Here at PinBallPal.com we have a passion for tables of all eras. We provide information on new and used pinball machines for sale as well as articles of a historical and technical nature in order to educate and entertain the pinball-playing public. Our team of writers has been following both historic and modern pinball news for some time, so they understand issues from all sections of the industry.
A Bit of Pinball History
Many casual fans of the game would be stunned if they were told that pinball dates back to the 18th century. Pool tables became increasingly narrower in France by the reign of King Louis XIV. Players would then take a narrow cue to shoot balls across a series of pins. The rules were standardized and marketed under the name bagatelle. This game ultimately became the ancestor of modern bumper pool as well.
Eventually bagatelle evolved into a game called Japanese billiards, which in spite of the name was actually developed in France. This game became popular by 1770, and it even featured the spring mechanism that would be familiar to those who appreciate the modern game. Japanese billiards ironically was partially the inspiration for pachinko, which actually is native to Japan and still quite popular across the country.
Electronic Pinball Tables
Speaking of the modern game, our writers have been closely following the sale of electronic pinball tables. We always have news on this matter for you. Pinball started to feature slick licensed content and sound effects long after bagatelle became little more than a footnote in an encyclopedia article. Tables based around the Indiana Jones and Terminator franchises became familiar sights in most arcades throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s.
These machines have again become popular with collectors, though parts can be difficult to find in many cases. Articles on replacement parts for collectors will be provided when information becomes available. Sales of these tables are currently skyrocketing. That might help to explain why manufacturers have recently become to make new tables once again.
The Modern Pinball Scene
While we might take an interest in history and the collector’s market, Pinballpal.com is always focused on the modern marketplace as well. Recently several prominent modern media properties like The Walking Dead and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been used to build completely modern pinball machines. Full-sized tables can cost upwards of $8,000 new. Toy tables designed for the department store marketplace can run for under $100. Our writers don’t discriminate against either end of the market.
Video games based on pinball have been popular since the days of the Atari 2600, but they’ve really taken off recently. FarSight Studios released The Pinball Arcade in 2012, and they continue to release new tables for it each month. Most of the tables released for the game are direct conversions of real boards that have some claim to fame. This should help to keep pinball alive even among those who don’t have the luxury of installing a full-sized machine in their living room.