Like last year, the
show was held on a Friday and Saturday, however the show was moved back
2 weekends to Halloween weekend. The show also moved from the
larger "Old Main" hall to the smaller Horticulture hall next
door (a good thing as it turned out considering the lack of
games). I think the date hurt attendance, with Friday being
Halloween, but I heard that it was the only weekend they could get this
If you were a first time show attendee, this show would have seemed
like a nice "small" show. Large hall, good selection of
machines, enough parts vendors to satisfy your needs. However the
show was about half the size of the previous two year's shows. I did a “head count” of pinball machines that were operating
Saturday and the total was 63 with about 15 turned off.This number kept going down, and I would expect that by the time
we left at the number was probably around 50.
The show's promoters had posted on the pinball newsgroup in the
weeks prior to the show that all in the inside space was spoken for and
if you hadn't already reserved a space you wouldn’t be able to bring a
machine.The day before the
show, the promoters posted a message stating that the largest dealer had
backed off of their commitment to bring 50 machines and was only
bringing 18 and that there would be plenty of space available.The vendor (M&P Amusements) is located in York, so I
can only assume logistics problems prevented then from bringing more
A common problem at all pinball shows is machines being sold and
then either removed by the buyer or turned off by the seller.From what I heard, a large number of machines were sold on Friday
and removed, leaving a pretty empty hall on Saturday morning.The
promoters tried to keep machines from leaving the hall by charging a $20
“early removal” fee for any machine removed prior to on
Saturday.I have a feeling
that most sellers just loaded the $20 into their asking price and paid
the fee.I bought a machine
and the seller picked up the fee so I could take the machine out at .
A more common site as the day wore on was that of machines turned
off with signs stating “turned off at the request of the buyer”.I posted a question to the promoters on the pinball newsgroup
asking if they charged these sellers $20, since what’s the difference
between a removed machine and one that’s been turned off.I’ve received no response to date.
Dealers also get different rules than collectors bringing in one
or two machines.At
they’re free to take out a machine at any time they please, banging
into and running over the paying attendees at will.
My suggestion to help ease this situation – First, cut the show
down to one day at
York.Make Friday a setup day and Saturday the show day.From what I’ve heard, attendance on Friday is low, and these
folks will show up on Saturday.This
will also make the hall look “full” on Saturday morning when the
bulk of attendees show up.Second,
enforce a removal
and shut-off time.This will
give you a full complement of games for 5 hours, and won’t most buyers
and sellers should have no problem of waiting until to start
taking out machines.
Now back to the show itself!As
usual, a good complement of machines, from early
EMs to a
Stern Simpson’s Pinball Party.The
Canadian’s and their junk didn’t return this year (yeah!), so the
majority of the machines were in decent shape.The highlight of the show was a Taxi that looked like it just
came out of the box (and played even better).The promoters where giving away a Flash and a Grand Prix, it
would have been nice if they had them available for play.Last year saw a lot of Williams
System 11 games, this year there were less than a handful (Taxi and
F14).The usual large amount
of late model Gottlieb games that nobody wants.A nice surprise was the number of early SS games present, a Williams
Pokerino, Laser Cue and Firepower II were there, a Bally Powerplay,
Medusa and 6 Million Dollar Man all come to mind.
There was a small number of video again (8 pieces I think) and a
couple of jukeboxes (that were up way too loud IMO).No shuffle bowlers this year, they were a big hit last year.
The inside dealers consisted of Illinois Pinball (Gene
Cunningham), who seemed much more upbeat than at past shows.He had KISS and TAF playfields and other assorted
Engle) had a large area with parts, backglasses and boards.George Riley had a tremendous amount of parts and there was one
other pinball dealer with used parts.There were two neon dealers with a nice selection of beer neon
The flea-market lived up my expectation, which was minimal.This year’s weather was clear and warm versus the rain of last
year, but I think only one or two more vendors showed up.Mostly everything is the same junk you see carted to every show
waiting for some poor guy new to the hobby to buy it up.I didn’t even take any photos of the flea-market, there was
nothing notable to take a picture of!
year I plan on taking the day off and heading there on Friday...