Brunswick, October, 1978


Pinball was definately at it's peak in the late 70's. Home pins are living proof. "Alive" was a Sears catalog item, available in their "Wish Book." I clearly remember the home version of "Fireball" offered in the "Wish Book", made by Bally, which lacked the spinning disk and many other features of the full size arcade game. Still though, for about $549.00, you could own a pinball machine, shipped in a big box to the store, you take home and assemble.

Don't miss the link to other home pins at the bottom of this page.

I found this "Alive" pin still kicking in a junk dealer's barn in early 1998 if memory serves me correctly. The left flipper and pop bumper needed adjustment, and after that, the game worked great. At the time, I didn't know how to adjust a bumper switch, so I posted for help at, my first experience with a great bunch of folks. This is a great place to buy, sell, trade pins, seek tech advice, or just talk pinball.

I enjoyed this pin a lot and kept it until around early December of 1998, when I finally sold this pin on Ebay. Positive points about this game: cool atari like sound effects and electronic jingles, including "Rock Around The Clock." The game was actually kinda fast once I waxed the playfield and rerubbered everything. It's quite a challenge to keep that ball in the 1,000 point bumper area. The spinners were a nice touch too. Negative points about this game: It's smaller than an arcade pinball machine, cabinet and playfield not as sturdy as a full size pin. Also, these home pins tend to get voltage problems, which can result in serious board problems sometimes and dead displays.


Ok, you just bought a dead "Alive" pin. If it doesn't power up properly, you probably need to replace the bridge rectifier. Go to Radio Shack and get a full wave bridge rectifier, 25 amp 50 piv, catalog #276-1185. To replace the bad rectifier, with the power OFF, and the game unplugged, remove the cardboard backing from the head, and you will see the old bridge rectifier. Check the manual for more info. Unplug each wire, unscrew the old bridge rectifier, and install the new one. IMPORTANT: Connect each wire exactly where it went before. If you don't, you could damage the board seriously. Power it up, and the game should work. If not, you either need to replace the board, the power supply, or the display. I have no idea where to get these, but if you post to the newsgroup,, someone might have a junked Alive pin for parts or direct you to someone who does. That goes for the hard to find lockbar too.


Like any pinball machine that got played a lot, some parts are probably beat. You'll need a new rubber set, ball, and #47 bulbs(10 per box). Change ALL the bulbs at the same time. You can get this stuff from Pinball Resource. Remove all the plastics off the playfield and clean them lightly with a cotton cloth and Windex. Clean all the playfield screws by scrubbing them with #0000 grade steel wool. #00 if they are badly rusted or corroded. Use Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish (available at any Wal-Mart), to get the screws shiny and new. Wax the playfield to remove the built up dirt using Johnson's Paste Wax, available at any Lowe's, etc. Clean all the playfield switches with Windex squirted on a tip. You'll be amazed at the dirt that comes off those heavily used switches. Don't bend the switches when you clean them or you'll make some extra work for yourself. Put everything back together, and you'll have a game that plays like it's new out of the box.




The Sears "Wishbook" ad

One score window, four player game. After a game is played, the display will show each player's score in sequence.

There is no "attract mode" on this pin. Cut it on, and 000000 shows until you start a game. The good part of this, no high score battery to leak acid down the board like many early solid state pins when they sit in storage, so you can store this game for years, and it should keep great if stored in a temperature controlled area.

Home pins fit neatly into a corner of your basement.

The rules

Score ratings

Keep that ball in play around that 1000 point bumper by shaking the pin.........

but be careful you don't "tilt"

The lower playfield. Supposedly Brunswick didn't want to or couldn't get licensing rights to call this pin "Elvis", so they used an Elvis likeness with a Tom Jones afro. Tom Jones and Elvis were Vegas regulars/rivals back then.

This is the first pin I've ever seen which uses a flipper to kick the ball to the shooter lane.

start button located on the upper left. No coins or coin doors needed for these home pins.

This electrical system diagram is glued to the back of the head I think. You can also read up on this in my manual, page 30. Same thing, much easier to read.