Location: 6615 Caratoke Highway, Grandy, NC 27939, USA
Report by James Gray
US 158 – Grandy, NC – a wayside gas station and convenience store...
This is the home of Flippers Variety & Arcade.
Opening in December 2011, Flippers Arcade is the public playroom for a robust collection of gaming artefacts where pinball is the shining star. Step across the threshold and enter amazement. The pinball rows begin mid-way through the main establishment… and keep going… stretching inside of nooks, along walls, and expanding into even another sizeable ‘Pinball Room’ beyond the building’s backend.
Flippers Arcade provides approximately 60 tables for play (at the time of this writing). Many top-rated staples are here ('80s & '90s era – Centaur, 8 Ball, Addams Family, Medieval Madness, Monster Bash, Attack from Mars, Whitewater, Twilight Zone, and way more!). Modern gems entice the pinball adventurer (numerous Stern tables – Pros and LEs, Jersey Jack’s The Wizard of Oz).
Other surprising titles wait to be discovered (Big Bang Bar, Cactus Canyon, Joust, and more). Extra treasures are on the way, too (electro-mechanicals – Gottlieb wedge heads & classic Bally – Capt. Fantastic, Wizard!, Fireball). These pins are thoughtfully procured and maintained!
Flippers Arcade proprietor, David Shields, is also the operator of Outer Banks Amusements, a gaming distribution and service business spanning Eastern Virginia and North Carolina locations. David has more than 40 additional pinball machines out on route. Some of these tables make it back into, and through, the Flippers Arcade lineup.
Other, LE/Limited Edition models (Metallica, AC/DC, Star Trek, etc.) stay put at the Flippers home-base. The whole pinball ensemble is kept dynamic and interesting by adding new tables from ongoing restoration projects, or by finding another classic machine to bring into the fold.
David has been in the arcade business since 1975 and knows how to serve the pinball fans. Flippers Arcade hosts a pinball league that gathers weekly (Tuesday evenings, currently). Tournaments are also held during Spring and Fall seasons featuring unique themes, collectable event gear (shirts), trophies, and substantial prizes.
Word is spreading about the tournaments. Casual gamers, pro competitors, and spectators are travelling from increasing distances for the action. Special events, such as charity tournaments and machine release parties, provide additional motivation for pinball enthusiasts to gather and play.
Flippers Arcade IS an East Coast pinball destination. Take an afternoon trip from Hampton Roads. Stop by on the way to or from the Outer Banks. Get out of the sun (or rain) as a beach-day ‘plan B’.
Whatever the reason from wherever you roam… pursue the pin and flip on!
© Pinball News 2015