(Topic ID: 155419)

TPF 2016 - Impressions thread & wrap-up

By NicoVolta

4 years ago

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  • 87 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by Captive_Ball
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    #1 4 years ago

    Is there a post-TPF impressions thread? Didn't find one... so let's start it!

    Well folks... I must say that 2016 has been my favorite Texas Pinball Festival yet. So many great games spanning the gamut from the latest technology all the way back to pure mechanical machines. Every year I find something new to like and this time the prewar era "triple play" caught my attention: Fleet, Airway, and World Series. All of them were entertaining and yet so elegantly simple. It's amazing to realize these machines are closing in on the 100 year milestone yet continue to entertain us today.

    I did not have time to play many of the newer games at the show: Multimorphic's latest creation, Rob Zombie, Ghostbusters, or GOT. But all of them looked great and it was especially gratifying to see and hear Ghostbusters in action... so many memorable sounds and callouts.

    Safecracker remains one of the very best games of all time when played in a public location (key point) & filled with tokens (ditto). The line was always full & everyone cheered the winners along. Did you realize 80% of Dave & Buster's income comes from redemption games? Gotta hand it to Pat Lawlor for attempting to capitalize upon that market with pinball. I think the custom TPF tokens were a BRILLIANT idea and was thrilled to win one for myself. Kudos to Ed for pulling that hat trick at the last hour.

    As a "Maker", I tend to be drawn to pinball machines and games which have been re-imagined and/or had new creative enhancements done "in the spirit of the creators". Reverse Flush was an astonishingly complete vision of a reversed pinball playfield... and boy was it difficult! I wasn't sure the concept was going to work but it looked as good as it played. Obviously, a great deal of work went into it. It was fun to experience an upside-down (and flipped!) POV for the first time. A VERY cool and memorable project indeed. Didn't get to see the custom category winner Spinal Tap since it was offline but will have a look next year.

    For me, the biggest highlight was setting up a booth for VECTOR to showcase what our members at the Dallas Makerspace "arcade committee" have been up to over the past year. Collectively, we were honored to take home two "best of" categories (MKX arcade cab/Snow Derby EM) and a runner-up best restoration (Freedom prototype). But, most of all, it was a thrill to interact with all of you and watch our newest members participate in their first TPF and be received so well.

    Our first time TPF'ers included:

    Paul Wilson - Featured his work-in-progress tiki-retheme of Student Prince with its handsome carved zebrawood lockbar, rails, and veneered cabinet surfaces. Stay tuned... this is one very nice looking project! https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/new-tiki-themed-wooden-pop-bumper-caps#post-2642323

    Rodney Black - His custom-built Mortal Kombat X arcade cabinet was designed and built entirely from scratch (!) at the Makerspace using our in-house CNC mill and other tools. It turned out incredibly well. If you'd like to build your own (or something like it)... Rodney teaches classes on arcade cab building and design at the Makerspace.

    My 2001/Snow Derby/Freedom/and Top Score were also rebuilt in part at the Makerspace. It was an exhausting race to the finish line to get them ready for TPF, but I'm honored that so many people were able to enjoy them in person. I find the social aspects of pinball to be the most rewarding aspect of the hobby... it's what drives me forward the most.

    Chuck Baber - Sinbad is Chuck's first pinball machine and has tirelessly transformed it with new LED displays, new lamp sockets, rebuilding every mech, repinning all connectors, installing LED's, and a new creative tweak: Swapping the default plastic spinner for a metal one which really flies. Chuck has shown an amazing level of dedication to his new hobby. Fun fact: Only hours before opening, he applied a custom-made saber decal to the spinner and clear coated it on the showroom floor! That's the kind of dedication people really appreciate and his game plays superbly well for all the trouble.

    Jayson Woods - Jayson is the new chairperson of VECTOR this year and has already acquired a half-dozen pinball machines. In particular, his backglass touchup skills are superb. Slick Chick, MIBS, and Flipper Parade were extensively touched up... but you never noticed, right?

    Shawn Christian - Shawn of DFW Pinball Club? Yes indeedy... and he is also a "VECTORIAN". His Slick Chick looked and played great and was rebuilt at the Makerspace with new lamp sockets, extensive backglass touchups, and other tweaks. The score motor unpredictably failed the last day but not before dozens of people had an opportunity to play this classic.

    Nick Sainz - Nick's King Pin was the beneficiary of new custom vectorized stencils and a complete re-paint. It now looks and plays very well. We took a big risk painting Snow Derby only a week before TPF in a base blue w/white webbing instead of the standard Gottlieb black... but the result turned out so well it became "better than new". We're thrilled so many of you agreed. Nick and I often combine our skills to push restorations to the limit... and we'll be back again next year with more classic EM's taken "beyond original".

    And last but not least... Stevo and Stacy - Owners of World Cup Soccer and Yukon. Stevo and Stacy are serious Makers who enjoy hacking pinball to whole new levels of experimentation. Yukon was outfitted with a reactive LED array and modded with custom callouts and music played during certain score thresholds. These two really push the limits!

    Public tours of the Dallas Makerspace are every Thursday evening 6pm-9pm. C'mon by and we'll show you what is possible and hopefully provide you with a new resource for your own pinball/arcade restoration goals.

    OK, plug done. TPF was a blast and already looking forward to 2017!

    #2 4 years ago

    It was great to meet you and play those incredible machines in the Vector booth. (There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh paint and varnish when you're playing a 50-year-old machine!) Thanks so much for your patience in answering all my questions, and for sharing your knowledge. I'll be bothering you in a few months with lots more questions!

    #3 4 years ago

    Just wanted to thank all of the people that worked so hard to put the show on. It had to be a ton of work. There were a ton of great games from EM to modern and for the most part everyone was friendly and respectful. It was great to meet a few new people and talk with some people that are doing restores that I had not met before. I played numerous games that I had not seen before.

    My favorite games at the show were the restored fathom and Embryon from Keith Holbrook. Amazing job restoring both games from beaters to high end works of art. From modern games I really enjoyed KISS, Full Throttle, and Ghost Busters. I was surprised how much I liked KISS for all of the heat it's been getting on the forum.

    The ColorDMD LED display looks amazing, extremely bright and crisp. Really looking forward to it being available.

    #4 4 years ago

    TPF is the best! For me it serves as the pot of gold at the end of the yearly rainbow. Thanks to everyone that works to put it on. I wonder how long it will be till Texas becomes the new mecca of pinball. Every year this show happens I feel like we get closer. Thanks to everyone that came out to show support, especially those that brought machines.

    Hope to catch a few of you at Dallas Makerspace in the near future,
    Nick Sainz

    #5 4 years ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    2001/Snow Derby/Freedom

    Would love to see some close up detailed pics of these games posted, in specific the Snow Derby.
    Or even video of some gameplay of the above.

    Snow Derby is under-rated historic game
    (1st pin with end of ball bonus countdown, ka-chunk ka-chink, ka-chunk, ka-chink)
    and sentimental favorite of mine (3rd EM pin, that I ever bought)
    cheers tom

    #6 4 years ago

    Thanks to everyone who brought games to play! It was the best show I have gone to so far as far as quality machines to play & hospitality. Everyone was courteous and even when I was behind them in line (Ghostbusters & others) offered for me to join in a game with them instead of waiting my turn.

    I met George Gomez while I was in line for GB and talked with him for a few minutes. I complimented him on AVLE (IMHO I think it's a great game) and he seemed to really appreciate that.

    I fell in love with the 2 Trons that were there, I think they (along with waiting for GB) was most of my showtime.

    I think that BTTF was gorgeous and should have won for it's category. (2nd place isn't too shabby though).

    I was there for 12+ hours Sat & open to close on Sunday & it still didn't feel like enough time. I'll have to try to squeeze in Friday also if I go back again.

    It was also cool to meet Robin & Matijn in the Pinside booth. It seems like they were having a great time also. I grabbed a few T-Shirts, lanyard (Thanks JJ) and stickers. My carry on was packed with Mezelmods stuff (Thanks Kristen for bringing the AC/DC bell mod to the show for me) along with Matt from Back Alley creations (grabbed some SM stuff). The TSA must have been like what the hell is this?

    Got to play on TBL & Full throttle, usually a line but worth it. Bought some Cointaker stuff to squeeze in to the carry on also

    #7 4 years ago

    Best year yet! Vendors were awesome, variety of food trucks, live podcast with Nate, playing new releases, swap meet Saturday morning, it was a great time! Even got the nostalgic feeling....when I got busted for booze in the hallway

    #8 4 years ago

    Wife and I had a fun time! If you are within driving distance, this is a do not miss show.

    Amazing facility with tons of space and lots of games. Most shows have a feel or identity and TPF to me was BIG on space and BIG on variety. Loads of space and well laid out show floor and seminar area with all sorts of activities going on. It has a little of everything. New games, special announcements, a full scale tourney that seems to be on the right trajectory, lots of old games, some amazing restored games, some great oddball games, plus some vids if that is your thing.

    The food trucks were great and so nice to have easy access to a variety of food.

    We try to do 1 new show that requires major travel and this was the year for us to check out TPF. We had a good time and i would reccomend checking it out once for anyone that likes to travel to pinball shows.

    Things that could be improved for future years IMO.
    Daily tourneys and pay a TD to run the main event but not play in the tourney.

    More incentive for more modern games to brought in that are refurbished and playing 100% (maybe onsite techs to help with common repairs?). I am not sure how shows can improve this in general, but there were a few retailers that brought games which were down the whole show or had major issues. They treated the show as just another retail space for the weekend. It is a tough nut to crack, but on the whole the total number of good playing games that people wanted to play at TPF was not as good as expected from the previous hype. If there were 400 games, there were 200 of the more desirable games and of those, quite a few were unplayable. Things like flippers so weak they could not make ramps, Non functioning switches, stuck balls and no reply or fix when messaging the number on the machine, no credits/not on free play, etc. we spent most of friday night playing games and had issues with 4 out of 10 games we played. As happens, things break throught the show so that ratio got worse over time.

    To end, we still had a blast and I think everyone should check out the show once, but I want to give feedback on where I also see room to make it better. Again, VERY thankful for all the people that did bring good playing games to share with everyone at the show! tHere were many games I enjoyed and that played great, plus all the new games to play that were a blast.

    #9 4 years ago

    I've attended the Houston show, but this was my first time to make the drive up to Dallas for TPF.


    1) The hotel/convention center is the PERFECT venue for this event. Not only is it HUGE and VERY nice, they have a FREE happy hour in the evening. Yes FREE drinks! (...I heard the Houston guys getting pretty rowdy down there on Saturday). Also, free breakfast buffet!

    2) It was great having a snack bar and full bar IN THE MAIN ROOM. Of course, most folks like myself would fill up their drinks in our hotel room and take them down - which was NO PROBLEM as long as it was in some generic container.

    3) Food trucks!

    4) The GAMES. There were SO MANY great games there it was hard to see them all. I had to ask where the Hobbit was. Didn't even see the KISS premium, and somehow completely missed the reverse pinball machine. There were so many games it could be overwhelming.

    5) The PEOPLE! It was great seeing some old friends, and meeting new folks too! The Pinside meet-n-greet was fun. Everyone on the floor that I ran into was very polite. OH, and I got a chance to chat with Steve Ritchie and George Gomez. Let me tell you, they were SO COOL.

    6) The organizers/volunteers - a special THANK YOU for all your hard work. I know there is a TON going on behind the scenes to make everything come together. Well, from this attendee - everything seemed to go as smooth as silk.

    7) The tournament. OK, so this was my first official tournament (excluding Space City Pinball League), and I had NO CLUE how it worked. The volunteers were AWESOME answering my questions and getting me going. The application they used (neverdrains.com) was GREAT!! It provided realtime updates, allowed folks to queue up for games, etc. I was very impressed with how smooth it seemed to work. I didn't play any tournament games until Saturday morning, and still had plenty of time to finish all my qualifying games before the cut-off.

    THE BAD:

    1) My wife. She and PAV had some misunderstanding. Sure, they hugged it out later, but how in the world does that happen? ...there was also the dinner with Ben Heck on Friday. She was less than impressed. Let's just say my wife is high maintenance. Not sure if I'll ask her to come next year.

    2) Lines for GB. Good to see so many folks interested to play, but I never had the patience to wait in line. No worries, I suspect we will be playing it for Space City Pinball League soon anyway.

    3) Ummmm.......can't really think of any other 'bads'

    Overall I'd give it TWO THUMBS UP!!

    #10 4 years ago

    I posted this in another TPF thread. Just thought I'd put it here too.

    Random thoughts from the show:

    Show was fantastic. Second year for me and my wife and we'll be back next year for sure. People who put on shows like this are a special breed. I can't imagine the amount of work involved. Ed and his crew do a great job.

    If you saw me all day with a Starbucks coffee cup in my hand, it was not coffee.

    Every time I get home from a show, there are people I wish I had spent more time with. Happens all the time. I talked briefly with Robin and Martijn (he never did tell me why the f there's a j in his name) but they were eating so I didn't want to bother them too much. Every other time I went by their booth, they were busy with others so I went and found more Starbucks coffee.

    Beelzeboob is semi normal. Really!!

    My wife's only request as she left for shopping Saturday morning was to not end up in jail. I did not end up in jail. I did, however, spend time visiting with hotel security, but rolling six cases of beer through the lobby may have had something to do with that.

    Designers are normal people, just like everyone. Give them shit and they will give it right back. Mark Ritchie has a more famous brother involved in pinball. Who knew??

    I had the pleasure of beating Steve Ritchie for his trophy on RZ. Steve is a pretty decent player.

    The food truck food was really, really good. What a great way to provide a variety of food for the show.

    Some of the show help weren't the brightest. I came through the door one morning before hours and the women stopped me and said I needed a green wristband to get in. I said my wristband IS green. She said OK, you can go in.

    Numerous vendors I talked with mentioned how easy the show staff is to work with and how helpful they were in getting their booths set up. WAY more so than a big show in Chicago.

    Starbucks coffee in Texas tastes WAY different than what we get in MN.

    THANK YOU Ed and staff. You all put on one hell of a great show!!

    #11 4 years ago

    This TPF was my 3rd one in a row. I will for sure be there next year, guess that shows you how much I like it. My fiance came this year with me, this was her first time there. She was blown away. There were some amazing games there, and had a blast playing them all. Highlights of the show for me were:
    The Hobbit: Disclaimer I am a preorder customer this game is the real deal. I can understand why some people don't like it but it is such a great game. I played it 4 or 5 times during the show. I also played a few 4 player games so I was able to have some time to just watch the game. There are so many cool details put in this game that it takes a while to be able to appreciate them all. The gameplay is a lot of fun as well. It took a few games and talking to Butch Peel from Jersey jack to get some of the rules, but wow already it is a deep game with lots of different modes, with unique shots in those modes. I have seen some people talking about it just being shooting the pop ups..no. It is a lot more than that, its just the pop up targets come up to start beast multiball right when you start the game on every inlane shot so I can see why people see that a lot.

    Tron: the tron in the colorDMD area was my favorite of the show, that game was just so well done, it was a good playing game too.

    The adams family on the backside of the tournament bank: That was the best adams family at the show, everything worked, flippers were good and strong, had a lot of fun putting a few games on that one.

    Taxi accross from Ghostbusters..the game won best 80s game at the show and I agree 100% it was a lot of fun and an amazingly restored game. I played it on Sunday afternoon 10 min before the show closed down, and it was still playing great.

    One point I want to make about the games and some being down. I have brought games the previous 2 years, a street fighter 2 in 2014, and a Star Trek premium last year. The street fighter by the end of the show was just beat to heck. The game was so tired at the end of the show. I ended up selling that game so I didnt shop it out but there was nothing really I could do at the show to bring the flipper strength back. These games wern't designed to be played for 12-14 hours straight like they are on Saturday at the show, things just get hot and tired. My Star Trek premium held up better but it still showed some signs of being tired such as the flippers were a little weaker by the end of the show. Set the game back up a few days after the show and everything was fine again. I don't blame the exhibitors one bit for weak flipers, just the nature of the beast of games being played all the time. But for someone wanting to bring a game in the future, make sure the game is 100% before you bring it, if anything needs to be done or you want to do it, fix it before the show. If you can tell a flipper rebuild is in your near future or rebuilding a pop, do it before the show or it will break during the show. If your a maker, or testing out a new part and want to prove its reliability TPF is a great place to do it.

    #12 4 years ago

    Vector booth was very well put together with amazing games for sure . Congrates on your awards as those games were over the top . I did enjoy putting up that high score on the sinbad with the metal spinner Thanks for all your hard work to making TPF a great show

    #13 4 years ago

    I had so much fun I literally just woke up. I drove that No Fear to Houston last night for the new owner. I don't know what I was thinking when I agreed to that, but they were really happy and I got to meet even more fellow pinballers.

    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Nick Sainz - Nick's King Pin

    I had the pleasure of having drinks with Nick D and Nick Sainz. I'm looking forward to seeing y'all at DMS or just around town! Your booth and pins were awesome!

    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Stevo and Stacy - Owners of World Cup Soccer and Yukon

    I talked to Stacy in line at safecracker and here and there throughout the show and afterwards while we were loading. Absolutely delightful woman and If you are lurking I'm having withdrawal from the 15 or so games on that WCS!

    Thanks for "bringing it" in such a big way Nick D and everyone else!!!

    #14 4 years ago

    Had an amazing experience at TPF!

    I flew in not knowing a single person that I've meet in person before and never went a moment without having someone to chat about pinball with or play games with. This hobby has a great culture and the people are awesome! Besides all the new games and odd ball stuff ive never played before, my favorite part of the trip was just meeting and hanging with a bunch of awesome people! Thanks JJ for the lanyards that help connect people as well. Meet a decent amount of people who are also from Colorado, really cool to connect with them.

    Huge, Huge, Huge shout out to Xerico for giving me one of his passes to get me in, also got me in the after hours stuff. So thankful for that.

    Ghostbusters blew me away, Hobbit underwhelmed, the other new ones fit somewhere in the middle but really enjoyed Rob Zombie.

    fact about me: if there is a tx-sector, I will play it as many times as possible. the one at tpf was kind of tucked away so there was never a wait to jam on it.

    Spent a lot of time in the tournament, but the way it was setup during qualifying allowed a lot of leeway to meander around and play other games between any of the tournament games. Tournament games were set up super nasty and were a real fun challenge to try and put up good scores. Shout out to Whysnow for being in my corner and sending me positive vibes throughout the tourney finals. Played some games throughout the weekend with Jack Danger, super nice guy. His stream of the finals allowed a bunch of my friends and family to tune in and was really cool that they got to experience that.

    I agree that there were a lot of games down, nature of the beast but kind of disappointing when the issue is silly things like the white water that the rubber on the shooter lane was worn thru so you couldn't even plunge a ball into play, but I appreciate everybody who was willing to bring and share their games with the public, that is a very commendable thing to do, especially knowing how these things break down.

    Definitely was worth the trip and will try and attend it next year!

    #15 4 years ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    Beelzeboob is semi normal. Really!!


    #16 4 years ago
    Quoted from fluffybunny:

    Tron: the tron in the colorDMD area was my favorite of the show, that game was just so well done, it was a good playing game too.

    The TRON, Iron Man, and Metallica in the ColorDMD area were all brought by Craig Hassell. All three games looked great, and we're very thankful he allowed us to show them off.

    #18 4 years ago

    Sad I missed it, from the pics I've seen it looked amazing. Will definitely be going next year.

    #19 4 years ago

    The show was awesome as usual but who ever stuck a set of drop target decals on my black knight blows my mind . Thanks who ever you are !

    #20 4 years ago

    In case anyone is curious how many games you can fit on their belly in an 2003 Ford E150 on the way back to Iowa from Texas, the answer is 4. You can fit plenty of luggage as well and have your seats in the 'all the way back and reclined' position. What you can't fit is the cooler you kept all of your booze in for the weekend. For that you need good friends with a truck!!


    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pbgixxer:

    The show was awesome as usual but who ever stuck a set of drop target decals on my black knight blows my mind . Thanks who ever you are !

    Guilty! You are very welcome.

    #22 4 years ago

    This was my first time at TPF and it was great. I brought my wife even though she isn't a big pinball player and even less excited to be around crowds (mostly hates rude crowds) but she figured she would head over to the mall on Sat and shop ... much to my surprise she wanted to hang with me and play which speaks volumes for the event and 99% of the participants.
    So congratulations and appreciation to those who put in the time/effort organizing and running the show, as well as those who brought some great games which all combined to make it a 1st class event

    I had a great conversation with Robin about the site and look forward to the planned changes and efforts to keep this a great place for pinball lovers.

    I had a chance to really take some good notes about future purchase with the great selection of machines available to play, I might even make the drive next year to haul some stuff home.
    I've seen the comments about the number of machines down at any one time. To me there were moments it "felt" like 50% because it always seemed to be a specific pin I wanted to play was offline but realistically it was probably around 10-15% (numbers that seem to be reflected in the message regarding the record attempt). I will say the number of down machines was more than offset by quality of the machines that were working.

    It can't be easy to keep that many going, especially when the condition at the start may not have been 100%. A few specific pins didn't seem to hold up well and were up and down. My wife even mentioned how much she saw the same guy pulling around a toolkit and doing repairs, if she noticed that means a real effort was being made and it can't be an easy thing to manage. One owner missed out because a pin I would have purchased at the start was out of contention at the end because it was having so many issues (considering the HUO claim). But overall I was pleased with the quantity and quality.

    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    Beelzeboob is semi normal. Really!!

    I confirm, BFK's statement is true.


    #24 4 years ago

    Great show. Any idea where the best in show lists would be ? 1st 2nd 3rds and all?

    #25 4 years ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Public tours of the Dallas Makerspace are every Thursday evening 6pm-9pm. C'mon by and we'll show you what is possible and hopefully provide you with a new resource for your own pinball/arcade restoration goals.

    If someone local can make it over to the Makerspace one Thursday night, please post a YouTube video! We've talked about doing this sort of thing in north metro Atlanta, and we could use some inspiration.

    #26 4 years ago
    Quoted from Captive_Ball:

    I confirm, BFK's statement is true.

    #27 4 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Things that could be improved for future years IMO.
    Daily tourneys and pay a TD to run the main event but not play in the tourney.

    Thanks for the feedback.
    Daily side tourneys were initially part of the plan for TPF2016, but were shelved to make sure the rest of the tourneys ran smoothly. We will be considering holding daily side tourneys for next year. I received another good suggestion to hold a true "novice" finals as part of the open qualifying -- with an IFPA ranking threshold of 4000-5000 or something like that (if you're better than the threshold, you're ineligible).

    The head Tournament Director running the main event, Ken Kemp, did not play in the tourney.

    #28 4 years ago

    My First trip to TPF & 1st time as an exhibitor,

    West Texas Ballers brought 5 pins. Apollo 13, Metallica, Walking Dead, Frankenstein & T2. The only game I had any trouble with was T2 & if a friend was not familiar with Evan the Pin smith the game would have stayed broken down all weekend. I would suggest the show personal provide exhibitors with a list of people working at the show who can do repairs on the fly and get pins back in action. People were lined up the whole show to play our pins and that was very flattering to see. We also received a ton of complements on the home made custom Metallica topper and Walking Dead home made custom mods.

    I would like to see an award system for owner fabricated custom mod work. Seems like all the modern awards were based on how much cash you paid out to mod vendors or if your purchase a pimped out LE pin from the manufacturer. Not knocking mods, I also purchase a lot of mods, lol but also try to ad a personal touch to all my pins.

    Overall, I Had a great time at the show and it seemed to be run very well. The hotel was very nice.

    Thank you to all the people who volunteered their time and to those who volunteered their machines to make this show happen and put a smile on so many peoples faces this past weekend.


    #29 4 years ago
    Quoted from Snailman:

    The head Tournament Director running the main event, Ken Kemp, did not play in the tourney.

    Who is Ken? I only saw you making every call and decision when needed and assumed that meant you were the TD??

    You setup and had to play test all the games as the TD and if TPF wants to continue to grow the competiton and event then they should make some adjustments (i suggest paying the TD a reasonable fee to put in the effort and not play) to remove the distinct advantage in a limited qualifying event of being able to get familiar with the games in advance. Takes a whole new spin on the debacle of last minute change to reduced plays when the TD still had ample opportunity to play test all the games and knew the feeds and plunges in advance. I think it is important if TPF wants to continue to buld the level of the tournament to address this. You are a great player but also had advantages given your role as TD. Best to just remove the perception of advantage all together by having a TD not playing in the event when dealing with a huge prize pot and last minute reduction in attempts on games yet some people got to play test all the games.

    Aside from that the tourney ran very smooth and the never drains software was great.

    Other suggestion is to change the format of the parent/kid tourney since it is really just PARENT that is good plus kid event it seemed? Maybe play a split flipper with this to make it more fun? I know other events have done a parent/kid where the kid plays balls 1 and 3, the parent plays ball 2 and 1 handed. Make it a way to add more for the kids and less about the parents skill.

    #30 4 years ago

    This was my 2nd time out to TPF. The tournament was the highlight for me, because unfortunately that was all I really got to enjoy. At about 7pm Friday I had a "bratwurst quesadilla" from one of the food trucks. I woke up at 2am with a pounding headache, and headed down to the lobby to buy aspirin. I had to hoof it to the 7-11, which wasn't far but it was a damned cold walk. I got back to my room, took the aspirin and within 5 minutes everything I ate for the last month came up, I think even the gum I swallowed when I was 5. It was about that time that my neighbors got back and flipped on the TV. I put the pillow over my head and prayed for death, or at least a do-over.

    I woke up on Saturday at 2pm, and ate the 2 donuts I'd brought back from the 7-11 the night before. Success! I decided it had been food poisoning, so I went down to try a few games. I was feeling weak, so it was "play 5 games, rest for 20 minutes". But I didn't feel sick, no fever, just a little tired. Around 7pm my buddy brought back some In-and-Out and I devoured it, since the only thing I'd had all day was a few donuts. I went to bed around 10, and started feeling nauseous again. That feeling lasted until 3am, when, almost like clockwork, I threw up again. This time I got it all in the toilet, which is a LOT easier to clean than the sink, let me tell you. I didn't make it back to the show. I headed straight for the airport and napped until my 4pm flight. I did mention my plight to the hotel staff and suggested cleaning the bathroom with bleach ("noted").

    But I did get to shake Jack Danger's hand, and say hi to my old friends Marcus and James. So, it wasn't all bad. I was also amazed at the quality of the tournament pins. I could have played Nitro Ground Shaker, Frontier and Cleopatra all night.

    #31 4 years ago
    Quoted from fluffybunny:

    These games wern't designed to be played for 12-14 hours straight like they are on Saturday at the show

    Well actually they are, they are designed to be beaten around by kids in an arcade for 12-14 hours.

    #32 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    But I did get to shake Jack Danger's hand,

    Jack danger now sick w a bad case of the mud butt.

    Hope not and glad you are feeling better.

    #33 4 years ago

    For Pinwiztom
    Only Snow Derby photo I took.


    #34 4 years ago

    As someone who brings mostly early 80's games to our show (SFGE), let me offer this bit of advice: play the old games first. It doesn't matter how well the owner takes care of them, they are still the most vulnerable to breaking down. I average about 25% failures for the games I bring, and these are games that I've babied for years in my own gameroom. In fact for this year's SFGE, I'm dedicating myself to resurrecting classic pins that are down.

    #35 4 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Jack danger now sick w a bad case of the mud butt.
    Hope not and glad you are feeling better.

    Oh yeah, I forgot - I got to shake WhySnow's hand too!

    #36 4 years ago

    FYI Pinwiztom... we hired a photographer and will have photos up when ready. Should be some HQ shots of Snow Derby in the group.

    #37 4 years ago
    Quoted from fluffybunny:

    These games wern't designed to be played for 12-14 hours straight like they are on Saturday at the show, things just get hot and tired.

    I saw that someone else already replied to this, but...

    What in the world else are pinball machines meant for? I managed arcades in the past, and if our games had people playing them solid for 12-14 hours, it was a success. If they broke, but made a ton of money for the week, that was something good. The majority of our games didn't break.

    #38 4 years ago

    I think in typical home use games just aren't on long enough to flush out some problems, like bad EOS switches for example.

    #39 4 years ago
    Quoted from Arcade:

    Only Snow Derby photo I took.

    looks like the CAB paint job was unique or different than normal.

    #40 4 years ago
    Quoted from goatdan:

    I saw that someone else already replied to this, but...
    What in the world else are pinball machines meant for? I managed arcades in the past, and if our games had people playing them solid for 12-14 hours, it was a success. If they broke, but made a ton of money for the week, that was something good. The majority of our games didn't break.

    I think the point that was trying to be made was that some/many games suffer from weakened flippers as the coils heat up due to non-stop play. Normally, this is not something the games have experienced out on location but yes, in some cases, they do if they get a lot of back to back play during peek hours.

    I know we have seen when games were brand new this kind of issue since people were waiting with coins across the playfield glass. Let the coils cool down and everything is great again. I know there was a discussion somewhere about installing fans to cool the flipper coils on games like LOTR.

    #41 4 years ago

    This was my first TPF and I had a blast. I am so glad I was able to make it.
    I got to hang out with Robin, Martin, Mezel again and see some people I met at Expo two years ago. I also got to meet a bunch of Pinsiders I hadn't met before such as Marcus (Xerico), Labnip and Tigerlaw. There were so many I can't remember them all.
    Most of the Kansas City crew was down there so it felt just like home. I tell you, there is no place like home.
    I got to play all of the new machines I wanted to but the KISS LE and Avengers LE. Just never found the time to get on one. I did put up Grand Champ on the Hobbit Saturday night during the vender party. Woot!
    I like that everything was in one location but the noise was damn near unbearable, even with earplugs in. Next time, I am bringing my range muffs.
    My Andromeda got runner up for best original. It might have won if I had the original drops in there but then again, the game would probably have been unplayable in short order. I didn't even know it was entered in the contest.
    I can't wait until next year.

    #42 4 years ago

    The good:
    *The Organizers...Ed,Kim,Paul and Ken. You guys pull this off every year and make it bigger and better every year! Thank you for the thousands of hours you guys put into the organization of this show!
    *The Volunteers...You guys are great, cheerful and helpful.
    *The Exhibitors...without your games there wouldn't be a show.
    *The new load in with staging areas was awesome! The software and volunteers at load in were amazing and friendly.
    *The volunteers at the registration desk were awesome as always. Thank you Kim! (Ed's Wife) and her crew (too many to mention but you guys are great)
    *Having a variety of food trucks (didn't eat at them but wish I had like I did in past years) I also like the location of the trucks versus last year
    *Having "Evan the pinsmith" on hand to fix machines as they go down. I am so happy that you guys have him on hand. He is a HUGE asset to the show.
    *The people attending the show this year were amazing! Everyone was in good spirits! I didn't see anyone pouting, griping or arguing about anything all week. I heard zero complaints or negative comments? (How is this possible?) I LOVE IT! Lets keep this up for future shows.
    *The games were amazing! So many pimped out games to play. I really wanted to play them all and didn't get a chance to play as many as I would like. I only got to play Ghostbusters one time and only go to play The Big Lebowski one time. (I was absolutely blown away by The Big Lebowski)
    *The classic games I enjoyed the most were the ones that were awarded ribbons in each catagory. The judges nailed it 100% for each catagory. I am very fickle when it comes to game play, setup or a game and a game being 100% with fresh rubbers, freshly shopped, fresh balls, everything working. Awesome restorations, mods and attention to detail. The games were 3 times set up better then in past shows.
    *The Judges.... People like Bill Morrison ("The Mayor"),Keith Holbrook and the other judges (Wish I knew who they were) who spend the better part of 20-30 hours judging games are an integral part of the show. I would not like to have their job. I really enjoy the judging of the pins like it was a car show. The award ceremonies at the end of the show has always been my favorite part of the show. I can't thank the judges enough for their hard work.
    *Having the after party for exhibitors this year was a nice added touch. Thank you!
    *Jeff Frick (way2wryd) and his never done before antique pre-flipper display. Never saw so many people in a booth to enjoy 70-100 year old games. Very cool sir!

    Minor gripes...and they are minor.
    *I miss having the following rows of themed pins....."Bally Alley" "Classic Stern row" and the EM row like we had in past shows. I hate going around ducking and dodging through people trying to find that 70's EM, tucked next to a brand new machine with people just blocking the EM. The EMs would have been better suited in an area where people can find an enjoy them. I really miss the awesome EM rows we had one or two years ago.
    *Level your game...There were a few awesome games that I just had to walk away from mid game because the leveling was way off.

    Major gripe...I only have ONE gripe at all and it has gotten better and better over past shows....BUT....Only if this applies to you...
    STOP bringing your roached out games with rubbers that should have been changed a few years back. Stop bringing those Craigs List flips that you buy for 500 bucks and try to flip for 1500 dollars complete with bad balls, bad leveling, bad ramps or borderline projects.(SAVE THEM FOR THE SWAP MEET!) You are only bringing these games to get a friend in. It is not fair to the others that bring their working games that they spent hours and money getting ready for the show. I am not saying they should all be beauty queens but at least have the decency to properly wax, rubber, re-bulb broken bulbs and level the game. In the end you should ask yourself..."Would I personally enjoy playing the game?" If the answer is "no" then either leave it at home, save it for the swap meet, bring another game in it's place or just buy that weekend ticket to get a friend in. In past years it was about roughly 40-50 games like this. This year I would say it was about 20 of those on the floor.

    #43 4 years ago

    The only games that I saw that were consistently down were the ones in the FUN! area. All of those that I played except for Iron Man had trough issues or pop bumpers firing on every flip.

    As others have noted, the other games that went down were back up pretty fast, even Special Force. I was bummed when Godzilla was off with a note on it but I came back an hour later and it'd been fixed.

    Great job everyone!

    #44 4 years ago

    I did notice several games that once the sold sign came out were mysteriously turned off and not functioning. lol. It is cool to sell the old game but follow the rules and leave it on until the show is over.

    For vendors: I was sure hoping to find cup holders and glass at the show. Those are the two things that always seem to be to pricy to ship for me to purchase.

    #45 4 years ago

    As an exhibitor I find these shows rather stressful, always fretting the next play on the game is the one that breaks it.

    But I must say I had a great time and especially want to thank all the people, some I know and many strangers, who found me and commented on the Backwards Pinball game. I never know what people will think of the strange stuff I do, but it seems this one worked.

    So thanks everyone for your comments about the game!

    I checked the game counter and it shows 1000 plays! I don't know if that's right, sounds way high. I'll check the counter out when I get the game put back together.

    Loved the food trucks, a great experience since I don't use them any other time.

    Unfortunately I broke my Wife with her helping the pin moving and set up and break down. She's out of commission today.... Couldn't have done it without her!


    #46 4 years ago
    Quoted from Turboprop:

    I would like to see an award system for owner fabricated custom mod work. Seems like all the modern awards were based on how much cash you paid out to mod vendors or if your purchase a pimped out LE pin from the manufacturer. Not knocking mods, I also purchase a lot of mods, lol but also try to ad a personal touch to all my pins.

    Not true, the judges purposely made a point to NOT judge the modern games that way. Bill even mentioned this in his speech. The best modern winner "Kiss" had a custom built light system (that Kim built himself) for the backbox. The best 90s pin "TAF" had hours of labor into it. Kevin rebuilt the cabinet and installed new decals. The playfield had lots of work done too.

    #48 4 years ago

    Didn't here the speech. I was busy taking care of pins. 90s pins aren't modern most everything
    Done On them is restoration work or custom work. most of the modern class seemed to be store bought mods & LE equipped machines. The kiss backglass lighting was cool.

    As I said before I would like to see a category for home built mods not pro mod stuff in the
    Modern category.

    #49 4 years ago

    That sounds like a kid that randomly picked your machine to put stickers on.
    Where on the machine were the stickers stuck on at?
    I assume/hope they weren't too hard to get off.

    #50 4 years ago

    Got to talk to Steve and Mark Richie! Steve even signed my translite! Super guy. He told us jokes while I dug out the translite...


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