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Pinball Oddities

This page has info that I have about various oddities on some games. I hope you find some of these tidbits interesting.
Special thanks to Dan Kramer of DK Enterprises for his information and commentary on 'Sample Machines', as well as contributing and giving permission to use the 'Ice Review' pics.
Also, special thanks to Tim Stabosz for his contribution of info on the '300' sample machine he owns.
If anyone has any information on other EM machine oddities of the 60's or 70's, and you'd like to have me add it to this page, please email your information and I will add it if it is interesting. I do give credit for any contributions.

D. Gottlieb's 1973 'Big Injun'

Information passed on to me indicated that due to the possibility of negative reaction to the name, Gottlieb halted production on the 'Big Injun' and changed the name to 'Big Indian', after about 100 games were produced. These may have even been sample machines, and the decision was made before production to change the name. Here is a couple of shots of that rare machine. I, unfortunately do not know who to credit these pics to or who owns this machine. If anyone can supply me with this info, I will gladly give credit.

Sample Machines and 'Ice Revue'

I was recently contacted by Tim Stabosz who was referred by my friend Pete McDonald about a '300' with some odd features.

1. The match unit advanced for every 10 pts. scored, instead of 100 pts.
2. The 3-5 ball switch plug had 8 pins instead of 9.
3. The Serial No. had an 'S' at the end.
4. The 'Special' Relay had 3 sets of switches instead of 5 and the 'Special' Target sometimes would not turn on when the star rollover was activated.

I forwarded an email with some of this info and Tim's questions to my friend Dan Kramer and following is an email and response regarding sample machines. Thanks to Dan Kramer for permission to use this.

At 03:51 PM 6/3/01 , you wrote:
Tim, who owns that 300 with the s in the serial # and the odd features had a few Q's. I was wondering if you could answer any. Here's what he sent. Any info you have appreciated....

** Original Subject: FW: Odd 300 features
** Original Sender: Timothy J. Stabosz
** Original Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2001
** Original Message follows...
Q: Did he explain to you what sample machines were used for?

A: When an early production run was done, say an initial batch of several dozen to get the process straight, the games were usually intended to be early "promo" copies to get the company's distributors more interested in the game.
It helped, of course, to be a "preferred customer" who might be liable to place a big order as opposed to a small outfit. Thus, sample games seem to turn up near large cities.

Q:Travelling "display" models, or something?

A: A sample might have been first used in the showroom of the distributor or brought to a trade show, or some other special purpose. That didn't mean they were considered "worth saving". Most likely they were sold too, in order to keep the cash flow going.

Q:What purpose they served?

A:In some cases, there was valuable feedback provided from early play of the sample games. I know that Gottlieb prided themseves on being responsive to their distributors, and would make early production changes. A good example is the '65 ICE REVUE. The sample versions have three bottom rollovers on each side, a real chok-sucker of a bottom end. The production versions have only two and the game is more judicious to play, won't rip you off so easily.

A shot of the 'Ice Review' Production version playfield.

Above, right is a shot of the Sample version.