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Thread: My new home classic gaming toy -- Gold Ball Pinball, Bally/Midway 1983

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Default My new home classic gaming toy -- Gold Ball Pinball, Bally/Midway 1983

    My new interest to keep around the house, been one since I was a kid though but unobtainable with room and money. I've teased myself in the past owning a tabletop one my dad once had the Tomy Astro Shooter I kept until maybe 6-7 years ago when it broke, and then 5 years back a Zizzle 2/3 size Pirates of the Caribbean table after that. I decided I was going to go after a table and was bounding between another 2/3 size, an EM table, or a SS (solid state) table. I saw at the Louisville Arcade Expo this one on the floor and it had a price, didn't have the dough lined up then but I played it for awhile, couple dollars worth. I went looking a week and a half later, found it up near Indianapolis up for sale still, so I went for it! I've always enjoyed pinball, the gambling almost of it because it can be very random where the ball flies, but when it goes right it's a hoot. Unlike a video game which can get boring after an hour or a few dozen of them and it's done for most of them, this one you can always go back to and improve. Unlike a video game, there's no annoyance factor getting into it, just fllip the switch, hit the button and pull the plunger and you're good for 5 min or an hour or so, then do it again later.





    Gold Ball, Bally/Midway - 1983 Basic early solid state table with a layout like most electromagnetic tables of the era just a couple years before had. 3 bumpers, spinner, many standing targets, a side detour on the right, a wide side one on the left, and then the target row in the center which is tricky to light up all 8 spots. The 'gold ball' name comes from the fact you have a 1-15% chance(I have it on a 10% default one) of the gold ball popping out of a unique tray which gives 3x the points. It's a fast and fun table, but among the most intersted of pinball fans it's a very love it or hate it table because its basic layout. I fell in love with it at the Louisville Arcade expo, didn't have the cash then, but did a week and a half later so I drove to get it. So far I've cleaned it up more inside and out, touched up the paint on the wood body best I can, and I've been having some minor electrical issues with the point displays and a bitchy gold ball sensor that keeps quitting(having it replaced tomorrow) where if it don't detect the game won't start. The last owner bought it out of a dump of a home for less than I paid, but he went and did a hard cleaning, total light replacement, switch repair, pop bumper replacement, rubber replacement too and he just flips them to break even to get them into homes of people who can't afford high end tables so I got it at his cost. I did include the original manual and schematics, extra box of bulbs, 2 of the 3 original broken off pop bumper covers, and a triple target that was once in the center that broke I think and got replaced.

    I found a guy with better back glass for it, just need to find out the shipping cost.
    Last edited by Tanooki; 04-07-2015 at 09:41 AM.

  2. #2
    celerystalker is a poindexter celerystalker's Avatar
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    Awesome! I think you hit that sweet spot you were looking for with the classic design but solid state function. I hope you get years and years of fun for you and your family!

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    That's my hope. It's in an odd space or I'd have snapped pics of the frame but it's alright. It has the usual age to it with the paint a little faded and the nicks/scratches to it, but I found that the sharpie oil paint based pen using a paper towel or thumb to blend it settled nicely in the worst spots on red. The gold that came with it doesn't blend as well so I just decided to hit/miss the spots on that where it was uglier left as is than not. The legs have no rust but they're scratched up pretty nicely. I thought about getting them beaten and powder coated again but online quotes appear to reach around $75 others have said, and to buy a set of four of the same time would be that shipped anyway so I just sit, buy now, or wait for another set to pop up cheap. The only concern I have is the aesthetics of the back glass peel that has been sealed, but also the wear on the board, the worst being center under the middle target down to the wood where there once was a little arrow painted there and some of the words on those flashing circles are partly/mostly(for one) gone. It's level and rolls smoothly so I'm not to concerned and most that lower play area someone applied a clear mylar protectant clear sheet over it to stop further wear. I don't think I'd want to pay to have that all redone as it would be over the table value.

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    Bell (Level 8)
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    Congrats it looks like that would be a lot of fun and pretty much anybody knows how to play pinball so it should appeal to any visitors you have.
    Cool people I have bought stuff from on this board: orrimarrko kyosuke75 dave2236 video_game_addict cloudstrife29661 NESCollector75

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Yeah pretty much.

    The thing that's nice about it, it was not a 4 figures price tag on it which helped greatly, but the fact I had been struggling between this and Amigo, also from Bally, an electromagnetic table. Once I started digging into the guts of EM tables and the parts, delicacy, and issues that pop up repairing those pre-microchip beasts it was a scare. I could have had that one for notably less, but maintaining it would be over my head, not that this one is all that much easier but I can figure it out watching someone else do it once so I settled for a table that was like an EM table without all the nightmarish internals. The table is your standard classic style before microchips got into it and weird animated plastics despite coming out 3 years after Black Knight, the first 2 level game with all its extras.

    As it is, you're right, anyone knows it and can enjoy it, and my three year old girl is addicted to wanting to play it a bit every day asking to get on there. For her age and ability I'm surprised she does that well, but she does. Probably a week before or so I got bugged by her and tossed my phone her way with Pinball Arcade on it so she got right into it.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    I realized not too terribly long ago that the Home ROM v12 kit within this also included the Bally Service Kit looking at the ipdb. Happy to report this game got a whole lot more interesting in scoring. Gold Ball now by default doesn't randomly come up 1-15% of the time, can still be set that way though. Now you earn it. Roll over a star lane, light a letter, roll over the far left drop on the side, another letter, nail that middle pop bumper it can do it too. You may have a 3 or 5 ball game, but if you can keep racking up the goldball lights in the center each time you're on a ball you can earn another. It doesn't make the game a whole hell of a lot easier, but I did get just a few games over the 2M mark, best a hair over 2.5M, and I've had some top over 1M too, but still many blow as I don't get it lit or it drains right away as the game is fast. At least the main feature of the game isn't a crap shoot anymore.

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