(Topic ID: 139051)

1st Time Buyer


By LiNks

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 33 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by LiNks
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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    #1 3 years ago

    Hey Everyone,

    I am new to the forum but a long time pinball lover and player... I am looking to make my first purchase on a pinball machine for the home. I am a bit of a stickler for clean looking items and not very hands on when it comes to repairs. Was wondering what your opinions would be when buying new or used? I am a fan of the more modern games say from 1990's+ I really love the early 90's data east and williams games too.

    Located on Long Island in NY, any suggestions on where to look?

    Thanks in advance.

    #2 3 years ago

    First off welcome to the Forum. You will find plenty of folks in your neck of the woods that have games. Williams, Data East and Bally will be good options to get started in the hobby. There are 100`s to choose from so I would suggest that you either drop by a local arcade and play some to figure out what you like and dislike. You can also look on papa.org or pinballvideos.com to referenc some machines. Most people are honest but you will always find the folks that want to take advantage of you. Not sure or have questions this would be the perfect place to ask. You can also find good information on ipdb.org for all specs etc..

    If you were to buy use I would check the following on a game that I am scoping out:
    - Is there playfield wear?
    - Are the inserts on the playfield lifting?
    - Is their planking on the playfield?
    - Are all the components working (check videos about how to do switch tests etc.. on a machine)?
    - Check the boards make sure there is not anything burnt
    - Make sure there are no hacks (improperly cut wiring etc)
    - Make sure the DMD is not ghosting (fading or missing lines)
    - Is their fading on the cabinet?
    - Is the cabinet in good shape?
    - Find out the going rate for a specific machine (ask on this forum)
    - Is the backglass cracked peeling etc...
    - Battery (acid damage)
    - Cracked plastics?
    - Old rubbers than really need to be replace
    - Also make sure that the parts that a rebroken on the machine are obtainable....you don't want to get stuck with a broken game that doesn't have a piece for replacement.

    If you want to buy new go Stern, but only with a game that as completed code. The price is pretty stiff but their games are top notch.

    Most importatnly have fun.

    #3 3 years ago

    All pinball is hands on at some point...I had my NIB Avengers open way more than some of my older games after I got it. I found it to be a fun part of the hobby though and actually learned a lot of cool stuff along the way.

    Try to play a game in the wild before buying it. Find out what YOU like. Just because it's ranked high here doesn't mean it's for you.

    When you find a game you want to buy, don't be afraid to ask questions either here or from the person you are buying from.

    #4 3 years ago

    Do you have a budget? If you want something clean and don't want to have to do repairs your best bet is a brand new game or something relatively recent. Failing that look for something that's been restored. All pinball will required minor work but hopefully with a new game it'll be simple and you can call support for help. Your budget will decide what you can get though

    #5 3 years ago

    Also forgot.. don't buy a game without seeing it in person.

    #6 3 years ago
    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    Also forgot.. don't buy a game without seeing it in person.

    and if you have any friends who know abit about pinball maybe bring them with you to inspect it as well.

    #7 3 years ago
    Quoted from Butch2099:

    Try to play a game in the wild before buying it. Find out what YOU like. Just because it's ranked high here doesn't mean it's for you.

    This. It never ceases to amaze me when people ask what are the "best" games in a certain price range. Well, what are the best movies in a certain genre? Best bands? Best songs? Even if you get a general consensus, you might be totally bored with a game that I am competely addicted to, and vice versa.

    I can think of quite a few games that are generally considered great that I have little intetest in. Likewise, I own and love a game that is not typically very well liked. Find as many places in the wild to play as many machines as possible. You will be shocked at games you thought you would love and games you thought you would not being just the opposite.

    Also, since you say you're a stickler for clean looking items, do yourself a favor and spend a bit more on a nice game. A couple of Pinsiders gave me that advice and I am so happy that I spent a bit more for HUO game with low plays. It sounds like you would be too.

    #8 3 years ago
    Quoted from pinmanguy:

    Do you have a budget? If you want something clean and don't want to have to do repairs your best bet is a brand new game or something relatively recent. Failing that look for something that's been restored. All pinball will required minor work but hopefully with a new game it'll be simple and you can call support for help. Your budget will decide what you can get though

    I have a decent budget, I am the type that will fall for something I love regardless of the cost! I am sure changing bulbs occasionally, maybe some rubbers... just hoping not to have to get involved with wiring, or boards, leaking batteries ect.

    Quoted from PurpleTophat:

    This. It never ceases to amaze me when people ask what are the "best" games in a certain price range. Well, what are the best movies in a certain genre? Best bands? Best songs? Even if you get a general consensus, you might be totally bored with a game that I am competely addicted to, and vice versa.
    I can think of quite a few games that are generally considered great that I have little intetest in. Likewise, I own and love a game that is not typically very well liked. Find as many places in the wild to play as many machines as possible. You will be shocked at games you thought you would love and games you thought you would not being just the opposite.
    Also, since you say you're a stickler for clean looking items, do yourself a favor and spend a bit more on a nice game. A couple of Pinsiders gave me that advice and I am so happy that I spent a bit more for HUO game with low plays. It sounds like you would be too.

    I am a bit of a stickler for a clean machine, a HUO will probably be a must. I am not out to get the Ferrari of pinballs first time around, but something to maybe play with for a bigger decision in the future.

    #9 3 years ago

    Play a bunch of machines. Post and ask about similar titles. Find what you like. Post and ask if you are getting a good price and are dealing with a reputable person.

    Have fun.

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from LiNks:

    I have a decent budget, I am the type that will fall for something I love regardless of the cost! I am sure changing bulbs occasionally, maybe some rubbers... just hoping not to have to get involved with wiring, or boards, leaking batteries ect.

    I am a bit of a stickler for a clean machine, a HUO will probably be a must. I am not out to get the Ferrari of pinballs first time around, but something to maybe play with for a bigger decision in the future.

    Find what games you like then, maybe try and check out the newer sterns like kiss, star trek, metallica, the walking dead if those appeal to you.

    #11 3 years ago

    I was in your shoes a month ago and looking for a first machine of the same quality. I bought a really nice Ripley's from a local pinsider with great references and history. Two weeks later I purchased another from a pinsider in NC and had it shipped to me. It was even better than I hoped for. And then another from Paul Drabik of Wanna Pinball. I was very lucky as all were in immaculate shape as described, and I saw none of them in person. Paul's was brand new from Stern so no troubles there. Both used games came with a TON of high resolution pictures and numerous communications before I closed the deals. I took a huge leap of faith that luckily paid off, you really need to trust your instincts and do research on the sellers here. If somebody has a large history of activity here, sales etc... You should be good. What's great is you can save a ton of money by purchasing from a collector here vs. eBay or Craigslist, and generally get a much better quality machine. Of course by all means you should see and play something before you buy. Living in the metro NYC area you have tons of opportunities to do so. Take your time, and watch out for anything that comes from a new member and/or does not have sharp photos of the entire machine including under playfield and back box. For me I decided to stick with post 2000 Sterns as I was also not ready to jump into maintaining an older machine. I've already learned a ton and will probably go for a classic next year. Good luck and have fun!

    #12 3 years ago

    He has already stated he likes the early 90's pins. So steering him to "post 2000" pins it like telling him to forget pins that are fun to play when you can have a Striker, RTC or NASCAR.

    And that's just mean

    #13 3 years ago

    Get a restored Whirlwind...if you are not going to repair or try and learn, go pay retail from a reputable amusement place with service and warranty. You'll pay around $1k more than from a private buyer. If you want to save money, research repair guys in your area and then find a game via pinside/CL.

    #14 3 years ago

    Ha fair enough taxman! Just putting in my two cents.

    I should probably have made a disclaimer to avoid the majority of them as there are a lot of stinkers out there!

    For me it was all about compromises. I'd love a twilight zone, or a ton of others from the mid nineties. Just not for a first machine. But that's just me, and as I said my next one will absolutely be a Williams or Ballys. Hit me up if you're ever looking to sell one

    #15 3 years ago
    Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

    Ha fair enough taxman! Just putting in my two cents.
    I should probably have made a disclaimer to avoid the majority of them as there are a lot of stinkers out there!
    For me it was all about compromises. I'd love a Twilight Zone, or a ton of others from the mid nineties. Just not for a first machine. But that's just me, and as I said my next one will absolutely be a Williams or Ballys. Hit me up if you're ever looking to sell one

    Man my TZ was a disaster to own. Of course back then it was about $1,800. But yes there is so much to go wrong it was a curse.

    #16 3 years ago

    My RBION was my TZ lite heh. Really loving it and many less things to break! Also I can't fit a wide body through my door

    Although I did have to replace the scoop and cliffy on it... but it was a manageable repair I could actually do, so that ruled! It's enormously fulfilling to learn about maintaining these things.

    One last thing OP, get your butt over to modern pinball NYC and play some machines! I joined the league there and aside from learning a lot of skills from the veterans there, you will get to play an ENORMOUS amount of machines and figure out what you like.

    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

    My RBION was my TZ lite heh. Really loving it and many less things to break! Also I can't fit a wide body through my door
    Although I did have to replace the scoop and cliffy on it... but it was a manageable repair I could actually do, so that ruled! It's enormously fulfilling to learn about maintaining these things.
    One last thing OP, get your butt over to modern pinball NYC and play some machines! I joined the league there and aside from learning a lot of skills from the veterans there, you will get to play an ENORMOUS amount of machines and figure out what you like.

    God I wish I'd held on to my RBION

    #18 3 years ago
    Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

    ...Also I can't fit a wide body through my door....

    Um, the wide-body is still thinner than the head. So if the head fits . . .

    I think I am going to hear a very strange moving situation. (oh, and in a worst case, the heads come off)

    #19 3 years ago
    Quoted from Taxman:

    Um, the wide-body is still thinner than the head. So if the head fits . . .
    I think I am going to hear a very strange moving situation. (oh, and in a worst case, the heads come off)

    Maybe head comes off and goes through side ways, body just fits through. Only way I can see a regular fitting and wide not

    #20 3 years ago

    Oh boy, let me tell you. EVERY single head has to come off to fit into my basement. The actual body has maybe a half inch on each side going down the stairs. Luckily this is my dream house and I am in love with all three of my games, so no moving for a LONG time. *knocks on wood*. And to the jerk that framed my stupid 25 inch doors when they built the house in the late 1800's before pinball was a thing, BITE ME

    #21 3 years ago
    Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

    Oh boy, let me tell you. EVERY single head has to come off to fit into my basement. The actual body has maybe a half inch on each side going down the stairs. Luckily this is my dream house and I am in love with all three of my games, so no moving for a LONG time. *knocks on wood*. And to the jerk that framed my stupid 25 inch doors when they built the house in the late 1800's before pinball was a thing, BITE ME

    yo sucka you gotta big mouth!

    #22 3 years ago
    Quoted from pinmanguy:

    yo sucka you gotta big mouth!

    BIDIPO! Nice to see a fellow hardcore "kid" on this thing, cheers!

    #23 3 years ago
    Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

    BIDIPO! Nice to see a fellow hardcore "kid" on this thing, cheers!

    one of my favourite bands too bad my GB shirt is too small for me these days, I used to be stick thin ~8 years ago

    #24 3 years ago

    I remember posting a similar post when I was looking for my first game. I played many and in a pinball league but had my heart set on an old time favorite TFTC. Still love it and like them and show and flow of game and cost without going to overboard on price for my first DMD game. Do I play it every day, no, do months go by yes but still glad I have it, hard to let go and switch out and only want to add but decision so tough for second game on small space.

    #25 3 years ago

    All pinball needs periodic cleaning, repairs, and maintenance. Get a nice game but don't expect to keep the glass on forever. If you're really OCD about clean machines you'll probably be tearing down and ultrasonic cleaning and tumbling everything in due time anyway. The only games I bought that were clean enough to not fully tear down both had recent playfield swaps and both ended up needing some minor electronics work anyway.

    #26 3 years ago

    Welcome to the hobby! I'd go play a bunch of games and get a list of your favorites so when searching you're looking for multiple titles instead of a single game. If you have the means to go new, Stern is obviously awesome! Good Luck!

    #27 3 years ago

    Find a good condition Williams System 11 Game - they are rock solid.

    #28 3 years ago

    Even if you get a game that is in good working order, it's only a matter of time before you'll have to either get your hands dirty or pay someone to fix/maintain your game, which isn't usually cheap.

    Many of us have also had the experience of buying a game that works just fine but then has one or more issues once you get it home and set up.

    #29 3 years ago

    Dude doesn't really have to get his hands dirty. He's obviously a big spender, so he can spend a Ton on his first game, and then hire someone to do even routine maintenance. There's plenty of folks on Long Island who will be happy to take his money.

    #30 3 years ago

    It's tough to find a 20-25 year old pinball machine that is clean and in good order. Parts are reproduced for most popular machines - at least Bally/Williams games. Data East games are not as popular/collectible so finding parts may be an issue. If you want a clean, perfect machine that stays clean and least chance of issues, then a new Stern is what you want. They do play different (have different feel) so it's best to play as many pins as you can to see which ones jump out at you. Youtube videos and virtual pins like Pinball Arcade are good for getting an idea of what a pin is like but no substitute for playing the real thing. Ignore the rankings and other opinions about whether a game is fun. Every pin has a fans and haters.

    #31 3 years ago

    Living in Long Island..hell,... get a WOZ Ruby Red LE Dad...do it up right !

    GORILLA BISCUITS FCK YEAH !!!
    One of my favorite past-times, "Sitting Round at Home", getting Schlitzed and listening to straight edge.
    Love dem Biscuits...
    Welcome dude(s) !

    #32 3 years ago

    welcome to Pinside, LiNks! Pinball is a super-fun hobby. Like others have said, play a game before you buy it.

    it's not all that hard to find a nice clean fully working machine, but if you don't take off the glass periodically and maintain it, it will not stay that way.

    Another note -- just because a game is "home use only" doesn't mean it's in good shape. especially if the previous owner didn't keep up with it.

    #33 3 years ago
    Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

    My RBION was my TZ lite heh. Really loving it and many less things to break! Also I can't fit a wide body through my door
    Although I did have to replace the scoop and cliffy on it... but it was a manageable repair I could actually do, so that ruled! It's enormously fulfilling to learn about maintaining these things.
    One last thing OP, get your butt over to modern pinball NYC and play some machines! I joined the league there and aside from learning a lot of skills from the veterans there, you will get to play an ENORMOUS amount of machines and figure out what you like.

    I actually hit up Jack Bar the other night in BK and had a lot of fun there. Those games play incredibly fast, no magic in watching your quarters disappear there!

    I was playing the Wold Cup Soccer game they had there and being a big soccer fan really loved it! Gonna keep my eyes out for one.

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