NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA -- A modern revival of a classic Gottlieb pinball machine, King of Diamonds, will soon be available for commercial coin machine operators, as well as hobbyists. The original was manufactured in 1967, and Retro Pinball LLC's contemporary update retains the game's classic look and electromechanical play action while enhancing serviceability. The design, logotype and graphics are licensed from Gottlieb Development LLC.
The new Gottlieb King of Diamonds is a modern four-player game with retro look and sound effects. It features the tapered "wedgehead" backbox characteristic of last-generation electromechanical flipper games, mechanical scoring reels and a 13-card animated backglass display, as well as an updated implementation of the original game's distinctive carousel-action roto-target.
New is a printed-circuit single controller for ease of troubleshooting and service, long-life light emitting diodes in place of the traditional filament lamps of unhappy memory -- the LEDs are easy to reach -- and state-of-the-art cabinet construction. While the playfield and targets are faithful recreations of the 1967 game, the new one makes use of industry-standard parts for simple maintenance and repair.
According to Retro Pinball's Herb Silvers, the new flipper game is an exact replica of the original Gottlieb device using many of the same part designs. About 70% of the parts from the 40-year-old piece can be used on the new game, he said. Like the original, Retro Pinball's new piece features easy-to-understand card theme rules, to appeal to young and old players alike.
The new King of Diamonds is being assembled in Taiwan. The first games will ship to Australia and Germany; following shipments to the U.S. are expected to begin in June.
Formed as a game manufacturing company in 2007, Retro Pinball is the brainchild of four pinball experts and enthusiasts. In addition to Silvers, the partners include coin-op veterans Reinhard Bangerter, Mike Patz and Gene Goodman. Silvers is founder of Fabulous Fantasy (North Hollywood, CA), a marketplace for classic pinball and arcade games since 1988. He began collecting pinball machines in 1972, the same year they became legal in California.
Retro Pinball was created to meet what its principals see as increasing demand for classic flipper themes and action. Classic appeal -- pitting players against the ageless force of gravity -- is one of the most desirable features even in Stern Pinball's ultramodern dot-matrix-display pin games with their miniature playfields and multiball functions. Retro's business model, however, goes in a new direction by tapping the past's hottest titles and replicating their gameplay.
Information may be had from the manufacturer's West Coast headquarters by calling Herb Silvers at (818) 761-2255 or Gene Goodman in its East Coast division office (York, PA) at (717) 887-5293. It's available through distributors; a list of sales agencies and details about Retro Pinball and its four principals may be found online at retropinballllc.com.