Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Back to the Future Pachinko

I've dabbled in pachinko/pachislo collecting for about 7 years now, however I only have two machines physically in my possession so far. The last of which was purchased over two years ago now. This is mainly due to lack of space in my current living situation (I actually have space in a "common area" sense of the word and could populate that with pachinko/pachislo, if I wanted them to get ruined and destroyed by cigarette smoke and general filth ><). I could maybe fit one pachislo machine and zero more pachinko machines here.

The two that I have are set up like tiny monoliths on the floor, flanking either side of my shelves full of J-cultural items-slash-makeshift altar/shrine (specifically for my cousin's host sister from Kagoshima that was killed in a car accident here in 2003). One is Gegege no Kitaro-themed, that was the first one I purchased in early 2003. It has an LCD screen, some lights but no real frills. Its main "charm point" is the few mechanical parts it has, coupled with the traditional look to its overall playing field. It was sort of an impulse decision, as I recall ebay (where I purchased it) didn't really have a lot of dealers on board then, nor was there a crazy selection like there is now. In just 5-6 short years the selection of series that machines are based off of has exploded. All that time ago I wouldn't have even imagined there'd be a Metal Slug slot machine or four different Evangelion pachinko machines.

ebay's selection really seemed to beef up from 2007-2008, and it was during this time that I happened to snag an awesome Back to the Future machine for around $230 delivered. This machine really has it all, a bright, defined LCD screen with chibi, anime versions of Doc & Marty and everyone else when you start getting balls into the main slot and get the reels moving. It also has that awful, mid-90's-esque 3-D rendering of the Delorean, but you can't win em all, can you? It also has - oddly enough - a button for みくじ mikuji, or fortune (telling). Gegege no Kitaro is infinitely more Japanese and even it does not have Japanese fortune telling embedded in it. =P Though Japan does seem to love BttF to the point of multiple companies producing uniquely Japanese merch for the trilogy.

The playing field is fairly general, not too much in the way of mechanical parts. However, this is more than made up for by the huge glowing logo and flying Delorean from part II surrounded by lightning and hovering, all elaborately lit up, as if it was going back in time.

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