Amusement Expo 2024: Booth Tours #1 [Team Play, Raw Thrills, Bandai Namco, Sega, Pinball]

arcadehero March 23, 2024 1
Amusement Expo 2024: Booth Tours #1 [Team Play, Raw Thrills, Bandai Namco, Sega, Pinball]

With Amusement Expo 2024 now well in our rear view mirror, it’s time to talk a little more about what was there. I’ve been busy editing and uploading videos to YouTube, so subscribe there if you want to see this stuff before I get around to a post. Still, it’s important to keep things going on the blog here, so let’s jump to it with some booth tours.

Note that these are not all of the booths that I filmed. I’ll follow-up with a second booth post once the rest are complete. If you are just here for pinball, jump to the bottom of the post.

Team Play Inc.

I’m going to start here with Team Play, which might seem odd, as there is no video nor photos to share from their booth. This was due to a terrible situation that is every manufacturer’s worst nightmare. The semi that was transporting all of their equipment to the show had an accident and thus their space was vacant. In speaking with Brian of Team Play, the company lost a substantial amount of money due to this incident – not just from the damages to the games, but to the lost sales opportunities.

Fortunately, RePlay Magazine recently ran a front page article about what was supposed to be at the show. They were going to debut Gen 4 of their popular Pixel Pix photo booth, along with the latest version of their Photo Motion interactive kiddie ride. You can read up on that here. If you operate a location and have any interest in photo booths, please give Team Play a look. [No, I was not paid/compensated to say this – I just want to help them out due to what happened. Gutting for them.]

Raw Thrills

Raw Thrills had a strong presence at the show and debuted three pieces that weren’t at IAAPA: T-Rex VR Safari, ex-five year D&B exclusive Marvel: Contest of Champions, and Minecraft Dungeons Arcade 2-Player. I’m still working on a video and post for T-Rex, so hang tight there on that one.

It should also be noted that from the AAMA awards that were held at the end of the first day of the show, Raw Thrills won Manufacturer of the Year. Congrats to them on the achievement!

Bandai Namco Amusement America

While all of the highly-anticipated games we’ve seen on test haven’t appeared again (Goldstorm Pirates, Bike Dash Delivery, Taiko No Tatsujin) – yet – BNAA did have plenty to show off. Their booth here was a little stronger on acquired redemption pieces that have been previously promoted, though not all of these were there in person at IAAPA. For that, they had the renamed Tata Tower Island from Arccer, Lolly Crush from Duolaqi, and Crab Rush from Wik. Meanwhile in video, there was still something new, if a little small – as already advertised at EAG in January, they are bringing Animal Kaiser back to both Europe and the States with Animal Kaiser Plus. Bamco also had the new Class of 1981 version for Pac-Man’s Pixel Bash, along with a charity version of that game.

Stay tuned for a bigger post on Animal Kaiser Plus, but until then, there’s this video.

Sega Amusements International

Sega Amusements showcased a smaller repeat of their IAAPA booth, with some less recent pieces (VR Agent, Storm Rider 2, Drone Racing Genesis) absent, and fewer cabinets of those that were there on hand. These included a two player setup of Apex Rebels – and as detailed in the video below, it was unfortunately not using the release build featuring Motorland Sakura. Footage of that one will have to wait a little longer I’m afraid. This more compact space did however allow them to focus on the pieces that they really want to push for now, e.g. the redemption offerings spearheaded by their UK R&D team’s latest in-house effort, Zombies! Ready, Deady, Go!. In talking very briefly with Marty from SAI, he said that they are still seeing record-breaking sales, which was pretty good to hear.

LAI Games

LAI’s booth was configured in a different way than they’ve been doing for a long time now; over the past few years, they’ve had large brick façade walls along an edge or two of the space. This time, those were gone in favor of a more traditional booth setup. The game mix was similar to IAAPA with one exception – their new off-road combat racer SMASH DX, by Superwing. You can find a more detailed video of that one here.

Stern Pinball

Stern’s stand configuration was also a little bit different to what they usually offer – it was a kind of Tetris-piece shape (not counting the private office room that sticks out, of course). They did have a really cool arch fixture at the desk though. JAWS was naturally the highlight of the booth, joined by Venom, Foo Fighters, James Bond 007, Avengers: IQ, and Stranger Things. The JAWS video is coming soon.

American Pinball

American didn’t have any walls setup at their booth (a giant bald eagle statue or a huge American flag could do the trick), but they did have most of their games – everything except for Oktoberfest. The standout of course was the brand new Barry O’s Barbeque Challenge, of which there were four limited editions that you could play. I suppose it would have made sense for them to have a few grills setup as props too, but they were on a hectic show schedule due to the Texas Pinball Festival the week prior. This was also an opportunity to check out the unique Signature Edition of Galactic Tank Force, although every time I walked by their booth, it was being played. I’ll have a video of that up this next week (hopefully).

That’s a wrap on Amusement Expo 2024 – for now. Stay tuned to the social media and video channels for more to come from the show!

One Comment »

Leave A Response »