By Russ Jensen

Last time while reporting on the Spring 1997 edition of the COIN-OP SUPER SHOW I commented that I might not be able to attend the Fall edition. But luckily I was able to find a ride (with my son, if fact) and was able to attend after all.

This time, as with the past several editions of this show, Roseanna and Bill Harris' COIN-OP SUPER SHOW was held at the Pasadena Exhibit Center in Pasadena, California in conjunction with a toy show called "Toyrific". The show was held on October 25 and 26, 1997. On Saturday morning my son Jack and I made the approximately 70 mile drive to Pasadena, arriving slightly after the show opened at 10 AM.

Upon entering the showroom I first went to say hello to show hostess Roseanna Harris who I introduced to my son. Roseanna told me of the "get well card" she had prepared for ailing coin machine author/historian (and my good friend) Dick Bueschel which I immediately signed. I then began roving the aisles seeing what was to be seen.

I first ran into Marshall Fey at his booth and introduced him to my son Jack - also showing my son pictures of Marshall's grandfather's pioneer slot machine the Fey Liberty Bell in one of Marshall's books. At that point my son went off on his own and I continued my wandering up and down the aisles. There seemed to be a fairly decent crowd at this show - possibly even a few more people than at the Spring edition.

My travels up and down the aisles quickly showed me that there were not too many pingames (my main interest, of course) at the show, and virtually no early machines at all! There were actually (as far as I could see) only three dealers selling pins.

The first of these was show regular Herb Silvers with his Fabulous Fantasies booth. Herb had five games, mostly modern solid-state machines. The one exception was one of his nicely restored wood-rail flipper games, Gottlieb's LIGHTNING BALL from 1959. Herb also had the brand new "licensed theme" game X-FILES from Sega Pinball. That game, by the way, was also advertised in the famous Niemann Marcus Christmas Gift Catalog this year at a whopping $6500! - much more than Herb's price of $3895.

Another pin dealer at the show (and another "regular" at the past several shows) was Pat Sheehy from West Los Angeles. The third dealer selling pins who I had never seen before (at least as far as I can remember) had a game which I knew I had never seen. That was Bally's 1966 pingame SAFARI (not to be confused with that company's "bingo" pinball by the same name).

As far as the various decades were concerned, there were no games I could find from the 1930's or 1940's, and only Herb's restoration from the 1950's. The Bally game previously mentioned was the only game at the show from the 1960's. The were six pins from the 1970's (all electro-mechanical), four from the 1980's, and one from the current decade.

The following is a chronological listing of the pingames I saw at the show:


    GAME                        MANUFACTURER     YEAR     PRICE

    LIGHTING BALL               Gottlieb         1959     1800
    SAFARI                      Bally            1966      495
    SCUBA                       Gottlieb         1970      495
    MONTE CARLO                 Bally            1972      950
    HIGH HAND                   Gottlieb         1973      495
    DEALER'S CHOICE             Williams         1974      495
    OLD CHICAGO                 Bally            1975      495
    SOLAR CITY                  Gottlieb         1977      595
    COMET                       Williams         1985      950
    HURRICANE                   Williams         1991     1600
    STAR TREK NEXT GENERATION   Williams         1993     2095
    FLINTSTONES (THE)           Williams         1994     2495
    X FILES                     Sega             1997     3895

During my roving I ran into several old friends. I saw my good friends (and fellow pinball historians) Rob Hawkins and Don Mueting who I introduced to my son Jack. I also ran into a young fellow who attends almost all the Southern California pinball shows and who also writes reviews of them for pinball magazines. His name is Chris Squires and I was happy to finally meet him in person after reading his fine articles over the years and also corresponding with him. I also saw a fellow who I think I have seen at almost all (if not all) of the Pasadena coin-op shows I have attended over the years, coin-op collector Herb Mercer of Westlake Village, California.

In addition to the few pingames that were at the show, there were quite a few other coin-ops such as slot machines, trade simulators, and jukeboxes. There were also, as usual, other collectables such as antique advertising articles, gumball machines, and phonograph records. Also available for sale were quite a few books and other literature pertaining to coin-ops, as well to other collectables. Also, as at past Super Shows, there were many fine "door prizes" (mostly coin-op related publications and gift certificates from show dealers) which were given away during periodic drawings and announced over the public address.

Well, after my roving and visiting was completed, it was time to leave. Before leaving, however, we said "goodbye" to Roseanna and told her how much we enjoyed the show. My son and I then drive back home, completing our visit to this fine show.

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