PINBALL EXPO 2000
Dave Mabry reports from Chicago, IL, USA:
The tour was definitely the high point of the Expo for me.
This was the first Expo that I had attended and my expectations were without any previous biases from other Expos. I was looking forward to being able to buy some hard-to-find parts for my machines and possibly pick up a machine at the auction or one of the display machines.
There were lots of cool machines on display in the hall, woodrails, EMs, and electronics.
You can see from the photos some of the neater ones. Mike Pacak's "The Empire Strikes Back" was definitely a treat.
I had seen photos of this machine on E-bay but had never seen one.
Jonathan's machines were set up for free play and got played a lot! Any time there was a problem he would stop what he was doing and fix it.
They were up and running the whole time. Dr. Who, Twilight Zone, and Scared Stiff.
Having been to auctions in Columbus and Indianapolis I have to say that this one was a bit of a disappointment. Not too many newer machines but some very nice roodrails.
The Arabian Nights was very nice. There were several buy-backs at the auction and that was discouraging. But that seems to be the way. I see that at all the auctions lately.
In the exhibition hall the parts vendors had lots of scarce parts. Steve Engel had the biggest selection by far and quite a bit of "good stuff". I picked up a Data East Star Wars manual, NOS, for $10.
Mantis Amusements was there with several clear coated playfields that looked fantastic. Most were for sale, but I couldn't talk him out of the TZ.
Later in the Expo I saw that he had gotten Pat Lawlor to autograph it. No way could I afford it after that, even if he did want to sell it. On Saturday he was selling TZ plastic sets for $110.
Larry Biezza (that's not the right spelling!) was there with lots of very old parts to sell along with his price guide.
Of course, Mike Pacak was there with lots of translites and playfields to sell.
Gene Cunningham was at the Expo soliciting requests from distributors for what parts they would like to see Gene manufacture. This is encouraging. Maybe there will be some original parts available to maintain our machines coming from Illinois Pinball, but then I see that he has issued a "cease and desist" order against Alan Meyer. Your guess is as good as mine on this.
I didn't attend any of the seminars, but rather spent that time (middle of the day) enjoying the Navy Pier and other sights in Chicago. The weather was absolutely perfect for walking around downtown and meeting people. You'd never have guessed it was the end of October!
Overall, I certainly enjoyed the Expo and will go again.
I've read all the comments on the news group about people being disappointed in it, but it wasn't that far from what I had hoped for. One thing to consider, if there wasn't an Expo, however good or bad you think it was, what would there be?
© Pinball News 2002