Date: 16th - 18th January 2024
Location: ExCel London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London, UK

The annual EAG International Expo returned to the ExCel London exhibition centre for the 2024 edition of this popular coin-op show. Although it is designated as a trade show, entry is free and registration is open to pretty much anyone, either in advance through the website or on the day at the show’s entrance.

The ExCel London exhibition centre
The ExCel London exhibition centre
ExCel is located in London's Docklands area
ExCel is located in London’s Docklands area

EAG takes place in halls N2 and N3 on the north side of the huge exhibition centre. Other events take place in the adjacent halls, including the Disney100 exhibition and the London Motorcycle Show.

The Disney100 exhibition is also running at ExCel London
The Disney100 exhibition is also running at ExCel London
The entrance to Hall N2 and EAG 2024
The entrance to Hall N2 and EAG 2024

There have been several years where Stern Pinball was the only pinball manufacturer represented at EAG. That certainly wasn’t the case this year. In fact, there were games from seven different manufacturers at the show.

The EAG International Expo show this year
The EAG International Expo show this year

Let’s start with Stern who were hosted on the stand of their UK distributor, Electrocoin.

The Electrocoin stand
The Electrocoin stand

As in previous years, Stern had announced their latest title just a couple of weeks earlier. So, EAG was the first opportunity for many visitors to play their new Jaws game.

There were two models of Jaws at EAG – the Pro and the Premium – which gave visitors a quick way to compare the two. They were joined in the line-up by a Venom, The Avengers: Infinity Quest and 007 James Bond: You Only Live Twice.

007 James Bond, The Avengers, Venom and two models of Jaws
007 James Bond, The Avengers, Venom and two models of Jaws

As usual, there were Insider Connected leaderboards set up to track the high scores and achievements on all five machines across the three days of the show.

Players on the five Stern Pinball games
Players on the five Stern Pinball games

Stern Pinball had a team at EAG and also took over one of the conference rooms upstairs at ExCel London, where they held a distributor presentation.

Pinball News and Pinball Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with Gary Stern to talk about the company, their new facility, their latest title, the impact of leaks on their launches, remaking older games and much more. You’ll be able to hear our interview in the next joint PINcast which will be released at the start of February.

Stern Pinball machines were also represented on four other stands.

Pinball Heaven were exhibiting games from four of the manufacturers they represent, with Jersey Jack Pinball‘s Elton John game headlining, alongside the company’s The Godfather.

The Pinball Heaven stand
The Pinball Heaven stand

In London to promote his company’s wares and greet pinball fans was a suitably attired Jack Guarnieri.

Jack Guarnieri with Pinball Heaven owner Phil Palmer and sales assistant Les Potts
Jack Guarnieri with Pinball Heaven owner Phil Palmer and sales assistant Les Potts

Along with Elton John and The Godfather, Pinball Heaven also had Galactic Tank Force from American Pinball, Scooby-Doo Where Are You! from Spooky Pinball and Venom from Stern Pinball.

The five machines on the Pinball Heaven stand
The five machines on the Pinball Heaven stand

Around the corner from Pinball Heaven was the stand of Retro Arcade Specialists who had another three machines, each from a different manufacturer.

The stand of Retro Arcade Specialists
The stand of Retro Arcade Specialists

Labyrinth from Barrels of Fun was making its UK show debut, having only been flown into the country the day before EAG opened.

Labyrinth from Barrels of Fun
Labyrinth from Barrels of Fun

Also new to EAG was This Is Spinal Tap from Homepin. There are very few of these around and this is the same early model which was exhibited at UK Pinfest in August.

This Is Spinal Tap from Homepin
This Is Spinal Tap from Homepin

There are apparently some changes being made to the playfield’s design, with a new upper-right flipper added where the right-side spinner currently lives in order to make it easier to shoot the inner ramp, and the spinner being moved a little further back into the right orbit lane.

The third game on Retro Arcade Specialists’ stand was The Beatles from Stern Pinball.

The three games on Retro Arcade Specialists' stand
The three games on Retro Arcade Specialists’ stand

The seventh manufacturer represented at EAG is Chicago Gaming whose Pulp Fiction collaboration with Play Mechanix was being shown on the Bandai Namco stand.

Pulp Fiction on the Bandai Namco stand
Pulp Fiction on the Bandai Namco stand

Bandai Namco have recently been made a distributor for Chicago Gaming’s upcoming title. As a major supplier of amusement equipment to location operators, expect to see Pulp Fiction popping up in their many arcades and FECs when it enters production.

Pulp Fiction only just made it to the UK in time for EAG, arriving part-way through the first day and set up on the stand on the morning of the second day.

There were two other Stern Pinball titles on exhibitors’ stands.

Game Payment Technology were using an AC/DC Premium to demonstrate how their cashless payments system worked.

The AC/DC Premium on the Game Payment Technology stand
The AC/DC Premium on the Game Payment Technology stand

Meanwhile, over on the other side of the show, ASK Global Solutions were doing the same for their payments system using a Godzilla Pro.

The Godzilla game on the ASK Global Solutions stand
The Godzilla game on the ASK Global Solutions stand

That wraps it up for the pinball element at this year’s EAG show. We didn’t spot any other examples of pinball in any form on other stands. Not even any of those miniature pinball-style prize dispensers for kids.

The show seemed to be well-supported by exhibitors and visitors, with the aisles being busy without becoming crowded. There may well have been more visitors but for the sub-zero temperatures outside.

Busy... but not too busy
Busy… but not too busy

It was hard to spot any new trends amongst the many products on sale. If there were any, we’d suggest they are for larger, more impressive-looking units, and for more tactile, mechanical action as opposed to purely video-based games.

Some of the typical large-scale amusement equipment
Some of the typical large-scale amusement equipment
One of many, many ball games at EAG
One of many, many ball games at EAG
We saw the development version of this Godzilla VR game when we visited Raw Thrills back in October
We saw the development version of this excellent Godzilla VR game when we visited Raw Thrills back in October

It’s good to see pinball being so well represented to the amusement trade. Not only with the wide variety of current games and manufacturers, but also with the obvious crowds of players those games drew throughout the show.

Why not take a look at this year’s EAG International Expo for yourself with our exclusive Twenty-Two Minute Tour 4K UHD video walk around the show floor.

We hope you enjoyed our coverage. Don’t forget to listen to the January 2024 edition of our PINcast when it is published at the start of February for Martin’s and Jonathan’s take on the show, plus their exclusive interview with Gary Stern.

We’ll be back next January for EAG 2025. Keep an eye on our Diary page for the precise dates just as soon as they are confirmed.

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