- My wife comes along -



                              By Russ Jensen


                           Photos by Sam Harvey



     Well, for the fifth year in a row the fabulous Pinball Expo was held

in Chicago.  This time, prior to going to the show, two things happened.

The first was that by coincidence the dates of the Expo (Sept. 29 and 30)

and the weekend of California's coin machine show, the Loose Change Fun

Fair, occurred on the same weekend!  Well, I had to make a decision as to

which show to attend, but since the Expo was "all pinball" and the Fun

Fair wasn't, the Expo of course won out.


     The second thing was that I decided to see if this year my wife Jan

would come with me to see what I have been doing one weekend a year for

the past four years.  I knew she would not fly (Yes Dave Haynes, another

"sky chicken") so I proposed to her that we take the train and make a

"mini-vacation" out of the trip.  I was pleasantly surprised when she

agreed and subsequently made reservations on AMTRAK.


     We left Los Angeles on Tuesday evening and arrived in downtown

Chicago Thursday afternoon.  The trip was enjoyable, especially the wide

variety of people we met during meals in the diner.  After arriving in

Chicago, we took the subway/elevated train to O'Hare Airport where we were

picked up by the hotel limo.  That trip was also interesting, especially

passing through some old Chicago neighborhoods, which looked to me like

they had not changed at all since I was a small child there over 45 years



     After checking into the Ramada O'Hare Hotel, the site of the Expo for

the second year in a row, we had dinner and later went to the area outside

the Exhibit Hall (no one could get into the hall until the next evening)

to visit with other Expo attendees and await the show registration, which

never occurred that evening at all.  Anyway, I got to renew acquaintances

with other collectors, introducing them to my wife.  We also made a new

friend, a young woman who really enjoyed playing pinball, with whom we

visited with several times during the show.


                              OPENING REMARKS


     After finally getting our registration packets the next morning, we

gathered in the lecture hall for the start of the day's activities.  Expo

Chairman Rob Berk began by remarking that this year the Expo had it's

largest turnout to date.  He next told us that, in addition to the events

shown on the published program, there would also be three talks on

Saturday morning.


     Rob then reminded us that the bus for the tour of the Premier pinball

plant would leave promptly at 12:45, and that people from other companies

could not attend.  Rob next told us that this year there would be two

exhibit rooms; the regular exhibit area and a second room containing the

tournament games (Premier's BONE CRUSHER) plus a collection of older

classics brought to the show by Rob himself and Expo co-producer MIke



     After mentioning the raffle, which would be giving away a brand new

Williams BLACK KNIGHT 2000, Rob introduced Exhibit Hall Chairman Mike

Pacak.  Mike first told us that the tournament qualifications must end

promptly at 5 PM on Saturday.  He then said that all were invited to play

the games which he and Rob had brought, but asked that they be immediately

notified if any game was mal-functioning.


     Rob again got up and asked Steve Kordek and Harvey Heiss to come up.

He then asked them if there were any other ex-Genco employees still

around?  They replied they only knew of one, Larry Spallita.  At that

point Rob surprised them by bringing Larry out of the audience.  Steve and

Harvey said they last saw Larry about 25 years earlier.  They then said

that Larry was 76, Steve 78, and Harvey 82 "years young".  Finally Harvey

said that Larry ran the punch press department at Genco beginning in the





     The first scheduled talk was by two representatives of a company

calling itself Sun Process, which produced artwork for the games industry.

Rob introduced the speakers Ron Baum and Don Jarovsky, who used to work

for Advertising Posters, the long-time coin machine art company which had

been producing pinball art since the 1930's.


     The Sun representatives first told us that the company had been in

business for 18 years, and had been involved with pinballs and video games

for about 8 to 10 years.  He said they were going to present an "informal

presentation" followed by a question and answer session.  He then said

that Sun also dealt with other industries, such as automotive and



     They then started to describe what their company did for the pinball

industry.  They said that they printed directly onto materials and then

cut them out.  Sun printed the artwork on playfields and backglasses, they

said, and also made decals and playfield plastic parts.  They next showed

us samples of their work.  It was pointed out that they could also bend

plastic parts and showed us as an example some playfield parts they had

produced for the recent pingame POLICE FORCE.


     The printing process was then further described.  They pointed out

that each color required a "separate pass" using a nylon screen, a sample

of which they showed.  They went on to say that the making of the screen

was a photographic process, with the emulsion being washed off in areas

where the color should go through.  They said the screen was placed on the

material onto which the printing was to be made and a squeegee used to

roll the ink on.


     The plastic parts they said were printed on long sheets of plastic,

and then the individual parts were die cut so that they could later be

separated at the game manufacturer's plant.  The die they used they said

was somewhat like a "cookie cutter".  They then told us that a 100 ton

press was used in that process.

     The Sun representatives next talked about the two major methods used

to produce backglass art.  The "conventional" method they said was "line

art" which employed 13 or 14 colors.  The other method, the "4 color

process", they said used only blue, red, yellow, and black dots, with

either white or silver opaque used on the back in areas where light was

not supposed to show through.


     They next talked of "screen printing" versus "offset printing".  They

said that offset printing was cheaper to use when large quantities of a

glass are going to be produced.  They went on to say that if a company is

not sure how well a new game will sell they will order a smaller number of

screen printed glasses.  Finally the speakers told us that "color proofs"

were often used to check each color pass.  They also remarked that today

more modern techniques, such as ultra-violet drying, are employed to

improve the process.


     The Sun representatives then invited questions from the audience.

The first question was "is there any special order that the colors are put

on?  The Sun people answered that it depended on how the final product was

to come out, and that it was different for decals, adding that the whole

thing was "very technical".


     Several questions were asked regarding the "environmental controls"

required in their production facility.  They answered that the right

environment was required and that their buildings were temperature and

humidity controlled using what they called "air make-up systems".  They

went on to say that moisture could cause the materials on which they

printed to either shrink or grow, affecting the "registration" of the

printed pattern.  When asked about getting rid of fumes, they replied that

their ventilation system was very complicated and automatically "measured"

the air in the plant, and would at certain times "replace" the air in the

building with outside air.


     As a side comment one of the Sun people told us that the playfields

were produced at a wood-working facility, but that Sun did sanding,

sealing, printing, and final application of a "hard coat" utilizing a

"computerized" spray booth.  They also showed us a glass they were making

for a new Williams shuffle alley.  They remarked that preparing a new

backglass requires "experimenting" to determine the best method of

producing the artwork.  Changes are made to improve "back lighting", etc.

Colors are also sometimes changed, they said, to blend better with other

colors on the glass.


     The question was next asked "who decides on changes?"  Steve Kordek

from Williams answered saying that the game manufacturers' Art and Sales

Departments were usually involved, with Sales often making recommendations

to the Art Department.  When asked how "mirroring" of backglasses was

done, the Sun people replied that the glass is first entirely mirrored,

then the area which is to be mirrored on the final glass is covered with

"resist" on the back of the glass, and the mirroring of the other areas is

washed away, using a similar method to that used to produce printing



     A question was then asked regarding "surface preparation" of glass.

Sun replied that they used "washing machines" to clean the glass and then

put either powder or paper between them to keep them from scratching each

other.  After each printing pass, they said, the dust and lint was

removed.  When asked if static electricity caused problems, they replied

that it could and that static elimination devices were used.


     Rob Berk next "asked if the companies kept files of old artwork?"

Sun replied that the screens were kept for a short period, but they said

that the "original art" was retained by the game manufacturers.  The final

question asked of the Sun people was what can us collectors do to help

preserve our backglasses?  They suggested that we keep them in a low

humidity environment and possibly put some type of material on the back.



                          THE ROMANCE OF WHIFFLE


     Rob Berk introduced the next speaker, Mr. Bob Froom from Youngstown,

OH, whose father was the inventor of the pioneer pingame called WHIFFLE.

Rob said he first heard about Mr. Froom when an article appeared in the

Youngstown Vindicator, on November 25 1981, containing an interview with

Bob regarding his father and WHIFFLE.  Rob immediately called Bob, he

said, and they talked about his father's involvement with pingames.


     Mr. Froom began by telling us that he had been talking with Dick

Bueschel for several years and that he thought Dick's book, Pinball I,

probably contained the most accurate history of pinball's early days.  He

then told us that he first attended a coin machine show with his father in



     Bob next introduced his wife whom he said had "lived with the story

of WHIFFLE".  He then mentioned the fact that both of his daughters now

have WHIFFLE's, his one son-in-law buying one at the Expo.


     Mr. Froom then began relating to us the "history" of his father's

involvement with WHIFFLE.  He started by saying that his father was Earl

W. Froom, and that the story of his problems with pinball could not have

been easily told since no one would believe it!  He then said that his

father invented the original "pinball machine", but not the "Swedish

Bagatelle" game.


     He next said that over 50 years after the invention of WHIFFLE the

article about it appeared in the Youngstown paper.  In Bob's interview in

that article he said he mentioned the fact that he was looking for an old

advertising film for WHIFFLE  which his father had made.  He said after

the article appeared in the paper he got a phone call from a man who had

the film and had been trying to sell it at Swap Meets for $1.00.  This man

told Bob he could have it!  Needless to say, Bob was thrilled!  He said

that the film was 57 years old, was quite accurate, and was used for

"promotion" of the game.


     Bob next told us that he remembers WHIFFLE quite will.  He said that

in 1930 there was a great depression in the country, and that Youngstown

was in the midst of economic disaster due primarily to the closing of the

local steel mills.  He said they even had "bread lines" in town.  He then

went on to talk of his father's situation at the time.  He said his dad

was a radio salesman and made $120 a month.  He also said his father had a

Ford automobile and a nice rented home.


     Bob then told of the beginnings of WHIFFLE.  He said his father's

friend Bob Parks was a druggist, and his other friend Art Paulin, a

carpenter.  He said Paulin built a small bagatelle type game for his

daughter and brought it to the drugstore and set in on the counter to show

to his friends.


     He then said that the story goes that his dad put a penny in a coin-

op cigar lighter, which was on the same counter, and was in the form of a

miniature gasoline pump. (Bob had mentioned earlier though that he never

remembered ever seeming his father smoke!)  Anyway, he said that this all

of a sudden gave his father the idea of adding a coin mechanism to

Paulin's game.  He then remarked that Paulin's little girl never got the



     Bob next said that his father brought the game home with him and from

it created what he referred to as "Old Jenny", the original prototype of

WHIFFLE.  He said it was glass covered, had a sloping playfield, a sliding

panel to drop the balls at the start of a game, and a plunger.  He went on

to say that the game used 9 white marbles, plus a red one which counted



     Bob told us that when his father was finished with his prototype, he

took it to Paulin's Drug Store and watched as people put in nickels to

play the game.  He said the game took in 52 nickels during this trial run.

He also mentioned that his dad saw a kid cheat the coin mechanism in some

way, but that he later corrected the problem which allowed him to do it.


     As a result of this trial run he said his dad started thinking about

how much money a game like that could take in during those depression

days, calculating it to be approximately $8 per day.  After that he said

his father, Mr. Parks, and Mr. Paulin decided to become partners and start

by building 10 games at first.  He said each of the three men contributed

$300 to the partnership, his father borrowing the money he contributed.


     Bob said that "Old Jenny" made between 50 and 100 dollars per week on

location and therefore many people wanted to buy them outright.  But, he

said, the games were sold to operators on a "lease basis" only.  He went

on to say that they couldn't build the machines fast enough to keep up

with the demand, saying that they built 27,000 games in one year.  He

remarked that all these games brought in a "tidal wave of nickels".  He

also told us that his father even travelled by air selling exclusive

operating territories for WHIFFLE.


     Bob then told us about his father and his partners building a factory

in Youngstown.  He said that 300 people worked on it completing it in 14

days.  After it was finished, he said, over 1000 people showed up seeking

jobs.  After they really got going, he remarked, production was increased

to 100 games per day, but that was still not enough!  He said they also

opened a factory in Canada, but still couldn't keep up with the demand.

Finally he told us that friends started making games for them (88 friends

and neighbors in all) who they referred to as "Seller - Carpenters".


     Mr. Froom next told us of the problems they had with others coping

the game which he said was easy to copy.  He said the Chicago game

manufacturers began producing copies of the game, and that the "generic

name" for these machines eventually became "pinball games".  He said that

one company in North Carolina actually started copying WHIFFLE, and even

went so far as to put his father's company's name, Automatic Industries,

on them.


     Bob next told of racketeers getting involved with the games business

and that they would often smash up other operator's games on location and

put their own games in their place.  He said that because of this type of

problem many places tried to pass laws banning pinball games which often

resulted in court decisions against the games business.


     He then told us of his father going to court to try to stop others

from infringing on Automatic Industries' patents.  He said this court

battle lasted for many years and that in 1937 a Federal Judge ruled that

their patents were "only 'improvements' and not an invention"; a bitter

defeat for his father after all those years.  He went on to say that the

Supreme Court never reviewed that decision.


     Bob ended his talk by suggesting to us that we all go out and buy a

WHIFFLE for our collections, and that we also buy a copy of Dick

Bueschel's book.  He then said that he had written Dick a note after

reading his book saying "dad would have been pleased".


     To end his presentation Bob showed a video tape of the 57 year old

advertising film titled "The Romance of Whiffle", his father had made.

Being that it was shown on a TV Monitor, and that I, with my rather poor

eyesight, was seated across the room, I could not see much of the film

except that it was "silent" with "subtitles" with music added to the

video.  The film showed scenes in the factory, etc, but I really can't

report on its content.  Anyway, I'm sure it was quite interesting.

Incidentally, I talked to Mr. Froom on the phone in December and he told

me he was thinking of selling copies of the video, with several

enhancements, sometime in the future.





     Next on the agenda was a panel discussion dubbed "Today and Tomorrow"

featuring editors of various coin machine publications and a special guest

panelist, Mr. Clyde Knupp, the current President of the Amusement Machine

Operators of America (AMOA).  The other panelists included Jim Haley of

Canadian CASH BOX magazine, Valerie Cognevich of PLAYMETER, Lou Perfido

from VENDING TIMES, and our own Dick Bueschel from COIN SLOT.  Also

sitting in was Roger Sharpe, pinball author and past editor of several

magazines, and now an executive in the marketing and publicity end of



     Clyde Knupp opened by saying that when he was invited to the Expo he

really didn't know what to expect.  He then asked for a show of hands from

the audience asking how many of us were operators, enthusiasts, or factory

people.  He told us that AMOA started out many years ago as MOA (Music

Operators of America) as operators banding together to help solve problems

in the Juke Box business.


     Finally, Clyde told us that his organization had a goal of a

membership of 2000 operators by the end of 1989.  He also said that their

Board of Directors had authorized expenditures to promote pinball.  He

then said that he brought with him an old pingame which was made in the

early days in his home town of Omaha.


     Jim Hayley spoke up to say that in Canada the pinball business is

"strengthening" with operators starting to buy more pins.


     Valerie then said that there was one important thing that most

operators tended to overlook about pinballs.  She said that when videos

came in they required more maintenance than pingames, and that operators

are just now beginning to appreciate the lower maintenance required of

pins.  She also remarked that when she talked to pinball players they said

that they felt that pinballs were more "real" and that they had more

"control" over them than with video games.


     Lou next told us that he has been playing pinball in Philadelphia for

years (since the age of 5).  He then said that he thought the Expo was

"wonderful" because it combined the old with the new.  He then remarked

that he had once beaten Roger Sharpe in a game of pinball.  Finally he

remarked that games should be properly maintained to attract players.


     Next to speak was Dick Bueschel who began by saying that Dave

Gottlieb once said that pinball was "an All-American game".  He went on to

say that it is infinitely harder today for pingames to get "good press".

He said it was time for that to happen and that pinball needs attention

from the media.  He ended by saying that the pinball industry should have

"a soft lobby in Washington" and that maybe in the future a commemorative

stamp would be in order celebrating the 50th anniversary of the flipper.


     Clyde Knupp answered by saying that in getting good publicity for

pinball "timing is critical", remarking that it takes 5 to 10 years "lead

time" to get out a postage stamp.  He went on to say that the enthusiasts

can help bring it all about by working together, and then remarked that

Roger Sharpe is involved with AMOA in a promotion for pinball.  Roger then

spoke up to mention that for the first time in years a pingame won an

award at the AMOA show.


     At that point Expo Chairman Rob Berk asked the panel for their

opinion on 50 cent play for pinball.


     Clyde began by saying that the price per game has to go up so that

the operators can get a fair return on their investment in the equipment,

saying it takes a lot longer now for a game to pay for itself than it did

in the 1930's.  He then said that it costs a lot nowadays to "develop" a

new game and that's why they cost more.  He ended by saying that either 50

cents or 3 games for $1 play is coming.


     Jim then told us that Canada recently introduced a $1 coin (which has

the nickname "loony" because it depicts a loon bird) and said that in

order to insure that the coins will be used the dollar bill was

subsequently withdrawn.  He said the public is accepting this fairly well.

He then said that the coin machine operators put decals on their games

saying "Accepts 'Loons' Only" and gave the players 3 plays for $1 which he

said has met with little resistance from them.


     Valerie next pointed out that operators have always had problems

raising prices due to coin denominations.  She then told us of an operator

who used to hate pins, who got a new Williams CYCLONE with a dollar bill

acceptor.  She said he asked a location if they would try it out and they

agreed.  She then said that that made collections go up and now he is

"gung-ho" for pinballs.  She went on to say "you'll have to try it".


     She next told us that coin-op pool tables are 50 cents to play and

that the dollar bill acceptor, and 3 for $1 play for pins, should be

coming.  She then remarked that the coin machine industry is lobbying for

a $1 coin, but that for that to work the dollar bill would probably have

to be withdrawn.  She talked of a proposed "Christopher Columbus Dollar"

which would be larger than the old "Susan B. Anthony Dollar" and which she

said other organizations also wanted.


     Lou then said that he agreed that a dollar coin would have to come

eventually, but that they would have to be larger than a Quarter.

However, he said, there is a lot of politics involved in getting a new

coin produced.  He then remarked that today cigarettes cost about $2,

chewing gum 55 cents, etc, and that it was only fair to charge more for

pinball play, especially in view of the new technology involved.  Besides,

he quipped, "good players get free games anyway".


     Sam Harvey from the audience next brought up the problem of poor

maintenance of games on location, and how that could have an effect on

increasing play prices.  He compared paying a high price to play a poorly

maintained game to buying a pack of cigarettes with one or two cigarettes

missing some of it's tobacco.  He said that if operators kept their games

up properly players would probably be more willing to pay more to play

them.  This drew a round of applause from the audience.


     Someone else from the audience then asked Clyde Knupp if the question

of properly maintaining games was ever brought up at AMOA?  Clyde said

that was a good point.  He said the problem was getting the operators'

employees to "care" about the games they service.  He then said that

education of operators is needed to get the maintenance situation to

improve, saying "we all have to work harder".


     Another question from the audience was "what about giving the player

5 balls for 50 cents?"  Roger Sharpe answered that that would make the

"game time" too long which would result in lower earnings for the

operators.  He went on to say that most designers today are used to

designing "3 ball games", and that the percentaging for a "5 ball game"

would be entirely different and difficult for the current factory people

to change.


     A young woman player from the audience then remarked that the panel

was primarily addressing the people in the room, and asked "what about

kids who can't afford to pay higher prices to play pinball?"


     Clyde Knupp answered by saying that pinball today is competing with

home video games (Nintendo, etc) and that this type of home game is

expensive.  He said that if kids could afford these expensive home games

why couldn't they afford to pay higher prices to play pins?  He then

remarked that some of the older games kept on location could possibly be

set for 25 cent play until they were replaced with new machines.


     Steve Kordek then remarked that people were paying 25 cents years ago

to play games that cost $600 to $800 to buy.  He said it's ridiculous that

today you can play games for the same price that cost several times that

much to buy.


     The daughter of long-time Philadelphia coin machine operator Stan

Harris then said that they would like to raise play prices but were

reluctant to be the first to do it.  She then said that they really didn't

want to take the "flack" from players for the price increase, and

suggested that maybe the manufacturers take the first step by changing the

"coinage" of their games.  Steve Kordek of Williams then spoke up to say

that all of their new games are set up for 1 play for 50 cents, 2 plays

for 75, and 3 plays for $1.00.


     A gentleman from Texas next commented that in the 1940's pinball and

Cokes both cost a nickel, and today pinball is 25 cents, but Cokes are up

to 60 cents.  Roger Sharpe commented that in Japan and Europe games cost

generally between 60 and 90 cents per play.


     Dick Bueschel then made a comment regarding the previous pricing

discussion.  He said that the games business is a "four cornered thing".

The "maker" who knows the games, the "distributor" and the "operator" who

know a lot about the games, and the "location" who knows "diddly" about

the games.  He then remarked that it's ridiculous that we worry what the

location says regarding pricing for playing the game.


     Dick then remarked that "if it is a good game it doesn't matter what

it costs!", and then pointed out that movies today are $5.00.  Lou

Perfidio quickly noted that movies are $7.50 some places.


     Someone from the audience then remarked that maybe new games should

come out with "preventive maintenance" tips (such as "time to replace

lamps", etc) being flashed on the displays.  Larry DeMar from Williams

answered by saying that operators would probably be more interested in

inhibiting these messages than heeding them!


     As a final comment, pioneer pingame designer Wayne Neyens remarked

that the play time of today's games is really too long.  He suggested that

possibly designers should decrease the play time rather than increase the

price per play.





     Next up was Expo regular Steve Young to talk on the subject of

pinball repair and reconditioning problems.  Before starting on his topic

however he made a remark regarding the subject of pinball pricing which

had just been discussed, saying "why don't they charge 10 cents for 1

ball, and allow the player to buy more balls if he desires?"


     Before describing the various subjects presented by Steve, I would

like to remark on the overall quality of his presentation.  Steve utilized

some excellent slides which he produced from illustrations from game

manufacturers' manuals and parts catalogs.  These Steve skillfully

enhanced by coloring in key portions of many of the drawings, which added

significantly to understanding the topics he discussed.


     Also before I start describing the subjects covered, I would like to

point out the this discussion only "scratches the surface" of Steve's in-

depth presentation, as to describe it fully would take a book I am sure.


     Steve first remarked that as old people retire from the pinball

business much of their expertise will go with them.  He said that

mechanical repairs will always be required on games and that he was going

to present us with some "tricks of the trade".  He then remarked that he

often repaired games "over the phone".  At one point Steve said that he

was considering writing a book on the subject.  I, for one, sure hope that

he will because, as far as I am aware, the subject of mechanical repair

and adjustment of pinball mechanisms has never been covered in print

before, except maybe superficially.


     Steve said the items he would talk about he called "heavy hitters"

and are items which are often overlooked when people work on pingames.


     The first trouble-prone area he mentioned was "fuse holders".  He

said that proper spring tension between the fuse clips was essential, as

well as correcting the problem of dirty or broken clips.


     He next briefly talked about transformers, saying that they very

seldom ever go bad.  He then said the most annoying problems with them is

that they sometimes "buzz", saying that often this can be cured by hitting

the laminations with a hammer; not too hard of course.


     Steve next discussed at length problems concerned with relays.  He

started with the very important subject of adjusting relay contacts for

the proper "over-travel" required.   He said always adjust the shorter

blade and make sure that all contact sets on a relay meet at the same time

and with the same pressure.  He then suggested that you remove the

playfield when attempting to adjust hard to get at relay points.


     Steve next talked about relay armatures and their associated springs.

He said that the armature and springs should always be as originally

placed at the factory.  He went on to say that in the case of "Interlock

Relays" the balance of spring forces is critical and all contacts must be

properly adjusted to maintain that balance.  He then said that the point

where the two armatures interact should be kept clean.


     Steve then warned us against using our fingers to adjust relay

contacts.  He said that that tends to break or bend the contact blades.

Well, I hate to admit it, but I've been using my fingers for that purpose

ever I was a kid.  But Steve is certainly right, it's really not an

advisable way of performing that task.  You should use special points

adjusting tools or "needle nose" pliers.


     As a final note regarding relays, Steve mentioned the "fast acting

relays" used in many games from the late 1940's up until the early 1960's.

These relays, he said, had screws which you loosen to move the long

contact blades during adjustment, in addition to bending the tabs that

hold the other contact point.


     Steve next began talking about the various problems and repair

techniques applicable to "Pop Bumpers".  He began by saying that when

working on these units you should first look for loose screws, excessive

wear, and areas which require lubrication.  After that he said you should

replace any worn parts.


     He then said to watch for the weld coming apart in the "lever" that

moves the ball deflecting ring.  Steve next talked of cleaning the switch

activating "cup" on the bumper assembly, and then adjusting it for proper

spring force as well as centering it.  As a final note he told us that it

is OK to file the points on the "bumper control relay" with a fine file if

they become pitted.


     Steve next tackled the extensive subject of flipper maintenance.  As

with pop bumpers, he said, the first thing to do is to check for loose

parts and missing screws, as well as checking the nylon bushing which goes

through the playfield.  He then said to check for broken welds, which, he

added, can be brazed if necessary.


     Steve next told us that if the flipper rubs on the playfield surface

it should be adjusted, and may require the addition of a washer.  He then

talked of the proper spring tension for the torsion spring around the

shaft, saying one-half turn was sufficient.  He told us that this should

be adjusted with the flipper in it's "at rest" position.


     Steve then talked about the flipper coil assembly, saying that it's

coil stop should be checked for wear, especially on Gottlieb games.  He

then said that the coil plunger should have a 45 degree chamfer on it's

end, and if that was worn off it should be replaced.


     On the subject of flipper associated switches, he first told us that

the End-Of-Stroke switch should be adjusted such that it opens only at the

very end.  Regarding the switches on the flipper buttons on the cabinet,

he said you should check for contact points which are completely missing

and replace either the points or the entire blade.


     Steve next talked about the large Gottlieb flippers.  He said to

check for cracked flippers (you must remove the rubber first, though), and

then pointed out that for some reason the right flipper usually goes



     As a final note on flippers, Steve said that stuck flippers are

usually caused by mechanical problems.  Sometimes, he went on, the flipper

button sticks due to "grundge" and should be cleaned.


     Steve next digressed from maintenance for a few minutes to tell us

how to modify pingames for "free-play" operation.  On Gottlieb Add-A-Ball

games, he said, you should wire the "brown" and "orange" wires together on

the "Hold Relay".  On replay machines he told us you can just bend the

points on the replay credit unit so they are always closed.


     Following that Steve started discussing stepping switches.  He began

by saying that when the "step-up coil" is energized, one full stroke of

the plunger should advance the gear 1 and 1/2 teeth.  If this is not

right, he said, you should adjust the coil position by using the screw to

loosen it.  He then remarked that the "momentum" of the step-up arm should

ring the associated bell, if there was one.


     Regarding the wipers on steppers, Steve said that with the old style,

which used "spring-loaded" contact points, worn points can cause excessive

wear on the contact disk contacts.  If these "rivets" are badly worn, he

said, they can be replaced by drilling them out and replacing them with

new rivets.  To repair the spring-loaded contacts themselves, he went on,

you can cut off the contact end of a good one and solder it to the old

post, after the bad end is completely removed.  To adjust the position of

stepping switch wipers he said you should loosen the screws which hold the

wiper assembly in position, move it to the proper position, and re-tighten

the screws.


     As to the springs associated with stepping switches, Steve said to

always use the proper spring sizes.  The torsion spring wound around the

main shaft, he went on, should have 2 1/2 turns of tension on it when the

unit is "reset".  He then remarked that when a stepper is properly cleaned

and adjusted (including proper torsion spring tension) that the "acid

test" is that it will properly "reset" from it's first position above it's

reset state.


     As a final note on stepping switches, Steve mentioned the small

stepping units used on many Gottlieb games in the 1970's.  He said that in

some of these games there was a sheet describing how to service these

units.  He then remarked that the major problem with these switches is

adjusting the wiper to make proper contact with the circuit board contact




      After finishing with stepping switches, Steve began the subject of

maintenance of the mechanical scoring reels used on pingames in the 1960's

and 1970's (and on multi-player games in the late 1950's).  He began by

telling us not to be afraid to take them apart as they were "keyed" so

that you can put them back together properly.


      He then said that you should first check the coil stop.  He went on

to say that these units should be adjusted with the reel in place, saying

you should not be able to move the reel itself by hand when everything is

properly adjusted.  Steve then explained in detail how to take a score

reel apart.


      Regarding the score reels used on Williams games, Steve said they

generally have two typical problems, both connected with the switch

contact sets associated with the score reel unit.  One problem he said is

that the screws holding the switch stacks together often become loose.

The other problem, he went on, is the wiring coming loose from the solder



      Steve next talked about "Drop-Target" problems.  As he had said

regarding other mechanical units, screws becoming loose often cause

problems.  He then said that rubber grommets used with those targets many

times deteriorate and need replacing.  He then went into detail on methods

of taking drop-target banks appart.


      Regarding Bally target banks, he mentioned the common problem of one

target falling immediately when a target bank is "reset", saying it was

caused by wear of the unit.  He then advised us to use a special type of

Allen Wrench which applies extra torque when loosening certain screws on

these units.

      Steve then warned us not to stretch springs to try and make a drop-

target unit work properly, but to properly clean and adjust the unit

first.  Finally he said you can replace broken targets by drilling out the

rivet holding them in place, replacing the target face, and re-riveting.


      On the subject of pinball "bells", Steve first reminded us that they

"take a pounding".  He then said you should first make sure everything is

tight, and then look for broken brackets.  As far as "chime unit" problems

were concerned, he commented that Gottlieb used an adhesive-backed piece

of rubber at the bottom of the plunger which often deteriorated and stuck

to the sides of the plunger, causing it to jam.


      Steve next discussed a problem frequently occurring with Gottlieb

"ball return" mechanisms; namely that of the solenoid having to kick the

ball several times before it gets  kicked all the way to the plunger.  He

said that if the ball is too far down on it's support piece, too much

energy is required to kick it all the way.  The ball is then pushed up,

hits the top of the tray, and then falls back to it's original position.

He then remarked that the "out-hole switch" helps hold the ball up high

enough, and therefore should be adjusted properly, which he said most

often solves this pesky problem.


      Steve once more digressed for a moment from repair problems to tell

us of a simple way of improvising a "free-play button" on games, such as

Add-A-Balls, which don't have one.  He said to move the "slam tilt" switch

on the front door such that the "coin return" button will operated it.

This switch can then be wired across the coin-switch and used to start the



      Steve ended his very informative discussion with a brief mention of

a solid-state pinball problem.  He said that the Bally "Solenoid Driver

Board" often has damaged soldering at the bottom.  He suggested that you

should always inspect that board carefully, and "reflow" the solder if




                       PREMIER PLANT TOUR


      The annual pinball plant tour this year, as it was at Pinball Expo

'85, was at the Premier Technology (formerly Gottlieb) plant.  After about

a half hour bus ride to the factory, we all gathered in the employee "day

room" where we were treated to free soda pop.  We were told that we would

be broken up into groups and that our tour guides would all be "old-time"

Gottlieb employees who would try to answer any questions we might have.

While in this room I noticed a "Pepsi vending machine" and thought to

myself that sure wouldn't have been there when the Coca Cola Company owned

Gottlieb a few years ago.


      Well, our tour guide was Adolph Seitz, Premier's Vice President of

Research and Development, who told us he started working for Gottlieb in

1966 when he was still in High School.  He then told us a story about

someone once offering to trade a "mint" Gottlieb HUMPTY DUMPTY (the first

flipper pinball) to the company for one of their new games.  He said that

Alvin Gottlieb agreed to make the deal and that Gil Pollack, present owner

of Premier, now owns that prize.


      Our tour of the plant began at the "dock" area where shipping and

receiving took place.  There we saw some "cocktail table" pingames which

Adolph said they had made for another company.  Next we went through the

"archive" area where older game schematics, score cards, etc., were kept.

Adolph told us they kept parts for games made up to five years ago.  We

did notice a few schematics however as old as eleven years.  They also had

some of the photographic type backglasses stored there.  We also saw an

area where small parts were stored.


      We next went by the entrance to the "secure area" where the game

designers had their offices, but were not allowed to go in.  During a

brief pause in the tour Adolph was questioned regarding typical game

production figures.  He told us that they usually produced approximately

80 games per day, except at the start of production of a new model.  He

also told us that they have been coming out with four or five new games

each year, adding that their usual production run for a game was 3 to 5

thousand machines.  He also told us that they owned a small factory in

Fargo North Dakota where all their cables were produced.


      Adolph was also asked about their "test locations" for new games.

He replied that most of their testing was done in the plant.  However, he

went on, we also have a few test locations across the country, but most of

our testing is done "close to home".  When asked about the overseas

market, Adolph replied that was their largest market, adding that any

language translation required was done by their overseas distributors.

Before resuming our tour he told us that Premier would be releasing their

first video game at a later date.


      We next visited the printed circuit board preparation area.  Adolph

told us that there were usually 15 to 19 circuit boards in a game. We saw

a special machine which automatically inserted small components in the

boards.  This machine could bend the leads on a part, insert it in the

proper place on the board, and then bend the ends of the leads in

preparation for soldering.  Adolph remarked that some parts still had to

be inserted manually however.


      We next saw the "wave soldering" machine which applied solder to the

boards and the washing and drying machine which cleaned the finished

boards.  Adolph told us that the washer used "dishwashing detergent".  He

then told us that after washing, each board went through a mechanical

quality assurance test and then was fully tested electrically.


      We then were taken to an area where completed playfields were

thoroughly tested using a specially constructed electrical "test fixture".

The young man operating this device actually used a steel ball to test the

action of all playfield switches.


      Our tour ended at the final assembly and completed game testing

area.  Adolph told us that everything about the finished game was checked

there; mechanical, electrical, and physical.  The current game in

production, by the way, was BONE CRUSHER, which was the same game used for

the Pinball Expo tournament qualifying rounds.


      After the tour we boarded the busses and returned to the hotel for a

quick "wrap-up" session presented by some of the Premier personnel.  This

was so short, in fact, that by the time I got back to the lecture hall it

was all over!  Sorry folks!




                       DESIGNING A PINBALL


      After the Premier "wrap-up", four representatives of Data East

Pinball began the second edition of their pinball design "audience

participation" game.  Rob Berk introduced Data East designer Joe Kaminkow

and the members of his "team".  They consisted of their Director of

Engineering Ed Cebula, company President Gary Stern (who again manned the

blackboard - what a job for a CEO!), and a game designer named Jerry



       Joe began by telling us that the session this year would be

conducted in much the same fashion as last year, with the audience being

asked to vote on the various characteristics of the game being designed.


      Gary Stern then showed us the prototype for the game, OLYMPIAD,

which we designed last year, saying it would be available for us to play

in the Exhibit Hall.  He then applauded the "design team" for their



      Gary next gave us a brief "history" of his company.  He started by

saying that it was on the weekend of the second Pinball Expo that it was

decided to start Data East Pinball.  He then remarked that during the Expo

the following year we toured their plant.  He then told us that they had

just finished their most profitable year yet.


      As far as Data East's future was concerned, Gary told us that they

were going to shortly come out with a "solid-state flipper" which he said

would have no "End-of-Stroke Switch".  He also told us that they were

going back to "screened" backglasses, abandoning the idea of "photographic

artwork".  Gary then introduced Jerry Armstrong.


      Jerry began by saying that a pinball designer has to be a little

"crazy", and quite possibly a "masochist".  He then said that on the game

we designed last year some of the shots were impossible, saying that a

designer must always consider "ball flow" in all of his designs.  He went

on to tell us that most pinball players want "bozo games" which are easy

to play.  He then said that a designer must always think about how well a

game will sell, in both the U.S. and also foreign countries.


      At that point our new design effort was ready to begin.  We were

told to design a "1991 era game".  We first voted on the size of the game,

which we chose to be the standard size.  We were next asked to choose the

game's "theme".  The themes recommended by the audience included "sky

jump", "pinball history", "3 for a dollar", "Las Vegas", "prism",

"skateboarding", "world travel", and "ping pong", with "Las Vegas" getting

the most votes.


      When asked to vote for the artists to work on the game we selected a

team of three consisting of Kevin O'Connor, Pat McMahon, and Margaret

Hudson.  We were next asked to vote on the initial "skill shot".  The

suggestions included "pull down a slot machine handle", "knock down

targets", "jump over Caesar's Palace", "go around a Roulette Wheel",

"smash down a 'papier mache thing'", and "shoot for 3 spinning targets",

the latter suggestion being chosen.


      We were then asked to choose the configuration of the top of the

playfield.  From the suggested ideas of "a kickout hole and two lanes", "3

lanes", "2 lanes representing a pair of dice", and "Even, Odd, and Double-

Zero", the last suggestion again received the most votes.  When asked to

decide on how many pop-bumpers the game should have, three was chosen.


      We were next asked to select a "Las Vegas thing" to use on the

playfield.  We chose "Drop-Targets to be used to try and get '21' as in

Blackjack over "having a Roulette Wheel in the center of the playfield".

When asked where the drop targets should be located, "in front of the Pop-

Bumpers" was the location chosen.


      The last thing we were asked to choose for our game was some sort of

a "gadget".  Suggestions for this included:  "a 3-D hologram", "3 kickout

holes which kick the ball from one to the next", "a ramp with a swiveling

center section", and "a 'Fireball target'", with the "swiveling ramp"

being finally selected.  That ended our design.


      Joe Kaminkow then told us about their newest game, "ABC MONDAY NIGHT

FOOTBALL", which he said would be advertised the following Monday night by

the Goodyear Blimp during it's flight over the football game at Soldier



                        BABY IN THE HOLE


      Following the pinball design session, the "continuing story" of

Harvey Heiss' BABY IN THE HOLE took another turn.  Joe Kaminkow told us

that Expo producer Rob Berk had suggested that Data East Pinball try and

develop Harvey's game, and that Gary Stern agreed to try it.  At that

point Data East artists Kevin O'Connor, Pat McMahon, and Margaret Hudson,

who had done the artwork for this "masterpiece", were asked to come up on

stage.  We were also told that Ed Cebula "worked day and night" on the

project.  At that point the entire BABY IN THE HOLE design team was

brought up.


      After asking Harvey to come up, the game was finally unveiled.  It

was something to behold, with it's flashy artwork, brilliant colors, and

fabulous sound, including sound effects, music, and even speech.  Upon

first seeing the game Harvey declared "I don't believe it".  He then

proceeded to play his "baby".


      Harvey then told us how Rob Berk had inspired him to build his

original "prototype" of the game, which he constructed in his carport in

Florida.  He then told us how he designed the "special tool" required to

form the "saucers" on the playfield, passing the tool around for us to



      Harvey next complimented the Data East design team on the wonderful

job they did on the game and said that it "brought back many memories".

He then told of his leaving Genco 35 years ago and going to work for a

fellow named Bert Lane, who had once been a Genco Distributor.  While he

was working for Bert, Harvey said, he designed and built the prototype of

the coin-op puppet game PEPPY THE CLOWN, and sold it to Williams.  He then

told us that he also designed a "digger game" which he also sold to them.


      Harvey then told us that Harry Williams and Sam Stern made changes

to "Peppy" before they went into production.  Harvey said that his

original design was better because it was "vacuum operated" and could do

much more than the "electric" version that Williams produced.  He said his

puppet could even walk.


      That ended the lecture hall presentations for the first day of the

Expo.  That evening the Exhibit Hall was opened, but more about that




                         A COLLECTOR - AND BEYOND



      The Saturday morning activities began with a talk by long-time

arcade operator and pinball collector, and a good friend of mine, Marc

Fellman of Omaha.  Marc began by telling us how glad he was to finally be

able to attend a Pinball Expo, saying his business in Omaha, and for

awhile in Las Vegas, had kept him from attending previously.  He went on

to say that he regretted that his friend and ex-partner Wade Wright, who

now runs a record store in San Francisco, could not have attended, saying

maybe Wade would be able to attend in the future.


      Marc then introduced his wife whom he had brought with him and asked

her to hand out to everyone in the audience an old  Bally game brochure.

He told us that Bally's long-time advertising manager (now retired) Herb

Jones had once given the brochures to him, asking him to give them to

people who would appreciate them.  Well, I for one sure did, as after

making a small trade, I ended up with the brochure for my "OK Bingo"



      Following this, Marc began to tell about his background in the

pinball business, saying that he started in the business in 1970, but had

his first real contact with an old pinball game quite a bit earlier.  He

then told us that he actually played his first pin, a Williams FRESHIE

(1949), in his uncle's basement in 1957.  He said he fixed the game for

his uncle, remarking that "once you've fixed one, you got to fix another".

He also told us that he had worked on games after that in the arcade of an

amusement park which his uncle operated.  He then told us that the first

game he ever actually owned was Gottlieb's 1958 game ROTO POOL, which he

said he still owns.


      Next Marc told of opening his own arcade in Omaha, which he called

"Gizmo's", in 1970 in a area which had no arcades at all.  He said he

really didn't like the newer games that were out at the time and started

looking for older games.  He then said he could often get older games from

distributors when buying some new ones.


      Marc said he started collecting games because they were "American"

and he thought the games, and the industry, should be perpetuated.  And

besides, he said, he thought that nobody collected them.


      He then told us that in 1971 "the sky fell in" because replays were

outlawed in Nebraska.  He said that he then went to South Carolina for

awhile and learned about bingo pinballs.  In 1975, he went on, they opened

a second arcade in Omaha, a large modern place in a shopping center, which

they also called Gizmo's.  He said at that time they bought $50,000 worth

of equipment from Cleavland Coin, saying that about half was 'junk' and

the other half new games.  He went on to say that the 'junk' lasted, but

the new stuff made money.


      Then, in 1982, he told us he and his partner took over an old

Gottlieb and Rockola distributorship in Omaha, which was founded many

years ago by the grandfather of the late Nebraska Senator Ed Zorinski.

Marc said that he and his partner Wade first went in to help the family

out, but eventually bought the company.  Just after they took over he told

us that Gottlieb withdrew their product line, but they made a deal with

Gottlieb that they could buy whatever they wanted (games, parts, etc.)

from the company.  He then remarked that "we really cleaned them out" as

far as getting parts was concerned.


      Marc next told us that by 1983 video games were becoming "boring"

and at that time Nebraska legalized "video lottery" games for two years,

the money raised being used to build libraries and other civic projects.

After these games were stopped in 1985, Marc went on, he got involved in

setting up "gaming" on an Indian Reservation in Iowa, which he said still

exists today.


      Next he told us of going to what he called "the Mecca of the coin

machine industry", Las Vegas.  He said that a fellow named Jackie Gahaun,

who had been involved with the Las Vegas casino business since the 1950's,

bought a run down hotel with a small casino, the Hotel Nevada, and hired

Marc to get it back in shape.  Marc said Jackie told him "here it is; get

it in shape; don't call me, I'll call you".


      Marc told us it took him a year and a half to re-do the place, which

finally employed a staff of 70 people.  He said he then started looking

for old machines in Vegas.  He told us he found an old warehouse full of

"bingo pinballs" which he could buy for $75 to $100 each, because, he

said, people had stopped playing bingos in Las Vegas".


      He then said that he set up two of these machines, a LAGUNA BEACH

and a MALIBU BEACH, in the hotel lobby to see what would happen.  He told

us that two days later when they opened the coin boxes they were full of

nickels which surprised him, as during the day when he was at work he

didn't see anyone playing these machines.


      Then one night, he said, he monitored these games with a security

camera and the next day when he watched the tape he saw two fellows

playing the machines from about 11:30 PM until about 5 in the morning.

Marc said these guys were long-time bingo pinball players and were good

players, but a little "weird".  He then told of talking to them once and

them telling him that in Las Vegas there just wasn't any place to play

these machines anymore. 


      Marc next told us that the next step after being a player and an

operator would have to be to make your own games.  He went on to say "we

want to play 'the fun stuff'", saying "the new equipment is 'great', but

is too complicated, requiring the players to be 'geniuses' to play it".

Marc then said he would like to see good old style games reproduced, but

using all the advantages of the new technology.


      He then told us about modern slot machines he saw while in Las Vegas

which used microprocessor technology to simulate the action of the older

electro-mechanical machines.  Marc then said that he is "begging" today's

game manufacturers to reproduce the "old style games", saying he thinks

they would "work" in the 1990's


      He then went on to tell the manufacturers not to make the mistake of

not looking at the past.  Marc then said that they should make those kind

of games because that is what we want.  He then said they should bring

back the screened backglasses, because the photographic ones look

terrible.  He then continued, saying they should bring back single player

games, score reels (simulated by solid-state technology), etc.


      At that point Data East game designer Joe Kaminkow interrupted to

make some comments from the game manufacturers viewpoint.  He began by

saying that today's manufacturers are working hard to make reliable

products.  He said the new machines use four color art and mirroring on

their backglasses, and scoring up into the Millions again as they did in

the 1950's.  He continued by saying that the old games were fun, but that

today's players want to see "modern things", saying that "today's players

need what we make".


      Joe then remarked that they still make "bozo games" too.  He then

said that in the old days you got five balls with about 15 seconds play

per ball.  He compared that with the modern three ball games, which he

said gave the player about 40 seconds play per ball.  He next described

the quality they put into their games today. 


      Marc then said that the new games were too expensive and that the

operators were not making any money with them.  At that point there began

more arguing back and forth between Marc and the people from the pinball

companies.  Steve Kordek from Williams remarked that they would go broke

trying to reproduce the old games, saying that people today wouldn't buy



      Finally Marc ended that part of the discussion by saying that he

thinks the Expo can provide the "connection" between the player and the

factory.  Harvey Heiss then spoke up to say that his BABY IN THE HOLE was

a good example of the kind of game Marc was speaking about.


      Marc next started giving us hints on ways to find old games today.

He said that during the time that he and Wade were building up their

collection over 1000 games passed through their hands.


      His first suggestion was to "specialize" in one type, manufacturer,

or "era", and not try to collect everything.  Regarding the price of games

he said don't be afraid to pay a little more for a rare game because you

might not see it again.  He then went on to say that when you sell a game

you should always ask a fair price, which he said is what they always did.


      As far as actually locating games, his first suggestion was to use

classified ads, both placing your own "old pinball machine wanted" ad and

looking for games advertised by others.  He then said he thinks that the

majority of old games that are "out there" are in people's basements.


      Marc then suggested that you look for people who have owned their

houses for many years and might have bought a game for home use in the

past.  Finally he said to talk to historians, operators, etc., to find out

where the equipment was originally located.  He went on to say that he

believes there are still many old games to be found in the Northeast and

the Southern states.


      In wrapping up his presentation Marc suggested that AMOA, in trying

to promote pinball, should get "free advertising" by tying pinball into

the current "anti drug" campaign.  He also said that the industry should

stop using violent themes for games and "get back to the fun stuff"


      Marc then again got back to the subject of producing new "old style"

games for a moment, saying that in 12 to 24 months something like that is

going to happen, either with or without the current pinball manufacturers.


      Marc then thanked the Expo producers for a wonderful show and

thanked all the collectors, etc., who attended for making the Expos

successful.  He ended by saying "I have never had so much fun with pinball

people; I will come now forever!"


                           PINBALL ART


      This year at the Expo we had presentations by two great pinball

artists; one older established artist who is still active in pinball art,

and the other one of the newer young talents.


      Joe Kamindow first introduced veteran artist Mr. Paul Faris, who he

referred to as "a legend in pinball art".  He told us that Paul was

responsible for the art for the Bally games: NIGHT RIDER, EVIL KNEVIEL,




      Joe then told us that he called Paul several times "begging" him to

do a game for Data East.  Paul finally agreed, he said, and he was given a

theme for the game.  He went on to say that the game wouldn't be out for

awhile, but that we were going to get a "sneak peek" at this forthcoming

game, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.  Joe then commented that this was the "best of

Paul's artwork" except, he added, "for his next one".  He then said that

Paul was going to do BATMAN for them.


      Paul started by telling us that he worked for Bally for 10 years,

starting at the beginning of the "solid-state era", first doing EVIL

KNEIVEL for them.  He then said that he started with Bally as a "staff

artist" and later became their Art Director.  He went on to say that he

had a group of great young artists working for him who produced "some of

the best pinball art ever done".


      Paul then told us that when he left Bally he started his own Paragon

Studios, which had pinball art as 30 to 40 percent of it's business.  He

then remarked that he thought that violent art on games is on the way out.


      Paul then told us that he had brought some of his original paintings

with him so we could compare them to the finished backglasses.  He first

showed us his painting for PARAGON.  It was beautiful!  He told us this

was his first "wide-body" game, and said it took between 2 weeks and a

month to produce the painting.  He went on to say that he and his wife

were the "models" for the main characters.  He then remarked that the art

for the playfield of games also required much effort to produce.


      Paul next showed the painting for LOST WORLD, saying this was his

first use of "4-color art", and that as a painter he loved that type of

art.  He then showed XENON.  At that point he remarked that "pinball is

the greatest place to display an artist's work".


      Paul then told us that he once did a game which never made it to

market.  He said it was his first work after leaving Bally and was done

for Williams.  Steve Kordek then remarked from the audience that "Paul was

a delight to work with". 


      Next Paul showed his original painting for PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, the

audience applauding when this masterpiece was unveiled. He first told us

that he originally read the novel as "research" for his painting.  Paul

then said that when the player first sees the game the phantom is masked,

but that during play of the game he can become unmasked.  He then showed

us the finished backglass which received more applause.


      At that point Paul thanked Data East for their cooperation in the

project.  He then told us that the painting took him about three weeks to

complete.  He ended by telling us that it took a lot of research to make

the game realistic to the story, including the great organ music which it



      Paul then offered to answer questions from the audience.  Marc

Fellman first asked if they had to pay any royalties to use the Phantom of

the Opera theme.  Paul answered no, saying that the novel was in public

domain.  He then remarked that the novel was much more interesting than

the movies (except possibly for the original silent film) adding that in

the novel the phantom is deformed from birth.  Joe Kaminkow then remarked

that the playfield art on the game was "phenomenal".


      When Paul was asked if he planned to continue doing pinball art, he

answered "I'd be crazy if I didn't".  Dan Kramer then ask Paul if he had a

theme idea which he would like to do?  Paul replied that he liked doing

Phantom, saying he had become a "fan" of the story four months before he

was asked to do the game.  He added that he would like to do other themes

that he felt comfortable with.


      When asked the name of an electro-mechanical Bally game which was

never released, he said it was called KICKOFF and had a soccer theme.

Paul then commented that "pinball was a great medium for an artist",

adding that pinball artists were great people to work with.


      Marc Fellman then asked Paul if after doing the original painting

did he get involved with producing the screens.  He said no he didn't like

to get involved with that, adding that Margaret Hudson could do that and

often did.  He was then asked if he had to consider the locations of the

score readouts, etc., in doing his artwork.  He replied that he did, but

added that the designers would sometime change these things to suit the



      The final question asked of Paul was what, if any, outside

influences affected his art?  He replied that his paintings were somewhat

influenced by "fine art".  He also said that the work of other pinball

artists often have some influence on his work.


      Joe Kamindow introduced the other pinball artist to appear, Kevin

O'Connor, saying that Kevin was "the most valuable pinball artist to come

along in the past 10 years".  He then gave a partial list of Kevin's games




remarked that Kevin went to California to show PLAYBOY to Hugh Hefner.


      Joe went on to say that creating the PLAYBOY backglass was very

complex, involving an "18 shot composite", with each shot taken at a

different time.  He added that it also required extensive "air brushing".

He then told of Kevin attending a "pajama party" at the Playboy Mansion

while doing research for the game.  Finally he said that it cost almost

$60,000 to make the PLAYBOY backglasses.  Joe then said that ABC MONDAY

NIGHT FOOTBALL was Kevin's biggest challenge yet, adding that Kevin was

"their main man" and that he was currently working on two other games.


      Kevin began by saying that he much preferred "painted glasses" over

"photographic" ones, but that preparing photographic glasses was both

stimulating and challenging.  He went on to say that it was like "shooting

a movie", but without the "action".  Although, he went on, you try to give

your audience "the feeling of action".


      Kevin then told about producing the glass for SECRET SERVICE, saying

that it was supposed to give the illusion of a car chase in Washington

D.C., although it was actually filmed in Madison, Wisconsin at 3 AM.  He

then said they used a "story board", had to have "sets" designed and

built, had to hire models, as well as getting costumes and props.  He then

said that they sometimes have problems with the weather, and even once

were attacked by bees while on a "shoot".  He then remarked that because

of the high cost of producing photographic glasses they would probably go

back to painted glasses, which he prefers anyway.


      He next showed us examples of some of his older work.  When showing

STAR TREK, he remarked that the uniforms were reproduced from those used

on the TV show, then saying that violence was not allowed back then.

Kevin next showed us his oil rendering and the final glass for VIKING,

saying that in those days you could keep your original paintings. 


      When Kevin showed us KISS he said that at the time he was working on

it the group was touring the country, and that they worked closely with

Bally to insure their "heroic image".  Finally Kevin told us that the

Playboy party "was all work".


      At this point questions were invited from the audience.  Kevin was

first asked if he also did art for the game cabinets and brochures?  He

replied that he did all the art for the games, including the cabinets, but

that the Data East brochures were done by an outfit in California.

However, he continued, I did work on the brochures while I was at Bally.


      Kevin was then asked who owns the original artwork for a game?  He

replied that he did when he worked for Bally, but at Data East the company

owned it.  When asked to tell us what was his favorite of the art that he

had done, he replied FLASH GORDON and SILVER BALL MANIA from his Bally

days, and ABC MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL from Data East.


      Finally he talked briefly about the car on TIME MACHINE.  He said

that it was his wife depicted in the passenger seat, that fellow artist

Margaret Hudson was the "hippie girl", and that he himself was the driver,

although many people thought it was supposed to be John Travolta.



                         ABC MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL


      During the Saturday morning presentations Data East's Joe Kaminkow

gave a presentation on their latest game, ABC MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL.  He

began by telling us how that game originally came about.


      Joe said that when the TV show of the same name first started using

a pinball scene in their introduction, there was much curiosity about what

game they were using.  In fact, he said, he got several phone calls that

evening from people asking if he knew.  He said he taped the scene and

played it over and over, but still couldn't figure it out.


       Joe said he next called ABC to ask about it, and that his call was

finally transferred to the Director of ABC Sports who told him that it was

created for them by a production company in Oregon.  He went on to say

that they were thinking of having an actual game produced.  At that point

Joe said that he told him that Data East was already working on a game

like that.  When this person told him that he was coming to Chicago and

would like to see it, Joe said "we had to do something quick", and added

that Data East hurriedly made up a prototype game.


      When the ABC Sports Director came to Chicago Joe said they took him

out for lunch and drinks and then showed him the plant and the prototype

of the game.  He said after that they became good friends, and that they

came to an agreement with ABC that same day to do the game.


      Joe went on to tell us that it took three months to get a contract,

but that it included rights to home cartridge games as well as the coin-op

pingame.  Joe then told us that when ABC started to use the game for

promotions for the TV show, they used four machines which they shipped by

van to the various cities all over the country where the football games

were played.  He then mentioned that a local Chicago TV station did a

presentation on the game, showing shots in the factory, and also that it

was mentioned in USA Today.


      Joe than told of ABC using the game in connection with the 20th

Anniversary of the TV show.  He told us that on May 8th there was a dinner

at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles to celebrate that anniversary

where the game was shown, and that the Goodyear Blimp flew over flashing a



      He then told us that the original "game" used for the TV show used a

SPACE INVADERS cabinet, and a modified NIGHT RIDER playfield, adding that

it cost about $700,000 to produce the "TV spot".


      Regarding the design of the Data East game, Joe told us that their

mechanical engineer "busted his buns" trying to make the goal post go up

and down.  He then told us that NFL President Pete Roselle owns one of the

games, as does ABC sportscaster Frank Gifford.  He also said that when

Barbara Walters first saw the game she "went crazy over it".


      Before showing us two "videos" regarding the game, Joe ask if there

were any questions.  When asked if the NFL had any inputs to the game Joe

replied "none, only ABC was involved".  When next asked when Data East was

coming out with their "solid-state flipper", he said soon, remarking that

it used one coil winding and no "End-of-Stroke Switch".


      Joe then showed us the first "video" which lasted about 8 minutes.

It was mostly about the football games themselves, showing scenes from

various ones, but had a brief mention of the pinball with Frank Gifford

talking about it.  This video was used at the AMOA show where the game was

first introduced.  It ended with Country and Western star Hank Williams

Jr. singing his song "Monday Night Football".


      The second video lasted about a minute, was all about the game, and

featured the voices of the TV sportscasters.  This promotional video ended

with the announcer saying "Pete Roselle has played the game and likes it".

That ended Joe's presentation.


      Incidentally, I played the game later in the Exhibit Hall, and it is

quite something to see and hear!






      The final talk Saturday morning was presented by pinball collector

John Rausch, telling how he used a device called a "Lapidary tumbler" to

clean pinball parts during restoration of a Bally FIREBALL.


      John began by saying that when he once showed Rob Berk some parts he

had cleaned using this method that Rob was fascinated by it and thought

that other collectors would be interested in knowing about the process, so

Rob invited John to speak at the Expo.  John told us that this method of

cleaning is also used by collectors of toy trains and other toys to clean

parts.  He then told us that he was going to show some slides showing how

he restored his FIREBALL using this cleaning technique.


      John told us that the tumbler was originally developed for use by

rock and gem people to clean those items, although he added, it usually

took them 6 to 8 weeks to clean their items, vice the 1 hour (2 hours for

very bad items) required to clean pinball parts.  Another difference, he

went on, was that the gem people used water and "grit" to clean rocks,

whereas water and "steel shot" were used to clean game parts.


      The first slide John showed us showed his game parts before

cleaning.  He pointed out to us the surface corrosion present on most of

the parts.  He then said that almost any pinball part could be cleaned,

including relay armatures, small springs, screws, and even rusty steel



      John next described the actual cleaning process.  He said that to

clean pinball parts you should use 5 pounds of "chrome-plated steel

'shot'" which you can buy from a lapidary supply store.  This should be

put in the tumbler, along with the parts to be cleaned, and it should then

be filled 3/4 full with water, mixed with a little hand soap.  That

mixture, he went on, should then be tumbled at approximately 20 RPM for

about 1 hour.


      After that, he went on, the mixture can be run through a French Fry

strainer and then rinsed with clean hot water over again until the parts

are clean.  At this point, he continued, the parts can be dried using a

hair dryer.


      John then remarked that this method of cleaning pinball parts is

great for a collector who wants to totally restore a game, but he didn't

recommend it's use by game operators.

      He next showed slides showing the cleaning of a stepper unit,

remarking that it should take less than 5 minutes to disassemble such a

unit to remove the parts to be cleaned.  He went on to say that

reassembling a stepper after cleaning should take about 10 minutes.


      Someone from the audience then asked John if there was any way to

keep cleaned parts in that condition?  John replied that you could use

clear lacquer on some parts, but said that keeping the game in a good

environment was probably best.  Someone else from the audience then

brought up the idea of having parts "cad plated".  John agreed this might

be a good idea for some parts, but warned us not to do that on parts where

size tolerances were critical to proper operation of a unit.


      John next talked for a few moments about playfields.  He first said

that to clean dirty playfields he often used nylon pads and soapy water.

He next remarked that most playfield parts can also be cleaned by the

tumbler except, he warned, never try to clean painted parts that way or

the paint will be completely removed!  He went on to say that it was a

good way to clean metal and plastic playfield "posts", as well as all the

screws.  He then remarked that metal plates which have name labels glued

onto them can usually be tumbled and the labels will not be damaged.


      To clean very delicate parts John said that crushed Walnut shells

could be used in place of the steel shot.  He then warned us never to try

to clean Allen Head Screws with shot because some of the shot could become

imbedded into the screw head and would be impossible to remove.


      Someone from the audience then suggested that you might look for

used lapidary tumblers advertised for sale in "want ads".  John then told

us that the retail price of a new tumbler is about $110, and that 30

pounds of shot would cost about $30, but he added, the shot will last

forever!  He then told us that the shot was in all different shapes, each

shape designed to do a specific cleaning job.


      John told us that his restoration of FIREBALL took approximately 42

hours.  He then said that if a batch of parts are extremely dirty, you

might want to change the wash water after about the first 15 minutes of



      Finally John suggested that this method be used for cleaning the

parts on the coin door, which he said should take about 15 minutes to tear

down, and about an hour to reassemble.  To sum up, John told us "if you

want to do a nice restoration job on your game, this is the 'ultimate time

saver' for cleaning small parts."


      John then asked if there were any questions?  He was first asked,

"how much force or pressure does the process exert on the parts being

cleaned?"  John answered saying that the process was "very gentle", adding

that the reason that it worked so well was that the cleaning action was

repeated over and over hundreds of times.  He then said that the tumbler

has 8 sides which causes the parts to tumble much the same way as in a

clothes dryer.

      Finally John was asked, "how many games have you done using this

method?"  He answered that he doesn't clean all parts in all games this

way, only the parts that need it.  He then said that he had restored about

15 games in all.



                           THE BANQUET


      As usual, the Expo banquet was held on Saturday evening.  Prior to

the banquet itself, we had the usual cocktail hour, during which the play-

offs for the "Flip-Out '89" pinball tournament took place.  The play-off

game, as it has been in the past, is always a surprise to the

participants.  This year the game was none other than Data East's yet

unreleased new game PHANTOM OF THE OPERA!


      This game was something to behold, with it's fabulous Paul Faris

artwork, and the fantastic sound system which played unbelievably

realistic organ music.  Well, when the smoke finally cleared, the

survivors of the tournament were Larry DeMar of Williams for the

manufacturers, and a young man named Dave Hegge from California for the

regular players.


      When the dinner was served it was delicious again this year.

Following the meal the quest speaker was introduced by Expo Chairman Rob

Berk.  This year it was Data East's President Gary Stern. 


      Gary began by saying that this group was an interesting forum for

him to talk to, as he usually talks to operators and distributors.  Here,

he went on, we have a "mixed group" that includes people who love pinball

as an "art form", as well as the factory people who know pinball as a

business.  He then remarked that pinball design is sort of a cross between

art and business.


      Gary then said that he learned that pinball was both a business and

an art form from his father Sam Stern, who had been in the industry from

the 1930's up until his death a few years ago.  He said that his father

used to say that a pinball machine is like a movie - an "entertainment";

having a theme, action, a climax, art and sound, and that it also requires

production and distribution.


      Gary continued saying that a pinball must have art, but must also

make money.  He then told us to notice that all the factories participate

in the Expo.  He said that this is an interesting forum for us because we

can all meet here on a "level ground" with others involved with games,

saying it is a real pleasure to participate and that they always will.


      Gary next said he would give us a little of his "history" in the

pinball business.  He said he came into the business through his father

Sam.  Sam he said was the son of an immigrant and originally was a "rag

man", who started out as a foreman in a coat factory.


      He then told us that Sam once bought a couple small counter-top

games in the 1930's and put them on location in a tavern, only to discover

shortly that his games were "replaced" by other games operated by "the

Mob".  Sam then put his games in a drug store, Gary continued, and this

time had better luck.


      He then said that one night Sam got a call from the drug store

telling him his games wouldn't work.  Upon checking on this he found out

that they were only clogged with coins.  At that point, Gary said, his

father decided that he liked the coin machine business and founded an

operating company which he called "Scott Cross".


      Gary told us that in those days when his father was on a date he

would often stop by a location and get money out of the machines.  He said

one of the best money makers Sam operated in those days was the console

game PACES RACES.  A little while later, Gary told us, his father started

a distributing business in Philadelphia.


      Gary next said that after World War II two important things

happened.  First, he said, was that he was born (which Gary said was very

special to him) and second was that Sam went to see Harry Williams.


      He said that Sam was sitting in Harry's office at his desk one day

and said to Harry "why don't you sell me the company?"  Harry said that he

would have to go flying and think that over, which he did, and then

decided to sell Sam 49 percent of Williams Manufacturing.


      Gary said that at first Sam was not too successful in his new role

and was often "disruptive" at the plant.  In fact at first, he went on,

Harry would not even let Sam come into the plant.  After awhile he said

Harry moved to California and would fly back and forth in his private

plane between his new home and Chicago.


      Gary then told us how Harry used to fool Sam into thinking that he

was really a help in the business.  Harry he said would design a game

while in California and bring a drawing of it to Chicago to discuss it

with Sam.  He said that Harry would always purposely put an "error" on his

drawing (always in the upper left-hand corner) and Sam would always say

that something was wrong, which Harry said he would correct.  The next

day, Gary told us, Harry would return with the drawing as he had

originally designed the game, and Sam would think he had really helped by

pointing out the problem.  Gary then remarked that Harry always knew how

to take care of his father.


      Gary next told us that the business was easier in those days.  He

said that Harry would come up with an idea for a game, make a sketch,

prepare the prototype ("whitewood"), do the electrical and mechanical

design, and fix the game on the line.  He compared that with the way

things were much later at Stern Electronics in the 1980's where they

needed engineers, technicians, programmers and sound people to design a

game.  He then said that even then Harry would still draw out the

playfield, and was the only one he knew who could always do that perfectly

every time!

      In connection with Harry Williams' love of flying, Gary told us that

Harry once bought a "Link Trainer" (an early airplane flight simulator

used during World War II to train pilots) and put it in his office at the

plant.  He said that Harry, and Williams' chief engineer Gordon Horlock,

would "fly" this simulator every afternoon.  He then said that after Harry

got out of the game business in the early Sixties, he tried to sell

private jets for a French outfit.


      Gary then started talking about himself, and his connection with the

pinball business.  He said that he liked the business ever since he was a

kid when his dad used to take him to the plant on Saturdays, which he

remarked, was in a bad neighborhood where thiefs would even sometimes

steal batteries out of Police cars at the Police Station.  He then told us

that he often played with bumper caps, etc.  He next told us that he also

liked it when Harry Williams would take him to the Museum of Science and

Industry to watch the toy trains, because Harry was even thinking about

making a coin-op electric train.  He also said that he had a "slot car",

and that years later Harry was in the slot car business for awhile.


      Gary then told us that Harry was like a "second father". to him and

his brother, telling us that for Bar Mitzvah Harry once gave his brother a

gasoline powered model airplane and gave him a chemistry set.


      He then said that at the age of 16 his father gave him a job at the

plant working in the stockroom, which he said taught him the importance of

the "business side" of the pinball business (inventory control, etc.).


      When he was 18, he went on, he attended college in New Orleans

where, he said, the legal drinking age was also 18.  During this period he

told us that he learned that the "gin mill" was "the backbone of the

pinball business", saying that he once told his dad "I started one step

below you; you started as an operator and I started in the "gin mills"".


      Gary then told us that when Harry Williams designed a new game Harry

would tell him how much he thought the kids would like certain features.

He said that he would then tell Harry that half of the games they made

would go to bars, and their business was "to get people drunk, and keep

them that way."  Later, Gary continued, I owned bars and discovered that

the purpose of games was to keep people in them drinking.


      In 1964, Gary then told us, Sam sold Williams Manufacturing to

Seeburg, and shortly after that United Manufacturing was taken over from

Lyn Durrant.  At that time, he continued, the Williams plant was moved to

the United factory on California Ave., where it is today.


      He told us that the new plant was interesting.  First, he said, the

roof leaked.  He also said that Lyn Durrant had his own apartment and a

ballroom on the second floor, a bar for the plant foremen downstairs, and

a barber shop in the "guard shack".  He said that Lyn used to spend half

of his time at the plant, and the rest downtown.  All these areas he said

were later turned into offices by his father.


      Gary then told us that he finally got his college degree in

Accounting and did not want to go back to school anymore.  His father,

however, had other ideas and eventually persuaded him to go to law school.


      After getting his law degree, he told us, he went to work for Bally

where his father had also gone, becoming an Executive Vice President.

Gary said he worked for them as a law clerk working with Bally's lawyers,

specializing in "slot machine law".


      Then in 1973, he continued, he went back to Williams when they

decided to start making slots, and ran their slot department because of

his knowledge of the law.  But, he said, they were "outclassed" by Bally

and didn't do so well with their slots.


      In 1976, he told us, he left Williams with "a combination of

laughing and crying" because, he said, he would always have a special

place in his heart for that company.  At that point, he went on, he had to

find something new to do, and ended up buying and selling slot machines.


       Canada at that time, he told us, passed a law which was supposed to

legalize "free play pinball machines".  But, he continued, in Canada the

laws are first written in French, and then translated into English.  He

told us that the French said "coin in the slot games", but the English

finally read "slot machines".  As a result, Gary said, "free play slot

machines" became legal in Canada, and he sold over a quarter million

dollars worth of them to Canada in three months, which worked out very

well for him he said.


      He then told us that around the same time his father needed

"something to do", as he was spending most of his time playing golf, which

he said, he didn't do very well anyway.


      Well, he continued, at that time Chicago Dynamic Industries

(formerly Chicago Coin) was going through bankruptcy.  Gary said that he

knew something about bankruptcy being a lawyer, and the banks knew

something about his father, so they ended up acquiring that company, plus

Seeburg (also having financial trouble), and a couple of other outfits

including a cabinet company, forming Stern Electronics.


      The problem for the new company, Gary said, was that they were set

up to produce electro-mechanical games right at the time when Bally, and

the others, were coming out with solid-state pinballs.  However, he went

on, since Bill O'Donnell of Bally was a good friend of my fathers, he sent

us one of their new solid-state games for us to use and copy their

"system".  Therefore Stern's digital games used the same system as Bally.


      There was only one problem, he continued, and that was that I put

out a letter to the distributors saying our system was "an improvement

over Bally's".  But, he said, his father somehow got him out of that one!


      Our first solid-state game, Gary told us, had a appropriate name; it

was simply called PINBALL.  He then said that once the company got going

they could put out about 170 pinballs and 400 video games a day, and that

they did very well for a time.


      Gary next told us that working with his father was a "different

experience" and that most people could not do that successfully.  He went

on to say that he got to know Sam's strengths and weaknesses, and

therefore knew him a lot better than most people know their fathers.

However, he went on, his father also knew him better.  He then told us

that they often fought over games and that sometimes he would get mad and

go home.


      After a while, Gary said, videos "went stale" and their business

started falling off.  He said they also tried "pinball conversion kits",

but they just couldn't compete with new games, such as William's SPACE

SHUTTLE.  Gary then admitted that he didn't always understand the

complicated playing principles in the later games they made at Stern,

adding that in those days you didn't make any "bozo games".  Gary then

said that today's games are easier for the player to figure out.


      Gary next started talking about his current company, Data East.  He

said that he first put together a "business plan" for a new company, which

would be located in Chicago, the only place where games can be made

successfully, he added.  He said that he raised some private capital, but

that they had to finally get help from Japan.


      Gary then said that normally when a Japanese company starts doing

business in this country they get a Japanese General Manager, do their

engineering and design, as well as their part "sourcing", in Japan, but

sell their product in the U.S.  In the case of Data East Pinball, however,

he said they have an American running it (himself), do their engineering

and design and part sourcing in Chicago (except for some printed circuit

boards made in Japan), and export about 50 percent of their product.  He

then said that they have been successful using this system, and that he

thinks this is the way that Japanese and U.S. industry should work



      He went on to say that they started three years ago in a 350 square

foot building, and without any drawings, but they knew were the parts they

needed were to be found.  He said that getting their first game, LASER

WAR, ready for the AMOA show resulted in a "long night" for Joe Kaminkow

and their people.


      Gary then told us that by May 1989 they had a 21,000 square foot

factory which we will tour during next year's Expo.  He next told us that

their method of producing games is different from the other companies, as

they only design and assemble games, buying all sub-assemblies from

subcontractors.  He said this requires less investment, less overhead, and

less training for their workers.  He then said that they are capable of

producing up to 60 games per day, but usually about 45, except for limited

run games such as PLAYBOY and ABC MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL, which he added,

will probably become collectors items in the future.


      Gary then said that their goal was to "design great games" and he

thinks they have shown that they can do that, adding that their "digital

stereo sound" was certainly very good.  He said that the Japanese

tradition of taking quality very seriously is certainly practiced by Data



      He went on to say that they are constantly making improvements to

their games, such as their forthcoming "solid-state flipper", adding "we

are doing things that nobody else has done".  Gary then quoted his father

who always told him "I'd rather build a 'good game' that works than a

'great game' that doesn't".  He then added that their job was to make

"creative" games, but also make them reliable so that the operators can

make a living from them.  Gary then remarked that he believes that his

company has helped the industry by "pushing others to make a better

product".  Adding, "after all, isn't competition the 'American way'".


      As to the future of Data East, Gary said that they have "a number of

people to serve".  First, he said, we have to make the player happy, and

to do that we must look at the types of players, which are primarily

teenagers and bar patrons.  Next, he continued, we have to keep the

locations happy by keeping people in their establishments.  He continued

saying that they must help the operator by providing better play pricing

and also must help the distributors by not over-producing.


      Gary then told us that the manufacturer also has to make money,

therefore the designers must always keep production costs in mind when

designing a new game.  He then told us that he got into the business

because of his father who gave him three things to help him.  First, he

said was his name; second, a good education, both formal and informal (by

listening to what his father and his friends had to say) and, lastly, a

love for the business.


      Finally he said he founded Data East to "prove a point", that a new

pinball company could be successful today.  He then said that with the

help of his people he put Data East into a meaningful position in the

industry, and he thanked them for helping him "prove his point".


      When Gary concluded his talk, Expo Chairman Rob Berk presented him

with a plaque "in recognition of his achievements and contributions to the

pinball industry, and for his participation in the Expo".


      After that Rob told us that it was "a tradition for the Expo to

honor people", and that this year they were going to start honoring

individuals.  He then started talking of Alvin Gottlieb and how he has

helped the pinball industry.  Rob then called Alvin up on stage and

presented him with a plaque.  Alvin started reading the inscription which

supposedly said something about Rob Berk winning on "Bowling for Bucks".


      Alvin then said that there were many people in the industry over the

years who should be acknowledged.  He then continued, saying he would like

to pick someone to give an award to, someone who he said "deserves

recognition for contributing more good games to our industry than anybody

I can think of".


      At that point he asked old-time Gottlieb designer Wayne Neyens to

come up.  Wayne was sure surprised, finally realizing that this whole

thing with Alvin was "staged" to honor him instead.


      Alvin then told us that he had started working with Wayne in 1947,

Wayne having started with the company many years earlier in 1939 however.

He then said that he worked with Wayne in the Engineering Department in

1948 and 1949 when Harry Mabs (inventor of the flipper) was Chief Engineer

and Wayne his chief understudy.


      He went on to say that Wayne developed the 'art" of pinball design

into a "science".  He then said that Wayne's attributes are unmatched,

having a high degree of sensitivity and knowledge, and a "mind set" such

that when he had an idea he "stuck to his guns".


      Finally Alvin talked of the long list of games Wayne had designed.

He then said that Wayne was not just an employee of D. Gottlieb and Co.,

but was "a part of the family".  He then thanked him "on behalf of the

family and the industry", and wished him a long healthful life. 


      At this point Premier/Gottlieb President Gil Pollack was invited to

pay tribute to Wayne.  He began by saying that we all recognized designers

such as Wayne, Steve Kordek, Norm Clark, etc., but reminded us that they

are not "gods", only normal human beings.  He then told of Wayne having

arguments in the plant with a fellow named Bob Smith years ago over Bob

keeping the furnace too low, saying that Wayne often got mad and went

home.  He said that when Wayne retired he left his sweater at the plant,

then presenting him with an old sweater.


      Continuing in this "gag gift" mode, Gil also presented Wayne with a

nickel he said Wayne once lost in a bet, a hockey "shin guard" which he

said Wayne used to keep from hurting his legs when he got mad at a game,

and an old fishing pole which he said Wayne once lost while trying to

teach him to fish in Arkansas.  For his final gift Gil presented Wayne

with the backglass for the ill fated two player Gottlieb game CHALLENGER,

saying that the company was finally through with that game, having sold

the 300 they once built over and over again.


      Finally, Gil mentioned a long list of names of people that Wayne had

worked with over the years at Gottlieb.  He ended by saying that Wayne was

"a great member of the industry", that he taught them a great deal, and

that he surely deserved recognition, then thanking him for his



      Next up to pay tribute to Wayne was Donal Murphy, pinball collector

and owner of Electrical Windings, Inc., the supplier of coils and

transformers to Gottlieb since the 1930's.  Don started by saying that his

first contact with Wayne was in 1963 when he started working for his

father at Electrical Windings.  He went on to say that their company

always tried to meet Wayne's needs with their products.

      Don then said that he started collecting pinballs in 1974, and that

his two all-time favorite games were KINGS & QUEENS and SLICK CHICK, both

designed by Wayne, saying that's why he appreciates his work.


      Don then thanked Wayne for the fine games he designed starting in

1949 with COLLEGE DAZE.  Finally, he presented Wayne with a large coil

which he said was "the extra powerful flipper coil he always wanted".


      Rob Berk then invited pinball player, collector, and author Dan

Kramer up on stage to present the final "tribute" to Wayne Neyens.  Dan

began by saying that he had known Wayne personally since 1985, but had

grown up playing the games he designed at the old boardwalk in Santa Cruz

California, and other locations nearer his home.  He then remarked that he

had never had a better time doing anything in his life than playing



      Dan next said that it's hard to say what he likes most about playing

pinball.  He said that when he was a kid he didn't care how much it cost

to play, and that any money he got a hold of went into the coin slot.  He

also said that he would travel to the game locations any way he could, by

bicycle, hitchhiking, or on foot.  He then remarked that he liked the

thrill of "snatching victory from the jaws of the outhole".


      Dan then spoke of his enjoyment of the hobby of pinball collecting,

saying "it is the greatest hobby I could ever have".  He went on to say it

provided the "adventure" of hunting for games, plus the enjoyment of

making new friends year after year; always learning about new people who

collect and enjoy pins.


      Dan next said that the hobby also increases his "technical skills",

and that he enjoys discovering new concepts put into the games by the

designers.  He then remarked that he loved the symmetry of the playfields,

and the various arrangements of the bumpers, targets, etc., on them.  He

said that a few games are "dogs", but that these were far outnumbered by

memorable games, which he said "captured his soul".  The games, he said,

to which he kept coming back.


      Dan next said that in the old days he really didn't think about

these games being designed by specific people.  He went on to say that

after all these years he was fortunate enough to have met and talked to

one of these designers, the person that was responsible for some of the

best games he'd ever played.


      Dan then said that Rob Berk asked him last year to get together a

tribute to Wayne for the Expo because Rob felt that he had a strong

feeling for Wayne's work.  He then said that Wayne not being able to

attend last year's show gave him an extra year to prepare.  Dan then told

us that his presentation would be a "whirlwind tour" of some of the best

games Wayne has done.  He continued, saying that he would give us a look

at the "Gottlieb heritage", to which Wayne was a strong contributor.


      At this point Dan asked Wayne to stand up so he could shake his

hand, and then prepared to set up the equipment for his slide



      Dan started by reminding us that Wayne started his career early, at

16, when he was almost out of High School, getting a job as a draftsman at

Western Products coin machine manufacturing plant.  Dan then paused for a

moment to thank those people who contributed to his slide presentation.

He then talked briefly about Western's flamboyant owner Jimmy Johnson, and

showed a few slides of brochures for some of their games.  Dan continued

by saying that Wayne soon advanced from drafting to helping fix some of

the games in the factory.


      Dan next began telling about D. Gottlieb and Co., where Wayne moved

in the late 1930's, and their wartime efforts, showing pictures of their

war theme game KEEP 'EM FLYING.  He then showed the first flipper game,

HUMPTY DUMPTY, talking of it's new flippers, mirrored backglass, and

"light animation".  Dan then mentioned the other "fairy tale" theme games,

the idea for naming them he said was Dave Gottlieb's.


      After showing Gottlieb's 1949 game BUTTONS & BOWS, which he said was

not designed by Wayne, but that he helped with the prototype of, he began

showing slide after slide of the fabulous games Wayne designed during the



      As each game's playfield was shown, Dan provided in-depth comments

regarding the game's various features.  Space does not permit me to go

into these details, but maybe some day Dan will honor us with a COIN SLOT

article describing these games.


      The games Dan showed included BANK-A-BALL, JOKER, and KNOCKOUT from


CORONATION and QUEEN OF HEARTS (which Dan remarked that Wayne feels was


and SHINDIG of 1953; DRAGONETTE and HAWAIIAN BEAUTY from 1954; and



      At that point Dan's fine presentation had to be curtailed due to the

lateness of the hour, but he told us that it might be concluded at a

future Expo, reminding us not to forget that Wayne's fine games continued

into the 1960's.


      Rob Berk then got up and told us about how much he enjoyed once

visiting with Wayne and his wife at their home in Arkansas.  He then

presented Wayne with a plaque "commemorating his 30 years in the

industry".  At that point Wayne got up to speak.


      He began by thanking Rob, saying he really appreciated the tribute,

adding that he was "speechless".  Wayne then told us how nice it was to

see so many of his old Gottlieb cohorts at the show, telling us that he

was sure happy to be there.


      He continued, saying that he felt he was fortunate to have started

in the industry back in 1936, because it enabled him to associate with so

many outstanding people, mentioning other industry greats like Harry

Williams, Sam Stern, and Lyn Durrant.  He added that when he first started

at Western he worked with Lyn, who he said, treated him like a son.


      Wayne ended by saying that many of the great designers are still

around today, mentioning Steve Kordek and Norm Clark.  Finally he thanked

Rob for "keeping the names of these wonderful people alive".


      Rob Berk then got up and said that this was a "special year" for the

Expo in that Harvey Heiss' BABY IN THE HOLE finally became a reality.  He

then presented trophies to all at Data East who participated in that



      Rob next made a presentation to Clyde Knupp, President of AMOA.

Clyde then thanked Rob for what he is doing for the industry with the

Expo, and then added "what I've seen here makes me want to come back -

this is certainly more fun than AMOA!"  Clyde then told us that at first

he didn't know what to expect, but that he really met some nice people.


      Clyde then mentioned Harvey Heiss' 1948 game SCREWBALL which was the

"Game Of The Year" that year, again pointing out that a pinball also won

that award in 1989 for the first time in many years.  Finally he told

Harvey that the people in the industry  appreciate the contributions made

over the years by people like him.


      Rob Berk next presented a special award to Data East's Director of

Engineering Ed Cebula for his achievements in pinball engineering and

design.  Rob then thanked Gil Pollack and the people of Premier for

allowing us to visit their plant, and then presented Gil with an award.


      At that point Gil presented the keys to a brand new Premier BONE

CRUSHER pinball to the winner of the Flip-Out '89 pinball tournament, Dave

Hegge.  Following that, Expo Exhibit Chairman Mike Pacak presented the

award for the "best exhibit" to an outfit called "Futuretronics" because

of the wide variety of items they had on display in their booth.


      Rob Berk again got up and thanked all his people who helped him put

on the show.  He then presented gifts of candy to the English visitors,

and also a box to Mike Pacak.  Rob then thanked all the game manufacturers

for participating in the Expo.


      At that point Rob called Marc Fellman from Omaha to the stage to

make a very special presentation to Harvey Heiss.  Marc then presented

Harvey with a 1948 Genco SCREWBALL, the game Harvey had won the Game Of

The Year award for, saying it had come from his collection.  Rob Berk then

got up again and presented Joe Kaminkow of Data East a "loving cup" for

his contributions to pinball.


      Following that the raffle drawing was made, the winner receiving a

brand new Williams BLACK KNIGHT 2000 pingame.  The lucky winner happened

to be seated at our table.  The final event of the banquet was the

awarding of a myriad of door prizes.  That being completed the banquet

festivities ended, but the Exhibit Hall was re-opened for those who wanted

to roam around there during the "wee hours".



                        THE EXHIBIT HALL


      As it always has been, the Exhibit Hall this year was really the

"heart of the Expo".  It was the place were people could congregate, meet

and talk to each other, play games (both old and new) and do a little

"shopping".  The hall first opened on Friday evening, was open most of the

day Saturday until just before the banquet, and reopened after the

banquet, staying open for awhile giving players their last chance to play



      Since most of the Expo attendees are pinball players, this was a

great place to play pinball.  One could try out the latest games by the

current manufacturers, play many of the older games they used to enjoy in

past years, or try out some "classics", some even made before some of the

players were born.  Even my wife, who hasn't played pinball in many years

(even thought we have quite a few at home), started playing some of the

newer solid-state games, apparently enjoying their flash and excitement.


      This year the Exhibit Hall was actually two rooms. One room was the

area where most of the games were for sale, along with parts and

associated items, and also where the current manufacturers displayed their

latest machines.  The other room was where the Premier BONE CRUSHER

machines were set up and used for the Flip-Out '89 tournament qualifying

play, but also contained a very special array of classic pingames for

exhibit and play only; games brought for us to enjoy from the private

collections of Expo co-producers Rob Berk and Mike Pacak.


      These great machines were in excellent condition and were a real

treat to behold, as well as for old-time pinball players to play, reliving

their past for a little while.  The following is an alphabetical list of

these great pinball machines.



         GAME                    MANUFACTURER        YEAR



         300                     GOTTLIEB             1975

         A-GO-GO                 BALLY                1966

         ARMY AND NAVY           WILLIAMS             1953

         BIG TOP                 GOTTLIEB             1964

         BLAST OFF               WILLIAMS             1967

         BRONCHO                 GENCO                1947

         CARNIVAL                MIDWAY               1963

         CIRCUS                  BALLY                1957

         CLOSE ENCOUNTERS        GOTTLIEB             1978

         COLORS                  WILLIAMS             1954

         CUE BALL                WILLIAMS             1956

         CYCLONE                 WILLIAMS             1947

         DUDE RANCH (BINGO)      BALLY                1953

         FLIPPER                 GOTTLIEB             1960

         FLIPPER POOL            GOTTLIEB             1965

         FOUR STAR               WILLIAMS             1958

         FUN CRUISE              BALLY                1966

         GRAND PRIX              WILLIAMS             1976

         INCREDIBLE HULK         GOTTLIEB             1979

         LIGHTNING BALL          GOTTLIEB             1959

         LOOP THE LOOP           BALLY                1966

         MAJORETTES              GOTTLIEB             1964

         METRO                   WILLIAMS             1961

         MOTOR SHOW              ??                   198?

         MOULIN ROUGE            WILLIAMS             1965

         MR. CHIPS               GENCO                1939

         NAGS                    WILLIAMS             1960

         PAT HAND                WILLIAMS             1975

         POKER FACE              KEENEY               1963

         ROCKET SHIP             GOTTLIEB             1958

         ROYAL FLUSH             GOTTLIEB             1957

         SCREWBALL               GENCO                1948

         SEA WOLF                WILLIAMS             1959

         SHOW BOAT               UNITED               1952

         SKI CLUB                WILLIAMS             1965

         SPACE MISSION           WILLIAMS             1976

         (AMAZING) SPIDER MAN    GOTTLIEB             1980

         SPOT POOL               WILLIAMS             1959

         STRUGGLE BUGGIES        WILLIAMS             1953

         SUPER FLIPPER (PIN VID) CHICAGO COIN         1975 

         TEMPTATION              SEGA                 1977

         TEN SPOT                WILLIAMS             1961

         TRADE WINDS             WILLIAMS             1962

         TRAFFIC                 BALLY                1935

         UNIVERSE                GOTTLIEB             1959

         VAMPIRE                 BALLY                1971

         VIKING                  WILLIAMS             1960

         WIGGLE JIGGLE           ??                   1932?

         WING DING               WILLIAMS             1964



      Many thanks to Rob and Mike for going to the trouble and expense of

bringing their treasures to the Expo for all to enjoy!


      In addition to being a place for viewing and playing pinballs, for

many the Exhibit Hall was a place to do a little "shopping".  If you were

in the market for one or more pinball machines, either old or new, this

was a good place to come.  About a half-dozen outfits and private parties

were there offering a wide variety of pingames of most all vintages for

sale.  Most of the prices asked were fairly reasonable too.


      While looking at the games displayed, I saw a machine that I had

only remembered working on when I was a kid.  In all my pinball research I

had never come across an ad for it, but I knew it existed because I

remembered both it's name and the configuration of it's backglass.  The

game was Bally's CROSSLINE, and from it's appearance I think it must have

been made in 1940 or 1941.  The only Bally CROSSLINE I have ever seen

advertised was an entirely different game which they put out several years

earlier in 1937.  Anyway, I really enjoyed reliving my remembrances of

this neat "art-deco" pingame ( I LOVE "art-deco") which I had not seen in

over 40 years but still remembered.  See, I was right all along, that game

really existed!


      The following is a chronological list of the pingames for sale in

the Exhitit hall:


         NAME                    MANUFACTURER         DATE



         WHIFFLE                 AUTOMATIC AMUS.      1931

         RICOCHET                STONER               1937

         ABC BOWLER              GOTTLIEB             1941

         HIGH STEPPER            STONER               1941

         CROSSLINE               BALLY                1941?

         SOUTH SEAS              UNITED               1945?

         SEA ISLE                CHICAGO COIN         1947

         MONTEREY                UNITED               1948

         ROUND UP                GOTTLIEB             1948

         WISCONSIN               UNITED               1948

         YANKS                   WILLIAMS             1948

         HAPPY DAYS              GOTTLIEB             1952

         EASY ACES               GOTTLIEB             1955

         CROSSWORDS              WILLIAMS             1959

         LIGHTNING BALL          GOTTLIEB             1959

         TIC-TAC-TOE             WILLIAMS             1959

         SUN VALLEY              CHICAGO COIN         1963

         SWEETHEARTS             GOTTLIEB             1963

         WORLD FAIR              GOTTLIEB             1964

         FLIPPER POOL            GOTTLIEB             1965

         KINGS AND QUEENS        GOTTLIEB             1965

         PARADISE                GOTTLIEB             1965

         CASANOVA                WILLIAMS             1966

         HOT LINE                WILLIAMS             1966

         KING OF DIAMONDS        GOTTLIEB             1967

         DIXIELAND               BALLY                1968

         PLAYMATES               GOTTLIEB             1968

         HEARTS AND SPADES (AAB) GOTTLIEB             1969

         MIBS                    GOTTLIEB             1969

         2001                    GOTTLIEB             1971

         FIREBALL                BALLY                1972

         POP-A-CARD              GOTTLIEB             1972

         FUN FEST                WILLIAMS             1973

         NIP-IT                  BALLY                1973

         ODDS AND EVENS          BALLY                1973

         FREE FALL (AAB)         GOTTLIEB             1974

         BUCCANEER               GOTTLIEB             1976

         OLD CHICAGO             BALLY                1976

         SPIRIT OF '76           GOTTLIEB             1976

         EIGHT BALL              BALLY                1977

         MATA HARI               BALLY                1977

         CLOSE ENCOUNTERS        GOTTLIEB             1978

         HOT TIP                 WILLIAMS             1978

         LOST WORLD              BALLY                1978

         SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN  BALLY                1978

         (NITRO) GROUND SHAKER   BALLY                1980

         ASTEROID ANNIE          GOTTLIEB             1980

         ROLLING STONES          BALLY                1980

         SILVERBALL MANIA        BALLY                1980

         VIKING                  BALLY                1980

         BARRACORA               WILLIAMS             1981

         CENTAUR                 BALLY                1981

         LIGHTNING               STERN                1981

         SPLIT SECOND            STERN                1981

         THUNDERBALL             WILLIAMS             1983

         CYCLOPS                 GAME PLAN            1985

         LITTLE CHIEF            WILLIAMS             1985

         HIGH SPEED              WILLIAMS             1986



      In addition to the games for sale in the Exhibit Hall, there were

several booths which had various pinball parts for sale (both new and

used), including the commercial outfit Wico.  These parts also included

fine new reproductions of pop-bumper caps produced by Donal Murphy.


      For those interested in "pinball paper", of course we again had Expo

Exhibit Chairman Mike Pacak's booth featuring a wide variety of pinball

flyers, always a popular item at all the Expos.


      Several pinball publications were also available in the hall.  Mike

Pacak was selling both Dick Bueschel's new book, "Pinball I" and the fine

new color book "Pinball - The Lure of the Silver Ball" by Gary Flower and

Bill Kurtz.  Dennis Dodel also had a booth where, in addition to having

some nice games for sale, he was taking subscriptions for his great

pinball-only periodical PINBALL TRADER, as well as having available for

sale copies of yours truly's book "Pinball Troubleshooting Guide".  Steve

Young, of course, was also there selling his fine Silverball Amusements



      Finally, there were of course, the new pinball machines by the

current game manufacturers.  From Williams we had LASER CUE, MILLIONAIRE,


and LADY LUCK.  Premier was showing their Gottlieb game RAVEN, in addition

to their latest game BONE CRUSHER which was used for the tournament.  From

Data East we saw TIME MACHINE, LASER WAR, PLAYBOY, and of course ABC

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL, also seeing a preview of their forthcoming

masterpiece, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, in the banquet hall during the

tournament playoffs.  In addition to these new games, Game Plan's

SHARPSHOOTER and ANDROMEDA were also displayed.


      Well, there you have it, a pretty complete run-down of what went on

at the 1989 version of the now famous Pinball Expo.  The show was GREAT,

as usual, and the "good news" is that Pinball Expo '90 has already been

planned.  Rob Berk informed us at the banquet that that show will be

presented at the same location on November 9th and 10th 1990.  For

additional information you can call Rob at (216) 369-1192.  SEE YOU