Herb Silver's Pinball Fantasy 2006

The 10th Annual Reunion Show!



On Thursday, July 27th, 2006, I caught a flight from Richmond, VA to Las Vegas to attend the one and only Pinball Fantasy.  There was very little planning involved. Basically, a few days before the show was to take place, I heard from many collectors on the newsgroup, rec.games.pinball, that this was THE show to attend.  So, I booked a flight on Monday, July 24th, and on Thursday morning, I was off to the airport, leaving hot, muggy Virginia behind for 100 degree plus Las Vegas.  Remember, try to arrive early at the airport when traveling anywhere, unlike myself who was in a hurry, had trouble finding a parking spot, then realized I forgot my cell phone, and had to leave it behind in the van.  As seen on the news, and as I found out, airport security can be very slow at times, post 9/11, and commuters miss their flights frequently as a result, like I almost did.

Looking back though, this has to be one of the most exciting shows I have ever attended.  Highlights included the rollergirls in a tag tournament on Rollergames, Rick Stetta rolling over an Eight Ball Deluxe four times and taking first place, and also meeting legends in the industry, including Mr. Pinball, Ray Johnson of Action Pinball, Sam Harvey, and of course, Tim Arnold.  This show was 24/7, kicking off on Friday morning, 9 am, and winding up on Sunday afternoon.  

Two shows were documented on tape and now available for sale on dvd at Pingeek.com, the first show in 1996, and the 2006 show, ten years later.

This show was special in a couple of ways.  One, it was not an annual show.  Pinball Fantasy took place in Vegas, from 1996-1998, and 1999 in Anaheim, California.  This was the first year The Pinball Hall Of Fame opened it's doors, during winter, 2006, so this was the first year it was in business.  Herb offered limo rides on Saturday, 3-9 pm, every half hour.  I was so impressed with this place, I also went there on Sunday morning, and took several photos during both trips.  You can see Pingeek's Pinball Hall of Fame tour at Pingeek's News Archives, where you can also read the Forbes article from May, 2007 about PHOF as well.

Herb Silvers, the guy behind this shindig, is no stranger to pinball.  He's been a collector since 1972, and since 1988, Fabulous Fantasies has been in business offering top notch ground up restorations.

Anyway, a year after this show took place, here's my account of the whole thing.  Enjoy.  Pingeek


Here's a few postcards I bought at the Plaza hotel shortly before I left for the airport on Monday morning, after the show was over.  

The Golden Nugget, right across the street from The Plaza Hotel, where the show took place.  This is a before and after look.  If you go to Vegas, try to head there during a weekday. You can save a few bucks on a hotel room.

Here are two more postcards, the top showing The Plaza Hotel, where the show took place, the left side showing the Freemont part of the strip, across the street, home of the famous nightly Freemont Experience light show.  The card on the bottom shows Bally's, a famous part of the main Vegas strip, and something I want to check out on my next trip to Vegas. 

 Welcome to The Plaza Hotel!  No shortage of food, that's for sure.  Inside, there's Subway and McDonald's, and if you are really hungry...

The white sign, if you click on this pic, clearly shows a $6.99 buffet inside the hotel, and it's pretty decent.  Down the street, at Union Station I believe it's called, they have better buffets, and some great nacho stuff too!

A view of Freemont, taken from across the street.  The Freemont Experience light show takes place right here, starting at 8:30 pm with different shows taking place until midnight, projected across this giant canopy.  

You'll find The Las Vegas Club entering Freemont, across the street from The Plaza Hotel.


Always good to know where the local liquor store is located.  The cowboy above the store winks at you.  On Ebay, recently, I saw neon miniature repros of this, the cowgirl, and other famous classic stuff.  At the Plaza gift shop, I picked up a "Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas" mini sign complete with chaser lights for about $15 I think.  They had one left.  They make great gifts, by the way.  You can find all this stuff HERE on Ebay.  

When I return to Vegas, my next stop will be...;)

That's a big goose!  Ok, enough sightseeing. There's a pinball show in town, darnit!

My pass for the show, which I still have.  Click on the pic to see it a little clearer.

Enter the show.  Click on the pic and you'll see the sign says "second" floor.  Second apparently was a typo, as it is scribbled out and "third" is written in it's place.