Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 in review

Geeze louise, what a year it has been for Bumper City! 2014 was a really exciting year what with all the stuff that has gone on. If you have been an avid reader of Bumper City, I think you know that I am all about the shameless plugs... So, here's my Year in Review post that is just a thinly veiled attempt to get you to look at the myriad of posts from 2014!
 Things were pretty quiet around the early parts of the year, though we did hear about the release of Mustang in January.
I also released my first podcast under the Bumper City banner, "Bumper City: Down at The Arcade", a hybrid podcast that consists of music and pinball soundscapes to create the illusion of spending some time down at the arcade!

Things really started to pick up in April, though! In the first few days of the month, I headed down south to Michigan Pinball Expo and got to take Stern's newest title, Mustang, for a spin!
While I was there, I also found a rare table in the wild, Banzai Run, in Windsor!
Once I got back to Toronto, Pinball Sunday was set to begin. Pinball Sundays were a series of tournaments held all over the city, from Brass Taps on the Danforth, Lipstick & Dynamite in Parkdale (though I did not attend this one), Get Well at Dundas and Ossington and finally 3030 in the Junction. Throughout most of the tournament, I made it through the first few rounds but I always managed to come up short near the finals.

Between the 3rd session of Pinball Sunday at Get Well and the final session at 3030, there was about a 2 week delay so I took the time to hone my skills and managed to get a few high scores in the process! I entered the 3030 tournament, confident that I may take this one home. A surprise machine was brought in for the tournament, Jungle Lord.
Little did I know just how punishing this table could be. I chose to play Jungle Lord in my first round and just got annihilated. My dreams were crushed! But an opportunity presented itself. I was selected as one of three to participate in a buy-in round. The winner of this triple threat match would be re-entered into the tournament although at a disadvantage. I was able to defeat my opponents and get my name back into the tournament brackets though I had a challenge awaiting me. I had to defeat my next opponent twice in order to proceed, however, if he defeated me then I was out. I won that battle as well but the war was not over. I made my way up through the brackets into the finals against my nemesis who had defeated me at Get Well. In a blaze of glory, I crushed the competition and won the tournament!
After all that hullaballoo in the city, a couple of buds and I hit the road in search of the ever-elusive thunderbird... I mean, Guelph Pinball Club. We found it in Guelph.
I reviewed the Natural Disasters as well as some extreme sports in the form of white water rafting and snowboarding.
From there, a coupla fellas and I from Guelph Pinball Club, The Pinball Club, and Pinball Sessions conjured up an idea that was just too sweet! We spent the summer working on a pinball art gallery show, Bumper City: A Pinball Exposition!
This event went so dang well, I couldn't believe it! Fantastic turnout of people from all walks of life; families, pinball first-timers, veterans of the game, even a few guys from Atlanta, Georgia! Space Channel also came by to film a segment about the event.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Williamson
That wasn't all that I did during the summer! Shane and I went on a few road trips in July and August. We drove up to Ottawa to see my buddy Penstone and check out HOUSE OF TARG!
We then went down to St. Catharines for a small pinball journey, going to my favorite lil town, Port Colborne! We saw some boats, we played some pinball, and we set some high scores!
Bumper City has been keeping busy with the posts the last little while. We had quite a wild month in October and looked at all sorts of spooky machines! Click that link for the October archives!
I was finally able to make it out to one of Stern's New Release parties for The Walking Dead! It was a lot of fun, I met a lot of cool folks from the pinball community and got my butt kicked all over by TWD.
But I can take a lickin' and keep on tickin'! The Walking Dead might have won that round but I always get my revenge!
What a year this has been! I have definitely seen quite an upswing in the popularity of pinball in 2014. Lots of new companies have appeared and Stern's business seems to be really picking up now. The modding community for pinball has exploded in popularity too! I have been seeing a lot of machines outfitted with ColorDMDs and people grafting all sorts of cool knick-knacks to their tables. Stern is even getting in on this, having just released a couple of new toys for The Walking Dead, such as a "fish-tank" topper! How cool is that?
Of course, things are going well in Toronto, too! I have seen a few new places pop up with pinball tables on their premises now that the game is getting more popular. Here's hoping 2015 is a good year for pinball and that we see a few more locales with tables in their midst!
If you live in the Toronto area and want to get involved with the pinball community in this great city, then I have just the crew for you!
I founded the Toronto Pinball Crew a little while ago so like-minded individuals in Toronto that all want to play pinball can organize a get-together somewhere to play pinball or just chat about the latest stuff. If you want to get involved in the Toronto Pinball community, just send an invite request to the Crew on Facebook and we'll let you through... unless you're trying to sell Ray Bans or Uggs.

There is also my little Tumblr Page, Bright Lights Bumper City... The Tumblr. I post pinball pictures daily, some of which you may not see here on the blog!

I just want to say thank you to everyone that has made this blog possible... So, Derk, thank you very much for your assistance. No problem, Derk. It has been a pleasure! I kid, I kid! Seriously, thanks to everyone who has ever had a hand in this blog, whether you helped take a picture, came out to play pinball with me, attended the Pinball Exposition, or just plain ol' read the blog! I appreciate it very much! When I first started this little project 2 years ago, I was lucky to even get 1 or 2 hits a day! but that didn't discourage me whatsoever; I wrote each and every post for the love of the game and I still do. I have put a lot of hard work into this blog and I sincerely appreciate each and every view it gets. Nowadays, we're hitting on average about 20-50 hits per day! Just recently, around November 24th, I hit a big milestone... 100 views in a single day! HOLY MOLEY! Never thought I would see that! It just means that I gotta keep putting in a lot of hard work and keep those A+ posts coming! Thank you for reading Bright Lights Bumper City!

Have a Happy New Year and hope to see ya playing a game of pinball or two!
- Love, Derk

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