Date: 13th - 15th March & 17th March - 17th May, 2015
Location: Ton Ton Club XL, Westergasfabriek, Pazzanistraat 37, Amsterdam
The weekend of 13th - 15th May saw the first of two pop-up pinball arcades designed to bring the fun of the game to non- or very occasional players.
Pop-up events are designed to be short-term events, lasting anything from a few hours to a few months. In the case of the Ton Ton Club XL pop-up arcade, the duration was just three days, running from Friday 13th March until the close on Sunday night.
Ton Ton Club is a barcade located in Amsterdam's Red Light District, featuring pinballs, video games, redemption games, and a number of novelty games. For this weekend though they expanded into the Westergasfabriek - or gas cleaning plant - in the Westerpark area of the city to create their XL version.
There were around 40 pinballs, together with video games, home-made games such as a car which you had to open and close the doors to control what you saw on the screen in front, and a super-sized Jenga set which used a hydraulic lift to raise players so they could reach the top of the stack.
There was even a Japanese table video game which you have to hit on the table to build up power and the throw the table into the air to throw it in the video game.
Most of the pinballs came from Dieter Van Es' Van Es Amusement, with additional machines for use in the main tournament coming from Gerard Van de Sanden of Flipperkast-Hurren. RKlok supplied the table game, along with all the Japanese video games.
Entry to the event was free, but the games used tokens priced at 1 Euro each to play. Most games cost 1 token (€1) while food and drinks used a separate token system which cost €2.50 each. A particularly tasty hot dog served with sauerkraut cost two tokens (€5.00) for example.
Alongside the recreational play machines, there was a section reserved for the Amsterdam Open tournament.
The top 20 players qualified for the play-offs and the top three (with their prizes) were:
The whole event proved to be incredibly popular.
Right from the start, Ton Ton Club XL was packed with visitors, making it difficult to get on a game or move down the aisles. It was also problematic for those looking after repairs.
This was the first time the Ton Ton Club had tried their XL format but there was no doubt it was a huge success and there is a big appetite for pinball, video and other amusements. If the XL is held again, the organisers will need to find an even bigger location to accommodate everyone who wants to enjoy it.
Meanwhile, just two days after Ton Ton Club XL closed its doors, another pop-up pinball event held its opening night.
Flipperland! is the brainchild of Andrew Moskos, founder of the Boom Chicago comedy club in Amsterdam.
Andrew is a long-time pinball fan and he comedy club already featured two pinballs in the bar area. Tonight they were two modern Stern titles which were kept on their usual pay-per-play price of €1 a game or €2 for 3 games.
The opening night saw those joined by a mystery game which would be unveiled later in the evening, although it wasn't too hard to work out what game it might be.
In fact this is the personal The Wizard of Oz machine of Jersey Jack Pinball's Jean-Paul de Win who was one of the guests.
Tuesday are usually dark nights for the comedy club, but this Tuesday brought the launch party for Flipperland! where invited guests got to play these and the seventeen other machines ranged around the balcony overlooking the bar. These were supplied by Dieter van Es from Van Es Amusement who has a collection of more than 250 pinballs.
When most of the invited guest had arrived, Jim Jansen welcomed everyone and introduced our host, Andrew.
After officially opening the two-month-long Flipperland!, the mystery game was unveiled and a special split-flipper game was played.
Guests then continued to enjoy the games for the remainder of the night, while Andrew was presented with a framed montage of newspaper articles about Flipperland!.
The Flipperland! pop-up pinball event runs until May 18th at Boom Chicago.
© Pinball News 2015