Monday, August 30, 2010

Legends of pinball, vol. 3 (unedited)

Some people collect comic books, others collect vintage Coca-Cola merchandise.

If it can be collected, there's probably somebody out there collecting it. Pinball machines may take up a decent amount of space in a basement game room, but there have been plenty of people who have purchased an old machine or two throughout the history of pinball and played it over and over in their home.

With pinball on the decline in the 21st century, and fewer outlets for a line of machines, there are plenty of machines from the past two decades and beyond that are in need of a home, and plenty of collectors willing to welcome them into their home.

On behalf of home collectors everywhere, I nominate Brian as your legends of pinball representative.

Why Brian? He has the luxury of warehousing more than two dozen machines in his basement, or so I have been told. His is not the largest private collection of machines in Minnesota, that goes to a guy named Jason, who has more than twice as many machines and is internationally known for his collection.

Brian is my chosen representative because he has spearheaded a great public relations campaign for the game of pinball, a campaign that has required countless hours of effort and energy, and probably isn't earning him any significant money. Brian is the brains behind Pinball on a Stick, a pinball-only game room at the Minnesota State Fair.

For the second consecutive summer Brian has organized a room of about 30 machines, all well maintained and available to play for no more than 50 cents per game. Most of the machines are from his collection, but several other local pinball collectors contribute their time or loan a machine to the 12-day arcade at Minnesota's big, ridiculous state fair.

From what I know, most home collectors want to share their love of pinball and foster an appreciation, as well as support, for a dying art form. They stop short of opening their homes to the public, and understandably so, but Brian has gone to extraordinary measures to share his love of an endangered entertainment species with the unwashed masses at the Minnesota State Fair.

I have never met him, and as I noted, he couldn't do it alone, but in honor of all those who purchase and maintain pinball machines for future generations to appreciate in some way, shape or form, Brian is hereby crowned a legend.

Information about his state fair game room is available online: Pinball on a Stick

No comments: