Need advice on buying Expensive F-14 & Earthshaker - UPDATED: Saw the Machines

Started 2 years ago by BMore-Pinball in forum MarketBuying advice.


Forum » Market » Buying advice » Topic

Need advice on buying Expensive F-14 & Earthshaker - UPDATED: Saw the Machines


Topic summary

  • Started 2 years ago by BMore-Pinball
  • 27 Pinsiders participating in this thread.
  • Latest reply from jwwhite15

Tilts/ ignores / abuse

Sharing and favs





Games linked to topic

Help us build a pinball game knowledge base by linking topics to the games discussed in them!



    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    I am going to look at an Earthshaker & F-14 locally this weekend.

    F-14: Asking $2800
    Seller's Description: The F-14 has an upgraded CPU. The machine itself is in near perfect condition and has been fully restored, not shopped. It is also a "prototype" game that they say only 10 of like this were produced. The game has a 1 year warranty.

    Earthshaker; Asking $3400
    Seller's description to me is: The Earthshaker is one of the nicest I have seen. Cabinet, playfield, and backglass are all 10, fully restored. Electronic upgrades to CPU and other boards and 1 year warranty.

    I don't mind paying top dollar for machines in excellent condition, but I wanted to know what others think about the pricing and if they are fair for the condition and restoration work that has been done.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Sounds like "dealer" prices to me, or VERY VERY high end restores. F-14 can be found for like 2000 less haha

    Personally I'm not a fan of either of those games, so I'd pass on both.

    That's what I think...


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    I am not really asking for opinions on the games. I love both of them and they are 2 I would like to add to my collections. I love all the Williams machines from that era.

    They are being purchased from a dealer, not a private party. If a good condition F-14 can be found for $2,000, than I don't think that $2800 is really that out of line for one that has been fully restored with and upgraded CPU.

    Also not sure about the machine being a "prototype". Are these desirable or is it better to have a final production machine?


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    I said 2000 less...like 800-1200 bucks...not 2000..

    Prototype had some extra flashers I believe, not sure what else...


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    BMore-Pinball said:

    I am going to look at an Earthshaker & F-14 locally this weekend.

    F-14: Asking $2800
    Seller's Description: The F-14 has an upgraded CPU. The machine itself is in near perfect condition and has been fully restored, not shopped. It is also a "prototype" game that they say only 10 of like this were produced. The game has a 1 year warranty.

    Earthshaker; Asking $3400
    Seller's description to me is: The Earthshaker is one of the nicest I have seen. Cabinet, playfield, and backglass are all 10, fully restored. Electronic upgrades to CPU and other boards and 1 year warranty.

    I don't mind paying top dollar for machines in excellent condition, but I wanted to know what others think about the pricing and if they are fair for the condition and restoration work that has been done.

    Sounds like the guy is trying to take advantage of new people in the hobby. What/where's the proof the F-14 is a prototype?
    Here's a statement from IPBD: we do not know how to expect which games in the run would be the 10 prototypes of which Steve Ritchie is aware. Because game owners can easily replace their flash domes and beacons with clear versions, this can further the uncertainty.

    tomdotcom said:

    Sounds like "dealer" prices to me, or VERY VERY high end restores. F-14 can be found for like 2000 less haha

    Personally I'm not a fan of either of those games, so I'd pass on both.

    That's what I think...

    +1


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Quick look on Mr Pinball:

    F-14 Tomcat, 1987 Williams: 1300
    Fully working f-14, new rubbers, pinballs, and led display installed. Looking for a Funhouse, willing to trade and pay!
    Mike, Phone: (717) 503-1366
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17111

    Posted: 28 February 2012

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    F-14 Tomcat, 1987 Williams: 900
    Backglass 9.7, playfield 9.7, mylar, cabinet 9.5, bad mylar removed from playfield and re-waxed, replaced most decals, no rotating searchlights. Electronics and displays all perfect. Includes service manual.
    Bill Harts
    Bedford Hills, New York 10507

    Posted: 23 February 2012

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    F-14 Tomcat, 87 William: 950
    Backglass 9.7, playfield 9.7, mylar, cabinet 8.8, good working shape.
    Gary Southward, Phone: 651 771 7421
    St Paul, Minnesota


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Earthshaker, 1989 Williams: $1700
    Works 100%, nice cabinet a few nicks nothing major, very nice backglass 9 of 10, new rubbers, new lights, 3 in 1 led bulbs under playfield, cliffy ramp protectors added, new flipper links, plungers, sleeves and bushings. Playfield has been cleaned, polished, and waxed, it has slight playfield wear, pics on request for serious buyers.
    Bob, Phone: 561- 512- 3282
    West Palm Bch, Florida 33411


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    That's after looking for 30 seconds, you could probably find them closer to home, and maybe privately as well. Those prices you quoted would have to be FULL FULL FULL restores, like the nicest examples of those machines that exist in the entire world haha


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Hi,

    I think Eric Bundy (on Pinside) has a prototype F-14 for sale. Send him a note he might be able to help.

    I also own an F-14 and would have bought the above machine if I had known about it in time I ended up buying a lesser machine but still enjoying it. But I think the main differences in the proto-types were the clear lights on top, some cabinet art.

    Good luck with your purchase.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    I think he was saying $2000 less, meaning around $800 for the F-14. I don't know if that is realistic, but it's probably closer than $2000 for a good one.

    Edit: Wow, this response came a bit late!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Thanks for all the info.

    In his email to me he said:
    "I have many other games that will be listed on my site. These are all "high end restored" and go for top dollar (3k and up). They also have electronic upgrades to CPU and other boards and carry a 1 year warranty. I can provide references that will tell you that my games are second to none. I am one of the main Tecnicians at the National Pinball Museum, the curator will confirm my statements are accurate."

    Like I said, I don't mind paying more for machines in great condition but I also don't want to overpay. I bought my first machine (Whirlwind) a few weeks ago. If plays great but after i got it home and really looked at it, there are a lot of things I would like replaced. So for future machines I am going to inspect them much closer.

    If these machines really are highly restored and in near perfect condition, are they worth close to what he is asking?


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    BMore-Pinball said:

    If these machines really are highly restored and in near perfect condition, are they worth close to what he is asking?

    You have to make that decision for yourself. I think you'd have a hard time selling those titles for those prices to even the biggest fans of those titles.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Everything you said in your first post is meaningless. "A sellers" description of his games is useless. If you want to pay those types of crazy high prices, stick with an established reputable restorer.

    "high end restored" is probably a load of bullshit. There is a reason people buy games from people like Chris Hutchens, Brian Kelly or the Treasure Cove guys. People might not always agree with their prices, but you know exactly what you're getting.

    "High end restore" from "a seller" sounds like a sure fire way to get screwed.

    Besides, what is an electronics upgrade to a CPU board in a system 11? Does that mean he bought a rottendog board? Does it mean he did a remote battery holder?

    If this guy was legit, he would say things like "had playfield touch up and clear coated by X" Notice how there is no mention of new ramps or plastics etc.

    My 2 cents.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    This is his website: http://www.pinball4all.com/repair.php

    When I got my machine a few weeks back (from a different dealer), I was not really clear what "shopped" meant.
    I go the ww shopped but really was expecting it to be restored (my bad for not doing more research and asking more questions)

    So these machines are apparently restored, I know that you have to put a lot of hours into tearing a machine down to the PF but not sure how much a fully restored machine should command over just a good condition shopped machine.

    I agree at those prices I will never be able to resell them for near what i payed for them, but at this time I have no intention to sell them.

    I am going to see them this weekend and will see what happens. I don't think I will pay those prices unless the machines are pristine.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Just some advice.....

    First a quick search, and this business was registered in 9/2011....So it doesn't have a track record. That's extremely important in the world of pinball. Were you on here asking whether those prices were okay from Chris at HEP or Bryan Kelly, then noone would question it, because these guys over many years have demonstrated their quality work. The same with Honda350r and Allen Shope at Treasurecove. Or Johnwart Jr....These are guys with proven track records. I've never heard of this company and another quick search on RGP shows no hits. So, take that for what it is worth, but I would be very cautious. And being new to pinball, and no offense, you probably won't be able to discern a high end restoration like from HEP from a so-so restoration...It's all in the minute details.

    For example, were all the Mech's removed and rebuilt? Was the wiring harness removed and cleaned. Have ALL the connectors been replaced with tifurcon pins? Pull all the boards and are there any Frankenstein hacks unseen on the back? Has the playfield been clear coated with automotive clear. Is every coil sleeve, end stop, and coil for that matter, new? Has the cabinet been sanded down, all holes filled with quality wood bondo, repainted and cleared? Unless all these have been done, then the game hasn't been restored to a high end condition. It's just a good to very good shop job and not worth the coin he's asking.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    My best advice is "don't"! Both of those prices are more than anyone has bought either of those titles for on ebay in last 6 years! The only way i would pay those prices are if they came straight out of a box and were perfect. I don't think i'm in the minority here.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Thanks, the advice is really appreciated. I am going to take a look at them on Sunday and will keep all of the advice in mind.

    If they are high quality restorations and they are in as good a shape as he claims - what would be a fair price for the machines?


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    We all joke around about pinball being an addiction for a reason. It's not a joke. When I first got into the hobby I couldn't get enough. It was a rush every time I bought a pin. When a little time passed I would get the urge for another. I wanted that rush back and I wanted it now. The problem is good pins that are a good decision don't come up often. When I wanted to feed that craving I made some mistakes. Mistakes I regretted later but at the time I didn't care. I just wanted a new pin. Patients was the hardest thing for me to learn in this hobby. Now when I do get a pin it's a great deal every time. Be patient and listen to the advise these experienced guys are giving you, it's solid advice. For $2800 I would think you could find a project f-14 for 600-700 and pay someone with a good reputation $2200 to restore it for you. Then you have something worth $2800. Also consider taking someone with you from pinside that's been in this hobby for quite a while. They may spot some thing you overlook. When dropping that kind of coin on a pin you need to make sure it's perfect. If you were buying an over priced classic car you would call a mechanic to look for problems, same logic applies. I would be shocked if every detail was perfect. Bet the ramps haven't even been flame polished. I don't think it's a bad idea to pay a ton of money for a perfect high end restoration but with your time and experience in the hobby do you feel like you know enough to spot one? If not take someone with you who does because this guy hasn't earned enough reputation to just take his word for it. Wow, that was long winded.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    BMore-Pinball said:

    I am going to look at an Earthshaker & F-14 locally this weekend.
    F-14: Asking $2800
    Seller's Description: The F-14 has an upgraded CPU. The machine itself is in near perfect condition and has been fully restored, not shopped. It is also a "prototype" game that they say only 10 of like this were produced. The game has a 1 year warranty.
    Earthshaker; Asking $3400
    Seller's description to me is: The Earthshaker is one of the nicest I have seen. Cabinet, playfield, and backglass are all 10, fully restored. Electronic upgrades to CPU and other boards and 1 year warranty.
    I don't mind paying top dollar for machines in excellent condition, but I wanted to know what others think about the pricing and if they are fair for the condition and restoration work that has been done.

    That guy is asking way too much. The machine at best are worth half of what he's asking. It's a bad deal. Neither of those games are very rare. If you are patient, you'll pick them up at much better prices. The F14 proto thing is not worth any more than a regular game. I bet I know which machine that is and it's only "proto" because it has some light sockets in a place that is unusual.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    ...


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    jalpert said:

    Everything you said in your first post is meaningless. "A sellers" description of his games is useless.

    I second this. I have never purchased a game that was 100%... ever, even when they said it was "100% working" it never was. There are always things wrong. You have to factor this in the price.

    btw, in the 2012 price guide, F-14 is listed at $925, and ES is $1250. IMO, the only reason to pay more is if the game is in superlative condition (i.e. spotless playfield and backglass, HUO, major work done to it) -- if the game is just a decent-condition game that was routed and shopped, yet works 100% then the above prices are a guideline of what you should pay.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    New in box f-14 i wouldn't pay a CENT over 2000. That 2800 is factoring in hourly labor and heavy profit. that's just a nutso price, but if you have the cash for it, jump on it i guess, it'll just drive the price of mine up.

    These High end restorations are a little crazy if you ask me. There is a dealer here in the denver area that is a super great guy, but he prices all his machines about a thousand over market. It's just what dealers do.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Thanks for all the continued responses.

    the_pin_family said:

    ... For $2800 I would think you could find a project f-14 for 600-700 and pay someone with a good reputation $2200 to restore it for you. Then you have something worth $2800....

    Not really interested in this route, would rather buy one fully restored @ $2800. According to my communication with the seller, this is one like that. It's fully restored.

    the_pin_family said:

    Also consider taking someone with you from pinside that's been in this hobby for quite a while. They may spot some thing you overlook. When dropping that kind of coin on a pin you need to make sure it's perfect. If you were buying an over priced classic car you would call a mechanic to look for problems, same logic applies. I would be shocked if every detail was perfect. Bet the ramps haven't even been flame polished. I don't think it's a bad idea to pay a ton of money for a perfect high end restoration but with your time and experience in the hobby do you feel like you know enough to spot one? If not take someone with you who does because this guy hasn't earned enough reputation to just take his word for it. Wow, that was long winded.

    Great idea, would love to have a fellow pinside member join me if there is anyone in the local baltimore, md area free on Sunday Morning.

    The seller told me he is the main tech. at the http://www.nationalpinballmuseum.org/ , so I am sure he knows his stuff.

    With the info you provided, I am already going into this knowing they machines are really expensive. So I will have no problem walking away.

    Here's the quesition, If these machines are everything the seller claims them to be (i.e. "near perfect restorations") at they then worth what he is asking?


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    BMore-Pinball said:

    Here's the quesition, If these machines are everything the seller claims them to be (i.e. "near perfect restorations") at they then worth what he is asking?

    This is completely up to you and your desires and your cash flow.
    Personally, I think no. absolutely not. They are both about $1000 over what should reasonably be paid for those titles. Those prices are in the mid range DMD category. A very nice gold Theater of Magic sold around Denver recently for $3200.

    i would say 1900 for f-14 and 2200 for ES.

    But then, What do I know


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    Anim8ormatt said:

    i would say 1900 for f-14 and 2200 for ES.
    But then, What do I know

    Thanks - I am going to try and get them both for $4500-$5000.
    It's worth a slight premium to me to buy them locally and have someone deliver them.
    I have back problems and can't move the machines myself.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    BMore-Pinball said:

    Anim8ormatt said:i would say 1900 for f-14 and 2200 for ES.
    But then, What do I know
    Thanks - I am going to try and get them both for $4500-$5000.
    It's worth a slight premium to me to buy them locally and have someone deliver them.
    I have back problems and can't move the machines myself.

    Wow! I would never spend that much on those games. If you really want those machines as high end restorations, have one of the trusted guys everyone here knows do them up for you.

    I saw the pic on his site and they dont look restored to me, shopped yes, restored no.

    It's hard to be patient when looking at machines, trust me I know. To me they are like going to look at cars. Once you are there and seeing it first hand, you are more likely to buy, even if its not that great a deal.

    I would heed the advice many have given you here since they have been in this hobby for many moons and know what they are talking about.

    Either way, good luck! We just hate to see fellow Pinsiders ripped off...


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    BMore-Pinball said:

    Thanks - I am going to try and get them both for $4500-$5000.
    It's worth a slight premium to me to buy them locally and have someone deliver them.
    I have back problems and can't move the machines myself

    yeah, you can always factor in the price of delivery, it is about 400 to deliver over road, no matter how you slice it. So if you like the machine, it's local, and you can get both for about 5k, it's not the deal of the century, but if you're happy with it, it isn't outside the realm of reason.


    Atomicboy

    Pinball guru
    5,503,400 2
    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    You need to slow down. You seem to be looking for advice here, and not taking it, and defending this guy. So many people in this hobby have been bent over and f'd in the ass by so called restorers who are simply flippers.

    A fully restored F14 would take a lot, as the PF's are usually in bad shape. This guy is likely full of shit, and has maybe novus 2's it, and changed the easy to get to rubbers.

    Did he send you photos? Have this done and post these. You should be concerned with resale, and you will NEVER see close to this return again.

    I love F14, and have one myself, but those prices are insane.

    These comments are made to assist you. I know how excited you are, but listen the warnings here. Maybe he is the real deal, but post photos.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    jalpert said:

    Everything you said in your first post is meaningless. "A sellers" description of his games is useless. If you want to pay those types of crazy high prices, stick with an established reputable restorer.
    "high end restored" is probably a load of bullshit. There is a reason people buy games from people like Chris Hutchens, Brian Kelly or the Treasure Cove guys. People might not always agree with their prices, but you know exactly what you're getting.
    "High end restore" from "a seller" sounds like a sure fire way to get screwed.
    Besides, what is an electronics upgrade to a CPU board in a system 11? Does that mean he bought a rottendog board? Does it mean he did a remote battery holder?
    If this guy was legit, he would say things like "had playfield touch up and clear coated by X" Notice how there is no mention of new ramps or plastics etc.
    My 2 cents.

    Listen to this guy here^^^ If your willing to pay that much for those titles, check with above mentioned, YOU will thank us in the end! I paid to much for my High Speed ($1500, which included delivery and set-up) and although it works 100% and I slowly been fixing it up cosmetically. I will never buy blind again. I called a dealer in North Phoenix, and he ran down the list of machines, and one of them was HS and I remembered it from my Teen years so I told him to e-mail me pictures and I saw a bit of the cabinet wear, but my anxious behavior and the owning a pin "wow factor" I jump the gun and gave him my debit card number and the next day they delievered and set-it up. But never again will i do it that way. I have never bought a vehicle that way so dont know what i was thinking, but I know now what to look for! But, like i said its been 100% in the 4 1/2 years mechanical cant complain really as i have only had to do a flipper rebuild and replace a bank of stoplight targets --ALL EASY STUFF, its just the cosmetics that need attention. I just got to damn excited and anxious! i'am not ever going to sell it as it reminds me of playing it at arcades when I was teen back in 86', it's about the nostalgia to me and I know I wont ever get my money back!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Thanks again -

    This is not a blind buy - they seller is local - so I am going to check them out with all the info you guys have provided. If it's not 100% PF, ramps, target, graphics I should be able to spot that.
    Going to look at the electronics to see how clean they are etc....

    Atomicboy said:

    This guy is likely full of shit, and has maybe novus 2's it, and changed the easy to get to rubbers.
    Did he send you photos? Have this done and post these. You should be concerned with resale, and you will NEVER see close to this return again

    I do agree he has a premium on the machines but I doubt he just took a rag to the play top. He didn't send photos because I am going to look at them in person.

    I have no commitment to buy these, just set up an app. to look at them.

    I promise I have not ignored any of your comments and I am not defending the seller, just providing the info he provided me.

    Putting aside for now wether or not the seller is truthful. For the sake of discussion lets assume his description is accurate and both machines are fully restored and as close to a 10 as possible. What whould be a fair value?
    I figure if they have a full restore then they are worth about $1500 over the avg price - is this accurate? That should put F-14 around $2000 & Earthshaker around $2800
    Does that sound right?


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    From the restoration description on the site, there should be ample pictures and videos of the restoration work. I'd at least ask for them if nothing more than to see the reaction (a sniff test as it were).

    Provided that the machines have been torn down and built back up again, I would have to agree with some of the above that it depends on who is doing the work. Lawrence Cuthie doesn't stand out as a restorer I've heard of, but perhaps others here know of him or his work.

    Both these machines are on my wishlist, but I wouldn't touch either for those prices even it was by a well known restorer. Personally, I don't think I'd pay over $1500 for F-14 or $2000 for ES for absolutely beautiful collector quality examples - delivered (assuming locally). For this type of machine, however, I would expect to find nothing wrong with it - no scratches, dings, nothing out of place. Additionally, there would be no way you could recoup these prices if you were to resell them down the line (barring any extreme change in the landscape).

    Just my opinion....ymmv


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    I have a nice Proto F-14 I would sell for 900 unshopped...


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    Atomicboy said:

    You need to slow down. You seem to be looking for advice here, and not taking it, and defending this guy.

    great advice. my advice? earthshaker is not really an A game for an A price. i got bored of it after a month or so with heavy gameplay. and for that price i'd consider a top 50 pinball machine. not trying to be a dick...but i think we're all agreeing that you should shop around possibly? i guess it's your money, and if you have a 'hard on' for these 2 machines in 'mint' condition (if they are) then go for it man!!


    Slate

    Pinball addict
    1,050,450 3
    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    I know the situation your in and even though its great to get feedback on pricing what they are worth etc, sometimes it turns into an all out frenzy.

    Machines are so different in condition AND people are so different in what they deem or what thye would like condition wise.

    SO its important to figure out where you want this pin to be when your done (condition, leds, etc).

    Some people buy for book value play them and thats it. Me personally I plan to keep them forever and they will eventually be top condition.

    SO here is my 2 cents:

    - When you price it factor in everything you plan to do or not plan to do. I have purchased machines for a great price turning down better of the same but higher price only to exceed the price in fixing it up.

    - I bought a WW for a decent price and only put a new ramp on it. On the other hand I got a Diner for a fair price and dumped a $1000 plaus into it.

    - Prototypes do not factor them into the price. I have a proto Diner and big whoop. Who cares.
    - CPU upgrades are worth nothing. All my system 11s are original and work great. I have a Judge Dredd with a new pinled expensive main board. Actually I hate it with that board. Wont get into details now.

    - I would pay $2000+ for F14 if I knew I did not have to spend anything more on fixing it up.
    Same with ES.

    And the main thing is how you feel about the price. It does not matter if you get something for a $1 or $10000 if your not happy its not worth anything.

    People who hate ES will balk saying $1000 is too much but thise who like it will say $2200+ for a great cond one.

    My experience my great deals never turned out to be great after I fixed them up, the expensive ones seem to in the long run been worth the extra up front.

    Good luck, both are cool machines.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    Slate said:

    My experience my great deals never turned out to be great after I fixed them up, the expensive ones seem to in the long run been worth the extra up front.

    I bought f-14 for $300. It took about $500 to get it into players condition. After I replace the playfield one day, it will be a $1500 dollar investment without factoring in my time spent.

    They all reach a similar level of cost, it just depends on how much you are willing to spend up front vs. how much time you can put into it.

    Best deal i have gotten was a $400 dollar pin*bot. It needed nothing but a cleaning and a new coil.


    Slate

    Pinball addict
    1,050,450 3
    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    Anim8ormatt said:

    I bought f-14 for $300. It took about $500 to get it into players condition. After I replace the playfield one day, it will be a $1500 dollar investment without factoring in my time spent.
    They all reach a similar level of cost, it just depends on how much you are willing to spend up front vs. how much time you can put into it.
    Best deal i have gotten was a $400 dollar pin*bot. It needed nothing but a cleaning and a new coil.

    Totaly agree. They all seem to end up the same price in the end if you want them to be nice qual.
    Main thing is to know the grade of the machine and have knowledge not to get ripped off by someone who wants ebay prices, etc.

    An ES worth $700 is worth $700 one selling for $2000 may be worth $2000. And upwards, etc.

    Main thing is to NOT pay $2000 for a $1000 machine, etc. And I am not talking preference or game populariity just book value vs condition vs what you will spend fixing it up.

    $400 is killer for PinBot.


    Atomicboy

    Pinball guru
    5,503,400 2
    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    BMore-Pinball said:

    I do agree he has a premium on the machines but I doubt he just took a rag to the play top. He didn't send photos because I am going to look at them in person.

    I have no commitment to buy these, just set up an app. to look at them.

    I promise I have not ignored any of your comments and I am not defending the seller, just providing the info he provided me.

    Early production is white dome lights on the rear panel, proto is very rare, and has a different serial, and a less eventful cab. I'm betting it is a early production - no increase in value.

    Fully restored would mean PF stripped, inserts lowered (run your hand over it), PF clear coated, Cab repainted, all pop/flippers/slings rebuilt, yakov and spinner stickers replaced, new balls, new plastic set if chips or marks in the old, new or painted coin door, and a ton of other things. the sky is the limit.

    I know you think we are all dwelling on the idea of whether it is actually restored rather than the price, but that is because I would bet my left nut that 10% of what I mentioned isn't done.

    Take these points with you and clarify if any of this was done, and when he says "no, no.... um, no, no one does that..., where did you get this stuff..." you will then realise that you are dealing with someone that, again, has likely gave the machine a cleaning, and is flipping.

    THEN you can take photos, post here, and we can give you advice of what is needed and what the price should be.

    IF those things are done, which they aren't, but if, hell, I'll take them for $5,000.

    Again, trying to save you from making what may be an expensive lesson.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    See a High end restoration takes anywhere between say 40-80 man hours depending on its condition when started. Dosent matter what the title is, a pins a pin. Titles like f-14 are not done by people like Chris Hutchens because there's not enough money in the pin. If you take one to him and pay his rates yes of course he's going to do it but he would never buy one to restore. Just wouldn't happen. He buys mm,mb,tz you get the pic. Yes 60 man hours cost quite a bit of coin so it's going to add several grand to any pin. So if for some reason this guy does highend restorations on low end pins than yes it's worth it. The problem is it takes years of experience to be able to do a highend restoration and in that time two things happen. One, someone here learns your name and that hasn't happend( and I live an hour from Bmore) Two, you learn not to put a $3000 set of rims on a $300 car. Can you do me one favor? Can I call him and pick his brain about his restoration? All I do if I'm not working or sleeping(with my wife:) is tear down pins and put them back together. Or I watch movies, videos and read every restoration article on earth. Let me pick his brain as an interested buyer(not) promise I have no desire to steal your deal and I won't mention you. Just ask him lots of questions. You have nothing to loose. Pm me his # and I'd be happy to. I would come look with you but I can't this weekend. If you decide you want a second opinion I can come Monday. Do this also, go to you tube and search Monster Bash restoration or pinballmiked he just posted 8-9 videos of his highend restoration. This will give you an idea of what should have been done.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    the_pin_family said:

    Can you do me one favor? Can I call him and pick his brain about his restoration? All I do if I'm not working or sleeping(with my wife:) is tear down pins and put them back together. Or I watch movies, videos and read every restoration article on earth. Let me pick his brain as an interested buyer(not) promise I have no desire to steal your deal and I won't mention you. Just ask him lots of questions. You have nothing to loose. Pm me his # and I'd be happy to. I would come look with you but I can't this weekend.

    Great comments thanks.
    Absolutely go ahead an call him.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    I really appreciate all the insightful comments to my post.

    I prefer to purchase a machine restored and complete that needs no work at all and I am willing to pay the premium for it. If I can get both machines for $4500 I'll take them, any higher and I will have to seriously think about it.

    It did speak to someone that knows Larry and did vouch for him. I always tend to trust people until they give me a reason not to. I will take a look on sunday. If I can't strike a deal I will take pictures and post them here for your evaluation.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Left message and email. I'll let you know what he says. I'll also see if he will send me some pics.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    the_pin_family said:

    Left message and email. I'll let you know what he says. I'll also see if he will send me some pics.

    Thanks!


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    My only thought on this is, if he's doing work for the national pinball museum.. Why don't they have this machine? I thought they were trying to expand to 4 floors of pins and currently only have 2?

    Not that I think he doesn't do work for them, but I think it's suspect that a large facility that for sure needs more pins isn't interested in 2 very fun pins. I can never seem to get enough Earthshaker.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    The prices seem awful high for what you're getting.

    If the F-14 is the one pictured in his collection, that's a sample F-14, not a prototype, and isn't worth a premium over any other F-14. A prototype F-14 has different cabinet art as pictured here:

    http://ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=804&picno=30835

    There's another F-14 listed as a prototype on IPDB that is *not* a prototype, it has regular cabinet art. Games with a clear beacon and clear domes at the rear of the playfield are sample games, not prototype.

    If the Earthshaker pictured on his site is the one you are considering, it appears to be a sample game, and may have a 'sinking institute', which would make it worth a premium of $100-250. It's hard to tell from his pics whether or not it has it.

    F-14 prices should be well under say $1400 tops, for a really nice one.
    Earthshaker prices should be $2000 or less. I'd feel better buying one at $1750.

    If they are *true* high end restores, and I mean *true* high end restores - not glorified shop jobs - they would likely demand *more* than his price, if he is good at what he does. A high end restore has a great deal of labor and parts investment. Playfields are replaced or refurbished. Metal is often replated. An entire game is torn down to a pile of parts, all of which are replaced, refurbished, refinished, replated, cleaned, etc depending on what type of part it is. Every part is cleaned, to the point of someone being willing to eat off of them. That includes every square inch of wiring in the game.

    A lot of people throw around the term 'restored', and one man's 'restored' is another man's 'shop job'.

    That's my opinion, not a 'law' or 'rule'. I realize anyone can ask whatever price they want to ask, and I realize that a lot of retailers that sell to home owners need to tack on a premium price to cover the hassle factor

    Seems to me, he is fishing.

    The seller should be willing to provide some references who have purchased his work. Talk to someone who has had one of his games for more than a year. Ask how much they have played the game, how well it has held up, what problems they may have had and how they were handled, etc.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    Blakesell said:

    My only thought on this is, if he's doing work for the national pinball museum.. Why don't they have this machine? I thought they were trying to expand to 4 floors of pins and currently only have 2?
    Not that I think he doesn't do work for them, but I think it's suspect that a large facility that for sure needs more pins isn't interested in 2 very fun pins. I can never seem to get enough Earthshaker.

    The don't have an F-14 but they do have an ES.
    I think they have more machines then they have on display


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #
    johnwartjr said:

    Seems to me, he is fishing.
    The seller should be willing to provide some references who have purchased his work.

    That's what i was thinking also, which is why it's a no deal if he does not budge on the prices.

    He did provide the curator of the NPM as a reference.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    I hope to god you read this before you buy the f-14 or ES! These pins have NOT gone through a high end restoration. I REPEAT HAVE NOT!! First off he told me the price was $2500. These are the questions I asked him and his answers.
    1: What does the CPU upgrade include?
    Resoldered pins and replace any bad caps
    2:Is the PF clear coated?
    No
    3: Condition of ramps? New, flame polished, used but flawless or used in good condition?
    Used with no issues. "I can't say there flawless but there's no issues or cracks"
    4:Plastics?
    Very good to perfect.
    5:PF condition?
    Excelent but not as good as my personal f-14. Yes he said that.
    6:Ball guided? New, polished or used in good condition?
    "I don't polish things like that it lowers the resale value" yes a quote
    7: Do you tumble your parts?
    "No I put them in a pot of boiling water with rocks and swirl them around untill clean" yes a quote
    8:All solenoids replaced?
    No cleaned
    9:All sleeves, rubbers and bulbs replaced?
    Sleeves and rubbers yes. Bulbs cleaned and bad ones replaced.
    10:Caninet condition?
    Very good with a few scratches on the head.
    11: inside of cabinet sanded clean?
    No
    12:worth the money
    NO, NO ,NO
    13: highend restoration!
    NO THIS IS A GOOD SHOP JOB
    14: delivery to my house 1.5 hours away?
    $200
    15:Is this a prototype?
    "the guy I bought it from said it was"
    Me: what's different about it than production runs?
    "clear flasher covers and a few other small things"
    Me:what other things?
    "I'm not sure what they are I just know there's some other differences"
    Me:is the cab art different?
    "no"
    Me:Is the serial # different?
    "no"
    "sounds like your looking for a mint condition pin. I have an F-14 in mint condition also."
    Me:What do you want for that?
    "I don't want to sell it. You would have to offer me a # I can't refuse."

    So the last thing we talked about is you.
    "I have a guy coming to look Sunday and I told him $2800. If he dosent buy it I'll let you have it for $2500. That's my lowest price."
    IMO this guy did a good shop job. That all. Please don't let this guy rip you off. That my friend is what he's doing. I asked about the ES also. He said the same thing has been done to it.
    Be patient and keep looking. If you want a mint pin with a high end restoration done than please call the guys(and girls) who do them and ask what they have for sale.
    I hope this helps. People in this hobby have always gone out of there way to help me. I'm just trying to return the favor.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Also a one year warranty. There was many other questions I could have asked the guy I know but I think this was the basics and if the basics haven't even been done than there's no point in asking about the rest. He was not interested in talking for to long I could tell so I had to get in the questions I could. I did get the impression he didn't like talking to someone who knew a little about pins.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    I bought an earthshaker in excellent shape recently for $1700 and its probably better than that one. They just dont go for twice that.


    2 years, 1 month ago
    #

    Nice gesture Pin_Fam, pretty much confirms what I had thought about this guy. I hope he never sells another pin..



Reply

Wanna join the discussion? Sign up for a Pinside account, or sign in if you already have one.





© 2001-2014 Pinside.com All rights reserved. Jump to topRSS feedsHelpContactCookiesDesigned by Keeple