the backglass for the pinball game Skateball as described in the post

Skateball, Bally, 1980

Hoo is this thing 1980.

Let’s start with the man in the middle of the backglass. He takes up easily a third of the image in both directions. Starting at the bottom, he’s riding a blue skateboard with orange wheels, crouched so low that he’s almost touching his chest to his knees. His board shoes are white with an orange stripe, and are cut as high tops. White crew socks then blue knee pads that look like they’re made of blue taffeta. His shorts are 1980s basketball shorts which is to say another quarter of an inch and this man would be showing us ass cheek.

But it must be windy skateboarding in 1980 because he’s wearing what looks like a fuzzy and thick orange sweater with long sleeves. His elbow pads are blue and look so plush they could be inflatable, He’s wearing orange gloves that match his orange sweater and appear to hide frighteningly wide fingers.

To the left of him, another picture of him only shirtless and sporting a six pack and jean shorts has his arms around the waist of a blonde who desperately needs a bra but has never met one. She’s wearing a white shirt and red bikini bottoms, and holding up a blue and yellow surf board. They managed to get visible nipples through the shirt on this one.

Above them is a sailboat matching the same colors because color palettes for printing were expensive in the 80s.

To the right of skateboard guy is the most 80s purple striped drug-user van you ever saw in an after school special. Behind it is a silhouette of palm trees.


Transporter: The Rescue

The backglass to Transporter: The Rescue as described in the rest of the post

Transporter: The Rescue, Bally, 1989.

If you were thinking Jason Statham, no. Very no.

This is another pin based on a science fiction theme, but what exactly that theme is I’m not sure. From left to right, we have:

  • A woman in a space suit trapped in a reddish-yellow cone (possibly a pyramid). There’s a tentacle from a monster wrapped around the cone possessively.
  • A  monster. Quinti-laterally symmetrical? Five eyes, five mouths, a big scary opening at the top of its head that could be some other kind of mouth, tentacles, some kind of crab claws or maybe the end of one of the tentacles menacing the camera. The monster is the same orange-red as the cone with the woman in it.
  • A man in a space suit coming in from offstage right, carrying a gun. The patch on his shoulder says UN Orion and has a bunch of patches on it indicating lots of service.  The gun looks suspiciously like a Colt revolver, which, my dude, won’t fire if there’s no oxygen and you are wearing a space suit.
  • The presumed-backpack the man is wearing has the Jackpot lights built into it.

The background has what is either a green dome or a very large green moon rising on what is otherwise a barren plane. Something ominous is glowing in the leftmost corner.

Yeah, absolutely no Jason Statham.


Photo of Xenon backglass as described in the post

Xenon, Bally, 1980.

For as boring as the 2010s backglasses are, I live for the 80s whackadoo shit.

Dead center we see the torso and head of a giant female robot. Her eyeballs are hearts. Her neck collar has a very large X shining in the center of her throat. Metal bars appear to be running from the camera location to the collar.

The woman standing in front of the giant robot, almost at the position of the camera, faces away from us. She’s wearing a green sci-fi outfit. Based on how perspective works she’s about 1/10 the height of the giant robot.

Pipes encircle the robot as if she’s at the end of a Jeffries tube. One would be excused for missing the two women that appear to be flying/floating toward the robot since they blend in with the pipes.

In each corner a skeleton with a robot head (or conversely a robot with a skeleton body) is slumped against the corner or staring at the events.


Photo of the Wizard backglass as described in the post.

Wizard, Bally, 1975.

There is a LOT going on here.

The setting: a pinball playfield which appears to be on fire at its back edge. Jets fly overhead. There are a few mushroom clouds on the horizon.

In the center, a man with a perm sits on a giant pinball bumper. It’s lit. The man has reflective sunglasses on, and they appear to be reflecting a very bright window. He wears a necklace with a pinball on it. He also has neck bolts (think Frankenstein) with lightning coming out of them.

He’s wearing a sleeveless white teeshirt with a giant pinball on it, labeled “Bally Pinball Wizard”.

His belt is a green and white diamondback. Said snake appears to be coming out of his jeans, so this both is and is not a euphemism.

A blonde woman with unrealistic breasts has her right arm around him. She’s wearing a light blue negligee and has a light blue feather on her collarbone. On her left finger she wears an octopus ring. On her left leg, a shackle leads to a bowling ball sized pinball that has Tommy written on it.

Behind them, to the left, a gobble hole labeled “love” has a woman standing in it. She is wearing a green turban, green bikini covered in red hearts, and red and green stockings that go up to her thighs.

To the right, a gobble hole labeled “evil” has a woman sitting on the edge. She’s wearing a white turban, a red and white half jacket that has “memento mori” written on the cuff. Her breasts are also unrealistic and barely contained. Her bikini bottoms have a center decoration consisting of black wings, a skull, and an hourglass on it.

In the foreground are two more gobble holes labeled “1-4 can play” and “ball in play”.

My understanding is that Bally created this wizard game because they couldn’t /before they could license the actual musical.

This thing is nightmare fuel.


Photo of the Viking backglass as described in the post

Viking, Bally, 1979. Beefcake. We’re in a Viking longhouse and two are battling.

The one closest to us has thrust his fur-covered hip toward us. The fur is… shorts? Plus fur boots to the top of the calf, a wide belt, and heavens know what the top is because it’s blocked by his incredibly muscular arms. Oh, and a horned helmet which we all know is not historic.

The other fighter is in calf-high boots, chain mail boy shorts, and a chain mail wife beater that looks ridiculous because his pecs are so large the straps are covering his nipples and the shirt is covering not much more than his midriff.

If I were the fighter closer to the camera, I’d whack the other guy in the pec or the shoulder so that he can’t use his sword arm anymore.

An overly breasted blonde woman stands behind the fighters looking distressed, probably because there’s no way that bodice is supporting that rack or they wouldn’t be so round (I speak from experience).

The rest of the crowd sitting at the tables looking on are fur-covered Vikings that are more likely to be comfortable in their outfits.