Review and Photos - White Rose Game Room Show - York, PA October 12, 2002

Just want the photos?  Click 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 hand also.

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!

Flea Market View Bally Reserve at the Flea Market (mouse nest and all) More flea-market. A nice Gottlieb Totem And more flea-market. Bally Attack from Mars and Gottleib Olympics Williams No Good Goofers and Bally Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Data East Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Gottlieb Street Fighter II Williams Space Ship and Bally Hi-Lo Ace. Williams Rollergames and Gottlieb Operation Thunder Gottlieb Wipe-out and Williams Bride of Pinbot Williams Dirty Harry and Gottleib Rescue 911 Stern Monopoly and Williams High Speed II, the Getaway
Bally Judge Dredd and Williams Fish Tales Stern Roller Coaster Tycoon Gottleib World Fair and Chicago Coin Twinky Bally Dr. Dude and Williams Police Force Bally Corvette, Sega Baywatch and Gottleib Street Fighter II Check out the pinball repair in a can! Gottleib Barb Wire, Bally Popyeye and Sega Maverick
Gottlieb Bucanner and Solar City Bally The Shadow and Who Dunnit Williams Space Oddesy and Gottleib Royal Guard Williams Hurricane and Dirty Harry Bally Baby Pac-man and Stern Wild Fyre United Civic Center bowler
Sega X-Files and Frankenstein Williams High Speed II and Whirlwind Data East Tales from the Crypt Williams Tales of the Arabian Nights and Bally Champion Pub. Williams Pinbot and Data East Star Wars Williams No Fear and Police Force.
Data East Rocky and Bullwinkle and Bally Monster Bash Bally Escape from the Lost World and Williams Star Trek the Next Generation Genco Stop and Go. Williams Black Knight and Alvin G. Mystery Castle Williams Comet and Gottlieb Haunted House Williams Stellar Wars
Stern Meteor Williams Firepower and Data East Hook Gottlieb Mario Andretti and a Sega Grand National. Gottlieb Cue Ball Wizard and Stern Viper Night Driving Williams Big Ben Gottlieb ElDorado
Bally Motordome Gottlieb Strikes and Spares and Williams Fish Tales Williams Congo Williams Superstar and St. Louis View of the Hall View of the Hall
Three EM Shuffle Bowlers

Pictures from the 2001 Show are Here

Pictures from the 2003 Show are Here


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