(Topic ID: 258165)

1 HEP grail pin or 2 modern Sterns?


By Patrunkenphat7

61 days ago



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  • 93 posts
  • 54 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 59 days ago by Patrunkenphat7
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    Topic poll

    “HEP grail or 2 Sterns?”

    • HEP restored grail pin 101 votes
      43%
    • 2 modern Sterns 136 votes
      57%

    (237 votes)

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    There are 93 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 61 days ago

    A fun this or that...

    One HEP restored grail pin (in my case that’s either Twilight Zone or Indiana Jones Pinball Adventure) or 2 modern Sterns? You could probably get either 2 new pros or 2 used premiums.

    #2 61 days ago

    You also forgot to mention Jersey Jack, American Pinball or even Spooky. We live in a great time for pinball right now. Many great choices out there.

    #3 61 days ago

    5-10 Classics for the same money
    But in the case of the poll, 2 sterns I guess

    14
    #5 61 days ago

    2 nicely restored classic Ballys.

    bd897be041728c95f94cd2fa802c68c85e0189ec (resized).jpg
    25
    #6 61 days ago

    Personally, I'd rather have a few less expensive games, or a less expensive version of a game, rather than one crazy expensive one.

    #7 61 days ago

    Well in the long run investment wise HEP
    Those games will be played 30 yrs from now ! Really looking forward to HEP doing some system 11 games like ES & Diner

    #8 61 days ago

    EA spot #250 the big Lebowski

    #9 61 days ago
    Quoted from whitey:

    Well in the long run investment wise HEP
    Those games will be played 30 yrs from now ! Really looking forward to HEP doing some system 11 games like ES & Diner

    Have an ES with Chris in line for restore. Will be adding sinking building mod.

    #10 61 days ago

    1 HEP by a country mile...
    Chris's games are masterpieces and you are talking 'grail' / top 90's games there that were always beat up - so the chance to get one Chris touched won't come up every day, week, month, year...
    Stern HUOs you can get every single day, some NIB still...

    #11 61 days ago

    HEP

    You can play a lot of modern Sterns pretty much anywhere.

    #12 61 days ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Personally, I'd rather have a few less expensive games, or a less expensive version of a game, rather than one crazy expensive one.

    If you have the space for several machines I would pick 6 or 8 decent System 11 machines & Classic Bally Machines (that are likely a better investment and in the long run) and will yield a lot more fun for about the same money. I love the work Chris does but I could never justify the cost of a NIB machine or a HEP machine when I can fill a gameroom with several nice used machines for about the same money and have lots of different machines to play.

    However - if you are limited on space I would pick a nice HEP machine over a couple NIB Sterns.

    #13 61 days ago
    Quoted from too-many-pins:

    If you have the space for several machines I would pick 6 or 8 decent System 11 machines & Classic Bally Machines (that are likely a better investment and in the long run) and will yield a lot more fun for about the same money. I love the work Chris does but I could never justify the cost of a NIB machine or a HEP machine when I can fill a gameroom with several nice used machines for about the same money and have lots of different machines to play.
    However - if you are limited on space I would pick a nice HEP machine over a couple NIB Sterns.

    Pretty much this.
    I don’t buy a lot of new Sterns simply because I can find them on location at a lot of places. Lately been focusing on earlier stuff that I can’t find on location or friends houses.

    #14 61 days ago

    I rather have the two sterns than one expensive game.

    #15 61 days ago

    HEP machines are, in my opinion, for people with tons of money and/or people who plan on keeping those machines for a lifetime. They want the absolute top quality pins available. Nothing wrong with that.

    I happen to find more value in owning multiple machines...but then again, I'm not rich.

    #16 61 days ago
    Quoted from Patrunkenphat7:

    One HEP restored grail pin (in my case that’s either Twilight Zone or Indiana Jones Pinball Adventure) or 2 modern Sterns? You could probably get either 2 new pros or 2 used premiums.

    I voted for the HEP, but I think your math may be a little optimistic on how much the HEP is going to cost. You need the donor game, to begin with, and a donor game TZ or IJ is going to be 5k(ish) minimum at current market costs (and the worse the condition is of the donor game the more the restore itself will cost). Then you have two ways of shipping at $500 or so each way. Then you have parts and labor, possibly needing a new playfield and almost assuredly needing a new cabinet.

    HEP games are super expensive, the journey is a lot of fun though. Nothing beats watching an old heavily routed beater game turn into a better than NIB game. Chris documenting each of his restores is awesome and he cares about you having a good experience (which is awesome). If you go for HEP plan for the game being a lifetime keeper.

    #17 61 days ago

    Nice action on this poll! Opinions appear totally split.

    #18 61 days ago

    This is a hard decision at least for me. Seen a HEP first hand and loved it and would like to have one, but I have my eye on a few modern Sterns that probably would keep my interest longer with their deeper code. But as said above the math may be a bit off in this comparison.

    #19 61 days ago

    Hard to beat a HEP. And it’s really about the journey and the destination - it’s such a wonderful process.

    #20 61 days ago

    It really depends on what you are trying to achieve. You get a HEP pin because you love the game and intend to keep it. (And can afford to spend $10-12K on one game). You buy new Sterns because you want updated electronics and contemporary themes. Either way you are not likely to totally recoup your investment. And if you are trying to get the most bang for your buck you buy used games on Pinside, avoiding retail prices.

    Over time and with adequate money and space, you could end up with all of the above.

    #21 61 days ago

    For those who are saying that the HEP is more expensive that I estimated, what does HEP Twilight Zone cost? I was assuming somewhere around $12k-$13k based on the pricing estimate listed on the HEP website.

    #22 61 days ago
    Quoted from Patrunkenphat7:

    For those who are saying that the HEP is more expensive that I estimated, what does HEP Twilight Zone cost? I was assuming somewhere around $12k-$13k based on the pricing estimate listed on the HEP website.

    Buy a HEP game in the secondary market. Let someone else spend the big bucks.

    #23 61 days ago
    Quoted from Patrunkenphat7:

    For those who are saying that the HEP is more expensive that I estimated, what does HEP Twilight Zone cost? I was assuming somewhere around $12k-$13k based on the pricing estimate listed on the HEP website.

    You probably won’t ever get a real number out of that inquiry.
    A game that can use its original playfield and cabinet with stainless steel trim and a standard dmd won’t cost anywhere near what a game that gets a new cabinet,playfield,chrome ,colordmd and every mod available does.

    This is why I stick to labor cost only. That is the only variable I can figure out upfront.

    #24 61 days ago
    Quoted from High_End_Pins:

    You probably won’t ever get a real number out of that inquiry.
    A game that can use its original playfield and cabinet with stainless steel trim and a standard dmd won’t cost anywhere near what a game that gets a new cabinet,playfield,chrome ,colordmd and every mod available does.
    This is why I stick to labor cost only. That is the only variable I can figure out upfront.

    Ah the wizard himself! Big fan of your work!

    Makes sense, however based on the website it appears you also offer to do the whole process like finding a game that you think would be a solid restoration project. So if I were a customer and was like “hey I’m dying to get a HEP Twlight Zone and don’t currently have one, what’s the general range we’re looking at if you find me a game worth restoration?”

    The range could include things like “$X if standard restoration on decent machine to $X if chrome, color dmd, and some mods on a crappy machine.” Or “across 15 Twilight Zones the mean was $X.” But yeah it’s totally cool if this isn’t good info to put out on the interwebs.

    20
    #25 61 days ago
    Quoted from Patrunkenphat7:

    Ah the wizard himself! Big fan of your work!
    Makes sense, however based on the website it appears you also offer to do the whole process like finding a game that you think would be a solid restoration project. So if I were a customer and was like “hey I’m dying to get a HEP Twlight Zone and don’t currently have one, what’s the general range we’re looking at if you find me a game worth restoration?”

    Here are just two extreme hypothetical situations with TZ and it might help make it that much easier to understand

    1)
    I found a local HUO TZ that has a perfect cabinet and just a slightly dulled playfield.
    It was $4500 no shipping required to get it here.
    You want it to remain stock no mods
    $500 roughly in parts
    $4500 in labor since the cabinet doesn’t have to be completely redone just freshened up. The playfield will get torn down etc all the “HEP” stuff

    $9500 total in theory.

    2)
    Found a TZ that looks like a good candidate for $5500 it needs to be shipped $5950

    Comes in shows some slight moisture issues
    You want chrome,color dmd,LEDocd,LEDs,this robot,that figure,this clock cover,third magnet,clear ramp,new plastic set,light up star post etc etc
    Parts and mods $5500

    Labor $6500 plus an extra $500-$1000 depending on mod implementation,plating needs etc.

    You could have a $17-19k game in total and say “how expensive HEP is” but at the end of the day I only made $2000 more building the $19k game than I did building the $9.5k game.
    This is what few understand even the ones that spend the money sometimes.
    It isn’t about HEP beyond the process itself it is about needs and choices.

    #26 61 days ago
    Quoted from High_End_Pins:

    Here are just two extreme hypothetical situations with TZ and it might help make it that much easier to understand
    1)
    I found a local HUO TZ that has a perfect cabinet and just a slightly dulled playfield.
    It was $4500 no shipping required to get it here.
    You want it to remain stick no mods
    $500 roughly in parts
    $4500 in labor since the cabinet doesn’t have to be completely redone just freshened up. The playfield will get torn down etc all the “HEP” stuff
    $9500 total in theory.
    2)
    Found a TZ that looks like a good candidate for $5500 it needs to be shipped $5950
    Comes in shows some slight moisture issues
    You want chrome,colt dmd,LEDocd,LEDs,this robot,that figure,this clock cover,third magnet,clear ramp,new plastic set,light up star post etc etc
    Parts and mods $5500
    Labor $6500 plus an extra $500-$1000 depending on mod implementation,plating needs etc.
    You could have a $17-19k game in total and say “how expensive HEP is” but at the end of the day I only made $2000 more building the $19k game than I did building the $9.5k game.
    This is what few understand even the ones that spend the money sometimes.
    It isn’t about HEP beyond the process itself it is about needs and choices.

    For someone is very interested in your work, this explanation was SUPER helpful... Thank you!!

    #27 61 days ago

    Ain't much of a grail pin if you're considering two rolls of toilet paper for it.

    #28 61 days ago

    Two is always better than one.

    Not many new Sterns I would want over your grail pins though.

    #29 61 days ago

    Depends on which Sterns for me. I'll leave my HEP candidate pin in players condition if the trade off is 2 Elwin pins. I'll send HEP the pin tomorrow if the tradeoff is Star Wars and Mustang.

    #30 61 days ago

    If you have a small, or no collection currently you have to go with multiple games over a single one. It’s fun to play a crazy clean machine, but if that machine is yours you have to maintain it to a higher level and can’t enjoy it as much as beating on fun “daily driver” types of games.

    Once you fill your space, then it is time to work towards trade ups.

    #31 61 days ago
    Quoted from athens95:

    If you have a small, or no collection currently you have to go with multiple games over a single one. It’s fun to play a crazy clean machine, but if that machine is yours you have to maintain it to a higher level and can’t enjoy it as much as beating on fun “daily driver” types of games.
    Once you fill your space, then it is time to work towards trade ups.

    What’s the magic number for you before you have that critical mass? 5 pins?

    Edit: I just saw that you own 45, so I assume more!

    #32 61 days ago
    Quoted from athens95:

    If you have a small, or no collection currently you have to go with multiple games over a single one. It’s fun to play a crazy clean machine, but if that machine is yours you have to maintain it to a higher level and can’t enjoy it as much as beating on fun “daily driver” types of games.
    Once you fill your space, then it is time to work towards trade ups.

    Quoted from Patrunkenphat7:

    What’s the magic number for you before you have that critical mass? 5 pins?
    Edit: I just saw that you own 45, so I assume more!

    Critical mass is different for everyone. It all boils down to money and space. I think 5 pins is a good place to consider trading up in a collection, however.

    #33 61 days ago
    Quoted from Patrunkenphat7:

    A fun this or that...
    One HEP restored grail pin (in my case that’s either Twilight Zone or Indiana Jones Pinball Adventure) or 2 modern Sterns? You could probably get either 2 new pros or 2 used premiums.

    Chances of getting a HEP with a melty Stern playfield are zero. No brainer on this poll

    #34 61 days ago
    Quoted from Patrunkenphat7:

    What’s the magic number for you before you have that critical mass? 5 pins?
    Edit: I just saw that you own 45, so I assume more!

    It really depends upon your priorities and how much time and energy you want to dedicate to pinball vs. other hobbies and areas of life.

    I can only speak to my personal preferences (short attention span, quintessential “jack of all trades, master of none” with regard to hobbies/recreation), and would vote for a critical mass of around 8-10 games. (This assumes you are not otherwise limited by practical considerations like space or spousal acceptance factor.)

    That is the sweet spot to me; it is sufficient for a decent enough variety to stay interested, but avoids the situation where I become uncomfortably one-track minded and start spending more time “curating” the collection than playing games or doing other hobby/family things.

    I had 20 games at my peak, then sold off half due to moving to a much higher COL area and needing to downsize the house; when I moved back to a lower COL situation I once again had the ability to house more games, but came to realize I was actually happier and more content with a smaller collection. I am now having a hell of a lot more fun than I once did, knowing that there is no longer any threat of pinball burnout looming over me.

    #35 61 days ago

    CQ games are only for certain people. I'd be too paranoid about scuffing it.

    #36 61 days ago

    Apples and oranges...HEP games play as good as they look, and are pretty much the best examples of machines out there.

    My lineup always has something for me to play and enjoy, however, the (2x) Chris did had very special meaning. They needed to be restored, as there was a personal connection to both. The entire process, along with the final product, is something I highly recommend if fiscally possible.

    There aren't 2 games made that could replace either of my HEPs. Is what it is....

    #37 61 days ago

    HEP-ing is something you do to a game that you have no plans to sell - everything can of course sell eventually, but HEPs are really a personal investment in a game you love.

    #38 61 days ago

    Sterns suck. My opinion. Classic B/W all day for me.

    #39 61 days ago
    Quoted from pintechev:

    HEP-ing is something you do to a game that you have no plans to sell - everything can of course sell eventually, but HEPs are really a personal investment in a game you love.

    Bingo..

    #40 61 days ago

    I struggled with that question this month. I could either have kept my jjp pirates, or sold it for a large profit and bought two a list stern huo games. Due to my small collection and how rarely I go to an arcade, I went with the two pins (Metallica and walking dead) with money left over.

    As long as you really enjoy the two games, I would say go for quantity over quality in a smaller collection. Now in the past, I traded a twilight zone for the shadow and Popeye. That I regret because I didn't love the two games.

    #41 61 days ago

    I'd skip the HEP, find a nice TZ, and use that extra money left over to buy another pin too...unless you have limitless money, but if you did, you wouldn't be asking this question.

    #42 61 days ago

    I love my TZ and it actually grows on me more and more as the years go by. I've had it for over 4 now. Longest that I've owned a pin yet. It would really depend on which Sterns and my financial situation. I wouldn't want a Guardians of the Galaxy but I think that LOTR and Tron are great. Right now if it was me, I would probably get a decent TZ and call it a day for now. Zablon pretty much hit what I was thinking.

    #43 61 days ago

    Commissioning a HEP game is a total experience. I liken it to contacting B/W in 2020 to build you a personal one off custom game. Not one that you are considering as an investment but one that over years you have (for yourself) judged as the best of the best to enjoy forever. Not an easy choice and not rational for some no doubt. For my wife and I after shuttling Hundreds of games TZ was our personal best and easy justification to see what a Better then new TZ would feel like, play like, and smell like. Dealing with Chris is a like the ultimate white glove pinball experience hard to describe. A magician that can turn back the hands of time and deliver you the ultimate pinball collectible as you imagined it. Plus he’s one of the most straight forward OCD detailed and honest guys you will likely meet in pinball. Ours HEP trophy will remain with us for years. Our Stern/others not likely.

    #44 61 days ago
    Quoted from PinballTilt:

    I struggled with that question this month. I could either have kept my jjp pirates, or sold it for a large profit and bought two a list stern huo games. Due to my small collection and how rarely I go to an arcade, I went with the two pins (Metallica and walking dead) with money left over.
    As long as you really enjoy the two games, I would say go for quantity over quality in a smaller collection. Now in the past, I traded a twilight zone for the shadow and Popeye. That I regret because I didn't love the two games.

    W respect, JJP POTC is not a HEP restore ( by a mile)...It's great that the current value facilitated your deal, and certainly flips for a good ROI, but generally, you wouldn't do a HEP restore to make$$$.

    #45 61 days ago

    Cool dog op.....

    #46 61 days ago

    I voted for 2 modern pins wholeheartedly. I owned TZ, IJ, TotaN, CFTBL (although they weren't CQ restored), I have as much fun with my newer pins (Tron, TNA, ST, SW, Met, Iron Man etc.). I also love what CGC is doing with their remakes so that you could get an AFM new for in the $6300 range quite a deal.

    #47 61 days ago

    The answer to that question really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you plan to keep your pin, have it as a showpiece and value quality over variety, go for the grail. If you turn them out quickly, and like variety take the quantity route.

    #48 61 days ago

    Just buy the WOZ you have on your wish list and call it a day.

    #49 61 days ago

    Something like a pristine Fathom is a perfect example of a grail pin that might be worth a couple of Sterns, it's almost like possessing a famous painting....but if you're talking Deadpool and JP2, it'd be hard to say no to that quantity of fun.

    #50 61 days ago
    Quoted from cait001:

    CQ games are only for certain people. I'd be too paranoid about scuffing it.

    Yeah I'd rather find 2 real nice condition classics than 1 HEP or 2 new Stern Pros, probably.

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