(Topic ID: 119690)

Largest pinball show?


By Domino7

4 years ago



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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by MrBally
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    #1 4 years ago

    Which pinball show is the largest? I guess it depends on your definition of largest, as in which show has the most machines, which draws the most people, which takes up the most space? As far as I'm concerned, I'm there to see and play the machines and make deals, I don't care how many others are ther or how much space there is, so I think the show with the most machines is the one that can be called the largest pinball show in the usa, which of course makes it the largest pinball show in the world...Allentown's Pinfest had about 260 machines or so last year so I beleive that is the largest, is that so? The so called big expo in Chicago had half that many machines and York and Pittsburgh also had fewer...Pinheads please comment on this.................

    #2 4 years ago

    Pin-a-go-go had 260 last year:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pin-a-go-go-2014-game-list

    Would want to see an exact machine list at the peak of the show to be a true apples to apples comparison.

    #3 4 years ago

    From the NW Pinball show thread...

    Quoted from nwpinball:

    The 2015 Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show will take place June 5-7 at the Tacoma Convention Center in Washington State. The show will feature over 400 pinball and arcade machines from the 1950s to today, tournaments, world record high score attempts, vendors, seminars, guest speakers, raffles and prizes. The show draws nearly 3,000 collectors, players and fans of classic coin-op games.

    #4 4 years ago
    Quoted from zippydapinhead:

    400 pinball and arcade machines

    The question was for pinballs, not arcades and pinballs. Do we know how many actual pinball machines there were out of the 400?

    #5 4 years ago

    Allentown is a great show to buy machines from and I have to say is the largest venue for that purpose I know of. Otherwise I know the Ohio Pinball and Gameroom Show(March 19-21) is also a great place to buy/sell games that I've been to.

    #6 4 years ago

    http://replayfx.org/

    AFAIK, PAPA will be transporting all of their machines to the convention center to join other machines--as well as arcade games. Massive...and I can't wait.

    #7 4 years ago

    Texas had the most pinball machines up and running at any of the shows I know of last year. Arcade Expo will have a shot to pass them in the next year or so, if they can get enough techs enough time to get games working. Replay FX looks to pass both shows however. Will be HUGE.

    -18
    #8 4 years ago

    video games are for PUSSIES!!!!!!!!!!!

    #9 4 years ago
    Quoted from Domino7:

    video games are for PUSSIES!!!!!!!!!!!

    Pinball rules, but pussies? Think not. Do you remember the 80's arcade scene? Pacman, asteroids and defender everywhere, pins in the corner unplayed, and eventually gone. Vids have their place in the gameroom just as much as pins. Plus they take up less room and are MUCH easier to maintain. That said I like pins better and only have a couple arcades.

    #10 4 years ago

    I am sorry

    11
    #12 4 years ago

    As far as I know the show to beat now is the SoCal Arcade Expo.

    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/01/a-virtual-day-with-750-pinball-and-arcade-games-no-quarters-needed/

    Over 500 pins. They weren't all up and running for the inaugural show, but we still were able to beat the Texas world record for most machines being played at the same time at 330. And as techs have more time with the pins the number fully functional will keep going up.

    Arcade Expo, photo by Steve Tsubota

    #13 4 years ago

    Good point Aurich... they must have had more up and running since they broke the record. The number I had was lower, but it was from a Friday count, and they worked their butts off to get more going. I am thrilled to have that collection so close to home.

    I think PAPA probably had more games to play than either.

    #14 4 years ago

    Yeah Friday count wasn't so hot. They had a lot more working by Saturday. Hopeful for the future of the show!

    #15 4 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    As far as I know the show to beat now is the SoCal Arcade Expo

    Wow looks amazing. I will definitely need to check out. I really dig the Techs on hand with matching Tech T-shirts. They look like a nascar crew busting out repairs. May have to drop in on O-Din and have some Jack and Coke and break some screen doors.

    -1
    #16 4 years ago

    do all of these pinball shows have the machines on free play? i know at allentown they are and at chicago they aren't

    what is the point of having a show and charging yuo to get in and then charging you again to play the pins? you might as well go to an arcade

    #17 4 years ago
    Quoted from Domino7:

    do all of these pinball shows have the machines on free play? i know at allentown they are and at chicago they aren't
    what is the point of having a show and charging yuo to get in and then charging you again to play the pins? you might as well go to an arcade

    You know wrong, the gameroom in Chicago is free play.

    #18 4 years ago

    2 digs on the Expo show so not sure if you have an agenda with this thread.. The pins in the game area are on Free Play. There are at times vendors that have games for sale in the vendor hall and sometimes those are not available for play.

    -2
    #19 4 years ago

    i'll agenda you

    #20 4 years ago

    Chicago Expo isn't about the most machines, the free play area is cool, but it's really about the vendor hall and the seminars. That's where you go to see all the prototypes and new stuff, and hear industry people etc. I wouldn't bother to compare it to the other shows that are more game focused.

    I hardly spend any time in the free play area at Expo myself.

    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from zippydapinhead:

    Pinball rules, but pussies? Think not. Do you remember the 80's arcade scene? Pacman, asteroids and defender everywhere, pins in the corner unplayed, and eventually gone. Vids have their place in the gameroom just as much as pins. Plus they take up less room and are MUCH easier to maintain. That said I like pins better and only have a couple arcades.

    It's true that pinball blows arcade video games away but vids were not necessarily just for "pussies".

    Dorks liked them too.

    lol

    The only arcade games I ever played back in the day were Pacman and Defender and that wasn't too often. I always preferred pinball.

    Now I have to admit I do like the old electro-mechanical arcade games like the fortune tellers and the gun games and other stuff like that. Those were cool and I wouldn't mind having a few of them in my collection.

    #22 4 years ago

    Agreed, the number of pins in free play zone at Expo is dwarfed by other shows. As mentioned above, Expo is about seeing pins that are new that you had never played/seen before and going to seminars/venders ect.. Very fun expo, in fact since going to this past one I've decided I'll be going every year. However, it doesn't have near as many pins as either of the Expos in Northern CA (Pinagogo, California Extreme).

    #23 4 years ago

    The Ann Arbor Michigan pinball show (May 15-17, 2015) will have 250 games available for play. In fact, you can go look at the games now on the website, as there's pictures of most of the games. And all games are restored and working. There's no guessing on what will be there.
    http://vfwpinball.com/?p=128

    i go to a lot of shows, and frankly the quality and quantity of games is always questionable. In this show model there's less unknown in this regard. Also the number of tickets sold is capped. This keeps the player-to-game ratio nice so there aren't lines to play games.

    At the Ann Arbor pinball show we have solved a lot of problems that most other shows exhibit. As the price of games goes up, and the willingness of people to haul games declines (after all, most game damage happens during a game move), shows relying on people bring games will have a harder time. Add to this the increase in pinball participants, and you have a formula for disaster (people-to-game ratios go up, giving a declining show experience.) We've done a bunch of other smaller changes too at our show to just make the whole show experience better.

    #24 4 years ago
    Quoted from zippydapinhead:

    Pinball rules, but pussies? Think not. Do you remember the 80's arcade scene? Pacman, asteroids and defender everywhere, pins in the corner unplayed, and eventually gone. Vids have their place in the gameroom just as much as pins. Plus they take up less room and are MUCH easier to maintain. That said I like pins better and only have a couple arcades.

    Video games killed pinball.

    #25 4 years ago

    Coming up at the end of March is Texas Pinball Festival.
    Last year they had 400+ pinball and arcade games. Same for this year.
    40,000 square foot game room
    http://texaspinball.com/tpf/game-line-up/

    I'm happy I will get a chance to play The Hobbit and America's Most Haunted.

    #26 4 years ago

    Wow! I wish I could attend some of these shows around the country. They all sound like awesome events!

    I was at Allentown last year. It was 40K sq ft of Awesome! The show was packed and I had a total BLAST! This year they've expanded the show another 20K sq ft! Hopefully that means a lot more pins will be there as well. 1st weekend in May baby and I can't wait!

    Here's a link to the website... http://www.pinfestival.com/location.html

    Replay-FX in Pittsburgh, PA. is going to be an amazing show as well. I think they'll have over 300 pins there and the largest prize pool tourney in history! Their guaranteeing $100,000 for their tourney!!! WOWOWWW!!!

    Here's a link to the website... http://replayfx.org/

    #27 4 years ago

    If you count Tom's Open House as part of the Midwest Gaming Classic, we had over 500 pins.

    Having said that, all shows are different. You can put your metric to any one of them and decide they are the best by a limited criteria. It depends on what you are looking for out of a show, and it seems like all shows tailor themselves to take advantage of what they feel their attendees want.

    Don't listen to people who criticise shows for not being other shows. If the number one reason you wouldn't like the ____ is because you attended the ___ and it was awesome, that's silly.

    #28 4 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    Also the number of tickets sold is capped. This keeps the player-to-game ratio nice so there aren't lines to play games.

    I like this aspect!! I wish they would do this at Allentown. Hopefully better this year since they're moving into both halls.

    #29 4 years ago
    Quoted from Domino7:

    video games are for PUSSIES!!!!!!!!!!!

    You are cool and attractive. Really.

    #30 4 years ago
    Quoted from jackofdiamonds:

    Video games killed pinball.

    And home game systems killed arcades, but they can't really duplicate a real pinball machine.

    #31 4 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    The Ann Arbor Michigan pinball show (May 15-17, 2015) will have 250 games available for play. In fact, you can go look at the games now on the website, as there's pictures of most of the games. And all games are restored and working. There's no guessing on what will be there.
    http://vfwpinball.com/?p=128
    i go to a lot of shows, and frankly the quality and quantity of games is always questionable. In this show model there's less unknown in this regard. Also the number of tickets sold is capped. This keeps the player-to-game ratio nice so there aren't lines to play games.
    At the Ann Arbor pinball show we have solved a lot of problems that most other shows exhibit. As the price of games goes up, and the willingness of people to haul games declines (after all, most game damage happens during a game move), shows relying on people bring games will have a harder time. Add to this the increase in pinball participants, and you have a formula for disaster (people-to-game ratios go up, giving a declining show experience.) We've done a bunch of other smaller changes too at our show to just make the whole show experience better.

    Opp wants to make deals. To me being able to take home a new toy is a key part to a show. Are your games for sale at a reasonable price. As I understood this is not part of your model. Maybe I am wrong. CA is a bit far for me to drag something home anyway.

    #32 4 years ago

    Personally we don't sell games, but last year there were about 15 games for sale at the Ann Arbor Michigan show. i would expect about the same this year. but frankly until the day of the show, i can't tell you what people will bring for sale. There's just no way to know ahead.

    #33 4 years ago

    Texas is a great show! Chicago, was disappointing in the number of games and panels. JMHO.

    #34 4 years ago
    Quoted from BSavage:

    Texas is a great show! Chicago, was disappointing in the number of games and panels. JMHO.

    Panels?

    #35 4 years ago
    Quoted from zippydapinhead:

    Pinball rules, but pussies? Think not. Do you remember the 80's arcade scene? Pacman, asteroids and defender everywhere, pins in the corner unplayed, and eventually gone. Vids have their place in the gameroom just as much as pins. Plus they take up less room and are MUCH easier to maintain. That said I like pins better and only have a couple arcades.

    i agree, classics.. battlezone, missile command, galaga, tempest, asteroids, pacman, joust. some great stuff back then..

    #36 4 years ago

    Retrogaming is what led me to "discover" pinball last year. If I did not love classic video games, I likely never would have gotten into this awesome hobby! Looking forward to the Texas Pinball Festival next month. The first show I will ever be attending.

    #37 4 years ago

    Assume he means the speaking seminars.

    Chicago Expo is all about the manufacturer hall. If you went and were disappointed after seeing all the prototypes and custom games, then, well, you're not excited by the same stuff I am.

    The free play halls were nice! But I hardly touched them.

    #38 4 years ago

    The chicago expo is absolutely the best for seminars. if that's your bag, don't miss that show. no other show, and i mean none, comes even close to what chicago expo offers in terms of seminars.

    for this reason, at the Ann Arbor pinball show, we just don't do seminars. It's not worth it, since chicago expo has that aspect so well done. we concentrate just on the games themselves (since for probably 90% of all show attendee, having good quality and quantity of games is their top desire.) With 250 fully restored and working games, no duplicates, and a game selection that makes historic sense, we feel the Ann Arbor show is one of the best pinball playing shows in North America.

    list of games with pics: http://vfwpinball.com/games.php

    #39 4 years ago

    I think its not as much the seminar it self but being able to meet and talk with the famous pinball people.

    #40 4 years ago

    just walking down the hallway of chicago expo you usually mean some pinball dignitaries. they have the location, chicago, which is where nearly all pinball designers/coders/engineers live. no other show can really compete with that, if that's your bucket list for a show.

    1 month later
    #41 4 years ago

    For the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show we generally have 400-425 games and the breakdown is usually about 175-200 pins, 200-225 video games, and 20-25 older style EM arcade games. I don't think anyone putting on one of the 3 or 4 big shows in America would think there is a contest between our shows, they are unique and different!

    What makes the Northwest Show unique is 99% of our games are on freeplay the entire 3-day weekend--we don't have a bunch of games that you can't play or allow people to pull games off the floor until the show is over, it's a player's show. We also have tons of volunteer techs fixing games the entire show, 95% of the games on the floor will be on and working. I think while other shows have surpassed our number of pins in recent years, they don't usually have the killer volunteer tech team we have, you won't hear the complaints about half the games being pulled, turned off or broken by Sunday with our show, which you will hear about a few others. I would also put our seminar line up against any show in the nation, we also always have the top pinball designers, engineers and company owners at the Northwest show speaking and hanging out for the weekend, it's a lot of fun!

    Here's Gary Flowers, Steve Ritchie and David Thiel from last year:

    #42 4 years ago

    The biggest show game wise is now Arcade Expo in Banning California. The show is run by John Weeks who has a collection of 800 machines of his own, all pins, and he also has more vids and other old gun games that are not included in the 800 count. As far as attendance goes, Midwest Gaming Classic has the most attendance. This past weekend MGC had over 10,000 attendees. It was a blast, but you could hardly walk around.

    #43 4 years ago
    Quoted from Brehhah:

    The biggest show game wise is now Arcade Expo in Banning California. The show is run by John Weeks who has a collection of 800 machines of his own, all pins, and he also has more vids and other old gun games that are not included in the 800 count.

    How many game were at the show?

    #44 4 years ago
    Quoted from PappyBoyington:

    How many game were at the show?

    John did not give me the exact numbers, But the total amount of vids and gun games is less than 100. So the total is in the 800s.

    #45 4 years ago

    I have no idea what John Weeks still has in storage, but Arcade Expo had around 500 pins.

    #46 4 years ago
    Quoted from Brehhah:

    John did not give me the exact numbers, But the total amount of vids and gun games is less than 100. So the total is in the 800s.

    WOW, that is a lot of games in one building. I just watched the walkthrough video on youtube. That is one amazing collection!

    #47 4 years ago

    The Banning/John Weeks thing is really cool. He had a ton of games, lots of unique titles. But when we arrived there, i doubt even 1/4 of the pinball machines were actually playable. As things moved through the weekend it got better. maybe to 1/2 of the pinballs worked. I fixed about 5 or 6 myself. and the big struggle was to break that "most pinballs played at once" record at 2pm on saturday. we were told "just get the games to where a ball could be served/plunged"... that is don't really get the games working, just get them limping along so someone could plunge a ball (for the record.)

    In reality those games need A LOT of love at Banning. It's a huge job, he has been in acquisition mode, but kind of forget to restore anything. so there was a big push to get games running just before their show. there were no tools or parts (to speak of) at the facility. they did have schematics though (probably spent a small fortune to make that happen.) Also most games had new rubbers. that type of stuff you can get general volunteers to do. but the really technical work of getting games running (especially the EMs), that will take YEARS of work of a small army of techs.

    To that end, i would think the Texas show is probably the largest show based on working pin games. PAPA too (though not really a show.) Then I would say Ann Arbor Michigan (our show, 250 restored machines), and then probably Banning. Though just in sheer game numbers (working or not), Banning kills everything. But again, a lot of working games needed small details (flippers rebuilt). And a lot of EMs are just completely dead. That stuff all takes time, and from what I can see John Weeks himself is not that technically inclined. so he has to hire or ask for tech help. And since he's basically in the CA dessert, in the middle of no where, 2 hours from LA, i'm not sure how he's going to get those games all in decent running condition in less than say, five years.

    The banning model though is really cool. He made that facility something really nice and special. just now he needs to get the pin games in good working order. it's easy to hire dry wall guys, carpet guys, paint guys... which he did (place looks great.) But now he needs to hire pinball techs, and in Banning CA, i can't imagine there's too many (if any) of them to hire. He really needs some help there. And not just a couple weeks before his next show. he needs a staff full time (year round), kind of like what PAPA does, to keep get and keep those games in good running condition.

    #48 4 years ago

    Anytime PAPA is opened to the public.

    400 pins.

    3 months later
    #49 4 years ago
    Quoted from zippydapinhead:

    Pinball rules, but pussies? Think not. Do you remember the 80's arcade scene? Pacman, asteroids and defender everywhere, pins in the corner unplayed, and eventually gone. Vids have their place in the gameroom just as much as pins. Plus they take up less room and are MUCH easier to maintain. That said I like pins better and only have a couple arcades.

    Yeah I remember the 80s scene.It effectively killed pinball.Put Gottlieb out of business.
    It was the first nail in Pinballl coffin and pinball has never been the same.Not calling anyone names but you know what........FUCK VIDEO GAMES!!!!!!!

    #50 4 years ago

    Man we are living right! What a great time to have pinball as a hobby. There are a lot of great shows.

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