Retro Coin Op Synopsis
One of the most frustrating things about almost every pinball game is the gap between the two flippers. No matter how a good players are, they will always run into a frustrating situation where all they can do is helplessly look on while the pinball shoots right between the grasp of the flippers to end the turn. In 1966, many pinball players got their prayers answered when Bally introduced Bazaar, a game that presented a unique solution to the ‘flipper gap’ problem.
Bazaar introduced a new wrinkle to the game in the form of ‘zipper flippers,’ created by Bally designer Ted Vale. If the player hit a bumper marked ‘U’ with the pinball, these specially-configured flippers would move together and completely close the gap between themselves. This allowed the player to keep the ball in play without ever having to worry about slipping through the flippers… well, at least for a while. The flippers would split apart when the player triggered another game function and would remain apart until again triggered by the lifesaving ‘U’ bumper.
The unique challenge that Bazaar’s zipper flippers presented to pinball lovers helped make it an arcade hit. Bally took note and continued to use zipper flippers in various games throughout the early 1970’s, the most popular being the pinball fan favorite Fireball. Meanwhile, Bazaar continues to be held in high regard by collectors. This long-lasting popularity proves that Bazaar is just as fun and challenging as ever today.