(Topic ID: 283898)

1st Pin, Jurassic Park vs Monster Bash vs something used?

By jcripps

10 months ago


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  • 55 posts
  • 32 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 months ago by DMVPin
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#1 10 months ago

Hi,

I'm thinking of buying our first (probably only, as we don't have room for more) machine as a Christmas gift for the family. We are all novices. About 2 years ago, we stayed at a home for a week that had an old pinball machine and enjoyed playing it. I got sucked in and have been browsing CL and FB marketplace on and off since. I've also gone to The Sanctum in CT a few times to play a variety of machines and meet people in the hobby. But with other priorities and COVID, I haven't been there in about a year.

So, I decided to look for a machine more seriously. Almost bought a Fish Tales, but it was already sold when I called about it. I have a dealer nearby, so I've been thinking about just diving in with a NIB machine, thinking it would be more modern and hopefully more reliable, at least initially. I think I have it narrowed down to a Jurassic Park Pro or a Monster Bash classic. Any thoughts on which would be better for a family of inexperienced players? I was originally leaning towards the MB based on the theme and cabinet art, but didn't really enjoy playing it. The issue I had with it was the sound, the callouts were fine, but the music volume seemed low, even if I turned up the volume in the front door. Is there a separate setting somewhere for music volume vs callout volume to adjust that somewhere? Or should I look at the SE for the upgraded sound? The JP sounded better and played well. I thought I had decided on the JP, but they don't have any NIB in stock and might not get any in before Christmas, so reconsidering the MB as an alternative if I can figure out the sound issue and try playing it again. I know the JP has a deep rule set that should help keep our interest as we get better, does anyone think we would get tired of the MB over time?

I'd also be open to other Stern Pro models, if something else would be better for newer/casual players, as long as I like the theme. (Not interested in a Stranger Things for example.)

Then there's the other option, buy something like a Lethal Weapon or a Last Action Hero used to save money and see if the family really likes this. But I'm concerned it wouldn't play as well, or would require a lot more maintenance.

So I'm hoping to get some advice from the more experienced hobbyists here on Pinside, please let me know what you think.

Thanks,

John

#2 10 months ago

For a family of novice players I think a Monster Bash would be perfect. We love ours.

#3 10 months ago

You'll love pretty much ANY first pin as long as it's reliable. No wrong choice.

#4 10 months ago

Take a ride to "The pinball Store" located at 145 Pepe's Farm Rd.
Milford, CT 06460 (203) 877-0348
Play a bunch of them and buy it while there, they have a large stock of pins NIB and used. Just call first to see if their hours are different because of C-19.

#5 10 months ago

TMNT has to co-op modes so the family can play as a team, you might want to check that one out.

#6 10 months ago
Quoted from Only_Pinball:

For a family of novice players I think a Monster Bash would be perfect. We love ours.

this

#7 10 months ago

"The Pinball Store" is the dealer I was referring to. I spent a couple hours there last Saturday, probably going back this Friday or Saturday.

Any thoughts on the MB sound issue I mentioned, I just watched a youtube video and the sound seemed great, but I think that was an SE. I'll have to ask about this when I go back.

Keep the recommendations coming, I really appreciate the input.

#8 10 months ago
Quoted from jcripps:

"The Pinball Store" is the dealer I was referring to. I spent a couple hours there last Saturday, probably going back this Friday or Saturday.
Any thoughts on the MB sound issue I mentioned, I just watched a youtube video and the sound seemed great, but I think that was an SE. I'll have to ask about this when I go back.
Keep the recommendations coming, I really appreciate the input.

Check your Pinside inbox, I just PM'd you

#9 10 months ago

Also, make sure to give Hot Wheels a look. It's priced very well and folks are digging it.

#10 10 months ago
Quoted from m00nmuppet:

Also, make sure to give Hot Wheels a look. It's priced very well and folks are digging it.

#11 10 months ago

You have to play them, Im just about a year into owning machines, have bought 4 NIB that I didnt care for because the hype caught me. aka(money down the tube)
Find one that has replay factory, one that you just cant walk away from.
Frustrating but not enough to quit.

#12 10 months ago

Yes on all 3. Get em

#13 10 months ago

I would definitely recommend playing each game you’re interested in and buy the one your enjoy the most. There’s no wrong choice, as each game has its own unique features that make it special. Hope you can find a theme you all enjoy. You could buy a game used if you want to save money, I recently sold a Jurassic park pro for $4800

#14 10 months ago

I own and lik JP but it is aimed at more of the experienced type of player. Rules get complicated and tough to complete anything. Like others said, MB is a better fit for the family and less experienced players. It is more shallow but so are most of the classic games. People still love them. If you start to get bored of it, swap it out for another game. Any one game will get boring after a while no matter how deep.

#15 10 months ago

Fun time picking a pin!!! Make sure it feels like a nice shooter!

Dont buy MB if you have concerns on how it shoots. Buy a fun game for YOU

Maybe a Stern
Walking Dead
Star Trek
Keith Elwin JP or Maiden
Game of Thrones Premium?

Sterns do shoot really fun.

Only advice is you dont play the art, you play the game.

#16 10 months ago
Quoted from Guinnesstime:

You'll love pretty much ANY first pin as long as it's reliable. No wrong choice.

Normally correct, but I'd avoid Munsters
Not good enough for the money.

Monster Bash is perfect for your demographic.
Attack from Mars is excellent too - IMHO a bit better than MB.

#17 10 months ago

MB by a mile. If the fam is into it, secure that sucker and let them get into owning a pinball machine and having fun.

It will be easier then to throw a bunch of their shit away to make room for the next one.

#18 10 months ago

You have solid choices but I would opt for Dialed In, since you said an option is something used.

MB is a great game not sure it would hold interest long term as a single pin. JP is much harder, and complicated and I don't know if that would be a turn off with your group. DI has everything, I just love the game.

I own or have owned all three mentioned. Anyway that's my 2 cents.

Good luck

#19 10 months ago

Glad to see some suggestions for Hot Wheels. That is an ideal family game - great shots, full package, great support. MB is a great option too. I’d maybe wait on JP until you’ve had more time on some other games - the rules can be a little obscure and complex for a novice gamer, and it may turn off your family a bit. You need a solid win on the first game so the second one shows up much easier.. haha

#20 10 months ago

Try downloading Pinball Arcade to try some virtual pinball. Though it's not like playing a real machine, this will give you a basic ideal for what you might like. I have a 70,000 in 1 Multicade that plays virtually any format or pinball title made. Sometimes it's great to play a machine that you know you will never own, but to have the insight for how it plays w/ rule progression. Just played Asteroid Annie, Stern Star Trek & Attack From Mars last night. Give it a try >>>

#21 10 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

MB by a mile. If the fam is into it, secure that sucker and let them get into owning a pinball machine and having fun.
It will be easier then to throw a bunch of their shit away to make room for the next one.

Yeah JP is NOT the game for newbs

#22 10 months ago

Thanks for all of the feedback, especially on JP. I played it for quite a while on Saturday and enjoyed it, but did wonder if it might be a little to difficult/complex to start with. Definitely food for thought. I'm not sure if anyone close carries Hot Wheels. I wouldn't mind looking at it.

Coz - I would love to find a used JP for $4800 close by, that might really make the decision easier.

Oh, and BTW, my "kids" are college age (19 and 21), so adult themed games would be fine.

#23 10 months ago
Quoted from jcripps:

Thanks for all of the feedback, especially on JP. I played it for quite a while on Saturday and enjoyed it, but did wonder if it might be a little to difficult/complex to start with. Definitely food for thought. I'm not sure if anyone close carries Hot Wheels. I wouldn't mind looking at it.
Coz - I would love to find a used JP for $4800 close by, that might really make the decision easier.
Oh, and BTW, my "kids" are college age (19 and 21), so adult themed games would be fine.

Elvira then. No brainer. Fun and easy

#24 10 months ago

Have you played Deadpool?
That is by far my favorite that I have owned.

#25 10 months ago

I own both Jurassic park and Monster Bash, and I am married with 3 kids. Here's my advice:

Firstly, try to play as many pins as possible and narrow it down. If it isn't possible to play them, try to watch online videos, read about the rule sets, and look up reviews. It seems like you have already done this a bit, but you seem to have questioned MB also...so I would say make very sure beforehand, since pins aren't cheap.

Second, buy what appeals to you the most...not the kids, wife, or friends. You are the one buying it and will likely be playing it the most, not anyone else. Buying family friendly pinballs is good, just make sure you love it first. Kids and wives lose interest fast.

Lastly, I really don't recommend buying NIB. I suggest getting a HUO game to save money. I find that HUO games from collectors cost far less and are better playing already because they are dialed in. Every pin will need maintenance somewhere down the line, so find a reputable tech in your area. If you have a few tools on hand and a willingness to do small fixes, that doesn't hurt either.

Having said all that, here are my specific recommendations for the two games (and more recent titles):

A JP pro's average price according to pinside is 5200, and a premium is 7200. A classic MB is 7000 and a monster bash remake LE is 7700. If you just need to clip the extras off, the JP pro is far less than the rest, but it seems like that's not a problem since the other options are in the same range. If you get MB, opt for the LE remake. It is the best MB ever made in my opinion (and for the majority of others). Is costs very little more, and it is newer...so the issues will be little to none.

If you opt for the JP, the premium is MUCH nicer, but it costs 2k more than the pro. You have to decide if the toys and art package are worth it. I think they are. Besides, if you are spending the much anyway...you should get what you want.

JP is deeper, but MB will be more kid friendly. Both have great lighting, sounds, themes, and rule sets. Both are family friendly. I don't think you could go wrong with either.

Attack from mars or Willy wonks would be 2 more you could consider with family, newness,
and quality considerations (but I think think both JP and MB are better, however).

No one can give you a definitive answer, but that's my 2 cents.

#27 10 months ago

Elvira would be interesting, but none available locally right now. Also no Hot Wheels locally, and that does look interesting.

I've played Deadpool briefly. I will give it another look when I go back to the showroom.

Daditude - Thanks for the detailed comments. If I decide on MB, I was leaning towards the SE. That's a budget stretch, LE is above my budget. Seems like the SE has most of the features though, any thoughts on the SE? Also going to take a look at Attack From Mars.

Any thoughts on Oktoberfest? I played that briefly and liked it, but they were closing soot and I didn't have time to play many games. Will probably take another look at this one as well. Trying to play as many as I can and make sure I'm making an informed decision.

And I'm open to buying used, so have been scanning Pinside Market, CL and Facebook Marketplace. That's why I mentioned Lethal Weapon 3 and Last Action Hero in my original post, they are cheaper games that are available on CL and I was wondering if those might be good alternatives.

#28 10 months ago
Quoted from jcripps:

That's why I mentioned Lethal Weapon 3 and Last Action Hero in my original post, they are cheaper games that are available on CL and I was wondering if those might be good alternatives.

No, those games are not even close to good alternatives.

Quoted from jcripps:

If I decide on MB, I was leaning towards the SE. That's a budget stretch, LE is above my budget.

SE is the original way the machine came and is perfectly fine. <--Sorry I was confused, the cheaper Classic edition is the OG. Don't feel like you need to stretch your budget becasue the CE is great.

#29 10 months ago
Quoted from m00nmuppet:

TMNT has to co-op modes so the family can play as a team, you might want to check that one out.

No. I have a TMNT and it is not for novice players. To fast and shots are hard to dial in for beginners. Coop is great though and the game is badass once you get the shots down but the theme is the only friendly thing about this game. Deadpool is a easy game id recommend for family use. Monster bash would be a good easy game. The Data East games your looking at are ok starter games if there priced right and in fully working condition and when they break which they will you can learn how to do repairs and not worry so much since there older cheaper games.

#30 10 months ago
Quoted from jcripps:

Elvira would be interesting, but none available locally right now. Also no Hot Wheels locally, and that does look interesting.
I've played Deadpool briefly. I will give it another look when I go back to the showroom.
Daditude - Thanks for the detailed comments. If I decide on MB, I was leaning towards the SE. That's a budget stretch, LE is above my budget. Seems like the SE has most of the features though, any thoughts on the SE? Also going to take a look at Attack From Mars.
Any thoughts on Oktoberfest? I played that briefly and liked it, but they were closing soot and I didn't have time to play many games. Will probably take another look at this one as well. Trying to play as many as I can and make sure I'm making an informed decision.
And I'm open to buying used, so have been scanning Pinside Market, CL and Facebook Marketplace. That's why I mentioned Lethal Weapon 3 and Last Action Hero in my original post, they are cheaper games that are available on CL and I was wondering if those might be good alternatives.

i was at automated last tuesday.. i updated that deadpool with the newest code.... oktoberfest is really fun....

#31 10 months ago

Medieval madness, everyone in the family will like and the castle is straight forward.
Simpson pinball party. Lots of gadgets, quirky and fun.
Wonka standard. Beautiful. Smoth ramps, Camera, theme, daily high scores.

Monster bash gets bland rather fast.
Jp is great, but is a hard shooter, also if you have kids, premium for frekkin moving dino.

#32 10 months ago

You can hit the link in pinside above for the TOP100 and notice that Monster Bash and Jurassic Park are both in the top 5.
You can look at details on those games online, but you should also probably try playing them, as others have suggested.
Perhaps price will be a motivator depending on what deals are available in your area.
You can also get some pricing info on this website for each machine that you can use as a guide.
You might want to take an experienced pinball guy with you to make sure that there are no big problems with the machine you select.
Since you are only getting one chance to get one machine, you will want to make an informed decision.

#33 10 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

SE is the original way the machine came and is perfectly fine.

No, that is NOT correct. The SE (Special Edition) has a larger display and color graphics. The CE (Classic Edition) has the standard mono-chrome display.

I think you are getting confused by JJP's naming scheme (which uses CE for Collector's Edition, and SE for Standard Edition).
CGC's naming scheme is different.

#34 10 months ago
Quoted from jcripps:

Thanks for all of the feedback, especially on JP. I played it for quite a while on Saturday and enjoyed it, but did wonder if it might be a little to difficult/complex to start with. Definitely food for thought. I'm not sure if anyone close carries Hot Wheels. I wouldn't mind looking at it.
Coz - I would love to find a used JP for $4800 close by, that might really make the decision easier.
Oh, and BTW, my "kids" are college age (19 and 21), so adult themed games would be fine.

If kids that old, don’t worry about too complex. Most people are horrible at certain pins, forever. MB is decent but I prefer JP. If go JP, get the premium. It is well worth the upgrade and has something for all skills. If they like a certain film or band, that will definitely have an impact. Although, I’m not a fan of the JP movies but the pin is one of the best.

#35 10 months ago
Quoted from mbeardsley:

No, that is NOT correct.

Correct on all fronts thanks! I always confuse them.
Changed in post.

#36 10 months ago

Be careful about pricing on used Sterns. The pro editions could be had new in box for less than 5K very recently (maybe even now if you know who to buy from.) It is common practice for people to buy Stern machines new, play them and resell them for what they paid or a bit more. FWIW the published price for Stern machines is not necessarily the street price. Also shipping costs are the original owners sunk cost. It doesn't make the machine more valuable. So if you bought a game for 4500 and it cost 300 to ship it you have a $4500 game. Not a $4800 game. If buying used ask to see the receipt to get an idea of what you should be willing to pay.

#37 10 months ago
Quoted from fnosm:

Be careful about pricing on used Sterns. The pro editions could be had new in box for less than 5K very recently (maybe even now if you know who to buy from.) It is common practice for people to buy Stern machines new, play them and resell them for what they paid or a bit more. FWIW the published price for Stern machines is not necessarily the street price. Also shipping costs are the original owners sunk cost. It doesn't make the machine more valuable. So if you bought a game for 4500 and it cost 300 to ship it you have a $4500 game. Not a $4800 game. If buying used ask to see the receipt to get an idea of what you should be willing to pay.

Where the hell are you getting nib for $4500?

#38 10 months ago
Quoted from fnosm:

Be careful about pricing on used Sterns. The pro editions could be had new in box for less than 5K very recently (maybe even now if you know who to buy from.)

Any recommendations on who to buy from then? Best price I've found on a JP Pro is $5700. PM me if you don't want to post that type of information in the thread.

#39 10 months ago
Quoted from fnosm:

If buying used ask to see the receipt to get an idea of what you should be willing to pay.

Who the hell keeps receipts of games they buy? If someone asked to see a receipt of a game of mine for sale they would get shown the door. They know what they are willing to pay for it regardless of what the original price was.

#40 10 months ago

I don't want to derail this thread but buyers especially new to the hobby don't need to and shouldn't be over paying for used machines.
Over the past year or two prices have really shot up. But that doesn't mean that a title that was released in 2018 (Iron Maiden, Deadpool) should be priced like Led Zeppelin. Ask for the receipt. Know what you are buying. A game that was sold for 5500 with free shipping is a 5200 machine.

#41 10 months ago
Quoted from manadams:

Who the hell keeps receipts of games they buy? If someone asked to see a receipt of a game of mine for sale they would get shown the door. They know what they are willing to pay for it regardless of what the original price was.

That's cool. FWIW I have every receipt for every NIB purchase I have made. In general I keep receipts for purchases in excess of 1K.
And if you can get someone to pay you for playing the machine that is great for you. Not so much for the hobby.

#42 10 months ago
Quoted from fnosm:

That's cool. But I have every reciept for every NIB purchase I have made. In general I keep reciepts for purchases in excess of 1K.
And if you can get someone to pay you for playing the machine that is great for you. Not so much for the hobby.

I've taken a loss on every NIB ever bought but don't have the insider secret distributor list you claim exists for $4500 NIB games.

#43 10 months ago
Quoted from manadams:

I've taken a loss on every NIB ever bought but don't have the insider secret distributor list you claim exists for $4500 NIB games.

I have lost on my sales too and the days of 4500 games are past, but not long past.

#44 10 months ago

I made 100 on GB due to that slow down in production back then

#45 10 months ago

I had the same question a few months ago. Went back and forth between JP, Dialed In, Wonka and WOZ. I wanted one the whole family could enjoy. I opted for Wonka LE and I am not disappointed. I love the game, theme, shooting, modes and difficulty. But the best part of it is, my 9 year old daughter loves it and plays more than me. It's in my office and she will come in throughout the day to shoot a game, and it makes me so happy. Not that your kids will react the same way my child did, but Wonka definitely struck a nerve with her. We have had Addams Family since she wass a baby and she will play occasionally, but not like she plays Wonka. Good luck with your search.
Best
Joey

#46 10 months ago

Update... I just got back from the showroom. I spent almost 3 hours playing machines. I played Deadpool Pro, Star Wars Pro, Dialed In, Jurassic Park Pro, TMNT Pro, Avengers IQ Pro, JJP Guns and Roses LE and a few older machines as well. While I still like JP Pro, I was really surprised at how much I liked Avengers IQ Pro. I kept coming back to this one.

The Avengers theme really doesn't attract me to the machine, but I really liked how it plays. I don't really understand the rule set yet, but I like that I could shoot most of the ramps, and it is the first machine that I've had much success with the 3rd flipper on. I also liked how the playfield is somewhat open, it seemd to make multi-balls more fun. I also prefer how the plunge goes to the top of the playfield and either drops into the pop bumpers, or on a harder plunge goes all the way around to the left flipper.

So I'm leaning towards the Avengers IQ now, I just want to read up more on it and it's rule set.

But there is another option I'm considering. A used Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle. I really like the theme of this pin better, and I like the upper playfield. But I only played this a few times about a year ago. I know it has tight shots, so wondering if this would be good for the whole family or not.

So, any thoughts on Avengers IQ vs ACNC now? I'm going to see if I can go an play the ACNC again before I decide.

Thanks,

John

#47 10 months ago

Just be aware that Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle is a Spooky Pinball machine, not Stern, Williams, Data East, Bally or Gottlieb. That is not such a bad thing, but parts might be a little harder to come by or cost a little more. Most every pinball machine is going to require something to be maintained, repaired or fixed at some point. If you decide on that one, I would make sure that the manual is included, so you can identify parts that you might need at some point.

#48 10 months ago
Quoted from jcripps:

Update... I just got back from the showroom. I spent almost 3 hours playing machines. I played Deadpool Pro, Star Wars Pro, Dialed In, Jurassic Park Pro, TMNT Pro, Avengers IQ Pro, JJP Guns and Roses LE and a few older machines as well. While I still like JP Pro, I was really surprised at how much I liked Avengers IQ Pro. I kept coming back to this one.
The Avengers theme really doesn't attract me to the machine, but I really liked how it plays. I don't really understand the rule set yet, but I like that I could shoot most of the ramps, and it is the first machine that I've had much success with the 3rd flipper on. I also liked how the playfield is somewhat open, it seemd to make multi-balls more fun. I also prefer how the plunge goes to the top of the playfield and either drops into the pop bumpers, or on a harder plunge goes all the way around to the left flipper.
So I'm leaning towards the Avengers IQ now, I just want to read up more on it and it's rule set.
But there is another option I'm considering. A used Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle. I really like the theme of this pin better, and I like the upper playfield. But I only played this a few times about a year ago. I know it has tight shots, so wondering if this would be good for the whole family or not.
So, any thoughts on Avengers IQ vs ACNC now? I'm going to see if I can go an play the ACNC again before I decide.
Thanks,
John

Man that's awesome you have a place close by like that to try out all the newer pins. That's the best way to do it so you know first hand what you like and don't like in each one of them. Avengers would definitely be a better fit than Alice Cooper from the stand point of ease of playing and shots. Ha not sure my wife would play Alice Cooper with me, but who knows everyone has their own tastes. But like others have said your going to be the one playing the pin 95% of the time so in my opinion theme to me counts a lot when I'm looking at pins to purchase. For instance I want to love TMNT but the theme kills it for me as I was never into them and just hearing the music playing drives me crazy. Though the pin fits everything I love in that it's brutally hard and a fast shooting game. Still waiting on my Avengers but almost everyone has said how well it shoots and it sounds like your enjoying it from that perspective as well. I would think for a family pin that would be more acceptable over the Alice Cooper, but I'm not knocking Alice as I love his music and think the pin looks amazing.

#49 10 months ago
Quoted from Dent00:

Just be aware that Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle is a Spooky Pinball machine, not Stern, Williams, Data East, Bally or Gottlieb. That is not such a bad thing, but parts might be a little harder to come by or cost a little more. Most every pinball machine is going to require something to be maintained, repaired or fixed at some point. If you decide on that one, I would make sure that the manual is included, so you can identify parts that you might need at some point.

If he decides to get the Spooky pin and needs anything for it, at least Charlie or one of his staff will answer the phone and help him with his issues or parts order. Try and get help from Stern on anything... Crickets.
To the OP, Charlie is the founder and owner of Spooky Pinball and will personally answer your mails and will talk to you on the phone about anything to do with his products.

#50 10 months ago
Quoted from jcripps:

Update... I just got back from the showroom. I spent almost 3 hours playing machines. I played Deadpool Pro, Star Wars Pro, Dialed In, Jurassic Park Pro, TMNT Pro, Avengers IQ Pro, JJP Guns and Roses LE and a few older machines as well. While I still like JP Pro, I was really surprised at how much I liked Avengers IQ Pro. I kept coming back to this one.
The Avengers theme really doesn't attract me to the machine, but I really liked how it plays. I don't really understand the rule set yet, but I like that I could shoot most of the ramps, and it is the first machine that I've had much success with the 3rd flipper on. I also liked how the playfield is somewhat open, it seemd to make multi-balls more fun. I also prefer how the plunge goes to the top of the playfield and either drops into the pop bumpers, or on a harder plunge goes all the way around to the left flipper.
So I'm leaning towards the Avengers IQ now, I just want to read up more on it and it's rule set.
But there is another option I'm considering. A used Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle. I really like the theme of this pin better, and I like the upper playfield. But I only played this a few times about a year ago. I know it has tight shots, so wondering if this would be good for the whole family or not.
So, any thoughts on Avengers IQ vs ACNC now? I'm going to see if I can go an play the ACNC again before I decide.
Thanks,
John

Both are very good games, but AIQ is the easy choice because it is far more family friendly, has easier shots (so newer and younger players will gravitate towards it more), and it will likely be easier to maintain in the future since it is a Stern.

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