Shagadelic, Baby!

Shop Notes 14 March 2017 | Comments Off on Shagadelic, Baby!

We just finished a full shop job on this Austin Powers pinball machine. This machine is perfect for fans of the Mike Meyers’ movies, and this particular game turned out great. Check it out!

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Stern came out with Austin Powers in 2001, and produced around 2,800 machines. (IPDB)

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The machine debuted the year before the third Austin Powers movie, Goldmember. The International Man of Mystery came out in 1997, and The Spy Who Shagged Me was in 1999. (IMDB)

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The IMDB has deemed rumors of a fourth installment credible enough to list in Mike Meyers’ filmography. Groovy, baby!

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Meyers is, of course, the SNL alum who also brought us “Wayne’s World,” “Shrek,” and “So I Married an Axe Murderer.”

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We gave this game a full shop job, pulling everything off the playfield to be washed, polished, buffed, tumbled, or otherwise cleaned.

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We installed Cointaker LEDs throughout, and added some special touches, like color-coded post rubbers and Super Bands.

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Of course, it’s the toys that make this game, from the spinning Man of Mystery himself here.

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To Fat Bastard guarding over the toilet here.

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And Mini Me hanging over the loop. Enjoy the game, Michael, yeah, baby!

We’re on the Flyer!

Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix,Shop Notes,Zapcon 14 March 2017 | Comments Off on We’re on the Flyer!

Our friend just received this promo postcard inside a package of pinball parts he’d ordered from Marco Specialties. He was so excited to see our logo on it that he took a picture and sent it to us.

ZapCon Flyer Promo

Here it is!

We’re excited too, but mostly just because we’re just happy we get to be part of ZapCon 5. Check it out here and on FB too! And remember that organizers still need lots of volunteers to help make the greatest convention in Arizona happen!

Brother From Another

Games For Sale,Shop Notes 8 March 2017 | Comments Off on Brother From Another

Sometimes one pinball machine will remind you of another. A cool toy gets used more than once. Layouts are limited, sometimes they look a lot alike. Then there are games like these two we have in the shop right now, games that are like brothers from another mother.

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Our first brother: Austin Powers, which Stern produced in 2001, between the second and third installments of the Mike Meyers cinematic vehicles.

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Our second brother: Iron Man, which Stern produced in 2010, the year Robert Downey Jr.’s hero made his second eponymous movie.

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Our brothers are quite a bit different, but their games are decidedly similar, with near-identical layouts and the same ramps. The rising Iron Monger and Dr. Evil toys are among the other similarities.

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We’re not the only ones who have noticed these similarities, of course. Stern did take some heat for reusing some of its earlier designs. Iron Man IS Austin Powers, minus a spinning center shot, a cannon, and a toilet.

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In case you couldn’t see it earlier, here’s a side-by-side view, so you can really check this out. Luckily, both games are awesome, and a few key updates made Iron Man even more fun to play.

Our little family reunion has been fun, but all good things must end. Austin Powers is going home soon, and Iron Man is for sale. Take home this brother today!

It’s Going to Blow You Away

Uncategorized 6 March 2017 | Comments Off on It’s Going to Blow You Away

We just finished a full shop job on this Whirlwind pinball machine. This was a dirty, dirty game, and it took a lot of work to make it shine.
Check it out!

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Williams came out with Whirlwind in 1990, and produced more than 7,300 games. (IPDB)

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This game’s popularity rests mostly on its storm-chaser theme, complete with spinning discs on the playfield, and a fan atop the head that turns on during bonus modes.

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We installed Cointaker LEDs throughout this game, for a huge difference.

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We gave this game a full shop job too, tearing everything off the playfield to be polished, washed, tumbled, buffed, or otherwise cleaned.

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We added a few extra touches, too, including Super Bands, color-coded post rubbers, and new disc decals. It turned out great, Jamie!

Check Out Cactus Canyon!

Shop Notes 1 March 2017 | Comments Off on Check Out Cactus Canyon!

We were lucky enough to have a Cactus Canyon pinball machine come through the shop last week. This rare game is highly sought-after, the last traditional pinball machine Bally put out before closing shop.
Check it out!

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Bally came out with Cactus Canyon in 1998, and produced around 900 games before halting production to work on its Pinball 2000 games. That turned out to be the last gasp for the venerable company.

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Cactus Canyon has reaped the benefits since. It turns out that being a rare game at a pivotal time in pinball makes you highly collectible.

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This was the first of these games we’ve seen in the shop, and we were glad to have it. And we were even happier to outfit it with full Cointaker LEDs.

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A few custom touches made this game even more beautiful.

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But we’re not the only people who like this one. With its great theme, fun toys, and decent layout, this game scores highly among collectors and novices alike. In fact, it’s ranked #32 on Pinside’s best-of list.

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Western games are always popular, but the toys on this one make it even better than average, with its pop-up bad guys, moving train, and more.

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It was nice knowing you, Cactus Canyon!

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Enjoy your new home!

Attack From Mars

Shop Notes 1 March 2017 | Comments Off on Attack From Mars

We just said goodbye to this beautiful Attack From Mars pinball machine. This is a really fun machine, consistently ranked atop the favorites list of just about everyone. Check it out!

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Bally came out with Attack From Mars in 1995, and produced almost 3,500 machines. (IPDB)

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This one looked even better after we installed Cointaker LEDs throughout.

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Green Super Bands gave it a special touch.

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This game is ranked #4 on Pinside’s most-popular list, and it’s easy to see why. Among the many toys in the game, these aliens jump all around, and you shoot the UFO behind them.

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According to the IPDB, the machine isn’t actually based on the movie “Mars Attacks,” which came out within a year of the game. The themes were coincidental, designers said.

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The Tim Burton movie didn’t feature nearly as many cow launches, either.

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Enjoy your new home, Attack From Mars. We miss you already!

Tough Day of Work

Shop Notes 27 February 2017 | Comments Off on Tough Day of Work

Some days in the world of pinball are tough. Some days are terrible. Like last Thursday. The entirety of Leslie’s job was to play-test three of the highest-rated games ever made, to ensure they were ready to go to their new homes. Poor Leslie. Days like that really make her miss her old office jobs.

Tough Day

The workload: Cactus Canyon, Medieval Madness, and Attack From Mars. Keep in mind that play-testing involves at least 30-45 minutes of playing each game, to ensure all mechanics are working, and everything looks the best it can. It was tough.

Attack From Mars

Williams came out with Attack From Mars in 1995, and produced only around 3,500 games. It’s #4 on Pinside’s most-popular list.

Cactus Canyon

Cactus Canyon came out in 1998, Bally’s last traditional pinball machine. There were only about 900 of these games produced, #32 on Pinside’s best-of list.

Medieval Madness

Williams came out with Medieval Madness in 1997 and produced around 4,000 units. It’s #1 on Pinside’s list, so popular that Planetary Pinball came out with a reproduction in 2015. This one required a bit of extra play-testing for some reason. Overtime!

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it?

NEWS: Belles & Chimes at the Grid

Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix,Tournaments 27 February 2017 | Comments Off on NEWS: Belles & Chimes at the Grid

Sunday was the best of times. We took the whole family to The Grid: Games and Growlers for the second tournament in the new Belles & Chimes pinball league. If you haven’t been, be sure to check out this cool spot in Mesa. And please help support Belles & Chimes too! Check it out!

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Here we are! The Grid is located at 525 S. Gilbert Road in Mesa.

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Kris, Milo, & Max were eager to help support Leslie at the Belles & Chimes tournament. Plus, they heard there were lots of other cool games to check out while she played.

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We were so excited we decided to stare into the sun a while first.

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The wonderful women of Belles & Chimes. Photo courtesy of Tracy Lindbergh.

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Let the games begin! The Grid has ten great pinball machines now, including The Walking Dead, The Wizard of Oz, Tron, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones.

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The last match of the day game down to Street Fighter II.

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Hurray for our winners! Tracy was first, then Leslie, Diane, and Alyssa. Photo courtesy of Tracy Lindbergh.

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The Grid has its own pinball league now, so be sure to check that out. But head down there any time. There’s always something going on. Plus, you can play this crazy game. Can you tell they’re plucking chin hairs off an onion, timed to the beat?

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There are lots of other really interesting games, too, including Killer Queen, which ruled ZapCon last year!

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There’s another big room with foosball, tabletop games, and consoles. Our kids parked themselves here for the rest of the pinball tournament.

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There’s also this game, so you can always punch something en route to the bathroom.

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We took this sweet shot of Tracy and her husband, Mark. Aren’t they cute? Thanks, Tracy, for setting up the tournament. You’re the best!

Now get down to the Grid so you can have some fun too!

Medieval Madness!

Shop Notes 2 February 2017 | 1 Comment

Dragons, knights, witty damsels, trolls, and collapsing castles, this game has it all! We had this fully restored Medieval Madness in the shop for a while, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Check it out!

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Williams came out with Medieval Madness in 1997, and produced around 4,000 games. (IPDB)

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Appreciated by pros and novices alike for its smooth gameplay, great toys, funny callouts, and popular theme, this game consistently ranks atop best-of lists.

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This machine was in amazing shape. We got it from a customer who’d had it restored by High End Pins. The good work shows. The cabinet was beautiful, and the playfield too.

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The game came with full LEDs, of course.

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We added Super Bands, but otherwise this game didn’t need much!

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The callouts are especially good on this game, including our favorite kings, and the princesses, some of whom are voiced by Tina Fey.

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The exploding castle in the rear is one of the best parts of the game. We’ll miss you, Medieval Madness!

Something in the Air

Shop Notes 29 January 2017 | Comments Off on Something in the Air

We’re not sure what it is. Mating season? Something in the air? Whatever it is, we keep attracting pairs of machines in the shop. This makes for handy reference guides as we tear them down and reassemble, but it’s certainly not very economical. Here’s the latest sighting. Check it out!

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The Whirlwind in the front of the picture belongs to a customer, and we’re shopping it. The one in the rear is one we just purchased from another customer. It’s for sale!

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Here’s another shot of the elusive machines, standing in close proximity. Maybe we’ll let them stand next to one another if they’re good.

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We let the Hyperballs all hang out together. We had three in December, down to two now.

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The Taxis were good friends too. Down to one of them now too.

Really, people, this is the way to collect. Now if someone just wants to sell us another Medieval Madness for cheap, we’d be happy to put those machines together too!