The 2011 Michigan Pinball Expo in Photos

Fifty-seven hours might sound like a lot of time, but don’t tell that to the attendees of the 2011 Michigan Pinball Expo. With more than 150 pinball tables, classic arcade games, rare game/pinball combinations, new virtual pinball machines and several tournaments, you could have sworn the whole thing went by in 50 minutes.

This classic Star Wars offering was only the beginning.

In a galaxy far, far away (located at the corner of Tatooine and Oakland University), attendees were given the opportunity to experience unique pinball/video game hybrids like Baby Pac-Man.

Can you guess which classic (and highly innovative) space shooter these buttons belong to?

With a stellar layout and impressive details, the Spider-Man pinball machine never fails to draw a crowd.

Once again, attendees were amused by the homemade Guitar Hero/Elvis pinball hybrid.

Josh Sharpe competes for the grand prize while his brother, Zach Sharpe, looks on.

From left: John Kosmal (the man behind the expo), Josh Sharpe and Zach Sharpe.

Ultimately, Josh was the victor, but he’s not a greedy winner. Before the competition even started, he and his brother agreed to share the money, regardless of who won.

“It allows us to offset our expenses so we both have a better chance of paying for the trip [to each tournament],” Josh said. “We’re both kind of equal-caliber players, so it’s nice if I lose and he’s still in.”

This pinball machine is more than 70 years old. But its age is not its most striking feature. If you look closely, you’ll see something very important missing: the flipper.

That’s right–this unique game of skill used to be a simple game of chance.

Table-top machines aren’t just for arcade games, you know.

This virtual pinball machine (developed by Virtua Pin) uses two large HD screens and an accelerometer to replace the standard pinball parts.

One of the real Indiana Jones pinball machines also made it to the show.

If you can’t stand the thought of leaving your pinball collection unguarded, Abel Electronics has a solution for you.

This pinball machine really sucks! (In a good, vampiristic way.)

I’ll be back … next year!

(All photos by Louis Bedigian)

Louis Bedigian has been writing about games and entertainment since 1999. He joined GameZone in 2001 and has worked for Radish Creative Group as a videographer, editor and production assistant. He is also a staff writer at, The Trading Idea Network.