New! Dark mode!

Browsing Pinside at night? Getting tired of all the white? Switch to dark mode using the button in the top right (or CTRL-B)!

(Topic ID: 280122)

A whole new world of Pinball for me


By ceterumnet

33 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 46 posts
  • 32 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 31 days ago by ceterumnet
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

Topic poll

“If you had to pick an ideal number of pins to own, how many would it be?”

  • 1-3 6 votes
    4%
  • 4-8 65 votes
    41%
  • 10+ 87 votes
    55%

(158 votes)

Topic Gallery

One image has been uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

IMG_05551 (resized).jpg

14
#1 33 days ago

I got serious about Pinball about 2 years ago. I played a Stern Star Wars, and I was hooked. I had played pins here and there when I was a kid in the 80s and 90s. Since then, I've managed to convince my wonderful wife to let me have as many machines that will fit in the space I have (it works out to 4-5.)

I currently have a LOTR, Wonka LE, a TZ on its way, and a JJP GnR CE that's coming who knows when. I also just sold my Star Wars and Iron Maiden to make room for my most recent additions.

For some reason, I assumed that I would only enjoy modern machines. When I first started shooting, the older machines seemed boring to me...but as my skill level has increased, something has changed...

So, I decided to stop by the local pinball place and play a little today. It was a bit of an eye opener for me - I am now a HUGE fan of some of the older machines like Pin*Bot, Bride of Pin*Bot, Jack*Bot, Cirqus Voltaire, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Theatre of Magic, etc... I know that many if not most of you are probably laughing because these aren't really that old compared to some of the earlier machines

I played on Bride of Pin*Bot and Cirqus Voltaire for hours today. I am thoroughly impressed.

These machines have a very different feel to them that I didn't notice before. Also, the layouts actually seemed much more complicated/nuanced than today's pins from Stern and JJP - don't get me wrong, I love both of those pin manufacturers and I hope we keep having more abundance of machines.

I just wanted to share this with fellow pin enthusiasts. I've found that this community, for the most part, has been really great to deal with!

I'd love to hear any stories that you all have around "discovering" "new" old pins like me!

PS> I need a new house with more room for pinball...I think the number of machines I'd like to have is 10. I'd be curious what everyone's magic number is!

#2 33 days ago

As many as i can fit into the house and set up is the magic number.

#3 33 days ago

Classics, moderns, 90s, I love them all. Give me an EM, give me a JJP, I’ll play them all.

#4 33 days ago
Quoted from Wmsfan:

As many as i can fit into the house and set up is the magic number.

Based on the title I thought this was for sure going to be another TOTAN to Aladdin thread.

#5 33 days ago

I voted 10+ currently I have 11 but I am not done, I measured my game room and should be good got 4-5 more.

I can't get to know the pins as much as if I only had 3-4 but they don't get old to me because I can go a few weeks without turning some on, I have owned my PotC for 14 years and still enjoy it.

#6 33 days ago
Quoted from Wmsfan:

As many as i can fit into the house and set up is the magic number.

This is a scary (exciting) truth I'm coming to believe.

#7 33 days ago
Quoted from rai:

I voted 10+ currently I have 11 but I am not done, I measured my game room and should be good got 4-5 more.
I can't get to know the pins as much as if I only had 3-4 but they don't get old to me because I can go a few weeks without turning some on, I have owned my PotC for 14 years and still enjoy it.

Yea...it takes weeks for me (in my limited experience) to get to know a machine to the point where you can get a sense if it is a keeper or not.

#8 33 days ago
Quoted from ceterumnet:

I got serious about Pinball about 2 years ago.

Quoted from ceterumnet:

These machines have a very different feel to them that I didn't notice before.

Your tastes in games and playing are changing.

Owning what you like is the key to pinball nirvana.

LTG : )

#9 33 days ago
Quoted from ceterumnet:

Yea...it takes weeks for me (in my limited experience) to get to know a machine to the point where you can get a sense if it is a keeper or not.

I have grown a lot for my understanding of the rules when I started collecting 16 years ago I didn't know there was written rules and I sure didn't see any tutorial videos like we have now. So I had pins like TZ and IJ and T2 and I never fully understand the rules of them. The more I understand the rules the better I like it.

I have not really got into much of playing older pins, the oldest pin I ever owned was Bride of Pinbot but I'd love to own older pins.

#10 33 days ago

(Excess money * available hours per day * space) - (Space / # of kids) * (excess money) = # of machines square rooted 3 times + 1 for each wife past/present/future = pinball collection

#11 33 days ago

The magic number is 9.

#12 33 days ago

I have 8 and I think it’s the perfect number..for me. I don’t like having games around that don’t get played and once my interest wanes and it starts to sit without getting any love, out it goes. I come down every night after dinner and turn on 2 or 3 pins and play 2-3 games on each. When I notice a game or two not getting turned on or getting passed over for a couple weeks I know it’s time. Nothing is permanent, no game is ever “bolted to the floor” here. My sweet spot is about 12-18 months for a game. One of the best parts of this hobby is swapping games and keeping things fresh. Who doesn’t love new game day? And like you mentioned, don’t sleep on the older games, especially the older SS games.

#13 33 days ago

We have 7 currently. But have run 25 total thru here in 3 years. That's what is so great about this hobby, its so interchangeable. I love the new stern pins, but enjoy my late 70s gottleibs. A smaller collection is more manageable, and easier to decide if keeping or trading

#14 33 days ago
Quoted from Chisox:

I have 8 and I think it’s the perfect number..for me. I don’t like having games around that don’t get played and once my interest wanes and it starts to sit without getting any love, out it goes. I come down every night after dinner and turn on 2 or 3 pins and play 2-3 games on each. When I notice a game or two not getting turned on or getting passed over for a couple weeks I know it’s time. Nothing is permanent, no game is ever “bolted to the floor” here. My sweet spot is about 12-18 months for a game. One of the best parts of this hobby is swapping games and keeping things fresh. Who doesn’t love new game day? And like you mentioned, don’t sleep on the older games, especially the older SS games.

I really enjoy the fact that you can enjoy a game for a year or two, pay less than you would in quarters, and then change out for another! So cool...

#15 33 days ago
Quoted from finman2000:

The magic number is 9.

Yeah...9 is missing from the poll, and that's the number I have in the man cave.

#16 33 days ago

Had to vote 4-8, too many more and it gets overwhelming to work on them, but a 3-game lineup can get stale.

#17 33 days ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

Yeah...9 is missing from the poll, and that's the number I have in the man cave.

Maybe 9 is the magic number

#18 33 days ago

I was into the 90s stuff when I started playing, now I really dig early solid state games from the late 70s/early 80s. Also really like EMs lately.

Can't go wrong with pinball in general, really.

#19 33 days ago

The reason *I* like having a larger collection is a couple or reasons. With so many different games with different 'feels', the variety of them makes it interesting. I do like a game with a good theme and gameplay- which to me is if it's fun, and i can see myself having it for a while. I play when I have time, even though the passion exceeds the time. It kinda spreads the fun out without getting caught up on any one game unless that is what you want to do. It is a lifestyle.

#20 33 days ago

More machines are always better.

#21 33 days ago
Quoted from SunnRAT:

I was into the 90s stuff when I started playing, now I really dig early solid state games from the late 70s/early 80s. Also really like EMs lately.
Can't go wrong with pinball in general, really.

I feel like as you remove tech advantages, it definitely becomes more about geometry and overall mechanical harmony. Playing the different eras of games really helps me see the different aspects of these games.

#22 33 days ago

You should get over to the Multimorphic factory and play some Heist

#23 33 days ago
Quoted from ceterumnet:

I feel like as you remove tech advantages, it definitely becomes more about geometry and overall mechanical harmony. Playing the different eras of games really helps me see the different aspects of these games.

Plus I find the vast majority of original themes among solid states to be most interesting. A good combination of layout, rules, sound and art will always get my attention over most modern machines (and I still like to play those.)

#24 33 days ago

I think 8 is the right number for me. I'm up to 11 because I have separation anxiety. I really like what I have and they all get play. However I haven't played Met for almost 2 weeks. Reason, I made it to End of Line and new grand champion score and now like to turn on game and see it.

#25 33 days ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

You should get over to the Multimorphic factory and play some Heist

...is that open to the public? I had no idea.

#27 33 days ago

Best thing to do is join a league or play competitively.... almost every machine becomes really fun. Especially the old ones. Love the EMs and the early solid state machines. It’s actual nice that rules are not as deep. There is just no way I can compete on the newer machines as I just do not know the rules ell enough.

#28 33 days ago
Quoted from ceterumnet:

...is that open to the public? I had no idea.

PM Gerry gstellenberg , he can set something up with you.

#29 32 days ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

PM Gerry gstellenberg , he can set something up with you.

Will do. Thanks!

#30 32 days ago

Apparently I wrote you an essay.

Quoted from ceterumnet:

I got serious about Pinball about 2 years ago. I played a Stern Star Wars, and I was hooked. I had played pins here and there when I was a kid in the 80s and 90s. Since then, I've managed to convince my wonderful wife to let me have as many machines that will fit in the space I have (it works out to 4-5.)
I currently have a LOTR, Wonka LE, a TZ on its way, and a JJP GnR CE that's coming who knows when. I also just sold my Star Wars and Iron Maiden to make room for my most recent additions.
For some reason, I assumed that I would only enjoy modern machines. When I first started shooting, the older machines seemed boring to me...but as my skill level has increased, something has changed...
So, I decided to stop by the local pinball place and play a little today. It was a bit of an eye opener for me - I am now a HUGE fan of some of the older machines like Pin*Bot, Bride of Pin*Bot, Jack*Bot, Cirqus Voltaire, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Theatre of Magic, etc... I know that many if not most of you are probably laughing because these aren't really that old compared to some of the earlier machines
I played on Bride of Pin*Bot and Cirqus Voltaire for hours today. I am thoroughly impressed.
These machines have a very different feel to them that I didn't notice before. Also, the layouts actually seemed much more complicated/nuanced than today's pins from Stern and JJP - don't get me wrong, I love both of those pin manufacturers and I hope we keep having more abundance of machines.
I just wanted to share this with fellow pin enthusiasts. I've found that this community, for the most part, has been really great to deal with!
I'd love to hear any stories that you all have around "discovering" "new" old pins like me!
PS> I need a new house with more room for pinball...I think the number of machines I'd like to have is 10. I'd be curious what everyone's magic number is!

It happened to me about 4 years ago at a little place called "Crabtowne USA, in Glen Bernie Maryland". My company office had moved, and it moved about 400 yards down the road from this place. When I drove by it, it had a sign up that said, "retro arcade". I love seafood, and after driving by it a couple of times I decided I had to check it out. I came back with the wife and (at the time) toddler that weekend. Survey says that was a mistake! Inside it had about 30 pinball machines and 50 retro arcade games. Games from the 70s to present. I was brought back to a childhood I spent largely at my parents amusement park, "Tropical Island Golf and Games Funpark". They not only had some great games I had played as a kid like Addams and ST:TNG, but a few newer pinball machines. I didn't know they still made them! I put a few quarters in ST:TNG and was hooked. I snuck into work a bit early for the next few months so I could leave a little early once a week or so and get my "fix" at Crabtowne (cough cough... still do) without affecting the family.

A year or so later I found out my company boss is a huge pinhead, and has a small collection of pins in his basement. People do that? And it's socially acceptable? Apparently it is where I work. The boss liked pins so much that when the company moved locations, he put a pin in his office, "The Avengers"! The one with a Hulk that broke all the time. It was on freeplay, and they had a company wide "pinball" contest that year on the machine. Only like 4 people really tried, but know that I had competition it was serious. I put a couple of hours a week on that pin for the year and realized that with time to explore a modern machine... things really opened up. I know some people rag on that machine, but it pushed me over the edge into the hobby.

The next year, the company went from an Avengers in the office to a Star Wars LE. Whoa what a change! I quickly discovered that a game can have the perfect theme but not scratch the itch (it was on early code that was never updated… didn’t know any better). I love the Star Wars game now, but at early launch it was wanting. About this time my wife and I were looking into getting the basement finished. I made a unilateral “agreement” that if we got the basement finished out we could put a pinball machine down there. I picked up my first pin, a World Cup Soccer 94 the day the painters left.
Holy crap, your own pin in the basement? This is awesome! I built up confidence on minor repairs, I did LEDs, fixed the motor, fixed the diverter, fixed the playfield lights that were out, and gained confidence as a tech. I discovered pinside and learned such basics as “how to raise the playfield!”. I played that and played that and played that until I got to beat Germany in the World Cup twice in one game. Then realized it was time to move on… This took… about 8 weeks. My wife wasn’t thrilled to see one go so fast because it was like throwing money away, but once I proved I could easily sell it and get my money back, the floodgates opened. I have slowly added more pins to my collection over the past 2 years… Well… actually pretty rapidly. My boss found out I was into pinball and gifted me an AFMr SE as a bonus… which was awesome! I traded, bought, sold, and added to the collection. I’ve rotated 25 pins through my basement in the past 2 years, and currently sit at 5 and a MAME.

I put more into it and could open it up to anything I wanted, it went from 1 to 5 machines as I slowly ate up space. I found that switching from asking just for cash, to asking for trades +/- cash with really good ads yielded up many more offers much quicker than just asking for cash and started to run a variety of machines through. I found that a variety of manufacturers, eras, and designers really change things up… shooting for different “styles” of games can be a lot of fun too. I found that 5 is a good number because it’s how much space I have, and I can generally keep the pins all working. I enjoy fixing them up and the pins that come through my basement always go out looking better than they came in.

I currently have 5 machines: A ST:TNG for a classic 90s “mode” based game, a TSPP for a game I’ll never beat that is super deep, an AFM for an objective based game, a TNA for a modern super fast game, and a Black knight for a classic 1980s game. You will notice that there is a game from the 80s, 90s, 2000s, and 2010s in there. I would like too swap out the TSPP for a LOTR at some point in time, and will likely let AFM go in favor of a 2020s game someday. However, I am always good with my collection until something good comes up for trade. I have not done the NIB thing… but was in on a R&M until the COVID scared me.

Pinball opens up more and more the longer you are into it. I was only interested in the DMD games at first, but Deadpool really turned me onto the modern games, and the Hobbit blew me away with presentation. I started looking further back and had tons of fun with some system 11s. Whirlwind, High Speed, and Taxi all rotated through my basement and are solid recommendations. I recently jumped into the early Solid State with a 1980 Black Knight, but that’s as far back as I have gone.

#31 32 days ago
Quoted from DaveH:

Classics, moderns, 90s, I love them all. Give me an EM, give me a JJP, I’ll play them all.

Testify!

#32 32 days ago

Wait until you play some System 11 games and classic Ballys. This party is just getting started!

#33 32 days ago

Yea man. The best pinball was made 30 years ago and earlier. They got it perfect in 1990.

#34 32 days ago

I started out the opposite where I only like the classic games. Thought new games were inferior. I played a Stern ST at a show and was blown away on how fun it was to play. Bought one shortly after. My magic number is 5 but currently own 6 - oops. It would be nice to own more but at some point you end up with pins that just gather dust.

#35 32 days ago

10-12 is probably a sweet spot.
I like some newer titles, but at the last pinball show spent hours on classic Sterns instead. Pure skill and wouldn’t mind owning one bit. 90s pins still ooze with charm that holds up. No light shows, deep code or lcds.
My Pinbot sits comfortably between two new titles.
Good on you for keeping an open mind, tastes change over time.

#36 32 days ago

When one ends up in kitchen, you have to many.
Until then, spay and neuter them all, they breed like rabbits.

#37 32 days ago

Variety is the spice of life. And that goes for pins too. You still have several areas
to explore in this hobby; early 1930's mechanical pins, bingos and the wide range
of EMs. They are all a lot of fun to collect, restore and play.
Currently have 51 pins here and visitors get a big kick out of the variety
that is not so common in most collections.

#38 32 days ago
Quoted from sataneatscheese:

Apparently I wrote you an essay.

You should make that your background story in your profile

Quoted from sataneatscheese:

My boss found out I was into pinball and gifted me an AFMr SE as a bonus

#39 32 days ago
Quoted from jeffc:

You should make that your background story in your profile

I was today years old when I found out this was a thing... Done!

Here is the story on the pinball machine bonus. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/stern-star-trek-pro-vs-jurassic-park-at-same-price#post-4747042

#40 32 days ago

Treat yourself to some shows when they come back. Also, travel and have a pinball road trip. The Hall of Fame in Las Vegas is an easy one. The flights are cheap in and out of there all day long and there isn't much cheaper entertainment in that town than the Hall of fame. Other shows will focus on different things. Some shows that focus on the older games are clay's spot up in Ann arbor, the San Francisco shows, and Allentown. You'll meet new friends that you never knew you had and you might even get invited to a local party or to see someone's Private collection while you're there.

Now, if you really want to dive deep, go to expo in chicago. Not only do you get to play all of these great games, new and old, but you may also get to meet your pinball heroes as well! The Stern tour is always a blast and gary, if he's around, is a gracious host.Whatever you do, wherever you go, enjoy the journey and live the best pinball life you can!

if you ever come around the Colorado way, let me know and I'll do what I can to give you the tour.

c2s

IMG_05551 (resized).jpg

#41 32 days ago

The magic number is 20+ if you want to have a good selection of games (older, newer, different eras, manufacturers, etc).

#42 32 days ago
Quoted from Caucasian2Step:

if you ever come around the Colorado way, let me know and I'll do what I can to give you the tour.

Much appreciated! I will do that for sure.

#43 32 days ago

I voted 4-8. Having 20 would be great but I can't imagine the extra time I would have to spend maintaining 20 games. I liked fixing up games awhile back but now I just focus on playing. Have space for 4-5 and I rotate out a couple every year to keep things interesting.

#44 32 days ago
Quoted from Tommy-dog:

The magic number is 20+ if you want to have a good selection of games (older, newer, different eras, manufacturers, etc).

Agreed. I hover right around 24 the last 5 years or so, with a couple of those being restores/projects.

I kinda did same as the op - I didn't give EMs much attention until we played nothing but them on league night once, and before I knew it I had a few. Then I started rediscovering some of the classic Bally and Williams games from my childhood in the 70s, and have a half dozen of those now. The rest are classic 90s games pretty much.

#45 32 days ago

I have 70’s wedgeheads, an 80’s Gottlieb, 90’s W/B and a WOZ and enjoy them all in different ways depending on my mood. WOZ was my first pin and I went back in time from there - love em all and happy to have the variety.

#46 31 days ago

I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise...but I thought the 1-3 contingent would be a little better represented. However, the poll probably suffers from selection bias by virtue of being on a site where the engaged audience are quite serious about the hobby / business one way or another.

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
$ 10.00
Cabinet - Decals
Pinball Haus
From: $ 22.00

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside