How it All Started
Four quarters for a dollar. That’s what this eleven-year old would get when he placed a dollar into the hand of the arcade attendant. My father always read the paper and drank his twenty-five cent coffee every Sunday morning when he took me downtown to the local strip in the heart of the City. Fifteen to twenty pinball and video arcade shops littered the five miles of the main drag and, when walking by, all you could hear is the video and pinball sounds and smell cigar and cigarette smoke. Walking in through the flashing lights, smoke, and bells and whistles, you'd find all the now vintage video game favourites like "Donkey Kong" , “Frogger” and "PacMan," and pinball classics like "Black Knight" and "Taxi." Who would think that five years later I'd be the one shelling out the quarters!?
Fast forward, like the movie Click, and add in a children's clothing business, wife, kids, and house and now I need a hobby. In my case, pinball comes to mind. The first few pinballs turned out to be fixer uppers; replacing lights, rubber rings, some plastic pieces, and, then, something on one of the boards went! Realizing I needed some help, I researched online and looked through the bookstores, and came across some resources online and a ton of pinball videos on YouTube.
I eventually called and spoke to a few of these Pinball specialists who gave me some really useful tips to help improve the life and playability of my machines. While these tips and tricks were great, I thought, “Why hasn’t anyone gathered these tips up and published them?” And thus, Pinball Adventures was born!
The goal in creating and publishing Pinball Adventures, is to create a one-stop reference for supplies and tips on how to bullet proof your game to extend its life for years to come. Pinball Adventures decided to reach out to several pinball specialists for advice and guidance.
Each copy of Pinball Adventures includes:
Tips to extend the life of Pinball Machines,
Pinball Board repair Specialist - John Robertson, is the owner of John’s Jukes Ltd., the largest full-scale shop selling, restoring, and repairing vintage jukeboxes, video arcade machines and pinball machines in Western Canada. Their technicians have a combined experience of over 100 years.
Being one of Canada’s largest distributors of restored pinball machines and jukeboxes, over the years this company has gone the extra mile with its expertise by contacting large pinball manufacturing companies, like Gottlieb Development, only to become their exclusive producer for the Gottlieb® reproduction software in the form of EPROMs, PROMs, and other devices.
John’s Jukes also does classic video game board repairs, servicing well-known brands like Capcom and Atari who manufactured the popular game "Pole Position." The boards for that game required the special test fixture gear to be reconstructed as the original gear hasn't been in production since the 1980s. John's Jukes also services boards from Nutting Computer Space games from the late 80s and the 90s.
This company boasts an extensive parts department with almost 10,000 different parts acquired from several different distributors and collections of classic parts. They also carry most common parts you would need to repair their machines. One of John’s long term goals is to be reproducing plastic parts that are no longer available. Drop targets such as Game Plan and Allied Leisure Industries are a few that are much in demand. After that, they will be investing in injection mold machines for future production of other desired parts.
Gaming Specialist: FarSight Studios
Michael Schiess of the Pacific Pinball Museum.
Pacific Pinball Museum
Michael Schiess has amassed the world's largest collection of rare pinball machines.
The non- profit Pacific Pinball Museum is an interactive museum/arcade offering a chronological and historical selection of rare bagatelles and early games, to over 90 playable pinball machines from the 1940’s to present day. Seven decades of playable pinball machines complement the museums floor.
Throughout the museum are large-scale hand-painted murals, Jukeboxes and an art gallery with rotating exhibits. The museum also rents out for parties, events and field-trips that intertwine their STEAM educational program.
Michael Shiess is also the creator of, the first ever see-thru pinball game, that was created by completely disassembling a 1976 title called *Surf Champ *and rehousing it in plexiglass.
As a non-profit organization, The Pacific Pinball Museum relies on donations. Please check out their website https://www.pacificpinball.org/ and donate today to help them further build programs, and preserve pinball.
Audio & Mods Specialist:
Back in 1995 Greg graduated college with an Engineering degree and found alot of enjoyment initially in making and building parts for games. He now uses his electronics, molding, and sheet metal skills to develop new products for pinball machines. Greg later went back to school for a bachelors in marketing and has been able to help develop and market many other products as well such as Buckwerx headphone adapters and Pinhedz Pinball Care Products.
At the end of the day Greg is passionate about pinball and the people in the hobby and hopes to continue supporting pinball for years to come!