed circuit boards were repaired.
The last stop on our tour was the "final test area" where completed games were being tested before shipment. I noted that they were also producing a solid-state shuffle bowling game which had a "voice" capability. We were also shown an area called the "hospital line" where trouble-shooting was being performed on games which failed final testing.
Following the tour we returned to the lunch room until the buses were loaded for our return trip to the hotel. All in all, it was an interesting tour, which I'm sure was even more interesting for those who had never been inside a pinball manufacturing plant before.
After returning to the hotel we gathered in the lecture hall for this year's Designer's Seminar. Last year the seminar featured important designers from the past. This year current designers were featured. It was another "question and answer format" with some question being posed by Expo host Rob Burk and others taken from the audience. Since many of the questions dealt with modern 'digital' pinballs, I wont go into great detail, but will report on the highlights of the presentation.
The panel of designers were introduced and consisted of: John Trudeau of Premier (formerly with Game Plan), whose past designs for Gottlieb/Premier included ROCKY, ROCK and GENESIS; Barry Oursler of Williams, who designed such games as PHEONIX, GORGAR, LASER BALL, and the current PIN-BOT; and Jim Patla from Bally, with such games to his credit as MONTE CARLO, MATI HARI, PLAYBOY, and CENTAUR.
Several of the questions dealt with older games, including their impact on new designs. For instance, it was asked if Premier's (actually Gottlieb's) idea, a few years ago, of re- using older electro-mechanical game playfield designs on new games might again be tried? John answered by saying that that was done at the request of European customers and probably would not be done again. The panel was also asked if any of the older games had inspired them in their newer designs. Jim Patla said that CENTAUR was inspired by the 1956 Bally 'classic' BALLS-A- POPPIN'; the other designers said they were "too new to the industry."
In a question regarding an older game, Jim Patla was asked how he came up with the idea for Bally's 1969 game ON-BEAM. He replied that it was a take-off on the add-a-ball feature for Italy and was originally designed by Bob Jonesi. (Author's note: Bob Jonesi was a former chief engineer for Universal/United in the late Forties / early Fifties, and later associated with Bally/Midway).
Two questions were concerned with the designers' past designs. Each panelist was asked which designs they were "sorry for". John replied ATTILLA THE HUN, which he said sat for years before being released. Barry answered JOUST (pinball), and Jim replied FLIP-FLOP. They were also asked if any of their designs "just seemed to fall in place". John answered GENESIS, Barry said SPACE SHUTTLE, and Jim named MATI HARI.
Many questions dealt with the details of the actual designs and the designing process. Rob Burk asked how the designers could tell if a game would be popular or not? Barry replied that "feedback" from operators and people at the factory helped. Along those same lines, he asked if when designing a game did the designer ever have any idea if it would be popular? Barry replied he had a feeling COMET would be popular because "people like amusement parks." John said he didn't think anything that went into production would be bad.
Rob also asked if designing a game was easier now or in the past. Jim replied that implementation of some ideas was more difficult and time consuming in the past due to the restriction of "single level" playfields. He said now "multi-level" fields allow you to "design around the problem."
The designers were also asked if they had any "personal design philosophy", aside from player appeal? John replied "balance and action"; Jim said "balance between long and short flipper shots", and "making the game easy for anyone to play." When asked how closely the designers work with the artists, Jim replied that games were designed in two ways; play design, then art, or vice versa. He said that the play was most important, but that a theme was required for the "final package". He also said he worked with both Dave Christensen and Paul Faris, who he said were "both temperamental, but really got into their work." Barry said that in the later games more cooperation was required between the artists and the designers than in the past. John remarked that it was "usually a group effort."
Harvey Heiss asked the current designers if they still had the same problem he remembered from his career in the Thirties through the Fifties? The problem he described was that designers design games one after another, expecting them to be put into production in the same order. But occasionally the company would decide they wanted to go into production on the game you are currently working on, just when you thought you were "ahead". Barry answered that the same thing still happens at Williams; the other designers agreed.
When asked where they went for "inspiration", John replied that he usually "starts from scratch", but sometimes uses features from previous games. Jim said he sometimes also used ideas from older games, but often got ideas from employees at the plant.
Jim Patla was asked two questions regarding Bally's early 'digital' pins. When asked how many electro-mechanical versions of Bally's 1977 game MATI HARI were produced, he replied approximately 170. When later asked what were the first games Bally produced 'digital' versions of, Jim surprised many in the audience by naming BOOMERANG (1974) and BOW AND ARROW (1975), since most of us remembered NIGHT RIDER and EVIL KNEIVEL as being Bally's earliest solid state pins, both coming out in 1977.
In regard to the more modern games, the designers were asked for their comments on the "light and sound shows" used nowadays. John replied he considers this part of the "total design", and that their attractions help create a larger "player base" for the game. Barry commented that the design group works on all aspects of the game's design and considers these "shows" to be a definite benefit to the games. Jim said he considered these aspects to be "theatrics" and that they help if they are properly designed to "help the game."
Finally, the designers were asked if they thought that a change to 5 ball play (versus 3 ball play now commonly used) should be reconsidered in view of the fact that many operators were going to 50 cents per game? Of the three designers, Barry was the only one who thought 5 ball play was a good idea in connection with 50 cent games. John and Jim both said they still favored 3 ball play.
Well, that concludes our summary of what was said at this year's Designer's Seminar. After it was over, Rob Burk asked other designers in the audience to come up and introduce themselves, which they did. Included in the group were: Dennis Nordman (who designed SPECIAL FORCE), Ward Pemberton (FATHOM, and BMX), Roger Sharpe (SHARPSHOOTER, CYCLOPS), Steve Ritchie (FLASH, BLACK KNIGHT, and HIGH SPEED), and, of course, Wayne Neyens, with most of the Gottlieb games of the Fifties and Sixties to his credit.
The second day of the seminars began with a talk by noted pinball historian and author, Roger Sharpe. Roger had been scheduled to speak last year but was unable to make it due to last minute business commitments. Show host Rob Burk introduced Roger as "the foremost expert and historian on pins in the world." Rob then asked a series of questions of Roger, his answers to which made up the content of the seminar.
Roger was first asked why he wrote his book, Pinball!, which was published in the late Seventies. Roger replied that in 1975, when he was an editor of the men's fashion magazine, Gentlemen's Quarterly, the magazine was going to put out an "entertainment issue" and Roger wanted to write something on pinball. He said he knew nothing about the industry, but had enjoyed playing the game since he was a kid. He went to the library to do research but found absolutely nothing on the subject. When he told his editor he said "why don't you write a book yourself", and that was the impetus for the project.
Roger said that the people in the industry were impressed by the idea of a book on pinball and that the publisher, E.P. Dutton was very good to work with. He went on to say that writing the book became "a labor of love."
Rob next asked Roger how he gathered information for the book. Roger replied that he started with the distributors in the New York area, such as Mike Munvez and Al Simon, and also Steve Epstein, owner of the Broadway Arcade, who incidentally substituted for Roger at Expo '85 giving a very interesting talk. He said he also made many phone calls to Chicago.
He also said he got information from old magazines on microfilm and was really "saturated with information." He told of having a meeting with Al Simon and that Gary Stern of Stern Electronics was present at the time. Gary was so impressed at Roger's knowledge of pinball playfields that he later introduced Roger at an AMOA show in Chicago as "the most knowledgeable person on pinball he knew." Roger said he really wanted to do a "chronicle of the industry", and also present the "beauty of the art" in his book. He said he generally had the industry behind him.
Roger was then asked for more details on how the industry tended to view him and his project. He said at first it was with skepticism, because they had been "burned" in the past. At one time, he said, Life Magazine did a story on pinball which was supposed to be "positive", but ended up being a "smear". He went on to say that when the industry people saw that he was genuinely interested in their industry they began to trust him. He said his good memory helped him gain their confidence as to his credibility and they became convinced that he was not going to do an "expose'".
At that point, he said, they let him into their "back rooms". He said when he would be at one company, in their "back room", the people would say to him "no one else would do this." He was told that he was the first "outsider" to be let in the "back door". He said he always reviewed his information with the manufacturers and this increased their confidence in him.
When asked about financing for the book, he said he got some "advance", but had to spend much out of his own pocket. He talked about his travel in Europe with his photographer, Jim Hamilton, and referred to it as his "endless summer". He said that they would always remember Europe, not for its historical sites, but for its arcades.
Roger was then asked how he got into pinball design. He replied that he wanted to "pay back" the industry for their help with his book. He said while at a New York coin machine show he met Ken Anderson from Game Plan, who at that time were manufacturing "cocktail table" pins. He asked for Roger's ideas. Roger replied he didn't care much for the themes of these games, that of cigarette and liquor advertising.
Lee Goldberg of Game Plan asked Roger if he would like to design a game and flew him to Chicago to discuss the idea. Roger said when he explained his ideas to Wendell McAdams he thought it would be too expensive. Mr. Goldberg then asked Roger if he thought the game would be successful. Roger said that when he replied that he thought it would be, Goldberg said "we'll do it!". Roger said the game he designed, SHARPSHOOTER, used ideas he liked from Gottlieb's SKY JUMP and Williams' SATIN DOLL; he then went on, "the rest is history." Incidentally, the backglass of that game featured caricatures of Roger and his wife.
Rob Burk's final question to Roger was "how do you view the industry today?" Roger replied that he thought the industry was not as "close" today as in the past. He said he liked the "older generation" with their "love and devotion" to games, and who were "not only out for the buck." He said in those days the companies "helped each other." Today, he said, there is too much of the "corporate influence" in the industry as far as he was concerned.
He further stated that today old friends from different companies can't get together like they did in the past, because of the fierce competition, etc. He thought that today's companies are more like "isolated islands". As a final note, he remarked that the industry today should "go out and play". He ended by saying "you can play forever!"
The next speaker on the program was COIN SLOT'S own Dick Bueschel. Last year Dick provided the Expo with an excellent presentation on his favorite subject, the early ancestors of the pinball game. This year Dick decided to discuss a subject that is important to many pinball collectors, the pinball advertising 'flyer'. Since Dick is an "advertising man" by trade, and also a flyer collector, this was a very appropriate subject for him indeed. Because Dick's presentation was mostly 'visual', using slides of many great pinball brochures, it will be somewhat difficult to capture it in words, but I'll do my best.
Prior to starting his talk, Dick surprised the audience by passing out to each person present an original 1950's era pinball flyer. Dick began his talk by outlining a few of the decisions a game manufacturer must make when preparing to advertise and market a new game. The questions which must be answered, he said, were: WHO needs the game?; WHAT to sell them on?; WHERE to advertise?; and WHY should the operator buy the machine? Dick then proceeded with a chronological illustrated history of the pinball flyer, using slides.
He began by showing some very early game flyers from around the "Turn Of The Century". He said that as early as the 1880's, six color lithography was used in advertising. He then showed some very early advertising for such games as the B. A. Stevens TIVOLI FLAG (1899), and the famous Caille LOG CABIN (1901).
He then said that after these early games there was "a gap in history" until the early 1930's. He next showed some 1931/32 era flyers for games like BAFFLE BALL (four color process, without the Gottlieb name); KEEN-BALL (four page brochure, describing a lease agreement, and with a picture showing people playing the game); WHIFFLE (1931) and WHIFFLE ZIP (1932), which he said "were not kids games"; and a two player game called SWEETHEARTS, which he said was manufactured by an outfit in Texas. For the year 1933 he showed flyers for Rockola's JIGSAW, which was a beautiful color flyer, and Bally's first electric payout game, ROCKET, which contained a detailed explanation of the game's characteristics.
From 1934 he first showed a beautiful multi-color flyer for Rockola's hit WORLD SERIES, which he followed up with one for Daval's AMERICAN BEAUTY, featuring a color picture of a beautiful girl. He next showed two 2 color flyers, one for Western Equipment's HELLS BELLS (which he said was "a low cost game with an even cheaper flyer"), and Exhibits ELECTRO, which was a version of Harry Williams' first 'electric action' pin, CONTACT. He also showed two other 1934 flyers; one for Bally's SIGNAL (which had a 4 color front, containing an explanation of the game, and a 2 color back), and Allied Amusement's MAJIK KEYS KICKER, which he mentioned was a game that Harry Williams once said was "a significant game of that period."
Later in the Thirties he showed flyers for Rockola's JIG JOY (which was an electric "bumper" version of their 1933 'classic' JIGSAW, with a jigsaw puzzle on the backglass); Mills Novelty's popular ONE-TWO-THREE (a two color flyer); a black and white flyer for Bally's THUNDERBIRD; a two color flyer for Gottlieb's LOT-O-FUN; and a flyer for the "free play" version of ONE-TWO- THREE.
Going into the early Forties he began with a two color flyer of Exhibits 1941 SUN BEAM; followed by flyers for two "wartime conversions", SLAP THE JAP, and KNOCKOUT THE JAP. For the near post war period he showed Bally's DOUBLE FEATURE and Marvel's FRISCO (in black and white), both from 1946. For 1947 we saw Gottlieb's DAILY RACES (their last "one-ball horserace" game), and SHOOTING STARS, by P and S, which was another "conversion".
From the late Forties he then showed Gottlieb's 1948 game BUCCANEER (black and white); Bally's HOT RODS (a 2 color flyer from 1949), and finally a flyer for Nate Schiller's 1949 MADAM BUTTERFLY, a "flipper conversion" of United's SINGAPORE.
He next showed a two color brochure from the Fifties, United's HAWAII, a "bingo pinball" from 1954. He then skipped to the 1960s saying that by 1965 four color brochures were "back for good", and showed a flyer for Chicago Coin's MOON SHOT of 1969. He then showed the flyer for the 1972 Bally "classic", FIREBALL.
The last brochure shown was for Game Plan's SHARPSHOOTER, designed by previous speaker Roger Sharpe. He pointed out that Game Plan executive Lee Goldberg's wife and dog were used in the picture. He then stated that this type of high quality brochure was quite expensive to produce.
Dick concluded by asking for questions from the audience. The only question asked was "where can flyers be obtained?" He answered simply "from the game distributors." Dick's presentation really showed that advertising was very important in selling pingames, and in many instances was an expensive process.
Last year the "technical session" was presented by Tom Cahill of Williams Electronics, describing the built-in "bookkeeping" and "self test" Features in Williams current pingames. This year it was Premier's turn, and Premier engineer Adolph Seitz gave a similar talk based on his company's built-in features.
He began by saying that games have changed drastically in the last 15 years. The technicians who had become familiar with electro-mechanical circuitry and trouble-shooting had to learn electronics. He said that the advent of "microprocessors", which made 'solid state' pingames possible, could make games do so much more; but the problem was "servicing in the field." Servicing of games had become "complex" he said; the technicians 'tools' now included voltmeters, "logic probes", and in some cases, the oscilloscope.
He went on to say that these same microprocessors also made possible the built-in "self test" and "bookkeeping" features found on today's games. Mr. Seitz then proceeded to describe the special features of his company's machines, using a Premier GENESIS, which was on the platform with him, as an example game.
He first pointed out that the latest games now employ "alpha- numeric" displays for score indication, etc, instead of the "7 segment" numeric displays used in most solid-state games until just recently. The use of these displays allowed letters of the alphabet, as well as digits, to be displayed on the backglass. He said that these displays are used to allow the "highest score to date" players to have their 'initials' displayed along with their scores. But, more importantly, he explained, it made possible a better way for the self-test features to indicate "problems" to the serviceman.
Adolph pointed out that "replays" were still very important to pinball players. He said that the players expected pingames to give "free games". He then said there were no replays on video games because they have never had them, and therefore the players don't expect them.
Next, he began describing the various "bookkeeping" features built into Premier's games. These included, among others, total tilts, number of specials won, "high score to date" information, and average play time per game.
Finally, he described some of the built-in "self-test" features. He said a "Lamp Test" was available which could test lamps one at a time. The "Relay and Solenoid Test", he said, could display the "location" of the "driver transistors", due to the alpha-numeric capabilities of the new displays. He then described the "Switch Matrix Test" in which the display would indicate which switch(s) on the playfield were "closed". As far as the "Display Test" was concerned, he said it tested each "segment" of the displays.
Mr. Seitz concluded his remarks by describing the "Memory Test", and a capability of displaying the "check sum" of the "proms". For all you "non-computer" people, this is a test to indicate a malfunction in the memory chips which hold the "program" which controls the game's operation. It was clearly evident from Adolph's presentation that as the new "digital" pins get more sophisticated, so do there built-in features which aid the operators and servicemen.
THE GOTTLIEB TRADITION
The final event of the Pinball Expo '86 seminar schedule was a panel discussion dubbed "The Gottlieb Tradition". The panel consisted of Alvin Gottlieb (son of D. Gottlieb & Co. founder David Gottlieb, and former executive of the company), Wayne Neyens (former Gottlieb designer of the Fifties and Sixties), and Stan Harris (Philadelphia game operator since 1946, operating 6 to 7 thousand games, and collector of game machines with a collection numbering some 700 pieces). Also "sitting in" on the panel was Gottlieb/Premier designer, Adolph Seitz.
To start off the discussion, show host Rob Burk asked each of the panelists to make some opening remarks. Alvin was first. He first defined a "coin operated device" as being "a device which does its job without requiring an attendant." For this reason, he said, "reliability" is a big factor in the success or failure of such a device, and therefore his father's slogan "there's no substitute for quality". Alvin said when he once asked his father where he got that slogan, he replied "from Walgreens Drug Stores." He said that Gottlieb, over the years, made a real effort to "build games that worked."
Alvin next talked about the make-up of the discussion panel. He said he was there to provide "the manufacturer's point of view". He then said that Stan Harris was a "test operator" for Gottlieb in the Philadelphia area, an area that he said had a minimum of problems in operating machines over the years due, in part, to a good "operator's association" with a policy of not operating games near schools, etc. Finally, he said that Wayne started with the company even before he did and was responsible for a great many developments. He said that Wayne had the idea of "life testing" games, using the factory's "boiler room" in the old days as the test environment. He then remarked that a game that doesn't work very long is "worth less than zero."
Wayne next provided his opening comments. He started by saying that looking back on Gottlieb games they generally were no great success right off, but that they always seemed to make money "over the long run." He said this fact was borne out by Gottlieb games that were operated on location for a long time.
Wayne then mentioned the problems the games had in the past due to gambling connections. He said that in the Thirties and Forties many pins were used for gambling, but that Gottlieb later "cleaned up their act" by removing replay "knock-off buttons" from underneath the games. He also remarked that the introduction of the flipper was very important in showing pinball as a game of skill. Finally, he said that he thought that it was better for the industry if gambling was kept out of it, making reference to some of today's video games with gaming motifs.
Stan Harris next took the floor to provide some comments. He began by discussing the "chain of events" in the life of a game. He said it starts with the manufacturer who wants to know "will the game make money?" Next, he said, comes the operator, without whom "everything else does not matter." Operators buy games, he went on, hoping they will make money. If the games have a "good reputation" on location, he said, they will be good money makers, but many great playing games seem to have problems that the operator can't live with; for instance, "down time" hurts the operator.
He next stated that he always preferred Gottlieb games for two reasons; their earning ability and their dependability. He said that Gottlieb games generally start off slow on location, but increase as time goes by, taking about 10 to 12 weeks on the average location to "catch on".
Stan then described what he referred to as the "basic concept of pinball". He said pingames have a "built-in challenge", that is to win replays from high score. He remarked that he thought the games should award more than one replay for high score. He next commented on how they tested games on location to determine the proper "high score replay setting" for each location. He also said that the speed of the ball was very important and they used "patch levels" on the games to set the proper playfield angle. He remarked that this was very important, but that many operators don't pay enough attention to it.
Finally, he stated that video games were "90 day wonders" and required little location testing, and that pinballs were "the toughest games to operate."
Next, Alvin made a few additional remarks. He said that "consistency of play" was very important. He then remarked that in the early days manufacturers did not pay much attention to materials, but that when electric games came along they started to realize that reliability was required in pingames. he said Gottlieb copied their original relay design from the well known electrical equipment manufacturer, Gaurdian Electric. He went on to tell how the early "switch blades" were not too reliable, but when they plated them that improved their reliability.
At this point, questions were requested from the audience. Alvin was first asked, from a reliability standpoint, where do you "draw the line"? He replied that each component has a predicted "life", but that playfield wear is usually the determining factor in the useful life of a game. He said the other game components would generally last much longer. Finally, he estimated the average life of a game to be about five years, but said that water and sunlight could hurt the playfield and thus shorten that if the operator is not careful.
Next, a question was asked regarding favorite Gottlieb games of the past. Stan replied that NORTH STAR was one of his favorites. He then told how popular that game had been at the University of Pennsylvania. He said two NORTH STARs were operated there and they caught on quickly. He told about students having tournaments on the games, complete with a "NORTH STAR championship loving cup". He went on to say that different games "hit" in different locations.
Stan was next asked about his personal collection; the size of it, what types of machines were included, and the availability of it for viewing? He replied that he had some 700 machines in his collection, including many "three reel slot machines", "arcade machines", etc. He said he had about 40 pingames "from LOG CABIN up." He told of originally building a special room to house his collection, and when it was filled, building another. He said that his collection was not "open to the public", but could be viewed if you first called him and set up an appointment.
At this point the panelists made a few additional comments. Stan told of using his own metal "tilt bobs", in place of the carbon ones usually supplied on most games. he then discussed in more detail how his people "leveled" playfields to get the right "pitch" and hence, the proper "ball speed".
Alvin then said that the solenoids used by Gottlieb were not quite as powerful as those used by other manufacturers, but that they lasted longer and made for more "consistent play". He next said he really loved HUMPTY DUMPTY when it first came out, and remarked that he thought the play to be "more consistent" on the older games.
Wayne, commenting on the flyer for Gottlieb's 1957 pin STRAIGHT FLUSH, which he had been given earlier by Dick Bueschel, remarked that there were "18 ways to score Specials" on that game. He said it was astounding how many ways there were to score replays on many of the earlier pingames.
A question was then asked regarding the "Gottlieb Tradition". It was said that Gottlieb made a wide variety of types of games over the years, and the question was asked, did Gottlieb knowingly do this?" Wayne answered that in the old days (referring to the 1950 to 1960 era, I believe) business was slow, and they had to keep the factory busy. He told of getting the idea for a "multiple player" game in the mid Fifties. He designed SUPER JUMBO, the first four player pin, which he said eventually resulted in "two markets" for pingames, one for the "single players", and another for "multi-player" games. He then told of Alvin having the idea for the "Add-A-Ball" game. When they started producing these games also, he said, the factory could run "at a better rate" and they could keep the people they had.
Wayne was next asked about the creation of the "Add-A-Ball" game. He said it originally resulted from a court case in Hartford Connecticut regarding the replay "knock-off buttons" found on some pingames. He remembered that the local distributor there "panicked", but Alvin came up with a new idea for a pingame without replays! Wayne said that when Dave Gottlieb was first approached with the idea he said "no, we need replays", but Wayne went ahead and tried Alvin's idea, and Dave liked it.
This new type of game, the "Add-A-Ball", which gave "extra balls" for high score, instead of "free games", made it possible, Wayne said, to operate pingames in areas where "replays" had been ruled illegal. This included certain jurisdictions in the U.S. and some places overseas, such as Italy. Wayne ended by saying that eventually replays became legal again almost everywhere in this country.
In another question concerning legal difficulties involving pingames, it was asked to what degree this type of problem "eroded the market?" In answer to this it was pointed out that there were problems in some jurisdictions involving "excise taxes". Many of these taxes were levied in "two levels", one for "amusement games" and another for "gambling devices". It was said that it was often difficult for the enforcement agencies to differentiate between the two, and this caused many problems for the industry.
Alvin was next asked about the origin of the Gottlieb slogan of the late 1950s, "Amusement Pinballs, As American As Baseball And Hot Dogs". He replied that it came from his father. He was then asked about the Gottlieb "double award" pingames of the mid Fifties. (Author's note: These were flipper games in which the player could deposit a second coin at the start of a game, which entitled him to double the number of replays he would normally win, if he won any.) He said these games created a "controversy", probably because of the slight similarity to the "multiple coin" concept of the "bingo pinballs" current at that time, and therefore were discontinued.
Alvin also mentioned that in the mid Fifties there was an attempt to "stimulate the pinball business." He said the "turning point" was the removal of the infamous "knock-off button". He told of an industry association, called the Coin Machine Institute, that was established with Harry Williams as President. He said that organization was "amusement game oriented" and some manufacturers, such as Williams and Gottlieb, "separated" themselves from those which also made "gambling machines".
The final question of this panel dealt with "copies" of Gottlieb games made in Italy. Alvin was asked if they were "licensed". He replied that Europe has different patent laws than we do and that people in Italy actually "patented" Gottlieb equipment.
That ended this very interesting discussion of D. Gottlieb and Company and their many great pingames. Even though the company by that name no longer exists, the name "Gottlieb" has been acquired by Premier and will probably be used in connection with fine pingames for years to come.
This year's Expo banquet was again held on Saturday evening, but in a smaller room than last year. The room was completely filled with tables with little room for standing around and mingling during the pre-dinner cocktail hour. The food again was quite good for "banquet food", and even featured a delicious desert.
The first highlight of the banquet proceedings was the final "play-offs" of the Expo's pinball tournament, which was dubbed "Flipout '86" by the Expo promoters. The "qualifying rounds" of the tournament had been played in the Exhibit Hall during the past two days on several new PIN-BOT machines provided by Williams for that purpose.
The highest scorers in the qualifying rounds "squared off" against each other in the final "elimination rounds" played at the banquet. These were also played on PIN-BOT, except for the "final play-off" which was played on a limited production Gottlieb KRULL provided by Mike Pacak. Video cameras were pointed at the machines during the play-offs enabling the banquet guests to watch the action on video monitors. When all was over the "Grand Champion" turned out to be Mr. Steve Engle from Connecticut, who won a brand new PIN-BOT which was donated by Williams. One of the "finalists", who ended up in "third place", was Alvin Gottlieb's son Mike, so you can see that the Gottlieb's are still very much "into" pinball.
When it came time for the guest speaker to be announced everyone was curious, since all Expo publicity had only indicated "a surprise mystery guest". Then, Rob Burk surprised us all by announcing that Alvin Gottlieb, last year's fine speaker, would again address the group. What happened to the "mystery guest"?, we thought.
Alvin then came up and began talking about some of the important coin machine industry people of the past, such as Lou Walcher (owner of San Francisco's large coin machine distributorship, Advance Automatic Sales), and Nebraska Senator Ed Zorinsky (who was also involved in the industry, and once operated the large Omaha coin machine distributorship, H. Z. Vending, which was founded by his father.).
Then, when Alvin started to talk about Gil Kitt of Empire Coin (which we later discovered was a pre-arranged "signal"), a strange thing happened. Alvin was interrupted from the audience by industry figure Stan Levin, who came up to the podium and got Alvin to sit down. It was then announced that we were going to be treated with a "roast" of the "one and only", Mr. Steve Kordek, in recognition of his 50 years in the coin machine business.
Next, came former Williams designer, and Steve's close associate and long time friend for many years, Norm Clark. Norm first made a few comical comments about Steve's golf game. (incidentally, the only hint of "roast" in the whole affair were "cracks" by the various speakers about Steve's golf playing, because who could say anything bad about such a fine fellow as Steve Kordek.) Norm next told the story of how he had once scared Steve "almost to death" by blasting him with an "air horn". He then praised Steve for his contributions to coin machines.
Next to speak was Williams' sales manager, Joe Dillon. Mr. Dillon proclaimed 1986 to be "Steve Kordek Year" and presented Steve with a new $50 "Gold Eagle" coin to represent Steve's 50 years of service to the coin machine industry.
The next two speakers to get up and praise Steve for his accomplishments were Williams designer Steve Ritchie and pinball author Roger Sharpe.
At this point, the next speaker was announced as being Steve's daughter Donna. A lovely, well dressed lady then came up to speak, who we discovered later was a model by profession. Donna then proceeded to put on a "slide show" depicting the life of her father and family, using family photos and many brochures of games Steve had designed, cleverly working the names of the games into her story.
She told one story of being in grade school and the teacher asking each student to tell what their fathers did for a living. When it was her turn, she said, she told the class that her father "made adult toys". All in all, Donna's talk was very enjoyable and it was easy to see that she, her father, and all the family, enjoyed a fine, loving, relationship.
The final speaker in the "Steve Kordek tribute" was Expo host Rob Burk. Rob put on his own "slide show" tribute to Steve. After that Rob got Steve up on stage and presented him with a plaque commemorating Steve's "50 years in the industry", the "50 years" actually being completed in April 1987. Steve said that the whole thing was a total surprise to him, and that even his wife, who incidentally he introduced to those present, had been equally surprised. Donna had apparently kept the secret very well!
Rob Burk next presented awards to others in connection with their contributions to the Expo. He presented the visitors from Canada and England with small momentos of the show and then gave out "awards" to the seminar speakers and others who assisted in presenting the show.
Then, as a final surprise, Steve Kordek was again called to the stage and presented with a pinball playfield "mock-up" commemorating Steve's participation in Pinball Expo '86.
THE EXHIBIT HALL
This year's exhibits were displayed in a much larger hall than last year. Located in the center of the room was a large area occupied by Expo co-hosts Mike Pacak and Bill Kurtz, who buy, sell, and trade pinball brochures. In addition, Mike Pacak had on display examples of some rare "limited production" digital pins, such as the KRULL machine used for the final round of the pinball tournament. Also in this center area were located the PIN-BOT machines used for the "qualifying rounds" of the tournament. All of the other booths were located along the four walls of this large room.
Exhibits of new pingames were provided by the three major manufacturers, Bally, Premier, and Williams, each showing their latest games. The Bally booth, manned much of the time by Bally designer Jim Patla, caused a small "commotion" on two occasions by bringing out boxes of "freebies" and letting everybody dig in and help themselves. One of these "grab bags" contained lamp sockets, while the other held plastic playfield parts. It was really something to see the crowd of people all digging into these boxes at the same time.
There were no old parts for sale this year. New parts/materials were again displayed by the long-time coin machine "parts house" Wico, and a plastics outfit also had some items on display. Steve Young and Gordon Hasse had a booth to promote their new backglass sealant, Cover Your Glass, which was discussed earlier, but they had none actually available for sale at the show. There was a limited number of backglasses for sale, mostly by Mike Pacak.
Several booths had old pingames for sale. Dennis Dodel of St. Louis, publisher of the fine newsletter "PINBALL TRADER", had several postwar pre-flipper pins for sale, as well as original bingo pinball schematics and manuals. Some 1950s era "wood rails" were offered for sale by Canadian Dave Currie at his A-1 Amusement Games booth. The outfit called Hi Tech, from New York state, who had a large number of games for sale both this year and last, had several machines from the Sixties and Seventies, plus Bally's 1940 "remake" of their 1934 classic FLEET.
Some fine machines from the Sixties, mostly "Add-A-Balls", were also offered for sale by Chicago coil manufacturer and pinball and backglass collector, Donal Murphy. Other dealers also had pins for sale, mostly of later vintage. A complete list of all pinballs displayed at the Expo appears at the end of this article.
The COIN SLOT was also represented at the show at a booth operated by collector/author Dan Kramer. Dan's booth also featured, in a "hands-on" display, his rare Atari pinball prototype NEUTRON STAR, which was the subject of an article by Dan appearing in the Fall 1986 issue of this magazine. This machine was available for play and many Expo participants had a rare opportunity to play a real factory prototype pinball.
Copies of back issues of COIN SLOT were available at this booth, and people could also subscribe there as well. I personally directed several potential new subscribers to Dan's booth, some of whom subscribed. Dan had also prepared a list of all pinball articles appearing in the magazine (since it went quarterly) which he gave out at the booth.
Expo host Rob Burk also had a booth which, among other things, contained two quite interesting machines. The first was a 1931/32 era counter-top pingame called DOUBLE PLAY, which was actually manufactured in Rob's home town of Warren, Ohio, by an outfit calling themselves Warren Manufacturing. This was a "two player" game with a playing card theme (in fact, it appeared that actual small playing cards were glued to the playfield). The machine had "ball lift" and "plunger" mechanisms at each side of the front of the cabinet, one for each player.
Two sets of balls were contained in the game, each set being a slightly different color, and apparently having a slight difference in size, which allowed the machine's ingenious mechanism to return the proper balls to the proper player's "ball lifts" at the start of a new game. The apparent object of the game was for each player to shoot balls to land in playing card holes, thus forming a "five card hand". The two players could thus play against each other to see who could get the "best hand" in either Poker or Twenty One. A very rare, interesting, and novel pingame indeed.
The other interesting game in Rob's booth was a Genco "roll- down" game from the late Forties with a baseball motif, and called simply, BASEBALL. This was an example of the "roll-downs" designed by Expo guest Harvey Heiss, and mentioned by him in his talks for the past two years. It was also the type of game that Harvey designed recently which he showed at this year's show as I mentioned earlier. I remember playing that type of machine in the Los Angeles area as a kid; in fact, this was the closest thing to a pinball in many areas of Los Angeles county for many years, due to "anti-pinball" ordinances. It was nice to see one of these games displayed at the show so that others could see what Harvey had been talking about.
There was also a booth selling Pinball Expo '86 souvenirs. For sale were various pinball bumper stickers, including one that said "I 'Love' Pinball", the 'love', of course, replaced by a 'heart'. Also available for purchase were "Pinball Expo '86" caps, and some very nice satin jackets with "Pinball Expo '86" emblazoned on the back. Even Expo napkins were available at the booth.
To conclude my description of the exhibits I have decided to include a list of all the pingames on display in the hall, an idea which was suggested to me several months ago by my good friend Jack Atkins from Utah. I will first list all the new games displayed by the manufacturers present at the show, then list the rare "limited production" solid state games exhibited by Mike Pacak, and finally all the other games offered for sale at the various booths.
The games shown by the manufacturers included: From Bally: STRANGE SCIENCE, SPECIAL FORCE, MOTORDROME, and HOT SHOTZ (a very interesting "pool game" using pool balls and having large flippers. Also on display was a midway pin from 1964 called RODEO.
From Premier: GENESIS, and GOLD WINGS; and also displayed was the rare two player, two playfield, Gottlieb game from 1971, CHALLENGER.
From Williams: PIN-BOT and ROAD KINGS
The "limited production" digitals displayed by Mike were: Gottlieb's KRULL, Stern's ORBITOR, and AF-TOR, produced by Wico, and a small "counter top" (shades of the Thirties) pin called MICROPIN.
The other games, shown at the various booths (in chronological order) included:
GAME MFG. YEAR ----------------------------------------------------------------------- DOUBLE PLAY Warren Mfg. 1932? ONE-TWO-THREE Mills 1938 SNAPPY Chicago Coin 1938 FLEET Bally 1940 BIG HIT Exhibit 1946 SURF QUEENS Bally 1946 HAVANA United 1947 HUMPTY DUMPTY (ROLL DOWN) Gottlieb 1947 RIO United 1947 VANITIES Exhibit 1947 SHARPSHOOTER Gottlieb 1949 JUST 21 Gottlieb 1950 MINSTREL MAN Gottlieb 1951 FOUR CORNERS Williams 1952 MARBLE QUEEN Gottlieb 1953 BIG TIME (BINGO) Bally 1954 LADY LUCK Gottlieb 1954 SKYWAY Gottlieb 1954 TWIN BILL Gottlieb 1955 WISHING WELL Gottlieb 1955 STRAIGHT FLUSH Gottlieb 1957 SUNSHINE Gottlieb 1958 CORRAL Gottlieb 1961 FOUR ROSES Williams 1962 VAGABOND Williams 1962 GIGI Gottlieb 1963 SLICK CHICK Gottlieb 1963 SQUARE HEAD Gottlieb 1963 WORLD FAIR Gottlieb 1964 SKYLINE Gottlieb 1965 BIG STRIKE Williams 1966 HURDY GURDY Gottlieb 1966 PALACE GUARD Gottlieb 1968 BRISTOL; HILLS Gottlieb 1971 FIREBALL Bally 1972 POP-A-CARD Gottlieb 1972 MONTE CARLO Bally 1973 NIP-IT Bally 1973 BIG SHOT Gottlieb 1974 MAGNOTRON Gottlieb 1974 AIR ACES Bally 1975 KNOCKOUT Bally 1975 SUPER SOCCER Gottlieb 1975 WIZARD Bally 1975 CAPTAIN FANTASTIC Bally 1976 GRAND PRIX Williams 1976 SPACE MISSION Williams 1976 TARGET ALPHA Gottlieb 1976 EVIL KNIEVEL Bally 1977 FREEDOM Bally 1977 JACK'S OPEN Gottlieb 1977 JUNGLE QUEEN Gottlieb 1977 LIBERTY BELL Williams 1977 WORLD CUP Williams 1977 KISS Bally 1979 METEOR Stern 1979 SOLAR RIDE Gottlieb 1979 STELLAR WARS Williams 1979 SUPERSONIC Bally 1979 ALI Stern 1980 SILVERBALL MANIA Bally 1980 BLACK HOLE Gottlieb 1980s BLACK KNIGHT Williams 1980s BLACKOUT Williams 1980s BUCK ROGERS Bally 1980s FIREPOWER Williams 1980s GOIN' NUTS Gottlieb 1980s JOUST (PINBALL) Williams 1980s
Well, that concludes my coverage of this fine show, Pinball Expo '86. The number of attendees was about the same as at the previous show, but there were a lot of "new faces" who did not have the pleasure of attending last year. I'm sure all who were present are hoping that there will be a "Pinball Expo '87". So lets hope that we can attend another fine Expo next year.
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