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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Addams Family Pinball

In honor of the ongoing Addams Family Kickstarter that is happening now (you did know there's a Kickstarter, right?), I'd like to talk a little about my history with this lovely machine and about my obsession with pinball. 

Addams Family Pinball

I would, of course, like to preface this discussion by saying that I don't have a problem. I can stop at any time. I am a fan of pinball, but I am not an addict or an extremist. Please ignore my nervous laughter as a sign of confidence. Seriously though, pinball is awesome. Digital pinball is great, buy nothing beats the real thing. 

I guess I should really start the discussion that you all came here to hear. I remember a long time ago, way, way back, when the arcade at Oxford Valley Mall had actual games. I'm talking about real fun games that ate your quarters like they were Pac-Men on a power pellet bender. This was a time of killer games like the Donkey Kong, Hard Drivin', and Street Fighter II. However, there was always a row of pinball machines against the wall. This is where I was first introduced to their Addams Family. 

I suppose if you cranked up that old time machine and took me back even further into elementary school, you might catch me watching an Addams rerun on the old, crackley tube TV set. On the other hand, maybe not. As a little kid, I had been more partial to the less sophisticated knock-off known as The Munsters. I suppose I needed to grow a bit too be able to appreciate the wit of Gomez and Morticia. 

So there it sat in the dark and noisy arcade. Little did I know about the pedigree of this table. At that time, I just knew that it looked like fun. It was a tough game to get on, as there was always an older kid jamming out on the machine. This game had everything you could want in a pinball. It has actual movie actor voices, it had the Addams Family theme song, and it even had a box where the hand Thing would grab your ball. 

So when I could sneak a game in when the older kids went to get more quarters, I would hop on. As my flipper technique was sorely lacking, these games usually didn't last long; and since my Levittown Express newspaper route money didn't stretch very far, I never played as much as I would've liked. 

Fast forward about 5 years, and I was in the United States Navy. 1996-97 had me stationed in Orlando, Florida learning about nuclear physics at Power School. There was a place called the E-Club there on base. I seem to remember that there was lots of low-quality greasy pizza there that would hit the spot between classes and studying. However, the real reason for me to go to the E-Club was to de-stress while playing some of the arcade games that they had. 

There were a couple of video games that I liked, especially the fighting game, Marvel Super Heroes by Capcom. It was always a hoot to hear Captain America shout, "Final Justice," before taking an opponent apart. The video games were shiny and crowded, but there were always a few pinball machines that were available. There just weren't gobs of people lining up to play them, which meant easier access to me. 

I seem to remember that they rotated machines quite frequently. The E-Club was the place where I first set eyes on the epic pinball masterpieces Medieval Madness and Attack From Mars. It was also the place where I got to play that sad excuse for a pinball Sega Star Wars. It was also where I got to experience the Addams Family pinball again. It was like an old friend that was coming to visit and give me a hug. I remember the multiball with fondness. 

So, in closing, I implore you to check out the Addams Family Kickstarter. Find and support your local pinball establishment where one still exists. Have a great rest of your week!


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