Pinball Art: Cactus Jack’s

When I’m finished playing pinball for the evening but my husband is not, instead of complaining and begging to leave, I pull up a stool and take a look at the art on different playfields. The art put into pinball machines often amazes me.

One pinball machine that catches my eye every time isĀ Gottlieb’s Cactus Jack’s Pinball Machine. The machine located at the Jordan Landing Nickelcade isn’t that great to play because the sound is always non-existent, the playfield seems too steep, and honestly I’m just no good at it. I’ll play it once or twice and laugh when the cactuses in the back start to dance, but in the end it’s the artwork that catches my interest.

First of all, let’s take a look at this watermelon:

I’ve seen personified food before, but nothing like this. This watermelon ain’t no Veggie Tale; he’s a real guy! He’s your average-joe cowboy, smoking his cigarette, and feeling apathetic to what’s going on. I love his blank stare, his detailed lips and his hanging cigarette. It makes me laugh every time.

Moving on to the seemingly maniacal pumpkin:

Look at that detailed mustache! Now, maybe I don’t understand the premise of the game fully, but I thought the people didn’t like the cactuses’ music so they were throwing fruit. I didn’t know the fruit also came to life, grew facial hair, and devised a plan to stop the bad musicians. Apparently this is the case.

It’s not just food that is personified, either. Oh no. No inanimate thing is safe from the doodle pen on this game. Boots for instance:

My favorite thing about the artwork on this machine is how realistic it is. Sure, they look cartoonish because hey, it’s a boot with a face. But, on the other hand, look how detailed those noses are! And that lady boot is definitely giving that fella boot the eye. These aren’t just silly boots, they’re boots that tell a specific story. They could care less about the crappy band playing, they’re looking to get lucky.

Kudos to David Moore and Constantino Mitchell for the hilarious artwork on this machine. And kudos to all pinball machine artists. Let’s hope the artwork put into the new machines continues to be detailed and thought provoking.

You can find Cactus Jack’s pinball machine at:

Nickelmania at Jordan Landing

3763 Center Park Drive #110
West Jordan, UT

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