Story dated January 31, 2006 .

Several of the biggest producers of reproduction pinball parts have got together with the rights holder to form an alliance to increase the production of legal parts.

Mantis Amusements. Phoenix Arcade and Pinball Inc have joined up with Illinois Pin Ball to form the North American Pinball Parts Alliance (NAPPA).

Mantis Amusements produce a range of pinball products, notably their scoop and kickout hole protectors, Phoenix Arcade specialise in printing high quality decals and cabinet artwork while Pinball Inc manufacture several products but are best known for their improved replacement plastic ramps.

The companies have pledged to work together, sharing manufacturing resources and using original tooling, documentation and artwork where available to create many more pinball products than would otherwise be possible on their own. They are also working on a single ordering system to make it easier to purchase the parts.

By joining with Illinois Pin Ball, the companies can now make parts under licence ensuring they are fully legal. Any artwork from licensed themes will still require clearance from the rights holders but having a central point should help ease the process.

Having access to the original molds should also reduce development time for parts. Pinball Inc's James Loughlin has said he expects to double his output this year as a result of being able to use the originals instead of making his own from scratch.

Since October, when IPB's exclusive licence expired and The Pinball Factory was also able to sell original Williams parts, it has no longer been necessary for IPB to sell exclusively through the former Williams' distributor network. They can now sell through other retailers or sell themselves.

It is possible other companies may also join the Alliance in the near future to expand the number and range of products coming out of the venture.


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