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Beat Time, 1967

Features: Flippers (2), Pop bumpers (5), Slingshots (2), Standup targets (2), Rotating target (1), Left and right dual outlanes. Plastikote playfield. 3 or 5 ball play. Maximum displayed point scores is 9,999 points per player.
Manufacturer: Williams Electronics, Incorporated (1967-1985) [Trade Name: Williams]
Date of Manufacture: September 08, 1967
Players: September 08, 1967 / 2
Year: 1967
Production: 2,802 units   (confirmed)
Model Number: 324
Theme: Music - Singing - Happiness
Design by: Steve Kordek
Art by: Jerry Kelley
Animated by:
Music by:
Sound by:
Software by:
Machine Type: Electro-mechanical (EM) 
Notes: Convertible to add-a-ball operation. The manufacturer's flyer indicates that the power on/off toggle switch located under the cabinet is a new feature. Pictured in this listing are two games each having a blue backglass and blue playfield. They appear to be an authentic manufacture from Williams of which we have no information other than the game itself and what the owners can tell us. The owner of the "blue version" game with serial number 90909 obtained his game in 1999 from northern New York from a collector who bought games in that general area. The machine was coined 2/25c and 3 balls per play. To assist any forensic study of this game, we offer several pictures along with some of the information given by this owner: The cabinet: The colors look the same as other games. He repainted the backbox as well as the entire front of the cabinet. He touched up the cabinet sides with paint and then waxed. The playfield: The yellow targets (four in middle and two at top) are translucent except the target marked '12' is opaque and came from a 'Beat Time' parts machine. The pop bumpers had gray wood-grain protectors that he replaced with smaller clear ones. Removing the old protectors revealed a lime-green color underneath. He states the picture(s) really bring out the contrast between this blue and green but to the eye it is not so extreme. The backglass: The owner touched up a few small specks in the jackets of the people, a few thin lines in the snare drum, and coated the match numbers with a watered-down backing color. The serial number: The serial number on the front of the cabinet was gouged up and barely readable, and his repaint of the entire front now covers it completely. The number on the paper card on the upper apron has long since faded away. The only apparent serial number remaining is located inside the backbox as 90909. Compared to the range of serial numbers reported to the Internet Pinball Serial Number Database, 90909 is very low in the production run for 'Beat Time' but not the lowest number they have. The second example pictured here of a "blue version" has serial number 91306 and was sent by a collector in the Netherlands. This number is numerically a long way from 90909 to confidently designate these "blue version" games as Early Production but we really don't know how Williams numbered their machines as they made and shipped them to different countries. We have heard that manufacturers did not always use consecutive numbers to make their competition think they sold more games than they really did. However, we cannot say what manufacturers did this, or when. We are also aware of a third "blue version" (from ebay 2009, not pictured here) but do not know its serial number or country of location. In summary, while color fade may be an arguable point for either playfield or backglass, it doesn't account for all the color differences that are present. For instance, the girl's red hair in the area overlapping the bass drum on the backglass of game 90909 could not be the result of fade, while interestingly the overlapping hair on game 91306 seems to match the color of "green version" production backglasses. The backglasses on 'Beat Time' show the name 'The Bootles' because no license was obtained to use the name 'The Beatles' for this 1967 production. Backglasses for this game that show the name 'The Beatles' instead of 'The Bootles' are fully new backglasses, or modified factory glasses, both not original to the 1967 production. A licensed use of the band's name appears on Stern's 2018 'The Beatles' pinball machine.
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