Created on 10-17-2017
Bells, Buzzers, and Whistles….
Now normally if I was going to comment I wait to the end of the article, but Man!
This one really resonates with me, front-to-finish!
Seymour steps back in time so easily, subtly enmeshes you in his memories, bits-n-pieces, tantalizing, stirring.
Sharing a legacy father-to-child, deftly bringing each of us along!
PINBALL MACHINES ---THEN AND NOW August 12, 2002
By: Seymour Fishman
I go back to the days when all you needed was a nickel to play five balls of pinball. I’ll bet you old timers will remember those pinball machines of bygone years--those with “wooden legs, brightly lighted scoreboards, and even those without flippers!” . Pinball was originally invented more than 60 years ago. Russ Jensen  remembers. He has written extensively on the history of pinballs. In those days we were all fascinated by the 1939 VARIETY and VOGUE pinball machines made by Bally. We old-timers can identify with Russ’ feeling of exhilaration: “To this day, one of the greatest thrills in my relationship with pinballs is the initial "light up" of a long dormant game--when, for the first time in years, it is plugged in, the coin chute is pushed in, and something (no matter how small) happens”.
I remember the then “modern” games of the period, which featured a new innovation: flippers. In the early fifties a new and different type of pinball game made its appearance. Instead of bells, flippers, or pop bumpers, it sported a batch of holes on the playfield. These "In-Line" games, as they were called by the trade made funny sounds even when no one was playing them. Although every few years brought improvements to vintage type pinball machines, I always longed for the old style "wood rails" pinball machine. Stainless steel rails replaced the wooden rails. Lighted patterns on the "backglass" which used to depict the score were replaced by mechanical and digital scoring reels.
Having grown up on these classic pinball machines and witnessed the evolution to the latest equipment, I was amazed at the newest innovation: A NEW GENERATION OF PINBALL WIZARDS WITH ITS NEW ELECTRONIC ARCADE. I saw it at the "Annual Christmas in July" show sponsored by the Premier Toy Manufacturers. I was dazzled by its eagerly awaited Electronic Arcade, the Multi-Game Building Set Featuring the unique opportunity to design, build, and play two different exciting arcade-style games-a giant tabletop Pinball game and head-to-head Speedball game-K'NEX's innovative Electronic Arcade.
I managed to buy the Multi-Game Building Set and admit I became addicted to it. It offers an unparalleled building and gaming experience for the entire family. The younger ones in our family especially like the fact that this building set to give kids complete control of the design and level of difficulty of their arcade games because the game board can be completely customized. Depending on their expertise with a particular game, kids can increase or decrease its difficulty by building in or leaving out hazards such as chutes, ramps, elevators and spinners. In addition to offering fast-paced competitive game play.
I am convinced that this new Electronic Arcade, the Multi-Game Building Set, empowers kids with unlimited building challenges, customizing opportunities, and playing possibilities, which are limited only by the builder's imagination. In fact, it's the only Pinball game you can build, customize, and then play
How the landscape of pinball components has evolved: Who can blame today’s youth? The pinball relics of yesteryear: bumpers, rollovers, targets, and relays could never compete in today’s marketplace. Yet, for me, the nostalgic experience makes the current innovation that much more meaningful. Hopefully, you too will experience that thrill, knowing what came before.
Capitalizing on Pinball's nostalgic appeal, K'NEX's new multi-game building set empowers kids to design and build a giant tabletop Pinball game, complete with real arcade sounds and an electronic scoreboard to track the scores of two players. The Pinball game offers one or two player game play for endless hours of entertainment. Kids control the flippers and rack up points by firing the ball into the electronic sensors. The "Psycho Spinner" in the middle of the board, which fires the ball in random directions, increases the competitive challenge of the game. Once players have mastered the "Psycho Spinner," they can go for the ultimate challenge and hit their ball all the way back into the motorized "Swift Lift" that carries the ball up and around the scoreboard for major bonus points!
Offering high-energy gaming excitement, Speedball, the second game in this unique new multi-game building set, is a giant action-packed flipper game that kids can play against their friends, or family, for head-to-head competition. This fast-paced game pits two competitors against one another: the first player to score 10 goals wins.
I haven’t had so much fun since I last played Pinball as a kid some fifty years ago.