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(Topic ID: 264134)

Pinball Warehouse, Fridley MN to close.


By Bryan_Kelly

7 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 115 posts
  • 60 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by Dayhuff
  • Topic is favorited by 16 Pinsiders

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    There are 115 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
    #1 7 months ago

    After almost 40 years in the same location, the Pinball Warehouse has decided to close it's doors.

    Going out of business sale will be next Saturday, the 21st, at 10:00 AM. Everything must go. Al and Aaron are open to all offers.

    I took a few pics yesterday.

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    #2 7 months ago

    Oh that’s a bummer.
    I’ve bought multiple games from them.
    What’s the story here with the going out of business sale?
    Auction format next Saturday or reach out to them this week?
    Thanks.

    #3 7 months ago

    I bought my first game (EATPM) from Big Al over 10 years ago. After subsequent trips up to the warehouse, I quickly found out bringing my attractive wife put him in a much better mood and willing to negotiate. Best of wishes to Al and Aaron.

    #4 7 months ago

    Same story here. I bought my first pin 10 years ago and loved talking with Aaron and Al. It will just feel a little different knowing they aren’t around.

    Sad but wish everyone luck.

    #5 7 months ago

    End of an era.... I still have the TMNT I bought on some wild half-off sale years ago, as well as one of the Flash Gordon machines I did a complete restore on after getting a pair of projects from them. Was always fun going with friends who sometimes bought a machine... or talked me out of buying one I should have.

    Those pics look pretty sad... never seen the place so bare...

    #6 7 months ago
    Quoted from CyberNinja24:

    Oh that’s a bummer.
    I’ve bought multiple games from them.
    What’s the story here with the going out of business sale?
    Auction format next Saturday or reach out to them this week?
    Thanks.

    No auction. Just make an offer. No reason to contact Al. He's not willing to hold anything. First come first served.

    #7 7 months ago

    Will they be open Friday?

    #8 7 months ago

    I just played the Taxi that i love and purchased from Al as my first Pin . a pinball i played 30 years ago and at that time thought i would love to own but I never thought i could ever afford one. and like 4 years ago i visited the warehouse with my wife on a dark rainy dreary day someone was sleeping outside in a suv it was warm outside and entering the warehouse that was pitch black with a tv flickering and Al sitting in front of it . i said to Al "I wanted to see his taxi " and he lit up the back row of pins, me and my wife played them and the lights and sounds coming from that bank of pins sliced through that grey day we were laughing at all the noise and ruckus we were creating , i put money down on the Taxi , Al's stories are worthy of telling

    #9 7 months ago

    I bought my first pin a WCS94 from Al 9 years ago, which I still have today. Sad to hear that he closing down.

    #10 7 months ago

    I remember trying to buy a Firepower II, which was listed on the website as being for sale, and being talked out of it. Huh?

    #11 7 months ago
    Quoted from s1500:

    I remember trying to buy a Firepower II, which was listed on the website as being for sale, and being talked out of it. Huh?

    Sometimes people just don’t want to sell something.

    Besides, that game is horrible. Did you a favor.

    #12 7 months ago

    Do you know if they will have be open Tuesday at all? I might be able to swing by in the afternoon.

    #13 7 months ago

    Too bad it's not local to me. I'm sure I'd pick up something.

    #14 7 months ago

    Makes me really sad. Almost all my games have come from them. I really like Aaron and Al.

    #15 7 months ago
    Quoted from skink91:

    Makes me really sad. Almost all my games have come from them. I really like Aaron and Al.

    Well it's time to stock up then.

    #16 7 months ago

    Never been but looks like a cool spot. That’s too bad best of luck to everyone! They’ve got lots of cool neon

    #17 7 months ago
    Quoted from ChrisPINk25:

    Will they be open Friday?

    Quoted from Fortytwo:

    Do you know if they will have be open Tuesday at all? I might be able to swing by in the afternoon.

    Al has no regular hours anymore, other than Saturday.

    #18 7 months ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    No auction. Just make an offer. No reason to contact Al. He's not willing to hold anything. First come first served.

    Wish I was local looks like a lot of good parts there.
    I assume they have no interest in posting pictures and selling online?

    #19 7 months ago
    Quoted from dudah:

    I assume they have no interest in posting pictures and selling online?

    Dear God, no!

    #20 7 months ago

    Sale next Saturday?
    First come, first served?
    Somebody is already waiting in line.

    18
    #21 7 months ago

    Lots of great memories there. I will miss our Saturday car get together’s and our hamburger cookouts. Bought a lot of games there over the years. A true icon of the Pinball community lots of history there. Will be truly missed.

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    #22 7 months ago
    Quoted from mnpinball:

    Lots of great memories there. I will miss our Saturday car get together’s and our hamburger cookouts. Bought a lot of games there over the years. A true icon of the Pinball community lots of history there. Will be truly missed.[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

    Pinball, hot rods and beer... The perfect trifecta!

    #23 7 months ago
    Quoted from mnpinball:

    Lots of great memories there. I will miss our Saturday car get together’s and our hamburger cookouts. Bought a lot of games there over the years. A true icon of the Pinball community lots of history there. Will be truly missed.

    Kind of a shell of a place now. The handwriting has been on the wall for a number of months now.

    Aaron gave me a cool banner he thought would look good in your place.

    #24 7 months ago

    They're both a bit older now.

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    #25 7 months ago

    It has had to have been hard getting well priced routed, unrestored games for them with how private sale prices have been the past few years. Now everyone and their brother is "restoring" games.

    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    Kind of a shell of a place now. The handwriting has been on the wall for a number of months now.
    Aaron gave me a cool banner he thought would look good in your place.

    #26 7 months ago
    Quoted from merfeldma:

    It has had to have been hard getting well priced routed, unrestored games for them with how private sale prices have been the past few years. Now everyone and their brother is "restoring" games.

    True. For years, Al was buying out operators getting out of pinball. Now, those same ops might be getting back in. There was a time ops were selling on Craigslist, now they're buying. There's just no cheap source of pinballs anymore.

    At 78 years old, it seems like a good time for this to happen to Al.

    #27 7 months ago

    If anyone needs a pinball or arcade key...I know a guy.

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    #28 7 months ago

    If anyone who's going can find some Mousin' Around parts, I need the center ramp, the center ramp switch bracket, and the center ramp metal entry piece. I know asking here is a long shot but I'm getting desperate trying to find one, haha. If anyone can find those parts I'll pay what they cost, shipping, and a tip just for finding them.

    #29 7 months ago

    A sad time. Action Pinball Warehouse has been the go to place for pinball machines and arcade games for years. Al and Aaron will be missed. I sent him buyers for years and he sent me players.

    I hope Al has a nice retirement and Aaron has a good future too. Both pillars of our gaming community.

    Thank you Al and Aaron, it's been a great ride,
    Lloyd

    #30 7 months ago

    With the virus crap, timing is poor. I could always use another neon.

    I look forward to hear what goodies people get in the sale.

    Good luck everyone on finding some good stuff !

    LTG : )

    #31 7 months ago

    When I got into the hobby ten years ago and learned about Big Al’s place, making my first visit became a top priority. This was around Thanksgiving 2010. A snowstorm was brewing for the upcoming weekend, but I had some free time and was determined to make the pilgrimage. I called ahead to make sure they were still going to be open. Al answered and said he’d be there.

    The storm turned out to be pretty bad, but I went. Nobody else was there, which was nice because I had the place to myself. Al was friendly and gracious. He offered me a Swisher Sweet, so we both burned one as he walked me around to show me the games.

    I was more interested in his EMs, so he led me down the back hallway to his other unit where those games were kept. We were still smoking our cigars, even though we were in a commons space for other tenants. This was four years after Minnesota banned smoking in commercial establishments. I asked him if anybody complained about the smoke. He grunted, “Nobody complains to me.”

    The satellite unit with the older games was like the last scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark: it was dim, cavernous, and had row after row of dusty games standing on end. I took some pictures and came back next week to buy one of them. Negotiating with Al was an exercise in futility, but I did get him to shave $50 off because I brought cash.

    $450 for a Williams 3 Jokers. I still have it. Thanks Al, and happy trails.

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    #32 7 months ago

    I bought my first game from Pinball Plus, but bought my second (first project) and several more games from Al.

    I remember the project was High Speed for around $450 and Aaron ran all over the warehouse to find me the missing beacon topper. The playfield was blown out but otherwise worked just needed fresh batteries. New playfields were not readily available in the late 90's and I remember asking Sue about parts while she smoked and played one of her favorite games -- Junkyard. Eventually I parted that game out and the backglass was signed by SR and traded towards a HUO Hokus Pokus while attending my first expo in 2003.

    My second machine from him was RFM for $3300 in excellent shape. Around that time he was selling a Cactus Canyon for a very reasonable price.

    My third was a TZ for around same price as RFM but he was trusting enough to accept a trade in for DE-JP sight unseen at $1500 credit. I took the TZ home before bringing him the JP.

    From there things get a little fuzzy but recall a couple neon signs coming home with me. Will try to make it out to Al's sale on Saturday if anything just to see everyone.

    #33 7 months ago

    I would damn-near kill for that OK used car neon. Kill, but not drive to MN...

    #34 7 months ago
    Quoted from Steve_in_Escalon:

    I would damn-near kill for that OK used car neon. Kill, but not drive to MN...

    That big one needs a new transformer. I picked up this small one because of its size. It's 12" in diameter. This is after tear down and clean up.

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    #35 7 months ago

    Are they selling the Rocky & Bullwinkle and the Wipeout? What playfields do they have?

    #36 7 months ago
    Quoted from pb456:

    Are they selling the Rocky & Bullwinkle and the Wipeout? What playfields do they have?

    All the games are for sale. Not sure what playfields are left.

    #37 7 months ago

    Why is that OK Used cars logo ringing a bell? My mother's Honda back in 1983 had that logo on one of the windows.

    Can some Minnesotan explain this to me?

    #39 7 months ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    That big one needs a new transformer. I picked up this small one because of its size. It's 12" in diameter. This is after tear down and clean up.

    Plenty of neon shops in Las Vegas... I can't imagine the difficulty in shipping neon.

    BTW, your sign looks great.

    #40 7 months ago

    I really like the car neons, I wish I was closer.

    #41 7 months ago

    Two of my pins have Pinball Warehouse play cards in them. Not sure who bought Tee’d Off from them, but I have had it for 3 years now. No Good Gofers was bought as the first pin for a friend of mine before I bought it from him last year. Sad news to see the doors close.
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    #42 7 months ago

    Sorry to hear
    Been to movies and car shows with my brother and Al
    Looking for a game later this year probably will have to pick up one early

    #43 7 months ago

    What a bummer. My best to Aaron and Al. Aaron was always a good voice of reason when I went there. I appreciate that in a business when someone can be real rather than take advantage of you.

    #44 7 months ago

    Love the Mobil Pegasus- will they ship?

    Also would they sell the light box for the axis rats? I have the glass I need the light box

    #45 7 months ago

    Looks like it was an awesome place, I would surely have visited next time I'd be lucky enough to head north. Always sad to see cool hangout reach the end of their era.

    I also have to comment, the OK signs are fantastic! Would love to have one of those but I'm sure they're probably spoken for (if not, let me know how much stupider I'm about to be...?) At any rate my grandest "shady achievement" was snagging the one from Frankfort's GM dealership that closed during the great recession. The actual acquisition is kinduva funny tale of errors (I thought I knew, but realized I did NOT realize how freaking *huge* those mastpole marquees are until I had to figure out how to get it home, oops), from the pseudo-permission I received, to the destruction of the gargantuan frame to liberate it, to the utterly baffled construction crew pondering the remains the following Monday morning, ha.

    Anyway, sorry for the threadjack... I hope the artifacts find cherishing homes and the locals find a new cool hangout!

    OK1 (resized).jpg

    #46 7 months ago
    Quoted from shlockdoc:

    Love the Mobil Pegasus- will they ship?
    Also would they sell the light box for the axis rats? I have the glass I need the light box

    The Pegasus is sold and Al wanted to keep the axis rats. I was interested in that.

    #47 7 months ago

    Al wanted me to mention he found 4 boxes of 78 records. No idea how many records. Just 4 boxes.

    #48 7 months ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    Al wanted me to mention he found 4 boxes of 78 records. No idea how many records. Just 4 boxes.

    Well, that should be 312 records total then (4 boxes x 78 per box). The math is pretty straightforward.

    (I never use emojis, but if you've seen other posts of mine, you must know I'm not being serious here.)

    #49 7 months ago

    I bought my first pinball machine is 2012 or so, and made the trip to pinball warehouse to buy bulbs, rubbers etc. and ask questions. I had a sound problem, and Al gave me advice how to spray electrnoics parts cleaner on the potentiometer which solved the problem. In about 2015, Al gave me a Judge Dredd cabinet with slight water damage on the bottom, which I used to build virtual machine.

    #50 7 months ago

    Not exactly the time to have an "in person" sale. A ton of potential customers are going to be missed.

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