(Topic ID: 233009)

Which show/expo should we go to?


By REMAXRick

3 months ago



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    #1 3 months ago

    We've gone to the Ann Arbor Michigan Pinball Show (aka VFW) for the last few years. While I can't imagine a better place to play a variety of well working machines in good condition, we are looking to expand our experiences. If you've not been and you just want to play pins, WOW! 400+ unique machines and the crowds are controlled so always open machines and relatively short waits on the handful of machines that are the most popular.

    I've been to the Louisville Arcade Expo. Hoping for more than it had to offer. Allentown is always the same weekend as Michigan, so we've not made it there, but may be willing to trade off this year.

    What's your thoughts on the BEST show to go and see and play a wide variety of pinball machines? It's ok if they have arcade, too, but not required. Playing a variety of machines is the main goal, but networking, checking out booths, and repair classes would be bonuses. Buying machines is always a possibility if we are driving there.

    We live in Indiana, but are willing to travel. I wouldn't mind hearing reviews of the Chicago Pinball Expo, but the dates rarely work out with my schedule. That pretty much rules out Houston, as well.

    Thoughts/comparisons on Texas Pinball Festival, Pinfest (Allentown), Ohio Pinball Show and Arcade Expo (Banning, CA) or others you know about would be greatly appreciated.

    #2 3 months ago

    My wife and I have been to the Texas Pinball Festival every year for the last 10 years and it just keeps getting better and better (and bigger and bigger). I've been to the Northwest Pinball show a few times as well as the Houston show but TPF is by far our favorite. I will say that the NW pinball show has a great selection of older, well maintained EM games if that is what floats your boat (it does mine).

    #3 3 months ago
    Quoted from GSones:

    Texas Pinball Festival

    I hope to see you there, Greg.

    www.texaspinball.com

    #4 3 months ago
    Quoted from REMAXRick:

    show to go and see and play a wide variety of pinball machines?

    Nobody beats the VFW show for just this. Other shows do other things in spades: Vendors, swap meets, seminars, tournaments -- but if playing games is the thing you're really after, Clay's show is the winner.

    #5 3 months ago

    TPF is my favorite

    #6 3 months ago

    Texas Pinball Festival for lots of pins. Midwest Gaming Classic for lots of pins and vids. Pinball Expo for pins and tradition, Stern tour, seminars, autograph session, etc.

    LTG : )

    #7 3 months ago

    Which show would be best that has more of the playfield, cabinet etc repair seminars along with a swap/parts for sale... and that has complete non shopped machines for sale?

    #8 3 months ago

    MGC in milwaukee was incredible last year, and this year will be huge! Look it up, well worth it.

    #9 3 months ago
    Quoted from scampcamp:

    Which show would be best that has more of the playfield, cabinet etc repair seminars along with a swap/parts for sale... and that has complete non shopped machines for sale?

    Pinball Expo probably best and most seminars. Parts is getting way better. Machines for sale is a crap shoot at any show.

    LTG : )

    #10 3 months ago

    TPF has plenty of working pins for sale, but limited project pins and used parts selection at the Saturday parking lot. MANY vendors selling their new parts/mods. Nice convention center. Great show and I go every year.

    Allentown/Pinfest - 300 pins on freeplay, many vendors (but not as many as TPF), many project pins and lots of used parts for sale. This more of a swap meet feel.

    Chicago Expo - Haven't been before but I'll try to make it this year.

    SFGE - 250 pins and arcades on free play, seminars, in a hotel convention hall. Many of the pins will be for sale. NO project pins or used parts dealers/swap meet.

    #11 3 months ago

    I will have to plug Golden State Pinball Festival. The first year of the new show really worked well for diversity of Pins (Woodrails, EM, SS and DMD). Marco was set up for newer games from Stern. Houdini, Alice Cooper and other new pins as well. About 350 machines in total.

    Money raised goes to local charities/sponsors as well!

    Tournament, Seminars, Swap Meet, Vendors, Awards Banquet, Camping/RV, and you get to stay in the Bay Area for the rest of your vacation!

    (And the revised Pin-A-Go-Go wasn't bad either! Smaller show, but still fun!)

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-official-2018-golden-state-pinball-festival-thread

    #12 3 months ago
    Quoted from jbovenzi:

    I will have to plug Golden State Pinball Festival. The first year of the new show really worked well for diversity of Pins (Woodrails, EM, SS and DMD). Marco was set up for newer games from Stern. Houdini, Alice Cooper and other new pins as well. About 350 machines in total.
    Money raised goes to local charities/sponsors as well!
    Tournament, Seminars, Swap Meet, Vendors, Awards Banquet, Camping/RV, and you get to stay in the Bay Area for the rest of your vacation!
    (And the revised Pin-A-Go-Go wasn't bad either! Smaller show, but still fun!)
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-official-2018-golden-state-pinball-festival-thread

    Here's this year's GSPF thread: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-official-2019-golden-state-pinball-festival-thread-1 We have some news coming soon.

    #13 3 months ago
    Quoted from scampcamp:

    Which show would be best that has more of the playfield, cabinet etc repair seminars along with a swap/parts for sale... and that has complete non shopped machines for sale?

    @scampcamp Allentown/Pinfest will have lots of project pins and used parts dealers, but no seminars on playfield/cabinet repair. For this type of infor reaf these forums:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/118#post-4511381
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/hep-this-week-9-17-18

    #14 3 months ago

    I’m defonitley biased but Pincinnati is fun and shouldn’t be too far from ya. It’s mostly a players show. We won’t have seminars or tons and tons of vendors, but the selection and condition of the games will be really good. Not the biggest show, but we strive to be very very good.

    11/22-11/24/2019. Weekend before thanksgiving.

    Also the Cleveland Show is amazing. I’ve been every year and it only gets better. That’s another players type show.

    #15 3 months ago

    OK, I'll put in a plug for Pintastic New England. We have seminars, lots of vendors, and a good range of games from add-a-ball EMs to custom-themed games to most of the latest titles, and it's all in a great antique-hunting region.

    If you want to play lots of titles, consider ReplayFX, too. Or maybe a trip to Vegas for PHoF instead of a show.

    Finally, be sure to search here on Pinside for other discussion threads. I'd suggest searching for "which show" in the thread title.
    .................David Marston

    #16 3 months ago
    Quoted from REMAXRick:

    Thoughts/comparisons on Texas Pinball Festival,

    Yes. Can't recommend this enough.
    That's said; maybe I should stop recommending it... because DAAAAYMN; the hotel sells out in hours now.

    #17 3 months ago

    I will pitch for Arcade Expo in Banning...we dont have the vendors, swap meets, parking lot deals, tons of seminars, trips to manufacturing plant etc.
    What can the Museum offer? How about 550+ pins including all the new stuff (aliens,acnc,thunderbirds,houidini ) and 600+vids and a management team who will bring AE to be the finest show in just a few more short years.

    #18 3 months ago

    Gspf, pagg, northwest show. Cax.
    Arcade expo. All west coast shows.
    All good shows.

    #19 3 months ago

    Chicago and Cleveland Show are both great, Chicago is a bit more tuned to the new announcements, panels, and industry stuff over just being a big room full of games to play, but it still has a nice selection of things to play too. Cleveland Show is smaller than other shows however the game selection is nicely curated so everything runs great.

    Don't drive far for the Ohio Show unless you're buying/selling stuff. There's not a lot to play, the location is a bit of a dump, in general the show could use a little bit of fixing up before it's a good show for players. It's had a good history but recently has been rough.

    #20 3 months ago

    TPF...all...the..way.

    #21 3 months ago

    Give the Golden State Pinball Festival a chance. Great show with a great vibe. Lots of games, good food and folks... you’ll be glad to be stuck in Lodi for a few days!

    #22 3 months ago

    TPF is great!!!

    #23 3 months ago

    I have been to the majority of big shows now and they all offer different things. If you just want to play the widest varity and overall best games, then VFW is it.

    If you want just plain big then TPF is where it is at.

    If you want the perfect mix and excitement of everything then MGC is it (also very big and possibly bigger for pinball tpf this year?)

    If you want best food and just kind swap meet likevibe then allentown is fun.

    If you want seminars and more industry folks then chicago expo is allabout that.

    #24 3 months ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    MGC is it (also very big and possibly bigger for pinball tpf this year?)

    Why would you add that? You know that's not true. TPF gets like 400 games and a crap-ton of specific pinball vendors.

    #25 3 months ago
    Quoted from epthegeek:

    Why would you add that? You know that's not true. TPF gets like 400 games and a crap-ton of specific pinball vendors.

    because the have said they are likely doubling the pinball area for this year...

    #26 3 months ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    because the have said they are likely doubling the pinball area for this year...

    Great. There will be more physical square footage available. That's nice and all, but it's not going to make the show immediately "more pinball" than TPF. You're spinning like an out of control ad-man on this.

    #27 3 months ago

    In all fairness mgc is set to have huge growth. With the new facility, the sky is the limit. I believe it to be a “build it and they will come” situation.

    #28 3 months ago

    MGC will likely need a commitment from Marco and some of the local arcades and vendors to help fill the extra space. Certainly possible, but I look at it last year. Without the huge effort of Marco bring all those Iron Maiden's the room wouldn't have had a pretty big hole. Hopefully they are committed to bringing as many or even more games again this next year.

    #29 3 months ago
    Quoted from lpeters82:

    MGC will likely need a commitment from Marco and some of the local arcades and vendors to help fill the extra space. Certainly possible, but I look at it last year. Without the huge effort of Marco bring all those Iron Maiden's the room wouldn't have had a pretty big hole. Hopefully they are committed to bringing as many or even more games again this next year.

    Marco only brought that many because they pre-sold that many. If a ton of people step up to buy show games again, I'd imagine they'll repeat.

    #30 3 months ago
    Quoted from epthegeek:

    Great. There will be more physical square footage available. That's nice and all, but it's not going to make the show immediately "more pinball" than TPF. You're spinning like an out of control ad-man on this.

    well I did say "possibly?"

    I am not sure what you want? MGC has said they are doubling the space for the pinball/arcade hall this year. I assume we are all gonna take up that space?
    MGC had more games last year than any previous year and if they continue at that pace it will quite possibly be more than TPF this year.

    Space was a constraint even with the growth to a new spot, but now with an even bigger game hall it is just on the vendors and community to fill it up

    I know I will be bringing at least 2 games again this year, so I will be doing my part Hoping others do also as it is really fun to support the local show and see it continue to bloom.

    #31 3 months ago

    Show games are the best thing in pinball... usually new, out of box, less than 250 plays on it, cheaper all around, and you get the infant mortality period over with real quick. Nothing like the action at a pinball show to really break a machine in. If all the goodies are in the coinbox, call me satisfied. Just make sure its not the Deadpool Pro they had sitting next to the tournament area at Chicago Expo

    #32 3 months ago
    Quoted from Bublehead:

    Show games are the best thing in pinball... usually new, out of box, less than 250 plays on it, cheaper all around, and you get the infant mortality period over with real quick. Nothing like the action at a pinball show to really break a machine in. If all the goodies are in the coinbox, call me satisfied. Just make sure its not the Deadpool Pro they had sitting next to the tournament area at Chicago Expo

    But, are the show games still under warrenty after use at a show?

    #33 3 months ago
    Quoted from GravitaR:

    But, are the show games still under warrenty after use at a show?

    You mean the 2 month warranty or whatever it is?

    #34 3 months ago

    A warranty on a pinball machine is like a screen door on submarine. Both are Laughable, yet they both do exist. Kudos to the person who knows what submarine I am talking about.

    #35 3 months ago

    Well I bought a Stern FGy in 2008 after Pin Expo in Chicago. I got a 90 day warranty. The machine lasted all of 2 years before I had any problem, broken coil stop on the Death drop target and one lamp that has been replaced. The BB flourecent went out but I have never bought a replacement lamp yet. If it’s a Spike system, though, make sure the warranty is covered...

    #37 3 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    I’m defonitley biased but Pincinnati is fun and shouldn’t be too far from ya. It’s mostly a players show. We won’t have seminars or tons and tons of vendors, but the selection and condition of the games will be really good. Not the biggest show, but we strive to be very very good.
    11/22-11/24/2019. Weekend before thanksgiving.
    Also the Cleveland Show is amazing. I’ve been every year and it only gets better. That’s another players type show.

    Another vote for Pincinnati, newer show but I loved that it was nothing but pinball, rarely a line to wait in for games.

    SFGE in Atlanta is also a great show, especially if you want to go for more than just pinball (arcades, console area, board games, wrestling, etc)

    #38 3 months ago

    Are there any shows that happen in the summer? like late June through mid-august? I'd like to make a trip of things and see the sites etc instead of a quick fly in/fly out trip.

    #39 3 months ago
    Quoted from BorgDog:

    Are there any shows that happen in the summer? like late June through mid-august? I'd like to make a trip of things and see the sites etc instead of a quick fly in/fly out trip.

    ReplayFX in Pittsburg is August 1-4.

    #40 3 months ago
    Quoted from GravitaR:

    But, are the show games still under warrenty after use at a show?

    I bought a Batman66 premium through Marco as a show game at SFGE this past June. A few months later the rotating mini-playfield and/or the supports went out of alignment and it wouldn't spin. Sent pics and videos to Stern support, none of us could figure out what happened, so they sent me an entire new complete assembly. Dropped it in and it worked perfectly. Both Stern and Marco were awesome to work with on it.

    #41 3 months ago
    Quoted from GravitaR:

    But, are the show games still under warrenty after use at a show?

    According to a thread on Pinside about MGC and Marco's games they pre sold, no.

    LTG : )

    #42 3 months ago

    In my opinion, the best shows in the country are the ones I'll be at. ...

    Midwest Gaming Classic
    Golden State Pinball Festival
    Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show
    Chicago Pinball Expo
    Houston Area Arcade and Pinball Expo

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

    #43 3 months ago
    Quoted from Borygard:

    In my opinion, the best shows in the country are the ones I'll be at.

    Don't you mean Antar ?

    LTG : )

    #44 3 months ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    Don't you mean Antar ?
    LTG : )

    LOL...yes, you Sir are correct.

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

    #45 3 months ago
    Quoted from REMAXRick:

    We've gone to the Ann Arbor Michigan Pinball Show (aka VFW) for the last few years. While I can't imagine a better place to play a variety of well working machines in good condition, we are looking to expand our experiences.
    ...
    Thoughts/comparisons on Texas Pinball Festival, Pinfest (Allentown), Ohio Pinball Show and Arcade Expo (Banning, CA) or others you know about would be greatly appreciated.

    I went to VFW and Banning in 2017, to GSPF in 2018, and always attend NWPAS. I also look for playing first, and in that regard, nothing beats Banning overall, plus it has an impressive video game area for a diversion as well.

    But I thought both VFW and Banning were lacking as far as recent releases. If you want to get hands-on time on newer pins, nothing beats NWPAS. There were nine Iron Maidens alone last year, and never had to wait more than a couple minutes to play one. Did any other show come close to that?

    #46 3 months ago

    Go to every show this year.

    Then next year weed out the ones you don't like.

    https://www.pinballnews.com/site/ Pinball News has show reports. You can read up on a show you are thinking of and see if it has stuff that interests you. Each one is different. Each one is special in it's own way.

    LTG : )

    #47 3 months ago
    Quoted from HighVoltage:

    But I thought both VFW and Banning were lacking as far as recent releases.

    That's semi fair.

    #48 3 months ago

    March Arcade Expo or Pinball Madness in October both at The Museum Of Pinball in CA .

    1,100+ Machines ready for your pleasure.
    For those that don't like arcade or pinball large outlet mall and casino 5min away.

    #49 3 months ago
    Quoted from Borygard:

    In my opinion, the best shows in the country are the ones I'll be at. ...

    Midwest Gaming Classic

    this makes me very happy to see!

    #50 3 months ago
    Quoted from BorgDog:

    Are there any shows that happen in the summer? like late June through mid-august?

    Pintastic New England is June 27-30 this year. It's in Sturbridge, MA, an hour West of Boston.
    .................David Marston

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