Pinball Stories #5 – Theater of Magic – “Pinball Karma is real”

We all have our stories of good deals, as well as the deals that get away. This story is a parable about people doing the right thing and why it’s so important and meaningful. Some people believe, “a deal is not a deal until money changes hands”, and other people believe “your word is your bond.” If you’ve been in the pinball community long enough, you’ve run into both types of sellers and buyers. I am a firm believer in choosing honor over profit, and I believe if you treat people well, it comes back around to you. This is one of those deals that landed in my lap that I like to think is the result of all the times I treated others fairly. And it’s a pretty cool story of a very ethical seller.

Pinball Stories #4: Hot Doggin’ – pulled from the trash!


You can find the darnest things in peoples front yards in the trash…

Pinball Stories are short, sometimes amusing, often interesting monologues about where pinball machines come from. We hear a lot about the games and their themes, but not much about the provenance and “the hunt” to find them and the trials and tribulations of acquisition. In this series I try to tell the story behind each individual machine.



Pinball Stories #3: Slick Chick

Amusing story of how I acquired a 1963 Gottlieb “Slick Chick” pinball machine. Pinball Stories are short, sometimes amusing, often interesting monologues about where pinball machines come from. We hear a lot about the games and their themes, but not much about the provenance and “the hunt” to find them and the trials and tribulations of acquisition. In this series I try to tell the story behind each individual machine.

Inside Dan Ferguson’s “Lone Star Pinball Museum”

A friend and a true legend in the pinball community passed away this week. Dan Ferguson, owner of the “Lone Star Pinball Museum” and one of the iconic enthusiasts in the region. Dan was a fixture at all the Texas pinball shows and had one of the most amazing collections of games and memorabilia anywhere. Eight years ago was one of the first times I got a chance to take a peek inside his infamous private museum, that was typically only open by invitation (and was an inspiration for our own PinChurch facility).

Here’s is a video I shot of a quick walk-thru of his amazing place. We miss you Dan!

Behind the scenes, using pinball machines in a movie set

If you ever wonder how these things work in the movies and television series, here’s some insight. Why are some games modified? What happens when there’s a scene involving a game, that *gasp* gets smashed?

A few years ago, I was involved in bringing some pinball machines out to a movie set for a series done for HBO/Cinemax called, “Quarry” – it was a very cool story based on a series of fictional books, about a Vietnam Veteran who comes back from the war and is shunned in society and becomes a “hit man.”   The series was set in the 1970s and the filmmakers wanted various pinball machines and coin op devices which we supplied.

Here’s a promo trailer featuring some of the scenes and pinball sounds:

Here’s a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the set design and work that went into re-creating a vintage carnival arcade, and some of the things the set designers have to do for legal reasons.  I wasn’t able to show this video at the time the show was in production, but the series has since been canceled so I don’t think there’s any issue in sharing it.. here’s a neat glimpse behind-the-scenes…