PLAYING THE FIELD
Story dated October 6, 2005 .
The project to reproduce Fathom playfields was one of the great independent productions of recent years. When Greg Walker told the story here in Pinball News the playfields had been produced and shipped to the buyers.
But the story didn't end there because the enterprise took its toll on those involved and led to a split between the two key people behind the project.
The playfields were produced under the name Halifax Pinball but in truth that name was already in use by another company. So once the playfields had been sent out to the customers, the name was no longer used. But by that stage, Greg and Mike Purcell had parted company.
Greg formed Fantastic Pinball to move forward his stated intention to produce more playfields starting with Centaur. Mike teamed up with Kevin Wayte to form Classic Playfield Reproductions. Both companies were based in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada and both were intending to reproduce classic playfields. Some rivalry seemd assured.
And sure enough, this week Mike and Kevin announced their plans for Classic Playfield Reproductions (CPR) starting with a deal with Illinois Pin Ball (IPB) to produce new playfields for.... Centaur. The deal involves CPR acquiring their own in-house equipment for routing the playfields and silk screening the artwork from the original films owned by IPB. They say this will ensure quality control and enable them to produce much smaller runs than would otherwise be commercially viable. Their products will be available through IPB.
The bizarre situation of two companies both working on playfields for the same game mirrors the situation where both IPB and The Pinball Factory have announced their intention to make Funhouse playfields.
Friendly rivalry can produce positive results - driving both sides to improve and out-perform the other, but it can also boil over into a heated disagreement and this unfortunately happened in a very public way on the rec.games.pinball newsgroup.
But that aside, the stage is now set with Fantastic Pinball and Classic Playfield Reproductions joining Illinois Pin Ball and The Pinball Factory as potential sources of reproduction playfields meaning collectors can look forward to new ways to restore their games like never before.
© Pinball News 2005