-Another Great Show-


                         by Russ Jensen

                      photos by Sam Harvey



     For the fourth year in a row pinball fans from all over the

country (and from  Canada and Europe too) were treated to an all-

pinball show, Pinball Expo '88.  These shows have become an

"established tradition" and from what I hear will continue, at

least through this year.  As I said last year, for me one of my

main enjoyments at these shows is meeting and talking to all the

people, who like me, think of pinball in a very special way.

This year was certainly no exception!


     For the past three years the Expo has been held at a Holiday

Inn, but this year we had a new location, the Ramada

Hotel/O'Hare. This facility had the rooms spread out in long two

story "wings" radiating from the main "tower".  This meant a lot

of walking between the sleeping rooms and the show sites, but I

soon got used to this exercise (I usually don't get enough

anyway).  One definite advantage of this location was the

inexpensive 24 hour diner within walking distance of the hotel.

This kept those of us on limited budgets like myself from being

forced to pay the high prices for meals found in most hotel

restaurants, a real plus as far as I was concerned.




     On Friday morning Expo Chairman Rob Berk got up and gave the

opening remarks.  He welcomed all of us, with special welcomes to

those who had come a long way to attend, including those from

England, Europe, and Canada, as well as two pinball fans from the

"Aloha State".


     Rob introduced Expo co-producer Mike Pacak (the "Exhibit

Chairman") and then told us of two additional "events" which had

been added to the Expo agenda.  Those were a brief presentation

by a brand new game manufacturer and another "Design Seminar"

during which we would again design a pingame.  He also gave us

information on the Williams plant tour scheduled that afternoon

to which he said all, including representatives from other

manufacturers, were invited.


     We were also informed that Rob would be hosting a "Social

Hour" that evening including free food.  He then announced that

the door prize this year was a new ROBO-WAR pingame, with tickets

limited to one to a customer.  He then went over the rules for

the "Flip-out '88" pinball tournament to be held Saturday with

the "play-offs" before the banquet dinner.


     Regarding the Exhibit Hall, he said this year there was a

display of classic pins from the 1950's and 1960's .  Also, he

remarked that Harvey Heiss' "prototype" game, Baby In The Hole,

would again be on display, with Harvey available to demonstrate

this unique game.  Then he said that this year the hall would be

"open all night" (or as long as Mike Pacak could "take it"),

immediately following the Saturday night banquet.


     Finally, Rob announced that two new pinball books would be

first previewed at the show.  The first was "Pinball - The Lure

Of The Silver Ball", a beautiful color book co-authored by Gary

Flower (of the English "Pinball Owner's Association") and Ohio

collector/enthusiast Bill Kurtz.  The second book was "Pinball

Troubleshooting Guide" by none other than "yours truly"!  What a

thrill it was for me to actually see it in final printed form for

the first time!




     Rob then introduced the first speaker, part-time disk jockey

Dave Marston from Vermont and his presentation "Pinball On

Record".  Dave began by saying that this was going to be a

"musical and visual presentation" which he said he plans to do

again at a future Expo.  For this reason he told us he would

appreciate any "leads" concerning other records related to

pinball.  He then told us of a new series of books for record

collectors called "First Pressings" covering Rhythm And Blues and

Rock And Roll history from 1948 through 1954.


     For his first song he played a Country and Western record by

the Willis Brothers titled "Pinball Anonymous".  It was evident

from the lyrics that the "pinballs" being referred to were "bingo

pinballs" which were very prevalent in Tennessee for many years.

He followed this by a song called "Pinball Machine (a Truck

Driver's Story)" by Lonny Irving which told the story of a truck

driver "hooked" on pinball.  Dave remarked that this record "did

not enhance the reputation of the pinball industry".


     He then played an excerpt from an album called "Pinball

Playboy" by a group called Cook County which contained pinball

"sound effects".  This was followed by "Pinball, That's All" from

the sound track of the early Brooke Shields film, "Tilt", which

was never released to the theaters, being finally shown on Cable

TV.  Dave remarked that those were "studio musicians" and that

this song only reached "96" on the pop music "charts" in 1979.


     Dave next played a little of a "sound effects record",

called "Gambling Devices", in which you heard the sound of a ball

rolling and bells.  The bells sounded to me like those on an

early 1960's pingame.  Dave remarked that pinball sound effects

found on many records appeared to him as if they had been



     Next he played a "New Wave" record from 1981 which had

lyrics concerning both pinballs and video games.  After that he

played what I considered to be a fine Country and Western

recording titled "Beer And Pinballs" by Claude King, which he

said was recorded in 1952.  The refrain of this song repeated the

line "drinking beer and shooting that old pinball machine".


     The next part of Dave's presentation dealt with the music

from the well-known pinball theme Rock Opera "Tommy".  He started

with the main song from that film "Pinball Wizard" by the Who,

which he said peaked at "19" on the "charts".  He then played

many excerpts of Tommy songs released over the years in both the

U.S. and overseas, including a recording of "Pinball Wizard" by

Rod Stewart, accompanied by non other than the London Symphony

Orchestra!  Dave than told about the many items of "Tommy

memorabilia" (tee-shirts, etc) and the book "The Making Of



     Next we had a real comical treat.  Dave played a rare tape

of a song called "Gumball Wizard", by Brad Stanfield which, of

course, was a parody on "Pinball Wizard" and ended with the line

"and he ate the damned gum ball".  He said this was never

released on record and only heard on the "Dr. Dimento" radio

program.  The lyrics were really a riot, believe me!


     Dave ended his entertaining presentation with another

Country and Western recording, "The Pinball Blues" which

contained pin sound effects and yodeling, as well as good lyrics

containing the line "I've got the pinball blues and I can't save

a dime".




     Rob Berk next introduced our old friends Steve Young and

Gordon Hasse who have been the "champions" of the late Forties

and Fifties woodrail pins at all the past Expo's.  Steve started

off by saying that he would be sharing with us, by means of color

slides, the pingame collection he shares with his old friend John

Fetterman.  He went on to say that this was probably the largest

collection of George Molentin artwork and Williams woodrails in

the world!  He also remarked that he and Gordon had presented

examples of Roy Parker's artwork at a past Expo and thought it

only fair to provide "equal time" to the other pinball art great,

George Molentin.


     Gordon Hasse then took over to tell us how George got his

start in pinball art.  He said the year was 1935 and George was

working at another job when he was asked to go see Dave Rockola

who needed some art work for a new game.


     When Dave first set eyes on George he was not too impressed

when he saw how young he was.  But he told George he needed

sketches by the next morning and George agreed to provide them.

The next morning he showed Dave the sketches he had worked on

until almost 2 AM.  Mr. Rockola was so impressed that he bought

George's art and immediately put it into production on his new

game which was called GOLD RUSH.  In fact, he paid George $25,

which was $10 higher than what George was expecting.


     George then started free-lancing at night, Gordon said, for

both Rockola and Exhibit Supply.  But finally he quit his other

job and went to work full-time for Advertising Posters Co. which

had been doing pinball art since 1932.  George stayed with that

company for 42 years!


     The first glass to be shown was Williams' SUSPENSE from

1946. In this glass Gordon said, "George revealed his mastery of

a whole host of artistic disciplines:  perspective, anatomy,

drama, light and shadow, and his extraordinary talents as a



     Next the glass from Williams' 1951 game SHOO SHOO was shown

and Gordon talked of the differences between George's women

("Molentin girls", as he called them) and those depicted by Roy

Parker.  He said George's women were "soft", were "ladies", and

had "curves, but were still sophisticated".  Parker he said, on

the other hand, was "definitely a graduate of the pin-up school".

Williams' LULU of 1954 was then shown which Gordon remarked must

have been inspired by an "ice show" of some kind.


     They next deviated for a few minutes from Williams games to

George's work for other manufacturers.  The glass from Chicago

Coin's 1947 game BERMUDA (that company's first flipper game) was

shown with Gordon remarking that that company had a series of

games named after exotic places, including CATALINA, TRINIDAD,

SHANGHAI, and TAHITI.  He said that the young men who played

these games probably never got to any of these romantic

destinations, but at least they had enjoyed George's depictions

of them on the glasses.  Exhibit's MAM'SELLE, also from 1947, was

next shown with Steve pointing out another "Molentin girl" on the

banks of the seine, with the Eifel Tower in the background.


     We were next treated to a series of glasses which George did

for United Manufacturing, a company which Steve called "the

'world champ' of destination games".  The first shown was

OKLAHOMA from 1949 on which Gordon pointed out George's five

"cowgirls", and even one cowboy.


     Next we saw fabulous MANHATTAN.  This glass Gordon called

"one of the tastiest glasses in pinballdom", which he said

"echoes the big budget musicals of Broadway and the Cinema".

Gordon then told of United using the same "destination" names on

a later series of "bingo pinballs" (made in the 1950's) that were

used on amusement pins in the late Forties, for which George also

did the artwork.  He then remarked that those "bingos" were

probably named after previous "novelty" games by United "in a

conscious effort to further blur the distinction between

amusement pinballs and bingo games".  (Author's Note:  This

series of names was: RIO, HAVANA, MEXICO, HAWAII, NEVADA,



     Steve then remarked that George was probably "the world's

most prolific pinball artist" having done art work for every type

of pinball game,  including novelty, replay, one-ball, bingo. and

even a few "arcade pieces".


     Glasses for several other United "destination games" were

then shown.  First was NEVADA from 1947 which showed, Gordon

remarked, "a custom car in a horse environment".  This was

followed by their 1948 game WISCONSIN showing a lake scene, Steve

pointing out that that state has a lot of water indeed.


     They then went back to Williams games, starting with their

1949 game BOSTON.  After quoting from "The Midnight Ride Of Paul

Revere", Steve talked about Williams' own line of "destination

games", which he remarked were all named after cities and states

in the U.S.A; places he said that were probably "good pinball

territories".  (Author's Note: these names included TENNESSEE,


and GEORGIA - all made between 1948 and 1952)


     Two games which were shown, CARAVAN (1952), and RAG MOP

(1950), Gordon and Steve said had their names taken from popular

songs of the era, with the backglass of the latter illustrating

various dance steps popular at the time.  When they showed us

PETER PAN from 1955 Gordon pointed out that this was probably

inspired by the Disney animated feature.  He called this scene a

"mythical destination" (Never-Never Land), complete with



     "Thrills" were depicted in the games SCREMO (1954) and

SPEEDWAY (1948).  The backglass of SCREMO showed a famous roller-

coaster (nicknamed "the bobs") at Chicago's famed Riverview Park

amusement park.  SPEEDWAY was inspired by the "hot rod" craze of

the period.  Gordon also mentioned that about the time that

SPEEDWAY came out George himself invested in an actual speedway.


    We were then shown CUE-TEE from 1954 which Steve remarked

showed several "1950's sweater girls" along with boys which he

said resembled the comic book characters "Archie" and "Jughead".

Gordon later referred to these girls as "pool hustling honeys"

and said the game was a "near copy" of Williams successful EIGHT

BALL which came out two years earlier.


     The next two games shown, 9 SISTERS (1953) and SUPER SCORE

(1956) had one thing in common in their backglasses - a picture

of Chicago's famous Wrigley Building, with SUPER SCORE (which

Gordon said was one of George's personal favorites) also

depicting the Williams factory.  Steve speculated on who the

three sets of 3 girls on 9 SISTERS might be, resulting in the

theory that they could have represented three popular girl trios,

the Andrews, McGuire, and Fontaine Sisters.


     Next we were shown the glass from Williams' 1949 game

FRESHIE.  Steve said that this game came out "just in time to

great some of the two million ex-servicemen who went to college

on the G.I. Bill".  He also mentioned the old Schwin bicycle

shown in the picture.  Finally he brought up the three sets of

initials on the picket fence, enclosed in "lover's hearts".

These were GH + AH, HW + KW, and SS + ES, standing for Gordon

Horlock (Williams designer) and his wife, Harry Williams and his

daughter "Kitchie" Williams, and Sam Stern and his wife "Ellie".

Incidentally, I bought a FRESHIE glass many years ago, but found

out about those "famous initials" while the glass was "in

transit" to me.


     We next saw SWEETHEART (1950) with it's beach scene with

"pin-up" style girls.  This was followed by PARATROOPER from

1952, which Gordon said could be "a 'hangover' from World War II,

or possibly frustration with Korea".  Next came SKYWAY (1954)

which Steve said was George's "vision of the city of the future".


     Next up was COLORS of 1954.  Gordon pointed out that there

was not a single man in sight on this glass (all women!).  He

then remarked about the large number of replays possible on this

game (as evidenced by it's 3-digit replay counter) which could be

obtained from it's unusual "match feature".  Following this we

were shown CONTROL TOWER (1951).  Steve called our attention to

the blaze of color in the sky, and the view of the Chicago

skyline.  Steve said this glass was one of his personal



     The last glass shown by Steve and Gordon was DOMINO from

1952 which, we were told, was originally to be called "Mardi

Gras", but that name could not be used since it had been used by

Genco only a few years earlier.  Instead, it was named after the

"half-mask" (called a "domino") worn during that celebration.

Steve also told us that this glass was one of George's personal



     Following the art presentation Steve and Gordon talked

briefly about the relationship between George and Roy Parker.

They said the two met after the company Roy had been working for

since the late 1930's (Reproductions, by name) burnt down for a

second time and Advertising Posters agreed to hire all their

staff.  After that, they said, George and Roy became friends and

had a great respect for each other's work.  They also told us

that George was a pallbearer at Roy's funeral.


     Steve next remarked that George has said that the toughest

job he ever had to do at Advertising Posters was to find a

replacement for Roy after his death.  Gordon then told us that

George also said that his greatest challenges over the years were

"to make all those identical one-balls look different", and "to

find places for all those 'score numbers' on 'replay' and 'bingo'



     As a final salute to George's art, Gordon read a poem

written by a young pinball player, Bill Harkins, over 38 years

ago, extolling the virtues of Williams' 1950 pinball, PINKY.

After that the audience gave a standing ovation for George and

his work and Steve and Gordon's fine presentation.

     Following that, Alvin Gottlieb came up to the stage and

invited George to join him.  Alvin began by saying it had been a

real pleasure for him to work with both George and Roy Parker.

He then remarked that they both had jobs which were almost

"impossibilities".  He then said that doing playfields was

probably harder than backglasses because the artist had to fit

the art around all the playfield components, and still display

all the scoring features and their values.  He said that it "was

unbelievable the amount of work they had to put into their jobs".


    Alvin then told us that George was "one of the nicest guys in

the business to do this work".  He went on to remark that "George

was able to take a concept from a designer and put artwork in

that exactly suited what we wanted to have".  He then said that

many artists over the years have tried to do pinball art, but

"none of them ever matched the ability of George and Leroy to put

into color and picture what the manufacturer's wanted".  He then

ended by thanking George for all his efforts over the years.


     George then gave credit to his wife saying that she had

spent many nights alone while he was working, sometimes putting

in as much as 72 hours a week.  He then thanked everybody, ending

this fine presentation of George Molentin's fantastic talents.




     Next on the program was certainly one of my favorite pinball

personalities, Mr. Harvey Heiss, with a presentation billed as

"Nostalgia II".  Harvey began by saying that he couldn't believe

that people enjoy hearing him talk.  He then said he worked for

Genco from about 1930 until 1954 and that he was now 80 years



     Harvey next asked for a show of hands of the "first timers"

at this Expo, and was surprised by how many their were.  He next

told us that if we wanted his "complete story" we could put the

video tapes of his past talks together with this one.  Harvey

then said he had lost his notes and Steve Kordek came up on stage

to help him out.


     Harvey told us that he started working with the Gensburg

brothers (Lou, Dave, and Meyer), the founders of Genco, around

1930.  He said at that time they were manufacturing small

"Cracker Jack" prizes.


     Harvey then said that early pingames were designed with what

he referred to as "top plays", ie. special scoring objectives

located near the top of the playfield.  He went on to say that in

those days they would first produce about 100 copies of a new

game, try them out on location, and if they were "OK" go into

full production.  Steve Kordek then remarked that those early

games had "exciting features" and that production runs were often

between 30,000 and 50,000 games.


     Steve next remarked that the early electrically operated

games used battery power.  Harvey then said that he had designed

a battery operated game called "DING DONG" which he said was "20

years ahead of it's time".  He said he used xylophone bars for

sound effects in that game.  (Author's Note:  I can find no

record of a game by that name in the Thirties, so it may have

never been produced, or Harvey may have remembered the name



     Harvey then told of seeing the punch press that Williams

used for locating screw holes on playfields, during the Williams

plant tour two years ago.  He said in the old days this task was

performed manually by a man with a mallet.  He told us the fellow

who did that job at Genco was always "fooling around" and once

pretended to hit another guy with his mallet.  This, he said,

caused one of the young girls working in the plant to faint.

Harvey then remarked that he laughed when he saw the punch press

operating at Williams because it was so "S-L-O-W".  He said the

presses that he used in the old days operated about 8 times



     Steve then told us about the time they got a brand new lathe

at the plant and Harvey had to set it up.  Harvey said that he

left the lathe running and it started cutting off it's own

threads on the spindle.  By the time he noticed it, he said,

"there was only one thread left"  Harvey told us of him working

all night to fix it before the bosses came in the next morning.


     Steve then told us that Harvey was an expert "sailboater" in

those days and that he even carried his 44 foot mast to work with

him in his convertible so he could work on it at the plant.  He

then talked about the Gensburg brothers and how they had acquired

a fortune in their lifetime.  He said they bought several

buildings in Chicago and later started the Rivera Hotel in Las

Vegas.  He said after that "Genco went down the drain".


     Harvey then said that Steve first came to work at Genco in

1937, starting on the assembly line.  He also told us that they

bought all their coils from Mr. Murphy (Electrical Windings,

Inc.) and that his wife delivered them herself.  He then talked

of Genco using "DC power" to operated all their coils because it

was "easy to work with" and "caused coils to operate smoothly".


     Steve and Harvey next talked about the Genco plant during

World War II.  They said Genco did sub-contracting work for

Rawlins Electric, manufacturing a 150 foot antenna which

contained seven insulators.  They said they developed the

assembly line process with a 150 foot long line.  They told us

that their final products were so "perfect" that the Rawlins

engineers could not believe it!


     Finally they told us about "two boys" (as they called them)

"rebuilding" Genco games during the war.  They said Roy Parker

did the artwork and the games were sold for $150 each.  At the

conclusion of their talk Rob Berk came up on stage and reminded

us that Harvey, with his "Baby In The Hole" prototype would be

available later in the Exhibit Hall to answer any questions.




     After an introduction by Rob Berk, Ed Schmidt, field service

representative for Bally, and now the "Bally Division" (sic) of

Williams, started off his presentation remarking that he too had

left his notes.  He told us that he had held that position at

Bally for 20 years, and had been connected with the service

aspects of both gambling and amusement machines.  He said his job

involved giving seminars and answering many service questions

over the years.


     The first subject Ed discussed was "soldering".  He said

soldering had two major purposes, providing a low resistance

electrical connection, and keeping the wires from falling off

whatever they were connected to.  He said that soldering  "bonds

two metals together", and that this could only be properly

accomplished by heating both metals uniformly.


     He then recommended using a 60 watt soldering iron for

working on electro-mechanical games, and a 15 watt iron for

solid- state work.  He said never use "acid core" solder, always

"rosin core", since the rosin cleans the area of the connection.

He also warned us not to jiggle the wire until the solder had

completely cooled.


     Ed next talked about the proverbial "cold solder joint".  He

said that that condition results when only one of the metals to

be connected is heated.  This, he went on, can cause a connection

to fracture, resulting in intermittent problems in a game's



     He next told us that he really likes to talk to a group of

people who really enjoy their games.  Ed then began talking to us

about the use of meters in game servicing.  He said everyone

should learn to use a meter, and that it helps if you first read

the manual that comes with it (especially the section on

"resistance reading" and the "safety warnings").  He then said if

you still can't understand how to us it, to give him a call.  He

then told us that 90 percent of problems in a game can be solved

using only a meter and a "jumper wire" (a piece of wire with a

"clip lead" on each end, used to temporarily "bypass" certain

parts of a circuit during troubleshooting).


     Ed next talked briefly about "glass handling" saying that

tempered glass, when it breaks, leaves small particles of glass

all over the playfield.  And these, if not removed, can ruin the

field if a ball rolls over them.  He reminded us to remove and

replace the glass carefully and never set it down on a corner!


     The very important subject of adjusting "switch contacts" on

games was next discussed.  Ed first reminded us to never use

heavy pliers to adjust switch blades, but to use a points

adjusting tool made especially for that purpose.  He also said to

never file the contacts, and for solid-state games to us a lint

free business card to clean the points.


     He went on to say that the two blades of a switch should

always be parallel to each other, and when adjusting them to be

careful not to bend or "kink" the blade.  He next talked of

adjusting the blades for proper "gap" and "follow-through", which

he said should result in a "make-wipe, wipe-release" action

between the mating contact points each time the switch is

operated; this action, he said, tending to "clean" the contact

points each time it occurs.


(Author's Note: I believe this "self-cleaning" action of game

switches may be responsible for the phenomenon I have noticed

over the years - that a game seems to work better if played

often, and tends to have problems after not being played for a

long period, which tend to go away after it is played again.)


     After relating a comical story about the time Bally artist

Dave "Mad Dog" Christensen once threw a lighted firecracker over

a partition at the plant, Ed began a "chalk talk" illustrating

the operation of a typical relay "hold-on circuit" in a game (the

relay being held on using a "score motor" switch) using the "Coin

Relay" in an electro-mechanical pingame as an example.  He then

advised us to always "analyze the symptoms first" when attempting

to troubleshoot any game problem!


     Ed next gave us a useful hint regarding how to store

electro- mechanical games when they are not to be used for

awhile.  He said that if all the "score reels" were set to all

"1's" before storage, the tension which holds open the "open at

zero" switches on the reels would be released thus decreasing the

chances that these blades would loose some of their tension when

the game is later set up.  His final piece of advice regarding

electro-mechanical games was to never use Vasiline, but only

special "coin lube" made for lubricating games.


     Ed ended his presentation with a few thoughts regarding

solid-state games.  He said that most problems reported for those

games resulted from bad contacts and bad cables.  He also

reminded us to always remove the small batteries when storing

this type of game, as they can leak and ruin delicate circuit

boards.  He then stated that the most reported problem for

"digitals" is "the game won't power up".


     Ed's last very important remark, which applies to both

electro-mechanical and solid-state games, was "always replace bad

fuses with the proper size fuse!"




     As I said earlier, in his opening remarks Rob promised us an

"extra added attraction", a talk by a new game manufacturer.

Well, this "new kid on the block" was a company called Allme Inc.

and Rob introduced their director of public relations, a young

lady named Anna Idol.


     Ms. Idol began by saying that her company was a new company

planning on producing both pinballs and video games.  She then

told us their slogan was "this game is so much fun, it's All Me".

She went on to say that the company was "moving ahead fast using

new ideas and business methods".


     She then told us that they had gone out to game distributors

asking them "what they wanted in games?", and then listened to

their answers because they wanted to be "responsive" to the

distributors wishes.  She said some of the responses they

received indicated that the distributors and operators wanted

physically shorter games so more machines could be put in each

location, and also open up some new locations which would not

have accepted larger games.  She also said that they wanted "long

lasting cabinets" which were "convertible" to new games with only

the "heads" and playfields needing to be replaced.


     Ms. Idol then told us that the themes of their games would

not contain "sex" or "violence", but would contain "educational"

elements instead.  She also said their games would be designed to

be "fast, fun and exciting" and would not offend any group.

Also, she went on, their games will be designed to be fun for

people under 23, as well as older players.


     Finally she told us about the first three pingames they had

planned, which she said, would be out by January 1989.  One game

was to be called STOCK MARKET, and it's educational feature would

be to teach people about the "stock market symbols".  Another

game, HERO, had as it's object "to save lives".  The third game

she told us about was to be called PIZZA DELIVERY, and would

teach the players "the advantages of 'volume sales'".  With that

she ended her presentation by telling us if anyone wanted to get

on their mailing list to give her their name and address.


(Author's Note:  It appears that Allme did not succeed with their

plans because when I recently tried to telephone them to get more

information on their new games I was told that their phone number

was disconnected.  So it looks like there will be no "new kid on

the block" after all.




     At the last Expo we had a "design seminar" during which

veteran pingame designer Greg Kmiek outlined the basic elements

of pingame design and then drew up a sketch of a game design by

going around the audience asking each person what they wanted for

different features.  This year the chief designer from Data East

Pinball, Joe Kaminkow, volunteered to hold a similar session,

assisted by one of their other designers, Ed Cebulas (formerly of

Game Plan) with even the company president, Gary Stern,

participating in the festivities.  Joe first introduced Ed and

several visitors from their parent company, Data East of Japan.


     Joe began by saying that the game we were going to design

would be called "Time Machine" and would have a "mirrored

backglass" and "chimes".  He said this game was to be put out

"not to threaten other manufacturers' pingames, but only other

types of games, such as videos".


     He next told us about his "three C's" of game design:

"Candy" ("rush" at the start of the game), "Cartoons" (fast

play), and "Comic Books" (big sell and lots of color).  At that

point Data East pinball president Gary Stern manned the

blackboard to tally the audience's votes as Joe began questioning

us as to our choices for the various features of the new game.


     We were first asked to vote on the "theme" of the game with

the theme of "Olympiad" winning by a large margin over other

suggested themes of "Expo", "Sitcom", "comic book", "Skyway", and

"desert".  When asked to vote on which artist we wanted to do the

artwork Dave Christensen won "hands down" even over the legendary

Roy Parker.


     Next we voted on the opening "skill shot", coming up with

the "long jump" over such ideas as "shot put", Olympic flame

lighting", and "loop-the-loop".  For the pop bumper arrangement

we chose the "three Olympic Medals", over "the 5 rings" and three

bumpers with a fourth of the "disappearing" type.


     For "eject holes" the "gobble hole" was chosen, and as far

as "rollover lanes" were concerned we voted for 5 lanes

corresponding to "five Olympic events".  We were than asked to

determine what type of "ramp" we wanted, it finally being decided

to have one which "moved back and forth" (to the left to direct

the ball into the "gobble holes", or to the right to guide it

toward the pop bumpers).


     The final game characteristics that we voted on (this is

probably the only pingame ever designed by "popular vote") were a

"vari-target" (which was to simulate "weight lifting"), a 3 ball

"multi-ball" feature, and an "in-line drop target bank".


     A "mock-up" on paper of our design was shown to us after we

returned from the Williams plant tour.  Joe then told us that at

next year's Expo they would have a working prototype

("whitewood") of the game we designed for us to play.  That ought

to be a very interesting experience indeed!




     This year, like two years ago, we visited the Williams

pinball plant in the city.  We rode on busses to the plant and

gathered in the lunchroom area.  Steve Kordek then introduced

their Vice President of Manufacturing who told us that the game

in production was BANZAI RUN, and that shuffle bowling games were

no longer made there, but at another plant.  We then went on the

actual tour in small groups.


     Our "group leader" was a young man named Bill Pfutzenreuter,

who we were to find out more about at the lecture/discussion

after the tour back at the hotel.  He first told us that the

cabinets were made outside the plant with everything being

installed in the plant.  He said that Williams' cabinets were

made from plywood, but that Bally cabinets used "particle board".


     We next went through the cabling area and then to a metal

forming area.  The punch press we saw, Bill said, was a "heavy

duty" 95 ton model.  Nearby was a huge 12 foot metal shear.

After going by a small mechanical assembly area, Bill remarked

that more and more mechanical parts are now being made of



     After stopping shortly at a flipper assembly area, we went

to the "building operations" area where welding was still

performed manually.  We then stopped at the large machine which

marked the screw hole locations on the playfields.  This was

apparently the same machine that Harvey Heiss had talked about

earlier that day which he said ran so S-L-O-W, compared to

machines used in the "old days" at Genco.


     We then went through the air conditioning room and into the

final test area where the new games were tested.  After that we

walked through the packing area ending the tour.


     Before leaving the plant we all again gathered in the

lunchroom where the Vice President of Marketing thanked us for

coming and said "we make the best pinball machines in the world".

He then told us they had a production shift of about 250 people

with an average of 20 years service at Williams.  Finally he told

us that they were "brainstorming" about laying out the plant to

produce two pinballs at the same time.




     After returning to the hotel we all gathered in the lecture

hall for a question and answer type panel discussion, with the

panel consisting of a "Williams Pinball Design Team".  Steve

Kordek introduced his panel.  First was game designer Barry

Oursler with such games as CYCLONE and PINBOT to his credit.

Next was Chris Granner a music and sound designer, who did both



     Steve then introduced Bill Pfutzenreuter (our "tour guide")

who he said was the programmer group leader and had been

responsible for that aspect of both CYCLONE and PINBOT.  The last

member of this team was Python Anghelo who was the artist and was

also responsible for game "themes".


     Steve said this group was a "Williams winning team" with

only the mechanical designer missing.  He then went on to say

that this was just one of several "winning teams" at Williams,

and that "team effort" was responsible for Williams' success.


     He then briefly described how the contributions of the team

members helped produce a great game.  He said one of Bill's major

contributions was the "percentaging" of special features such as

"extra balls", "Specials", etc., a task which Steve remarked was

very difficult to perform.  He then went on to tell about their

"consolation extra ball" feature which would award an extra ball

to a player with an extremely low score.


     Steve next asked Chris how he created his sound effects,

with Chris replying that he "could not tell us" (I assume he was

implying it was a "trade secret").  Steve then remarked that the

mechanical designer was "the unsung hero" of the team.  Finally,

he told us that Barry was a young designer who started with

Williams as a design engineer, giving us a list of Barry's

impressive accomplishments to date.


     At that point questions for the panel were invited from the

floor.  The first question, directed to Bill and Python, was "how

does it feel to put out a great game?", the questioner then

thanking them for the ones they had produced.  Python attempted

to answer this by telling us of his philosophy of game design.

He said what he tries to produce is "an 'amusement park' in a

box".  He then told us he thought that the player should actually

"feel he was 'involved' in the game", and that the game should be

to him sort of a "mini utopia".


     The next question was "how long does it take to produce a

new game from start of design until it's 'out the door'?"  The

answer given was from 9 months to a year and a half.  In answer

to a later question regarding electro-mechanical games, Steve

said these were sometimes created in as short as one month!  To

the question "have there been any 'problems' from Europe

regarding the use of the 'hammer and sickle' on Williams' New

game TAXI?", the answer was that they didn't know of any.


     The panel was next asked "if there was any chance of a

'rerun' Of SWORDS OF FURY?", their answer being "we have enough

new games coming along".  To a question regarding the possible

use of larger playfields in new games, the answer given was that

BANZAI RUN has a larger playfield and they would see how this

works out before deciding whether or not to do this on future

games.  Steve also pointed out that in that game they were also

experimenting with a new idea of charging 50 cents for the first

game, and 25 cents for each additional game.


     A later question, also dealing with play pricing, had to do

with possible future use of a $1 coin, or using Dollar Bill

acceptors on games.  Steve said that around 1940/41 they had

tried to increase the price per play to 10 cents, but it failed.

At that time, he went on, new games sold for only $100.  He said

that today the cost of a game is about 20 times as much and that

the coin machine industry has been pushing for $1 coins for

years, thinking about giving players 3 games for $1.


     Steve was asked "who chooses the design teams?"  He answered

that the primary game designer is chosen first and the others are

added later with the designer helping in the choices.  Another

question was "what can you do about 'great players' who can play

a game 'forever' on one coin?"  Steve replied that the

"percentaging" programmed into today's games "defeats the 'super

player'".  (Author's Note: this sounds very much like a 'digital'

version of the "Reflex Unit" used on bingo games in the 1950's.)


    Two questions asked dealt with the recent acquisition of the

Bally game line by Williams.  It was asked "if the acquisition

could result in the 're-introduction' of any previous Bally

games?"  Steve said that "the purpose of the acquisition was to

bring Bally games up to 'Williams standards'".   Steve was then

asked "will the 'Bally' and 'Williams' lines be separate?"  He

answered by saying "we will use the best features of Williams

games on the 'Bally line', and vice versa".


     It was also asked "if there would ever be any more 'Add-A-

Ball' games?"  The answer given was that you essentially had this

type of feature on their new games on which a player has the

possibility of winning one or two 'extra balls' for each ball



     A very interesting question was asked about the problem of

interference of sounds between neighboring games in a location.

Chris replied that they were investigating the idea of using

headphones on games.  He then discussed various aspects of the

use of sound and music in games.  He said some sounds were

"interruptive" and others "in the background".  Python then

remarked that 'extra loud games' could tend to "drive players



     Barry Oursler was asked "how do you see games evolving in

the next 5 to 10 years?"  He replied "no telling" and then went

on to say that "he couldn't talk about new ideas."  Steve Kordek

then said that he feels that 10 years from now "you won't

recognize pingames."  He then went on to say that the new

designers have new ideas all the time.  Someone also asked "if

there was any possibility of 'single player' games being produced

again?"  The reply to that was that "it costs just about as much

as producing four player games, so why do it?"


     Someone in the audience then commented that "new games are

'fast and fun', but often 'break' more easily".  One of the panel

replied that the problem was generally that of poor maintenance

by the operator.  Python then made a side comment that "games

today have to be 'fast' to compete with videos, and that 'fast

games' are more likely to 'self-destruct'".


     Two question were asked regarding materials used in games.

When asked if rubber rings today use the same material as in the

"old days"?, Steve replied that the company who makes them tried

a different material but it did not have "good bounce" so they

went back to natural rubber.  Someone also asked if they had ever

thought of using any other material for balls.  Steve mentioned

that in the 1930's some games used "Catlin balls" (a ceramic like

material), but they were not heavy enough.


     The Williams panel discussion ended the "seminars" at this

Expo.  The rest of the "excitement" resulted from the banquet and

Exhibit Hall festivities.





     This year, as in the past, we had an excellent meal for the

annual banquet.  This time it was topped off by a scrumptious

chocolate chip cheese cake.


     The finals for the "Flip-out '88" pinball tournament this

year were held preceding the quest speakers, rather than at the

end of the evening.  This tournament was again subdivided into

two categories: the "manufacturers", and the players not

associated with any game company.


     The winner in the manufacturers category was Larry DeMar of

Williams Electronics; the "civilian" winner was a young man named

Corky Stacy.  Afterwards, these two were pitted against each

other, with Larry Demar taking the top honors.  But, I doubt this

hurt Corky too much as he had already won a brand new TAXI

pinball machine for his efforts.


     Next came the speakers.  It had originally been planned for

pinball writer/designer Roger Sharpe, who now works for Williams,

to be the guest speaker; but, due to ill health, Roger was unable

to attend the Expo.  So in his place we had three separate talks

provided by some great speakers.


     First up were industry veterans Alvin Gottlieb and Steve

Kordek to reminisce about some of the great people and

"supporting companies" who have contributed to the success of the

pinball industry over the years.


     First to be mentioned was Dave Gottlieb himself, Alvin

remarking that the company started as a "family business" in

1927. Designer Harry Mabs (inventor of the flipper) and ace

designer Wayne Neyens were also hailed as Gottlieb veterans of

the period after World War II.  Steve and Alvin then paid a brief

tribute to artist Roy Parker.  They told of the fire at the

company, Reproductions, where he worked in the 1930's which

eventually was put out of business, and how Tommy Grant of

Advertising Posters helped out, eventually hiring most of the

people who had been put out of work.


     They next mentioned several of the "support companies" who

supplied materials to the game manufacturers.  These included:

Link-Smith Cabinet Co., American Molded Plastics, Dye Masters,

Screw Machine Co., and Guardian Electric (whose products, they

admitted, were later copied by the coin machine companies

themselves).  They also mentioned buying coils from Mr. O.R.

Murphy's Electrical Windings Co., whose current President, Donal

Murphy (O.R.'s son), was one of the exhibitors at this Expo.

Also mentioned was ABT Manufacturing, and it's founder Walter

Tratsch, who supplied most of the coin slides for games in the

Thirties and Forties.


     Steve then mentioned his ex-bosses, the Gensburg brothers

(Lou, Meyer, and Dave) who founded Genco.  He said Lou was still

alive but implied he was "senile".  Alvin remarked that Genco had

provided competition to Gottlieb during the 1930's.  They next

brought up Dave Rockola, who they said was over 90 but still

active in the business.


     Alvin and Steve next paid tribute to the folks at Bally over

the years.  They mentioned that company's founder Ray Moloney,

Paul Calimari (who was a guest at an earlier Expo) who they said

had over 49 years in the industry, Herb Jones (Bally's long-time

Advertising Manager), Don Hooker (bingo pinball designer and also

a previous Expo speaker), and Bob Breither (who taught the Bally

service schools and also talked at a previous Expo.).  They then

mentioned Bally game designer Jim Patla and his many

contributions to Bally since the 1960's


     The next people mentioned were pinball pioneer Harry

Williams and his partner during the late 1940's and 1950's, Sam

Stern.  They also told of Harry and fellow designer Lyn Durrant

forming the United Manufacturing Co. in the early Forties and

Harry then leaving United to form his Williams Manufacturing in

the middle of World War II.


     They then mentioned other coin machine personalities of the

1930's including: Jimmy Johnson and his Western Products Co., Tom

Wattling, J.H. Keeney, and O.D.  Jennings.  Following that they

talked about those involved with coin machine trade publications

including Jack Sloan of Billboard, and Bill Gersh of Automatic

Age, who later started Cash Box, and then Marketplace.


     Their final salute went to "the next generation" of pinball

people, including Joe Kaminkow of Data East Pinball and Larry

DeMar of Williams.  Steve and Alvin ended their talk with this

final comment, "games just didn't happen; people did it, who

loved games as 'old friends'".


     Next to the rostrum was Coin Slot's own Dick Bueschel to

tell us about his series of pinball books; "Pinball 1" having

been published just prior to the Expo.  Dick began with a

"pinball quote" from ira Wexler of Baltimore:  "Buy it! even if

you have to miss a car payment".  The "it" being a pinball

machine, of course.


     Dick told us that the making of "Pinball 1" was a "12 year

event", forecasting the release of "Pinball 2" as being about 2

years away.  He then briefly described the format of the books.

The first section of each book, he said, would be a "history

section" with the history of a different period in each volume.

Next will be the "list of games" made during that same period,

which he remarked was the "hardest part" of his job.  That would

be followed by the game picture section which would contain games

of all eras in each volume.


     Dick then told us about some of the interviews he conducted

while researching the first book.  He said he interviewed an

Eddie Gensberg and also his brother Morris.  He said Eddie was a

"marvelous gent" and that he conducted three interviews of about

three hours each.  He then told of talking with the son of a Jack

Chizewer who once produced a game called ACES HIGH.  He remarked

that the man's son listened during the interview and had never

before known anything of his Grandfather's accomplishments in the

coin machine business.


     Finally he told us about his interviewing Robert Froom the

son of Earl Froom, one of the inventors of the pioneer pingame

WHIFFLE.  Dick said he found out about Robert as the result of a

newspaper article in the Youngstown Ohio Vindicator, which also

quoted an article about WHIFFLE which appeared in that same paper

in 1931.  He said that Mr. Froom wanted someday to produce a

movie about WHIFFLE which he said would be "an American story of

happiness and joy".


     Dick next gave us a quick preview of "Pinball 2" which would

cover "Ballyhoo to Rocket" and deals in depth with the lawsuits

that plagued the industry in the early 1930's, which Dick said

"could have stopped the industry".  He then briefly summarized

the "history sections" of the other eight volumes.


     Dick next told us that "writing these books gives me

something to live for".  He then told us that he needs more game

photos for the "games sections" of future volumes.  He said of

the 1000 games needed for all 10 volumes he currently has photos

of 487, and therefore needs 513 more.  He went on to say he would

especially like "odd-ball things" such as games made by Harry

Hoppe or Baker Novelty, and also more Gottlieb games made between

1934 and 1938.


     After that he thanked the members of his "pricing panel" who

helped him provide "value" figures for the games pictured in his

books.  He also thanked the industry people and the collectors

for their support of his project.


     Dick then asked the question "what happens now?"  He said

that Gary Flower and Bill Kurtz's new pinball book was "dynamite"

and mentioned the proposal he made at last year's banquet, that

of the formation of a "Pinball Hall Of Fame".  Another

possibility for the future he brought up was Canadian Wayne

Morgan's idea of a "North American Pinball Association".  Dick

then ended his talk with the suggestion "read a good book about



     The final speaker on the banquet agenda was pinball

designer, and co-writer of the great book "All About Pinball",

Mr. Steve Kirk.  Steve began by thanking Rob Berk and Mike Pacak

for inviting him to speak and remarked that he "had nothing

prepared". He then said that people often ask him about his

"background" and "experience" so he thought he would tell us

"where he came from". He then quipped, "but I'm no Roger Sharpe!"


     Steve told us that he was very independent and had a unique

way of looking at things, which is sometimes quite different from

others.  He went on the say that he had a strong belief in how

games should be designed, decorated, and marketed, and that he

likes to take his games "from A to Z".  He also told us that he

always stands up for what he believes in as far as games are



     Steve next talked at length about game "design

philosophies". He said that over the years he has found that it

is not good to try to use all your own ideas, but to absorb as

many "outside ideas" as possible.  He went on to say that his

goals are simple, that is to "recreate the 'magic feeling' he

experienced with games as he was growing up."  He then told us

that his "mentors" included such great designers as Wayne Neyens,

Steve Kordek, and Harry Williams, also remarking that future

pinball designers should be influenced by today's people.


     He then talked of overall considerations designers must keep

in mind when designing a new game.  He said the most important

design goal should be to design a game that is "most appropriate

for the current market".  He said that a game is not "good" or

"bad" per se, but to be successful it must appeal to the "market"

that exists at the time it's released.  He then said that some

designers, however, design for what they want to see themselves

and hope others will like it.


     Steve went on to say that "compromise" is necessary to fit

the current market, a compromise between the highly skilled and

the average player.  The market, he remarked, is "fickle" and

often changes even while a game is being designed.  In the last

four years, he went on, the "less skilled players" have dominated

it, but that this seems to change over the years in a "cyclic"

pattern between highly skilled and less skilled players.  He said

designing a game to fit the current market is a "massive trick",

to guess "the right place at the right time".  He said that it's

somewhat analogous to the movie industry and that "just like in

comedy, timing is everything".


     Steve then began talking on a more personal note.  He said

he had a reputation for always telling people "what he thinks"

and that his personal taste in games is very narrow and his ideas

do not always indicate that a game will be successful in the

marketplace.  He went on to say that when people ask him "what he

thinks of a certain game" he has to decide whether they mean his

own likes or will it be commercially successful, and answer

accordingly.  He also told us that he won't reveal his all-time

favorite games because he feels that if they were known he would

have a hard time obtaining them at reasonable prices.  He said

when he finally gets them, then he'll let us know what they were.


     Steve next said that people often ask him "how he gets his

ideas for games?"  He said that it has been his experience that

"ideas are a dime a dozen" and coming up with new ideas is not

the hard part.  The hard part, he went on, is "getting the game

out the door"; ie. designing it to be both manufacturable and

cost effective to produce.


     He then told us that the basic design can be accomplished in

a very short time, citing his design for Stern's 1979 game STARS,

which he said he designed in 15 minutes on a napkin in a

restaurant.  He then said that designing an electro-mechanical

game in the old days was much simpler than a solid-state game

today in which "percentaging" must be considered; that is,

"programming" certain game features to fit the skill level of the

players expected to play it.


     Steve next started talking about his childhood experiences

with pinball.  He began by saying that he believed his philosophy

today was "partially dictated by the environment in which he grew

up", saying some of the things he did in his early years he's not

particularly proud of today, but nevertheless he feels that they

affected his current ways of thinking, emphasizing that his

"background" was considerably different from that of others in

the industry.


     He then told us that he even built a pinball game in Jr..

high wood shop and then about buying his first real game.  He

first said that his parents never really liked him spending money

on pinball because they believed that money was "wasted" if you

did not get something "tangible" for it.  He then quipped that

"he could blame Gottlieb and Williams for totally corrupting his

family life".


     Steve then told us that he got his first game through a

newspaper ad for a pinball machine for $25.  He said he only had

$5 at the time but called to see if the party would hold the game

for him, and he agreed.  He then asked his parents if they would

let him buy a pinball if he had the money.  He said they said

"sure" believing that games were too expensive for him to afford.

He told us he raised the money by buying ball point pens and

reselling them "door-to-door".


     He told us when he first got the machine he didn't even know

how to open the cabinet.  He said he had to "discover things the

hard way".  When a wire fell off, he went on, he had to figure

out where it went by trial and error.  He said that once he put a

wire in the wrong place and the game did something entirely

different and he discovered "you could 'reprogram' the little

suckers".  He then told us how he traded his first game for

another game owned by his girlfriend's brother.  He said each one

knew that the other's game had certain things missing so they

each removed additional items from their game before trading to

try and compensate for this.

     He then said that owning this second game taught him more

about how the machines worked, and he told us that he later

bought a "bingo pinball" just to learn how they worked, and

really learned a lot from that.


     Steve next told us some comical incidents that he was

involved in with pinballs in a local bowling alley.  He said he

once noticed another kid using a coat hanger in a hole drilled

into the side of a game, and after that, he said, "it was

'downhill' from that point on".


     He then told us that when he was in the 7th grade he

purchased a large magnet, using it to move the ball under the

glass.  He then said that the people who ran the bowling alley

heard that kids were doing that and even staged a "line-up",

using a compass to try and discover who had the magnet.  This

failed however since Steve had the magnet hidden in a locker in

the building.  This hiding place was later discovered, however,

when the owner of the locker below threw his keys into his locker

and they stuck to the top of it due to Steve's magnet in the

locker above.  Steve said after that he was "retired" from

playing pinball in that establishment.


     Steve then remarked that the crowd he hung around with in

his younger days was "pretty intimidating".  He said that if one

of the games they used was not operating properly they would make

it "off limits" to others until it was fixed, usually unplugging

it. Once, he went on, when the management kept plugging one of

these games back in, one of the boys shorted the power wires in

the cord resulting in a "big flash" when someone tried to plug it

in later.


     Probably the most amusing story Steve told was about a game

whose top glass had been broken.  He said his friends carefully

removed the broken glass, a piece at a time, so that the

management wouldn't notice that it had been broken.  After that,

he told us, they next removed the balls and then started

"stripping" the playfield of it's components until it was almost

bare.  He told us he never forgot the look on the repairman's

face when he later came to fix that machine.


     Steve next told us that their concern for having games

operating properly was not all negative.  He said sometimes they

would use a "grease pencil" and list the problems a game had

right on the glass which aided the repairman.  He said he later

got to know the repair people and that they had "respect for one

another".  He told us that he often tried to help fix the games

and that one day the man asked for his opinion of a game for a

factory "test report" he was filling out.  Later, he said, the

man had him fill out these reports himself.  After that he told

us he started corresponding with Gottlieb regarding their games.


     As a result of his contacts with Gottlieb Steve said he

later was given a job with the company, where he worked for 4 or

5 years.  He said he was probably the first person to work for

that company who had a "liberal attitude" which he said had it's

"pluses" and "minuses".  He told us that that type of attitude

works against you when dealing with other people, but that still

being a "child" gives one a "special insight" into games.


     Later on he said he was in the arcade business for awhile

and learned a lot about that side of the coin machine business.

He told us that the location he had was in a rough area where

"biker gangs" hung out.  He said these guys would sometimes cut

the bottoms out of games to get the money out, and even

occasionally lit them on fire!


     Steve then told us about writing his book, "All About

Pinball", in association with a young lady, Bobbie Natkin.  He

said she wanted to be known as a writer and that he wanted to

"show pinball as a positive thing".  He said they did not have a

word processor to help them in those days so they wrote each

paragraph on a 3 by 5 inch file card.


     Steve closed his talk by saying "I never tried to win any

'popularity contests' in this business, but tried to improve the

thing I love most, pinball."  He then apologized to anyone who

might have been offended by him, and said "no personal malice was

ever intended".  He again thanked Rob Berk for inviting him to



     After those fine speakers, Rob Berk got up and presented

various awards and certificates to all who participated in the

Expo.  After the awarding of door prizes, we were then invited to

go to the Exhibit Hall which would be open most of the night, as

long as Mike Pacak could "take it".




     This year, as in the past, the Exhibit Hall was the main

congregating place for Expo visitors, despite the extremely high

noise level from  the solid-state games all going at once.  All

the major current manufacturers were there displaying their

latest creations.  Williams was showing their two latest, BANZAI

RUN and TAXI, the latter being the tournament qualifying game, in

addition to SWORDS OF FURY.  Bally (recently combined with

Williams) had on display (ESCAPE FROM THE) LOST WORLD and

DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS.   Premier exhibited their latest "Gottlieb"

creations including EXCALIBUR and ROBO WAR.  Data East Pinball

was also there showing TIME MACHINE, TORPEDO, LASER WAR, and



     We were also treated to a display of "classic" pins from the

1950's and 1960's owned by collector Bob Speiler.  These games

were all in near "mint" condition, and included (in chronological




GAME                          MFG.           YEAR


BANK-A-BALL                   Gottlieb       1950   

HIT 'N RUN                    Gottlieb       1952   

QUEEN OF HEARTS               Gottlieb       1952   

HARBOR LITES                  Gottlieb       1956   

ROTO POOL                     Gottlieb       1958   

SITTIN' PRETTY                Gottlieb       1958   

DARTS                         Williams       1960   

FLIPPER (AAB)                 Gottlieb       1960   

OLYMPICS                      Gottlieb       1962   

SLICK CHICK                   Gottlieb       1963   

GIGI                          Gottlieb       1964   

BANK-A-BALL                   Gottlieb       1965   

BUCKAROO                      Gottlieb       1965   

KINGS AND QUEENS              Gottlieb       1965   

SKYLINE                       Gottlieb       1965   

DIAMOND JACK (AAB)            Gottlieb       1967   

SING ALONG                    Gottlieb       1967   

GRANADA (AAB)                 Williams       1972 



     Many thanks to Bob for letting us see and play these

wonderful pingames!


     There were also plenty of great old games for sale this

year. Dennis Dodel from St. Louis, publisher of the great

pinball-only newsletter, Pinball Trader, had some nice games for

sale, including bingos, a 1-ball, and an excellent HUMPTY DUMPTY.

Donal Murphy of Chicago had his usual selection of fine 1960's

games, including mostly "Add-A-Balls".  Pat Hamlett, also of the

Chicago area, had a nice selections of games, as did another

local area dealer, Rick Diamond.


     The following is a list of the games available for sale,

also in chronological order:


GAME                          MANUFACTURER   YEAR



SPORTSMAN                     Jennings       1934   

CHAMPION                      Bally          1939   

HIGH DIVE                     Gottlieb       1941   

VICTORY SPECIAL (1-BALL)      Bally          1945   

SUPER SCORE (Repl.  Glass)    Chicago Coin   1946   

GOLD BALL                     Chicago Coin   1947   

HUMPTY DUMPTY                 Gottlieb       1947   

ROCKET                        Bally          1947   

BANJO                         Exhibit        1948   

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL         United         1948   

DUDE RANCH (BINGO)            Bally          1953   

MANHATTAN (BINGO)             United         1955   

SQUARE HEAD (AAB)             Gottlieb       1963   

SWEET HEARTS                  Gottlieb       1963   

COW POKE (AAB)                Gottlieb       1965   

FLIPPER POOL (AAB)            Gottlieb       1965   

FULL HOUSE (AAB)              Williams       1966   

HULA HULA                     Chicago Coin   1966   

HURDY GURDY (AAB)             Gottlieb       1966   

DAFFIE                        Williams       1968   

HEARTS AND SPADES (AAB)       Gottlieb       1969   

MINI CYCLE                    Gottlieb       1970   

SEE-SAW                       Bally          1970   

EXTRA INNING                  Gottlieb       1971   

GRAND SLAM                    Gottlieb       1972   

NIP-IT (In Crate)             Bally          1973   

CLEOPATRA                     Gottlieb       1977   

EVIL KNEIVEL                  Bally          1977   

MATI HARI                     Bally          1977   

UNIVERSE                      Zaccaria       1977   

FLASH                         Williams       1978   

DOLLY PARTON                  Bally          1979   

DRACULA                       Stern          1979   

GORGAR                        Williams       1979   

HERCULES                      Atari          1979   

XENON                         Bally          1980   

FIREPOWER                     Williams       1984   

F-14 TOMCAT                   Williams       1988   

CENTAUR                       Bally          198?   

DRAGONFEST                    Stern          198?   

TIME WARP                     Williams       198?  



     Also on display again this year was Harvey Heiss' Prototype

"roll down" game, BABY IN THE HOLE, the idea for the scoring for

which he got from a field game he played as a child in the early

1900's.  Harvey was there with it a good part of the time

chatting with people, telling them about the game, and even

keeping score for those who wanted to play a game on it.


     As I said at the start of this article, there were also two

new pinball books introduced at the show.  Gary flower was there

from England displaying and taking orders for his fantastic new

color pinball book, "Pinball - The Lure Of The Silver Ball",

which he co-authored with Bill Kurtz from Ohio.  Dennis Dodel

also had available for sale for the first time yours truly's new

book "Pinball Troubleshooting Guide".


     And last, but certainly not least, was the booth operated by

Expo co-producer (and Exhibit Hall Chairman) Mike Pacak.  As he

has done at all the past Expos, Mike brought his entire pinball

brochure collection (probably the best in the world), many of

which were on display in large binders for all to look through.

What an exciting opportunity, as evidenced by the fact that you

had to wait in line almost anytime to look at these treasures.

Mike, of course, was also selling duplicates and did a "land

office business".  I, for one, would like to give "THREE CHEERS"

to Mike for doing such a wonderful thing for all the pinball

enthusiasts at these shows.




     In a recent phone conversation with Expo producer Rob Berk,

I learned that another great Expo will be held this year.

"Pinball Expo '89" will again be held at the Ramada/O'Hare (with

it's nearby diner) on September 29 and 30.  The Premier

Technology pinball plant will be toured, and Gary Stern,

President of Data East Pinball, will be the featured speaker at

the annual banquet.


     A real treat will be in store for those who attend as Joe

Kaminkow of Data East and Larry DeMar of Williams have promised

to produce an actual working (and scoring) model of Harvey Heiss'

now famous BABY IN THE HOLE.  Rob also told me that Harvey will

be there again as he just can't miss the opportunity to see this.


     So folks, it looks like another good time will again be had

by all "friends of the silver ball" who are fortunate enough to

attend this annual "tradition".  Hope to see you there!