Skip navigation

Category Archives: pinball

The buzz on this title has been great lately. A real sleeper hit. I swapped the default rock music with more classic music from my era.

IMG_0989

IMG_0998

News of my LE arriving and it being the first sent me to the #1 spot on Pinside.

Capture

10 Pins total.

14643632960_f41eb5ec00_k

From left to right:

Star Trek LE
Batman Dark Knight
Metallica Premium
Avengers Hulk LE
Spiderman
The Simpsons Pinball Party
Tron Legacy
X-Men Magneto LE
Roller Coaster Tycoon
AC/DC Premium

14830338885_c2e7471a5d_k

Added to lineup.

14643684119_d0f850956c_k

X-Men Magneto LE added to lineup.

image(5)

I’ve been living in the current rental home for 2 years, which is where we got our first pinball machine. We just bought our first home which will feature a much larger arcade. Below is a video walk through of the “before”.

Added a brand new machine to the lineup. Star Trek LE from Stern.

20131128_175500

startrek_bluedmd_resized

startrek_5machines

I added a blue DMD which fits the game quite nicely. The game itself is quite awesome. I am definitely hooked on “new” pinball that can deliver cutting edge light shows. Really amps the game up.

Robin surprised me by inviting some people over for my birthday this year. I was ready to have a quiet birthday with my family when more guests kept showing up. Was fun to play some pinball! Represented by the guests were several parts of my life, from working in a video game store 25 years ago, my DJ years, and a new bunch of pinball friends.

Robin created a custom cake featuring a photo of my Tron machine!

39birthdaycake

A good time was had by all :-).

There was a “Pinballpalooza” today in Toronto promoting the musical Tommy. Robin and I went down to check it out.

chrisrobin

robin-playing

They had 100 machines on free play, including a bunch of Metallica, the newest pin going. It was packed with people, tons of women and children playing. It was a great PR day for pinball.

Well, I’m definitely maxed out at 5 pins in my current basement. After some fast and furious acquisitions, I’m hoping I can be content and actually play them for a while. I’ve spent time on all of them, but some of the newer ones, like Simpsons, I’ve barely scratched the surface on.

pin-lineup-5

I realized that the 5 pins are all by 5 different great designers, so it is a nice cross-selection:

Tron – John Borg
Theatre of Magic – John Popadiuk (Jpop)
Avengers – George Gomez
The Simpsons Pinball Party – Joe Balcer / Keith Johnson
AC/DC – Steve Ritchie / Lyman Sheats

Notable omissions would be: Dennis Nordman and Pat Lawlor…. hopefully I can add one of their machines in the future.

I can’t believe it, but we moved boxes and a 5th pin can now fit.

IMG_1626

IMG_1625

AC/DC is on its way!

A few months ago I finally came out to my first Toronto Pinball League (ToPL). I had resisted up until then because the distances to the various host’s homes seemed like a big drive. For a “Toronto” league, sometimes they are more than an hour outside the city, and none are currently IN Toronto at the moment.

I haven’t missed a Monday since. It’s been a lot of fun. To come out and spend a few hours with a bunch of other pinheads is a good time. Not to mention, the collections of some of the hosts’ homes are incredible, and I’d probably never get to see them otherwise.

It is a competitive league, so each night groups of 4 players are put together, and play on 4 machines. Scores are tracked and points assigned to your placement. This is done over a 15 week season. There is a end-of-season playoffs, but I’ve yet to be part of that.

The social aspect of pinball has been an unexpected plus. I’ve met lots of good peeps.

The latest lineup. This might be the maximum of what I can fit in my current basement.

IMG_0457

IMG_0459

no arcade is complete without neon signs. Here are 2 bad boys I bought.

neon-window

neon-gameroom

3 machines, looking good.
pine-lineup-dark

After we made more room in the basement for 4 pins, I realized that 2 I have pre-ordered (Predator and Ben Heck’s Zombie Adventureland) I will probably not see in 2013. So I decided to get something else!

Thinking about it, I decided to get the new Avengers from Stern. There was 1 Hulk limited edition left so I pulled the trigger on it. Light shows are really important to me, and the latest modern pins with LEDs deliver that, so it made the decision to go newer than older easier.

hulkbox
Me taking possession of it at Playdium/Starburst. My second New-In-Box in 5 months!

IMG_0439
Hulk Playfield


Video of Hulk added to the lineup, the arcade is taking shape.

I found the game kind of dark in my basement so I installed an LED kit from cointaker.com. Here is the before and after results.

My second pin arrived. Theatre of Magic, considered one of the top 10 pins of all time. Designed by John Papaduik in 1995. Produced by Bally. The game features incredible art and flowing design. It also features several magic “tricks” using magnets to pull the ball around. The main toy is a magic trunk that you shoot for.

My first pin is in the house (barely). An Amazing Tron Legacy pinball from Stern. Modded out with el wire, led backbox, light cycles, arcade mod, led flipper buttons, lighted recognizer mod…. it is beautiful!

IMG_1597sm
After much effort, my NIB Tron is here.

After our visit to the Church, Robin wanted to get a pinball, so I was clear to get one. Prices of pins range anywhere from several hundred, to several thousand and beyond.

I did happen to see an for sale ad online for a Lethal Weapon 3 pin for a modest $1400. I actually had played this pin quite a bit when I was a teenager, so it had the nostalgia factor going for it and at the price seemed like a good entry level pin. It had been for sale for a couple of months. When I contacted the seller, he had sold it just the day before. My pinball dreams were crushed already.

At the same time, I had been spending a lot of time looking at Tron Legacy pinball, one of the most recent releases from Stern. The theme, music, lights, and whole package were a winner for me. Problem was the price. It was also out of production and becoming hard to find, none were available in Canada.

I had begun hanging out on Pinside.com, and saw a NIB (New In Box) Tron for sale. I wandered downstairs telling Robin “man, I really want the Tron but it’s so expensive”, to which she responded “Oh, just get it, it’s the one you want”. Just like that the decision was made.

Buying pins like this is a luxury, but people also spend money on other things, like golf, vacations, snowmobiles, seadoos, luxury cars, the list goes on…. so this was my luxury item. The side benefit is that they are so collectible, they don’t lose their value and most have increased in value. I’m not saying it is an investment, but I was able to rationalize the decision knowing I could get most of my money back if it came to that. And at the end of the day if I had to make a mortgage payment or something, the pinball can go.

I made the deal with the seller in the US, and arranged for shipment to Canada. Now all I had to do was wait.