What is the biggest pinball show of the year?
What are you basing 'biggest' on? Number of attendees? Number of vendors? Number of free-play games? Number of days? Number of events?
Need to define what you're lookin' for, because every show fits into at least one 'biggest' category.
well repaly fx is not really the right answer YES replay has most machines by far BUT many other shows have more pinball related vendors, Tour of pinball factory and many many more seminars and unveiling of new machines SEE www.pinballexpo for one great show so again defintion of biggest or best depending on what you are looking for
I think Texas is quickly gaining traction on Chicago. Companies are announcing games there, it has some good vendors and it doesn't cost you $200 to attend for the exhibits, vendors, seminars and to play the games.
Games to Play -Texas
New Games announced and to play - Tie
Quantity of Vendors -Chicago
Stern and Pinball Life open houses- Chicago
If someone can talk Terry into moving shop to the Dallas area like so many big companies, it would be Texas for the win.
Biggest by what factor?
Most/Best place to buy/sell?
Most free-play games?
Most variety in games?
Regional shows tend to have the last three covered in various scales and should have at least some vendor presence. The news/reveals classically was Pinball Expo.. but that has changed. Now reveals/prototypes tend to show up at the biggest regional shows too thanks to amazing dealers like PinStar, Nitro, Cointaker, etc.
Not everyone is drawn by the tournament point. Usually most games and vendors is what is the most draw.
In our area of the Mid-atlantic.. Allentown is the most that hits the most of all those points... and is really the biggest for buy/sell, vendors AND play all together.
ReplayFX is biggest in play by far (and tournament), but no so for vendors, reveals, buy-sell.
York this weekend is a solid show, that just doesn't have the scale/draw of allentown. Allentown tends to draw everyone from even as far north as canada and past NYC.
The biggest regional "shows" tend to be
Allentown - NE Region
SouthernFried Game Expo - SE Region
Texas Pinball Festival - South/MidWest/National Draw
Pinball Expo - Midwest/West/National Draw
Midwest Gaming Classic - Midwest
California Extreme - West Coast
Probably some arguments for some others in there too.. but that's the jist.
For someone in VA beach newer to the hobby, make an overnight trip to Allentown. (in the spring)
Shows are known for many different things. Check out Pinball News show reports for more in depth information.
Pinball Expo has it's 33rd anniversary this year. Longest continuous running show. Stern tour, seminars, and in the home of Chicago. So you'll run into many people famous in the industry. And many game reveals, last year the most since Williams closed. And the LTG : ) Show.
Midwest Gaming Classic is bizarre to say the least. the gamers add a level of excitement, there seems to be electricity in the air when you enter.
Allentown was known for the flea market, now moved indoors. Pintastic, a newer show geared towards the whole family. Texas Pinball Festival is simply huge.
And great shows in Colorado, California, Florida, Pacific Northwest, Ohio.
Pinball News has a Diary section too, so you can see what is coming up.
Go to as many as you can. Don't worry about biggest or bestest. Find the ones that are funnest for you.
You'll be glad you did.
LTG : )
I guess it depends what you want in a show. If you like industry stuff and seminars, Chicago Expo is the winner. If you want new and custom games Texas and Chicago are good. But i think most people go to shows to play games on free play. Seminars and non-playing activities are side events, to some extent.
The Ann Arbor show will have 400 unique and restored pin games available for play at the 2018 show. And an on site repair/restoration/parts shop, so things stay working during the show. It has to be in the top 5 of all shows based on game count. www.vfwpinball.com
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