Curious to find out what our favourite EM games are? Keep on reading
Our Favourite EM Games
Abra-Ca-Dabra – Our Favourite EM Games : Gottlieb single player EM game made in 1975. It’s a popular game and requires some restoration work since it didn’t work when I bought it as part of a package deal with a Buccaneer from Rod Wideman who is the most meticulous restoration person I have ever met. One bit of wisdom Rod told me was to focus on single player games since there is far less scorewheels that need attention and the game is lighter without all those scorewheels. The game looks nice and everything is there, just a matter of restoration since it’s in the same shape as when Rod bought it. There is an add-a-ball version of this game made in 1977 named “Team One” which was also has an Itialian market version known as “Kicker” also made in 1977.
Alpine Club – Williams single player EM game with a snow skiing theme made in February of 1965. I bought this game from Jim Swenson for 400 bucks on April 3th of 2011 and it’s in good condition for a game of this age. The game features the same kind of odd cabinet design similar to Full House which was made the same year by Williams, and there were 1,200 games produced (not that many). It features 4 flippers, 4 pop bumpers, 3 passive bumpers, 2 slingshots, 2 kick-out holes, 1 standup target, and a right outlane ball return gate. Lots of things going on for this game. It also features a backglass marguee and backglass light animation which shows a climber ascending a mountain. When the climber is almost at the top of the mountain a flag at the summit flashes. When the climber reaches the summit the player is rewarded with a replay and the animation resets. Note that this is a carry-over feature from game to game. It uses a bell instead of chimes for sound effects. The game was designed by Steve Kordek with artwork by Art Stenholm. There is an add-a-ball version known as “Ski Club.” An interesting note is that the backglass shows the mountain climber is silkscreened fourteen times but only 10 lamps were used in the stepping mechanism to light the climber. You will also find that near the upper flippers are holes where a lamp should be, however there are no lamp sockets wired to these holes. A very interesting game.
Big Hit – I got this game from my pinhead buddy Tim in June of 2012. This is an Exhibit Supply game made in February of 1946, so this is an old guy. The game doesn’t have flippers and is an EM game with 13 scoring bumpers, 1 kickout hole, and 3 lanes in the center of the playfield. Although this game doesn’t have any flippers, it’s still a neat old game that was made months after WWII was over. It even has a card in the backbox that says “Important Due to acute wire shortages it has been necessary to substitute colors in some instances.” This was caused by the war of course since copper wiring with cloth insulation was in short supply. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot known about the game and in particular, no idea of the number of games manufactured, who designed the game, or who did the artwork.
Big Shot – Gottlieb single player EM game with a pool theme made in August of 1973. I bought this game from Kim (Mr.68) for 400 bucks and it’s in great condition. Looks like it was a game that was never on a route it’s so clean. There were 2,900 games made and it has 2 flippers, 1 pop bumper, two 7-bank drop targets, and one kick-out hole. The game was designed by Ed Krynski and artwork was created by one of my favorite artists – Gordon Morison. There is a 4-player version named “Hot Shot’ and a single player add-a-ball version named “Pro Pool” which has an Italian version named “Play Pool” which was made in 1972.
Big Top – Genco single player game made in February of 1949 (the game is older than me). It’s a woodrail game that features 2 flippers (that flip in the opposite direction when compared to newer games) with 2 pop bumpers and 5 kick-out holes. The game was designed by Harvey Heiss and there isn’t any more info about the game. The backglass has some issues, but the cabinet and playfield look nice for such an old game. I got this game for $150 from Jim Swenson on April 30th of 2011.
- Buccaneer – Gottlieb single player EM game made in 1976. I bought this game from Rod Wideman as part of a package deal along with Abra-Ca-Dabra. The great thing this game has going for it (other than it’s a fun game to play) is that this is a Rod Wideman shopped game. That means that everything is meticulously restored and looks like a game you could eat off of it’s so clean. Probalby the finest example of a restored game that I own thanks to Rod’s work. There’s an add-a-ball version of the game made in 1976 known as “Ship Ahoy.” I sold this game to a fellow pinhead in 2014 that should really enjoy this classic game.
- Captain Kid Rifle Game – Although not a Pinball game, it is an EM rifle game featuring a spinning ship’s wheel with targets, a captain’s face that rotates from side to side periodically throughout the game, and a couple of pirate flags that raise up and down during play. Very fun game. I got this game along with the Magic City EM from Jim Swenson for $250 in April of 2010. Took some minor switch adjusting that Jim did to get the game basically working, and only needed to be cleaned and a power cord replaced. I ended up selling this game to fellow pinhead Steve Dankanich along with a few other games in 2014.
- Casino – Williams single player wood rail EM game that featues 2 flippers, 4 pop bumpers, 2 kick-out holes, and 1 gobble hole. Rollovers and kick-out holes will light playing cards on the mirrored backglass which is often distorted (the mirroring). I got this game through a trade with my pinhead buddy Tim. I traded him a clear-coated Target Alpha that had most all of the playfield parts replaced and 200 bucks for the working Casino game. The game was designed by Harry Williams with artwork by George Molentin.
- Central Park – Gottlieb single player EM game made in 1966. Central Park is a very fun game to play and unlike many other games from the 60s, the playfield is usually found in a very nice condition for some reason. The playfield looks new with no wear on it and plenty of targets. The game works and I had it set up for awhile, but due to space constraints (ugh), I had to take it down and store it on end. I’ll set it up one of these days since it’s a very fun game to play. I bought this game for $900 from John Detweiller (Sir Tiltsalot) who sent me email not too long afterwards wanting to know if I would be interested in selling it back to him since it was so popular in his house.
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