Friday, January 11, 2013
Can This Wizard Save Pinball?
Pinball limped along, the market steadily shrinking until a few old warhorse manufacturers remained, companies like Williams, who attempted to resurrect the genre with a daring video/pinball hybrid system in 1999 called Pinball 2000. As detailed in the excellent documentary TILT: The Battle to Save Pinball (Two-Disc Set) , this gambled failed, Williams moved to the more lucrative slot machine market, and so pinball has languished as a niche collector's market.
But now former arcade operator and online pinball machine retailer "Jersey" Jack Guarieri has hopes to propel the silver ball back into public consciousness with a new machine of his own design, based on a slightly dated property... The Wizard of Oz. Guarieri's sense of timing might be spot on though, riding the buzz of the upcoming Disney prequel to Wizard, Oz: The Great and Powerful. Only time will tell if Guarieri is truly the wizard who can save pinball.
Slate has the story here: