(Topic ID: 54095)

My Saskatchewan Pin Adventure


By Pauz21

6 years ago



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  • 24 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by smokedog
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    #1 6 years ago

    So I had to run my mom down to Regina, Saskatchewan Fri-Sat. She had some health issues come up and I needed take her to the hospital. We had to be at the hospital at 6am Friday morning for her tests. That's when I found out I had to say good bye and not return for "at least 6 hours" I was told. (Turned out to be over 9 hours.)

    So I had no idea what the hell I was going to do in Regina at 6am. Breakfast was the first stop then I killed an hour laying in the backseat watching netflix.

    A little work on my phone led me to understand there were only 2 places to play working pinball machines in Regina... the Rainbow Theatre in the Golden Mile Centre and a rundown arcade called Wonderland on Broad st.

    So Wonderland was the first stop. I was blown away to find out they not only had 8 working pins... but all of their machines are on free play. They charge a flat rate of only $3/Hour during the day and you have the run of the place. Great for a player... but how the hell do these guys stay open???

    I played pinball there for 2 hours... $6 later I was off to the Golden Mile Centre... but first the breakdown from Wonderland.

    As mentioned 8 Pins... all in need of some attention.

    First:
    Game Show - Display was a little messed up but it seemed to work fine. Playfield was actually in good shape but the ramps were so scuffed up you couldn't see what was going on behind them which is kind of important on that game. Flippers were shot.

    007 Goldfinger (I think it was a Goldfinger) - Very Dirty... flippers shot but and the satelite dish was trashed but otherwise... functional.

    T2 - Right flipper shot and the machine was dirty. Otherwise... it was one of the best ones.

    Rocky and Bullwinkle - Probably the pin in the best condition that they had both inside and out however one flipper didn't even have enough power to hit a ramp so the game was virtually unplayable. Sad... because it was in great condition.

    Harley Davidson - Actually in decent condition... just very dirty. That and the game sucks.

    Jokerz - I'd actually never played one of these before. When I got there the display was blank and there was a high pitched squeal coming out of it. I reached under... shut it off... turned it back on and it fired up. Actually a fun older game. Flippers were again... weak. And it was filthy. But that's a pin I'd actually look at if someone had one for a good price around here.

    Monster Bash - This one saddened me. It was probably the belle of the ball... or at least it should have been. The playfield was dirty but appeared to be in good shape with the exception of the center scoop. If there ever was a case for a cliffy this would be it. The hole in the center of the table was worn so much it looked like someone had taken a hole saw to the centre of the table. I was stunned that the ball didn't simply fall down... miss the kickout assembly and fall somewhere inside the cabinet. I've simply never seen a hole worn this bad in my life. Sadly... all the toys seemed to work and as I mentioned, the rest of the playfield actually looked like it would have cleaned up ok.

    And finally a beat up Road Show - The gal... Red had no eyes. They'd been gouched out I guess. Ted only had one eye. There must have been a switch stuck somewhere because there was a light flashing constantly and Red continuously made comments suggesting to me the machine thought I was hitting her over and over and over. I managed to lock the ball twice but the bulldozer wouldn't lift up so I couldn't trigger multiball. In short. This game was probably very fixable but a total mess.

    Anyway... despite the fact these games were in pretty poor shape I was VERY grateful for the place to be open and the price was certainly right. If I had to be in Regina doing nothing for several hours again I'd go back.

    Unfortunately, before I left I thought I'd ask the little old lady working if they'd consider selling their games. She directed me to the guy who owned the place and that conversation was a little disappointing. When I asked if they were for sale and asked for prices he didn't seem to eager to answer.

    After some encouragement he told me the T2 and the Rocky were $2700 each. If they were in really great shape I'd consider those prices high but not ridiculous here so I asked about Monster Bash. (The same Monster Bash that needed to have the entire playfield replaced.)

    He just rolled his eyes and told me I didn't want to know. I said actually I would like to know to which he replied "You can't afford it." Feeling a little insulted I asked him again what he wanted for it and his reply was... "I can sell it to another guy today for $8,000!" I resisted all urge to laugh in his face. I just told him he should call that guy and sell him that machine today because no one else is giving him $8000 for that pin with a playfield in that condition. And with that... I left... slightly soured by what had actually been a fun couple of hours despite the condition of his machines.

    Off to the Golden Mile Center...

    2 Pins..

    Fishtales... in decent shape but for some reason my ball continually would go in to the bumpers at the top and go straight down the center drain on the way out. Of the 5 games I played on it I probably lost 7 balls that way. Frustrating.

    Avengers - This was obviously pretty new and I'd never played it before. I actually liked it but was frustrated with the issues I'd heard about this game. (Got my ball stuck on Hulk probably 5 times and something about having the ball just roll along the backside of drop targets seems weird.)

    I asked the guy at the theatre if these games would be for sale. He told me he'd give me the cel number of the guy who owns them... then mentioned that I could also just stop at Wonderland at talk to him. At that point I told the lad to not bother with his cel. If he wanted 8K for a destroyed Monster Bash he probably wants $30K for his avengers.

    At any rate... some positive... some negative but I played 10 different pins in about 3 hours and probably ended up spending about $12 all told.

    Mom's good now... and back home. What a day!

    #2 6 years ago

    Great to hear that you mom is ok.

    Sad to hear that the pins were kept in such poor shape. How hard is it to keep a playfield clean and do basic maintenance?

    Thanks for the heads up on the locations.

    #3 6 years ago

    Nice story. Thanks for posting.
    I just got back from vacation in Orlando.
    No pinball at my hotel which was the Coco Key on I-Drive.
    We just went to the two Universal parks. Both parks had the same pinball. Shrek.
    Playable but a bit dirty.
    On the way to Orlando we stopped overnight in Mobile Alabama.
    While walking around the downtown shopping district we came upon a dive bar called Hailey's and noticed a Roadshow not to far from the door. Had some spare time so we played a game.
    Everything worked but Teds Visor. Of course it needed a good shop out as well.
    Got a picture of it while we were there.
    Here is my son playing a game.

    IMG_1455small.jpg

    #4 6 years ago

    what is ted's visor?? the bulldozer blade in front of him?

    #5 6 years ago

    Always an adventure dealing with Frank...

    #6 6 years ago
    Quoted from yzfguy:

    what is ted's visor?? the bulldozer blade in front of him?

    Yes.

    #7 6 years ago
    Quoted from Pauz21:

    I was blown away to find out they not only had 8 working pins

    Hahahaha.....and then some more hahahahaha.....wait......HAHAhahaha.

    Wonderland pins are owned by the laziest people in the industry. They never "work". Much like the people there.

    Quoted from Pauz21:

    but how the hell do these guys stay open???

    The arcade is run by a dysfunctional family (to say it lightly). There are 3 remaining siblings that run the business. It's owned by their very old mother. The older brother of the 3, that did all the work died a few years back. Now it's being slowly run into the ground. If they didn't own the property from their father's hard work, and the eldest brother's (that passed away) passion, the arcade would be closed. They are waiting for their mother to die, so they can take control and sell off the assets. Truly sad.....

    It's also sad, because one of the living sibling's children really loves the industry. He gets shut out and shut down every time he makes an attempt to turn things around. I've seen him get angry when locations call them to remove their games, and all property because they don't do the service. They leave them broken on site for weeks.

    Quoted from Pauz21:

    He just rolled his eyes and told me I didn't want to know. I said actually I would like to know to which he replied "You can't afford it." Feeling a little insulted I asked him again what he wanted for it and his reply was... "I can sell it to another guy today for $8,000!" I resisted all urge to laugh in his face. I just told him he should call that guy and sell him that machine today because no one else is giving him $8000 for that pin with a playfield in that condition. And with that... I left... slightly soured by what had actually been a fun couple of hours despite the condition of his machines.

    Frank..... You won't meet a more condescending, lazy prick in your life. The only thing that old geezer moves for is a plate of deep fried food and a baggie. I refuse to go back to that establishment, largely in part because of that mongo jerkwad.

    I couldn't even play in their pin room for the hour I paid for. The machines are in such a state of disrepair, it's too frustrating. I'm sorry you met these people, and encountered their business.

    #8 6 years ago

    Make it up to toon town sometime. There is still one location in the province where the pins are clean and work. *shameless plug*

    Wonderland really has gone down hill. The majority of all their decent pins have been sold off. What you see is the remnants of the glory days.

    Quoted from Firebaall:

    I'm sorry you met these people, and encountered their business.

    Tell us how you really feel

    Quoted from Firebaall:

    because one of the living sibling's children really loves the industry.

    He's a good dude, and does have the passion for it. I hope he strikes out on his own.

    Quoted from Pauz21:

    A little work on my phone led me to understand there were only 2 places to play working pinball machines in Regina

    You should have checked out our leagues website ... sapp.ca ... we have an ongoing thread of places to play in SK. There are a couple more locations in Regina I believe.

    #9 6 years ago

    I sell newer Stern & classic Bally pins across Canada. No pins from 1983 - 2010, & my local collectors usually don't sell their pins.

    #10 6 years ago
    Quoted from Firebaall:

    Hahahaha.....and then some more hahahahaha.....wait......HAHAhahaha.
    Wonderland pins are owned by the laziest people in the industry. They never "work". Much like the people there.

    The arcade is run by a dysfunctional family (to say it lightly). There are 3 remaining siblings that run the business. It's owned by their very old mother. The older brother of the 3, that did all the work died a few years back. Now it's being slowly run into the ground. If they didn't own the property from their father's hard work, and the eldest brother's (that passed away) passion, the arcade would be closed. They are waiting for their mother to die, so they can take control and sell off the assets. Truly sad.....
    It's also sad, because one of the living sibling's children really loves the industry. He gets shut out and shut down every time he makes an attempt to turn things around. I've seen him get angry when locations call them to remove their games, and all property because they don't do the service. They leave them broken on site for weeks.

    Frank..... You won't meet a more condescending, lazy prick in your life. The only thing that old geezer moves for is a plate of deep fried food and a baggie. I refuse to go back to that establishment, largely in part because of that mongo jerkwad.
    I couldn't even play in their pin room for the hour I paid for. The machines are in such a state of disrepair, it's too frustrating. I'm sorry you met these people, and encountered their business.

    I certainly didn't intend to thrown these guys under the bus. I don't know them. Just wanted to tell the story from the weekend.

    #11 6 years ago

    I go to wonderland once in a while , I always leave depressed by the condition of the machines.
    Frank always wants to price the machine as if hey are mint huo, and they are on the other end of he scale. If he spent a few hours fixing hem , they would at least be fun to play.

    #12 6 years ago

    Also there is no problem shipping pins to a depot or your home driveway. I always ask the local collectors if they want to sell, & pass the info along to them if they are interested. Most don't want to thin out their pins unless they must have something else & no space left.

    #13 6 years ago

    Cool story, I was wondering how this place stayed in business from... thank you Firebaall for that.

    Considering their fee structure, it does not shock me that their pins are in crap shape. I am not sure how you would break even on $3 an hour, unless your secret goal was to lure people in to play the "not $3 an hour" redemption games or something...

    #14 6 years ago
    Quoted from Pauz21:

    When I asked if they were for sale and asked for prices he didn't seem to eager to answer.

    Sign up on SAPP. The majority of the collectors in the province list games for sale there before going to Joe public. That way our games stay local. We also do group buys on NIB Stern's to save on costs, and try and include others on bulk buys of used games.

    Also, try and make a tournament or meet and greet. Play a ton of pins, earn WWPR points, and have a chance to represent SK down in Vegas next spring.

    I think Lukerp will be hosting events in Regina once his basement is done (note to Lukerp: Quit buying pins to work on instead of finishing the basement!)

    #15 6 years ago

    I been hangin' around pin parlours
    I been learnin' 'bout pins
    I been talkin' to pin monkeys
    I been workin' on pins

    Moose Jaw, Broadview, Moosomin too
    Runnin' back to Saskatoon
    Red Deer, Terrace and a Medicine Hat
    Sing another pinball tune
    Sing another pinball tune

    #16 6 years ago
    Quoted from Pauz21:

    I certainly didn't intend to thrown these guys under the bus. I don't know them. Just wanted to tell the story from the weekend.

    Visit wonderland a few more times. You'll be asking for the route schedule in record time.

    It's too bad they are pretty much the only local operators that have pins on location in Regina. We used to have some awesome guys running coin op here. Sadly, most of them retired.

    Quoted from smokedog:

    He's a good dude, and does have the passion for it. I hope he strikes out on his own.

    Yup, a bigger fan of pinball and arcade equipment would be hard to find. Family drama and infighting made sure he couldn't get a foothold.

    #17 6 years ago

    Alright, let me pose a question to you Regina guys.

    Say I expand my route down south. One location, 3 or 4 pins. Beer. Food. Waitresses who serve you.

    Do you go and play? Do you attend tournaments/league nights (once a month)?

    I think I may know a tech who could help me run this operation ...

    #18 6 years ago

    I think you would be better off to expand your route west to Edmonton. I'd come for sure.

    #19 6 years ago

    I would travel to Regina for that !

    #20 6 years ago

    There's enough of us to have a rotating "pin poker" night. Hosts would need at least 3 pins in house.

    Everybody kick in 5 bucks. Split the pot for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

    ....either that or drink until the keg spits.

    #21 6 years ago

    I would love to set up a rotating pin night. My problem is that I work a two week cycle right now. Makes it near impossible to to arrange something on the same night monthly.

    #22 6 years ago

    Just moved to Regina and heard about wonderland on Broad Street, so I decided to go down and try out some of their pinball machines. They are in poor shape and not even worth playing. Wish we had some place to play well kept machines.

    #23 6 years ago

    I would be up for a rotating pin night. Would love someone else getting their initials on one of my pins other than me.

    Would also like the option of playing decent pins on location where adult beverages are allowed.

    #24 6 years ago
    Quoted from freezie:

    I would travel to Regina for that !

    I'd be there a half dozen times a year.

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