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(Topic ID: 252350)

Designer Tom Szafransky - Where is He Now?


By chris_silver

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 11 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 12 days ago by I_P_D_B
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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#1 1 year ago

*Little is known about Tom Szafransky. Confirmed he designed Gottlieb's 1982 Devil's Dare and 1982 Punk.
*Originally he was credited for designing Gottlieb's 1981 Volcano, but John Osborne corrected ipdb.org and confirmed he was the sole designer. For corrected records, Pinside might want to update the info.
*Rumour has it he also designed Wico's 1984 Af-Tor. Af-Tor is a brilliant rare and unknown machine.

Does anyone have any more information on Tom Szafransky? I own a Punk and an Af-Tor and would be curious to know if he did design the Af-Tor. I'd like to message him and hear a bit about his career.

Thanks for any information

#2 1 year ago

I've always heard (from Joe Balcer) that aftor was by Claude Fernandez I believe. Pretty sure he was there and would be a good person to clarify.

#3 1 year ago

Gottlieb's 1982 Devil's Dare and 1982 Punk!
*Originally he was credited for designing Gottlieb's 1981 Volcano , but John Osborne corrected ipdb.org and confirmed he was the sole designer. For corrected records, Pinside might want to update the info.
*Rumour has it he also designed Wico's 1984 Af-Tor

#4 1 year ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

I've always heard (from Joe Balcer) that aftor was by Claude Fernandez I believe. Pretty sure he was there and would be a good person to clarify.

Thanks for the help. Now how would I get ahold of Claude Fernandez?

I understand he was mostly a Bally designer until the end. Other than Constantino taking care of the artwork, Wico has a mostly blank history on production information even back to Big Top. How they got into dabbling with game fabrication and staffing is a curious unknown.

It was mentioned to me that Szafransky is out by Seattle somewhere. For such a short career seemingly a couple years in pinball design, I’m curious to know what direction he took his skills.

#5 1 year ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

've always heard (from Joe Balcer)

Quoted from chris_silver:

Thanks for the help. Now how would I get ahold of Claude Fernandez?

I think Keefer meant ask Joe. Joe works at JJP last I heard.
https://www.jerseyjackpinball.com/contact/

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Joe works at JJP last I heard.

Joe has the top engineering position at American Pinball.
.................David Marston

11 months later
#7 54 days ago

So chris_silver did you ever find out if Fernandez was in fact the designer for WICO's Af-Tor? Your fellow Af-Tor owners would love to know.

4 weeks later
#8 24 days ago

Yes,

Tom lives in Portland, Oregon. A friend and I met up with him about two years ago and talked at length and we also have an audio recording of this meeting. Apparently, John Osborne didn't so much "correct" the listing on IPDB as he petitioned them to have them remove Tom from the design team. According to Tom, doing things like this was not out of the normal for Osborne and that for whatever reason the man wasn't easy to work with.

Tom absolutely designed Af-Tor under contract for Wico, this game was to be part of a trilogy of games that dealt with the theme of, "the apocalypse" of the other two proposed games one was the time before the end of the world, the middle one was the present as we know it and then tada; AF-TOR!

Tom also designed PUNK!, Devil's Dare and Volcano which he claimed was inspired by the eruption of Mt. St Helen's in 1980. He claimed that many of the first games off the line shipped with a bit of ash embedded in a piece of glass, it would be really cool to locate one of these!

Sorry we've been lagging on getting the interview up somewhere for people to listen to it, I could lay out a bevy of excuses as to why we haven't gotten around to finishing it yet but I think people will really enjoy it once we do.

Quoted from chris_silver:

*Little is known about Tom Szafransky. Confirmed he designed Gottlieb's 1982 Devil's Dare and 1982 Punk.
*Originally he was credited for designing Gottlieb's 1981 Volcano, but John Osborne corrected ipdb.org and confirmed he was the sole designer. For corrected records, Pinside might want to update the info.
*Rumour has it he also designed Wico's 1984 Af-Tor. Af-Tor is a brilliant rare and unknown machine.
Does anyone have any more information on Tom Szafransky? I own a Punk and an Af-Tor and would be curious to know if he did design the Af-Tor. I'd like to message him and hear a bit about his career.
Thanks for any information

#9 24 days ago
Quoted from KHL:

Tom absolutely designed Af-Tor under contract for Wico, this game was to be part of a trilogy of games that dealt with the theme of, "the apocalypse" of the other two proposed games one was the time before the end of the world, the middle one was the present as we know it and then tada; AF-TOR!

I just found an old email from 2013 from someone named Dave who told me the following:

"I saw on the ipdb that Tom Szafransky designed devils dare and punk for gottlieb. I was employed by him when he was an operator in the mid 80’s and he told me he also designed aftor for the wico corp. I thought you may want to update your records. thanks"

I never had contact info for Tom Szafransky and that must have been why I dropped the ball on this.

If anyone has a way to put Tom in email contact with me, I can confirm Af-Tor direct with him and also clear things up for Volcano.

Quoted from KHL:

Sorry we've been lagging on getting the interview up somewhere

Maybe that is where I will get my confirmations if not contacted by him direct. But I would like his contact info, if possible.

Thank you,

Jay

jay-at-ipdb-dot-org

#10 19 days ago

I'll message him and ask if it's alright if I pass on his contact information to you.

Quoted from I_P_D_B:

I just found an old email from 2013 from someone named Dave who told me the following:
"I saw on the ipdb that Tom Szafransky designed devils dare and punk for gottlieb. I was employed by him when he was an operator in the mid 80’s and he told me he also designed aftor for the wico corp. I thought you may want to update your records. thanks"
I never had contact info for Tom Szafransky and that must have been why I dropped the ball on this.
If anyone has a way to put Tom in email contact with me, I can confirm Af-Tor direct with him and also clear things up for Volcano.

Maybe that is where I will get my confirmations if not contacted by him direct. But I would like his contact info, if possible.
Thank you,
Jay
jay-at-ipdb-dot-org

1 week later
#11 12 days ago
Quoted from KHL:

I'll message him and ask if it's alright if I pass on his contact information to you.

I'll look for it. Thanks!

Jay

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