Friday, January 27, 2012

Texas Pinball Festival Right Around the Corner

My usual gaming habit is to wildly bounce between consoles, computers, arcade, retro, current-gen, etc. with no real rhyme or reason, but lately I've been hitting the Spider-Man pinball pretty much exclusively so forgive me if my posts are a bit pin-centric for a while. Along those lines I'd like to point out to you fine folks that the 2012 installment of the Texas Pinball Festival is rapidly approaching - March 23-25 - a mere two months away!

The Festival is being held at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine, Texas which is on the north side of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. That's like a 5-hour drive for me so... not exactly right around the corner, but I've been considering making a road trip to this thing ever since I discovered it a few years back and since for me personally 2012 is the Year of the Pinball, well, I do believe I'm finally gonna make it happen this year!  Gnome and Mik - can I expect to see you guys there?  What? Atlantic shmatlantic c'mon, hop on a plane and you'll be there before you know it. Fallguy, you only have to cross the Red River so that's completely doable - I'm putting you down as an attendee right now.  And Onion and Twiggamortis, you guys are no farther away than I am so I'm marking you down as well.

With two months to go the games line-up is still preliminary, but it's already shaping up quite nicely with tons of great pinball machines (surprise!) including a premium and four limited edition models of Stern's soon-to-be-released AC/DC pin.

Steve Ritchie, the designer behind Stern's Spider-Man, also designed AC/DC so I'm guessing I might like it.  There will also be a lesser, but still decent, selection of video games which will include some rarities like Quantum (1982), Lunar Lander (1979) and Gun Fight (1975). Over 250 games on free play all weekend!

Speaking of Steve Ritchie, he is going to be making an appearance and will be signing autographs, so I think I might bring my Spidey translite and get him to autograph it. I'm wondering if I need to bring my own pen for something like that or if they will set him up?

George Gomez will be their special guest speaker on March 24 - he is behind some great pins like Monster Bash, Corvette, Revenge from Mars, Lord of the Rings, Batman and the new one from 2011 that I just played recently for the first time - Transformers. There will also be pinball technicians, hobbyists and vendors giving seminars and/or selling their wares as well.

Speaking of Transformers - there will be several pinball tournaments going on throughout the event and one of the tournament machines will be a brand new Transformers Pro and after the tournament is complete it will be raffled off with proceeds to benefit the American Red Cross.

I'm normally not a big buyer of raffle tickets, but I'm getting one (or quite possibly three) of these. And even if you don't win the Transformers the raffle tickets qualify you for many other drawings throughout the weekend for prizes like translites, t-shirts, pinball DVDs, magazines, flyers, etc.

There is also going to be a swap meet on March 24 starting at 8:00 AM.  I might swap some of my time at that for another hour or two of sleep, but it goes through noon so I'll check it out.

Should be fun so I'll see you there!

Festival Hours
Friday, March 23: 5pm-1am
Saturday, March 24: 10am-1am (swap meet from 8:00am-Noon)
Sunday, March 25: 9am-2:30pm

Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center (in the Texas Grand Ballroom)
1800 Highway 26 East
Grapevine, Texas, 76051
Reservations: 1-800-984-1344

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Fallguy40 said...

I might just see you there. That's only about a three hour drive for me.

Are you gonna put us all up at the Great Wolf Lodge? Indoor water park!

PungentOnion said...

That's a pretty high production value trailer for a pinball festival....nice!!! This seems like a no-brainer and worthy of a road trip. The question is....who's going to let me mooch a ride to Dallas? Anyone.....hello???

But seriously, this looks like a good deal. The $30 entry and darn reasonable. $20 for 5 raffle entries also good (especially if you win!)> Maybe a bit dissapointing that the gameroom only stays open uttil 1 AM on Saturday. I may not win any 'stay up late' competitions, but I like to know it's there if I want it; 2 AM seems like a minimum....but nobody asked me (they rarely do).

The vendors, events and swap meet look like they could all be worth-while, so I'm assuming it's a full three-day weekend for me.

PungentOnion said...

Just saw that there's a presentation about how to make your own playfield plastics. That is something I am really interested in....but I guess I still need to prepare a post to explain why that's of interest to me! Hmmmm......maybe that's a little something to do this weekend.

MadPlanet said...

@Fallguy40: Cool, c'mon down! Great Wolf Lodge eh? I would love to show off my fine physique at a water park but I've been told it is better suited to dimly lit arcades...

@PungentOnion: Yeah looks like there is a lot to see and do for the weekend. I also already decided to go for 5 raffle tickets for $20. How crazy would it be to win a Transformers for $20? Sounds like some decent other prizes available too. Oh, and I had already assumed YOU were driving us! :)

PungentOnion said...

Really MP???? I barely fit into my car let alone you and Mrs P. I'll drive, but assume you're supplying the vehicle......and of course it would be nice if the gas tank was full before you got here.......and I like my Mtn Dew to be ice cold.....and....I prefer the regular jerky, not the peppered kind, yuck.... and of course Bugles, can't have a road trip without Bugles.....seems like you may need to head to the store!

MadPlanet said...

OK I'll drive - but in that case YOU have to bring the jerky and the bugles. Oh and I prefer Dr. Pepper to Mountain Dew!

twiggamortis said...

Take one of those cool metallic silver Sharpies for the sig, I think that would look best!


MadPlanet said...

Hey Twiggamortis - yep that is exactly what I was thinking too. It will look sharp and stand out well against the darker colors.

Give some thought to making the trip up - should be fun!

Mik said...

That would be a GREAT trip! And the festival looks pretty cool :) But, dreams aside, many personal reason will probably keep me here for many months to come... Let's hope for a miracle!

MadPlanet said...

bummer Mik - oh well I knew it was a long shot. I'll drink a Moretti in your honor!

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