Story dated 30th March 2001.
The revival of Pinball has set off in Holland.
Due to the changes in the Dutch gaming law (as reported previously), operators were forced to remove slot machines (AWP's) in many locations and had to fill the empty space with something else.
More and more operators are going back to the good old Pinball machine.
The "downhill" photoplay profits are declining, while pinball profits are rising. Even the new version of the photoplay - the Spirit 2.1 - is not able to keep up with pinball. Many operators now combine one photoplay and one pinball at their single site locations.
Some have even compleetly removed their photoplays and are operating two pins with great succes.
Unfortunatly the one distributor in the Netherlands - Janssen & Hahnrahds - had some trouble selling their Stern Striker Extremes just before this revival set off. Now they don't want to distribute Stern's new High Roller Casino and so prices of some used pins have reached higher levels than their initial new-price.
The shortage of pins drives operators crazy enough that they even re-operate models like Terminator 2, Adams Family, Twilight Zone, ST-TNG etc. And with great succes.
As you can imagine, the demand for spare parts has also increased and thus the biggest Dutch parts supplier - SUZO int. - has decided to expand the pinball parts section in their new catalogue, which comes out at the end of this year. Suzo has divisions in Holland, Belgium, Germany and the UK and since they're all using the same catalogue, this extention might mean that the demand for parts has increased in these other countries as well.
In other words, the pins are really returning.
I wonder how long it will take for Illinois Pinball to present their first real pin, because there really is a market now. If there are no new pin manufacturers and Williams keeps on playing dead, there might even be room for a European manufacturer. Or at least one who only makes rebuild-kits like Playmatic and Bell-Games did with great success in the early eighties.
We'll see it all happen while the silver balls are rollin' again.
© Pinball News 2002