Looking back at my pinball designs #1

This is a new series of blog postings, where I go back and discuss my pinball designs during the course of my career. I have cleaned out this blog, deleting most of the old content so that I can have a fresh start.

I will also try to fill in the details regarding unmade pinball designs that were cancelled or killed for various reasons. Each new post will look at a specific game or how things were at that time.

This first story will look at my beginnings in pinball. I really began as more of an enthusiast/player, who began to collect a few machines. (More on that in a future post)

My first pinball design was really a pretty horrible attempt to make a custom pinball machine. The time was the late 1970s, when Buccaneer was a new machine. I bought a completely worn out Aquarius with no backglass and decided to make a custom playfield, reusing all of the parts. I ordered a new Buccaneer back glass and modified the backbox to accommodate that backglass.

For the playfield, I went to a lumber yard and bought a rough piece of plywood (very rough) and used spray paint to paint the playfield. The playfield itself had a Majorettes bottom with slingshots added. The game used Aquarius rules, but everything was in a different spot. I had the game up for a couple of years, then it went into storage when I moved to San Jose. The game sat in storage until I moved to Chicago in 1986. Then I sold it as a “Parts” machine.

Somehow the (stripped) playfield itself survived and is the only known surviving item from my pre-Gottlieb pinball designs. That playfield is in a private collection.