Stern Guardians of the Galaxy pinball machine with lights

Owning a pinball machine lets you enjoy true ‘blast from the past’ fun, especially for if you grew up arguing with your parents just to stay a few more minutes at the arcades. Pinball machines are classic games that bring about a great sense of nostalgia for many, with its heavy steel balls clinking and clanking every which way and their wild lights with sounds that tend to hypnotize every kid that walks by. Today, people love collecting these classic machines, modding them with pinball LED lights and all kinds of upgrades either to keep them up to current standards or maintain their old-world vibe. If you are curious about pinball machines and would like to know more about their place in gaming history, here are some interesting things you probably didn’t know about these exciting contraptions:

1. Although the game of pinball was first invented late in the 19th century, its popularity didn’t explode until the 1930s, which was practically the age of coin-operated machines—great money- makers that presented themselves in almost every shop, bar, and arcade back in the day.

2. Pinball went underground after the game became the scapegoat for the war on booze that authorities imposed back in its heydays, with city mayors and the police insisting that pinball machines and games were easy gambling devices and that they contributed greatly to juvenile delinquency.

3. Pinball didn’t come out from the underground until the great revival of the 1960s when—in an effort to restore the game’s old glory—the powers that be made it into a competitive sport. Die-hard fans and players of the game would organize well-attended tournaments, which altogether led to the great revival of the much-loved game.

4. Out of these small competitions came big money tournaments that created a sport out of the game, where prizes reached from hundreds to thousands of dollars thanks to sponsored competitions that drew and created more fans of the uncanny sport.

5. Today, pinball machines are treated much like classic cars that bear great value, especially for fans as well as for those who simply want to feel the nostalgia of the machine’s wild lights and sounds.

Classic machines are widely available if you know where to look. However, many of them may require some degree of restoration. Fortunately, there are many places where you can get pinball mod kits complete with LED bulbs for pinball machines to help you bring your own machine to life.

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