Pinball Spotlight Series:
Here’s 1979’s The Incredible Hulk made by Gottlieb. This is a Gottlieb System 1 pin, the brand’s first effort at a solid state platform. It was designed by Ed Krynski, the man with distinction of being credited as having designed more pinball machines than anyone else in history.
Gottlieb at this time was the longtime industry leader and innovator, but due to Bally’s introduction into solid state games in 1976, Gottlieb was quickly losing their market share to both Bally and longtime last place manufacturer, Williams. They were the last of the major manufacturers to switch to the new electronic components that are now the heartbeat of modern games. Advanced sounds, score keeping and rulesets were now possible and this quickly made EM’s obsolete.
Unfortunately for Gottlieb, they felt as though the games they were making were still great and needed no adjustment. They were moving a lot of units. However, once the first solid state games started flooding the streets, demand for the slower and suddenly old fashioned EM games dwindled, and gottlieb ended up being the sleeping giant that was too jaded to notice the sea change in time.
By the early 80s they had lost their dominant market leading position to Bally, and by the late 80s had slipped all the way down to last place behind a surging Williams heading into their own golden era. But in the death throes of this once great company, they made a succession of great games during their system 1 solid state era, and Hulk is one of them. The duo of Krynski on design and Gordon Morison on art has aged extraordinarily well, with a fantastic mirrored transformation backglass of Bruce Banner turning into Hulk. The game doesn’t have slingshots, but instead has two lane caves with ball kickers to collect your bonus during play. Plus ours has a cool green ball that is slightly lighter than a standard steel pinball, so the physics are super unique and fun. It is a great playing game that is hard to master. Come on down and play it for yourself!