(Topic ID: 178980)

Best pinball events to attend in 2017?


By Tazmancat

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 41 posts
  • 34 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Borygard
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    #1 3 years ago

    Hubby and I would like to attend 2 or 3 pinball expos in 2017. We have attended the Texas Pinball Expo (2016 - truly awesome) and the Southern Fried Game Room Expo (3 times and keeps getting better and better). Can anyone recommend shows that have a large number of pinball machines to play? I looked over the Events page on Pinside and I suspect that there are a lot of pinball shows that are not listed on there. Hint to show organizers - get those shows listed so all us pinball fanatics can start planning!

    In the meantime, please recommend the pinball shows you love and if you can include a brief description of why you loved them that would be great. Thanks!

    #2 3 years ago

    I went to Pin a go-go http://pinagogo.org/ last year and they had around 290 pins.
    There's one in Banning CA http://www.arcadeexpo.com/ that has more games. I have not been to this one but will be going this year.

    #3 3 years ago

    If you want to play lots of games, it's tough to beat VFW.
    http://vfwpinball.com/

    Lots of fully working, clean, well maintained games to play; all with a limited number of folks trying to play.
    And super helpful people just waiting to fix anything that breaks down.
    Not really a show with lots of vendors, but lots of fun.

    #4 3 years ago

    I really like and recommend
    Pin a gogo
    Vancouver pinball show
    DPO (expensive but worth it)
    Texas pinball festival

    Added over 3 years ago: Reply FX

    #5 3 years ago

    Pintastic

    People and vendors bring a lot of really nice machines. New, old, rare, all fun.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pintastic-new-england-show-2017-thread

    #6 3 years ago

    Pintastic New England will be on year three - https://pintasticnewengland.com/

    (got me by a minute)

    #7 3 years ago

    Another vote for Pin-A-Go-Go here. It's a pinball-only show, in a small town just outside Sacramento, with a very family oriented feel and atmosphere. The whole show is very laid back and folksy. Food on-site, fun tournaments, lots of hanging out and talking shop with fellow pinheads, borygard is there to fix your pin's boards, cool vendors, amazing raffles(including TWO pinball machines), swap meet on Saturday morning…. I could go on and on. It's just a great time.

    #8 3 years ago

    ReplayFX. It's PAPA's whole collection in a bigger venue. And that's only for starters.

    #10 3 years ago

    Pin-a-go-go is my favorite expo. Chill vibe and close to 300 pins.

    #11 3 years ago

    Texas Pinball Festival is amazing!

    #12 3 years ago

    Texas Pinball Festival is fantastic, but Northwest Pinball Show is also great. NWPAS has a large amount of pinballs and arcade machines, and as a bonus you get to spend a few days in beautiful Pacific Northwest that offers so much for pinheads (indoors and outdoors)

    NWPAS: http://nwpinballshow.com/

    #13 3 years ago

    http://www.midwestgamingclassic.com/

    Why > ELECTRIC vibe to the whole show. It is a conglomeration of pinheads, vidheads, cosplay folks, board game people, counsel folks, and lot of overlap. For the whole weekend the entire hotel gets taken over. Seriously, pinball in elevators, in rooms, in hallways, in the game hall of course. It is really an almost festival type atmosphere.

    The people are amazing. What they say about the midwest is true and MGC really shows it. I have been to many other shows and they all have their thing, but so far nothing can even come remotely close to the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of MGC.

    For pinball, sounds like you can plan on over 200 games this year and by far the best playing games of any show I have gone to combined with shear number. The regional collector really tend to put a lot of pride into the games that show up and you will get to see some really cool stuff you wont find elsewhere.

    Last thing, it is a super fun party atmosphere.

    #14 3 years ago

    Wow! Thanks so much for all the recommendations!

    #15 3 years ago

    TPF is the best. I would put Expo next.

    #16 3 years ago

    I have to second the recommendations of the Midwest Gaming Classic, especially if you're into video gaming as well. I got to play Goin' Nuts there last year, one that I hadn't seen anywhere else. Caveats: hope you're comfortable with elbow to elbow crowds, and during general admission hours there will be waits for games.

    Also featuring vids, I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend California Extreme (CAX). Big show, great atmosphere, and the first place I've been able to play stuff like Big Bang Bar, Capcom's Kingpin, and the Atari protos. Rare and proto video arcades you aren't likely to find anywhere else, too.

    #17 3 years ago

    Mad Rollin Pinball 2017 > Sept 22-23 Check with whysnow for details.

    LTG : )

    #18 3 years ago

    I think if I had to pick just two shows to hit this year it would have to be Allentown & VFW.

    Allentown has it all - great food at the farmers market, plenty of machines to play, lots of vendors in the main hall, an indoor flea market plus an outdoor flea market. What more could one ask for unless you need to have seminars to be happy.

    VFW - Probably the most unique show basically being one persons collection of nicely restored machines. Over 250 fully working machines with a great staff of volunteers helping Clay keep things up and running. I have never made it to VFW but just reading about it makes me want to go in the worst way. The issue this year is Allentown & VFW are the same weekend.

    Third in line for me is our local York PA show - a great smaller show! Rich - the promoter - does a great job with that show but I can't say it is in the top 5 shows in the country or anything. It is just a well run nice size show that I love.

    Pintastic sounds like another great show - especially since this is going to be just the third year for that show. I am hoping to make Pintastic this year - I have friends that have been to both of them and highly recommended I try to make this years show.

    I have never been to Chicago but that sounds like another very interesting show? Maybe some day!

    #19 3 years ago

    If you are looking for a show to purely play pinball replay fx is hard to beat.

    #20 3 years ago

    TPF is a great all-around show...one of the best in the country (and by many accounts now better than Expo).

    Allentown can't be beat if you want to buy or sell games or parts.

    Pintastic is the best show for the whole family, hands down. Light years better in its second year than in its first, and I can't wait to see what's new this year.

    #21 3 years ago

    Cax or replay
    Nw pinball show
    Vancouver flipout

    #22 3 years ago

    Pinball Olympics

    #23 3 years ago

    Another vote for vfw if you're going for playing pinball now over 350 machines limited tickets for each day pin heaven in my opinion

    #24 3 years ago

    www.VFWpinball.com we will have 350 restored games available for play this year. And that means 350 games, no repeat titles, all unique. Limited ticket sales so no over crowding (and it does sell out, so get your tickets ahead, there won't be any at the door.) It's in a venue designed for pinball. Tournaments too, but they go on at different times than the show (so there's no "tourney problem" where half the games are unavailable to everyone not in the tourney.)

    If you want to play pinball, this show is hard to beat. Nearly complete collections of 1990s Bally/Williams WPC, Bally/Williams system11, Williams system6/7/9, Bally -17/-35, Stern M200, Zaccaria Gen 2, Dataeast 1987-1995, etc. Also EMs are very well represented too with a huge collecton of wedgeheads and multi-player games. Many rare games that aren't available for play anywhere else. Also a sizable EM gun game and ball bowler collection.

    There is also an on-site repair facility with the largest pinball parts selection in Michigan. Meaning if something breaks during the show, it gets fixed on-site and quickly. So Friday's game count is the same as Sunday's game count (which is something a lot of show struggle with, as games get broken without parts to repair them, or they get sold and leave the venue, often Sunday's version of the show is a lesser version compared to Friday.)

    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    http://www.VFWpinball.com we will have 350 restored games available for play this year. And that means 350 games, no repeat titles, all unique. Limited ticket sales so no over crowding (and it does sell out, so get your tickets ahead, there won't be any at the door.) It's in a venue designed for pinball. Tournaments too, but they go on at different times than the show (so there's no "tourney problem" where half the games are unavailable to everyone not in the tourney.)
    If you want to play pinball, this show is hard to beat. Nearly complete collections of 1990s Bally/Williams WPC, Bally/Williams system11, Williams system6/7/9, Bally -17/-35, Stern M200, Zaccaria Gen 2, Dataeast 1987-1995, etc. Also EMs are very well represented too with a huge collecton of wedgeheads and multi-player games. Many rare games that aren't available for play anywhere else. Also a sizable EM gun game and ball bowler collection.
    There is also an on-site repair facility with the largest pinball parts selection in Michigan. Meaning if something breaks during the show, it gets fixed on-site and quickly. So Friday's game count is the same as Sunday's game count (which is something a lot of show struggle with, as games get broken without parts to repair them, or they get sold and leave the venue, often Sunday's version of the show is a lesser version compared to Friday.)

    So far, this has been the best pinball show if your intention is to play many, many different pinball machines that are in fantastic shape and fully functional. My wife thinks so also. A great place to "try out" games that you think you may want to find and buy, but have never played it before. The VFW owned pins are not for sale, so don't read that into my last sentence, but my point is try out those games you think you may like, and have never played. A great show for that. Or if you just want the vast variety of different kinds of pinball machines all in one place in one weekend.

    #26 3 years ago
    Quoted from KingBW:

    So far, this has been the best pinball show if your intention is to play many, many different pinball machines that are in fantastic shape and fully functional. My wife thinks so also. A great place to "try out" games that you think you may want to find and buy, but have never played it before. The VFW owned pins are not for sale, so don't read that into my last sentence, but my point is try out those games you think you may like, and have never played. A great show for that. Or if you just want the vast variety of different kinds of pinball machines all in one place in one weekend.

    As mentioned, with managed crowds/attendance. There will always be a machine open on the site (three buildings with games this year) to play. It may not be the pin you want to play but you'll always find one to play. Even then, the line never seems to be more than two or three deep for even the most popular games.

    If we get a Gay 90's back from a club member, that one could cause a long line Maybe even a Gottlieb Mini Cycle.

    #27 3 years ago

    I've only been to Texas Pinball Festival, Houston Arcade Show (both many times) and Rocky Mountain. Those are great.
    If I have a wish list, the names on it are Expo, Southern Fried and Pinburg-ReplayFx.

    #28 3 years ago
    Quoted from Tazmancat:

    Hubby and I would like to attend 2 or 3 pinball expos in 2017.

    nobody has really asked and honestly it is the most important thing... What do YOU and HUBBY like to do at a show?

    Every show has a different flavor with different pros/cons.
    For example, VFW has the greatest # of games and they all play very well (plus onsite staff to fix issues so if it breaks the will have it fixed in a couple hours) However, if you primarily like A listers then VFW is packed and you will always be waiting to play them. I like the other games so it is awesome and I never have to wait more than 1 deep to play the goofy ones. If you like old EMs and woodrails then you could play 3 at a time, lol.

    For example, Expo tends to have all the big announcements and Debuts of new games. It has the most industry people and most buzz about what is going on. However, the game list for free play area is never great and the guy that runs the show honestly likes to be a dick to people so it can be souring.

    Really depends on what you want to get out of a show. They all have some good points and all have some bad points.

    #29 3 years ago
    Quoted from Tazmancat:

    Can anyone recommend shows that have a large number of pinball machines to play?

    I guess whysnow missed this in the middle of your original post and the vfw a list games are not packed due to limited tickets sales versus number of machines then again everyone's opinion varies on what an a list game is just go to as many shows as possible and have fun

    #30 3 years ago

    Also at the VFW if you go on friday and play in the tourney (which is before the show opens), once you're out of the tourney, you get access to the entire VFW hall before the show opens. Since there's only 64 people in the tourney, that gives you the run of the facility without pretty much anyone else around!

    #31 3 years ago
    Quoted from dhard:

    I guess whysnow missed this in the middle of your original post

    I caught that but almost ever show has a pretty good # of pins to play.

    #32 3 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    Also at the VFW if you go on friday and play in the tourney (which is before the show opens), once you're out of the tourney, you get access to the entire VFW hall before the show opens. Since there's only 64 people in the tourney, that gives you the run of the facility without pretty much anyone else around!

    100% agree! The BEST and only way to do VFW in my opinion is to go on Friday, play in the EM world championship and then hang out all day friday and play. That is the best way to experience the VFW show. Even if you dont like to compete, then just play in the EM world championship and get knocked out so you can go play the main collection before anyone else even gets in. It is a better prize than winning, lol.

    #34 3 years ago

    I'll put in another recommendation for Pintastic! Great location, huge selection of pins and so many great pinball seminars!

    #35 3 years ago

    TPF
    NWPAS
    PAGG

    #36 3 years ago

    I love the Pintastic summer show in new england. It's in Sturbridge MA the weekend after the 4'th of July. I'm fortunate that its only about 1 hour away from me. However if it was 8 hours away I'd still go since its a great show.

    Show is attached to hotel, good food close by, lots of semimars, great pinball designers as guests, stuff for wives and kids, tournaments, tons of free prizes, great selection of old and new games, whats not to like?

    #37 3 years ago

    Which one is good for buying machines?

    #38 3 years ago

    PAGG (Pin-A-Go-Go) In Dixon CA, weekend after Mother's Day every year.
    Great for buying pins.

    2 weeks later
    #39 3 years ago
    Quoted from jake35:

    Which one is good for buying machines?

    Allentown by a landslide

    #40 3 years ago

    If you just want to play pinball machines that are well maintained--a huge collection of them--go to PAPA 20 in April. Went three years ago and it was amazeballs, even though I came in 40th in C division

    #41 3 years ago

    The ones that I'll be set up at...

    Texas Pinball Festival
    Frisco TX - March 24-26th
    Embassy Suites - Frisco Hotel and Convention Center
    http://www.TexasPinball.com

    Midwest Gaming Classic
    Milwaukee WI - April 7-9th
    Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel
    http://www.MidwestGamingClassic.com

    Pin-a-GoGo
    Dixon CA - May 19-21st
    Dixon County Fairgrounds
    http://www.PinaGoGo.org

    ReplayFX
    Pittsburgh PA - July 27th-30th
    David L. Lawrence Convention Center
    http://www.ReplayFX.com

    --
    Rob Anthony
    Pinball Classics
    http://LockWhenLit.com
    Quality Board Work - In Home Service
    borygard at gmail dot com

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