2012 Houston Arcade Expo Report

I’m just getting to the point where I can take some time to write up a description of my trip to Houston for, (I think what is it, the 11-th annual) Houston Arcade Expo.

This was my third year attending the event and as usual, it was a blast.

The array of video games and pinball machines was impressive. The event is seeded by a few world-class collectors in the Texas area who bring both popular as well as extremely rare games. The show features a large array of vendors, IFPA pinball tournaments, classic arcade and console tournaments, seminars, and a crazy music and light show as well as the occasional Darth Vader impersonator. It’s held at the Crowne Plaza in North Houston who does a great job of hosting and providing accommodations for those traveling from outside the area.

Here’s a short video walk-thru of the event:

The swap meet was Saturday morning. Actually, it began with me on Friday as my friend came across a game in a guy’s trailer that was going to be at the swap meet that he sold to me the day before. This was another one of those “no brainer deals” – an almost complete pinball machine for $100. The perfect kind of project we like. A Gottlieb System 80 called “Super Orbit”. This is the forth Sys80 game I’ve picked up and I’m looking forward to doing some specific videos on repairs and restorations on that platform in the near future. I also had good luck last year picking up a swap meet game real cheap that turned out to be really fun to play (Stern “Memory Lane”).

It’s hard to tell if the swap meet was bigger this year than last. It definitely went on longer though and there was a little bit of everything. HAAG seems to have a lot more vintage console gamers coming out and trading this year.

All in all, a great event put on by great people. If you’re in the area, make a point of checking it out.

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