The Princess and the Pirate

Adventure / Comedy (more)

28 October 2004

Ain't No Tommy

Hey, I bought a pinball machine. 1978 Stars manufactured by Stern. The Princess and I have always loved pinball, and recently a good opportunity came up when this Stars machine, fully working, was advertised on the Mr. Pinball Classifieds from a guy in Belmont (a suburb of Grand Rapids) for $300. So last Sunday, the Princess and I drove over to meet Lee Jansma at his house, the basement of which is filled with pinball machines and NASCAR posters. He collects primarily old Gottlieb electro-mechanical pins from before the 60s. But sometimes he gets ahold of a later solid state machine and gets it all functioning, then sells it for cheap.

The other machine he had available was a 1979 Bally SuperSonic, which the Princess liked better. It was a higher quality pin, but it was a little more expensive ($375) and, more importantly, I didn't like the playfield layout quite as well; the lower playfield seemed a little claustrophobic and it had one of those straight-up center targets that bug me for some reason. Stars, on the other hand, has a very open playfield; from the left flipper, you can actually hit the top of the playfield (which we be a great place for a target, alas). That means less action from playfield components, but greater ball control.

The game needs to be shopped, of course, meaning a good cleaning (especially blade switch contacts), new playfield rubber, and a little touch-up paint. That will likely need to wait until December, since the Princess and I will each be writing a novel in November. In the meantime, we're having a good time playing 2-player games. Any time I can score with the Princess is a happy time, even if I have to rely on more than 2 balls.


Blogger Joe said...

Dang, nice looking machine. I can't wait to try it out!

1:22 PM  

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