July 2017 – New Pinball Games for July

Midwest Pinball has acquired a number of games recently.  Over the next few weeks, we will be adding these games to the website as they are completed. If there is a game you are interested in, please contact us so we can move it up on the schedule.

Newest Pinball Games for Sale:

  • Gottlieb’s Flipper Pool – This game is a little rough on the exterior
  • Gottlieb’s Ice Show
  • Gottlieb’s Mars, God of War
  • 1985 Gottlieb’s Chicago Cubs Triple Play
  • 1995 Gottlieb’s Shaq Attaq
  • 1985 Williams’ Sorcerer – This is a great looking game that is a lot of fun to play. Sorcerer features three flippers, a sweeping row of standup targets, and a bank of three drop targets. The playfield is both dark and colorful.

In addition, we have recently added the following games to our website:

  • 1970 Williams’ Bonanza Gun Game
  • 2007 Stern’s Spiderman Black Limited Edition

Please call (312) 925-1386 if you have any questions, or would like to schedule a visit.

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June 2017 – Playfield Repairs

Midwest Pinball offers a wide range of pinball restoration services, including extensive repairs to pinball playfields and cabinets. We provide full restorations to playfields including sanding down planked areas, repainting missing paint, and applying a hard clear-coat.

We recently performed extensive repairs to a Bally’s Harlem Globetrotters playfield. Harlem Globetrotters On Tour from the late 70’s is one of Bally’s licensed-theme games that they started in doing in the mid-70’s. These games garnered a lot of attention and ran very high production runs – 14,550 in the case of Harlem Globetrotters. (Bally’s KISS had the highest production for 1979 at 17,000!)  In the late 70’s, the big three pinball manufacturers (Bally, Gottlieb, Williams) were each introducing a new title nearly every month. As a result, over 225,000 pinball machines were produced in 1979 alone.

We picked this game up from the client’s house and proposed repairing the game and restoring the playfield. As you can see in the photos below, there was significant damage around the inserts and across the center of the playfield. There was also severe planking along the left and right sides of the middle playfield.



We repaired the damage to the playfield, repainted large sections, and clear-coated the entire playfield with an automotive clear coat to seal the surface and keep the new paint from wearing off.

If your game need work, a lot or just a little, please call us. We provide estimates up front with a menu of services from which to pick. Minor repairs or LED conversions can be done onsite.

Please call Rich at (312) 925-1386 if you have any questions, or would like to schedule a visit.

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April 2017 – Chicagoland Coin-Op Show Recap

This year’s Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot-Machine and Jukebox Show (a.k.a. the Chicagoland Coin-Op Show) was well attended. There was a fantastic turnout, especially since the Midwest Gaming Classic was held this year on the very same weekend in Milwaukee, WI. The Coin-Op Show boasted over 315 booths, replete with interesting jukeboxes, slot machines, gumball and popcorn machines, beer signs, mechanical scales, and…of course…pinball machines.
Midwest Pinball was one of only two companies selling pinball machines at the show. Our booth featured Gottlieb’s Big Indian, Gottlieb’s Sheriff and Stern’s Spider-Man. We sold both Big Indian and Sheriff on Saturday. Rich was happily able to talk face-to-face with a lot of our current and potential customers and answer any questions related to pinball and service. He enjoyed seeing familiar faces, so thanks for coming by our booth!
If you didn’t have a chance to stop by the show, we still have fun pinball machines available for sale including: Stern’s Spider-Man, Sega’s Harley Davidson, Data East’s Star Trek, Bally’s Captain Fantastic and Gottlieb’s Flipper Clown. You can check out our current inventory on our website here:

Pinball Machines for Sale


The next Chicagoland Coin-Op Show is November 10-12th. Information about dates and times can be found on the Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot-Machine and Jukebox Show’s website at


Check our future blogs for more details.

Also, please don’t hesitate to give Rich a call if you have any questions, or would like to schedule a visit. Midwest Pinball is grateful for all of the pinball enthusiasts out there who support our business and keep the game alive. Thank you!

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March 2017 – Have Gun Will Travel

This week we picked up three Western-themed games. Gottlieb Big Indian (1974) and Sheriff (1971) are pinball machines. And Williams Bonanza (1970) is a gun game with moving targets.

 Gottlieb Big Indian - Upper Playfield Detail

One of the most popular games of the 70’s, Gottlieb Big Indian is a four-player game featuring a range of classic features – drop targets, vari-target, and pop bumpers. This game has a great playfield with new drop targets and pop bumper caps. The cabinet is in excellent shape with bright colors and new legs.

 Gottlieb Big Indian - Middle Playfield

Gottlieb Sheriff is another great four-player game from the 70’s. Sheriff was also produced as a two-player game (Lawman) and a single-player game (Texas Ranger). The playfield has a single row of ten drop targets along the left-hand side and two parallel lanes of rollover switches along the right-hand side. The cabinet on this game is in excellent shape with bright colors and clean lines.

Gottlieb Sheriff - Middle Playfield Detail

Gottlieb Sheriff - Middle Playfield

Gottlieb Sheriff - Cabinet Left

We also picked up a classic gun game – Williams Bonanza. The game features sounds of galloping and whinnying horses with an occasional gunshot ricochet. The cabinet is in great shape with bright green and brown imagery.

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1992 – Williams The Getaway – $3800

Shift Into High Gear


Williams The Getaway: High Speed II is the sequel to Williams 1986 High Speed pinball machine. The backglass artwork was done by Doug Watson and playfield art was done by Mark Sprenger. According to the game designer, Steve Ritchie, the car chase theme came from a real high speed chase when he was chased by police at 146 mph in his 1979 Porsche 928.


The Getaway has three flippers, three pop bumpers, and a gear shift ball launcher that doubles as the control during game play and video mode to control the RPMs. A metal supercharger loop uses three magnets to hurl the ball around the track and release it into play. The steel ramp and chrome cover reflect the red flashers and LED bumper caps.


Game play includes a video mode where the player uses the flipper buttons and gear shift to race through traffic. The goal of the video mode is to get as far as possible as quickly as possible without wrecking the car. Players use the flipper buttons to change lanes and the gear shift to upshift to higher speeds.


We have added a police car with flashing lights to the upper left hand corner. The lights on the police car flash in sequence with the Mars light on top of the backbox. We have also added a model Donut Heaven restaurant on the right hand side over the ball lock.


The Getaway is a fast-paced game with a good mix of long and short shots It features a three ball multi-ball is a four-player game suitable for all ages. The game uses the song “La Grange” by ZZ Top for its theme song. This game has been upgraded with LED lighting throughout and configured for free play. Please call or e-mail with any questions.

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October 2016 – New Pinball Explosion

Over the past couple of years, several new pinball companies entered the market and developed many different pinball formats. New titles include traditional pinball machines, multi-game units, virtual pinball, and customizable units. Advances in technology, including programmable electronics and 3D printing, simplify the development of new platforms and reduce the cost of the prototyping process.

This was clearly evident at this year’s Pinball Expo in Wheeling, IL (outside Chicago). Jersey Jack Pinball brought the newest version of The Hobbit (the Black Arrow Special Edition) named after the arrow that defeats Smaug in the fantasy film trilogy. Special features include Black Arrow attract mode animation, Black Ink body armor, black pinballs, and black flipper bats.

Jersey Jack Pinball also brought Dialed In, a new game designed by Pat Lawler (designer of Addams Family, Twilight Zone, and Whirlwind). Dialed In integrates smartphone connectivity and a camera. By laying your smartphone down on the glass, it can activate a special mode during multi-ball. The game also features 5 magnets, “3 flying drones”, a “3-D interactive projected image”, and an animated robot.

VPCabs brought several virtual pinball cabinets capable of playing both classic arcade games and pinball tables. The Vertigo features a very large main display and color dot matrix display at the top of the cabinet. The control panel has the buttons, track ball, and joystick needed to play video games and buttons mounted on the sides of the cabinet for use as flipper buttons when playing pinball.

Multimorphic showcased its P3 Pinball Platform a dynamic modular pinball machine. The company develops new games for its platform that combine traditional pinball and new technologies. Lexy Lightspeed – Escape from Earth is Multimorphic’s first game and Cosmic Cart Racing will be the second.

During Pinball Expo, Stern Pinball held its own event to celebrate Stern’s thirty years in the pinball industry. At the event, Stern had a number of Ghostbuster pinball machines. Ghostbusters, Stern’s latest release, features the characters and elements from the original 1984 movie and 1989 sequel. The playfield artwork explodes with color and is packed with features. The Limited Edition (LE) version uses Ecto Glasses to project holographic ghosts onto the playfield that react to ball hits.

We expect pinball to continue to evolve and incorporate new technology that enhances the player’s experience. Pinball is back and with a great future.

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October 2016 – Keeping the Ball Alive: 30 Years of Stern Pinball

For over a decade, Stern Pinball was the world’s only major manufacturer of pinball machines. Many new companies have emerged in the past few years, but Stern remains the biggest and most stable. Stern Pinball has thirty years of experience and a seasoned staff committed to producing pinball machines.

Now PaperFlock is running a Kickstarter to publish a coffee table book to commemorate three decades of pinball containing prototype designs, artwork, and diagrams highlighting Stern’s range of pinball machines. The book will also include interviews with the game designers and other Stern employees.

The kickstarter is running through early December 2016. If you are interested in pinball, please check out the kickstarter and help make the project a success. Here is a link to the project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paperflock/keeping-the-ball-alive-30-years-of-stern-pinball

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September 2016 – Star Trek 50th Anniversary

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek TV series, BBC America ran all the original episodes in the order they aired. I recorded them all and have been watching two or three per night (still have 40 to go).

We currently have two of the four Star Trek themed pinball machines for sale. The first one was produced by Bally in conjunction with Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. This game is similar to most of Bally’s titles from the late 70’s and early 80’s. It has nice ball flow with a good range of shots. Since it is not digital, all the sounds are produced by chimes. Below is a photo of the Bally Star Trek we have for sale.


The second title was produced by Data East in 1991. This game has more features on the playfield and ramp shots that make the game faster. It also has a transporter effect in the backglass that makes it look like the characters are beaming down to a planet. The game includes both speech and music. Below is a photo of the Data East Star Trek we have for sale.

DE Star Trek - BackglassDE Star Trek - Playfield MiddleDE Star Trek - Playfield Lower

Please call or e-mail us with any questions or for more photos of either game.


The third title is Williams Star Trek: The Next Generation, from 1993, which features characters and scenarios from the 90’s TV series. As a much newer game, it features a wide range of shots, video modes, full speech and sound and elaborate game play. We do not currently have one for sale, but would be able to locate one.

The fourth title is very recent. In 2013, Stern produced three models of their Star Trek pinball machine. Stern’s standard edition is the Starfleet Pro and its two special editions are the Enterprise and Vengeance editions (named for the two star ships). We do not typically sell new games, but would be able to handle delivery, installation and ongoing service.

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1991 – Data East Star Trek – $3000

Beam Me Up Scotty

DE Star Trek - Backglass

Data East Star Trek 25th Anniversary Edition brings all the characters from the original Star Trek show. Captain Kirk, Spock, Chekov, Sulu, Uhura, and Dr McCoy appear on the backglass in a patented “Transporter Effect” that makes the characters disappear and reappear.

DE Star Trek - Playfield Upper

Star Trek features two flippers, three pop bumpers, saucers, a swinging target, and two four-target banks of drop targets. The game features plastic ramps and multi-colored wire forms to move the ball around the playfield. In the game, players collect crystals by making various shots across the playfield.

DE Star Trek - Playfield Middle

Game play includes a three-ball multi-ball mode. Once all the dilithium crystals have been collected and the engines are at 100%, the game starts a multi-ball mode. The game also features a video mode where the player shoots at different enemy ships as they race across the display.

DE Star Trek - Playfield Lower

Star Trek is a nice, four-player, family-friendly game with multiple shots, modes, and features. The game provides a fun experience for all players. The game is setup for free play. Please call or e-mail with any questions or for more photos.

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1976 – Bally Captain Fantastic – $3000

The Classic Pinball from the 70’s

Bally Captain Fantastic - Backglass

Inspired by the 1975 movie Tommy, Bally’s 1976 Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy is a classic electro-mechanical pinball machine with score wheels and chimes. The backglass depicts Elton John’s Pinball Wizard character from the movie. Dave Christensen, the artist, includes dozens of detailed characters in the background cheering him on. Although the original artwork features characters that were later censored by Bally, the glass for this game has the censored artwork, often referred to as the “stars-version”. Additional silver stars were added to cover up some of the character’s actions.

Bally Captain Fantastic - Playfield Upper

Captain Fantastic features four flippers, three pop bumpers, eight roll over buttons, one bank of five drop targets, and a ball save gate in the right out lane. Scoring the top center rollover when lit opens the gate for the player. The game uses a buzzer to indicate when a player rolls the score wheels over to 100,000 points. A light behind the backglass illuminates to show which players have exceeded one hundred thousand points.

Bally Captain Fantastic - Playfield Middle

This is the full-sized arcade version of the game. (Bally produced a home-model with fewer features that is scaled down for kids to play.) The game allows up to four players and it set to free play so that quarters are not required. The cabinet on this game has been restored to its original bright red, white, and blue color scheme with the proper speckling to break up the white background. Please call or e-mail us for more pictures or with any questions.

Bally Captain Fantastic - Cabinet Right

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