Saturday, May 31, 2014

Guelph Pinball Club Trip Report... PREVIEW!

My buddy Nathan of The Pinball Club and The Grunk had told me of a magical place in Guelph. I told him that there was nothing magical about Guelph but then he started telling me about The Pinball Sessions and Guelph Pinball Club.
Nathan told the tale of this little recording studio in Guelph that houses an abundance of pinball machines and also used to be the convenience store where he bought smokes. I thought it pretty cool but unfortunately, I am not a musician nor do I live in Guelph so I figured it would be a pipe dream to see this magical place. Nathan, ever the resourceful one, then said "let's rent a car, head out to Guelph, and play pinball". Well, shucks, I can't turn that down! The Guelph Pinball Club was getting together one Wednesday and so we struck out to Guelph to see what this Club was all about. Suffice it to say, it was mind-blowing.
Lots of System-11s, lemme tell you! Whirlwind, Taxi and Pin-Bot! How about some more modern machines?
Not bad! The Addams Family and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Two solid 90's DMDs. Star Trek TNG is also a SUPERPIN widebody!
There were a few SUPERPINS in the mid-90's. Two that come to mind are Twilight Zone and Judge Dredd.
Guelph Pinball Club has one helluva collection; this ain't a gathering of some honky-tonk half busted beasts. Dan B., one of the minds behind Pinball Sessions, collects and fixes up pinball machines and gives people a chance to play some of these fantastic tables.

The tables in Dan's collection are fantastic. They are well cared for and look beautiful.
Some of the tables like Twilight Zone and Judge Dredd have been modded too. Twilight Zone has a bunch of new stuff packed into it. I didn't think it was possible to make Twilight Zone any crazier but Dan has done it and pulled it off quite well!
The little slots even spin!
If you've been keeping up with the blog since the early days of 2012, you know that I am a BIG fan of Judge Dredd and flipped my lid when I saw it (click this link for the Judge Dredd review) at the Pinball Gallery in Downington, PA. (click either link for the Pinball Gallery Trip Report) I had mentioned that there was a mod for Dredd's Deadworld ball lock which would actually capture the balls on a disc which would spin around and when multiball activated, a crane would catch the balls and release them onto the playfield.
Dan had outfitted his Judge Dredd table with this mod and it was so cool. The story for the mod goes that this was to be a part of the table but a German distributor of Bally/Williams had concerns about the operation of the lock and the crane and the maintenance that it would require. Due to the influence of the German distributor, Bally/Williams revised the ball lock and so removed the spinning feature, opting instead for virtual locks for the first two balls then the third ball falling onto the deadworld lock and being lifted out by the crane. It seems the German distributor was correct in his prediction as Dan was telling me the Deadworld ball lock has to work perfectly, otherwise it will mess up...
Which happened when we were there. All three balls got caught on the crane magnet and we couldn't get them loose. DROKK IT
The pinball tables are littered throughout the house; some in the living room, others in the side room and even a couple stuffed away in the workroom! The pinball tables have yet to find their way into the bathroom or the kitchen.
While I was playing, I was taking hella notes because I want you to see what I saw and get you as close to the machines as you possibly could... well, I mean, you could play these tables elsewhere but it might be a bit tough to get into the Club, ya dig? So let's get underway and look at a couple of the tables up for offer. I'm going to kick off the Guelph Pinball Trip Report with some NATURAL DISASTERS!

The Guelph Pinball reports are flooding in and there's no stopping them!

Check out Part I - NATURAL DISASTERS for Earthshaker and Whirlwind!

Part II goes XTREME with Wipe Out! and White Water!

Grab a cab and take a ride over to Part III for 80's classic, Taxi!

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