Restored – Bally (1977) Mata Hari Pinball

Bally actually came out with two versions of the Mata Hari pinball in 1977 and was right in the middle of changing technology from electro-mechanical (relays, contacts and basic operation) to solid state (circuit board with programmable memory and deeper rules).   This of course was their first iteration of solid state pinball, but they basically retained the design through most of the decade, so their initial iteration was a success.  Future machines were enhanced with digital sound and more advanced lighting – as seen on machines such as Xenon.

What makes this game very unique is the fact that it uses chime boxes to generate sound (same as the electro-mechanical versions) – which makes this a bell-ringer solid-state pinball machine !

Bally was at the pinnacle of pinball at this time and made some beautiful machines with thought provoking themes.  The colors and artwork on the Mata Hari is robust and seductive and makes for a wonderful piece of functional art.

 

Restoration

This machine came to us by way of trade in.  It wasn’t really worth that much as it was worn to the wood all over and had many broken parts.  Because of the theme, it was bumped up to the top of the list for restorations as I just wanted to see how nice we can make it (within reason).

The results are much nicer than I had planned.  Not only is it stunning to look at, but it plays fantastic.  I had no idea these machines could play so fast…

This machine went through:

  • Cabinet stripping, sanding, repair and 5 step automotive paint process with clear coat protection
  • Playfield stripped and sanded.  All new artwork, custom paint under the plastics and multiple coats of automotive clear coat.
  • New plastic posts and rubber
  • New plastic artwork
  • New drop targets
  • New flippers and linkages
  • New Pop bumper assemblies and caps
  • All metal polished
  • Wood rails sanded and painted gloss cherry
  • Full LED installation
  • New PCB
  • Repaired driver, transformer  and lamp boards
  • New coin door
  • New legs and hardware
  • Near mint backglass with the unique dagger inscription

 

Pictures

Before

 

After Cabinet

After Playfield

 

Video

 

 


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