EXPO 09

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
About Us

 

My Name is Michael Shalhoub author of the Pinball Compendium Series, below is a brief history of my love for Pinball Machines that appears in my fourth book. I am here to help all those who are looking at buying a pinball, having a pinball repaired, or tracking down parts for there games.

The company Pinball Master Sales and Service has been in business since 1989, and i have sold machines all over Australia even sending them to New Zealand and Tasmania.

What an amazing journey I have been on, my fascination with the ‘Silver ball’ started many years ago at the age of six and I can still remember playing my first ever game on a 1960 Gottlieb Kewpie Doll. I was hooked and from then on I would play as many games as I could. Always in the back on my mind the realization that if my father ever found out I was playing a game he associated with gangsters it would mean a definite hiding. This didn’t deter me, and here I am nearly forty years on and I am again writing another book on something I have a very deep passion for, ‘The Pinball Machine’.

When I first started the Pinball Compendium project back in 2000, my main objective was to pay tribute to all the greats in the industry, that have played a role in bringing us these wonderful games, that have challenged and brought so much enjoyment to millions of people around the world. In the past seven years I have had the privilege in meeting and getting to know many of the people who have worked in the industry. There stories and comments regarding games are all documented in the three volume series of ‘The Pinball Compendium’. The first book covers the period 1930’s-1969, the second covers the period 1970-1981 and the third 1982-Present.

I have been asked why another book, the inspiration behind this book came from my friend and mentor, Alvin Gottlieb who loaned me photos that are showcased in this book, he gave them to me prior to volume three being sent to the publisher. I was tempted to use them in this volume but they didn’t fit in with games being portrayed in it. Then the idea to release another book showcasing the most collectable Electro-Mechanical games was born, this book will be followed by volume 2, the most collectable Solid-State games.

Growing up I would play as many different games as I could, preferring the Gottlieb games to the other manufacturers. In Sydney in the late 1960’s pinball’s were everywhere, we were fortunate to have at least fifteen if not more pool, snooker and arcades in the city. You could play pinball’s at nearly every corner store; they were also seen in Laundromats, bowling alleys and cinemas. I continued playing pinball’s throughout my school years concentrating more on playing them than my school work. I can’t remember attending any swimming or athletic carnival; instead I and my friends were of into town visiting our favorite arcades. Games manufactured by D Gottlieb & Co offered me a greater challenge, some readers may not agree with me as I know there are many out there that preferred Bally games and others who preferred Williams. Whatever manufacturer you preferred it was D Gottlieb and Co that dominated the pinball market from the introduction of the flipper in 1947 to when the company was sold in 1976, the two leading designers at the company in this period were Wayne Neyens and Ed Krynski.

By the late 1970’s there were more videos appearing in arcades, even me a dedicated pinball player for over a decade started playing them more than pinball’s. By the early 1980’s the Electro-Mechanical games were replaced by the more sophisticated Solid-State games. I found it hard to adjust to games in this era and found myself no longer playing them.

In February 1985 I was invited to a friends house for dinner and there in the corner in the garage was a Gottlieb 1973 High Hand pinball machine. The desire to again play pinball’s was generated; the game was being used mainly as a storage table. I spend hours playing that game, the sounds of it starting up, the sound of the score reels turning, the sound of the chimes, it has been years since I heard the knocking sound of the free game all this re-ignited that spark that is still with me today. Within a few weeks I had purchased my first two pinball machines a 1969 Target Pool and a 1972 Wild Life. Within a month the collection had grown and my fathers garage was full of pinball machines. My goal now was to buy as many games as I could concentrating on the Electro-Mechanical games and not paying to much attention to the Solid-State games with the exception of Joker Poker. I married my beautiful wife in 1987; we have always had pinball’s in our house. The one game we both enjoyed playing was a Gottlieb 1978 Joker Poker. For those readers who have not played this game, I feel it is one of the most challenging games ever manufactured, challenging players with every ball.

In 1989 I started a company called ‘Pinball Master Sales & Service” by now I had learned how to do repairs on pinball’s and started selling of my duplicate games. My collection now was over 500 games. The problem here is they take up so much room, I could only set-up 20 in my house the rest were stored at my fathers house, his new car was never to be put in the garage again as there were games piled up to the ceiling. We then built a storage garage at the back of his house again filling this with pinball’s. I have always been an obsessive collector, weather it was stamps, football cards, toys I could not stop till the interest in the product was lost, the problem with pinball’s is  the interest kept generating. There was a stage where books on pinball machines were scarce; my favorite two are ‘Pinball’ by Roger Sharpe and ‘The Lure of the Silverball’ by Bill Kurtz and Gary Flower. There have been a few more written since these, when the idea to write a book came to me, I wanted it to be different. I have always been intrigued by the designers and artists of these games then it came to me I would interview everyone alive today and will showcase there stories in my books. The Pinball Compendium dream was born, a series of books was written dedicated to the legends in the industry. Since writing these books I have met the majority of people I pay tribute to. I have become friends with them as they were the inspiration in putting all of this together. 

One person who is not with us today and is one of my favorite designers is Ed Krynski. I can still remember playing one of his games a 1972 Flying Carpet, I was around 10 `years old, I went back home and on a piece of timber built the game using pegs as flippers. I though the person who build the game was a genius, when I eventually met him I told him about this and remember him laughing about it. Out of all the people I first contacted re ‘The Pinball Compendium” Ed at the beginning was the hardest to interview and hung up on me on numerous occasions, I eventually won him over and we became good friends. When asked, 'what is your greatest highlight in writing the books' I always think of inducting Ed Krynski into the Pinball Hall of Fame, this was a great honor for me as the majority of games I played growing up were designed by him. The other legend designers showcased in the Compendium series are Wayne Neyens, Norm Clark and Steve Kordek.

The Pinball Compendium series focused more of interviews rather than photos; in this book the photos will player a bigger role. I have met many friends around the world on this venture. Only recently I was in Ohio with Mike Pacak. He took me to Cedar Point the home of Roller-Coasters as we were climbing up on one of the rides, I commented to him if it wasn’t for pinball’s I wouldn’t be here.

The format in this book is like that in the Pinball Compendium series, placing the pinball chapters in chronological order, here the reader can appreciate the development in the pinball game and how it evolved into the game we have today.

God has blessed me with a very understanding wife, allowing me to visit pinball shows around the world my favorite the Pinball Expo in Chicago. I have dedicated a lot of time to the Pinball Compendium project and again in this book. She has always supported me and has helped edit the books. I have recently set up one of her favorite pinball’s in the games room, Joker Poker; this was a game we used to play together when we were first wed back in 1987.

I am helping my friend Alan Tate co-ordinate the opening of a Pinball Museum on the Gold Coast in Australia. In 1991 I received a call from Alan making enquiries to purchase games for a museum; he had a dream of opening up a small museum on his property in Springwood Queensland. He had hopes of building cabins on the property and the pinball museum he felt would add to attracting people to book. He originally wanted 20 -30 games to showcase, then the Shalhoub bug took over, with Alan today owning nearly 2000 games. The plan for the museum has shifted several times, with Alan only recently purchasing land in a tourist area very close to the theme parks in Queensland. I hope to see you all there when it finally opens. Alan can thank his wife Jeanette as she was the one that was in Sydney on a holiday that gave him a cut out of me advertising pinball’s for sale. Alan like me has a passionate love for these wonderful games, on one trip to the States his wife tried reverse psychology on him, before he boarded the plane she hugged him and told him to buy as many pinball’s as he wanted. I know she is going to kill him when she reads this, on this trip Alan bought over 100.

I hope you enjoy the book ‘Let the pinball dream continue’ 

 

 
 
 
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