Meet Phil Forrester Jr., located in Greenville, South Carolina. He, along with his dad (Phil Sr.) own and operate The Phil’s Pinball. We mainly refurb and rent pinball machines. We do some sales as well. We service mainly Upstate South Carolina and the surrounding areas.
Phil says: “I got my start in pinball 4.5 years ago refurbishing a Gottlieb Charlie’s Angels with my dad. We caught the bug and have been working on machines ever since! Now we enjoy not only repairing them but playing them.”
Q: How did you first get into the hobby? Did you jump right into repairing machines or did you learn under someone else?
“My dad and I were looking for a way to spend time together. Our first machine was a basket case Gottlieb Charlie’s Angels. Took us about 6 months to go through everything, boards and all, to get it going again. The rest was history. Over the years were have owned over 125 machines. Most were projects that we repaired.
I dove head first into repair. The refurb, transformation, and bringing things back from the dead is what drew me into the hobby the most. The playing new machines and the community of people have been icing on the cake.”
Q: Follow up, Did you have a background in another field that made that transition easier?
“My dad was a computer programmer and analyst my whole life. We had computers before anyone else. That led me to always being around computers and I now work in the IT support industry as well.
Q: Some techs have a particular aspect they really enjoy working on or they have a specialized set of skills (ie: boards, EMs, new Sterns, restoring cabinet art, etc) — do you specialize in something? or what’s your favorite aspect to work on?
“My favorite part is getting the electronic and mechanical parts working again. I love troubleshooting problems and feel as though my brain was made for it. Solving problems makes me happy. My dad loves to clean the machines up, tear them down, fix plastics, etc. . All the stuff that makes them look good again. We make a great team! “
Q: What are you working on now and in the past, What has been your favorite project/game that you worked on?
“We are currently doing a hardtop on a Williams Space Shuttle and doing a refurb job on an Indianapolis 500 for Upstate Pinball and Arcade Museum.
My favorite project was restoring our original Attack from Mars. We completely redid the cabinet with new Rad Cal decal art and a new repro playfield, LEDs, and all. It was a ton of work but it looks and plays great now.”
Q: What is the best way to contact you and what areas do you service? Do you also operate your own route? If so, would you like to shout out those locations?
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