News

2019 Show confirmed

We are proud to announce that Northern Lights Pinball will be returning for our 8th consecutive year as part of Play Expo Manchester!

This year’s show is returning with a whole new venue and time of year. The event will take place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th of May. Even better still, it’s a Bank Holiday weekend so you’ve still got a whole day’s worth of rest on the Monday to relax your wrist and finger muscles! This could be our best show yet. Don’t miss it.

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Raising Money for Donna’s Dream House

The Northern Lights crew presenting a cheque to Donna’s Dream House the charity we supported at the 2018 show in Blackpool.

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Games at the 2018 show

Just a few weeks to go to this years show, so it’s about time we reveal the first set of games we’re expecting to see! There is still a chance that some of these games may change between now and the day of the show, and highly likely that more will be added, so we’ll try to keep the list updated as news comes in.

The smaller venue this year means we’re more restricted in numbers, but we think we’ve got a phenomenal range of games for you to enjoy. Everything from some early electro-mechanical games, through the classics of the 80s right up to some of the very latest from Stern and Jersey Jack Pinball. There are some very rare and custom built titles in the mix too for the aficionados!

A huge thanks from us to the very generous pinball community around the UK and beyond for contributing these games

GameManufacturerYear
AC/DCStern2012
Aerobatics (EM)Zaccaria1977
AerosmithStern2017
AvatarStern2010
Batman '66Stern2016
Batman Dark KnightStern2008
Black Knight 2000Williams1989
Black RoseBally1992
CircusZaccaria1977
Creature from the Black LagoonWilliams1992
Deadly WeaponGottlieb1990
Dialed InJJP2017
ElvisStern2004
F14 TomcatWilliams1987
Family GuyStern2007
FreefallStern1981
GenesisGottlieb1986
Getaway High Speed 2Williams1992
Gilligan's IslandWilliams1991
Indiana JonesWilliams1993
Iron ManStern2010
JackbotWilliams1995
JunkyardWilliams1996
Kick-OffWilliams1958
Medieval Madness (Remake)Chicago Gaming2015
MetallicaStern2013
Mr 'n' Mrs Pac ManBally1982
NautilusZaccaria1977
NBA FastbreakWilliams1997
NBA FastbreakWilliams1997
NBA FastbreakWilliams1997
ParagonBally1979
Queens Castle (EM)Zaccaria1978
RobocopData East1989
Silver SluggerGottlieb1990
Ski JumpZaccaria1978
South ParkSega1999
Space JamSega1996
Space ShipWilliams1961
SpectrumBally1982
SpidermanStern2007
Star TrekData East1991
Star Wars (Data East)Data East1992
Star Wars (Data East)Data East1992
Tales of the Arabian NightsWilliams1996
Terminator 2Williams1991
The Addams FamilyWilliams1992
The Addams Family (Custom Electric Chair)Moose & Friends2016
The FlintstonesWilliams1994
The HobbitJJP2016
Theatre of MagicWilliams1995
TronStern2011
Who DunnitWilliams1995
WizardBally1975
Wizard of OzJJP2013
World Poker TourStern2006
X FilesSega1997

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Fundraising for Donna’s Dream House

Our main show this year will be supporting Donna’s Dream House, a local charity in Blackpool that supports children with serious illnesses and their families.

Once again we’ll be asking for your support in raising money for this great cause. The UK and European pinball community has been enormously generous, bringing their pinball machines to support our events, and of course we’re eternally grateful – our shows couldn’t happen without your support and the time and effort you commit to these events. Various companies worldwide have been equally generous, donating pinball related items which we auction or raffle to raise funds. We’ll publicise the list of donors this year closer to the event.

We look forward to seeing you at the show!

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2018 Show Announcement

The Northern Lights crew are delighted to announce that for the 2018 show we’re returning to where it all began – the Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool!

The show will be held as part of Play Blackpool over the weekend of the 27th and 28th October 2018.

Many people have said how much they enjoyed the show when it was held in Blackpool so here, for one year only, is your chance to relive those days!

Although it will be a smaller show than last year’s in Manchester, we’re still expecting to have over 50 pinball machines available alongside 120 classic arcade cabinets and over 200 retro gaming systems. This will be the largest amount of retro gaming ever seen in the Norbreck venue and we hope many of you will continue to support us, both by coming along and by loaning games.

The slightly smaller scale of the show will allow the return of the UK Pinfest in August to take centre stage as the largest gathering of pinballs in the UK this year. It will also give the NLP crew the chance to take a bit of a breather after organising 10 consecutive shows!

More information, including news on our discounted ticket sales, to come in due course. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for further news!

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Games at the 2017 Show

We can now reveal the list of games we’re expecting for our 2017 show! Usual disclaimer of course – there is a chance that some of these games may change between now and the day of the show, but we’ll try and keep the list updated as any changes occur.

Once again it’s a phenomenal range of games from some classic early 1970 titles, through to the very latest titles from Stern and Jersey Jack Pinball. The range and depth of games here wouldn’t be possible without the support of our many friends in the pinball community around the UK, so a sincere thanks to everyone who has generously pledged a table.

Some of the games in our list will be selected for our new tournament! Time to start researching your strategies then perhaps?! Get some game tips from these great internet resources:
pintips.net,
pinballvideos.com,
papa.org/learning-center

Follow our updates on Facebook for further exciting announcements as the show draws closer!

GameManufacturerYear
AC/DCStern2012
Aerobatics (EM)Zaccaria1977
AerosmithStern2017
Aladdin's CastleBally1975
Apollo 13Sega1995
AvatarStern2010
Batman '66Stern2016
Batman Dark KnightStern2008
Batman ForeverSega1995
Black JackBally1977
Black Knight 2000Williams1989
Bone BustersGottlieb1989
Bram Stokers DraculaWilliams1993
Bram Stokers DraculaWilliams1993
Captain NemoQuetzal Pinball2015
CentaurBally1981
Champion PubWilliams1998
CircusZaccaria1977
Cirqus VoltaireWilliams1997
CongoWilliams1995
CongoWilliams1995
CorvetteWilliams1994
Demolition ManWilliams1994
Dialed InJJP2017
Dirty HarryWilliams1995
Doctor WhoWilliams1992
Eight BallBally1977
Eight Ball ChampBally1985
ElvisStern2004
F14 TomcatWilliams1987
FathomBally1981
FireballBally1976
Fish TalesWilliams1992
Fish TalesWilliams1992
Fish TalesWilliams1992
FunhouseWilliams1990
FunlandGottlieb1968
GetawayWilliams1977
Getaway High Speed 2Williams1992
Gilligan's IslandWilliams1991
Guns 'n' RosesSega1994
HoopsGottlieb1991
Indiana JonesWilliams1993
Indiana Jones (Custom)My Pinballs2017
Iron ManStern2010
Iron ManStern2010
Iron ManStern2010
JackbotWilliams1995
Johnny MnemonicWilliams1995
Jokerz!Williams1988
Junk YardWilliams1996
Jurassic ParkSega1993
Lord of the RingsStern2003
Medieval MadnessWilliams1997
Medieval Madness (Remake)Chicago Gaming2015
MedusaBally1981
MetallicaStern2013
Monster BashWilliams1998
Monster BashWilliams1998
Mousin AroundWilliams1989
Mr 'n' Mrs Pac ManBally1982
NautilusZaccaria1977
NBA FastbreakWilliams1997
NBA FastbreakWilliams1997
No Good GofersWilliams1997
No Good GofersWilliams1997
Pinball MagicCapcom1995
PinbotWilliams1986
Police ForceWilliams1989
Queens Castle (EM)Zaccaria1978
RadicalWilliams1990
Revenge From MarsWilliams1999
Road KingsWilliams1986
RoadshowWilliams1994
RoadshowWilliams1994
RobocopData East1989
Rocky and BulwinkleData East1993
Scared StiffWilliams1996
Secret ServiceData East1988
Shaq AttaqGottlieb1995
SpectrumBally1982
SpidermanStern2007
Star TrekStern2013
Star Trek The Next GenerationWilliams1993
Star WarsStern2017
Star Wars (Data East)Data East1992
Star Wars (Data East)Data East1992
Star Wars TrilogySega1997
Street Fighter 2Gottlieb1993
Surf n SafariGottlieb1991
Tag TeamGottlieb1985
Tales from the CryptData East1993
TaxiWilliams1988
Terminator 2Williams1991
Terminator 2Williams1991
Terminator 2 (Chrome)Williams1991
The Addams FamilyWilliams1992
The Addams FamilyWilliams1992
The Addams FamilyWilliams1992
The Addams Family (Custom Electric Chair)Moose & Friends2016
The HobbitJJP2016
The Simpsons Pinball PartyStern2003
The Walking DeadStern2015
Theatre of MagicWilliams1995
TransformersStern2011
TronStern2011
TronStern2011
TronStern2011
Twilight ZoneWilliams1993
Twilight ZoneWilliams1993
TX SectorGottlieb1988
Wheel of FortuneStern2007
WhitewaterWilliams1993
WhitewaterWilliams1993
WhitewaterWilliams1993
WizardBally1975
Wizard of OzJJP2013
World Poker TourStern2006
X FilesSega1997
X MenStern2012

 

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Pinball at Christies Hospital

We’re enormously proud to announce that we’ve helped bring a new pinball machine into the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Christies Hospital in Manchester!

The Christies NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest hospitals in Europe that specialises in treatment for those suffering with cancer, helping around 40,000 patients a year. It was also the location of one of the very first Teenage Cancer Trust units, which delivers a nursing and support service for young people who are being treated in hospitals in the area.

We’d like to send a huge thanks to our friend Erd at The Pinball Mill, and everyone at Teenage Cancer Trust who has helped make this possible. We’re sure this new pinball machine will help bring some smiles to the young patients.

 

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Charity Cheque Presentation 2016

Those that came to our show in October may have bumped into Michelle, who was one of the volunteers at the Teenage Cancer Trust stall. Mark had the pleasure of catching up with her recently, and a chance to hand over our latest charity donation of £6,950.40 (which now takes the lifetime donations to comfortably over £20,000)

2016-cheque

Mark Robinson hands cheque to Michelle White of TCT

An enormous thanks once again to everyone who has helped make this possible. These charity donations go a long way to helping children struck down at a most vulnerable time, and provides them with much needed support on their path to recovery.

Visit the Teenage Cancer Trust site for more information on the worthy services they provide
Teenage Cancer Trust

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Survey Feedback

Thanks to everyone that took a few minutes to complete our feedback survey from the recent show. We do read through each and every one, and your input helps shape decisions on our future events. (And it’s never too late to send your thoughts)

Happily, it was mostly all very positive feedback from what we also thought was a great show. Of course, much of what makes our show great wouldn’t be possible without significant help.

[pullquote class=”left”]Great to see Pinball Heaven had an excellent stand. Thanks to Phil Palmer for bringing several brand new machines for everyone to play.[/pullquote]
What was perhaps surprising is that the range of older games at the show gained slightly more positive votes than the new machines. I guess it goes to show that there are some real classics from the past that will always be popular. We do our best to source some of these classic titles, though have to acknowledge that it isn’t always possible to please everyone. There were a few people that let us know they would have loved to see Monster Bash or The Simpsons Pinball Party at the show. Sorry they were missing, perhaps next year?! Of course the newer machines had a massive amount of positive votes and comments too, with Wizard of Oz seeming to be the most popular modern machine named in the survey.

[pullquote]Jim Askey’s bit was excellent, Steve’s tombola never gets the recognition it deserves. The NLP pin-fixing crew were superb[/pullquote]
We always enjoy the special areas at the show, and it seems you share that enjoyment too. The Addams Family Chair proved popular again, re-appearing this year with a few tweaks since we last saw it, and the shrieks of fun could be heard from quite a distance! A few respondents thought the selection of pinball parts was great, but would like to see that expanded on at future events. Jim Askey’s ‘MyPinballs’ section had a number of positive comments, as did Tim ‘Strobey’s Live Streaming rig which was broadcasting to Twitch.

[pullquote class=”left”]The whole event was well put together. Only comments would be in future they need more refreshment facilities. Hopefully it will continue to grow each year.[/pullquote]
Most of the negative feedback was unfortunately regarding aspects of the wider Play Expo show which we have little direct control over, but will pass along your comments. Many thought a wider range of refreshment stalls would be welcome, and the queuing system always picks up a few criticisms, but in general it seems to be something that is getting better year on year.

Another criticism that we’re well familiar with is people finding it frustrating to see so many pinball machines on four player games (often with only a single player present). This is something we’ve tried to address with signage in the past, but ultimately is down to the audience at our events, who are largely people with little experience in pinball. Frequently we find younger players walking up to a machine and pressing the start button. They see a ball pop in to the shooter lane and start playing. As soon as the ball drains they press start again, thinking that’s how they get another ball (but in reality of course it adds another player). On the flip side (aha) of that though, we have also seen groups of people taking it in turns to play single player games, unaware that multiplayer games can be set-up.

So we’re asking you, the knowledgeable pinheads of our community, to help us solve these problems by chatting to people at the events and explaining how this all works. We also put some effort in this year to try and enable ‘slow restart’ on the modern games, which means that holding down the start button will frequently reset games back to single player. It’s going to be a long battle, but we look forward to that day where we don’t see any games abandoned partway through a four player game!

[pullquote]Run a proper competition (like UK Pinball Party)[/pullquote]
We only had a couple of small pinball competitions at this years show. The linked up NBA Fastbreak competition was missing for the first time in our show’s history, and its absence certainly raised a few comments! The competition side is always something that raises interesting feedback, and we’re happy to hear your thoughts.[pullquote]Competition(s) are a nice extra on the side but certainly not the important part[/pullquote] A few commented there should be more/bigger competitions, and equally a few thought they would prefer not to see machines taken away by running those big competitions. The balance from expanding the competitions is something that we’re aware would be difficult to get right, but it remains to be something that we’ll consider in future events.

There were plenty of other great ideas that we’ll consider in the future too. More seating areas, and a better way to help people find the machines they love, or explain the history of particular games were amongst some of the ideas we’re now considering.

Thanks again to everyone who provided feedback. There are plenty of ways to get in touch, and if you have further thoughts we’d love to hear them. Contact us on Facebook, email or even in person at one of the shows. Because as one kind person explained – the best part of the show? … [pullquote class=”left”]The lovely staff[/pullquote]
…and who are we to argue with that 🙂

 

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Thanks from us, to you

It’s a few weeks now since we wrapped up our last big event. There seems to be a tremendous amount of positive feedback from those that attended, and we’re also checking through the responses to our survey. (If you haven’t yet sent us your thoughts and suggestions, please consider completing our short survey)

There is of course a huge amount of work to bring an event like this together. Our most sincere thanks to…

ALL the many machine loaners, we literally could not do this without you. Your effort in preparing and generously donating machines is appreciated by thousands of people over the weekend, and we hope you share our enthusiasm that events like this introduce a new generation of people to the hobby.

Our sponsors who generously support the show with promotional prizes and items that help generate charity funding

Cliffy's Pinball Innovations

electrocoinheighway

JJlogo

Pinball Heaven

Our tireless crew who dedicate their time, expertise, effort and more at their own expense to help us in various ways throughout the event. From machine repairs, setup/breakdown, transport and overseeing a dozen other things – your help is invaluable:
Andre ‘Onze’
Ian ‘Windoesnot’
Gary ‘Mooseman’
John ‘JMP’
Roger ‘RGV’
Simon Hook

An extra special thanks to Steve who once again raised a huge amount for our charity partner, the Teenage Cancer Trust, at his busy tombola stall. Our visitors may only see him for the weekend of the show, but the effort put in to organise for an event of this magnitude spans far beyond those two days. His team of helpers this year included: Jasmine, Nicola, Sandra, Gary, Jake, Lynn, Madison, Simon H & family and Thin

There will no doubt be others we have missed. Making a list like this always runs that risk – our sincere apologies, please get in touch

To all those that attended, joined in the fun or supported our charity fundraising efforts – a massive thank you, from all on the NLP team

team-2016-11

Pictured left to right: Chloe, Dave, Paul, David, Mark, Simon L, Dan, Chris ‘Poibug’, Nigel.

Absent from photo: Darren and Simon W

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