Review and Photos - White Rose Game Room Show - York, PA November 1, 2003

Just want the photos?  Click here to bypass the show review.  

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 year.

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 at noon on 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 2:30 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 machines.

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 York promoters tried to keep machines from leaving the hall by charging a $20 “early removal” fee for any machine removed prior to 4pm 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 2:30 .

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 Allentown 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 2pm 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 2pm 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 Wil liams 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 Wil liams 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 Wil liams parts.  Mayfair (Steve 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 and clocks.

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!

Next year I plan on taking the day off and heading there on Friday... 



Click on the photos below for the full image!

Gottlieb World Series and Cross Town Gottlieb Central Park and Top Card Gottlieb Big Casino and Wild, Wild West Gottlieb Olympics and Williams Fish Tales Gottlieb Big Casino and El Dorado Gottlieb Frank Thomas "Big Hurt"
Wico Af-Tor and Bally Fast Break Data East Star Trek and Williams Rancho Williams Space Mission and Liberty Bell Bally Captain Fantastic and Stern Playboy Williams Congo and Gottlieb Resure 911 Gottlieb Cue Ball Wizard
Williams TOTAN and JackBot Gottlieb Haunted House and Bally Scared Stiff Williams Hyperball Bally Power Play and Williams Road Kings Gottlieb Stargate and Sega Golden Eye Gottlieb Solar Ride and Bally Kings of Steel
Gottlieb Royal Flush and Sunshine woodrail Gottlieb Solar City and Bally Star Trek Gottlieb Royal Guard and Ace High Gottlieb Sinbad and Data East Last Action Hero Bally Eight Ball and Bow and Arrow Williams Taxi
Gottlieb Bounty Hunter Williams Laser Cue Bally Surf-Club bingo Bally Centaur Data East Royal Rumble and Bally Addams Family Gottlieb Ice Fever and Bally 6 Million Dollar Man
Stern Simpons Pinball Party Gene Cunningham Hall Shot Turned off Machines More turned off machines.

Check out the other York Shows!

Click here to see photos from 2001
Click here to see photos from 2002

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