Hitting the Road
by Jack Guarnieri, Jersey Jack Pinball & PinballSales.com
It’s no secret that we released Jersey Jack Pinball’s The Godfather 50th Anniversary pinball recently. And with the new release, I happily “hit the road, Jack” to introduce the game at shows, getting the chance to meet old and new friends all around the world. I’m blessed to do it and it really helps remind me why we make our games. To see people of all ages smile when they play, makes everything worthwhile!
Yes, on the commercial side, the games are workhorses, making money on location for many years. It is nice to see them pop up on social media and pictures of the launch parties that accompany them.
Then on the other side of my industry life, the consumer side, seeing games in the home is exciting, too. Back in 2000 with my company, PinballSales.com, I worked very hard to develop that market, especially with new games, not just used pieces in off the route.
Over the years, I’ve met so many industry people, collectors and avid pinheads, a ton of “regular folks” who just want a pinball machine for family fun, and even my share of celebrities who wanted the latest and greatest in their homes.
So, I do know a lot of people, but when I was at the recent Texas Pinball Festival, it really hit me that almost everyone at the show knew who I was. It was both a humbling and wonderful experience at the same time. I wore my Christopher Bates Godfather 50th Anniversary Tuxedo (licensed by Paramount) and took pictures with as many happy people as I could. We literally sold hundreds of games at the show – that was awesome and is never taken for granted.
But the shows are about much more than selling games and this article is much more than about the latest game from Jersey Jack Pinball. It’s really about the people, relationships and friendships…the hugs and kisses from the extended pinball family all over the world…and what that really means.
Our games bring smiles and a unique experience but the sensation of being with each other is priceless. A shared meal, drink or some stories help us realize how lucky we are. There is great appreciation of the renewal that came from being able to be with each other after a long absence.
I usually check in on Facebook or on Jersey Jack Pinball’s Instagram page from wherever in the world I happen to be and I do appreciate each and every one of the people “traveling” with me. I honestly don’t take any of this for granted and I’m very thankful to be doing what I love to do. Thanks to the support of my family, I’ll happily keep smiling and taking pictures at shows where I hope to see you some day!
Jack Guarnieri started servicing electro-mechanical pinball machines in 1975 and has been involved in every phase of the amusement game business since then. He was an operator in NYC, then began a distributorship in 1999, PinballSales.com, selling coin-op to the consumer market. In January of 2011, he founded Jersey Jack Pinball (named after his RePlay Magazine pen name), which builds award-winning, full-featured, coin-op pinball machines. Email Jack at jack@ jerseyjackpinball.com.