(Topic ID: 150555)

Official Ann Arbor MI pinball vfw show 2016 thread


By cfh

3 years ago



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There are 508 posts in this topic. You are on page 10 of 11.
#451 3 years ago
Quoted from yancy:

No debris in a game? That barely even counts as a broken glass. Amateurs!
Showcase was awesome, as usual. I've been to all three and don't plan on missing any. My favorite part this year was the annex section of Zacs and other assorted weird import pins. Every year I wonder how Clay can squeeze more games in, and he always does. Time for a third building?

When the glass exploded, Ballykid was nearby and heard the pieces fall to the floor. He then saw the pile out of the corner of his eye and at first thought someone dropped a bag of a thousand El Cheapo LED's.....

#452 3 years ago

Thanks for hosting this great show. It was my first time attending and I will be much more prepared next year. Because there are so many games to be played, I will need to bring some well padded shoes for my feet and gloves for my hands. It'll also be necessary to bring an air mattress for my van and a couple of flicks so that I can rest when necessary. This show is going to be an all day event next year!!!

#453 3 years ago

i thought i heard something shatter, now i know what it was...

#454 3 years ago

The VFW Showcase does not tally a list of audits on what games were played but the games that were brought in by vendors I looked at. The games were in the annex and we're not down at all. They were on for the all night erst too. The results were:

The Hobbit.....435 plays
Kiss................397
Ghostbusters..681
Game of Thrones..472

Thank you again to Abel Electronics and The Game Room Guys for providing these awesome games. You are definitely invited back next year.

Scott

#455 3 years ago
Quoted from mot:

Great show!
Surprisingly, the stand-out game for me this year was Bally "On Beam". It's every bit as good as my favorite wedgeheads, and it's made to want to play more 60s Bally single-players!

Beware...

It begins with wedgeheads...

...and ends with Bally's.

#456 3 years ago

What a great show! I moved to A2 just after last year's event and have been waiting excitedly ever since for this year's. I bought my tickets the first day they went on sale.

I feel so lucky to live here, so close to this national treasure. I only wish I had access to it more than once a year! (If anyone knows how or if there's even a remote possibility that I could somehow earn that privilege, please let me know with a PM.)

Thank you so much to all those involved in getting (and keeping) the games up and running, and making the show such a blast. The food rocked too! Already can't wait for next year.

#457 3 years ago

First off, thank you to Clay and the volunteer staff for executing a flawless event featuring one of the greatest collection of pinball machines in existence. Truly a well-oiled machine all around.

Thank you to everyone who checked out my Pinball Prints at the show and bought a few. I hope you will share pics of them with me of their final resting place. Those of you who ordered custom order prints can expect them next week.

A few folks have ordered copies of this image, which will be ready next well too. I'm producing a limited run of these on metallic photo paper. Follow this link for more details.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/limited-print-2016-ann-arbor-pinball-museum-poster

mainbuildingoverhead_(resized).jpg

#458 3 years ago
Quoted from MrBally:

The Bally Beam-O-Meter is awesome. Same with the extra ball feature that disables the flippers and kicks it back via a rotating outhole mech.

Right!? I thought the outhole kicker was malfunctioning at first, but I eventually figured out that those were my extra balls. I was amazed!

Quoted from NicoVolta:

Beware...
It begins with wedgeheads...
...and ends with Bally's.

You might be right, but I don't even think I've ever seen a 60s Bally single player for sale.... although I probably haven't been paying attention.

#459 3 years ago

Gottliebs are gorgeous to look at and the mechs have a silky high-quality feel to them... but over time it becomes apparent that the gameplay is often rather quaint in comparison to the fast and furious nature of Bally EM's. Especially the mid/late 70's era.

Generally most collectors start from a "Gottlieb only/wedgehead only" point of view before expanding into the Bally Zone. And, once there, they tend not to let them out of their grasp. Which might be why they don't come up for sale so often?

Love my Gottlieb's, but they wouldn't be the first ones I'd snatch from a house fire. Might be third or fourth in line.

#460 3 years ago

Surprised to see the litimed amount of comments from the show. Must not have been a lot of pinsiders attending. Maybe next year we should have a pinsiders meet and greet for an hour over a cold one.

#461 3 years ago
Quoted from MotorCityMatt:

Surprised to see the litimed amount of comments from the show. Must not have been a lot of pinsiders attending. Maybe next year we should have a pinsiders meet and greet for an hour over a cold one.

The weather was cold enough. Those tent campers, I hope they had a backup plan.

#462 3 years ago
Quoted from MotorCityMatt:

Surprised to see the litimed amount of comments from the show. Must not have been a lot of pinsiders attending. Maybe next year we should have a pinsiders meet and greet for an hour over a cold one.

So many games. All of which looked and played great. Too many to try them all. The friendly staff quickly addressed any problems. It was so nice to have access to such a fantastic collection of games. I drove 3 hours Friday afternoon to get there by 4pm. Played games right up until 10pm with an hour out for dinner. Drove 3 hours to get back home. Will definitely go again.

#463 3 years ago

Loved the Zac's. So many cool things going on with them.

We had a great time Friday, and will be back next year.

Thanks to Clay & crew for the great show.

#464 3 years ago
Quoted from bob_e:

The weather was cold enough. Those tent campers, I hope they had a backup plan.

I was nice and toasty in my tent . Plus, it was worth it for the overnight access to the annex!

#465 3 years ago

Glad at least someone out there was warm.

For those that missed it, we had SNOW flying on Sunday morning at the VFW-AAPM.

Later,
Eric V

#466 3 years ago

Yes, Sunday May 15th and we had SNOW FLURRIES in Michigan! Spring and Summer are short-enough already without this crap weather. I'm not seeing any sign of global warming locally....

Great, great show. Really nice touch having the new Zac row and having vendors bring in Kiss, GOT, GB and TH. I will echo the other poster about the headphone jacks - its seems that there were less games with working jacks. Minor complaint, but when you have 300 pins going at the same time, its impossible to hear the game you are playing. This show runs so smoothly that something like headphone jacks sticks out! I don't think a game was every down for more than a few minutes and in the very few exceptions where there was more than a trivial issue, the game was rolled into the shop and repaired quickly and put right back in the line up. The red and orange shirt volunteers were to a person polite and very accommodating. Great staff means a great show. I tried to introduce myself to Clay, but the poor guy was running in so many directions that I didn't want to sidetrack him.

One huge benefit (and I think its because of the design of this event) is that people are far friendlier and more considerate at this show than any other. People are there to play games and are in a great mood. No one hogs a machine. Everyone is very aware if someone else would like to play.

I think it would be very cool to have a high score honor roll at this event. A simple white board with a couple of dozen games that people get to report when they set a new GC score. I'd like to know just how far off I am from the skills of some of the regulars there (I do own the GC on RFM, it's still there from last year).

I really wish this was done more often than annually. I truly look forward to this show every year and I'm envious of the VFW members who get access to this on a regular basis. Some day maybe I'll learn the secret handshake!

#467 3 years ago
Quoted from robotron911:

I'd like to know just how far off I am from the skills of some of the regulars there (I do own the GC on RFM, it's still there from last year).

OK I'll play it next time I'm there and see what happens.

#468 3 years ago
Quoted from robotron911:

Yes, Sunday May 15th and we had SNOW FLURRIES in Michigan! Spring and Summer are short-enough already without this crap weather. I'm not seeing any sign of global warming locally....

You're right. So far, American weather has largely remained unchanged by global warming, or has actually gotten slightly better (warmer winters, normal summers). Except for certain areas, MI being one of them. Other areas of the world are feeling more severe effects.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v532/n7599/images/nature17441-sf2.jpg

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v532/n7599/abs/nature17441.html

#469 3 years ago
Quoted from MotorCityMatt:

Surprised to see the litimed amount of comments from the show. Must not have been a lot of pinsiders attending.

I think it's more that no one has anything to complain about.

#470 3 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

I think it's more that no one has anything to complain about.

Yea.. Sounds like VFW is right behind Kalamazoo as the most drama-free show in the area. Only reason I slot it behind KZoo is due to Clay's sometimes invasive promotion in other show threads but not a big deal. People show up, eat, drink, bullshit, play pinball and go home.

#471 3 years ago
Quoted from robotron911:

Some day maybe I'll learn the secret handshake!

And 5 year members in good standing get the secrete VFW-AAPM decoder ring.

#472 3 years ago

OK... impressions time...

The greatness of the VFW collection is twofold: Quality and variety. Every game looks and plays consistently well, and if it doesn't, Clay's fleet of techs are dispatched post-haste to make it so, almost telepathically. What more could a player want?

Weak flipper? Fixed right there.
No credits? 10 seconds later, full o' credits.
Woodrails and EM's work? Yep, and fully functional at that. Including the really rare stuff!

Granted, no event is without its concessions, and there are a few things to keep in mind when visiting VFW:

1. Proximity. Like Arcade Expo, the VFW collection is located in a remote-ish area. Not quite as remote as Banning, but still away from most hotels/restaurants/bars. You'll be parking in grass (which can be muddy) and most hotels are a bit of a drive away... possibly up to 30 minutes if you are staying in Novi (like I did) or Detroit (even further).

2. Space is tight. Limiting the attendance helps to control crowds, but even without long lines, the low roofs and close proximity of the games creates a cozy, almost claustrophobic experience. But, if you're not prone to that kind of thing, the games will likely keep you distracted from noticing too much.

3. Amenities. Although a food option was present, no beer/alcohol was available which misses out on the full "barcade" experience. Also, with limited space indoors, the only place to relax was at a table & tent area away from the action outside. Which is fine if the weather is nice, but I found it a bit cool on Saturday in the 40's/50's.

4. EM leveling is just a wee bit floaty. Hey, I had to nitpick something! :p

Bottom line: Plan ahead and see this collection! If Clay has a game you've been looking to play... you can bet it'll be here working and waiting for you, without a long line. With 300-ish games in the stable, that alone is quite an achievement.

As far as the "other" city experiences go...

1. Ferndale is a fun hipster-y area in north Detroit. At least two pinball barcades (M-Brew and One-Eyed Betty's) are within walking distance. Lots of cool brewpubs and restaurants to explore. But if you plan to hit up Toast for Sunday brunch, you had better arrive early.

2. Wright & Co. is a swanky downtown gastropub worth a visit. It's pricey, but pretty, and every bite of the food explodes with flavor.

3. Johnny Noodle King is an unexpectedly nice Chinese eatery in south Detroit near the Canada bridge. If you're looking for your signature Blade Runner postapocalyptic Detroit experience amid abandoned buildings and rusty fences while slurping noodles... this is the place. As I ate, I watched a pig's head boiling in one of six giant soup cauldrons just behind the bar... snout descending into a maelstrom of froth. Can't beat that for authenticity.

4. When leaving, stop by the Romulus House near the airport for your final departure breakfast. It is the diner that time forgot. Elvis covers, fake flowers, orange faux-marble plastic tables, and the best biscuits n' gravy I've ever had north of the Mason-Dixon line. And CHEAP! Less than six bucks for two eggs, sausages, pancakes, hash browns, and biscuits n' gravy... hot damn.

#473 3 years ago

OMG forgot the other two!

4. Henry Ford Museum. Yes indeed... home of numerous Steampunk legends including one of the Highland Park Plant Engine-Generators. Each one of these 4000HP, 6000KW beasts powered a Model T factory and, quite rightly, may be considered the literal engine of the Industrial Revolution. Also on site... a Tucker! One of the six Bugatti Royales! Tons of manly ironworks to gawk at... you'll be impressed.

and definitely not least...

5. MARVIN'S MARVELOUS MECHANICAL MUSEUM! I admit, this alone, was one of the primary reasons I chose to attend VFW over Pin-A-Go-Go. I'm a big fan of Dan Zelinsky's Musee Mechanique in SF and the weirdness of Marvin's is cut from the same cloth. Suffice it to say, if you don't come here while traveling to the VFW... YER FIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(and yeah, Marvin has pinball machines too...)

#474 3 years ago

In defense of the location, we are only a 5 minute (4 mile) drive from places like TGI fridays, Panera, Olive Garden, crap like that. And we're only 15 minutes drive from Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, possibly the best NY deli in the world (and i grew up in NY, trust me, it's that good, though a bit pricey.) Ann Arbor (again 15 minutes away) also has some other amazing restaurants and coffee houses. And for those wanting quick food, Macdonalds, Arbys and Burger king are only 1.5 miles from the VFW. If you want a more "homey" meal, there's the Zukey Lake Tavern and the Hamburg Tavern, which are about 2 and 4 miles away, respectively.

The brighton holiday inn express is only 10 minutes drive away. The Best Western is (normally) about 3 minutes away, but the bridge to that hotel was hit by a truck and is currently being rebuilt. If you want an amazing place to stay, there's a Bed and Breakfast on a lake that's about 5 minutes away that is CRAZY nice (and they have a pinball machine on free play!)

On the headphone jacks.... this was something that i really wanted to expand. We started putting them in the WPC and sys11 machines last year. We found that people really didn't use them that much. We even sold headphones at the check in desk for cheap to encourage it. But it didn't seem utilized.

Yet the biggest problem with the head phone jacks was they are too small. The jack is so small, and people push in their headphones so hard, it often breaks the jack or pushes it inside the coin door. Then it shorts to the coin door, and blows the TDA ampliflier on the sound board! I was getting tired of replacing the TDA sound amps on these expensive games, that we just gave up on the idea of adding more jacks (in fact, we removed them from some games.)

We would love to have more headphone jacks, as we're the *only* pinball show that had this feature. But it's just creates problems. When the sound amp blows, there's NO sound coming from anywhere, and then we have to fix it. There's enough stuff to fix during the show, we just didn't want to add to the list. Also the TDA sound amps aren't free, and the cost of just that part was starting to add up.

#475 3 years ago

As for alcohol at the VFW, you can bring your own, and tail gate in the parking lot. you can't bring it inside though. And we will not sell beer because the insurance costs just go crazy high. Also the incidents of problems increases. We already had one issue with people drinking and almost getting into a fight at the show. We just don't want to deal with it. There's too much risk and liability issues when people drink.

#476 3 years ago

Clay,
Thanks to you and everyone in the club for putting on this show. I have had a blast at it each year.

#477 3 years ago

No doubt.
Even with the effed up bridge, Best Western was a quick drive (15 min). Plenty of amenities nearby.
I would NEVER want to deal with selling people beer, and the resulting BS, tailgating is fine...
Had a great time Friday. Will do this every year I can.
....Tourney announcer was perfect pick for the job......

#478 3 years ago

Probably a good idea to nix the headphone jacks. I brought a pair but they didn't have built-in volume control and the jacks hadn't yet been installed on the games I tried. Cool idea though. Agreed, with 300+ games, the ongoing maintenance plan needs to be as efficient as possible.

#479 3 years ago
Quoted from cfh:

If you want an amazing place to stay, there's a Bed and Breakfast on a lake that's about 5 minutes away that is CRAZY nice (and they have a pinball machine on free play!)

Would love to know about this.

By the way, I had a great time meeting a ton of pinheads, both old and new. ...and I must admit, it was pretty humbling to see a good number of people walking around with an illustration of mine on their chest:

IMG_2425_(resized).jpg

Many thanks to Clay for providing me and the other vendors a space to sell our wares during the show. Much appreciated and I'll be happy to exhibit again next year if you'll have me.

I'm also already looking forward to the next EM World Championships. I had an absolute blast and I wouldn't change a thing. I read some of the comments about tournament software and speeding things up... I actually enjoyed the relaxed nature of the tourney. I felt like it gave me a chance to chat with my fellow competitors and actually have a conversation or two in-between rounds.

Three cheers for Clay and the VFW and the staff. Nice work (AGAIN)!

Sincerely,
Ryan Claytor
Elephant Eater Comics
www.ElephantEater.com

#480 3 years ago

Practice up Ryan someone has to beat Wiley at the EM tourney!
(pictures by Marty F., taken at the show.)

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#481 3 years ago

Clay's Showcase is my favorite weekend of the year. Thanks to everyone that helps make it happen! 300+ collector quality machines for three days.

Quoted from NicoVolta:

3. Amenities. Although a food option was present, no beer/alcohol was available which misses out on the full "barcade" experience. Also, with limited space indoors, the only place to relax was at a table & tent area away from the action outside. Which is fine if the weather is nice, but I found it a bit cool on Saturday in the 40's/50's.

Even though pins take precedence on the showroom floor, it would be nice to have a small indoor lounge for this event. Someplace to kick back and relax (I usually just went to my car because it was pretty chilly). Probably doesn't make sense to give up that space on the other 362 days of the year though. Plus, it is usually a little warmer too.

#482 3 years ago

Clay needs to get some of them soviet pinball machines for next year.

museum-soviet-gaming-machines_23_(resized).jpgMoscow_Arcade_8_(resized).jpg

#483 3 years ago

Man, those Soviets don't mess around with lockdown bars.

#484 3 years ago

not sure what surprises are going down for next year's show. i doubt russian pinballs are in the mix though...

#485 3 years ago
Quoted from cfh:

not sure what surprises are going down for next year's show. i doubt russian pinballs are in the mix though...

Well they're better than 90s gottleibs

#486 3 years ago
Quoted from dfsays:

Clay's Showcase is my favorite weekend of the year. Thanks to everyone that helps make it happen!

it would be nice to have a small indoor lounge for this event.

We have a small indoor lounge... Bidet Equipped !

There were tables and chairs between the buildings with easy-up tents. But we cannot control the weather.

#487 3 years ago
Quoted from cfh:

not sure what surprises are going down for next year's show.

Maybe hold the event a week later to avoid the cold weather and snow flurries
and conflict with PAGG (one can only hope).

#488 3 years ago

2017 show dates already announced on the web site www.vfwpinball.com

#489 3 years ago

Shoot
Oh well
Tough decision to be made next May.

#490 3 years ago

Are you doing the black friday thing again this year

#491 3 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Clay needs to get some of them soviet pinball machines for next year.

Are those NIXIE tubes in the display?

nixiw_(resized).jpg

#492 3 years ago
Quoted from bob_e:

Are those NIXIE tubes in the display?

Yes. IIRC, invented there.

#493 3 years ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

Shoot
Oh well
Tough decision to be made next May.

I've been invited to PAGG for the past few years and have to decline due to the VFW Showcase.

#494 3 years ago
Quoted from MrBally:

I've been invited to PAGG for the past few years and have to decline due to the VFW Showcase.

I feel your pain as I'd love to revisit CA. For a pinball show again.

#495 3 years ago

The Banning CA show in January is quite good. And it's in January, when the weather in Michigan is terrible. That's the california show to go to, in my mind. Even if all the games weren't there, you would still be in california in january. Which has to be better than being in michigan in january!

#496 3 years ago
Quoted from cfh:

The Banning CA show in January is quite good. And it's in January, when the weather in Michigan is terrible. That's the california show to go to, in my mind. Even if all the games weren't there, you would still be in california in january. Which has to be better than being in michigan in january!

I get to go there for work often. Just not close to the dates of the Banning show.

#497 3 years ago

Is that the same show where they have the "it never drains" tourney?

#498 3 years ago

Is there any way for a visitor to play at VFW pinball aside from the expo?

#499 3 years ago

Clay. Thanks for putting on a great event... and for stocking up and selling playfield glass at a great price. The savings on the sheets of glass I bought over local prices here paid for the trip up there. Total class act.

Rock on Clay!

Mac

#500 3 years ago

That event was awesome! It was my 1st time and I had a blast. I went alone though. Wife just had foot surgery. Will take her next year. Awesome pinball museum!

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