Ohio Pinball and GameRoom Show

Posted by: James McGovern
Roving reported Kevin Steele sent in an update I am sadly just getting into the news from his experiences at the Ohio Pinball and GameRoom Show last Friday. He will hopefully have even more for us today from his Saturday festivities, if he has recuperated. Check out these pictures with a running commentary by Kevin himself!

Attendance was great - vendors I talked to said that this year's Friday attendance was much better than any previous years'. That said, they also told me that Saturday usually has three times as many attendees, so I'm expecting to be even busier tomorrow!
There was a good variety of pins this year, better than last years' show. I saw some fairly rare pins - besides the ultra rare ones like the Aaron Spelling pin (actually one of three made - my mistake about it being the only one!), there was the rare King Kong pin, the prototype Tommy pin, and a Big Bang Bar.
I was also glad to find other pins I'd never seen before "in the wild" such as the Starship Troopers pin and Stargate. I also got to play my first game on a Lord of the Rings pin, and discovered why it's such a popular pin: it's a fantastic game!

Most of the games on the floor were a bit on the run-down side, unfortunately - lots of credit dots, indicating problems. Some pins were represented to excess - I saw about four Demolition Man pins, for example. Many pins were filthy, and some were just plain unplayable. Luckily, there were occasional "gems" to be found, such as the three pristine pins by the Marco Specialities booth: Stern's Monopoly, Lord of the Rings, and Terminator 3.

Speaking of Terminator 3, I could not handle to be around that pin too long - Arnold's voice constantly commanding "shoot heah, and heah, and heah." drove me nuts while I was playing the Lord of the Rings pin right next to it. If there's one thing I hate, it's a pin telling me what to shoot for!

There were a variety of "container pins" available, most looking like they had been pulled out of the bottom of the container! These re-imports were in what looked to be poor to just-plain-awful condition - I say "looked like" because they never even unfolded them and set them up, so you couldn't even see the playfields or verify that they worked! Add to that the fact that they were priced far above their apparent condition, and I doubt a single one sold.

The AFM tournament got off to a slow start: I never saw more than one or two people playing on the six pins, and you had to register for the tournament to play. One of the pins had Bill Ung's excellent LED saucer lights, but a couple of the AFM machines looked a bit worn and one never worked.

That ultra-cool video pinball machine I took a photo of? Vanished. Gone. Nowhere to be seen. I suppose they never managed to get it working. A shame, as I wanted to at least get a better picture of it!
I got to see my first "MAME-like" Juke! Someone had gutted an old jukebox, put in a PC with dual LCD screens, and some nice jukebox software - you could view the playlist on one screen while the second screen played music videos or displayed album art. Not a bad piece of "Jukebox Emulation"!

Lots of nice people, lots of nice compliments about the new GameRoom magazine, and lots of free tokens handed out. All in all, a good first day, and I'm looking forward to day two.
-Kevin Steele

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