Monday, June 4, 2012

Pinball in the Wild: Part 4 - The Musée Mecanique

The last stop I made to play pinball in the Bay Area was at the Musée Mecanique in San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf area.  This is one of Claire's all-time favorite places to hang out.  It's got anything and everything coin-operated.  Fortune tellers, nickelodeons, player pianos, photo booths, and pinball machines!

I have been here a few times, and I quickly found their Indiana Jones, Addam's Family and Pirates of the Caribbean pinball machines, which I have played before.  I found two older machines that I don't ever remember playing here.  One was a Sing Along (Gottlieb 1967):

And the other was an Olympics (Gottlieb 1962)

I was running dangerously low on quarters, so I took a spin around the room to see if there were any other games or attractions I wanted to try before I ran out.  And that's when I found a HYPERBALL tucked in the corner (!?!)

I can't even remember where I heard about Hyperball, but I never thought I would see one that worked.  This game (designed by Steve Ritchie and manufactured by Williams in 1981) is not technically a pinball machine, because there are no flippers.  Instead you have two handles which pivot left and right to aim a small cannon at the base of the playfield.  Instead of standard 1 1/16" pinballs, it fires 3/4" balls, and a lot of them!  Maybe 50 or so?  The page says it can shoot 250 in a minute!  There are 26 targets around the playfield (A-Z) and you try to shoot your balls at whichever one is lit.

If you look closely on the left here, you can see all the balls lined up.  Crazy right?!  Sadly, I only had enough change to play two games, and I was not very good at it.  But I will be back!  Oh yes, I will be back with change to spare and then many a game of Hyperball will be played!

Jon and I have one last summer to play some pinball together in New England while I am at CCS teaching some of the summer workshops, and then I will be in Oakland for good starting in August.  I'll continue to let you all know what machines I find and play in my new surroundings.


  1. I wonder if they've added those tables in the past year, as I don't recall seeing them there on my last visit, last thanksgiving.

  2. and have you checked out this place yet:

  3. Whoa, I hadn't heard of that place. Thanks for the tip! I will definitely check it out and report back here. :)