Gottlieb

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This article is about the pinball and arcade game manufacturer. For other uses, see Gottlieb (name).
D. Gottlieb & Co.
Trading name Gottlieb
Industry Pinball and Arcade videogames
Successors Gottlieb Development LLC
Founded Chicago, Illinois (1927 (1927))
Founders David Gottlieb
Defunct 1996 (1996)

Gottlieb (formerly D. Gottlieb & Co.) was an arcade game corporation based in Chicago, Illinois. The main office and plant was located at 1140-50 N. Kostner Avenue until the early 1970s when a new modern plant and office was located at 165 W. Lake Street in Northlake, IL. A subassembly plant was located in Fargo, ND.[1] The company was established by David Gottlieb in 1927, initially producing pinball machines while later expanding into various other games including pitch-and-bats, bowling games, and eventually video arcade games (notably Reactor and Q*bert and, leading to the demise of Mylstar; M*A*C*H*3).

Like other manufacturers, Gottlieb first made mechanical pinball machines, including the first successful coin-operated pinball machine Baffle Ball in 1930.[2] Electromechanical machines were produced starting in 1935. The 1947 development of player-actuated, solenoid-driven 2-inch bats called "flippers" revolutionized the industry. Players now had the ability to shoot the ball back up the playfield and get more points. The flippers first appeared on a Gottlieb game called "Humpty Dumpty", designed by Harry Mabs. By this time, the games also became noted for their artwork by Roy Parker.

In the late 1950s the company made more widespread use of digital score reels, making multiple player games more practical as most scoring was expressed by cluttered series of lights in the back box. The score reels eventually appeared on single-player games, now known as "wedgeheads" because of their distinctive tapering back box shape. By the 1970s the artwork on Gottlieb games was almost always by Gordon Morison, and the company had begun designing their games with longer 3-inch flippers, now the industry standard.

The company made the move into solid state machines starting in the late 1970s. The first few of these were remakes of electromechanical machines such as "Joker Poker" and "Charlie's Angels". By that time, multiple player machines were more the mode and wedgeheads were no longer being produced. The last wedgehead was "T.K.O." (1979) and the last single player machine was "Asteroid Annie and The Aliens" (1980)[3]

Gottlieb was bought by Columbia Pictures in 1976.[4] In 1983, after the Coca-Cola Company had acquired Columbia, Gottlieb was renamed to Mylstar Electronics,[4] but this proved to be short-lived. By 1984 the video game industry in North America was in the middle of a shakeout and Columbia closed down Mylstar at the end of September 1984.[2] A management group, led by Gilbert G. Pollock, purchased Mylstar's pinball assets in October 1984 and continued the manufacture of pinball machines under a new company, Premier Technology. As a result of this a number of prototype Mylstar arcade games, which were not purchased by the investors, were never released. Premier did go on to produce one last arcade game, 1989's Exterminator. Premier Technology, which returned to selling pinball machines under the name Gottlieb after the purchase, continued in operation until the summer of 1996, when the declining demand for pinball machines forced the company to cease business. Premier did not file for bankruptcy, but sold off all its assets for the benefit of its creditors.

Gottlieb's most popular pinball machine was Baffle Ball (released mid-1931), and their final machine was Barb Wire (early 1996).

Licensing and Rights[edit]

Today, Gottlieb's pinball machines (along with those distributed under the Mylstar and Premier names), as well as the "Gottlieb" and "D. Gottlieb & Co." trademarks (USPTO registration nos. 1403592, 2292766, and 3288024, and other numbers in countries around the world), are owned by Gottlieb Development LLC of Pelham Manor, New York.

Q*bert and its spinoffs are currently owned by Columbia Pictures.

Gottlieb video games[edit]

  • Curve Ball (1984) – published under Mylstar name
  • Exterminator (1989) – published under Premier Technology name
  • Faster, Harder, More Challenging Q*bert (1983) – unreleased prototype; developed under Mylstar name
  • Insector (1982) – unreleased prototype only
  • Knightmare (1983) – unreleased prototype only
  • Krull (1983)
  • New York New York (1980) – licensed from Sigma Enterprises
  • M.A.C.H. 3 (1983) – laser disc game; published under Mylstar name
  • Mad Planets (1983)
  • Protector (1984) – a.k.a. Videoman, Argus and Guardian; unreleased prototype only
  • Q*bert (1982)
  • Q*bert Qubes (1983) – published under Mylstar name
  • Reactor (1982)
  • Screw Loose (1983) – prototype only; developed under Mylstar name
  • The Three Stooges In Brides Is Brides (1984) – published under Mylstar name
  • Tylz (1982) – unreleased prototype; developed under Mylstar name
  • Us vs. Them (1984) – laser disc game; published under Mylstar name
  • Video Vince and the Game Factory (1984) – unreleased prototype; developed under Mylstar name
  • Wiz Warz (1984) – unreleased prototype; developed under Mylstar name

Gottlieb pinball machines[edit]

Pure mechanical pinball/bagatelle machines[edit]

Incomplete list:

  • Baffle Ball (1930)
  • Stop and Sock (1931)
  • Mibs (1931)
  • Brokers Tip (1933)
  • Sweet Heart (1954)

[5]

Early Gottlieb logo from 1947

Electromechanical pinball/flipperless machines[edit]

Incomplete list:

  • Relay (1934)
  • Playboy (1937)
  • Humpty Dumpty #1 (1947)
  • Bank-A-Ball #34 (1950)
  • Triplets #40 (1950)
  • Wishing Well #107 (1955)
  • Dancing Dolls (1960)
  • Flipper (1960)
  • Olympics (1962)
  • liberty belle(1962)
  • Flying Chariots (1963)
  • Bowling Queen (1964)
  • Happy Clown (1964)
  • Ship Mates (1964)
  • Kings & Queens #? (1965)
  • Sky Line (1965)
  • Sing Along (1967)
  • Domino (1968)
  • Funland (1968)
  • Airport (1969)
  • Road Race (1969)
  • Batter Up (1970)
  • Flip-A-Card (1970)
  • Snow Derby 2 player game (1970)
  • Snow Queen 4 player game (1970)
  • 2001 #298 (1971)
  • Flying Carpet #310 (1972)
  • Jumping Jack (2 player)/Jack In The Box (4 player) (1973)
  • Jungle Life (1 player) (1973)
    • Wild Life (2 player) (1973)
    • Jungle (4 player) (1973)
  • Pro Pool (1973)
  • Pro-Football (1973)
  • Big Shot (1973)
  • High Hand (1973)
  • Big Indian #356 (1974)
  • "Sky Jump" (1974)
  • Super Soccer #367 (1975)
  • Fast Draw #379 (1975)
  • Abracadabra #380 (1975)
  • Spirit of 76 #381 (1975)
  • Spin Out (1975)
  • Pioneer #382 (1975)
  • "300" #388 (1975)
  • Buccaneer (1976)
  • Surf Champ (1976)
  • Card Whiz 2 player version of Royal Flush (1976)
  • Royal Flush 4 player version of Card Whiz (1976)
  • Sure Shot (1976)
  • Target Alpha (1976)
  • Volley (1976)
  • Solar City (1976)
  • Fire Queen 2 player game (1977)
  • Jet Spin 4 player game (1977)
  • Team One (1977)
  • Vulcan 4 player version of Fire Queen (1977)
  • Pyramid (1978)

System 1 pinball machines[edit]

Incomplete list:

  • Cleopatra #409 (1977) (was also released as two EM versions (Cleopatra, 4 player and Pyramid, 2 player))
  • Sinbad #412 (1978) (was also released as an EM version)
  • Joker Poker #417 (1978) (was also released as an EM version)
  • Dragon #419 (1978) (was also released as an EM version)
  • Solar Ride #421 (1979) (was also released as an EM version)
  • Charlie's Angels #425 (1978) (was also released as an EM version)
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind #424 (1978) (was also released as an EM version)
  • Count Down #422 (1979)
  • Pinball Pool #427 (1979)
  • Totem #429 (1979)
  • Incredible Hulk #433 (1979)
  • Genie #435 (1979)
  • Buck Rogers #437 (1980)
  • Torch #438 (1980)
  • Roller Disco #440 (1980)
  • Asteroid Annie and the Aliens #442 (1980)

System 80 pinball machines[edit]

  • Panthera #652 (1980)
  • The Amazing Spider-Man #653 (1980)
  • Circus #654 (1980)
  • Counterforce #656 (1980)
  • Star Race #657 (1980)
  • James Bond 007 #658 (1980)
  • Time Line #659 (1980)
  • Force II #661 (1981)
  • Pink Panther #664 (1981)
  • Mars God of War #666 (1981)
  • Volcano #667 (1981)
  • Black Hole #668 (1981)
  • Haunted House #669 (1982)
  • Eclipse #671 (1982)

System 80A pinball machines[edit]

  • Devil's Dare #670 (1982)
  • Rocky #672 (1982)
  • Spirit #673 (1982)
  • Punk! #674 (1982)
  • Caveman #PV810 (1982) (features an additional video game screen and a joystick)
  • Striker #675 (1982)
  • Krull #676 (1983)
  • Q*bert's Quest #677 (1983) – based on the Q*bert video-game
  • Super Orbit #680 (1983)
  • Royal Flush Deluxe #681 (1983)
  • Goin' Nuts #682 (1983)
  • Amazon Hunt #684 (1983)
  • Rack 'Em Up! #685 (1983)
  • Ready...Aim...Fire! #686 (1983)
  • Jacks to Open #687 (1984)
  • Touchdown #688 (1984)
  • Alien Star #689A (1984)
  • The Games #691 (1984)
  • El Dorado City of Gold #692 (1984)
  • Ice Fever #695 (1985)

System 80B pinball machines[edit]

  • Bone Busters Inc. #719 (1989)
  • Bounty Hunter #694 (1985)
  • Chicago Cubs Triple Play #696 (1985)
  • Rock #697 (1985)
  • Tag-Team Pinball #698 (1985)
  • Ace High #700 (1985) – prototype
  • Raven #702 (1986)
  • Hollywood Heat #703 (1986)
  • Rock Encore #704 (1986) – conversion kit for Rock
  • Genesis #705 (1986)
  • Spring Break #706 (1987)
  • Gold Wings #707 (1986)
  • Monte Carlo #708 (1987)
  • Arena #709 (1987)
  • Victory #710 (1987)
  • Diamond Lady #711 (1988)
  • TX-Sector #712 (1988)
  • Big House #713 (1989)
  • Robo-War #714 (1988)
  • Excalibur #715 (1988)
  • Bad Girls #717 (1988)
  • Hot Shots #718 (1989)

System 3 pinball machines[edit]

  • Lights...Camera...Action! #720 (1989)
  • Silver Slugger #722 (1990)
  • Vegas #723 (1990)
  • Deadly Weapon #724 (1990)
  • Title Fight #726 (1990)
  • Car Hop #725 (1991)
  • Hoops #727 (1991)
  • Cactus Jack's #729 (1991)
  • Class of 1812 #730 (1991)
  • Amazon Hunt III #684D (1991) – conversion kit
  • Surf 'N Safari #731 (1991)
  • Operation Thunder #732 (1992) – last Gottlieb machine to use an alpha-numeric display
  • Super Mario Bros. #733 (1992) – based on the Super Mario Bros. video-game by Nintendo; first Gottlieb machine to use a dot matrix display (DMD)
  • Super Mario Bros. - Mushroom World #N105 (1992)
  • Cue Ball Wizard #734 (1992)
  • Street Fighter II #735 (1993) – based on the Street Fighter II video-game by Capcom; in 1995–1996, pinball machines were produced under the name Capcom, originally were made in the Gottlieb factory
  • Tee'd Off #736 (1993)
  • Gladiators #737 (1993)
  • Wipe Out #738 (1993)
  • Rescue 911 #740 (1994)
  • World Challenge Soccer #741 (1994)
  • Stargate #742 (1995) – based on the Stargate movie
  • Shaq Attaq #743 (1995) – starring Shaquille O'Neal
  • Freddy: A Nightmare on Elm Street #744 (1994) – based on the A Nightmare on Elm Street movie series
  • Big Hurt #745 (1995)
  • Waterworld #746 (1995) – based on the Waterworld movie
  • Mario Andretti #747 (1995) – starring Mario Andretti
  • Strikes 'n' Spares (1995)
  • Barb Wire #748 (1996) – based upon the Barb Wire film and comic
  • Brooks N' Dunn #749 – unreleased prototype, in development when Gottlieb shut down)

Gottlieb was last to introduce a solid-state system, and last to cease manufacture of electromechanical games. The first version of Gottlieb's solid state pinball hardware was called System 1, and had many undocumented features. Designed and developed by Rockwell International's Microelectronics Group of Newport Beach, CA with circuit board manufacturing and final assembly in El Paso, Texas. Likely it was rushed to compete with the new solid-state games from other manufacturers, particularly Bally.[citation needed] An entirely new platform was produced in 1980, System 80, which was refined in System 80A and System 80B. The final revision was System 3, first made in 1988.

References[edit]

  1. ^ LAtimes.com
  2. ^ a b "Goodbye Q*Bert--Mylstar ceases operation". Electronic Games: 14. January 1985. 
  3. ^ http://www.ipdb.org/search.pl?searchtype=advanced&mfgid=94
  4. ^ a b "Gottlieb changes company name". Electronic Games: 12. October 1983. 
  5. ^ The Internet Pinball Machine Database

External links[edit]