METALLICA LAUNCH
PARTY - LONDON


Date: 27h July, 2013
Location: The Pipeline, 94 Middlesex Street, London, UK

The arrival of each new Stern Pinball machine is usually greeted with an IFPA-sanctioned launch party, but this was the first such event held in the UK and was held to celebrate Matt Vince's purchase of a Master of Puppets Limited Edition Metallica machine, which he will be operating at The Pipeline in central London.

It was raining hard outside The Pipeline, making this a Wetallica launch party
It was raining hard outside The Pipeline, making this a Wetallica launch party

Thankfully it wasn't dry inside either
Thankfully it wasn't dry inside either

Matt already operates three machines here - The Addams Family, Scared Stiff and Whitewater, which sit alongside three owned by The Pipeline's owner, Thomas: AC/DC Premium, World Cup Soccer and Twilight Zone.

Four of the seven machines at The Pipeline for the launch party
Four of the seven machines at The Pipeline for the launch party

Two more, although World Cup Soccer was out of action and AC/DC's left flipper died during the party
Two more, although World Cup Soccer was out of action
and AC/DC's left flipper died during the party

To celebrate Metallica's arrival, Matt suggested holding a launch party and the idea took off in less than two weeks.

The Metallic Master of Puppets Limited Edition
The Metallic Master of Puppets Limited Edition

Support came from Pinball Heaven who manage most home sales of Stern machines in the UK. They paid for the trophies, while the IFPA arranged for a Sparky model to be sent over. Stern, through their distributor Electrocoin, provided a translite, T-shirts, flyers and assorted promotional plastics, while Pinball Magazine provided a copy of the new second edition and numerous preview editions for the competitors. The Pipeline donated Pistonhead beers, T-shirts and beer buckets, and the IFPA's UK Country Director added some Metallica posters and a Metallica Master of Puppets T-shirt.

Plenty of prizes to win
Plenty of prizes to win

The bar staff lent their support
The bar staff lent their support

There were some last minute problems to sort out with the Metallica game. Like all UK LE and Premium games (along with many European and some US games), the hammer ball lock mechanism didn't work correctly. A new software release which was made available just a few hours before the party did improved the situation, but it certainly didn't cure it.

Then, the first of the three grave marker drop targets snapped off just before the party. A quick application of some Mylar over the resulting hole in the playfield removed the ball trap and made the game playable again.

Game on
Game on

The main event of the day was a free double high score tournament held on the new Metallica. Competitors could play two games at any point during the day, and they were ranked on the average of those two scores. The player with the highest average score would be declared the winner.

Players queue for their turn in the main tournament
Players queue for their turn in the main tournament

Scores were recorded by Justin Walker and shown on the bar's projector screen.

Justin records another score
Justin records another score

Scores shown on the screen
Scores shown on the screen

Players watch to see how the other competitors do
Players watch to see how the other competitors do

With scores of 41.7M and 98.5M making an average of 70.1M, Franck Bona was the winner. In second place was Stan Simpson on 57.7M and narrowly behind in third place was Matt Vince on 55.8M.

Franck was making a day trip to London from France, and took back with him the Sparky trophy, a Metallica party poster, a copy of Pinball Magazine #2, and a bucket of Pistonhead beer along with a T-shirt.

Metallica Launch Party winner, Franck Bona
Metallica Launch Party winner, Franck Bona

Second place, Stan Simpson
Second place, Stan Simpson

A not-at-all disappointed Matt Vince in third place
A not-at-all disappointed Matt Vince in third place

Here are the full results:

Position Player Name
1 Franck Bona
2 Stan Simpson
3 Matt Vince
4 Martin Ayub
5 Tim Slow
6 CJ Brown
7 Mark Potter
8 Peter Blakemore
9 Abdellah Aouragh
10 Pete Hannan
11 Nick Hill
12 Vin Jauhal
13 Justin Walker
14 Tim Thornton
15 Adam Burns
16 Robin Kemp
17 Isobel Pike
18 Ben Pike
19 Keith Fransham
20 Caz Bowles
21 Bret Burns
22 Mark Johnson
23 Steve Pagett
24 Neil Fellender
25 Mike Kindler
26 Richard Wade
27 Dan Pike
28 Maria Evrenos
29 Erica Carnero
30 Daniel Burns
31 Victor Machant
32 John Whitfield
33 Emily Abbey
34 Louis Smith
35 Owen Richards
36 Shaun Walker
37 Rebecca Whitfield
38 Tiziana Dimastrogiovanni
39 Ben Tyler
40 Sophie Walker

The top three in the Kids Division were:

Position Player Name
1 Isobel Pike
2 Dan Pike
3 Daniel Burns

Meanwhile, the top three in the Women's Division were:

Position Player Name
1 Caz Bowles
2 Maria Evrenos
3 Erica Carnero

The end of the main tournament was by no means the end of the launch party, as there was also a side-tournament to be played.

Starting at 8:30pm, this was also free to enter other than to pay for games played on the coin-operated machines. The format was a straight single elimination single game knockout, with the winner progressing to the next round and the loser out of the tournament. Fourteen players stayed behind to take part, with the matches and the machines drawn at random.

The semi-finals of the side-tournament
The semi-finals of the side-tournament

Matt Vince made up for his disappointment in the main tournament by winning the side event in a final played on... Metallica.

The final
The final

Side-tournament winner, Matt Vince, with his trophy, bucket of beer, flyer and poster
Side-tournament winner, Matt Vince, with his trophy, bucket of beer, flyer and poster

Second place, C J Brown
Second place, C J Brown

Third place, Tim Thornton
Third place, Tim Thornton

Fourth place, Robin Kemp, on his birthday
Fourth place, Robin Kemp, on his birthday

Here are the full results:

Position Player Name
1 Matt Vince
2 CJ Brown
3 Tim Thornton
4 Robin Kemp
5= Justin Walker
5= Nick Hill
5= Neil Fellender
5= Martin Ayub
9= Mike Kindler
9= Emily Abbey
9= Steve Pagett
9= Tim Slow
9= Peter Blakemore
9= John Whitfield

The party wrapped up around 10pm, when the Metallica was put on coin play and available for everyone to play along with the other machines at The Pipeline.

Everyone agreed the day had been a big success and, hopefully, it has laid the path for future Launch Parties to be held in the UK.


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