Pinball mania keeps bouncing back

Pinball!

These simple concept gaming machines have been around for nearly a century now!

Yet any of us who have played one can never forget the experience: pulling and releasing the spring-loaded plunger, hearing the metal ball launch ahead and out into the maze of contraptions that await, the rapid series of clicking sounds as the myriad of bumpers engage with it, and our frantic pounding of the flippers to make sure our rolling avatar stays in the game.

Fun, right?

“Pinball Memories: Forty Years of Fun 1958-1998”, by Marco Rossignoli, is a wonderful retrospective on the art and entertainment of pinball!

During the run of years where the pinball machine was at its heights, there were almost endless variations on the themes of each one. Everything from sports to history to space-related to film and television shows to cartoons to animals to motorcycles to music and more were featured, each with their own artistically-detailed board and mechanisms arrangement, making each unit series unique.

“Pinball Memories” covers this main era, giving us a look at the incredible detail of each of these units, featuring in depth certain ones which were the standouts for the their time. We are also treated to a fascinating history of the development of the pinball machine, from its humble origins as an alternative version of Bagatelle (a cousin to Billiards) to their modern electronic forms today. Also included for our benefit (and your interest) are the machines’ values and number produced.

Another highlight of this book is its display of the detail and artistry that was made for these machines—graphic design getting the recognition it deserves.

Pick up this fun and informative read and take a trip down memory lane!

(PS—We’ve heard rumors of pinball machines upstairs at the brewery in Port Allen! Fun times!)

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Ed and Cynthia Justus are owners of The Bookstore in Hanapepe.

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