Date: 22nd December, 2021

Pinball lost one of its greatest supporters at the weekend when the founder and CEO of Marco Specialties, Marc Mandeltort, passed away at home.

The tribute to Marc from Marco Specialties
The tribute to Marc from Marco Specialties

Marc’s passion for the game extended far beyond his parts and machine sales business, partnering with Stern Pinball to mount lavish and imposing display of their latest titles while also working with parts suppliers to ensure spares continue to be available for games from all eras and providing support to pinball shows around the globe.

Pinball News asked pinball historian, Gary Flower, to share his memories of Marc and describe his role in shaping pinball’s history.

It was with great sadness I learnt of the passing of Marc, there are many words to describe the man.

He was a hero in so many ways; coming to the salvation of the pinball repairers seeking out that hard to find, if not obsolete, part; often fabricated by Marc’s company Marco Specialties even when demand was never going to return a significant profit.

The company was born in the early ’80s when Marc saw an opportunity during one of coin-op’s cyclical downturns.

He’d been working as a store manager, running several locations in South Carolina for the Bally’s Aladdin’s Castle arcade chain. Marc held a range of positions as, one after another, distributorships and other coin-op companies shuttered.

He realised how many outlets that supplied parts as a facet of their operations were going out of business, but that there was still a strong demand for pinball parts to keep old (and new) games running. Marc considered that maybe a company that specialised in that could be successful, seized the opportunity and started buying up the pinball parts stock from companies closing their doors.

Since incorporating the business in 1985, Marco Specialties rose to prominence in the supply of all-things-pinball to its more-than 250,000 customers around the world.

He was also a hero to many manufacturers and machine owners as he would come to their rescue when other suppliers had let them down. As an example, shortly after Williams/Bally ceased production in 1999 it was Marc who kept operators and home users supplied with parts, often through other parts distributors, to ensure their pinball machines continued to operate.

His company also supplies the current generation of pinball manufacturers with multiple parts for their new games.

Marc in the Marco Specialties warehouse with James Loflin of Pinball Inc. who Marc referred to as one of the saviours of pinball for manufacturing numerous replacement ramps to keep games playing
Marc in the Marco Specialties warehouse with James Loflin of Pinball Inc. who Marc referred to as one of the saviours of pinball for manufacturing numerous replacement ramps to keep games playing

Marc was a legend; not only did he attend pinball shows all over the USA, he would often sponsor events as well. Whenever in attendance he would generally stand out as being the only person in the room ‘suited and booted’ always affable and the voice of reason in any discussion.

Most people that bought parts from Marc, directly or indirectly, will not know what a debt of gratitude they owe the quietly spoken President of Marco Specialties, nor understand his impact on the pinball landscape across the world.

Marc’s family have set up an e-mail address where his friends, family, customers and well-wishers can share their memories and stories about him. You can e-mail them to the family at: [email protected].

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