TAGS: pinball, Today show, Jason Zahler, Maxine Zahler, Jenna Wolfe, Modern Pinball NYC, pinball rebirth, coin-op news, The Pinball Wizards: Classic Arcade Game is Bouncing Back, Classic Pinball Corp., Kevin Charles McHugh, International Flipper Pinball Association
NEW YORK CITY -- Jason and Maxine Zahler, the nine- and six-year-old children of Steve Zahler, co-owner of Modern Pinball NYC, were featured on the Sunday (Dec. 15) Today show. The program put its national spotlight on pinball machines in a special segment called "The Pinball Wizards: Classic Arcade Game is Bouncing Back."
Young players are part of a growing trend moving toward the rebirth of pinball. Today's Jenna Wolfe, who hosted the segment, got some pointers on how to play a flipper game from the Zahler kids; Modern Pinball NYC in Manhattan and the Today studio served as the backdrop. "We're really good at pinball," Maxine told Wolfe.
"Pinball is now more popular than ever, more so than I've ever seen in the 20-something years of this," said Classic Pinball Corp. president Kevin Charles McHugh, who was interviewed for the piece. [The mid-1990s was the beginning of the Great Pinball Decline, culminating with the closure of WMS Industries' Williams Electronics Games in 1999.]
Wolfe noted that membership in the International Flipper Pinball Association in the past three years has grown more than 50% to over 8,000 players and that restored machines sell from $5,000 to upwards of $20,000.