NEWS: Belles & Chimes at the Grid

Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix,Tournaments 27 February 2017 | 0 Comments

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!

NEWS: Belles & Chimes Debuts!

NEWS,Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix,Tournaments 27 January 2017 | Comments Off on NEWS: Belles & Chimes Debuts!

Firebird Pinball was proud to help Belles & Chimes make its big debut Thursday night! The new, all-women’s pinball league started its season at Tilt Studio at Arizona Mills mall.
Check it out!

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Phoenix joined a growing list of cities with pinball leagues for women when Belles & Chimes debuted here Thursday.

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Ten women showed up for the first night, and the list of people already committed to the next event is growing.

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Organizer Tracy Lindbergh already has been hosting weekly tournaments at Tilt, and expanded her repertoire to set up Belles & Chimes. Here, she gives some participants the rules for Thursday’s tourney.

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The event attracted a fair amount of advance press, and Fox News showed up to cover it live. Check out their story here.

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Eventual tournament winner Rachel Bess was even brave enough to attach a microphone while she played.

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Lindbergh says the purpose of her chapter of Belles & Chimes is to bring together women who enjoy playing pinball in a fun, supportive and social environment.

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Lindbergh shared this group shot afterward. Rock on, ladies, rock on. We’ll see you all again Feb. 26 at the Grid: Games and Growlers.

NEWS: It’s Official

NEWS,Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix,Tournaments,Zapcon 22 January 2017 | Comments Off on NEWS: It’s Official

The links are up, so it’s officially official: Firebird Pinball is proud to sponsor ZapCon for another year! The state’s largest arcade and pinball expo takes place April 29-30 at the Mesa Convention Center.

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How do they keep coming up with all these awesome designs?

We’re glad to be part of the huge team that makes this amazing weekend happen. Check out the ZapCon homepage and FB page for more information. Or email ZapCon guru Wes at wes@zapcon.com if you can help with games, or volunteer your time. Click here for our previous ZapCon coverage!

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We’re excited to be back for more!

Harley Goes Home

Shop Notes 12 January 2017 | Comments Off on Harley Goes Home

We just finished a full shop job on this Harley Davidson pinball machine, and delivered it to its new home. Check it out!

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This is the third edition of Stern’s Harley Davidson, which came out in 2005. Stern produced around 300 of these machines. (IPDB)

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The machine is a re-release of Stern’s 1999 Harley Davidson, with new art and chrome trim added.

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We gave the machine a full shop job, pulling everything off the playfield to be washed, polished, tumbled, buffed, or otherwise cleaned. We installed Cointaker LEDs throughout as well.

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This game is always a hit with Harley enthusiasts, and comes with some great toys, including a traffic light and three Harley motorcycles, one of which does a wheelie on the playfield when it raises to kick out balls from underneath.

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It looks like the game found its perfect home. Enjoy your beautiful machine, Nancy and Joe!

A Full House

Shop Notes 11 January 2017 | Comments Off on A Full House

Quick question: What’s better than one Taxi?

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That’s right! Two Taxis!

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We (briefly) had both these machines in the shop in December.

But what’s even better than two Taxis?

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That’s right! Three Hyperballs!

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For a brief moment in December, we also had three Hyperball machines in the shop.

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While we briefly considered a new business model, based solely on cornering the Hyperball market, we’ve since come to our senses.

Now we’re down to a project Taxi and two working Hyperballs. That seems a little more sane, doesn’t it? The only down side is we don’t get to shout “gin” when we enter the shop any more.

 

NEWS: ZapCon 5 is Coming!

NEWS,Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix,Tournaments,Zapcon 9 January 2017 | Comments Off on NEWS: ZapCon 5 is Coming!

Are you giddy with anticipation yet? Organizers confirmed the good news just yesterday: ZapCon is back for another year of pinball and arcade madness! This year’s mega-gaming event will take place April 29-30, again at the friendly confines of the Mesa Convention Center.

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If it has a banner, you know it’s going to be good.

Last year was amazing! There were more than 300 games, most there by the courtesy of average folks who wanted to share their love of gaming with the community. There were tournaments, exhibitions, contests, vendors, food trucks, and a guy who wore a bee suit the entire weekend. Seriously, if you like pinball or video games, this is the only place to be April 29-30.

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Overhead shot of last year’s gaming extravaganza!

In order to make it happen, organizers need help from you. In exchange for contributing a working arcade game or pinball machine, you can get a weekend pass, access to contributor night on Friday the 28th, a ticket for a drawing for a free arcade game, a commemorative badge, and more! If you volunteer your time, you get a weekend pass, early admission Saturday and Sunday, the commemorative badge, and more!

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Here’s pinball row at ZapCon 4. How can you resist this much pinball?

Check out the ZapCon homepage and FB page for more information. Or email ZapCon guru Wes at wes@zapcon.com if you can help with games, or volunteer your time.

Firebird Pinball has been proud to sponsor ZapCon since its inception, and we’ll be back again this year, with a cadre of games, pinball parts, and anything else we can drag down. Join us in making this year’s event the best so far!

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We’ll see you there! (We’ll look like this, but slightly more vintage.)

Lionman!

Playfield Restoration,Shop Notes 9 January 2017 | Comments Off on Lionman!

We just finished a full shop job and playfield restoration on this Swords of Fury pinball machine. This game is Williams at its best, with an awesome theme (Lionman!) and great play action. Plus, the playfield turned out beautifully. Check it out!

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Williams came out with Swords of Fury in 1988, and produced around 2,700 machines. (IPDB)

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It’s a System 11 machine, a run that also brought us Road Kings, Grand Lizard, High Speed, and other classics.

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This is a great game to play, with a fun mini playfield, fast action, and amazing callouts, including those to the game’s hero, Lionman!

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So when we picked up this game last year, we knew we wanted to do something special with it.

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We took the playfield out of the game, touched up some rough spots, and clearcoated it for a perfect, glossy surface. Then we gave the game a full shop job and installed Cointaker LEDs.

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Now the game has gone on to someone who appreciates it just as much as we did. Enjoy the game, Jake!

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And always remember, folks, Lionman is out there. Lionman!

NEWS: Belles & Chimes is Coming!

Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix,Tournaments 6 January 2017 | Comments Off on NEWS: Belles & Chimes is Coming!

It started in Oakland. It spread to New York City, Portland, Oklahoma City and even Cleveland. Now Phoenix is finally cool enough to join their ranks!

The Phoenix chapter of Belles & Chimes, a pinball club for women, will launch on Thursday, Jan. 26, at Tilt Studio at Arizona Mills Mall at 6:30 p.m., according to a press release from the new group. Organizers are encouraging women of all skill levels to come down for a fun, supportive, and social meetup.

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Heading up the Belles & Chimes in Phoenix is Tracy Lindbergh, a rising star on the local (and national!) pinball  scene. Tracy is currently ranked 11th overall in the state of Arizona and 79th in the world among female pinball players. And we think she’s pretty awesome.

“I run weekly and monthly tournaments in the Valley and the percentage of female players is low,” Tracy said her press release. “I know women enjoy playing pinball and I’m excited to provide a place where women can gather to play in a supportive environment, improve their skills and if they choose to do so, join in the larger competitive pinball scene in Arizona.”

Women may join Belles & Chimes Phoenix for just $10 to be a founding a member in its inaugural year. Tournaments will be held monthly in 2017 with a league finals in November.

Check the links above for more information, or email playmorepinballaz@gmail.com.

We hope to see you there!