I took a Friday off work, and made the drive to Dallas for the 2017 Texas Pinball Festival. Jacqui came with me last year, but this year we had too much going on with the kids to leave them home alone. It worked out OK, as I had a GREAT time, and I think Jacqui was pretty happy she didn't have to 'pinball' all weekend. Also, I was REALLY excited to pick up my new Alien pinball machine. The Alien machine is brand new from a new manufacturer - Heighway Pinball. They had been promised to start delivery of these machines in 2016, but will all pinball start-ups, there were delays. At the point when I picked up my game from TPF, I was probably only the 3rd or 4th person in the US to own a game - and most certainly the first 'home owner' of the game in the US. WooHoo!
EDIT: for those with absolutely more time on their hands than they need - or anyone REALLY into pinball, here's a link to a popular podcast where I was featured as the first home use only (HUO) owner of an Alien machine.
As soon as I got there - we had to evacuate the building.
Seems we had some smokers set off the fire alarm.
Since I purchased one, Cointaker and Heighway let me help unbox and set up games.
Unboxing my Alien!
HERE TO SEE VIDEO OF THE ALIEN UNBOXING!!!!!
Click here to download the file
The games are so new - they don't even have real Alien serial numbers yet (these are from Full Throttle)
Andrew finishes setting up the games
They look awesome!!
Almost time for the show to open
Before the show officially opened, we attended the Pinside meet-n-greet at Wild Pitch
Here we see Blake, Martjin, Chris (Kaneda) and Robin (founder of Pinside)
Frax, me and Martjin
...I'm in there somewhere.
FLASH! AHH Ahhhhh
TPF is HUGE
The P3 platform is really cool - most of the playfield is a touch sensitive LCD and interacts with the ball
New Pitch and Bat games - who woulda thunk it?
..and of course, lots of pinball shirts and other cool stuff.
The ever famous acrylic pinball machine!
...and some classic EM's.
Dinner the first night at Perry's Steak House with (left to rt)...
...a car reproduction guy, Jared (Stern Facebook), me, Blake, Chris (Kaneda) and his friend.
Needless to say, it was very interesting dinner conversation.
After dinner, we headed back to the show....and saw Jersey Jack.
The line to play Alien was pretty long.
...and Houdini made it's first public appearance since being redesigned.
...thought this was a pretty cool shot.
Hey, that's Ed from the Bare Naked Ladies band...with Steve Ritchie on the very left.
Keith checks out the Tiki Pinball
Some beautifully restored machines at TPF
...and a DOOM machine!
Zitt's Star Trek booth was amazing
The Spooky machines - Rob Zombie, Jetsons and Domino's
A rare Orbiter 1 machine - it was fun to play.
Awaiting the arrival of Elvira.
Ever more rare...
I texted Jacqui this pic - told her I finally found a machine she would like.
She said "Don't buy anything else!"
Andrew gave a presentation on Heighway Pinball where he discussed the delays, and artwork approval.
Total Annihilation get's a ton of attention.
Not long after TPF it was announced it was to be picked up by Spooky as their next game
A gentle giant waits to play Alien.
I found out later this guy was a retired NBA player. ...no surprise there.
Blake plays the tricked out Nightmare on Elm Street
Man, they will make a pinball machine about anything won't they.
An Alien gets adjusted...
On Sunday, it was time to pack up and head home.
Since I was paid in full, I got to pick which of the three Alien machines at TPF was going to take home.
One was damaged in shipping - the glass shattered - so it was out.
Another had some chipping in the playfield where the LCD had sunk down...so that pretty much narrowed it down to this one.
With some help, I broke it down, packed it up and made the long drive back to Houston.
And there it is - in my office - WoooHooo!!!!