A Blast from the Past

Bally - Pinball Machine - Bobby Orr Power Play - 1977 | HockeyGods

This post will be something a little different, but I’m always trying to give a shout-out to businesses that offer great service.

Not everyone knows, but many years ago, maybe due to nostalgia or trying to hold onto some of my youth, I bought a full-sized Space Invaders video game and a full-sized Bobby Orr pinball machine.  At the time I purchased the machines I was still living at home, so my business partner put up with my nonsense and allowed me to keep them in the boardroom.

Just to take things to the next level, I reached out to Bobby Orr, himself, and asked if he could possibly come by my office to autograph the pinball machine.  Much to my delight, he said the next time he was coming to Toronto, he would stop by my office.  A couple months later, all of a sudden, my receptionist comes into my office saying that there was a Bobby Orr here to see me (as an aside, the receptionist was much younger, and had no idea who Bobby Orr was).  I immediately came out of my office, greeted him, and took him into the board room where he signed both the playing surface and side of the pinball machine.

A few years later, when we ended up moving offices, I needed to come up with a place for the two machines to go and took up a family member’s offer to store them in an area of their building that was unused.

Fast-forward to the present day, and I was told by my relatives that I had to move the machines as they were going to be renting out the space. When I came by to move the machines, my heart sank.  Even though I had left them well protected, unbeknownst to me someone else moved them to a different room and the glass artwork (the main front panel is known as the back glass) of the Bobby Orr pinball machine had been broken into about 15 different pieces. This machine was about 40 years old and I was at a loss as to how I could possibly fix it.

I started doing some research and learned a heck of a lot more than I ever knew about pinball machines (look forward to another blog about this). After searching all over North America. I was directed to a place in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia called Classic Playfield Reproductions. Upon doing some more digging, I discovered they have the licensing rights to reproduce the various parts of a pinball machine  (including the backglass artwork).  Talk about a niche market!.

I reached out to them by email, got a very quick reply, and seeing how I was in Canada, they did me a favour and reduced the cost which was originally in US dollars. I placed my order online and not three to four days later, a UPS package arrived and very tightly, carefully, and safely packaged inside, was the back glass for my pinball machine.

I did a side-by-side comparison and the artwork looked bang-on!  Even the part of the artwork that had a mirror backing matched (there was another supplier who indicated their mirror looks more like a grey / silver paint).  It was so closely matched that you couldn’t tell it was a reproduction.

Now I know not everyone has a pinball machine and requires the services of this company, but it’s cool to see the niche workings of a business like this…and from a Canadian town….the home of Sidney Crosby, no less.  In fact, maybe they’re on to something, as it seems that what’s old is new again, and I am hearing of more and more people who are buying pinball machines for their homes and offices (you can get some for as low as $500.00)

To the folks at Classic Playfield Reproductions who helped me out when I was stressed about finding a critical part to my machine, and for taking such good care of me, thanks for everything!

Classic Playfield Reproductions
https://classicplayfields.com/

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