In general if a pachinko machine has a chrome lever that you ‘flip’ to shoot the balls, it is considered ‘vintage’ and was made before 1980. If a pachinko machine has a round knob that you turn to shoot the balls, it is considered ‘modern’ and was made after 1980.
Vintage Pachinko ‘Flipper’ Modern Pachinko ‘Knob’
Vintage Pachinko Machines
Vintage pachinko machines were mass-produced from the 1950s to the 1970s but there were some made in the 1940s and perhaps as early as the 1920s.
Vintage pachinko machines are purely mechanical and do not need electricity to play. You can hook up lights that flash when you get a jackpot, but that is optional. The sound you hear when you get a jackpot is the balls falling down hitting a bell, there are no speakers.
1940s Pachinko Machine
1950s Pachinko Machine
1960s Pachinko Machine
Early 1970s Pachinko Machine
Mid 1970s Pachinko Machine
Late 1970’s Pachinko Machine
Modern Pachinko Machines
Any pachinko machines made after 1980 are classified as modern. They have a round knob that you turn to automatically launch the balls onto the playfield.
Modern pachinko machines must have electricity to operate all the motors, LCD screens, reels, lights and speakers.
Early 1980s Pachinko Machine
Late 1980s Pachinko Machine
Early 2000s Pachinko Machine
Mid 2000s Pachinko Machines
Late 2000s Pachinko Machine
Here is a link to another website with detailed information on modern frame design and age.