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Superman was released by Atari in March of 1979 and designed by Steve Richie. Part of the "Golden Age" of pinball. I purchased this one, (serial #262411 - manufactured August, 1979) in great shape.

The backglass is in great shape, no scratches (see photo of back). I didn't notice it at first but there is some lifting of the black border in the upper left hand corner. Nothing missing and I did cover it with clear acrylic to protect it. The playfield has no wear spots and only shows a little aging. The cabinet has several scratches and some worn spots but not bad at all. The displays are bright. It's just incredible that a machine released in 1979 can look this good.

I think that this machine was ahead of it's time. It has a hinged backbox, the backglass swings out so you can get into the backbox without removing it and the power supply is in the lower cabinet. It reminds me more of a mid 80's pin than it does other late 70's pins.

  The Playfield

The plunger sends the ball to the top rollover lanes, getting 1,2 & 3 doubles bonus, adding lane 4 triples bonus. Each rollover adds to the bonus itself. Three pop bumpers are directly below the rollover lanes. Bumpers score 100 or 1000 when lit. Only one or two are lit at the same time. Below the pop bumpers there are 5 drop targets. Hitting the one that is lit awards more points. Shots off the drop targets can easily bounce into the right out lane, you have to be very careful.

The right side has a lane called "Luthor's Lair" with a "Luthor" spinner at the bottom. The right side has a similar lane called the "Fortress of Solitude" with a "Superman" spinner and a little loop at the top before it feeds the in lanes. Between the "Fortress of Solitude" and the pop bumpers there is a small lane that leads to a kick-out. It awards points, an extra ball or special depending on how many sets of drop targets are completed.

Below the "Fortress of Solitude" is a pop bumper over the left out lane. It reminds me of the "Lions Lair" on Paragon without the right side being closed.
White stand up targets and the return lanes near the flippers spell SUPERMAN for 30,000 points.

There is no background sound, just electronic sounds when a target is hit.

Game play

Your have several objectives -
1) get the in lanes to double and triple the bonus
2) Get the drop targets to up the value of the kick out
3) hit targets and lanes to spell SUPERMAN
4) reach score targets or awards for extra ball

The layout gets the ball all over the playing field, scoring is evenly split and ball control is the name of the game. I have found it to be a tough game to master (I'm not that great a player). The ball coming off the drop targets and out the right out lane is hard to prevent and a ball coming DOWN "Luthor's Lair" from a weak shot tends to go straight down the middle. I like the way that the ball works the whole wide body table. I think it's a great classic game and even better for the Superman fan.

Specifications from the Pinball Database are at
Pinball Database - Superman
An instruction card can be found at
Ken's Instruction Cards
The flyer is shown at
GameArchive - Superman
Pictures-   Superman's upper playfield Superman's lower playfield
Superman cabinet art Superman playfield & backglass Superman under playfield
Superman inside backbox Backside of Superman's backglass Superman's backglass  
Superman bare playfield Superman bare upper playfield Superman bare lower playfield

Superman Credits Card
Superman Schematics