Repairs, Restorations, Tweaks and Insights
Ripley's Believe It or Not is a great pinball machine that plays like a combination of Indiana Jones and Funhouse! There is so much going on that at first you may find it somewhat confusing, however, after playing several times and learning what is expected of you, it's both great fun and a significant challenge.
April 21, 2022
After knowing for years that ColorDMD is perhaps the best modification available for any plasma DMD pinball machine, I finally bit the bullet and purchased a few. It looks great in Ripley's. I went with the LCD version. Here are a couple pictures.
Ripley's Believe It or Not! The playfield clearly states this is a Pat Lawlor pinball machine
Stern seems very proud of their creation. The sticker above is on the upper left of the playfield glass. It does not obstruct the playfield at all
Again, Stern is quite proud of themselves (and should be!). They are now using what used to be the Williams tagline
The front of RBION is very nice.
Above shows the sticker on the apron
RBION is a 4 ball game, as shown by the sticker above. There are many 2-ball modes. There is even an "add-a-ball" that converts 2-ball into 3-ball, or 3-ball into 4-ball.
Various pictures of the RBION playfield are shown to the left.
The shrunken head has no movement, but does speak quite a bit. I find him to be informative and entertaining
Did you know there is about 1/2 mile of wire in a pinball machine?
Here is the tic-tac-toe board. Instead of playing with "X" and "O" pieces, you use jewels that you collect during the game. If you get 3 in a row then you get an award.
Here is the vertical up kicker (VUK) as well as the right ramp and the "R" spinner target.
The spiral wire ramp is way cool. The bottom center of the top picture shows the "Believe It or Not" tunnel entrance. This gives you a "random" award and then shoots the ball back at you.
The Idol is shown above. It is artwork on the playfield rather than an actual idol. The idol has a magnet that causes the ball to spin around and then fly away. In some modes you need to hit the idol several times
Above is the bottom right side of the playfield. The is a plastic ball ramp and a wire ramp. If the ball stays on the plastic, it falls into a ball lock. Otherwise, it goes across the playfield and eventually rolls down to the left flipper
The temple, on the upper left of the playfield (shown above), contains 3 LED displays. This is used to illuminate lights on the tic-tac-toe board. Notice there are 3 lanes and each lane has a letter. Below the letter a number is displayed on the LED. Together a row and column are selected
Believe It or Not! Below is a listing of the Odditorium facts shown on the dot matrix display.
6,300 MATCHES BALANCED ON A BEER BOTTLE!
A 14 FOOT HIGH BASS FIDDLE
A 32 INCH SOLID BALL MADE OF STAMPS!
A BABY IN SCOTLAND CARRIED OFF BY AN EAGLE!
A CASTLE MADE OF SEASHELLS ON ISLE OF GUERNSEY
A DOG THAT SMOKES A PIPE!
A DOG WITH TWO NOSES!
A FIREPLACE IN ENGLAND WITH A FIRE IN IT FOR 700 YEARS!
A FISH CAUGHT WEARING AN OLD 45 RPM RECORD!
A FOOTLESS GOOSE THAT WEARS TENNIS SHOES!
A GENUINE TIBETAN SKULL BOWL
A HORNED TOAD SQUIRTS BLOOD FROM ITS EYE!
A MAN WHO BECAME A PIRATE BECAUSE HE COULDN'T SING!
A MAN WHO COULD PLAY HIS HEAD LIKE A XYLOPHONE!
A MAN WHO OFFERED TO TEST AN ELECTRIC CHAIR!
A MAN WHO SURVIVED A FIRING SQUAD!
A MODEL OF THE EIFFEL TOWER, MADE OF 110,000 TOOTHPICKS!
A MOUSE HAS MORE BONES THAN A HUMAN!
A PET CEMETERY DEVOTED TO ELECTRONIC PETS!
A RARE WHITE ALLIGATOR!
A SNAKE WITH TWO HEADS!
A TEMPLE MADE OF BROKEN DISHES IN BANGKOK, SIAM!
A TIGER ROAR CAN BE HEARD FOR TWO MILES!
A TOWN CALLED HOT COFFEE IN MISSISSIPPI!
A TREE THAT GREW AROUND A RIFLE!
A TWO TAILED MOUSE
ADDAMS FAMILY THE BEST SELLING PINBALL OF ALL TIME!
ALGERIAN QUEEN WITH 400 HUSBANDS!
AN ALARM CLOCK THAT SPRAYS WATER ON YOUR FACE!
AN ALL GLASS CHURCH IN TULIZE, BELGIUM!
AN ALMOST 8 FOOT LONG CIGAR!
BATS CAN EAT UP TO 1200 INSECTS PER HOUR!
CROCODILES CAN GROW AS MANY AS 3000 TEETH!
FIREFIGHTERS WALK ON 1400 DEGREES F!
GIRAFFE NECKED PADUANG WOMEN OF BURMA!
HOUSE MADE OF TOMBSTONES IN PETERSBURG, VA!
IN HONG KONG, TUNA EYEBALLS ARE A DELICACY!
IT TAKES 1 YEAR TO DESIGN A PINBALL MACHINE!
LONG-TAILED SHREWS BREATHE 800 TIMES A MINUTE!
MOUNTED POLICEMEN ON CAMELS!
PHEASANTS CAN GO FOR 1 MONTH WITHOUT EATING!
RIPLEY VISITED 204 COUNTRIES IN HIS QUEST FOR THE STRANGE
SHRUNKEN HEADS FROM THE JIVARO TRIBE!
SPIRAL STAIRCASE IN SANTA FE, NM WITHOUT SUPPORTS OF ANY KIND!
STARFISH CAN SNAP OFF THEIR OWN ARMS!
TEMPLE MEMBERS IN INDIA THAT WEAR HANDCUFFS TO PRAY!
THE SAILING SHIP ECLIPSE HIT BY A METEOR AND SUNK!
THE SIBERIAN BROWN BEAR EATS ONLY FISH HEADS!
THE BASENJI IS A DOG THAT DOESN'T BARK, IT YODELS!
THE BIGGEST SALAD MADE IN TIJUANA, 30 YARDS LONG!
THE WORD KANGAROO MEANS 'I DON'T UNDERSTAND!'
THE WORLD'S BIGGEST BROOM, 40 FEET HIGH!
VAMPIRE BATS DRINK MORE THAN THEIR WEIGHT IN BLOOD!
There are no bulbs behind the backglass. A florescent lamp illuminates the backglass. See image below.
Many of the bulbs are attached to the playfield with a rubber washer.
Some bulbs are mounted in these plastic holders. Notice the wires are not soldered.
Above shows the Vari-Target mechanism. It can register 5 discrete positions.
Instructions for adjusting the Vari-Target are on the Vari-Target side not visible above. They are shown below.
The image above shows the mechanism for the "Believe It or Not!" scoop.
Stern's main flipper mechanism. They work very well. I'm not sure why people complain about them.
This is the flipper mechanism for the upper right flipper. Notice it does not have an EOS switch!
The Stern ball trough. It uses gravity and optos and appears similar to the "new" Williams trough from 1993.
Here is the Shrunken Head magnet.
Above is an image of the Idol magnet.
It is hard to see, but the image above shows the Tic-Tac-Toe board. Look behind the mess of wires. I hope these bulbs do not burn out soon!
Here is a nice picture of the pop bumper and its mechanism
Ripley's Believe It or Not has 79 lamps on the playfield! These are not general illumination, but rather can be independently controlled by the game.
Note that diagnostics also shows a "Tournament" light, which I did not see. Also, the Idol has a red light but this is generated by some other mechanism.
In addition to these lights, there are 9 flashers
Believe It or Not
It's time to visit North America
It's time to visit South America
It's time to visit Australia
It's time to visit Asia
It's time to visit Antarctica
It's time to visit Africa
It's time to visit Europe
Try a ramp shot
Collecting an idol would be good now
Another letter in my name. How nice.
Player 1 is up
Player 2 is up
Player 3 is up
Player 4 is up
Shrunken heads! I love collecting these
A fast way to gather more jewels
Roller-skating penguins. How amazing!
Keep goin' man
Rock on hairy guy
We jammin' now