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There are many interesting and wondrous things that constantly cross
the PinGame Journal "World of Pinball Desk" and this is the place to find out about them all!


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February 28, 2016 - Stern Pinball Inc. and The Strong museum, home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games and the World Video Game Hall of Fame, announced a partnership that supports the opening of a brand new museum exhibit. The Pinball Playfields, a permanent exhibit, opens at the Strong in Rochester, NY on Feb. 27.

The exhibit will include a cluster of popular games donated by Chicago-based Stern Pinball.

"This exhibit explores the history of pinball and traces the evolution of the pinball playfield," said Jeremy Saucier, assistant director for Strong's International Center for the History of Electronic Games. "Stern Pinball has been an influential leader in the pinball industry and community for decades. Partnering with Stern will be vital to the Strong's efforts to preserve and exhibit this important form of play."

Pinball Playfields visitors will have a chance to experience more than 80 years of pinball history, ranging from countertop games of the 1930s to the electronic versions that remain popular today. Pinball artifacts on display include such original machines from the Strong's collections as Fireball and Hercules and some of Stern Pinball's recent games, like Game of Thrones, along with pinball fanfare that highlights the technology, evolution and fun of the game, including an oversized pinball machine flipper that is perfect for a unique photo opportunity.

Notable games on display are Whiffle (1931), one of the earliest pinball machines; World's Fair Jigsaw (1933), which features a mechanical jigsaw puzzle on its playfield; and Humpty Dumpty (1947), the first game with flippers. Artifacts include reproductions of original playfield design drawings from the museum's Williams Pinball Playfield Design Collection and an original prototype playfield for the Lord of the Rings (2003) pinball machine, created by revered game designer George Gomez.

"The exhibit illustrates how quickly the pinball playfield evolved from a relatively simple board with pins and scoring holes to a popping and flipping electromechanical marvel," Saucier said. "And these are just a sampling of the more than 250 historically significant video arcade and pinball machines collected by the Strong in recent years."

Pinball Playfields is produced by Strong's International Center for the History of Electronic Games. The exhibit is sponsored in part by Stern Pinball.

"We are honored to partner with the Strong museum and have Stern Pinball machines on display in the Pinball Playfield exhibit," said chief executive Gary Stern. "Pinball has been a favorite global pastime for decades and this exhibit is an awesome way to show the growth of pinball over the years."

Museum hours: Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

General admission: Age 2 and older, $14; under age 2, free. Playable machines in Pinball Playfields require purchased tokens.

October 13, 2015 - Strong Museum Recieves Williams Collection!
Electronic gaming and amusement company Williams Electronics Games, Inc. has donated to The Strong in Rochester, New York, hundreds of original pinball design drawings from between 1946 and 1995 that document the changes in pinball machine design after World War II. The collection includes more than 200 hand-drawn sketches of playfields (the machine's surface where the ball rolls), hundreds of mechanical design drawings, and examples of original pinball concept artwork.

"Williams pinball designers introduced many pinball innovations—including ramps, drop targets, and modern three-inch flippers—to challenge and entertain players. They helped make the company one of the most important arcade and pinball game manufacturers of the last half of the 20th century," says Jeremy Saucier, assistant director for The Strong's International Center for the History of Electronic Games.

The Williams Pinball Playfield Design Collection, 1946–1995, includes playfield designs for games such as Dynamite (1946), Williams's second pinball machine; Sunny (1947), the company's first game with flippers; All American Quarterback (1949); Nine Sisters (1953); Daffy Derby (1954); Magic Clock (1960); Vagabond (1962); Apollo (1967); Little Chief (1975); Joust (1983); Diner (1990); The Machine: Bride of Pinbot (1991); Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure (1993); and Dirty Harry (1995). The collection includes drawings by legendary and prolific pinball designers such as Harry Williams (company founder), Gordon Horlick, Harry Mabs (invented flippers while at Gottlieb), Steve Kordek (invented drop targets), Norm Clark, Barry Oursler, Mark Ritchie, and Python Anghelo.

Says former Williams software developer Duncan Brown, "For a pinball company, the earliest of these drawings are as close as you can get to "founding documents.' Drawn by Harry Williams himself and later Gordon Horlick, Sam Stern, Steve Kordek, and Norm Clark, these drawings show erasures, alterations, and additions that tell us about the evolution of a particular game. These designers, so important to the pinball industry, sat at tables with pencils, rulers, and these very pieces of paper, and created magic. To my knowledge, no other such body of pinball design history from this era still exists."

The Williams Pinball Playfield Design Collection sits among the world's most comprehensive collections of video games, other electronic games, and electronic game-related historical materials—including the Atari Coin-Op Divisions Collection. Some of the designs will be on display in a new pinball exhibit opening at The Strong in early 2016.

June 4, 2014 - Texas Pinball Festival sets a Guinness World Record! Ever see 272 people play pinball all at once? If you attended the Texas Pinball Festival on March 28th, you might have even participated. And now that moment is a part of history recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people playing the silver ball simultaneously.

Check out the story by clicking GUINNESS

June 4, 2014 - Planetary Pinball Supply acquires Illinois Pinball! Planetary Pinball Supply (PPS) today acquired the majority of the assets from the bankruptcy estate of Gene Cunningham. Matt Christiano, PPS chairman, also acquired Illinois Pinball, Inc. (IPB).

"We've acquired a large number of pinball machines, parts, and other items which we will be making available to the pinball community, and we hope to see these games and other items put back in service and enjoyed.", said Rick Bartlett, PPS CEO.

"Illinois Pinball has assets which we feel are complementary to what PPS currently has and so this acquisition makes sense as we can provide more new playfields, cabinet art, backglasses, and other parts", said Matt Christiano, PPS Chairman, "The acquisition of IPB will allow PPS to get parts to the community more quickly for game owners to restore and enhance their games".

Rick Bartlett is overseeing the transfer of the assets in Bloomington, IL for the next few weeks and will not be at the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show this weekend as originally planned. Matt Christiano will be there representing both PPS and IPB.

PPS is the sole WMS licensee for replacement pinball parts, pinball merchandise, and games utilizing WMS parts. We manufacture, sell/distribute, and otherwise focus on leveraging the WMS licensee rights for the maximum benefit of the pinball owners and fans all over the planet.

April 9, 2014 - Classic Pinball Artist/Designer Python Anghelo Dies.
Word of Python's passing spread quickly through out the pinball community as soon as the news was released. Python had been ill in recent years and had been close to death for the past few months but it seemed like he willed himself to keep going with his sheer love of life. There will be a short video remembrance as part of the PGJ presentation at the Midwest Gaming Classic and more here and in the pages of the PGJ in the future.

January 26, 2014 - A message from Barry Oursler

From Jim Schelberg of the PinGame Journal --

I just got this from designer Barry Oursler (Jan 26, 2014) and I'm hoping anyone who reads it will help.

"In February 2013, I was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. The treatments and prescriptions are not fully covered and last July, Donna was diagnosed with kidney failure. She must receive dialysis three times per week and her prescriptions are also very expensive. To make matters worse, it is costing us $350 per month for her transportation no matter how we have tried to lower that cost.

We have been married almost 40 years and I would like to keep us both around for awhile longer, but things have gotten pretty desparate at the Oursler household.

I have never done anything like this before but I didn't know where else to turn except to my friends and fans in pinball.

If you can help, any amount would be appreciated. Thanks, Barry"

(Please donate at the link below. If you would like to use a check, I am accepting them on Barry's behalf. Make them out to the PinGame Journal, mark it For Barry and send to 31937 Olde Franklin Drive, Farmington Hills, MI, 48334 USA.

Also, all donations to the PGJ through PayPal at the PGJ web site for the rest if this month (Jan 2014) will go, instead, to Barry. So if its easier for you that way, do it. -- (you can increase the 'Quantity' to increase your donation)

To use "Go Fund Me" go to

Thanks, Jim

December 12, 2013 - Bally Expressway "cast member" in The Crazy Ones!

Catching up on the new CBS comedy The Crazy Ones starring Robin Williams I began to notice that the game shows up in nearly every episode. But then I realized that, so far, all it DOES is show up. No one playing, not even in the background and certainly no storyline about it.

What gives?

The show is set IN CHICAGO. The home of pinball. There's a pin that's a permanent part of the set. They are advertising experts. Connect the dots, people!!

--The game is there--play it.
--Build at least a minor plot line around it.
--Or better yet, since they are always dealing with real brands on the show, how about Chicago area company Stern Pinball? Some character must like pinball to have a game there, so Stern asking for a pitch from them would follow.

Watch the show and let me know what you think. Or let them know ... Or both.

I have a connection in the cast who should know you have to PLAY pinball, not just look at it, but we can get your comments right to where they need to go.

The Crazy Ones, CBS, Thursday 9pm EST.

September 1, 2013 - The PGJ presents: THE VOICE OF XENON--SUZANNE CIANI at Pinball Expo 2013!

It's going to be a blast! I've been asking her for years and she always has something more important to do ... like one time she actually turned down Expo because she was working on the score of a movie about Mother Teresa! Mother Teresa didn't even PLAY pinball so who knows what Suzanne was thinking? Well finally, she has come to her senses and Suzanne will be at Expo this year.

The main event will be a panel discussion on the creation of Xenon. We are working on assembling team members all together for the first time since the Bally days. Suzanne will also be attending the autograph session and banquet on Saturday. There are a number of other events being discussed currently and dates and times are being firmed so more info will be available when finalized. Check out the Pinball Expo web site at for more into and Suzanne's site for more info about her at

This photo of Suzanne was taken when she made a surprise visit to PPE in 2009!

September 1, 2013

It's about darn time, but better late than never as the SPPC finally got around to turning the tables and grilled me with seering questions just in time for a 2013 Labor Day barbecue! It's podcast #41 and is playing for the first time as I type these words at 12:28 EST (I know what I said so I don't have to listen ... ).

But it's available anytime at their web site at Here's a group shot I took of Charlie and the girls at Expo 2012. The PGJ segment is hosted by Joe Hartman. Thanks to everyone, it was fun.


Pinball Tip #6--Wet, Cold and Damp

This great time of year means wet, cold and damp weather in many parts of the USA and elsewhere. And wet, cold and damp is NOT good news for pinball machines. If your pinball machine is in a garage or storage or other place that isn't constantly warm, take a few precautions to protect it:

3. Do play your machine at least once or twice a month, just to get the mechanical parts moving, so they don't build up dirt or goo or corrosion on the switches.

4. If you do have a stuck or dirty switch, it's easy to clean. If you have an old electro-mechanical machine, use a pinball file (or in a pinch an emery board) on the little nipples on the switches. If you have an electronic machine, do NOT use a file, you'll wear off the fine gold plating on the switch. Use a clean business card.

Presented by B.B. Kamoroff, author of "Pinball Machine Care and Maintenance: How to Purchase, Maintain, Adjust and Repair Your Own Pinball Machine," now in its 14th printing. This book is available from the PGJ, click HERE for info OR Click HERE to visit the author's site!

Visit the Repair Tip Archives by clicking HERE


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  • PinGame Journal, 31937 Olde Franklin Drive, Farmington Hills, MI 48334-1731