Nip-It is also one of the popular pinball games Bally made in the seventies.
Collectors look for it because it has some unique features: it has a unique ball grabber assembly, it has zipper-flippers, and the artwork is nice and humoristic.
The game also became a 'collectible' because it could be seen in the tv series Happy Days.
Unique to this game is the gator grabber assembly. This can be activated by the pinball player using a second flipperbutton on the right side of the cabinet. The grabber is located at the top right of the playfield, above the bumpers. It is a metal hook that will quickly appear from under the alligator plastic, go over the pinball, lower itself and grab the pinball and direct it into the right lane on the playfield.
The rest of the playfield is pretty basic. Four bumpers and some targets and rollover buttons. The game has small zipper-flippers that will close. The small flippers make it a bit difficult to control the pinball.
Been there, done that. There's not a lot to say about us owning this game. We bought it a few years ago as my wife wanted to have an electro-mechanical pinball machine. Someone we know had this one for sale, so we bought it. We had read it was one of the more popular electro-mechanical machines Bally had made in the seventies.
I don't know what it was, maybe the game was not set up steep enough, or we were too used to playing fast dot-matrix games.. but Nip-It was very boring for us ! You could repeat the shot into the left lane, up to the top, grab the pinball with the gator, over and over again.. And apart from the gator there is not a lot to shoot for. So after a few weeks already we sold the game.
Things to look for when buying
Check if the grabber assembly (below the 3D crocodile assembly) is present and works ! A lot of Nip It pinball machines have this grabber missing or it's broken. If you press the extra flipper button on the right side of the cabinet, it will come out and grab the pinball.
Check if the glass above the playfield still has the original sticker indicating the 'Gator button'.
The 3D molded alligator plastic above the grabber assembly is also sometimes broken.
Nip-It became popular as it's the pinball machine played by The Fonz in the tv-series Happy Days. Don't confuse it with the Ballys Eight Ball pinball machine that has The Fonz on the backglass.