Date: 11th January, 2016
Location: ExCel London, Docklands, London

The annual EAG International amusement show began today at the usual venue of the Excel London in the East End of the city. Pinball pickings were likely to be slim, but there was still plenty to keep fans of the silver ball interested.

Excel London, home of EAG 2016
Excel London, home of EAG 2016
Excel was also hosting the London Boat Show, as you can see by this rather large vessel
Excel was also hosting the London Boat Show, as you can see by this rather large vessel moored outside

With the Boat Show occupying the southern halls (which are closest to the water), EAG was in halls N1 & N2.

EAG 2016
Inside halls N1 & N2

As we saw in yesterday’s preview, Stern Pinball’s UK distributor Electrocoin had four pinballs on their stand.

The Electrocoin stand
The Electrocoin stand

The pinballs were busy all day, with most interest focused on the new Spider-Man Vault Edition.

Pinballs on the Electrocoin stand
Pinballs on the Electrocoin stand
The new Spider-Man Vault Edition
The new Spider-Man Vault Edition
It was nice to see a shiny Spider-Man playfield
It was nice to see a shiny Spider-Man playfield

Here’s a video of some of the new dot-matrix display animations in the Vault Edition.

Meanwhile, over at the Heighway Pinball stand, there were four more games to play. In this case they were differing versions of their Full Throttle model.

The Heighway Pinball stand
The Heighway Pinball stand
The four Full Throttle machines
The four Full Throttle machines

Two machines had the large backbox LCD, while the others had the regular 10″ screens. Opposite the Heighway stand was a reminder how motorbike racing is a popular theme for video games.

MotoGP bike racing game
MotoGP bike racing game

Heighway Pinball were also showing the playfield artwork from their upcoming Alien pinball.

Andrew and Roman with the Alien artwork
Andrew and Roman with the Alien artwork
Alien playfield artwork
Alien playfield artwork

As usual, there were several mini-pinball games which dispense either rubber balls or toy capsules.

Three toy pinball toy dispensers
Three toy pinball toy dispensers
A Magic Circus game
A Magic Circus game

Another toy pinball turned up on one of the many merchandise stands.

An 'exciting' mini football game
An ‘exciting’ mini football game

Although not pinball machines, pinball mechanisms did turn up in a couple of redemption games, such as this flipper-powered mini air hockey.

Beat the Clock head-to-head mini air hockey game
Beat the Clock head-to-head mini air hockey game
A pinball plunger is fitted to this Angry Birds redemption piece
A pinball plunger is fitted to this Angry Birds redemption piece
Practicing pinball skill shots finally pays off
Practicing pinball skill shots finally pays off

A throwback to solid-state days appeared on this Alice in Wonderland pusher, with an infinity lighting effect.

An infinity lighting topper
An infinity lighting topper

Maybe it’s time for this effect to return to pinball. The depth if this topper would make it suitable for use in a backbox.

The infinity lighting box doesn't have much depth
The infinity lighting box doesn’t have much depth

Not surprisingly, Star Wars was a popular theme at the show, from a new version of the Star Wars Battle Pod game with co-operative play, to stand-ups and other assorted merchandise.

The non-pod version with added multi-player play
The non-pod version with added multi-player play
Star Wars stand-ups
Star Wars stand-ups, toy dispensers and more

Another former pinball theme seems to be making a comeback. It’s time to think pink.

Pink Panther Jewel Heist appeared on several stands
Pink Panther Jewel Heist appeared on several stands

And if pink is not your colour, maybe green is more agreeable?

Another licence making a comeback
Another licence making a comeback

One classic licence which never goes away is Pac-Man, and now you can play the world’s largest version of the game, or Galaga instead.

The World's Largest (apparently)
The World’s Largest (apparently)

On our travels around the show, we discovered the Heighway Pinball crew chilling out at the Polar Krush stand.

Getting Kool with the Krush
Getting Kool with the Krush

There’s no doubt that the show was fairly quiet during this first day. The aisles used to be packed with visitors, but this year it was much quieter.

A quiet day at the show
A quiet day at the show

The upside for visitors is how they can easily try any of the games without queuing.

Plenty of fun games to try
Plenty of fun games to try

To end our coverage of EAG 2016 we have our customary video walk around the show, otherwise known as the Seventeen Minute Tour.

(Note: An earlier version of this video tour was truncated. This is the full length version.)

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