MOONWALKER ARCADE

Moonwalker Arcade in Vestal, New York, USA

There is a new place to play pinball in upstate NY. Moonwalker Arcade, located in Vestal, is just a short drive from Robot City Games.

Pinball is the main focus of this arcade with thirteen machines, most of them newer Stern titles. The day I visited, the list was; Dale Jr., Kiss, High Roller Casino, The Walking Dead, The Sopranos, Hook, Barbwire, Game of Thrones, Star Trek, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Avatar and Metallica.

Six of the thirteen pinballs
Six of the thirteen pinballs
Another bank of pinballs
Another bank of pinballs

Some are Premium editions and they all were in excellent condition. They also have a small collection of videos games, air hockey and pool tables.

Video games at Moonwalker Arcade
Video games at Moonwalker Arcade
Pool and other games
Pool and other games

From what I’ve heard they were having an on-going pinball league. The owner has other machines but needs to expand before he can put them out to be played.

Moonwalker Arcade is located at 253 Vestal Pkwy East in Vestal, NY. Check their Facebook page for opening hours and details of their promotions.

Meanwhile, nearby Robot City Games has expanded their pinball offerings, going from 17 to 24, including Medieval Madness Remake and Ghost Busters.

THE PABST CAN CRUSHER

The Pabst Can Crusher by Stern Pinball

Stern Pinball today announced a special re-themed version of the WhizBang Pinball’s Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons game.

The new The Pabst Can Crusher game is themed on the iconic Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) beer, and Pabst will be promoting the game at a number of their merchandising and sponsored events.

The Pabst Can Crusher backglass
The Pabst Can Crusher backglass

The game features all-new artwork by Dirty Donny Gillies featuring a typically highly-stylised design and many cameos, such as the band Red Fang who provide the music for the new game.

The Pabst Can Crusher also eschews the weathered wooden cabinet and legs in favour of a more modern design. However, it retains the score reels, backglass light indicators and the electromechanical essence of Big Juicy Melons.

The cabinet shape is also retained from the WhizBang game.

Left cabinet side
Left cabinet side
The front of the game
Right backbox side
Right backbox side
Right backbox side

The playfield design is unchanged from Big Juicy Melons but the artwork is as busy and colourful as the backglass image.

Can Crusher's playfield
Can Crusher’s playfield
The top of the playfield
The top of the playfield
The top of the playfield
The top of the playfield
The bottom left of the playfield
The bottom left of the playfield

Stern Pinball have not announced whether The Pabst Can Crusher will be available for retail sale, and if so whether it will be sold through Stern’s regular distribution channels. Nor have they revealed how many Can Crusher machines will be made or any potential price point.

The bottom right of the playfield
The bottom right of the playfield

Here’s what Stern Pinball had to say about the game, although the announcement appears to be credited to Pabst Brewing Company instead.

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL – July 13, 2016 – The Pabst Brewing Company, makers of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer (“PBR”), today proudly announced the debut of its new PBR-Themed “Can Crusher” pinball machine.

The new PBR machine will make its debut at Comic-Con International in San Diego on July 21st through July 24th at booth 501. The game was developed in partnership with Stern Pinball, Inc., the world’s oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball machines

The “Can Crusher” pinball machine captures the iconic nature of the PBR brand with a retro game design,dynamic eye-popping art by artist and pinball phenomenon Dirty Donny Gillies and music by hard-hitting heavy metal band RED FANG.

The debut of this machine will not stop with its arrival at Comic-Con. Following Comic-Con, PBR will showcase the exclusive machine at several other venues including concerts, barcades, high profile events, and other community activities.

“To partner with Stern Pinball on the ‘Can Crusher’ and have a superstar artist like Dirty Donny and music from Red Fang was exactly what we set out to do when we wanted to make a pinball machine the PBR way. The game does a great job of capturing the essence of our brand,” said Pabst CMO Dan McHugh.

About Pabst Brewing Company

With over 30 beers in our portfolio, Pabst Brewing Company is the largest American-owned brewery. Since 1844, we’ve taken pride in brewing beers that have become iconic, cherished American brands. Brands that promote regional pride, and brands that express common bonds amongst people all over the world.

Pabst is honored to be part of so many lives. We work tirelessly to provide worthy products and memorable experiences in local communities. Loyalty is hard to come by these days. Being your beer of choice is a great privilege, which is why we deliver nothing less than award-winning taste and quality.

Trust your good times to Pabst. http://pabstbrewingco.com

About Stern Pinball, Inc.

Stern Pinball, Inc., headquartered just outside Chicago, Illinois, is the oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball games in the world. Stern’s highly talented creative and technical teams design, engineer and manufacture a full line of popular pinball games, merchandise and accessories. Recent Stern titles include Ghostbusters, Spider-Man Vault, Game of Thrones, KISS, WWE WrestleMania, The Walking Dead, Mustang, Star Trek, Metallica, The Avengers, X-Men, AC/DC, Tron, Transformers, Avatar, Iron Man, Batman, and many more! All of Stern’s pinball games are crafted by hand and assembled by Stern’s expert team. A broad range of players enjoy Stern’s games from professional pinball players that compete in high-stakes international competitions around the globe to novice players who are discovering the allure of the silver ball for the first time. To join the fun and learn more, please visit http://www.sternpinball.com/

 

The central playfield area
The central playfield area

We’ll have all the latest news about The Pabst Can Crusher right here at Pinball News.

AUDIO COMPANY TACKLES PINBALL SOUND

Improved pinball audio

Teufel Systems is a well-respected audio company based in Berlin, Germany. The have been making loudspeakers since 1979 and sell their products across Europe, but recently faced a new challenge thanks to the arrival of a pinball machine.

The firm added a Stern Kiss pinball from Pinball Universe to their break room for their employees to enjoy over lunch, but were soon looking at ways to improve the quality of the sound coming out of the machine.

While the sound quality of pinballs has improved in leaps and bounds over the past decade thanks to the low price of memory needed to store high-quality samples and the ubiquity of hi-fi multichannel audio on PC motherboards, a pinball backbox or cabinet is far from ideal when it comes to speaker enclosure design.

Teufel know about these things, and concluded the best way to improve the sound was to take the amplification and speakers out of the game entirely.

The Teufel team test various speaker options
The Teufel team test various speaker options

They tried four combinations of tweeters, mid-range speakers, subwoofers and headphones to find the best solution for a range of environments. Perhaps not surprisingly they all sounded great and were a vast improvement on the game’s built-in sound system.

Even just headphones can be a great improvement
Even just headphones can be a great improvement

You can read their suggestions for each set-up on the Teufel blog page, but even if you don’t get their high-end systems there’s plenty of food-for-thought if you want a beefier sound pumping out from your pinball games.

PIN-A-GO-GO 2016

Pin-a-Go-Go 2016

The 20th annual Pin-a-Go-Go took place the weekend after Mother’s Day at the Dixon May Fair in Dixon, California.

This year did not disappoint. In fact, Pin-a-Go-Go just keeps getting better every year and this year was no exception.

Guests waiting to get in to Pin-a-Go-GGo 2016
Guests waiting to get in to Pin-a-Go-GGo 2016

Friday started with the show opening at 1pm to a large crowd of faithful attendees. Later in the day was the Flippin’ Friday kick-off dinner with the presentation of the Free Play award. This year’s recipients were Michael Schiess, founder of the Pacific Pinball Museum, and Melissa Harmon, Director and curator at the PPM.

As always, there were many great games to play this year. Around 270 pinball machines were on site to enjoy for all three days.

Inside the main hall
Inside the main hall

Some highlights of the machines were some rare System 80 Gottlieb games from Steve Charland, P3/Lexy Lightspeed from Multimorphic, and some really rare foreign games lugged all the way up from SoCal by Robert Van Der Velde.

The Archer pinball project from Keith and Randy Elwin, Jersey Jack’s The Hobbit, and Heighway Pinball’s Full Throttle, along with the newest offerings from Stern were also present and were generously lent to the show by Video Amusement in South San Francisco. There was also a great collection of classic EM games in their own room with just bells and chimes clanging out play, including Al Garber’s Bally Fireball.

Saturday started off with the Swap Meet & Flea Market at 10am. There was a great selection of parts and project games to be had, along with other game room must-haves.

The PinGolf tournament was well attended and is said to have been one of the largest PinGolf tournaments in some time anywhere, with over 160 players.  And the pinball machine raffle took place that afternoon at 6pm. This year the first pin to be given away was a Williams Whirlwind, donated By Chris Kuntz, The Pinball Pirate.

Young pinball fans take part in the machine count
Young pinball fans take part in the machine count

The Silent Auction pleased with many items donated by national pinball vendors and local establishments alike. Kids got to count how many games there were on Saturday at 2pm and that is always a lot of fun to watch.

One of the funnest events at Pin-a-Go-Go was the 9th annual Sacramento Pinball Group BBQ.  Put on By Mark (Sparky) Malmberg in the RV site (the Pin-a-Go-Go Village) which is a stone’s throw from the buildings that house the show, it’s a potluck where the Go-Go faithful bring food and drink of all kinds and sit around and talk pinball and other fun stuff.  It’s always a highlight of the weekend, or as several pinheads have been heard to say, it’s the local family reunion.

Jack Guarnieri at the Sacramento Pinball Group BBQ
Jack Guarnieri at the Sacramento Pinball Group BBQ
The BBQ in the RV camp
The BBQ in the RV camp

Sunday saw Sunday Pinball School. Pinball lessons from the pros in small groups free of charge to beginners and intermediates alike.

A second pinball machine donated by Michael Huntsman of Reno was raffled off Sunday afternoon and the other prize raffles took place, and still even more pinball playing ensued.

The two prizes in the pinball machine raffle
The two prizes in the pinball machine raffle

Pinball Clinic was a hit this year offering talks on Reading Schematics, 11 Common Repair Mistakes, How Does a Pinball Machine Think, and what to look for when Buying Your First Pinball Game. There was even a car show right next door!

There was no shortage of vendors this year, with lots of offerings from Planetary Pinball, Pinbits, Cliffy, and Rob Anthony (Borygard on Pinside, along with his friend Taro) who brings lots of cool stuff for games and does pinball board and machine repairs right on site.  Pacific Pinball Museum also brought their silver trailer from the ’50s with five games inside – they call it the Lil’ Ju Ju – and sold some pretty cool T-shirts too.

The Lil' Ju Ju from the Pacific Pinball Museum
The Lil’ Ju Ju from the Pacific Pinball Museum

Other usual suspects were there too; Hawkins & Mueting of Pinball Collector’s Resource with their rows of  pinball paper and other treasures, Rick from Bay Area Amusements, and some other pinball guys selling homegrown California mods and pinball related merchandise.

Starship Fantasies brought backglasses, plastics, ramps and playfields too. Dan and Nifty Nate – California’s own Nifty Pinball – toiled night and day showing people their LEDs and discussing what might look best where.  They also did a bang-up job on the special limited edition lanyards which were only available to people who brought games!

Jersey Jack Guarnieri and Butch Peel from Jersey Jack Pinball were on hand hanging out with the attendees, and Gerry Stellenberg from Multimorphic in Texas (maker of P-ROC and the innovative P3 Pinball platform) was there with his machine which he transformed into several different games over the course of the weekend. Randy Perlow premiered some ColorDMD titles and JJ from Game Exchange was seen milling about the crowds. It was a star-studded weekend!

Pin-a-Go-Go started 20 years ago – just a bunch of Pinthusiasts who brought games to share with fans and future pinheads – and when the organizers found that there was money left over they donated it to charity.  To this day, that is what still happens as the show is now run by a 501(c)3 nonprofit board known as the Northern California Pinball Association, and people bring pinball machines to share because they want others to find the joys of playing pinball.

This year proceeds in excess of $20k were donated to the Dixon Teen Center, while all earnings from the tournament went to the Pacific Pinball Museum.  The citizens of the small town of Dixon roll up their sleeves and help out the show with volunteers who do everything from wristbands to cleaning the bathrooms!  Dixon Rotary put out some awesome food in the food tent, including tri-tip and chicken sandwiches made right on-site.

Every year I bear witness to wonderful things that happen at Pin-a-Go-Go, and this year I saw some of the best yet. An attendee from Reno had a part break on a rare Williams Scorpion on Saturday night. A local pinhead grabbed the part, took it home and handed it back to the Reno pinhead first thing Sunday morning – freshly welded and ready to keep the game running for the rest of the show.

These small acts of pinheads helping pinheads are what makes Pin-a-Go-Go so special. A few years ago – 2014 I think it was – the theme for Pin-a-Go-Go was ‘Peace, Love & Pinball’. Wouldn’t it be nice if the whole world worked that way?

See you all at Pin-a-Go-Go 2017.