APE (Arcade And Pinball Expo) 2015


Hi all, and welcome to another review courtesy of yours truly. This time I’m giving you a special review coming from APE (Arcade and Pinball Expo) instead of the usual con reviews you’d get from myself. This show was held on the Nova University campus at the Don Taft University Center located in Davie, Florida on the 2nd floor. This event was held from Fri-Sun, Feb. 20-22, 2015. Although this was a 3-day event, I again decided to attend only Saturday’s events.

This show carried a variety of arcade games from the 70’s-today, as well as pinball games from those eras as well. I saw various arcade games that I played in my youth- Joust, Galaga, Space Invaders, Phoenix, Vanguard, Track and Field, Satan’s Hollow, and a sit-in console that can trade out Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back easily for each other, as well as others that I havent seen in years such as Moon Patrol, Kangaroo, Moon Cresta (aka Moon Eagle), Defender, and Asteroids. The pinball games consisted of older models that dont have the lights and sounds of today’s more modern pinball machines (as well as having roll-up scores), as well as some more modern ones such as Family Guy, Star Wars, Terminator 3, and X-Men. I even saw an old game that the object of the game was to hit a small ball rolling down a chute and attempt to hit it high enough to make runs (ala baseball). They also had some pc and home console systems set up for play on the lower level of the pavillion itself, as well as a few vendors selling wares from comics to video game related items. I myself played as many of these games as I could possibly play within the 14 hrs time I spent at the show (since it was open from 10am-12am).

The highlight for the expo was when I took 2 hours out of my playtime to watch a fan film entitled ‘World 1-1’, which discussed the rise and early fall of Atari, Inc., the pioneer for coin op arcade games. In it, Nolan Bushnell (co-founder), and several other former Atari employees discussed how they helped to revolutionize the coin op industry with the invention of the early arcade games, such as Pong and Asteroids for the open market of bars and restaurants, as well as pool halls. There was also discussion of how Atari made a fast rise in the electronic game industry through their innovations in technology, as well as having one of the first electronic modular home game systems via their Atari VCS (video console system), which was the top seller from 1977-84. Eventually, Atari had grown so big they didn’t realize the later repercussions that would occur when they were bought by Time Warner Inc. (then only Warner Bros. Inc.) in 1978 after becoming a slow success w/the advent of Pong in 1973, since Warner was partly responsible for their downfall as a company, uneducated in the engineering and than infant computer industry, and led to Bushnell’s decision to leave the company in the early 80’s. Warner’s treatment also forced many of those who had founded Atari alongside Bushnell to later leave as well because of royalty issues off of arcade and home game sales for Atari which they created for them- This eventually led to other companies such as Activision and Imagic, which created games for the Atari system ,while giving both royalties and creator credits for these games, since they were formed by former Atari and Intellivison employees. When the video game crash came in the early 80’s circa 1984, it was only because other companies sprang up and attempted to duplicate Atari’s success in the home video game industry, but instead failed, which led to those systems and games being sold for less than half the cost of Atari’s cartridges via the clearance bins, which in turn hurt Atari’s sales, not to mention the failure of a few Atari home games based off of movies, most notably the Atari 2600 version of E.T.- a huge commercial failure. For more info as well as to purchase this movie-



Overall, I enjoyed this show, and can’t wait for next year for it to return so I can enjoy playing more classic arcade and pinball games. Til next month and Geekfest aka ‘Age of Ultracon’, remember to always have fun anywhere you go,esp. at cons. As always- a quick pic view via my personal facebook page:


Author: JDOC View all posts by
JDOC is a longtime comic geek whose love for comics and classic animation (WB/HB/ MGM/Disney) knows no bounds. Hes been to many conventions in Florida over the years since the early 90's, including Megacon since 2003.

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