SPEL spring meeting


Spring is in the air, and it was time again for the SPEL (Finnish gamecollectors society) spring meeting. The place was Lauri Vartiainen's companys well equipped sauna premises, where there are all kinds of coin operated machines from Pajazzo to parking meter. I asked Kauko to come along, and on Friday afternoon he arrived at Tampere and we left to Helsinki.

Pachinko - popular in Japan but not very common in Finland.

Also more common machines were at our use.

There are both old and new machines in Lauri's collection.

Our throats did not get dry. Left: yours truly. Right: Antti the Pindoctor.

picture: SPEL

Time went flying as we admired the different machines and of course like the style demands, enjoyed snacks and drinks from candy and soda machines. The official part of the meeting started, and among other things we unanimously nominated the great EM collector Kauko Kannisto to SPEL's honorary member. It was time for a video presentation. "History of Pinball" video was great to watch on the 40 inch projection TV. After watching the video, it was very clear that Dave Gottlieb was indeed one of the great men in pinball. He invented most of the things now found in every game.

We could have stayed in those comfortable premises for much longer, especially while there still were some refreshments left, and a sauna, but we were eager to check out Antti's and Henkka's collection, so it was time to put Kauko behind the wheel and get on.

Antti's humble System 1 collection: all games except Asteroid Annie.

Aah, nostalgy! Last time I played Totem was in the early 1980's at Kahvila Lamminkeidas.

We played until 3 AM, but then our eyebrows were getting too heavy. Luckily Kauko did not have to drive at night, because our friend Aku let us stay overnight at his place.

Aku checks out Target Alpha.

Kauko is all smiles when he gets to same picture with Charlie's Angels!

On Saturday we again tested Antti's games for a while until it was time to get back home. But during the trip we took a stop at Vihti and checked out Pekka's small but growing Gottlieb collection. Circus and Excalibur had gotten new friends Hulk and Buck Rogers.

Circus feels nowadays a surprisingly wide game.

Pekka is improving ground connections on Hulks CPU.

Very nice Buck Rogers is waiting its turn to get fixed up.

Tired but happy I got home in the evening. Kauko had still a bit to drive before Karvia. But luckily there was "Koe-eläinpuisto" on the radio!

I want to thank Lauri for excellent meeting arrangements, Aku for the accomodation and Kauko for transportation! And of course Antti and Pekka for showing their fine games.