Licensed to Thrill

Shop Notes 15 June 2017 | Comments Off on Licensed to Thrill

We just finished a full shop job on this Secret Service pinball machine. This is a fast game, with tons of references to just about every spy out there. Check it out!

Data East came out with Secret Service in 1988, and produced nearly 2,500 machines. (IPDB)

Data East came out with Secret Service in 1988, and produced nearly 2,750 machines. (IPDB)

The game is an homage to the spy genre, featuring a "retina scan" to start the game, and attacks on the White House and Capitol.

The game is an homage to the spy genre, featuring a “retina scan” to start the game, and attacks on the White House and Capitol.

There's plenty of catchy spy music, too, including "Secret Agent Man," and the themes from "Get Smart" and "Mission: Impossible."

There’s plenty of catchy spy music, too, including “Secret Agent Man,” and the themes from “Get Smart” and “Mission: Impossible.”

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

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

We installed Cointaker LEDs throughout.

We installed Cointaker LEDs throughout as well.

Enjoy the game, Jack and Kelly!

This game turned out great! Enjoy the spy life, Jack and Kelly!

Quintessential 80s!

Shop Notes 14 June 2017 | Comments Off on Quintessential 80s!

We just finished a full shop job on this Gottlieb Spring Break pinball machine. This is a fun game, and completely exemplifies the ’80s – down to a suspiciously familiar bull terrier stealing a bikini top from one lucky lady. Check it out!

Gottlieb came out with Spring Break in 1987, and produced around 3,550 games. (IPDB)

Gottlieb came out with Spring Break in 1987, and produced around 3,550 games. (IPDB)

The game touches on almost all the '80s benchmarks: Big hair, purple, leopard-print clothes, and a dog that resembles Spuds McKenzie, the party animal at the heart of Bud Light's marketing strategy.

The game touches on some of the ’80s biggest benchmarks: Big hair, purple and yellow animal-print clothing, and a dog that resembles Spuds McKenzie, the party animal at the heart of Bud Light’s late-’80s marketing strategy.

This game also features what seems like the most balls ever, with an automatic multiball to start each ball that adds another ball each time.

This game also features what seems like the most balls ever, with an automatic multiball to start each ball that adds another ball each round.

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

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

We installed Cointaker LEDs throughout as well.

We installed Cointaker LEDs throughout as well.

This game turned out great!

This game turned out great!

Enjoy the '80s flashback, Heidi and Paul!

Enjoy the ’80s flashback, Heidi and Paul!

Have A Pinball Machine, Man

Shop Notes 13 June 2017 | Comments Off on Have A Pinball Machine, Man

We just finished a full shop job on The Simpsons Pinball Party. This is a really fun game, especially for fans of the show. Check it out!

Stern came out with The Simpsons Pinball Party in 2003, and went on to produce around 4,000 machines. (IPDB)

Stern came out with The Simpsons Pinball Party in 2003, and went on to produce around 4,000 machines. (IPDB)

It’s based, of course, on the TV cartoon, which is in its 29th season now, with more than 615 episodes to its name. (IMDB)

It’s based, of course, on the TV cartoon, which is in its 29th season now, with more than 615 episodes to its name. (IMDB)

The game is well-regarded among fans and pinball enthusiasts alike, and it’s usually pretty well-played, too.

The game is well-regarded among fans and pinball enthusiasts alike, thanks to its awesome theme, great toys, and fun game-play.

Interesting note on this game: All the voice work was by Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, and Hank Azaria, custom recorded for the game. Cabinet and backglass art was created by Simpsons’ guru Matt Groening’s team.

Interesting note on this game: All the voice work was by Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, and Hank Azaria, custom recorded for the game. Cabinet and backglass art was created by Simpsons’ guru Matt Groening’s team.

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

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

We installed Cointaker LEDs throughout the game.

We installed Cointaker LEDs throughout the game.

Here’s another special touch we like to add to this game: A green LED to make the nuclear towers glow that special shade of radioactive.

Here’s another special touch we like to add to this game: A green LED to make the nuclear towers glow that special shade of radioactive. Enjoy the game, Joe!

Goodbye, Walking Dead

Shop Notes 26 May 2017 | Comments Off on Goodbye, Walking Dead

We said a bittersweet goodbye in the shop this week. We sent our first custom game to its new home in California. We were really proud of our Walking Dead machine, but it was time to share it, and make room for a new project, too. Here are a last few pictures of this beautiful game. Check it out!

Long before the folks at Stern released their machine, we envisioned one of our own, based on the graphic novels of The Walking Dead.

Long before the folks at Stern released their machine, we envisioned one of our own, based on the graphic novels of The Walking Dead.

We started the long process of making a custom pinball machine by finding an old Baracorra game. Then our graphic designer friends made all our custom artwork.

We started the long process of making a custom pinball machine by finding an old Baracorra game with a heavily worn playfield. Then our graphic designer friends made all our custom artwork.

It took months to plan, prepare, and produce this machine.

It took months to plan, prepare, and produce this machine.

We were proud of all the little touches we put into it, from the bloody cabinet legs to the Cointaker LEDs installed throughout.

We were proud of all the little touches we put into it, from the bloody cabinet legs to the Cointaker LEDs installed throughout.

A few color-changing strips behind the backglass give it a great effect too.

A few color-changing strips behind the backglass give it a great effect too.

The game turned out great, if we do say so ourselves. We finished it in time for ZapCon last year, then had it at StarFighters Arcade for a while. It was back at ZapCon for another run this year, too.

The game turned out amazingly, if we do say so ourselves. We finished it in time for ZapCon last year, then had it at StarFighters Arcade for a while. It was back at ZapCon for another run this year, too.

There was a lot of excitement about the machine. Someone even posted a video of game play on YouTube. It was exciting to make something that people liked.

There was a lot of excitement about the machine. Someone even posted a video of game play on YouTube. It was fun to make something that people liked.

But all good things must come to an end, and our shop really isn't that big.

But all good things must come to an end, and our shop really isn’t that big.

So we sent the machine on its way Thursday morning, to an enthusiastic guy in California, who really impressed us with how much he wanted the machine.

So we sent the machine on its way Thursday morning, to an enthusiastic guy in California, who really impressed us with how much he wanted the machine.

We can hardly blame him for being excited. Look at how beautiful this playfield turned out, with a super layer of Clearcoat.

We can hardly blame him for being excited. This game was so fun to play, and so pretty too.

But we'll miss having this game around.

And we’ll miss having it around.

Enjoy the game, Pete, and take good care of her.

Enjoy the game, Pete, and take good care of her!

This Game Lurks in the Hearts of Men

Shop Notes 19 May 2017 | Comments Off on This Game Lurks in the Hearts of Men

The Shadow is one of the coolest pinball machines around, with great toys, a fun theme, and good game play. We just gave this one a full shop job. Check it out!

Williams came out with The Shadow in 1994, and produced around 4,250 machines. (IPDB)

Williams came out with The Shadow in 1994, and produced around 4,250 machines. (IPDB)

That was the same year the Alec Baldwin-led movie of the same name appeared in theaters. (IMDB)

That was the same year the Alec Baldwin-led movie of the same name appeared in theaters. (IMDB)

Both are based, of course, on the 1930s serial character, launched to stardom by writer Walter B. Gibson. (Wiki)

Both are based, of course, on the 1930s serial character, launched to stardom by writer Walter B. Gibson. (Wiki)

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

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

We installed LEDs throughout the machine and added some special touches, including Super Bands and color-coded post rubbers.

We installed LEDs throughout the machine and added some special touches, including Super Bands and color-coded post rubbers.

This game looks and plays great now. Everything has been play-tested and mechanically checked. This game works 100%!

This game looks and plays great now. Everything has been play-tested and mechanically checked. This game works 100%!

Toys like the diverter-driven ramps make this game a favorite among pinball pros and novices alike.

Toys like the diverter-driven ramps make this game a favorite among pinball pros and novices alike.

Delivery is available!

Look at that glow!

Take this great game home today!

Enjoy the game, Vaughn!

A Winning Machine

Shop Notes 9 May 2017 | Comments Off on A Winning Machine

We had this Joker Poker in the shop just before ZapCon. We gave it a full shop job, and it turned out great.
Check it out!

Gottlieb came out with Joker Poker in 1978, and produced 9,280 of the machines. (IPDB)

Gottlieb came out with Joker Poker in 1978, and produced 9,280 of the solid-state machines. (IPDB)

Gottlieb also produced an electro-mechanical version of Joker Poker, producing around 820 machines of that model.

Gottlieb also produced an electro-mechanical version of Joker Poker, producing around 820 machines of that model.

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

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

We installed Cointaker LEDs throughout.

We also installed Cointaker LEDs throughout, for a beautiful (and long-lasting!) glow.

We added a few custom touches as well, including Super Bands on the flippers and color-coded post rubbers.

We added a few custom touches as well, including Super Bands on the flippers.

We replaced the drop targets too, a key component in this game.

We replaced the drop targets too, a key component in this game.

Enjoy the game, David!

This game turned out great! Enjoy it, David!

Chicago Cubs Pinball Forever!

Playfield Restoration,Shop Notes 4 May 2017 | Comments Off on Chicago Cubs Pinball Forever!

As a Chicago native and diehard Cubs fan, the boss had to pick up this game when we came across it two years ago. This Chicago Cubs Triple Play pinball machine was in good shape, but we knew we could make it look great. Now it’s fully restored, and it looks amazing!
We just sent this ultimate collectible home with another serious fan, but you can still check it out here. Go, Cubbies!

Gottlieb came out with this game in 1985, and produced 1,365 machines. (IPDB)

Gottlieb came out with this game in 1985, and produced only 1,365 of the machines. (IPDB)

The game promised a challenging mix of skill shots and baseball fielding strategies, and a display that allows players to see their initials on Wrigley's scoreboard.

But what’s more remarkable than the rarity of this game is its superb shape, with a cabinet that’s in mint condition and a perfectly clearcoated playfield.

Chicago sports and pinball have a long history.

Chicago sports and pinball have a long history, since all the major pinball manufacturers were based in the Windy City. There have been pinball games for the Bears, the Blackhawks, Frank Thomas, a limited-run Michael Jordan, and even “Space Jam.”

This game came out one year after the Cubs won the pennant, the first time they'd won anything in four decades.

This game came out one year after the Cubs won the pennant in 1984, the first time they’d won anything in four decades.

We were hoping this machine might bring a little magic to the Cubbies last year.

We were hoping this machine might bring a little magic to the Cubbies last year.

Lo, and behold, 2016 was the year of dreams. We had a commemorative plaque made!

Lo, and behold, 2016 turned out to be the year of dreams.

This game has been beautifully restored, with a playfield that was touched up and then clearcoated for a perfect, glossy shine.

This game has been beautifully restored, with a playfield that was cleaned and then clearcoated for an indestructible, perfect, glossy shine.

We installed LEDs throughout the machine. It has new rubber bands and custom touches, too, including Super Bands and color-coded post rubbers.

We installed LEDs throughout the machine. It also has new silicone bands throughout, and Super Bands for the flippers.

We put on new pop bumper bases and caps, too, and new drop target stickers as well.

We put on new pop bumper platters and caps, and new drop targets and decals as well.

Take this machine home today, or we can ship it to you. This is a Cubs' fan's dream!

This machine is a Cubs’ fan’s dream!

 

NEWS: ZapCon Day Two

NEWS,Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix,Zapcon 3 May 2017 | Comments Off on NEWS: ZapCon Day Two

As much fun as we had at Day One of ZapCon, Day Two was even better! As Sunday came on, people continued to flock to the Mesa Convention Center to play the most games that organizers have ever assembled. It was a blast! Check it out!

Working hard all weekend, Wes was there bright and early on Sunday to greet the hundreds of folks who came down to the Mesa Convention Center, 263 N. Center St.

Working hard all weekend, Wes was there bright and early on Sunday to greet the hundreds of folks who came down to the Mesa Convention Center, 263 N. Center St. Thanks for everything, Wes!

There were a few fixes to make first thing, after the hundreds of people who showed up on Saturday played the heck out of every game there.

There were a few fixes to make first thing, after the hundreds of people who showed up on Saturday played the heck out of just about every game there. The boss tackled this Johnny Mnemonic first.

Vendors also were setting up bright and early. Here's our good friend Moto with his awesome etched glasses.

Vendors also were setting up bright and early. Here’s our good friend Moto with his awesome etched glasses. There were almost double the vendors from previous years.

We even set up a little spot for our boys' business, M&M Bulbs. They made two sales!

We even set up a little spot for our boys’ business, M&M Bulbs. They made two sales!

Just before the doors opened, the only time these games didn't have a crowd around them the whole weekend!

Just before the doors opened was the only time these games didn’t have a crowd around them the whole weekend!

We had to play-test this one to make sure it was working, too. Good job, Chris, show that Zizzle who's boss.

We had to play-test this one to make sure it was working, too. Good job, Chris, show that Monopoly who’s boss.

And then the crowds came, lining up early to make sure to get in before everyone else did.

And then the crowds came, lining up early to make sure to get in before everyone else did.

The whole room filled quickly, as families and friends took over.

The whole room filled quickly, as families and friends took over.

Another shot of the main vendor row, along with some of the ten New-In-Box machines that were ordered for the convention.

Another shot of the main vendor row, along with some of the ten New-In-Box machines that were ordered for the convention.

Here's the Marco Specialties booth form above, a popular spot all weekend. Because folks ordered the ten new machines through Marco, the company sent a special contingent down to work the show. It was great to meet them all!

Here’s the Marco Specialties booth from above, a popular spot all weekend. Because folks ordered the ten new machines through Marco, the company sent a special contingent down to work the show. It was great to meet them all!

Here are three more of the NIB machines. They were pretty popular!

Here are three more of the NIB machines. Excellent!

Another shot from the balcony. This place sure fills up fast!

A beautiful sight to see.

There were some great tournaments and demonstrations all weekend. Here's Seattle Sid playing Mr. Driller. He was going for a new world record.

There were some great tournaments and demonstrations all weekend. Here’s Seattle Sid playing Mr. Driller. He was going for a new world record, with the assistance of the lovely Poppy.

Even Grumpy Bear came down to play Killer Queen!

Even Grumpy Bear came down to play Killer Queen! This game was one of the big award winners for the weekend, making The Grid: Games and Growlers a winner two years in a row.

The Tetris championship was probably the biggest draw of anything. Everyone thinks they can play Tetris, right?

The Tetris championship was probably the biggest draw of anything. Everyone thinks they can play Tetris, right?

Folks were happy to play so many great games, donated and delivered for the weekend by lots of great folks who are good at sharing.

Folks were happy to play so many cool games, donated and delivered for the weekend by lots of great folks who are good at sharing.

Sunday remained busy all day, with crowds around nearly every machine right up until the end.

Sunday remained busy all day, with crowds around nearly every machine right up until the end.

Once again, we gave out the Best of ZapCon awards. Check out all our winners!

Once again, we gave out the Best of ZapCon awards. Check out all our winners! (And check out that hard-working bossman there!)

Thanks for coming down to see us at ZapCon. We had a blast! We'll see you next year!

Thanks for coming down to see us at ZapCon. We had a blast! We’ll see you next year!

But we're thinking of only bringing the Zizzle next time. It was slightly easier to move.

But we’re thinking of only bringing the Monopoly next time. It was slightly easier to move.

Check out our Best of ZapCon coverage too! And click here for Day One pictures!

 

NEWS: ZapCon Day One

Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix,Zapcon 2 May 2017 | Comments Off on NEWS: ZapCon Day One

If you didn’t get the chance to get down to ZapCon this past weekend in Mesa, we’re sorry to say you truly missed out. This really felt like the best ZapCon ever, with the most machines and what seemed like the most people in the five years that we’ve all been at it. Check out all the fun we had on Day One!

ZapCon began bright and early on Saturday at the Mesa Convention Center, 263 N. Center St.

ZapCon began bright and early on Saturday at the Mesa Convention Center, 263 N. Center St.

There were lines out the door, eager gamers who knew they could get a few games on the best machines if they were first in line.

People started lining up way before the doors opened, eager gamers who knew they could get a few games on the best machines if they were first in line.

We were there bright and early, too, getting our Firebird Pinball booth set up just right. There's the boss doing the grunt work himself!

We were there bright and early, too, getting our Firebird Pinball booth set up just right. There’s the boss doing the grunt work himself!

Ah, much better! Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth and supported us!

Ah, now that’s a good-looking booth! Thanks to everyone who stopped by and supported us!

There were more than 330 games at ZapCon this year, including this gorgeous row of pinball machines. We took more than 15 games down ourselves.

There were more than 330 games at ZapCon this year, including this gorgeous row of pinball machines. We took  20 games down ourselves, including 15 pinballs in this row.

It was a beautiful sight to look out over this floor, rows and rows of happy machines and happier people filling the whole room.

It was a beautiful sight to look out over this floor, rows and rows of happy machines and happier people filling the entire room.

The convention quickly filled on Saturday, as families and friends jammed into the convention center. Nearly every machine had not only a new friend, but lines formed too.

The convention quickly filled on Saturday, as families and friends jammed into the convention center. Nearly every machine had not only a new friend, but lines were forming too.

Our restored Chicago Cubs Triple Play pinball machine drew raves. The boss clearcoated the playfield just in time for ZapCon. This game is still for sale, btw, folks!

Our restored Chicago Cubs Triple Play pinball machine drew raves. The boss clearcoated the playfield just in time for ZapCon. This game is still for sale, folks!

People really got into the spirit of ZapCon this year, including this little cutie, whose amazing mother made her a custom pinball dress! There were at least a dozen other arcade- or pinball-themed dresses and skirts on ladies of all ages, but this one was the very cutest!

People really got into the spirit of ZapCon this year, including this little cutie, whose amazing mother made her a custom pinball dress! There were at least a dozen other arcade- or pinball-themed dresses and skirts on people of all ages, but this one was the very cutest! She’s on our mini Galaga machine, which also was a hit all weekend.

Another popular spot all weekend: In front of these four brand-new Sterns! Altogether, folks bought 10 New-In-Box machines for the convention, and Marco Specialties delivered them straight to the convention center.

Another popular spot all weekend: In front of these four brand-new Sterns! Altogether, folks bought 10 New-In-Box machines for the convention, and Marco Specialties delivered them straight to the convention center.

Another big hit: The console room, which again featured these oversized Nintendo controllers. As though ZapCon weren't big enough, right?

Another big hit: The console room, which again featured these oversized Nintendo controllers. As though ZapCon weren’t big enough, right?

There were an amazing number of tournaments all weekend, too, and folks flocked to different parts of the convention center all weekend to play. Here's the Cyber Troopers set up. Folks loved this game!

There were an amazing number of tournaments all weekend, too, and folks flocked to different parts of the convention center all weekend to play. Here’s the Cyber Troopers set up. Folks loved this game!

There were official pinball tournaments in the back of the hall, an area packed to capacity all weekend.

There were official pinball tournaments in the back of the hall, an area packed to capacity all weekend.

Here's the women's champion, Mary Lopez, also proudly representing the new women's league, Belles & Chimes.

Here’s the women’s champion, Mary Lopez, also proudly representing the new women’s league, Belles & Chimes. Check out Belles & Chimes on FB too!

This was the trophy for the winner of the Pinball League of Phoenix, a selfie league that's operating in the East Valley. They custom made this for their championship on Saturday!

This was the trophy for the winner of the Pinball League of Phoenix, a selfie league that’s operating in the East Valley. They custom made this for their championship on Saturday!

Here's the lucky guy who got to take the belt home, James Kleve, signing the belt for posterity. His brother and father took the other two top spots. This family knows pinball!

Here’s the lucky guy who got to take the belt home, James Kleve, signing the belt for posterity. He’s taking it from last year’s champ, Jordan Night. His brother and their father-in-law took the other two top spots. This family knows pinball!

ZapCon, the only convention cool enough to give away TWO championship belts. This one was for the winner of the Random Fighters arcade challenge, where competitors tested their mettle on Street Fighter games. It was sponsored by This Old Arcade.

ZapCon, the only convention cool enough to give away TWO championship wrestling belts. This one was for the winner of the Random Fighters arcade challenge, where competitors tested their mettle on Street Fighter games. It was sponsored by This Old Arcade.

Here's the lucky guy who went home with this belt, amid chants from his friends of, "Nick's buying beer! Nick's buying beer!"

Here’s the lucky guy who went home with this belt, amid chants from his friends of, “Nick’s buying beer! Nick’s buying beer!”

This Old Arcade did a ton of video work at ZapCon. Check it out at their FB page and YouTube channel.

This Old Arcade did a ton of video work at ZapCon. Check them out at their FB page and YouTube channel.

Of course, the people-watching was great at ZapCon, as usual. We especially liked this guy, and he especially liked playing Alien: Exterminator!

Of course, the people-watching was great at ZapCon, as usual. We especially liked this guy, and he especially liked playing Alien: Exterminator!

Another interesting guy we met, the president of Marco Specialties. He came with his crew and booth because folks at ZapCon bought 10 new games. And he was happy to talk to everyone, and share some great stories. Thanks for your time, Marc!

Another interesting guy we met, Marc of Marco Specialties. He came with his crew and booth because folks at ZapCon bought 10 new games. And he was happy to talk to everyone, and share some great stories. Thanks for your time, Marc!

There were a lot of other vendors beside the Marco booth, an extra row this year in fact, to handle all the good stuff. Folks were thrilled about it, too, walking around all day with bags of cool stuff they'd found.

There were a lot of other vendors beside the Marco booth, an extra row this year in fact, to handle all the good stuff. Folks were thrilled about it, too, walking around all day with bags of cool stuff they’d found.

But mostly it was the games they came for, of course. Even we snuck out of the booth for a few rounds. Here, the boss tries a cool EM game. Good work, boss, you deserve a break!

But mostly it was the games they came for, of course. Even we snuck out of the booth for a few rounds. Here, the boss tries Flipper Cowboy, an EM pinball he’d never played before. Good work, boss, you deserve a break!

Check out our Best of ZapCon coverage too! And click here for Day Two pictures!

NEWS: Full Best of ZapCon Results!

NEWS,Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix,Zapcon 1 May 2017 | Comments Off on NEWS: Full Best of ZapCon Results!

We’re still recovering from all the fun we had at ZapCon, the state’s biggest pinball and arcade convention. But we wanted to get out a few words of thanks to everyone involved. The convention depends upon volunteers and contributors, those awesome folks who share their own personal games with what seemed for a few hours like most of the world. And the folks below deserve special thanks. They brought the best of the best to share. Here are the Best of ZapCon award winners for 2017, along with a few honorable mentions. THANK YOU EVERYONE, and CONGRATULATIONS!!

Each winner received an awesome bag of goodies, including a custom plaque from the local HJ Trophy, a gift card to Cobra Arcade, some libations, a certificate of coolness, and a keychain from our Random Keychain Collection. Congratulations, everyone!

Each winner received an awesome bag of goodies, including a custom plaque from the local HJ Trophies and Awards, a gift card to Cobra Arcade, some libations, a certificate of coolness, and a keychain from our Random Keychain Collection. Congratulations, everyone!

We gave out two fan awards, based on votes cast by everyone who attended the two-day convention at the Mesa Convention Center. Receiving the most votes of any game at the whole convention was Monster Bash, brought down by the good folks at StarFighters Arcade. It wasn't on their original list of games to bring, but when they got to ZapCon, they realized there wasn't going to be a Monster Bash there, and they went back and got theirs. Good thing they did!

We gave out two fan awards, based on votes cast by everyone who attended the two-day convention at the Mesa Convention Center. Receiving the most votes of any game at the whole convention was Monster Bash, brought down by the good folks at StarFighters Arcade. The color DMD is impressive, and the LEDs, apron lights, and UV strip give this game a great glow. This game had a line behind it nearly all weekend!

Receiving the second-highest number of votes of any game at the convention was the custom Starfighter arcade game, built for the convention by Team ZapCon. This awesome crew decided last year that they'd had enough fan requests for a game like this, based on the game played by the protagonist in the classic 1984 movie The Last Starfighter, that they had to do it. Great work, guys! One person told us it the game realized a dream she'd had since childhood, of actually feeling like the hero of her favorite movie.

Receiving the second-highest number of votes was the custom Starfighter arcade game, built for the convention by Team ZapCon. This awesome crew decided last year that they’d had so many fan requests for a game like this — based on the game played by the protagonist in the classic 1984 movie “The Last Starfighter — that they had to build it. Great work, guys! One person told us it the game realized a dream she’d had since childhood, of actually feeling like the hero of her favorite movie.

The first of our six judged awards went to the Data East Star Wars machine brought by Kevin Curtis. This machine played great, and looked amazing. Judges and fans alike were impressed by the job Kevin had done with it, along with a few cool mods, including the voice-activated topper, which shoots lightning from the hands of the emperor. Great work, Kevin!

The first of our six judged awards went to the Data East Star Wars machine brought by Kevin Curtis. This machine played great, and looked amazing. Judges and fans alike were impressed by the job Kevin had done refurbing it, along with a few cool mods he’d added, including the voice-activated topper, which shoots lightning from the hands of the emperor. Great work, Kevin! You deserved the Judges Favorite Pinball award.

The second of our judged awards went to Robert Whipp, and this Evel Knievel machine he spent an amazing amout of time restoring. His hard work truly showed, and the judges and fans alike were impressed with this game.

The second of our judged awards went to Robert Whipp, and this Evel Knievel pinball machine he spent an amazing amout of time restoring. His hard work truly showed, and the judges and fans alike were impressed with this game. It won the Best Custom/Restored Pinball award.

It was hard to get close enough to take a good picture of the next of our judge's award-winning machines. Ben Baraldi's brand-new Batman 66 was a hit the entire weekend, often with lines behind it. It received a lot of votes from fans, and the judges couldn't ignore it, either. It won the Most Fun Pinball award.

It was hard to get close enough to take a good picture of the next of our judge’s award-winning machines. Ben Baraldi’s brand-new Batman 66 (on the far right) was a hit the entire weekend, often with lines behind it. It received a lot of votes from fans, and the judges couldn’t ignore it, either. It won the Most Fun Pinball award.

See that game in the bottom left of the screen? It was surrounded almost the entire weekend! Killer Queen, brought down by the good folks at The Grid: Games and Growlers scored high for the second-straight year with fans and judges alike. This ten-player game is only one of a dozen like it in the world, and folks couldn't stop playing it. You can see it again at the Grid now!

See that game in the bottom left of the screen? It was surrounded almost the entire weekend! Killer Queen, brought down by the good folks at The Grid: Games and Growlers scored high for the second-straight year with fans and judges alike. This ten-player game is only one of a dozen like it in the world, and folks couldn’t stop playing it. You can see it again at the Grid now, the judges’ Most Fun Arcade Game.

This cocktail Joust game also was a hit with everyone. Brought down by Scott Goldsmith, this game was an amazing restoration. It had been partially converted to a sports theme, and was in horrible shape. But Scott brought it back to mint condition.

This cocktail Joust game also was a hit with everyone. Brought down by Scott Goldsmith, this game was an amazing restoration. It had been partially converted to a sports theme, and was in horrible shape. But Scott brought it back to mint condition. Great work, Scott! It won our judges’ Restored/Custom Arcade award.

Our final judges' award went to Kent Ponterio, for this totally cool machine gun game, Ambush Shooter. This EM game from a different era puts you in the jungles of Vietnam, doing your best to survive. Thanks for sharing, Kent! You got the judges' Favorite Arcade award.

Our final judges’ award went to Kent Ponterio, for this totally cool machine gun game, Ambush Shooter. This EM game from a different era puts you in the jungles of Vietnam, doing your best to survive. Thanks for sharing, Kent! You got the judges’ Favorite Arcade award.

For the first time, we actually gave a little presentation with the awards. Team ZapCon was definitely photogenic.

For the first time, we actually gave a little presentation with the awards. Team ZapCon was definitely photogenic.

And Ben was more than happy to be lauded twice.

And Ben was more than happy to be lauded twice.

Of course, there were a ton of other games that deserved a recognition. Judges lauded Kevin's Pirates of the Caribbean as well, which also had some cool custom features and an awesome topper.

Of course, there were a ton of other games that deserved a recognition. Fans lauded Kevin’s Pirates of the Caribbean as well, which also had some cool custom features and an awesome topper.

And fans cast some good votes for these cool games, the custom Tales of Cthulu and Black Hole.

And fans cast some good votes for these cool games, the custom Tales of Cthulu and Black Hole.

Fans also raved about these upright video pinball games. They sold out before the weekend was even finished!

Fans also raved about these upright video pinball games. They sold out before the weekend was even finished!

This rare Discs of Tron game also was worthy of a lot of folks' attention.

This rare Discs of Tron game also was worthy of a lot of folks’ attention.

There were even a few votes for the Fancy Taxi.

There were even a few votes for the Fancy Taxi.

Thanks again, everyone. Check out our previous award-winners here.
Now get some rest. And we’ll see you next year!