(Topic ID: 150555)

Official Ann Arbor MI pinball vfw show 2016 thread

By cfh

3 years ago

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  • 508 posts
  • 109 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by redman822
  • Topic is favorited by 25 Pinsiders


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#18 3 years ago

Looking forward to the show. Will also pay a visit to Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum... finally!

1 month later
#91 3 years ago

Horizontal sliding card target... look closely.

1 week later
#119 3 years ago
Quoted from cfh:

The 1985 Zaccaria Pool Champion is ready for the May 13-15 Ann Arbor pinball show. There's probably less than 10 of these in North America. But check out that guy on the playfield... weird stuff...

...also both of the women want to take an 8-ball home as a souvenir?

4 weeks later
#234 3 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Oh don't worry, we actually just got a Texas Roadhouse here recently. Boy I used to think Outback was full of clowns too...jesus this place is a saddle riding nightmare.

Oh geez. Saw that one popping up around here about a decade ago. It's a house, by the road, in Texas... Texas Roadhouse! BRILLIANT IDEA SAMMY! CALL THE NEON SCULPTOR!

Never eaten there before, but I strive mightily to avoid these types of cheeky chain dining establishments. Could it be worse than those Harley-Davidson theme restaurants? What do they serve there? Tanned leather steaks? Quaker State oil milkshakes?

"Lifestyle marketing" (i.e. ego pandering) has grown to insane levels in this country. Ferrari alone derives 35% of their annual profits from licensing t-shirts and tchotchkes with their logo... amazing, no? Perhaps we'll soon see a riding Harley-Davidson lawn mower w/massive chrome exhaust pipes: BRUHPPPP-BLAM-BLAM-BLAM-BLAM... cut grass like a real man! Cut the living s**t out of it!

OK, joke time aside, I will be at the Ann Arbor shindig a few days early. Planning to see Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum... and... uh... hmmmm. Not really into the touristy stuff. Anything fun going on up there midweek?

#236 3 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Well the best part of Texas Roadass is they've invented a really awesome one of a kind app, the "Cactus Blossom." What they do, is cut an onion so it spreads out and then they deep fry the WHOLE THING...OMG it was amazing and so original.

Hahahahaaa people still sell those things? Chili's once sold a version called the Awesome Blossom before removing it from the menu "due to health reasons". Wikipedia says it contained 2,710 calories (of which 1,827 was fat), 194 grams of carbohydrates, and 6,360 milligrams of sodium. The equivalent of eating 67 strips of bacon.

*barrrrrrpppppp* keels over

#272 3 years ago

Crazy-good price... game looks practically perfect from here.

#292 3 years ago

I'm due to fly up this afternoon. Gonna explore the city a bit and then do Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum on Wednesday.

After that... er... hmmmm. Not sure.

#323 3 years ago
Quoted from tmontana:

M-Brew in Ferndale is a good place to go as well. They have Michigan craft beer and good pizza. Game list off the top of my head is woz, got, gb, kiss, hobbit, taf, tz, bdk, twd, met. All games are kept in pretty good shape and it's only about 20 min. from marvins (which is also a great place). While in Ferndale you could also visit One-eyed Bettys, they usually have 6 pins or so and an icb, also have craft beer and food.

That is EXACTLY where I wound up after Googling "walkable hipster neighborhoods" in Detroit and finding a Yelp cluster of non-chain/non-fast food restaurants (always a good sign) in Ferndale. Parked and walked next door to M-Brew (due to the "brew") and lo and behold was surprised to see it was the pinball barcade of the neighborhood.

Lots of brews, pins in good shape, but the food was mostly premade/simple bar stuff. OK filler food but not great. Then went to One-Eyed Betty's which had about half the games but five times the patrons. Didn't get to check out the menu but it seemed likely to offer more dining options.

Today... finally... Marvin's. Also met a punk rock couple on the plane who came here to see the band "Babymetal". Wondering if I should go...

#335 3 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

First of all, I'd be interested to hear about other Pinsiders who will be participating in the VFW EM Tourny this Friday. I'm in (for my FIRST tournament EH-varrrr)!

In other news, as I mentioned previously in this thread I'll be exhibiting my work on Saturday and Sunday of the show.

I'm in. Might be my first "voluntary" tourney ever... the others were just to be polite to the hosts. (despite winning... heh)

Dude! Your stuff is bad ass! Count me in for a large tee w/the skeleton graveyard pinball party. That's awes!

#336 3 years ago

BTW... found a great gastropub near the Fillmore called Wright & Co. Lots of beers but only one on tap (awwwww)... but at least it's a good Kolsch-style brew (yaaay).

Pork belly sliders, paella cakes, and a crisp salami & greens salad. Loads of flavor... real good.

#373 3 years ago

Fueling up now at The Breakfast Club in Brighton. Charming spot w/good food options.

#387 3 years ago

Is anyone looking for a Sunday ticket? I won't be able to use mine.

#407 3 years ago

Had to step out early to do some Ann Arbor 'splorin' (and beer'n)... but I must say of the many events I've attended over the past couple of years, VFW feels the most like the classic arcades of yore. Loud and energetic and the games played very well. Amazing selection of games and rarities too. All Clay needs to complement that Still Crazy is a Rat Race!

The Hobbit is an incredible game. No, the open field doesn't look incredible, but the complete multimedia experience is unmatched by any other game I have ever played before. Give it a chance... it is a perfect mashup of Dark Tower (the 80's board game), the film, and pinball. Lots to do, lots to see, outstanding attention to detail.

#415 3 years ago

I set #1 HS on Hobbit yesterday. Maybe 50k short of grand champion... aargh!

#433 3 years ago
Quoted from Pin-Practice:

First thing this morning Trent set the grand champion score. 1.9 million

Dayummmmmm I give up! This is why I only do EM-tourneys! :p

#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!


It begins with wedgeheads...

...and ends with Bally's.

#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.

#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...)

#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.

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