Sunday, June 29, 2014


When I went on my trip to Michigan Pinball Expo, I stayed in Windsor and during my time in Rose City, I came upon a couple of pinball machines! Seeing as the last trip report was all about Motor City and cars and stuff, I think I have something to talk about... What has 2 wheels but four legs?
A motocross themed pinball table! HEH! While in Windsor, I came upon a Banzai Run at Pogo's Lounge! DANG! Banzai Run is a real rare table with only about 2000 tables being manufactured. Another wild thing about Banzai Run is it's playfield... or should I say play...FIELDS!!!
Banzai Run has not one but two playfields! Yeah SO? There were tables in the early 80's with dual layer playfields like Black Knight and Flash Gordon! They were even at Ottawa Pinball Expo! But Banzai Run is not like those tables, oh no... the secondary playfield is not located on the main playfield but where the backglass should be!
WHOA!! Pinball that goes horizontal AND vertical! crazy! Who could be the mastermind behind this crazy contraption? None other than Pat Lawlor! Believe it or not, Banzai Run was the very first table he designed and what a table he designed! He really came out swinging with something to prove to the pinball world with his first table.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Guelph Pinball Club Trip Report - Part I

First up in the Guelph Pinball Club's trip report are the NATURAL DISASTERS

These are two great system-11 tables released in '89 and '90 respectively. They are also two of Lawlor's earliest tables and many of his signature design characteristics can be witnessed in these two solid tables. When Lawlor hit the pinball scene, he was already shaking things up. His first table design was Banzai Run, the only table to have a fully functioning secondary playfield... IN THE BACKGLASS!
oh... is that one of MY pictures of Banzai Run? I think it is! Maybe a review is on it's way ;) Anyways, Earthshaker was Lawlor's follow up to Banzai Run and he keeps up the clever design of his previous output! Although Earthshaker doesn't have a secondary playfield, it does have a few neat gimmicks and a wild layout.
Earthshaker's layout is quite unlike many of Lawlor's later releases. Seeing as it is only his second table, you can see how he's experimenting with his designs with features later appearing on tables like Funhouse and Monopoly, specifically the third flipper and it's accompanying shots. The third flipper is hard to get to and set up a good shot for the ramp and loop. Unlike most tables, Earthshaker does not have traditional orbit shots that can be made from the main flippers; the left orbit leads right into the jet bumpers while the right orbit is behind a ramp and can only be hit from the third flipper.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pinball Update for June

I think it's time for a new pinball update. My last update was back in March so we're definitely overdue for a new update of the latest pinball happenings in Toronto.

A FINE HUNT up in the Glencairn and Bathurst area. Bathurst Bowlerama is host to several machines. In their ranks is a Spider-Man...
What's that strange and dark machine next to Spider-Man? Oh I think that is Nightmare On Elm Street!
Nightmare is one far out table. It does not have a traditional playfield layout whatsoever; almost every table has an outside orbit but instead there's a small orbit around Freddy's head. There is also instant multiball off the plunger if you hit the skillshot into the furnace.
That and Freddy has some wacky callouts like "PARTY ON DUUUUDE!"
When I arrived at Bathurst Bowlerama, it was around 5 or 6 in the evening and they had the main lights on. Halfway through my visit, it was time to turn down the lights and get the Rock'n'Bowl going. It was like being awake then falling asleep and having a nightmare about Nightmare on Elm Street!
As cool as it was to have the lights turned down, it was a little tougher to play the table in the dark though; it is pretty beat to hell and there are quite a few lights out as well as lots of chipped bits and pieces. There are supposed to be these really cool "Lost Soul" covers on the stand-up targets as well but they're not on this one. Lots of the toys are broken and the table in general is falling apart.
Bathurst Bowlerama also has a Street Fighter II table in their lower arcade, which is another odd-ball Gottlieb/Premier table like Nightmare. I wasn't able to snag a picture when I was there as I wasn't aware of it but My buddy Adam brought it to my attention during his visit.

I have another FINE HUNT that is a little more in the downtown area. Football Factory on Bathurst, just south of Queen St. W. has Striker Xtreme! How appropriate!
This was another great instance of Pinball Intuition. Shane and I were cruisin' along Bathurst when we passed by Football Factory. I said to him "I bet ya there's a pinball machine in there!" As we walked by, it looked like the bar was pretty small and wouldn't be able to house a pinball machine. Then, through the open doors, we spotted a machine tucked away in the corner! Very nice!

Now it's time for some updates!