Wednesday, May 20, 2015


That was one helluva week! Pinball all week from Monday through to Friday! For those that were not in the know... Well, ya missed out! Handlebar recently hosted Toronto's first pinball festival, the Beer & Ball Festival, from May 11 to May 15, featuring a solid line-up of several pinball machines, tournament, and music!
 I attended the festival a few times throughout the week. As much as I wanted to go everyday, that's a pretty big commitment, especially when I had bigger commitments... like seeing the new MAD MAX movie! I did drop by early in the week on Sunday afternoon to lend a hand setting up and testing the pinball machines in addition to snagging a few pictures of the machines before the crowds starting taking up the venue throughout the week.
The festival's line-up consisted of Jungle Lord, the current resident of Handlebar, as well as White Water, The Simpsons Pinball Party, Time Machine, and Pin-Up.

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Handlebar's first annual Beer & Ball Festival is soon to be under way, kicking off the week on Monday, May 11th with the first of many pinball tournaments!
This afternoon, the pinball machines were being set up in preparation for the week's festivities and so I stopped by to put the machines through some rigorous training.
So, I was a bit wrong on the suspected line-up. F-14 Tomcat was replaced by Data East's Time Machine!

No complaints there, Time Machine is an awesome and underrated Data East table. Lots of cool time travel gimmicks like a chimebox that emulates the sounds of Electro-Mechanical pinball tables.
The line-up for the Beer & Ball Festival is pretty impressive. There's a total of 5 machines all from different eras, from Pin-Up representing the 70's Gottlieb Wedgeheads to 2003's The Simpsons Pinball Party. There is something for everyone but each night is going to be dedicated to a particular table. From what I was told, one table will be selected as the "tournament" table and each entry will cost $3. You have one game to rack up one helluva score with the highest score of the night taking home the prize. There will be five nights and five different pinball machines to throw down so try to make it out at least once!

If you don't want to play in the tournament, no worries! The other tables will be available to play. They're all in fine working order and dressed up quite nice. Time Machine and White Water are all done up in LEDs. White Water also had some cosmetic work done, the backglass replaced as well as the topper plastic cover.
So, here are the full details! Beer & Ball Festival at Handlebar, 159 Augusta Avenue in Kensington Market, Monday, May 11 through to Friday, May 15th. Tournament starts at 7 PM, music is at 9 PM. $3 per entry to the tournament with a different tournament table selected each night. All other machines will be available to play (but you gotta pay) every night. The line-up is Jungle Lord, White Water, The Simpsons Pinball Party, Time Machine, and Pin-Up! Hope to see you out there!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


The latest announcement from Stern was just released today! The newest addition to the Stern roster will be KISS PINBALL!

DANG it looks awesome! There are a few teasers of the playfield in the video, showing off a couple of wild gimmicks! Nice! Yeah, sure, it's another classic rock table from Stern but if AC/DC and Metallica are anything to go by, KISS is going to be a real hit. I mean, come on, there's a giant pinball spewing Gene Simmons head! The other big gimmick has the ball climbing the back panel by magnets for a Paul Stanley solo, though it looks like that may only be on the Limited Edition and Premium versions.

UPDATE: Official pictures have been released and here they are!
Pretty wicked looking cabinet art! The table includes a hand-drawn package, which I am really glad to hear! From what I have heard, KISS was really interested in getting a new pinball made after them so I imagine Stern has a lot more to work with in regards to the licensing, similar to Metallica and it's hand-drawn art package by Dirty Donny. The artwork looks totally awesome too. Take a look at the playfield art!
 There are also a couple of throwbacks to the original '79 Bally table like the pop bumpers
Here they are on the first KISS table.
The shot through the bumper cluster looks awfully familiar... Especially with that scoop right under the right bumper.
That has to be John Borg! Let's see the rest of the playfield.
It's giving me some pretty serious Metallica vibes! The layout of the ramps, the targets on the lower left and the big ol' Gene head in place of the Snake. There's a Multiball mode where Gene spews the balls out of his mouth! There is no way to word that sentence without making it sound dirty.
Metallica has a great layout so if Borg is going along the lines of that style for KISS, it's going to be a real good table! Though that ramp on the right looks hella steep and that can be real dangerous. Also, there looks to be a ramp located smack-dab in the center for the SPACEMAN and I just know that will be a drain monster.

The music line-up looks pretty wicked too! Here it is: Deuce, Hotter Than Hell, Lick It Up, Shout It Out Loud, Detroit Rock City, Calling Dr. Love, Rock & Roll All Night, Love Gun, Love It Loud and Black Diamond. I am super pumped to see BLACK DIAMOND in the music list! It looks like KISS's ruleset is going to follow AC/DC's example where you select a song and have to complete the associated mode.

I can't say it enough but Stern is on a roll with their latest releases! KISS looks to continue the tradition with some wild new features and a fun license. I'll keep you up to date on the latest news!


The latest pinball event in Toronto is less than a week away! Starting May 11th is the Beer & Ball Festival at Handlebar in Kensington Market. 5 nights of pinball and music, Monday through Friday!
Nightly tournaments begin at 7 PM and will be $3 to enter. There will be all sorts of prizes to be won from local businesses so bring yer skills! There will also be live music after the tournaments at 9 PM. The first few nights are no cover but there will be a cost to get in come Thursday and Friday.

There is going to be 5 tables available for play during the week. According to the poster, looks like we will have...

Jungle Lord
 White Water!
F-14 Tomcat
And The Simpsons Pinball Party!
That's one helluva line-up! If ya wanna get yer hands on any of these machines, make your way down to Handlebar in Kensington Market to take party in the Beer & Ball Festival Starting May 11 all the way through to May 15! May as well RSVP to the festival here on Facebook to stay in the know.

By the way... if you want to get a sneak preview of the tables and some practice before the tournament begins, swing by Handlebar on Sunday afternoon. The machines will be loaded in and word is there will be a chance to get a few rounds in before the week begins.