TPF Pinball Etiquette 101

Texas is home to the most polite and friendly folks around, but just as a reminder, here’s a little pinball and show etiquette:

Please do not kick or hit the machines. This is usually a non-issue, but we always like to remind folks to treat the games as if they were their own. The game owners will appreciate this.

Please do not put drinks or food on the games, and please wash your hands after eating that big bowl of Texas nachos. Trash cans are accessible throughout the game room and beverage holders are available on many of the games.

We love seeing kids at the show. Often times they have never seen a pinball machine and we encourage parents to teach them, but smaller kids should be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Share that great game. If you notice someone waiting to play the game you are playing, please allow them to play when your game is finished. Better yet, challenge them to a multiplayer game. It’s more fun to compete!

Please make sure to wear your Texas Pinball Festival wrist band on your wrist at all times. It’s the only way we know what your security clearance is (we wanted to do retina scanning, but it was too expensive). If you have a problem with your wrist band, go to the registration table for assistance.

And finally, keep in mind the folks that put on the TPF are hobbyists (like many of you) and volunteers. This is not our primary business. Please be patient. We are working hard to make it a great show for everyone.

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New Logo… New Merchandise! So Come and Flip It!

We have a sweet new logo… designed by a NASA employee. True story!


We know it’s been a long time coming, but when you want it done right, you wait until it’s right. We love this logo and we promise to put it on lots of stuff!

To start… we’re launching our first logo t-shirt: Come and Flip It featuring our official logo on the back.


We’ll be ordering these shirts for the show, but if you want to guarantee we’ll have the size you want, pre-order it in now.

Special thanks to Phil Grimaldi and Blake Dumesnil for all their help.

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At TPF… No One Can Hear You Scream!

We are excited to announce that Andrew Heighway of Heighway Pinball is returning to the Texas Pinball Festival and “Alien Pinball” is coming with him!

Andrew will be visiting with guests and hosting a Heighway Pinball update on Saturday, March 25th at 4pm in the seminar room.

Thank you Heighway Pinball for making the long trip from the United Kingdom. We are looking forward to seeing y’all again at TPF!

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PinGame Journal’s Jim Schelberg: Politically Provocative Pinball!

Pinball is EVERYWHERE and Jim has been sharing it with us in the PinGame Journal for over 25 years!

Join him on Saturday, March 25th at 11am for “Politically Provocative Pinball.” Pinball can be described in many ways. While this presentation will be a little political it will certainly be provocative, “Elvira” provocative! Each attendee will receive a FREE set of “Doctors” plastics from “Doctor Who.” There will be flyers (Scared Stiff), and other cool stuff from the PinGame Journal archives! And CANDY! There will be CANDY!!

Thank you Jim!

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Own a Piece of Pinball History and Support the IFPA!

Vintage Pinball Championship PatchThe first recorded tournament in the International Flipper Pinball Association database is the 1980 “US Open National Pinball Championships” held at an event called “Games Unlimited” in Hartford, Connecticut. This is documented on the IFPA website and was written about in Play Meter Magazine in the January 1981 issue.

Like many events, commemorative and souvenir patches were made.

Like a scene out of an Indiana Jones movie, TPF has discovered a treasure trove of these lost pinball artifacts. IFPA President Josh Sharpe confirmed the event and commented his father Roger helped organize it. We suspect these patches were ordered and intended for the event, but for some unknown reason, never made it. If anyone knows the story, please contact us.

Anyway, we think these are pretty cool piece of IFPA & pinball history. A limited number of these rare patches will be made available to pinball collectors.

$5 from each sale will directly benefit the IFPA.

Order yours now!

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Dutch Pinball Really Ties the Room Together

Jaap Nauta, Project Manager for Dutch Pinball, is returning the 2017 Texas Pinball Festival. He will host a Dutch Pinball update on Saturday in the seminar room (time TBD). White Russians not included, but encouraged.

Look for Jaap hanging out at the show and the CoinTaker booth, visiting with guests, and playing pinball!

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So You Think You Know Pinball?

We are happy to announce that fellow pinball aficionados and friends Jonathan Joosten of Pinball Magazine and Martin Ayub of Pinball News will return to TPF2017 for another round of their fun game show: “So You Think You Know Pinball?” on Friday, March 24th at 6pm. 

This fun and entertaining seminar will feature pinball trivia, prizes, and lots of laughs and good times! 

Don’t miss it!

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Meet Christopher Franchi!

cfranchi300-1Christopher Franchi has created some of the most memorable designs in pop culture over the past 2 decades.

Most recently, he’s responsible for the dynamic, colorful artwork for Stern’s Batman ’66 pinball machines and the key art for Warner Brothers full length animated feature, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, featuring the voices of Adam West and Burt Ward, the original Batman and Robin.

His roster of fan favorite art includes bands such as KISS, Alice Cooper, AC/DC, White Stripes, Juliette Lewis, The Beatles, Tim McGraw, Rob Zombie, Warrant and many more.

You can meet Christopher at TPF2017 where he’ll be visiting with guests throughout the weekend. He will also attend the autograph session on Saturday.


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Official World Premier!

The 2017 Texas Pinball Festival is proud to present the official world premiere of: “Things That Go Bump In the Night: The Spooky Pinball Story.”


A devoted family man in rural Wisconsin gives up the security of a successful 20-year career to pursue his dream in the boom-or-bust world of pinball manufacturing. While trying to break into a tough competitive market and build a thriving business, he must navigate the bumpy roads that new startups inevitably face, without plunging his family into financial ruin.

“Things That Go Bump In the Night: The Spooky Pinball Story” chronicles the journey of The Emery Family – Charlie, Kayte, Bug, and Squirrel – as they meet the challenges of building their family-run business in the small community of Benton, Wisconsin. With no “Plan B,” Charlie and his Spooky Pinball team are all-in and committed to doing whatever it takes to succeed.

A documentary film by Joel and Dana Reeves! Visit

Showtime: Saturday, March 25th, 8pm in the seminar room. Seating is limited. Admission to TPF2017 required.

Following the presentation, film makers Joel and Dana Reeves, the Spooky Pinball gang, and a few characters from the film will discuss the film during a short Q&A session.

There will be an encore presentation of the film on Sunday, March 26th at 10am for those not able to attend the premier.

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TPF2017 Commemorative Coins Revealed!

Aren’t they beautiful?! If you’ve seen coins from previous years, you know just how awesome these will be when you get them in your hands.


We’ve got three versions of the coin available this year. The purple enameled coin is an Exhibitor incentive. The red enameled coin is a Volunteer incentive. And to complete the set, a limited run of just 100 of the black enameled coin is available for purchase in our online store and at the show if we have any left.

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Steve Ritchie! ‘Nuff said.

Pinball Czar! His Majesty! His Grace! Supreme Ruler! The KING of Pinball! A Texas Pinball Festival staple!

Famed pinball designer Steve Ritchie will return to TPF2017 to hold court and visit with fans and loyal subjects! Steve will join his brother Mark in a seminar entitled “Growing Up Ritchie”. You’re attendance is requested!

Some of Steve’s hits include: Black Knight, Firepower, High Speed, F-14 Tomcat, Terminator 2, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Terminator 3, Elvis, Spider-Man, AC/DC, Star Trek, and Game of Thrones.

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Texas gets Dialed In!

Jersey Jack

Jersey Jack Pinball founder and CEO Jack Guarnieri is coming to TPF 2017!

Jersey Jack Pinball will be showcasing their most recently released pinball machines: The Hobbit and Dialed In!

JJP Engineer Butch Peel will be joining Jack on his visit and Jack will host a seminar discussing the latest news and happenings at Jersey Jack Pinball.

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Exhibitors Assemble!

Best Antique
Best Custom
Jason Durham
Spinal Tap

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. And again… and again… and again.

A pinball show is only as good as the pinball community that supports it. And we are lucky to be able to say that we have the best supporting community in the country! It’s evident that our Exhibitors work hard restoring, transporting their games and actively participating all year round to help make the Texas Pinball Festival the incredible show it has become. We understand that bringing a pinball machine to TPF is no simple task and we appreciate the efforts of each and every Exhibitor.

For every pinball machine or classic arcade game brought to the 2017 Texas Pinball Festival and set on free play for the entire weekend, Exhibitors will receive some really cool incentives, including:

– an Exhibitor Level Weekend Pass to the 2017 Texas Pinball Festival
– exclusive entry into the Exhibitor After Party on Saturday night
– a collectible TPF2017 Exhibitor Challenge Coin
– a raffle ticket for an Exhibitor raffle awarding prizes during show set-up
– entry into the TPF Best in Show Competition
– a chance to win a VP Cabs Vertigo machine at the awards ceremony on Sunday.
– a chance to win one of 5 $100 cash prizes at the awards ceremony on Sunday.
– The satisfaction of knowing that TPF is your show, taking pride in your game, sharing it, and making TPF the greatest show in the Galaxy!

If you’re interested in becoming an Exhibitor, and we hope you are, visit our Exhibitor page for all the details and to sign up. Join dozens of other pinball enthusiasts and sign your machines up to add to our growing list of games.

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Come Meet Flash Gordon actor Sam J. Jones at TPF2017!

Sam J JonesSam J. Jones is best known throughout the world as Flash Gordon, The Highwayman, The Spirit and as Aris Boch, in Stargate’s SG-1. And Sam J. Jones will be at the 2017 Texas Pinball Festival visiting with fans!

He has starred, co-starred and guest starred in over 40 films and 100 television shows, including Ten; My Chauffeur; Under The Gun; Lady Dragon II; Hollywood Safari; Walker Texas Ranger; Code Red; Conan The Series; Thunder In Paradise and Fists of Honor.

Sam is also known for his scene stealing cameo in the 2013 hit Ted, and its 2015 sequel, Ted 2. And of course everyone knows Sam is featured on the 1980 Bally “Flash Gordon” pinball machine.

We don’t know… but this is pretty sensational!

Autographs / Photo-ops are charged by the artist at his table.
Autographs: $40
Photo-op: $40

Guests subject to cancellation or schedule change, due to professional commitments.
Seminars have limited seating capacities and are offered on a first come, first served basis.
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Go Joe!

Joe BalcerAccomplished pinball designer and new Director of Operations at American Pinball, Joe Balcer is coming to TPF2017!

Known for popular titles including The Wizard of Oz, The Hobbit, The Simpson’s Pinball Party, Apollo 13, South Park, Star Wars Trilogy, Starship Troopers, and the soon to be unveiled, all new, redesigned by Joe himself, Houdini by American Pinball!

You read that right… an ALL NEW, ground up, never before seen redesign of the previously announced Houdini including a new art package and sound package that bring the reimagined Houdini to life!

Joe will participate in a revealing seminar with American Pinball as well as visit with fans and guests! You do not want to miss this!

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A New Game from Spooky Pinball!

SpookyThat’s right! Spooky Pinball will be at TPF2017. Charlie, Kayte and the gang are coming all the way down from Benton, Wisconsin to show off their Domino’s Pizza Pinball. And they’re bringing something extra… the first public showing of a NEW GAME!

We’re excited about this even though we have no clue what the new title will be!

Charlie will also host an informative seminar. We don’t know anything about that either, but it’s guaranteed to be awesome. Did we mention, they’re bringing a NEW GAME to the show?!

Spooky Pinball

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Cassandra Peterson Details Announced

Cassandra PetersonIf you missed the original announcement, Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira: Mistress of the Dark is coming to TPF2017! Here are the details we promised regarding her appearance.

Admission to TPF2017 is required.

Cassandra Peterson will be appearing as herself, not as Elvira.

Saturday, March 25th

  • Noon-2pm (approximately): Autograph / Photo-op Session
  • 2pm: Cassandra will join famed pinball designer Dennis Nordman and artist Greg Freres on a panel for the first time ever.
  • 3pm-5pm (approximately): Autograph / Photo-op Session

Autographs / Photo-ops are charged by the artist at her table.

  • Autographs: $30 each or 2 for $50
  • Photo-op: $40

Skip the line! A limited number of just 50 Fast Passes are available for purchase in the TPF Store for each Autograph / Photo-op Session.

Guests subject to cancellation or schedule change, due to professional commitments.
Seminars have limited seating capacities and are offered on a first come, first served basis.
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Win a VP Cabs Classic Pinball in the American Heroes Raffle!

American Heroes RaffleEvery year, the Texas Pinball Festival, with the help of its generous patrons, donates thousands of dollars to charity. This year is no exception.

In partnership with Platinum Sponsor VPCabs, one lucky winner will take home a brand new VPCabs Classic pinball machine, valued at $5,495!  This awesome machine features more than 45 digital pinball tables.

Raffle tickets are available for sale only at the show. We will also award several door prizes throughout the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

We will be donating the proceeds of the TPF American Heroes Raffle to Pinball for Patriots again this year. Click here to see the gallery of winners and find out more about the raffle and Pinball for Patriots.

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Multimorphic… Welcome to the Present!

MultipmorphicGerry Stellenberg and Multimorphic will be back again to show off the latest developments on the P3 Pinball Platform.  Last year they announced 4 new games for the platform, and this year they’re promising even bigger announcements and demonstrations.

With new P3 games, new technologies, and a well-defined vision for the future of pinball, Multimorphic is putting their money where their mouth is.  All of their developments will be on display and available for play in their booth, as will a bunch of exciting custom games developed by their customers using the P-ROC control system.

Gerry will also be presenting a seminar to give a detailed look into Multimorphic’s operations and manufacturing plans.  Don’t miss it!

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Pinball for Christmas!

TPF2017 ChristmasOnly 13 days until Christmas! And what better gift for your pinball lover than TPF swag? T-shirts, hoodies, hats, mugs, pint glasses and challenge coins… you will find that perfect gift(s) in our store. There are even a few items available from previous shows you can still get your hands on.

In stock merchandise will be shipped out by December 20th to ensure a Christmas arrival.

And don’t forget that Weekend Pass prices go up on January 1st, so don’t wait. If you’re purchasing weekend passes as gifts, download this cute little card too.

13 days until Christmas… That means just 102 days until TPF2017!!!!


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Who You Gonna Call? John Trudeau!

johntrudeau1-1Popular pinball designer, and personal friend of Slimer, John Trudeau is joining us again at the 2017 Texas Pinball Festival!

Some of John’s great titles include Creature from the Black Lagoon, Black Rose, Judge Dredd, The Machine: Bride of Pin*Bot,  Mustang, WWE WrestleMania and of course his latest smash hit Ghostbusters.

John will be visiting with guests and signing autographs at the show.

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Holy Pinball Batman… It’s George Gomez!


We’re excited to announce that famed pinball designer and Product Development Chief at Stern Pinball Inc., George Gomez returns to the Texas Pinball Festival in 2017. George will be showing off his latest masterpiece Batman ’66 celebrating Stern’s 30th year in business.

A few of George’s other great games include Monster Bash, Revenge from Mars, Corvette, Lord of the Rings, The Sopranos, Transformers, The Avengers and Batman (2008).

George will also be signing autographs, taking pictures with fans, and visiting with guests.



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Unpleasant Dreams!

When you hear the name Elvira only one person comes to mind…

Cassandra PetersonHorror icon and quintessential symbol of all things spooky, the one and only Mistress of the Dark. Played by actress/writer Cassandra Peterson, Elvira has carved out a niche in popular culture that is sure to endure for decades to come.

We’re excited to announce that Cassandra Peterson will be appearing, as herself, at the 2017 Texas Pinball Festival! Ms. Peterson will join pinball designer Dennis Nordman and artist Greg Freres in a special forum on Saturday discussing their work together on “Elvira and the Party Monsters” and “Scared Stiff”. This marks the first time ever that Dennis, Greg and Cassandra will sit on a panel together to reminisce and answer questions. DO NOT MISS IT!

Cassandra will also host an autograph and photograph session following the forum. Autograph/photograph details will be announced soon.


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Greg Freres at TPF2017!

gregfFamed pinball artist Greg Freres is coming to the 2017 Texas Pinball Festival! Current Art Director at Stern Pinball and co-founder of Whizbang Pinball, Greg is one of the most popular artists in the business.

He’s known for his amazing work on great titles such as Elvira and the Party Monsters, Skateball, The Party Zone, Dr. Dude, Elvira: Scared Stiff, Stern Star Trek, Game of Thrones, Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons, and so many others. Greg will join pinball designer Dennis Nordman on Saturday for a special forum discussing their work together. He’ll also visit with fans and guests and sign autographs.

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Meet Mark Ritchie!

mark_ritchieMark Ritchie, featured on the cover of the upcoming Pinball Magazine #4, is returning to TPF2017.

Mark designed popular games such as Diner, Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure, Fish Tales, Taxi, Sorcerer (this year’s TPF theme), and so many others. He will be visiting with show guests and fans all weekend!

Fun fact: Mark’s wife Trudy, who will also be at the show, is the voice of Marilyn on Taxi. She’s also the voice of Maggie on Diner and the girl on the CB radio on Truck Stop.

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The Great Dennis Nordman

Dennis Nordman

Legendary pinball designer Dennis Nordman is coming back to Texas and we’re excited to announce that he is our first special guest of TPF2017.

Dennis is known for incredible designs such as Elvira and the Party Monsters, Scared Stiff, Dr. Dude, Pirates of the Caribbean, Whoa Nelly! Big Juicy Melons and others. He will host a revealing seminar entitled “Another Home Run from Dennis Nordman!” We can’t wait to see what he’s got up his sleeve this time.

Dennis will also visit with guests and fans during the show.

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Pre-Registration for TPF2017 is Open!

tpfneonPre-registration for the 2017 Texas Pinball Festival is officially open!

Why should you pre-register? Because it saves you money over the cost of admission at the door. In fact, the earlier you register, the more you save. What are you waiting for? Click here.

If you are bringing a game (or three) to the show for free play, you’re an Exhibitor. The Texas Pinball Festival relies on Exhibitors to bring their games to show off and share with everyone. They put a lot of work into their machines and we try to reward them for that effort. Exhibitors get a free weekend pass for each game they bring and are eligible to win cash prizes and ribbons for their games. If you’re interested in bringing your own games to show off, you can find out more here.

We haven’t forgotten about tournament tickets… those will go on sale soon. And if you haven’t made your hotel reservations yet, you still have time to grab a great room at a great rate. Click here.

If you are interested in becoming a show Vendor or Sponsor at TPF2017, check out our Vendor and Sponsorship guide and contact

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Special TPF Rates Available at Neighboring Hotels.

We have a large block of rooms for our guests to take advantage of, but they sell out fast. In fact, this year, most of them have been claimed already… even before pre-registration is open! That’s a record for us…

If you weren’t able to get a room at the venue proper, there are still excellent nearby options. Whatever hotel you choose to stay out, remember to request a room in our block. We negotiate special pricing for our guests, and the more people TPF brings to the Frisco market, the more seriously they take our “little show”.


Click on the banner above to find alternate lodging options. Regardless of where you stay while you’re with us, check out what the Embassy Suites Dallas – Frisco Hotel and Convention Center has to offer TPF guests.


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Make Your TPF2017 Hotel Reservations Now!

Embassy Suites Frisco is ready to take your reservations! We expect our block to sell out faster than last year, so don’t wait to make your reservation for the 2017 Texas Pinball Festival!

Rooms for guests of the 2017 Texas Pinball Festival start as low as $132.00 per night. Reservations can be made on the Embassy Suites’ website, or over the phone at 972-712-7200 using the code TPS. Additionally, we were able to negotiate free parking for TPF guests staying at the hotel. Covered parking for non-hotel guests is $5 per day. Uncovered parking is always free, and there is plenty of it!

If you are unfamiliar with the Embassy Suites Dallas-Frisco Hotel, it is a 4 diamond hotel and spa that offers convenient access to a variety of restaurants, bars and shopping venues, including the Stonebriar Mall just across the street. The suites include complimentary breakfast and evening reception. The hotel offers a fitness center, indoor pool, the Spa Botanica, and the Cypress Grille on site. The 2017 Texas Pinball Festival will be housed in the Convention Center just a short walk from the lobby.

Make your hotel reservations now!

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TPF2016 Show Wrap Up


Wow! I think that may have been the shortest longest weekend of our lives! But it was soooo worth it! And now that we’ve slept it off, we wanted to send out one final message for the 2016 Texas Pinball Festival:


Every year we spend months trying to figure out how we’re going to make TPF bigger and better. Just when we think we’ve reached the limit, you guys prove us wrong. There is absolutely no way that we could pull this off without the support of an incredible pinball community that reaches far and wide. We had exhibitors bring games from as far away as Wisconsin and vendors that came from all over the United States and Europe!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Without the games you bring to share with us all weekend, there would be no show. Every year, we’re amazed at the quantity and quality of machines that you bring to the show. And we’re proud you take ownership in the Texas Pinball Festival. This year, more than before, area pinball clubs stepped up to bring games as a group. Though the DFW Pinball Group makes up a large portion of our community base, we saw participation from Ark-La-Tex, Ozark Pinball Syndicate, and Bat City and Gulf Coast Pinball Clubs.

This year, sincere thanks goes to our dedicated and passionate volunteers: Colin MacAlpine, Rachel Morris, Darren Kammer, Robert Harris, Jaelanne and Trey Gilliam, Shawn Christian, Kelly Foard Aday, Pam Heffern, Gina Curbo, Greg Spivey, Michael and Melinda Braly and Kristin and Clark Nethers. You all spent more hours than we can count making sure things were handled… before, during and after the show. There were another 40+ volunteers that helped us fill in the gaps. Thank you all!

Special thanks to our vendors and show sponsors. Our platinum sponsors included Chicago Gaming Company and Planetary Pinball, Marco Specialties, Starship Fantasy, Coin Taker, Fun! Billiards and Gameroom Superstore and Pinball Side Mirrors, who also donated two $500 cash prizes to reward pinball exhibitors. Gold sponsors included Arcade Components, Outside Edge and Pinballz Arcade. We truly appreciate your support. Be sure to check out all the TPF2016 vendors.

There are too many to list here, but we wanted to recognize all of our special guests and speakers, including industry designers, artists and online and media personalities. We were pleased to have pinball manufacturers and executives bring their newest games out to show off.

As much effort as we put into making the Texas Pinball Festival a great show, we recognize the time and effort each of you puts forth. YOU make TPF the best pinball show in the country!


Ron Woodard, Spider-Man VE winnerAnd now we say Congratulations! To all of our winners… and there were a lot of them! To start with, Ron Woodard took home the amazing Stern Spider-Man Vault Edition in our American Heroes Raffle. Colin MacAlpine took home the top tourney prize in the Texas Wizards. Cassie Freeman took home the top prize in the Women’s Tourney. Baily Helms beat out his competition in the Kid’s Bump ‘n Win. 22 ribbons found new homes in the Best in Show competition, including the Grand Champion, Daniel Lazarus’ Fireball.

fireball_207During exhibitor registration, 420 games came through the doors. We raised $3,756 for the Pinball for Patriots. We awarded over $9,000 in tournament money and trophies, and $1,350 in Best of Show award monies and ribbons. And we increased our attendance by about 10%.

We couldn’t mention everyone or everything here, so click here to see the rest of our winners and pictures from the show. And we know a lot of you got some great pictures and videos. Email us, and we’ll add a link to your albums.

And finally, we’d like to hear from you. Please take a moment to tell us what you thought about TPF2016. We’ll use your feedback to improve the show and make it bigger and better for everyone.

See y’all next year at TPF2017! Mark your calendars now: March 24-26, 2017.

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