(Topic ID: 258165)

1 HEP grail pin or 2 modern Sterns?


By Patrunkenphat7

58 days ago



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  • 93 posts
  • 54 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 56 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 2 of 2.
    #51 58 days ago
    Quoted from Yelobird:

    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.

    Geez. That made me want to send my CFTBL to him like yesterday.

    #52 58 days ago

    4 non-HEP 90s Bally/Williams games.

    #53 58 days ago

    Hep grail all day. Guarantee u will not have ridiculous playfield issues that are becoming all too common and “standard manufacturing”...

    #54 57 days ago
    Quoted from MK6PIN:

    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$$$.

    You are right, it's not a HEP. My intention was to comment on how to spend the money. One really expensive pin or two cheaper ones. Noone said do a hep to make money.

    Thank you OP for putting this up, I love that the poll is split after over a hundred votes

    #55 57 days ago
    Quoted from whitey:

    Well in the long run investment wise HEP
    Those games will be played 30 yrs from now !

    I think you’re implying that a Stern won’t be played 30 years from now (I probably won’t be around but the games will be). I have a 12 year old Stern PotC that looks like it just came out of the box last year.

    Home collection games don’t get a lot of wear and tear. They’re polished as often as played.

    #56 57 days ago

    When I first got into the hobby it was all about quantity over quality.

    Now for me it is all about quantity and quality

    -HEP all day!

    #57 57 days ago

    -BTW, am I the only one super tempted by the Wh20 HEP for sale currently on marketplace-seems like a steal!

    #58 57 days ago
    Quoted from pinmister:

    -BTW, am I the only one super tempted by the Wh20 HEP for sale currently on marketplace-seems like a steal!

    LOL, the answer is yes!!!!!

    So if I had the space right now. Most likely would be looking at a JPLE, the BM66LE with all the mods listed on Pinside or the HEP WW you mentioned. Most likely I would pick the HEP as It would never leave the collection and would be non replaceable.

    #59 57 days ago
    Quoted from sulli10:

    LOL, the answer is yes!!!!!

    Do it.jpg
    #60 57 days ago
    Quoted from PinballTilt:

    You are right, it's not a HEP. My intention was to comment on how to spend the money. One really expensive pin or two cheaper ones. Noone said do a hep to make money.
    Thank you OP for putting this up, I love that the poll is split after over a hundred votes

    Agreed

    #61 57 days ago

    https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/ad/89392

    Love it. I’d just be afraid to play it in case it got a dimple.

    #62 57 days ago

    I would skip the HEP and just find machines in nice condition. HEP are the best of the best, but in the end you play the same game. And the higher $ would always be gnawing at me in the back of my mind of how much I have sitting invested, but that's just me.

    #63 57 days ago

    For me I'd rather have 2 modern Sterns. If there's one thing I've found in 15 plus years in the hobby it's that even grail games get boring in a collection after a while. I eventually end up selling all of my grails to mix it up and get something new. It's a lot smaller market when you're trying to sell a $10k plus pin and you usually have to deal with shipping which is a hassle.

    #64 57 days ago
    Quoted from MikeS:

    For me I'd rather have 2 modern Sterns. If there's one thing I've found in 15 plus years in the hobby it's that even grail games get boring in a collection after a while. I eventually end up selling all of my grails to mix it up and get something new. It's a lot smaller market when you're trying to sell a $10k plus pin and you usually have to deal with shipping which is a hassle.

    Hmm...most of my games I've had almost 25 years....but....probably because I don't want to haul them around

    #65 57 days ago

    This is an easy decision for me. Buy a beautiful TZ and an IJ for the price of a HEP TZ. Two games that look and play great are better than one game that is perfect. Especially if both are the same titles as the HEP you would have picked.

    #66 57 days ago

    Maiden and Jurassic Park were 2 of the most fun games I've played in a long time. I'm a player, not a collector so I wouldn't really be able to appreciate an HEP restore like most of you guys so I would definitely pick up some sterns.

    #67 57 days ago
    Quoted from rai:

    I think you’re implying that a Stern won’t be played 30 years from now (I probably won’t be around but the games will be). I have a 12 year old Stern PotC that looks like it just came out of the box last year.
    Home collection games don’t get a lot of wear and tear. They’re polished as often as played.

    I’m a bit concerned about the Stern node boards over time. The Bally / WMS stuff (and the very reliable SAM system games from Stern) are all repairable. The Spike node boards though I lack some confidence in.

    Quoted from Malenko:

    Maiden and Jurassic Park were 2 of the most fun games I've played in a long time.

    Yep, Stern is making some of the best games of all time right now. Notwithstanding the node board concerns and some of the QC issues, the games themselves that Stern are pumping out are nothing short of epic pinball adventures. When you compare say a BM66 to a MM the differences are readily apparent...Stern has modernized pinball coding (rules, music, light shows, call outs, etc) and it’s come a long way.

    This takes nothing away from the amazing games of the 90. They are just as awesome today as they were twenty years ago, but they are confined by their era code wise.

    #68 57 days ago
    Quoted from MikeS:

    For me I'd rather have 2 modern Sterns. If there's one thing I've found in 15 plus years in the hobby it's that even grail games get boring in a collection after a while. I eventually end up selling all of my grails to mix it up and get something new. It's a lot smaller market when you're trying to sell a $10k plus pin and you usually have to deal with shipping which is a hassle.

    Spot on. I see a lot of people selling their grail games after a short amount of time. Why? Because half the fun is in the hunt, and the other half is in the expectation is so high that the game has a big hill to climb to meet those expectations.

    On the flip side, early in my "career" I picked up a Shadow and a Taxi - and they won't leave for a long time. They are too much fun, and it's been 7 years.

    #69 57 days ago
    Quoted from Methos:

    Spot on. I see a lot of people selling their grail games after a short amount of time. Why? Because half the fun is in the hunt, and the other half is in the expectation is so high that the game has a big hill to climb to meet those expectations.
    On the flip side, early in my "career" I picked up a Shadow and a Taxi - and they won't leave for a long time. They are too much fun, and it's been 7 years.

    Funny you mention Shadow because if there ever was a true "Grail" game for me that is it! Owned it twice now (over 11 years cumulative) and really can't see myself selling it. I do miss my Taxi as well. Still wouldn't feel the need to have an absolutely perfect Shadow though. Mine is nice enough.

    #70 57 days ago
    Quoted from Methos:

    Spot on. I see a lot of people selling their grail games after a short amount of time. Why? Because half the fun is in the hunt, and the other half is in the expectation is so high that the game has a big hill to climb to meet those expectations.

    The remakes took a lot of wind out of the sales on the 90’s games as well. The scarcity of decent conditioned 90’s game made them super collectible before the remakes.

    Some people still prefer originals to remakes (no doubt), but the current availability of MM, AFM, and MB have without question hurt the collectibility of those titles. Before the remakes if you sold one of those three titles you might not be able to find another one in decent shape and if you did the price might really climb on you so people wanted to hold on to them, not so much an issue now and this has impacted the restoration game market.

    It used to be possible to make a bit of a profit on a used restored game. Now though, you’ll take a bit of a financial hit on a nice restoration just like if you open up a modern NIB machine.

    #71 57 days ago

    I've had a few high end restored pins on titles that I thought were keepers for me, but when it was all said and done I think I just needed to get the High End ownership thing out of my system... Games were great, they became more show pieces and something I admired more than what I liked to play. And when I did play them, I wanted to keep the play count lower than I would have for a player machine. In the end, I just wanted player machines for the $$.

    Now if I was well off enough financially to add High End restored machines with no impact to my overall finances and could absolutely fill all the spaces I wanted to with machines, then I would consider them again. I'm not in that space yet (different priorities, kids, etc.). But since you are asking a 1 HEP vs. 2 player pins, I think the player pins is the best move based on my personal experiences.

    Good luck!

    #72 57 days ago
    Quoted from Cobray:

    I've had a few high end restored pins on titles that I thought were keepers for me, but when it was all said and done I think I just needed to get the High End ownership thing out of my system... Games were great, they became more show pieces and something I admired more than what I liked to play. And when I did play them, I wanted to keep the play count lower than I would have for a player machine. In the end, I just wanted player machines for the $$.
    Now if I was well off enough financially to add High End restored machines with no impact to my overall finances and could absolutely fill all the spaces I wanted to with machines, then I would consider them again. I'm not in that space yet (different priorities, kids, etc.). But since you are asking a 1 HEP vs. 2 player pins, I think the player pins is the best move based on my personal experiences.
    Good luck!

    This exactly.

    #73 57 days ago
    Quoted from TigerLaw:

    I’m a bit concerned about the Stern node boards over time. The Bally / WMS stuff (and the very reliable SAM system games from Stern) are all repairable. The Spike node boards though I lack some confidence in.

    Yep, Stern is making some of the best games of all time right now. Notwithstanding the node board concerns and some of the QC issues, the games themselves that Stern are pumping out are nothing short of epic pinball adventures. When you compare say a BM66 to a MM the differences are readily apparent...Stern has modernized pinball coding (rules, music, light shows, call outs, etc) and it’s come a long way.
    This takes nothing away from the amazing games of the 90. They are just as awesome today as they were twenty years ago, but they are confined by their era code wise.

    I agree with you that Stern is currently making some of the best games that we've ever seen. I do think you have to be a bit careful though not dive too far in though. I'm happy just owning 1-2 at a time. With the QC and node board concerns I'd rather minimize my risk as much as possible. I do think these are the game's that will hold their value the worst too just because of market saturation at these higher price points. I recently sold my Maiden Pro despite it being one of my favorite games so that I can order a JP2 Pro. When something else comes out that I really want I can sell that and switch it up. The nice thing with modern games is that they are easy to find on location and in other people's collections so there really isn't a need to own them all.

    #74 57 days ago

    I've owned HEP TZ, CC, Diner, STTNG, and currently have a HEP TAF. I've never commissioned one, though I'm planning to send Chris my Pinball Magic to restore. HEP pins are a terrible investment, money-wise. They will likely never be worth what you'll pay to restore them. But play-wise, they're worth every penny. Space is becoming a concern--even with a collection of 30-35 pins. At this point, I'm focused on getting new pins as they come out, and selling the older ones.

    #75 57 days ago

    I’d hope node boards will become available in the future so these Spike pins are not a disposable item.

    I have in mind not to own too many Spike games just bought my first one.

    #76 57 days ago
    Quoted from MikeS:

    I agree with you that Stern is currently making some of the best games that we've ever seen. I do think you have to be a bit careful though not dive too far in though. I'm happy just owning 1-2 at a time. With the QC and node board concerns I'd rather minimize my risk as much as possible. I do think these are the game's that will hold their value the worst too just because of market saturation at these higher price points. I recently sold my Maiden Pro despite it being one of my favorite games so that I can order a JP2 Pro. When something else comes out that I really want I can sell that and switch it up. The nice thing with modern games is that they are easy to find on location and in other people's collections so there really isn't a need to own them all.

    That is the way I'm also doing going forward. I'm only staying with up to 2 of the node board games. Sold a KISS some time ago as I picked up an Iron Maiden.

    #77 57 days ago
    Quoted from rai:

    I’d hope node boards will become available in the future so these Spike pins are not a disposable item.

    https://www.pinballlife.com/stern-node-boards.html

    https://sternpinball.com/support/ ("Schematics")

    Transisters (psmn027-100ps) are $1.06 on Mouser at low quantity, and in an easy to repair TO-220 package (not surface mount). Diodes for the coils are on the boards (and not on the coils) so that's one less reason to blow the transistor by accident.

    Repairing other types of failure modes and in-house repair options, I'll let more experienced folks speak up.

    #78 57 days ago

    If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

    A HEP game is special. They cost crazy money, because they are worth it. It will play better than it did when they pulled it out of the box. Therefore, it should never be about this or that with a HEP game. It should only be about HEP or not. So if it is a decision between things, get the other. If there is a grail game and you have cash to burn, get the HEP and love it.

    #79 57 days ago

    HEP all day long. I love mechanical things. And like a lot of people who are into mechanical things the highest quality is very important to me. Kind of goes hand and hand with love of mech items. IMO Stern makes junk as far as quality goes. You can keep your Sterns. They feel like a cheap toy in your hands.

    #80 57 days ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.
    A HEP game is special. They cost crazy money, because they are worth it. It will play better than it did when they pulled it out of the box. Therefore, it should never be about this or that with a HEP game. It should only be about HEP or not. So if it is a decision between things, get the other. If there is a grail game and you have cash to burn, get the HEP and love it.

    Why does considering the opportunity cost mean that I or someone else couldn’t afford HEP? Even if I had $10 million lying around for disposable hobby income, I could still decide between 2 modern Sterns or 1 HEP with the cash I’m about to spend on games.

    Regardless, it’s not like HEP is only for the super wealthy. It’s all about how you prioritize your hobby cash and opportunity costs which is why this poll and generally split results are interesting to me. If you think HEP is worth it, great! I’m leaning toward agreeing with you if I get to 5 pins as my threshold before upgrading one to HEP. But half this thread seems to disagree (even those who own 30+ pins), and that’s OK too.

    I see you own 22 games - how many of those are HEP? If a single one is not HEP, then why don’t you trade in two or three of your other pins to upgrade to HEP? See I am assuming even you consider opportunity cost of high end restorations with your large collection.

    #81 57 days ago
    Quoted from Patrunkenphat7:

    Why does considering the opportunity cost mean that I or someone else couldn’t afford HEP? Even if I had $10 million lying around for disposable hobby income, I could still decide between 2 modern Sterns or 1 HEP with the cash I’m about to spend on games.
    Regardless, it’s not like HEP is only for the super wealthy. It’s all about how you prioritize your hobby cash and opportunity costs which is why this poll and generally split results are interesting to me. If you think HEP is worth it, great! I’m leaning toward agreeing with you if I get to 5 pins as my threshold before upgrading one to HEP. But half this thread seems to disagree (even those who own 30+ pins), and that’s OK too.
    I see you own 22 games - how many of those are HEP? If a single one is not HEP, then why don’t you trade in two or three of your other pins to upgrade to HEP? See I am assuming even you consider opportunity cost of high end restorations with your large collection.

    I think my issue would be once I owned a HEP machine I would want all my machines to be HEP machines. Right now all my machines are "well used" and I just don't think putting one nice machine in the lineup would look right. If my lineup was all HUO or new machines that would be one thing. But all my machines look fresh out of an arcade so having one new one in the mix would make mine look even worse.

    Second issue is once you play a HEP machine will you really enjoy playing machines that are waiting to be shopped & play kind of well worn? A couple years ago I took a new Stern machine in on trade and I couldn't bring myself to even put it into the collection. It just looked too new next to my other machines. So after less than two weeks I sold it before even moving it to the basement.

    So just something else to think about if you are going to have several machines in a collection.

    Bottom line I doubt you will find anyone else doing it better than Chris these days. There might be a dozen guys in the country that come somewhat close but none of them take things as far as Chris. But that comes at a price. Is the work Chris does worth the money - I say yes 100% for sure. Is a HEP machine for everyone - not even close!

    #82 57 days ago

    Being as the price is about the same now, why not 2 new cgc Ce’s? As much as I love looking at hep games for me I find more value in 2plus games

    #83 57 days ago

    After all I've said...I do have a museum pin I wouldn't mind getting HEP'd, but I'm afraid that doing anything to it would take away from it's personality and collectiveness.

    #84 57 days ago
    Quoted from Patrunkenphat7:

    Why does considering the opportunity cost mean that I or someone else couldn’t afford HEP? Even if I had $10 million lying around for disposable hobby income, I could still decide between 2 modern Sterns or 1 HEP with the cash I’m about to spend on games.
    Regardless, it’s not like HEP is only for the super wealthy. It’s all about how you prioritize your hobby cash and opportunity costs which is why this poll and generally split results are interesting to me. If you think HEP is worth it, great! I’m leaning toward agreeing with you if I get to 5 pins as my threshold before upgrading one to HEP. But half this thread seems to disagree (even those who own 30+ pins), and that’s OK too.
    I see you own 22 games - how many of those are HEP? If a single one is not HEP, then why don’t you trade in two or three of your other pins to upgrade to HEP? See I am assuming even you consider opportunity cost of high end restorations with your large collection.

    I think you might of missed daveh point:

    a) Deciding on owning a HEP is a personal decision, not one that will ever provide fiscal gain (possibly secure it's worth, but that's not why you do it). Doubt if someone that rotates pins frequently would ever choose a high end restoration.
    b) It is a costly process, depending on the game, and what level things are taken. It also is expensive to buy 2 pins of equal cost. Money is not truly part of your ask ("fun comparison"). You're gonna need cash, regardless. It's whether or not you see yourself owning the game for a while and truly enjoying it.
    c) I'm not super wealthy, own 20 games, and 2 of them I had HEP restore. But my reasons (as yelobird elaborated on briefly in this thread, more descriptive when he actually went down the road in a prior thread) are more than just the thrill of a single game experience. Generally, the machine is worthy due to it's grail nature and a journey to the owner. All stories are different.
    d) Would I do all my games? No way....in my case, I have many nice games...doesn't mean they need to all be HEP.

    I'm not sure anyone is agreeing or disagreeing with either choice, just expressing their opinions in response to your question.

    HEP is for a game that you want at it's best, period (I play both of mine often, as well as just stare at them sometimes) AND are planning on keeping awhile.

    jmho....

    #85 57 days ago

    To start, I am not rich but do okay. Chris currently has one of my games in his queue and most would think I am an idiot for putting that kind of money into that title as I will never see it again, but it is a theme I love and have a history with, so it will never leave once done. Judge Dredd. It will sit next to my WOZ which I bought NIB, my NIB ACNC, and my NIB R&M in 18 months. My Scared Stiff is in nice condition, but when Chris finishes JD, the Scared Stiff will look the worst of the 5. Once my wallet recovers from the HEP and the 2 new Spooky games, I have a feeling that SS will cross Chris's path in the future as well. Yeah, you can get 2 games for the price of a HEP, but you can get new games any time. There are only so many HEP games in the world and they truly are something special.

    #86 57 days ago

    mk6pin everything you just said in your post makes sense. However even if the two things considered are totally different - getting two new Sterns vs HEP on a grail pin - those are still two options you have with the same amount of money, so opportunity cost is relevant regardless of resale value of your pins, experiential/enjoyability value of the HEP process, etc. Those difficult-to-measure variables could sway your opinion one way or another, but it’s still a potential choice with opportunity cost given hypothetically similar resource requirements. Essentially you’re adding points to why this is a decision that is unique to every person and collection, but I’m not sure that those points support the position that if you consider opportunity cost in terms of new Sterns, then you don’t have enough money to HEP (because the assumption here is that HEPing is not about the value and therefore shouldn’t be viewed under a lens of associated costs).

    calfdemon that’s a sick lineup!

    #87 57 days ago

    In my opinion I think the comparison choice is the issue in this pole of sorts. A premium title (call it top 5 A title) HEP restore is not a comparable to a Stern Pro or even pair of iffy available titles. Why not compare getting 15 EM pins or 1 HEP? Or 1 HEP vs a Batman 66SLE and a few bucks for coffee. Maybe a HEP to a TBL or BBB and a few bucks. As has been said several times Nobody likely will ever justify a HEP game as an investment opportunity. We see posted SO many times this game is “bolted to the floor” or this is my “forever grail pin” which 90% of the time is new buyer excitement. We all get it at times. A HEP decision (for me) is after shuttling hundreds of games through over Many years but 1 title just keeps coming back! Cause you Love it. That’s a grail and for some worthy of owning/investing in the Best that came could ever be. A HEP! If you own less then 5 games you would be Totally missing out on all the amazing games made over the years to bolt a Grail to your floor. JMO

    #88 57 days ago

    Haven't u played TZ and IJ? get something new. JP and DP way better games. Don't get me wrong I really like IJ and TZ but they just don't compare in my opinion to the new stuff. Also I think u get enough from a good playing decent condition 90's pin without needing it to look brand new. But hey that's me. Here's the main thing, who gives shit what I or anyone else thinks? I don't even care what I think. Good luck Sir.

    #89 56 days ago

    I think that is extremely subjective. I can't speak to IJ or JP as I haven't played them yet...but I would say TZ is better than DP and many Sterns...

    #93 56 days ago

    LotR and Simpsons are definitely games that need some HEP love!

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