GERMAN PINBALL SHOW: FLIPPERMANIA 2003
Joosten reports from Munchen - Germany
In the weekend of April 26/27 2003 the German Pinball Association organised "Flipper Mania", a huge pinball show where, on Saturday, the German Pinball Open was also held. The NFV (the Dutch Pinball Association) organised a weekend trip to the event, including train trip and a hotel overnight, which was a nice opportunity for me to go there. Actually I had no idea what to expect, I just wanted a weekend out. Boy, was I surprised :) Correctly this show was announced as The Mega Pinball Event of 2003: the 15th Pinball Convention. Although I have never been to any other German show before, I think this one will be hard to beat.
The NFV group arrived in Munchen early in the afternoon. The tournament was scheduled to start at 16:00, so the whole group was there on time. Besides the group, several other Dutch players made the trip on their own too, as well as other international players. I was happily surprised to see Trent Augenstein, who won the Dutch Open last year, and will be defending his title in 2 weeks at the DPO.
The event took place in a location called Feierwerk, a very large building that looked pretty old. The main entrance was sort of in the middle of the building, where one could register for the tournament as well. Entrance fee was 5 Euro for 1 day, or 8 Euro for both. To play in the tournament required another 5 Euro registration fee.
This room contained a large
collection of most types of Bally solid state pinballs ever made.
I think only a few games where not present. Below is a complete list
of all games that were there:
That's right: a total of 113 games! Most machines in the Bally room where from Günni's Bally Collection. Every game from that collection was in excellent condition with clean playfields, new rubbers, etc. Most of these games played like new. Every game from the collection had a special card where the pricing card is normally placed. On this card was some info on the game, or the way it was purchased. Very nice.
Also very rare were the Nokia Message Protector and Protector pinball machines in the tournament room. These were actually Pinbot and Bride of Pinbot, but with new cabinet art, backglass, playfield overlay and plastics. The gameplay and rules were still original, but the look was very different than the original games. I understood both games are from sponsors of the event and used at business shows, to entertain visitors. The games in the tournament room were also nice and clean. On several playfields I noticed they were protected with extra mylar, or even sort of clearcoated.
Although the tournament was scheduled to start at 16:00, there was a delay of almost 1 hour. There were 158 participants, which made it necessary to divide them into 3 groups. The first 2 groups played their first round in the Tournament room, while the 3rd group was playing in the Bally room. As this group was smaller, only the best 15 made it to the next round. In the first round one had to play 4 different games, but in the tournament room that was brought back to 3 games, as these games took much longer than expected. Winner of each game would get 20 points, the second place 11 points, third place 5 points and fourth 1 point. Before the start of each new game, names of players and the game where announced on the stage, where a player's card was handed out. I played in the 3rd group, meaning in the Bally room, where I did very well : ) With a total of 71 points I ended up with a shared first ranking. Sorry for the other guy, I don't remember his name, otherwise I would have mentioned it. Conditions to play where far better in the Bally room, where it was not as hot as it was in the Tournament room.
The second day was also very nice. From 10:30 one could play on the games, and it was less crowded that the day before. I noticed there was a special tour for children where they were introduced to several classic games. It's a whole different view looking at Medieval Madness surrounded by a bunch of kids going 'ooh' and 'aah' when watching each other play. As our group left after 13:00 I have no idea how the rest of the day was, but according to the program we missed one interesting item. A new in box Monster Bash pinball machine would be opened in front of the public.
Overall I have to say this
was a very pleasant tournament. The atmosphere was extremely nice
and all players seemed to be very sportive. The collection of games
was excellent. Personally I was very happy to find a game such as
Banzai Run, which is the first time I had seen it at such an event.
Now hopefully someone will bring a Hyperball to the Dutch Pinball
A special thanks goes out to Guus Arens and Ad Jonker for organising the trip, and of course the GPA organisation for organising such a great event.
© Pinball News 2000