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Richard Ragon

One mans quest to save Pinball..

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shut up and take my money!

I love pinball. I could play pinball all day long. When I was a kid a friend of mine had a pinball machine that was broken, so we decided we would "fix" it, so we took it apart and ended up breaking it more, but it was stunning all the stuff that makes a pinball machine work. One day I really hope to own a pinball machine, and after that an original Bob Ross painting.

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There's a guy in Clovis,ca I did a shoot about who actually hand makes pinball games still. Very interesting art for sure.

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Here's an interesting tip and a little known industry trade secrete.. If you ever get around to actually being in front of a pinball machine again.. take a really really close look at the artwork. If the machine is from 1950 to about 1990, look close at the artwork in the head. From about 1990-present, look really really close to the play-field.

There's always.. and, YES always some depiction of sex. Similar to the graphics in camel cigarettes. Sometimes its a clever, and sometimes it's just blatant.. but EVERY SINGLE PINBALL MACHINE since 1950 (and possibly before that) has some kind of sexual image. Most of the time it's a micro image of someone 'doing it' behind a bush, and it's incredibly small.. but once you find it, that hidden graphic, you'll never look at those pinball machines the same again. A well know collector pointed this out too me.

-Richard

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There was a company at CES this year with a few setup. Looked like they were trying to bring it back. Werent the best build quality, but they had licensed new art and were at least trying.

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Oh boy, one of my favorite things ever.

 

If anyone is ever in Asbury Park NJ, there is an excellent pinball museum/parlor on the boardwalk called Silverball:

 

http://silverballmuseum.com/

 

200+ machines dating from the beginnings through the 2000's... along with some classic video games/skee ball etc. They just reopened a few weeks ago after being hammered by Sandy. I live six blocks away so it seems whenever I have a spare moment I'm in there. ;D $50/mo. VIP membership allows all the play I can handle.

 

As to Richard's comments, looks like I have some research to do... some machines are pretty obvious(Scared Stiff featuring Elvira immediately comes to mind) but I will have to take some second looks.

 

The place in Vegas sounds cool too, gonna have to get there next time I'm in those parts.

 

Edit: Was in Silverball yesterday and look what they are getting in soon... there's gonna be a lot of time spent on this machine by me!

 

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On 1/10/2013 at 4:50 PM, dfisk said:

One day I really hope to own a pinball machine, and after that an original Bob Ross painting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I grew up playing pinball and owned one until a year ago. One from the '70's called Flash (no, not from the movie Flash Gordon).  It was the first pinball machine to have electronic sounds instead of bells, or so I'm told. Bought it for $600.  The first weekend we got it we must have put 200 games on it in 2 days.  Sold it because I needed the room.  Wish I had a basement.  Oh, I was always amazed that they never hired better artist for the art work.  As to Richard's remark about sex in the art work,  Check out the nut covering the nip on the bumper near the flipper.  Didn't take much to entice a young teenage boys mind.

 

Image result for flash pinball machine

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