Five Reasons Why Jersey’s Jack’s Next Machine Should be The Chosen

Christ about to deliver the Sermon on the Mount from the Chosen Season 2 finale

One of the great bits of fun about Pintastic each year is to see the new machines that are being released. Some are original, some are licensed. The question is to find a game that would not only make a good machine, but would have a good customer base to start with.

The answer of course is the Chosen. Here are five reasons why Jersey Jack Pinball should consider making a Chosen Machine.

5. Mutually beneficial to both parties

One of the goals of the folks at the Chosen is to expose this series and the message of Christ to as many people as possible, particularly those who might not be exposed to it. As a pinball company one of the goals at Jersey Jack is to expand the hobby exposing it to others. A Chosen Pinball machine would accomplish both. The message of Christ would be spread to a hobby base that while having some Christians like myself in it is not known as a faith base, while Jersey Jack with it’s line of G-PG machines would be an excellent entre to the hobby for those who would like the game.

4. Inexpensive licensing:

One of the biggest expenses for a game based on a movie or TV series is the licensing cost. The Wizard of OZ, the Hobbit and Pirates of the Caribbean all involved licensing costs.

The folks at the Chosen have been giving away the show in order to spread it to as many people as possible, that being the case it is likely that the license cost will likely be nominal for the very same reason.

3. Consistent with Jersey Jack Personal Beliefs:

Jack is known as a solid Catholic and a Knight of Columbus. In speeches at Pintastic NE he has talked about how his wife reminded him of this when deciding what games to make and use. You can’t find a product more in tune with those religious believes than a Chosen Pinball machines.

2. Ready Made Customer Base:

The first thing to consider when making a commercial product is “will it sell” “Is there a customer base for it?”

According to the Chosen website 75,346 people raised $10,000,000 to fund season one and 125,346 people (including 86% of those who funded season one) raised the ten million for season two. On the “Pay it forward” page as of this writing the first five episodes of season three are funded while 21,000+ people have kicked in to fund episode six so far. The chosen has managed to crowd fund $11.85 Million of the 18 million they’ve budgeted toward paying for season three. Over 257,000,000 people have watched the series so far and over 2000 fans showed up from all over the country to be part of the “Sermon on the Mount” scene that ended season 2 and will begin season three.

That’s what I call a customer base.

and finally the #1 reason why the Chosen should be Jersey Jack’s next machine.

  1. It’s practically designed for a Pinball machine!

Pinball machines these days are all about progress toward goals. The chosen is made for it.

Imagine a goal of collecting 12 apostles plus Mary Magdalene (most with video clips for them).

Progressive increases for bumpers are there like the size of crowds in Sychar or for the sermon on the mount, the lines in Syria, the fish in Simon’s boat) and we they haven’t even gotten to the potential stuff in season three like multiplication of the loaves and the fishes Those are made for the bumpers to increase.

Point to point goals. From miracles (Driving the demons from Mary, Simon getting the fish, curing the leper, healing Simon the Zealots’ brother) to meetings (Nicodemus meeting Jesus, getting through the crowd to the roof) traveling from city to city Capernaum, Cana, Syria, Caesar Philippi etc etc etc

Several potential mini-games (making Abagail’s toys,, Simon in a fight, preparing Shabbat dinner, finding Jesus in the crowd at Sychar or as a child in Jerusalem, escorting the taxes, plowing the field, even fixing the axel or fishing for food in season two ).

There’s even potential penalties (Roman taxes that subtract point) or arrests (John the Baptist or Jesus) and ducking the Pharisees.

Moreover there is potential for growth. A game that encompasses the first three seasons can potentially be followed by a 2nd doing seasons four and five as the really heavy stuff that might be tougher for such a game (the final arrest, scourging and Crucifixion are many year away.

The chosen is , as of now, the finest example of an excellent television with small non-cooperate control, combine that with Jersey Jack, the best new pinball makers also with the same small non-cooperate model and you have potential for a winner that will sell long after both men are gone.

It would be educational, inspiring, and most of all for a pinball game, fun!

A Quick Trip to the Western Massachusetts Pinball Club Three Rivers (Palmer) MA

Was very busy yesterday but the day ended with a drive to the Western Massachusetts Pinball club located in the Village of Three Rivers in Palmer MA. and when I say “three rivers” I mean that literally the old factory in which the club is located is precisely at the point where the three rivers meet.

Like many old factories they have sub-leted sections to various business, the WMPC is one of them and as you enter by the side door of the factory you will see signs like this one directing you to the club within

Several such signs lead yo to the door

This was my 2nd visit to the club on the occasion of my 1st visit when they just re-opened when COVID restrictions were lifted I talked to the man in charge.

At the time I did this interview we did a 2nd highlighting the machines but alas I had some equipment issues so the 2nd part was done on my son’s phone but the video never got back to me for upload for some reason. My thought was to do the interior interview again but on this second visit the joint was really jumping so I left the men in charge to do their work while I did a quick look see at the machines myself.

The there were a few more games then the last time but several like the Indiana Jones game were in the back under repair. There was also a Virtual Pinball (the family guy game) which allows you to choose from many existing tables. (I put some high scores on the Doctor Who virtual table).

The club is now open two days a week (Thurs & Friday) and asks for a donation for unlimited play. Additionally they have tournaments during the evening so you can get some competition in along with friendly play. The players are entered in the computer which set up random three’s and foursomes on random games to play each other. The bottom two finishers on each game get a “strike”. Three strikes eliminates you so if you enter you are guaranteed three rounds of play (I finished 5th eliminated in round six). It’s lots of fun.

The only drawback to the place is the bathroom, because of the factory layout you have to go out a back door of the club and follow a set of signs to get to it. It’s a bit of a stroll so I would rethink any plan of downing a six pack just before entering the club.

The nominal hours are 6-10 but if a tournament goes beyond closing time (as last night’s did) the hours will extend until the tourney is over.

All in all this is an inexpensive and child friendly environment for a night out. I highly recommend the Western Mass Pinball Club. Their web site is here and their facebook here.

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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.