Pinball Expo 2016 and other Fall Stuff

The pinball, arcade and video gaming industries have been busy this fall!  

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Pinball Expo in Chicago had a great (possibly record) turnout and industry leaders came out to showcase their 'wares to an enthusiast public.   At several points during the expo, particularly on Thursday evening Pinside.com became unresponsive, ostensibly from traffic overload.


Pinball is alive and kicking, indeed. 

 

I didn't attend but Pinball Expo is definitely on my bucket-list of shows to check out.  I think I'd go to TPF first, if nothing else than I prefer the food choices in the Dallas area.   

Seems like we've entered the era of the super-duper-googly-moogly-exta-special-collector-edition pinball machines...

Stern shows off Batman '66

Stern showed their Batman '66 pinball machine, which has been teased for a few weeks.   This game pays tribute to Adam West-era Batman with bright colors and cheesy-tongue-in-cheek visuals on the new display, that will be the go-forward display technology SPIKE 2.0 system for Stern machines moving forward. 

Apparently, the game wasn't playable (yet). 

The real news, to me, surrounded the models and logistics around release of this pin.
There will be three editions: Unlimited Number of Premium (~$8600), 240 total LE models at ($~10,000) and 30 Super LE's at ($15,000).    

If you were interested in the Super-LE you were expected to apply for essentially a raffle for a chance to be invited to have the opportunity to spend $15k for it.. a month ago.. without evening seeing it..

Jersey Jack Pinball Dials In ...

Jersey Jack Pinball announced title number 3, an unlicensed theme / original title, "Dialed In."

Legendary Pinball designer Pat Lawlor's project received a bipolar reception amongst pinball collectors and enthusiasts.  It seems almost unanimous that folks dislike the name and most of the theme.  On the flip side, seems like everyone who got to play it, really enjoyed playing it.  

Pricing on this title seemed to piss most people off, though.   A Limited Edition model for $9,000 and a Collector's Edition model for $12,500.
Distributors I've talked to are taking $250 and $1,000 deposits depending on the edition and saying that no additional payment will be required until the game ships in spring 2017.

My personal opinion is that this is a brave experiment for JJP.   Can an original theme (a poorly received one, at that) make it at this price point?  As a JJP well-wisher, I hope that it does well.   I'm not sure that the operators that I've encountered are interested in pinball machines at this price point. I'm also not sure that this is a theme that people will seek out for their game rooms, aside from the JJP and Pat Lawlor faithful..

Heighway shows off Alien

Heighway Pinball finally showed off a populated (and playing) Alien pinball table.  The game features an LCD in the backbox and one in the playfield.  It was met with mostly positive reception.  

I only talked to one person who played it but she mentioned that what stuck out to her was that the game sounded excellent, even in a noisy room during the launch party.  

Heighway expects to begin shipping this year.  The standard model costs $6500 and the LE model costs $8200.

Local stuff..

We've seen a lot of buy / sell movement in the local Facebook group, craigslist and eBay over the last few months.   It has been a few months since our last meet up, which was a bowling afternoon.  If anyone has interest in organizing a field trip, outing or other event - reach out to me by email and let me know how I can help.   

There have been some smaller / impromptu arcade parties and pinball gatherings amongst the group but mostly things have been quiet.   Personally, work prep for an upcoming halloween party (outside of this group) have consumed a bit of my time but I hope to be able to host again at least one more time before the end of the year.

For those of you interested, Margaritaville Resort in Biloxi has a family fun center, called Escape.  Redemption arcade + rock walls, etc.  For those of you interested you can find more information here:  https://www.margaritavilleresortbiloxi.com/escape-family-entertainment-center

There have also been mutterings of a pinball tournament to form before the end of the year, details are still formulating.   If that is something you might be interested in, please sign up here:  http://www.gulfcoastpinballandarcade.com/pinball-league/   - we use this to gauge interest and to notify once things get underway. 

July Open House Arcade and Pinball Fun

Another great meet-up on the books

I don't have an exact head count but we estimate it to have been about 38 attendees with their families for some summer fun, cookout with an Arcade and Pinball twist.    There was a mountain of food, a ton of fun and I'm pretty sure I will get a nastygram from my HOA for the traffic on the street, which I count as a sign of success!  :)

We had a few machine issues, as is customary in this hobby but I wanted to send out a special thanks to Cody Chunn for lending his pinball repair expertise and time.  I also wanted to send a thank you out to Charlie Rose for bringing his super-awesome Virtual Pinball machine project for us to check out and to his wife Tami for her set-up and organization help getting stuff in order.

We had some new faces this go around, which is always fun.   I received a ton of compliments about my games and I just wanted to say thank you for that, it means a lot to me to get encouraging feedback about my games.  This hobby consumes a lot of my preciously sparse free time and it is always really thrilling to see others get to enjoy it.    In addition to the club page, check out (and sign up to contribute!) my other collector / info site to keep tabs on future projects and other arcade-pin related shenanigans: www.arcadeshenanigans.com.

Pinball Leaderboards

Wizard of Oz

Even though it was (mostly) off-camera from the all-seeing Nest Cams, WOZ75th saw plenty of action during the weekend's get-together with a constant stream of players.   The machine held up pretty well but did restart two times during the event.   JJP is sending a beefier power supply to hopefully remedy that situation. :)

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Indiana Jones (IJ4)

IJ4 was a trooper, getting plenty of plays and thrilling with its 8-ball multi ball craziness.   This machine had zero issues for the night, which is always refreshing to the tech staff. ;)

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Star Trek Premium

Star Trek Premium was down for part of the night with a few issues.  The right button fell-off, first thing.  In the process of hurried re-tightening it I evidently put a leaf switch out of whack.  The switch tests didn't catch this (for whatever reason) but after a transistor replacement, a fuse and the detailed troubleshooting eye of Charlie and the help of Cody - we got this machine back on her feet for some continued action.

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Monster Bash

Monster Bash was a champ.  It got lots of plays and presented zero issues!  Can't beat a Williams game IMO...

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Scared Stiff

Scared Stiff was a hit and got plenty of action, though she did stiff-us for a bit with a broken bony-flipper-bat.   Cody spent an hour more of his night helping me wrench on this pin to get her back up and Charlie's quick eye caught the unlikely failure in time for us to get her back in business.

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