Nishijin has been making Pachinko machines for a very long time. Often there are words on the front of the machines such as "Nishijin Super DX" and "Nishijin Super Deluxe." On the back, the word "Sophia" may be imprinted in the plastic or on a sticker. Unfortunately these aren't very good at helping to identify the machine as they have been used interchangeably for over 40 years.
We have grouped the various Nishijin Pachinko machines into three groups or models that we refer to simply as Nishijin A, Nishijin B and Nishijin C. There are significant differences in the mechanical functions of these three models. There are often minor differences within a model as Nishijin would improve and tweak the design over the years.
Read information about the Nishijin Play Tray Versions.
Nishijin Pachinko Machine - Model A Single Ball
The Nishijin A Single Ball machines were made in the early to mid 1960s (possibly in the late 1950s). The Nishijin A model series can be most easily identified by the two trays in the back of the machine. These models are often referred to as "recyclers" because balls that don't go into a win pocket will go into the lower tray instead of falling into a bucket at the bottom of the machine. Also the jackpot seesaw is below and to the right of the lower tray and can be seen through a window on the front of the machine.
Nishijin Pachinko Machine - Model A Single Ball Conversion
In the mid 1960s machines with a play tray became popular. No longer did you need to load a ball one at a time. The play tray and a shooter assembly would automatically feed balls to the shooter lane. So as not to be wasteful, many single ball machines were converted by inserting a play tray in the tracks of the door that normally held the glass, and putting a smaller piece of glass on top of it. The above picture is just one version of the tray. There was at least one other that we have seen. Also when you get a jackpot, all winning balls would be directed to the bottom tray and the player would need to move them from the bottom tray to the play tray by hand.
Nishijin Pachinko Machine - Model A - Front Overflow
This Nishijin A model was made from the mid to the late 1960s. The back is similar to earlier Nishijin machines. The main difference is that unlike the prior model, winning balls were routed to the play tray instead of the bottom tray. Also when you empty the play tray by pushing the white lever to the left, the balls drop straight into the lower tray, instead of flowing through the back of the machine and into the lower tray like on future models.
Nishijin Pachinko Machine - Model A
This Nishijin A model was made from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. The back is similar to earlier Nishijin machines. The main difference is the play tray on the front is designed so that balls in the tray flow through a chute behind the door down to the oveflow tray.
Nishijin Pachinko Machine - Model B
Nishijin B models were produced from the early to late 1970s. These are the most popular Nishijin Pachinko machines we see on eBay. They have one tray on the back at the top and have a jackpot assembly in the center of the machine. The colors of the plastics on the back were usually brown, clear, black, blue or some combination of two of these.
Nishijin Pachinko Machine - Model C
Nishijin C models are the newest, and last of Nishijin's vintage Pachinko machines. They came out in the late 70s. You don't see too many of them because a few years later, they were replaced with modern electronic Pachinko machines with the auto-fire knobs instead of flippers. The Nishijin C models have one tray on the back at the top and a seesaw jackpot assembly just below the tray. The colors of the plastics on the back have been clear and dark green on all machines we have seen so far.