Friday, December 11, 2015

City Pinball's Downtown Showdown

Saturday December 5th was the day for City Pinball's first pinball tournament, Downtown Showdown!
Held at the headquarters of City Pinball, that is Junction City Music Hall, the day's event was the culmination of the new league's first season. The tournament consisted of JCMH's usual lineup of The Simpsons Pinball Party, Comet, Fire!, and Tee'd Off as well as the newest additions to the roster, Twilight Zone and Rollergames. There was also a surprise entry for the tournament in the form of Metallica!
It was a small but well fought battle with many heavy hitters in the Toronto pinball scene participating. After all was said and done, John Flitton was able to win the inaugural City Pinball Tournament! The second season of City Pinball league will resume in the new year starting on Wednesday January 6th so now is as good a time as ever to join up! There will be plenty of great folks from the Toronto Pinball Crew that participated in Season 1 and hopefully some new faces so join the Crew and join the League! The pinball lineup just keeps getting better too so what's stopping you from joining City Pinball? NOTHING

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Second Look at TRON: Legacy

*DERK'S NOTE: After a brief hiatus, Bumper City is back up and running! Took some time to rejuvenate and get things sorted out but we're back it and ready to get posting! this is a bit of an older post, something I have had written up for some time now but just never had the chance to post it. I really like TRON so I want to get this post out to you instead of just collecting digital cobwebs! Also, there is a TRON: Legacy within city limits at Silver Snail on Yonge Street, just north of Dundas Station! I heard it is really nice so go check it out!*

After more than a year, TRON: Legacy has reappeared in Toronto! Back in 2011, before I moved to the city, I first experienced TRON at Done Right Inn and learned about Done Right Inn's infamous TILT settings. A few years later in 2013, I found TRON at Pegasus Bar and wrote a review about it! A few months and a couple of seasons later, TRON once again appeared at May Cafe. During its stint at May, I really got to sink my teeth into TRON: Legacy.
After May ditched TRON, it reappeared at Monarch Tavern.
TRON is long gone from Monarch Tavern, having been replaced by The Sopranos which has now been swapped out for The Walking Dead which has now been switched out for KISS! Geeze louise! The very same TRON made its way to Lipstick & Dynamite down in Parkdale for a good moment then over to Brass Taps on the Danforth, however, the wear and tear was certainly beginning to show. Right now, this particular TRON is no longer around but another TRON machine has popped up at Silver Snail on Yonge!

Monday, November 2, 2015


Hello everyone, Derk here with some unfortunate news. I'm going to be taking a hiatus from writing and updating Bumper City for a little while. After 3 great years of this blog, I'm beginning to feel a bit of burnout and so I want to step away for a little while and recharge. I haven't been posting as much as I would like to and trying to create new content has become a bit of a chore which stinks because it should be fun! Life has also been quite busy as well and it's been hard to find time to balance everything so I want to take some time off from Bumper City in order to regain some focus. Life is good right now but there's just so much going on that I need to scale down a bit.

I'm really happy to see what the pinball community has become over the past 3 years and I am excited to see the future but as of right now, I just don't have the energy. Thank you for your readership; I really appreciate every single person that has taken the time to read my posts.

I will still be updating Pinballin' in the Big City, the best Toronto pinball map around! If you need to know where to go to play pinball, look no further than my map!

All the best,

Friday, October 2, 2015

NO FEAR! at Coalition

There has been a lot of action in Toronto's pinball scene! The city's pinball numbers have been on the rise lately with many new venues getting outfitted with tables. One of the most recent places I have heard about is Coalition in Kensington Market, just a few steps south of College St. on Kensington Ave. I recently got the chance to stop by Coalition on a rainy Saturday night and not only found a few cool pinball machines but also a really cool bar! Similar to Junction City Music Hall, the moment you step into Coalition, you will descend a few flights of stairs down to the bar itself. There's a room with a pool table but make your way over to the main part of the bar and you will find the pinball tables and a arcade cabinet tucked away in a corner. This place is big so there will be plenty of room to play and you won't bump anyone that is on their way to the washroom. Coalition is serviced by Toronto Coin Exchange, one of the best operators in the city, and they have placed some great machines!
WHOA! NO FEAR! When I heard that No Fear had entered the city, I was super excited to check it out. Street Fighter II... not so much but I did play it a round or two. Anyways, I think it's time we talk about a real cool and TOTALLY X-TREEEEEEEEEEME table in the form of NO FEAR!
This table is just plain crazy! You want fast gameplay? you got it! You want a ton of shots? You got that too. Plenty of modes? Oh yeah, more than enough to go around! You want fear? SORRY BUT WE'RE ALL OUT!

Friday, September 18, 2015

BUMP & SURF 4: Jammin' in The Junction

You know that I've been posting about this lil thing called Bump & Surf the last couple of months. I joined forces with local Surf band, Luau or Die for a monthly residency at Junction City Music Hall. We combined two of my favorite things, pinball and Surf music! If you have been following this blog for any time at all, you know how much I love JCMH's pinball line-up. It's even better when you can play along to some great live Surf! We are reaching the end of summer and along with that, the end of our lil residency at JCMH! 
Unfortunately, Luau Or Die are unable to make this show but in their stead we have two fantastic bands from the Toronto Surf Scene, The Cliff Divers and The Calrizians. In addition, I will be spinning all sorts of great surf tunes on physical and digital media. 

Since you may be unfamiliar with the bands, I'll give you a quick review! 

The Cliff Divers consists of Johnny G on the guitar, Nautiloid Rick on the bass, and Big Bad Danny Brody on the drums. They got a real heavy Surf sound, keeping things a bit like the traditional Surf that you are used to while also throwing in some real neat tricks to get you movin' and shakin'! 
Just wait till good ol' Johnny G busts out the steel lap guitar, Surfy! They got a few other surfadelic licks up their sleeve so you better come out to Bump & Surf and experience it for yourself! 

Next up we have The Calrizians and they are real cool. The Calrizians rock a unique sound by incorporating an electric organ to their mix of classic surf tunes and covers you never thought you would hear! I'll give ya a hint... Blondie and Black Sabbath. Want to know how that sounds? Well, you better make it out to the show on September 26th!
As for the pinball at JCMH, if you caught my previous post about City Pinball, Twilight Zone has joined the lineup and man it is GOOOOOOOOOD! 
Thanks to Mike B. for this pic!
Hopefully this is enough to entice you to come out to Bump & Surf 4 at Junction City Music Hall on Saturday, September 26th! That's next week! It is a matinee gig so come on out around 1PM, stick around for some awesome Surf music, maybe grab a drink and play some pinball, then go home and have a nap so yer ready for Saturday night! NICE! Don't forget to click this link and RSVP on the Facebook page!

Monday, August 31, 2015


I keep my eyes and ears open to all the latest happenings of pinball in Toronto and most recently, I have heard word of a new pinball league starting up in the city!
City Pinball is the new pinball league based in Toronto and will be operating out of Junction City Music Hall, right in the heart of the Junction! That's right, we will have a league right here in Toronto so for those that are confined to the limits of public transit, this is a much more accessible pinball league. Big ups to the fellas running City Pinball, this is something that the city really needs.

The first night will be on Wednesday September 9th (click the link for the Facebook event page) and will be running bi-weekly in a three-month season, operating exclusively out of Junction City Music Hall. Registration will be a one-time $20 fee for a single season and the games will be set to coin-op, ranging from 25 cents to $1. Make sure to grab a drink or two at the bar and help out Junction City Music Hall too. JCMH is a great venue and has one of the best line-ups in the city thanks to Dan of Guelph Pinball Club. BIG THANKS to Dan for keeping the machines at JCMH in working order and updating the line-up every once in a while with new machines. Word is that Twilight Zone is now among JCMH's roster and will be available for play on the inaugural league night on September 9th!
Thanks to Pinball Mike for the pic!
The bar has been set, gang!
The main goal of City Pinball is to organize Toronto's pinball fiends together in a great venue accessible by TTC and especially to have fun! That's what pinball is all about and that is what City Pinball is all about too! So mark yer calendar for Wednesday, September 9th, save up $20 for the registration fee (just a one-time fee!) and go couch fishin' for a couple of quarters and loonies! You can also RSVP at the Facebook event here. Let's establish City Pinball as the number 1 pinball league in Toronto!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Johnny Mnemonic

In my previous review of Georgian Grill's pinball arcade, we took a look at "the woman of the 90's", The Machine: Bride of Pin·bot so how about we travel into THE FUTURE and review Williams' Johnny Mnemonic!
Like Demolition Man, this was a table based on a Sci-Fi film that flopped in theatres. It seems as though Williams was trying to recreate the success of Terminator 2: Judgment Day but had a string of bad luck, basing their pinball machines on movies that became box office bombs. Despite the quality of the movies, both Demolition Man and Johnny Mnemonic are solid but underrated tables released in the golden years of the mid 90's. Johnny Mnemonic takes full advantage of the trappings of the film the table is based on which makes for some interesting designs. The feature that catches one's eye upon stepping up to the table looks like Nintendo's powerglove.
Not quite though! It's the DATAGLOVE, a piece of the VR equipment that Johnny uses to cyberhack the 'net. In the movie, Johnny has to "physically" navigate a virtual reality landscape of the internet in order to obtain some information. The dataglove acts as a part of the ball lock, capturing the ball and dropping it into the Datamatrix (WHOA)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Simpson Pinball Party

The legendary Stern classic, The Simpsons Pinball Party has once again entered the city limits! There was a very brief period where The Simpsons Pinball Party was at the old Pinball Cafe but it has now found a place among the lineup at Junction City Music Hall!
This particular table first set foot at Handlebar for the Beer & Ball Festival before making its way over to the Junction.
The Simpsons Pinball Party is one of Stern's most ambitious tables; the table was produced by Keith Johnson and Joe Balcer, the latter going on to design Jersey Jack Pinball's Wizard of Oz. TSPP was released in early 2003 and certainly was a sign of things to come with the release of The Lord of The Rings near the end of the year.

The Simpsons Pinball Party is jam-packed with all sorts of shots and features. When you first step up to the game, it's nearly impossible to figure out just exactly what you are supposed to do! The complexity of TSPP isn't just in the playfield; the ruleset is considered one of Stern's most in-depth. There's a variety of modes to activate, like the episodes or the Itchy & Scratchy Multiball episodes, Otto's 2X scoring, or obtaining all of Cletus' kids, just to name a few.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Machine: The Bride of Pin·bot

For a little place up in cottage country, Georgian Grill has a really good offering of pinball. When my brother Shane mentioned swinging by the arcade, I was hopeful for a good line-up but remained a bit skeptical, thinking most machines would be in barely-working order due to being in a bit of a remote area. I must say, I was quite surprised! Every pinball machine was in fine working order and seemed to be well taken care of. One of the employees at Georgian Grill even gave the glass tops of the pinball machines a wipe-down!
One of the tables that I was most surprised about was The Machine: Bride of Pin·bot! It was the oldest table in the line-up yet it was looking pretty dang good!
The good looks aren't just because of the condition the table was in but the artwork. Bride of Pin·bot has to be one of Python Anghelo's finest works from head-to-toe. There are so many little details packed into BoP with all sorts of astronauts running around the playfield, a signature in Anghelo's work.
Take a look at tables like Taxi or Hurricane for other examples of Anghelo's "world building"
There is also a ton of innuendo which is par for the course with Anghelo. I'm not going to point it out because this is a family-friendly blog (well... relatively speaking) but take a look for yourself and see if you can spot it!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Georgian Grill in Balm Beach TRIP REPORT PREVIEW

Shane and I hit the road one weekend in June in search of the American Dream but I think we took a wrong turn at Albuquerque as we ended up in Wasaga Beach. I can't complain though because we had some beautiful weather on Saturday and saw some even more beautiful cars!

Nothing better than cruising along the beach, checking out all the sights and catching some sunshine!
but HEY this is a blog about pinball! Our trip did not go without some pinball and on Sunday, we headed over to Balm Beach to check out the legendary Georgian Grill.
Despite what the site says about "Summer 2014", I can confirm that it is open for Summer 2015! I have heard that Georgian Grill has a decent arcade and I was not let down! There was a full arcade available at this little beach grill complete with shooting games, racing games, ticket dispensing games, and of course, pinball!
It was like stepping into a time machine; there were arcade games from all eras. Ticket games I haven't seen since the 90's and my time spent at North End Bowl (that's for you folks from Oshawa!), a brand new Big Buck Hunter featuring the Duck Dynasty, even a Cruis'n' World cabinet upgraded with LCD monitors! The pinball lineup was also quite varied, from System-11's to new Stern tables. All the tables were in decent to great condition with a few small exceptions here and there, like the upper flipper on Family Guy being unresponsive or Fish Tales having mismatched flippers...
That's what we call Hard Mode

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bump & Surf 2: The Reckoning

The surfin' and ballin' events in Toronto just don't quit! Hot off the heels of Shut Up and Hang Ten at 3030, Luau or Die are at it again!
Click the pic to RSVP on Facebook!
Luau or Die is teaming up with the bad cats sent to the past to save the present from the Future, Rocket XL5! Good times are to be had at Junction City Music Hall this coming Saturday on July 18! Bump & Surf is mixing things up and kickin off the surfin' and swingin' at 1 PM! There's no cover so just mosey on it, grab a drink and grab a game of pinball! Maybe grab a t-shirt or something from the bands too. Show a little love for two wicked Surf bands! If you need any convincing, allow me to persuade you to join us in the Junction on July 18th!

Dag yo, if that doesn't get yer hips shakin' then I don't know what will! Just don't shake too much or you might tilt the pinball machine! Luau or Die are no strangers to the silver ball; they know that pinball and surf go quite well together! 
Pretty cool set-up at Shut Up and Hang Ten! BUT HEY Junction City Music Hall also has a pretty cool lineup so mosey on down to the Junction this Saturday on July 18th for a whole lotta Bumpin' and Surfin'! Luau or Die and Rocket XL5 are bringing the afternoon tunes at 1 through 5 so squeeze it into your day! The chores can wait.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


You have to hand it to the Toronto Pinball Crew for keeping up on the pinball updates! One of the crew members dropped by California Sandwiches this past week and confirmed that KISS has found its way to the city! WHAT! Stern just started releasing this table and KISS has already touched down in Toronto. I couldn't help myself and made my way to California Sandwiches soon after finding out. KISS was indeed there and man oh man, am I excited to talk about it!

I am going to ahead and say it but this has to be one of Stern's best tables and will be considered an absolute classic. Stern really knocked it out of the park on this one. Custom hand-drawn artwork, great music, and a solid playfield come together to make one great table. The code is pretty bare-bones as per usual but even then, there's still plenty to do. I imagine that further updates will make this table even better.

The game begins in the same manner as Stern's other music-themed tables, AC/DC and Metallica, in that you select a KISS song and certain shots are activated according to that particular song. The game takes place at a KISS concert so along with selecting a song, you also select the city you're playing in. There's about 10 songs like DETROIT ROCK CITY and BLACK DIAMOND (two of my favorites) and they are live versions which add to the immersion of being at a KISS concert! Whether it's due to licensing issues with record labels or what, it works. Also, this table needs to be loud because it's rock 'n' roll! Good thing California Sandwiches table is turned up loud! So many times I caught myself rockin' out, air guitarin', and singin' along FIRST I DRINK ... THEN I SMOKE!
I have to warn you though that the autoplunger on this table is very impatient and will launch your ball within the span of 30 seconds, even if you're in the middle of selecting your song. Now that the game has started, let's take a look at the playfield.

This is cool, real cool.

Monday, June 22, 2015


I apologize that I keep promoting all these events but HEY at least they are pinball-related events! I just got word that Junction City Music Hall will be holding a night of FREE PINBALL this Saturday! That is June 27! The fun and games start at 9 PM. There's also some music to be listened to by Guelph legends, DENT!
Click the pic for the Facebook event page! Don't forget to RSVP!

if you need any incentive to come out to this, Junction City Music Hall has one of the best pinball line-ups in Toronto right now! Everything from The Simpsons Pinball Party, F-14 Tomcat, and the latest arrival, Premier's Tee'd Off!

This machine gets a lot of grief in the pinball scene and I wasn't really sure of it myself when I heard it joined the JCMH lineup. However, after taking Tee'd Off for a spin, I found it to be quite an enjoyable little table! So, how about you come out this Saturday, June 27, to Junction City Music Hall at 2907 Dundas St. West and play Tee'd Off among many other great games for FREE? There will also be NO COVER! All you have to pay for is your drinks! That's not too bad!

RSVP and come out for FREE pinball this weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Seeing as we covered a couple of Steve Ritchie tables in my previous House of TARG reviews, I think it's time to look at something a little different in the form of Hurricane!

The team of Barry Oursler and the late Python Anghelo are together again on their third installment of the amusement park series. The series started with 1985's Comet, followed by Cyclone in 1988, and finally ending with Hurricane. An interesting fact is that all the tables in this trilogy were released during different technology eras; Comet was a part of the short-lived System 9 alongside Space Shuttle and SorcererCyclone was System-11, and Hurricane being in the first wave of Dot-Matrix-Display tables in 1991, hot off the heels of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
If you take a look at each of the tables in the Amusement Park trilogy, you will notice quite a few similarities throughout! It seems that Oursler used Comet's playfield as a basis for Cyclone and Hurricane and built more and more onto each installment. The most obvious influence is the center ramp.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

SHUT UP AND HANG TEN! Luau or Die at the Canadian Pinball Championships 2015

Here's what I am most excited about for the 2015 Canadian Pinball Championships!

On the opening night of the Championships, Friday, July 3rd, local surf band Luau or Die are gonna be playing two wet 'n' wild sets of surf music on the stage of 3030 to kick off the weekend!

For those that know me, Surf music is one of my biggest passions. I produce a monthly Surf music podcast, The Surfphony of Derstruction 2000, and attend a ton of local shows. When I'm not writing about pinball, I'm writing about Surf shows on this wicked blog, Punks Don't Think.

Of course, pinball is my other passion so to bring these two together is a dream of mine! Come on out on Friday, July 3rd at 10 PM to 3030 Dundas West to witness this amazing night! Play some pinball, listen to some awesome Surf music and have a few tasty beers. You will not be disappointed; every person I have brought out to see Luau or Die has been completely floored by the band. See for yourself what the surfer spies will have in store for you!

These are exclusive tracks that I obtained when I infiltrated the secret headquarters of Luau or Die. I also sat down and chatted with the band which you can here right here!

If you can't get enough Luau or Die, dig on their album, Dead on The Floor. Buy it, listen to it, and demand more Surf! Hopefully we can whet your appetite on July 3rd! I mean, there will be two sets so I'm sure we will. You just have to do one thing... SHUT UP AND HANG TEN!

We also have an appetizer for you! On Saturday June 20th, Luau or Die and King Beez will be playing a matinee show at Bumper City favorite Junction City Music Hall! Catch a wave from 1 to 5 PM in the Junction!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Canadian Pinball Championships 2015

It seems all I have been doing lately is promotion! I apologize about that and the lack of reviews but things are really popping in the Toronto pinball scene and I just want to make sure you keep up-to-date on all the latest happenings! Just last month, we had the first ever Beer and Ball Festival at Handlebar. Now, after a years' hiatus, the Canadian Pinball Championships are returning!

The championships are being held at 3030 in the Junction so for those who could not make it out to the last couple of years' venues, not to worry! 3030 is within Toronto and is easily accessible by TTC so you have no reason not to show up!

The games begin on Friday, July 3rd and will continue through the weekend on Saturday, July 4th, and Sunday July 5th. I highly suggest pre-registering for this awesome event to guarantee your entry in the tournament ... and also get a REALLY SWEET SHIRT!

By pre-registering for only $25, you get a sweet red-and-white shirt with customized high score initials! That is really cool. Just make sure that you pre-register before June 10th at 11:59 PM Eastern to get your hands on this exclusive offer! If that wasn't enough incentive to pre-register, you will also get extra qualifying time, a free gift bag, and door prizes!  It would be much appreciated by the organizers and myself so we can cover the costs ahead of time and ensure that the Canadian Pinball Championships go off without a hitch and provide you a most enjoyable event. If you want to pre-register, please click this link, if you haven't already clicked on the highlighted "pre-registers"!

You know that I am going to register and get MUF put on the back of my shirt haha! I probably won't be allowed into the venue wearing that... which will be a problem seeing as I am organizing Friday night's festivities! More to come on that very soon. I'm excited to bring you a real wild night with the 2015 Canadian Pinball Championships and 3030! It's going to the best of both of my worlds if you catch my drift...