New Zealand's Amazing New Pinball Arcade - Ye Olde Pinball Shoppe
Updated: Jul 6, 2022
I've been talking with my friend Simon Haxton, proprietor of the cool website Pinball Spots NZ (https://www.pinballspots.nz/) about his latest project contributing to Hamish Guthrey‘s new location “Ye Olde Pinball Shoppe" (YOPS) arcade for several months now. It's been great to follow the progress that Hamish and Simon have been making on this awesome new location.
I really wanted to do a writeup on the new spot, but I don't anticipate my son having a lacrosse tournament in New Zealand anytime soon LOL, so Simon and Hamish were kind enough to send us some pictures and information on YOPS so that we can all check it out. It looks incredible. Enjoy!
"Down under in the capital city of New Zealand, there is a new kid in town. Hamish Guthrey has been busy the past few months bringing his arcade dream to a reality and he feels as though that dream, Ye Olde Pinball Shoppe is ready to reveal itself to the world.
Ironically, the only thing at the location that is old, is the antique cash register (hooked up to the iPad). YOPS is both a pinball arcade and a showroom for selling new machines. Hamish is the New Zealand distributor for the P3 platform by Multimorphic, and can facilitate the purchase and import of games by other manufacturers, providing a white-glove in-home delivery service.
He has been a pinball fan since his late teens, when he was seeking out pins to play all over Auckland instead of completing his computer science degree. Now, collaborating with his friend Simon Haxton of www.pinballspots.nz, he has brought together a range of machines dating from 1979 to brand new titles.
The line-up will always be changing, as they bring in and rotate freshly restored machines. They have reached critical mass at 23 pins. Deliberately not cramming the games in. Allowing the machines to be lit and viewed like artworks in a gallery.
The spacing leaves room for the digital signage and live-streaming potential. Each machine has a live camera view of the playfield displayed on a screen above the game. Twitch streaming coming online very soon. The idea is that anyone off the street can come in and broadcast their pinball prowess to their friends and social networks. I guess you could call this venture an internet pinball arcade; A 2020’s version of the pinball arcade that some of us might remember as a youth.
“I believe Wellington has an untapped market of pinheads, who don’t yet know they’re pinheads. A comfortable, inviting gameroom in the middle of the CBD seemed an effective way to introduce pinball to passers-by.”
This business model is slightly different than the ‘barcade’ idea that most collections are based around, as an adjunct to a hospitality venue.
“Pinball was the priority from day one, and the months of work have been put to creating an
engaging, comfortable space in which to play and promote pinball. A liquor license may be part of the plan going forward but is not the focus at present. We’ve got a great relationship with the Fork ‘n Brewer craft beer bar upstairs. They can provide catering when needed.”
Hamish’s goal with this venture, is to “create a visual spectacle of amazing light, colour and sound”. With the tagline ‘Interactive mechanical artworks’ the theming is a little space-age and a little steampunk. Careful thought has been given to carpeting, lighting, air disinfection and conditioning, seating and space.
Another thing which was important for Hamish: that it is not stressful from noise. “People say that it really is a comfortable environment. Great to come and spend some intimate time with the machines and friends.”
Ye Olde Pinball Shoppe now has a monthly league: Pōneke Pinballers. Coming are tutorial nights, womens comps, school science classes, and other special events.
For casual coin-drop play, he has local pinball ambassador Ashley Burke (19) greeting the patrons as they explore the arcade. Many of them coming to pinball for the first time. Ashley’s dad grew up with pinball and they have a few at home. “As someone who was born during the pinball low of the 2000’s, I had only experienced the games (mostly by Pat Lawlor) that we own. Working at Ye Olde Pinball Shoppe has given me a fresh insight into location pinball, and I am interested in what games attract new or casual players”.
This weekend is NZ’s 14th annual pinball festival called Pincade. It is the first major event for YOPS. Hamish, Simon and tech support Jeremy are currently fine tuning the machines to ensure that they are all running perfectly for the many players that are traveling to participate.
If you happen to get to New Zealand, make sure you check out Ye Olde
Pinball Shoppe at 16 Bond St, central Wellington.
Here's the Pinball Shoppe's amazing lineup of games:
- JJP Guns n’ Roses (LE)
- Multimorphic P3
- Godzilla (Premium)
- AC/DC Vault (Premium)
- Black Knight - Sword Of Rage (LE)
- Rick and Morty
- Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle
- Total Nuclear Annihilation
- Medieval Madness Royal Edition
- Twilight Zone
- Star Trek the Next Generation
- Stern - Star Trek (Pro)
- Stern - Jurassic Park (Pro)
- Stern - Star Wars (Pro)
- Fish Tales
- Theatre Of Magic
- Demolition Man
- The Flintstones
- Bram Stoker’s Dracula
- Johnny Mnemonic
- Joker Poker