If you missed part 1 the Video Game post from Monday click HERE
There was so much to take in during the Arcade Expo press event that it was too much to do one huge post. So I decided to separate the video game machines and the pinball machines. The location is right off of the 10 freeway and is about an hour to an hour and a half from nearly all Southern California. There are a number of hotels in the nearby area and lots of fast food and restaurants if you are planning to go for more than one day. If you are planning to get a room I would reserve it soon because they are filling up because of the event. I want to thank again Erin (Events Specialist), Stephanie (Ticket Operations), Kenny Hardy (Show Director) and Natalie (Sales & Marketing Director) for showing us around during the press event and taking valuable time from their busy schedule of setting up the show to talk about the expo. A special note the volunteers were still fixing and cleaning the machines so a lot of the pictures show the machines not in their finished playable condition. Also the lighting was not fully on so it was difficult to get good lighting to show the machines in there best light. The staff assured us that the machines will be up and ready in time for the show. A lot of them just needed to be cleaned off because they have been in storage for a long period of time. This is what it looked like when they first started.
But before I get to the Pinball area of the expo I wanted to show the gun-room. Some of the really fun games from the 1950’s and 1960’s era of rifle games. Arcade Expo has dedicated a room to just rifle games. These are rarely able to play today so I was really excited that they will have some to play at the show.
While the video game section of the expo was very impressive the collection of pinball machines will blow your mind. The collection covers machines from as early as 1961 to the newest Stern pinball machines. There is something for everyone and every period of the history of pinball. The machines are arranged in era’s and some are strategically put next to each other.
There are also many very rare pinball machines that will be playable at the show. Varkon from Williams only had 90 machines produced and there will be two playable ones at the expo.
Hercules from Atari is famous for being billed as the largest pinball machine ever made and uses a cue ball. The number of machines supposedly produced were 100 to 280 and they cost $10,000 when they were released in 1979. These machines are very rare and is impressive that they have one to play.
A big surprise was the section that had a number of foreign machines that were never distributed in the United States. These are very intriguing machines because they were developed outside the normal pinball manufacturers.
One of the great things about pinball is the back glass artwork. A long time before licensed properties became the norm a lot of machines would purposely look like a film, celebrity or television show to entice people to play the machine. Other themes would be popular at the time because of things in the media or pop culture at the time.
In the late 1970’s was the start of pinball machines based on media properties. Some say that this was the beginning of the end for pure pinball machines. Yet they are some of the most remembered ones. Many of the early licensed machines would use the property but still create an original layout for the play and didn’t rely on gimmicks like adding toys and overloading the play-field.
The great thing about the selection of machines at the expo is that there is something for everyone. It will allow you to experience pinball machines that you may have never otherwise been able to play. The area for the machines is really large and the aisles are wide enough that the machines shouldn’t get to crowded. Here are some photos that will give you an idea of the layout for the pinball area at the expo.
We did get to play a few of the machines and I shot video of us playing Time Machine.
With over 700 pinball machines to play at the show I would plan on going at least two if not all three days of the expo. There are still tickets available but when talking to the Event Specialist Erin Cavanaugh she wasn’t sure when they were going to close the online ticketing. If you want to go to this really amazing once in a lifetime display of classic video and pinball machines in one location I highly suggest getting tickets as soon as possible. So below are some links to the show and tickets.
SPECIAL LIMITED TIME GROUPON DEAL (This could expire at anytime)
Below is a small sampling of the pinball machines that were on the floor at the time of the press event. There were still a lot of machines that had not been put out on the floor yet. Make sure that you share, tweet and invite your friends to the great event.