Meet John Pedersen: Inside the Collection

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This high-scoring collection features over 92 pinball machines from John Pedersen's past. Take a look!

Apr. 24, 2023

It's pinball heaven! Since his youth, retired electrician John Pedersen has collected and restored vintage pinball machines. Pedersen has over 92 pinball machines in his collection, which occupy his entire basement... and has even expanded into an airplane hangar!

Pedersen's collection features his favorite childhood pinball machines: Cow Poke (1965), the first-ever Star Trek pinball machine and many more! His collection has a deep connection to his childhood, where he played his first-ever pinball game at a bowling alley.

You may recognize some of the pinball machines in Pedersen's collection from your own childhood. Keep reading to see Pedersen's high-scoring collection.

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1. Air Aces Pinball Machine (Bally, 1975)

The Air Aces pinball machine is the first one Pedersen ever played. It was the machine that started it all, and led us to his massive collection today.

He bought this one in the early '80s from a distributor. Pedersen did some restoring to it, which included a new playfield. 

He paid only $150 for it at the time. Today it's worth around $3,500.

2. Slick Chick Pinball Machine (Gottlieb, 1963)

In 1975, Pedersen delivered newspapers for a whole year, saved up his money, and bought himself this Slick Chick pinball machine.

This pinball machine changed the direction of Pedersen's entire life by connecting him with his wife. This machine is one of the most desirable pinball machines today because of its unique features, playfield and artwork.

Today this pinball machine would be worth around $5,000.

3. Cow Poke Pinball Machine (Gottlieb, 1965)

This vintage pinball machine features something special: An animated mule that will kick the cowboy, causing him to spin. This pinball machine is a very collectible item because of its animated backglass.

Pedersen only paid $150 for this classic machine. Today it would be worth around $3,000.

Fun fact: In the '70s, Chicago and a few other cities placed a ban on pinball machines. So, fans of the game would have to travel to Wisconsin, where it was legal.

4. Fast Draw Pinball Machine (Gottlieb, 1975)

This Fast Draw pinball machine was one Pedersen played as a kid. He liked it because it was a great skill game with specials and drop targets.

Pedersen bought this machine in the early '80s, and it was not working, so he had to restore it. His restoration work included: taking all the parts off, fixing and replacing coils, adding new light sockets, replacing the playfield and more.

Pedersen said: "It's 51% loving to play and 49% knowing how to fix it."

Today this item is worth around $3,000.

5. Star Trek Pinball (Bally, 1979)

This is the first of four different Star Trek pinball machines developed over time. Pedersen bought this machine for $1,200 around ten years ago. He bought it not working, but for a true Trekkie, it's worth it.

Today this pinball machine is worth around $10,000.

6. Pinball Wizard Jacket

This Pinball Wizard jacket was given to Pedersen by his mom, and it's one of Pedersen's favorite items. It has all the pinball logos on it, and only five or six still exist today.

Pedersen only wears this jacket on very special occasions, like having his collection featured on Collector's Call.

His mom paid $200 for this jacket. Today it is worth around $5,000. Good job, mom!

7. The total value of John Pedersen's collection:

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5 Comments

karptazK 14 months ago
One of my favorite machines was called Haunted House. It was a 3 tiered game. Played it for hours.
MrsPhilHarris 14 months ago
As a little kid I had a manual pinball machine. 🤔 No idea what happened to it.
Runeshaper 14 months ago
That's AMAZING! I'd love that Star Trek pinball machine (-:

Have to love a mom that knows her son's hobby with that jacket score. Way to go, mom!
LoveMETV22 14 months ago
Love the show. Looking forward to the upcoming episodes.
4-30-23: Arthur Moses- Houdini and 5-7-23 : Kevin Hermann- Movie Props And Costumes.
texasluva LoveMETV22 14 months ago
I got a notification on a huge auction from TCM. At Julien's Actions. Probably over a 1000 items that went up for bidding this last weekend. One of the highlights was JOHN TRAVOLTA: SCREEN-MATCHED AND PHOTO-MATCHED "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER" SUIT (WITH SIGNED PHOTOS, LOBBY CARDS, PRESS KIT, ALBUM, AND DVD). It finally went for $260,000. You can see the result and items here (photos and detains of all items.) https://www.julienslive.com/lot-details/index/catalog/467/lot/204191?url=%2Fauctions%2Fcatalog%2Fid%2F467%3Fpage%3D1%26catm%3Dany%26order%3Dorder_num%26xclosed%3Dno%26featured%3Dno%26key%3DJohn%2Btravolta

You can also easily search all the other items that were up for bidding. Some very interesting items mostly for stars or very important people. One could take hours just going through many of them. Even details on how his 3 suits in the movie were made. He was dripping wet wearing one of them during a set scene and they changed to another one that was provided. You can also check previous actions with some of the biggest stars, sports, political music and more.
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