Show Report: Replay Expo 2011 (Blackpool, Norbreck Castle Hotel 5th and 6th November 2011)

Show-Report-Replay-Expo-2011-Blackpool-Norbreck-Castle-Hotel-5-6th-NovemberThis time last week, the RetroCollect team were enjoying the last few hours of the retro gaming event of the year. Taking place in Blackpool on the 5th and 6th of November, Replay Expo was a video game packed weekend we won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

Within seconds of entering the event hall at the Norbreck Castle Hotel, gamers were greeted with a tasty selection candy cabinets on the left (kindly supplied by the guys at Arcade Otaku) which were just a few steps away from the huge selection of original dedicated arcade cabinets (brought along by the Jamma+ crew). Amongst these sat some rather popular choices such as Outrun 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Smash TV, Pac-Man, Mr Driller and Street Fighter II. Fans of the arcade scene were well catered for and no doubt were glued to the freeplay machines for the entire weekend.

Situated in the centre of the hall was a huge selection of games consoles spanning all gaming eras, each hooked up to their own television for all to enjoy. Amongst this vast selection sat some easily accessible titles for those yet to get into retro gaming, while those already heavily addicted to pixels had the chance to enjoy the likes of the Nintendo Sharp Twin Famicom and the MB Vectrex. Each console had a selection of games beside it, allowing everyone to either sample titles they didn’t own or battle away with friends on their favourite past times.

If we had to say what was the most impressive and enjoyable section of the event (apart from the RetroCollect area!), our answer is without a doubt the Pinball machine section kindly set up by Northern Lights Pinball. As we can enjoy just about every game ever released at home thanks to emulation, Pinball machines come as a real treat being somewhat an incomparable experience only few can enjoy day to day. With a selection of over fifty different pinball machines ranging from the 1960s onwards, gamers were flipping the weekend away on addictive machines such as The Addams Family, Star Trek Next Generation, White Water and even the unusual Cow Poke.

With all this in mind, Replay Expo wasn’t just home to countless arcade machines, classic game consoles and priceless pinball machines, but also our very own RetroCollect competition area hosting a range of challenging events. Should you only be tuning in now, we proudly hosted the RetroCollect World Championships 2011 (our own take on the Nintendo World Championships) and the devilish Robotnik Wreckage Competition. With some impressive entries and competition winning scores, we were happy to present a couple of gamers with a priceless RetroCollect Golden Joypad each day on stage.

And just when you thought the event couldn’t get any better, those with a bit of cash to burn were also rewarded with the selection of games and merchandise to take home. Retro gaming superstore Console Passion were out in force once more with shelves upon shelves of retro games on sale, who unsurprisingly never seemed to have a quiet moment away from the hungry gamers. Nearby lay RetroGT’s ever impressive selection of custom video game t-shirts and accessories, also sporting some rather classy Christmas cards your loved ones will no doubt enjoy. And last but not least in the other corner of the hall, Attic Bug returned yet again to cater for the older generation looking for cassette tapes, while offering prints from the best artist Ocean ever hired; Bob Wakelin, who was also present at the event ready to sign his masterpieces.

Replay Expo 2011 Guided Video Tour

Machines, merchandise and multiplayer gaming aside, the real draw of the event had to be the ability to mingle with RetroCollect community and other familiar faces from the likes of the Retro Gamer, Bordersdown, Rllmuk and Arcade Otaku forums. Replay Expo had a real ‘yesterday’ feel to it, allowing everyone to catch up as if last year’s event had only just passed. 

In short, the long drive to the West Coast of England was worth every minute which left us wishing for just ‘one more go’ on those classic machines we had to leave behind. Roll on next year!

View RetroCollect's Replay Expo Photographs on Flickr

Last Updated ( 13 November 2011 )  


Better known as Adam offline, Cauterize is one of RetroCollect's final bosses with an unhealthy addiction to pixels. When he's not out searching the web for the latest retro gaming news or creating content for RetroCollect, he'll will most likely be found working on his Sensible Soccer skills.

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