(Topic ID: 256585)

Gene Cunningham passed away


By dsuperbee

83 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 77 posts
  • 68 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 46 days ago by TwilightZone
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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    #51 82 days ago

    Soory to hear about Gene's passing. I ordered a BBB in 2003 or so after the initial 111 sold out. As I was wondering how these games would get made, since Gene had no factory, I called him and offered to come over for a month to help out. He liked that idea and offered housing for the time I would be in Bloomington. I worked on pre-production of BBB as the game was delayed quite a bit. That was my first visit to the U.S. Gene also took me to Chicago, where I accompanied him to Foremost Plastics and Stern Pinball, where I gave myself a factory tour. Sopranos was on the line at the time. I have some great memories of that first trip, thanks to Gene and his family. Although not everybody could get along with him, he always kept his word to me. May he rest in peace.

    10
    #52 81 days ago

    Gene changed pinball for better or worse. He bought the remnants of Williams pinball after they closed. He did the same for Capcom and Alvin G. (Pinball). He announced that he would build 110 Big Bang Bar pinball machines and after around 2 years of work actually delivered almost 200 machines. I owned one and it was amazing how well it was built. Part distribution was slow and basically his 5 year hold on parts manufacturing slowed down a lot of restorations. But he had amassed a huge collection of pins that I think was close to 1600 machines at its height. I spent many hours talking to him about his involvement in pinball and even did a documentary (still available on DVD) about the BBB project. He was a friend of mine (for a time). I’m sorry about the way everything worked out for him in the end. He was a good man to his family and in the end, that’s what really matters. I’ll miss him.

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    #53 81 days ago

    Really sad to hear this, anyone who ever met him has some sort of story to tell, a true pinball character!! RIP

    #54 81 days ago

    Very sorry to hear this. I always enjoyed talking to Gene at the Allentown show. It was a lot of work for him to do the shows. We would wheel and deal with each other. Thanks to him I was able to do playfield swaps on EBD, & Funhouse which turned out fantastic. He picked up several of my Rotisseries to help manufacture KP. Sorry to hear they never happened. If there is one thing we almost all have in common, it's the unrealistic list of project to get done. There is not enough time on planet earth to do everything. His girls where always delightful to order from over the phone. Great Job Gene.

    #55 80 days ago

    First i met him was back in 2006 at IPB when production of BBB started there. At this time, he still had a great collection, (all the P2000 machines) and a few other protos.

    Met him twice at Expo when he sold some stuff a few miles away from the official place.

    Never had any issues with him.

    Sad that all went down for him the last years.

    RIP Gene

    #56 79 days ago

    Sad to hear. Heard a lot about him back in the days on rgp..

    #57 79 days ago

    Gene was his own worst enemy. And I'm being extremely polite.

    Condolences to his family.

    #59 76 days ago

    I'm confident Gene didn't or doesn't give a rear rats end to what folks post here, or thought of him.
    He had little patience for fools, and that was a characteristic that bit him and helped the cause. So here goes.

    I met him ~10 years or so ago at a show, I sat down and talked pinball, briefly about some
    characters in it and more about his life experiences regarding the industry. Enjoyed every minute of it.
    Gene didn't ask me for a dime, or attempt to make a sale, or expect anything in return. Just chatted
    with a full table of stuff around him, boards, parts, NOS, etc. Very nice of him to haul it all and
    supply for many what they needed, and wanted.

    Gene, you were unique, and so were your efforts, memories and the results which you provided. RIP.
    Deep condolences to the Cunningham Family. An important era has ended, and a new one begins.

    #60 72 days ago

    RIP Gene. You will be missed.

    #61 66 days ago

    I missed this news. Like many relatively older timers I remeber running into Gene years ago at a show. I still use the larger diameter solder spool he sold me. He said it came from the Williams assembly line from his buyout years before. Who knows but he could be the only guy to make that claim and it would probably be true.

    I don't know what to say other than thank you for your passion!

    #62 66 days ago

    I am just finding this out as well. I met Gene a long time ago at an one of the early Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdowns. I remember him being very genuine guy. The fact that he (and a lot of others) helped bring the BBBs in to the world has to be appreciated. Right or wrong, good or bad - he definitely left his mark on the pinball world. RIP Gene.

    #63 66 days ago

    Bump RIP

    #65 65 days ago

    I hope Georgie is well and wish her nothing but the best.

    #67 65 days ago
    Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

    Does the house come loaded with spare parts and playfields?

    Planetary Pinball bought everything out of Gene's bankruptcy years ago.

    #68 65 days ago

    There was also a fire a few years ago that burnt down some of the buildings. But who knows what you will find in the walls.

    #69 65 days ago
    Quoted from mjsbowl:

    There was also a fire a few years ago that burnt down some of the buildings. But who knows what you will find in the walls.

    based on the photos it appear the majority of the buildings are now just slabs

    #70 65 days ago
    Quoted from Mr68:

    Planetary Pinball bought everything out of Gene's bankruptcy years ago.

    Curious, did they get the naked framed pics on the wall?

    #71 64 days ago

    I was there many years ago when this house was full of life. A great collection on pinball machines, lots of parts from Bally/Williams and Capcom around.

    Since the tragedy of Genes daughter and the bankuptcy of Gene, it makes me sad to see this.

    #73 64 days ago

    That photo had to be quite a while ago. When Al and I filmed the collection for inclusion in the Pins and Vids DVDs, the ceiling tiles were falling down on the games, etc.

    Sad to hear of his passing.

    #74 64 days ago
    Quoted from pkiefert:

    That photo had to be quite a while ago. When Al and I filmed the collection for inclusion in the Pins and Vids DVDs, the ceiling tiles were falling down on the games, etc.
    Sad to hear of his passing.

    I'd have to go digging, but I think that was 1998 or so.

    #75 64 days ago

    I met him once and enjoyed speaking with him. Later, I owned an IPB Big Bang Bar. I appreciate his contributions to Pinball.

    I remember the TOPCast interview of Gene before all the other podcasts were even a thought. The BBB story actually inspired me to send in my $250 deposit to Jersey Jack on day one of WOZ deposits and later order an AMH from Spooky.

    RIP Gene Cunningham

    2 weeks later
    #76 46 days ago

    I missed this post. RIP Gene.

    BTW...there's nothing "off topic" about this thread

    #77 46 days ago

    Had the opportunity to tour Gene's collection years ago. The highlight was playing Wizard Blocks. Sad to hear of his passing. He was a very interesting character and a part of pinball legend. Delivering BBB was no small feat. RIP Gene.

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