What pinball machine should I buy?
Written by robin, published May 9th, 2008. 3 comment(s).
In this story I am going to explain how the new Best Bang for your Buck list could assist you in deciding on a game to buy. It's aimed at aspiring pinball collectors but just as interesting for the people who already have 10 machines.
It is not an uncommon question I get asked often by people who are dipping their first toe in the seemlessly enormous pool of the hobby of collecting pinball machines. You may have played a game of pinball somewhere at a friends friend house and became enthousiastic through this re-encounter with the silverball game (a game believed to be extinct in some parts of the world). The though of actually owning a machine for placement in cellar, garage or (for the lucky few) living room is tempting. So you start saving some money and start looking for that first machine to buy. Like I said, the amount of machines for sale is huge and it can all be a little overwhelming for you, as an aspiring pinball machine owner.
Pinside.com is here to help! Read on..
So the first thing we need to tackle is to make a selection of machines you like. You could go the other way around and just start monitoring Ebay for machines in your budget, but personally I think of it as shopping in a supermarket: Without a list of groceries you always come home with things you did not really want or need (in my case usually too much crisps and beer). So we're going to be making an initial list: a wishlist.
Wait! No pen and paper are needed! we are going to make this list online. Right here on Pinside.com to be precise. So first of all you gotta make sure you have registered for an account and that you are logged in.
There are several ways to start your wishlist. You could go to the archive and type in part of machine name. But that doesn't really work unless you know what you are looking for. You could look for a brand of game or even for a designer, but remember you're new to this hobby and you probably don't know many designers yet, let alone what kind of games they stand for. So we are going to start with... The Pinside Top 100.
The pinside Top 100 is the results of thousands of votes from our sites visitors. you know, people who have actually played the games. So go ahead and click this link to check it out. Right there on the top of the list are machines like Twilight Zone, Attack from Mars, Medieval Madness, the Addams Family. All great games! But when clicking on the machine name and looking in the green section called "Price indication" you may be shocked because these top-rated games are also top priced. That's good old economics and that thing called 'demand'. Do not despair, not all fun games are that expensive!
What would happen if we took a machine's top 100 rating, its average price and did some math to create a new list. That's what we did. We took the price as a factor, the ratings as a factor and a whole new list came up! The Pinside.com "Bang for your buck" list.
So now we have something to start with. the "Bang for your Buck list" lists some great machines that have nice prices as well. We have devided the list into two separate sections. On the left is the "Dot Matrix" list. Machines manufactured after 1990 featuring a DMD screen. on the right is a list of pre-1991 games, mostly alphanumeric games. Your age and nostalgia feelings may (or may not) determine which column you should be looking in.
Well, there we are. A good place to start! right under the 'estimated price' for each machine listed here is a small link 'add to my wishlist'. Click this link to indeed add this machine to your virtual list of 'wannahaves'. Now, other users will be able to see that you are interested in a certain machine and they might even make you an offer through PinsideMail.
Another cool thing which we are building right now is the market notification email: you will get an email as soon as a wishlist machine hits ebay.com (and maybe other online marketplaces in the future as well).