Written by bugray, published September 13th, 2009. 5 comment(s).
Hi pinball fans,
Thought I'd share with you a few words of my recent times in heaven.
One of the many reasons I work like a dog, other than the important "PINBALL FUND" is to go on holidays and this week the wife Lucy and I came home from America, we were lucky enough to have a week in Los Angeles and a week in Las Vegas, with the Vegas week enlightened by the company of my best man Macky and his wife. So if you haven't guessed yet these next few lines are based on my time at The Pinball Hall Of Fame.
So after a couple of days emptying our pockets doing the Vegas thing, Macky and I left the strip in search of pinball. It's so easy to get there, we headed off to the end of the strip (MGM/EXCALIBER), cross over the road to the bus stop to catch the bus 201 traveling east. The bus comes every 20 Min's and we brought $4 all day tickets, so after about 3 mile we saw huge pinball sign(left hand side) also this is Pecos/Tropicana stop.
After crossing the road and a short walk we came across the PHOF, Its not pretty from the outside, in a kind of an industrial estate and with its big sign on the window its easy to spot from a distance. My friend later told me he was expecting something a little more glamorous inside and out, maybe I'd talked it up too much, anyway in my mind it was perfect.
Upon entering there is row after row of pinball, a small number of video games, vending machines, change machines a selection of old fashion slot/penny/arcade machines which I'm sorry to say I paid no attention to, I was there for the pinball!!!!!!!
After a quick look around I changed up my first $10, all the pins that I played were either 50c or 75c and of the pins I played if the cost was 75c you'd get a 5 ball game. EXCELLENT. Off I went into my world which turned into a marathon 6 hours (occasionally stopping for a coke and ciggy) and ended up in another $20 changed up, sore palms and a enough memories to last a very long time. At this point I'd like to thank my friend Macky for hanging out with me for so long cause I know he doesn't love the pinball life as much as me, if the wallet could take it I'd have stayed till closing.
During my session I briefly chatted to a man working in a corner, he was stripping down and cleaning an old E M game, I suppose it could have been Tim Arnold I guess I should have asked. In a cabinet next to him there was some pinball parts, promo plastics, DVDs etc to buy and above that a section of wall was covered in letters/emails from pinball fans thanking the PHOF for the work they do in keeping that spectacular collection available for public play, so to all involved in making it happen many thanks from me too, you do something magical in keeping pinball alive, if there is a afterlife I'm hoping the PHOF will be somewhere along that way.
Some of my highlights during my time spent were playing Midways Pinball Circus, truly stunning apart from those damned offset flippers, I never made it past the ring 3 playfield. Also for the first time I managed to get on the backbox playfield on Banzai Run. Although never managing to score high enough to put my initials on any game I played, I did hit plenty of replay scores, extra balls and match features. One of the major highlights was to play on so many games that i'd never played before(too many to list probably around 60ish). Also having all sterns later releases in one venue was great.
On many of the games were little notes about that machine a little history, numbers etc a nice touch in my opinion. If my memory serves me well the Southpark pin came with a warning about its rudeness, the farting match feature I found hilarious, again another pin i have never played.
So many games its hard to recall every detail, I do remember playing a few Gottliebs one after the other and thinking to myself that they were all a bit sameish, maybe even dull and cheap plasticky looking. It's just my opinion of a few I played, I have played excellent Gottliebs too just to balance that statement.
I did manage to get back to the phof later in the week for a few more hours(I love it), hopefully my time spent there over the week will be enough to fuel my obsession till the next UK Pinball Show 2010.
If you get the opportunity, and if you can drag yourself away from all that craziness of the Las Vegas strip, get yourself down to the PHOF cause it comes highly recommended. I know I'm gonna try to convince the wife to use Las Vegas as a stop over on our next long haul flight if we go that way, and if I never make it back there at least I'll have the peace of mind that I have been, if only I remembered that stupid camera!!!