Tonys Pinball Creation reference guide

1.4. In popular culture

Pinball games have frequently been featured in popular culture, often as a symbol of rebellion or toughness. Perhaps the most famous instance is the rock opera album Tommy (1969) by The Who, which centers on the title character, a "deaf, dumb, and blind kid", who becomes a "Pinball Wizard" and who later uses pinball as a symbol and tool for his messianic mission. (The album was subsequently made into a movie and stage musical.) Wizard has since moved into popular usage as a term for an expert pinball player. Things came full circle in 1975 when Bally created the Wizard! pinball game featuring Ann-Margret and The Who's Roger Daltrey on the backglass.[53] In the movie version, Tommy plays a Gottlieb Kings and Queens machine,[54] while The Champ plays a Gottlieb Buckaroo machine.[55] In 1976, Bally released Capt.Fantastic, which had an image of Elton John on the backglass, playing pinball in a similar costume as used in the movie Tommy. Data East produced The Who's Tommy Pinball Wizard in 1994, based on the rock musical The Who's Tommy. This game is notable in its use of The Who's iconic songs, including "Pinball Wizard", sung by original Broadway cast members.
In the late 1970s the children's television series Sesame Street began airing a series of short animated segments, called the "Pinball Number Count". Each segment was different, and involved the ball rolling in different themed areas of a pinball machine depending on which number (from 1-12) was being featured. The animations were directed by Jeff Hale and featured music by Walt Kraemer and vocal work by the Pointer Sisters.
In Pinball, 1973, a novel by Haruki Murakami, the protagonist is obsessed with pinball. One of the plot lines follows his attempts to find a pinball machine he used to play.
In 1975–76 there was a brief TV game show based on pinball called The Magnificent Marble Machine.
Tilt is a 1979 drama film starring Brooke Shields as the protagonist, Tilt, a young pinball wizard.
Nickelodeon used the pinball as their logo in the early 1980s. The words "Nickelodeon" were in rainbow colors against a huge pinball. This logo was used until 1984, when the orange splat logo took place.