How many here own 'real life' pinballs?


PN co-founder
Jun 9, 2003
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Favorite Pinball Machine
Flying Trapeze 1934
Well, first off, I think these sorts of discussions are what I expect in a Real Life Machine forum. I don't have any, and other than a few home sale bagatelle when I was a boy, I've never had any. But I do search the web and collect pictures of antique gadgets, and get lucky finding old pins at times.

So I don't think you have to actually own one, I wish, I wish, but just have an intense interest and/or. curiousity about pinball prior to the obsession with flippers. So I'm moving this thread to the Real Life Machine forums, along with any others I feel belong there.

Well, I'm finally going to get my first bagatelle as an adult, although it won't be as big a deal as I would have hoped. A company I buy mail order from is offering a all wood toy bagatelle for only $12.00, so I have to do it. It measures 7" wide. 14" high, and 2 1/2" thick, has 10 steel balls, & what looks to be brass, round-headed brads. Sure, it's just a toy, but I've really wanted a bagatelle for years. I figure this is better than nothing, and even the shipping is free. If I have my scanner hooked up, I'd show y'all a SS, but the playfield puts me in mind of Lindstrom's old Gold Star. If nothing else, it'll be in perfect working order.


bagatelles turn up a lot in antique malls and flea markets. I am working on the first part of my blog now - it is on how to find a pinball and see if it's worth restoring. Since bagatelles and pinballs are roughly the same in that era, there is a lot of info that will be useful to you too.

I'm curious Ken, are most of the bagatelle you see in fairly good condition? At least the cheaper home sale versions weren't very heavy duty, so if they aren't stored properly, they could be ruined. I've seen a few that had warped or cracked playing fields, which is impossible to repair. Missing brads can be replaced, and balls aren't a problem either, and within reason, the glass can be scratched a bit and that's OK too, but once a playing field is damaged, it's the junkyard for that game.

Well, thanks to an alert by Penquin66, I've made my first ever bid at eBay, on one of Northwestern's rarer bagatelles. The only problem is that there is a reserve, which I hate, so I have no idea if I really have a chance at it or not. Besides, I don't understand too much about how eBay works. I placed a maximum bid, but the current bid listed is lower than mine. Anyone clue me in on that?

If I could find some decent less common bagatelle in the $25 range I might start a small collection. I think I'd only want Northwestern's since they were the leading manufacturer, but both Gotham and Lindstrom made some nice ones too. Here's what it looks like.



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Continuing my search, I've found Poosh M Up Jr.

or if you want to spend more money:

or if you can find a leg:

If you like blue:

for the poker fans:

Hope that everyone enjoys--I have to search e-bay for work and if a few of my own fun searches get thrown in at the same time.... :twisted:

Thanks for the links. Sounds like an interesting job, getting pay to do what I spend a few hours doing every night. I'm always hoping to run across, where folks offer pin related stuff free, or it's going to the garbage dump. Well, I can dream, can't I?

So I stopped bidding on the one with the reserve, and placed a bid on the one with the missing leg, which doesn't have a reserve, so maybe I'll get lucky. From the looks of it, the missing leg is one of the lower ones, so if I can't make a replacement, I might be able to remove the other leg, so at least it'll be even.

Yeah, that is the joy of working in a high tech field for an underfunded state university. You've got to try for the used stuff and then make it work...

I hope you do get one of the machines. I'm still quite new in the community, but I do enjoy helping others in the community when I can.

Well, right now I still have the high bid, so I could own it in about eight hours. Even if I don't get it, I'm going to keep bidding on the few I like and can afford. Although I would probably use a Reserve if I were an eBay seller, I won't bid on those kinds of items, since I could be wasting my time.

Besides bagatelle, I'm really getting interested in Trade Stimulators and Depression era Punch Boards, but most of those are way out of my league. So while it'll be nice if I can acquire a few things, I'm more into the hunt. Now, if anyone simply gets tired of something, I'll give it a good, friendly home. Below is a SS of what I'm trying for, not to shabby for being 70 years old.



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Thanks Penquin. I figure I can't too too bad, since I'm paying under $15.00 including the shipping. The only hitch is that PayPal won't process my payment. Wonder if their on the same server with VPF and shivaSite.


I actually owned a Pros-Per-Eti Special by Prosperity Coin from 1932. I paid $100 for it on Ebay and sold it to a collector who wanted to fix it up proper.

I also owned a Midget Hi-Ball by Peo Manufacturing. I paid $50 for it and sold it to the same guy for $800. No joke.

I come across quite a few flipperless machines now and then for VERY cheap but never have the money for em'.

U sed to own a Pachinko...

Back when i was around 13 or so (in 1972?) my family purchased, through Sears mail order, a pachinko. this machine had a small instruction book written in Chinese and two bags of balls. a hundred and a second bag or extra balls also 100. it had light up scoring pocket with a battery operated electric plunger. it got destroyed in a house flood we had in later years.
When i was 9 I had a stand-up (also from Sears; my mom lived for sears mail-order back in the 60's and 70's!) floor pinball machine I had bought with my own saved up paperboy money! (I still remember it cost $26.00 US back then( a small fortune to a kid back then!
I worked as a vending technician moving, cleaning, fixing, installing, setting up and converting video games, pool tables, juke boxes, shuffle alleys, cigarette machines, and pinball machines. I did it for 9 years, developing both a love for video games and a rekindled joy for pinball machines! I loved to strip them down and clean and wax them, going so far as to use a toothbrush to get the excess wax off the post bases! But, my love for pins goes back even further than that, I remember standing on beer can cases playing an old flipperless bagettelle at our local candy store for hours while my dad worked his second part-time night job across the street. I played for hours winning most of my games back as it paid out in a free game, instead of an extra ball as you were supposed to have them set up back then!
But today, it's just virtual for me, but I have hinted strongly to my gal of owning a used one before next years end so we'll see! (she makes way more than me...s-s-s-s-sh!)
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