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21 Pinball

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Manufacturing date : February 24, 1960
Manufacturer : Williams Electronic Manufacturing Company
Number of players : 1
Theme : Cards/Gambling
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Pinball lesson with Wikipedia

Pinball in popular culture

Pinball games have frequently been featured in popular culture, often as a symbol of rebellion or toughness. Perhaps the most famous instance is the rock opera album Tommy (1969) by British band The Who, which centers on the title character, a "deaf, dumb, and blind kid", who nevertheless becomes a "Pinball Wizard" and who later uses pinball as a symbol and tool for his messianic mission. (The album was subsequently made into a movie and stage play.) Wizard has since moved into popular usage as a term for an expert pinball player. Things came full circle when Bally created the Wizard pinball game featuring Ann-Margret and The Who's Roger Daltrey on the backglass. In the movie version, Tommy plays a Gottlieb Kings and Queens machine, while The Champ plays a Gottlieb Buckaroo machine.
In 1974, students at Jersey City State College wanted to make pinball playing a varsity school sport, like football was, so they started a Pinball Club Team to compete against clubs at other schools. Of the two schools that were asked to participate, only St. Peter's College took up the challenge.[5]
Other examples of pinball in pop culture include:
  • In the 1948 movie "The Time of Your Life" one of the characters was called "Willie, the Marbler Game Maniac". After repeated attempts he eventually wins. With a fanfare, the backglass descends to reveal a winning screen, American flags pop out from the side of the machine, and fireworks erupted from the back. He is award six nickles by the bartender, and says, "With a little skill a man can make an honest living beating the marble games."
  • The 1973 movie Heavy Traffic, directed by Ralph Bakshi, uses pinball imagery as a metaphor for inner-city life.
  • The British 1973 movie The Final Programme, has a club in which couples enter transparent balls and roll them around on a playing field the size of a dance hall.
  • The 1979 movie Tilt starring Brooke Shields as a young pinball wizard
  • The 1970s TV game show The Magnificent Marble Machine featured a giant pinball machine.
  • Happy Days' Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli often played a "Nip-It" pinball at Arnold's Drive-In. (Note: Happy Days was set in the 1950s; Nip-It was created in the 1970s.) No surprise that the 1977 Bally game Eight Ball was strongly inspired by Happy Days.
  • In the Three Stooges short film "Three Little Pirates" there is a scene where the boys happen upon a pinball machine and Larry says, "A game of skill", possibly alluding to the then common allegations that pinball was a game of chance.
  • Episode 13 (Season 1) of the 1990s kid's show Are You Afraid of the Dark? titled 'The Tale of the Pinball Wizard' dealt with a boy with a penchant for pinball games becoming trapped in a pinball game made real.
  • Sesame Street had a segment called Pinball Number Count where a pinball goes through many different places. The song was sung by the Pointer Sisters.
  • British singer/songwriter Brian Protheroe had a 1979 chart hit with his song "Pinball".
  • Monday Night Football introduction played a computer generated pinball with their theme song.
  • On The Simpsons, Sideshow Bob said that his former medium of TV "destroyed more young minds than syphilis and pinball combined."
  • Blernsball, the futuristic version of baseball in Futurama, features pinball game elements, including captive balls and multiball.
  • Pinball-themed zones made numerous appearances in the early Sonic the Hedgehog series of video games, including an entire game based on the Pinball theme, Sonic Spinball.
  • A Pinball-themed courtship is featured in "Bad Santa" Billy Bob Thornton shows the mechanics of the "tilt mechanism"
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