About: Attack from Mars

What does Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan & Pinball have in common? Campy Little Green Men!

GAME DETAILS

Manufactured by: Bally Manufacturing Co.
Date: December 1995
Type Solid state
Generation: Williams WPC-95
Release: 3,450 produced
Estimated value: $6940 - $8060
Cabinet: Normal
Display type: Dot Matrix
Players: 4
Flippers: 2
Ramps: 2
Multiball: 4
Latest software: V1.1 - June 10, 1996

 

10 Minute Pinball-Shenanigans with Attack from Mars

About: Indiana Jones

GAME DETAILS

Manufactured by: Williams Electronic Games, Inc.
Date: August 1993
Type: Solid state
Generation: Williams WPC (DCS)
Release: 12,716 produced
Estimated value: $6660 - $7740
Cabinet: Wide body
Display type: Dot Matrix
Players: 4
Flippers: 2
Ramps: 2
Multiball: 6
Latest software: L-7, November 22, 1993


DESIGN TEAM

Game Design: Mark Ritchie
Software: Brian Eddy
Artwork: Doug Watson
Animation: Scott Slomiany
Sound: Chris Granner Rich Karstens
Music: Chris Granner

About: Star Trek: The Next Generation

“Holy Pixelation, Batman!”

GAME DETAILS

Manufactured by: Williams Electronic Games, Inc.
Date: November 1993
Type: Solid state
Generation: Williams WPC (DCS)
Release: 11,728 produced
Estimated value: $4160 - $4840
Cabinet: Wide body
Display type: Dot Matrix
Players: 4
Flippers: 3
Ramps: 3
Multiball: 6
Latest software: Unknown

 

My Ownership Experience w/ STTNG

This is my second time around of owning an STTNG. I think the first time, I ended up selling it to make room in the gameroom and bank account for a Monster Bash. The last one was signed by the cast & was pretty darned sweet. This one, is no slouch, either. It is claimed to have been a HUO at a collector in Pennsylvania before coming to me but they had no documentation of that, so I take that claim with a grain of salt.

I didn’t… actually.. intentionally… seek it out for a second ownership cycle - not exactly anyway. It was a trade situation involving Ghostbusters Premium where I ended up with another STTNG. You are thinking, “Wait, STTNG and Ghostbusters Premium values aren’t really lined up.” Yep! :(

At any rate, I really have history with the STTNG franchise and I think this pin is a pretty cool pin. When Stern released their Star Trek title based on the JJ Abrams movies, the general values of STTNG started to drop from an average of $6500 to the current sub-$5k area. The Stern game is a really good pin, afterall. Unfortunately, the best art packages for the Stern pin are only available from third parties that Stern has lawyered up against and the Pro and Premium are a little too “actors-focused” for my taste. (I also owned a Star Trek Premium for a couple of years.)

In the positive column: STTNG is built like a tank, the art scheme is pretty sweet, it is packed with toys, has a 6-ball multiball and generally is just a fun-to-shoot and impressive pinball machine. In the negative column: It has alot of mechanical complexity that give it a particularly scarring reputation on-route for opto-related maintenance, usually. The outlane geometry is tricky.

Status: For Sale

This is the only pinball that I have right now that I consider “For Sale”. If someone is interested, the price is $5,000, firm. I have my eye on a couple different titles to bring to the game room so I’m more than likely not interested in a trade but - hey it never hurts to ask. You will be at SFGE, I can buy a spot for it on the truck going up from Mobile but aside from that, a potential buyer would be responsible for pick up or shipping. I’d recommend someone like Bob Cunningham or Brett Butler for the move. Our local STI depot isn’t highly regarded.

Ten Minutes with Star Trek: The Next Generation

Glass On

Glass On

Glass Off

Glass Off

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About: Scared Stiff

Are you Ready to get Scared Stiff?

Scared Stiff Details

GAME DETAILS

Manufactured by: Bally Manufacturing Co.
Date: September 1996
Type: Solid state
Generation: Williams WPC-95
Production: ~4,000 produced
Pinside Price Range: $6470 - $7530
Cabinet: Normal
Display type: Dot Matrix
Players: 4
Flippers: 2
Ramps: 2
Multiball: 4

DESIGN TEAM

Game Design: Dennis Nordman Mark Weyna
Mechanics: Bob Brown Joe Loveday Win Schilling
Software: Cameron Silver Mike Boon
Artwork: Greg Freres
Animation: Adam Rhine Brian Morris
Sound: Dave Zabriskie Paul Heitsch

Sources:
https://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=3915
https://pinside.com/pinball/machine/scared-stiff






STATUS

At SFGE right now. Probably not for sale but entertaining offers. You can text offers or trade inquiries to: 251-228-0169
I have Trade or future-buy interest in: Original Monster Bash, Tron Legacy Pinball, Simpsons Pinball Party, LOTR,, Star Wars LE or Premium andf a few others.

Thoughts on Value

My last Scared Stiff sold for ~$8,000 in 2016 along with 2 other B/W titles of similar value. Believe or not even at that price I didn’t actually “make” anything on that transaction. I’ve seen them sell for as little as $5k (off-route) to as much as $13,000 (Bryan Kelly or HEP Restoration). Given that range, I’d put this one in the $8000-$9,000 range based on condition & options.

Admittedly, that is more head-cannon than researched value than sales-data in the upper-end restoration, used pinball market. There is more supply than demand in pinball and prices are ticking down a little for some of the Bally-Williams 90’s titles as they get pressured by the CGC Remakes & Stern’s release cadence. Titles that were in the $10k range in 2015-16 are capping around $7k in late-June 2019. Some of those “Pinside Top 20” titles are starting to break loose out of collections. It’s a good time to be a used-pinball buyer!

Scared Stiff isn’t rumored for a CGC-PPS remake, at this time but an “Elvira 3” pinball is rumored from Stern to be announced this year. Stern’s remake of Star Trek largely decimated ST:TNG values but that isn’t always the case. Stern’s remake could influence the resale value of Scared Stiff but I suspect it won’t be a popularity coup d'état. Scared Stiff’s value is propped up by charm and x-factor. Solving for x-factor is hard and I’m not sure Stern is up to the task.

Acquisition, Restoration & Modding

There are symptoms of tension between the bean counters & the design team at Bally-Midway when this title was on the line. They were all factory-wired for LED eyes in the skull pile at the back right of the machine but those LED eyes were not included. The machined aluminum extension arms that go onto the kickers to support the finger puppets were also excluded from most production models. The enthusiast community answered both readily by providing the kicker extensions engineered from the original designs and by providing the mode-aware LED eyes that can be added to the skull pile.

My Full Ownership Log with this game can be found here: https://arcadeshenanigans.com/blog/2018/7/13/scared-stiff

10-Minutes w/ Scared Stiff

… here you find my poorly-played 10 minute review of this Scared Stiff machine. In my defense.. playing with the left-flipper hand woven between the tripod legs is weird. Also, I’m just an average player - so there’s that too :)

Pictures….

Scared Stiff is a very photogenic pin.

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Playfield Detail

The playfield on this particular machine is really-really good. Typically, they take a ton of abuse at the Terrifying insert at the foot of the crate because of bounce back and the kick-out scoop. A huge piece of factory mylar was applied in this area to protect it. The mylar on this machine is still pretty clear (not-yellowed) but there is a very-slight (2cm maybe?) nick in the mylar at that scoop eject point over the terrifying scoop. If left alone, it would eventually allow the ball to start abusing that insert.

At some point in the distant future, I’ll commit to a full mylar pull but for now I put down a floating playfield protector.

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Backbox Detail

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LED OCD Board

LED OCD Board

Pinball Pro backbox Speakers

Pinball Pro backbox Speakers

GI OCD Board

GI OCD Board

Pinball Pro Cabinet Speaker / Sub

Pinball Pro Cabinet Speaker / Sub

USA Production Run, #2517

USA Production Run, #2517

About: Mario Kart Arcade GP & GP2

Game Details

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Name: Mario kart Arcade Gp
Manufacturer: Namco
Year: 2005
Type: Videogame
Subtype: Driving game

Cabinet Styles:

  • Upright/Standard

source: KLOV

Name: Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Manufacturer: Namco
Year: 2007
Type: Videogame
Subtype: Driving game

Cabinet Styles:

  • Upright/Standard

source: KLOV

 

10 Minutes with Mario Kart Arcade GP2

Mario Kart Arcade GP -> KLOV LInk
Mario Kart Arcade GP2 -> KLOV Link

ACQUISITION

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“Thank you for your service, Mario Kart”

One of my cabinets came by way of a hookup through a friend in Birmingham. This cabinet still has a stock tag on it from asset inventory or from an auction perhaps. The inclusion of an NSN number leads me to suspect it may have spent some time on a military base or perhaps it just passed hands through an auction authority that frequently deals with US Government or Military items.

The other cabinet came by way of a miniature golf closure in Southern Mississippi. Both cabinets are in good shape, they have a few cabinet repairs here and there and some scuffs in artwork or missing decals.

 

Hardware

The game is based on the Namco, Sega, Nintendo Triforce platform. Typically a IBM power PC w/ 512mb of RAM roughly similar in architecture to the Nintendo Gamecube. The cabinet is a JVS wiring class, includes a Triforce CPU, a JVS IOS Interface Board, a force-feedback controller board & sound amp.

This game also includes Namco’s Namcam(2) camera, a gimmick to snap photos of the player to be used in leaderboards or as in-race identifiers to distinguish players from bot-racers.

The game originally shipped with a 29” CRT but I was forced to put in Wells-Gardner (the video mentions Vision Pro but my memory for these details is crap) 27” LED Monitors in order to get support for Mario Kart Arcade GP2.

Gameplay

The gameplay shares similarity in racing dynamics to the console Mario Kart games with key differences and Namco cross-licensed characters (pacman, ms pacman). The original game advertised 6 worlds and 24 tracks but they phoned-in the effort in that each world really only had two track variations and then environment or reverse traffic flow on those two comprising the remaining 12 tracks.

Mario Kart Arcade GP2 expands the track offering by adding deeper variation between tracks, bringing the total up to 8 cups & 32 tracks.

MAINTENANCE, VALUE, RARITY, FUN-FACTOR

These games are pretty rare and tended to be higher maintenance games when placed on location because of camera failures and force-feedback failures.

I’m not sure what they are worth but I have roughly $1400 in the Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 upgrade, roughly $900 in the monitors, $400 in force feedback repairs on top of an average price paid of over $3,000 each. With incidental repairs I’d put the total cost of ownership in the pair a little over $9,000. After about 4 years of ownership they continue to be the most-played-arcade games in our game room. Pinball-inclined friends like to comment:

“You could put three pinball machines in the amount of space these consume”

With that out of the way, I estimate that the Mario Kart Pair has gotten more play in four years than every Pinball machine I’ve owned over that amount of time; combined.

It isn’t just kids and friends of kids, either. Adults have been known to use it as a form of rock-paper-scissors or as a sobriety scale. (Legal Disclaimer: Accuracy of Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 to determine a person’s ability to drive safely has not been established)

Is it fun? Yep.

About: Tapper

Game Details

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source: KLOV

Name: Tapper
Manufacturer: Bally Midway
Year: 1983
Type: Videogame

Class: Wide Release
GenrePlatform
Monitor:

  • Orientation: Horizontal

  • Type: Raster: Standard Resolution

  • CRT: Color

Conversion Class: Midway MCR III
Game Specific: Tapper Pinout

Number of Simultaneous Players: 1
Maximum number of Players: 2
Gameplay: Alternating
Control Panel Layout: Single Player Ambidextrous
Sound: Unamplified Stereo (requires two-channel amp)

Cabinet Styles:

  • Upright/Standard

  • Cocktail

 

10 Minutes with Tapper

10 Minute Review: Attack from Mars

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I picked up this pin in August of 2017 after a few years of searching and watching. In that couple of years of ownership, my enthusiasm for the title really hasn’t faded.

Game Summary

Attack from Mars (1995) is a Brian Eddy designed game that has been recently remade by CGC/PPS.

For perspective.. a friend on the Panhandle picked up an AFM and a Champion Pub around 2014 for a combined price greater than both of our household vehicles, at the time. :) Granted, his games were top notch examples.

My Relationship with the Game

I recall seeing one in the wild as a kid but scantly recall having the opportunity to play one before playing it on Pinball Arcade on the iPad when I got into this hobby 6 years ago. Back then, they were sort of unobtanium in terms of price.

For years, I watched with interest for one but also typically let me my pinball-inclined friends talk me out of them with:

It will get old: Just shooting the center shot over and over.
Rules are too linear.
It is the same layout as Medieval Madness.


I bought the Stern Star Trek (Premium) instead thinking it would be a good stand in with similarities combined from AFM and STTNG. Ultimately, for me the conclusion was that Stern’s Star Trek was (still is) an excellent game in its own right but it didn’t adequately scratch the AFM itch.

I’ve played a few remakes and to my eye they played as well as the originals and looked great too, especially with the upgraded DMD. I know early Medieval Madness Remakes had some insert printing annoyances for super-OCD folks but PPS and CGC seem to stand behind the games. (The remake electronics do differ and I’ll talk about that in another post) For me the real benefit of the remakes is that they cap the used sale values on the original titles and put them in range for acquisition.

In another: {out with the new, in with the old} round of selling & buying (and loosing my ass each time) - I cycled the Sterns and JJPs out of the my game room to get the space (and cash) to start seeking Bally / Williams 90’s titles. This pin was part of the vanguard of that mental battle and so far I’m not sorry, (at all) for the.. downgrade(?)

You can read more about the acquisition of this specific game, list of additions, etc here: Attack from Mars!

Review Shenanigans

In the coming weeks I’m posting a series of arcade and pinball reviews of games that are currently being fostered in the basement. Ten minutes (+/- a few minutes) with each game to talk about gameplay, maintenance or whatever comes to mind.

As I post them, I’ll go back and make the game entries below clickable.

Pinballs

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Attack from Mars
Medieval Madness
Indiana Jones The Pinball Adventure
Scared Stiff
Tales of the Arabian Nights

Arcades

Cocktail Table Arcade-SD Multigame
Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 - Review completed on 4/19/19
Ms Pacman (Cabaret)
Centipede (Cabaret)
Donkey Kong (Multi Kong w/ Arcade-SD)
Namco Reunion
Tapper
Tron
Q*Bert (Mylstar FPGA)
Robotron (Multi-Williams FPGA)
Tempest
Mortal Kombat 4 (and MK1, MK2, MK3 w/ RiddledTV Switcher)

Console

Nintendo Entertainment System Online (Nintendo Switch Online Service)