As a young boy, I remember falling in love with a Pachinko machine. It was old and dusty and didn’t work that great. But I was mesmerized by the balls as they launched across the play-field. Anyway, I always said one day I would buy one of those machines. Well, that day came this past Friday. I was at a local auction and low and behold there was a 1972/73 Nishijin Sophia SuperDeluxe Pachinko machine up for the taking.
Fast forward an hour later. I won it for ~$50 =)
For a machine that is forty years old, it is in good condition. I am going to try to get it into great condition.
What is Pachinko?
For those that do not know, a Pachinko Machine is sort of a hybrid of a slot machine and pinball machine (without bumpers). The player can only influence the launch sequence. There is no other way to control the ball after it enters gameplay… Only gravity can tell it’s course.
It’s a very fun and addictive form of gambling in Japan. There are thousands of Pachinko Parlors throughout Japan. Basically, you buy a number of balls, which are used at tokens. The balls then go into a player tray, the player they flips a lever which shoots the ball vertically across the play-field. The ball then descends through a maze of pins, spinners and bumpers. The object is to get the balls into the winning slots. If a player makes it into a winning hole, the game pays out a set amount of additional balls. If the player misses, the ball is removed from the game.
After the player has completed playing, they take they balls they have left to a cage and can trade them in for prizes. Sometimes they win a “special” prize, which can be taken offsite and traded back for cash. As would be expected the Japanese Mafia used to run or influence a lot of these parlors back in the day. The Pachinko gaming industry’s profit is actually greater than all world-wide gaming profits. At around $400 billion per year. So you can see these machines are very popular in Japan.
I plan on doing a restoration of the Nishijin. Which will include:
- ♦ Completely dismantle machine
- ♦ Rewire & replace lights
- ♦ Clean & polish all surfaces
- ♦ Replace all screws with stainless
- ♦ Buff plastic to restore transparency
- ♦ Tighten frame… ie. Glue & Screw
- ♦ Replace pressboard surround with wood
- ♦ Modify unit to run on 9v battery or 9v Ac Adapter
- ♦ Polish all metal mechanical actuation parts, to reduce lag/friction
- ♦ Rekey lock
- ♦ Replace rusted balls with new ones from Japan
- ♦ Build a cabinet for it so it can be mounted to the wall
Photos of the 1972 Nishijin Pachinko Machine
Stay tuned for progress reports =)
Matt is a Systems Development Director for a multinational franchise. Matt has lived and worked in Hawaii, Chicago, South Florida and currently resides outside of Atlanta. He enjoys his hobbies including Technology, Gadgets/EDC, Fountain Pens, Wetshaving, Clocks, Antiques & Coffee. He even roasts his own coffee weekly.