Allentown Pinball Wizards Convention -April 30, May 1, May 2, 2004

Last year I only attended the show on Saturday and just hung out in the  flea market.  The Saturday inside crowd is usually overpowering, with long waits for machines and high temperatures.  This year a friend and I headed to the show on Friday evening to play the machines inside and then stayed overnight and attended the flea market on Saturday morning.

One thing I forgot to do was a machine "head count".  The room was full, but not packed as in previous years.  Friday evening is a good time to attend, as there is usually always a free machine available for play, and no more than a few minutes wait on the rest.  The inside show area in Allentown is divided into two areas, a "free-play" area where collectors bring machines for play only or to sell, the draw for the collector being a free admission for each machine brought.  There is also a "vendor" area where a vendor pays for space to bring in machines.  The difference between the two areas, and the bone on contention for the past few years of a lot of attendees, is that a vendor can shut a machine down and remove it at any time.  In the "free-play" area, a machine has to stay up for the entire day and cannot be removed until the end of the day. The show's organizers state that since the vendors are paying for their space they can do what they want with it.  In my opinion, that doesn't hold water since attendees are paying $15 a day to attend the show and should not be greeted by banks of turned-off machines.  I can agree with vendor's being able to remove machines, but the organizers should make sure their vendors have a truck in the parking lot with machines that can replace the one's move out.

This year I noticed very few late model machines at the show.  Of the recent Stern releases, there was only the new Ripley's and a Simpson's Pinball Party.  Very few late model Williams/Bally.  If you are a wedge head junkie, then this was the show for you, with a good number of Gottlieb single players in great condition.  Overall, I must say that the free-play machines were in better condition than past shows, here and elsewhere.  The Vendor machines were of course junk as usual.  Here is my plea to those of you bringing machines next year, LEAVE THE GOTTLIEB SYSTEM ONE GAMES HOME! I thank you and the other attendees thank you.

The one surprise of the show was the lack of vendors at Saturday's flea market.  Early reports on the rec.games.pinball newsgroup were that vendors were being turned away because there was no space.  Not so, there was available space and the flea market could have used at least 10 more vendors.  This show's highlight is the flea market, so lets hope the vendor's come back next year.

 

Click on a thumbnail to view the full picture:

Williams Getaway (High Speed 2) and a Bally Baby Pac-man Williams Taxi and a Gorgar in the distance Gottlieb Solar Ride and Bally Kings of Steel Gottlieb Jungle Princess and Vulcan Gottlieb Countdown and Williams Hot Tip Gottlieb Sinbad and Stern Simpson's Pinball Party
Gottlieb Show Boat and Chicago Coin Action Gottlieb Bronco and Bally Space Time A trio of Gottlieb Wedgeheads, Bank a Ball, Kings & Queens and Sing Along Gottieb Sing Along and Lucky Hand Williams Space Mission and Gottliib King Pin Stern Meteor and Williams Star Pool
Gottlieb Victory and Royal Flush Stern Ripley's Believe It or Not Bally Nip-It and Gottlieb 300 Williams Fire and Gottlieb High Hand Williams Cyclone and Gottlieb Niagra Bally Six Sticks and Gottleib Gold Strike
Gottlieb Flipper Parade and Williams Touchdown Bally Rocket III and Gottleib Lightning Ball Gottlieb Lucky Hand and Sing Along Gottlieb Bounty Hunter and Black Hole Steve Young's Pinball Resource was back and doing a brisk business Williams Gorgar and Firepower II
Bally World Cup Soccer and Williams Bride of Pinbot Williams Fun House and Gottlieb Super Soccer Williams Gusher and Gottleib Dodge City Gottlieb Spare and Strikes and Bally Shadow Gottlieb Crescendo in the flea market Flea Market shot
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Check out the 2002 Allentown Show here

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