Christopher Franchi is a pinball artist who has created artwork for machines such as Batman ’66, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Beatles, and Munsters.
The Start Button: How did you first get into pinball?
I grew up in Metro Detroit, playing hockey with my older brother since I was 5 years old. Every ice rink warming room had 2-3 pins. I’d always play pinball while my brother was on the ice. My favorite was Captain Fantastic. Still looking for a nice one for my home.
The Plunge: What was the first pinball machine you bought?
The first game I bought was the Data East Batman ‘89, back in 2000.
The Skill Shot: What is your best pinball achievement or favorite pinball moment?
I’d have to say being given the gift of becoming a part of this wonderful hobby the day I was asked to do the art for Batman ‘66.
Good Shots, Bad Bounces: What is your favorite and least favorite pinball machine?
Favorite would have to be Batman ‘66 for sentimental reasons and Lyman’s rad code! Least favorite, and I wanted to like it so much, because I was going to buy one until I played it… Houdini. Just brutal! Friggin’ drain monster. Pissed me off so bad I swore never to play it again.
The Wizard Mode: What is your dream theme you’d like to see made into a pinball machine?
I have many, but at the top of the list is either The Monster Cereals (Count Chocula, Franken Berry, etc) or Pee Wee Herman.
The Tilt: What is the dumbest mistake you’ve made in pinball (mishap moving a machine, messing up trying to fix a machine, etc.)?
Putting my Beatles pin directly under the fire suppression water pipe in my office. If you didn’t hear, the pipe froze during the Winter Vortex and burst, dumping gallons of ice cold water over the pin, and yes… it killed it.
The High Score: Describe the pinball hobby in one word.
Match – Next Game: Where do you see the pinball hobby in 5-10 years?
Still chugging along. Slightly more popular but nothing ground breaking. I also see a handful of start-ups lost, as well as a few new hopefuls popping up.