Awesome Pinball

Pinball Notebook

Pinball Notebook
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Do you enjoy pinball? Whether you play the real machines or virtual ones, Stellar Factory’s handy notebook provides a great place for you to jot down high scores so you can track your history over time. The 50-page notepad is printed on the front and back, tracking up to 100 machines along with their locations and notes.

Freerunning the World’s Largest Pinball Machine

Freerunning the World’s Largest Pinball Machine

Red Bull just built the world’s largest pinball machine. Then they turned freerunner Pasha ‘the Boss’ Petkuns into a human pinball, sending him sliding, swinging, and flipping his way through the 65-foot tall playfield which they set up at a 45° angle for an added challenge.

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Ultraman: Kaiju Rumble Pinball

Ultraman: Kaiju Rumble Pinball

Boutique pinball machine maker Spooky Pinball created this sweet limited-edition pinball machine inspired by the classic Japanese Kaiju series Ultraman. The machine is covered with awesome artwork, and has interactive elements inspired by a monster-filled Toyko. Sadly, all 500 of the machines have already been sold.

Restoring a 1980s Handheld Pinball Game

Restoring a 1980s Handheld Pinball Game

What you’re looking at here is an old digital pinball game that dates back nearly four decades. TysyTube found the yellowed and badly-scratched handheld system on an auction site, and painstakingly restored it to like-new condition. Using that ice cube tray as a screw sorter is a brilliant lifehack.

The Mandalorian Pinball Machine

The Mandalorian Pinball Machine

Stern Pinball’s latest machine is loaded with images, sounds, and characters from The Mandalorian. Among its gimmicks is a sculpt of Grogu that wields Force powers to control the pinball. The Premium and LE add a mini-playfield, while the 750-unit LE also gets a “Beskar steel” mirrored backglass and other upgrades.

Transforming Virtual Pinball Machine

Transforming Virtual Pinball Machine

BuyStuffStore is working on something truly awesome – a TV stand that can transform from an arcade machine with a 50″ screen into a horizontal pinball table in seconds. It’s shown here with the AtGames Legends Gamer Pro. It’s not in production yet, but they are accepting a small number of participants for their beta tester program.

Pinball Warehouse Fly-through

Pinball Warehouse Fly-through

The Pacific Pinball Museum is home to thousands of vintage pinball machines. Video producer Eddie Codel toured their warehouse and shot some awesome aerial stills and videos of the collection. Some machines are kept for archival purposes, while others will be repaired and placed in the museum for the public to enjoy.

Attack from Mars Mini Pinball Machine

Attack from Mars Mini Pinball Machine

Arcade1Up expands into the realm of digital pinball. This 3/4-scale version of the classic Attack from Mars plays just like the original, complete with haptic touch flippers and a tilt sensor. It has a 23.8″ LCD playfield, working scoreboard, and light-up backglass. It plays 10 other Bally/Williams classics by Zen Studios.

K’NEX Pinball Machine

K’NEX Pinball Machine

Tyler Bower loves to make things from K’NEX construction toys. His masterpiece: a fully-functional, life-size pinball machine. It features ramps, automatic scoring, a digital scoreboard, and mechanical features like trap doors, chain lifts, and multiball. The whole thing shakes a bit, so it’s a good thing there’s no tilt sensor.

Custom Pinball Flipper Keychain

Custom Pinball Flipper Keychain
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Do you or someone you know love pinball? The guys at gcpinball make these nifty keychains that look just like a real flipper from a pinball machine. Since they’re individually 3D printed they can be personalized with up to three initials, and come in a dozen color combinations.

Pinball Machine Slow-Motion

Pinball Machine Slow-Motion

We’ve seen how pinball machines are made. Now, thanks to Gavin of The Slow Mo Guys, we can see exactly how they work as they kick steel balls around. He spent some quality time with Jersey Jack’s tricked-out Willy Wonka pinball machine to observe how its electro-mechanical playfield components work.

Arcade1Up Marvel Digital Pinball

Arcade1Up Marvel Digital Pinball

Arcade1Up specializes in making compact versions of classic arcade machines. Now they’re getting into the digital pinball game, with a 3/4-scale Marvel pinball machine that runs Zen Studios games. It has a 24″ recessed display, a nudge and tilt sensor, haptic flipper feedback, a plunger, and a second screen scoreboard.

Stranger Things Pinball

Stranger Things Pinball

Take a trip to 1980s Hawkins, Indiana and battle the Demogorgon with Stern Pinball’s Stranger Things machines. You’ll want to opt for the pricey Premium or Limited Edition, which have a projection video screen and “telekinesis” magnetic ball lock. We’re kind of bummed they didn’t do a lower-level playfield for The Upside Down.

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VPCabs Upright Pinball Machines

VPCabs Upright Pinball Machines
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VPCabs has been making truly impressive virtual pinball cabinets for a while now. These models let you play modern and classic games in a compact space. The Vertigo is a 76.5″ tall machine that stands like an arcade cabinet, while The Vortex is a 39″ tall tabletop model. Both can play classic arcade games too.

DIY Micro Pinball Machine

DIY Micro Pinball Machine

We’ve seen a number of tiny arcade machines, but what we really want someone to produce is a teensy digital pinball machine like this one from maker Matt “Circuitbeard” Brailsford. It uses a tiny Windows 10 computer called the LattePanda and runs Visual Pinball on its dual LCD screens. Build details here.

Pinball Telecaster & Wizard Amp

Pinball Telecaster & Wizard Amp
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This amazing bit of kit was built by Yuriy Shishkov of the Fender Custom Shop for the 2018 NAMM show. The combo includes a light-up Telecaster electric guitar and an accompanying amplifier, both built using parts from an 1975 Bally Wizard pinball machine.

MTL Pinball

MTL Pinball

Jordan Coelho and Josselin Bey assembled a team of 14 Montréal artists to contribute to this collaborative animation, in which each person was asked to imagine a pinball machine using their aesthetic. The result is visual and auditory magic. Also, we really want a PaRappa the Rapper machine now.

Elon Musk’s Flights (with Sounds)

Elon Musk’s Flights (with Sounds)

Recently, The Washington Post released a fun animation that tracked the flying that Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk did in 2018. After seeing the bouncing back and forth across the globe, Jonathan Malmqvist decided to add appropriate pinball machine sound effects.

Pinball Isn’t Random

Pinball Isn’t Random

They may have lost the war to video games, but we still love the tactile feel and gameplay of pinball machines. In this clip from Vox, a pinball expert gives us insight into some of the tricks of the trade that make it much more of a game of skill than you might think.

Custom LEGO Pinball Machine

Custom LEGO Pinball Machine

Bre Burns of Renegade Bricks shows off Benny’s Spaceship Adventure, a pinball machine for LEGO purists. She built it from over 15,000 LEGO, Technic, and Mindstorms components, and no glue, screws, or other trickery was used. More at Brothers Brick.

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Mini Arcade & Pinball Machines

Mini Arcade & Pinball Machines
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33 Games creates teensy (non-functional) replicas of classic arcade cabinets and pinball machines. They’re extremely detailed, down to the mini joysticks and on-screen graphics. They’re built to 1/12th scale, and measure about 6″ tall. They even make a change machine.

How Stern Pinball Machines Are Made

How Stern Pinball Machines Are Made

The A.V. Club visited the factory of legendary pinball maker Stern Pinball. The video shows a few of the more than 3,500 parts that make up a pinball machine, before walking us through the assembly process. They’ve moved to a bigger factory since we visited.

Pinball FX 3

Pinball FX 3

Zen Studios’ excellent digital pinball series gets a major upgrade, adding online multiplayer and user-generated tournaments, and kicks off with three new tables based on Universal films: Jaws, Back to the Future, and E.T. Coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One 9/26/17.

DIY 2-Player Pinball Machine

DIY 2-Player Pinball Machine

Get Hands Dirty made a beautiful two-player pinball machine mainly by carving wood and acrylic parts using the X-Carve CNC machine. It doesn’t have electronic parts, but the execution is still top-notch. Complete design files and parts list available on Inventables.

Star Wars 40th Anniversary Pinball

Star Wars 40th Anniversary Pinball
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Stern’s new machines feature imagery and sounds from the original trilogy. They have color-changing LEDS, and models of the Millennium Falcon and a TIE Fighter. Upgraded Limited and Premium models get two LCD screens, an exploding Death Star, and more.

Makerball DIY Pinball Machine

Makerball DIY Pinball Machine

This kit lets you build a crude pinball machine using just about anything as obstacles. It includes mechanical flippers, as well as copper contacts which can be used to register scoring when connected to an off-the-shelf microcontroller, using a free smartphone app.

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