Tim Arnold seeks next curator of the Pinball Hall of Fame

Hailing frequencies open… Forums Phosphor Dot Fossils Arcade Gaming Tim Arnold seeks next curator of the Pinball Hall of Fame

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by ZLoth ZLoth 1 year, 6 months ago.

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    Seems like just yesterday that Ubik, Flack and me were wandering around Tim’s original digs on the bad side of Vegas…but it’s actually been something like 9 years, hasn’t it? Come to think of it, that may have been the last time I saw Zloth in person too. Man, never mind CGE. That was kind of like “Future LogBook Forum Dweller Con”. [LINK]

    Now 60, a wispy bespectacled man with a graying ponytail, Arnold is among the planet’s most prolific pinball collectors, with more than 1,000 machines, many of which are rare.

    For years he has run the not-for-profit Pinball Hall of Fame in a 9,000-square-foot industrial palace just a few miles east of the Las Vegas Strip, this city’s better-known realm of high-rollers and bad breaks.

    Unlike that kid in the 1960s rock anthem by The Who, Arnold isn’t deaf, dumb or blind. Still, he faces a daunting challenge: these days, the old-timers have all retired or died off, leaving few wizards who can manage the machines’ precise workings.

    Arnold knows he may be among the last of a pinball breed.

    He’s looking for a protege with the skills to take over his arcade empire in an era where the 1970s and 80s electronic circuitry that are the guts of most machines have become as difficult to get as the treasure in a pinball pharaoh’s tomb.

    Arnold is searching, of course, for a modern version of his younger self – a kid who fell in love with the pinball machine as a symbol of cultural rebellion.

    But he doesn’t have much confidence in finding a protege among this generation.

    “Kids today lack curiosity. They don’t take things apart,” he says. “If one of their handheld devices breaks, they throw it away and go to Walmart to buy a new one.”

    I’m never known Tim to not gave a graying ponytail, now that I think of it. 😆 I don’t know how compatible the “get off my lawn” attitude is with older pinball tables, which are practically meant to be manhandled. (That being said, John and Bo at Arkadia have been doing some astounding restoration work on the tables Shea’s about to put out on the floor…)

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    Next visit to Vegas, I promise to visit.


    I hear it’s in a better part of town than it was in ’07, so I’d kinda like a revisit myself. Funny thing is, pinball tables are beautiful to look at. I suck at them all. I’m more inclined to walk in, take a shitload of pictures without playing anything, say hi to Tim for the first time in many years, and leave.

    That might just make me his favorite customer ever. 😆

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    There is also a thread on PInside. Of troubling note….

    I’ve been going for years and love PHOF. I’ve defended and praised Tim for years on Pinside and appreciate everything he’s done for pinball.

    That being said, I just got back from PHOF and left saddened. So many machines in disrepair. Some of the pins that weren’t turned off had issues. Even newer machines like WNBJM had an issue with the scoring reel. Tim wasn’t there; hopefully he was getting some rest.

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