It all started in the year 2000!

By MikeHogue

November 09, 2014

This story got frontpaged on November 10, 2014

7 years ago

I never played pinball as a kid. I'd walk right past a pinball machine to play video games. just loved those arcades back in the early 80's!

When I finished my second house's basement, I started buying man cave items. First was the pool table. Then came a dart machine. After that was the foosball table. I had an open spot with an electrical outlet for something else. I thought, you know what, a pinball machine would fit perfectly right in that spot.

So the hunt was on. I was so close to buying a Black Knight for my first game. But I walked into the mall arcade with my son to see what they had. Turns out a pinball tech was there cleaning up the Star Wars Episode 1 pin. After talking with him, he told me he had an Indiana Jones. He kind of steered me towards the newer stuff with a dot matrix display.

Loving the IJ theme, I then searched for one locally. Found one at a local bar, called up the operator, over paid for it at the time, and brought that baby home. I was a proud new owner of a Williams Indiana Jones!

Then it was broken.

That started the next phase of this madness. That same tech I met at the arcade had a web page that I found on IJ. I emailed him, he came over and fixed the game, and we've been friends ever since.

What started off as one pin quickly turned into two. Then three. Then four. Before you know it, I was up to 15 games. I borrowed some money to buy a car and then blew the whole thing on another guys complete collection. I went from 15 games to 49!

I had games everywhere. Full basement of pins. Pins in the garage. Pins in storage. If the wife would've let me, I would've had them in the bedroom. The plan was to keep the ones I really wanted to completely restore and then sell the rest. So what does any guy do when he's blown all his money on pins? I bought a 67 Camaro 4spd convertible with my credit card!

The wife was ready for a divorce!

I had to sell some pins and fast! My collection over the last few years has shrunk from 49 to currently 23 games. I have some very nice games after everything that took place. I'm currently debt free so I'm supporting some of the boutique pin builders by doing the preorder on games. It worked out on BBB and WOZLE. Hopefully it'll work out on the rest of those games on my wishlist.

To me, the hunt for the next pin is the most fun part of the hobby. It just seems like that newest game is always the best game in the collection. At least for awhile. The restoration followed by the actual playing of the games would be the other parts of the hobby I enjoy. But most of all I've got to say that I've met some really wonderful people in this hobby!

Happy flipping!


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7 years ago

Good read and thank you for sharing. You've got one heck of a collection with some damn good titles. I must say, I'm surprised to see you parted with Cactus Canyon, Taxi, and Jackbot, though. Nevertheless, welcome to the addiction, my friend. :)

7 years ago

It's hard to keep that many games going, all at the same time. Lots of money too.

7 years ago

Cool story, Mike. Thanks for sharing.

7 years ago

Great story. Are you happier with the pins or when you were married?!

7 years ago

Women and pinball often don't mix.
I must have been lucky when I met my wife as she not only understands my love for them but also puts up with me starting a company to restore them. Pinball Creative of London UK Which specializes in EMs is growing quickly and funnily even women are buying them now.
Great article, keep it up and play hard. There is no better hobby.

7 years ago

Very cool story, "man!" Thanks for sharing.........

7 years ago

Great story. I did it the other way around. I divorced, then i got into pinball. :-)

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