Toys for Tots VFW Charity Pinball Event.
When: “Black Friday”, Nov 23rd 2018
Time: 7pm to 11pm
How it works… This is a charity event, sponsored by WRIF’s Scott Randal, for Toys for Tots. Basically you get a ticket reservation and bring a new (unwrapped) toy to the event, and you get to play pinball for the evening at the VFW’s main building. Tickets are very limited, this is a small event, and we keep the attendance numbers very nice. Obviously all the games are on free play.
There are some mandatory things needed to attend:
– Ticket reservation, cost $5 via paypal. (This allows the VFW to monitor attendance numbers and covers event costs such as pizza.)
– New unwrapped toy with an approximate $20 (or more) retail value for each attendee.
– Age 21 or older only.
Scott Randal (WRIF) will collect the toys that evening and deliver them directly to Toys for Tots in Detroit. The VFW does not handle the toys. The VFW provides the venue and the pinballs and staff to allow this event to happen.
2019 pinball showcase Friday May 3th to Sunday May 5th with 400+ machines on free play. Our facility is the one of the largest dedicated pinball venues (by unique game count) in North America and has games from the 1950s “woodrails” to the latest games from Stern pinball. Every decade, manufacturer and game type is represented at the museum. There are many rare and hard to find games set up and ready to play. All machines are free play, so one entrance ticket allows unlimited play for the day. There’s something for every pinball fan here (we are the one of the largest dedicated pinball facility in North America.) But unlike other pinball museum type facilities, we are here every day working on our machines, making sure they play perfect! Arguably this makes us the best working/restored pinball collection in North America.
2019 Showcase Dates and Times.
This will be our sixth VFW showcase, and below are the following 2019 days.
– Friday May 3th, 2019, 4pm to 10pm
– Saturday May 4th, 2019, 10am to 8pm
– Sunday May 5th, 2019, 10am to 4pm
There are pinball tournament options too.
Ticket Reservations for the 2019 Pinball Show
Tickets Reservations for the showcase will be available in advance. We want to ensure that all attendees have the absolute best possible experience and have plenty of room to mingle and experience and play the pinball machines. To do this we have a limited number of tickets available. Once the limit is reached, we are sold out, and no more reservations will be issued. There can be tickets available at the door, depending on the number of reservations made. So if you want to guarantee a ticket, it’s best to make a reservation
How Many Games will be at the Show case?
There will be approximately 400 games available for free play during our 2018 showcase. We list the game titles in a separate post here. These games are of known quality and caliber, and some are very rare. You’ll know what titles will be at the show ahead, there’s no guessing.
Why is the Ann Arbor Pinball Show better and different?
First off nearly everyone goes to pinball shows to play games (versus say going to seminars or other related activities.) Hence the number of working games ready for play is a big draw to our show (most shows struggle to get 100 games.) And at the Ann Arbor Pinball Museum, there are no duplicate titles. Meaning when we say there are this many games, there are that number and all with unique titles. (There’s aren’t five Addams Family pinballs, for example.) Hence there is more variety and more representation of pinball’s history. We strive to have all the popular games, and many rare machines, all restored and working.
Also the games are already on site. No set up or tear down like other shows. This means they are leveled, prep’ed, and ready for play. Also the show has the same games on Friday as their are on Sunday (many shows have problems with games leaving early, making the last show day lame.) And there’s a full on-site repair and parts shop (biggest pinball parts department in Michigan), so if anything breaks, it gets repaired quickly and easily. Finally the venue is customized for pinball. That is it’s not a converted school or hotel – it’s a permanent fixture with proper power and display requirements for pinball. Additionally, all the modern games with dot matrix displays have “glare guards” and color dot matrix displays (where available.) This makes the playing experience a lot better than a typical pinball show. No other pinball show offers these features!
Can you bring a game to the showcase?
Yes! Bring a game to the Ann Arbor VFW pinball showcase is welcome – we encourage people to bring games to the show! If you want to bring a game you’re proud to show it off, or if you’re trading or selling to a friend and want a place to meet, that would be great. Doors to the hall are at ground level and within 20 feet of a drop off area, and we have many pinball carts available to borrow. We will have a dedicated area set aside for visiting pinball machines. And you have complete control of your game, when it comes, and when it leaves. If you are bring a game title which we don’t already have, you get FREE show admission. Our goal is to showcase our collector quality games and any quality machines that the pinball public wants to bring. Also you can bring your game to the show anytime. That is, bring it a week before (you’re not forced into bring it only on “set up day.”) Same goes for pickup… If you can’t pick up your game for a few days after the show, no problem. We’re trying to make this whole process very easy! In addition, we will fix your machine if it breaks (assuming you give us the key), and we’ll even clean your game before you pick it up. No other show offers these incentives!
We do have space for vendors who will be showing their products. (Please contact us if you’re interested in doing this.) There is no cost for being a vendor (vendor space is FREE, as is show admission for vendors.) In the past we had the following vendors:
- Abel Electronics. Brings Jersey Jack and American Pinball games to the showcase.
- VirtuaPin (pinball parts)
- Gameroom Guys of Grand Rapids
- PinRestore.com (restoration parts and tools)
- BgResto.com (backglass restoration services)
- Wiley Amusements (game sales, Fenton MI)
- Ryan Claytor, pinball art god.
- Virtual Pinball, Holly Michigan
Note the Ann Arbor pinball museum does not sell games or parts, so all we can do is point you to the above vendors.
Set Up Day.
Friday from 10am to 4pm is set up time. If you’re a vendor or bring a game, that’s a great time to do it. This time is only for people involved in helping the show, those that bring games or flea market parts for sale, and for vendors, etc. Also if you need to set up days before that (for whatever reason), that’s no problem too. But we schedule the “regular” set up time as Friday 10am to 4pm.
Just a few miles away there are a couple places to stay, if you’re from out of town. We don’t have anything set with them, so you will have to call/email to see about reservations. The Holiday Inn Express is a nicer place, but the Best Western is a better deal.
- Best Western of Whitemore Lake (about $90 per night and 5 minutes away.)
9897 Main Street
Whitmore Lake, MI 48189
- Holiday Inn Express (about $130 per night and 5 minutes away.)
6910 Whitmore Lake Road
Brighton, MI 48116
- Sunset Cove Bed & Breakfast
10201 Kress Rd.
Pinckney, MI 48169
An amazing B&B that is only about 10 minutes from the show. It’s a modern log cabin style bed and breakfast on Bass Lake and Strawberry Lake. Absolutely stunning place, and they have a pinball machine in the lower level (Gottlieb Silver Slugger) on free play. How cool is that? It’s not cheap, but man it’s nice.
There are two airports close to the show. The best and easiest airport is the Flint Bishop (FNT) airport. This is a smaller airport, but it’s just so much easier to deal with than Detroit Metro airport (DTW). If you can get a flight to Flint (about 45 minutes due north of the show), we recommend that over Detroit Metro (which is about 45 minutes south east.) DTW is a huge airport and hard to navigate. Flint Bishop is smaller and friendlier, and the security is way easier to deal with.
The Ann Arbor pinball museum is located on a scenic 10 acres in the countryside north of Ann Arbor in Green Oak Township. It’s very relaxed and located on a beautiful piece of natural property. The facility has a full pinball restoration shop and of course many games. There’s plenty of parking too. Official address is 8891 Spicer rd, Brighton MI 48116