What are the rarest pinball machines? I’m going to go through a list of 11 of the rarest pinball machines ever made. If you see one of these for sale on a garage sale, you’d better scoop it up fast! Also check out my Best Pinball machines for home use page if you’re searching for a game for your home.
- Pinball Circus. This game made by the late Python Angelo was a ground breaking multilevel pinball machine in an arcade standup cabinet. It never made it into production though. Only 2 known but there were rumors of up to 6 made. This is the rarest pinball machine of all time for a production level game (basically where they started making more than one).
- Kingpin. The last game from Capcom before it closed its doors, 9 were made before the company folded.
- King Kong. Data East supposedly made 9 of these before deciding not to go ahead with production.
- Thunderball (10)
- Krull (10)
- Varkon (90)
- Star Light (100)
- Punchy the Clown (103)
- America’s Most Haunted (150)
- Pistol Poker (200)
- Big Bang Bar (205, though like 183 though were made 10 years after Capcom closed with the parts left over).
There are a lot of other rare games not on this list but most of them are not true games. Like ‘Aaron Spelling’ was just retheme, as was ‘Richie Rich’ and the Michael Jordan game. Data East did a lot of rethemes for cash in the early 90’s, turning a lot of lethal weapon 3’s mainly into custom games. While cool, they aren’t on quite the same level as newly developed games that were produced in very low numbers.
Of the rare games, America’s Most Haunted is the only one made in the past 20 years. Spooky Pinball decided that in order to motivate people to buy their initial machine they needed to limit production to 150 games. It worked, and now that game is one of the rarest. Value hasn’t coincided with its rarity though (yet).
There are a lot of one off older machines, and for the most part I don’t consider them to be the rarest as they never were production machines, basically they were just prototypes. Classic pinball machines like Combat, Star Ship(with its Star Trek like backglass), Loch Ness Monster, and 1776 fall into this category. Currently there’s a huge homebrew scene in pinball going on where there’s a lot of one original games by people, things like Spaceballs, The Matrix, Sonic Spinball, etc. Pinball fans can usually see these games , new pinball machines, and some of the best games like Twilight Zone and Medieval Madness at local pinball shows. Medieval Madness is considered to be the greatest pinball machine of all time by many.
The Supreme Stern pinball machine is very rare at only 12 made, but since it’s a retheme and not an original game, it doesn’t make the list.
Most valuable pinball machines?
From the list above, Pinball Circus would probably bring the most money if one were ever to come up for sale. However, that has never happened so the value is mostly speculative. Kingpin and King Kong though have been said to go for as much as $50k, though there isn’t much evidence to back that up besides word of mouth. Of the games regularly sold on Ebay, Big Bang Bar was the one that regularly was bringing 20k+. However recently the threat of a Big Bang Bar remake has made its value decrease quite a bit. Kingpin is also supposed to be remade, so most likely King Kong will have the highest value of any game sold in the next few years.