Manufacturer: Williams
Released: 1983
Designer: Steve Ritchie, Dwight Sullivan, Greg Freres
Art: Greg Freres
Added to my collection: November 16, 2019
Current Condition : Working 100%

My Machine


I love pinball, and I love Star Trek. There are (as of 2019) four Star Trek-themed pinball machines: Star Trek (Bally, 1979), Star Trek 25th Anniversary (Data East, 1991), Star Trek (based on the J. J. Abrams films--Stern, 2013), and TNG. The Bally machine is kind of terrible. The Data East machine is okay, and the Stern machine is similar to TNG but not quite as good. Eventually--for obvious reasons--I want all of them in my collection. But I figured I'd start with the best.

This game is the perfect combination of theme, challenge, and fun. I can play it for hours on end and not get tired of it--which is the mark of a great pinball machine to add to a home collection. This one's a keeper.

This is one of seven "SuperPin" machines released by Williams in the mid-90s. It has a wider body than most pinball machines, which leaves more room on the playfield for ramps, targets, and what have you. The gameplay on this is fast, difficult, and so very, very fun. As of November, 2019, it was rated #2 in the Top 10 Player Rated Solid State Pinball games on the Internet Pinball Database. Addams Family is rated as #7...which means I now own 20% of the top 10!

I played the heck out of this game on my virtual pin. And, when I decided to sell off Spy Hunter and Food Fight, I decided to start shopping for a TNG.

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My Machine

This is a fairly common machine, so there are always some out there for sale. It can be pricey, though--because it's so popular, dealer prices run in the $7000-8000 range, and eBay prices are usually between $5000 and $6000. Shipping pins is expensive, so I decided to find something local and try to keep it around the $4000 range if I could. Apparently, my definition of "local" is pretty loose.

I found what was to become my machine very quickly. Right away, in fact. The pinball collector site Pinside has a marketplace where collectors sell and trade games. There were several TNGs in the general vicinity, but the one that caught my eye was in Dothan, Alabama. I checked Google Maps and saw that it "wasn't far south of Atlanta." (My interpretation.) Driving estimates said 8.5-10.5 hours to cover the 580 or so miles between me and my machine. So, I contacted the owner, looked at all the pics he sent me, and decided to take the plunge.

It took me almost 12 hours to get there, and almost 10 to get back. In two days. It was grueling. (That's me on the left, about to start the trek home from Alabama. I'm more tired than I look.) So. Was it worth it?

Oh, yes.

The high-price machine on eBay and from dealers are usually pretty nice, but many don't have any extras on them. This one was much less expensive (right in my price range) and had lots of extras...expensive ones. It was fully-shopped. It has a color dot-matrix display (DMD), which looks extra nice on this game. All of the lights were converted to LEDs (nice ones). It has a full playfield protector, so the playfield is pristine. And the MPU board is brand new and has NVRAM, which means it saves settings without batteries (so no danger of board damage from battery leakage).

The only (very minor) issues are some scratches on the backglass, normal cabinet wear (mostly at the corners) and the Titan Pinball silicone rings that the standard rubber on the playfield was relplaced with. Mind you, the silicone rings are high-end...but they are SUPER bouncy. It does change the way the game plays somewhat (aka: it makes it harder). I'm keeping them for now, but I might decide to replace them at some point. Or maybe I'll just get used to them. I've already broken 1,000,000,000 on day maybe they're not so bad.

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Don't know a lot about this game from a technical standpoint and (knock wood) I won't have to for a while. I have heard that there's so much on the playfield that it's difficult to work on without dismantling the whole thing. Hopefully I won't have to find out for a long time. (Knock wood again.)

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More Star Trek: The Next Generation Pinball Info:

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