Coin-Op Carnival #1

Nov 23, 2021


Coin-Op Carnival #1

Ryan Claytor (And Then One Day) sent over a copy of his latest project, Coin-Op Carnival. Co-written with Nick Baldridge, it’s an illustrated zine that aims to “celebrate and explore the history of electro-mechanical coin-operated amusement devices.” That means, for those of us (like me) not clued in, pinball machines. And boy, that brought back memories of hanging out in the student lounge in college, playing them.

The zine is 64 full-color pages in digest size, making for a substantial chunk of reading. I’m not aware enough of the details of the fandom to be aware of all the specialized terms, but “gobble holes”, “pop bumpers”, and “sling kickers” just sound fun.

Most of this issue (out of four in the series) consists of an interview with Wayne Neyens, “the world’s most prolific pinball designer”, responsible for over 150 machine designs for Gottlieb, and still alive at over 100. There’s also a descriptive review of a 1950s machine he designed, a review of a different kind of mechanical space-themed arcade game, information on how relays work, a review of a documentary about the Musée Mécanique, and two papercraft mini-machines to cut out and build. If you’re interested in and aware of the subject matter, this is the kind of deep dive you’ll want to check out.

Coin-Op Carnival is available to order in the current Previews with Diamond order code NOV21 1399. There are preview pages at the author’s website.

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