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With Brian Sherman
Brian Sherman is a moderator (gweempose) on Pinside, the largest and most active online pinball community.
Around the Playfield with Brian Sherman
The Start Button: How did you first get into pinball?
I played a lot of pinball in the arcades growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. I was also fortunate enough to have a few friends who had machines in their basements. I vividly remember the day when my friend’s dad brought home a new in box Paragon. We thought we had died and gone to heaven!
The Plunge: What was the first pinball machine you bought?
Twilight Zone. If I had known the addiction that it would ignite, I would have bought one sooner!
The Skill Shot: What is your best pinball achievement or favorite pinball moment?
Convincing my wife to let me start collecting them. 🙂
Good Shots, Bad Bounces: What is your favorite and least favorite pinball machine?
My favorite game is definitely the premium/LE version of The Walking Dead. I love everything about the game. The theme is awesome. It has great artwork and sound. The dots are some of the best (and bloodiest) out there. It’s fun to shoot, and Lyman’s code is simply brilliant.
My least favorite game is a harder question to answer, since I tend to like every game, at least on some level. If I had to pick one, I guess I’d say Wrestlemania. I appreciate that Stern tried to do something different, but the ring, which is the main playfield toy, just isn’t that much fun. That being said, I still kind of like the game. 🙂
The Wizard Mode: What is your dream theme you’d like to see made into a pinball machine?
That’s an easy one … The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. There is just so much great material to work with. Unfortunately, the theme is probably a little too niche to ever get made by one of the big manufacturers.
The Tilt: What is the dumbest mistake you’ve made in pinball (mishap moving a machine, messing up trying to fix a machine, etc.)?
I’ve done a lot of really stupid things over the years, but my biggest blunder was probably the time I was working on my Iron Man and I dropped the entire playfield into the cabinet with the game on. It was a miracle I didn’t fry anything.
The High Score: Describe the pinball hobby in one word.
Match – Next Game: Where do you see the pinball hobby in 5-10 years?
I think the hobby will keep growing, at least for a while, as the younger generation continues to discover how much fun it is. I do find the upward trend in pricing a bit worrisome, though. New in box games get more and more expensive each year, and they are dragging the prices of older games up with them. This makes the cost of entry a lot higher than it used to be in terms of building a collection, or even putting games out on location. Ultimately, I think we will see a breaking point where the growth of the hobby can no longer sustain the insane prices. This could result in a major correction in prices across the board. If this happens, people who got into the hobby as an “investment” will definitely be in for a rude awakening.