Date: January 22nd - 24th, 2013
Things were very different this year.
For a start, it wasn't raining on the opening day of EAG International - something which had become quite a tradition since the show was first held in 2010. In fact there was quite a bit of snow on the ground from the snow fall at the weekend.
The second difference was the lack of the ICE gaming show which is usually held at the same time at the Earl's Court Exhibition Centre. the Exhibition Centre at Earl's Court is being torn down to build a massive housing complex, so the ICE show has moved to the same venue as EAG International, only two weeks later.
EAG International is usually the second European show of the year, following the IMA show in Germany in early January. The IMA show isn't being held this year, so EAG International is the launchpad for a larger number of new products than usual.
And for pinball fans, this is the first EAG International - or indeed any show for a long time - to feature three pinball manufacturing companies; Stern Pinball, Jersey Jack Pinball and Heighway Pinball.
Let's see what they had to offer.
Stern Pinball were on the stand of their distributor, Electrocoin, and had three machines for visitors to play - two Avengers Pros and one X-Men Pro.
Gary Stern was there along with investor Dave Peterson and new Chief Revenue Officer, John Buscaglia.
Stern also had a presence on the Wessex Coin stand, with one of their X-Men Pro machines.
Meanwhile, a short walk away, Jersey Jack Pinball were sharing a stand with Pinball Heaven - their UK distributor.
The two The Wizard of Oz machines which featured at the UK launch party 10 days previously were here, and included a new version of software.
Unfortunately, Heighway Pinball were not in attendance on the first day of EAG International, having suffered a serious computer hardware problem the night before. You can read more about the company's absence in our Full Throttle update report.
They are working furiously to fix the problem and plan to be at the show on the second and third days.
Meanwhile, the clear LCD screen technology Heighway Pinball pioneered on their top-of-the-range model has appeared in other coin-op arcade machines.
If real pinballs are experiencing a growth, so too are the miniature versions which dispense capsules or gumballs.
Overall, the show was considerably quieter than last year. There was no difficulty getting to play any games and large areas went unoccupied.
The show's second day saw no real changes although visitor numbers were markedly up on the first day. Despite the increased play, all the pinballs at the show continued to work without any issues.
Sadly though, Heighway Pinball didn't manage to make an appearance and it doesn't look as though they will have a presence at the show at all.
Here's our exclusive Six Minute Tour video tour of day two at EAG International.
Our Six Minute Tour concludes our report from EAG International 2013.
This year's show had an odd feel of slight disappointment. The number of visitors seemed down on previous years and there were few new products on show - perhaps reflecting the state of the industry.
Having the ICE show running at the same time in previous years (albeit in a different location on the opposite side of London) probably helped with visitor numbers, so it would make sense for everyone if the two shows could be held side-by-side at the ExCel Centre in future.
For pinball fans things were somewhat better, with the UK premiere of Avengers and the second outing for The Wizard of Oz - the first time most of the show visitors had enjoyed the opportunity to play it.
And we hope you enjoyed this look at EAG International. We'll be back at another coin-op trade show and bringing you our regular reports very soon.
© Pinball News 2013