Monday, June 24, 2013


Haha, continuing my tradition of posting about pinball events about a month later (just like my Michigan Pinball Expo 2012 post), here is my look back on Pinballapalooza on May 16, 2013!

Pinballapalooza was put on by the Stratford Festival to promote their production of Tommy. The event took place in the lobby of First Canadian Place and had up to 100 pinball machines all available for free play.

There was a good variety of new and old tables. Some of the oldest tables there were some old alphanumeric solid state tables like Williams' Jokerz and Data East's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The machines were provided by Playdium and let me tell you, what an example of the pinball machines they have stored away! Many of the machines were for sale and some may have even been on route out in the wild! Playdium also rolled out a bunch of the newer Stern releases. There was about a dozen AC/DC and Avengers tables each. Both tables had at least a row exclusively. Another new Stern table also emerged at this event...

That being METALLICA!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Gottlieb, once considered one of the top-tier pinball manufacturers during the early era of pinball, neck and neck with Bally and Stern. To give you an example of how Gottlieb was cream of the crop, take a look at's Top 10 EM tables. The entire listing is Gottlieb tables. That just goes to show that Gottlieb were, at one point, top-of-the-line pinball manufacturers. Unfortunately, hard times hit the pinball and arcade manufacturers when home consoles started gaining popularity. Columbia Pictures, the parent company of Gottlieb, shut down the company as they thought pinball was no longer profitable. However, a couple of the workers at Gottlieb and some investors revived the company as Premier/Gottlieb but they struggled to meet the popularity of Bally and Williams tables as well as the quality of previous Gottlieb greatest hits, like Black Hole and Haunted House. After Williams' Space Shuttle was released, which is touted as the machine that saved pinball in the 80's, Bally and Williams pulled ahead in the pinball race and left their competitors like Data East and Gottlieb in the dust. I guess, as a pinball company, when you're struggling to stay afloat, you're willing to throw some wacky ideas out there in hopes of hanging on. Gottlieb had released some really wacky tables like Bone Busters Inc, (which you can see more of from my trip report to Pinball Gallery here) Wipe Out which is a Skiing game based on a Surf song, and Tee'd Off (looks like a rip-off of 1997's No Good Gofers but was actually released prior to in 1993!) as well as some very unusual licensed tables like Rescue 911 (I JUST found out this is actually licensed from a TV Show!), Waterworld, and Barb Wire (remember that show? Post-apocalyptic series starring Pamela Anderson). Speaking of weird licenses, here's another one...

Believe it or not, Basketball pinball machines seem to be pretty popular, or at least the theme is compared to other sports. You have Williams' NBA Fast Break, Stern's NBA, Bally's Harlem Globetrotters, Gottlieb's Hoops and of course this machine in particular, SHAQ ATTAQ!
NEAT SHAQ ATTAQ FAQT! There are actually two pinball machines based on the two most popular basketball players of the 90's, there's Shaq Attaq as well as Michael Jordan in Sega's Space Jam! Radical! (wait no, that's a machine about skateboarding...)