We’re Famous!

Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix,Shop Notes

We received something cool in the mail the other day. Check it out!

It all began when we received an email from author Ken Horowitz in late 2019. He was writing a book on Nintendo’s arcade history and wanted to include a section on Super Mario Pinball.

He’d seen the photos we took of the game on our blog and wanted to know if he could use them in the book. Um, yes!

So when he published the book this year, he sent us a copy in return, with a photo credit for Leslie. She used her old newspaper byline for it, her first in-print credit in more than a decade!


This book is available on every book retailer’s site, and the big place with the suicide booths carries it too.
Check it out, it’s an interesting book with some good information.
Good work, Ken!


Goodbye, Josh

Shop Notes

This picture came up in our memories yesterday.

This was Josh vanMarle and he was our friend. We hadn’t heard from him for a long time when he emailed us and asked for a shirt. It had been so long I didn’t even recognize his name at first, which still makes me cringe. And so I mailed him one and he did this cool bleaching trick with it and sent us pictures.

Josh was our friend in Tucson. He was a good guy, who always looked out for people and always had something funny to say. He was a welder and he was proud of it. He wore his welding apron everywhere, no exaggeration. He once tubed down the Salt River with us and wore it the whole way. No, he didn’t sink. Yes, he was the slowest tube, but he did it his way. He always did it his way.

We heard a couple of months ago he was getting things together and moving back to Arizona.
He’d followed some interesting roads, but was ready to return. We were happy for him.

Then we heard a few weeks later that he had a stroke at home and died.

So when this picture came up in our memories yesterday, I’m not going to lie, I cried. A lot.

And then we decided the least we could do is post these again and send out one last hurrah for Josh.

So all you pinball people out there, all you friends and colleagues and customers, send out a good thought for a good guy, if you’re so inclined.
And hold those you love a little closer and a little longer.

They tell you as a writer to never use the word unique. It’s overused and inaccurate. After all, there’s nothing in the world that truly is one of a kind.
But, Josh, you were a hell of an exception to this rule. You were unique and we were all the better for it. I know in my heart there’s no one out there like you.

Until we meet again, Buddy. Rest in peace.

NEWS: Grumpy’s is Coming!

NEWS,Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix

Get ready, people, Grumpy is coming to town.

Opening very soon in downtown Glendale is Grumpy’s Ice Box Arcade-Lounge, a retro arcade with more than thirty classic pinball machines and old-school arcade games like Tron and Galaga to boot.

Grumpy has a soft spot for late-70’s to early-80’s Bally pins so he’s filled his cool spot with vintage titles like Flash Gordon, Paragon, Space Invaders, and Xenon.

He’ll also have some pinball art for sale and treats to eat like hot dogs and sodas and popcorn. No beer, though, this is a family arcade.
The arcade is only a half-block from the Glendale civic center complex. It’s at 7031 N. 57th Drive in a huge corner storefront.

We’ll let you know when it opens officially, but get ready!!

Hook! Hook! Hook!

Shop Notes

We just finished a full shop job on this amazing Hook! machine. This one is long gone, but check out how pretty it looked!

Data East came out with Hook in January 1992, around a month after the movie of the same name premiered. (IPDB)

Data East made around 6,700 of the games, which are, of course, based on the classic novel “Peter Pan” by J.M. Barrie.

This game was in amazing shape, with no cabinet fade or damage, and a playfield that looks practically brand-new.

We gave this game a full shop job, pulling everything off the playfield to be polished, tumbled, sanded, washed, or otherwise cleaned. We installed Cliffy’s, cool red rings and post sleeves, and some more special touches.

This game also got full Cointaker LEDs throughout.

Check out that beautiful glow!

This game works 100% and plays great!

Hook! Hook! Hook!

Enjoy the game, Jeff!

This Game Has Hit the Road

Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix,Shop Notes

We’ve seen a lot of High Speeds in our day, but we never came across an original game as nice as this one. And it sure didn’t last long! Check it out anyway, and call us more quickly when you see the next one!

Williams came out with High Speed in 1986, and produced more than 17,000 of the machines. (IPDB)

The game was an instant hit, with its universally appealing theme of trying to outrace the police.

Game designer Steve Ritchie allegedly said the game was based on the true story of a time he raced the cops in his Porsche at 146 mph.

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. They look great, plus they burn cooler and last longer than traditional bulbs.

We added a few special touches, too, including Super Bands and color-coded post sleeves.

Everything worked 100%!

Here’s another nice shot of those beautiful LEDs. Seriously, this game looked great!

It even came with this cool original topper! What more do you need in life?

This Pinball Machine Rocks!

Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix,Shop Notes

Check out how nice this Rock Encore pinball machine turned out! This rare game is a kit conversion that Gottlieb put out from the factory. We had tons of fun playing it, but it’s long gone now!

Gottlieb came out with its Rock pinball machine in 1985, and produced almost 1,900 machines. Despite the game’s obvious ’80’s coolness, operators thought sales figures could be better, so Gottlieb put out a “Booster Pack” conversion kit — aka Rock Encore — in 1986. (IPDB)

The kit consisted of an art and sound conversion: An alternate translite and three new sound ROMs.

We’ve gone over every inch of this game, and it works 100% and plays great!

We installed an NOS translite to make this game even better. It’s so bright and awesome you can practically hear the magic.

We installed Cointaker LEDs throughout this machine. Look at that beautiful glow!

LEDs burn cooler and last longer. Plus, they look better than the traditional incandescent bulbs.

This playfield is amazingly bright and clean.

Admit it. You’d love to be as cool as this machine.

This game is long gone!

All-Star Addams Family

Shop Notes

Check out this amazing Addams Family pinball machine!  This game was a great example of an awesome title — and it didn’t last long.

Bally came out with The Addams Family in 1992, and produced more than 22,000 units. It’s the the most popular games ever made. (IPDB)

The game came out a year after the movie version of everyone’s favorite oddball family, starring Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia, among others.

We love this game, and we always treat it right! We gave this one a full shop job, pulling everything off the playfield to be polished, tumbled, sanded, washed, or otherwise cleaned. We installed a new ramp, Cliffy’s, tons of decals, art blades, swamp lights, blue LED strips in the topper, and more.

We installed Cointaker LEDs throughout as well.

Check out that beautiful glow!

We also put in all new post sleeves, silicone rings, Super Bands, balls, yeah, the list just keeps going.

Two more cool touches —  new  pop bumper skirts and bodies color-matched to the bumper caps and this awesome “Uncle Lester” mod. Ooooooh.

Check out those awesome decals!

Here’s the Thing box. Isn’t it pretty? Enjoy the game, Randy!

Time Warp is SOLD!!

Shop Notes,Sold

Check out this awesome Time Warp!
We just finished a full shop job on this game, and it looks and plays great. So great that it sold already. Sorry! But keep looking; we’ll have more games!

Williams came out with Time Warp in 1979, and produced nearly 8,900 of the games.

We gave this one a full shop job, pulling everything off the playfield to be polished, washed, tumbled, buffed, or otherwise cleaned. Then we touched up a few spots on the playfield and applied an automotive clearcoat to give it a beautiful shine.

We also rebuilt the power supply, and replaced the 40-pin interconnect on MPU and driver board. We removed the batteries and put in an NVRAM, too. The game is set for free play and works 100%!

We added lots of extra little touches, including new drop target stickers.

We also installed Cointaker LEDs throughout the game.

Half of the production run of this game came with Banana flippers, half came with normal flippers. The normal flippers play better than the bananas and are what is currently on the game, but a set of bananas with the rubber caps are included if you wanted to switch over.

Check out that beautiful glow!

This game looks great!

Enjoy the game, Ernie!


NEWS: Lemoncade Permanently Closed

Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix

UPDATE: We’re sad to learn that the Lemoncade has permanently closed its doors during the covid shutdown. We were rooting for this Glendale spot, and we wish the best to those involved in it.


NOTE: This blog ran in Jan. 2019. We’re leaving it up in memoriam.
We just had the pleasure of checking out the coolest spot in downtown Glendale, the Lemoncade! This place is awesome, with a ton of great games, and some sweet treats too. Head on over to 5754 W Glendale Ave. and see what you think. We give it two thumbs up!

We headed over on a recent weekday to check out the machines at the Lemoncade.

You can tell right away that this place is cool, with a great selection of pinball machines and some other fun games too.

The Lemoncade opened in July and has become a popular part of downtown Glendale.

The place hosts a ton of events with local musicians and DJs, and has space for parties and other events.

You know you want to play them.

Or maybe take a turn on this? Check out the Lemoncade soon. Oh, and did we mention there’s a great selection of lemonade drinks?!

NEWS: Goodbye, D&D

NEWS,Pinball in Arizona,Pinball in Phoenix,Tournaments,Zapcon

We just heard the news: D&D Pinball has closed indefinitely.
This place was the first all-pinball arcade in Arizona, and was instrumental in the pinball community for years, hosting state tournaments, fundraisers, and more. Every year, they brought a big contingent of games all the way up to ZapCon. It was a great place to be. So of course we’re sad.
But we’re heartened by their official announcement, which you can read here. Hopefully we’ll hear more from D&D and from Robert and Constance in the future. Thanks for everything, and we look forward to what you do next!