First of all, I hope everyone is safe and healthy. My family’s thoughts and prayers go out to those in the pinside community who are facing health and financial hardship during this pandemic.
So with my extra time at home (actually now 24/7 for me), I’ve been working on my to-do list. Along the way, I came up with the idea of creating a 3 ring binder for each of my pins (except Conquest 200, lol...there is almost no info out there about that game to make a binder out of!).
I’m someone who LOVES organizing and organization, and I’m really happy with how these binders came out. Although my son would testify to thinking his dad was crazy as he listened to our printer screeching out page after page this past week, even he thinks the end result is cool. I printed the front and back of the flyers for each game (got them from ipdb) and slid them into the sleeves on the front and back of the binders. For content inside the binders, I printed “PINTIPS” (from pintips.net), since they offer a quick, easy read for our instant-gratification generation, as well as the rule sheets that are floating around on the internet for most games (for the more thorough students of the game). I also printed interesting history behind some of my games and separated major sections in each binder with divider tabs. I’ll add more pages to these binders as I find other interesting content.
I prefer binders that have slanted rings, rather than round rings, so that the pages lay nicely inside. After searching Amazon, I settled on some nice, inexpensive 1/2” binders with slanted rings and oversized covers (so that page sleeves don’t stick out) from a reputable company and bought a bunch of them. I despise three-hole-punched pages, since they inevitably get tattered and eventually rip, so I used page sleeves from Staples to protect each page for years to come.
Less than perfect things that I haven’t sorted out yet (and may never):
1) Pics from some of the original game flyers on ipdb don’t always size right when saved and printed, at least from my iPad. Maybe I could use my computer to try to tweak the images, but that’s a little above my pay-grade. This problem is especially noticeable with Hyperball, which featured some hilarious imagery of young models from the 80’s posing with the machine. I was a little disappointed with how some of the text in the images got cut off, but the pics still work and they are just too awesome not to use!
2) The divider tabs that I like do stick out past the binders. I expected this, though. Binders that are large enough to cover tabs (like those I use for my language-learning binders) also cost 3-4 times what these pin binders cost, and I wasn’t looking to spend a lot of money on this spur-of the moment project.
Examples of nicer binders that cover the divider tabs that I used (pic also below)
3) I currently left the spine of each binder blank, even though they have a clear sleeve that I could slide a thin paper into. Originally, I was going to put these on a shelf in my basement near the arcade area and label it something like, “Arcade Reference Library.” But then I would need an attractive way to label each spine (white labels with black lettering is not very aesthetically appealing). The sleeve on the spine of these binders would allow for thicker stock paper to slide in, but I am reluctant to go through the trial and error to make that happen. It would be cool to have the name of each pin on the spine of each binder using the art that is true to each game. It would have to be 1/2” or less, and no longer than the 12 or so inches of the spine. For now, having each binder resting on its pinball machine works. They are easy to move when you want to play, and are actually more likely to get noticed and read than if they were on a shelf.
Although I’m sure not everyone would like the look of binders sitting on their pins, I think it looks pretty cool. It gives the game room a little bit of a museum feel, and encourages people to learn the strategies and maybe even some of the history behind each pinball machine.
For those who want to do something similar, here’s what I used for this project:
-binders: Avery Clear Cover Durable 1/2” binder (Item# 17001), Amazon link: https://smile.amazon.com/Avery-17001-Durable-Binder-Slant/dp/B001B0AMFG
-page sleeves: Staples Clear Sheet Protectors (Item # 10525), Amazon link: https://smile.amazon.com/Loading-Clear-Sheet-Protectors-Count/dp/B00AB28IRO
-divider tabs: Avery 8 Tab Write and Erase Pocket Plastic Dividers (Item #16177), Amazon link: https://smile.amazon.com/Avery-Plastic-Dividers-Multicolor-16177/dp/B004HLZ1FM
If you want the more expensive binders that cover the divider tabs referenced above, and shown in one of my pics, here they are: Staples 1" 3-Ring Better Binder, Black (13395), Amazon link: https://smile.amazon.com/Staples-Better-1-Inch-3-Ring-Binder/dp/B00K6P30H4 (note: these binders are actually less expensive in-store at Staples...around $9-10 each, iirc. They also come in many different colors)
Anyway, this was a fun project this past week, and I wanted to share it with the community. If anyone has suggestions for improvements, I’m all ears.
Regardless of whether you choose to make any pin-binders, I hope we all take advantage of this forced time at home to enjoy our families, be productive, and play a few extra games of pinball!!!