Grandaddy Of Gaming Returns

After a decade or two in the wilderness, the pinball machine is on the comeback trail.

One of the most celebrated games of yesteryear – so popular the Who made a rock opera about it – is making a comeback thanks to an older generation of gaming enthusiasts.
The pinball machine has managed to get its own expo, which will be held at Sydney’s Petersham Town Hall on 16-17 May.

After retreating as an entertainment afterthought in the 1980-90s thanks to the onslaught of gaming consoles, the humble pinball machine has been kept alive by a few diehard fans, however there has been a resurgence of the table over the past few years.

The Pinball Expo 2009 is expected to attract thousands of pinball lovers and collectors from all over Australia who will be able to view and play both vintage and modern machines, bid in a pinball auction and test their wizardry in a pinball competition to become Australia’s first Pinball Champion.

The location of the Petersham Town Hall was specifically chosen due to its beautiful art deco design.

The Expo will showcase around 100 machines from pinball’s early days in the 1930s to the latest popular games. Some old and rare favourites will be on hand, such as the 1972 Original Fireball, 1974 Free Fall, and 1977 Lucky Hand. Juke boxes and classic arcade games like the 1940s’ Genco Fortune Teller and the late 1960s’ Zoltan game will also be there.

Many of these magnificent machines with their cascading lights and incredible artwork are much sought-after not just by collectors but also by celebrities and sports stars; so the auction on the Sunday afternoon is greatly anticipated with around 80 machines on offer.

For those who fancy themselves on the flippers, Roger Z at Z Ball will be running a pinball competition for an entry fee of only $20, which also includes free entry to the Expo for the entire weekend. The winner will be crowned Pinball Champion and presented with a 90s’ pinball machine fully restored by Roger Z himself and valued at around $3,500.