(Topic ID: 85993)

Does Tim change your opinion of the PHOF


By ReallifePin

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 116 posts
  • 59 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by blondetall
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “Does Tim change your opinion of the PHOF”

    • Not at all. I love the place 54 votes
      46%
    • I look past his attitude and play pinball 22 votes
      19%
    • It gets old. Still like to go there though. 9 votes
      8%
    • It drove me nuts. Now I don't bother. 5 votes
      4%
    • I don't like the place because of the lack of maintenance. 27 votes
      23%

    (117 votes by 0 Pinsiders)

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    #1 5 years ago

    The Pinball Hall of Fame is pretty close to me and I go there quite a bit. There is quite a bit of negativity on Pinside about the place. Mostly around condition of the machines. I love the place but think Tim may be a bit short with people.

    I am a big fan of what he does there and don't mind the maintenance as it's a very rare opportunity to play so many games in one place. I am just wondering how much of a role Tim himself plays into people's opinion of the place, both positive and nagative.
    Edit: After reading responses it became very clear that this thread was very much more negative than I had intended. The silver lining is that people rightly came to the defence of a man who gives so much to other people. I can only hope that this is what people end up taking from reading this thread.

    The best reponse:

    Quoted from cfh:

    I've know Tim for nearly 20 years. And his brother Tom. They are strange dudes. But never unfriendly, at least to me.
    I run the Ann Arbor pinball museum. We have 200 games, which is close to what Tim handles. So i have a pretty good handle on broken stuff. The difference is Tim is in Las Vegas, and open to the public every day for 12 hours. Like every day, even Christmas. I can't even fathom the work involved in doing that gig. Sometimes i'd be grumpy too.
    Actually people do say i'm grumpy. But then they just make fun of me. Seems to work well for everyone. Self deprecating behavior is the way to go at our place. I get asked a lot of questions about people fixing their games. Heck sometimes they show up with broken boards. It gets a bit frustrating sometimes. I try and help but it's difficult to do sometimes if you don't know the individual and what they are capable of doing (or not doing.)
    Also it should be understood that Tim has invested 50 years of his life learning to fix machines. When you have that much time in the gig, and a newbie comes up with a question (that probably could have been answered with a google search), it could be frustrating. Now imagine that happening 10 times a day, every day.
    Now imagine mom dropping off her kids at the PHoF and going shopping. There's no entrance fee, so it's low cost baby sitting. No parents so kids run wild. This happens every day, and again, I have to guess that this is really frustrating for Tim. So yes Tim does yell at kids now and then.
    Now imagine the bathroom. Did you know that about once a month, someone "paints" the walls of Tim's bathroom with crap? I'm not kidding about this. Someone actually takes a dump, and then hand paints (ass paints?) the walls with it. Can you imagine cleaning that? Can you imagine the frustration involved with that? If it was me, I would view everyone as a potential "wall painter" and wonder to myself, "did this guy/girl just paint my bathroom walls with poop?" Hmmm..... Tim wants to install a camera, but knows he legally can't. He wants to catch this person(s), but it's been a cat and mouse game for years and Tim is frustrated by it.
    Again imagine a guy, slightly impaired, coming in and playing Xenon. Then that same person wins a bunch of credits and demands from Tim he "get paid." An argument ensues and Tim throws the guy out. This is the PHoF, not some casino gaming room. Then the guy sues Tim over this. Costs Tim $20,000 in legal fee.
    Being in Las Vegas, my guess is it's not the games the drive Tim nuts, it's the people. That's just a guess though. So for the average guy to walk in and call Tim "unfriendly", well, you need to walk a mile in his shoes before you start flapping your jaw. Because no one has any idea what Tim goes through to keep the PHoF open.

    Post edited by ReallifePin: Being reasonable

    #2 5 years ago

    This is an odd thread. You already have an opinion, so don't go?

    #3 5 years ago

    I found Tim's personality to be horrible. Completely anti-social and just seemed like a mean spirited guy(Although I have heard from people who know him well that he really is a pretty good guy). That however would not keep me away, what would keep me away is the fact that half the games I wanted to play there were either out of order or stole my quarter. One of the helpers there even said after we commented on the games being broken that Tim just will not let anyone help much and the games suffer because they do not get as much attention as they really need.

    #4 5 years ago

    I would say most of the people who go to the PHOF have no clue who Tim is. The people who are passionate about the hobby are probably a small portion of his customer base. Most probably look on websites for things to do other than gambling and see that there is a Pinball Museum.

    Personally, I'm kind of torn about the place. I used to live in Vegas and would visit all the time. Over the years I've noticed that maintenance on the machines has really gone downhill, and a lot of my favorites would be beat up pretty badly or not functioning at all. I will still visit the PHOF when I'm in town because of their awesome selection, but the place could be so much better. Knowing that a lot of the money they bring in goes to charity helps my opinion of the place.

    #5 5 years ago

    I like the PHOF. Not everyone is comfortable socially. I think his charitable givings and commitment to pinball do all the talking I need to hear. I've been several times. I always look for Tim, thank him and offer a donation. Sometimes he's friendly, sometimes not. Last time I was there, he declined a donation and asked me to just put it in the Salvation Army kettle. I did.

    PHOF is the cheapest thing I do in Vegas with the donation and cab fare included. It's also the most fun thing I do in Vegas.

    #6 5 years ago

    As some one who loves pinball. I will go back again and again. As I visit Las Vegas atleast once a year. Yes Tim can be gruff. One suggestion would be to not ask him questions regarding how to repair your pin. The place could use a going over, even more closed shelving in the repair area would help appearances. But it is all about pinball so it is worth the visit. Spend $20 in quarters, $20 will last longer here than one of those casinos on the Strip.

    #7 5 years ago
    Quoted from tb0ne:

    This is an odd thread. You already have an opinion, so don't go?

    I have an opinion, yes. I am still interested in other people's opinion. Not very confusing.
    Also, I can be pretty impulsive so I was looking for some more perspective.

    16
    #8 5 years ago

    That guy busts his ASS for that place. I'd be grumpy too if I had to manage over 200 machines daily. Thumbs up for TIM!!!!

    #9 5 years ago
    Quoted from Ballsofsteel:

    I'd be grumpy too if I had to manage over 200 machines daily

    It honestly just sounds silly not having a few helpers to maintain/clean games.

    I think maybe the op of this thread or another pinsider once mentioned he offered volunteer labor to assist with this and got shut down by Tim.

    #10 5 years ago
    Quoted from ReallifePin:

    I don't like the place because of the lack of maintenance

    The most popular games are the ones that are likely to be broken, obviously.

    Someone is always crying that the MM or the MB has something snapped off. "Why can't they just fix it????", as if the only priority Tim has is fixing the game they want to play - right now.

    I've got 45 games that don't get 12 hours a day of play and there is always one or two broken.

    #11 5 years ago
    Quoted from Ballsofsteel:

    That guy busts his ASS for that place. I'd be grumpy too if I had to manage over 200 machines daily. Thumbs up for TIM!!!!

    Don't get me wrong, I know he puts in a ton of work there. Credit where credit is due.

    Quoted from DeeGor:

    Personally, I'm kind of torn about the place.

    Me too. It just sucks to go to a place to have fun and run into someone who obviously dislikes the people that are giving him money.

    #12 5 years ago

    I agree with the OP, Tim is in a business that requires human service. If it were'nt for the people visiting his PHOF, he would not be making his charitable contributions to organizations. A little appreciation to the consumer goes a long way. The very fact there are people with this opinion of him (on Pinside and I'm sure outside of this forum) tells me he's got some issues.

    #13 5 years ago

    He's an old man with a bunch of his babies out for everyone to beat on. I could see why he would be grumpy. I'll be there next month to report back.

    #14 5 years ago

    I've been there and I will say that I found him to be not the least bit friendly. Very very unusual in this hobby especially knowing that the PHOF isn't out to make a profit.
    When I went I really really wanted to play the CV, and it was down. I went and asked him about it and I was basically told to buzz off. He was in the back at his workbench. I tried to ask him a little bit about his opinion on maintaining the machine since I was in the market for one, and couldn't get more than a grunt out of him.

    One of the guys there was in the process of swapping a coil in their AC/DC and that guy and I chatted up a storm.

    Does it change my opinion of the place? Not really.

    #15 5 years ago

    I have only been to the PHOF a handful of times, and every time Tim was very nice and cordial. Pinball Circus went down while I was playing it (ball got stuck) and Tim took the time to come and unstuck the ball, and let me stick my snout inside the game for a few minutes.

    Another time he came over and chatted me up for a bit about what games I own, and even remembered to get me a few copies of the TOP DVDs that he was out of a few days before. I never asked him for repair tips or anything of that like.

    Overall I have never had any issues with him. Seems like a nice down to earth guy who has done a ton for this hobby, and for a whole bunch of other people while asking very little in return.

    #16 5 years ago
    Quoted from dsuperbee:

    I have only been to the PHOF a handful of times, and every time Tim was very nice and cordial. Pinball Circus went down while I was playing it (ball got stuck) and Tim took the time to come and unstuck the ball, and let me stick my snout inside the game for a few minutes.
    Another time he came over and chatted me up for a bit about what games I own, and even remembered to get me a few copies of the TOP DVDs that he was out of a few days before. I never asked him for repair tips or anything of that like.
    Overall I have never had any issues with him. Seems like a nice down to earth guy who has done a ton for this hobby, and for a whole bunch of other people while asking very little in return.

    Does it have anything to do with user's choice of games? From what I've read, he prefers the EMs.

    #17 5 years ago
    Quoted from chadderack:

    From what I've read, he prefers the EMs.

    Probably because they fix themselves.

    #18 5 years ago

    I've been there a handful of times and only spoken with Tim once. He was nice to talk with at that time. Other times he has been busy and I don't interrupt him.

    I'm heading there next week and I probably won't talk with him again. My goal is really to see and play games I don't get a chance to play otherwise.

    17
    #19 5 years ago

    Every time I'm at PHOF, someone is bothering Tim while he is trying to work on a repair:

    "Hey I've got a TAF at home, in even BETTER condition..."

    "Hey, is the Medieval Madness turned off for a reason? "

    " I remember a lot of these when they were new ! "

    "We are all the way from Texas! I told my wife, if we ever go to Vegas, we HAVE to visit the Hall of Fame...."

    " Did you ever think about fixing this place up? You know, carpeting and stuff? "

    " There is a place by my house, I live in Florida, that has a bunch of games (proceeds to name 7 games as slowly as possible ), but nothing like this...."

    " Hey, there was a game, from way back, I mean I'm probably dating myself here, heh heh, that I used to play at a party store in Shilo, which is about 15 miles outside of Brooklane New Jersey, that had a big white cue ball on the playfield, I mean big, like a full size cue ball, that would block your shot......"

    " Wow, you could make a fortune if you moved this place to......"

    I can't imagine how he tolerates it every single day.

    12
    #20 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Every time I'm at PHOF, someone is bothering Tim while he is trying to work on a repair:
    "Hey I've got a TAF at home, in even BETTER condition..."
    " I remember a lot of these when they were new ! "
    " Did you ever think about fixing this place up? You know, carpeting and stuff? "
    " There is a place by my house, I live in Florida, that has a bunch of games (proceeds to name 7 games as slowly as possible ), but nothing like this...."
    " Hey, there was a game, from way back, I mean I'm probably dating myself here, heh heh, that I used to play at a party store in Shilo, which is about 15 miles outside of Brooklane New Jersey, that had a big white cue ball on the playfield, I mean big, like a full size cue ball......"
    " Wow, you could make a fortune if you moved this place to......"
    I can't imagine how he tolerates it every single day.

    Tim should pay a flunky minimum wage to walk around the floor wearing a "Tim Arnold, Owner" name tag just to handle these discussions.

    #21 5 years ago

    When selling machines, I've had people come to "take a look" that appear to come over just because they want to chat it up about pinball for an hour and leave without the machine. It's great and all that pinball people are friendly, but just because someone doesn't give you the chatability you're looking for, doesn't necessarily make him a bad person.

    That being said, I've only been to PHOF once, and did not chat with him.

    #22 5 years ago
    Quoted from tb0ne:

    That being said, I've only been to PHOF once, and did not chat with him.

    Or chat at him, as the case may be.

    #23 5 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Probably because they fix themselves.

    Not sure why the snark there.

    What I was asking was whether he's more likely to be friendly if you go drop a quarter (token?) into an EM over a SS/DMD.

    #24 5 years ago
    Quoted from chadderack:

    Not sure why the snark there.

    Snark is my middle name. Point being that once an EM is up and running, they seem to require much less maintenance to keep them running. Thus less for Tim to worry about. So, if you do drop a quarter in an EM, it may indeed make him happy.

    #25 5 years ago
    Quoted from chadderack:

    Does it have anything to do with user's choice of games? From what I've read, he prefers the EMs.

    I played all sorts of games, so I do not think it had anything to do with it. All my visits the place was rather slow, and I did not bother him beyond thanking him for all he has done and letting him know I was really enjoying myself. He was tinkering on games when I was there, so I left him alone really, except to mention the pinball circus issue, and I needed more quarters as the change machine wasn't working. Otherwise, I left him to his own devices.

    #26 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Every time I'm at PHOF, someone is bothering Tim while he is trying to work on a repair:

    He's always been very busy when I've seen him there but even if he weren't, I doubt I'd try to chat.

    I used to just see him as kind of awkward and quite but harmless but the last few times I've been there I've seen him make a scene by yelling at kids. Not just loudly telling them to stop something. Yelling at them for a while. Seems unnecessary.

    #27 5 years ago

    Some people are just weird especially in pinball point me to the pins we don't gotta talk.

    #28 5 years ago

    The PHOF is a great place to visit and play. Machines are being worked on constantly so most aren't down for long when they are. However, if you visit one time for a hour or two, that may happen to be the time some of your favorites are out of order. That's just the nature of pinball.

    Tim is a good guy but clearly can't spend all day everyday chatting up everyone. The target customers for PHOF are adults looking to play games they remember from decades ago and current pin enthusiasts more than young kids swinging from the plunger of a woodrail.

    #29 5 years ago

    I am amazed at how many responses were about how friendly or lack there of the owner is. I love PHOF and being rather anti-social myself obviosly don't care and would rather be left alone while playing there. Chatting it up shouldn't be a requirement even if your the owner, maintenance on machines sure,... talking? About machines? Ha.
    I agree with OP about yelling at the kids but of course don't know the whole story.

    #30 5 years ago

    This is the first time I've heard of Tim yelling at kids...

    #31 5 years ago

    He has been polite, friendly and chatty when i have been there if he is not ass deep in work...when i go there and i see he is busy i just leave him alone... if more people used this approach im sure opinions on his personality would be different.

    #32 5 years ago
    Quoted from ReallifePin:

    I used to just see him as kind of awkward and quite but harmless but the last few times I've been there I've seen him make a scene by yelling at kids. Not just loudly telling them to stop something. Yelling at them for a while. Seems unnecessary.

    Where were the kids' parents? If Tim was yelling at them for a while, why didn't they intervene? If the kids were there unsupervised, maybe they needed to be yelled at.

    #33 5 years ago

    Well look, you can either have him spend all day talking to you, or you can have him back to fixing up the Cactus Canyon. Which one would ruin your trip more, him not cuddling with you for a while or you not being able to see Bart's hat move?

    #34 5 years ago

    If it was just the hat solenoid, I'd take the cuddling. If it were an important scoring switch, then he can fix it

    #35 5 years ago

    Tim is not in the baby sitting business. People most likely drop off thier kids there, all the time.

    #36 5 years ago

    Some kids today need more than just a little yelling at them.

    #37 5 years ago
    Quoted from Darcy:

    Tim is not in the baby sitting business. People most likely drop off thier kids there, all the time.

    That is a good neighborhood to drop your kids off in.

    #38 5 years ago

    1. I've been to the PHOF twice when in Vegas and had a great time both times.
    2. Tim has been overly generous in the past with his pin parties at his house. I was never in town for one of these big shindigs but heard great things about them.
    3. Back before the PHOF was in the works, I was in Vegas and called Tim because I had heard he had a bunch of pins. I asked if it would be OK to come out to his house to check it out...he said, absolutely, come on out. I went out...he showed me around and then turned on a few big banks of machines and told me to have fun and just let him know when I was done. Very kind of him indeed. I stayed and played for a bit, made a donation, and made my way back to the Strip to lose some more money...I've been a fan ever since.

    #39 5 years ago

    I had exactly the opposite experience. My wife and I went there last spring and had a great time. I actually went to the back to ask about a cab company to call to pick us up. We had walked there, but figured we would melt going back as it was extremely hot there!

    Tim explained to me that there was a cab driver strike at the time and took me over to a bulletin board where he had a list of cab companies and pointed out a few he thought would still be in service. I called the company, played a game of SM right by the door, and then the cab showed up. Maybe I just got him on a good day, but I would certainly go back.

    #40 5 years ago

    Seems like the poll should have a choice for:
    "Tim has been nice to me, or someone I know"

    #41 5 years ago

    First time I went, my wife and I took our (then at the time) 2-year old son with us. Tim came over and showed us over to the crane games and pointed out that the little spiky balls are really easy to grab because they're grippy and it's easy to win. My kid won a couple of them and he left more than happy. We still have those balls, and my now 17-month old kid plays with them all the time.

    All this happened without Tim going into a rage and yelling at my kid.

    #42 5 years ago
    Quoted from Ballsofsteel:

    I'd be grumpy too if I had to manage over 200 machines daily

    That is no excuse. Especially when people go to Las Vegas just for that, are customers, and maybe even donated to his fund raisers through the years to accomplish this.

    This isn't just people walking by and the shop keeper has an attitude.

    LTG : )™

    #43 5 years ago
    Quoted from jar155:

    Which one would ruin your trip more, him not cuddling with you for a while or you not being able to see Bart's hat move?

    Not sure if this is directed at me. I hope not, as I certainly don't believe I gave the impression I needed hand holding. I have been there many times and never bothered him unless I needed help with a game that just wouldn't play. 2 balls in the trough, for example.

    Quoted from Darcy:

    Tim is not in the baby sitting business. People most likely drop off thier kids there, all the time.

    They probably do. Most of the time I see him yell at kids it is for doing things that could damage machines. The one this weekend he stopped a running kid and belittled him in front of everyone there. Should he have been running? No. Did he deserve to be treated the way he was? No customer at any business does. For the record, not my kid.

    #44 5 years ago

    I still don't understand the point of this thread...

    #45 5 years ago

    I've been to PHOF many times and Tim has always been friendly. When he seems busy, I leave him alone.

    Last time I was there, I asked him about PHOF merch. He said he was out of shirts but would be getting more in the future.

    If you approach him respectfully, he'll return in kind. As others have mentioned, if you want to bend his ear and tell him your favorite pinball memory, list your games or ask him repair questions, he'll give you the brush off.

    Also, the poll needs another category... "I don't find Tim's attitude to be rude at all".

    BTW.... I had a friend ask him if he could tinker with a couple of EMs that were out of order. Tim told him to go for it and my friend fixed both machines.

    #48 5 years ago
    Quoted from tb0ne:

    I still don't understand the point of this thread...

    Well, I agree with you now.

    #49 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    That is a good neighborhood to drop your kids off in.

    Any parent who drops their kid off on that street needs to have their head checked

    I don't want Tim to be nice. Makes it less authentic. But for the size, that place takes me back 30+ years when we had real arcades. I don't have fond memories of nice arcade managers. I remember a lot of "Hey, don't do that!" and menacing stares and accusations of the machine not really eating my quarter.

    Keep up the good work Tim!

    Chris

    #50 5 years ago
    Quoted from ReallifePin:

    Not sure if this is directed at me. I hope not, as I certainly don't believe I gave the impression I needed hand holding. I have been there many times and never bothered him unless I needed help with a game that just wouldn't play. 2 balls in the trough, for example.

    No, not at you, just in jest overall.

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