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: 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)


Stern Announce Star Wars and Jersey Jack Release A Flashy Trailer For Dialed In!

Whoa, what a way to start June!

Stern Pinball finally announced their new machine, the Steve Ritchie designed Star Wars! Funnily enough, the announcement came via a brief spot on The Star Wars Show (see embedded video). Stern has promised that Star Wars Pinball will take players to a galaxy far, far away! More information, photos and pricing to come – we can’t wait!

Stern’s new STAR WARS pinball machine makes a cameo appearance on The Star Wars Show!

source: The Star Wars Show

Also going all out was Jersey Jack Pinball. With the announcement that their latest machine, Dialed In! was in production, the New Jersey-based factory went all Hollywood by producing a very flashy and cool promotional video to show off Pat Lawlor’s brilliant original concept game. Mark our words, Dialed In! is destined to be a top 10 pinball machine of all time!

Jersey Jack Pinball’s DIALED IN! official trailer!

source: Jersey Jack Pinball

Wow, wish every month starts  like this! Stay tuned for more pinball news!


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Pinball Innovation: Flipping At The Bleeding Edge

Imagine if we had a crystal ball to see into the future to see what pinball machines would look like – what would we see?

The future of pinball depends on innovation to ensure it remains relevant. Innovation can be obtained via the use of current and emerging technologies, and unlike the end of the 20th century, the technology is already available for pinball manufacturers to leverage and perhaps get an advantage over their competitors.

The current leaders in pinball innovation, Jersey Jack Pinball (JJP) have not only forced their competitors to innovate just to keep up with them, they are constantly pushing themselves to come up with new ideas for their pinball machines. JJP’s latest release, Dialed In! is the first pinball machine to feature Bluetooth® connectivity that provides new capabilities (like controlling the flippers) through a smartphone. Innovation never ceases, so pinball manufacturers need to keep up or risk perishing.

Jersey Jack Pinball’s Dialed In! is the first pinball machine with Bluetooth connectivity

With all this talk of innovation one wonders what current or emerging technologies can be used to catapult pinball machines to the bleeding edge. There are current technologies that pinball designers and manufacturers can leverage to provide a better and immersive experience for their target market – be it the player, operator or collector. The advent of cloud computing has allowed a myriad of services to be used, from big data to  streaming analytics and real-time telemetry monitoring via Internet of Things (IoT) to deliver innovative products and services.

First things first, what the hell is this Internet of Things (IoT)? In a nutshell, it is a system of ubiquitous sensors connecting the physical world to the Internet. Although things, Internet, and connectivity are the three core components of IoT, the value is in closing the gap between the physical and digital world in self-reinforcing and self-improving systems. IoT creates these systems by connecting things, animate or inanimate, to the Internet with unique identifiers that provide context, giving visibility into the network, the devices themselves, and their environment. Equipped with rich data sets and using advanced analytics, IoT can give us enormous insight into our world, and this is where pinball manufacturers can differentiate themselves by providing IoT-ready pinball machines and mobile applications that can provide telemetric real-time data analysis and information, event processing, pattern analysis and recognition from a player, operator or collector’s perspective.

Pinball manufacturers in the 21st century that want to stand out from the crowd could enrich the pinball experience with a number of innovations using IoT, like:

  • Geospatial awareness – a geo-location broadcast (to a smartphone app) to ensure players know where to find and play a particular pinball machine
  • Fault tolerance with predictive failure on components using telemetry sensors
  • Health monitoring on key components with real-time component status and diagnostics reporting (on screen / email report or via smartphone app)
  • Playfield Analytics that gives the user a rich set of dimensional (per ball / per game) information on:
    • Playfield hot spots to show the area where the ball spends most time
    • Statistics on shots, play and modes, providing shot accuracy (%)
    • Ball speed in kilometres or miles for the speed demons
    • Time per ball and points per ball
    • Shot reaction time to measure how fast a player reacts to hit/flip the ball
    • Track use of machine (in tournament mode) and provide the player their score via smartphone app

Innovation should improve and enrich the experience of pinball by providing deeper real-time insights about the machine, either from a player wanting to know how hard they hit the ball or the operator acting proactively on fixing a component before it fails.

For pinball to remain relevant, manufacturers must challenge the status quo by pushing the technology envelope to keep players, collectors and operators flipping for longer. Long live the silver-ball!

Which pinball innovation tickles your fancy? Tell us now on Twitter or Facebook.


Jersey Jack Pinball Is Calling All Pinball Enthusiasts

When Jersey Jack Pinball’s Jack Guarnieri puts out a call to all pinball enthusiasts, we sit up and take note!

The Jersey Jack Pinball (JJP) team will be keeping busy in March as they hit the event circuit by attending the Louisville Arcade Expo this coming weekend (March 3 – 5) and then the Texas Pinball Festival (March 24 – 26). JJP will be taking their finest games to these mighty fine events – we just wish we could be there too!

Finally, we had to share this great pinball note from Jack Guarnieri about Dialed In!:

As most of you know by now, our newest game, Dialed In!, is designed by the legendary Pat Lawlor, himself. This game is special for so many reasons, but the story of how Pat became involved is special, and one I thought you might enjoy.

In 2011, I found myself renting a building from Pat in Harvard, IL for JJP. I knew he had been retired for several years, but welcomed him to see the work we were doing and shared our vision. Pat saw that vision come to life with our first game, The Wizard of Oz, and grew excited. He began to toy with the idea of returning to pinball design – one day.

By late 2013, after expressing his interest, we made Pat part of the JJP team – a pivotal decision for the company. The idea was simple: design an unlicensed, original game – something directly from Pat’s imagination.

Fast forward to the birth of Dialed In! What a game. I have to tell you, the result is amazing, and the reaction of people who’ve played it has been incredibly gratifying and such an affirmation of Pat’s genius. In it, we’ve built a game with groundbreaking technology and features never before seen in a pinball machine.

Ever the dedicated pro, Pat has been visiting the game in the field, studying it and making signature tweaks. I can’t ever remember a new game having received such care and attention.

As we near production, we want to give everyone interested in owning a Dialed In! an opportunity stake their claim now on this historic game with a completely refundable deposit of $250, and balance due upon game production.

We hope you’ll take advantage of this offer and stop by our upcoming events (more below) to experience Dialed In! for yourself: a game that embodies true passion for a game we all love.

Jersey Jack Pinball’s Jack Guarnieri at the Australian unveiling of Dialed In!


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Creating The Playfield With Jersey Jack Pinball’s Butch Peele

Ever wondered how a high-quality pinball playfield is made? We definitely have!

Well, wonder no more as pinball tech wizard, Butch Peel, details the intricate process behind creating a high-quality Jersey Jack Pinball playfield.

Once you finish watching this episode, you may also like to check out Butch Peele’s playfield tours of Jersey Jack Pinball’s groundbreaking games, Wizard Of Oz and The Hobbit – trust us, they are worth watching!

source: Jersey Jack Pinball


Dialed In: Meeting Jersey Jack Pinball’s Jack Guarnieri

jjp_headerIf you weren’t aware, there is more than one player in the pinball manufacturing business. Jersey Jack Pinball started in January 2011 and immediately took the pinball scene by storm, creating and releasing innovative, fun and quality pinball machines. This trailblazing pinball company was founded by Jack Guarnieri, an amusement veteran of some forty years and a visionary that understands that pinball must break new ground in features and technology to keep players interested and to attract new ones to this wonderful game we call pinball.

In their short history, Jersey Jack Pinball (JJP) has introduced a number of pinball innovations; the high quality backboard LCD-HD screen, RGB-LED playfield lighting, rich audio, QR codes with social media integration and exquisite playfield toys to name just a few. Keeping this ground breaking momentum isn’t easy, but JJP understands that it is crucial to their continuing success.

JJP definitely took a leap of faith with their latest machine, Dialed In – it is refreshing to see a pinball company take a risk and be at the bleeding edge of pinball design and technology! Pinball designer extraordinaire, Pat Lawlor jumped on board and has integrated a number of mind-blowing features, like Bluetooth connectivity enabling additional player capabilities through a smartphone and a camera that emblazons player selfies on the backboard LCD screen. You would think that Dialed In’s original concept may not attract players to it, but we reckon Pat Lawlor and Jersey Jack Pinball have absolutely nailed it! With the game being meticulously developed over a number of years, it shows that no stone has been left unturned for an engrossing and engaging experience. With only the software left to be completed by the legendary Ted Estes, we can’t wait to see the final result!

Dialed In undercover! Waiting for the Australian unveiling

The unveiling of Dialed In! The anticipation was unbearable!

This past weekend, Mr Pinball and Bayside Pinball Club hosted the Jersey Jack Pinball event, with JJP founder and CEO, Jack Guarnieri as the guest of honour. Jack’s Australian unveiling of Dialed In drew a capacity crowd at the Sandbelt Hotel in south-east Melbourne. Eager onlookers could not wait to get their first glimpse of the machine and have a play. Once the machine was available for play, it was like moths to a flame – the queue to play the machine became longer by the second! We were glad that we waited for our turn, as playing Dialed In was a mesmerising experience that left us wanting to play it over and over again. The playfield was inviting, the ‘feel’ of the flippers felt right, the flow of the silverball was precise and that rich thumping audio was just so visceral! Dialed In is already a winner from our brief experience!

Meeting Jersey Jack Pinball’s Jack Guarnieri was both an honour and a humbling experience

The crowd is abuzz awaiting Jack’s inaugural Australian keynote speech!

The other highlight of the event was meeting Jack. Greeted by a warm hug, we knew that Jack was the kind of person we could immediately call our friend. Jack’s eagerness to get to know people, his intellect and humour made him very endearing. He made himself available for people to approach him, even going without food all day to ensure that he got to meet as many folks as possible. Jack’s keynote speech at the unveiling of Dialed In and the Q&A session were great insights into the man and the JJP company, from his fascinating beginnings in Manhattan and the Jersey Shore, to pinball operations, manufacturing and distribution. We hope that Jack returns to Australia in the not too distant future!

Many thanks to Wayne Gillard from Mr Pinball and Lucas Bardin from Bayside Pinball Club for putting on such a great event!

Jack introduces Pat Lawlor’s original concept game, Dialed In! And it’s a beauty!

The crowd gathers to take a closer look!

Always drawing a crowd – Martin Robbins gets dialled in!

Check out Marto’s selfies on the backboard!

Finally, it was our turn to play!

We were mesmerised by the playfield

The Hobbit – Black Arrow edition made its Australian debut at the event too!

Australian IFPA Co-Director, Luke Marburg is taken by The Hobbit

Getting ready for Jack’s fireside (Q&A) chat

Even with technical problems, Jack managed to power through and keep the crowd entertained!

Grant Levy shows off his Battle Pinny homebrew pinball machine

Always available for a chat

Jack and his magic TEXTA!

Last call of duty – autographs!

Bayside Pinball Club were raffling off this Judge Dredd beauty

There were other pinball machines to be played!

Stacey Borg (aka: DRC) and Martin Robbins go head-to-head

Pinball was the winner on this day!

We’ll definitely keep flippin & tweetin’