Author Archives: Mike Huntsman

Radical! tabletop?

I’ve seen these tabletop machines around for decades. The Montgomery Ward, JC Penny and Sears catalogs had multiple pages dedicated to the childhood tie breaker machine. That’s what me and my buddies used mine for.

I don’t think that any of them past or present were designed from an actual machine. These designs clearly show that Bally was playing with the idea. Having grown up a skateboarder I recognize the legendary Powell Peralta Skateboards pro, Steve Caballero on the right side of this flyer.





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It looks like Playtime Products did manufacture this same playfield layout with WWF, Batman, and countless other licenses. This Batman on the right and the rest in this blog are part of Gene Cunningham’s collection of tabletop machines that came with the Illinois Pinball Co. haul. The last 2 are fireworks.

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Bally Shooting Gallery Pinball?

What the? I wonder what the art would have looked like for “Shooting Gallery”? It doesn’t sound like it would be a code name for Hotdoggin’. How many theme’s did they go through before deciding on Hotdoggin’? Makes you wonder if they usually designed the layout, or the art first.






Gary Gayton did not design very many machines, but they were some good ones. Evel Knievel, Strikes and Spares (obviously the layout matches the theme) , Lost World, Star Trek (theme seems wrong for the layout (BALLY in the middle of the playfield?)), Hotdoggin’ and Fireball 2 (definitely matching design and theme).


By the way. Notice anything different on the left inlanes?



We’ve been busy!

Howdy everybody. My name is Michael Lee Huntsman and I will be your new Blog Host and Social Media Editor for Planetary Pinball. I was born into a home of pinball and got “the bug” the day my arms could reach both flipper buttons. I enjoy taking pictures and I hope it shows. Please remember, click on photos for large and extra large views.


Rick and the crew have been working hard trying to get everything organized since the move last year from the Bay Area to Sparks Nevada. Not only did he move his entire operation but he also acquired Illinois Pin Ball in 2014 and is now getting a chance to go through that massive pile of history. We are coming across some amazing pieces of pinball past. I will be creating a category just for some of the eye opening artwork from some of our favorite arcade artists.

I walked through a couple of the warehouses this week and took some shots. It is mind boggling just how much history and product I was surrounded by.


Just some of the machines from Cunningham’s old collection. The one’s that can be saved will be restored and most likely sold. Stay tuned for updates.


These are all pinball blueprints recently shipped to PPS from Williams when they moved out of the plant earlier this year. Lots of paper prints plus some other goodies.


This is probably enough bats for about 10 million flips!


You don’t see N.O.S. Funhouse or Big Bang Bar playfields everyday.


There are more than a few cabinets of original penciled playfield mechanical drawings. I’d bet most are here. Story coming soon…….


My favorite Electro-mechanical machine. And here is the mechanical drawing, right here, in front of me…………………………. Genius. No other way to put it. Ted Zale was a master.


Do you see one of your games in there? This a storage area for Williams/Bally silkscreen films. There are a lot and we are still going through them to find out what we have.


And, the art. Wow. It will be an unbelievable task to go through it all. Over time, we’ll put our eyes on all of it and save the good stuff. Stay tuned for a lot more from these archives. This is just a taste.

Fathom color proofing.


So much work. But it all paid off.


Fun work, for a guy like me.


Attn: Greg Freres…….


What can I say. One of the most iconic and elusive machines from the 70’s. This is a multi layered translite, with masking. It must have been cold on the set that day.


Hi-Lo Ace is very underrated. Played it in a tournament a while back and fell in love. From this era Dick White was the best. This is original ink!


And now for one that none of us have seen. Yes, this is Data East TOTAL RECALL playfield art! Definitely never seen before. I found this in a random pile, and we are still finding more from this interesting unicorn. We’ll have to get a hold of Paul Faris and get the real story.


It is a very surreal thing to go through original art from some of your favorite artist. I can’t even start to explain how honored I am to handle and photograph this epic history.

The plan from here on out is to regularly update the PPS Blog and share it to Social Media to keep our community informed. We are working on getting a lot more product on the website in 2017. As we are going through and organizing, many classic stories of art, design and product are presenting themselves. I am very excited to get to some of these amazing tales. We will be reaching out to some of these artists to get the full story. Stay tuned, the Blog is back!

May your balls be long and your outlanes kind. – Michael