Pins and Vids The Video Magazine #1
Review by Kevin Steele
One of the nice things about being a reviewer are the surprises I sometimes get in the mail, mysterious packages full of unexpected discoveries. This week's surprise package was a DVD copy of the premiere "Pins and Vids The Video Magazine," hosted by Al Warner and Paul Kiefert, a unique and eclectic collection of interviews, show coverage, and more that proves to be both totally fascinating and completely insane.
For a Good Cause
Al and Paul are obviously having a good time in this video, and this overcomes a lot of rough spots in the production. It's an infectious fun, and even the offbeat humor comes across well.
There is a treasure trove of interesting material on this video, from great interviews to show coverage. The fact that the video is also for a great cause is just the icing on the cake: all profit from the sale of this video goes to help build the Pinball Hall of Fame, a project spearheaded by Tim Arnold, the "man of a thousand pinballs" (literally!)
Al interviews a number of video and pin "celebrities," such as Jeff Anderson of Videotopia and the aforementioned Tim Arnold. These interviews offer a fascinating glimpse into the motivations behind the men, why they're doing what they're doing.
The stories they have to tell are intriguing looks into the past and future of gaming: there's even some name-dropping involved (listen for the story of James Earl Jones in the bathroom!)
In addition to the one-on-one interviews, Al provides some great coverage of annual pinball and video game shows, such as the Allentown Pinball Convention.
Seeing video from these shows gives you a great feel for what it's like to attend a show, and seeing all the exhibitor's wares gave this collector a warm and tingly feeling in my wallet...
In addition to all the main features there are some great extras on the disc, such as this employee training slide show for the "Space Port" arcade franchise.
It's an unintentionally hilarious look into the corporate mind, as well as a great trip down nostalgia lane, with lots of shots of classic machines in their prime.
Of course, there's a lot of silliness on the disc as well, and I'll save the surprises. I will say it was great to see "Shaggy" of the "This Old Pinball" series of repair videos show up and chastise our hosts to "Blow Somethin' Up!" (The "This Old Pinball" repair videos are a great resource whose profits also go to help the Pinball Hall of Fame!)
For a video game and pinball enthusiast, this is a great two-hour trip through the collector community. For a mere $6 you'll meet the greats, see the sights, and bask in the knowledge that there are other guys out there as deeply obsessed with this stuff as you are. Worth every penny.