Each year at the Pinball Expo in Wheeling, IL, there is a unique item that draws attention from huge crowds. The Pinball Expo 2019 had one of those attention grabbers. 16-year-old high school student Luke Horwath brought a full scaled pinball machine. Why is that special, because Luke built the whole machine out of Legos. Yes, over 7000 Legos were used to make this fully operated pinball machine, and without using and glue. This pinball machine located in the hallway between the Main vendor area and the pinball rooms, brought in many curious gamers to see more of what he built. Many interviews were done with Luke over the weekend, including myself. Here is what Luke told me about his popular creation.
How long did it take to build?
Can you actively play on the pinball machine?
Yes, the machine functions just as any other pinball cabinet would, with flippers, a plunger, ball return, and detailed playfield. Please don’t touch though, as it is all Lego, no glue!
Is it all Lego?
Aside from the table legs, clock, and wood, everything is Lego, including the walls, playfield, electronics, motors, and figures.
How do the electrical components / motors work?
I used the Lego Power Functions system, which only requires batteries to run, and the build uses a total of 5 motors and 2 battery boxes.
Have you displayed the machine anywhere else?
I displayed the machine at Brickworld Chicago 2019, the annual Lego convention, and the machine, out of thousands of displays, won Best Replica.
How do you transport it to each event?
The legs are unscrewed from the wooden table, and the cabinet moves as one large section, with plenty of internal supports.
What was the inspiration for the machine?
I’ve always loved pinball casually and wanted to get a machine for my house. When asking my parents, I was confronted with a “no”, but thought I could make one myself instead. Having experience with Lego in the past, I made a prototype, full sketch of the playfield, and began working on the machine.
Are there any other machines like this one?
No, this is the only full-size all-Lego Pinball Machine in the world!
Have you made anything else with Lego?
I have been building with Lego for most of my life, and my latest project was a life-size, fully operational Claw Machine.
To see Luke’s pinball machine in action and other creations, visit his social media below