Story originated 3rd October 2000, updated
16th October 2000
Stern busy producing Sharkey's
Shootout, rival start-up Illinois Pinball in the shape of founder
Gene Cunningham has been busy.
Williams announced the closure of their pinball division in November
1999, Gene attempted to buy it. Sadly, those discussion came to nought,
but it now seems that Gene didn't give up.
is thought that he has partly had his way and bought the parts manufacturing
rights and remaining stock. Of course the stock situation had been
severely depleted since the closure but Gene can now arrange the manufacture
of replacement parts.
announcement from Williams reads:
customers and vendors,
It is with
great pleasure that we announce to you today the sale of certain
pinball specific assets and rights of Williams Parts and Service.
To Our Customers
: We are happy to announce that Illinois Pin Ball Corporation
has purchased the remaining pinball replacement parts inventory
operate the replacement parts business for our former product
lines. As you
are probably are aware, the Illinois Pin Ball Corporation, owned
Cunningham, purchased and is currently operating the replacement
business of two other former pinball manufacturers. It is their
to continue the relationship with our vendors as well as to
customer's pinball replacement parts needs.
we did not sell our oustanding receivables to Illinois Pin Ball
and customers should continue to make payments on Williams invoices
the past. Any orders serviced by Illinois Pin Ball and invoiced
by them should be paid to Illinois Pin Ball. Please direct any
with regard to open Williams invoices to Fred Muenz at (773)961-2158.
to all currently unfilled or future orders, please contact Illinois
Pin Ball's parts manager, Kim Carter, phone (309)828-6993, fax
street address #10 Georgiana Lane, Bloomington, IL 61701.
To our vendors
: please be informed that we did not sell our tooling as a
part of this transaction. However, we have granted to Illinois
Corporation a limited license to use the tooling specifically
replenishment of pinball replacements parts inventory. Also,
we did not sell
our liabilities in this transaction. Therefore please continue
to work with
our accounts payable department on all currently open invoices.
You have our
assurance that we will work with you to quickly resolve all
any questions with regard to Williams open payables or tooling
to Dave Vitullo at (773)961-1899.
We are pleased
that Illinois Pin Ball will continue to fulfill the future
Williams pinball replacement parts needs. We have had a great
relationship with our customers and vendors. We have always
taken great pride
in our tradition as well as the outstanding relationships that
established with our customers and vendors.
success to you in the future,
to Jonathan N Deitch for reproducing this announcement.
announcement leaves a number of questions unanswered. No mention is
made of the prototype games - Wizard Blocks and Playboy, Pinball 2000
games 3 & 4 - nor the expected sale of the rights to the William's
or Bally names. Also, William's keeps the tooling for the parts and
has only sold the rights to re-manufacture for replacement, not
for new games from Illinois Pinball.
visited the old Williams factory to inspect the inventory, and it's
understood he will be moving the parts to the Illinois Pinball location
to add to those he picked up when he bought the remaining Capcom stock.
what will he do with his new purchase? So far his intentions are unclear,
but it's hoped that manufacturing will start soon before parts prices
hit the roof.
scan courtesy of Duncan Brown.
Click on image for larger version.
Illinois Pinball has released a flyer of Pool Player which shows
three games looking like rebranded Capcom BreakShots, with a number
of differences between them.
Two have automatic ball launchers, while one has a manual one.
All three have different coloured legs (silver, black, gold) with
side rails and lockdown-bar to match.
The flyer looks rather amateurish with the picture clearly showing
the reflection of the photographer's tripod in the backglasses.
Most strangely is the spelling of Illinois Pinball itself which
is spelled out as "ILLinois Pin Ball Co." in the banner
and ILLINOIS PIN BALL INC. at the foot.
was at the recent AMOA show in Las Vegas showing 3 games, but reports
have been largely negative citing the facts that neither game was
fully working and both broke down frequently during the show until
they were unplayable.
it seems that there is no current connection between Illinois Pin
Ball and Pat Lawlor Design. PLD picked up the "illinoispinball.com"
site for Gene when the company started up, but as Gene presently has
no web design facilities, the domain is being looked after by Pat
& Co. Don't expect any immediate developments at the site then.