Date: January 2019

“I’m an adventurer, looking for treasure”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Welcome to the Winter edition of PinSpotting. I will submit a column to Pinball News occasionally to share with the readers the games that I have found in places that people might not normally expect to find them.

Bars and arcades are usually where we find video games and pinball, but as I found, this is not strictly the case.

Arpino Orthodontics
West Maple Ave., Libertyville, IL, USA

When I was but a wee lad and needed dental braces, it certainly would have taken some of the anxiety out of going to an appointment if my Orthodontist had a Revenge from Mars (Bally, 1999) in their waiting area.

The Revenge from Mars at Arpino Orthodontics
The Revenge from Mars at Arpino Orthodontics

On the day that I visited, Dr. Arpino was very generous with his time, showing me the well-equipped patient game room which also has some other arcade and driving games. It is clear to me that he is passionate about games – he is even having some 3-D arcade art commissioned for the game room. We were invited back to photograph this art when it has been installed.

Revenge from Mars is set to free play and is in very good condition. I felt as if the ‘free game’ thresholds were set a bit low; somewhat puzzling when the game is set to free play. A plus feature is that they even have a step stool so that height challenged humans can get in on the fun.

Siren Records
Main Street, McHenry, IL, USA

In our age of digital music and downloadable albums, the concept of a ‘Record Store’ is as much of a throwback as…. pinball. So looking at it that way, having pin games in a record store is more natural than you might feel that it would be at first.

Siren Records in McHenry, Illinois
Siren Records in McHenry, Illinois

Siren Records is one of the few independent record stores remaining in the greater Chicagoland area. They have an off-the-hook selection of vinyl records spanning genres such as Rock, Jazz, Punk, Classical, Psychedelia and Metal. Their selection includes bootlegs and ‘fan club editions’, as well as other hard-to-find pressings of local singers and bands that most people would rightly consider to be quite out of the mainstream. For me, that makes Siren Records all the more a treasure.

Some of the vinyl at Siren Records
Some of the vinyl at Siren Records

There are the expected CDs, DVDs, cassettes and SACDs available for sale, but this is a store primarily for those of us who enjoy the pleasure of ‘full-sized’ artwork and liner notes that can only be found in 12” (30 cm) analog LP records.

Siren Records offers two huge rooms of used stereo equipment for sale (1958 Fisher President console stereo anyone?) and has a repair service for most analog audio equipment (analog
record turntables a specialty) that may need ‘shopping’.

Used equipment for sale
Used equipment for sale

There is a great listening area with comfy chairs and rock band posters and artwork on the walls.

The listening area
The listening area
More audio equipment in the listening area
More audio equipment in the listening area

Near the front of the store, there are band T-shirts and jackets available for reasonable prices.

Some of the band merchandise for sale
Some of the band merchandise for sale

But to the pinball; Siren Records has not one, but THREE games available to play – Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast (Stern, 2018), Ghostbusters (Stern, 2016), and The Rolling Stones (Stern, 2011).

The latest addition - Iron Maiden - with Ghostbusters and The Rolling Stones
The latest addition, Iron Maiden, with Ghostbusters and The Rolling Stones

All are in excellent ‘just unboxed’ condition.

Siren Records owner Bill told me that he wishes he had more games available for his customers to enjoy.

Bill with his three games
Bill with his three games

It would seem that lack of floor space and the cost of new games prevents that… at least for the moment.

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One Comment

  1. donald hopkins

    17th January, 2019 at 10:43pm

    We’d love to have you come check us out next time you’re near atlanta !


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