If you grew up in the late 70's and early 80's these are the games that you would have played in your youth, these were the games you saw in every milk bar and movie theatre foyer that you went into.
Pinball was about to enter a magical era where displays became digital and machines held high scores, electronic sounds were added as well as speech and double playfields.
These were the 'Solid State' games like Playboy, KISS, Mata Hari and countless other titles that are still HIGHLY sought after 30+ years later.
Many of these games require electrical overhauls , cabinet work and full playfield restorations to get them back to thier former glory and thats another area that we specialise in.
Dont forget to check out the listing of my current inventory of machines readily available to be restored for you
An era that is considered the "golden age" of pinball and most collectors dream of owning a KISS, Playboy, Fathom or Paragon.
These games are still available and can be sourced, but unfortunately the technical knowledge of these games is minimal. New rubber, globes and a quick clean of the playfield does not constitute a reconditioned game. These older games need a lot of work with the Electrical and electronics. Most buyers are not aware of the mandatory reconditioning and repairs that need to be done.
At APR we are more than capable of repairing all of the electronics from the games of the 'Solid State' era, on top of this we can also provide all of the services shown on our EM page and apply those to these solid state machines.
Please see below some examples of what is an extremely common site in many many games from this era. These atrocious attempts at repair have been found in many games apparently restored by so called professionals as well as personal attempts by inexperienced game owners.These 'band aid' solutions normally lead to damage on the game boards and lead to bigger issues, sone of them can be dangerous.
Capacitors are rated at a useful "life" of around 20 - 25 years before they leak and stop serving their purpose. Filtering caps are seldom replaced and will cause problems unless replaced with the correct rated replacements. Bridge Rectifiers are often stressed and need to be replaced. Fuse clips lose their tension over the years and create intermittent problems. Older games usually have over rated fuses to "hide" problems. I have a full set of Test Fixtures for Bally / Stern boards that cover the displays, MPU and Solenoid Driver.
There are 30-40 year old connectors in this game. Some will appear stressed and burnt and some won't appear to be stressed until they are checked. Connector pins are subject to corrosion and need to be replaced.
This is not a 2 hour job if done properly. There are over 150 pins in each machine, and they need to be checked. No use in replacing the wiring connectors if the board connectors are not replaced.
Many of these classic titles have reproduction playfields available . I can swap over these playfields easily.
I install new ground braid, new lamp sockets, new T-Nuts etc. All done at the same time. I can source new plastic posts etc.
Basically, the playfield can look as new as it was when it rolled off the assembly line. I can repaint the wooden siderails and the apron to original specifications.
Whether replacing entire playfields or just a set of Drop Targets, I will use the original set of targets to suit that game.
I've seen too many games "restored" with the incorrect color or type of drop target for that era.
Under the hood - Anyone can clean a playfield and make a pinball look very presentable. But lift the playfield and it is a very different story. Common shortcuts include - Original (worn) flippers, pop bumpers, slingshots and kickers. Original coil sleeves in place. This is sloppy work. Flippers and mechanisms have to be rebuilt - FULL flipper kits make a huge difference to a game. If you want the game to play as intended, mechanisms need to be stripped, cleaned and reassembled. Many broken or worn parts are ONLY found during this process. Sadly, I've seen countless machines that have been "reconditioned" only to find that the cabinet has not even been vacuumed !
At APR, we refuse to install playfield overlay "stickers" as these are temporary fixes that will deteriorate over time and require replacement.
Below you will see some examples of a playfield swap on a Bally Fathom pinball machine and you should note how faded and dull the original playfield was compared to the final results on the game where we obtained a replacement playfield , had it clearcoated and rebuilt it.
All wiring harnesses are transported to the new playfield , all parts are replated and small parts like screws are tumbled, all switches are checked and adjusted or replaced.
Pop bumpers are rebuilt as are all coil assemblies.
Target assemblies are completely dismantled, cleaned , polished , replated and new drop targets and springs installed
All new components are fitted to the top of the new playfield, new or cleaned posts, new bumper bodies
Here is the end result of this Fathom playfield swap.
Alarmingly, there are a few machines that are demanding a premium price for a "restored" or "mint" game, yet they fail to resemble the original specifications.
Most machines that have full cabinet resprays either have the wrong color, the wrong finish or have bad mistakes during the process. This is mainly due to the desire to sell the game at a high price, rather than provide an accurate restoration. I coined the phrase "Nearly In Box", as a restoration that strictly adheres to the original specifications.
For any cabinet repaint, I use professional painting equipment and I use professional paints. Color matching is done by a professional. "Near enough is not good enough". I take it to the next level with professional cabinet repaints. I only use stencils supplied by Flipper Rescue.
Coin doors are regrained - not polished ! Another common mistake. Siderails are also regrained as original. I can replicate the classic repaint of the Stern coin door of this era as well. At APR, we will refuse any requests to "rebadge" a pinball. Don't ask us to strip your Mata Hari and repaint it as a KISS or Playboy !
It is very rare to see the right set of legs on a machine of this vintage. Legbolts are usually old and corroded, sometimes they are the wrong type (too long) and they bend the mounting plate (unseen until the playfield is lifted. Leg levellers should be replaced on all games or they will scratch your floor. At APR, we stock most factory legs of this era to solve these issues.
Below is a an example of a cabinet rebuild and respray from a Bally Eight Ball pinball machine.
Compare the before and after shots of this coin door - I regrain the doors and replate all of the components INSIDE and OUT !
An example below of before and after 'tilt boards' - all parts removed, polished or replated and then re-installed.
Australian Pinball Restorations always have a healthy stock of classic Solid State machines available and can often source a title you may be looking for.