Well, it seems like I am a sucker for punishment. A couple of weeks ago, Fiona and I attended Nerd Con and brought three pinball machines for the public to play. We loved sharing our hobby with the public, so we decided to do it again! This time, we headed to Collector Con, an annual collector's convention with memorabilia, pop culture collectables, comics and games, and all sorts of other toys. This convention was in Leumeah, so not too far away from us, and another great opportunity to introduce pinball to the masses. Bringing three pinball machines to Nerd Con was difficult with just one ute and having to make several trips to and fro. So, this time we only brought two machines: Fish Tales (Williams,1992) and Demolition Man (Williams, 1994).
Yesterday, Campbelltown Council hosted Nerd Con for the first time, a small pop culture expo featuring cosplay, games, workshops, and plenty of stalls. I thought this would be a good opportunity to spread the pinball gospel, so Fiona and I decided to bring three machines to the event for the public to play: The Getaway (Williams, 1992), Fish Tales (Williams, 1992) and Tee'd Off (Gottlieb, 1993).
It's Pinfest time again! Once again, Fiona and I headed off to our annual Pinfest pilgrimage, this time for the fifth year in a row. This was Pinfest's second year at Club Macquarie in Argenton. The Newcastle Pinball Association is responsible for organising Pinfest each year and they did a fantastic job again. This venue is great for the event but as Pinfest gets more and more crowded every year, and people contribute more and more machines, it always seems as if we are short on space! All in all, it shows pinball is still popular and, if anything, getting more popular as time goes on. Not a bad problem to have!
Fiona and I have been going to Pinfest since 2015. Pinfest is an annual pinball festival that takes place in Newcastle on the Central Coast and is hosted by the Newcastle Pinball Association. It is always a fantastic event with many machines on free play for the general public to play.
This year, we decided to donate one of our own machines for the event. Getaway was playing well so we decided to bring it along. I was interested to see how it would hold up with two days of continuous play. Pinfest does strange things to pinball machines; a machine that plays fine in a home environment may be perform poorly at an event like Pinfest unless it has been finely tuned. I thought I had set Getaway up nicely after our restoration a couple of years ago and various tweaks since then. So, we loaded it into the car and headed to Caves Beach!
Each year, the Canberra Vice City Players (VCP) club hosts the ACT Pinball Championship, the largest IFPA-endorsed pinball event in the territory. Fiona and I had attended the 2015 and 2016 Championships, and had a great time, even making it to the finals. The quality of the machines was always excellent and it was great excuse to meet up again with pinheads from Canberra, who I met when I got into pinball for the very first time.
This year, the call went out for VCP members to donate machines for the event. Having enjoyed the quality of the machines in previous years, Fiona and I decided to put our hands up and bring our Getaway along for the competition. I had been playing it a lot over the last few months and I thought it was running great. What better way to test out my restoration and repair skills by putting the machine out there for others to play? The Getaway ended up being placed in the free play area on Saturday, before being moved to the competition area for use in the finals. I was stoked that some of the best players in the country would be playing on my machine. So, off to Canberra we went!
I've already described how I bought my first and second machines. In early 2015, I got in touch with an ex-amusement machine operator. He had operated pinball machines and other arcade games for decades, at one stage having over 400 pinball machines in operation. This guy had now decided to sell his entire inventory of video games, pool tables, jukeboxes, and pinball machines. He had ten pinball machines left to sell, out of his original inventory of several hundred. The problem? He was near Maclean, in far northern New South Wales, near the Queensland border. I was in Sydney. Just over 700 kilometres away!
Here you will find logs of our pinball machine restorations, repairs, discussion about general pinball topics, and recounts of our random pinball adventures.
Check back regularly for updates!
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