The Pinbotz Guide to the Greatest Pinball Machines of the '80s and the '90s

The title of the self-published The Pinbotz Guide to the Greatest Pinball Machines of the '80s and the '90s is misleading. I thought it was going to be a coffee-table picture book. Instead, it is an informative buyer's guide, serving as an excellent resource detailing problematic, game-specific issues to be aware of before purchasing.
Twenty machines are listed in order of greatness as determined by the author. He provides each game with a run-down of "What To Look For Before Buying" in regards to the playfield and the cabinet, specifically key areas to look for wear and damage, as well as "Mechanical & Technical" issues. There are suggestions about modifications, which are recommended for aficionados, such as changing covers and bulbs to the color blue to create a watery look on White Water, the author's favorite game. Some of the modifications are Pinbotz original creations, like backboard decals. The book mentions dealers' websites to assist in finding needed parts.There could have been a better description of game play because what is provided is too brief to get a sense of what happens for those unfamiliar with the games. "Tricks & Tips" are included for Dracula, but it is odd that no other game has similar information.
Pictures offer close detail on problem areas to clarify points made by the author, but I would have preferred to see the entire playfield. They are oddly formatted on the page; half of them are off-axis, giving the book an amateurish look. It draws attention to the fact that the 61 pages look like one long Word document.
I was happy to see the machines Pinbot and Funhouse make the cut because those were two games my friends and I spent many hours and quarters playing in the late '80s with great regularity at Mr. Hora's arcade. Freddy Fender could have written "Wasted Days & Wasted Nights" about us.
Greatest Pinball Machines is an excellent book for the purpose it serves, but its audience is very limited. It is available at Lulu.com




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Pinball Manufacturing Inc's remake of Big Bang Bar

Several buyers got a shock message recently. Their games had been built, shipped and were ready for collection.
Could it be some kind of joke? Surely it couldn't be true?
But it was no joke and four letters explain exactly why this happened - RoHS.
The new Reduction of Hazardous Substances law introduced across Europe on 1st July meant certain products containing dangerous materials such as lead would no longer be permitted to be imported into the European Union after that date.
Most firms have adapted their manufacturing processes to use lead-free components and construction materials such as solder but Pinball Manufacturing Inc were using existing Capcom board sets built using solder containing... lead. So the race was on to get those games destined for Europe shipped so they would arrive before the 1st July deadline.
The machines (believed to number 14) arrived in The Netherlands in time and were distributed around the country as well as Germany and Belgium over the following days So there we have it. They did it (or at least some of it) and completed a number of games, shipped them and delighted their unsuspecting new owners.
The remainder of the games will not be shipped until they have all been completed, but it's a real boost to the project and to those waiting patiently for their games to know there are a number of very satisfied customers who can testify to the quality of the product.
But if you're not one of the lucky ones to get their game, can you still play one?
Yes you can, because the Silverstone complex just outside Amsterdam also bought one and from August 16th 2006 it will form part of their Pinball Magic collection of pinball games open to the public. Thanks www.pinballnews.com


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