Fantastic Pinball Machine

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Captain fantastic pinball machine

Fantastic Pinball Machine. Virtual Pinball Machine. Pittsburgh Virtual Pinball Machines. Pinball is a type of a game that is coin operated. A player usually inserts a coin into the machine and then starts to control one or more steel balls inside a pinball machine which is a cabinet covered by glass. When people hear of pinball machines, they. 1976 Bally's Capt Fantastic” Bally's best selling pinball machine from the 1970’s! Pinrescue is very proud to have 3 of these ready right now (end of November 2018) Great classic machine loaded with 1970’s pinball fun for up to four players. Support this Pinball Repair Website! (It costs money to provide this information.). There is a down side to this modification; if you shut the machine off in the middle of a game, when you turn it back on you'll still be in the middle of the last game., as used on late 1970s Bally EMs like Captain Fantastic, is the AF-25-5.

Game Facts:
Fantastic (or as the backglass states, 'FAN-TAS-TIC'), was released by Williams in September of 1972 (start of my sophomore year in High School). The September release date meant that it probably missed most of the east coast shore arcades, which is probably why I don't recall playing it when it was on location.

The games was designed by Norm Clark (other games include Spanish Eyes, OXO, Gulf Stream), art work was by Christian Marche (Williams lead artist in the late 60's and early 70's).

5,680 games were produced, which was a decent number for that era.
Game Flyer
(click flyer for full-size image)

My Fan-tas-tic story:
I purchased this game at the 2003 York Show (Whiterose Gameroom Show, but nobody ever calls it that..). I wasn't intending to buy an EM, I was actually looking for a Theatre of Magic, having some pinball cash from just selling off my Dr. Who and Road Kings. I arrived at the show on Saturday morning before it opened, hoping to find either a TOM or another nice early 90's machine. However the show had been 'cherry picked' on Friday, with most of the decent games long gone by Saturday morning. With the demise of the east coast auctions earlier this year, there aren't that many venues for finding games anymore outside of retail dealers and collectors selling single machines. The show was small, with less that 70 machines on the floor, and most of new games being titles no one would want (anybody want a Waterworld?) I wound up playing the EMs most of the day, and found myself being drawn back to the Fantastic more than any other game. The friend that I came with suggested that one of us buy the game, since we were both enjoying it so much, so an offer was made and the game was packed up.

Funny side note, when the seller was breaking down the game, he almost made a presentation out of handing me the keys, but then asked back for them twice to open the game up. Once he hung onto them by mistake and was adamant that I had them, and then breathed a sigh of relief when he found them in his pocket. Well you know that when I got home and had the game downstairs, I fished through my pockets for the keys and they were no where to be found! A 1/4' drill bit took care of the locks in a few minutes and as soon as I had the game up and running, the phone rang and it was the seller (I had given him my address so he could send me the instruction cards), and the first words out of his mouth were 'don't drill the locks, I found the keys!'. Oh well! I would have replaced the locks anyway, but the timing was hysterical.

Game Play:
As I said above, I was drawn back to this machine over the course of the day at the York show. It has a number of unique features, including the embedded Roulette Wheel, the pop bumper between the flippers, a left out-lane ball eject, a right out-lane return gate and 3 eject holes.

The Roulette Wheel - The most prominent feature on the game is the embedded roulette wheel in the lower playfield. While not the first pinball game to feature a roulette wheel, other games featuring a roulette wheel on the playfield include Williams A-Go-Go (1966), Williams Suspense (1969) and Gottlieb's Super Score (1967). The difference is that on these three machines the roulette wheel was mounted above the playfield, with the flippers located near the edges of the machine and the ball was routed around the wheel. Fantastic was the first to have the wheel below the playfield so the ball could roll over it.

The roulette wheel is activated by shooting the ball into one of the three eject holes. The motor runs for about 2 seconds, whipping the captive ball around! The roulette wheel has 12 scoring holes:

'Star' - Landing in one of the 3 star holes scores 500 points and lights a playfield 'star'. Lighting all 3 stars allows the player to shoot again.
'3,000' - Landing here scores 3,000 points
'Open Gate' - This scores 500 points and opens the right lane ball return gate
'Advance Bonus to Top' - This advances the bonus to the top (10,000 points)
'Lites A & B Lanes' - This lights up the two upper playfield lane switches to score 3,000 points
'Bonus' - Scores the bonus.
'Double Bonus' - Scores twice the bonus
'Triple Bonus' - Scores three times the bonus

Lower Playfield - The lower playfield features a pop-bumper ('jet bumper' in Williams speak) in the center drain between the flippers. I think this is a really cool feature of the game. A ball that you think has drained can come back to life! A ball can be on its way out, and then bump its way back up and around and back onto the playfield. This also makes the game a great 'shaker' game, a couple of nudges and you can reclaim what you thought was a lost ball.

The left outlane has a ball return (ala Steve Ritchie games, think Firepower and High Speed). This was the first EM game that I've ever seen with this feature. Its activated by the hitting the center stand-up target.

The right outlane features a ball return gate, one of may favorite features on an EM game. EMs drain so much faster than Solid State games that any type of ball return is a welcome addition. A Mark rant... EMs were originally designed as 5 ball games, so the time per ball could be shorter than on modern games. In order to increase profits, Manufacturer's starting offering 3 ball options in the 60's. Generally three ball games were cheaper than 5 ball games (3 for quarter versus 10 cents for a single game). Players like me however started balking when operators staring charging the higher amount for 3 ball games. 3 balls for a quarter on an EM was ridiculous! I think the manufacturers got the hint in the late 70s and solid state game design featured longer ball times. end of Mark rant..

However what the game gives in these three ball savers, it takes away with the flippers. The area under the plastics behind the flippers is open, allowing the ball to drain behind the flippers.

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There are two 50 point roll-over buttons in the middle of the playfield.

Upper Playfield - The center of the playfield features two eject holes that will spin the roulette wheel. There are three stand-up targets, the two end targets will advance the bonus by 1,000 points and the center target opens the ball return lane.

The top of the playfield contains three pop-bumpers. The center pop-bumper is always lit and scores 100 points. The two outside bumpers score 10 points and are lit to score 100 points when a corresponding stand-up target near the top of the playfield is hit.

There are four 50 point roll-over buttons, two near the center stand-up targets and two at the top of the playfield. There are also two 10 point switches behind rubbers in the upper playfield.

Bonus - Unlike almost ever other pinball game with a bonus feature, Fantastic only scores the bonus when the captive roulette wheel ball falls on one of the three bonus collection holes. While the bonus ladder tops out at 10,000, its possible to collect 30,000 points multiple times through the game. Likewise, you could collect absolutely no bonus, making the scoring range wide open!

Summary - Fan-tas-tic is a FUN GAME! The 'serious' player would scoff at this game, it would be much too random for them with the outlane pop-bumper. For the casual player however, this is a great game. With a bit of luck, a novice player can beat the pants off of an experienced player.

Close-up of the Roulette Wheel

Lower Playfield Close-up

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Elton John Captain Fantastic Pinball Machine

1976 Bally's Capt Fantastic” Bally's best selling pinball machine from the 1970’s! Pinrescue is very proud to have 3 of these ready right now (end of November 2018) Great classic machine loaded with 1970’s pinball fun for up to four players. Installation and a long term annual service contract is available local to us in N.E. Pennsylvania from NYC to Washington DC. Not local shipping and support included in our price. One of Bally’s very last electromechanical pinball machines Capt Fantastic is on every ones top ten list. Why not it features cool art work and great game play with drop targets, extra balls, specials and countdown bonus at the end of each ball.

Back in the 1970’s Gottlieb’s, Bally’s and William’s used All American artists, designers and craftsmen to assemble these fun to play pieces of art. Vintage pinball has that old fashion All American Top Quality that the Japanese and Germans just can’t touch.

Speaking of top tens what were you dancing to in 1975/6? The top ten in those years:

1. Love Will Keep Us Together, The Captain and Tennille
2. Rhinestone Cowboy, Glen Campbell
3. Philadelphia Freedom, Elton John
4. Before the Next Teardrop Falls, Freddy Fender
5. My Eyes Adored You, Frankie Valli
6. Shining Star, Wind and Fire
7. Fame, David Bowie
8. Laughter In the Rain, Neil Sedaka
9. One of These Nights, Eagles
10. Thank God I'm a Country Boy, John Denver

Pinrescue is not sure about the music from that year but pinball was in its glory years, remember this was before Pac Man and Donkey Kong.

Tons of great features on Capt Fantastic like:

PinballCaptain fantastic pinball machine close up
  • Extra balls
  • Brand new drop targets
  • Four brand new Flippers
  • Three new pop bumpers (Elton bumper caps)
  • Play more gate
  • Eight new star rollovers
  • And lots more……

Fantastic Pinball Machine

This very nice example has a mint original art glass a near mint original playfield and very nice original cabinet. It is very hard to find one in this nice condition before Pinrescue did our 30 hour mechanical overhaul just completed end of November 2018. We can get it to you for the upcoming holiday season.

Capt Fantastic Pinball Machine

Best investment in family fun you can make this year don't wait these Captains will be on their way to someone else's gameroom. These nice quality mid 70’s machines sell fast. We have safely shipped to over 45 of the states inside insured ready to plug in and play included in our selling price.

Price $5500 Sold Richmond VA Any questions [email protected] 354 0906

Captain Fantastic Pinball Craigslist

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