Pinball shopping in Turku


Pinball games are not extinct in Finland yet, even if sometimes they seem to be hard to find. Last summer I bumped into an interesting looking warehouse. Behind a dusty glass could be seen many pinball machines in storage! Of course they must be gotten out of there, to "rightful" owners. But there is one problem. Who owns this warehouse anyway?

Deal is done and Sampo watches the machines that have been carried out.

Some detective work was done, and the warehouse owner was found to be Kane, better known of his record store Kane Records. And finally in November both Kane and we eager pinheads had time to start making a deal on the machines. Aku, Antti and Sampo left from Helsinki and I joined them from Tampere. So at 4 PM we were already making nose marks at the warehouse window and then Kane came by and let us in. Not bad. Six Gottliebs: EM machines Bronco, Pioneer, Jungle Queen, Dragon and Surf Champ and a newer SS Street Fighter II. Swords of Fury by Williams and a DE Simpsons.

Antti has a wide smile. That shows Surf Champ to be a good buy!

Only the spinner is slightly scratched and some drop targets are wrong style, but otherwise playfield is OK.

After some thinking and bargaining, we decided to make a deal on four games. Antti took Surf Champ and Pioneer, Sampo had Swords of Fury and Aku wanted the Simpsons.

Aku investigates the Simpsons. Would this look nice beside a Wizard?

A quick visit to the ATM was succesful. Sampo is counting the prey, that will soon change owners.

Aku's Isuzu had room for three games. Simpsons and Pioneer on top of each other, Surf Champ behind them. Pioneer cabinet is painted white, but maybe the original color someday will be restored.

It seems that in Kekkonen's time the US star decorations were not popular in Finland. Both this Pioneer, and its 4 player sister game Spirit of 76 owned by Sampo, have those mean capitalism symbols painted over with white. It can be tried to sand the cabinet surface lightly to get the original painting visible, and then make stencils and repaint it to look like original. Perhaps also the political system today is more tolerant?

Swords of Fury was put to my Volkswagen with my Space Odyssey, that I picked up earlier from a friend who has had it on loan. First we would drive to Siuntio, where we would left the SOF at Sampo's place and then continue to Helsinki and move other games to Antti's warehouse. Maybe he has also some good games to trade for my Space Odyssey? (Goodbye free floor space)

We stopped for lunch at a service station. Antti almost had beans in his nose (a Finnish saying, means to be annoyed) for the slow service!

We arrived in Siuntio after it was quite dark already. Front legs were installed on SOF and we dragged it halway out of the car. At this time we should have put the back legs on, but then I lost coordination, and the game fell over. Fortunately the game did not suffer damages, because it fell over something soft. Me. My gloves had such good grip that I couldn't get my hands off quickly enough and then stretched my arm a bit. That was the end of pinball liffting for that night. Luckily Aku and Antti came soon and they carried the game in while I watched from the side.

Antti makes sure that his Surf Champ has legs firmly attached, so that no more games will fell over.

Finally, all machines were moved in and we got to play some test games. Looks good. For me, time to start driving home. Only one problem. My arm is so bad it's very difficult to shift gears. The guys drove me to the beginning of Helsinki-Tampere freeway and from there it was easy. No need to shift gears very often in a freeway.

Aurora Borealis

Some minor damage.

One more machine

A pinhead knows when a machine must be taken home. So after Kauko heard that Jungle Queen was left at Kane's warehouse, he immediately acted, and it so happened that he was going to that area anyway, and the things went smoothly:

Jungle Queen in trailer on its way to Karvia.

Playfield "has little wear where the ball goes".

Not only worn, the playfield is dirty and dark, but a good cleaning will take care of that. And Kauko is a wizard in playfield restaurations. All parts are in place, so eventually this will make a great game. After this machine, Kauko's EM collection has now 20 games!

And here's how it looks after some magic by Kauko.