There are three things we love: Magic, Houdini and Pinball Machines.
Imagine our glee to learn that our triad of triumph has been combined in one device.
The brand new Houdini Pinball machine from American Pinball Inc. in Streamwood, Illinois is a trifecta in our books. It comes with special Houdini-esque obstacles and features that just makes us smile like a fool in a ball pit.
- Three Magnets to Control Houdini’s Magic (Remember the Thurston one had one magnet)
- Over 20″ Launch into Houdini’s Steamer Trunk (Three more inches than a normal launch into a steamer trunk in non-pinball games)
- Animated & Interactive Theatre Marquee (The glass is like a show. No wooden numbers turning with a clunk and bump)
- API Theater Stage (The API Theater was a fine theater on the Bilbox Vaudeville Circuit later taken over by the forerunner of the Keith system)
- Real Wood Laser Engraved Planchette (Like at the country fair where they carve your family name except this is for disembodied spirits through an Ouija board)
- Theatre Spotlights (Of course. Always shining from the front to enhance angles)
- Custom Padlock & Gear Bumper Tops w/ Chains (Our first movie made in Hollywood was coincidentally called “Custom Padlock and Gear Bumper Tops and Chains)
- 6 Balls (because they are related to Houdini, likely larger than other pinballs)
- 5 Multiballs (This is a quantum anomaly or simply five balls. We prefer to think the former)
- 10 Stage Modes including Straight Jacket Multiball (If you have never played pinball in a straitjacket you don’t know what you’re missing – but that’s okay because there are probably few that have so it’s not like you’re being left out of some really cool group)
- 3 Magician Modes (What? Who else would they put with Houdini? Kellar, maybe. Dante, c’mon. Carrot Top, not even a magician)
- 1 Master Magician Mode (You get to play as the Master Magician plays – includes cape between well-manicured fingers the bumper buttons)
- 5 Secret Mission Combo Modes (Likely as H.H.)
- 5 Houdini Silent Movie Modes (We would totally do voice-overs for the silent dialogue to compliment our playing)
- 5 Jail Escape Hurry Ups (In our book, every Jail Escape is a Hurry Up. We reviewed Houdini’s notes and found very little evidence that he trifled during any escape, especially a Jail Escape)
- 1 Video Mode (As far as we know, there was no video back in Houdini’s time – maybe he did a YouTube that we didn’t see yet)
- Milk Can Playfield Multiplier
Imagine a game without a Milk Can Multiplier? You cannot, can you? It’s impossible. Houdini wrote to his brother Theo “Dash” Weiss in 1919 “Now that I have the Milk Can and understand it’s multiplying effect, I cannot imagine the world without it.” We have no word what response Theo provided his brother but likely it was along the lines of “Nope, I sure can’t, brother!”
The device is so pretty and so perfect, we just want to touch it and buy it. It is more likely that we will touch it one day but not own it so soon. Our magic friend Keiser got to try it out at the Arcade Expo in beautiful Banning California this weekend. As he spoke about the Houdini machine and unrolled the special poster he brought us, we smiled beyond capacity; leading to slight tears to the corners of our well-chapsticked lips. We were so enthralled, we worried that our special anti-enthralling medications were not working or, at best, overwhelmed. But it was apparent, the medication was just whelmed – not overly or underly.
The machine cost a mere $7,000.00 USD ($6,999). At $7.50 a show (assuming a complete sell-out of the back of the room Svengali Decks and knock-off Bullet Catch Trick with Nerf Guns), it would only take us a bunch of shows and lots of balloon animals (and we can only do poodles and giraffes (or poodles who look like giraffes or swords), to make enough to buy one.
Consequently, we are hoping one of our readers will decide to contribute the machine to us and perhaps through in some AC Generator wiring so we can play indoors. We were going to do a Go-Fun-Me page but when we went to the site, it didn’t seem like a place one could raise money. It seemed a little provocative. We erased it from the computer and were thankful we didn’t use our own computer to search and find the site.
See or play the game, we would love to hear your experiences – and perhaps touch your hand to get some of your special luck.
We thank Keiser for his poster and his constant ability to fool us and be patient with our bad acting when we pretend to know exactly what he has done.
Check out the Pinball Machine with Everything here: https://www.american-pinball.com/games/houdini/; download the tech details here: https://www.american-pinball.com/games/houdini/docs/Houdini-Service-Manual.pdf; and the promotional materials here: https://www.american-pinball.com/games/houdini/Houdini-Pinball-Flyer.pdf