PINBALL EXPO 2005
Thursday looked a bit light on seminars compared to the usual busy schedule and things got off to a bad start when the opening speaker Mike Eady had to pull out.
But Mark Bakula and Don Caldwell came to the rescue by showing a DVD they had created of a recent visit to Gene Cunningham of Illinois Pin Ball fame.
The presentation began with a look through Gene's pinball collection, highlighting some of the rarer examples and giving some background information and anecdotes about them.
It included the unreleased Pinball 2000 games Wizard Blocks and Playboy and included a game on the former.
There were also some details about progress on the Big Bang Bar project such as a look at the various parts and assemblies ready to be used in construction of the game but no suggestion of a timescale for completion.
The next seminar was by Mark Clayton about the new products available now and in the pipeline at Pinball Pal.
Mark spoke first about the company's tie-up with The Shay Group to sell their reproduction backglasses and then moved on to the range of stencils they sell to help owners respray their worn or damaged cabinets.
After discussing the backbox display filters the company sells for Gottlieb system 80 and system 1 games, the flipper button cabinet protectors and the 8 track tapes for EM amusement games, he looked ahead to future products.
They included the GSound solid state sound player using sounds stored on compact flash cards to replace Gottlieb sound systems and the possibility of adapting the idea for Williams and Bally games, even up to the DCS era.
Mark then moved on to the problem of accurately reproducing colours when repainting games and spoke about the use of a handheld Pantone ColorCue device that measures the colour of an object and gives a numerical readout that can be used to get the correct colour of paint.
Next up were Don Bosworth & Brian Saunders talking about zipper flippers.
In fact, their seminar was more about the games that used zipper flippers than the flippers themselves as they took the audience on a tour of various machines and explained their features and how zipper flippers were incorporated into them.
It seemed that often the zipper flippers were actuated or deactivted with mushroom bumpers, so examples of these were passed around along with a zipper flipper mechanism so people could see how they work.
Clay then answered some questions about issues raised in the vide presentation and about the Pinball Hall Of Fame in general.
And so ended the seminars for Thursday, the first day of Pinball Expo 2005.
In the evening, the first fireside chat took place with Gil Pollock being interviewed by Gary Flower about his life at Gottlieb and the games he oversaw as former head of the pinball division at Gottlieb/Mylstar/Premier.
Exactly what he had to say will be included in our Seminars section of this report coming soon to Pinball News. But just a couple of hours earlier at 6pm, the queues were forming for the opening of the main exhibition hall.
They were waiting for the hall to open at the appointed time of 6pm. OK, it was a little late but soon enough the main doors had opened and players could enter and enjoy the delights within.
We'll bring you details of what they found in our next report which will arrive shortly.
© Pinball News 2005