We Interrupt our normal Haranguing for the tale of a Sunday Trip to Pastime Pinball in Manchester Vermont

If there has been on thing there has not been a shortage of these days it’s news but thanks to Covid , CCP Wuhan Virus there has been a shortage of places to play Pinball.

If not said virus for the last 5 days I would be at the 6th Pintastic New England this year scheduled to be in Boxborough rather than Sturbridge but alas it was not to be however yesterday morning my youngest informed me of a newly opened pinball arcade in Manchester Vermont which is about a 2 1/4 hour drive from where I live. So as we both had vacation days already taken, after mass we jumped in the car and took the long trek through ski country (God knows how people drive on those mountain roads in the winte) and foliage country to Pastime Pinball in Manchester Vermont. Where we were met by the owner who was kind enough to give us the tour…

…which had to be briefly interupted as a pair of customers came in. Given that you have a choice of a pay one price to play till close or a half hour sampler (buy the day pass because you KNOW you aren’t going to be satisfied with 30 minutes) you don’t want to keep people waiting.

However once the customers had their lanyards and were off playing the tour resumed.

It’s a very nice place with a good selection of 60 games starting from the very 1st flipper game ever made to the Munsters which came out last year. But for me as they have the following six games

  • Black Knight
  • Adams Family
  • Indiana Jones
  • Theater of Magic
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Wizard of Oz

They pretty much have the best there is.

One of the most interesting things they have is an old EM game with the clear cabinet that people can see how the workings work. I filmed my son playing it:

We got in about 4 hours of gameplay and played most of the games there. They regularly disinfected the games and had signs asking people to space themselves with a two game distance and they enforce the mask rule. It was a great time.

Alas due to Covid the hours are limited

In a case of really bad timing they had litterarrly opened just before the virus hit and with Pintastic cancelled they lost a prime chance to promote their new business.

So if you are a pinball fan who didn’t get a chance to hit Pintastic NE this year take in the Get yourself up to Manchester VT on a Friday Saturday and Sunday and indulge your Pinball fix at Pastime Pinball.

Hopefully by the time the foilage and ski seasons come they’ll be open daily keep an eye on their site for developments.

Outside food is not allowed in but the dogs and drinks are good, however if you decide you want something more substantial when your done, might I suggest the Zoey’s Double Hex right down the road.

It’s a local family restaurant and it seemed like the servers and host knew every person who came in. The food was absolutely perfect.

It you need a day, away from news, away from political stuff and the current insanity and would like to support a small local business that has brought great pinball to this neck of the wood, take a leisurely drive up to Manchester VT and scratch that pinball itch you didn’t know you had.

Todd Tuckey, Electronic skills and the Future of the Pinball Hobby

Todd Tuckey Pintastic NE 2018

Yesterday we highlighted Jersey Jack as one of the People who are driving the Pinball Hobby by his creation of brand new games designed more toward public purchase rather than arcades.

Today I’d like to Focus on Todd Tuckey whose forte is the repair and restoration of the older games that were designed for a different era when the primary goal was for an arcade/bowling alley etc to fill the coin box. Todd Talked about this during his seminar yesterday.

His seminar was all about restoring an old Six Million Dollar Man Game and the procedure to fix it. There is a whole section of the Pinball hobby for restoring pinball machines (the term used is “shopping a machine” which involves a knowledge of electronics, soldering etc. He took a few questions on that as well.

This highlights one of the real difference between those who have been in the hobby for some time and those newly entering via barcades and events like this. The old guard tends to have a fair popular who knows about circuit boards, capacitors, heat syncs etc but many of the new folks are just interested in a game that runs. I asked Todd about that in the Q & A.

Now in the old days there were a fair amount of young men who would learn about electronics in “shop” classes and decide to go in that direction, but with society convincing people that unless they put themselves in debt a few hundred thousand dollars for a degree (even if such a degree is LBGT dance studies) they are somehow inferior, you are seeing less people of either sex learning these kind of skills.

On the plus side because games at home are not continually on have perhaps 8-10 hours a day of play 300+ days a year (and are likely subject to less abuse as you are less likely to mistreat a machine you own) both a new Jersey Jack machine that you are paying 6-10K for an old game after a Tuckey restoration that might cost $2500 your game is likely to last you decades.

I did a very long interview with Todd in three parts as my cameras alternatively kept running out of battery or shut themselves off for no apparently reason it is in three parts

Part 2

and Part 3

Todd’s business TNT Amusements is here
Todd’s own Youtube channel has made him a legend in the industry, you can see is here and includes this classic moment from last year of me getting in trouble with DA wife until she realizes she’s being recorded

His videos are a plethora of knowledge about electronics and repairing machines, in other words actual practical skills worth knowing.

I submit and suggest that with the growth of the hobby it might be worthwhile to ditch the prehistoric microaggression studies degree that you’re working on and instead pick up this electronics knowledge which pays real money. Even better if haven’t built up more debt than the cost of the entire Jersey Jack Pinball line because your still in High school see if you can begin to pick up the knowledge there that can provide a career and a hobby for a lifetime.

Welcome Todd Tuckey fans: We have a lot of Pinball coverage here including coverage of every Pintastic since the first one, Pinball locations in NJ and Maryland and of course a ton of interviews of all types. Take a peek around I hope you enjoy it.