Trading Card Spotlight - Dennis Bartlett

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Dennis Bartlett, who is displayed on card number 285, from the Superstars of 2012 Collection.  Dennis was fortunate enough to have grown up Ottumwa, Iowa where the Twin Galaxies arcade was first opened.  He was in attendance when the famous Time Life Photo shoot was taken in 1983.  In 1984, Dennis set a record on the arcade Aztarac with a score of 142,390 at 15 years old.  The world record for that game still stands.  Dennis also played such arcade games as Super Pac-Man and Track and Field.  You can see Dennis at various events in Ottumwa, Iowa or gaming events in his area. 

What is your favorite Arcade Game of all time?

Track & Field it’s a game I still get to play today whether at the Arcade or Home, Aztarac is a really close 2nd, it is considered a Rare Game now and I haven't played it since I was 15.

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Trading Card Spotlight - James White

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features James White who is displayed on card number 281, from the Superstars of 2012 Collection.  James has been a regular for the past 10 years at the largest arcade in the world, Galloping Ghost Arcade.  He has multiple high scores on machines in the arcade and was crowned the ‘Player of the Year’ in 2012 by Dock Mack, owner of Galloping Ghost. Some of those games he is most proud of include ‘Bubbles’ and ‘Us vs. Them’.  James, along with his father have contributed their time on numerous occasions at various gaming events.  James is one of the most competitive gamers out there and strives to be the best at what he plays.

Which arcade or console manufacturer is your favorite and why?

My favorite arcade company back then and sometimes now is Sega, well at first, I had a tough time with their games like Zaxxon, Frogger, etc.  Not only arcades, but I was enjoying their console systems as well, my favorite console by Sega was the Saturn, I know it did not do well in the US, but I still loved many of their games.                                

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Trading Card Spotlight - Neil Hernandez

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Neil Hernandez who is displayed on card number 2316, from the Superstars of 2015 Collection.  Neil is a masterful arcade technician who has come to the rescue for numerous arcades across the country.  His skills are praised by some of the biggest arcade owners around.  Based in Florida, Neil has a passion for collecting the arcade machines that have become historical in the gaming community.   His passion of gaming goes beyond fixing arcades as Neil holds arcade world records on such games as Crius’n USA and Off-Road Challenge.  He has many goals, but one is to break the Galaga – Fast Shot arcade record.  If you look hard during Billy Mitchell arcade streams, you may see Neil pop up and chat with the online gamers.

What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?

The games that I play today are typically arcades that resides in my home. Donkey Kong, Galaga, Ms. Pac-man, Monaco GP, Neo-Geo & Track & field. My favorite genre... fighting games. Mark of the wolves and King of Fighters 2002 are up on my list.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Patrick Hickey, Jr.

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Patrick Hickey, Jr. who is displayed on card number 3258, from the Superstars of 2019 Collection.  Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of ReviewFix.com and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by top publishers the likes of Nintendo, Deep Silver, Disney and EA Sports. His book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Game Developers," from McFarland and Company, has already earned praise from Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and MSG Networks. Patrick is the voice of the main character and Story Editor of Shotgun with Glitters Survival Horror game, The Padre, currently on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch and the writer of the upcoming game, KROOM.  He is also a former editor at NBC and National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. 

When did you write your book and what motivated you to do so?

I began the initial The Minds Behind the Games book in October of 2016. My wife was a few months pregnant and I wanted to do something different in terms of professionally. Something grand. Something bucket list-like. I had written for newspapers, sites, and magazines for over a decade and had never thought of a book. As I sat in my manacle with over 3,000 games, the decision essentially made itself. I decided to interview as many developers as I could and start to build a series of behind the scenes narratives of as many cult, classic and indie games as I could. Three years later and I’m working on book four, The Minds Behind Shooter Games. The second book, The Minds Behind Adventure Games, is set for a January 2020 release, while the third book, The Minds Behind Sports Games should be available in Spring/Summer 2020.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Robert Berk

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Rob Berk, who is displayed on card number 260, from the Superstars of 2012. Rob is also featured on card numbers 782 and 1702.  Next weekend (October 17th-20th) is the annual Pinball Expo is in Wheeling, Illinois.   Robert is one of the founders and promoters of this event and has for the last 32 years.   Rob collects pinball games as far back as the 1930's.   His passion for pinball is and his expo keep the pinball world alive and well.   With special guest speakers and tournament the Pinball Expo in Illinois has become the worlds largest .

When did you first get involved in the pinball or gaming industry?

I wouldn’t necessarily say I am involved in it, it’s more or less a hobby. So I think it started off with my interest in playing games from the mid-60s that I grew up playing.  Then seeing the pinball books that came out from either Michael Colmer or Roger Sharpe and learning who the people were behind the scenes, the designers and artists and just having a fascination and a real intense interest in these people to the point where in 1984 I had the idea of having this Pinball Expo show.  The pure purpose of that show was to honor my heroes, the pinball designers’ and artists. I always felt that they were kind of behind the scenes, they were 9 to 5 guys, they never got the accolades.  It was always the big shots on top that were always the ones you heard about or read about but now the guys behind the scenes so I figured to myself, “These are the guys I really want to meet, these are my heroes that made the games I love to play”.

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