Production Date: November 1984
Production Run: 400 units
Design: Ed Cebula
Artwork: Larry M. Blazek
The Game Synopsis/History
While the term "rare" is often flippantly used with pinball machines, there were only 400 of these games made. So, while it may not quite meet the strict definition of "rare," it comes close. There are very few of them left, especially in this good of condition. At times I wish I hadn’t sold the game.
Agents 777 was one of the few full-sized pinball machines produced by Gameplan, Inc. when they made a foray into the pinball market. Gameplan was better known for their cocktail pinball machines which were "sit down" table-sized games. Agents 777 has a unique cartoonish gangster theme featuring agents Elliott Nest, J. Edgar Snooper, and Melvin Nervous. They are chasing such infamous characters as Al Caplum, Da Barker, The Orange Crusher, Cherries "Jewel" Ballie, and Bella D. Ball. The playfield has a unique layout with several very tight shots. It also has a "slot machine" incorporated into the playfield. The sound package is unique and though the game is from 1984, some of its sounds are still used in non-pinball arcade games today.
The cabinet on this game was in very rough shape, especially the front side and the neck. It had a lot of damage and needed quite a bit of repair. The artwork itself wasn’t that bad considering the age of the machine, but structurally a couple of the corners and parts of the neck area had wood that had splintered. Then there were “chunks” of wood that were missing.
As for the electronics, I had to rebuild several connectors, but once this was done, the game worked well. I was a little afraid when the game didn’t work at first because I had never worked on a Gameplan machine and really didn’t have an idea of what to do. Fortunately, once the connectors were rebuilt, the game worked well.
The first section below details in words and pictures the process of restoring this this machine. After this, there is another section of mainly pictures showing the various stages of the restoration.
SECTION 1: Electronics
As stated earlier, when I first got the game, it did not boot. Because I was clueless about Gameplan machines, I was really worried about how I was going to diagnose and fix any problems on the game. However, I decided that since the game was as old as it was, I needed to rebuild a couple of the connectors, especially where the power enters the main circuit board. After re-doing the connectors, the game worked.
SECTION 2: Cabinet
Making Stencils and Repainting the Cabinet
As with all of the repaints, I first taped tracing paper to the cabinet and then traced the cabinet design. Next, I transferred this to acetate sheets, one for each color. On Agents 777, the design was such that it required one white and one red stencil for the head then each side required a red and white stencil. On some cabinets you can use the same stencil for each side flipping it over from one side to the next. However, the design on this machine requires separate stencils for each side. Actually, I used the same 777 stencil for each side and then had separate stencils for the rest of it. Unlike most other games, this one did not have any artwork on the front of the cabinet so that was two less stencils than normal.