Date: 15th - 17th January, 2016
Location: Museum of Pinball, 700 South Hathaway, Banning, CA 92220, USA

Twelve months ago the very first Arcade Expo was held at the new Museum of Pinball in Banning, near Palm Springs in California. One year later, we’re at Arcade Expo 2.0 to experience it for ourselves and bring you all the details.

This way to Arcade Expo
This way to Arcade Expo

The Museum of Pinball is housed in a dedicated building on the outskirts of the city of Banning, which is around 90 minutes’ drive east from Los Angeles.

The Museum of Pinball
The Museum of Pinball

It’s fair to say it’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Not quite the kind of place where the tumbleweed is your only companion, but…

One of the neighbours
One of the neighbours

But that relative remoteness means there plenty of space available, and with a collection the size of John Weeks’, space is a definite requirement.

The front of the building
The front of the building

The regular entrance to the Museum is at the front of the property, but for Arcade Expo, ticket collection and registration payment took place at the back.

The registration desks
The registration desks

The show opened officially at 2pm on Friday 15th January, but we got in early to check out the collection. The games are split into two. On one side of the building are all the video games, and there are lots of these.

Some of the games in the Museum's collection
Some of the games in the Museum’s collection
Classic upright vdeos
Classic upright videos
An overview of the video collection
An overview of the video collection

A number of vendor stands were set up around the perimeter, selling home consoles, cartridges, manuals, and assorted collectables.

A few of the vendors
A few of the vendors
Remember, a Pac-Man is not just for Christmas
Remember, a Pac-Man is not just for Christmas

The other, larger part of the building houses the pinball collection. And what a collection it is.

The pinball collection
The pinball collection

Two huge long rows of back-to-back machines run the length of the building, while on the left sit more rows of electromechanical games.

Row upon row of EM machines
Row upon row of EM machines
Machines being repaired before the official opening
Machines being repaired before the official opening

On the opposite side of the room to the EM rows were the two It Never Drains In Southern California (INDISC) tournaments – one for modern games, and one for the classics.

The tournament machines on the far side of the room
The tournament machines on the far side of the room
Qualifying in the the INDISC tournament
Qualifying in the the INDISC modern tournament

All the modern tournament machines were fitted with overhead cameras and large LCD displays for spectators. For those not able to attend, video of the games will be streamed.

The video streaming equipment
The video streaming equipment

In an adjacent area, qualifying for the Classics Tournament was underway.

Early qualifiers in the Classics Tournament
Early qualifiers in the Classics Tournament
Qualifying in the Classics Tournament
Qualifying in the Classics Tournament

In both the Modern and Classics Tournaments, the queues for each machine were managed by the Drains Tournament Manager software.

Who is playing when
Who is playing when

Although the show didn’t open until 2pm, early qualifying for the tournaments was allowed for those who pre-registered. Once 2pm arrived, qualifying was open to everyone.

The show is now open
The show is now open
Visitors were encouraged to sign the wall
Visitors were encouraged to sign the wall

Arcade Expo is sufficiently large that even more space was needed for vendors, so they were accommodated outside and in a large tent.

Some of the food vendors outside
Some of the food vendors outside
Today's menu
Today’s menu
Craft beers were available too
Craft beers were available too
The vendor tent
The vendor tent

Marco Specialties had a large stand selling parts and featuring a selection of the newest Stern Pinball machines.

The Marco Specialties stand
The Marco Specialties stand
The machines had headphones fitted
The machines had headphones fitted

Micro from High Class Pinballs also had space in the tent, as did Nifty LED.

High Class Pinballs
High Class Pinballs
Nifty LED alongside High Class Pinballs
Nifty LED were alongside High Class Pinballs

The far end of the tent housed a selection of pinballs destined for the weekend’s auction.

Auction games
Auction games

Saturday at Arcade Expo began at 10am, by which time a queue of eager visitors waited for the doors to open.

Saturday's opening
Saturday’s opening

It wasn’t long before many of the pinballs were occupied, although if you didn’t mind which game, you’d always be able to find something to play.

Saturday morning
Saturday morning
Starting to get busy
Starting to get busy

It was too busy on Friday to see the games or the decoration properly, but at the back of the pinball hall is an ‘adult’s only’ room, featuring games with a more grown-up theme or content such as Sexy Girl or The Sopranos. Also, since the room was lit by UV lamps, games with UV-reactive features were included. These were Big Bang Bar and Roller Derby.

The adult room
The adult room
UV-reactive wall decorations
UV-reactive wall decorations

Here’s a full list of the 487 free play pinballs set up in the main building at Arcade Expo 2016.

Main Hall
2001
4 Queens
4 Square
A.G. Soccer-Ball*
Abra Ca Dabra
AC/DC Let There Be Rock LE
Addams Family, The
Air Aces
Airborne*
Aladdin’s Castle
Algar
Alien Poker
Aloha
Alpine Club
Al’s Garage Band Goes on a World Tour
Amigo
Andromeda*
Aquarius
Archer
Asteroid Annie & the Aliens*
Astro
Atlantis
Atleta
Attack from Mars
Attila the Hun
Austin Powers
Avengers Hulk LE, The
Avengers LE, The
Aztec
Back to the Future
Bad Cats
Bank Shot
Bank-A-Ball*
Banzai Run*
Barracora
Baseball
Batman (DE)
Batman Dark Knight
Beat the Clock
Big Bang Bar
Big Brave
Big Casino4Flipper Fair
Big Game
Big Guns
Big Shot
Big Shot
Big Show
Big Star
Black Hole*
Black Jack
Black Knight
Black Knight 2000
Black Pyramid
Black Rose
Blackjack*
Blackout
Blackwater 100
Blue Note
BMX*
Bon Voyage
Bounty Hunter
Bow and Arrow
Bowling Queen
Bowl-O
Breakshot
Bride of Pinbot, The Machine
Bronco
Buccaneer
Buckaroo
Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Ball
Butterfly
Cactus Canyon
Cactus Jack’s
Camelot*
Capersville
Capt. Card
Capt. Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Capt. Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Captain Hook*
Card Whiz
Card Whiz
Catacomb
Centaur
Centigrade 37
Central Park
Challenger*
Champ
Charlie’s Angels*
Checkpoint
Circus
Cirqus Voltaire
City Slicker
Cleopatra (EM)*
Cleopatra (SS)*
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (EM)*
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (SS)*
Comet
Congo
Contact
Corvette
Cosmic Gunfight
Cosmic Princess
Cosmos
Cosmos
Cover Girl
Cow Poke
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Cross Town
Cybernaut
Cyclopes*
Daffie
Dale Jr.
Darling
Dealers Choice
Defender
Delta Queen
Demolition Man
Devil Riders*
Devil Riders*
Devil’s Dare*
Diamond Jack
Dimension
Diner
Dipsy Doodle
Dixieland
Dogies
Dolly Parton
Domino
Doodle Bug
Dracula (Stern)
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
Dragon*
Drop-A-Card
Dungeons and Dragons
Duotron
Earthshaker!
Eclipse
Egg Head
Eight Ball
Eight Ball Deluxe
Eight Ball Deluxe*
El Dorado
El Toro
Elektra
Elvis
Embryon
Evel Knievel
Evel Knievel*
Excalibur
Expressway*
Extra Inning
Eye of the Tiger*
F-14 Tomcat
Fan-Tas-Tic
Far Out*
Farfalla
Fathom
Fire Mountain*
Fire!
Fireball
Fireball II
Fireball II*
Firecracker
Firepower
Firepower II
Fish Tales
Flash
Flash Gordon
Flicker
Flight 2000
Flintstones, The
Flip a Card
Flip Flop!
Flipper Clown
Flipper Cowboy
Flipper Football
Flipper Pool*
Flying Carpet
Fore
Four Million B.C.
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s*
Freddy: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Free Fall
Freedom
Freedom
Freefall
Frontier
Fun Land
Funhouse
Future Spa
Galahad
Galaxy
Game Show, The Bally
Gay 90s
Genie
Gold Ball
Gold Wings
Golden Arrow
Golden Cue, Kelly Packard’s
Gorgar
Grand Lizard
Grand Slam
Gridiron
Gridiron
Guns N’ Roses
Hang Glider
Hardbody
Harlem Globetrotters
Harley Davidson (Stern)
Harley-Davidson (Bally)
Haunted House*
Hercules
High Roller Casino
High Speed 2: The Getaway*
High-Speed
Hi-Lo Ace
Hi-Score Pool*
Hit the Deck
Hokus Pokus
Home Run
Hoo, Bally
Hook
Hot Doggin’
Hot Wheels*
Hurdy Gurdy
Hurricane*
Ice Fever
Indiana Jones (Stern)
Indiana Jones (WMS)
Iron Man
Jackbot
Jackpot
Jacks Open
Jet Spin
Jive Time*
Johnny Mnemonic
Joker Poker*
Jokerz!
Jolly Park*
Joust
Joust*
Joust* (Bally)
Judge Dredd
Jumping Jack
Jungle
Jungle King
Jungle Lord
Jungle Queen*
Junkyard
Jurassic Park
Kick Off!
King Cool
King of Diamonds
King Tut
Kiss (Bally)
Klondike
Knockout*
Lady Luck
Laser Cue*
Laser War
Last Action Hero
Lectronamo
Lightning
Little Joe
Lizard
Locomotion
Lord of the Rings, The
Lost World
Lost World*
Lucky Seven
Magic
Magic Castle
Magnotron*
Majorettes
Mariner
Mars Trek
Mars Trek
Masquerade
Mata Hari
Mata Hari*
Medieval Madness
Medusa
Memory Lane
Metallica LE
Meteor
Mibs
Mini Cycle
Mini Zag
Monday Night Football
Monopoly
Monster Bash
Monte Carlo
Mr & Mrs Pac-Man
Music Man
Mustang LE
Mystic
NBA Fastbreak
NASCAR
Neptune
Night Rider
Nine Ball
Nip-It
Nitro Ground Shaker
No Fear
No Good Gofers
North Star
Nugent
Odds & Evens
Old Chicago
Olympics
On Beam
Op-Pop-Pop
Orbitor 1
Outer Space
Oxo
Paradise
Paragon
Phantom of the Opera*
Pharaoh
Phoenix
Pinball Champ
Pinball Magic
Pinbot
Pink Panther*
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pistol Poker
Pit Stop*
Play Ball
Play Mates
Playboy (Bally)
Police Force
Pool Sharks
Popeye Saves the Earth
Pop-Up*
Power Play, Bobby Orr
Pro Pool
Pyramid*
Quicksilver
Race-way
Radical!
Rawhide
Revenge from Mars
Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
Riverboat Gambler
Ro Go
Road Race
Roadshow
Robocop
Robo-War
Rock Makers
Rock Star
Rocket II
Rocky & Bullwinkle
Rocky*
Roller Coaster
Roller Disco
Rollergames
Rolling Stones (Bally)
Rolling Stones, The (Stern)
Round Up
Royal Guard*
Safe Cracker
Scared Stiff
Scorpion
Scuba
Sea Ray
Secret Service
Sexy Girl
Shadow, The
Shaq Attaq*
Sharp Shooter II*
Sharpshooter*
Show Boat*
Silverball Mania
Simpsons Pinball Party, The
Sinbad*
Six Million Dollar Man, The
Skylab
Sky-Line
Skyrocket
Slap Stick
Sleic Pin-Ball
Solar Fire
Solar Ride*
Solids & Stripes
Sopranos, The
Sorcerer
South Park
Space Invaders
Space Odyssey
Space Shuttle
Space Station
Space Time
Spanish Eyes
Speak Easy (Bally)
Speakeasy (Playmatic)
Spectrum
Spider-Man Black LE
Spin-A-Card
Spin-Out
Spirit
Split Second
Spring Break*
Stampede
Star Gazer
Star God
Star Light
Star Trek (Bally)
Star Trek (DE)
Star Trek (Stern) LE
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Wars (DE)
Star Wars Episode 1
Stargate
Stars
Stellar Wars
Stingray
Stock Car
Straight Flush*
Strange Science*
Strange World
Strike Zone
Striker
Super Soccer
Super Straight
Super-Flite
Superman*
Supersonic
Sure Shot
Surfer
Surfers
Sweet Hearts
Swords of Fury
Tag-Team
Tales from the Crypt
Tales of the Arabian Nights
Target Alpha
Taxi
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Terminator 2
The Simpsons*
Theatre of Magic
Thoro-Bred*
Time 2000*
Time Fantasy
Time Line*
Time Machine* (Zac)
Time Tunnel
Time Warp
Title Fight
Toledo
Tommy, The Who’s*
Torch
Touchdown
Trail Drive*
Transformers Split LE
Travel Time
Trident
Tron LE
Tropic Fun*
Twilight Zone
TX-Sector
Vampire
Varkon
Vector
Verne’s World
Viking
Viper
Voltan Escapes Cosmic Doom
Vulcan
Warlock
Wheel of Fortune
Whirlwind
Whitewater
Who Dunnit
Wild Card
Wild Life
Winner*
Wizard!
World Cup
World Cup Soccer
World Poker Tour
Wyld Fire
Xenon
X-Men Magneto LE
X’s & O’s
Zip-A-Do
*indicates machine was not working or not powered up

In addition, a Premier Strikes and Spares was in the cocktail bar, while the Kids’ Room had a Super Mario Bros. Mushroom World (not working) and there was a Baby Pac-Man in the video hall.

In the tent, Marco Specialties had six of the latest Stern pinballs on free play, making a grand total of 496 pinballs:

Tent
Game of Thrones Pro
Game of Thrones LE
Kiss LE
Walking Dead, The LE
Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons
WWE Wrestlemania LE

 

The tournament area had twelve machines for the Modern Tournament and seven for the Classics.

Modern Tournament
Demolition Man
Doctor Who
Godzilla
Grand Lizard
High Speed 2: The Getaway
Hoops
Laser War
Rock
Torpedo Alley
Twister
Walking Dead, The
Waterworld

 

Classic Tournament
Cleopatra
Dragonfist
Flash Gordon
Hokus Pokus
Jacks Open
Rock
Skateball

 

Finally, Project Pinball has two machines on their stand which were used for high score tournaments.

The Project Pinball stand
The Project Pinball stand

Those, at least, were the machines within the Arcade Expo compound. Those who were taking advantage of the camping facilities available had a few more to enjoy.

Outdoor pinball
Outdoor pinball
More pinball al fresco
More pinball al fresco
It's not just pinball
It’s not just pinball
The view from the campground
The view from the campground

There had been a couple of seminars scheduled for Friday, but they were either lightly attended or didn’t happen. However, at midday on Saturday there was a popular seminar with Keith and Randy Elwin where they talked about and demonstrated their Archer custom pinball.

Keith and Randy with Archer
Keith and Randy with Archer
The packed seminar room
The packed seminar room

The game is a work-in-progress with no artwork and only partial rules, but it was fully playable.

Archer pinball
Archer pinball

After answering questions about the game, Keith and Randy invited audience members to play it for themselves. Here’s a video of the gameplay, and we also have an audio recording of the seminar below.

In the afternoon there was a dedication ceremony for the Walter Day Trading Card Museum which is also part of the Museum of Pinball.

Walter Day
Walter Day

Walter is an iconic figure in the video gaming world, setting up the Twin Galaxies world records site and producing trading cards to record and commemorate both achievements and the people involved in gaming of all kind.

A special area of the Museum has been set aside by owner John Weeks to display these trading cards.

John with Walter
John with Walter
The corridor is lined with framed trading cards
The corridor is lined with framed trading cards
More trading cards
More trading cards
The main trading card display room
The main trading card display room

Later, a special VIP dinner took place at the nearby The Haven restaurant. Along with the Italian-style food, Brew Rebellion were sampling their Infamous Ed Palmer lemon pale ale and John Paul Jones Chocolate Stout beers.

The dinner at The Haven
The dinner at The Haven

This event was to unveil a customised High Speed 2 – The Getaway machine, created by Tim Moyers.

Tim with his Getaway
Tim with his Getaway

The game features all new cabinet and backbox airbrushed artwork, sealed with an automotive clearcoat, new translite and speaker panel artwork, modified playfield and bottom arch artwork, customised playfield components, a custom ColorDMD, and a PinSound board with a redesigned sound package.

Tim's Getaway
Tim’s Getaway

A high score competition was held on the game during the evening with prizes for the top scores of the night.

Then it was back to the Museum of Pinball for the remainder of the evening, which included a pinball-themed pub quiz and game playing until 2am.

Around lunchtime on Saturday we completed our video walk around the Arcade Expo show. Normally these would last eight, ten or maybe fifteen minutes to show you everything. Arcade Expo has so many machines, we present our Forty Minute Tour of the Museum of Pinball. Don’t forget you can expand this to full frame and adjust the quality all the way up to 1080p.

 

The It Never Drains In Southern California (INDISC) tournament finals took place on Sunday. The Classic Tournament finals were held first thing Sunday morning so that they didn’t delay the Modern Tournament finals later in the day.

Both tournaments had two divisions – A & B – with the top 16 in Classics and the top 24 in the Modern qualifying for the A division, and the next 8 in the B division subject to restrictions on world-class players being allowed to play in B.

Players could buy unlimited entries to try to get a good score on all 12 of the Modern or 7 of the Classic machines. Entries costs $5 each, 3 for $10, or 7 for $20. Scores on all machines were ranked with ranking points awarded for position. The best 6 scores in Modern and best 5 in Classics made up a player’s total score.

After a series of 4-player, 3-game quarter-finals, semi-finals, and the final, the top four in the two Classics divisions were:

Classics A Division
Pos
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
Name
Damien Charléty
Trent Augenstein
Bob Matthews
Johnny Modica

 

Classics B Division
Pos
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
Name
Adam Preszler
Martin Robbins
Brian Mundo
Mark Schulz

 

The top four in the Classics A division:
The top four in the Classics A division: Bob Matthews, Trent Augenstein, Johnny Modica & Damien Charléty (picture: Jim Belsito)

In the Modern Tournament, the B division finished pretty quickly with just eight players taking part. Here are the results:

Modern B Division
Pos
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
Name
Lee Moscaritolo
Zachary Parks
Tim Moyers
Derek Miazga

 

The top four in the Modern B division:
The top four in the Modern B division: Lee Moscaritolo, Zachary Parks, Tim Moyers & Derek Miazga (picture: Inland Empire Pinball Association)

The A division, however, continued beyond the show’s closure at 8pm.

Quarter-finals in the Modern A division
Quarter-finals in the Modern A division
The play-offs were streamed live on PAPAtv on Twitch
The play-offs were streamed live on PAPAtv on Twitch

The final was between top qualifier Keith Elwin, second-placed qualifier Zach Sharpe, sixth-placed qualifier Jim Belsito, and eighth-placed qualifier Raymond Davidson.

The four-game final began on Torpedo Alley. Points were awarded for the finishing position in each game with 3 points for the winner, going down to 0 points for fourth place.

Keith Elwin starts the final
Keith Elwin starts the final

Keith got off to a great start with his first ball, scoring 9M and ending on 12.2M to win game 1. Jim was second on just shy of 2M, Raymond was third on 1.4M, while Zach was fourth on 748K.

Game two was on Rock and this time it was Raymond who had the upper hand, scoring more than 1.5M on his first ball.

Raymond wins on Rock
Raymond wins on Rock

Raymond ended up with 2.1M which gave him the win ahead of Keith’s 1.7M, Jim’s 1.3M, and Zach’s 0.95M.

The third game was Twister on which Keith built up an early lead, scoring 2.45B by the end of his second ball.

Keith on Twister
Keith on Twister

He increased this to 2.58B with his third ball, but Jim was chasing him for the win. He got agonisingly close to winning too, ending on 2.45B and second place. Raymond had 1.67B for third, but Zach’s run of bad luck continued, as he ended his game with just 160M.

So going into the last game, Keith had 8 points, Raymond and Jim both had 5 points and so could only tie with Keith if they won and he came last, while Zach had yet to score.

That last game of the final was played on Hoops. Zach began this time and put up a good first ball score of 1.6M. Keith played second and managed 874K, while Jim had a quick drain with just 86K on the board. Raymond in the player four seat scored 209K on his first ball.

Ball two changed everything. While Zach could only add a few points to his score, Keith took control of the game and boosted his score to 6.1M. Raymond improved markedly to stand on 1.8M after his second ball, while Jim jumped up to 920K.

Those positions held on ball three, with Keith in the lead on 7.7M, Raymond in second on 2.9M, Zach third on 2.3M and Jim fourth with his 1.57M.

The other finalists congratulate Keith on his win
The other finalists congratulate Keith on his win

Raymond’s second place in the last game was enough to give him second place overall, while Jim was third and Zach fourth.

Keith receives his winner's trophy from Bob Matthews and Karl DeAngelo
Keith receives his winner’s trophy from Bob Matthews and Karl DeAngelo
The top four in the Modern A division: Zach Sharpe, Jim Belsito, Raymond Davidson and Keith Elwin
The top four in the Modern A division: Zach Sharpe, Jim Belsito, Raymond Davidson and Keith Elwin

With the awards presented, Arcade Expo 2016 was officially over.

This was our first visit to the Museum of Pinball, and it’s clear that a lot of organisational effort had gone into making it such an enjoyable event for everyone. There was a large team of volunteers, from the game repairers to the car park supervisors to the door checkers to the registration desk workers.

The team behind Arcade Expo 2016
The team behind Arcade Expo 2016

If the opportunity to play 500 pinballs and a huge selection of video games all in one location wasn’t enough, the area outside enjoyed a festival atmosphere as food, drink and music was all being enjoyed in the winter sunshine and into the evening.

We’d happily return next year, and it will come as no surprise to find out the team, under Museum owner John Weeks, are already making plans for an even bigger event in 2017.

Good night from Arcade Expo
Good night from Arcade Expo

In the meantime, you can find out more about the Museum of Pinball and keep up with their upcoming events at their website.

Load More Related Articles
  • Deeproot Pinball delays its launch for a third time

    DEEPROOT DELAYS LAUNCH

    Deeproot Pinball’s CEO, Robert Mueller, promised to revolutionise pinball, and it…
  • Super-Skill Pinball 4-Cade from WizKids

    SUPER-SKILL PINBALL 4-CADE

    The game of pinball has found its way into many different pop culture genres, from adverti…
  • Stern Pinball's Avengers: Infinity Quest

    AVENGERS: INFINITY QUEST ANNOUNCED

    Stern Pinball today announced their new ‘cornerstone’ game title, Avengers: In…
Load More By Pinball News
  • The EAG International Expo 2020

    EAG INTERNATIONAL EXPO 2020

    We’re back in London’s Docklands to check out the annual Entertainment, Attrac…
  • The 2019 Grand Old Gameroom Expo

    GRAND OLE GAMEROOM EXPO 2019

    Nashville’s Grand Ole Gameroom Expo (Grand OGRE) is now in its fourth year and for 2019 wa…
  • The first game hall at the DPO Expo 2019

    DUTCH PINBALL OPEN EXPO 2019

    After several years occupying the De Vene Voorst in Drunen, for 2019 the annual Dutch Pinb…
Load More In SHOWS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

EAG INTERNATIONAL EXPO 2020

We’re back in London’s Docklands to check out the annual Entertainment, Attrac…