Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

A Look at Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out Play Field

A Look at Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out Play Field

NOTE: This machine is not for sale! It was originally created for educational purposes in partnership with Roger Williams University’s Engineering Program, and was exhibited in several Maker Faires.

It remain so my personal favorite – Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out – The Springsteen song (basically) about the formation of the E-Street Band. The “donor” machine for this project was a pretty dreadful design in my opinion. I had no second thoughts about stripping this machine down to the bare wood for a custom job.

The original machine was a Williams Suspense model from 1969. The most interesting thing about the original game was that it had a little roulette wheel on the playfield that spun when the ball activated a “Spin” switch. A small metal ball in the wheel determines the number of points received, and there are high scoring “bonus” and “double bonus” slots on the wheel too.

My idea was to use this wheel as the center piece for the design, and came up with the concept of a turntable playing a 45 record of the machine’s theme song. That concept evolved into a design that involved providing bright under-lighting when the “Spin” switch was activated.

Another major refinement to the original design was the addition of blue spotlights on the top (to match the blue spot light theme on the back glass and cabinet) that light up when a “Special”/”Free Game” is achieved.

Finally, I spent a lot of time (too much time!) adding in a sound system and designing a “Jukebox” function that is controlled by 2 big red buttons on the front of the machine. The buttons essentially provide a retro version of a “shuffle” function to cycle through the catalog of Springsteen songs. If this function is turned off, then song snippets are triggered by various game functions.

The playfield design is littered with Easter Eggs paying homage to the Boss, the band, and the song from this era -circa 1975.

9 thoughts on “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

  1. Pingback: Contest: Your Pinball Design Ideas for $$$$!! | Pinventions

    • Tina- this is a one of a kind custom build, HOWEVER, I do have an almost identical old machine (complete with the roulette wheel feature), that I bought with the idea that one lucky person could have a second version of this machine built (reusing original artwork etc.) So I could do that if someone was seriously interested…if so, please write me at davegaskill@pinventions.com. I’ve seen over 3000 hits on my site today and there is a lot of “thinking about it” type inquiries. So if anyone wants one, it is possible- but the first one to start a serious discussion will have the edge, and everyone else will need to wait 6+ months or more….


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