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Considering Buying my First Pinball Machine... Any Advice?

Jan 11 at 12:45:08 PM
DefaultGen (24)
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(Tyler Wilkin) < Kraid Killer >
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Originally posted by: jonebone

I only played 90s themes and nothing wowed me or disappointed me other than the Mario Mushroom World (the small yellow one) being a complete dud.
 

At least you have some gameplay sense, ha. That game is awful, but it's probably the coolest looking one to have sitting unplayed in a game room!
 

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Jan 11 at 1:03:20 PM
64BitMatthew (31)
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(Matthew 64Bit) < Eggplant Wizard >
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I definitely agree with you that in a one pin collection, you need to have a theme you like. Especially if you are not going to be playing it a ton.
But with that being said, don't underestimate the differences in gameplay when deciding on a pin. Everyone starts off by just trying to keep the ball alive. But after a while, you're going to start learning the different shots in the game, starting modes, how to get the jackpot, wizard mode, etc. Knowing what to aim for and when, opens up a whole new level of fun. That's why I enjoy my Super Mario Bros pin (not to be mistaken with the Mario Mushroom World game lol). Its great for my kids who just want to shoot the ball around and occasionally achieve something, as well as myself who wants to work through the 6 game modes as well as destroy the seven castles to save the princess. Its a good pin to cater between new to basic pinball players.  I hope that you can find a pin that is a good entry pin for you and your family too.

-------------------------

 


Edited: 01/11/2019 at 01:04 PM by 64BitMatthew

Jan 11 at 1:06:15 PM
BeaglePuss (41)
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(Matt Nolan) < Bowser >
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Originally posted by: jonebone

Well my father is a retired union electrician of 30+ years so me not being able to do soldering is a moot point. He's 5 minutes away with a wide open schedule if I needed help there. I don't own a truck or trailer to transport the thing in the first place so he helps me out in more ways than one.

I get that people are stressing gameplay here but that's a moot point to me. You guys are talking from it with years of experience or playing dozens and dozens of games. I bet I have no more than 2-3 hours of pinball experience in my entire life. My pinball experience was visiting the Pinball Hall of Fame in Vegas in 2017 and I spent about an hour there. I only played 90s themes and nothing wowed me or disappointed me other than the Mario Mushroom World (the small yellow one) being a complete dud. I had the same enjoyment bouncing between machines not knowing anything about rules other than trying to keep the ball in play.

So either way, I'm buying it more as an interactive collectible that I can learn on and see if I like the hobby or not. I see it as low risk fun and more of a conversation piece if anything. And if I do love it I can always buy a more advanced machine later. Everyone starts somewhere.

Originally posted by: jonebone
So, any advice for someone like me?  Appreciate any inisght, whether it is advice on theme / gameplay, maintenance, etc.  Started to lurk on Pinside as well, but figured NA could be a resource too!

I was just going by what you originally posted regarding gameplay and maintenance.

If you want themes that would fit your OP:

-  Terminator 2.  BW game that's affordable and doesn't suck.  Can be found for $2,000-$2,500 regularly.
-  Demolition Man.  Same as above. 
-  Judge Dredd.  BW game with tons of modes and stuff to do.  In the $2,500-$3,000.
-  Jurassic Park.  DE game that’s still reasonably affordable ($2,500 or so).  Code sucks, but you can update the rom with a killer fan-hack that radically improves gameplay.
-  Lethal Weapon 3.  DE game where you DEFINITELY want to update the rom.  Once you do, it’s a great game for a casual player.  Tons of video modes, ramps, pistol shooter, beacon light at the top of the cab, etc.  Above all else, they’re extremely affordable.  Should be able to get one in the $1,500 range.
 
All the above titles are reasonably priced, have that 90’s action theme going for them, and none are total duds (though people might argue that LW3 is trash).
 

Jan 11 at 1:24:21 PM
64BitMatthew (31)
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(Matthew 64Bit) < Eggplant Wizard >
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That is a great list BeaglePuss. Great nostalgia themes, with gameplay that is welcoming to new players, but also offering a bit of modes/things to shoot for.

-------------------------

 

Jan 11 at 1:37:01 PM
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jonebone (543)
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Originally posted by: BeaglePuss
 
Originally posted by: jonebone

Well my father is a retired union electrician of 30+ years so me not being able to do soldering is a moot point. He's 5 minutes away with a wide open schedule if I needed help there. I don't own a truck or trailer to transport the thing in the first place so he helps me out in more ways than one.

I get that people are stressing gameplay here but that's a moot point to me. You guys are talking from it with years of experience or playing dozens and dozens of games. I bet I have no more than 2-3 hours of pinball experience in my entire life. My pinball experience was visiting the Pinball Hall of Fame in Vegas in 2017 and I spent about an hour there. I only played 90s themes and nothing wowed me or disappointed me other than the Mario Mushroom World (the small yellow one) being a complete dud. I had the same enjoyment bouncing between machines not knowing anything about rules other than trying to keep the ball in play.

So either way, I'm buying it more as an interactive collectible that I can learn on and see if I like the hobby or not. I see it as low risk fun and more of a conversation piece if anything. And if I do love it I can always buy a more advanced machine later. Everyone starts somewhere.
 

Originally posted by: jonebone
So, any advice for someone like me?  Appreciate any inisght, whether it is advice on theme / gameplay, maintenance, etc.  Started to lurk on Pinside as well, but figured NA could be a resource too!

I was just going by what you originally posted regarding gameplay and maintenance.

If you want themes that would fit your OP:

-  Terminator 2.  BW game that's affordable and doesn't suck.  Can be found for $2,000-$2,500 regularly.
-  Demolition Man.  Same as above. 
-  Judge Dredd.  BW game with tons of modes and stuff to do.  In the $2,500-$3,000.
-  Jurassic Park.  DE game that’s still reasonably affordable ($2,500 or so).  Code sucks, but you can update the rom with a killer fan-hack that radically improves gameplay.
-  Lethal Weapon 3.  DE game where you DEFINITELY want to update the rom.  Once you do, it’s a great game for a casual player.  Tons of video modes, ramps, pistol shooter, beacon light at the top of the cab, etc.  Above all else, they’re extremely affordable.  Should be able to get one in the $1,500 range.
 
All the above titles are reasonably priced, have that 90’s action theme going for them, and none are total duds (though people might argue that LW3 is trash).
 
How accurate are your prices?  I'm new but I thought T2 was more around $3k.  Lots of stuff has trickled up.  T2 is probably the only one from that list that would interest me (I like Arnold and Last Action Hero looks disgusting), but I think that's too scary for my daughters (ages 2 and 4).  May sound funny if you don't have kids (I don't think you do?) but even the TMNT Arcade I got scared my oldest (then 3) for at least 2 weeks because it was too loud.  Not sure about a robot skull with red eyes as my first machine. 

Either way, I'm not buying a machine to become a pinball wizard, I'm buying a machine that I can play casually with my daughters / friends in a theme that I find enjoyable.  The collector in me already knows I have room for 2 or 3 also, so maybe I buy one now, learn a bit, and expand more as I become a better player.  

-------------------------
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Jan 11 at 1:49:45 PM
BeaglePuss (41)
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(Matt Nolan) < Bowser >
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Originally posted by: jonebone

How accurate are your prices?  I'm new but I thought T2 was more around $3k.  Lots of stuff has trickled up.  T2 is probably the only one from that list that would interest me (I like Arnold and Last Action Hero looks disgusting), but I think that's too scary for my daughters (ages 2 and 4).  May sound funny if you don't have kids (I don't think you do?) but even the TMNT Arcade I got scared my oldest (then 3) for at least 2 weeks because it was too loud.  Not sure about a robot skull with red eyes as my first machine. 

Either way, I'm not buying a machine to become a pinball wizard, I'm buying a machine that I can play casually with my daughters / friends in a theme that I find enjoyable.  The collector in me already knows I have room for 2 or 3 also, so maybe I buy one now, learn a bit, and expand more as I become a better player.  
Prices have trickled up for sure, but I’ve checked pinball prices every day for the past 5+ years.  If you’re paying $3,000 for a T2, you’re overpaying.  You can get a nice player for $2,500 without much trouble at all.  While you’re likely only going to be a casual owner/player (at least to start), you’re right to stay away from Last Action Hero.  Not a great game, but fine for the price point or in a big collection.

I have a 2 year old (and another on the way), so I totally get you there.  Demolition Man can be found for a similar price as T2, is the superior game by a wide margin IMO, and shouldn’t scare any of the kids. 

Do you have a broad price range?  I could list off dozens of games depending on what you were looking to spend. 
 

Jan 11 at 1:52:19 PM
64BitMatthew (31)
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(Matthew 64Bit) < Eggplant Wizard >
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Pinball is like anything else, you learn as you go. I'm sure whatever pin you go with, you'll have fun and learn lots. Make sure to update this thread when you do get one. I'm interested in seeing what it will be.

-------------------------

 

Jan 11 at 1:55:47 PM
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jonebone (543)
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(Collector Extraordinaire) < Luigi >
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Originally posted by: BeaglePuss
 
Originally posted by: jonebone

How accurate are your prices?  I'm new but I thought T2 was more around $3k.  Lots of stuff has trickled up.  T2 is probably the only one from that list that would interest me (I like Arnold and Last Action Hero looks disgusting), but I think that's too scary for my daughters (ages 2 and 4).  May sound funny if you don't have kids (I don't think you do?) but even the TMNT Arcade I got scared my oldest (then 3) for at least 2 weeks because it was too loud.  Not sure about a robot skull with red eyes as my first machine. 

Either way, I'm not buying a machine to become a pinball wizard, I'm buying a machine that I can play casually with my daughters / friends in a theme that I find enjoyable.  The collector in me already knows I have room for 2 or 3 also, so maybe I buy one now, learn a bit, and expand more as I become a better player.  
Prices have trickled up for sure, but I’ve checked pinball prices every day for the past 5+ years.  If you’re paying $3,000 for a T2, you’re overpaying.  You can get a nice player for $2,500 without much trouble at all.  While you’re likely only going to be a casual owner/player (at least to start), you’re right to stay away from Last Action Hero.  Not a great game, but fine for the price point or in a big collection.

I have a 2 year old (and another on the way), so I totally get you there.  Demolition Man can be found for a similar price as T2, is the superior game by a wide margin IMO, and shouldn’t scare any of the kids. 

Do you have a broad price range?  I could list off dozens of games depending on what you were looking to spend. 
 
Under $2500... but pretty set on getting a theme I love rather than an engrossing game... at least to start.  Theme / Condition / Location (being close) are all more important to me than gameplay, at least for now.  Mario Gottlieb would be ideal for my crossover appeal, but TMNT / Simpsons are on the list.  I don't want to pay 2-3x the price to get Simpsons Pinball Party until I've tried cheaper options and would have appreciation for all of the new bells / whistles.

Space Jam was the only other one that I could realistically see myself buying on theme.  90s movies are good and may help round out a collection or keep things fresh, but not sure I'd want to go into that as my first. 

-------------------------
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Jan 11 at 2:08:19 PM
BeaglePuss (41)
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(Matt Nolan) < Bowser >
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Originally posted by: jonebone
 
Originally posted by: BeaglePuss
 
Originally posted by: jonebone

How accurate are your prices?  I'm new but I thought T2 was more around $3k.  Lots of stuff has trickled up.  T2 is probably the only one from that list that would interest me (I like Arnold and Last Action Hero looks disgusting), but I think that's too scary for my daughters (ages 2 and 4).  May sound funny if you don't have kids (I don't think you do?) but even the TMNT Arcade I got scared my oldest (then 3) for at least 2 weeks because it was too loud.  Not sure about a robot skull with red eyes as my first machine. 

Either way, I'm not buying a machine to become a pinball wizard, I'm buying a machine that I can play casually with my daughters / friends in a theme that I find enjoyable.  The collector in me already knows I have room for 2 or 3 also, so maybe I buy one now, learn a bit, and expand more as I become a better player.  
Prices have trickled up for sure, but I’ve checked pinball prices every day for the past 5+ years.  If you’re paying $3,000 for a T2, you’re overpaying.  You can get a nice player for $2,500 without much trouble at all.  While you’re likely only going to be a casual owner/player (at least to start), you’re right to stay away from Last Action Hero.  Not a great game, but fine for the price point or in a big collection.

I have a 2 year old (and another on the way), so I totally get you there.  Demolition Man can be found for a similar price as T2, is the superior game by a wide margin IMO, and shouldn’t scare any of the kids. 

Do you have a broad price range?  I could list off dozens of games depending on what you were looking to spend. 
 
Under $2500... but pretty set on getting a theme I love rather than an engrossing game... at least to start.  Theme / Condition / Location (being close) are all more important to me than gameplay, at least for now.  Mario Gottlieb would be ideal for my crossover appeal, but TMNT / Simpsons are on the list.  I don't want to pay 2-3x the price to get Simpsons Pinball Party until I've tried cheaper options and would have appreciation for all of the new bells / whistles.

Space Jam was the only other one that I could realistically see myself buying on theme.  90s movies are good and may help round out a collection or keep things fresh, but not sure I'd want to go into that as my first. 
I’ve owned a Gottlieb Mario, and it doesn’t (totally) suck.  Those System 3 games are insanely easy to maintain and are extremely reliable.  The gameplay is extremely basic, and the game is too easy for good players.  With that said, it has some cool/fun things going on that a newer-casual player will really enjoy.  Cons with the game: 
-  The game is way more expensive than it should be, based on theme alone. 
-  They’re not as common as many other games, and tend to get scooped up fast.
-  While the electronic components on System 3 games are great, I’ve found that the playfields are shit.  The examples I’ve seen always tend to be blown out.

It has a video mode where you play a SMB1 port of sorts.  It's awful, but I always enjoyed reaching it.

Jan 11 at 2:08:51 PM
BeaglePuss (41)
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(Matt Nolan) < Bowser >
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Originally posted by: 64BitMatthew

Pinball is like anything else, you learn as you go. I'm sure whatever pin you go with, you'll have fun and learn lots. Make sure to update this thread when you do get one. I'm interested in seeing what it will be.
Couldn't agree more my man.

Jan 11 at 2:44:11 PM
64BitMatthew (31)
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(Matthew 64Bit) < Eggplant Wizard >
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Originally posted by: BeaglePuss
I’ve owned a Gottlieb Mario, and it doesn’t (totally) suck.  Those System 3 games are insanely easy to maintain and are extremely reliable.  The gameplay is extremely basic, and the game is too easy for good players.  With that said, it has some cool/fun things going on that a newer-casual player will really enjoy.  Cons with the game: 
-  The game is way more expensive than it should be, based on theme alone. 
-  They’re not as common as many other games, and tend to get scooped up fast.
-  While the electronic components on System 3 games are great, I’ve found that the playfields are shit.  The examples I’ve seen always tend to be blown out.

It has a video mode where you play a SMB1 port of sorts.  It's awful, but I always enjoyed reaching it.


I agree, Gottlieb System 3s are known for being easy to maintain and pretty bulletproof.   As BeaglePuss mentioned, they are pretty light on code, but for new people entering the world of pinball, I find they work great (they did for myself, my family and my friends at least).  Most of my friends don't want to sit there and have me explain the different shots for 5 minutes before they play, they just want to get started hitting the ball around.
Gottliebs also dont command the same prices that the more popular Williams, etc. do, so they are great entry level pins. Mario is a bit of an exception as its theme helps it command a better price, but most Gottliebs can be had for very reasonable prices.  I've had three Gottliebs so far (cactus jack's, Super Mario Bros and Shaq Attaq) and none have given me any problems (besides basic maintenance).  Converting to American, Cactus Jacks was around $1200, Shaq Attaq was around $1200, and Super Mario Bros was around $1800 (I got a bit lucky with this one though, as it plays great and the playfield is in very clean shape).  As far as pins go, gottliebs are a low investment, nice starter option that you can always swap out later if you find yourself wanting something with deeper gameplay.
Gottlieb also had some decent themes too. Street Fighter 2, Frank Thomas Big Hurt, Shaq Attaq, Super Mario Bros, Waterworld, Stargate, etc.  Some definitely play better than others, but the themes and prices are solid.
Data East and Sega games also have great themes, but they are usually a little step up in price.  Still not terrible though.  My next pin will likely be a Data East / Sega game with a bit more code. Or if I can find a decently priced Demolition Man by Williams, I may go that route (as BeaglePuss mentioned, it is a very fun game, with lots to do and a good theme).

-------------------------

 


Edited: 01/11/2019 at 02:50 PM by 64BitMatthew

Jan 11 at 3:16:42 PM
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MrWunderful (285)
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(Corey ) < Wiz's Mom >
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Originally posted by: jonebone

Well my father is a retired union electrician of 30+ years so me not being able to do soldering is a moot point. He's 5 minutes away with a wide open schedule if I needed help there. I don't own a truck or trailer to transport the thing in the first place so he helps me out in more ways than one.

I get that people are stressing gameplay here but that's a moot point to me. You guys are talking from it with years of experience or playing dozens and dozens of games. I bet I have no more than 2-3 hours of pinball experience in my entire life. My pinball experience was visiting the Pinball Hall of Fame in Vegas in 2017 and I spent about an hour there. I only played 90s themes and nothing wowed me or disappointed me other than the Mario Mushroom World (the small yellow one) being a complete dud. I had the same enjoyment bouncing between machines not knowing anything about rules other than trying to keep the ball in play.

So either way, I'm buying it more as an interactive collectible that I can learn on and see if I like the hobby or not. I see it as low risk fun and more of a conversation piece if anything. And if I do love it I can always buy a more advanced machine later. Everyone starts somewhere.


I didnt know your dad was a retired IBEW sparky! Nice. 

Jan 11 at 4:43:50 PM
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Bronty (65)
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(Dan M) < Bonk >
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Originally posted by: BeaglePuss
 
Originally posted by: Bronty

To the guy who mentioned Addams. Addams is incredible and sold all those units for a reason, and it's my other machine. While the maintenance hasn't been horrible , things do break from time to time.

Do you also own a TZ, or am I remembering wrong?
 

I did, but I moved cross country and decided to let it go to not have to move it.   Wasn’t an option for Addams though, that stays with me.   I bought a new MBr to replace the TZ
 

-------------------------

WTB Cdn sealed black boxes, sealed Cdn first party titles.    I.e. the "mattel" Cdn boxes with both french and english.   Mainly black boxes, zelda, link, and tyson, but let me know what you have.    I am interested in anything I don't already have!


Jan 11 at 4:45:33 PM
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Bronty (65)
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(Dan M) < Bonk >
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Originally posted by: jonebone
 
Originally posted by: BeaglePuss
 
Originally posted by: jonebone

Well my father is a retired union electrician of 30+ years so me not being able to do soldering is a moot point. He's 5 minutes away with a wide open schedule if I needed help there. I don't own a truck or trailer to transport the thing in the first place so he helps me out in more ways than one.

I get that people are stressing gameplay here but that's a moot point to me. You guys are talking from it with years of experience or playing dozens and dozens of games. I bet I have no more than 2-3 hours of pinball experience in my entire life. My pinball experience was visiting the Pinball Hall of Fame in Vegas in 2017 and I spent about an hour there. I only played 90s themes and nothing wowed me or disappointed me other than the Mario Mushroom World (the small yellow one) being a complete dud. I had the same enjoyment bouncing between machines not knowing anything about rules other than trying to keep the ball in play.

So either way, I'm buying it more as an interactive collectible that I can learn on and see if I like the hobby or not. I see it as low risk fun and more of a conversation piece if anything. And if I do love it I can always buy a more advanced machine later. Everyone starts somewhere.
 

Originally posted by: jonebone
So, any advice for someone like me?  Appreciate any inisght, whether it is advice on theme / gameplay, maintenance, etc.  Started to lurk on Pinside as well, but figured NA could be a resource too!

I was just going by what you originally posted regarding gameplay and maintenance.

If you want themes that would fit your OP:

-  Terminator 2.  BW game that's affordable and doesn't suck.  Can be found for $2,000-$2,500 regularly.
-  Demolition Man.  Same as above. 
-  Judge Dredd.  BW game with tons of modes and stuff to do.  In the $2,500-$3,000.
-  Jurassic Park.  DE game that’s still reasonably affordable ($2,500 or so).  Code sucks, but you can update the rom with a killer fan-hack that radically improves gameplay.
-  Lethal Weapon 3.  DE game where you DEFINITELY want to update the rom.  Once you do, it’s a great game for a casual player.  Tons of video modes, ramps, pistol shooter, beacon light at the top of the cab, etc.  Above all else, they’re extremely affordable.  Should be able to get one in the $1,500 range.
 
All the above titles are reasonably priced, have that 90’s action theme going for them, and none are total duds (though people might argue that LW3 is trash).
 
How accurate are your prices?  I'm new but I thought T2 was more around $3k.  Lots of stuff has trickled up.  T2 is probably the only one from that list that would interest me (I like Arnold and Last Action Hero looks disgusting), but I think that's too scary for my daughters (ages 2 and 4).  May sound funny if you don't have kids (I don't think you do?) but even the TMNT Arcade I got scared my oldest (then 3) for at least 2 weeks because it was too loud.  Not sure about a robot skull with red eyes as my first machine. 

Either way, I'm not buying a machine to become a pinball wizard, I'm buying a machine that I can play casually with my daughters / friends in a theme that I find enjoyable.  The collector in me already knows I have room for 2 or 3 also, so maybe I buy one now, learn a bit, and expand more as I become a better player.  

I think you’ll enjoy it a lot.   Pinball sucks you in 
 

-------------------------

WTB Cdn sealed black boxes, sealed Cdn first party titles.    I.e. the "mattel" Cdn boxes with both french and english.   Mainly black boxes, zelda, link, and tyson, but let me know what you have.    I am interested in anything I don't already have!


Jan 11 at 8:00:21 PM
CT (2)
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< Eggplant Wizard >
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Pinball is a very frustrating hobby. I don't own any machines, but if they aren't maintained the game is just not that fun. Some of the new Stern games are alright, I like the simpler layouts like Game of Thrones. But yes the classics are where it's at, and they generally have weird themes. One of my favorites is Demolition Man. Overall I think you should go play a bunch of machines to see what you like!

Anyways, the best 'new' game that I have played was Total Nuclear Annihilation which has a very simple playfield.



Jan 12 at 12:39:51 PM
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Bronty (65)
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(Dan M) < Bonk >
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Dad being an electrician changes everything  

Step up to something that's at least 2500-3000 though or it will be a turd  

-------------------------

WTB Cdn sealed black boxes, sealed Cdn first party titles.    I.e. the "mattel" Cdn boxes with both french and english.   Mainly black boxes, zelda, link, and tyson, but let me know what you have.    I am interested in anything I don't already have!


Jan 14 at 12:13:02 AM
VmprHntrD (0)
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If you want to start more simple and if you're really into it want to work into the more complex I'm going to buck the trend here and say avoid the DMD style more modern machines, stick the 1980s. There are so many choices from that decade that'll cost you in the $1000-2000 range in good to excellent shape. I know it's kind of a moot point with that licensed being wrecked with Pinball Arcade, but they had so many tables in there you could have tried out, and if you're into APKs and android I suppose you could side load test things still but that's shady.

I think as a first you really want to avoid stuff with larger more complex electronics to deal with and all the moveable toys on the field as they more complex they get, the more likely they are to break and be harder to replace or repair. The 80s is loaded with a lot of nice things that still have ramps, magnets, spinners, pop bumpers, the usual classics you can rely on for lots of variable fun. I really don't get around to using the one I have now, more a forgetful laziness than not wanting to. Even when I had been using it every day maintenance wasn't a problem after the initial clean up due to former user just kind of letting it ride for years. My headache was mostly just getting the table angle right not just for the ball to behave but also so the skill shot to not foul up most the time.

Like I said before look to Williams and Bally in the 1980s, Data East could be ok too, Gottlieb may be taste but don't like them and Stern was kind of hit and miss but fine.

Jan 14 at 9:19:56 AM
cartman (16)
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(The Boss) < Ridley Wrangler >
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They're literally designed to wear out with an iron ball smashing into plastic over and over gotta be a real bitch to maintain

Jan 14 at 9:59:28 AM
dewisp02 (72)
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(Mr. Jason) < Kraid Killer >
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I own a few pins and my advice is to pay up for one that is fully shopped by a reputable seller, if you are completely new to the hobby. Do research to see the prices of shopped machines before committing to buying one. They can be extremely finicky and if you have no electronics repair / diagnostics experience / not willing to learn, it will be a much more expensive endeavor buying one that needs to be shopped. Also, if you are not wanting / willing to learn how to work on pinball machines, I highly suggest you make sure you have reputable people in your area that can service the machine for you when it does break down. They are constant maintenance and it it not uncommon for wires to become disconnected with all the shock and vibrations from the ball clashing into all the playfield items.

If you have any specific questions or just want to chat about anything, feel free to PM me.

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-Wanted NES: Box- Bubble Bobble 2, Chubby Cherub, Color A Dinosaur, Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt, Volleyball
                     Manual- Dragon Fighter, 
Jetson's, Operation Secret Storm, SCAT, Stack Up, Stinger, Sword Master, Wayne's World
                     Manual and Box- Arkanoid, Bomberman II, Jimmy Connor's Tennis, Little Ninja Brothers, Mickey in Numberland, Pro Sport Hockey, Sqoon, TMNT Tournament Fighters, Ultimate Soccer League

 

Jan 15 at 5:00:20 AM
Galdius (13)
avatar
< Meka Chicken >
Posts: 713 - Joined: 02/01/2013
Brazil
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The first pinball machine I bought was Star Wars Trilogy and the second one was Batman Forever for my father.

I chose the Star Wars one as the first machine because I love the theme and had almost zero experience playing pinballs.
It's a very simple but fun table.
My father loves pinballs, had a lot of experience playing them and he liked this table but thought it could be more challenging.
For my skill level, it's great and it didn't need a lot of maintenance.

The second pinball I bought was a birthday gift for my dad and it's a more complex table than Star Wars.
He loves it but this machine breaks a lot.
He's thinking now about changing it for another one that breaks less.

Jan 15 at 7:54:04 PM
cosmicjim (47)

(cosmic jim) < El Ripper >
Posts: 1210 - Joined: 03/19/2011
United States
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Originally posted by: jonebone

Eh maintenance is overblown in my experience. I can handle a bit of maintaining in the sense of cleaning and troubleshooting minor issues (stuck ball), but I'm not going to be doing complex soldering, mods, etc. I'm not inept but I'm not that handy either. If I have to pay someone to fix something it wouldn't be the end of the world. I find that people who preach maintenance are generally the extremely proactive type that try to stay ahead of everything, while if you're just reactive, and can live with less than perfection (a bulb went out!) then maintenance isn't that bad.

I got a local lead on a Simpsons DE that I'd be able to see prior to buying. Seller seemed pretty honest and mentioned a couple of broken plastics that I'm requesting he fix, exterior of cabinet looks very nice and full working order. I'm sure it won't be perfect but price seems right and local convenience is a huge plus. Hopefully can check it out in the upcoming weeks. Any advice on things to look for in person on a test play? Flipper strength, speed of the ball, anything like that?

For all of the advice in the thread, the expensive machines are not an option. Someone new to NES collecting shouldn't jump in buying an SE or Samson (IMO) and I'm not going after an expensive pin as my first, regardless of how well it holds value. I need to ease into the experience and learn a bit firsthand, and the 90s themes I like seem like a perfect price point to do so. Appreciate all the advice though!
Pinball is quite a bit different from video game collecting. 
I currently own more than 10 pinball machines, and I formerly owned a full ntsc nes set including SE. 
Pinball values are based on gameplay popularity and not rarity, unlike Little Samson and SE.

I own a wide range of pins. I own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If you don't have experience it is fine at first because you don't know any better, but the game is very shallow and the same theme song line "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is very repetitive. You will hate the music much more quickly than most machines.
I really want to discourage you from buying 90s data east machines made 1992 and earlier.

As far as reliability goes, I also recommend a newer Stern, but I'd by used one that is fully working.
I'd recommend these based on kid friendly themes. 
I'd expect to pay anywhere from $2500-$5000 for any of these used. 

The ultimate kid friendly game, that is very easy to enjoy if you don't play often, but is also relatively cheap is World Cup Soccer. 

At the end of the day you're going to do what you want to do, so if you aren't going to play it, then just get the machine with a theme you absolutely love.

(My personal top 10 is Medieval Madness, Addams Family, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Attack From Mars, Monster Bash, Simpson's Pinball Party, Junk Yard, Circus Voltaire, and Fun House.)



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Edited: 01/15/2019 at 07:59 PM by cosmicjim