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« Dear England, My Old Friend | Main | Elvis, Pierogies, & Art »
Thursday
Jul092009

The Pinball Wizard & The Spanish Inquisition

Whether you have smallish children, teenagers, or in my case, a husband that is a 6 years old at heart, Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum is a delight. Now, to be fair, we were the only adults not accompanied by children when we visited this spectacle that is part museum, part arcade and a whole lot of interesting.

Marvin's Magical Mechanical MuseumSeriously, this place has everything from Ms. Pac-Man, which sadly wasn’t working, to WaveRunners, fortunetellers, electric chairs, a bank of pinball machines, and the Spanish Inquisition. Now, I wasn’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition. (Everyone all together: “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.”)

Old amusement machines.Marvin Yagoda is the mastermind of this place; he has been collecting these machines for over 50 years and opened his arcade in a strip mall in Farmington Hills in the early 1990’s. Jeremy Yagoda, Marvin’s son, now manages the museum.

My husband enjoyed the more modern games; he drove a crazy taxi and an 18-wheeler before settling on pinball. After he broke The Simpson’s pinball game he moved on to the Lord of The Rings version with gusto. Ok, he didn’t actually break The Simpson’s game, a ball just got stuck. Thank god he’s good at pinball, that saved us tons of quarters with all the replays he was getting and he was happily occupied for a good 45 minutes.

My husband, the pinball wizard.I liked looking at the older machines, the many planes hanging above, and the overall decoration of the 5,500 square foot indoor playground. The Spanish Inquisition game first got my attention with its gruesome figures promising floggings and torture. What kept my interest, though, was that this particular amusement was first displayed on the Brighton Pier in England. Brighton was one of the destinations on my original itinerary on my first trip to the UK but I didn't make it there on that trip. And even though the coastal town is only about 2 ½ hours from our old home in Bournemouth, I still haven’t been there.

The Spanish Inquisiton "amusement" game.There is also a snack bar, a carousel for the little ones, and a version of skee ball. Honestly, I can’t describe everything that’s going on here. The kids all were having a fabulous time and the parents didn’t have that eyes-glazed-over bored look. One unexpected bonus is free wifi.

Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum will appeal to geeks, video game addicts, history buffs, curiosity seekers, and any kid or kid at heart. Raid those piggy banks and coin jars and take plenty of quarters. If you forget, there is an ATM and change machine.

Marvin's is located at 31005 Orchard Lake Road in Farmington Hills. Phone: 248-626-5020.

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Reader Comments (6)

Marvelous Marvin's Mechanical Museum is always fun, regardless of age. A true hidden jewel of the burbs.

July 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoni

My apartment complex at college had pinball machines in what passed for a rec room. There were a few guys that could play all day on a dime (yep, and gas was 30 cents a gallon). Fortunately I wasn't very good...left more time for studying :)

July 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTim

We drove by this the other day, and I was thinking we should check it out!
Looks like fun...pinball on the computer just isn't the same :)

July 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDominique

Roni,
I agree, Marvin's is a hidden gem that all ages will enjoy.

Tim,
Ha! I'm not very good at pinball either. When I was a caddy we had Pac-Man and Rally X in the caddy shack. Now those I could play for hours.

Dominique,
You should really check it out, I'm sure you'll find something interesting in there. Yes, pinball on the computer just doesn't work.

July 9, 2009 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

This looks like fun!

July 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Favreau

Marvin's is a great place to relax and blow off a little steam, even when you're as old as I am...

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoniGolden

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