Just want the
here to bypass the show review.
York, PA is about a 3 hour drive west of Atlantic City. It is actually a bit closer
to the Washington/Baltimore area than the Philly area, so the draw for
the show is a bit more southern than the Allentown show, which can draw
from the New York area also. The show ran Friday and Saturday (the
11th and 12th), Sunday was dropped this year.
First off, let me give
a big thanks to the promoters for putting on the event. It takes a
huge amount of time to pull this off year after year, and you know
they're not in it for the money. No matter what "cons"
there were about the show, it was still a great show and well worth the
trip out. Now, on to the review:
York is the third of
the "big three" Mid-Atlantic pinball shows each year,
Allentown and Wayne are the other two "majors". What
York has going for it that the other two don't is the huge hall that it
is held in. The show could double in size and there would still be
plenty of room. None of the claustrophobic aisle jamming that
exists at Allentown and Wayne. Just plenty of room everywhere.
While the show still
bills itself as a "game room" show, its still 98% a pinball
show. This year there were a good deal more classic vids than last
year, but not enough to make a video collector even close to
happy. A few EM bowlers showed up this year also, along with the
requisite redemption slot machines. Always a couple of bingos on
About 80% of the
pinball machines at these shows are brought by a few large
dealers. M&P Amusements, based in York, always has at least 20
on hand. The remaining 20% are brought by collectors looking to
"thin their heard". These are the choice machines, as
the majority of the dealer machines are either over-priced or junk (and
is some cases both). The dealers are looking to snag the
"walk-ins", people who are new to pinball collecting and will
be more than happy to overpay. This accounts for the large amount
of Gottlieb Premier games that always show up.
The majority of the
machines were late 80s vintage and up. A large number of Williams
System 11 games (a nice Diner, a Taxi and my show favorite, a Swords of
Fury), the two P2K games again, a RCT, Monopoly and Striker Extreme (but
no Playboy or HRC), and a good deal of WPC and WPC95 games. A few
late "true" Bally games and 1 Alvin G. game. No Capcom's
were present that I saw.
The machines I like the
most are usually missing from these shows. No late 70s EMs, not
one early Bally SS and only several poor examples of early Williams and
Stern Solid State. This is understandable however, there is no
money is these games for a dealer.
Lets talk flea-market,
or lack of a flea-market. You don't go to this show for the
flea-market. Its nothing more than a diversion when you need a
break from playing for a few minutes. I've seen more stuff in a
couple of people's garages than this entire flea-market. Allentown's main draw is its huge flea-market, and even Wayne this year
had an outstanding flea-market. I think this show's flea-market
has been so poor over the years that vendors are afraid to come. Recommendation to the promoters.
Make the flea-market area free
the next few years, maybe this will start to draw some more
vendors. You may start getting the small group of buddies who
bring 4 or 5 machines in their pickup. Its needs SOMETHING to get
it going. Its not like you'll lose any revenue on the 5 spaces you
sold this year.
The inside vendors were
the ones you see at most shows. Pinball Resource doesn't do this
show, so you're at a loss for parts. George Riley was there, as
was Mike Pacak and Mayfair Amusements. Gameroom magazine was
missing this year. Nothing new or exciting.
I did an informal
"head" count of machines at 11am and counted 101 machines that
were available for free-play. About 15 were turned off, having
been sold on Friday. While machines continued to come in during
the day Saturday, an equal number were turned off, so I can safely say
there were 100 machines available for play, just a few shy of what was
available at Allentown.
The double-edged sword
for the promoters are the large dealers who bring in the majority of the
machines. Without them, the shows would be a bust, having maybe 30
or 40 machines brought in by collectors. The problem is that the
dealers tend to shut off the machines as soon as they're sold, leaving
big gaps of unplayable machines. The promoters promise "free
play" on all machines to the paying public, and then usually the
nicest machines are turned off. This seems to be a M&P
Amusement thing, as they did the same at Allentown this year. That
Champion Pub just sat there all day powered down!
I also wish that the
promoters, both here and Allentown, would ban Great White Amusements
from coming back. These guys bring the biggest loads of crap down
I've ever seen. They give pinball a bad name. The machines
at auction look better than this stuff.
Was it worth the $12
price of admission? Of course! Where else can you meet great
people and play pinball all day till your fingers feel like they're
going to drop off! If the York promoters can do something about
the flea-market and vendor situation, they'll have an even better show
on their hands!
Click on the photos
below for the full image!
from the 2001 Show are Here
from the 2003 Show are Here