My brother and I use to frequent this bar where they had a Captain Fantastic and a Wizard side by side.
As I understand it, there was quite a history to those two machines. When the movie Tommy came out in 1975, Bally was dying to get a licensed "Tommy" or "Pinball Wizard" machine out, but were rebuffed by RSO (the recording studio) and Columbia Pictures (the distributor), each of whom claimed the rights. As a result, Bally released “Wizard!” two months after the release of the movie with the likenesses of Roger Daltry and Ann-Margret (Tommy and his mother, Nora) on the backglass. They were very careful to say that Wizard! was "INSPIRED by Tommy" in their promotional material. A year later, with the studios still refusing to agree to a tie-in, Bally released “Captain Fantastic” with Elton John as his character “The Champ” on the backglass. Elton had released his Captain Fantastic album in 1975, just after the movie came out. Of course, the album had nothing to do with the movie other than the fact that Elton had appeared in it, it was just another attempt by Bally to cash in. Finally, in 1994, Data East released “The Who’s Tommy - Pinball Wizard” pinball machine during one of the musical’s off-Broadway revivals. It had a bizarre "flipper blinder" that would fan across the flippers at certain points so that you would be "playing blind." I understand the reference, but was just as glad that gimmick didn't last.
post edited by Treetop Tom - 2013/09/19 15:20:02