(Topic ID: 315183)

Pinball Shows: Bring A Game To Show/Share/Sell! Nice Ones Too!

By SantaEatsCheese

1 year ago

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“Bringing an A game to a show is?”

  • A great idea... do it! 10 votes
  • Stupid... it will get ruined. 1 vote

(11 votes)

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#1 1 year ago


Don’t be afraid to bring nice games to a pinball show… and bring what you can.

The Allentown pinball show was a blast this year, I’m looking forward to York, and know that many of you have the opportunity to go to other regional shows and I absolutely 100% support it. If you can, you should absolutely bring a pinball machine. It doesn’t matter how old, odd, or unworthy you think your pinball machine is. Even if you here people here ragging on 80s Gottiliebs, the ONLY place most of us will ever see one is at a pinball show, and we are pinball nerds.
I was told that bringing a Nice A game to a pinball show was a bad idea, and I think that is absolutely wrong. I have brought A games to pinball shows for 2 years now, and have sold/traded every machine I have ever brought to a show or had a sale as a result of the pin I brought to a show. At Allentown I brought an Attack From Mars LE and a Rick and Morty, and both sold for cash to someone not on pinside and not in the facebook marketplace groups. Went through the process of how to set up a machine, tear it down, basic maintenance, the full spiel. There are absolutely individuals out there new to pinball that would love to see new games.

If you have a brand new game like a Godzilla or Rush odds are that if you are at a larger show with a vendor they will be taking orders and have a ton on freeplay, but any game you brought with an LCD made more than a year ago would have had a line in it. If you brought Deadpool, Jurassic Park, Wonka, Dialed In, even Thunderbirds you would have had a line of very happy people at your pinball machine the entire time, and would have gotten your pin in front of other people to sell/trade.

But what about the plays on my machine? If you are bringing a newer machine, just slap down a piece of 50cent mylar in the shooter lane for the duration of the show. Make sure you wax it before the doors open up every day and give it a good cleaning. I had about 400 plays on Rick and Morty and Attack from Mars during the show before my pin sold and a similar amount last year. Those 400 plays are not from pinball wizards, and looking through the scores on my machine most people had at most 5 minutes on a game on those pins. Pinball show people are not pinball wizards for the most part… those people hang out in the tournament area.
Yes, pinball machines are a pain to move. Yes, they can get scratched and dented moving them. Get some shrink wrap from Home Depot or the show and go to town on your pin. The entire time there I saw no one abusing my pins, and someone called me the one time a ball got stuck.
The vast majority of pins in the regional shows in my area are B titles from 1975 to 1995 with a few newer machines sprinkled in. Most are in the $1500 to $3500 range. If you brought a pin in that range you could have sold/traded it to other folks many times over and enjoyed watching others play it nonstop. Heck… I had a line of kids playing my Outrun 1Up when I brought it to York last year.

Finally, even if you are not selling a pin or trading it. Bringing a pin gets you into most shows for free, there would be no shows without them, and it is fun to watch other people on your pins. With all the pins at the show I probably spent the most time on Jungle Princess, T2, and Firepower... and they were freaking awesome.

Here are a few pictures from the past few shows of games I’ve brought. I had 0 issues with anyone mistreating them.

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#2 1 year ago

I admire the fact that you bring such great titles for all to enjoy. I haven't reached that level yet. If I was bringing these top games for the purpose of selling them it'd definitely be a lot easier.

I will eventually, I've always wanted to, but I'm not there yet.

#3 1 year ago
Quoted from ThePinballCo-op:

I admire the fact that you bring such great titles for all to enjoy. I haven't reached that level yet. If I was bringing these top games for the purpose of selling them it'd definitely be a lot easier.
I will eventually, I've always wanted to, but I'm not there yet.

Here is part of my point. Even if you are not bringing them to sell them. It's fun. You also might also be able to trade for a different pin while you are there.

As an example, Allentown is a top 5 pinball show in the country. With the exception of the Harlem Globetrotters and Walking Dead in the tournament area, every single one of your games would have been "one ofs" at the pinball show. I'm a huge pinball nerd and have never played TOTAN, Alien Poker, Hardbody, or Waterworld.

Even if you don't think they are great titles, nerds (like me) will be interested and the pinball show is a great place to find nerds (like me). If you put up a sign on your pin that said "trades considered" you might have come home with something unexpected. I traded my Black Knight for a Sorcerer last year that way. Never knew I needed one until I saw it at the show.

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#4 1 year ago

Great tips. I brought my Voltan to York a couple times mainly because it’s a game that no one ever usually sees in person. People were very appreciative, and it was awesome to get to see that! I appreciate everyone that supports shows however they do it, but the folks that bring games are the backbone of every show. If you’ve never done it, I highly recommend trying it. Start small if you’re uncomfortable with it and bring a game that’s not your favorite….

#5 1 year ago

My friend and I started going to shows in 2014 and have brought games every time.

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#6 1 year ago

I appreciate everyone that brings a game to shows, I wish it was easier for me but the timing and logistics make it almost impossible for me...maybe one day!

#7 1 year ago

I've been bringing 1 pin a year to the Texas Pinball Festival yearly for about 7-8 years. The first year was a little tough because my Dixieland ball trough coil overheated and melted a lug. The good news: Loads of people that could help me fashion a repair.
Nobody has ever mistreated my pins. In fact, they are great discussion starters. Non-exhibiting visitors that you end up meeting love to see what game you brought and to learn about them. Actually, the same goes for my fellow exhibitors. It's always been a good exprience for me.
My collection is middle of the road, I own no A or AAA titles. They are all from between 1968-1983. And, yes, I've brought a Gottlieb as well. (I have a love/hate with those darn edge connectors.)
I appreciate your post SantaEatsCheese !

#8 1 year ago

Pintastic New England also appreciates the post, as this is the time of year when we are recruiting game owners to show off their games.
Pintastic has state-of-the-art incentives, including support for selling your game, if that's what you wish to do. And you can get Bonus Points for rare games, A-list games, custom games, games designed by our Special Guests, and more!
.................David Marston

#9 1 year ago

Thanks for posting!

Just a general comment. None of these shows exist if people aren’t willing to bring games. Once the games stop coming, the show dies. If it’s too nerve racking to bring games, I totally get that. But maybe a friend of yours is bringing games and they could use help? Lots of ways to help make a show better without bringing games. So if you want to help, reach out to your local show runners and ask how you can help.

#10 1 year ago

When I went to my first LAX, I was thinking all the games were going to be collector quality amazing games. That was not the case at all. Looking at some of the games there with my wife, I couldn’t believe the bad condition of some of them.

From then on I took it upon myself to bring at least one game to every show I attended (if possible).

Remember. A game can ALWAYS be fixed/restored.

4 months later
#11 1 year ago

Another year another York Show! Had a blast bringing 5 (Fathom, Deadpool, Flash Gordon, Super Mario, and Jurassic Park). Games were solid at the show, and I had people pouring out of the woodwork to help me when a game went down. Fathom sold and I ended up grabbing and bringing home a badcats.

I will admit though. Bringing 5 is too much for one person. I spent about 3 hours setting up the first day and 2 tearing down at the end of the show. I will absolutely support shows in the future... but I'm going to shoot for 4 at Allentown next year. Hopefully Weird Al will show up in time.

My games were treated with respect the entire show and I have no fear of bringing games back again. Remember, you don't have to sell or trade everything you bring.

I ended up getting an offer to trade my JP Premium for a G&R LE after the show due to it being there, and made several new "potential temporary trade" partners for my deadpool for next year.

A few lessons learned for bringing pins:

1. Put where your game is coming from. I put a "game lives in Crofton Maryland" sign on my machine. This allowed for a few trade offers I received for games that were not brought to the show, but fairly close to me.

2. Put the tilt bob in your game during the show... even if you don't use it. People won't shake it (as hard) if it doesn't tilt.

3. Even if people bug you about buying games not for sale, you NEED to put your name on the machine so people can call you if/when a ball gets stuck.

Overall a great experience and I'm doing it again!

Sometimes it is more fun watching a huge line of kids playing your Super Mario Bros pinball machine than playing it in your basement.

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