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Wizardry of pinball on view at expo

Ever since we were young boys, we played the silver ball. From SoBe up to Boynton, we must have played them all.

Then, video games took over. And pinball machines got stored in somebody's shed.

So Marcel Gonzalez made some phone calls, and this weekend, 110 pinball machines will be among the 145 games on display at the Florida Arcade and Pinball Exposition in Fort Lauderdale.

"The best feeling of all is to see people walk in and say, 'Oh, my gosh, I haven't seen that game in years," says Gonzalez, of Miami.

Most of the machines are owned by private collectors, who like to share their games with the general public on occasion, Gonzalez says. Some of the machines will be for sale.

The expo features pinball machines from the 1950s through the '90s, Gonzalez says, so attendees will likely find a game from their childhood.

"The golden era of pinball all depends on how old you are," he says.

The Florida Arcade and Pinball Exposition will take place from noon to midnight Friday and Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Xtreme Indoor Karting, 5300 Powerline Road, in Fort Lauderdale. Admission is $15. VIP tickets and entry into a pinball tournament with cash prizes cost extra. Go to

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