My New Vintage Pachinko Machine
I suck at Pachinko, at least in it’s modern whirling and buzzing and shrieking form. I last about 3 minutes with ¥1,000 (or around US $9) and leave with a headache and utter bafflement. But I am decent at pinball, or at least used to be. Anyways, I’ve always admired the vintage machines since I was a kid and a neighbor had one – probably a war souvenir.
My friend Joy talked his friend down from $165 to $70, so I snagged it! It’s probably from the 50’s or 60’s (any help here?). Sorry it’s such a crappy cel phone photo but my brand new Nikon is broken (erg – any advice on sending it in under warranty?).
I’ve been surprised that a lot of people I’ve told didn’t know or vaguely knew what Pachinko is (short version = the opiate of the Japanese salary masses), so I was hoping to explain it to them (top link is to Wikipedia) and also to ask some advice about getting it in full running order from anyone who might be able to help. Thanks!
The mechanics all work perfectly, but I can’t figure out for the life of me the power source comes from for the bells and lights! Maybe it’s been ripped out completely. I’ll take detailed pics of the back with a better camera soon.
Meanwhile, this sequence from Wim Wender’s TOKYO-GA (available as a bonus disc here) nicely portrays the catatonic trance-like state some of it’s ardent enthusiasts / addicts will fall into – and all despite unbearingly loud music and distorted announcements shouted over cheap megaphones.
You can see that even by the early 80’s, Pachinko was already adding more videogame-like features, plus the plunger is automatic instead of pulled each time – much like the way it’s cousin pinball did. By now I’m sure that 3-D Hentai nurses jump out and engulf you in their boobs.
UPDATE: I got some solid advice from reader Greg (see comments) and took a few (better) photos. Thanks Greg!