When they created this machine in 1994 Bally set out to produce the definitive version of what is generally acknowledged to be the best pinball of all time, and boy did they deliver! This commemorative edition pulls out all the stops with a celebration of the table they first developed in 1991 and delivered to marketplace in 1992.
Anyone over 40 needs no introduction to the cult TV series that was The Addams Family but for the uninitiated it’s worth mentioning that this American horror/comedy, which featured a dysfunctional and only vaguely humanoid group of misfits residing in a gothic mansion, was one of the biggest hits of the 1960’s. Even diehard fans of the series might be surprised to learn that Morticia, Uncle Fester, The Thing et al first debuted as long ago as 1938, in a New Yorker cartoon strip by one Charles Addams. Although considered by many to be mere ‘light entertainment’, this motley group was in fact conceived by Addams as a satirical inversion of the ideal American family - an eccentric wealthy clan who delight in the macabre and remain blissfully ignorant of the fact that other people find them bizarre or frightening. Such was the success of the TV series that it later spawned a spin off movie.
So what makes the ‘Gold’ Edition so special? We should start by explaining that a certain amount of confusion was caused by the fact that there are in fact two ‘gold’ machines. Once the production run had broken the previous sales record for a pinball machine, which was held by the Bally Eight Ball with 20,230 units, all the subsequent Addams Family pinball tables were produced with gold cabinets. The only defining feature of these tables is that they were the tail end of the production run.
The real Addams Family ‘Gold’ machine, which is also known as ‘The Addams Family Special Collectors Edition’ is something quite different, and this is the table that we’re proud to offer here, having carried out an exhaustive refurbishment at our workshop. Bally decided to produce a special run of just 1000 machines, each with a numbered metal plaque on the front of the cabinet, and these differ from the original production run in a number of significant ways. This limited edition table sold out on the day of its release, which is part of the reason that they are now so hard to come by.
It's often assumed that the differences are purely cosmetic, and the cabinet does indeed look different having be re-designed with gold metal trim and a different colour scheme, but because the technology had moved on quite a lot during the intervening two years there are some substantial changes under the bonnet too.
Now for the science bit! Electronically the biggest difference between The Addams Family and other WPC (Williams Pinball Controller) pinball machines was always the Fliptronics board. The Addams Family is the only one that uses a Fliptronics-1 type of board as all other WPC games use a Fliptronics-2 board, and whilst the ‘Gold’ also uses the same board as its humble predecessor, there are considerable changes to the flipper controls, microswitches, and the playfield itself. We could go on, but who actually understands this stuff?? Thankfully our technicians do, and that’s why you can be sure that this table has had the kind of intensive TLC that will keep her rattling her chains for years to come.
It has been proven many times that you can theme a pinball table around just about anything if you try hard enough, and we’ve seen some pretty dodgy concepts over the years. This table, however, is proof that sometimes things come together perfectly, and if we had to put our finger on why The Addams Family is the greatest table of all time it would probably come down to the fact that it’s quite simply a perfect marriage of theme and gameplay. It goes without saying that it’s a very well designed, entertaining table in its own right, but what makes it special is playfield’s ingenious tricks and toys. The core game-play consists of two objectives, the first of which is to explore the Mansion using the twelve windows located in the centre of the playfield. The second objective consists of hitting the bookcase in the far right corner, where each successive hit will award the player with a letter in the word “Greed”. Once complete, the bookcase will spin, revealing the Vault. A shot to the Vault locks the ball for multi-ball rounds, or starts the round once enough balls have been collected.
Its already prestigious status, combined with its mint condition, makes this one of the most valuable machines in the UK; the extensive work and special attention afforded to our individual pinball machines by our professionals makes them even more valuable than they were in their original, factory-produced condition. We’re not suggesting for a moment that Charles Addams had a pinball table in mind when he gave birth to this oddball family but you never know….
Allow us to explain how and why we go to such extreme lengths when repairing and restoring vintage games.
Over the years we are fortunate enough to have gathered together a select few individuals whose enthusiasm for jukeboxes, pinball machines and vintage arcade games ensures that they are never less than 100% committed to the task in hand. They quite simply love breathing new life into old circuitry and want to see as many of these classic pieces preserved for future generations as possible.
Not for them the perfunctory checklists and proverbial ‘tyre kicking’ which pass for an inspection at other dealers but instead an unflinching determination to get to grips with the detail. This usually begins with a thorough strip down of the machine and a forensic examination of the internal workings. They’ll be aware of the particular quirks and foibles of any given piece and instead of just replacing failed parts they’ll always go the extra mile, swapping out components which are likely to fail in the near future.
An obvious comparison would be between a classic car which remains on show in a garage and one that you can actually enjoy driving.
Rare though many of these machines are, rarer still are the examples which have been properly restored or can truthfully be said to be in full working order. It goes without saying that when unrestored machines come up for sale online or at auction, they’ll often be priced rather lower than the machines sold by The Games Room Company, and the point we wish to get across above all others is that there’s a reason for this.
In this business The Games Room Company’s reputation is second to none, and as it’s been hard won over the years it’s something we never take for granted. Every machine that goes off to a customer, be they corporate or private, is a potential advertisement for the business and if we didn’t do our job properly then we wouldn’t have the high number of loyal, returning customers that we do.
We’re justly proud of our One Year Parts and Labour Warranty, which extends to on-site visits so if your machine does require some attention, you won’t necessarily have to endure the pain of separation.
We’ve always recognised that with specialised products such as these the after sales service is just as important as the initial sale. It takes a long time to build a reputation and over the years our commitment has won us not just the loyalty of our clients but also the trust of the last remaining American Jukebox manufacturer, Rockola, who in 2014 appointed us as their Exclusive British dealer.
The Games Room Company is one of the oldest pinball dealers in the country. Our founder, Reginald Waldersmith, played his first pinball game in 1960, and described it without irony as being “flipping excellent”. We’ve been selling pinball machines since 1962, so know a thing or two about our products! Our showroom will gladly assist you on any questions you may have before or after you purchase any Games Room Company equipment.