|1989 Williams Rollergames|
|"Let The Good Times Roll"|
|Game Serial Number: 576 I366122||Rollergames Photo Page|
|Rollergames NOS Playfield Swap|
myhomegameroom.com Rollergames Resources
Scans of Prototype Drop Target Decals
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Rollergames was designed by the great pinball designer Steve Ritchie. I own 4 Steve Ritchie machines, and enjoy them. Ritchie is known for designing ultra fast games. Steve Ritchie himself has been quoted as saying Rollergames is his least favorite game of all the games he produced. It's one of my favorites, however. If this is Ritchie's worst game, it's certainly better than a lot of other games on the market :)
The story of my Rollergames:
My Rollergames story is a nostalgic one for me. In early 2001, my fiancée and I would go to a local Noble Romans pizza. Almost overnight, their private dining room turned into an arcade. Among all the redemption crap, I found a single pinball machine, Rollergames. I remembered watching the ill-fated Rollergames series growing up, and the theme caught my eye. Stacy (my fiancée) loved playing the pinball included with Windows 2000, so we put a few quarters in the machine. We must have played the game for an hour that day, and returned often to play the game. My co-workers didn't seem to fond of the pizza place, so I had to go there a lot myself, without any company. Hell, I didn't care, I'd play Rollergames. As with most operator owned games, the Rollergames suffered from neglect, and although fun to play most of the time, there were some occasional problems with the pin that drove me crazy. I decided it was time to research how much it would cost to own a Rollergames. After looking at eBay (hey, where else would I find a pinball machine around here? ok I learned soon enough..), I got into a bidding war on a Rollergames re-imported from Greece, and spent far too much for the games condition!
The pin wasn't too bad, really. Fun to play. I had to add a sheet of playfield glass, as the pin was loud without one.. and cleaning the playfield got old every couple days. As I slowly started following the pinball world, I realized that the game I loved so much was in very poor condition. A flipper rebuild kit and a ton of replacement bulbs helped. Unfortunately, a not-so-nice wear spot in the center of the playfield turned into a ton of missing artwork when I removed the mylar. I followed the instructions for safe mylar removal, but apparently it was so worn before the mylar was put down that the artwork stuck to the mylar instead of the playfield. Go figure!
I searched and searched and searched for a nice condition used playfield, or even a NOS playfield (the holy grail to ANY pin collector). After months of searching, I found one through a great guy named Alan Meyer. Alan is revered in the pinball world as a great guy who has gotten no longer available parts reproduced for pinheads. He made a suggestion in an e-mail that I try CA Robison in LA for a plastics set.. I called them, and they had a plastics set. I then asked if they had a playfield blank, or a Wall Ramp. No on the blank, no on the wall, BUT, they did have a NOS wired playfield, which included the playfield blank, plastics set, wall ramp and all electronics, still in the original Williams Crate from 1989. The price? $795 plus s/h. That playfield now sits in the crate in my basement, waiting upon free time to start the restoration.
I need to get the playfield Clear Coated, so I can start the swap. At some time, I'd like to either repaint the cabinet (tough design to repaint) or replace it with a US cabinet, with a US Coin Door and a US Transformer. It has some sort of add-in board with Italian characters on it. I've been informed it's an aftermarket board that functions as a fliptronics flipper board in a WPC game, which removes the need for a EOS switch. This explains why my pin has no EOS switches. I can't decide whether to remove the board, which would mean re-wiring part of the cabinet and the flipper buttons, or remove the EOS switches from the new playfield. I think I'll remove the board before it's all said and done, as the board is not labeled in any way, and I have no way of telling what a component is if one dies.
Rollergames started off a huge, expensive obsession for me. I now own 5 Steve Ritchie pins, and will own more in the near future. I'm starting out with the more affordable, older pins that are still super fast and a ton of fun. Some day, I hope to include some of Steve's latter work.
While my Rollergames sits in pieces awaiting its restoration, I occasionally return to that Pizza Parlor to play their Rollergames. Sadly, it suffers from Operator Neglect, and has worn down to the wood in many places. The rest of the playfield is cracked. It's a sad site. The operator wants more than average market value for a mint Rollergames, so it'll likely rot until it stops collecting quarters. Such a sad thing!
If you can find a prototype Rollergames, it will likely have a Diamond Plated playfield. This would be the ideal version to have, it would clean up nicely with the least effort. If you have a Diamond Plated Rollergames, I'd like to see it! Some prototype versions also had drop targets where the SKATE upright targets are on production versions. I'd also like to see one of these, if you have any pics.
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Page last updated Wednesday June 13, 2007
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