One of the most visible elements of a pinball machine is the backglass or translite – the large piece of pinball art that attracts new players. It’s the first thing the people see and many times, the artwork and the theme it represents alone could be a large enough factor to attract or repel pinball players to drop their quarters in the machine. In the pinball community, there have always been a few titles that have had the stigma of horrible backglasses. However, one hobbyist is trying to remedy the situation.
eBay seller pugsotoys5zpt, has designed replacement translites for some of the worst offenders of bad backglass artwork. During the 1980’s Gottlieb tried a new design strategy for their pinball machines: photo realism. While perhaps not nearly as soul-crushing to look at back in the 80’s, now the designs SCREAM atrociousness! Thankfully, many of the updated offerings from pugsotoys5zpt include replacements to those awful Gottlieb machines: Raven, Hollywood Heat, Genesis, and Goldwings.
Not only 80’s machines are in need of an update. The Bally/Williams classic The Shadow is oft chided as an example of a poor backglass design because of the prominence of Alec Baldwin’s face. The updated translite shows a shadowy figure surrounded (in shadow) by other film characters. Another modern fare is World Poker Tour, which has definitely taken on a more sexy tone.
Since many of these designs are themselves photo-realistic, it may mean that in 25 years they too will be in need of updating. However, for now, these translites are a welcome replacement. Visit pugsotoys5zpt’s eBay listings to pick up a new pinball art design today!