What was the first pinball machine you ever played?


New member
Jul 22, 2013
Howdy, folks. I just like to post up this thread about the first pinball machine anybody has ever played. You don't have to own a pinball machine; it can be anywhere from an arcade room to a pub. Just be sure to include the pinball machine name, manufacturer name and year of release/ manufacturing. If you played a Pro or Limited Edition, feel free to say that as well.

NOTE: It must be an actual pinball machine and not a virtual emulation of a pinball machine (such as Pinball Arcade).

Here's an example:

The first pinball machine I've played was Dale Jr. (Stern, 2007) Limited Edition


New member
Feb 8, 2014
The first pinball machine I ever remember playing was probably one of Space Invaders (Bally, 1980) or Paragon (Bally, 1979).

-- They were both in the arcade at the campsite my parents owned. I don't recall which one I played first!

The first pinball machine I played a lot was Hurricane (Williams, 1991).

-- This was in one of the campus bars at the University of Sussex. We played pinball in between pub quiz rounds.

Jeff Strong

Staff member
Feb 19, 2012
I was too young to remember the exact one. Had to have been an early SS or an EM since it was the early 80's.


Active member
Aug 1, 2012
I'm sure that I played some EM's when I was a little kid - but the 1st one I can remember for sure was Eight Ball Deluxe at a family outing place in Western RI.


New member
Dec 14, 2013
it was either T2, ToM or adams family. i think it was T2 but im going with adams family, you know, just because...


Senior Pigeon
May 31, 2012
I'm sure it was an EM but can remember what it was. I remember standing on milk crates to play while waiting for the pizza my mom ordered.
The first I can remember the name of was probably Spirit of 76. There were several of those around town and remember playing it often. The red, white, and blue colors with the stars were very memorable to me.

Eaton Beaver

New member
Jan 25, 2014
I remember the first actual pinball table I played was a Kiss table in Middleton, New York in the early 1980's. I was at a shopping mall with my mom getting school clothes and we went inside my first arcade and she put the quarter in to play it. I got yelled at by the arcade manager for hitting the flippers to hard and had no real clue as to what I was doing. I remember getting my first Atari 2600 a year or so later and have really come to enjoy both pinball and arcade games over the years. In the documentary Special When Lit when they talked about the pinball guys in New York was the same town I played Kiss pinball in while getting school clothes for third grade.


Active member
Feb 20, 2012
Too young to remember. But the first table I remember actually understanding what I was doing, Fireball.


New member
Feb 24, 2014
Genie. That was in 1983, I think. I absolutely love that table. The chance of having it born anew from the old Gottlieb collection is the entire reason I bought TPA. I've got every table, because every pin has its charms, but Genie sold me on it.


Active member
Nov 6, 2013
I got a unique one. Baby Pac-Man. Like many others I was too young to remember for sure, but there was definitely a Baby Pac in my local Chuck-e-Cheese when I was 7 or so. It also had a High Speed but Baby Pac most likely came first.

I was also mesmerized by a Blackwater 100 in the bowling alley. For years I thought an extra playfield on the bottom arch was a normal feature for pinball tables.


New member
Oct 26, 2013
The first table I remember playing was a long time ago. I was like 7.
Don't know the name of the table but the theme was like a haunted castle or something.
Something spooky for sure ^^


Staff member
Mar 14, 2012
Too long ago to remember exactly what the first tables were I played. First machines that I actively remember were Banzai Run, Haunted House, and Comet. Played them around '87 or '88 at the Balboa Funzone in Newport Beach, CA.


New member
Sep 9, 2013
What really annoys me is I can't remember. I was around 4, at a shopping centre with my dad and friend, waiting to get into the cinema. There was a machine there with a guy playing it and I was entranced. My dad put in some money after he was done, and my friend and I played. The only issue being that we were both too small to see the playfield, so my friend stood on a chair to the left of the machine where he could see, operated the left flipper, and shouted "FLIP!" at me when he needed the right flipper. I couldn't see a thing.

Pretty disappointing for my first pinball memory, actually :(


New member
Jul 18, 2013
Wow. Good question. I have no idea. I started playing when I was 5. What was out in 1975? (Yes, I'm middle aged) I vaguely remember Evel Knieval, but that's 1977. First one I remember playing well was Black Hole, brand new, looks like 1981-82 from ipdb. Glad to see it on TPA. haven't seen a working Black Hole since then, but I played that game almost daily. I was so excited it talked to me!


New member
Jul 24, 2013
My first was Black Knight 2000 - must have been around the time it was pretty new so around 1990.
The ice skating hall in the town I grew up in always had one pinball machine in their hallway that led up to the restaurant on top... and BK2K is the first pin I remember playing when I was 8 or 9 years old.
I also remember that afterwards they had an Elvira and the Party Monsters and a Racical!
I'm really surprised how much of an impression BK2K left on me... in the years after I have always liked pinball but when the machines started disappearing from the local pubs I sort of forgot about (real) pinball and only played the "pro pinball" games on the pc... until years later Visual Pinball came along and when Chris Leathley (aka Black) posted his first work-in-progress screenshot of his BK2K VP recreation (back in the days before there was vpm emulation in VP around the year 2000) it really hit me when all those memories came back and I immediately recognized this game as the first pin I ever played... this rekindled my interest in pinball and eventually led to me getting a real BK2K some time later... to this day still my one and only real pin I own (sadly I don't have room for it in my flat so it had to stay at my parents' house almost 900 kilometers away).


Mar 25, 2013
No idea what my first was but guessing either Evel Knievel or Six Million Dollar Man were likely two of the firsts. I can recall playing those two at some point in my childhood but no idea when - both those tables had a bit of life since release so its possible I played them the same time I was going to arcades in the 80s. Clearer memories of playing Haunted House and Black Hole, which I both disliked at the time (now only dislike Haunted House). But both Evel Knievel and Six Million Dollar Man would have been draws to at least try if I had a quarter.

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