30 August 2011

Knocked out! A Golden Era Gottlieb!

Brilliant Harry Mabs

Wow! From an 1982 Orbitor 1 to a 1950 Knock Out .. very cool. It’s been amazing to see the innovations on the play fields on these pieces just acquired. I purchased this from a gentleman who had found this in a pawn store, says he’d never seen anything like that before and just couldn’t resist the wow factor. He got his very first home standing game real quick-like after the store said “today only or the curb!” Thank his stars he wanted a project - an amazing great find.
D. Gottlieb & Co. dominated the 1950s pinball market - it’s why we know the name so well. Often referred to as the Golden Era, some truly inspiring innovations began in these years. We take it for granted today that the flipper had to begin with the 1st pin with one. Harry Mabs put a coil under such a flipper bumper and made it a reality in the famous Humpty Dumpty in October 1947. All of the technologies developed on the field to that point, such as the bumper itself, were perfectly complimented by this idea of ‘shooting it back up the middle’. Moving “from chance to skill”, the game seriously hasn’t looked back since the invention. Unlike the actual ‘pins’ that we see no longer, the flippers are now the real base of the pinball game.

So this is a December 1950, D. Gottlieb & Co.
Knock Out
Serial # 047946KO
The 28th pin made with the new flipper design from Harry Mabs, it’s famous for its manikin boxers inside a miniature playfield boxing ring. Please refer from Michael Shalhoub’s wonderful set of books, “The Pinball Compendium, 1930s-1960s” for more information. There’s also a great restoration page for this pinball @ Sands Mechanical Museum.

Not sure if you caught those #s: that was 28 pinball machines from October 1947 through December 1950 -one man at one Co.. Add Genco, Bally, Williams, and Chicago Coin to that 3 year tally and you would flip out! (And you thought they built games like crazy in the 1980s!)

Here are some ‘before’ pictures (having just set it up in my shop). I’ll update this as I can when restorations are completed. I’m just stunned at how cool this pinball is! Holding the wood rail and pressing the side buttons, gathering all the imagery that Roy Parker hits you with ...this will be a true joy to see working again!

Meantime here’s a nice game restoration walk-through. :)

28 August 2011

Roadtripping II

GTS-2/Game Transport Shuttle : 25CENT Arcade Express II

12 states - 3260 miles - 15 days - 11mpg - 9 games

Missions accomplished. Sometimes you have to just do it.

14AUG11 0900 MDT : I wish I could have left today -must get all this work/plan here done so I can be away so long.
(thinking I gotta stay back here already)
15AUG11 0430 MDT : an extra day to finish stuff here and pack smartly, get some rest. Early loaded with guitar and tools, hook the trailer up at the shop 10 minutes N and strap down the games. Grab a #3/coffee and hit the interstates’ sunrise somewhere in Nebraska.
(thinking I gotta get back here already)
15AUG11 0733 MDT : 89306, Sterling, CO $52.02
15AUG11 1217 CDT : 89517, Elm Creek, NE $75.20
15AUG11 1527 CDT : 89710, Omaha, NE $65.81
15AUG11 1827 CDT : 89863, Colfax, IA $51.80
15AUG11 2100 CDT : Calls fwd - got to get a room for safety’s sake tired - I’ll get there, Chicago, sometime before noon -- not in one-shot this time with the trailer.
15AUG11 2124 CDT : 90031, Geneseo, IL $61.24
(thinking I gotta get back home already)
16AUG11 1130 CDT : Chris! Great day conversing shops and games and all folks between. : ) Tapper is now -literally-on the tongue. 2x now, stunned collector comments ahead!
16AUG11 1849 CDT : 90172, Orland Park, IL $49.15
16AUG11 2250 EDT : 90349, Marshal, MI $50.93
16AUG11 2330 EDT : sleep Holiday Inn, Chelsea, MI.
(thinking I gotta get back home already)
17AUG11 1100 EDT : Shane! Thanks buddy .. good conversation the whole day with games and good time planning and chatting real-time. Thanks for picking up and holding onto these 2 games for me!
18AUG11 1400 EDT : check-in Detroit digs, drop T/Tranquility Base Arcade, contact friends Gratiot Ave, steak dinner & good beer, crash
19AUG11 1200 EDT : Bill! Killer BBQ lunch and greet .. back to Gratiot Ave for the pinball! : )
(thinking I gotta get back home already)

19 AUG 11 1800 EDT : Alan! Wow have we got a lot of catching up to do. Games are played and much is talked about and then midnight. May the force be with you!
20 AUG 11 1100 EDT : Bill! Ahhh the gameroom! Mad Planets and Q*bert, in the house! Thanks for picking up and holding on to the Food Fight. Awesome.
20AUG11 1641 EDT : 90576, Roseville, MI $65.83
21AUG11 0730 EDT : I-94.. I-75.. I-70.. I-44.. HWY43..
21AUG11 1046 EDT : 90777, Troy, OH $67.29
21AUG11 1354 CDT : 90985, Marshall, IL $66.48
21AUG11 1731 CDT : 91183, St. Clair, MO $63.96
21AUG11 2226 CDT : 91414, Joplin, MO $72.60
21AUG11 2330 CDT : Grove, OK .. drop T/CoC .. home by the lake. Lots to do.
26AUG11 2000 CDT : 150 miles rural hunting old pinball = success!
27AUG11 1045 CDT : 91668, Grove, OK $ 58.65
27AUG11 1055 CDT : home-packed Tundra move stuff shuffle loaded bed/trailer hitched/all strapped in tight.
27AUG11 1500 CDT : Brent! Tempest glass, KC. Awesome gameroom! Thanks for the time!
27AUG11 1620 CDT : 91843, Olathe, KS $69.39
27AUG11 2035 CDT : 92064, 237 HWY 232, KS $77.50
28AUG11 0000 MDT : 92276, Burlington, CO $ 83.04
28AUG11 0130 MDT : Deer Trail 50 miles shy rest stop safe sleep wacky nice to be back in the dry not humid breeze gonna close my eyes 20min sleep 4hrs surreal.
28AUG11 0530 MDT : curb landing and good doggie greetings! Kiss the wife. Tempur... . . . z z z
(thinking I’m glad I’m back home already)
29AUG11 1400
29AUG11 2100 MDT: ...steep in good ale, play home pinball gems, comfy digs with the wife. Home.


“For it is in giving that we receive... it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” -a prayer of St. Francis

For Bob & Elaine

14 August 2011

< 25¢ > “Thank “you “very “much

“Wow “wow “wow “wow

So a couple of 1970s NASA engineers got some cool pinball ideas back in the day. They brought the concept to Gary Stern who in turn let Joe Joos Jr. make it real. It was definitely cool enough to make 889 of them.

Real cool: two rotating target bumpers sunk into a smooth, curvy-molded Plexiglas table. This all over a lit moonscape just underneath. Otherworldly, floaty, the ball takes no straight shots but careens in a gravity grid around the rotating bumpers. The molded double back glass is pretty sweet too. All this with total 80s chirps and beeps as you drop targets all sides and seek the locked ball and the time-on-ball bonus points. You learn to flip only one left or right as the ball swims behind front to have the game ask with its cylon voice, “Play, Pinball, Again.”

Freaky friggin cool ... you are utterly engrossed in the ball and its movements. It’s an unbelievable pin that just has to be experienced. Definitely more than a novelty .. true grit on the table always real-time.
This was Stern’s last pinball for a very long time.

Art Myers wrote a great article on the history of this game.

06 August 2011

Happy Gamer


My wife says I rarely smile anymore. :( I guess I need to start reversing that concern crease in my forehead! I always seem to smile when I bop between the fave pins on a nice evening. The most perfect therapy I can think of - it’s the best reason to be in this hobby. Always good to remind yourself of the real reason you spend months working on the things - the rewards are healthy! Game On! In fact, my smile is even better when I see others enjoying these games too.

05 August 2011

HUO 2011

Four each other

Room for 6 games actually, my little Victorian home gameroom. No basement in this 1895 ... and I have to have permission from the wife before I can bring something inside and usurp the tables and chairs. Bless her heart .. early 2010 she gave full sanction to the side room for all games - even painted it for me! It’s been a swap-around of many nice games in here, they just were never all working ones. Like her, I tired seeing something project that I couldn’t just play every day. So I’ve decided to keep some specific pins in my sanctuary - the wall fits 4 perfectly. I also can squeeze 2 small videos on the opposite wall. There’s a Zeke’s Peak and a Tempest mini just other side of the RFM and AFM. I love it - looks cool to see happy clean games together.
The Orbitor 1 is just in here. Next to the Firepower - absolute bliss jumping between these 2 games. I could stay playing in here for hours n hours.
There will certainly be lots of good fun with friends. The garage arcade rows were always cool (still have some great games in there always), but this is a place to show off some of the nicer grails. Finally, a real home gameroom with some carpet and clean comfort!

Covet thy games!