Pinball games look great lined-up in a row, don't they?
You have no problem with other players getting in the way and you can even glance over and watch their game every now and again. But to get the most games in the smallest space means certain niceties have to be given up. Niceties such as somewhere to place your drink.
Obviously you can put cups, glasses and bottles on the floor but that's just asking for trouble, especially if the floor is carpeted.
So that's where pinball cup holders can lend a hand.
They are made from steel and traditionally powder coated in black. They use the leg bolts to secure themselves to the game to avoid any damage to the cabinet. Now a new version is available with a silver coloured coating to better match chromed legs and leg bolts.
To put both cup holders to the test we put one on a Getaway in a domestic gameroom and another on a Cirqus Voltaire in a busy bar.
Installation was very straightforward requiring only a leg bolt socket and took a couple of minutes from start to finish.
In the home, players took to the holders much more readily that in the bar where bottles and glasses were still put on nearby shelves, slot machines or held by fellow players. Once the holder was demonstrated, though, they took to it quite readily.
In truth, pinball cup holders had been tried in the bar location before without much success, as the ring part broke away after only a few days but we're always happy to offer a second chance.
The holders are made primarily for the US market and the ring size is chosen accordingly. For the UK, a pint glass doesn't quite fit correctly as you can see below, which places extra strain on the ring support arm.
It's fine with half-pint glasses, bottles and cans though and probably would be equally good with a variety of other sizes of container but bear in mind how excessively nudging the game can result not only in a tilt but also spilt drinks.
After a period of several weeks, the holder is still intact and undamaged in the bar, however a sturdier version would be welcomed for more intensive use. For domestic use, the construction is perfectly adequate to withstand day-to-day knocks and bumps.
The pinball cupholders neatly address a problem facing game owners with a simple, inexpensive solution. There's no good reason not to fit some and have your drinks much more readily to hand and safely out of harm's way.