Life at BUMPER ACTION AMUSEMENTS ........
I worked at Bumper Action Amusements for a little over 10 years with David Stein and for the most part we had a great time and we both enjoyed our jobs. Every day there was always something crazy happening and we used to turn over staff almost as fast as Wayne shoots his mouth off.
It was some time ago that we discussed the fact that we should have a reunion of all past and present Bumper Action employees and as Mr Stein knows we have had some beauties !!
That would be one crazy party...
David and I both enjoyed our job as we both loved the Amusement Industry and we were both Collectors of Pinball Machines although I also collected Arcade Games and have a collection of some rare pieces. The pinball machines that we both liked were different from each other so if ever we spotted a good machine worth buying we generally never fought over it.
Del was an interesting character and I think we would both agree he is one of a kind !! Del was happy making plenty of money although he would always say to us we are not making enough money ' ShowMeTheMoney ' he would say. You would'nt even get a smile out of him after he just pulled $150,000 after an auction.
He was always arguing with someone being one of the employees as this would make him happy in between receiving money during the day. Del would put a lot of pressure on us as employees and over time he created a great deal of stress for David Stein who was required to sell enough machines for the week to pay the wages. Even when he did it still was'nt enough as Del always had an auction to go to or another house to buy so we could'nt win either way.
David Stein was the main salesman for Bumper as Del had lost his touch and even admitted that he did'nt want to deal with customers as a salesman. I would listen to David Stein selling a machine on the showroom floor and I have said this many a time to people that he is the best salesman there is because he has the passion for the pinball machines and this would show by the way he spoke about the machine to the customer. He was selling an item that he loved himself therefore he just spoke about it in detail as if he was playing it and customers who were thinking that they would get a sleazy salesman were confronted by a guy who made them feel comfortable and instead of pressuring the person to buy the machine he would tell the machine like a story or a magical experience and the customer would feel no pressure to purchase but would be overwhelmed by what they saw. This is how David Stein was able to keep his customers coming back or having them recommend Bumper to their friends. He gained their trust and explained why he and myself both have our own private collections of Pinball Machines in our homes and what fun you can have with them.
The news of a brand new Pinball Manufacturing company being set up was huge news for us, and we said that this is just what the pinball industry needs, someone to produce a new style of pinball to take that step forward in bringing Pinball well into the 21st Century as we were getting bored with the same style of pinballs coming out of Stern with little creativity but plenty of cost cutting.
Jersey Jack Pinball announced that the ' Wizard of Oz ' was to be their first title and David Stein and myself were extremely excited at the news. We would frequently talk with Jack on skype trying to find out anything new that was to be included on the machine as to toys or artwork, and we kept in close contact as the machine progressed.
David Stein's excitement grew and even before the machine resembled anything really he started to ring customers or collectors who he thought may want to buy an amazing new concept in pinball. David was suprised with the response and the interest was growing and customers were starting to pay their deposits on the Wizard of Oz pinballs. Customers became excited too and would constantly call up asking for any updates or pictures of the machine.
Jack initially gave us an estimated production date but this date kept stretching further and further as Jack encountered delays for various reasons. He was putting an exceptional amount of detail into the machine and we could see the huge amount of work involved and that Jack also wanted to produce a machine to make a statement within the Pinball Industry.
David Stein and myself have travelled to Pinball Expo in Chicago and met some of the greatest people that are associated with the pinball industry. I won't mention names but you know who you are. These are some of the nicest people who all have one thing in common which is the love of pinball. One of the most memorable times for us is when we were invited to spend Halloween with a popular pinball identity and his lovely wife and children. We had dinner with them and then we all cut the pumpkins and shared the traditional american halloween experience which was a truly memorable occasion. We were also priviliged enough to be shown their amazing pinball and arcade collection in their basement.
David Stein and I both travelled together to Morocco, Canada, United States, Italy, France, Monaco, Portugal and other parts in search of Pinball Machines so that we could bring them back to Australia in containers because of the growing demand for pinballs here. We met up with many amazing people along the way who took their time to show us around and take us to various places that we would have never seen on our own.
There are a lot of circumstances at Bumper Action that have created various issues and as David and myself have been friends for many years we have shared the journey of the Amusement Industry and seen plenty of ups and downs and changes along the way. Because David and myself were the only two who cared about the industry we would constantly rely on each other for support in making decisions.
As time went on and Del had lost interest in the business, he started to become grumpy and we kept telling him that if he is going to come to work like that you are better staying home. When he stayed home we made more money and moral was up but when he came to work he was grumpy and would yell at everyone which just slowed down production, but according to him if he was'nt their we were'nt making money which was'nt the case at all.
David Stein is a decent honest individual who wants nothing more than for every single one of you to receive your Wizard of Oz pinball machines and I know that for a fact, and I believe if you keep fighting you will get your machines, so between you and me keep positive on that note. My own personal issues with Bumper have been caused by lies between the old owner Del and his relationship with Rob who was the GM for the last owners Paul and Howard, and now Rob is the current director of of Bumper.
These individuals created problems which they initiated on purpose and I will deal with them seperately and make them accountable for their actions. The individuals I am referring to are Del, Rob, Paul and Howard whom I have been lied to by as have the WOZ purchasers.
However the likes of the pinball community who are fascinated by the silver ball and have the passion for pinball and just want to play pinball and enjoy or grow their collections further, I must apologise for some of the things you have had to sift through during the Bumper unrest.
Various employees had their employment terminated as Bumper could no longer sustain paying the wages and they started to get into financial trouble. David Stein assumed the WOZ money was safe but as his access to the account was taken off him he obviously was'nt to know.
David Stein has been unsettled by the way in which Bumper was operating as was I and this has not helped his health any. Who would have thought that Bumper would get to that position after operating for over 40 years as a very profitable business.
David Stein and I will sort out our issues but I do want you to know that he is a mild mannered family man who shares the same interests in the pinball hobby as we all do, and he is in no way responsible for what has happened in relation to your Wizard of Oz pinballs. I know David and he would in no way have anything to do with any such behaviour that would result in any person or persons knowingly not receiving a Pinball Machine that has been paid for.
I believe Jersey Jack is doing everything he can to work out the best solution for everyone and having spoken to him myself and seen the money that he has invested into his new Pinball Company I believe he has created a concept that is something very special and he will continue to produce amazing prized Pinball Machines for many years to come.
No one is knocking Gary Stern either who has suffered and endured through tough times to remain as another fantastic Pinball Company still producing great titles.