My interviewee tonight is Chris Dade, a man who has done quite a bit for the bingo hobby!
He has scanned, touched up, and reproduced many of the Bally bingo backglasses, as well as several of the bingo playfields.
He also started the Bally Bingos in Britain forums, located at http://ballybingo.fff.yuku.com/ - this is an excellent resource, with many clever people providing help and information. It also gives a neat window into the UK bingo scene for us folks in the US!
Take a moment and look over Chris' collection at http://www.ballybingo.co.uk/index1.html - click 'My Machines' to see his beauties.
He also has some great stories and other information on his website. He notes that whereas in the US, 20 replays would be a dollar, to earn a pound, you needed 80 replays! That's quite a jump!
Thank you to Chris for his patience and time answering my questions.
My 1947 Mystery started blowing fuses - it was time to pull it out from the wall and troubleshoot. Here's the story of how I corrected the issues and what went wrong.
Nags is a unique game from Williams with two interesting features -
It is one of a small handful of horse racing themed games that Williams made with a horse racing unit with six horses that can move independently along a track, until one finishes.
This game is also the only game from the 'big three' manufacturers that had a rotating platter of six pop bumpers. Each bumper hit would advance one horse toward the prize.
25 cents on 'Stinky' for me!
Bally bingos made after 1960 had multiple tilt states - a 'hard' state, from which the game could not be revived without additional money or credits, and a 'soft' state or 'sleeping' state that would allow the player to revive the game by pressing the 'R' button, or playing for extra balls.
A unique mechanism in later Bally bingos, the auto-mission coin divider allowed operators to automatically set aside a portion of the game earnings in a special cashbox for the bar owner.
What if the game you purchased accepted nickels from the factory, but you want to put it on route and collect quarters to match other games that you may have in various locations?
You have to add extra switches or change adjustments to accept the new denomination.
If you wish to just do a one-for-one coin exchange, you just change out the coin mech, but if you want to provide some extra value for higher denominations, you have to add additional circuitry. This gets more complex in Bally bingos, since you have multiple systems that are already working together in the start circuit.
Moon Shot is a neat game with a unique set of ball return gates (shaped like metal flipper bats) on the left and right outlanes.
The layout looks like a skilled player can really rack up points easily by running up the rocket values to 500 points and collecting.
Extra balls, two separate bonus steppers and cool Christian Marche artwork complete the package.
In 1963, Bally was hunting around for a replacement for their bingo business in the U.S.
Things were looking rather bleak, until they hired Ted Zale, the designer that would add multiball, chicane lanes, etc. to later games.
For his first effort, Moon Shot, he made a 100% carbon copy of Gottlieb's Tropic Isle from the year before.
I've had the pleasure of playing Tropic Isle, but I've never seen a Moon Shot.
Tropic Isle has two sets of two pop bumpers, and an A-B-C-D sequence to make a monkey climb a tree on the backglass. Once you get three monkeys up the tree (this is a carryover feature), the game will award specials! You can also light special by completing 1-5 at the top rollovers.
Moon Shot is very much the same with a space theme.
Continuing last night's episode, some interesting tidbits learned while in Ohio, some games I've been working on recently, and various other things going on in my world.
Follow along on the Turf King fix-up: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/1950-bally-turf-king-one-ball-horse-race-game
Vote to add bingos as a separate topic of discussion on the Pinside forum:
I spent a few days in Ohio recently, and wanted to discuss some of the games I played and various features that I was either incorrect about in my speculation, or thought would bear in-person impressions.
Had a blast losing on all these bingos!