About me 

I was born in 1970 in Budapest, Hungary.

I’ve had an affinity for electronics eversince my childhood, as I’ve gladly disassembled all my electronic toys. Of course after they never seemed to want to work right…

Hence I thought I should probably work on my knowledge and I’ve turned my studies towards the fields of electronics.

 

The first pinball machine I ever played was an EM game, and immediately mesmerized me. I’ve had to try it right away. The biggest surprise was getting a free game right on my first ever game! I could barely believe I was so good at it!

 

The machines in my viscinity were mostly in bars nearby. Of course they were being rotated place to palce constantly, and after a while EMs started to get exchanged for SS machines. The first ever SS game I saw was Locomotion from Zaccaria. I was amazed at it’s beauty! Every day after school I went straight to the game to play a few rounds. The signs on these machines lead me to learn english, something I’ve never regret.

 

Once I’ve had the opportunity to see one of these games from the inside while one was being repaired on location, and I was amazed by what modern electronics could do. That was when I decided to become a repairman. This theory was only strengthened when the repairman left after putting a few free games into the machine for me.

 

The best was when Pinball Champ ’82 arrived for the first time,( also a zaccaria ).
There were quite a few sent to Hungary and many of them ended up nearby. When I first heard it speak I was astonished! This is what got me on my decision to get one of these machines. Andi f I was to be a repairman anyway I could of course fix my game for free!

 

Life however took me on a different direciont, I continued my studies int he fileds of electronics only to become an electrician. As a hobby I repaired radios TV sets and VCRs, only to expand my knowledge. I’ve immersed myself in electronics, and the by then already appearing computers. Of course English was essential for all of this.

 

Meanwhile pinball machines thanks to the new financial laws began to loose their popularity. Many of them were destroyed or taken out of the country. But the feelings that tied my childhood together with pinball machines could not be destroyed so easily.

 

After military service, different workplaces and starting a family I’ve began to miss these machines. It was the time of Retro ...

 

Thanks to the internet, I could locate a few people int he world who still had these machines. Of course most of them were dead thanks to the disappearance of repairmen and spare parts.

 

This was when I could finally realize my dream as I was able to buy the two machines I’ve wanted from Italy. Thanks go out to Alex Tsiotas in Bologna!

 

Thanks to my knowledge of electronics I’ve managed to awaken both machines from their eternal slumber. The small travel abck to my youth when I plaied them again for the first time in 20 years was priceless.

 

Reassured by my success, I’ve decided to acquire every single SS machine made by Zaccaria and fix all of them to show a complete collection to the world.

 

I’ve gathered machines mostly form Europe and Hungary, and there are still one or two of the more rare machines I have yet to call my own. Many of them are stil under repair, and pictures will follow their resurrection. The restoration projects involve my entire family, to whom I’m very grateful for their help. I’m now fairly sure I will have all machines in my collection soon.

 

My collection is a homage to the once great Zaccaria company and the machines working to this day are proof of the fact that their name deserves to be int he book of pinball history and will remain there forever!

 

László Petrik