There Was No Bang In This Machine: Demolition Man Pinball

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I wish I could tell you great things about Demolition Man as a pinball machine. Like how it was a joy to play, or that I got a high score. But alas, when I went to hit 'start' on the game – it wasn't working.

That's the problem with a lot of routed machines (machines which spent some part of their life going from arcade to arcade, which especially for mechanical games like pinball, will tend to cause any manner of problems or premature aging). Since they're constantly being played they fall apart a lot faster. Granted this machine only needed a quick fix–chances are a wire was loose, which is why it was still running fine all things considered. It's a shame too. I'd never played a Demolition Man, and Williams has a history of making some fantastic machines based on sub-par movies. The machine was released in 1994 with 7,019 units made. It's a wide body, so yes it's wider than a traditional pinball machine. The game has some unique features such as a magnetic ball lifter called the Cryo Claw. The Claw is user controlled and can drop the ball into one of a number of reward slots – Start Acmag, Lock Freeze, Prison Break, Super Jets, and Capture Simon. If the player gets all five activated, the "Demolition Time" mode kicks in with the lights turning on and three balls get turned loose. The game also features upright handlebars that trigger the flippers. It's just an overall cool looking machine.

In production of the machine, approval for the back glass design was rejected a number of times. It turned out that the main impetus behind the rejections was from Wesley Snipes, who played the film's villain, didn't want to look too crazy in the artwork.

But let this be a lesson: If you own an arcade or take machines to shows, take care of them. These aren't exactly cheap. And if you buy a routed machine for your collection, be prepared to do some (if not a lot) of restoration.

[Editor's note: hey! we Loved Demolition Man – Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock team up in an action flick, how can you not love it?]

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About Baltimore Lauren

I like pinball machines, Archie Comics, and bad movies. Sometimes I write about old books for the heck of it. Follow me on Twitter: @BaltimoreLauren
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