Lately, I’ve been developing a big appreciation for the 80s-era Bally games. As a kid I remember them kicking my ass and having unique and interesting rulesets that set them far apart from the Gottliebs and Sterns of the day, so when the chance to pick up a “Mystic” came up, I jumped at it, and drove about three hours to get this game.
Little did I know how special the game would end up being…
A recent discussion came up on one of the online forums about the Pinball Hall of Fame and I was prompted to dig up some footage I shot in 2009 so here it is.
For those of you who don’t know, the Pinball Hall of Fame is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, just off the main strip, run by an eccentric but brilliant and generous guy named Tim Arnold who is a long-time operator and has one of the most impressive collections of vintage pinball machines in the world.
The PHOF houses at any given moment, several hundred vintage pinball machines, including some extremely rare games you will not likely find anywhere else. Here’s a series of videos where I walked the rows of the place in 2009 not long after it moved into a new building. Enjoy!
Pinball is many things: Commerce, gambling, history, reflections on social times, science and technology as well as art. In this episode, we take a look at some of the art. These are pictures I’ve taken of various games featured at the Lone Star Pinball Museum near Houston. Special thanks to Dan Ferguson for his hospitality. I hope you enjoy them!
Just north of Houston, there’s a very cool guy named Dan who has been collecting pinball machines for many, many years. We came out to visit him this year while in town for the Houston Arcade Expo and I took a moment to grab the video camera and make quick walk-through of his museum, which houses hundreds of games from the earlier pinball eras.
I know it would look better if all the machines were fired up, but we weren’t staying long and I didn’t want to trouble him to flip everything on. But you can get a feel for how many old games are in the museum, covering the earliest of eras in the 1800s and early 1900s to pre-flipper woodrails, bingo machines, EM woodrails and lots of classic 60s and 70s electro-mechanical games. Distinctions in the collection include all four versions of Bally’s classic “Fireball” game, Atari’s gargantuan game “Hercules”, rarities like “Spectrum”, “Asteroid Annie” and “Solar Fire”, and many very early games for which there’s very little information on how many were made. There are also lots of vintage EM baseball, shooting and aviation games. I plan to post more details in the future including some high-quality pictures. Once again, a huge thanks to Dan for his hospitality!