I’m back from Dallas and attending the Texas Pinball Festival. It was another AMAZING, WONDERFUL event, and special thanks to Ken, Marcus, the DFW group and everyone else involved. The venue was huge; the lineup and number of games was incredible. The tournaments lasted until the wee hours of the morning and a good time was had by all.
I’m just getting to the point where I can take some time to write up a description of my trip to Houston for, (I think what is it, the 11-th annual) Houston Arcade Expo.
This was my third year attending the event and as usual, it was a blast.
The array of video games and pinball machines was impressive. The event is seeded by a few world-class collectors in the Texas area who bring both popular as well as extremely rare games. The show features a large array of vendors, IFPA pinball tournaments, classic arcade and console tournaments, seminars, and a crazy music and light show as well as the occasional Darth Vader impersonator. It’s held at the Crowne Plaza in North Houston who does a great job of hosting and providing accommodations for those traveling from outside the area.
Here’s a short video walk-thru of the event:
The swap meet was Saturday morning. Actually, it began with me on Friday as my friend came across a game in a guy’s trailer that was going to be at the swap meet that he sold to me the day before. This was another one of those “no brainer deals” – an almost complete pinball machine for $100. The perfect kind of project we like. A Gottlieb System 80 called “Super Orbit”. This is the forth Sys80 game I’ve picked up and I’m looking forward to doing some specific videos on repairs and restorations on that platform in the near future. I also had good luck last year picking up a swap meet game real cheap that turned out to be really fun to play (Stern “Memory Lane”).
It’s hard to tell if the swap meet was bigger this year than last. It definitely went on longer though and there was a little bit of everything. HAAG seems to have a lot more vintage console gamers coming out and trading this year.
All in all, a great event put on by great people. If you’re in the area, make a point of checking it out.
Here is the complete Jersey Jack presentation at the Texas Pinball Festival 2012, shot in 9 parts in a YouTube playlist. Jack was funny and informative and talked about the trials and tribulations of making pinball and showed off some new game features.
By the way, it says part 1/8 – below is a playlist that will play all 8 (actually 9) videos in sequence.
One of the coolest things to show up in the community in years is the P-ROC system, a custom boardset that allows interfacing a computer to traditional pinball games or the creation of entirely new games. At TPF 2012, developer Gerry Stellenberg shows off his new prototype game system called P3 (p-cubed) which incorporates a number of unique and innovative features.
Check out this exclusive video where I talk one-on-one with the principal developer as he shows off the groups’ creation: