Pinball News: Pintastic Pinball Convention From a Fan’s Perspective

Pintastic was a great way to spend a few days hanging with pinheads. We all had pinball on our minds, talked about pinball, talked about playing pinball, talked about fixing and modding pinball machines, and we talked to the people making the latest games.

Pintastic is a pinball convention hosted in Sturbridge, MA. It’s definitely the largest pinball event in New England. Pintastic offers a huge selection of pinball machines set to free play, an exhibit hall, seminars, and pinball tournaments.

Jersey Jack Panel

Everyone wanted to learn more about the Toy Story 4 pinball machine from Jersey Jack Pinball. Besides a few on-location places, Toy Story 4 was making its big debut at Pintastic 2022. Jersey Jack Pinball hosted a panel and pizza party and had four of its new game set to free play. Each machine drew long lines. I got to play it about 10 times over the course of the weekend. It is a smooth shooter and reminds me a bit of Pat Lawlor’s first Jersey Jack Pinball game, Dialed In.

Jersey Jack Panel: Steve Ritchie, Jack Guarnieri, and Mark Seiden
Getting Over Nine Million Points on Toy Story 4 Pinball

Homebrew Game Developers Panel

Homebrew pinball has exploded in recent years. The tech to build pinball machines is getting more accessible thanks to systems like The Mission Pinball Framework, 100% open source software for powering real pinball machines. Two homebrew pinball game designers have found fulltime employment at pinball companies in the past year. This featured a three person panel talking about their homebrew pinball design experience and fielding questions from the audience.

Homebrew Pinball Design Panel at Pintastic

The panelists also had some games that you could play in the game hall. I really enjoyed Sonic Spinball and Haunted Cruise.

Meet and Greet

The designers and artists behind some of my favorite games were in attendance. Pintastic featured a meet and greet session with Pinball VIP guests. About 200 pinheads lined up to get posters and parts signed. I met John Bord, the diesner of my Iron Man pinball machine and Steve Ritchie, the designer of Airborne Avenger, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Spider-Man.

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