Knapp Arcade Will Have Full Coverage of the HUGE Upcoming Show, Texas Pinball Festival
Mark your calendars folks! What likely will be the biggest pinball show in years for new pinball machine debuts is happening in Frisco, Texas from March 24-26...the Texas Pinball Festival (TPF). My son's lacrosse schedule is going to prevent me from personally attending (I hate to miss my kids' events), but that doesn't mean that we won't have coverage here. My friend Jason Young, will be the on-site Knapp Arcade reporter for TPF sending back real-time reports and pictures of what is shaping up to be a huge event. Let's take a look at the potential new pinball machine launches that are going to happen at this year's show.
American Pinball: Confirmed to be coming to the show. Will likely unveil its new Dennis Nordman-designed pinball machine called Galactic Tank Force, with art by the renowned pinball artist Christopher Franchi.
Chicago Gaming Company: Confirmed to be coming to the show. CGC will likely have its Cactus Canyon remake at the show for the people to play. Its next game, a single-level Mark Ritchie-designed Pulp Fiction pinball machine, has been ready for a looooong time. I heard that it was ready last fall but it was pushed back by Cactus Canyon production delays. While we have not heard anything official from the recently very quiet CGC, I would not be surprised at all if they showed off Pulp Fiction at TPF.
Jersey Jack Pinball: Confirmed to be coming to the show. The debut of Jersey Jack's next pinball machine is likely right around the corner. I'm sure that they will make every effort to make sure that it is ready in time for TPF. There has been a long-standing rumor that the game is an Eric Meunier-designed Godfather machine, but that has never been officially confirmed by the company. Maybe they'll surprise everyone with a completely different theme? You never know. We'll see soon and whatever it is I expect it to be at TPF.
Multimorphic: Confirmed to be coming to the show. The Texas Pinball Festival is right in Multimorphic's backyard. I assume that they will have a number of their P3 machines on-site and available for the public to play their new game Weird Al's Museum of Natural Hilarity. It will be really interesting to see if Multimorphic teases its next Scott Danesi-designed pinball module, which is already in the works. I wouldn't count on it, but you never know.
Pinball Brothers: Confirmed to be coming to the show. Pinball Brothers has stated that the company's newest game, Queen, will be making its second U.S. public appearance at TPF, this time with improved code.
Spooky Pinball: While I have not seen that Spooky Pinball will officially be at TPF, its newest game Scooby-Doo will probably make its first public appearance at the event via a distributor.
Stern Pinball: Stern will likely have the new George Gomez-designed James Bond Pro and Premium machines on-site for people to play, at least in conjunction with a distributor. If I recall correctly, I believe that George Gomez stated in a recent interview that even though it starts shipping this week Stern is not officially bringing the new Keith Elwin-designed 60th Anniversary Bond machine to the show, but that doesn't mean that someone who bought one won't bring it. Maybe Stern will change its mind if there continues to be Bond 60ths available. Stern's next two official toppers, for Rush and Godzilla, are supposedly complete and ready for production. It's possible that one of them would make an appearance at the show, but I have not heard anything specific about that.
Other potential surprises: There's likely to be a few other pinball manufacturers at the show that I have not mentioned above.
The TPF website lists Turner Pinball, the rightsholder for the assets of the failed Deeproot Pinball, as a vendor at the show. Will they be selling off old Deeproot parts and memorabilia? Will Turner make the code for games that Deeproot was developing open-source for the public to play with as has been talked about? It's very interesting that they will be there.
There's been rumors out there about Big Bang Bar and Twilight Zone remakes. Will we see either of those teased at TPF? You never know. Planetary Pinball, the Bally / Williams rightsholder and recent registerer of a Big Bang Bar trademark will be there, most likely to just to sell replacement parts but you never know.
I would think that someone will bring Haggis Pinball's Fathom Revisited to the show. I see on the list of games that at least a Haggis Celts will be there. I don't think that the Company themselves will be officially appearing.
Pedretti Gaming: The contract manufacturer for Pinball Brothers' Aliens and Queen machines, Pedretti released its own 2.0 pinball kit for Williams FunHouse a while ago. Yesterday I wrote about how the company's next 2.0 kit for a yet to be known game is close to completion. Will they tease the kit at TPF? I don't think that they will be at TPF in any official capacity though.
Pinball Adventures I don't see them listed on any official TPF lists yet, but the company's Punny Factory game has been in development forever. They have to show it eventually.
Someone, perhaps a distributor, may bring Dutch Pinball's Big Lebowski machine to TPF as well, but I do not think that if they will be there in any official capacity either. Dutch Pinball is rumored to be working on game #2, but I would be surprised if they tease it given how many Lebowskis still need to be made.
Bitronic Spain's pinball factory is supposedly back up and running after a bad fire. The Company recently brought its Quetzal Pinball-designed game Super Hoop to two European shows, so it's getting back out there. Texas is a lot further from Spain than those shows were, so I don't think that they'll make an appearance at TPF. I don't see them on any official list.
So there you have it, by my count, three potential game launches, Scooby-Doo, Queen and maybe more are all coming to the Texas Pinball Festival next month. I will keep an out for the TPF schedule and provide updates on who will and won't be at the show in an official capacity as the event approaches. Below is a link to the show's website for people who want to buy tickets or get more information on the event: