Time Machine

Time Machine

Pinball / Data East 1988

Time Machine is a pinball machine developed by Data East, released in September 1988. The game is themed around time travel, taking players on a journey through different eras, each with its unique challenges and rewards. Featuring vibrant artwork, dynamic gameplay, and engaging sound effects, Time Machine stands out as one of the notable pinball machines from the late 1980s. The machine is equipped with various playfield mechanisms, including ramps, drop targets, and a unique “time tunnel” feature that enhances the time travel theme.

Time Machine was developed during a time when Data East was establishing itself as a significant player in the pinball industry. The design team, led by Joe Kaminkow and Ed Cebula, aimed to create a game that capitalized on the fascination with time travel, a popular theme in the late 1980s. The development process involved innovative engineering to incorporate the time tunnel feature and ensure the game’s mechanics provided a smooth and engaging experience. The game was produced during a competitive period for pinball machines, with manufacturers constantly seeking new themes and technological advancements to capture players’ interest.

Upon its release, Time Machine received positive reviews for its inventive theme, challenging gameplay, and aesthetic appeal. Players and critics alike appreciated the detailed artwork and the immersive experience provided by the sound effects and music, which changed according to the different time periods visited during gameplay. While not as commercially successful as some of Data East’s later releases, Time Machine garnered a dedicated fanbase and is still fondly remembered by pinball enthusiasts.

Time Machine did not have any direct sequels or spin-offs, but it was part of Data East’s broader lineup of innovative pinball machines in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Data East continued to explore various themes and advanced features in their subsequent games, contributing to the evolution of pinball machine design during this era. No significant variations of Time Machine were produced, but it remains a distinct title within Data East’s portfolio.

Time Machine is considered a moderately rare pinball machine, with an estimated production run of around 2,700 units. Due to its age and the limited number of units produced, finding a Time Machine in good condition can be challenging. The value of a Time Machine pinball machine varies based on its condition and completeness, with prices typically ranging from $2,000 to $4,000. Machines that are fully functional with minimal wear can command higher prices among collectors.

Time Machine features typical hardware components found in late 1980s pinball machines, including a solid-state electronic system. Below is a list of its relevant parts for potential repairs:

Hardware Specifications
CPU Board: DE-0878-3
Power Supply Board: DE-1225
Display Driver Board: DE-1237
Sound Board: DE-0158
Flippers: Standard Data East flippers
Bumpers: Standard pop bumpers
Drop Targets: Custom drop target assemblies for time periods
Ramps: Custom molded plastic ramps
Relevant Repair Parts
Rubber Rings: Various sizes for flippers, bumpers, and slingshots
Solenoids: Various types for flippers, bumpers, and other mechanisms
Switches: Leaf and micro switches for targets and ramps
Lamps: General illumination and feature lights
Plastics: Replacement plastics for ramps, targets, and other playfield elements
Decals: Playfield and cabinet decals for restoration
Electronics: Replacement ICs, transistors, and connectors for boards
Maintaining a Time Machine pinball machine requires periodic checks and replacements of these parts to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

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