I never thought that I'd see one of these anywhere again, let alone PLAY IT! This 1977 classic pinball machine is now available to anyone with a token up at Funspot in Laconia.

Train Images - Bally Manufacturing/Hilton

The last time I saw one of these machines was in 'The Lost Chord' on Central Ave in Dover in the early 1990's. Not only was it not functional but it was barricaded so kids (like me) wouldn't try to play it and damage it more.

Both 'The Lost Chord' and it's pinball machine are long gone now and I was sure that despite this machine being one of the most popular and heavily manufactured models in history, I'd never get to play one.

And then, in the back corner of Funspot this weekend THERE IT WAS!

And what BEAUTIFUL condition.

If you're familiar with the (best) scene in the movie version of The Who's rock opera 'Tommy', Elton portray's 'The Pinball Wizard' and loses to the hero of the story in an onstage duel.

Instead of traditional flipper buttons, 'Captain Fantastic' uses a piano keyboard which you can see painted at the center of the playfield.

Notice how similar Elton looks to 'Waldo' of 'Where's Waldo' fame on the bumpers?

If I had to complain about one thing, (and you know I always do), it's that you lose the ball way too easily down the sides with no apparent strategy to keep this from happening.

The score that I took a photo of (31,110) was the best score I had after 3 attempts.

I had no idea of how provocative the artwork was until I just watched this Pawn Stars piece. (I was way too focused on getting a high score).