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Posted on Feb 22nd 2013 at 04:52:06 PM by (singlebanana)
Posted under pinball, The Addams Family, Top 10, singlebanana

Coming it at #4 on my countdown is yet another Pat Lawlor designed pin (Banzai Run #9 and Funhouse #5), the very popular, The Addams Family.  This pin is so popular in fact, that it is the best-selling pinball machine of all time at 20,270 machines produced + 1000 additional units sold and labeled The Addams Family Special Collectors Edition, or what is known by pinball enthusiasts as simply the "gold edition." The gold edition has some additional features including gold armor, a gold lockdown bar, gold cabinet lightning instead of the usual blue, and some additional ROM features, one of which is the Cousin It animations and modes.

This machine is based on The Addams Family (1991) movie and incorporates many of the sounds and dialogue from the movie; Raul Julia even does the voice work for the machine. The movie, of course, was a modernized version of the classic TV show and while many people didn't care much for the movie, I believe, from what I've been told, this machine tends to appeal to the majority of the pinball community.  I think that several features in this game help accentuate its appeal, but the three that stand out the most are the game's flow, the multiball start-up, and the Thing toy.

Again, the game was designed by "The King of Flow," Mr. Pat Lawlor.  The playfield includes a loop through the pop bumpers which connects to the right side of the vault, and a center ramp and side ramp, which diverts to the lower right flipper or the upper left flipper.  The importance of these features is that you can use the loop and ramps to put together some non-stop, killer combos, which the game registers and awards bonus points for. Firing the ball from the upper left flipper into the swamp, also awards some great combo points although it does put an end to the ball's flow.

The multiball start up is considered by many, including myself, as probably the best in pinball (Bride of Pinbot's Metamorphosis coming in at a close second). The volume of the game's music and dialogue increases, the sub-playfield, GI, topper, and flasher lights go nuts, and a magnet under the middle of the playfield activates to sling your balls all around the machine. It's quite an exciting experience and makes players, novice or advanced, feel a sense of accomplishment and excitement regarding their game. In order to score jackpots and double jackpots, players must shoot the train area, or side ramp from the upper right flipper. SHOWTIME!!!!

The third feature of The Addams Family that stands out is the Thing toy.  Many who are familiar to the TV show or movies recall Thing, a strangely beloved severed hand that walks about on its fingertips.  The Thing toy is located inside of a box in the back right corner of the machine. At certain points in the game, your ball is captured in a knockout hole in the upper right corner; Thing comes out of the box, grabs your ball, and pulls it into the machine.  It's a really neat feature and adds quite a bit to the appeal of the machine; young or old, this toy always puts a smile on your face. See it in action at 2:27 in the PAPA tutorial video below.

One of the primary objectives of The Addams Family is to start all of the modes in order to light the final wizard mode (the "?" insert at the top of the house) to "Tour the Mansion." Completing modes is done by first shooting the "bear ramp" at the upper center of the playfield and then shooting the ball into the electric chair kickout. You can tell if the chair is "plugged in" if the yellow light attached to the chair is lit.  For each mode, you must relight the chair by shooting the bear ramp.  Once you complete all of the modes, a final relight and chair shot will initiate "Tour the Mansion." On top of a nice bonus for starting this one ball wizard mode, all of the previous modes start in a random sequence and continue to cycle through and earn you nice bonuses until all of the modes end or you drain.

Though Addams is the best-selling machine of all time, the rules of supply and demand most certainly do not apply to this machine.  Addams can go upwards of $4500 (average sale price), and sometimes a little lower depending on condition.  Expect to pay almost double for the limited edition The Addams Family Gold.  A very nice one just sold at my local auction for $7300, including service charges. Recently, I was able to acquire this machine for a very good price, but had to trade my Bram Stoker's Dracula as part of the deal.  Though I loved my BSD, it wasn't so kid friendly and I noticed my kids kind of drawing away from pinball.  I made a good trade and so far have no regrets. Addams is fantastic!


Restoration Update: I think I mentioned before that I completely dismantled my Taxi pinball machine and my good friend had painted and cleared the playfield. Well, after about 3 months, the ole gal is back together.  Though I am not quite finished and want to improve the machine's outward cosmetic appearance, the playfield, ramps, spinout, rubbers, and plastics have all been replaced.  The play area of the machine looks almost the same as it did the moment it came from the factory.

From this...

...to this.

I recently picked up a Xenon and Genesis to fix up and will continue to update as to their status through this blog.

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Love the paint work and the LED lighting. It makes it shine and stand out.
I've had the opportunity to play Addams Family, though I don't remember ever completing the Wizard mode. The voice work was top-notch and I loved the flow of the play field.
Psyched to see the top 3 now!!!
Pinball machines just get more awesome with every blog post. I'm starting to really want a pin of my own. I'll live vicariously through you, banana.
@Shadow Kisuragi: Yeah, I love LEDs if they are done tastefully and don't blind you when playing.  They can really add a lot to the machine.  I was fortunate enough that when I bought Taxi, the original displays were swapped out for LEDs.

@Crabmaster2000: Incoming soon.  Any guesses?  Maybe there should be a contest.....

@Fleach: If you decide you want to own one, go ahead and have enough money saved up for #2.  They are a lot of fun to own, but you have to be willing to maintenance them. Not as intimidating as it seems, you just can't be afraid to jump right in.
I need to stop reading these, I'm feeling itchy about wanting to own a pinball machine.
If you are ever in the New Jersey area, there is a pinball museum in Asbury Park. Seeing your blog posts reminds me i need to get more mileage outta my season pass XD.
@NeoMagicWarrior: I've definitly heard of that place and would stop in if I were ever in the area. Heading to play in Pinburgh in April (near Pittsburgh, PA) and pretty excited about being around 450 machines.

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