“I’m an adventurer, looking for treasure”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Welcome to the Winter edition of PinSpotting. I will submit a column to Pinball News occasionally to share with the readers the games that I have found in places that people might not normally expect to ﬁnd them.
Bars and arcades are usually where we ﬁnd video games and pinball, but as I found, this is not strictly the case.
West Maple Ave., Libertyville, IL, USA
When I was but a wee lad and needed dental braces, it certainly would have taken some of the anxiety out of going to an appointment if my Orthodontist had a Revenge from Mars (Bally, 1999) in their waiting area.
On the day that I visited, Dr. Arpino was very generous with his time, showing me the well-equipped patient game room which also has some other arcade and driving games. It is clear to me that he is passionate about games – he is even having some 3-D arcade art commissioned for the game room. We were invited back to photograph this art when it has been installed.
Revenge from Mars is set to free play and is in very good condition. I felt as if the ‘free game’ thresholds were set a bit low; somewhat puzzling when the game is set to free play. A plus feature is that they even have a step stool so that height challenged humans can get in on the fun.
Main Street, McHenry, IL, USA
In our age of digital music and downloadable albums, the concept of a ‘Record Store’ is as much of a throwback as…. pinball. So looking at it that way, having pin games in a record store is more natural than you might feel that it would be at ﬁrst.
Siren Records is one of the few independent record stores remaining in the greater Chicagoland area. They have an oﬀ-the-hook selection of vinyl records spanning genres such as Rock, Jazz, Punk, Classical, Psychedelia and Metal. Their selection includes bootlegs and ‘fan club editions’, as well as other hard-to-ﬁnd pressings of local singers and bands that most people would rightly consider to be quite out of the mainstream. For me, that makes Siren Records all the more a treasure.
There are the expected CDs, DVDs, cassettes and SACDs available for sale, but this is a store primarily for those of us who enjoy the pleasure of ‘full-sized’ artwork and liner notes that can only be found in 12” (30 cm) analog LP records.
Siren Records oﬀers two huge rooms of used stereo equipment for sale (1958 Fisher President console stereo anyone?) and has a repair service for most analog audio equipment (analog
record turntables a specialty) that may need ‘shopping’.
There is a great listening area with comfy chairs and rock band posters and artwork on the walls.
Near the front of the store, there are band T-shirts and jackets available for reasonable prices.
But to the pinball; Siren Records has not one, but THREE games available to play – Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast (Stern, 2018), Ghostbusters (Stern, 2016), and The Rolling Stones (Stern, 2011).
All are in excellent ‘just unboxed’ condition.
Siren Records owner Bill told me that he wishes he had more games available for his customers to enjoy.
It would seem that lack of ﬂoor space and the cost of new games prevents that… at least for the moment.