Did you ever play The Addams Family pinball machine? I recall it as probably the best I’ve ever played. It was the highest selling pinball game ever with 20,270 units. Read that number again. Best selling ever. 20,270.

Standards of success vary across industries. Also, the modern market for pinball machines seems small.

: Zubon

Wikipedia calls it “the best selling pinball machine since the 1930s” (emphasis added), but the pinball machines of the 1930s were early pachinko machines, not what you would think of as pinball. The first pinball machine with flippers was made in 1947, so the early pinball machines were pure gambling games of chance. The Roger Sharpe‘s demonstration of pinball as a game of skill is a lovely comedy of errors that reached the right result by mostly luck. (The previous version I read said they switched machines due to technical problems, not suspicion of cheating.)

6 thoughts on “Scaling”

  1. Addams Family is an excellent pinball, no doubt about it.

    But did you ever play “Scared Stiff”, the Elvira pinball? That was my favourite of all time. See for some details. Production was only 4,028 units, though, apparently, small cheese compared to Addams Family.

  2. I remember that machine. It was a really good one, but I never did much analysis of why. I kinda wish I had one… though I have nowhere to put it.

  3. I played a lot of pinball in my youth. The machine I remember best is Gottlieb’s Royal Flush (seen in action here ) but even that was too modern, really. I mostly played in bars in Spain on holiday and at fairs at home and most of the machines were 1950s vintage I guess. Much simpler and for my money better than the later, flashier, tricksier models.

    If you haven’t read Nik Cohn’s wonderful novel “Arfur: Teenage Pinball Queen” you really should.

    1. I remember Royal Flush. We had a pool hall a mile or so from my house. We used to ride our bikes over to it one summer and play the video games they had stuffed in a side room. I spent a lot of time playing the three pinball machines they had in there, Royal Flush, Spanish Eyes, and Quick Draw.

      We went there because the nearest full fledged arcade was twice the distance. Then my family up and moved practically next door to a Time Zone and that was the end of that.

  4. As someone who spent too many quarters on pinball machines in his youth, I’m pretty saddened that its popularity has declined so much that there is now only one surviving manufacturer in the whole world. Can we get some kind of historical exemption placed on these guys so we can make sure they don’t go out of business?

  5. The Elvira pinball was a blast, pretty sure I snapped a tendon gaunching that machine.

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