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March 2, 2014 AT 3:54 am

Best Buffet in Las Vegas? Pinball Machines!

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For most people, “old school gaming in Vegas” means table games Downtown — Blackjack, Craps, Roulette. For some of us geeks and makers, it’s a little different…

Far off the Strip in a nondescript building, the nonprofit Pinball Hall of Fame houses the collection of the Las Vegas Pinall Collectors Club…primarily pinball machines from the 1950s through 1990s, but with a fair number of 1980s arcade video games and a smattering of vintage mechanical games of the pre-video era.

pinballs

The games are all playable, costing one or two quarters. The restorations aren’t always perfect — sometimes you just have to use whatever parts you can find — but it’s a treat to have these games out for the public and not locked away in a private collection. And the dollar-to-fun ratio is far better here than anything on the Strip!

workbench

I love that the work area is out in the open. Look at that mess. Maker heaven!

boneyard

The boneyard, where games await restoration…or are scrounged for increasingly rare components.

The Pinball Hall of Fame is located at 1610 East Tropicana Avenue, open daily from 11 am to 11 pm (Sunday–Thursday) or to 12 midnight (Friday and Saturday).

Just a stone’s throw away in the adjacent strip mall, A Gamer’s Paradise deals in games of all varieties, with a collection varying from Atari 2600 cartridges to pen-and-paper RPGs to fully-restored arcade games costing upward of a couple grand. The place is a bit of a museum in itself, with specimens on display of nearly every gaming console you can think of (and probably even some you’ve never heard of).


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