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!

I know I posted that I found the Metallica table in the wild recently at Monarch Tavern, however, this was my first experience with the latest release from Stern before I found it out on location. I don't watch much pinball videos so I had not seen much of Metallica prior to playing it at Pinballapalooza. Lighting the Electric Chair for the first time just blew my mind!

The multiball activation on Metallica with Sparky reminds me a lot of Attack From Mars and Medieval Madness's big toys, the UFO and castle respectively. All three toys when activated just shake a whole helluva lot and there is a neat light show to accompany that. It's pretty cool to see something like Sparky on a Stern table. The last few tables have included a few more interactive toys, like The Avengers' Hulk toy and X-Men's Wolverine and Magneto although you only really hit the Wolverine toy.

I also managed to throw up a high score just after a few games!


Stern's Playboy also made an appearance at the event.

This being a family-friendly event, it was kinda surprising and funny to see that this was the Adult model of Playboy where all the pictures on the toys bear naked ladies. I spent a lot of time playing Playboy as it is one of my favorite Stern tables because of its playfield design. George Gomez designed the playfield for this table and it just has a great flow to it. There's nothing fancy to Playboy; it plays like a lot of classic tables and doesn't feature any wacky gimmicks. Gomez also designed another Stern favorite of mine, that being The Sopranos. I guess I enjoy both of these tables as they both have a similar design.

This particular Playboy table had absolutely no Tilt sensor. I was nudging it all over the place and pulling off hella Whitby Shuffles. I played some serious games on Playboy. Just dig these scores!

I also set a goal to become a Playboy Champion once again.

And I did what I set out to do YA DIG!

X-Men had a small representation at Pinballapalooza which was odd as other recent Stern tables, The Avengers, Metallica and AC/DC had several times as many tables as X-Men did. There was only about three or four X-Men tables but what they lacked in numbers...

They made up in RARITY!!! The Magneto Edition of X-Men made an appearance. If you look to the left of the picture, you can see that there are actually TWO Magneto tables! The LE editions of Stern tables are always a blast to see because they contain a few extra toys and other goodies as well as a TON of LEDs. It's tough to determine from the picture but these tables REALLY glow from all of the LEDs.

Many of Stern's tables were at the event, like this underrated table...

I've rarely seen Wheel of Fortune and haven't even played it. I only caught a glimpse of it at The Beaches Cineplex Odeon and was not able to play it. I did get a chance to play it this time around and I'm very impressed. The designer for Wheel of Fortune was Dennis Nordman who was always one for non-traditional pinball tables like Blackwater 100 and Pirates of The Caribbean. Instead of the usual flipper set-up, he resurrected an old Electro-Mechanical tradition of having a small post positioned between the two flippers, essentially creating two middle drains. This means you have to play with a whole different strategy to keep the ball in play. It was quite refreshing to see something like that that hasn't been done for ages!

Pinballapalooza was put on as a promotional event for Stratford Festival's production of Tommy so of course a certain table had to make an appearance!

What would this event would have been if they didn't have Tommy? I guess they could have brought in Captain Fantastic but that would be one unusual way to represent the play. The table came out in 1994 when the rock opera was.... Wait, what's that? OH WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT


BIG THANKS goes out to my buddies AK and Kareem who attended the event with me and shot the footage for the impromptu review. If you noticed, there's also a GoPro camera set up on the Playboy machine... We were shooting a lot of footage at Pinballapalooza for a special project we have in the works. Keep tuned to Bumper City about that! Also, we were total goofs and didn't get much good shots of the blinders unfortunately. Hopefully this picture will suffice!

Also during the event, there was a world record attempt to have the most people playing pinball simultaneously. For about an hour, they shut down the machines...

We were able to walk through the area when all the machines were shut down. It was crazy to see that when not even a few minutes before, every machine was on and there was a ton of hustle and bustle. Now it seemed like a ghost town!

Tommy is also being sponsored by OLG. I work downtown and right now Luminato Festival is going on at David Pecault Square near my work. OLG was out on location at Luminato to promote Tommy. I happened to stumble upon their booth on my lunch break and lo and behold....

They brought out some pinball machines! Tommy was there to promote the play and Wheel of Fortune was there because... It was the only machine available?

I kid, I kid! As a part of the promotion, OLG had a wheel that you could spin and win a prize, some prizes being sunglasses or headphones so Wheel of Fortune was an appropriate table. The BIG prize was an entry to win tickets to see the Stratford production of Tommy and... Play some Tommy pinball!

I was able to land on the big prize and get to play pinball. I spent about 30 to 40 minutes of my lunch break just playing pinball, spending an equal amount of time on both Tommy and Wheel of Fortune. What an awesome way to spend a lunch break! A lot of people came through but not many stuck around to play pinball... Maybe I was just too intimidating! But ya know what? Just listen to what the Ninja Turtles say...

No comments :

Post a Comment