Hello all, new member to Pinside and new to the Pinball scene as well.
I am looking for a little advice from those more knowledgeable and experienced than I as I try to sort my way through my first Pinball purchase.
A little background first so you can better see where I am coming from and what my needs are for the machine. I have 4 kids, ages 8-16. We are in the process of transitioning our upstairs loft area from a more kiddie designed area to a more teenager/young adult type area. We just got a nice foosball table for the space and that got me thinking about what else would go well in a gameroom type loft. DUH, a pinball machine! So that started the idea rolling several weeks ago.
I have gotten approval from the wife to start looking for machines and even though I grew up in the 80s and 90s my personal experience with pinball is a little limited. I usually played the video arcade games in the arcades when I was a kid and never really played pinball all that much. The one machine I do have memories of is The Addams Family which was in the commons area of my dorm in college and we used to play that machine quite a bit. If I had a "holy grail" machine at this point, that would be it.
We have space to eventually house about three machines in the space we are looking at but my guess is the first machine will be a solo machine for at least a year if not a little more. So, I am trying to decide between getting a solid first machine on the cheaper end, probably alpha-numeric, vs saving up and trying to find a great deal on a good DMD machine.
I did some research and put together a spreadsheet of the machines I would be considering and tried to rank them based on a bang for the buck type calculation. Ideally I would like to keep my first machine under $2000 but I could probably go up as high as $4000 without too much heartburn. My son and I played Funhouse at a local arcade and he really loved that machine, I have to say the creepy factor appeals to me too.
I know Funhouse may be a bit more expensive but I think I would be willing to splurge a little for that one. I would also be interested in some of the more popular DMD type machines but as those are out of my initial price range I have eliminated them for now. If I could find an The Addams Family for $5000 or so I would probably pull the trigger on that but I am thinking that may not be likely.
So given all that background, a few questions:
First, are there any other good games that I should be considering in my target price range? I was thinking system 11 games or other late 80s/early 90s games would probably be my best bet but I am open to other ideas as well. EM games don't appeal to me as much at this point.
Second, from those who have been there and done that, would you say it is better to start out with a less expensive machine and work your way up to an Addams Family or the like or just go for that "holy grail" machine that you might be happy with by itself vs the others which would likely not be enough to be the only machine in the collection? I'm not sure that made great sense but hopefully you get the idea.
Lastly, I do have a line on a Taxi machine that isn't too far from me, owner says it is in good shape and he is asking $1500 but says he is negotiable in person with cash. I am tempted to go look at that machine and see if I can take it home for $1200 or so but I am again kind of torn because while I like Taxi from what I have played on Visual Pinball it would not be a "oh my gosh I can't believe I have this machine" type experience. It would be more of an entry into the hobby with the idea of playing it for a few years and then probably moving it on. What appeals to me is that if I could get the machine for a good price I would likely be able to move it along in a year or two for what I had in it or maybe even a little more. Thoughts?
Thanks in advance for any advice or help you can give.