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1972 Bally NIP-IT pinball machine

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Published on Feb 4, 2014

Playing today is a 1972 Bally Nip-It pinball machine. The machine in the video above is missing the Balligator assembly. I was never able to find a replacement, so I fixed it up as best I could.

The original gimmick of this game was the added button on the right side of the cabinet near the right flipper button. Pressing this additional button activated the "Balligator" mechanism, a gate/wireform that would extend out from the alligator's mouth and pull the ball under the alligator plastic sending it down and out toward the flippers.

Without the Balligator assembly, the ball finds its way through this tunnel on its own, but it's far less interesting.

Nip-it employed some cool features. It has a two-ball multiball, zipper flippers and, of course, the Balligator. But truth be told, Nip-It isn't a very good game. There's virtually nothing to shoot for and it really isn't much fun.

Basically, getting the ball into the lower saucer locks it until one of the ball release targets are hit. This sends the locked ball back into play, resulting in multiball. The kicker lane along the left side is cool, but there's no real satisfying shots and, honestly, using zipper flippers is pretty awkward when they're closed.

This game was designed by Ted Zale with artwork by Dick White. This game was made famous by the Happy Days series where it appeared in the Arnold's Eatery on a regular basis.

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