Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Photo Essay: Modern Pinball NYC

When I returned to New York City after a year's absence, after having moved away nearly three years ago, I was less inclined to visit all of my old, familiar haunts and more to try something new.

That meant not only visiting places that I'd somehow missed in my 14 years of residency there, but also trying to catch up with newly-opened places, in the forever-evolving, perpetually new Gotham.

One such new establishment is Modern Pinball, a pinball machine retail showroom around the corner from my old apartment in Midtown Manhattan.

For a mere $10, you can play unlimited pinball machines as many times as you want for an hour, the money you spend being put towards the cost of a machine, if you choose to buy.

It's an interesting collection because, in comparison to museum-type experiences like the Pinball Hall of Fame or private collections like Pinball Forever or Thumperdome, it's decidedly modern. They're primarily new machines, themed for contemporary films and TV series, and seem like they'd be widely available in your local watering hole or arcade.

There are, however, exceptions.



If you start in the back of the showroom, you'll find Punchy the Clown, a rare release from the 1990s which is simple and fun...



...with gorgeous backlit graphics...



...and a play feel of a machine from decades before.



Also from the '90s is one of the many licensed character pinball machines, Scared Stiff, starring everyone's favorite mistress of the dark, Elvira.



It's a Halloween horror-themed experience...



...with lots of double entendres.



The Simpsons, too, are represented here...



...with both Homer and Bart rising out of the playfield.



Players can rock out to Metallica...



...and AC/DC while they flip their flippers on the limited "Let There Be Rock" edition.



They can also visit the OK Corral...



...by way of Cactus Canyon...



...a gunslinging, mine-filled showdown whose production was also relatively limited.



There is also Fish Tales...



...and White Water...



...and the 75th Anniversary edition of The Wizard of Oz...



...where you can traverse the haunted forest...



...go over the rainbow...



...and take a balloon ride home with a little help from a great and powerful wizard.



My pinball habit has grown since I moved to the West Coast, so it was interesting to return to New York with it, and find new ways of enabling it.

Has the city changed? Or have I changed?

I think perhaps both.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: Pinball Forever
Photo Essay: Pinball Hall of Fame, Vegas
Photo Essay: Pinball Hall of Fame - Riviera Annex, Vegas