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Tiki pinball??

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Hello out there,

as a big fan of pinball I began to wonder.... is there a tiki related pinball machine? Any info would be highly appreciated. This machine has got to be super cool.

Onatiki - when have you planned your launch at the Ti?


absinthe makes the heart grow fonder

[ Edited by: tikiapprentice on 2003-12-05 21:22 ]


There really are not directly tiki related pinball machines, but "Gilligan's Island" has South Seas graphics and game play. There is an outfit that will take an old game and give it a makeover to any theme you choose. May even be a project a tenatious TC do it yourselfer could sink their teeth into.


i know a guy in tribeca who owns a number of vintage hula pinball machines, & i think that some are for sale.

they look great!

i have no idea about the price.

let me know if you'd like to get in touch w/ him.


Holden @ Tiki Farm (smogbreather), has a nice Gilligan's Island pinball machine. You might contact him to inquire how he came about it.

probably the Professor made it out of bamboo and coconuts.

Oh, if I only had the room for these:

Paradise Pinball

Hula Hula Pinball

Other pinball machines I have seen that would fit in well with a tiki/surf/ocean theme are:

  • Hawaiian Isle
  • Ship Ahoy
  • Surf Champ
  • Ship Mates
  • Hawaiian Beauty
  • Gilligan's Island (already mentioned)
  • Surf-Side
  • Mermaid
  • Scuba
  • Aloha
  • Sea Belles
  • Hula Hula (already mentioned)
  • Sea Ray (I love the graphics on this one)
  • High Seas
  • Sea Shore
  • Surfer
  • Paradise (already mentioned)
  • Tropic Isle
  • Mariner
  • Seven Seas
  • Viking

Ones I have heard of, but have not personally seen are:

  • Surf Queens
  • Beach Queens
  • Surfers

These are all from one of the many (ongoing) lists of things I have wanted to collect. (I also have a running list of Las Vegas/Gambling/Card themed pinball games.) Pinball machines are so big, and I already collect so many friggin' things, I just couldn't take on another collectible item. My other option was to buy just ONE pinball machine and collect the backglass of the other machines to put on the wall. The only thing is, is that I have no more wall room!!

SO....take my list, run with it and let us know what you get.

Just my 2 (pinball) coconuts worth.

Enter The SoCal Hoity Toity Schedule

[ Edited by: sugarcaddydaddy on 2003-12-11 12:14 ]

I had no idea there were so many. Thanks for the heads up. I check into all of them and let you all know what happens.
thanks again,
the apprentice

Thanks for the list SugarCaddy.

Some of these old pinball machines are truly gorgeous, and like you I have a desire to own a few (dozen), but have no space. Backglass collecting is getting popular, and not too hard to do: a lot of old machines are beat and worthless, but the backglass is still in good shape.

Just two days ago, I saw a minty-mint 1960s Indian Chief (native American theme) pinball machine at an auction. No one wanted it. It went for only $60, and I didn't bid simply because I have no space for it (and no way to get it to my 3rd floor walk-up!). It was a real shame watching that bargain go by.

My lord...i could so get into having a few pinballs based on this kinda stuff. I have always like pinball over video games and it's a pleasure to just lose sight of everything and focus only on that lil steel ball that plays the games of the cosmos...(it's also a good thing to do when your altering your perceptions)


Does anyone here own or know of any Tiki themed pinball machines? I have seen ones with hula girls and such, but never with Tikis....

Please post pics if you have one!


thank you!


I like pinball almost as much as I like pie. Mmmmm, pie.

Pinball is tactile, involved, so much better than a video game, but I digress. I recall some hula/Hawaiian thems but never a strictly "Tiki" machine. Hey, maybe Jim Buffet will come out with one!

Kidding, just kidding. My fave machine, which I spent most of my Law School days playing (that might explain a lot),was "Earthshaker". At certain points during play, the machine would shake, just like a mini-tremor.

Did someone mention pie?


The weekend of the recent Philly tiki event, I was at a nearby antique mall, and I saw a wonderful Hawaiian themed pinball machine, with several hula girls on the design. From what I could see (the stall was closed, and I had to look through the wire fence) the machine looked great. The sign said it was a 1959 machine, and they wanted $3000 for it. At that price, I would assume that it was in great working condition.

I was tempted - I was a big fan of pinball as a teenager, but it was hard to justify the cost, along with the quandry of wondering where I would place the thing.


On 2005-03-16 18:13, ikitnrev wrote:
... the quandry of wondering where I would place the thing.

Well, you could always keep it at my house.


Maui Matt emailed this snapshot he took in vegas recently.

I just realized it was a slot machine and not a pinball machine. Well, have a look anyway.

ahh yes, the tiki torch slot machine. if i remember correctly, cynfulcynner won a bucketload off of that machine on our reno funtrain trip. our group also came across another tiki slot which had moai heads. i think humu or martiki took a picture of it....while we were at the peppermill.

I share my Wharehouse with one of the biggest collectors of pinball machines in Europe (we have about 240 here).
I've asked him many a time if there are any specific tiki machines, but it seems not.
The nearest it seems is aBingo machine with hula girls apparently and then of course there's Gilligans Island.
We have worked together now on quite a few customised machines for various people and a tiki one has been talked about, but saying that they are absolute barstards to do.
They were never made to be taken apart, changed and put back together and so, often the time spent outweighs the cost.
If someone really did want one, we can do them, they are expensive, but they are also one offs.


As far as I know, there are no specifically tiki pinballs. I've been a pin collector for years and have been looking for a nice tropical one to add to the collection for awhile (along with a Wonderland machine, based on the Alice books).

There ARE some pretty cool Hawaian themed tables however (although I havent spotted a single Tiki on any of them!) Some are straight up pinball, but most seem to be machines called "Bingos".

Bingo machines do not have flippers...the ball just falls into a hole and scores. Traditionaly, you used alot of body-english on these machines (esp in the days before the TILT mech was implemented).

Here are some links to examples:

This flyer is awesome...

This is the one I see at conventions all the time:

If anyone cares, this is the Wonderland Machine:

Other Hawaii themed machines:



Any of these would be a cool addition to a game room/tiki bar, and if you want, you can always add playfield pieces (tikis) to the machine. Good luck with the search!

Sully (The Bargoyle)

http://bargoyle.yafro.com/ (no new photos, go back to feb or jan)

Though not a pinball machine I've always wanted one of these for the basement...



Check out this one!

I think the submarine/WWII/underwater theme would work well with a tiki bar.

A neighbor of my in-laws has a sports bar in his basement and tucked away in the corner is a rarely used Sea Raider arcade game... I really want to make him an offer to sell me the machine but I haven't talked to him in a couple years.

In the 70s, when I lived in Berlin, the decor of my first own basement pad sported a fake palmtree, and this Gottlieb "PREVIEW". What a flashback to find it here!:



I used to LOVE those sub games!! Those and the midway rifle games. I recently got a Midway Flying Saucer rifle range (cir. 1968).

I'm thinking it'll look great in the space age living room, but its going to take a TON of work to restore it. I've been on it for a few months, and have it almost mechanically sound. Cosmeticly....well, thats a challenge. Will post some pics of my progress if anyone is interested.

As far as those sub games, you should check out http://www.mrpinball.com Some great repair tips, and a free classified section. Its where I've found most of the machines I own, and occasionally there are some non-pinball games posted (like my Flying Saucer). Worth a shot!

Sully (The Bargoyle)



Sully - please post pics - I'd be interested in seeing how you go about restoring a vintage arcade game!


Will do John, although most of the "cool" stuff is already done. I DO wish I had a picture of me getting lightly electrocuted. Knocked me back a few feet. The wahine wouldnt let me work on it for a whole week after that!!

Also, browsed that mr. pinball site, and a guy in Toronto has a Sea Witch for sale, working 100%. No price, asking for Best Offer.

Most gun games go from $100 (non-working..like the Flying Saucer) up to $600 or $700 if working and in nice condition. Goto http://www.mrpinball.com click on classifieds, and do a search for Sea Witch. For a few hundred that baby could be yours!!!

PS The gun cabs are HEAVY as all get out, equal to if not more than most pins (and some of the 30+ year old wire is fragile) so shipping might become an issue...unless you plan a trip to the great white north!


On 2005-03-17 11:55, johntiki wrote:
I've always wanted one of these for the basement...

Oh! you mean the video game.......Never Mind


Found this while fartin around on the net. More african than South Pacific, but the closest thing to a tiki I've seen..


Now that is cool! Like you said Bargoyle, it may not be tiki but it's close enough! I'd love to have that in the hallway leading to the bar. Now getting it down the steps...that's where we might have a problem.

An old ad for the South Seas pinball machine is on eBay now:


Maybe, soon!
I can say no more

Are the background illustrations in the mermaid ad by Gahan Wilson? Sure looks like it!


I found another one to add to the collection. This one is the called the Tropicana and its currently listed on eBay (not my auction). The seller claims its from 1948.

Here are some pics that I swiped.

I bought this Gottlieb Aloha 1961 about a year ago, you sometimes see them on the internet, i saw one in good working order just being sold for about 125 Euro's!

[ Edited by: Tiki Rotterdam 2005-11-08 22:11 ]

I've said this before in another thread, but a Tiki pinball is something I've been working on for a while now. It's unfortunately one of those projects that keeps getting put on the back burner.
Here are a few custom machines I've done in the past for Bacardi and a well known British TV show.

and some of the machines we have hanging around at our workshop


Was in Atlantic City New Jersey a year ago and came across this Killer Tiki slot machine in Ceasars Palace Casino. It made all kinds of jungle noises and the the goal was to to make the Volcano lave meter rise. Trish played this thing to death. Wish I had better pics of it, but this was all we got.

[ Edited by: Tiki G. 2005-11-09 04:23 ]


I bought this super-rare 1973 Bally pinball machine from a collector in Cleveland and set it up in my bar area. It's not tiki, but it is exotic, and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to own a pinball with my nom de online all lit up on the backglass...:wink:

The guy who sold it to me also sells pinball flyers on eBay, so I bought the Hula-Hula and Bali Bingo flyers from him to hang up on the wall next to Bali Hi.


MrBaliHai - that's a great pinball machine! Also a great looking bar! I like what you did with painting the drop ceiling - super idea!

There's one in a bar in Berkley that might soon be in a bar in Oakland... Or was I dreaming? Can you still dream if you get no sleep?


On 2005-11-09 05:46, johntiki wrote:
MrBaliHai - that's a great pinball machine! Also a great looking bar! I like what you did with painting the drop ceiling - super idea!

Thanks, Bali Hi is pure EM (electro-mechanical), so it's been a lot of work to keep it running. Fortunately, I used to manage an arcade, so I know how to clean dirty contacts and fix stuck relays. It's one of only 3 machines known to exist out of the original production run of 70, so it's worth the effort.

As for painting the bar's drop-ceiling, my first choice was to go for drywall covered with bamboo matting, but the price was prohibitive and the amount of work it took just to box up all the exposed piping made it obvious that acoustic tiles were the way to go. In any case, I was happy with the way it turned out.

The bar work-in-progress photos are here, if you're interested.

anyone interested that lives in the illinois/chicago area, there is a slot machine/pinball show at pheasant run near dekalb. I go every year,and you can find tons of vintage slot machines, gambling equipment, vintage signs, arcade games and pinball machines. i reccomend it..

I have a source for those tiki slot machines cause I do alot of work for the company that produces them..gonna try to score one for my tiki lounge, the Bamboo bunker.

oh yeah, the show is this saturday, the 12th.....

forgot to mention...the guys from "zap" are always there selling those giant tiki carvings that you find at kane county. It's a great way to buy one without having to drive into the city and go to their warehouse....

topics merged.


Although this isn't a real tiki pinball backglass art, I stumbled apon this today:


I have a book of pinball machine art, and saw this machine:


Even thought it's not tiki, but totem, the faces remind me of the cheesy tiki ones you find a big lots, oriental trading co, and party city.


Although this isn't a real tiki pinball backglass art, I stumbled apon this today

Hey, that image comes from my friend Ralf's (AKA The Cartoonist) site; it was created by a graphic designer in Hamburg named Wolf. When I made my epic, deathmarch to Cleveland to buy the Bali Hi machine shown farther up this thread. Wolf sent that to me in anticipation of my mythic pilgrimage to the Land of the Savage Chicken Dancers.


WOW that's cool. What a friend indeed!


The only pinballs I've seen with TRUE tiki in it are Gilligan's Island (already mentioned) and Ripley's Believe It or Not. The Ripley machine was released a year or two ago (designed by Pat Lawlor...same guy who did Funhouse, Adams Family, Twilight Zone....he's a pinball genius) and features a ton of stuff us tiki freaks might find appealing.

You actually collect tiki IDOLS as part of the game play, and theres a shrunken head toy ON the playfield (as well as one on the back-glass). When you collect Tiki's they appear on the dot matrix screen, and will chatter at you tauntingly.

Just played the hell out of this machine over the weekend (and almost bought it...went for Attack From Mars instead...running out of room, need to choose pinballs wisely!)

Here's some pics...

Tiki on the left, the shot above where it says "1,2,3,4,5"

If you can hunt one down, Play it!!!

Pages: 1 2 62 replies