THE POWER OF PINBALL

The Star Trek in the Young Oncology Unit

It’s far from a new phenomenon, but pinball has shown how it can really play a significant role in aiding the recovery and treatment of hospital patients, and in particular youngsters.

Just recently, UK pinball owner Erdinch Degirmenciogl of the Pinball Mill was able to supply a Star Trek pinball to the Young Oncology Unit at Christie Hospital in Manchester.

The Star Trek at The Christie Hospital
The Star Trek at The Christie Hospital

The Unit is run by the Teenage Cancer Trust, the chosen charity of Northern Lights Pinball who supply and run the pinball element at the Play Expo show in Manchester each year.  They have worked with the Teenage Cancer Trust in previous promotions, and at the last Play Expo show the charity asked about getting a pinball into their dedicated hospital unit.

The Young Oncology Unit
The Young Oncology Unit

Lorraine Wright, the Teenage Cancer Trust Youth Support Coordinator at the Christie Ward, told Pinball News how they were looking for something to engage the young male patients and give then something new to occupy their mind during their hospital stay.

She said, “We recognised that something with a competitive edge generally gets their interest and David (another member of my team) suggested a pinball machine. The machine is fabulous.  It is already getting lots of use and everyone seems to love it!  It’s another opportunity for young people to get involved in something when they are here having their treatment – this is invaluable as it stops boredom and low mood and ultimately aids young people through their treatment.

The Star Trek in the Young Oncology Unit
The Star Trek in the Young Oncology Unit

This is probably the first such case of pinball helping with the treatment and recovery for youngsters in the UK, but it’s a well-known aid in the US where charities such as the Pinball Outreach Project and Project Pinball as well as several individuals and pinball suppliers work closely with hospitals and support groups to leverage pinball as a therapeutic and recuperative aid.

Nicole Anne Reik-Dunlap is the founder and Executive Director of the Pinball Outreach Project and is a volunteer at Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon.  She told Pinball News how she introduced pinball into the lives of patients at the Hospital and the effect it had on them.

She said, “We had two games at the hospital for almost a year and I came up with an idea for a program called Friday Night Lights. On Friday nights I would go around to the rooms inviting patients and their families to play pinball with me. A lot of the parents were excited for an opportunity to have someone engage with their child as most of them have been staying in the hospital for long periods of time.  There’s also a great physical component that allows patients to get up and out of their beds for a while. It’s a motivator for them.

Playing pinball with their children has brought further benefits beyond the purely therapeutic ones.  Nicole explained how she has seen “…parent’s having the opportunity to bond with their kids over something from their generation, something they can’t do with the video game consoles that you see at every hospital game room.

The remedial effects are easily seen as Jessica Thompson, Child Life Specialist at Randall confirmed.  She said, “Pinball provides a great opportunity for our patients and siblings, especially our older kids and teens, to engage in developmentally appropriate play, get out of their rooms and interact with peers, and forget about being ‘sick’ for a small amount of time.

Lori Mathios from Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California, is another beneficiary of the Pinball Outreach Project’s work.  She also expressed how pinball helps both the children and their parents at such a difficult time.  “The pinball machines provided a much needed diversionary for our patients and their siblings, and allowed the parents to relive their own childhoods”, she said.

So if you have a pinball you could spare and maintain, you too could change the lives of countless children at a local hospital or therapy centre.  Pinball is all about having fun, and who needs fun more than children going through such an incredibly tough time?

After all, as Amber Chavez from the Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Department at CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange, California explained, “Patients are able to take their minds off of being in the hospital and enjoy some quality time with their families. Thank you for making that possible and brightening up their day.

 

FLIP FLIP, DING DING

Call it fate, call it serendipity, but whatever it was, it was a nice surprise to stumble over Flip Flip, Ding Ding on the way back from a nice meal at Stellar Pizza in Georgetown, south of Seattle.

We were staying in Georgetown and using it as a base to explore the greater Seattle region prior to the Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show. Hotels in central Seattle are notoriously expensive, so we picked the Georgetown Inn as a good compromise location.

Greetings from Georgetown
Greetings from Georgetown

Georgetown is an up-and-coming suburb which has that ‘shabby-chic’ semi-industrial feel to it. Sitting in the shadow of the I-5 to the east and bounded by Boeing Field to the south, the Duwamish Waterway to the west and the BNSF railroad to the north, it looks rougher than it feels.

Former home of the Rainier Brewery, Georgetown is now home to several newer beer makers, including Elysian Brewing, Machine House Brewery, Georgetown Brewery, Lowercase Brewing, Counterbalance Brewing and Jellyfish Brewing.

On our way back to the hotel from Airport Way on Sunday night, we spotted what looked like a pinball machine in the window of a distant shop unit on 12th Ave S.

12th Ave S in Georgetown
12th Ave S in Georgetown

Upon closer investigation, we discovered it was actually the well-known Flip Flip, Ding Ding pinball bar/arcade. We were so unprepared we didn’t even have our good camera with us, so please excuse the mobile phone pictures here.

Flip Flip, Ding Ding
Flip Flip, Ding Ding

We had heard good things about Flip Flip, Ding Ding, so wasted no time investigating what they had to offer.

Seattle, like much of the Pacific Northwest of the US, has a seemingly unquenchable thirst for both craft beer and pinball. So any bar/arcade hoping to succeed here needs to have plentiful supplies of both.

First, to the beer. Flip Flip, Ding Ding has eight taps mostly dedicated to local craft beers but with a nod to the staples such as Bud Light.

The bar
The bar

The draft beer selection

Additional cans are available from their large fridges.

The refrigerators next to the bar
The refrigerators next to the bar

The bar area is suitably functional and characterful, featuring numerous bumper stickers offering words of wisdom to patrons.

Sobering thoughts on the bar front
Sobering thoughts on the bar front

And so onto the games.

Flip Flip, Ding Ding has a mix of pinball and videos, with pinball dominating as you might expect from the name. We counted twenty-seven pinballs in total:

Addams Family, The
Atlantis
Black Knight 2000
Buccaneer
Champion Pub, The
Circus Voltaire
Diner
Earthshaker!
Fire!
Funhouse
Game of Thrones
Grand Lizard
Judge Dredd
No Good Gofers*
Phantom of the Opera
Pinbot
Robocop
Rollercoaster Tycoon
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Starship Troopers
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Twilight Zone
Walking Dead, The
Wheel of Fortune
Whirlwind
World Cup Soccer
Xenon

*indicates machine not working

Wheel of Fortune, Judge Dredd and Star Trek: The Next Generation
Wheel of Fortune, Judge Dredd and Star Trek: The Next Generation

Grand Lizard and Fire!
Grand Lizard and Fire!

The business’s floor area is not huge, so the games are split between two floors with the addition of a side room containing another eight machines. We found the pinballs to be in good condition with reasonable tilt settings and priced even quite conservatively. The all take quarters (there’s a change machine by the stairs) and were mostly 50c a game.

The Champion Pub, Phantom of the Opera and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Champion Pub, Phantom of the Opera and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Diner, No Good Gofers and Atlantis
Diner, No Good Gofers and Atlantis

Xenon, Pinbot, Starship Troopers and Rollercoaster Tycoon
Xenon, Pinbot, Starship Troopers and Rollercoaster Tycoon

Videos mixed in with World Cup Soccer, Robocop, Black Knight 2000 and Earthshaker!
Videos mixed in with World Cup Soccer, Robocop, Black Knight 2000 and Earthshaker!

More videos - a multi-game cabinet and Mario Bros.
More videos – a multi-game cabinet and Mario Bros.

A multi-player Hydro Thunder
A multi-player Hydro Thunder

As befits the area, there’s a cool and laid-back vibe at Flip Flip, Ding Ding, with customers spilling out onto the street or just sitting at the bar, ignoring all the games surrounding them.

There are plenty of food options at neighbouring restaurants, at the end of the street, and along Airport Way, from great burritos to multiple pizza choices and some solid burger combinations.

Although everything is very casual here, if you want something a little more organised they run a monthly pingolf tournament at 1pm on the last Sunday of each month. It’s $10 to enter with a limit of 36 players.

If you can’t make that date, other tournaments are often held here too, along with league meetings.

Flip Flip, Ding Ding is an unassuming but welcoming place to visit. It’s a short way outside the centre of Seattle, but a 124 bus or a $10 taxi ride quickly gets you there.

It’s the essence of a good pinball bar – great games and great drinks in a truly fun atmosphere.

STAR WARS SEMINAR

Steve Ritchie spoke recently at the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show in Tacoma, Washington, where he gave more details about his upcoming Star Wars game.

You can read the full show report in our Shows section, but here’s the relevant part about Star wars.

Steve Ritchie
Steve Ritchie

Steve said he was recovering from some optical treatment and therefore had to avoid the kind of bright light shining through the multiple glass panels in the seminar area.

He then continued by thanking the many people at Stern Pinball who had contributed to his latest game Star Wars which is soon to be released. He said production of the Pro model would begin in about a week.

Although always diplomatic about the details, it was clear from Steve’s talk that his and Stern’s dealings with Lucasfilm on the Star Wars franchise had not been without some difficulties, especially in getting approval for their artwork ideas for the game.

Steve was then joined by Greg Freres who talked further about the artwork approval process.

Steve and Greg
Steve and Greg

Greg showed pictures of the team’s initial ideas, working through the first licensor submissions to the final approved product.

Initial cabinet art ideas
Initial cabinet art ideas Click to expand

Initial backglass art ideas
Initial backglass art ideas Click to expand

Initial playfield art ideas
Initial playfield art ideas Click to expand

After showing a promo video for Star Wars Steve described the gameplay, saying at the start of the game you can choose one of four characters – Luke, Leia, Han or R2-D2. He said they had a lot of fun despite all the grief from the licensor, although they didn’t interfere with the design of the playfield.

Steve said there are nine multiball modes in the game, and when asked how Stern Pinball were able to secure the Star Wars licence said it was simply that they offered more money than anyone else.

We’ll have much more about the new Star Wars Pinball game very soon here at Pinball News.

STERN APPOINTS NEW CONSUMER SALES POSITION

Stern Pinball

In recognition of the large and growing importance of sales of machines and merchandise to home buyers, Stern Pinball has made a new appointment to the post of Director of Consumer Sales.

Erik Gilly, the former US Sales Manager for Bandai-Namco with responsibility for contracts with Dave & Buster’s and Chuck-E-Cheese amongst others, takes up the role to promote sales of pinball machines, accessories and merchandise.

Erik Gilly
Erik Gilly

He will also be looking to grow the US network of Stern Pinball dealers, pushing the company’s products into new area.

Here’s how Stern Pinball made the announcement.

Stern Pinball Announces The Hiring of Erik Gilly New Director of Consumer Sales

Elk Grove Village, IL – May 22, 2017 – Stern Pinball, Inc., the world’s oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball machines, announced today the hiring of Erik Gilly Director of Consumer Sales.

Erik most recently worked for Bandai Namco Entertainment where he served as U.S. Sales Manager since October 2012. Erik was accountable for managing a sales portfolio that included Dave and Buster’s, Chuck E Cheese, and other National Accounts.

Erik will lead SPI in expanding its rapidly growing U.S. dealer market while focusing on growing the Stern brand portfolio including pinball machines, merchandise, and accessories.

Erik is a great fit for Stern and has an industry background rooted in interactive gaming. Erik also shares our vision for Everything Pinball,” said John Buscaglia, Chief Revenue Officer of Stern Pinball.

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 Pinball’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 Aerosmith, Batman ‘66, Ghostbusters, Game of Thrones, WWE WrestleMania, The Walking Dead, Mustang, Star Trek, Metallica, The Avengers, X-Men, Tron, Transformers, Avatar, Iron Man, Batman, Spider-Man and many more! All of Stern Pinball’s games are crafted by hand and assembled by Stern Pinball’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 www.sternpinball.com.

NORTHWEST PINBALL & ARCADE SHOW 2017

This year marks the tenth holding of the Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show. After starting in central Seattle, it is now held at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center in downtown Tacoma.

The show poster designed by John Youssi
The show poster designed by John Youssi

The Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center
The Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center

The building sits on a hill, meaning there is a ground floor entrance at the front and a third floor entrance at the side.

The side entrance
The side entrance

Thursday

The show is held on the fifth floor which, thanks to the terrain, has a ground-level loading bay at the rear, from which an army of volunteers unloaded trucks as soon as they arrived. Games were initially unloaded onto the dock and then wheeled into the hall.

Another truck is unloaded
Another truck is unloaded

The loading dock
The loading dock

Games are wheeled into the hall
Games are wheeled into the hall

Games in the hall
Games in the hall

Pinballs in the hall
Pinballs in the hall

Pinballs in the hall
Pinballs in the hall

Pinballs being set up
EM Pinballs being set up

Pinballs being set up
Pinballs being set up

Stern Pinball has an impressive line-up of current titles, including Ghostbusters, Batman 66, Game of Thrones, AC/DC Remake and Aerosmith.

A line-up of new Stern Pinball games
A line-up of new Stern Pinball games

Spider-Man VE and Batman Premium
Spider-Man VE and Batman Premium

There are two Dialed In! games set up in the centre of the hall.

Two Dialed In! games
Two Dialed In! games

Nitro Amusements had an Alien Pinball and a Medieval Madness Remake set up, with a Houdini also on its way.

Alien and Attack from Mars Remake
Alien and Attack from Mars Remake

Spooky Pinball is also represented
Spooky Pinball is also represented

As usual, the tournament area is found on the left side of the hall.

Setting up tournament machines
Setting up tournament machines

More tournament games
More tournament games

At the front of the hall, the prize desk was being constructed. This is where the regular hourly prize draws will be held, along with the daily grand prize draws.

Building the prize desk
Building the prize desk

The show is held in exhibition hall B, but registration takes place in the lobby along with the seminars and a kids play area.

The entrance door to the show hall
The entrance door to the show hall

Setting up the registration desk and kids play area
Setting up the registration desk and kids play area

Building the seminar technical area
Building the seminars technical area

The seminars area
The seminars area

In the lobby just outside the show hall entrance were a few stands selling artwork, T-shirts and promoting comic books for kids.

Stands in the lobby
Stands in the lobby

Artist Hilma Josal was exhibiting some of her artworks and there to talk about them and take private commissions.

Hilma Josal's stand
Hilma Josal’s stand Click to expand

Next door, T-shirts promoting assorted pinball and arcade themes and locations could be purchased.

Get your T-shirts here
Get your T-shirts here

Also in the lobby, Comics4Kids were giving away comic books as a part of their drive to improve literacy and foster imagination in kids.

Comics4Kids' stand
Comics4Kids’ stand

Friday

Before the opening, a large queue had built up to buy entry or to pick up pre-purchased tickets.

The queue for registration
The queue for registration

Collecting wristbands for show entry
Collecting wristbands for show entry

To keep the younger guests entertained while they waited for the start of the show, there was the kids area with games on free play.

The kids area
The kids area

The doors to the hall opened on schedule at midday.

The first guests through the doors
The first guests through the doors

Inside the hall there had been some changes since Thursday night.

The Houdini game had arrived, along with Jolly Backer and Joe Balcer from American Pinball.

Houdini from American Pinball
Houdini from American Pinball

Jolly and Joe
Jolly and Joe

Also on the same stand, Heighway Pinball’s Alien Pinball was being checked out by the game’s sound designer and composer, David Thiel.

David Thiel plays Alien Pinball
David Thiel plays Alien Pinball

Jersey Jack Pinball had their The Wizard of Oz and The Hobbit games, in addition to the two Dialed In! games in the centre of the room.

Jack with one of the two Dialed In! machines
Jack with one of the two Dialed In! machines

The number of Stern Pinball games brought by Marco Specialties had also increased, with the display expanding to two rows.

The many new Stern Pinball machines
The many new Stern Pinball machines

The prize desk at the front of the show was complete, exhibiting the many prizes on offer and the complete machines which would be given away to lucky ticket-holders.

The prize desk
The prize desk

The show's grand prize - a Batman 66 Premium
The show’s grand prize – a Batman 66 Premium

Friday's grand prize - a Nintendo Switch
Friday’s grand prize – a Nintendo Switch

Saturday's grand prize - a Stellar Wars
Saturday’s grand prize – a Stellar Wars

Sunday's grand prize - a Mario Bros video
Sunday’s grand prize – a Mario Bros video

If you didn’t think you were lucky enough to win, you could always make a silent bid on a new Ghostbusters playfield, or just buy some of the show merchandise.

The silent auction item
The silent auction item

Swag available from the prize desk
Swag available from the prize desk

The first seminars of the show also took place on Friday. All the seminars were intended to be streamed live and also made available on YouTube after the show, Due to technical difficulties, they weren’t all streamed, but should all be available on the Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show’s YouTube channel.

As is usual at the show, the seminars are kicked-off by Dave Okert and David Shoemaker who this time held three technical seminars – NVRAM For Pins & Vids, Scan Line Generator For LCDs and Wizard Of Oz Pinball Troubleshooting & Repairs.

Dave Okert and David Shoemaker's The Wizard of Oz seminar
Dave Okert and David Shoemaker’s The Wizard of Oz seminar

You can watch their three seminars here:

Then at 5pm Stern Pinball game designer John Trudeau held a seminar to talk about his Ghostbusters game. He was joined by Stern’s Art Director, Greg Freres who described how the game’s artist, Jeremy Packer a.k.a. ZombieYeti, created the cabinet, playfield and backglass art packages for the three models.

John Trudeau and Greg Freres
John Trudeau and Greg Freres

John began by talking about his design ideas, things he really wanted to get into the game, the things which were taken out, and the various elements from the first and second movie incorporated into the game.

Greg then showed some initial sketch ideas for the backglass, all of which features a montage of the four Ghostbusters, but arranged in different post ions and poses. He also said how Bill Murray was not happy with the idea of a hand-drawn depiction, but was eventually brought around to the idea and Jeremy’s stylised treatment.

Early concept art for Ghostbusters
Early concept art for Ghostbusters Click to expand
(Click to expand)

After John and Greg it was time for a seminar by Tim Kitzrow.

Tim is a voice artist who has provided the commentary track for many sporting event along with arcade and console games. His pinball credits include NBA Fastbreak, World Cup Soccer, Judge Dredd, Roadshow, Twilight Zone, Attack from Mars and The Shadow.

His catchphrase is “Boom Shaka-Laka”, which he was promoting with special T-shirts and on his MrBoomShakaLaka.com website.

Tim Kitzrow
Tim Kitzrow

Here’s Tim’s seminar split into two parts:

 

Saturday

As anticipated, Saturday is the busiest day at the show. That meant most of the 192 free play pinball machines along with many of the video games were in use for most of the day, while the team of medics were fully occupied making repairs and sorting out stuck balls.

Show visitors enjoying the games
Show visitors enjoying the games

Show visitors enjoying the games
Show visitors enjoying the games

Show visitors enjoying the games
Show visitors enjoying the games

Show visitors enjoying the games
Show visitors enjoying the games

Show visitors enjoying the games
Show visitors enjoying the games

Show visitors enjoying the games
Show visitors enjoying the games

Here’s a full list of the pinballs available to play at the show.

Free Play Pinballs (192)
2001
4 Square
AC/DC Lucie
AC/DC Vault Edition
AC/DC Vault Edition
AC/DC Vault Edition
Addams Family, The
Addams Family, The
Addams Family, The
Aerosmith Premium
Aerosmith Pro
Alien Pinball
Attack from Mars Remake Special Edition
Attack from Mars Remake Special Edition
Aztec
Batman 66 Premium
Batman 66 Premium
Batman 66 Premium
Batman 66 Premium
Batman Forever
Baywatch
Big Brave
Big Hurt, Frank Thomas’s
Black Hole
Black Knight
Black Knight 2000
Black Rose
Breakshot
Buccaneer
Buckaroo
Capersville
Capt. Card
Capt. Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Captain Hook
Caveman
Centaur II
Champion Pub, The
Checkpoint
Cleopatra
Congo
Cosmic Gunfight
Countdown
Crescendo
Cross Town
Demolition Man
Dialed In!
Dialed In!
Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Dogies
Dragon
Earthshaker*
Egg Head*
Eight Ball
Evel Knievel
F-14 Tomcat
Faces
Faces
Fire!
Firepower
Firepower 2
Fish Tales
Flip a Card
Flip Flop!
Flying Carpet
Freddy: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Funhouse
Galactic Girl
Galaxy
Game of Thrones Pro
Game of Thrones Pro
Game Show, The Bally
Ghostbusters Premium
Ghostbusters Premium
Ghostbusters Premium
Golden Arrow
Grand Slam
Grand Slam
Grand Slam*
Guns N’ Roses
Guys Dolls*
Harley Davidson (Bally)
High Speed
High Speed 2: The Getaway
High Speed 2: The Getaway*
Hobbit Smaug Edition, The
Hokus Pokus
Houdini
Humpty Dumpty
Independence Day
Jack in the Box
Jacks Open
Judge Dredd
King Kool
Kiss Pro
Lady Luck
Laser War
Lethal Weapon 3
Lord of the Rings, The
Lord of the Rings, The
Lucky Hand
Lucky Strike
Magic Castle
Metallica Premium
Metallica Pro
Meteor*
Miss-O
Monster Bash
Motordome*
Mousin’ Around
Mr. & Mrs. Pac-Man
Mustang Premium
NASCAR
NBA Fastbreak
Night Rider
Nip-It
No Good Gofers
Old Chicago
Party Zone, The
Pinball Pool
Playboy (Bally)
Police Force
Police Force
Popeye Saves the Earth
Popeye Saves the Earth
Power Play, Bobby Orr
Punchy the Clown
Rescue 911
Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
Roller Disco
Rollergirlz
Safecracker
Safecracker
Scared Stiff
Seawitch
Shadow, The
Shrek
Simpsons Pinball Party, The
Sky Line
Skylab
Slick Chick
Solar Ride
Sopranos, The
Space Invaders
Space Odyssey
Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle
Speakeasy
Speakeasy
Spider-Man Vault Edition
Spin-a-Card
Spot Pool
Spring Break
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Wars (Data East)
Steampunk Royale
Stellar Wars
Striker Xtreme
Strikes and Spares
Super Mario Bros.: Mushroom World
Super Mario Bros.: Mushroom World
Sure Shot
Swords of Fury
Swords of Fury
Tales from the Crypt
Tales from the Crypt
Tales of the Arabian Nights
Tattoo Mystique
Taxi
Teacher’s Pet
Team One
Terminator 2
Terminator 2
Theatre of Magic
Tommy, The Who’s
Top Card
Truck Stop
Twilight Zone
USA Football*
Viper Night Drivin’
Volley
Whirlwind
Whirlwind
Whitewater
Whitewater
Whitewater*
Wizard of Oz Emeral City Limited Edition, The
Wizard of Oz Standard, The
World Cup Soccer
World Cup Soccer
X-Men Magneto Limited Edition

 

Pingolf Tournament Pinballs (10)
Black Hole
Capt. Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Joker Poker
Mars Trek
Mata Hari
Nitro Groundshaker
Paragon
Trident
Volley
Vulcan

 

Match Play Tournament Pinballs (16)
Congo
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
Fish Tales
Funhouse
Grand Prix
Hot Doggin’
Lord of the Rings, The
Medieval Madness
Monster Bash
NBA
Stargate
Tron
Walking Dead, The
World Cup Soccer
World Poker Tour
WWF Royal Rumble

Saturday’s seminars began at 11am with the team from American Pinball, led by Joe Balcer.

The American Pinball Team
The American Pinball Team:
Dhaval Vasani, Jolly Backer and Joe Balcer

The team was here to talk about their Houdini game which was on the show floor at the Nitro Amusements stand.

Joe did most of the talking, describing the history of the game, how it totally changed from the original concept, and how they rejected the pre-order sales model in favour of building the game first and then offering it for sale.

Joe Balcer
Joe Balcer

He said they will build the game at the American Pinball factory in Streamwood, Illinois, with playfields coming from an external company. There are, he continued, a number of options available for playfield suppliers both in the US and in Europe. Similarly, some of the game assemblies will be built and tested externally, although the two largest mechanisms will be built in-house.

Joe said they were planning for an initial production run of 1,000 machines, with the intention of ultimately getting production up to 100 machines a week.

Jolly then talked about setting up the distribution network, saying they had no intention of selling machines direct to customers, along with all the pre- and after-sales support that results.

The American Pinball Team
The American Pinball Team

Jolly also said that the 1,000 machine number quoted by Joe was only for North American sales. The company already had 12-15 distributors in the US and Canada but hadn’t yet appointed any European or Australasian distributors. However, Jolly expected an additional 1,000 machine sales from those areas.

Watch the American Pinball seminar here:

At 12:30, John Youssi took to the seminar stage.

John Youssi
John Youssi

John is a renowned artist with many pinball game credits. He is especially well-know for his many collaborations with game designer Pat Lawlor, having created the artwork for all Pat’s games since Whirlwind in 1990.

John talked specifically about their latest collaboration – the Jersey Jack Pinball game, Dialed In!. He explained how the final artwork evolved from a series of pencil sketches – many of which were not ultimately used in the game – through to black and white artwork and then to full colour, often changing along the way to better match the physical playfield toys.

John's concept drawings for 'Betty'
John’s inspirations and concept drawings for ‘Betty’ Click to expand

Concept drawings for the Q.E.D. electric guy
Concept drawings for the Q.E.D. electric guy Click to expand

He also showed the different versions of cabinet, backbox, bottom arch and backglass art used in the Collector, Limited Edition and Standard Edition of the game. John also revealed how he was responsible for the exclamation mark at the end of the Dialed In! title. He put it in and, he said, nobody asked him to remove it.

After his seminar John talked to guests and signed translites, flyers and other items he designed.

John talked to guests and signed their pinball items
John talked to guests and signed their pinball items

Here’s John’s seminar:

Then, continuing the theme of Dialed In!, Jack Guarnieri a.k.a. Jersey Jack was joined on stage by Butch Peel and David Thiel to talk about the conception and subsequent development of the game.

Jack Guarnieri
Jack Guarnieri

Jack talked about how he first got Pat Lawlor to design a game for his company, and how he was sold on the original concept of a disaster-themed game, following on from Pat’s earlier Whirlwind and Earthshaker! titles.

He showed pictures from the factory showing the first production Dialed In! games on the line.

Butch Peel and David Thiel
Butch Peel and David Thiel

Here’s the Jersey Jack Pinball seminar in full:

After a long day at the show, we took the opportunity to dive out for some lunch at a wonderful Japanese restaurant just up the street in Tacoma called The Koi.

Their happy hour began at 2pm when all shareable dishes are just $5, beers $2.50 and they have a couple of specials on sake. We especially recommend their Panko Oyster, Yummi Mini and Fancy Jalapeño. The 7 Seas Seven Ballz Deep IPA is also very tasty. They were so good this was our second consecutive lunchtime visit, having vowed to return after the first visit.

When we returned at 3.30pm, refreshed and relaxed, Mark Ritchie was just taking to the stage to talk about his life in pinball.

Mark Ritchie
Mark Ritchie

Mark described how he got into the pinball business, first at Atari and then at Williams, initially as a technician and then as a game designer starting with Thunderball which was never manufactured beyond the ten prototype games. After that, he did Firepower II – the sequel to his brother’s game – and Pennant Fever, a pitch-and-bat baseball game which was, he said, Williams’ first solid-state pitch-and-bat game.

Mark then talked through all his games in chronological order, including such classics as Big Guns – one of his collaborations with Python Anghelo – Taxi, Diner, Fish Tales and Indiana Jones.

Mark certainly didn’t rule out a return to pinball, but did confide to us that rumours of his involvement in a Pulp Fiction game being built by Stern were just that – rumours, with no truth behind them.

You can watch Mark’s seminar here:

Mark’s brother Steve Ritchie was next to take to the stage with his 5pm seminar.

Steve Ritchie
Steve Ritchie

Steve said he was recovering from some optical treatment and therefore had to avoid the kind of bright light shining through the multiple glass panels in the seminar area.

He then continued by thanking the many people at Stern Pinball who had contributed to his latest game Star Wars which is soon to be released. He said production of the Pro model would begin in about a week.

Although always diplomatic about the details, it was clear from Steve’s talk that his and Stern’s dealings with Lucasfilm on the Star Wars franchise had not been without some difficulties, especially in getting approval for their artwork ideas for the game.

Steve was then joined by Greg Freres who talked further about the artwork approval process.

Steve and Greg
Steve and Greg

Greg showed pictures of the team’s initial ideas, working through the first licensor submissions to the final approved product.

Initial cabinet art ideas
Initial cabinet art ideas Click to expand

Initial backglass art ideas
Initial backglass art ideas Click to expand

Initial playfield art ideas
Initial playfield art ideas Click to expand

After showing a promo video from Star Wars Steve described the gameplay, saying at the start of the game you can choose one of four characters – Luke, Leia, Han or R2-D2. He said they had a lot of fun despite all the grief from the licensor, although they didn’t interfere with the design of the playfield.

Steve said there are nine multiball modes in the game, and when asked how Stern Pinball were able to secure the Star Wars licence said it was simply that they offered more money than anyone else.

Steve and Greg’s talk can be seen in this video of the seminar:

Meanwhile back in the show hall, here’s a look around the show using our aerial camera.

The Stern Pinball corner
The Stern Pinball corner

The Stern Pinball corner
The Stern Pinball corner

The front of the show hall
The front of the show hall

The modern pinball area
The modern pinball area

The tournament area
The tournament area

Video games at the back of the hall
Video games at the back of the hall

The queue to play the World's Largest Space Invaders
The queue to play the World’s Largest Space Invaders

More video games
More video games and pinballs

Custom and EM pinballs
Custom and EM pinballs

More EM pinballs
More EM pinballs

Keeping the games up-and-running, the show medics' area
Keeping the games up-and-running, the show medics’ area

No show would be complete without its selection of vendors and the NWPAS didn’t disappoint here either.

Rich Bro's Pinball and Arcade
Rich Bro’s Pinball and Arcade

Rob Anthony's Pinball Classics
Rob Anthony’s Pinball Classics

Pogs, trading cards, patches, decals and more
Pogs, trading cards, patches, decals and more

Local arcade/bar Another Castle were promoting their two locations
Local arcade/bar Another Castle were promoting their two locations

Red Floor Arcade's multi-game cabinets
Red Floor Arcade’s multi-game cabinets

Starship Fantasy had their usual huge display of ramps, playfields and backglasses
Starship Fantasy had their usual huge display of ramps, playfields and backglasses

Fast Pinball were showing thei pinball controller boardsets
Fast Pinball were showing their pinball controller boardsets…

...plus a few project games
…plus a few project games

As seen earlier, Nitro Amusements had the latest games from three companies
Nitro Amusements had the latest games from three companies

Alien, Attack from Mars remake and Houdini
Alien, Attack from Mars remake and Houdini

In addition to Dialed In!, Jersey Jack Pinball had their first two titles to play
In addition to Dialed In!, Jersey Jack Pinball had their first two titles to play

Pinball Bulbs had a large stand filled with LED choices
Pinball Bulbs had a large stand filled with LED choices

There were three compact games from VPcabs
There were three compact games from VPcabs

Console game players were not forgotten either
Console game players were not forgotten either

While BuzzBuzz Games provided even more choice
While BuzzBuzz Games provided even more choice

Handheld gamers had something for them too
Handheld gamers had something for them too

Not forgetting to feed the body as well as the mind
Not forgetting to feed the body as well as the mind

Here’s our exclusive Twenty-Five Minute Tour video walk-around at the NWPAS 2017, showing you everything from the lobby, through the main hall and into the seminars.

As usual, several pinball tournaments were held at the Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show, with the largest being the Match Play tournament, entry to which cost $25. The tournaments were run by Dave Stewart and Germain Mariolle.

Trophies for the many tournaments
Trophies for the many tournaments

Amy from Congo awaits the winner of the Match Play Tournament
Amy from Congo awaits the winner of the Match Play Tournament

This had five three-hour qualifying sessions, starting at 1:30pm on Friday with the final session at 8pm on Saturday evening. Each session saw players put into 3- or 4-player groups to play a single game on a specified machine. Points were then awarded for positions, with bonus points awarded according to how large the gap was between players’ scores.

After the first game, new groups were made and a second machine played in the same way as the first. This continued until five machines had been played, when the seven players with the most points had qualified. The top qualifier received a bye through the next round, while the remaining six played in the first round of play-offs on Sunday morning. Those who didn’t qualify could try again in up to two more sessions.

Qualifying in the Match Play Tournament
Qualifying in the Match Play Tournament

Sixteen machines were used in the Match Play area. They were:

Congo
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
Fish Tales
Funhouse
Grand Prix
Hot Doggin’
Lord of the Rings, The
Medieval Madness
Monster Bash
NBA
Stargate
Tron
Walking Dead, The
World Cup Soccer
World Poker Tour
WWF Royal Rumble

Meanwhile, the Pingolf Tournament was played on ten machines on the other side of the tournament area.

Play in the Pingolf Tournament
Play in the Pingolf Tournament

Entry to this was also $25, which got you one game on each of the ten machines. Each machine had a score target to achieve using the fewest balls possible. All the machines were set to five ball play, and the number of balls used to reach the target was your score for that machine. If the target wasn’t reached with the five balls, a sliding scale gave you a score from six to ten, depending on how close you got.

The ten machines used were:

Black Hole
Capt. Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Joker Poker
Mars Trek
Mata Hari
Nitro Groundshaker
Paragon
Trident
Volley
Vulcan

The 27 players with the lowest scores qualified for the play-off round which took place at 5pm on Saturday.

The Pingolf Tournament play-offs
The Pingolf Tournament play-offs

In addition to these two, there was also a Rookie Tournament for players with an IFPA ranking of 2,000th or lower, or if they are unranked, a Women’s Championship where the top prize was a restored Ali pinball supplied by sponsors Nitro Amusements, and a Kids Tournament held on Shrek out in the lobby.

The main Match Play Tournament was the last to finish and came down to a three-way final between Eden Stamm, Jesse Mullene and Jesse Labbe.

Time is always very tight for the tournaments at the NWPAS, with the show closing at 3pm and no tournaments allowed to continue past that time. As a consequence, the final of the Match Play Tournament is played as three concurrent three-player games with players moving from machine to machine as their turn comes up.

The three machines chosen were WWF Royal Rumble, World Cup Soccer and NBA.

Eden, Jesse and Jesse in the Match Play Tournament final
Eden, Jesse and Jesse in the Match Play Tournament final

After winning on World Cup Soccer by 728,720,800 to 674,773,190 and 350,062,980, and also on NBA by 14,485,210 to 5,456,350 and 1,219,210, Eden looked unassailable with only WWF Royal Rumble to complete.

Eden on WWF Royal Rumble
Eden on WWF Royal Rumble

The shot shown above gave him the win on WWF as well, with Jesse Mullene in second place and Jesse Labbe in third. Prizes and cash awards of $1,000 for first, $700 for second and $500 for third were presented by Tournament Director, Dave Stewart.

Tournament Director Dave Stewart announces the results
Tournament Director Dave Stewart announces the results

Winner of the Match Play Tournament, Eden Stamm
Winner of the Match Play Tournament, Eden Stamm

Second place, Jesse Mullene
Second place, Jesse Mullene

Third place, Jesse Labbe
Third place, Jesse Labbe

There was also a B Division in the Match Play Tournament for the quarter-finalists who finished in 8th-21st places.

These B Division players played alongside the A Division players shown above, with their final taking place on The Walking Dead, The Lord of the Rings and Congo.

Josh Bartlett won on the first two and came second on Congo to win the final.

Dwayne Smith was second on the first two and third on Congo to tie on points with Nic Crowson who was third on the first two but won on the third, but Nic won the play-off to take second.

Winner of the B Division in the Match Play Tournament, Josh Bartlett
Winner of the B Division in the Match Play Tournament, Josh Bartlett

Second place, Nic Crowson
Second place, Nic Crowson

Third place, Dwayne Smith
Third place, Dwayne Smith

Match Play Tournament
Pos Name
1 Eden Stamm
2 Jesse Mullene
3 Jesse Labbe
4 Jordan Semrow
4 Robert Gagno
6 Chad Bruhaug
6 Raymond Davidson
8 Joshua Bartlett
9 Mika Rollin
9 Todd Rafacz
11 Chris Perlot
12 Sergey Posrednikov
13 Craig R Jones
13 Dave Grant
13 Dwayne Smith
13 Nic Crowson
17 Robbie Finnigan
17 Todd Larsen
19 Dave Stewart
20 Colin Urban
20 Sean Lind
22 Daniel Rone
22 Mathew Peterson
24 Brooke Lukens
24 Germain Mariolle
26 Alex Tada
26 Jared Baldridge
26 Xavier Marin
29 Thomas Urban
30 John Cambareri
30 Simon Stocker
32 Alan Wiley
33 Jon Salzman
34 Trevor McDonald
35 Chris Chinn
36 Brandon Tibbetts
36 William Scott Jordan
36 Zach Amador
39 Andrew McCann
39 Flash Haze
39 Kevin Birrell
39 Maka Honig
39 Mike Pantoliano
44 Bre Lloyd
44 Brooke Borcherding
44 Bryan Eastman
44 Derek Price
44 Eric Wagensonner
44 Erin Harting
44 James Daniels
44 Julie Gray
44 Lonnie Langford
44 Louise Wagensonner
44 Mark Lindbergh
44 Michael Tibbetts
44 Patrick Carlson
44 Peter Schatzer
44 Sean Shypula
44 Tracy Lindbergh
44 Travis Maisch
61 Claire Burke
61 Dwayne Collins
61 Fabian Benabente
61 Josh Bellinghausen
61 Nick Cline
61 Sam Atlas
61 Sean Leary
61 Zoe Vrabel
69 Aaron Garberding
70 Allison McClure
70 Cameron Staley
70 John Robinson WA
70 Joseph Salender
70 Justin Hugeback
70 Katie Janis
70 Lou Nemphos
70 Mike Corbett WA
70 Miles Grant
70 Sean McDonald
70 Timm Shere
81 Anthony Welters
81 Blake Hurdle
81 Dan Griffin
81 Darin Lange
81 Eric Morales
81 Greg Poverelli
81 Heather Loudon
81 Jarrett Gaddy
81 Kay Kay
81 Matt Anderson
81 Nick Pernisco
81 Ramsey Sierra
81 Rob Moller
81 Thomas Stepp
81 Tim McCool
96 Anthony McCammant
96 Cody McPike
96 Jack Slovacek
96 Jeff Anderson WA
96 Kayla Greet
96 Luke Camarda
96 Matt Galbraith
96 Matt Slater
96 Ronnie Vanwormer
96 Ryan Newstrum
96 Stephen Rakonza
107 Brandon Bras
107 Collin Topolski
107 Corbin Sheffels
107 Heather Thompson
107 James Southern
107 James Stubbington
107 Jeff Gagnon
107 Jonathan Hawthorne
107 Mike Magruder
107 Neil Kubath
107 Ryan Hess
107 Todd MacCulloch
107 Zac Petersen
120 Aviana Smith
120 Bo Kellogg
120 Brett Wolfe
120 Chelsey Oedewaldt
120 Christel Macabeo
120 Corey Roberson
120 Emmalyn Smith
120 Gilbert Sandejas
120 Jason Dowell
120 Jessica DeNardo
120 Karri Kuoppamaki
120 Nigel Colbert
120 Nycole Hyatt
120 Philip Joupperi
120 Rob Dancu
120 Tressa Points
136 Alex Bowen
136 Jaakko Kuoppamaki
136 Kylie Waibel
136 Marcus Schmick
136 Neil Oney
141 Altwin Hawksford
141 Brian Chesbrough
141 Darren Hensley
141 David Rauschenberg
141 Jeff Sawyer
141 Mike Arena
141 Rachel Helm
141 Robin Moore
141 Sara Urban
150 Matt Wolfe
150 Theresa Martin
152 Bob Klossner
152 Matt Ewan
152 Matt Golden
152 Matt Sarnoff
152 Max Stewart
152 Simon Hearsey
152 Tyler Beard
159 Alex Skinner
159 Amber Marie Simon
159 Dan Danger
159 Kathy Gagno
163 Brock Herriges
163 Jackie O’Malley
163 Michael Warfield
163 Nickie Dowell
163 Sean Morrow
168 Joe Slovacek
169 James Beard

The Rookie Tournament was played in a three-strikes-and-you’re-out format, with head-to-head matches between the 97 players who entered. This meant players continued playing in rounds of single two-player games until they had lost three games at which point they were out of the tournament.

Time constraints meant the tournament had to be drawn to a close with a bunch of players still on two strikes, two on one strike and one player undefeated.

The twelve players on two strikes were all given $20 prizes for joint fourth place, while Thomas Stepp who had no strikes yet played in a three-man final with Vincent Sperrazza and Rob Files who both had one strike.

Germain explains the rules to finalists Rob, Thomas and Vincent
Germain explains the rules to finalists Rob, Thomas and Vincent

The format for the sudden-death final on Hot Doggin’ gave just one ball to Rob and Vincent, with Thomas having two balls to play due to him having one fewer strike against him.

Thomas in the final of the Rookie Tournament
Thomas in the final of the Rookie Tournament

As it transpired, after one ball each Thomas was already in the lead and so didn’t need to play his second ball. Rob was second and Vincent third.

Winner of the Rookie Tournament, Thomas Stepp
Winner of the Rookie Tournament, Thomas Stepp

Second place, Rob Files
Second place, Rob Files

Third place, Vincent Sperrazza
Third place, Vincent Sperrazza

Rookie Tournament
Pos Name
1 Thomas Stepp
2 Rob Files
2 Vincent Sperrazza
9 Chris Wolf
9 Matt Ewan
9 Andrew Dale
9 Umboon Moore
9 Jack Slovacek
9 Ramsey Sierra
9 Aviana Smith
9 Andrew McCann
9 Claire Burke
9 Nick Pernisco
9 Allison McClure
9 Tim McCool
19 Torrey Whiting
19 Max Stewart
19 Peter Schatzer
19 Fabian Benabente
19 Maureen Hendrix
19 Stephen Rakonza
19 Heather Thompson
19 Altwin Hawksford
29 Evan Adkins
29 Sandy Magallanes
29 Chelsea Rakonza
29 Eric Einke
29 Sarah Oberender
29 Dwayne Collins
29 Philip Joupperi
29 Keith Foster
29 Angie Mortimore
29 Cody McPike
29 Rita Perez
29 Sean McDonald
43 Luke Camarda
43 Kellan Kirkland
43 Debbie Smith
43 Jamey Harting
43 Stuart McPherran
43 Derek Price
43 Will Kirkland
43 Jason Dowell
43 Paul Borth
43 Mary Weeks
43 Gilbert Sandejas
43 Michael Williams
43 Michael Blue
43 Scott Mortimore
43 Tressa Points
59 Brett Pulliam
59 Nickie Dowell
59 Cameron Lessing
59 Casey Jones
59 Blaise Ritchie
59 Brandon Mortimore
59 Tyler Dellinger
59 Jon Whiting
59 Alex Skinner
59 Cameron Staley
59 Natay Hendershot
59 Meg Griffin
59 Jake Hei
59 Theresa Martin
59 Sean Shypula
59 Neil Oney
59 Adam Kurth
76 Jeannette Marin
76 John McConnell
76 Robin Moore
76 Mike Mortimore
76 James Stubbington
76 Josh Bellinghausen
76 Joe Slovacek
76 Scott Loveless
76 Sarra Jones
76 Neil Derksen
76 Mike Witschen
76 Todd Mulvahill
76 Mike Hendershot
76 Amber Marie Simon
76 Ken Sieker
76 Sara Urban
76 Brad Smelser
76 Kelsie Sherman Hall
91 Alex Bowen
91 James Poblete
91 Bryan Eastman
91 Sarah Ledray
91 Bryn Bomar
91 Timm Shere
91 Jessica Van Wagner
91 Kim Green
91 Cindy Pealstrom
91 Anthony McCammant
91 Chelsey Oedewaldt

The final rounds of both the Women’s Tournament and the Pingolf Tournament were held on Saturday night when a prior dinner engagement prevented us being in attendance.

However, the final of the Women’s Tournament was a series of four games played by the four finalists who were Julie Gray, Alexa Philbeck, Sara Urban and Maureen Hendrix. The machines chosen were the same as the A Division of the Match Play Tournament – WWF Royal Rumble, World Cup Soccer and NBA – with the addition of Stargate.

Alexa won the first game on WWF and continued her success on both World Cup Soccer and NBA to give her an unassailable lead. Maureen was third on the first three but won on Stargate to take second place. Sara and Julie both had two second places and two fourth places but it was Sara who took third place overall with Julie fourth.

Women’s Tournament
Pos Name
1 Alexa Philbeck
2 Maureen Hendrix
3 Sara Urban
4 Julie Gray
5 Tracy Lindbergh
6 Brooke Borcherding
7 Jessica DeNardo
8 Amber Marie Simon
9 Rachel Helm
9 Chelsea Rakonza
11 Meg Griffin
11 Mika Rollin
13 Heather Loudon
14 Lauren Aquino
15 Bre Lloyd
16 Chelsey Oedewaldt
16 Louise Wagensonner
20 Allison McClure
20 Heather Willott
20 Lainey Welters
20 Robin Brown
20 Sarra Jones
23 Courtney Klossner
27 Aviana Smith
27 Cameron Herpiges
27 Christel Macabeo
27 Emily Beirne
27 Jeanna Beard
27 Kelsie Sherman Hall
27 Sandy Magallanes
32 Brooke Lukens
32 Claire Burke
32 Erin Harting
32 Tressa Points
37 Kayla Greet
37 Nycole Hyatt
37 Sarah Ledray
37 Theresa Martin
37 Zoe Vrabel
41 Heather Thompson
41 Kim Green
41 Natay Hendershot
44 Cindy Pealstrom
44 Emmalyn Smith
44 Max Stewart
44 Umboon Moore
48 Ashley Weaver
48 Katie Janis
48 Mary Lopez
51 Julia McDonald
51 Kathy Gagno
51 Nickie Dowell
51 Sarah Hager
55 Kierra McDonald
55 Rita Perez
55 Tessa Hewlett
57 Alex Bowen
57 Angie McIntyre
59 Megan Beard
60 Karla Rivers
61 Sunshine Beard

The Pingolf Tournament play-offs were contested by the top 27 qualifiers who played in nine groups of three in a three-strikes format where the player or players reaching the target with the fewest balls win, and the other player(s) receive a strike.

It took eight rounds before the final two were revealed as Lou Nemphos and Robert Gagno.

Robert had two strikes from loses on Capt. Fantastic and Volley, while Lou had one from Joker Poker. However, in round nine Robert won on Mata Hari to level the number of strikes, and repeated the feat on Vulcan to win the Pingolf Tournament.

Zoe Vrabel was third, with Joshua Bartlett and Thomas Urban tied for fourth.

Pingolf Tournament
1 Robert Gagno
2 Lou Nemphos
3 Zoe Vrabel
4 Joshua Bartlett
4 Thomas Urban
6 Chris Chinn
6 Matt Sarnoff
6 Todd Rafacz
6 Jeffrey Neumann
10 Tracy Lindbergh
10 jesse labbe
10 Raymond Davidson
10 Dave Stewart
10 Colin Urban
15 Pat Patton
15 Sam Atlas
15 Peter Schatzer
15 Sergey Posrednikov
15 Kathy Gagno
20 Derek Price
20 Andrew Nunes
20 Zac Petersen
20 Eric Wagensonner
20 Maureen Hendrix
25 Jack Slovacek
25 Matt Anderson
25 Kevin Birrell
25 James Southern
29 Bryan Eastman
30 Casey Jones
31 Lonnie Langford
32 Erin Harting
33 Germain Mariolle
34 Matt Bollinger
35 Julie Gray
36 Joseph Salender
37 Mathew Peterson
38 Patrick Carlson
39 Todd Macculloch
40 Stephen Rakonza
41 Eden Stamm
42 Kayla Greet
43 Jarrett Gaddy
44 Chris Perlot
45 Blake Hurdle
46 Nigel Colbert
47 Kelsie Sherman Hall
48 Gilbert Sandejas
49 Mark Lindbergh
50 Maka Honig
51 Aaron Garberding
52 Todd Larsen
53 Dave Grant
54 Michael B Bailey
55 Jamey Harting
56 Jonathan Hawthorne
57 Anthony Welters
58 Miles Grant
59 Craig R Jones
60 Dwayne Smith
61 Sean Shypula
62 Alan Wiley
63 Rob Dancu
64 John McConnell
65 Altwin Hawksford
66 John Robinson
67 Jessica Denardo
68 James Daniels
69 Nina Ricciardi
70 Philip Joupperi
71 Daniel Rone
72 Sean Lind
73 Collin Topolski
74 Matt Ewan
75 Zach Amador
76 Heather Loudon
77 Amanda Kotchon
78 Darin Lange
79 James Stubbington
80 Theresa Martin
81 Katie Janis
82 Jordan Semrow
83 Karri Kuoppamaki
84 Jared Baldridge
85 Christel Macabeo
86 Ryan Hess
87 Greg Harting
88 Rob Moller
89 Simon Hearsey
90 Josh Bellinghausen
91 Geoff Simons
92 Aviana Smith
93 David Rauschenberg
94 Trevor McDonald
95 Darren Ensley
96 Matt Golden
97 Jeff Sawyer
98 Luke Camarda
99 Mike Pantoliano
100 Nick Cline
101 Alex Skinner
102 Chris Wolf
103 Brooke Borcherding
104 Greg Poverelli
105 Lainey Welters
106 Fabian Benabente
107 Neil Kubath
108 William Scott Jordan
109 Claire Burke
110 Meg Griffin
111 Eric Morales
112 Jacob Wallraff
113 Mike Corbett WA
114 Cameron Staley
115 Louise Wagensonner
116 Daniel Campbell
117 Matt Wolfe
118 Cody McPike
119 Lauren Aquino
120 Andrew Dale
121 Chad Bruhaug
122 Jim Gray
123 Timm Shere
124 Alex Tada
125 Sean Mcdonald
126 Mike Witschen
127 Jesse Mullene
128 Marcus Schmick
129 Nick Pernisco
130 Michael Warfield
131 Brooke Lukens
132 Ron Goltz
133 Robbie Finnigan
134 Emmalyn Smith
135 Rita Perez
136 Jason Dowell
137 Brian Chesbrough
138 Sara Urban
139 Alex Bowen
140 Brock Herriges
141 Dan Griffin
142 Bob Klossner
143 Bruce Reed
144 Morihiro Ryu
145 Jaakko Kuoppamaki
146 Chelsea Rakonza
147 Joe Slovacek
148 Neil Oney
149 Anthony Mccammant
150 Corbin Sheffels
151 Michael Tibbetts
152 Tressa Points
153 Stephen Battey
154 Jeff Anderson WA
155 Tyler Dellinger
156 Cameron Herriges
157 Jackie O’Malley
158 Karla Rivers
159 Umboon Moore

You can see all the results from the tournaments as well as a break-down of the individual rounds on the NWPAS tournaments website.

Although the show continues until 3pm on Sunday, around 1pm the official end-of-show ceremony is held in the seminars area out in the lobby. It is presented by President of the board of the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show, Byron Raynes.

Byron Raynes hosts the end-of-show ceremony on Sunday afternoon
Byron Raynes hosts the end-of-show ceremony on Sunday afternoon

Events began with the presentation of prizes and the main trophy to the top players in the Kids Tournament which was held on the Shrek machine. In third place was JJ who was third in 2016 as well. Second place went to Katarina who wasn’t at the presentation, while the winner was Jack.

Winner of the Kids Tournament, Jack
Winner of the Kids Tournament, Jack

Third place, JJ
Third place, JJ

All three won some cool prizes including solar-powered robot kits.

Next came the announcements of monetary awards to good causes supported by the show. To help with this, Byron was joined by other members of the NWPAS board.

Members of the NWPAS board: Chris Walsh, Dave Okert, Toby Udman, Mike Lorrain & Lou Perazzoli
Members of the NWPAS board:
Chris Walsh, Dave Okert, Toby Udman, Mike Lorrain & Lou Perazzoli

The NWPAS is a nonprofit, so all proceeds go to good causes. The first of these is the Make-A-Wish Foundation, to which the money raised from the silent raffle of a Ghostbusters playfield and other merchandise sales was donated.

Then a cheque for $500 was presented to the Pinball Outreach Project to aid their work teaching children the history and excitement of pinball by bringing pinball machines to children’s hospitals as well as setting up summer camps and creating their own family-friendly arcade in Portland.

A $500 donation to the Pinball Outreach Project
A $500 donation to the Pinball Outreach Project

The next donation went to the Beads of Courage organisation. This is a programme where children with serious illnesses can mark milestones in their treatment and recovery through the collecting of special beads. There are numerous different types of beads and collecting them not only shows the many stages each child has undergone, but gives them goals and provides a way for others to give them support.

A $500 donation to Beads of Courage
A $500 donation to Beads of Courage

The final presentation was the NWPAS scholarship award which goes to support the further education of a selected individual in their pinball or gaming-related studies.

This year’s winner of the $5,000 scholarship was Rawuda Jemal.

NWPAS 2017 scholarship recipient, Rawuda Jemal
NWPAS 2017 scholarship recipient, Rawuda Jemal

Rawuda was joined by Michella who was an earlier recipient of the scholarship and who spoke about how the money was used to help in her studies through college.

Rawuda and Michella
Rawuda and Michella

Rawuda collects her $5,000 scholarship cheque
Rawuda collects her $5,000 scholarship cheque

Finally, the draws took place for the Sunday raffle prize of the Mario Bros. arcade cabinet, and the grand prize raffle for the Batman 66 pinball.

The Mario Bros. game was drawn first.

The winning ticket for the video game is drawn
The winning ticket for the video game is drawn

The lucky winner claims their prize
The lucky winner claims their prize

Then the draw for the Batman 66 Premium pinball was made. This raffle ran through the three days of the show with tickets costing $20 each.

The draw for the winner of the Batman 66 game
The draw for the winner of the Batman 66 game

The winner was show volunteer Richard Godwin who thanked the drawer of his ticket.

Winner of the Batman 66 prize draw, Richard Godwin
Winner of the Batman 66 prize draw, Richard Godwin

And with that we bring our coverage from the Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show 2017 to a close. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed being there and reporting on the events in Tacoma.

There’s a huge team of volunteers who make the show happen, from the early planning stages, through to the unloading crews, the medics, the registration, raffle and information desk staff, the seminar crew and the tournaments team. That’s before we get to the machine bringers, parts and machine vendors, the seminar speakers and the sponsors. The nonprofit nature of the show, and the fact it supports a number of worthy causes adds a extra feel-good factor to events.

The NWPAS is now firmly established as one of the big shows in the pinball calendar, with a great selection of machines and seminar speakers while winning and keeping the support of the many pinball businesses, collectors and fans in the Pacific northwest.

This was the tenth NWPAS. We’ll already making plans to be at number eleven.

STAR WARS ANNOUNCED

The Premium/Limited Edition playfield

Stern Pinball today released detailed pictures of their upcoming Star Wars pinball, together with a press release giving more details.

Let’s start with the art packages on the three different models.

The Pro features the most complete set of characters and ships from the three movies.

The Pro cabinet
The Pro cabinet
The Pro cabinet
The Pro cabinet

The Premium edition’s artwork is all about the Empire’s characters, space ships and attack craft.

The Premium cabinet
The Premium cabinet
The Premium cabinet
The Premium cabinet

The Limited Edition’s backglass shows the moment the Millennium Falcon jumps into hyperspace, while the rebels’ characters and ships make up the cabinet and backbox art.

The Limited Edition cabinet
The Limited Edition cabinet
The Limited Edition cabinet
The Limited Edition cabinet

On the playfield, the artwork is very similar on the Pro and Premium/LE variants.

The Pro playfield
The Pro playfield
The Premium/Limited Edition playfield
The Premium/Limited Edition playfield

Here’s a side-by-side comparison. As with all the pictures here, you can click for a much larger version.

The Pro on the left, the Premium & Limited Edition on the right
The Pro on the left, the Premium & Limited Edition on the right

Here’s what Stern Pinball had to say about their new title:

Stern Pinball Announces New Star Wars Pinball Machines

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL – June 6, 2017 – Stern Pinball, Inc., the world’s oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball machines, proudly announced today the availability of a new line of pinball machines celebrating the Star Wars 40th Anniversary.

Star Wars Pinball machines will be available in Pro, Premium and Limited Edition models. The game will immerse players in the dynamic and challenging Star Wars pinball environment as they battle to restore justice to the Galaxy.
Stern’s Star Wars Pro, Premium and Limited Edition machines are packed with features that provide an irresistible game experience.

The game includes select speech and footage from the original Star Wars trilogy; color-changing LED-lighted inserts; a sculpted LED-lit Millennium Falcon; and a sculpted TIE Fighter.

The Limited Edition and Premium models also feature two LCD screens, an exploding Death Star interactive display, and a hyperspace ramp.

“We are excited to bring these pinball machines celebrating the Star Wars galaxy and adventures to our fans,” said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO of Stern Pinball. “Our Star Wars Pinball machines give fans a fun, new way to enjoy the nonstop action and new game sounds, features and effects.”

In addition to the immersive theme and exciting game experience, Stern Pinball’s SPIKE-2 electronic platform enables high-definition graphics and innovative animations. The state-of-art electronic system also powers a high-fidelity 3-channel audio system that is three times more powerful than audio systems of previous generations.

Star Wars Pinball entertains with an amazing array of modern and classic features, making it suitable for all skill levels.


Pricing and Availability:

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: MSRP for sales to USA end-users, before any VAT, GST, Sales Tax, Duties, or other taxes

Pro Model: $US 6,199
Premium Model: $US 7,899
Limited Edition Model: $US 8,999

Star Wars Pinball is available through authorized Stern Pinball distributors and dealers around the world.


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 Pinball’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 Aerosmith, Batman, Ghostbusters, Game of Thrones, WWE WrestleMania, The Walking Dead, Mustang, Star Trek, Metallica, XMen,
AC/DC, Tron, Transformers, Avatar, and many more!

All of Stern Pinball’s games are crafted by hand and assembled by Stern Pinball’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: www.sternpinball.com or
www.facebook.com/sternpinball

STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

We’ll have much more about the new Star Wars Pinball game very soon here at Pinball News.

ANDREW HEIGHWAY STEPS DOWN FROM HEIGHWAY PINBALL

Andrew Heighway of Heighway Pinball

Almost five years since first announcing his plans to set up a pinball manufacturing business, Andrew Heighway is to stand down from leadership of the company he established.

The Heighway Pinball logo
The Heighway Pinball logo

Heighway Pinball was an established business operating and trading pinball machines before Andrew took the decision to tackle the lack of choice for operators looking for an attractive, affordable and full-featured game to place on location.

Andrew Heighway when he announced his plans
Andrew Heighway when he announced his plans

Pinball News broke the news in July 2012 of his plans to set up a pinball manufacturing business, but as with Magic Girl and Capt. Nemo, five years seems to be the make-or-break point for new pinball ventures. 2017 saw all the Capt. Nemo machines delivered and some semblance of a Magic Girl manufactured and made available to original buyers. Five years is also the point where Heighway Pinball sees a change of leadership.

In those five years, Andrew built up a manufacturing facility in Merthyr Tydfill in South Wales and built the 250 Bacardi Baffle Ball games to a very tight timescale.

The original Heighway Pinball factory in Merthyr Tydfill
The original Heighway Pinball factory in Merthyr Tydfill

The Bacardi Baffle Ball games
The Bacardi Baffle Ball games

He also announced the Circe’s Animal House game, re-themed it to Full Throttle after taking on board potential buyers’ feedback, and built the game – the first production pinball with both a playfield and backbox LCD.

Full Throttle
Full Throttle

From the start, the focus was on keeping manufacturing costs low. Development grants and other commercial assistance allowed Heighway Pinball to set up and kit out the factory using a mix of manufacturing kit bought at auctions and ex-demonstration devices.

The first Heighway Pinball factory
The first Heighway Pinball factory

Pretty soon the company outgrew its original premises and moved across the street to a pair of units which, while providing much more space, ultimately proved too large and costly.

In a quest for a manufacturing home which was large enough but not too large, had more modern facilities and provided an attractive relocation package, the company moved from Merthyr Tydfil to its current home on an industrial estate in Ebbw Vale.

The current Heighway Pinball factory
The current Heighway Pinball factory

While Full Throttle was highly-regarded by those who bought or played it, sales were modest. What really excited buyers was the company’s second full title and their first licensed theme, Alien Pinball.

However, pinball manufacturing – especially in the early years – need to be a lean business. With minimal income from sales of the initial title, much of the development and building – both of the company and the machines – for the second and future titles needs to be done on a shoestring, helped along by favours and promises.

But that goodwill and the assorted start-up discounts can only go so far, and so in order to keep the business running, paying wages and paying suppliers for parts, a number of investors were brought in. Five major investors and several smaller ones provided financing to Heighway Pinball, following Andrew to pinball shows in Europe and the US to see how the company and its products were received.

All the investors were owners of other companies with a love of pinball who saw, in Heighway Pinball, the opportunity to help the company and the market grow by producing high-quality full-featured games of a kind not currently available.

However, despite the number of investors with a stake in the business, the running of the company stayed with Andrew.

We’ve covered why ‘Making Pinball is Hard‘ before, but besides being hard it is also costly. Delays in receiving parts of an acceptable quality, asset clearance from licensors and training staff all lead to increased costs, and with minimal sales of existing products, manufacturers can be excused for relying on pre-order money to finance ongoing development.

When extended delays means all that pre-order money is used up, there nothing left in the bank to buy the parts needed to actually build the games. Without those up-front funds, parts have to be bought in small quantities, and buying parts by the dozen costs significantly more per unit than buying them by the thousand, pushing up costs further.

The frustration of being unable to produce the game wanted in the quantities needed also leads to increased stress taking its toll throughout the business, and especially on the guy in charge.

It’s a downward spiral which can only really be escaped with another large injection of capital to build the games on a grander scale at reduced cost, and bring in many more sales.

There’s no doubt Alien Pinball is an excellent game, with an appealing layout, art, sounds and display effects, with the potential to sell by the thousand, if only they could be built by the thousand.

Andrew Heighway with Full Throttle and Alien
Andrew Heighway with Full Throttle and Alien

The investors can see that potential and have agreed to make another sizeable injection of capital into the company. The big caveat, though, is that they want to use their combined business skills to run the company their way, not Andrew’s way.

Pinball News has spoken to some of the major investors in Heighway Pinball and it is clear they see a bright future for the company, but believe it needs a kick-start with new management at the helm to push production forward, resolve outstanding issues with the games, rebuild relationships with suppliers and distributors, and deliver games at a much-increased rate.

So, Andrew has agreed to stand down from running the business which bears his name and which he founded back in 2012. While exact terms are still being ironed-out and he may do some consultancy work for the firm, the major investors have been working together use their combined business experience and skills to push Heighway Pinball forward.

Looking ahead, the future of Alien Pinball and the next few titles in the Heighway Pinball pipeline look far more assured. In the short term one of the major investors is likely to spearhead the changes, but the search is on for a new leader to push ahead with product development, promote the company and its products, and be the public face of Heighway Pinball.

For pre-orderers of Alien Pinball and anyone looking to buy one the message is clear – expect some rapid movement over next few weeks to ramp up production and deliver fully-functioning games. Parts orders are going in now, existing bottlenecks are being overcome, and there is a concerted effort to not just throw more money into the company, but utilise all available skills to accelerate the company’s growth.

Meanwhile, the company continues without the man whose passion for pinball was the driving force behind the establishment of Heighway Pinball as a manufacturer and who put his heart and soul into creating hugely playable games which could bring operators back to a game they may have previously written-off.


UPDATE:

Just under two weeks after we published the report above, Andrew made this posting to Facebook.

Just over five years have passed since I started Heighway Pinball Limited in my home garage. Now, the company has grown to be a multinational business with customers spread throughout the globe.

The company has faced many challenges along the way, which has culminated in our first game, Full Throttle, and our current game, Alien Pinball. I always strived to create a modern and relevant quality pinball product, with many exciting new ideas. I believe that we have fulfilled many of the goals I set for this company.

I am extremely proud of the games that we have produced. In particular, Alien Pinball is the result of tireless work, over the last three years, from a team comprising of some of the most talented and passionate pinball people I could have ever have hoped to assemble. ‘Alien’ is personally my favourite movie of all time, closely followed by ‘Aliens’. I could not be happier with the finished product and how it represents both movies.

The time has come for a change at Heighway Pinball. Substantial monies are being pumped immediately into this company by our existing investors to drive this company forward to producing hundreds of games every month within the coming months. These investors have not been actively involved in the running of the business up to this point but they bring a huge amount of pinball experience to the operating of this company. They are also very successful businessmen in their own rights. Their passion for pinball, business acumen and love of the company’s products will drive this company forwards. There are a lot of expectant customers out there who want delivery of this epic game as quickly as possible – and this is a commitment this company will now strive to deliver as soon as is possible.

As of now, I have now left Heighway Pinball and am no longer involved in any way with the company. A new management structure is already in place at the company, that is committed to delivering games to all of its customers and building the company up into becoming an important market player within the coming years. The company is being left in good hands, with the investors bringing a wealth of pinball experience into this company and everyone is committed to delivering customer games as quickly as possible.

I have not left pinball permanently – but am taking a break away from it as fresh finances and ideas drive the company forwards. I will likely still be seen at pinball/trade shows and look forward to meeting many of you again in the future.

I will no longer be contactable at andrew@heighwaypinball.com and I will not be posting here, any other pinball forums, on Facebook or on Twitter as ‘Heighway Pinball’ from now onwards.

I have met some amazing people over the last five years and would like to thank all of my customers, staff, contractors, investors, distributers and suppliers – who have shared my dream and supported myself and this company over the years. I step away from Heighway Pinball at an exciting time for the company and wish all those associated with the company all of the best for the future.

Andrew Heighway
Former CEO/Managing Director – Heighway Pinball

WELCOME TO THE NEW LOOK PINBALL NEWS

Hello, and welcome to this new look Pinball News.

Since it was founded at the end of 1999, the design of the Pinball News site has been largely unchanged.  However, in the nearly eighteen years since, a lot has changed in web technology, browser performance, internet availability and reader expectations.

The old Pinball News website
The old Pinball News website

The website has remained largely static HTML pages all that time which has made it very fast to load and easy to add to – both new articles and new layouts – but with nearly 2,000 web pages and 30,000 images it has become rather unweildy to manage by hand.  In addition, with more readers using mobile devices to view the site, a more responsive layout which adapts to the display size, shape and resolution was needed.  It has also become difficult to add new features without going back and modifying all those old pages.

While there are several technologies available to help with these problems, we settled on the WordPress platform.  It’s a very common system so there are lots of nice themes and useful plug-ins available to add things like calendars, response forms, article comments, user ratings and content management.  It’s also free to use with our existing web host, so we could set everything up in parallel with the previous site and port things across.

That said, with so many articles which have to be remade in the new layout it’s not going to be a quick transition, so please bear with us as we move more and more over.  We’ll keep the old site live until every last article has been converted to make sure you don’t lose anything, although once this new site is fully functional we will only add new articles to this new site.  But those new articles will feature bigger, sharper pictures and videos with more little helpers to navigate the site.

The new Pinball News website
The new Pinball News website

We have listed some of the new features below in more detail if you’d like to find out more about them.

We hope you like the new look. 

We’ve tried to keep the key features which made Pinball News attractive – a clean and spacious look, no annoying adverts or pop-ups, and a focus on the content rather than the delivery method – while adding some nice new features such as the next Diary events right there on the front page along with a much improved search facility, a way to send us a message and the abilty to comment on every page.  We have a number of new tricks up our sleeves too, including high-resolution photo and video galleries to help us tell the stories in a better and more entertaining way.

We’re still Pinball News, we’re still First and Free, and now we can give you a bigger and better Pinball News experience.

 

NEW FEATURES IN MORE DETAILS

This section will look at some of the new ways to interact with the Pinball News site.  The examples are from the desktop version, but many also apply to the mobile version of the site.

Let’s start with the basics.


FRONT PAGE

To get back to the front page at any time, click the Pinball News logo at the top of each page.

Pinball News

If you have scrolled down a page so that the logo is no longer visible, a small blue arrow will appear in the bottom right corner to take you staight back to the top.

Back to the top arrow

Below the logo is the menu bar.

New website menu bar

This is your direct access to each category of article.  Some (such as NEWS, SHOWS and GAMES) have multiple articles – indicated by a small arrow to the right – while others (such as DIARY, DIRECTORY and LINKS)  just go to a single page of information.

The menu category names should be self-explanatory and follow those found on the old Pinball News site.

If you hover your pointer over one of the categories with an arrow, a preview of the five most recent reports in that category pops up, allowing you quick access to these.

New website menu previews

You can click on any of the five previews to go to that report, or if you then click on the category name you go to a full page of report previews.

Incidentally, all categories are colour-coded.  Shows are blue, News is red, Sites is green and so on.  Various elements on the page recolour depending on the current category.

Below the menu, the page splits in two.

The left two-thirds shows details of the ten newest articles on the site in all categories. To explore older articles, there are buttons at the bottom to go through further sets of ten articles.

Front page extra pages

The right third of the page contains the sidebar.  This appears on almost every page and contains a number of useful gadgets.

New website sidebar

At the top of the sidebar is a miniature version of the Diary, showing the next few upcoming pinball events.  You can hover over any for a pop-up preview of the event, click on any for more details, or there is a link to go directly to the Diary page where you can see all upcoming events.

Below the Diary preview is a list of the five most recent articles on the Pinball News site so you can catch up on them without having to go back to the front page each time.

Then comes a sign-up box for the Update newsletters, followed by a search box and a contact form where you can easily send us a quick message.

 

ARTICLE PAGES

Most pages feature a representative image at the top over which the title is printed.  Apart from the title, there are also some useful links, such as a so-called ‘Breadcrumb Trail’ which shows you where in the website this article lives and allows you to click on any level to go straight there, details about who wrote it and when it was published with links to the author’s biography, and an approximate guide to how long it will take to read.

Top image details

Next to those are buttons and counters for comments on this article, a button the like this article along with the current number of likes, and the number of times it has been viewed.

As you start reading an article and scroll down, the menu bar will ‘float’ up to the top of the page and remain there.  Incidentally, as you read through an article, a thin progress bar appears at the very bottom of the page so you can see how much more is left to read.

There are more interesting controls at the bottom of each article.

Clicking on any of the Tags shows articles sharing the same tags.

You can share the current article directly on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest with their dedicated buttons.

There are links to the previous and next articles, by publication date and time.

Articles with some related elements such as tags are shown next, along with a preview image.

Finally, you can comment on any article by clicking the button, typing your message and submitting it.

There are tons more new features – we could write pages about just the new Diary, for instance – but we’ve covered the basic ways to navigate the Pinball News site. 

Feel free to try it out, hover over or click things and see what happens.

After all, that’s what we do. 🙂

STAR WARS REVEALED

Star Wars by Stern Pinball

The fact that Steve Ritchie’s next game would be Star Wars had been pretty well-known
for several months, but an official announcement wasn’t expected until June 4th, 2017.

Today though (May 31st), The Star Wars Show let the cat out of the bag with details and pictures of the new game.

As expected, there are the usual three variants – Pro, Premium and Limited Edition, with different art packages for all three. The Pro shows all the characters, while the Premium focuses on the Empire’s forces, and the LE features the rebels.

The Pro edition
The Pro edition

The Premium edition
The Premium edition

The Limited Edition
The Limited Edition

Onto the playfield, and the Pro is lacking a number of features found on the higher models. Here’s the full-featured Premium/LE playfield.

The Premium/LE playfield
The Premium/LE playfield

Balls are locked in the Death Star which breaks open to release them for multiball. A wireform loops around in front of the flippers to provide some additional entertainment when balls are locked or released, while the ball is initially plunged across the playfield at the F-O-R-C-E targets.

There appear to be four sets of three modes, each set represented by a colour and a playfield shot – Hoth (blue, centre lane), Death Star (purple, left lane), Tatooine (red, right scoop) and Endor (green, left ramp).

The Pro playfield
The Pro playfield

The Death Star here appears to be a static toy, with plastic instead of metal ramps, no upper level to the right ramp, no loop-around wireform and no Millennium Falcon toy. The playfield art is very similar though, and all models feature a miniature LCD screen above the Tie-Fighter target bank and back panel artwork.

Stern Pinball will no doubt produce an official press release over the next day or so to bring us full details and prices, and Pinball News will bring you all that information just as soon as it’s available.

TMAP 2017

Classics machines at TMAP 2017

We haven’t visit Madrid for a pinball tournament since Spain held the European Pinball Championship there back in 2012. This time we were attending the Torneo Madrileño de Pinballs, better known as TMAP.

The venue for the two-day event was a nondescript building in an industrial area on the southern side of the city which is the permanent home to the private Millonaria pinball club.

For those not familiar with the Millonaria location there was no signage to indicate any pinball presence resides here, let alone the fact that it is the home of a major Spanish tournament.

The unexecptional building on Camino de Hormigueras
The unexceptional building on Camino de Hormigueras

However, if you enter the building through the unlocked third door, take the lift up five floors and follow the sounds of flippers flipping, you come across the tournament registration desk.

The tournament registration desk
The tournament registration desk

Playing in the two tournaments – modern and classics – cost €60 per person. Players could also opt to take an organised lunch held in another part of the building for an additional €20. Those who took the lunch received green wristbands, while those who made their own arrangements wore an orange wristband. As you can see, with no catering facilities nearby, the vast majority decided to have lunch at the venue.

The list of players with their lunch choices
The list of players with their lunch choices

Upon registration, players received an orange shoulder bag, two score sheets (one for the modern tournament and one for the classics), a pen and a wipe cloth.

The two score sheets and pen
The two score sheets and pen

Alongside the registration desk, the lobby also provided a seating area and there was a vendor with a selection of pinball LEDs and other generic parts.

Pinball parts for sale
Pinball parts for sale

From the lobby, a short corridor led past a group of upright video games into the games room, where the eighty-nine machines were arranged in four long rows of around twenty-two machines each.

Video games on the way to the pinballs
Video games on the way to the pinballs

More classic videos
More classic videos

The first two rows of machines
The first two rows of machines

The second two rows
The second two rows

The classics machines were arranged back-to-back down the centre of the room, while the modern pinballs backed against the walls. The rear of the room was open to a multi-storey car park which provided access for loading or unloading machines and gave a small seating area for relaxation between games.

The back of the room
The back of the room

To help with the relaxation, there was a bar selling soft and alcoholic drinks along with some snacks. Beers were only €1 and gin & tonics €3, both of which were very well received.

The bar menu
The bar menu

The classics machines were largely composed of Spanish games, making an unusual selection of rarely-seen titles for the non-Spanish players attending.

Black & Reed, Big Horse and Poker Plus
Black & Reed, Big Horse and Poker Plus

Mr Evil, Centaur and Full
Mr Evil, Centaur and Full

Here’s a full list of the machines.

300
30’s, The
Addams Family, The
Aerosmith Pro
Avengers Pro
Back to the Future
Big Horse
Black & Reed
Bumper
Cabaret
Canasta ’86
Canasta ’86
Centaur (Bally)
Centaur (Inder)
Chamonix
Champion Pub, The
Cherokis
Class of 1812
Corvette
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Criterium 75
Dardos
Demolition Man
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
Dragon
Elvis
Fairy
Family Guy
Fans
Fantastic World
Fiery 30’s, The
Flintstones, The
Full
Funhouse
Getaway, The: High Speed 2
Ghostbusters LE
Grand Prix
Guns N’ Roses
Incredible Hulk, The
Indiana Jones (WMS)
Indianapolis 500
Jacks Open
Jake Mate
Jalisco
Johnny Mnemonic
Judge Dredd
Jurassic Park
Kiss
Kiss Premium
Luck Smile
Master Stroke
Metallica Pro
Mississippi
Mr Evil
NBA Fastbreak
NBA Fastbreak
Nemesis
No Good Gofers,
Pirates of the Caribbean
Poker Plus
Popeye
Pro Football
Revenge from Mars
Roadshow
Rolling Stones, The
Running Horse
Scared Stiff
Sea Scare
Seven Winner
Shamrock
Skyjump
Spider-Man VE
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Wars Episode 1
Stargate
Striker Xtreme
Stripping Funny
Super Bowl
Tales from the Crypt
Terminator 3
Theatre of Magic
Twilight Zone
Underwater
Up Away
Whitewater
World Cup Soccer
World Cup Soccer
X-Men Magneto LE

At the front of the room was the tournament desk where results were entered into the computer system, while a large poster showed the player groups, machines to be played and the results.

The matches in the main and classics tournaments
The matches in the modern and classics tournaments

Both tournaments worked in the same way; only the machines used and how they were played changed between the two.

Trophies for the classics tournament
Trophies for the classics tournament

Modern tournament trophies
Modern tournament trophies

Players were divided into three groups – A, B & C. In each group, everyone played three- or four-player games across nine rounds, so everyone got to play everyone else in their group. Machines were allocated in a semi-random way – keeping each group to a fixed selection of machines – which meant players would often get to play the same machine twice (or more).

In each match, points were awarded depending on finishing position, with 3 points for first, 2 points for second, 1 point for third and 0 points for last place. That meant a maximum of 27 points were available if all games were won.

The classics tournament was played first.

The classic tournament begins
The classics tournament begins

Because many of these machines were single player only, each player in a match played their game in isolation, recording their score on paper and working out the points after the last player in the match finished their game.

Play in the classics tournament
Play in the classics tournament

The points were then recorded on the poster.

Recording points in the classics tournament
Recording points in the classics tournament

When all the matches in a round were over, a call went out on the PA to start the next round while the previous round’s results were entered into the computer. The current standings were shown on a monitor.

Current standings
Current standings

The eight players with the most points in each group qualified for the play-offs on Sunday morning. The first four received a bye through the first round (12 players), while the next four would have to battle it out in four three-player games with only the winner moving on (4 players).

Players check their position
Players check their position

The classics tournament qualification ended around 12:30pm, with the first rounds of the modern tournament starting immediately.

Lunch was scheduled for 2pm, so there was just time for a couple of rounds of qualifying before the break.

Unlike the classics, all modern tournament matches were played as regular four-player games.

Lunch is a big deal in Spanish pinball tournaments and two hours are usually allocated to enjoy it. Those who had signed up for the organised meal went down to the entrance and across to the unit next door for the catered meal, complete with drinks.

We opted to enjoy the hot sunny weather and headed to the nearby town of Vallecas for a leaisurely lunch at a cafe with street-side tables. A nice iced Estrella beer rounded off the meal of bocadillos filled with anchovies and tortilla, alongside other assorted nibbles.

Play didn’t resume until 4:45, when the remaining seven rounds of the modern tournament qualifying took place. Each round took approximately 30 minutes, so everything wrapped up around 8pm.

Players relaxing after completing their games
Players relaxing after completing their games

We were staying at a nearby Ibis Budget hotel which while cheap (€37 a night), modern and a few minutes’ walk to the venue, was basic and not in a great area. So, we made a quick trip back to freshen up before setting off for the centre of Madrid courtesy of Alejandro Yepes Piedra, who had invited us to take part in the tournament and took care of us all weekend.

Central Madrid on a Saturday night is amazingly packed with people. The bars and restaurants are crowded. The streets are crowded. The subway is crowded. It’s like rush hour, every hour.

But it’s also vibrant, exciting and enjoyable. We grabbed a big dish of paella, a couple of jugs of sangria, and headed for Plaza Mayor to explore the city.

Sunday’s action began at 9am for those who finished in positions 5th-8th in their group. The top four skipped this round and so could turn up later, making sure they didn’t arrive too late.

The Pinball News crew were back bright and early on Sunday morning
The Pinball News crew were back bright and early on Sunday morning

The modern tournament
The modern tournament

Both classics and modern tournaments again followed the same format. Four groups were made, and three three-player games played with points awarded. Only the player with the most points joined the next stage, so it was a tough round to survive.

As well as the modern and classics tournament, there were several side competitions set up on machines at the back of the room.

Play in the side competitions
Play in the side competitions

The pairs competition held on Guns N’ Roses had each player play one ball and then play the third ball in split-flipper mode.

Players in the pairs competition
Players in the pairs competition

The blind pinball competition has a paper shield over the flippers of an Indiana Jones machine. The player with the highest score won. Meanwhile there was a one-ball competition run on Avengers.

The remaining play-offs all consisted of four-player groups playing three games per round, with 9-6-3-1 scoring – a system which seemed inherently likely to produce ties. The top two players in each group progressed to the next round, reducing the initial sixteen players to eight and then to a final four who would compete for the top four places.

The classics final took place first and it was a sudden-death single five-ball game played on Master Stroke. The four finalists were Rafitas, Alexxx, Inderman and Cisco120 (everyone uses nicknames in Spain).

The four classics tournament finalists
The four classics tournament finalists:
Inderman, Rafitas, Cisco120 & Alexxx

Alexxx played first on this single-player game.

Alexxx starts the final in the classics tournament
Alexxx starts the final in the classics tournament

Hi score of 600.600 set the target for the rest to attack.

Rafitas played next but fell short with 518,100. Inderman was third to play and his total just beat Alexxx, scoring 633,300 to lead the field.

Cisco120 was the last to play.

Cisco120 plays the last game in the four-player final
Cisco120 plays the last game in the four-player final

He sailed past Inderman’s score on his third ball, ending his game when his score reached 657,900.

So, Cisco120 won, Inderman was second, ALexxx third and Rafitas fourth.

Winner of the classics tournament, Cisco120
Winner of the classics tournament, Cisco120

Second place, Inderman
Second place, Inderman

Third place, Alexxx with his fiancee
Third place, Alexxx with his fiancee

Fourth place, Rafitas
Fourth place, Rafitas

The top four in the classics tournament
The top four in the classics tournament

The full results of the classics tournament are:

Classics Tournament Results
Pos Name
1 Cisco120
2 Inderman
3 Álexxx
4 rafitas
5 BonelessChicken
5 Santy
7 Ángel
7 DINO
9 Quercus
9 PinballBCN
9 Cga pozuelo
9 Mainwaring
13 Baptur
13 ROMEO
13 Rayo
13 Julio
17 Pochoguerrero
17 Rafa
17 shaolins
17 DAN
21 IKE1
21 Mirloblan
21 NBSJOSE
21 KURSH
25 Fhk
25 Fede
25 LUCIUS
28 Richart
28 Druida
28 Pipo
31 BURN RUBBER
31 Carro
31 KROM
34 Luigivampa
34 Roskalion
36 Javi
36 Capitán
36 Alucinoff
36 Multiball
36 Pulgarin
41 Lieven
41 Juaney
43 Lucky Luke
43 hassanchop
43 Federo
46 Glen
46 Troshinsky
48 ajal
48 Danidrummer
48 Pimiento
48 Drator
48 Jmfl1977
53 Leberry
53 KRISMA
55 Sarten
55 Ayub
55 Tropoglar
58 Shh-ware
58 APE
58 Jetlager
61 Gabrielo
61 Neo-Jesus
61 IronBall
64 metroider
64 Fari
64 dMode
67 DarkZeroIce
67 VIC
67 Rubensaos
70 marchales
70 Igmabor
70 DJ HULK
73 Ronko
73 Gregorio
73 iliciman
76 Steiner
76 tinkui

Then came the final of the modern tournament. This was also a single game, played on the club’s newest acquisition, an Aerosmith Pro. The four finalists were Rafitas (again), Martin Ayub, Julio and Leberry

The four modern tournament finalists:
The four modern tournament finalists:
Rafitas, Martin Ayub, Julio and Leberry

Leberry began the final.

The final of the modern tournament begins
The final of the modern tournament begins

Leberry made a solid if unexceptional start, scoring around 2M. Martin then played next.

Martin is player two in the final
Martin is player two in the final

A quick bounce down the left outlane didn’t give Martin much of a start, although he did light a couple of locks.

Julio did a little better, scoring just over a million, while Rafitas had the quickest first ball of the four, not putting up much of a score yet.

Julio picks his song as player three
Julio picks his song as player three

Leberry started a three-ball multiball to take a solid lead, but Martin and Julio both held out to lock all six balls and maximise their scoring potential. Although it was a risk, it paid off for them both. Leberry ended on 55M, but Martin overtook that with his 61M total. Julio had the much better multiball, however, ending his game on 121M. Despite putting up a valiant fight, Rafitas’s game never really got going and he ended up in fourth.

So, Julio was the winner, Martin was second, Leberry third and Rafitas fourth. Trophies were awarded by the event organisers.

Winner of the TMAP 2017 modern tournament, Julio
Winner of the TMAP 2017 modern tournament, Julio

Second place, Martin
Second place, Martin

Third place, Leberry
Third place, Leberry

Fourth place, Rafitas
Fourth place, Rafitas

The top four in the modern tournament
The top four in the modern tournament

Here are the full results:

Modern Tournament Results
Pos Name
1 Julio
2 Ayub
3 Leberry
4 rafitas
5 Rayo
5 Ángel
7 Mainwaring
7 Quercus
9 Gabrielo
9 Lieven
9 Troshinsky
9 PinballBCN
13 Cisco120
13 Richart
13 VIC
13 Juaney
17 dMode
17 APE
17 Tropoglar
20 ROMEO
20 Lucky Luke
20 Pipo
20 ajal
20 BonelessChicken
25 Shh-ware
25 shaolins
25 IronBall
28 Ronko
28 Mirloblan
28 NBSJOSE
31 Fhk
31 Fari
31 tinkui
34 Rafa
34 Igmabor
34 KURSH
37 Carro
37 KROM
39 Baptur
39 marchales
39 metroider
39 Fede
39 DJ HULK
44 Druida
44 Álexxx
46 Pimiento
46 Santy
46 Alucinoff
49 Inderman
49 Cga pozuelo
49 Multiball
52 BURN RUBBER
52 Neo-Jesus
52 DINO
55 Luigivampa
55 hassanchop
55 Rubensaos
58 Pochoguerrero
58 Roskalion
58 LUCIUS
61 DAN
61 Glen
61 Jmfl1977
64 Sarten
64 Drator
64 Pulgarin
67 DarkZeroIce
67 Gregorio
67 Jetlager
70 Javi
70 IKE1
70 Federo
73 Steiner
73 Capitán
73 KRISMA
76 Danidrummer
76 iliciman

Awards were also given to the winners of the side competitons.

Winners of the pairs competition, Druida and Ronko
Winners of the pairs competition, Druida and Ronko

High score competition winner, Pipo
High score competition winner, Pipo

Blind pinball competition winner, Ironball
Blind pinball competition winner, Ironball

There was also an award for the Interstellar Championship of Monza, although we’re not quite sure how this was decided.

Winner of the Interstellar Championship of Monza, Jetlaguer
Winner of the Interstellar Championship of Monza, Jetlaguer

With all the awards presented, the event closed at the very civilised time of 4pm. That meant we still had the rest of the day free to return to central Madrid for plates of tapas and some nice cold drinks.

Like most Spanish tournaments, TMAP 2017 was run in a relaxed though professional way. With the vast majority being local players, everyone seemed to know how it ran and what was expected of them. Those unfamiliar with the venue might have had trouble finding it – we knew the address but still couldn’t work it out until someone showed us – but once inside the format and rules were immediately understandable.

The relaxed timescale also worked well for us. Having a two-hour lunch break split up the day nicely, and the sensible finish times on both days allowed us to enjoy the city – something not always possible with other tournaments.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to TMAP 2017. Thanks to all the organisers.

While the area around the venue is not the most attractive (and we would probably choose to stay closer to the centre of the city next time), we welcomed the format, the collection of machines, the weather and the hospitality, and would love to spend some additional time exploring Madrid on our next trip.

MIHIDERKA PINBALL & FOOD FESTIVAL 2

Printimus Pinball in Bytom, Poland

After last year’s inaugural Mihiderka Pinball & Food Festival – the world’s only combined pinball and vegan food event – we are back at Printimus Pinball in the southern Polish town of Bytom to enjoy the burgers and the flippers for a second time.

The home of Printimus Pinball in Bytom, Poland
The home of Printimus Pinball in Bytom, Poland

Printimus is a full-service printing company based on a light industrial park on the outskirts of Bytom in the Silesia region of the country. While printing is the main business, the building also houses a nice collection of pinballs ranging from 1977 Gottlieb four-players such as Bronco and Jungle Queen, through to Jersey Jack Pinball’s The Hobbit Smaug Edition.

The Printimus Pinball collection
The Printimus Pinball collection

Printimus is owned by Marcin Krysiński while the Printimus Pinball section is run by joint Polish IFPA Director, Łukasz Dziatkiewicz who is also president of Polish Pinball Association (PSF). Together they would host a main pinball tournament, a classic tournament, a JJP tournament, a magic-themed tournament and a Dig-Dug video game tournament.

Łukasz shows off his pinball socks
Łukasz shows off his pinball socks

Mihiderka is a Marcin’s family-run vegan restaurant which began as a single operation in Gliwice near Bytom but has since expanded to three locations with a fourth opening soon and further expansion on the cards.

The Mihiderka logo

So, the three-day event gives a unique opportunity to combine competitive pinball with the best in plant-based cuisine.

But before we get to any of that, we left the Printimus building for a ride to another unique business based in the nearby city of Katowice. On the way there we drove through the city of Chorzów. The city was a sponsor of the Mihiderka Pinball and Food Festival, providing prizes to the winners, and even included pinball in its promotional video (something which is very unusual in Poland) to businesses looking to invest in the region.

The pinball-themed promotional video for Chorzów

So it was that our car dropped us off down a narrow alleyway.

What's down this unexceptional-looking alleyway?
What’s down this unexceptional-looking passage?

Our destination was a pinball-themed hotel offering an immersive pinball experience for those staying in one of the dedicated pinball rooms.

Welcome to the Pinball Rooms
Welcome to the Pinball Rooms

As soon as you enter the building you come face-to-face with a familiar character at reception.

Welcome to the Funhouse
Welcome to the Funhouse

Rudy greets guests and offers them brochures
Rudy’s all grown up and now greets guests and offers them brochures

Every corridor and room in the hotel features pinball games, pinball artwork, pinball photographs.

Rudy is also inside the coffee table in the lobby area
Rudy is also inside the coffee table in the lobby area

Funhouse cabinet artwork adorns the walls
Funhouse cabinet artwork adorns the walls

Leaving reception to visit the bedrooms we pass a Mustang machine and various backglasses.

This way to the rooms
This way to the rooms

The rooms are split up by theme. Some are music-themed, others circus-themed.

Guns 'N Roses join with AC/DC in one room, while Williams titles occupy another
Guns ‘N Roses join with AC/DC in one room, while Williams titles occupy another

What lies behind this door?
What lies behind this door?

Can you sleep in a Cyclone?
Can you sleep in a Cyclone?

Perhaps you'd prefer spending the night with Indiana Jones?
Perhaps you’d prefer spending the night with Indiana Jones?

No monkey brains for breakfast though
No monkey brains for breakfast though

The pinball hotel is the brainchild of Eugeniusz Wiecha who is a legendary figure in the Polish amusement business, establishing the Rabkoland amusement park, being one of the founders of Interplay magazine and also a prolific operator of amusement machines.

Eugeniusz Wiecha
Eugeniusz Wiecha

The Mihiderka Pinball & Food Festival tour group with Eugeniusz
The Mihiderka Pinball & Food Festival tour group with Eugeniusz

Then it was back to Printimus Pinball for practice, lunch, and the start of the tournaments.

Heading back to Bytom
Heading back to Bytom

Back to the pinballs
Back to the pinballs

Entrance to the Mihiderka Pinball & Food Festival cost €40 per person if paid before February 14th, increasing by €5 for entries up until March 7th and rising to €50 thereafter.

Apart from entry to the tournaments, players had use of the kitchen facilities, soft drinks, tea, coffee as well as breakfast and a late lunch on Saturday and Sunday. Beer could be purchased at 5PLN ($1.25/€1.18/£1.01) per 500ml bottle, although in contrast to previous tournaments there was no fully-stocked snacks machine.

The kitchen facilities
The kitchen facilities

The two most popular machines all weekend
The two most popular machines all weekend

Some of the vegan food available for breakfast
Some of the vegan food available for breakfast

One criticism of last year’s festival was that although the vegan food was tasty and plentiful, some players objected to the lack of any meaty dishes. This year there were several meat dishes (cold meats and sausages) available for breakfast both days.

Breakfast food items remained available throughout the morning while qualifying for all the tournaments continued.

The main tournament used an unusual qualifying format. There were 24 pinballs used in qualifying and players could play any of them as many times as they wanted before qualifying closed around 9pm on Saturday evening.

Whenever a player achieved a score they deemed good enough, they would get it recorded on their score sheet and that score would then be ‘locked-in’ for that machine and couldn’t be changed. They could then move on to their next machine and play until they decided to record a score on that one.

The machines used were:

Main Tournament Qualifying Machines
1 – Cirqus Voltaire
2 – Theatre of Magic
3 – Pinball Magic
4 – World Cup Soccer
5 – Star Trek: The Next Generation
6 – Twilight Zone
7 – No Good Gofers
8 – Attack from Mars
9 – The Addams Family
10 – The Machine: Bride of Pinbot
11 – The Shadow
12 – The Flintstones
13 – Revenge from Mars
14 – Spider-Man
15 – Whitewater
16 – Demolition Man
17 – Evel Knievel
18 – Cactus Canyon
19 – Monster Bash
20 – High Speed 2: The Getaway
21 – Monster Bash
22 – Tales of the Arabian Nights
23 – Funhouse
24 – Indiana Jones (Williams)

Players were free to move around between machines as they wished, so if they found they couldn’t get into a particular title they could come back to it later. However, with 24 machines on which to record scores, time could be tight if players were too picky about getting a great score to record.

All scores on the twenty-four machines were ranked and ranking points awarded. When qualification ended, the twelve players with the highest total ranking points would continue to A division play-offs the next day. The remainder would move into the B division for their own set of play-offs for places thirteenth and up.

In addition to the main tournament there was the classic tournament held on six electromechanical or solid state machines.

The six classics tournament machines
The six classic tournament machines

Main Tournament Qualifying Machines
1 – Haunted House
2 – Sinbad
3 – Mata Hari
4 – Jungle Queen
5 – Bronco
6 – Spirit of 76

Qualifying in this tournament was more like classic PAPA style, in that a player could choose three of the six machines and play one game on each for their entry. The skill was in putting together a run of three good scores and not having a bad game which ruined your entry.

You could decide at any time to void your entry, or if you thought it was better than any previous attempts, submit it. One entry was included with MPFF registration, but more could be bought for 5PLN each.

The same pricing scheme applied to the remaining two tournaments.

One entry to the Magic of Pinball competition allowed one game on each of the three magic-themed games – Pinball Magic, Theatre of Magic and Cirqus Voltaire. OK, so Cirqus Voltaire is more a circus-themed game but what circus doesn’t have a magical feel to any youngster lucky enough to be in the audience?

David plays in the magic tournament
David plays in the Magic of Pinball tournament

As the classic tournament, the key to success lay in putting together a string of good games so that all three games in your entry held respectable scores.

The final tournament was played out on the two Jersey Jack Pinball title The Wizard of Oz and The Hobbit: Smaug Edition.

The two JJP machines
The two JJP tournament machines

Around 3pm on Saturday lunch was served. Guests could choose from the two types of Mihiderka vegan burgers, or they could order from a delivery service menu if they preferred a meat or non-vegan meal.

Mihiderka's signature dish is their burgers, which were freshly prepared
Mihiderka’s signature dish is their burgers, which were freshly prepared

As tasty as they look
As tasty as they look

In addition to the made-to-order burgers, a rice stew with bread was served on Saturday.

A different hot dish was available each day too
A different hot dish was available each day too

Those who didn't want the vegan food could order from a delivery menu
Those who didn’t want the vegan food could order from a delivery menu

Once lunch was finished, the serious business of qualifying continued.

Players try to record a good score on every machine
Players try to record a good score on every machine

Rafał inputs the scores
Rafał inputs the scores

The standings were projected on the wall
The standings were projected on the wall

Medals would be awarded rather than trophies
Medals would be awarded rather than trophies

Later in the day, vegan mushroom pizza was served along with the remaining stew from lunch time.

Vegan pizza was both tasty and filling
Vegan pizza was both tasty and filling

When qualifying closed, all the players were ranked according to their total ranking points across all twenty-four machines, with the top half going into the A division and the remainder into the B division for the play-offs on Sunday.

Main Tournament Qualifying
Pos Name Score
A Division
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Greg Mott
Martin Ayub
Jonas Johansson
Daniel Maczurek
Mariusz Tkacz
Piotr Kochański
David Mainwaring
Cezary Głowala
Jakub Tkacz
Rafał Bytomski
Daniel Kaczmarek
Szymon Marciniszyn
1,387
1,322
1,297
1,227
1,087
1,080
1,034
1,019
972
888
831
831
B Division
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
Joel Woźniak
Jakub Józefczyk
Hubert Krysiński
Jerzy Węglarz
Ovidiu Cacina
Marek Kotkiewicz
Arkadiusz Marciniszyn
Tomasz Świerkot
Marcin Krysiński
Andrzej Olszewski
Ida Edwartz
Łukasz Dziatkiewicz
Marek Janusz
Cristina Staines
822
743
705
647
602
555
543
514
426
365
282
253
247
0

Qualifying in the classic, Magic of Pinball and JJP tournaments would continue on Sunday meaning everyone still had a chance of making to the play-offs of those tournaments.

Before the main tournament play-offs could begin, the format had to be decided based on the number of players and the time available. It was agreed that everyone in each division would play a single game against each of the other players in their division with the number of wins deciding the rankings. The top four in each division would then go into their respective finals.

Marcin explains the play-off format
Marcin explains the play-off format

As a slight twist, the number of wins for the four finalists would be carried forward and be added to the 4-2-1-0 points earned in each game of the final.

The four A division finalists were Cezary Głowala, Daniel Maczurek, David Mainwaring and Martin Ayub. Martin achieved three more wins in the play-offs than either Cezary or Daniel in the play-offs, so he took those three points into the final. Similarly, David had one more win so took one point into the final.

The final four in the main tournament
The final four in the main tournament:
Cezary Głowala, Daniel Maczurek, David Mainwaring & Martin Ayub

The format of the final allowed each player to choose a machine upon which a four-player game would be played. Points would be awarded for positions on each game, with four points going to the winner, two points to the second-placed player, one point for third place and no points for coming last. When the fourth game was over, the total of the game points and the points carried over would decide the places.

The first game was chosen by Daniel and was Twilight Zone. As with all four games, the player picking the game went first with the remaining players rotating play order from game to game.

Daniel starts the final on his choice of Twilight Zone
Daniel starts the final on his choice of Twilight Zone

Despite picking the game, Twilight Zone was not kind to Daniel and he ultimately ended up coming last on the machine.

Cezary is player two
Cezary is player two

Cezary in the player two position fared a little better but still never really got into the game, finishing third.

David plays third
David plays third

After another poor start, David pulled his game back with a strong finish on his third ball.

Martin plays last
Martin plays last

However, Martin had made a strong start on his first ball, racking up over 600M. His second ball pushed that to 1.1BN which was easily enough to win the game without needing his third ball.

Play then moved on to Cezary’s choice of Cactus Canyon, and after taking second in the previous game, David Mainwaring went one better and won this game. Martin was second, Daniel third, and the curse of playing your chosen game continued with Cezary coming fourth.

Cactus Canyon is chosen by Cezary as the second game of the final
Cactus Canyon is chosen by Cezary as the second game of the final

The curse was broken on game three though as, after a shaky start, David won on his pick of The Flintstones with a total score just shy of 1BN.

David chose The Flintstones for his game
David chose The Flintstones for his game

Martin was second again, with Cezary third and Daniel fourth.

David won on The Flintstones
David won on The Flintstones

Going into the last game off the final, David and Martin were tied on 11 points each (including the carried forward points), while Cezary had 2 points and Daniel 1. Whoever between David and Martin finished highest in the last game would be the overall winner.

The game was Martin’s choice of Funhouse, and he started as player one.

Martin chose Funhouse as the last game of the final
Martin chose Funhouse as the last game of the final

He had a good start too, getting multiball and a jackpot on his first ball and setting himself up for a reasonable 10M overall total

Daniel had a solid if unexceptional first ball, but soon got his game together and overtook Martin’s total.

Daniel played second
Daniel played second

Cezary wasn’t finding too much fun in the house, but still put up a reasonable score to sit in third place with just David left to play.

Cezary played third
Cezary played third

David needed a big last ball to overtake Martin’s score and win the final, and although it looked as though he could possibly do it, an outlane drain ended the final and left David in fourth on Funhouse.

David played last
David played last

So, the results of the A division final were:

Main Tournament A Division Results
Pos Name Score
1
2
3
4
Martin Ayub
David Mainwaring
Daniel Maczurek
Cezary Głowala
13
11
5
3

 

Winner of the Mihiderka Pinball & Food Festival main tournament, Martin Ayub
Winner of the Mihiderka Pinball & Food Festival main tournament, Martin Ayub

Second place, David Mainwaring
Second place, David Mainwaring

Third place in the main tournament, Daniel Maczurek
Third place in the main tournament, Daniel Maczurek

In addition to the medals, cash prizes were also awarded with €150 for first place in the main tournament, €75 for second, €50 for third and €25 for fourth.

The winners of each tournament also took home a goodie bag from the city of Chorzów which included a mug and a quality sketchbook.

Goodie bags for the winners from Chorzów
Goodie bags for the winners from Chorzów

The final of the B division was running alongside the A division and it was a battle between Joël Wozniak, Jakub Jozefczyk, Hubert Krysinski and Jerzy Weglarz.

In that division, it was Jakub who triumphed, with Joël second, Hubert third and Jerzy fourth. They ended up in thirteenth to sixteen places respectively.

Main Tournament Results
Pos Name
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Martin Ayub
David Mainwaring
Daniel Maczurek
Cezary Głowala
Jonas Johansson
Jakub Tkacz
Szymon Marciniszyn
Piotr Kochanski
Mariusz Tkacz
Greg Mott
Daniel Kaczmarek
Rafal Bytomski
Jakub Jozefczyk
Joël Wozniak
Hubert Krysinski
Jerzy Weglarz
Marcin Krysinski
Lukasz Dziatkiewicz
Andrzej Olszewski
Ovidiu Cacina
Tomasz Swierkot
Marek Janusz
Marek Kotkiewicz
Arkadiusz Marciniszyn
Ida Edwartz

Attention then turned to the remaining four tournaments. After the main tournament’s play-offs here was another period of qualifying for these, but as soon as the main final was over, the play-offs for the classic tournament began.

The Classic tournament along with the side tournaments allowed unlimited entries during the qualifying period. One entry was included with MPFF registration, but others could be bought for 5PLN each.

In the Classics, the top eight were split into two groups of four with each group playing a single four-player game on Sinbad, Bronco and Jungle Queen. It was original intended to play all six machines, but the lateness of the hour and the time it would take to play all six meant it was cut-down to the three fastest-playing games.

The first semi-final grouping in the classics tournament
The first semi-final grouping in the classic tournament

The second classics semi-final
The second classic semi-final

After the play-offs there was a tie for second place in one group. Initially it was decided to give the place in the final to the highest qualifier, but after much discussion that decision was reversed and a single game on Mata Hari was used to decide who should go into the final.

The play-off for the last place in the final
The play-off for the last place in the final

The four classic tournament finalist were David Mainwaring, Martin Ayub, Joël Wozniak and Greg Mott.

With the clock ticking, it was decided against playing all the same games again but to play the as-yet-unused Evel Knievel. A single game was deemed too random, so the final would consist of two games on the machine with the scores from each game added together to give an overall score.

Greg started the final of the classics tournament
Greg started the final of the classic tournament

Greg began and got off to a very nice start

Martin plays second
Martin plays second

Martin played second but had a fairly tortuous first ball.

David in the classics final
David in the classic final

David had a similarly disappointing start, while Joël did a little better.

Joel is player four in the first game of the classics tournament
Joël is player four in the first game of the classic tournament

On the third ball, Martin drained after only adding 8K to his total, but the player two light then lit. It turned out he had played an extra ball earned by Greg. This happened because the player one light didn’t work and nobody noticed the ‘same player shoots again’ light briefly illuminate during the game, so there was no indication it was still player one’s turn.

Marcin points out what he thinks happened
Marcin points out what he thinks happened

There was much discussion about what had happened and the best way to resolve it.

A discussion takes place on the best way forward
A discussion takes place on the best way forward

In the end, Greg received an extra ball at the end of the game, the score from which would be added to his five-ball game total. Martin ‘s ball would be drained and the 8,000 points he scored with Greg’s extra ball transferred to Martin’s total.

Greg plays his extra ball
Greg plays his extra ball

After all the excitement had died down, Greg won the first game with his 222K total, Joël was second on 102K, Martin third on 91K and David fourth on 47K.

Ovidiu and Łukasz look back on a long weekend
Ovidiu and Łukasz look back on a long weekend

In the second game David began, needing a good game to catch up with Greg’s first game total. His first ball of 55K was a good start and the 80K which followed looked promising, but these turned out to be his best balls of the game and he ended on 150K.

Greg was looking to cement his lead with a reasonable second game, but his 103K total left the door partially open.

Joel had a nice final ball, nearly doubling his 79K score to end on 150K.

Martin needed around 220K to win, but could only manage 178K before a drain ended his game and the final.

The final scores were:

Classic Tournament A Division Results
Pos Name Score
1
2
3
4
Greg Mott
Martin Ayub
Joël Wozniak
David Mainwaring
222K + 103K = 325K
92K + 178K = 270K
102K + 149K = 251K
47K + 150K = 197K

and the full results were:

Classic Tournament Results
Pos Name
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
Greg Mott
Martin Ayub
Joël Wozniak
David Mainwaring
Andrzej Olszewski
Jakub Tkacz
Mariusz Tkacz
Rafal Bytomski
Cezary Glowala
Daniel Maczurek
Szymon Marciniszyn
Piotr Kochanski
Marek Kotkiewicz
Jonas Johansson
Tomasz Swierkot
Hubert Krysinski
Daniel Kaczmarek
Marek Janusz
Ovidiu Cacina

Winner of the classic tournament, Greg Mott
Winner of the classic tournament, Greg Mott

Second place, Martin Ayub
Second place, Martin Ayub

Fourth place in the classic tournament, David Mainwaring
Fourth place in the classic tournament, David Mainwaring

Cash prizes of €50/€25/€15/€5 were also awarded for first to fourth places.

All cash prizes had to be signed for
All cash prizes had to be signed for

The next tournament was Magic of Pinball and again, the late hour meant the final was played on a single game of Cirqus Voltaire rather than across all three tournament machines. The four finalists were Piotr Kochanski, Greg Mott, Jakub Tkacz and Rafal Bytomski competing for the champion title.

The final of the magic tournament
The final of the Magic of Pinball tournament

This time it was Rafel who triumphed over the others, with Piotr in second place, Jakub third and Greg fourth.

Magic of Pinball Results
Pos Name
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Rafał Bytomski
Piotr Kochanski
Jakub Tkacz
Greg Mott
Daniel Maczurek
Mariusz Tkacz
Jerzy Weglarz
Jakub Jozefczyk
Martin Ayub
Joël Wozniak
Daniel Kaczmarek
Cezary Glowala
Andrzej Olszewski
Jonas Johansson
Tomasz Swierkot
Marek Kotkiewicz
Arkadiusz Marciniszyn
Szymon Marciniszyn
Hubert Krysinski
Marcin Krysinski
Ovidiu Cacina
Marek Janusz
David Mainwaring

 

Winner of the magic tournament, Rafał Bytomski
Winner of the Magic of Pinball tournament, Rafał Bytomski

Second place, Piotr Kochański
Second place, Piotr Kochański

Third in the magic tournament, Jakub Tkacz
Third in the Magic of Pinball tournament, Jakub Tkacz

Fourth in the magic tournament, Greg Mott
Fourth in the Magic of Pinball tournament, Greg Mott

The penultimate final was the JJP tournament. This was played on The Wizard of Oz and The Hobbit, with the familiar 4-2-1-0 points system used in each game. The four finalists were Mariusz Tkacz, Greg Mott, Piotr Kochanski and Rafał Bytomski.

Greg began well, taking first place and four points from The Wizard of Oz. Mariusz earned two points from his second place, Rafal got one point for third place, while Piotr failed to score with his fourth-place finish.

Rafel playing the first game of the JJP tournament
Rafel playing the first game of the JJP tournament

There had been a failure of the main processor fan on The Hobbit, so The Wizard of Oz was played first and then the fan was swapped to The Hobbit so that game could be played.

Mariusz plays in the final
Mariusz plays in the final

Mariusz began on game two but was unable to improve on his previous second place and actually ended up third with one more point for a total of three.

Rafal played second and had a much better game on The Hobbit than The Wizard of Oz, winning the game and ending up on five points.

The final wasn’t going well for Piotr. After failing to score any points in the first game, he had a similarly tough time in the second.

After winning game one, Greg needed second place or higher to avoid either a tie-break or coming second.

Greg plays the second game of the JJP tournament final
Greg plays the second game of the JJP tournament final

As it was, he took second place and the two points for a winning total of six.

So, the final totals were:

JJP Tournament Final Results
Pos Name Score
1
2
3
4
Greg Mott
Rafał Bytomski
Mariusz Tkacz
Piotr Kochanski
4 + 2 = 6
1 + 4 = 5
2 + 1 = 3
0 + 0 = 0

and the final standings were:

JJP Tournament Results
Pos Name
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
Greg Mott
Rafal Bytomski
Mariusz Tkacz
Piotr Kochanski
Jonas Johansson
Andrzej Olszewski
Hubert Krysinski
Ovidiu Cacina
Martin Ayub
Daniel Kaczmarek
Daniel Maczurek
Jakub Jozefczyk
Joël Wozniak
Jerzy Weglarz
Jakub Tkacz
Marek Janusz
Christina Staines
Tomasz Swierkot
Marcin Krysinski
Cezary Glowala
Marek Kotkiewicz

 

Winner of the JJP tournament, Greg Mott
Winner of the JJP tournament, Greg Mott

Second place, Rafał Bytomski
Second place, Rafał Bytomski

Third place, Mariusz Tkacz, collected by his son Jakub
Third place, Mariusz Tkacz, collected by his son Jakub

Fourth place in the JJP tournament, Piotr Kochanski
Fourth place in the JJP tournament, Piotr Kochanski

The very last tournament to conclude was the Dig Dug video game competition which took place last thing on Sunday evening.

The Dig Dug tournament is last to end
The Dig Dug tournament is last to end

We rushed out before the Dig Dug final was completed to try to get some dinner before everywhere in Bytom closed for the night (we failed), but the tournament was won by Łukasz Dziatkiewicz who not only won a medal but a suitable prize for his first place.

Łukasz Dziatkiewicz is the winner of the Dig Dug medal and a special prize
Łukasz Dziatkiewicz is the winner of the Dig Dug medal and a special prize

There was one further award for the Most Stylish Player which was awarded by the organisers to Christina Staines, with Łukasz making the presentation.

Winner of the most stylish player award, Christina Staines
Winner of the most stylish player award, Christina Staines

By the end of the competitions, only a few players remained as the Mihiderka Pinball & Food Festival 2017 drew to a close.

The last players standing
The last players standing

The pinball and food festival is over for the weekend
The pinball and food festival is over for the weekend

Marcin and Łukasz were kind enough to collect those guests who flew in to nearby Katowice Airport and bring them to the event, as well as take them back on Monday morning for their flights home. There was also the opportunity for a final few games on the Printimus Pinball machines as well as a farewell chance to savour the tasty Mihiderka vegan pizza for lunch.

In addition, a prize package arrived on Monday from Jersey Jack Pinball containing flyers, T-shirts and hats. Greg Mott, as winner of the JJP tournament, was able to choose some prizes from the gifts, with the remainder used for future tournaments.

The Mihiderka Pinball and Food Festival is certainly a unique event in the pinball world and one which in our opinion is well worth supporting.

The first MPFF in 2016 proved rather restrictive in the way almost the entire weekend was spent in the Printimus building, with only vegan food served and little opportunity to venture outside for alternatives. Thankfully the organisers listened to the suggestions and made the MPFF more relaxed in 2017, with more time to play games, earlier finishes and non-vegan meals available.

Thanks to Marcin, Łukasz and the Mihiderka team for organising another MPFF, and to resident technician Mirek for making sure the ball kept rolling smoothly all weekend.

DUTCH PINBALL MASTERS

Trophies for the Dutch Pinball Masters

The Dutch Pinball Masters is one of the major European tournaments and can generally expect a healthy turnout from many of the continent’s top players.

This year there was a slight diminution due to a clash of dates with the German Pinball Association’s convention in Potsdam, but competition was still fierce at the Dutch Pinball Association’s (NFV’s) clubhouse in Veenendaal in the centre of the Netherlands.

The NFV's clubhouse in Veenendaal
The NFV’s clubhouse in Veenendaal

The location was the same as it had been for the past few years, a light-industrial unit on a commercial park on the outskirts of the town. There’s are no catering or hotel facilities close-by, so a car or taxi was a must to get here. Vacant spaces outside the unit, on the street and in front of adjacent buildings meant there was no problem parking.

Once inside the door, there was an arrangement of plants, flowers and copies of the NFV’s Spinner magazine, as well as a wall showing supporters’ logos.

The table in the lobby
The table in the lobby

Supporters of the NFV
Supporters of the NFV

Once fully inside the building, the first section is the cafe and seating area.

The cafe area
The cafe area

The cafe had a full kitchen and prepared a range of hot food items, including fries, burgers, chicken sate, sausages, mini-snack selections and salads. The prices for all these were very reasonable, with a burger costing €2 ($2.17/£1.68) and a chicken meal with fries and salad at €6.50 ($7.07 /£5.56).

Part of the menu
Part of the menu

Part of a meal
Part of a meal

Soup was also available, while soft drinks, beer and wine could also be purchased.

Soup in front, beers and sodas behind
Soup in front, beers and sodas behind

Although there was a demand for quality craft or abbey ales, only Heineken or Bavaria beers were available for €2 a bottle. Those looking for something a little better had to either go elsewhere or bring their own.

Seating was available for those enjoying their meals or drinks, as well as those resting from the pinball. Alternatively, the weather outside was good enough to enjoy your purchases alfresco.

Indoor seating
Indoor seating

At the very front of the building were several small rooms either containing games to play or used for game repair.

A selection of EMs
A selection of EMs

When it's too much pinball, enjoy darts, video games or table football/foosball/babyfoot
When it’s too much pinball, enjoy darts, video games
or table football/foosball/babyfoot

The main selection of pinballs was located in the back two-thirds of the hall. The two rows on the left were the main tournament machines, bolstered by a group on the back wall which were used as back-up machines in case of failure by any of those in the main tournament.

Machines and players in the main tournament
Machines and players in the main tournament

Those tournament machines were:

Main Dutch Pinball Masters Machines
1 Tommy
2 Junkyard
3 Fish Tales
4 Avatar
5 Spider-Man
6 Scared Stiff
7 Dirty Harry
8 Indianapolis 500
9 Roadshow
10 Star Trek: The Next Generation
11 Jackbot
12 Pirates of the Caribbean
13 World Cup Soccer
14 Demolition Man
15 Funhouse
16 Goldeneye
17 Doctor Who
18 Attack from Mars
19 Monopoly
20 Medieval Madness
21 The Lord of the Rings
22 Whirlwind
23 Congo
24 Creature from the Black Lagoon
25 Whitewater
26 Hoops

The back-up machines were: The Sopranos, High Speed 2: The Getaway, Terminator 2 and Corvette.

On the right side of the hall were the free-play machines, while on the back wall was a row of eight machines used for the classics tournament.

Free-play machines
Free-play machines

Free-play machines
Free-play machines

There were nicely-decorated table on which to put your drinks
There were nicely-decorated table on which to put your drinks

Free-play machines
Free-play machines

Ad Jonker's Captain Nemo machine was also here to play
Ad Jonker’s Captain Nemo machine was also here to play

The eight classics tournament machines were:

Main Dutch Pinball Masters Machines
1 Capt. Fantastic
2 Bobby Orr Power Play
3 Gorgar
4 Charlie’s Angels
5 Dealer’s Choice
6 Paragon
7 Harlem Globetrotters
8 Viking

The back-up machine was Mata Hari.

The classics tournament
The classics tournament

In addition to these tournaments, there was also a team competition held on Friday night.

Trophies for the tournaments
Trophies for the tournaments

The team tournament saw eight teams of four split into two groups. The teams and groups were:

Team Tournament Groups
Group A
Dutch Pinball Team
Team Slovenia
Oslo Tiltboys
Team Delta
Group B
Pinball DNA
Archiball Team
Team Ro-Me
Oslo Pinball Casuals

Each team played a match against each of the other three teams in their group. A match consisted of each player playing a member of the opposing team on a machine to win 1 point per game, and a pair of split-flipper games for two points each.

The two teams with the most points in each group went into the semi-finals. Here the winner of Group A played second place in Group B and vice-versa in the same style of match as in the first round.

The winners from the first round were Dutch Pinball Team and Pinball DNA, while second place qualifiers were Team Delta and Team Ro-Me.

Dutch Pinball Team and Pinball DNA won the semi-final matches, setting them up for a final match held in the same format.

In the final, the Dutch Pinball Team won three of the four individual matches to lead 3-1, meaning Pinball DNA needed to win both split-flipper games. They won one of them, but that was not enough, meaning the Dutch Pinball Team of Albert Nomden, Paul Jongma, Mark van der Gugten and Joska Keunekamp won 5-3.

The victorious Dutch Pinball Team:
The victorious Dutch Pinball Team:
Paul Jongma, Albert Nomden and Mark van der Gugten
(absent: Joska Keunekamp)

In the play-off, Team Ro-Me beat Team Delta for third place.

Third place, Team Ro-Me
Third place, Team Ro-Me

The main Dutch Pinball Masters tournament began on Saturday with a qualifying round for all 141 players. Tournament entry cost €15 in addition to the daily €7.50 fee for entry to the clubhouse, meaning a €30 total price for entry if you played on both days. As a bonus, all competitors received a 10% discount off products from playfield-protectors.com.

There were three qualifying periods starting at 09:30, 13:15 and 17:00, each one lasting around three-and-a-half hours.

In each period, players were split into four groups (A-D, E-H and J-M) with around twelve players in each group. Every competitor played a single three-ball game against each other player in their group, in a predetermined order and on preselected machines. A win in a game earned one point, a loss scored a zero.

Players in the qualifying round
Players in the qualifying round

When a game was over, the winner would come to a terminal and register their win.

Tournament systems head Ad Jonker at the results terminal
Tournament systems head Ad Jonker at the results terminal

The current matches on the results terminal
The current matches on the results terminal

As each result was recorded, the overall picture emerged on a large screen.

The overall group standings
The overall group standings

The group scores
The group scores

For all groups, a score of eight wins or more would guarantee you a place in Sunday’s second round. If you got seven wins it was a toss-up whether that would be enough, or if you would end up in a tie-breaker. With six wins you would be lucky to progress. It wasn’t impossible, but unlikely, and a tie-breaker was an almost certainty.

It wasn't how you won, but how many you won
It wasn’t how you won, but how many you won

Head-to-head games were the order of the day
Head-to-head games were the order of the day

Every win was a step closer to qualification
Every win was a step closer to qualification

Those who did progress needed to be back at the venue at 9:40 on Sunday morning for the start of the second round. For everyone else, their Dutch Pinball Masters was over, and just the classic tournament remained.

Just a few points could be the difference between progressing and going home
Just a few points could be the difference between progressing and going home

The classic tournament cost an additional €10 to enter and was held on the eight machines we listed above, with competitors given ten games spread across the eight machines in order to qualify. No machine could be played more than twice and all ten scores were ranked, with the top 24 players progressing to the play-offs and the top players receiving a bye through the first round.

Classic tournament score cards
Classic tournament score cards

Players were issued with a score card for the classic tournament, but in truth all scores were recorded electronically on tablets or phones. with the current standings shown on a terminal.

Checking the current classic tournament standings
Checking the current classic tournament standings

Current standings and games in progress
Current standings and games in progress

Qualifying continued until 8:30pm on Saturday, with the play-offs beginning at 9pm once the main DPM rounds had finished and all players were free to take part.

Matches in the play-offs were head-to-head best-of-five games on machines drawn at random.

The play-offs schedule
The play-offs schedule

The classic tournament play-offs
The classic tournament play-offs

The classic tournament play-offs
The classic tournament play-offs

The classic tournament play-offs
The classic tournament play-offs

DPM tournament directors Albert Nomden and Paul Jongma
DPM tournament directors Albert Nomden and Paul Jongma

The final came down to a battle between Gabriele Tedeschi from Italy and Rich Mallett from the UK.

Gabriel on Mata Hari in the final
Gabriel on Mata Hari in the final

After some exciting games, Mata Hari was the decider, and with Gabriel going first but failing to score much Rich just had to hold his nerve, which he did very successfully to win the game and the final.

Rich prepares to plunge his winning final ball
Rich prepares to plunge his winning final ball

So, Rich was the winner, Gabriel second, while in the play-off it was Jochen Krieger Germany who took third place ahead of Frenchman Sebastien Puertas in fourth.

Dutch Pinball Masters Classic Tournament winner, Rich Mallett
Dutch Pinball Masters Classic Tournament winner, Rich Mallett

Second place, Gabriele Tedeschi
Second place, Gabriele Tedeschi

Third place, Jochen Krieger
Third place, Jochen Krieger

Here are all the placings in the DPM classic tournament:

DPM Classic Tournamenti 2017
Pos Name
1 Rich Mallett
2 Gabriele Tedeschi
3 Jochen Krieger
4 Sebastien Puertas
6 Marco Suvanto
6 Jan Anders Nilsson
6 David Deturck
6 Lieven Engelbeen
12 Joël Wozniak
12 Arjan Neet
12 Philippe Bocquet
12 David Mainwaring
12 Mathias Leurs
12 Fredrik Mellberg
12 Perttu Pesä
12 Eko Elens
20 Evert Brochez
20 Andreas Hedström
20 Ad Jonker
20 Kirsten Adam
20 Ivan Geentjens
20 Jonas Valström
20 Ollivier Francq
20 Anders Carlsson
25 Cayle George
26 Martijn Van Amsterdam
27 Martin Ayub
28 Heinz Berges
29 Helen de Haan-Verbeek
29 Albert Nomden
31 Robert Lau
32 Juha Viitanen
32 Fabrizio Amiconi
34 Alysa Parks
35 Florian Thomas
36 Rob Fransen
37 Rob Overdijk
38 John van der Wulp
39 Željko Vasic
40 Paul Jongma
41 Artur Natorski
42 Vin Jauhal
43 Peter Franck
44 Bart Volman
45 Vincent Chardome
46 Kevin Roelants
47 Mattias Jeppsson
48 Frank Wolthers
49 Wolfgang Haid
49 Benjamin Gräbeldinger
51 Pittchen Müller
52 Erno Lahdenperä
53 Thomas Van Clapdorp
54 Andrej Rižner
54 Carlo Vijn
56 Matt Vince
56 Tormod Pettersen
58 Mario Schröder
59 Didier Dujardin
59 Ramon Richard
61 Laurence Boulieu
62 Simo Rimmi
63 Jani Saari
63 Ales Rebec
65 Michel Lanters
66 Jules Reivers
67 Daniel Bertilsson
67 Tom-Andre Andersen
69 Stan Simpson
70 Dominique De Cock
70 Archibald Lefevre
72 Norman Heikamp
73 Pontus Qvarfordh
73 Evelyne Desot
75 Glenn Verhoosele
76 Mark van der Gugten
77 Alain Boulieu
78 Laurent Mahe
79 Thomas Reichenstein
79 Norbert Broman
81 Sven Kirmes
81 Michel Rorive
83 Adam Lundquist
84 Stéphane Swaenepoel
85 Jürgen Schmitz
86 Olav Hjelmstadstuen
87 Erol Saydam
88 Vid Kuklec
89 Gerard Vos
90 Emma Berlin
91 Fredrik Lekander
92 Tom Geneyn
92 Thomas Doepelheuer
94 Mirko Bogic
95 Andreas Thorsén
95 Kelly Lembrechts
97 Olivier Renders
98 Oyvind Winther
99 Svein Tjeldflåt
100 Neil Fellender
100 Nils de Kleine
102 Fred Van Den Bosch
103 Eric Andries
104 Bjørn Erlend Hellem
105 Daniela Oymann
106 Gerard Poelwijk
107 Daniel Bradford
108 Ralf Wittwer
109 Morten Søbyskogen
110 Rob Breyne
111 Kevin Sultana
112 Manuela Krieger
113 Bjorn Brand
114 Andrej Demsar
115 Johan Bernhardtson
116 Elin Wilhelmsen
117 Torstein Bjørnstad
118 Babs Negelen
119 Jasmijn de Jong
120 Stanislas Chabior
121 Joeri Stroobants
122 Kyoo Barbaix
123 Karin Eisenstecken
124 ralf de kleine
125 Sandra Søbyskogen

Sunday morning rolled around with the main DPM tournament left to decide.

Only the DPM trophies remain
Only the DPM trophies remain

The top four from each of the four groups in each of the three qualifying sessions meant (4 x 4) x 3 = 48 players progressed to the second round which began at 10am on Sunday.

Sunday's second round
Sunday’s second round

The format was the same as Saturday – four groups of twelve players, with everyone playing one head-to-head game against everyone else in their group (11 games). The four players with the most wins in each group would move on to the quarter finals.

The second round of the Dutch Pinball Masters
The second round of the Dutch Pinball Masters

The sixteen who made it into the quarter-finals were:

Tormod Pettersen Roger Wijnands
Kirsten Adam Taco Wouters
David Deturck Jules Reivers
Philippe Bocquet Sébastien Puertas
Benjamin Gräbeldinger Cayle George
Ivan Geentjens Bart Volman
Fredrik Lekander John van der Wulp
Jan Anders Nilsson Bjorn Brand

The quarter-finals paired up players in a best-of-five match on randomly-drawn machines. The first to win three games moved on to the semi-finals.

Kirsten Adam had three straight wins to progress, as did Ivan Geentjens, Sébastien Puertas and Cayle George. David Deturck took four games to win, the same as Jan Anders Nilsson and John van der Wulp, while Roger Wijnands took all five games to win and move on to the semis.

The semi-final was the same as the quarters – best-of-five on random machines.

This time David Deturck beat Kirsten Adam 3-2, Jan Anders Nilsson did the same against Ivan Geentjens, as did Roger Wijnands against Sébastien Puertas. Only Cayle George had an easier 3-0 win against John van der Wulp.

In the four-player four-game final, each competitor got to choose a machine to play with 9-5-2-0 scoring used for first to fourth places.

Jan Anders Nilsson began by choosing Congo, but the game didn’t co-operate with him this time. His first ball scored 100M to put him in third place, while balls two and three only lifted that to 380M which was last place.

Cayle George had the best first ball with 215M, boosted to 800M on his second and 1.067B on his third to win. David Deturck recovered from a bad 79M start to end on 932M for second, while Roger Wijnands’s 744M total was only good enough for third.

David chose Star Trek: The Next Generation for game two but once again the curse of machine choice struck as his 1.2B was the lowest of the four scores. Jan had a great last ball, scoring 2.3B to end up on 3.1B, taking first place. Cayle’s 2.6B might normally be enough to win but only gave him second here, with Roger’s 1.8B good for third.

Cayle’s choice of Scared Stiff broke the chooser’s curse with his ball one score of 16M being enough to win the game. In the end, he totalled 79M – way ahead of David in second on 9.8M, Jan on 2.7M and Roger who never got started and ended on just 0.8M.

With game four still to play, Cayle’s 23 points was already enough to win the final, with Jan closest behind on 11 points, David in third on 10, and Roger on 4. But Roger could still get into a tie-breaker for second place if the other places worked out for him, while Jan and David were battling it out.

Roger chose Whirlwind, but was blown away by three quick drains to end up on just 309K. The battle for second was thus between Jan and David, and it was David who stormed his way to the win with 9.5M, ahead of Cayle’s 7M and Jan’s 4.5M.

So the result was, Cayle in first place, David second, Jan third and Roger fourth.

Dutch Pinball Masters 2017 winner, Cayle George
Dutch Pinball Masters 2017 winner, Cayle George
(picture: Ad Jonker)

Second place, David Deturck
Second place, David Deturck
(picture: Ad Jonker)

Third place, Jan Anders Nilsson
Third place, Jan Anders Nilsson
(picture: Ad Jonker)

Fourth place, Roger Wijnands
Fourth place, Roger Wijnands
(picture: Ad Jonker)

Here are the full results:

Dutch Pinball Masters 2017
Pos Name
1 Cayle George
2 David Deturck
3 Jan Anders Nilsson
4 Roger Wijnands
6 Kirsten Adam
6 Ivan Geentjens
6 Sebastien Puertas
6 John van der Wulp
12 Tormod Pettersen
12 Philippe Bocquet
12 Benjamin Gräbeldinger
12 Fredrik Lekander
12 Taco Wouters
12 Jules Reivers
12 Bart Volman
12 Bjorn Brand
17 Jonas Johansson
17 Albert Nomden
21 Evert Brochez
21 Sylvain Grevin
21 Michel Rorive
21 Martin Ayub
21 Olivier Renders
28 Thomas van Clapdorp
28 Anthony Rorive
28 Jani Saari
28 Evelyne Desot
28 Stéphane Swaenepoel
28 Ramon Richard
28 Marco Suvanto
28 Johan Bernhardtson
28 Jonas Valström
37 Archibald Lefevre
37 Juha Viitanen
37 Mattias Jeppsson
37 Andreas Thorsén
37 Florian Thomas
37 Martijn van Amsterdam
37 Andrej Demsar
37 Laurence Boulieu
37 Norbert Broman
43 Sébastien Muller
43 Paul Jongma
43 Erno Lahdenperä
43 Andrej Rižner
46 Didier Dujardin
46 Eko Elens
48 Joël Wozniak
49 Mark van der Gugten
49 Anders Carlsson
61 Dominique de Cock
61 Ralf Wittwer
61 Thomas Reichenstein
61 Stanislas Chabior
61 Rich Mallett
61 Matt Vince
61 Martijn van Aken
61 Sven Kirmes
61 Mathias Leurs
61 Peter Franck
61 Norman Heikamp
61 Pontus Qvarfordh
61 Bjørn Erlend Hellem
61 Helen de Haan-Verbeek
61 Neil Fellender
61 Lieven Engelbeen
61 Heinz Berges
61 Jeroen Wieringa
61 Fabrizio Amiconi
61 Vincent Chardome
61 Ralf de Kleine
61 Andreas Hedström
84 Eric Andries
84 Jochen Krieger
84 Olav Hjelmstadstuen
84 Gerard Poelwijk
84 Michel Lanters
84 Svein Tjeldflåt
84 Mirko Bogic
84 Daniel Bertilsson
84 Laurent Mahe
84 Morten Søbyskogen
84 Jasper van Embden
84 Vid Kuklec
84 Ollivier Francq
84 Robert Lau
84 Tom Geneyn
84 Gabriele Tedeschi
84 Arjan Neet
84 David Mainwaring
84 Joeri Stroobants
84 Kevin Roelants
84 Perttu Pesä
84 Rob Fransen
84 Alysa Parks
107 Adam Lundquist
107 Fred van den Bosch
107 Simo Rimmi
107 Frank Wolthers
107 Rob Overdijk
107 Oyvind Winther
107 Bas van Embden
107 Daniel Bradford
107 Nils de Kleine
107 Alain Boulieu
107 Jeremy Dorling
107 Erol Saydam
107 Babs Negelen
107 Fredrik Mellberg
107 Artur Natorski
107 Jürgen Schmitz
107 Jeroen Boiten
107 Elin Wilhelmsen
107 Tom Loomans
107 Ronald Klappe
107 Pittchen Müller
107 Gerard Vos
107 Ales Rebec
127 Steven van der Staaij
127 Karin Eisenstecken
127 Vin Jauhal
127 Rob Breyne
127 Jasmijn de Jong
127 Torstein Bjørnstad
127 Mario Schröder
127 Kyoo Barbaix
127 Ronald Oenema
127 Thomas Doepelheuer
127 Olivier Calimet
127 Kelly Lembrechts
127 Wolfgang Haid
127 Justin van Schooneveld
127 Carlo Vijn
127 Glenn Verhoosele
127 Tom-Andre Andersen
127 Alicia Juniet
140 Daniela Oymann
140 Manuela Krieger
140 Machteld Decloedt
140 Željko Vasic
140 Emma Berlin
140 Kevin Sultana
140 Arno Punt
140 Sandra Søbyskogen

And so we come to the end of this report from the Dutch Pinball Masters 2017.

The top four in the Dutch Pinball Masters 2017
The top four in the Dutch Pinball Masters 2017
(picture: Ad Jonker)

The DPM is a well-established and well-supported international tournament, one which guarantees all players at least eleven games even if they don’t progress beyond the qualification round.

There were clear improvements to the match result reporting system, allowing players to record their own results and providing instant standings which made life easier for competitors and organisers. The timings all went to plan and any technical issues were resolved quickly and amicably.

The only real negative was the quality of the free-play machines, although even there the addition of Ad Jonker’s The Matrix and Capt. Nemo games helped made up for any shortcomings or unavailabilties.

Hopefully next year the dates for the DPM won’t clash with another major European tournament and players can get to enjoy two top-flight Spring tournaments.

PINBALLZ LAKE CREEK

Pinballz in Austin, Texas

When the original Pinballz Arcade opened in Austin, Texas, in 2010, we were one of the first to tell the world about the amazing selection of pinballs and other arcade games bought and set-up in a bespoke gameroom by Darren and Mikki Spohn.

After a couple of years establishing the business and preparing for growth, they opened their second location – Pinballz Kingdom – situated around fifteen miles south of Austin.

Although there is some development work to complete at Pinballz Kingdom to finish the transformation from truck stop to pinball and arcade heaven, that hasn’t stopped the push to open a third location, and in May 2016 the Lake Creek branch became the third Pinballz operation.

Pinballz Lake Creek
Pinballz Lake Creek

While the first two Pinballz business are positioned to the north and south of Austin in rather isolated locations, this third Pinballz is a mere nine miles further north than the original location and can be found in the heart of the Lake Creek Festival shopping centre, nestled between a Burlington Coat Factory and a Hobby Lobby.

If you have been to either of the other two Pinballz businesses then the sight as you walk through the doors will be a familiar one. Rows of top pinballs stand waiting for you as you come in, with large single piece arcade games off to the side.

The view as you enter Pinballz Lake Creek
The view as you enter Pinballz Lake Creek

Two rows of around eighteen pinballs lead from the entry desk to the back of the building.

The left bank of pinballs
The left bank of pinballs

The right bank
The right bank

While these games might be considered a excellent collection by themselves, there are several rows more to explore.

More pinballs
More pinballs…

...and more, including the two High Speed games and both Pinball 2000s
…and more, including the two High Speed games and both Pinball 2000s

Pinballz uses a nice dual coinage system where either quarters or tokens can be used. Prices are typically either 75c or $1 per three-ball game. Replays can be won, as can extra balls, and the settings on the games we played seemed to be moderate to easy.

Beyond these rows of pinballs lies the newest Mikki’s Tavern and Wine Bar – the Pinballz bar and diner.

Behind the pinballs is Mikki's Tavern
Behind the pinballs is Mikki’s Tavern

Mikki's Tavern
Mikki’s Tavern

Any modern bar has to offer a wide range of local and guest craft beers, and Mikki’s Tavern is no different, offering thirty draft beers alongside a comprehensive selection of bottled beers, spirits and soft drinks.

The thirty beer taps
The thirty beer taps

They also serve a full menu of classic bar snacks and meals, including pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, salads, wings and BBQ dishes. You can check out the full menu here. Because our time here was fairly brief we didn’t get the opportunity to try any of the food or beverages, although the both looked highly tempting.

Move right from the Tavern and we find… yet more pinballs.

The second group of pinballs begins
The second group of pinballs begins

Some older machines
Some older machines

Some more unusual titles including Lights! Camera! Action! and Time Machine
Some more unusual titles including Lights! Camera! Action! and Time Machine

Here’s the list of the 77 pinballs we recorded on this visit:

Addams Family, The
America’s Most Haunted
Barb Wire
Baywatch
Big Hurt, Frank Thomas’s
Black Knight
Black Knight 2000
Black Rose
Bow and Arrow
Breakshot
Bride of Pinbot, The Machine
Capt. Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Champion Pub, The
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Cue Ball Wizard
Cyclone
Defender
Doctor Who
Dr. Dude
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
Dungeons and Dragons
Earthshaker!
Elvis
Fire!
Firepower
Fish Tales
Flash
Flintstones, The
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s
Freddy: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Funhouse
Getaway, The: High Speed 2
Gilligan’s Island
Grand Lizard
Guns ‘N Roses
Haunted House
Hercules
High Speed
Hook
Independence Day
Indianapolis 500
Johnny Mnemonic
Jokerz!
Judge Dredd
Jurassic Park
Kiss (Bally)
Laser War
Lethal Weapon 3
Lights! Camera! Action!
Mata Hari
Maverick
Medieval Madness Remake
Meteor
Party Zone, The
Pinbot
Pistol Poker
Playboy (Stern)
Pool Sharks
Revenge from Mars
Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
Roadshow
Rollercoaster Tycoon
Shrek
Simpsons Pinball Party, The
South Park
Spider-Man
Star Trek Premium
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Wars (DE)
Star Wars Episode 1
Starship Troopers
Street Fighter 2
Tales from the Crypt
Theatre of Magic
Time Machine
Twilight Zone
Who Dunnit?

Most of the remainder of the floor space is taken up by large arcade video games, from single-person drivers to collaborate shooters, taking in dance machines and giant LED display versions of classic titles.

Dance and driving games in the video section
Dance and driving games in the video section

Skee-balls alongside collaborative shooter games
Skee-balls alongside collaborative shooter games

Giant Space Invaders Frenzy
Giant Space Invaders Frenzy

But giant games weren’t the preserve of the video and redemption realms. Pinball had a game to offer in that category too.

Hercules by Atari
Hercules by Atari

Large redemption pieces
Large redemption pieces

Redemption means tickets, and tickets mean prizes
Redemption means tickets, and tickets mean prizes

More large skill-based games
More large skill-based games

We said earlier that most of the floor space is given over to pinballs and arcade games, but Pinballz Lake Creek also has a room dedicated to playing laser tag.

The Galaxy Warz laser tag room
The Galaxy Warz laser tag room

One thing you might have noticed in our pictures is the lack of customers. Our visit was just after lunch on a Wednesday afternoon in March, which is far from prime-time and outside any school holidays. So, we don’t know how busy Pinballz gets on Friday nights or at the weekend.

Pinballz Lake Creek opens from 10am until midnight during the week, and stays open until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights.

The location is the best of the three branches as far as local shops and amenities are concerned – there are numerous shops, restaurants and even a movie theatre in the same complex – so it certainly should be an attractive destination.

Pinballz itself has good lighting, great games and looks attractive, from the clean surfaces, well-maintained pinballs and the custom carpet design.

The carpet design at Pinballz
The carpet design at Pinballz

The Pinballz operation seems to be going from strength to strength. The Austin area is very well served, so we understand thoughts of a fourth location are centred on the Dallas area, around a three-hour drive north.

With such a great mix of games, food and drinks, we look forward to visiting that branch as soon as it opens.

8BITFLIP 2017

8BitFlip at Arcade Club

As a change from our usual reporting style, this look at the annual 8BitFlip tournament weekend will be done as a personal blog by the Editor of Pinball News, Martin Ayub.

I signed up for 8BitFlip the moment the dates were announced, back in October last year. Knowing the nearest hotel quickly sells out, I made a booking for the Friday and Saturday nights for myself and a friend. We both went last year but had to stay at a more remote hotel, so I wanted to make sure we would be able to walk both to the show’s venue and the city centre for post-show entertainment.

Sadly, my friend had to cancel just before the 8BitFlip weekend, so I made the Good Friday journey to Bury, near Manchester, alone. The drive took four-and-a-half-hours, much of which was spent sitting in traffic jams in the many roadworks along the M6 motorway.

Good Friday traffic
Good Friday traffic

Fortunately though, there was no great rush to get to the venue as the show itself didn’t start until the next day. And after all, what else are public holidays for other than sitting in the car on a motorway going nowhere, discovering that the large white Americano coffee you bought at the service station ten miles back doesn’t have any milk in it?

But eventually the road signs start to point to Manchester, and then to Bury as we draw near.

8BitFlip is the competitive event run by the Northern Lights Pinball (NLP) group, who also organise the pinball part of the huge Play Expo show in Manchester in October as well as a number of other pinball events in the north of England.

Their main aims are to spread pinball’s reach to the general public and to raise money for charity. Their usual beneficiary is the Teenage Cancer Trust but this year the 8BitFlip’s chosen recipient was closer to home – the sister of one of the NLP organisers, Darren Ball, who needs money for a life-saving operation in America.

So it was that fifty pinballs were set up on the second floor of a large brick former mill in Bury, the home of Arcade Club.

Ela Mill - the home of Arcade Club
Ela Mill – the home of Arcade Club

Ela Mill is a strange building. It is now converted and partially refurbished so that numerous business start-ups can operate out of offices on the ground floor, while further up Arcade Club has taken over floors two and three from where it opens to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Arcade Club is discretely located upstairs
Arcade Club is discretely located upstairs

Before we get to the main pinball part, let’s have a look at Arcade Club which is a video game heaven for serious gamers in England’s northwest.

The third floor is where the bulk of the collection resides, and is also where the main reception area lives. Once inside, a large number of classic and modern video games await, including home consoles, sit-down driving games and assorted shooters. It’s kept pretty dark inside, so my phone’s camera struggled a little to get any good shots.

Classic video games at Arcade Club
Classic video games at Arcade Club

Classic video games at Arcade Club
Classic video games at Arcade Club

Assorted sit-down drivers
Assorted sit-down drivers

Classic games alongside Japanese imports
Classic games alongside Japanese imports

Stand-up drivers and shooters
Stand-up drivers and shooters

The home console area
The home console area

The lobby and cafe area
The lobby and cafe area

Hot and cold snacks and drinks are available at the cafe
Hot and cold snacks and drinks are available at the cafe

It's nearly all video games but there are three pinballs too
It’s nearly all video games but there are three pinballs too

Recently Arcade Club expanded onto the floor below, and it was here that the 8BitFlip event was hosted, combining NLP’s pinballs with Arcade Club’s games in one show.

We arrived as the set-up for the pinballs was underway.

Setting up the pinballs
Setting up the pinballs

Setting up the pinballs
Setting up the pinballs

The bulk of the pinballs were arranged in two rows running the length of the room, but there were eleven more owned by Arcade Club in a side room.

Entry to play the pinballs and all the video games cost £16 ($20/€19) per day for an adult (£6 for kids under 16) or a weekend ticket was available for £27 (£10 for kids). These tickets allowed you to play all the pinballs and videos on the second floor as well as access to Arcade Club’s main third floor.

Visitors enjoying the pinballs
Visitors enjoying the pinballs

The pinballs available to play were:

Addams Family, The
Attack from Mars
Batman, The Dark Knight
Big House
Bone Busters
Breakshot
Bride of Pinbot 2.0
Champion Pub, The
Cirqus Voltaire
Class of 1812
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
Earthshaker!
Elvira & The Party Monsters
Excalibur
F-14 Tomcat
Flash Gordon
Flintstones, The
Funhouse
Galaxy
Genesis
Indiana Jones (WMS)
Jack in the Box
Jackbot
Johnny Mnemonic
Judge Dredd
Medusa
Metallica LE
NBA Fastbreak
Operation Thunder
Party Zone
Pinball Magic
Rescue 911
Rollergames
Scared Stiff
Shadow, The
Sharpshooter
Sopranos, The
Spider-Man
Spider-Man
Spring Break
Star Trek Pro (Stern)
Tag Team Pinball
Terminator 2
Twilight Zone
Victory
Whitewater
X-Files

Guests enjoying the machines
Guests enjoying the machines

Guests enjoying the machines
Guests enjoying the machines

Along with the free play machines there were three additional machines set up on the stage at the back of the room.

Alien Pinball was here set on £1 per play and fitted with a streaming rig by Pinball Live.

Heighway Pinball's Alien pinball
Heighway Pinball’s Alien pinball

On the other side of the stage were two competition machines. The first was a Buckaroo where £1 bought two games with completing various objectives earning a cash prize. The second game was a The Flintstones which hosted a simple £1 high score competition each day, with the winner taking 50% of the cash box takings.

The two competition machines - Buckaroo and The Flintstones
The two competition machines – Buckaroo and The Flintstones

Along with the pinballs, the second floor was also home to some larger dedicated arcade machines such as dancing and music playing games, and a large PC gaming set-up with numerous high-end gaming PCs.

The gaming PCs
The gaming PCs

Virtual Reality kit could also be tried
Virtual Reality kit could also be tried

More arcade games and consoles
More arcade games and consoles

Candy cabs
Candy cabs

Some larger arcade games
Some larger arcade games

More dance and music machines
More dance and music machines

Nick and Kirk show off their dancing skills
Nick and Kirk show off their dancing skills

The second floor had its own cafe with a well-stocked fridge providing a nice selection of soft and alcoholic drinks at reasonable prices as well as a constant flow of tea and coffee.

The cafe area on the second floor
The cafe area on the second floor

Sandwiches, yoghurts and other chilled snacks
Sandwiches, cakes, yoghurts and other chilled snacks

The drinks available
The drinks available

The price list
The price list

In addition to the cafe, a small kiosk sold confectionary and gaming merchandise.

More nibbles and gaming mementos
More nibbles and gaming mementos

There's also a library of gaming publications
There’s also a library of gaming publications

There were two tournaments held over the weekend. On Saturday, there was the main The Big Flip event which was run by David Dutton (shown above on The Flintstones), while on Sunday we had The Old Flip which was organised by Carl Spiby.

The Big Flip began soon after the venue opened at 11am. It cost £10 to enter in addition to paid entry to 8BitFlip.

Players signed in and were paired up to play a set of three head-to-head games on randomly-chosen machines out of all those in the hall. If a game was being played by a non-tournament player, you just had to wait until they had finished before playing your tournament game.

This was a ‘seeding round’ where the winner of the best-of-three went to the A division and the loser into the B division. It’s not as bad as it might sound as the A and B divisions eventually merge.

So losing your first round match is not terminal for any hopes of winning, which was just as well as I was soundly beaten on my allocated games of The Addams Family and Whitewater. Those would normally be great choices for me, but not today.

On to the second round, and players in each division were put into groups of four to play a five-game match where the winner of each game earned themselves nine points. Second place got five points, third place two points with no points for coming last.

The top two players in each group progressed to round three, but in the A division the group winner got a bye through to round four. In both divisions, the third and fourth placed players were eliminated from the tournament, but they had the consolation of getting their £10 tournament fee refunded so they could drown their sorrows.

My luck improved after such a bad start and I won my B division group to keep going. However, because I was in the B division I didn’t get a bye for winning and so went into round three.

Round three was like round two with four-player groups, except only three games were played and, crucially, only the winner progressed. The other tree dropped out at that point.

It would be tough to win, but somehow I managed to scrape through and made it into round four where I joined the winners from the A division’s round two and those who also survived the ’round of death’ – round three.

That made fourteen players in all who were paired up for seven best-of-three matches. The seven winners progressed along with the ‘best performing’ loser. All scores were recorded and the losing player with the best percentage of their scores compared to their opponent went through too.

Contrary to expectations, things seemed to be getting a bit easier for me and I won the first two games, meaning the third only counted towards calculating whether my opponent also progressed.

With eight players remaining, tournament organiser David Dutton called everyone together to explain how the semi-final and final would work.

David explains the format for the rest of The Big Flip
David explains the format for the rest of The Big Flip

Round five was much the same as the previous round – three game head-to-head matches with the winner progressing and the loser dropping out. This time there was no ‘best loser’ so only the four winners would go through to the final.

I had a couple of reasonable games and so won the round 2-0 to make it to the final. We needed to play the third to decide seeding in the final, and I was able to win that game too.

The four finalists were Matt Vince, me, Craig Pullen and Aid Cooper. Matt and I won 3-0 in the fifth round, but he had a better percentage win in round four so took the top seed position. Craig and Aid won 2-1 in the semi-final and were seeded third and fourth for the final.

In the final, each player could choose a machine to play, starting with Aid and followed by Craig, me and Matt. That was also the play order for the first game which then rotated one place each time, meaning the player choosing the machine always played first. The familiar 9/5/2/0 points system was employed to score each game.

Aid’s choice was Breakshot by Capcom, a game on which he had set the grand champion score earlier in the day and so felt pretty confident picking.

Aid starts on Breakshot
Aid starts on Breakshot

However, as often seems to be the case, after a great game the following one just doesn’t compare, and that was the case here as Aid ended up last on his own choice of machine.

Craig and Matt seemed to know what they were doing, but Breakshot isn’t a game with which I’m overly familiar so I just followed what seemed to be working for them. And it worked for me too. After ball two I had a reasonable lead with 30M racked up, while the third ball consolidated that to end up just shy of 60M, setting the new grand champion score in the process.

Not a bad start for me. Craig was second, Matt close behind in third and Aid fourth.

Then we moved on to Craig’s choice of Bride of Pinbot 2.0. The curse of playing the machine you picked continued as his first two balls drained quickly. I put up a reasonable score as did Matt with Aid not having much luck again. After Craig’s third ball only performed a little better, it was between Matt and I to take the top two positions. Matt ended up winning, with me second, Aid third and Craig fourth.

Then it was my choice of machine, and I decided to mix things up a bit and play a title I didn’t think anyone would know well. So, I picked Premier’s Excalibur.

Would the curse continue?

Well, no, it didn’t. I put up a decent 1.8M total score which looked to be in danger from Craig during our third and last balls, but it held on to give me a second win. Craig was second, Matt third and Aid fourth.

I managed to get a ball stuck on the ramp during my game, so I amused the crowd by getting my phone out and taking a ‘selfie’.

Stuck ball? Time for a selfie
Stuck ball? Time for a selfie

By this stage, with two wins and a second place for a total of 23 points I had already won, so I took the opportunity to buy everyone a drink before we played the fourth and last game of the final.

This was to be Matt’s choice of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and like my choice it worked well for the player picking it. Craig had already put up a great score on his second ball, so it was up to Matt to beat it for the win. He got close, but in the end Craig won, Matt was second, I was third and Aid was fourth.

That meant the result of the final was:

Main Tournament A Division Results
Pos Name Score
1
2
3
4
Martin Ayub
Craig Pullen
Matt Vince
Aid Cooper
25
19
18
2

A new feature which was utilised this year was the ability to print images on mugs, so prior to the final I took pictures of all four finalists and e-mailed them to Mark Robinson who printed the mugs overnight ready for the trophy presentation the next day.

My 'mug shot'
My ‘mug shot’

The trophy presentation was held back until after Sunday’s tournaments had finished, but here are the pictures anyway, with presentations made by tournament director David Dutton.

Winner of The Big Flip, Martin Ayub
Winner of The Big Flip, Martin Ayub

Second place, Craig Pullen
Second place, Craig Pullen
(Craig wasn’t returning on Sunday, so this picture was taken on Saturday)

Third place, Matt Vince
Third place, Matt Vince

Fourth place, Aid Cooper
Fourth place, Aid Cooper

Here are the full results:

The Big Flip 2017 Results
Pos Name
1 Martin Ayub
2 Craig Pullen
3 Matt Vince
4 Aid Cooper
5 Wayne Johns
6 John Parkins
7 Frederico Dominguez
8 Garry Speight
9 Tom Fletcher
10 Darren Ball
11 Ian Walmsley
12 Krzysztof Gwiazda
13 Helmut Langenbruch
14 Andrew Foster
15 Paul Garner UK
16 Tim Porter
16 David Dodds
19 Paul Brookfield
19 Colin Clunie
19 Harry Bolt
19 Kirk Sadler
22 Chris Edis
23 Richard Garbutt
24 Nick Hamill
25 Dan Lewell
27 Vicki Oxlade
27 Greg Mott
27 Stewart Judson
27 Steven Smith
31 David Dutton
31 John Gray
31 Matthew Sutcliffe
34 Dan Hardy
34 Dave Willcox
34 Peter Blakemore
36 Mike Kindler
39 Steven Kielty
39 Paul Pattinson
39 Simon Oxlade
39 Mark O’Rourke
39 Alan Syson
39 Malc Lashley
43 Christopher Wilson
45 Chris Miller
45 Paul Owen
45 Ailsa Clunie
47 Daniel Bradford
47 Julie Chambers
49 Stephen Sutcliffe
50 Kristian Rossi
51 Graeme Haynes
52 Emil ED Dreiborg

The final of The Big Flip brought Saturday’s activities to a close. Arcade Club would re-open on Sunday morning at 11am for day two of 8BitFlip.

Meanwhile, we enjoyed a few more drinks at the bar before heading off for a Chinese meal and more beers at a nice craft beer bar called The Trackside, which is a repurposed railway station which serves a nice selection of craft beers at very sensible prices of around £2.80 ($3.60/€3.35) for a proper 20oz pint.

The beer selection at The Trackside
The beer selection at The Trackside

With no trace of a hangover whatsoever, Sunday at 8BitFlip began at 11am with the qualifying round of The Old Flip, 8BitFlip’s classic tournament.

This tournament had a slightly unusual format.

Eight older machines were set up and entrants could choose to play any four of them in an attempt to get the highest score of the day on any one of them. If desired they could then replay any one of them using their ‘soft’ joker, where a better score replaced an earlier attempt, but a worse score was discarded.

The Old Flip machines
The Old Flip machines:
Jack in the Box, Bonebusters, Big House, Excalibur, Medusa, Flash Gordon, Tag Team Pinball and Spring Break

An entry cost £5, but If one entry was not enough, a second entry could also be purchased for another $5. Only the top scorer on each machine moved on to the semi-finals, athough if someone had the top score on more than one machine, the machine on which they had the greatest margin of victory would be the one which counted and the second-placed player on the other machine would progress instead.

The top players mid-way through The Old Flip
The top players mid-way through The Old Flip

I started off well, getting the top scores on both Flash Gordon and Jack in the Box. However, I misunderstood the qualifying format and thought all the game scores would be ranked (and with four good scores I thought I would be in a strong position).

Play in The Old Flip
Play in The Old Flip

However, as the qualifying period progressed my score on Flash Gordon was narrowly beaten, and then right at the end my Jack in the Box score was beaten too, putting me in second place on both games but without a top score qualifying position.

The eight who did make it through were Wayne Johns, Greg Mott, Matt Vince, David Dutton, Andrew Foster, Paul Garner, Dan Lewell and Tom Fletcher.

They played a pair of three-game matches with four players per group. Scores were 7-5-2-1 on each game, and the two players with the most points progressed to the final.

Paul plays in the semi-finals
Paul plays in the semi-finals

They were Matt Vince, Greg Mott, Andrew Foster and David Dutton.

The chosen games for the final were picked by the top three qualifiers and were Bonebusters, Medusa and Excalibur.

Bonebuster was chosen by David and it worked well for him, giving him the win and the full seven points. Andrew Foster was second, Greg Mott third and Matt Vince fourth.

Play then moved on to Greg’s choice of Medusa.

Andrew Foster plays Medusa in the final of The Old Flip
Andrew Foster plays Medusa in the final of The Old Flip

Despite putting up the top score in qualifying, Greg didn’t do so well on the same game in the final, only managing third place. Matt won the game, with David second and Andrew fourth.

David is exasperated as he fails to win with his last ball
David is exasperated as he fails to win with his last ball

David led with 12 points going into the third and final game, but Matt was close behind on 8 points. Andrew had 6 points and so was unlikely to win while Greg’s 4 points put him out of contention for the win but able to take second or lower if the result of the final game went his way.

That final game was on Excalibur and the outcome produced an interesting three-way tie. Andrew won, Matt was second, Greg third and David fourth. That meant David, Andrew and Matt all had 13 points and so had to play a deciding game on Jack in the Box.

The deciding game on Jack in the Box
The deciding game on Jack in the Box

David had a great last ball to take the win. Andrew looked like he was all set to win but had ot settle for second, while Matt ended in third. The prizes were presented by tournament director Carl.

Winner of The Old Flip 2017, David Dutton
Winner of The Old Flip 2017, David Dutton

Second place, Andrew Foster
Second place, Andrew Foster

Third place, Matt Vince
Third place, Matt Vince

Fourth place, Greg Mott
Fourth place, Greg Mott

Here are the full results:

The Old Flip 2017 Results
1 David Dutton
2 Andrew Foster
3 Matt Vince
4 Greg Mott
5 Tom Fletcher
6 Dan Lewell
7 Paul Garner UK
8 Wayne Johns
10 Martin Ayub
10 Nick Hamill
10 Ian Walmsley
10 Emil ED Dreiborg
13 Dave Willcox
13 Daniel Bradford
16 Mike Kindler
16 John Parkins
16 Phoebe Lewell
16 Ronnie P.
19 Stewart Judson
19 Kristian Rossi
22 Peter Blakemore
22 Tim Porter
22 Steven Kielty
24 Julie Chambers
24 Steve Akroyd
26 Chris Jones
27 Stephen Sutcliffe
28 Colin Clunie
29 Ailsa Clunie
30 Matthew Sutcliffe

With the tournament over, machines began to be broken down and visitors drifted away as another 8BitFlip event came to a close.

The venue of Arcade Club was much improved since last year’s inaugural 8BitFlip at the Bury location. The renovations made the second floor of Ela Mill a much more inviting location with better facilities and a wider range of games to play.

This, combined with the two tournaments made it a very worthwhile (if lengthy) trip for me. The social aspect of any event outweighs the games to play and we certainly had a couple of enjoyable evenings out on the town, catching up with old friends, enjoying the food, drinks and sights, and talking a lot of rubbish.

So, it was another thoroughly enjoyable pinball weekend thanks to the Northern Lights Pinball team and Arcade Club. I’ll certainly hope to be back next year for more of the same.

TEXAS PINBALL FESTIVAL 2017

Visitors to the Texas Pinball Festival 2017

Welcome to the start of our coverage of the Texas Pinball Festival 2017. We have been regular attendees to the TPF for many years, and we are back in the familiar surroundings of the Embassy Suites hotel in Frisco, Texas.

The weather here is usually pretty nice in March, but this year the weather on Friday turned to dark clouds and scattered showers amidst the sunny intervals.

The Embassy Suites in Frisco
The Embassy Suites in Frisco

Any doubts we were at the right hotel were soon dispelled
Any possible doubts we were at the right hotel were soon dispelled

Fortunately, the rain had cleared before a false fire alarm forced hotel guests outside while the fire marshall checked it was safe to return.

Two fire trucks showed up
Two fire trucks showed up

Apparently it wasn't a promotion for Ghostbusters pinball
Apparently it wasn’t a promotion for Ghostbusters pinball

The show opened at 5pm, but before that we got a behind-the-scenes look at the games and the people setting up.

Immediately we are through the door we meet Jaap, Tommy, Suzanne and Andrew
Immediately we are through the door we meet Jaap, Tommy, Suzanne and Andrew

Charlie from Spooky Pinball sets up the two The Jetsons pinballs along with a Rob Zombie and Domino's
Charlie from Spooky Pinball sets up the two The Jetsons pinballs
along with a Rob Zombie and Domino’s

Ultra-Violet light is often seen as detrimental to pinball artwork, but two games at the TPF are using UV to highlight playfield artwork and models.

UV lighting for Attack from Mars and Ghostbusters
UV lighting for Attack from Mars and Ghostbusters

And Attack from Mars is well represented on Chicago Gaming Company’s stand where three remake models are on display – one LE, one SE and one standard. They sit alongside a Medieval Madness remake.

The Chicago Gaming booth
The Chicago Gaming booth

Attack from Mars remake LE
Attack from Mars remake LE

Attack from Mars remake LE
Attack from Mars remake LE

Attack from Mars remake LE topper
Attack from Mars remake LE topper

Elsewhere in the hall, machines were being set up for the start of the show.

A display of home machines from Bally and Brunswick
A display of home machines from Bally and Brunswick

In other areas of the show hall, machines were being put together.

Assembling games for the show
Assembling games for the show

More games arriving
More games arriving

Just moving a game often creates problems
Just moving a game often creates problems

CoinTaker had three Alien games awaiting set-up
CoinTaker had three Alien games awaiting set-up

Marco had two Batman 66s and three Aerosmiths
Marco had two Batman 66s and three Aerosmiths

Wizard Enterprises were building their display of lighted pinball items
Wizard Enterprises were building their display of illuminated pinball items

Lots of pinball bling at Pinball Plating
Lots of pinball bling at Pinball Plating

Brett Butler of Clear Gem had generously brought his Batman 66 Super LE along for everyone to enjoy
Brett Butler of Clear Gem had generously brought his Batman 66 Super LE
along for everyone to enjoy

Multimorphic had a large display of eight P3 machines
Multimorphic had a large display of eight P3 machines

These were in addition to several P-ROC-based games
These were in addition to several P-ROC-based games

The tournaments were the first part of the show to open on Friday. Qualifying began at 11am in the tournament area at the front of the hall.

Tournament qualifying is under way
Tournament qualifying is under way

Tournament play on Friday afternoon
Tournament play on Friday afternoon

Tournament trophies up for grabs
Tournament trophies up for grabs

Top trophies
Top trophies

Trophies for the various divisions of play
Trophies for the various divisions of play

As usual, there was a raffle to win a new game
As usual, there was a raffle to win a new game

Lots of pinball swag available to buy
Lots of pinball swag available to buy

Registration for the show could be done online or in person at the ticket counter located just outside the hall.

The ticket counter
The ticket counter

Just along from the ticket counter was Rob Anthony’s room where he had his usual assortment of pinball parts and a board repair service.

Rob Anthony's Pinball Classics room
Rob Anthony’s Pinball Classics room

The TPF had a healthy schedule of seminars and screenings. They were mostly held in the seminar room at the far end of the building from where they would be streamed and recorded.

The seminar room
The seminar room

However, the very first seminar was held in the bar area at 6pm on Friday to coincide with the manager’s reception which provided free drinks and snacks to hotel guests.

6pm – So You Think You Know Pinball? – Jonathan Joosten and Martin Ayub

Jonathan and Martin ask the questions
Jonathan and Martin ask the questions

This pinball quiz was run by the Editor of Pinball News, Martin Ayub and the Editor of Pinball Magazine, Jonathan Joosten. They asked guests to choose between two possible answers to pinball-related questions. Those who picked the right answer moved on to the next round, and as soon as there were around five players left, they all drew tickets for one of the many prizes donated by sponsors.

Martin splits the players according to their answer choices
Martin splits the players according to their answer choices

At 7pm, the seminars moved to the main seminar room with Dennis Nordman revealing just what he had been working on for the past couple of years.

The seminar room audience
The seminar room audience

All the presentations in the seminar room were captured on a web stream. On Friday there was a problem with the internet connection which made live streaming impossible, but the stream was recorded and should appear on YouTube in due course.

7pm: Another Homerun From… – Dennis Nordman

Dennis Nordman
Dennis Nordman

Dennis revealed the pitch and bat game he and Paul Reno developed a couple of years ago. It uses an established gameplay style, but adds some new features and retains some pinball-like elements to the design. He also introduced the team who had worked on the game and a second ‘zombiefied’ version with different artwork and sound calls.

Dennis, Paul and the team
Dennis, Paul and the team

The team then unveiled the game, and the second variant with the zombie theme.

The baseball game is revealled
The baseball game is revealed

The zombie-fied version
The zombiefied version

Dennis with the game
Dennis with the game

Then came the seminar with the team from American Pinball.

8pm: American Pinball Update – American Pinball

The American Pinball team (L-R)
The American Pinball team (L-R)
Jeff Busch, Jim Thornton, Jolly Backer, Dhaval Vasani, Josh Kugler,
Joe Balcer & Scott Goldberg

The team was here to unveil their new Houdini game which is a total redesign from the John Popaduik version of the game showed at Pinball Expo in October. Since then, Joe Balcer has created his own game design and the title has also changed slightly from Houdini: Master Mystery to Houdini: Master of Mystery.

Before the reveal, Scott spoke about the company’s aims and the work they have been doing so far. Joe then talked about his concept for the game, some of the features and how they are linked to the theme, and introduced Jeff who created the artwork and Josh who programmed it.

Joe Balcer
Joe Balcer

The game is still very much a work-in-progress with many hardware, software and artwork changes expected before it goes into production. However, we do know that the game runs on a P-ROC board and this will remain in the production version, with the team saying it makes sense for a rapid start-up company like American Pinball to get off the ground with an established and capable system rather than trying to develop their own from scratch.

The game was then revealed.

Joe removes the covers from the game
Joe removes the covers from the game

American Pinball's Houdini: Master of Mystery
American Pinball’s Houdini: Master of Mystery

The game's backglass with the LCD monitor
The game’s backglass with the LCD monitor

There was one final seminar on Friday, and this was with the actor who played Flash Gordon in the movie of the same name.

9pm: Q&A with Flash Gordon actor Sam J. Jones

Sam spoke about his acting career including how he got the role in the Flash Gordon movie.

Sam J. Jones
Sam J. Jones

As it had been a long day and the session wasn’t strictly pinball-related we didn’t stay for the whole seminar. We also needed to prepare for Saturday’s full day of events which began bright and early at 8am.

8am: Swap Meet – DFW Pinball & Arcade Club

This regular part of the TPF takes place in the car park at the back of the hotel, and is the opportunity for casual sellers to offer games, parts, paperwork and other gaming-related items.

The Swap Meet at the rear of the hotel
The Swap Meet at the rear of the hotel

Manuals, parts bins and playfields
Manuals, parts bins and playfields

Whole games and assorted parts at the swap meet
Whole games and assorted parts for sale

Each new seller's wares are closely inspected
Each new seller’s wares are closely inspected

Previous years had seen rain and snow on the Saturday morning
Previous years had seen rain and snow on the Saturday morning,
but there was no such problems this year

Free pinball cabinets and backboxes
Free pinball cabinets and backboxes

The first of the day’s seminars began at 11am with Jim Schelberg’s latest Pinball in the Media presentation.

11am: Politically Provocative Pinball – Jim Schelberg

Jim Schelberg
Jim Schelberg

Jim showed a mix of classic and new media clips featuring pinball in one way or another, including several music videos and commercials.

12pm: Multimorphic and the P3: Game On! – Gerry Stellenberg

Before the seminar got under way, Gerry invited everyone to enjoy some Texan BBQ food for lunch which he generously provided for all audience members.

The queue for lunch
The queue for lunch

Potato, corn, sausage, beef, turkey, onions, chilies, pickles and bread, all with BBQ sauce
Potato, corn, sausage, beef, turkey, onions, chilies, pickles and bread,
all served with BBQ sauce

All washed down with ice tea (natural or sweetened)
All washed down with ice tea (natural or sweetened)

After many years detailing the development and benefits of the P3 pinball platform, this year Gerry was able to announce that the first production run of P3 machines.

Gerry announces details of the first production run
Gerry announces details of the first production run

He detailed how Multimorphic is working with a contract manufacturer in the Austin area so that the first run of machines and assemblies can be built, leading to the second run, orders for which were being taken now with expected delivery in Q3 2017. The first eight production machines were at the show set-up in various configurations to demonstrate the capabilities of the different playfield modules and games.

Gerry Stellenberg
Gerry Stellenberg

Gerry was joined on stage by Michael Ocean who uses the P-ROC and P3 to teach students to program a pinball game as well as working on some of the other P-ROC game projects out there, and BJ Wilson who talked about some of the P3 software features he has developed for Multimorphic.

Michael Ocean and BJ Wilson
Michael Ocean and BJ Wilson

Next onto the stage were two brothers with a long history in the pinball design business.

1pm: Growing up Ritchie – Mark and Steve Ritchie

Mark Ritchie and Steve Ritchie
Mark Ritchie and Steve Ritchie

Mark and Steve spoke about their upbringings, about how their father and mother behaved and instilled in them both certain values. They continued by describing how they each were introduced to arcade games and pinball in particular, and then how they both became involved in the pinball business, starting at Atari in California before moving to Chicago to join Williams.

Mark and Steve
Mark and Steve

They then took questions from the audience about events from their youth as well as the background to some of their more recent game projects.

Earlier in the day Cassandra Peterson, who is perhaps better known as her alter ego Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, was at the show to meet fans and sign autographs for $20 each.

A sizeable queue built up to meet Cassandra long before she arrived in the hall.

The line to meet Cassandra
The line to meet Cassandra

Cassandra signs Elvira-related items
Cassandra signs Elvira-related items

After her appearance in the show hall, Cassandra then joined Greg Freres and Dennis Nordman – the design and art team behind the two Elvira-themed games – to talk about the design processes in a panel discussion hosted by Charlie Emery.

2pm: Getting Up with Elvira – Cassandra Peterson, Dennis Nordman, Greg Freres & Charlie Emery

Charlie, Dennis, Cassandra and Greg
Charlie, Dennis, Cassandra and Greg

Greg and Dennis described how the idea for the first Elvira game – Elvira & The Party Monsters – came up, and how they developed the characters in the game to appear alongside Elvira.

Charlie, Dennis, Cassandra, Greg and a bunch of leapers
Charlie, Dennis, Cassandra, Greg are joined by a bunch of leapers

A packed seminar room
A packed seminar room

The big announcement was that Greg and Dennis’s second game following Whoa Nellie! would be their as-yet-unnamed third Elvira-themed game, following on from Elvira & the Party Monsters and Scared Stiff.

Dennis & Greg announced joining up with Elvira again at the seminar hosted by Charlie Emery
Dennis & Greg announced joining up with Elvira again
at the seminar hosted by Charlie Emery

No date for the game was announced, but it is expected to be built by Stern Pinball as one of their ‘studio’ titles.

Next onto the stage at Frisco was Jaap Nauta from Dutch Pinball.

3pm: Dutch Pinball Update – Jaap Nauta

There was a lot of news, rumour and speculation surrounding Dutch Pinball’s The Big Lebowski game, and Jaap was here to tell the story of what has happened to the both the game and the company.

Jaap Nauta of Dutch Pinball
Jaap Nauta of Dutch Pinball

Jaap related the history of the game, the agreements Dutch Pinball has with ARA to build the game, and how those agreements were broken when the price was increased by €1,000 and the agreement to build the remaining games as well as a number of Dutch Pinball’s second game was not kept.

He said eventually Dutch Pinball had enough and couldn’t give in to ARA’s demands, which put them in a stalemate situation where ARA had around 40 completed games in their factory but wouldn’t release them until the new, higher price per game was paid.

Jaap explained the Dutch legal process and said their intended way forward was to build their second title with a new contract manufacturer in the Netherlands called VDL, sell it, and raise enough operating capital to continue production of The Big Lebowski at VDL. Or maybe ARA would see reason and come to a deal.

That second title hadn’t been announced until the TPF, but now it was revealed as Bride of Pinbot 25th Anniversary.

The Bride of Pinbot 25th Anniversary logo
The Bride of Pinbot 25th Anniversary logo

This takes the Bride of Pinbot 2.0 ruleset and builds upon it to produce a complete game with a new cabinet and remade playfield incorporating the 2.0 modifications.

The playfield design is the same as the original Bride of Pinbot, but with updated inserts, display, lighting and sound. They plan to make up to 150 Super Limited Editions by the end of 2017, followed by a run of standard games and – hopefully – the remaining The Big Lebowski games.

The Bride of Pinbot 25th Anniversary translite
The Bride of Pinbot 25th Anniversary translite Click to expand

The Super LE’s would have 100 machines sent to North America and split between DP distributors CoinTaker and Nitro Pinball. The remaining 50 would go to the rest of the world. The first batch of 25 is scheduled for June 1017.

Bride of Pinbot 25th Anniversary
Bride of Pinbot 25th Anniversary

The next speaker was Andrew Heighway of Heighway Pinball.

4pm: Heighway Pinball Update – Andrew Heighway

Andrew Heighway
Andrew Heighway

Andrew was back at the TPF to bring the latest news from the Heighway Pinball factory in south Wales and update us on progress on the company’s Alien Pinball title. Three Alien Pinball machines were in the show hall for guests to play.

The three Alien Pinball machines in the show hall
The three Alien Pinball machines in the show hall

Andrew talked about the new facilities at the company’s factory in Ebbw Vale and their production schedule for both Alien and Full Throttle. You can see Andrew show us around the Heighway Pinball factory in our exclusive Pinball News video shot right before the Texas show.

The next speaker at this year’s TPF was Jack Guarnieri of Jersey Jack Pinball.

5pm: Jersey Jack Pinball Update – Jack Guarnieri

Jack Guarnieri
Jack Guarnieri

Jack updated the seminar audience on the latest happenings at the Jersey Jack Pinball factory, including production details of The Wizard of Oz, The Hobbit, and shorty, Dialed In!. Regarding Dialed In!, Jack told how he and game designer Pat Lawlor met and agreed to collaborate on creating the company’s third title.

Jack was joined on stage by Eric Meunier and Butch Peel from JJP who spoke about the technical aspects of the game, including the lighting system and the upcoming manual for The Hobbit.

Eric Meunier and Butch Peel
Eric Meunier and Butch Peel

After Jack’s seminar there was an autograph session on a table outside the seminar hall. People queued with items to be signed – such as translites, backglasses, playfields and flyers – or simply to meet the pinball celebrities and talk about their work.

The queue for the autograph table
The queue for the autograph table

John Trudeau signs a Ghostbusters plastic
John Trudeau signs a Ghostbusters plastic

Batman 66 artist Christopher Franchi signs a flyer for the game
Batman 66 artist Christopher Franchi signs a flyer for the game

Steve Ritchie, Mark Ritchie and George Gomez greet guests to the autograph session
Steve Ritchie, Mark Ritchie and George Gomez greet guests to the autograph table

Once the signing session was over, George Gomez took to the stage in the seminar room for his talk about the happenings at Stern Pinball.

7pm: Stern Pinball Update – George Gomez

George Gomez
George Gomez

George told the audience about the games Stern Pinball currently has in production, and the different types of games the company produces which he separated into ‘Cornerstone’ titles – regular in-house designs – Studio Games brought to the company by external designers, Vault Titles remade from previous title when demand is seen, The Pin home models, Contract Games made for, and marketed by other companies, Virtual Games such as the Stern Pinball Arcade with Farsight, and their accessories business selling mods, clothing, collectibles and the like.

George describes the different strands of the business
George describes the different strands of the business

After George there was a break from the seminar format with the world premier of a new pinball documentary.

8pm: Official World Premier of ‘Things That Go Bump In the Night: The Spooky Pinball Story’

The full-length documentary details the creation and business expansion of Spooky Pinball in Benton, Wisconsin, USA through interviews with the team involved in starting and running the business, as well as those creating the games.

Charlie Emery talks about founding the company
Charlie Emery talks about founding the company

The film was made by Joel and Dana Reeves and they were here to talk about its creation, from concept to shooting and editing.

Joel and Dana Reeves
Joel and Dana Reeves

The audience for the documentary screening
The audience for the documentary screening

After the documentary screening, there was a panel discussion with members of the Spooky team where the company’s next title was revealed as Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle. A teaser video has also been produced.

For those otherwise engaged on Saturday evening, the documentary was repeated in the seminar hall at 10am on Sunday morning.

Let’s return to the main show hall and see how the TPF looked on Saturday evening.

Into the main show hall
Into the main show hall

Nicolas and Timothie Manaud from Pinsound
Nicolas and Timothie Manaud from Pinsound

They had several games fitted with PinSound boards
They had several games fitted with PinSound boards

Including these Last Actionn Hero and Tommy games
Including these Last Action Hero and Tommy games

Game Over Videogames had classic consoles, handhelds and games
Game Over Videogames had classic consoles, handhelds and games

Flip N Out Pinball had their Escalera stair-climbing handtrucks
Flip N Out Pinball had their Escalera stair-climbing handtrucks

This stall was selling pinball items to raise money for the family of Jimmy Hefne, owner of Metro Pinball and Video who passed away in October 2016
This stall was selling pinball items to raise money for the family of Jimmy Hefner, owner of Metro Pinball and Video who passed away in October 2016

Spooky Pinball brought a Rob Zombie's Spookshow International, two The Jetsons and a Domino's Pizza pinball
Spooky Pinball brought a Rob Zombie’s Spookshow International,
two The Jetsons and a Domino’s Pizza pinball

The Jetsons
The Jetsons

The Spooky Pinball stand
The Spooky Pinball stand

KAHR.US Circuits were selling power supply boards amd volume controls for Williams games
KAHR.US Circuits were selling power supply boards and volume controls for Williams games

Starship Fantasy had their usual large selection of pinball ramps, playfields and backglasses
Starship Fantasy had their usual large selection of pinball ramps, playfields and backglasses

Tim at Mezel Mods had numerous ways to enhance your game
Tim at Mezel Mods had numerous ways to enhance your game

Lermods also wanted to make your game extra-special
Lermods also wanted to make your game extra-special

Some of Lermods illuminated add-ons
Some of Lermods illuminated add-ons

Kimball's Pinballs was showing two super-blinged games
Kimball’s Pinballs was showing two super-blinged games

Their Ghostbusters had numerous lighting enhancements
Their Ghostbusters had numerous lighting enhancements

Playing games can be thirsty work, so there was a bar to provide refreshments
Playing games can be thirsty work, so there was a bar to provide refreshments

For more solid refreshment there was also a snack bar
For more solid refreshment there was also a snack bar

Prices at the snack bar
Prices at the snack bar

Marco Specialties had three Aerosmith and two Batman 66 games
Marco Specialties had three Aerosmith and two Batman 66 games

Enjoying the new Aerosmith game on the Marco stand
Enjoying the new Aerosmith game on the Marco stand

Marco Specialties also had a small selection of parts available
Marco also had a small selection of parts available

Along with the games and parts Marco Specialties had Stern clothing
Along with the games and parts Marco had Stern clothing

The Gulf Coast Pinball Club had a nice selection of quality games to play
The Gulf Coast Pinball Club had a nice selection of quality games to play

Pinballz were promoting their three Austin arcade locations
Pinballz were promoting their three Austin arcade locations

Pinball Plating has lots of shiny and vivid pinball trim parts
Pinball Plating has lots of shiny and vivid pinball trim parts

Chrome and gold finishes
Chrome and gold finishes

Legs of many colours
Legs of many colours

Double Danger had a big range of pinball T-shirts
Double Danger had a big range of pinball T-shirts

Devin Lawson of Spicy Donut was showing her artwork prints and posters
Devin Lawson of Spicy Donut was showing her artwork prints and posters

Total Pinball Restorations brought their Frontier and Flash Gordon projects
Total Pinball Restorations brought their Frontier and Flash Gordon projects

The DFW Pinball Arcade Club has a great display of pinballs and videos
The DFW Pinball Arcade Club has a great display of pinballs and videos

KingPin Games had the newest JJP titles
KingPin Games had the newest JJP titles

KingPin Games had two Dialed In! games which were in constant demand
KingPin Games had two Dialed In! games which were in constant demand

Fun! had a line-up of new and classic games
Fun! had a line-up of new and classic games

Fun! featured new Stern and JJP titles
Fun! featured new Stern and JJP titles

Fun! were also showing the new Stern Pinball HD anti-glare glass
Fun! were also showing the new Stern Pinball HD anti-glare glass

Here's a side-by-side comparison (HD glass on the left)
Here’s a side-by-side comparison (HD glass on the left) Click to expand

Fun! were also selling the new Attack from Mars remakes at $7,999 for the LE and $7,299 for the special edition
Fun! were also selling the new Attack from Mars remakes at $7,999 for the LE and $7,299 for the special edition

Both had the high-resolution colour graphics
Both had the large high-resolution colour graphics, although the standard edition at $6,499 has the original smaller monochrome display

Although there were some glitches, they generally looked very attractive
Although there were some glitches, they generally looked very attractive

A look under the playfield
A look under the playfield

American Pinball were debuting their Houdini game at the TPF
American Pinball were debuting their Houdini game at the TPF

Game designer Joe Balcer and programmer Josh Kugler were on hand to talk about the game
Game designer Joe Balcer and programmer Josh Kugler were on hand to talk about the game

There were long lines to play the two Houdini games
There were long lines to play the two Houdini games

It's not all new games at the show
It’s not all new games at the show

You never know who you'll meet at the TPF
You never know who you’ll meet at the TPF

Pinball Side Mirrors had some demonstrator games to showcase their products
Pinball Side Mirrors had some demonstrator games to showcase their products

Comic Wreck had books, posters and other prints of sci-fi or horror themes
Comic Wreck had books, posters and other prints of sci-fi and horror themes

The Vector crew had an nice mix of electromechanical pinball and arcade games
The Vector crew had an nice mix of electromechanical pinball and modern arcade games

This Polynesia game looked interesting but sadly seemed to be out of order throughout the show
This Polynesia game on the Vector stand looked interesting but sadly seemed to be out-of-order throughout the show

Bob Herbison had some more of his wonderful EM restorations
Bob Herbison had some more of his wonderful EM restorations

This stand at the back of the hall is a regular fixture selling assorted marquees as well as manuals, plastics and all kinds of gaming paraphernalia
This stand at the back of the hall is a regular TPF fixture selling assorted marquees as well as manuals, plastics and all kinds of gaming paraphernalia

Coin Taker had their regular LEDs but also games from Heighway Pinball and Dutch Pinball
Coin Taker had their regular LEDs but also games from both Heighway Pinball and Dutch Pinball

There were three Alien pinballsto play
There were three Alien pinballs to play

The long line to play them remained throughout the show
The long line to play them remained throughout the show

CoinTaker also has the Dutch Pinball Brideo fo Pinbot 2.0 on which the new 25th Anniversary edition will be based
CoinTaker also has the Dutch Pinball Bride of Pinbot 2.0 upon which the new 25th Anniversary edition will be based

Pinball Refinery had some nicely upgraded games on their stand
Pinball Refinery had some nicely upgraded games on their stand

Chrome plating, powder coating, additional lighting and more
Chrome plating, powder coating, additional lighting and more

Mirco Steffen was at the TPF selling reproduction playfields
Mirco Steffen was at the TPF selling reproduction playfields

Pinball Wheezer were selling pinball appareil and cup holders
Pinball Wheezer were selling pinball apparel and cup holders

Tilt Graphics were promoting their big range of cabinet interior decals
Tilt Graphics were promoting their big range of cabinet interior decals

William 'Bubba' Flint was presenting a selection of his artworks
William ‘Bubba’ Flint was presenting a selection of his artworks

Dennis Nordman's Gizmo Game Design presented the two pitch and bat games
Dennis Nordman, Paul Reno and Tom Taylor’s Gizmo Game Design company presented their two pitch and bat games

Titan Pinball were selling their silicone pinball 'rubbers'
Titan Pinball were selling their silicone pinball ‘rubbers’

The History of Pinball exhibit featured an array of pre-flipper mechanical games
The History of Pinball exhibit featured an array of pre-flipper mechanical games

No power needed to play these games
No power needed to play these games

Goofy and Fleet
Goofy and Fleet

Two table-top games
Two table-top games

Sam J. Jones was often to be found on his stand signing autographs and talking to guests
Sam J. Jones (Flash Gordon) was often to be found on his stand signing autographs and talking to guests

The Multimorphic stand was showing multiple P3 machines in various configurations to show off its capabilities
The Multimorphic stand was showing multiple P3 machines in various configurations to show off its capabilities

Next to the Multimorphic stand was a row of P-ROC-powered custom games including this work-in-progress Total Annhiliation machine...
Next to the Multimorphic stand was a row of P-ROC-powered custom games including this original work-in-progress Total Annihilation machine…

...and two Buffy the Vampire Slayer machines
…and two Buffy the Vampire Slayer conversion games

Doom was another P-ROC custom game on display
Doom was another P-ROC custom game on display

The unreleased third Pinball 2000 title Wizard Blocks is being made using a P-ROC
The un-released and un-finished third Pinball 2000 title, Wizard Blocks, is being made using a P-ROC

Passionately Rivalicious had a big selection of sports clothing
Passionately Rivalicious had a big selection of sports clothing

This perspex Super Straight was a popular attraction
This Perspex Super Straight was a popular attraction

The games were pretty busy throughout the show
The games were pretty busy throughout the show

Although it was mostly about the pinball, there were plenty of video games too
Although it was mostly about the pinball, there were plenty of video games too

Wizard Enterprises were showing their pop bumper nightlights and illuminated backglasses
Wizard Enterprises were showing their pop bumper night lights and framed illuminated backglasses

Rockin' Robin were selling pop art posters
Rockin’ Robin were selling pop art posters

More shiny bling for your game at Pinball Plating and More
More shiny bling for your game at Pinball Plating and More

If you wanted an oscilliscope, multimeter, wave generator, logic probe or othertest equipment, Arcade Components had you covered
If you wanted an oscilloscope, multimeter, wave generator, logic probe or other test equipment, Arcade Components had you covered

It's almost a tradition to pair these two at any pinball show
It’s almost a tradition to pair these two at any pinball show

VP Cabs had a gazebo display of assorted virtual pinball cabinets
VP Cabs had a gazebo display of assorted virtual pinball cabinets

Here’s our exclusive Thirty Minute Tour video of the show hall which was shot on Sunday morning.

The Pinball News Thirty Minute Tour of the Texas Pinball Festival 2017

At the end of the show on Sunday afternoon, there were numerous presentations for the Best-in-Show awards in various categories at a ceremony hosted by Ed Vanderveen and Bill Morrison.

Plaques and rosettes for the winners
Plaques and rosettes for the winners

Bill announces the winners
Bill announces the winners

The awards were chosen by the TPF team of Bill Morrison, Keith Holbrook, Scott Martin and Rich Wiski and went to:

Best Video Game
Star Wars – Kevin Moore

 

Best Antique
World’s Fair Jigsaw – Chris Schnick

 

Best 1960s
Cow Poke – Howard Isaacson

 

Best 1970s EM
Grand Prix – Lonnie & Robin McDonald

 

Best 1970s Solid State
Night Rider – Jeff Bolich

 

Best 1980s
Fathom – Wesley Goodin

 

Best 1990s
Congo – Lonny Payne

 

Best Modern
Iron Man – Gary Stuart

 

Best Original
Farfalla – Josh & Jennifer Tidmore

 

Best Restoration
Freddy: A Nightmare on Elm Street
– West Texas Ballers

 

Best Custom
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
– David Nelson

 

Grand Champion
The Machine: Bride of Pinbot
– Kevin Moore

 

Kevin Moore receives his Grand Champion award
Kevin Moore receives his Grand Champion award

The winning game
The winning game with hand-painted artwork

The show finished with draws for cash prizes for those who brought machines, and the grand Pinball for Patriots prize draw for a virtual pinball from VP Cabs.

VP Cabs' virtual pinball machine
VP Cabs’ virtual pinball machine

Ed looks for a volunteer to draw the prize
Ed looks for a volunteer to draw the prize

The tickets are given a spin
The tickets are given a spin

The winning ticket is picked
The winning ticket is picked

The lucky winner takes home the VP Cabs game
The lucky winner takes home the VP Cabs game

The show then wrapped up and the breakdown of machines and stands could begin.

Show's over folks!
Show’s over folks!

Load 'em up!
Load ’em up!

We’ll be back with to complete this report with the results of the tournaments and our closing thoughts, but until then we’ll just thank the Texas Pinball Festival organisers Ed, Kim, Paul and Ken for their help and hospitality.

Ed & Kim Vanderveen, Paul McKinney and Ken Kemp
Ed & Kim Vanderveen, Paul McKinney and Ken Kemp

ARCADE EXPO 2017

The Museum of Pinball

Last year we paid our first visit to the Museum of Pinball in Banning, California, for the second ever Arcade Expo show. This year we are back for Arcade Expo 3.0 which has moved from the usual January slot to the busier show season of March.

Once again, the Arcade Expo venue was the Museum of Pinball, at 700 South Hathaway in the semi-desert landscape at the base of snow-capped hills south of Banning.

The setting for the Arcade Expo show
The setting for the Arcade Expo show

The Museum of Pinball is sited in its own compound, consisting of the main museum building and numerous satellite storage units.

The Museum of Pinball building
The Museum of Pinball compound

The Museum of Pinball building
The main Museum of Pinball building

There was plenty of parking on site, both at the front of the building and elsewhere on the compound, while street parking was also an option.

Parking at the front of the building
Parking at the front of the building

Meanwhile for the adventurous, RV parking and camping was available a short distance from the main Museum building.

The campgrounds
The campgrounds

We arrived on Friday afternoon when the Arcade Expo show opened to the public. Although it was reasonably busy then, Saturday was when the most visitors arrived.

The queue for admission on Saturday
The queue for admission on Saturday

Entry cost $45 per day for the shorter Friday (2:30pm-midnight) and Sunday (11am – 7pm) sessions, or $55 for Saturday’s full day (11am – 2am). Children’s passes were priced at $20 a day, while a 3-day pass costs $120 for adults or $55 for kids aged three to twelve.

Even before visitors got into the Museum building there was plenty to see in the forecourt, from food trucks to beer and ice cream tents and vendor stalls.

Mexican food from this food truck
Mexican food from this food truck

Ice cream, drinks, burgers, hot dogs and more from these food vendors
Ice cream, drinks, burgers, hot dogs and more from these food vendors

Crepes and grilled cheese sandwiches available here
Crepes and grilled cheese sandwiches available here

Outdoor seating proved very popular with the great weather
Outdoor seating proved very popular thanks to the great weather

Local brewer, Brew Rebellion, had a stand here too
Local brewer, Brew Rebellion, had a stand here too

Mexican ice creams and sorbets were also available on Saturday
Mexican ice creams and sorbets were also available on Saturday

A little further along we have more stalls and some shooting games.

Rifle games in a side building
Rifle games in a side building

Gun games
Gun games

Into the vendor area
Into the vendor area

The biggest vendor by far was Marco Specialties who were showcasing the latest Stern Pinball games and also had a special guest.

Three Batman 66 premium models
Three Batman 66 premium models

A Pabst Can Crusher, three Ghostbusters, a Kiss and a Metallica
A Pabst Can Crusher, three Ghostbusters, a Kiss and a Metallica

Two Aerosmiths, another Pabst Can Crusher and another Metallica
Two Aerosmiths, another Pabst Can Crusher and another Metallica

Many of the Stern Pinball games featured artwork by ‘Dirty’ Donny Gillies, and the man himself was here at the show to meet guests and autograph various pinball items.

'Dirty' Donny Gillies with some of his artwork
‘Dirty’ Donny Gillies with some of his artwork

In addition to Donny and the latest games, Marco also had a selection of pinball spares on sale with their usual offer of free continental US shipping on orders made at the show.

The Marco Specialties parts stand
The Marco Specialties parts stand

Sharing the tent with Marco were Captain’s Auctions who had a stand of their own.

The Captain's Auctions stand
The Captain’s Auctions stand

Outside the tent, the David Trotter was stoking interest in his Launch the Ball movie venture and looking to raise the necessary funds from investors.

David Trotter on the Launch the Ball stand
David Trotter on the Launch the Ball stand

In the tent next door, more arcade vendors had their stands set up to sell assorted video game systems and trinkets.

Video game items for sale
Video game items for sale

Video game items for sale
Video game items for sale

Video game items for sale
Video game items for sale

Also set up outside was a small music stage where bands and lone performers entertained guests to the show. Some acts were more annoying than enjoyable, but some talented musicians also played here with the music resonating around the compound.

Earlier in the day we had live singing to a pre-recorded backing track
Earlier in the day we had live singing to a pre-recorded backing track

The audience was small but enthusiastic
The audience was small but enthusiastic

In addition to the food and drinks vendors we saw earlier, there was also a side window where visitors could purchase items from the cafeteria inside the main building without having to leave the glorious sunshine.

More drinks and snacks
More drinks and snacks

Inside the cafeteria
Inside the cafeteria

Inside the cafeteria
Inside the cafeteria

Just outside the cafeteria, at the entrance to the main building – was a large canvas where visitors were encouraged to leave their mark.

Sign you name or leave your message
Sign you name or leave your message

And so we come to the main part of the Arcade Expo show – the games halls. We say ‘halls’ because the building is split in two, with pinball machines on the left as we enter and video games on the right.

The main Museum sign
The main Museum sign

To the pinballs on the left
To the pinballs on the left

To the videos on the right
To the videos on the right

Before we get to either of those though, there’s the Museum’s gift shop.

Get your Museum of Pinball souvenirs here
Get your Museum of Pinball souvenirs here

Arcade Expo T-shirts
Arcade Expo T-shirts

Assorted gamer swag
Assorted gamer swag

Assorted gamer swag
Assorted Pac-Man swag

Entering the main pinball hall, we have a jaw-dropping array of machines ranging from the early electromechanical to the newest LCD screen models, arranged in rows which disappear into the distance.

The central rows in the pinball hall
The central rows in the pinball hall Click to expand

The hall is divided into sections dedicated to the various manufacturers. The Data East/Sega line is the first visitors get to see.

The Data East row
The Data East row

The Data East row
The Data East row

Part of the Williams row
Part of the Williams row

More Williams games
More Williams games

Part of the Bally section
Part of the Bally section

More Bally and Williams games
More Bally and Williams games

Some of the modern Stern games
Some of the modern Stern games

There is also a comprehensive selection of Stern Electronics games
There is also a comprehensive selection of Stern Electronics games

Some of the electronic Gottlieb games
Some of the electronic Gottlieb games

More Gottliebs in the foreground and Sterns in the background
More Gottliebs in the foreground and Sterns in the background

More Gottlieb games
More Gottlieb games

There is also a dedicated area for Bally electromechanical games, with one row of wedgeheads and another of Gottlieb EMs.

Looking from the Williams solid state games to the Bally EM area
Looking from the Williams solid state games to the Bally EM area

Part of the Bally electromechanical games section
Part of the Bally electromechanical games section

Bally games, with part of the row of wedgeheads behind
Bally games, with part of the row of wedgeheads behind

More Bally EM games
More Bally EM games

More Bally EM games
More Bally EM games

Two Bally Freedoms - one early production or prototype and one regular game
Two Bally Freedoms – one early production or prototype and one regular game

The original bottom of the playfield
The original bottom of the playfield

The main production version
The main production version

Keeping all these games up and running takes a veritable army of hard-working tech volunteers. They were easily identified by their distinctive red T-shirts.

Another game gets urgent attention
Another game gets urgent attention

Sometimes you need a second opinion, or a third, or a fourth...
Sometimes you need a second opinion, or a third, or a fourth…

More Ballys and wedgeheads
More Ballys and wedgeheads

Gottlieb EM games
Gottlieb EM games

Even the seats are pinball-themed
Even the seats are pinball-themed

Elsewhere around the pinball hall, various clusters of games are grouped together by manufacturer or according to another common theme.

Three Capcom games with an Alvin G added to the mix
Three Capcom games with an Alvin G added to the mix

This room uses black lights to showcase UV-reactive properties
This room uses black lights to showcase UV-reactive properties

More UV effects
More UV effects

In the very back corner of the pinball hall is an area dedicated to tournament play. This weekend there were various pinball tournaments – both IFPA-accredited and not – contested in the area.

The tournament area on Friday
The tournament area on Friday

The tournament area on Friday
The tournament area on Friday

During the Three-Strikes tournament on Saturday
During the Three-Strikes tournament on Saturday

During the Three-Strikes tournament on Saturday
During the Three-Strikes tournament on Saturday

During the Three-Strikes tournament on Saturday
During the Three-Strikes tournament on Saturday

Trophies for the Split-Flipper and One -Handed tournaments
Trophies for the Split-Flipper and One -Handed tournaments

There were also two side rooms – one with games just for the younger visitors, and another lounge with table-top games and a ball bowler.

The kids games room
The kids games room

The table-top lounge area
The table-top lounge area

Here’s our exclusive Thirty Minute Tour video of the show. This skips the video games hall – we have a separate video of that – but covers everything else, including the stands outside and in the vendor area.

The video game hall there were hundreds of arcade games including all the classics and many rarer titles.

You can see them all in this Fifteen Minute Tour of the video game hall.

There were also a few physical pinballs to be found in the video hall, including three on the Pinball Arcade stand and another at the American Outreach Foundation.

The Pinball Arcade stand
The Pinball Arcade stand

The American Outrach stand
The American Outreach stand

Starship Fantasy also had a large stand filled with their regular assortment of pinball plastics, ramps, backglasses and playfields. You can see all they had in our video above.

On Saturday there were two more events of note.

In the Trading Card Hall of Fame, Walter Day and Billy Mitchell were hosting several talks and Q&A sessions, as well as unveiling the latest trading card subjects.

Billy Mitchell answers questions from the audience
Billy Mitchell answers questions from the audience

Walter and Billy introduce the latest people to be commemorated on a trading card
Walter and Billy introduce the latest people to be commemorated on a trading card

Then, on Saturday evening there was a special VIP meal to unveil Tim Moyers latest restoration. After last year’s Getaway, Tim returned to Arcade Expo with a Frontier. It was revealed at a party in the Beer Revolution taproom in Banning.

Beer Revolution in Banning
Beer Revolution in Banning

The unveiling party
The unveiling party

Entry to the VIP party cost $40 per head and included free drinks and food.

Inside, five pinballs were set up; Frontier, Ghostbusters, NASCAR, Big Buck Hunter and Iron Man. Frontier was on free play, but the others were coin-operated.

Frontier headed the line-up of five machines
Frontier headed the line-up of five machines

The star of the show
The star of the show

Tim with his Frontier
Tim with his Frontier

Once everyone had had the chance to try the game, food was served on the patio.

Chicken supreme, lasagne and rigatoni was served outside
Chicken supreme, lasagne and rigatoni was served outside

The evening ended with live music
The evening ended with live music

And that brings us to the end of our coverage of this year’s Arcade Expo show.

The Museum of Pinball has an amazing and unrivalled collection of pinball and video games, and gives the perfect basis for a large show such as Arcade Expo. The space available both inside and out means plenty of machine, parts, collectibles, food and drink vendors can be accommodated. This year’s hot sunny weather was especially helpful in getting guests to explore all corners of the compound.

The Museum’s remote location can’t be ignored though, and the distance from the Los Angeles metropolitan area (combined with the lane closures on the main freeway) must act to deter the more casual attendees, as did the price of entry.

$55 per person for Saturday appears high but is actually pretty good value when you consider the number and range of both pinball and video games available to play from 11am until 2am. It is, though, probably high enough to deter any families with only a casual interest in arcade games. Not that that seemed to affect numbers too much, especially on Saturday – the busiest of the thee days.

We would like to see more seminars from local pinheads. Last year’s Archer talk was a unique feature of this show, and there are surely plenty of local collectors and developers who would be willing to share details of their work.