Trading Card Spotlight - Michael T. Dunlap

| Trading Card Spotlight

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Michael T Dunlap, who currently is displayed on card number 3588, from the Superstars of 2021 Collection. Michael is featured on the “Corvette” pinball card that features popular pinball games along with gamers who have them as their favorite. The first time he played this game was in a pizza shop. Michael is a corvette enthusiast and owns his own corvette. The first pinball game he played was in 1975 in New Jersey. Michael most recently has helped out termendously for the Walter Day Trading Card website by uploading almost 1,000 images to keep the inventory on the site current.

Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a video game trading card? 

No but I collected baseball cards and thought it would be cool.

What was the best era for pinball gaming in your opinion?

The 80’s pins were my favorites as that’s what I grew up playing. My stepfather was a plaster and stucco guy so anytime he has extra funds he would buy us a new pin as these were his favorites. Not mine back then as I grew up during the video age and all I wanted was a video game. (Full size not console lol) I still own the 4 games he bought us starting around 1981

In your opinion, are there enough or too little pinball expos and conferences held each year?  

I think there are enough as it gives me enough time to save some money to buy a few more lol

What’s your opinion of the Console Pinball games (Xbox, PlayStation) that recreate the original machines onto the TV screen? 

I started buying the ones for the original PS then as each console came out, I bought them for that. My favorite was pinball arcade. I bought every table they made and couldn’t wait for each new release.

Did you agree on the pinball ban in New York City on the 1970s?  What is your opinion on this topic?

The ban from the 40’s to 1976 was crazy in my opinion, thank God for that young magazine editor Roger Sharpe! And we all know where he ended up lol

Do you remember your first pinball machine you played and what do you remember about it?

It was around 1975 or so my grandparents owned a trailer in an old campground in New Jersey and in the rec hall there was a pinball machine and an old seeburg jukebox I can’t remember the exact name of the pin right now sorry

What are your opinions about today’s generation of pinball? 

How do you compare them to older, classic machines? I love all pins, but it was a lot easier without all the rules of the game. I just want to play and see how long I last.

If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?

Fundamental……. if he didn’t start Twin Galaxies without his thought of needing someone to keep track of everyone’s score where would competitive gaming be?

What is your favorite pinball machine past and present and why?

I really have a hard time saying exactly which one is my favorite…. I always buy my video machine, pinballs, jukeboxes etc. because each one I have a fond memory of where and when I played it. (I currently own around 50 or Arcade machines.) my favorite that I don’t have yet is the original Black Knight (which I first played in a roller-skating place around 1980) reason is I had very fond memories of going skating every weekend and playing pinball. That is also where I first played black hole which I did end up buying one for that same reason.

What makes “Corvette” a classic and fun pinball game?

Well, I am a corvette enthusiast and own a corvette, and when this machine was produced, I knew I had to get one to add to my collection. First time I played it was in a pizza shop the next town over, once I played it and seen the drag strip, and LT5 engine that shook on the playfield and the girl taunting you in the game as you play made me fall in love with it

What would your design and theme of the perfect pinball machine be and why?

I really never thought about designing my own machine, there are way too many awesome designers out there that kill it with every new release. The early designers are still my favorites like Steve Richie… he is a god.

When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?

I have never met him in person but have chatted with him for a while when he started the Card collection. I made a donation and got a binder shortly after that. Then as each one came out, I would get another one.

Are you fan of the new digital pinball machines and what makes them better or worse than the standard machines?

I am not a big fan, but I think they could be cool. I think the only reason I would buy one (I thought about building one like I have with my full-size Mame machines) is because I can at least play games I can’t afford… or have the space for lol I have a lot already.

If you could only own one pinball machine, what would it be and why? 

I really can’t own just one like lays potato chips can’t have just one lol but

What does it take to be a pinball champion?

Real skill.

Do you prefer playing pinball alone or against someone and why?

I like the challenge of head-to-head as it makes you go that much harder to beat each other’s score

Do you learn anything from playing pinball?


Are pinball machines good for relieving stress?

Can be but also it can make it worse if the ball isn’t going your way

Where do you see the pinball world in the next 10 years?

Hopefully still around, I thought pinball was going to die in the late 90’s when all that was left was Stern. I was really upset when Williams closed as I always loved their stuff.

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