Updated: Aug 9
Mom: "Dad and I stopped in Ford Collins on the way to the cabin for lunch. You know, they have pinball here now."
Me: "Really? That's awesome. Take a picture of it for me."
That's how Pinball Jones in Ford Collins, Colorado popped up on my personal pinball radar. My 80 year-old Mom is so funny. She's always on the lookout for pinball for us. When she sent over the picture of Pinball Jones a couple of years ago, I know that I was 100% going to go there on my next trip to visit them in Wyoming. And that's exactly what happened two weeks ago.
Pinball Jones is located in a really cool part of Fort Collins that has tons of stuff to do and lots of great restaurants. After a quick lunch and a couple of beers at a restaurant named Austin's (how could we not go there, that's my oldest son's name) we walked around the corner to Pinball Jones. Like so many pinball locations, it is located down a set of stairs on the lower level of a building. If you didn't know that it was there, you might not even notice it and missing it would be a huge mistake for any pinball fan.
After descending the stairs to the venue, the first thing that struck me was how surprisingly large it was. Pinball Jones has a whopping 38 pinball machines, a row of classic arcade games, several linked Cruis'n World drivers, Skee-Ball, billiards, air hockey and a large bar area. Not only is there quantity, there's quality as well, both in terms of the pinball titles that were there and the condition of the pins. I don't think that a single game was down when we visited, and that's saying something with that large a collection.
It goes without saying that the first thing my wife and I did after grabbing drinks was head on over to what was possibly the crown jewel of Pinball Jones' location, a Dutch Pinball Big Lebowski Early Achiever addition. I was speaking to the bartender about the game (who was a really good dude BTW) and he said that they ordered it all the way back in 2016 and it just showed up there two months ago! I'm glad that Dutch followed through and got them their game because it was awesome. Between the rarity, layout and awesome theme integration, I love me some Pig Lebowski pinball.
Another unusual game that was on the floor immediately sucked in my two boys, an electromechanical helicopter game, Midway's 1969 Whirly Bird. That is something that you almost never see on location and again it was working great. My boys were super into it. They were loving the Atari / UNIS mechanical PONG table as well.
Other extremely noteworthy games that were there included the fairly rare 1988 Williams Banzai Run, a Stern Pinball Elvira's House of Horrors Limited Edition (awesomely situated right next to a Bally Scared Stiff), Congo, Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones and much more...
Here's Pinball Jones' current pinball lineup, courtesy of Pinball Map:
The Addams Family (Bally, 1992)
Attack From Mars (Bally, 1995)
Avengers: Infinity Quest (Premium) (Stern, 2020)
Banzai Run (Williams, 1988)
The Big Lebowski (Dutch, 2016)
Congo (Williams, 1995)
Creature from the Black Lagoon (Bally, 1992)
Deadpool (Pro) (Stern, 2018)
Dialed In! (Jersey Jack, 2017)
El Dorado (Gottlieb, 1975)
Elvira's House of Horrors (LE) (Stern, 2019)
Fish Tales (Williams, 1992)
Game of Thrones (Pro) (Stern, 2015)
Ghostbusters (Pro) (Stern, 2016)
Godzilla (Pro) (Stern, 2021)
Guardians of the Galaxy (Pro) (Stern, 2017)
Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure (Williams, 1993)
Iron Man (Stern, 2010)
Jurassic Park (Pro) (Stern, 2019)
Lord of the Rings (Stern, 2003)
The Mandalorian (Pro) (Stern, 2021)
Medieval Madness (Williams, 1997)
Metallica (Pro) (Stern, 2013)
Scared Stiff (Bally, 1996)
The Shadow (Bally, 1994)
The Sopranos (Stern, 2005)
Spider-Man (Stern, 2007)
Star Trek (Pro) (Stern, 2013)
Star Wars (Premium) (Stern, 2017)
Stranger Things (Pro) (Stern, 2019)
Strikes and Spares (Bally, 1977)
TRON: Legacy (Stern, 2011)
Theatre of Magic (Bally, 1995)
Twilight Zone (Bally, 1993)
The Walking Dead (Pro) (Stern, 2014)
White Water (Williams, 1993)
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (CE) (Jersey Jack, 2019)
World Cup Soccer (Bally, 1994)
If you find yourself in the Fort Collins, Colorado area Pinball Jones is an absolute must visit. How can you beat tons of rare, fully-working games and beer? Here's the info and TONS of pictures:
107 Linden St
Fort Collins, CO