GAD knows Pinball. Articles about new pinball games. How to place pinball in the best locations. How to choose a pinball machine for your home. Best tips on fixing pinball games. Greater America Distributing knows pinball machines and how to fix them. An authorized dealer of Stern Pinball, Chicago Pinball, Valley-Dynamo Pinball and Chicago Pinball. Distributing in Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa.

All Access Tour of American Pinball Factory

All Access Tour of American Pinball Factory 2560 1920 GAD Vending

UC professor uses pinball to teach engineering

UC professor uses pinball to teach engineering 1280 695 GAD Vending

University of Cincinnati  is using pinball machines to teach engineering, robotics, automation autonomous systems and AI.


“I am trying to develop control strategies or AI strategies to operate in adversarial environments to achieve our goals, taking into account the actions of other agents,” Fuchs said. “For example, dogfighting strategies of autonomous systems is one application. The optimal way to dogfight an opponent is dependent on how they are trying to dogfight you. We use a field of math called game theory in which we solve for both sides of the problem at the same time.”

Fuchs said they can apply this concept to different applications as a test vehicle, including video games and pinball. Pinball machines are a much easier and cheaper tool to test their concepts, instead of worrying about flying around and potentially crashing expensive U.S. Air Force planes, Fuchs quipped.

Read the entire article


Stern Pinball Announces New Avengers: Infinity Quest Pinball Machines

Stern Pinball Announces New Avengers: Infinity Quest Pinball Machines 956 635 GAD Vending

CHICAGO, IL – Press Release -September 2, 2020 – Stern Pinball, Inc., a global lifestyle brand based on the iconic and outrageously fun modern American game of pinball, announced today the availability of a new line of pinball machines based on the Super Heroes and Super Villains featured in Marvel Comics’ hit comic book series Avengers.  The Avengers: Infinity Quest pinball machines will be available in Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition (LE) models.

For over 50 years the Avengers have delighted fans through comic books, television series and movies.  In this pinball adventure, players will transform into their favorite Super Heroes as they battle Thanos and his minions across the cosmos.  On his unrelenting quest for intergalactic omnipotent power, it’s a race to hunt down and recover the six Infinity Gems before Thanos gets his hands on them.  It’s up to the player to stop Thanos and the Black Order from succeeding in this action-packed pinball experience.

“Like the Avengers, our team of designers, programmers, artists, and engineers have assembled to bring this universe to life in pinball form through incredible artwork, design, visuals, and sounds.  This comic book universe has remained a staple in pop culture since first appearing in 1963.  Through Avengers: Infinity Quest pinball machines, that tradition will carry on for current and future generations of fans,” said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO of Stern Pinball, Inc.

The Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition models all feature an interactive Dr. Strange spinning kinetic sling ring disc with dual direction velocity detection, aiding players on their journey to opening portals and starting Infinity Gem quests.  All models feature a gravity defying Avengers Tower magnetic lock ramp with gravitational vari-target and magnet hold, capturing pinballs in midair as players unlock Iron Man Multiball.  In addition to distinct hand-drawn artwork, all models feature an Avengers Computer Bingo grid 3-target drop bank, a Thor captive ball, Hulk spinning target, custom intricate wireform ramps, and 3 full size flippers.

The Premium and Limited Edition models feature an interactive Dr. Strange motorized pop-up disc scoop, transporting pinballs into an underground Portal, a visible subway capable of holding and staging up to 3 balls through custom playfield windows accentuated with dynamic RGB lighting effects.  These models also include a custom sculpted Thanos Infinity Gauntlet integrated with atmospheric light-up gems, a Captain Marvel inverse gravity custom wireform ramp, and a Pym Laboratories vertical up-kicker.

The LE model is limited to 500 units globally.  This limited version includes additional unique features such as an exclusive mirrored backglass, exclusive custom themed cabinet artwork, a custom autographed bottom arch, exclusive custom art blades, upgraded audio system, anti-reflection pinball glass, a shaker motor, and a sequentially numbered plaque.

Pricing and Availability:

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price:

MSRP for sales to USA end-users, before any VAT, GST, Sales Tax, Duties, or other taxes.                                   

Pro Model:                                                       $US 6,199

Premium Model:                                              $US 7,799

Limited Edition Model:                                     $US 9,199

Avengers: Infinity Quest pinball machines are available through authorized Stern Pinball distributors and dealers around the world.

About Stern Pinball, Inc.

Stern Pinball, Inc. is a global lifestyle brand based on the iconic and outrageously fun modern American game of pinball.  Headquartered minutes from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in the heart of North America, the company creates, designs, engineers, manufactures, markets, and distributes a full line of technologically advanced terrestrial and digital pinball games, parts, accessories, and merchandise.  Stern Pinball serves digital, consumer, commercial, and corporate markets around the globe.

Recent Stern Pinball titles include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Stranger Things, Elvira’s House of Horrors, Jurassic Park, Black Knight: Sword of Rage, The Munsters, The Beatles, Deadpool, Iron Maiden, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, Aerosmith, Ghostbusters, KISS, Metallica, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Star Trek, AC/DC, Batman, and Spider-Man.  A broad range of players enjoy Stern Pinball’s games from professional pinball players who compete in high-stakes competitions around the globe to novice players who are discovering the allure of the silver ball for the first time.  To join the fun and learn more, please visit

Want to Buy Pinball? Here’s Answers to a Few Common Questions…..

Want to Buy Pinball? Here’s Answers to a Few Common Questions….. 2083 2083 GAD Vending

Pinball is a unique hobby that in the digital age, is a physical game that is an immersive experience. Lights, music, action that everyone easily can enjoy. Find the pinball hobby as a socially distancing activity!

GAD Vending gets questions daily about pinball for home. How to participate locally in tournaments. Where to play pinball – adult and with the family. What pinball do we stock, and why!

Where to play pinball?

There are several pinball simulators and video games, such as The Pinball Arcade.  You can download these onto your phone or tablet and they are great ways to get access to a lot of machines to figure out what types of games you enjoy.

However, nothing is better than playing a real machine.  To find some near you, a couple resources you can use are the Pinball Map app for your phone, or you can look at the Pin Map on

I think I found a machine for my house – but I’ve never played pinball before.

So you found a machine, or even better, a group of machines to try.  Once you’ve found the locations of these games – just put your money or tokens in, or if it is a fancy place you can pay with your phone.  Most machines have a start button on the front of the machine, push it and play!  Want to play against friends or a random person you just met?  Put in enough money for two credits (or three or four) and push the start button twice (or thrice, or four times).  For one credit, on most modern machines you will play three balls per game, while older games are typically a set to five balls.

How many different pinball machines exist?

Thousands.  Check out the Internet Pinball Database to find specific machines.  There are a few different eras of pinball machines:

  • Electro-mechanical (EM): 1947ish-1978ish
  • Solid State (SS): 1979ish-1989ish
  • Dot Matrix Display (DMD): 1990ish-2012ish
  • Colorized Displays: 2013ish-current

The years aren’t exact because different pinball manufacturers implement changes at different times. But you get the general idea.

How do I go about buying a pinball machine?

Decided on the game for you? That’s great! Figure out your budget, where you’re going to put the machine, and how you’re going to move the machine.

Like a car, newer machines (or machines with less play) will require less maintenance than older machines.  That isn’t always true, but is a good rule of thumb.

So, how much does a pinball machine cost?

Somewhere between $25 and $25,000.  As a point of reference though, brand new machines cost $5,000 and up, and you can find nice DMD/solid state games for about $1000 at the low end.

Call GAD Vending. We are able to price multiple machines, the various versions available and give you options on what you want.  We generally sell new machines and service existing games. If we have something used in stock, we post it online and we’ll let you know what we have available.

Pinball Vocab

Pinball Vocab 500 648 GAD Vending

Maybe this could be a test but wanted to share a few, common pinball terms and resources to help you start a new hobby of owning Pinball Games.

What is a ruleset?

A pinball ruleset are just the rules for the game.  For example, if you shoot the ball into a certain hole, it will score a certain number of points, or on modern games maybe start start a mode or a multiball.

Modes?  Multiballs?

A mode is a “level” of the game that happens for a limited amount of time during a game where you’re typically trying to accomplish a certain task to score points or progress through the game.  Multi-balls are modes when more than one ball is in play at a time and can be some of the most exciting times in a pinball game.

Are the levels like the levels on a video game?

Yep.  And just like a video game, you can beat the game if you complete all the levels or goals in a game.


Modifications – upgrades or additions to the machine.  These are very subjective, and sometimes add little or no value to the machine.  However, if it has popular mods or mods that are no longer produced it can add significant value.

What are some basic things to know when looking at a pinball machine?

Depending on the age and manufacturer of the machine, the following may vary slightly, but here are some basics for most solid state machines. When you look at a pinball machine, there is the cabinet and the backbox. To turn the game on, there is usually a switch on the bottom of the cabinet a few inches behind the right front leg. Some newer machines have the on/off switch on the bottom of the right side of the backbox.

Basic Slang To Know? 

  • Pinhead – enthusiast
  • Panic flip – flipping before the ball has a chance to reach the flipper
  • Bumper – Bumpers are round, mushroom-shaped targets set into the playfield of most pinball machines.  They fall into two categories: active and passive.  Both types register a hit when the ball collides with them
  • Drain – when the ball goes through the flippers and that ball is over
  • Frenzy – a special feature when the machine scores a lot of points by releasing balls into the playfield
  • Multiball – When several balls are in play at one time. During multiball, there is often some sort of objective, most commonly a jackpot target that scores an obscene amount of points. Multiball is trademarked by Williams Electronics.

Where do I find more information about Pinball? 

  • Pinside – has a wide variety of forums, resources and great information.
  • Wikipedia – may not sound too cool but as usual, very comprehensive information.
  • Internet Pinball Database – not only a comprehensive glossary but lots of great information to check out.

Hot Wheels Pinball – Deep Dive

Hot Wheels Pinball – Deep Dive 1600 435 GAD Vending

What a deep dive into the newest American Pinball Hot Wheels machine?

Here’s an excerpt from This Week In Pinball Deep Dive:

Hot Wheel Multiball Modes

Six multiball modes are featured in Hot Wheels pinball:


Shots to the Track Builder lane build increasingly more complex tracks. Build a complete track to start Track Multiball. This is the easiest multiball to achieve, as it only takes four shots to start it (the first time). Track Multiball starts as a 2-ball multiball, but if you shoot the right saucer in time, it becomes a more lucrative 3-ball multiball.


Race your way from 13th place to 1st place and it’s off to the races for Victory Lap Multiball. Build the Super Jackpot all the way up before collecting it for some seriously lucrative points!

There are four main shots used to advance through the race, each with an arrow insert and three race position inserts. The value of each of the four shots increases as each shot is made; 3X, 4X, 5X, 6X, and adds that value to the Super Jackpot. The Super Jackpot has its own multiplier, which is based on the highest shot level each by all four of the main shots, so if you have made two shots on each main shot, then the Super Jackpot multiplier is 4X. Complete the next on each, and the Super Jackpot multiplier is 5X.

One unique feature is that the main game music soundtrack is tied to racing. As you advance race positions, the music advances with you, and additional musical elements of the soundtrack are added, making for a more dramatic and suspenseful gameplay experience – a very nice touch!


A heart-pumping timed 4-ball multiball with unlimited ball save time in which the goal is to complete all lit mode shots before the timer expires. When Redline Mania ends, your car will shift up a gear, increasing the value of the Tach for the remainder of the game. The color of the Tach inserts reflects the gear (white, green, yellow, orange, red).

Read the full article: 

Where to find the best Pinball?

Where to find the best Pinball? 2083 2083 GAD Vending

Family is soooo bored? Looking to get away from the TV? Many people are looking for what to do with their family – and with themselves – while spending more time social distancing.

At GAD Vending, we are a distributor for the premier manufacturers of Pinball games. We stock these machines at our warehouses in Omaha, Des Moines and Kansas City. Our customers range from arcades and bars to game rooms in commercial business’ and homes.

While we have a few machines on our showroom floors, generally our customers go to a commercial facility – like a game room, bar or arcade – that has the game they are interested in. That way, various pinball machines can be played to determine what is the best for you.

With COVID, it’s important to know ahead! There are many great locations we service with pinball games that are open and following CDC guidelines. But – call ahead for hours, sanitation questions and the like.

  • To find Stern Pinball Games – enter your zip code and the pinball game you are looking for.
  • To find all Pinball Games – go to Pinball Map.
  • Call GAD Vending. We can help you decide what game, variation you may want to try based on your needs and where that game is located.

If you already have pinball game(s) in your home, bookmark our website. We have a full service department with parts in stock. Parts are available to pick up by appointment curbside or via mail.

Thank you for choosing GAD Vending for your home pinball game needs.


Places to Go Play #TMNT Pinball

Places to Go Play #TMNT Pinball 792 612 GAD Vending

Ready to see what all the hype is about for our new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pinball release? Your local arcades and pinball showrooms just got the brand new game from Stern Pinball.

These have been a difficult couple of months for small businesses so every quarter counts. Contact your local arcade, distributor or dealer for availability, hours, and safety precautions so you can help them continue to #PlayStrong!

Those of you in the U.S. can also find your closest location with our Stern Pinball Locator ( powered by

IA – The Operating Room (West Des Moines)

KS – 403 Club

KS – Industry Old Town

MO – Fric & Frac

MO – Levelup

MO – Outpost Bar & Grill

MO – Silverball

MO – Up-Down KC

NE – Big John’s Billiards

NE – DJ’s Dugout

NE – Dundee’s Place

10 Quick Tricks to Profit with Pinball

10 Quick Tricks to Profit with Pinball 650 650 GAD Vending

Pinball games have been a favorite entertainment machine since their introduction in 1931. “Pinball” came from the steel silver ball traveling across wooden pins. Since, pinball has inspired an entire industry and a pop culture phenomenon. Pinball games are inspired by Marvel Comics, DC Comics, TV shows, rock bands, movies, sports and cultural phenomenons. And, pinball is a staple in the Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa bar scene.

To buy a new pinball machine is an investment. The cost is dependent on the game itself, shipping and payment acceptance system. Payment systems include the basic coin acceptors to the newest digital payment acceptance with card readers and touchless cell phone payment acceptance. GAD Vending can help you determine the best payment system for your environment.

To maximize your pinball game profit:

  1. Brighten – energize a dark corner (and make sure there are no bright glare to make game play harder).
  2. Patron building – Use pinball machines to draw patrons deeper into your bar and keep them longer.
  3. No broken machines – make sure you have a regular maintenance schedule with GAD Vending. As a stocking distributor, we have the common parts to keep your machines playing.
  4. Quarters – place an ATM and coin changer near your pinball machines.
  5. Variety – swap your pinball machines regularly. Retire a game to the back room for a time or trade between locations.
  6. Pinball Junkies – don’t wipe high scores! Pinball players are competitive and want to show their high score!
  7. Cleanliness – keep pinball machines clean – especially the glass.
  8. Sanitation – deep clean between players with cleaners that won’t harm the graphics.
  9. Player Cleanliness – give your players handi-wipes to clean before and after play. Offer disposable buttons to each gamer.
  10. Free Game – let players enjoy a free game! GAD Vending can help you determine how lose your free games should be.

When you are thinking of new pinball machines in the Midwest – Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and South Dakota – give your local GAD Vending sales rep a call (or our main office at 402-553-2812).

New! Hot Wheels Pinball

New! Hot Wheels Pinball 1600 435 GAD Vending

New from American Pinball – Hot Wheels!

For over 50 years, Mattel’s HOT WHEELS™ die cast cars have been sought and collected by hundreds of millions of fans all over the world. Over 5 billion cars have been sold incorporating more than 20,000 different car designs. For all the action playing with the cars comes alive with this pinball machine.

Today this multi-generational franchise is bigger than it’s ever been, and by far the #1 selling toy in the world!*

And now American Pinball is proud to present the first officially licensed HOT WHEELS™ pinball machine. The exciting and fast-paced world of HOT WHEELS™ comes to life under glass, featuring a dazzling array of game play objectives that will keep players of all ages racing back to play again and again.

True fun for the entire family. And, GAD Vending is offering $100 off now through July 4, 2020.