Merry FlipMas: Pinball Gifts For Any Occasion and Any Budget

Do you like pinball? Do you have a special someone in your life that is into pinball?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, then we have some really unique and cool handmade and vintage pinball related gifts (to suit any budget!) so you are all sorted for Christmas (or any other occasion)!

Oh yeah, just click on the link or photo to take you straight to the product item.

Attack From Mars Shadowbox Art

Same Player Shoots Again Enamel – Pinball Pin

3″ Vintage Reproduction Williams Electronics Manufacturing Corp. Pinball Company

Guns & Roses Data East Pinball LED Backbox Display light box

Gottlieb Haunted House Pinball Shadowbox Art

Vintage 70s Pinball Wizard t-shirt

Pinball Flipper Pendant Necklace in Brushed Pewter

The Machine: Bride of Pinbot Williams Pinball BackBox LED Display light box

Mini Virtual Pinball Machine

The Walking Dead Pinball – Pile of Skulls: Pinball Flipper Bat MOD

25 Cent Pinball Arcade Video Game LED Night Light

Pinball Flipper Keychain

Pinball Pop Bumper Button / Keychain

Pinball Addict Necklace – for her (or him)

Pinball Obsession Greeting Card

Pinball Addict 3″ Embroidered Patch

INDIANA JONES The Pinball Adventure – keychain (gold)

Midnight Pinballing (Giclée Fine Art Print)

Shaky Pinball LCD Handheld Game

Tiger Electronic Vintage Handheld Pinball LCD Video Game – 1987

Miniature Football Theme Pinball Machine Clock

Night Shift – Pinball Oil Painting

Twilight Zone Pinball pin

The Addams Family Pinball LED Illuminated BackBox 3D Art Shadow Box – deluxe limited edition signed numbered

Solenoids & Asteroids – limited edition Pinball themed silkscreen print

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Flipout 2018 Highlights

Wow, what a weekend it was! The third Mr. Pinball Flipout 2018 in Melbourne was an absolute flippin blast!

To ensure we got our fill of pinball, we arrived at Flipout 2018 nice and early and were quite chuffed to have found ourselves first in line for entry. Within minutes of arriving, we looked behind us and were greeted by a line snaking through the Sandbelt Hotel, with guests eagerly awaiting the clock to strike 10:00!

Once the doors flung open, we were greeted by a cacophony of pinball machine noises that were music to our ears. Being first through the doors, our eyes immediately fixated on the pair of Jersey Jack Pinball’s new Pirates of The Caribbean (PoTC) machines. We knew we had to play these right away otherwise we would have had to queue up to play these, as Jersey Jack Pinball machines always prove popular with the masses. Once we drained our third ball on PoTC it was time to move on to the next big new pinball machine for 2018 – Chicago Gaming Company’s Monster Bash Remake (MBR)! This was the first time the machine was available for play anywhere in Australia, so we counted ourselves quite lucky. There were two MBR machines to play and an original Monster Bash (MB) so we could play them back-to-back and compare the old versus the new – as much as we are fans of the original MB, the Remake just takes it to another level, from the vivid art work and amazing light and sound package, to the ultra clear coated playfield that ensured your shots were precise, making this a complete and wonderful experience. Oh yeah, the huge HD screen just topped off what already is a stellar pinball machine.

Up close and personal with the new Monster Bash Remake

Pinball has had its fair share of controversies over the years, and none are bigger than John Popadiuk’s failed Zidware venture. We won’t bore you with the controversy, which is still a sore point for many (and rightly so), but Mr Pinball had somehow secured one of only a handful of Magic Girl machines to be available for play at Flipout. As you will see in the video and accompanying photos, Magic Girl is one tall and absolutely stunning machine. The machine might be gorgeous, but that’s where it all ends – there is no substance to it, as the game is incomplete, rendering the experience to be somewhat subdued. However, it was amazing to actually see and touch this rare and exotic machine.

Oo’er, the exotically rare and controversial MAGIC GIRL

From one controversial machine to another, we threw some tokens into Alien and plunged the ball to check out (the now defunct) Heighway Pinball’s last production machine. The dark theme nails the feel and atmosphere of the huge movie franchise and of course the Xenomorph sticking its tongue out to grab your ball was one feature we were keen to see in the flesh – it didn’t disappoint. Alien is a striking machine, demanding your attention with it’s unique lines and huge backboard. I just wish Heighway had completed the machine and got the code to a level where the game would just suck you right into the Alien universe. Hopefully the dedicated community of owners out there will do this machine justice with code updates in the future!

Heighway Pinball’s strikingly beautiful and scary Alien machine

While there were plenty of other hard-to-find-on-location machines on free play, like Team Pinball’s The Mafia and Spooky’s Total Nuclear Annihilation (TNA), it was Ben Heck’s America’s Most Haunted (AMH) that actually grabbed us by the scruff of our neck and would not let go. While initially waiting for our turn on TNA, we noticed that no one was playing AMH, so we thought, what the heck, let’s flip this thing. Wow, the machine sucked us in right away – it was so up our alley, that we forgo more machines, including playing TNA more than a couple of times! We played AMH close to 60 times, so we would say that it was our most played machine at Flipout. The cheesy theme, the great sarcastic callouts and butter smooth shooting were among the many things we loved about it. The changing RGB lighting was just the icing on an already delicious cake! We may have to have a chat to Mr Pinball’s Wayne Gillard about finding AMH a new home.

Pinball Party Bus’ Dion Miksad shows us how to play AMH

Ausretrogamer and Pinball Press Co-Founder, Alex Boz reckons AMH was best in show!

With 60 plus machines on offer, including some amazing EM machines, there was plenty of variety to cater for all kind of pinball tastes at Flipout 2018. Of course the event also had an array of great seminars, from Jersey Jack Pinball CEO, Jack Guarnieri’s keynote speech, to Haggis Pinball’s unveiling of their new pinball machine theme. For the competitive types, Melbourne Silverball ran IFPA endorsed tournaments all weekend which were also streamed live on Twitch.

After 7 hours of constant pinball in a day, we had a bout of severe arm-pump, which sadly rendered our day complete. We definitely didn’t leave disappointed – Flipout 2018 far exceeded our expectations. We left the venue with a big smile on our face, knowing that we will have great memories locked away in our cerebral cortex. We can’t wait for Flipout 2019!

We have our tickets ready!

Big thumbs up for Scott Danesi’s TNA!

Plenty of great seminars at Flipout 2018

Just one final plunge!

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Pinball Press
Pinball Press is the coolest PR & Social Media engine that drives awareness to your pinball related products, events, news, podcasts and streams!

Follow Pinball Press on Twitter and Facebook

 

 

 

Pinball: FlipOut 2018

To say pinball is going through a resurgence would be a gross understatement.

With pinball becoming ever so popular it was inevitable that a major event would pop up, and thanks to Mr. Pinball, we now have the annual FlipOut event held on the first weekend of December.

FlipOut 2018 will be on December 1 and 2 at the Sandbelt Hotel in Moorabbin. The event will have a swag of awesome and boutique pinball machines to play, from Heighway Pinball’s (defunct) Alien, American Pinball’s Houdini, Spooky’s TNA and the exotically rare Magic Girl, to Chicago Gaming Company’s Remakes and Jersey Jack Pinball’s array of brilliant machines – Dialed In, Wizard Of Oz, The Hobbit and their latest, Pirates Of The Caribbean. You would be hard pressed at finding any of these machines to play on location, so FlipOut 2018 may be your only opportunity to experience some of these games.

Highlight from FlipOut 2016 – meeting the one and only Jack Guarnieri

It’s not all just playing pinball, FlipOut will also feature a keynote presentation by the ever so brilliant Jersey Jack Pinball founder, Jack Guarnieri and a stacked list of pinball related seminars. If you are the competative type, FlipOut will have IFPA sanctioned tournaments to prove your wizardry against some of the best players in Australia. Oh yeah, there will be autograph/signing sessions and lots of prizes and giveaways throughout the two days of FlipOut 2018.

If you want to attend FlipOut 2018, you better hurry, as tickets are selling fast! We have our tickets and can’t wait to get there! Hope to see you all at FlipOut 2018!

Event Details:

  • Event: FlipOut 2018
  • When: December 1 and 2, 2018
  • Where: Sandbelt Hotel, 630 South Road, Moorabbin
  • Sponsors: Mr. Pinball, American Pinball, Jersey Jack Pinball, Chicago Gaming Company, Pin Stadium Lights, Team Pinball, Hot Rodded Pins and Melbourne Silverball
  • Tickets: Available via Mr. Pinball – ranging from $30 (single day entry) to $100 (full access all weekend, plus tournament entry)

 

Pinball Browser: Customise Your Pinball Machine


If you like to dabble in hacking and modding proprietary software, especially on pinball machines, you are in luck!

Pinball Browser, created by French Pinsider, Olivier (aka: OGA83), is your godsend tool to customise and personalise your Stern Whitestar, SAM and SPIKE firmware based pinball machines to your liking. Pinball Browser allows you to access, modify, add, remove sounds, images, videos, messages, adjustments and of course, high scores tables. So if you want to ensure you are the Grand Champion on your Stern The Walking Dead pinball machine, get this great software tool and get creative!

To learn more about its capabilities and download Pinball Browser (latest version is v6.50) go here now. Oh yeah, please consider donating 20 EURO (or more) to register this great piece of software. By registering Pinball Browser, your donated contribution unlocks unique features and will also support Olivier in including future improvements! It is definitely worth it.

We all owe our gratitude to Olivier, so from the entire pinball community, thank you for creating this most awesome and useful tool!

Pinball Browser is one POWERFUL modding tool!

Look who is now the GRAND CHAMPION on TWD 😉

Changing some DMD graphics – does orange look alright to you?

 

The Pinball VS Arcade Industry Battle of the 80s and 90s

During the boom times of the 80s and 90s, it would have been quite hard to imagine that one day the coin-operated (coin-op) pinball and arcade video games business would (almost) disappear.

With the current worldwide resurgence in pinball and old school arcade machines making a comeback in barcades, we thought we’d take a look at how prevalent pinball and arcade games were in the 80s and 90s in the biggest coin-op amusement market in the world, the good ole USA!

We delved deep into the available ‘Census of Service Industry‘ data from the US Department of Commerce, which kept record of “sources of receipts” for pinball and arcade machines in establishments across the US. What we found was quite eye-opening!

source: 1982 Census of Service Industries: Industry Series. Miscellaneous Subjects(SC82-I-5) – US Dept of Commerce

From the 1982 census data, there were 5,434 sites across the US where the general public could attend to get their fix of playing pinball and arcade games. The total US takings at these establishments was a whopping  USD$1.175 billion (for that year), with arcade machines earning the lion’s share with USD$890.4 million and pinball with $284.3 million. Remember, this was just before the video games crash of 1983. Interestingly, Pennsylvania had the highest number of establishments (268), with the split of takings between pinball (USD$34.2M) and arcade (USD$36.0M) being almost 50/50. Everywhere else, it was arcade video game machines that took more coins out of pockets.

source: 1992 Census Of Service Industries: Subject Series. Sources of Receipts or Revenue (SC92-S-4) – US Dept of Commerce

By 1992 the coin-op amusement landscape changed quite a bit. As evident by the numbers, pinball declined substantially while arcade machines broke through the magical USD$1 billion earnings barrier for that year – that is some serious amount of coins! Pinball had unfortunately slid back, earning their operators a poultry (when compared to arcade video games) USD$165M in 1992. With hindsight, pinball was going to be saved by some big name licensed machines – hello The Addams Family!

source: The Arcade Flyer Archive

As already hinted, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for pinball. According to Vending Times (which tracks the use of coin-operated games), in the mid-1990s the silver ball game had rebounded with takings of USD$912M in 1994 (that was 38% of the total coin-op market at the time) and then almost doubling to a dizzying USD$1.7 billion by 1997/8. Pinball had gone from junk to the golden goose in three short years! Before pinball operators could make it rain more coins, it was the 32-bit gaming era that sounded the death knell for not only pinball, but arcade video games too. By the end of the 1990s, the number of venues where one could play pinball and/or arcade machines dwindled dramatically. Things got acutely dire for pinball when the once mighty Williams closed up its pinball division near the end of 1999.

The beauty of hindsight is that we can assess and track the ups and downs of the pinball and arcade coin-op industry. With the current global video games industry sporting 2.6 billion gamers and takings in excess of USD$116 billion per annum, the time of amusement centres on every street corner are long gone. If pinball could tap even 0.5% of this (that’s USD$580M), then the great silver ball game will be here to stay and be enjoyed for many generations to come!

Enjoying some arcade and pinball action at Melbourne’s Invaders Amusement Centre
– circa early 80s

 

Boom! Stern Pinball Unleashes Deadpool

Yesterday Stern Pinball Inc. announced their latest pinball machine, Deadpool. Based on the Marvel comics (not the movies), Stern seems to have captured the real essence of the Marvel character, thanks to the artwork by famed artist, Jeremy Packer, also known as Zombie Yeti.

True to the Deadpool character, Stern have thrown in some really clever, funny and backhanded insults, taunts and other comments all over their three Deadpool pinball machine models (Pro, Premium and Limited Edition (LE)) – check them out below. We particularly love the “OOOH, YOU’RE FANCY!” one on the LE plaque.

Oh yeah, the backboard LCD screen graphics will definitely take you back to your 80s and 90s video game days with their pixelated imagery – the nostalgia is overwhelming!

Designed by George Gomez with coding lead by Tanio Klyce, the Deadpool Pro model will hit Australian shores in October, followed by the Premium and LE models in late November (subject to change).

We can’t wait to get to Zax Amusements to fight some ninjas and get insulted! BOOM!

Price (in AUD with GST):

Image source: Stern Pinball Inc.

 

First Impressions: Stern’s Iron Maiden Pro Pinball Machine

When we got the word that Stern’s new Iron Maiden: Legacy of The Beast pinball machine had officially landed in Australia, we knew we had to run to the hills (Ed: terrible pun!) and hit up our friends at Zax Amusements to get hands on with this highly anticipated pinball machine.

Our first impression when walking up to the Iron Maiden Pro pinball machine was wow, this thing stands out! The physical presence and visual impact is striking and quite visceral. Jeremy Packer’s (aka: Zombie Yeti) art sets the tone and scene for what is to be a pretty darn awesome and frenetic pinball experience.

From the very first plunge we had our mouth and eyes wide open with our heart palpitating at the excitement – funnily enough, the short plunge was quite easy to do to hit the skill shot target (we’ll leave the more difficult skill shot to the Jordan Tredaways of the world). The induced adrenaline rush wasn’t based on us just playing ‘another Stern pinball machine’, we immediately noticed that Iron Maiden was a fresh take on the Stern formula with a new layout, thanks to Stern’s rookie design team; Keith Elwin – Game Designer, Tim Sexton – Software Engineer and Harrison Drake – Lead Engineer. Originally an Archer whitewood (which was shown at Arcade Expo 2.0), the game was morphed into Iron Maiden and we have to say, the re-theme suits the game like a glove – it is fast and furious, just like the metal band. Stern’s lineup of music themed pins just keeps on getting better.

We can sit here and tell you all about the technical aspects and the myriad of modes and shots to play on this machine, but we will spare you, as we’ll leave that to wizards out there than can explain it way better than we can. Let’s just say that this machine gives the beginner and expert players equal amount of ‘fun play time’. We loved the additional two flippers which ensured that the ball is kept around the targets and loop near the top of the playfield, giving the game a ‘super flow’ feeling of satisfaction when a shot is nailed. Speaking of the upper loop, it definitely has that supercharger feel when you keep hitting the shot over and over with the upper right flipper – the gratification is immense.

The left ramp through the pops is a bit more of a challenge, but again, with a bit of game time, the shot can be nailed over and over again. The sarcophagus gives the game that extra dimension, giving the perception of depth to the playfield which we have not seen on a Stern pinball machine in quite a long time (if not ever!). The one really great thing we noticed was that this game had no cheap drains, meaning that it is perfect for the casual gamer wanting to extract the maximum time of play on Iron Maiden.

This pinball machine is the complete package, no matter if you are an Iron Maiden fan or not. The art, the playfield, the four flippers and game play has that distinct freshness about it that provides fun for everyone, from the novice to those gifted pinball wizards among us, Stern has definitely hit it out of the park with Iron Maiden: Legacy Of The Beast! Go and play it now.

Stern Iron Maiden: Legacy Of The Beast pinball machine comes in three models:

  • Iron Maiden Pro $8,450
  • Iron Maiden Premium $10,650
  • Iron Maiden LE $12,500 (SOLD OUT)

Get in touch with Zax Amusements if you want a Pro or Premium machine. Up The Irons!

Look familiar? Before Iron Maiden became Iron Maiden, it was Archer!

A huge thanks to Phil and Scott from Zax Amusements for allowing us to go nuts on Stern’s Iron Maiden: Legacy Of The Beast!