Pinball Map New Locations Update: July 2023

Pinball Map New Locations Update: July 2023
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Pinball Map New Locations Update: July 2023
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Pinball Map New Locations Update: July 2023
Published on
August 3, 2023
Updated on
August 3, 2023
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Hi, this is Scott. I’m doing OK, thank you for asking. Ryan and I started Pinball Map together back in 2008. I think a big reason we did that was because we were mostly getting around on bicycle at the time. This meant that we would need to ride dozens of miles just to check if a place had machines; all the while building up a healthy sheen of neck and lower back sweat. When I’m standing before a machine, covered in sweat, it should always be a metaphorical sweat due to fear of losing to my opponent. Something needed to change with the way location pinball machines revealed themselves to the public.

Now, 15 years on, we can harness the power of crowd-sourced pinball location information to quickly and affordably make blog posts about locations that we have never even been to. Could you imagine if I had to pedal a bicycle to Toronto Ontario Canada in the HOPES that a place called Meeplemart had pinball machines in it? I can imagine it, and it’s not the life that I had in mind for myself or my growing family.

As July 2023 slowly fades into oblivion, I am honored to take an extra look at a selection of new locations that have shown up on the map. Are they cool locations? Lineups are one thing… what ELSE do these places offer that would make me want to put on hard pants, pack a waxed canvas duffle, and fly standby to mystery? I will try to suss that out in the analysis below. And, as a thought exercise, and out of a general respect to the concept of a pinball lineup, I will select a single machine from each location to play if I ever get to go there. Let’s chat about locations…

MeepleMart (Toronto, ON, CA)

meeplemart pinball arcade toronto ontario canada

MeepleMart appears to be a huge comic book store in the middle of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Is a bunch of pinball machines in the middle of a comic book store a hat on a hat? Maybe. But if you’re really doing a good job at shopping in a huge store like this, you’ll need to take regular breaks to clear your mind. Does anything clear the mind better than location pinball? Yes, a good night’s sleep does. Maybe it’s possible to arrange a good night’s sleep in a huge pile of Pikachu stuffies placed in the middle of an aisle at MeepleMart, but that doesn’t seem like a guarantee. They’ve got Sega’s Starship Troopers, that’s what I’d play.

Comic Kingdom (Reno, NV)

comic kingdom reno nevada

This appears to be a regular-sized comic book store, but it also has 15 machines in it. That doesn’t sound like a lot compared to the 29 at the comic book store that we just talked about, but let’s take a data driven approach to this. Based on rudimentary online research, I surmise that MeepleMart boasts a 22,000 square foot location. That’s 1 pinball machine every 758 square feet (231 meters for our Canadian friends). Not bad. But now consider that Comic Kingdom weighs in at around 4,000 square feet. That’s 1 pinball machine every 266 square feet! It’s hard to NOT be standing in front of a pinball machine at this place, and it should be celebrated for that. They have a Data East Robocop, and it is absolutely what I’m playing here.

Point Break Arcade (Panama City, FL)

point break arcade pinball location

I feel like we’ve gotten to know each other a bit better throughout the course of this blog post, so I’m going to level with you about something. I don’t have a Facebook account. So, these businesses that run their websites on Facebook are impenetrable to me. I’m left looking at what’s near it on Google Maps to get a sense of what the location vibe might be. During my research I learned that it’s next door to a professional wedding officiant. He offers a “Git er Done” package for $100 that ends with you married. Could you imagine playing 30 minutes of bubble hockey with your significant other, all the while talking about your relationship and how it’s evolved over the years? Maybe you both chuckle as you recall the first time they met your dad. THAT was an awkward dinner, heh.

At the end of the bubble hockey match (you win, 17-1, your sig other has no regard for the game), you drop to a knee pretending to pick up a cigarette that fell out of your pocket, and you surprise them with a wedding ring embedded in one of those little boxes. Your sig other consents to marriage. And just then, the professional wedding officiant pops out from behind Galaga. Moments later, your vows are legal in the state of Florida. That’s the magic of Point Break Arcade. The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends is there, and you just know that I’m riding those colorful habitrails. 

Cody Craft Brewing (Cody, WY)

cody craft brewing pinball arcade

I respect the no-nonsense naming of Cody Craft Brewing. It’s a craft brewery located in Cody. Let’s stop wasting each other’s time with ambiguity. This small town brewery was founded by a married couple (married at Point Break Arcade?) and it says right here on their website that they love craft beer. Presumably they don’t hate pinball either, because 10 machines at a brewery is a good tally. I’m there playing Junk Yard, and I’ve had too much to drink. You politely ask if you can have a turn, but your words register as hostile to me. I try to muscle you away, but lose my balance and fall onto the (immaculately maintained) floor. The owners ask me to leave. I spend the rest of my vacation in Cody Wyoming nursing a headache at the Skyline Motor Inn while watching an endless string of American Pickers reruns.

LumberjAxe (Fairmont, WV)

lumberjaxe pinball arcade

The first thing I noticed on this place’s website was 20pt Atma Bold text warning the reader that “Closed-Toe Shoes Required - Don't Make Us Call The Pound On Them Dogs!”. It was at that moment that I knew LumberjAxe was a place I’d be proud to drop quarters at. This is one of those bar/restaurant places that also lets you throw axes at wooden targets. There always seems to be bales of hay around too? Outside of a renaissance festival, I’ve never thrown an axe. I suppose I’m curious to try, but aren’t we all a little worried that they bounce and land where they shouldn’t? If I were trying to impress you with my machine pick at this location, I’d claim 1988’s Blackwater 100 as my choice. But as this blog post progresses, I feel more vulnerable in front of you. My actual choice would be Toy Story 4. I like the bright colors.

Tilted 10 (Willow Grove, PA)

tilted 10 pinball arcade

I had to look this up. Titled 10 is a bowling alley. That means that someone else in this town could freely open up their own bowling alley and call it Willow Grove Bowling Alley. Opening a business is expensive though, and it’s unlikely that Willow Grove Bowling Alley can compete with a place that already has 8 machines on location. There are 150 arcade machines here, and laser tag, and some kind of extra-aggressive bumper car ride? I would bet money that in order to play the pinball machines, you need some sort of Tilted 10 branded swipe card. Hey, I’ll swipe if it means I can try out 1991’s Cactus Jack’s. The playfield has a drawing of a cactus smoking a cigarette.

Tossin' Axes (Oak Harbor, WA)

tossin axes pinball arcade axe throwing

We’ve arrived at the best name of the month. Tossin’ Axes. It’s all right there in the name. Would it be “better” if it were called Tossing Axes? I’m honestly not sure. An interesting thing about Tossin’ Axes is that they have a Hit and Run Base-Ball, which I think some people wouldn’t consider a pinball machine. Should it be tracked on Pinball Map?? There is a rotating controversy where people will try to submit items that aren’t strictly pinball. This stresses Ryan, I’ve seen it. Out of respect to him, I’d play Lethal Weapon 3. Okokok.

Barebottle Brew Co. Menlo Park (Menlo Park, CA)

barebottle brewing co menlo park pinball

Menlo Park, you’ve got a Barebottle Brew Co. now. Happy? I like the taste of beer, so I tried to see what kind of beers they had at this place. Where one might expect to see a link to “beers” on their website, they instead have a link to “recipes”. I was thrilled. It’s a gutsy move to show everyone the recipes for your beers. Unfortunately, the link goes to a coming soon page, and I’m still not sure what beers they even have. There are a bunch of different kinds of empanadas for sale though, and I think that’s great. Can you imagine what Thomas Edison would think if he walked into this place during one of his nightly walks through Menlo Park? What would be more shocking: The garb and banter of the tech worker patrons? The notion of an empanada? Or, the fact that all these machines are likely outfitted with LEDs? I’d be in there playing Spooky’s Rick and Morty and I’d definitely front the 75 cents or whatever to get Tom in the 2 spot.

Round1 Bowling & Amusement (Erie, PA)

round1 bowling arcade erie pa

I was already familiar with Round1 bowling due to its Vancouver Washington location. I was very excited the first time I went in there. “Wow, this is like an arcade in Japan” I thought to myself while looking around the room. What I have learned since then is that crane/ticket game arcades are a thing again. Why are we still getting fooled by these things? It seemed OK to do when it was Chuck E. Cheese days. You want your finger trap. You want your gooey slap hand thing. You want 6 of those weird vanilla/cherry tootsie rolls. I get it. But what do you want now? You want a PS3? A Stranger Things funko pop? A small replica of Captain America’s shield? Well, Round1 in Erie PA probably has all of that stuff. When you get tired of shooting deflated bballs into a scuffed hoop, try the pinball. I’ll be posting up on 1970’s Aces and Kings.

That’s it for July. Very cool, as always, to see more places show up and offer location pinball to the world. Maybe a child at Round1 plays Stern’s Star Wars and gets the appetite for more pinball? Maybe an introverted office worker who is throwin’ axes with his peers decides that a few rounds of pinball is a way to break away from the crowd for a quick recharge?

Pinball is out there, everyone. It’s on us to find it.