Pinball Stories #1: My first game, “Genie” by Gottlieb

One of the things us pinball enthusiasts love to do is tell stories about how we acquired games. Each game has its own unique provenance and history, and there’s almost always an interesting story behind them. This is the first episode in an ongoing series were we talk about the stories behind the games and how they came to be. I start the series off with the very first pinball machine I purchased, a Gottlieb “Genie” – before I knew anything about how to repair and restore games. It was the game that got me on this path. I hope you enjoy the story – be sure to subscribe on Youtube! Thanks for watching!

Here are some pictures from early on when I got the game and began to restore it.

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!

2018 Houston Arcade Expo (pre-show-opening) Walk-Through

This is a quick walk-thru of the 2018 Houston Arcade Expo (HAAG) before the show opens. To give you an idea of how much work is involved in getting everything set up. I apologize for the shaky camera. And it looks like YouTube has disabled their video stabilization ability (boo!) so I can’t stabilize it online. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this short video!

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…

2017 Houston Arcade Expo Walk-Thru

Once again, our group descended upon Houston for one of our favorite events of the year, the 2017 Houston Arcade Expo. I apologize in advance for this really crappy video.. I should know better than to move the camera around too much, but I was excited and wanted to capture things as fast as I could so the video isn’t super long. I’ve used Google’s video stabilization which creates some artifacts.. if it’s too bad, let me know and I’ll try to fix it. Otherwise, enjoy a quick glimpse into a very cool festival featuring arcade and pinball both old and new!