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How many pinballs left to recreate? A partial answer!


Pinball Wizard
Hi All

I have seen a few comments on the forums over the time I've been here asking about how many tables have been replicated and how many are left to replicate.

More recently I borrowed a book (Pinball - the lure of the silver ball) from the library. In the back of that book is a list purporting to be a list of all pinballs made between 1939 and 1988 when the book was published.

I thought, that's not too many: why don't I make a list, correlate it with tables recreated on the 3 main sites: Pinball Nirvana, IRPinball and AJ's?

Of course, when I looked into it I found that the list was very incomplete and while I initially went with the list from the book I eventually decided that if this was going to be done it should be done properly. Now I am using the IPDB as my reference. If I had started there I probably would have just given up figuring this is too big a task, but, hey, I'd already started so why not finish!

Anyway this is the first iteration of Pinball - The List. It is a work in progress. I have a few of the companies fully listed with recreations referenced. As you will see I'm only up to G and I haven't got Chicago Coin in there yet. My plan is to add the major and second level companies initially (eg: the big 3 and Stern, Chicago Coin, Genco, Data East etc) and then expand the list to include as many of the companies on the IPDB as I can do until I get too frustrated with the size of this project. As you can probably tell, this is a long term project to say the least.

I saw a thread recently where someone said there weren't many tables left to recreate and we should concentrate on improving the current recreations. As you can see from my list, this is incorrect unless you think pinball began with Solid State machines. Lot's of work to keep us authors busy for years to come I'm afraid.

The list was made in Excel and converted to PDF. It is designed so that it can be printed on A4 paper so the type is pretty small. You would also have to adjust the page breaks to print the list.

Enjoy the first WIP of The List!



  • pinball_list_10_nov_2005.zip
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Add-a-ball specialist
Site Supporters
I don't know how many haven't been recreated, but I do know that about 75% of the ones done need redone as I don't even think they are keepers.


PN co-founder
Like you said, most people think pinball was born with the advent of SS. I tend to feel that's when pinball began to die, and since Stern and a few wannabe start ups is all that's left, maybe I'm more correct than I wish I were. I like the cpmpanies on your list, but would add at lest Exhibit Supply, who was a biggie for a while.

The shame of all this is that many of the smaller campanies have almost no record of their existing. A good example is Peo, which was based in Buffalo NY. JPH has tried to learn more about them without any luck. I have a feeling that the IPDB has a lot of gaps that will never be filled . . . small shops from the 20s to the 50s that made counter top games that no one knows about.

A lot has to do with now wide or narrow the scpoe of your list is. If it covers only pure commercial pinball, you might have a chance, but if you expand it to include trade stimulators and other coin-op devices you have quite a chore ahead of you. And I tend to agree with Bob, many of the tables we have need to be redone and updated. Good project David.



Pinball Wizard
Site Supporters
Actually, the redone tables are perfect. But you'll have to redo them for yourself because we're not sharing anymore. :)


Pinball Wizard
I think I will limit it to commercial tables, but you never know. Gottleib is next which might be the biggest of them all. By the way, Exhibit is in the list and that's a complete list from the IPDB. In terms of needing to improve current recreations - as always graphics are the limiting factor. I think Compufox's recent recreation of Gulfstream is a case in point, he did a good job with the graphics he has but the graphics are just not that good and it would be nice to get a better version of this table if we can find some better graphics.

Hey Destruk - I wanna know ;) Knowledge is power!!

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