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2023's Best Pinball Themed Gift Ideas for a Pinball Wizard

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

January 29, 2023

by Angry Old Man Gaming Official

Pinball is coming back in a big way and there is a strong chance that you or someone in your life is an aspiring pinball wizard . Let me pause to clarify, by a comeback I really mean an evolution. Pinball culture has evolved from just hanging out after high school pumping quarters to pass the time into a highly competitive sport ranging from local leagues and tournaments to state, national, and global competitions. The combination of casual and competitive play, retro appeal, and some really great themes are part of why pinball has such a diverse and rapidly growing community. Finding the perfect gift for anyone can be an undertaking, I have been told for a decade by my better half that I am "impossible" to shop for. In this article we will explore gift ideas for all budgets that any pinball wizard would be glad to receive.

Why listen to Angry? What does he know about pinball?

Well, I'll tell you why. I was bit by the pinball bug just over a year ago, and it just took a single purchase to drag me all-in to the culture and community of pinball. In November of 2021 I bought a Stranger Things Pro (Stern-2019) pinball machine from a tournament player. I just thought it would look good in my game room. Well... yeah that is all it took, I was hooked on pinball! Before that purchase the last time I remembered playing pinball was about 30 years prior. It was a Taxi pinball machine (Williams-1988) located in the breezeway between a bowling alley and a bar in my hometown. Since that Stranger Things purchase less than 2 years ago I have purchased several machines 3 of which I tried to sneak in the house so my wife would not notice. My personal record for hiding a pinball machine from my wife was Lord of the Rings (Stern-2013) which it took her 7 days 5 hours and 54 min to find. Since that Stranger Things purchase I have also competed in 50+ International Pinball Flipper Association (IFPA) sanctioned pinball tournaments across three different states (AZ, MI, WI), have become a top ranked player in my state, and have played six of the top ten players in the world including the world's #1 player multiple times.

Now that you know about me let's get back into our quest of finding that perfect pinball themed gift. Finding thoughtful gifts for people in general can be hard and to complicate things pinball wizards come in all ages, genders, shapes, and sizes. That can make picking a gift hard. Great news my fellowship of the silver ball, I have invested my time to research some of 2023's best pinball gifts for any budget that are guaranteed to put a smile on the face of any pinball wizard in your life.

1) Tabletop Games and Puzzles

One of the things about pinball that make it amazing is is that it can be enjoyed solo or with friends. These tabletop pinball games and pinball themed puzzles will do the same thing, bring friends together to play while still providing hours of fun when home alone.

Puzzles - Puzzling is always fun as either a social or soothing event. Here are two fun pinball themed puzzles to check out.

Tabletop games - Not everyone has space in their home for a full size pinball machine, here are a few tabletop solutions to look at for pinball wizards of all ages that look and play great

2) Video Games

Another great budget friendly gift idea for pinball lovers is to purchase them some virtual pinball tables for their favorite gaming system. Thanks to modern technology you can play several of the greatest pinball machines of all time on your Playstation, XBox, and Nintendo Switch. These are epic pinball machine titles that every pinball wizard will recognize and love to play. Some table examples include Ghostbusters (Stern-2016), Ripley's Believe it or Not (Stern-2003), Theater of Magic (Bally-1995), and Terminator 2 (Williams-1991). Below are links to some great options based on gaming system.



Nintendo Switch

3) Game Room Decorations

Does the pinball wizard in your life have a game room where they spend way too much time practicing, eating, sleeping ... basically living in? Another thoughtful gift option is to help them level up the space they spend the most time in. Some options to consider to help your pinball wizard spruce up their space include pinball themed signs, tapestries, and pillows. Here are some of the options that can really help take their room to the next level.

Tin Signs

Neon Signs

Pinball Tapestry

Pinball Pillows

4) Books

Books can also be a great gift. And no, not just because the are easy to wrap and fit in most boxes. Gifting a book can be a thoughtful way of showing that you understand what is important to a person. There are a good amount of pinball books covering a variety of topics, but here are a handful of the ones I found that would appeal to the majority of pinball wizards. They explore the history of pinball, how to maintain your pinball machines, and feature great photos and illustrations.

5) T-Shirts

What does everyone want that nobody really needs? More T-Shirts! T-Shirts can make a fun, practical, and budget friendly option for most occasions and people. Here are a handful of some of my favorite pinball themed t-shirts for pinball wizards of all ages and genders.

6) Small Gifts

If you are looking for a small random pinball themed gift for the pinball wizard in your life then I have great news. There are hundreds and hundreds of options and there will absolutely be a perfect choice for you to make. Bad news, there are hundreds and hundreds of options to sift through, trust me. Here are a few of the best options I found that most pinball wizards will be glad to receive

7) Maintenance & Cleaning Items

I know, I know, maintenance item & cleaning gifts are not the most exciting gifts out there. Truth be told, they may be the equivalent of receiving socks and underwear on Christmas. You need them, you will absolutely use them, and it is probably not something you get stoked to spend your own money on. While very practical, opening gifts like this does not exactly feel like opening a new gaming system as a child. Attention all moms and dads, here are those practical gift options for the pinball wizard in your lives: replacement balls, cleaning products, and playfield wax.

8) Digital Pinball Machines

If you are working with a large budget for that super special pinball wizard in your life here are some digital pinball machines for you to consider. These are a great options for someone with limited space or looking to have multiple digital pinball tables loaded in a single machine.

Arcade 1Up machines - These 3/4 scale machines feature some great themes like Marvel or Star Wars, and all contain multiple digital tables. The Attack from Mars table would appeal to the most seasoned pinball wizard as it also includes 9 other epic Williams tables including Fish Tales, Medieval Madness, and No Good Gophers.

Legends Arcade machines - For those even bigger spenders looking for a full size digital option something like the Legends Arcade digital pinball machine with topper might be for you. This machine features a whopping 149 games (22 classic Gottlieb, 115 Zaccaria, 12 Taito pinball titles, and more). It also has features like a precision plunger and nudge accelerometers for real time game reaction to your movement.

That will wrap up my latest blog post, "2023's Best Pinball Themed Gift Ideas for a Pinball Wizard." I hope I was able to help you sift through all of your options to find that perfect gift for the special pinball wizard in your life. If you end up adding something real nice for yourself, like an Arcade 1Up Attack From Mars digital pinball machine, don't feel bad, you deserve it. Plus, at the end of the day we are all aspiring pinball wizards, some just have not discovered it yet. Give pinball a try and join an amazing community. Just remember it only takes one purchase and you too may be hooked on pinball.



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