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Pinball / Playboy (Bally)

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Playboy (Bally) is a licensed arcade pinball game released by Bally in 1978. Designed by Jim Patla with artwork by Paul Faris, it eventually sold over 18,000 units, making it one of the best-selling pinball tables ever.note  Appropriately enough, the first machine (serial number #0001) was presented to Hugh Hefner himself, who placed it in the Mansion's game room.

Unlike the magazine on which it's based, this game makes no qualms about being all about the scantily clad women. The backglass depicts Hugh Hefner with Playmates Patti McGuire and Sondra Theodore, who are hanging out at Hugh's grotto with an assortment of Playboy characters. The game itself doesn't need or have much of a plot: Collect the keys to the Grotto, hit the dropdown targets, and collect five Playmates for bonus points and extra balls, all while Patti and Sondra watch from the playfield.

In 1980, Arkon Automaten of Germany released Sexy Girl, a conversion kit for European markets starring model Ann Pennington. The kit replaced the scantily clad Playmates with even racier nude art, while the Playboy logo on the playfield was replaced with an embedded slide projector that displayed photos of models in various states of undress during gameplay.

The Playboy pinball and the Sexy Girl conversion kit demonstrate the following tropes:

  • Arc Number: Five — there are five keys for the Grotto, five dropdown targets to hit, and five Playmates to collect.
  • As Himself: Hugh Hefner, Patti McGuire and Sondra Theodore.
  • The Cameo: Granny and Little Annie Fanny (two recurring cartoon characters from the magazine) are seen in the pool on the backglass.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Femlin on the backglass is straddling a champagne bottle.
  • Double Entendre: A message on the playfield reads, "It takes steel balls to play pinball."
  • Five-Token Band: The five Playmates to be collected, which consist of three Caucasians, an African-American, and one Asian.
  • Game Mod: The "Sexy Girl" conversion kit.
  • Lilliputians: Playboy's "Femlin" mascot appears around the cabinet and playfield.
  • Millionaire Playboy: Hugh Hefner, natch.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Unsurprisingly, just about all of the characters, save for Hugh Hefner and (probably) Granny.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Played with in the "Sexy Girl" conversion, with some of the women revealing everything but their nipples, and others going completely topless.
  • No Name Given: The five Playmates, who are simply Miss March, Miss May, Miss January, Miss July, and Miss September.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: The main game tune is Cy Coleman's "Playboy's Theme" from the TV show Playboy After Dark.
  • Sex Sells: The main appeal of the game.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Again, pretty much everyone in the game.
  • Slogan: Played with; instead of Playboy's traditional "Entertainment for Men", the pinball reads "Entertainment for All".
  • Wolf Whistle: Played at the start of a game, as it's all about beautiful women.

Alternative Title(s): Sexy Girl