I'm old and new to collecting

I'm old and new to collecting

By Mrgibbs

January 15, 2018

1 year ago

I didn't own my first "real" pinball machine until I was 59 back in 2013 when I bought Joker Poker for $1,800. I had toy pinball machines -- my annual Christmas present request -- since I was a small boy. I've probably had a half-dozen toy pinball machines, each a little bigger and better, but all crap. When I had a few nickels I'd be at the local dairy bar playing pinball. My small Pennsylvania town was supportive of pinball. I can count 16 machines around town total that I could play if I had a nickel and it wasn't in a bar.

I now have two machines. I bought Tommy in 2015. I figured that was the end of my collection. I'm not a wealthy man, and I'm retired. I had an old and a newer machine. Finished. However, the more I played them, the more I wanted more. Soon I will purchase my third machine.

I have no electronics or mechanical skills. I am nervous under the hood, and prefer to have a nearby mechanic to fix my machines for me. I try always to learn, but I know my limits.

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1 year ago
I know that feeling sir. I just got into pinball myself and at 42 I was a bit intimidated the first time I looked at the underside of a playfield. As I read more and watch videos though I realize that everything can be learned. It's nice to have an old and newer machine if you don't have the room and or finances for more. I have a Xenon and a Breakshot so I know what that's like. ^_^
1 year ago
Thanks for sharing!
Did you pick those machines because the were favorites, or were they just good opportunities?
I just bought a Doctor Who (I'm 56) and I LOVE it, but I just bought it because it was available at the right time!
1 year ago
Oh, that was my first (and only) Pinball machine purchase (so far), but I think I'd like to buy an EM.
Something with a lot of drop targets (maybe an El Dorado?)
1 year ago
Ditto here... I'm 56 and 2 months ago bought my first pinball - a 1965 EM "Flipper Pool". I am pretty mechanically inclined, though, and really enjoying figuring out how this thing works, and what to do when it doesn't work as it should. Fascinating machines - essentially a computer that's hard-wired to run one program! I'm just young enough to have grown up with video games instead of pinball machines, so it's all new to me. But the physicality of bumping the machines and affecting the path of the silver ball is really satisfying! - not something you get with video games. I sit with the schematics often and just keep tracing wires, figuring out a little bit more each time about how the thing works. I did have to do a repair in the score motor which was a little intimidating at first - luckily it was just a switch contact that needed to be cleaned, but figuring out which one was a bit of a challenge. Steve Young at The Pinball Resource up in New York has been a big help not only with parts, but also just encouragement. Repairing the thing is as much fun for me as playing it (well, almost).
I'm jealous of your Joker Poker - love to find one of those in decent shape. Then my collection will be as large as yours! - 2!
1 year ago
At age 57 I bought my first pin - a 1950 Bally Turf King project machine. My Grandpa had a Bally Coney Island bingo that I dearly loved playing as a kid. This game is reminiscent of that and was cheap. I haven't been able to spend much time on it, and haven't gotten it working yet.
But, alas, I caught the pinball bug (which there is no cure for) and have purchased three more machines in the last year. Only one of these is a SS. I have a bit of electrical knowledge and love to tinker. SteveFury's posts on how EM's work has been absolutely THE BEST. I am working on my 1970 Gottlieb Flip A Card and have it about 65%.
1 year ago
Never too old my friend. Both of your machines are wonderful. I have a data east Star Wars and Star Trek,a roadshow Bally odds and evens, and a bugs bunny that everyone attacks when mentioned,the truth is I picked it up reasonable it's not really bad game. It's wonderful you started the hobby. More than likely you will buy more lol! Reggie

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