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Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Visit to the Pinball Hall of Fame

Day 3 - Thu May 18, 2017 - continued

The Pinball Hall of Fame Museum on Tropicana, east of the strip, is one of the most popular off-strip attractions these days. It was great in its old location and is even better in its new one, which is closer to the strip, and sports twice the square footage.

The P.H.O.F is more than a museum. Sure it's jam packed with all kinds of coin-op goodness, from vintage pinballs, to modern multi-level hi-tech games. Sure it includes rare machines, prototypes, and baseball machines. Sure it includes all kinds of other coin-op arcade games including 80s classics like Frogger, those claw machines that never give any prizes, that helicopter game where before you know it the helicopter is going in circles at 80 miles an hour instead of gently touching the wire targets.

But the thing is, they all work, they are all plugged in and lit up, and you can play any of  'em.
Of course, the Pinball Hall of Fame has the only Royal Flusher branded game in the world.
As mentioned, after my pathetic on-the-go lunch behind the wheel of the Asshat in the WalMart parking lot, I did a 180 and pulled into the parking lot.

I walked in, and I was dazzled. So many machines!!! And many of the ones I'd spent so many hours on as a kid, pushing buttons, shoving left and right to avoid the gutter, tilting, and getting the holy grail - the free game.

In fact, that reminds me of this one machine, a Gottleib Home Run. This game puts the ball into play mechanically from between the flippers, instead of from a plunger at the side.

The way the gutters are set up, the left one was higher than the right. The ball would roll down the left gutter, then drop onto the right, and then roll down into the hole.

Except I figured out that the right gutter had a loose flange, with some spring to it. I perfected the art of giving the machine a bang just when the ball was at the end of the left gutter, to give it a bit of lift, and another just when it hit the right flange. Too hard and I'd tilt, but just the right amount and the ball would bounce back enough to be caught by the left flipper. A quick left, right, left and that ball was back in play, baby.

So, essentially, I had half the number of gutters as you'd normally have with this save technique. (Some wag would say that my balls lasted twice as long. But I'm no wag!) A guy nicknamed Bizarre and I used to play this thing and one day we totally dominated it with this move, racking up more free games then we could play. I guess now you'd say that Bizarre and I pwned it.

It's enlightening that even at age 18, I was already trying to find a way to game the machines, to get more out of them then was intended.

I bought five bucks worth of quarters and strolled the aisles, checking out all the great games, and looking for the ones I remember playing like Night Rider, Eight Ball (which featured a guy who looked like Fonzie, who, for some reason, was looking at the viewer instead of the hoochie mama standing with her crotch right at the, err, pocket) and Elton John Capt. Fantastic.

Man I had a blast! I took a bunch of pictures (shoot anything you want, but no people) and relived a lot of memories.

The cool thing about it was the number of families and young people that were playing the games, not like the teen degenerates who were the typical pinball players. And as walked around, I noticed that these people were smiling. I grabbed some pictures outside and people came out with big grins on their faces.

I had more fun with five bucks worth of quarters (less actually, I didn't use them all, and left the extras for someone else to find and enjoy) than I often had in the casino.

Check out the Pinball Hall of Fame Pictorial I put together over on Royal Flusher World.

Pinball Hall of Fame
1610 E. Tropicana, Las Vegas NV 89119
11am till 11pm, Sunday to Thursday.
11am till Midnight, Friday and Saturday.


    1. The Royal Flusher looks like Burgess Meredith's The Penguin.

    2. Love this place! Another great thing about the Pinball Hall of Fame is that all profits are donated to charity.


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