Bally's BIKINI - It's "OK"
If the question were asked, "what type of electro-mechanical pingame had the most complicated circuitry?", the answer would most certainly be the "In-Line" or "Bingo" pinball. And of these games the most complicated variety would be those known by bingo pinball aficionados as the "OK Games."
Having been fascinated by bingo pinball circuitry ever since I was a teenager (I sent for, and received from Bally, a schematic and instruction manual for their 1953 bingo YACHT CLUB way back then) obtaining my first "bingo", MIAMI BEACH, in the mid seventies was a great thrill. When I replaced that game a few years later with KEY WEST, a much more sophisticated "turning corners" game, I felt I had made another step "up the ladder." But, ever since I learned what they were a few years back, I have yearned for what I considered to be the "ultimate bingo pinball", an "OK bingo".
Well, not too long ago my dream was realized when a Los Angeles area free-lance dealer in coin games, Mr. Paul Crain, made me "an offer I could not refuse" and supplied me with my dream, an "OK bingo pinball", Bally's BIKINI by name. The game was in good "as-is" condition and complete, except for a few missing relay armatures which Paul supplied. After several months (I was only able to work on the game a few hours each week), and much study of the additional circuitry that these games had above their earlier predecessors, I was able to put this game into good working condition and it now holds a prime position in my collection of classic pingames.
The backglass, by the way, showed some signs of peeling and had a
few small areas of missing paint. After a little "touch-up" with
model paints I applied Steve Young and Gordon Hasse's new product
"Cover Your Glass" and it worked great! I now have a glass that
cannot deteriorate in the future. One hint I might mention for those
of you who use this product is to make absolutely sure your touch-up
paint is completely dry before applying "Cover Your Glass", otherwise
the wet paint will be somewhat spread by the sealant.
Note: CYG is no longer available
Before talking about the features of BIKINI, I thought it might be in order to briefly describe the "evolution" of some of the features that make up the "OK bingo".
|first bingo with advancing odds. The colors of the panels mean nothing.|
"Advancing Odds" (that is, payout odds which either increase, but never decrease, or which remain the same with insertion of additional coins) were first introduced in "bingo pinballs" with SPOT LITE in 1951. This feature had however been used in the "one-ball horserace" pinballs (the predecessor of the "bingo") since Bally's CITATION in 1949.
|"triple deck advancing odds". Note how the lines of the bingo card are colored to correspond with one of the sets of odds|
"Three-color lines" (red, yellow, and green), with separate odds for each color, became a standard feature beginning with Bally's BIG SHOW in 1956, although some multi-color schemes were used in a few older games. A separate set of payout odds was displayed on the backglass for each of the three colors, and the player could score 3, 4, or 5 in-line winners for each color independently (ie, a winner scored on one color line would not preclude a similar winner scoring on a different colored line.