We all grew up playing pinball in the arcade. At least, the 80s and 90s generation.
There are still today some arcade places where you can go back in time and re-experience some childhood memories.
Also, there are now many good tabletop pinball machine that can get the job done in case your area does not have any arcade.
In this guide, I go in details reviewing the best tabletop pinball machine that you can buy today and use at home.
I also talk at the end about an arcade-like pinball machine that can be a good idea especially for pinball hardcore fans that have some cash to sitting on the side.
How To Choose The Best Tabletop Pinball Machine
Pinball Table Theme
The theme is often the first thing most people will pay attention to when looking to buy a pinball machine.
Rightfully so because the theme is often plastered all over the pinball machine so how could you miss it?
This is true for both tabletop models and arcade-style models.
Depending on whether the tabletop pinball machine is designed for use by children or by adults, the theme could either be something cartoon-related or something more mature.
For instance, some tables come with a Turtle Ninjas theme, others may have a Star Wars theme and others may be themed after well-known classic bands such as The Beatles or AC/DC.
So which theme would you wish to have as the background of your pinball machine?
Pinball machines can be quite expensive, and this is especially true for the arcade-style tables. The reason behind this is that this classic game is declining in popularity and there aren’t many surviving machine manufacturers out there.
Well, not to mention too that constructing a pinball table involves many technical aspects, so why wouldn’t the tables be expensive?
While tabletop versions are more affordable, they can also be quite expensive.
Especially if the particular table in question is a collector’s vintage item manufactured in the ’90s, therefore, when comparing the prices between various tabletop models, consider these factors.
Tabletop pinball machines designed for use by children might be flimsily constructed and would, therefore, cost less than the machines designed for older kids and adults.
Build Quality and Materials
Some pinball tables are made from wood; others are made from metal and others are plastic. The material used will determine the price point of the table, seeing as some materials are more expensive than others.
Whichever material is used, however, make sure that the table holds up well and will give you your money’s worth.
Pinball in itself is quite an involving game, so what’s the quality of the flippers, bumpers and the playfield?
Whether cheap or expensive, a good pinball machine should be able to last and not break down every other day.
Gaming Experience of The Pinball Table
Pinball is quite noisy so keep that in mind right from the beginning. Additionally, to enhance the gaming experience, most machines come battery-powered for sounds and lights.
While one can play comfortably without having plugged in the batteries, playing with lights and sounds results in a much better experience. Sounds and lights bring the game to life, and this makes it more enjoyable, as it should be.
Pinball machines designed for kids will give a different gaming experience than the devices designed for older children. If you’re lucky, then you might find the rare tabletop model that’s designed for children, yet adults are also lining up to get a turn.
Why are you getting a tabletop pinball machine in the first place? Do you need one for home use or do you need a top to keep a child busy while they are in the car?
Tabletop models are typically lighter than arcade-style models so you can get the former if you plan on moving around with it. The toy pinball machines, in particular, are designed with utmost portability in mind. This is because it is assumed that the kid should be able to carry it wherever they go.
The size of the pinball machine further enhances its portability. Some are small enough to fit in a backpack or hold in the hands while paying — no need to place it on a flat surface such as a table.
Reviews of Best Tabletop Pinball Tables In 2020
1. The Force Awakens Tabletop Pinball Game
The Force Awakens is a high-quality pinball table set to steal the hearts of young Star Wars fans.
Have you been looking for a way to get your kid’s attention off the digital screens? Then this pinball machine just might be able to do the trick.
This tabletop pinball table is constructed for high-grade plastic. You can be sure that the machine is durable and will not easily break or have pieces falling off toe game.
Additionally, the hardy plastic is pretty lightweight, weighing a mere 2.54 lbs. This way, your little one can carry the game with them wherever they go.
Still, on portability, this tabletop pinball machine measures 9.8″ W x 16.3″ L x 8″ H. So, it can easily be used on a small coffee table or a sideboard.
The small size also means that the tabletop machine can conveniently be put away when not in use without taking up much room.
This machine has electronic lights and sound effects to offer players the full gaming experience.
These features, however, require that you use batteries. Additionally, the toy comes with LCD scoring with the scoreboard located on the top left side of the machine.
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2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Totally Turtles Tabletop Pinball
Is your little one a fan of Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo?
Well, this would be a perfect birthday or Christmas treat which they will enjoy playing with siblings and friends alike.
There is something quite exciting about launching the ball into action and watching it ricochet off the bumpers and obstacles.
The game gets even more exciting when there are lights and sounds involved as well.
With this Ninja Turtles pinball machine, the players get to enjoy that and much more.
The whole idea of pinball is to rack up as many points as possible. The pinball machine comes with an LCD scoreboard to help players keep track of their score.
The electronic scoring is quite easy to read even for a child seeing as the numbers are large and clear enough.
This pinball machine is very well made, unlike what one would expect with a typical toy. The hardy plastic used feels tough and durable, so it should withstand hard play.
Better yet, the game speed and challenge are quite nice, so kids and adults can both enjoy playing on the machine.
The machine comes with three balls, so there are three balls per game.
The batteries aren’t included though so for the sound effects and electronic lights to work, you would need two C batteries.
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3. Schylling Home Run Pinball Toy
Take me out to the ball game. Take me out with the crowd.
This classic song immediately gets you thinking of baseball. Well, if you are a fan, why not invest in a baseball-themed pinball machine for the kids?
Better yet, if you are having a baseball-themed kids party, then this pinball game will be a major hit and a perfect addition to the party.
The toy measures 11.2 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches so you can expect to enjoy hours of handheld fun wherever you may be.
Also, the machine only weighs 5.6 ounces, so it is easy to carry around and can conveniently fit in your pocket when not in use.
Points are scored when the tiny balls land on the half-moon traps and the score values of each trap are marked out.
The player has to pull back on a plunger to launch the ball. This is fairly easy to do even for a younger child.
The one downside might be the fact that this game does not have sound effects and electronic lights.
However, the upside is that no batteries are needed and so the fun never has to stop due to batteries running out.
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4. Marvel Avengers Tabletop Pinball
Themed pinball machines are a fun new way for kids to enjoy their superheroes and this particular toy would be perfect for Avengers fans.
To begin with, the game comes with electronic lights to get players in the zone, so the gaming experience is enhanced.
Additionally, the bumpers are also designed to light up, which is quite a nice touch.
This game also comes with sound effects which go off whenever a point is scored. So even when playing alone; it still feels like you have someone cheering you on.
Long-time pinball fans will find the sounds produced to sound familiar because they are the classic pinball sound effects.
Every player’s mission is to accumulate as many points as they possibly can.
For easy scorekeeping, the pinball machine comes with an LCD scoreboard located on the bottom left corner of the pinball machine.
This tabletop pinball game is suitably sized measuring 14.7 x 10 x 3 inches and weighing a mere 2.45 lbs. It can comfortably sit on a small coffee table, and it is also highly portable.
This makes it ideal for keeping kids occupied during long car rides seeing as they won’t get tired of holding it.
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5. Stern Pinball Munsters Arcade Pinball Machine
So far, the games mentioned on this list have been tabletop toy versions particularly designed for kids.
If you are interested in getting something more adult and have the cash to spare, then who not go for an arcade-style pinball machine?
The Stern Pinball Munsters Arcade Pinball Machine is a real pinball table similar to what one would find in a gaming arcade.
It is big and bulky, but it also offers a more challenging game, and it is themed after the hit 1960s TV sitcom – The Munsters.
This pinball table is available in three models: Pro, Premium and Limited Edition.
Pro is the cheaper simpler model while the Limited Edition is more sophisticated having more bells and whistles and likewise, more expensive.
If you are looking for a pinball table to play on, then, the Pro or Premium models will do. However, if you are a collector then what you need is the Limited-Edition Stern Pinball Munsters Arcade Pinball Machine.
Unlike the Tabletop pinball machines, this arcade-style machine comes with more interesting features.
These include a magnetized ball catch and a hidden Spot bash toy which appears from a section of the left staircase ramp.
There is also an external audio connector if you want the sound amplified and a volume control option if the sound is too loud for your liking.
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