Advice on Buying my First Pin - Narrowed Down my Wants

(Topic ID: 233398)

Advice on Buying my First Pin - Narrowed Down my Wants


By jonebone

14 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 24 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 days ago by AJNada
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“Advice on Buying my First Pin - Narrowed Down my Wants”

  • Simpsons Data East 17 votes
    59%
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 7 votes
    24%
  • Super Mario Bros 4 votes
    14%
  • Super Mario Bros Mushroom World 1 vote
    3%

(29 votes)

#1 14 days ago

Hey there, new to the forum, but been collecting console video games for about a decade, and finally got a couple of arcade machines in the last year or so. Now I'm considering branching out to a Pinball machine too.

I never really played Pinball growing up, so I'm looking for a good entry level machine in a theme that I'd like. I've seemed to have narrowed it down to Simpsons Data East, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or one of the Mario Gottlieb machines. I did visit the Pinball Hall of Fame in Vegas in October 2017 and played several machines, but to be honest, none of them really left a lasting impression on me. I'd be buying it more as a cool collectible that could get some gameplay when friends are over.

Having said all of this, I'm also willing to pay more for one that is shopped / HUO / excellent condition, etc. I definitely don't want to take on a starter project. Both of the arcades I own were in pretty good shape too, because I don't want to be learning how to do all of the servicing. With the limited playtime it will receive, an excellent one should last a long time.

Anyways, any specific tips about what to look out for? Otherwise, any votes regarding which of those 3 (4 if you count 2 Marios) would be a good bang-for-buck starter machine? Appreciate any advice, thanks in advance!

#2 14 days ago

I don't know i have only played these four games a couple of times mainly because they are not good games and i got bored of them but i guess i would go with ninja turtles out of your list because i like the theme.

#3 14 days ago
Quoted from jonebone:

I'm also willing to pay more for one that is shopped / HUO / excellent condition, etc. I definitely don't want to take on a starter project.

You do understand that it’s a steel ball smashing around inside a pinball machine. Things will break regularly, even with minimal play. Don’t think that a shopped or huo game will remain problem free. Pins require more maintenance then arcades.

I’d pick TMNT or Simpsons. Mario looks pretty, if it’s just for show and your not serious in finding a deep game it might be a good choice.

#4 14 days ago

Of all those, DE Simpsons.

Once you get into pinball, you'll be spending just as much time fixing as playing. HUO or shopped, it doesn't matter.

#5 14 days ago

On Bang for the buck probably the Data East Simpsons will win. Whereby individual preferences might differ.
E.g. Growing up with DMDs, I find it difficult to find my way into pre-DMD machines...

The theme on the Super Mario Bros. is nice and it's great to play once in a while, but it doesn't keep me personally too engaged.

As already said: Be prepared to spend time fixing the machine. Not playing excessively I needed to get into 2 of my 3 machines already (beside the regular maintenance like cleaning and waxing) within the first 6 months. These are physical demanding machines, things get bend, break, contacts and screws loosen and after a few plays you might see that something works differently than before and the real fun starts. I had that with a NIB with just a couple of hundred plays - it can and will happen...

I understand that you settled on the themes. Nevertheless I'd like to suggest to have a second look at machines like Judge Dread and T2, which are in the same price range like Super Mario, but might give you a bit more.

#6 14 days ago

As others have mentioed the four games are not the greatest of games. The two Mario games are really shallow, great to look at but not to play. Prices are higher on these not because of gameplay but theme only.
TMNT is ok if your only going to play once in a while.
Simpsons would be the better game of the four.

#7 14 days ago

Most of those games are terrible, way over priced, or both! Don't buy any of those. TMNT is ok but not worth paying out the nose for it. You are way better off buying Shaq Attack.

Here is something that is very important and crosses over from video games. Theme does not necessarily make a great playing game. Iconic 80's franchises and video game themes are not lasting games in the pinball world and the games above do not necessarily offer much replay value. Once you've played the games you listed above 50ish times, you've seen everything the game has to offer the player and you will tire of the repetitive gameplay.

I would lean towards a game like Fish Tales or Jackbot over the games you listed above.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, go play the game you are buying in person before you hand the cash over. DO NOT buy a game over the internet as you first pinball purchase. THAT will help dictate what you should buy as well.

#8 14 days ago

You're into console and arcade gaming..so the titles you gravitated towards are really no surprise, but like others said they're not the best options. Outta curiosity - what games did you play at the museum and how familiar were you with their rules?

#9 14 days ago
Quoted from jonebone:

machine in a theme that I'd like.

Quoted from jonebone:

I'm also willing to pay more for one

If you like the theme, and are willing to pay more, TSPP (The Simpsons Pinball Party) by Stern is a fantastic machine.

It will cost more, but when you play it, you'll know where that extra money went.

It's got depth and challenge that will keep you interested for years as you improve your skills. It's an excellent machine for a one pin collection.

#10 14 days ago

None of those titles are adequate for a home collection. Resale is poor on them too. I’d rethink my choices if I were you.

#11 14 days ago

Interesting replies so far, thanks for all of the advice. Please note I'm a collector more than a gamer and I fully understand that. The pinball will likely be bought, get a bunch of plays at first and then go weeks or months without even being powered on. As strange as it may sound to some of you, I'm buying it more as a collectible that will be a topic of conversation when people come over. Or something my kids can play as they get older (2 and 4 now). Not something that I'm going to be playing all the time and continually trying to set a new high score.

As for what games I played, I went for themes that I liked as opposed to "great games". I played wrestling ones, Goldeneye, both Marios, Street Fighter II, TMNT and probably some other miscellaneous 90s themes (Arnold, movies, etc.) Being as that was 15 months ago, I don't have any distinct memories other than the Mario Mushroom World being horrible and WWF Royal Rumble being boring. The other ones I'd play for 30-60 seconds on a coin and call it a day.

Having said all of that, does that change the recommendations? I see that TSPP is mentioned but that's a $4.5-$5k machine. I don't see the point in paying that when I can get some of these Data East ones in a theme I like for half price. You experienced players can obviously tell the difference but as of now I can't. Maybe eventually I can and will want to add a more advanced pin later, but a nice easy entry level one in a theme I like is what I desire now.

#12 14 days ago
Quoted from jonebone:

Interesting replies so far, thanks for all of the advice. Please note I'm a collector more than a gamer and I fully understand that. The pinball will likely be bought, get a bunch of plays at first and then go weeks or months without even being powered on. As strange as it may sound to some of you, I'm buying it more as a collectible that will be a topic of conversation when people come over. Or something my kids can play as they get older (2 and 4 now). Not something that I'm going to be playing all the time and continually trying to set a new high score.
As for what games I played, I went for themes that I liked as opposed to "great games". I played wrestling ones, Goldeneye, both Marios, Street Fighter II, TMNT and probably some other miscellaneous 90s themes (Arnold, movies, etc.) Being as that was 15 months ago, I don't have any distinct memories other than the Mario Mushroom World being horrible and WWF Royal Rumble being boring. The other ones I'd play for 30-60 seconds on a coin and call it a day.
Having said all of that, does that change the recommendations? I see that TSPP is mentioned but that's a $4.5-$5k machine. I don't see the point in paying that when I can get some of these Data East ones in a theme I like for half price. You experienced players can obviously tell the difference but as of now I can't. Maybe eventually I can and will want to add a more advanced pin later, but a nice easy entry level one in a theme I like is what I desire now.

If this is the criteria, I'd echo that the DE Simpsons is probably the best choice of what you listed, but also echo that it's not a great game, but that doesn't mean you still can't have some fun with it too.

For any of the games you listed it is going to be tough (and expensive) to find a truly excellent one. I'd also set aside the notion of it "lasting a long time". While it's probably true on the whole, I've moved a 100% working game across my basement to rearrange something and had something stop working before. You're buying a huge 30 year old mechanical game with a million parts that you launch a metal ball into plastic with small wires attached to - something is gonna break. It could take the length of the ride home, of it could take 2 years, but it'll happen eventually.

You also mentioned friends playing as a main reason to get a game. A lesson I have learned after moving games in and out of my basement for 5 years is this: get games YOU like and want to play. Other people may come over and go "oh cool, pinball", but unless they're really into it, they'll move on in about 5 minutes. I used to fill my basement up with games that were great party games, only to go downstairs alone to play 95% of the time and be staring at an Area 51, Street Fighter II, etc. going "boy these are pretty boring to play alone". I eventually got to a spot where I have 2 arcades (mine and my wife's favorite games) and 6 soon to be 8 pins that I personally enjoy, not ones that I think other people will want to play.

#13 14 days ago

$2500-$3000 for a conversation piece?

#14 13 days ago
Quoted from ArcadiusMaximus:

$2500-$3000 for a conversation piece?

No. Money spent for that moment everyday when you come home from work and see your collection. Always a great thing.
Want to play them? There ya go. Wanna let em sit? That’s fine too. They’re still YOURS.

Don’t ask for opinions. Just buy what you really want. That’s it. All that matters man.

#15 13 days ago

Would second/third a lot of these replies. Save up and get a TSPP maybe?

#16 12 days ago
Quoted from ArcadiusMaximus:

$2500-$3000 for a conversation piece?

You should never buy art because you can live with it. You should only buy art that you can’t live without. $2k-$3k for a convention piece doesn’t sound unreasonable.

#17 12 days ago
Quoted from underlord:

No. Money spent for that moment everyday when you come home from work and see your collection. Always a great thing.
Want to play them? There ya go. Wanna let em sit? That’s fine too. They’re still YOURS.
Don’t ask for opinions. Just buy what you really want. That’s it. All that matters man.

Except OP doesn't even seem that into any pinball let alone the ones he posted. Why not just spend 1/10th what you would on a pinball and buy a statue of a 2 headed cat? It would offer the same amount of curiosity when friends are over and is significantly cheaper. I demand 2 headed cat option be added to the poll !

#18 12 days ago
Quoted from ArcadiusMaximus:

Except OP doesn't even seem that into any pinball let alone the ones he posted. Why not just spend 1/10th what you would on a pinball and buy a statue of a 2 headed cat? It would offer the same amount of curiosity when friends are over and is significantly cheaper. I demand 2 headed cat option be added to the poll !

I'm into Pinball enough to visit the museum in Vegas on a trip and to have casually popped quarters here and there. Just have never owned one myself.

I have sealed video games, lighted Nintendo signs and even baseball cards worth more than the cost of the pins I'm interested in. It's really not a big deal to get one and only play it sporadically if you have the room for it. I should have one in a month or two I'm sure. Patient enough to look around but motivated enough to pay out when I find what I want.

#19 11 days ago

None of the pins you list has a reputation for being very good and could be hard to find in great condition so my advice would be to not be as specific and wait and see what comes for sale within a reasonable distance from you. If you are into video games then maybe consider a revenge from mars or star wars ep1, you could find a nice one of either of those for under 3k, or if you are looking for a cartoon pin, simpsons pinball party or family guy for around 4k or there are many newer strerns available for less than 4k. I have hardly ever had an issue with any newer stern I have owned so those are very reliable.

#20 11 days ago

The reason why you might have a hard time finding a great condition games is because these games are not “A” list titles, they don’t fetch top dollar, so to invest the time and money into refurbishing one is a labor of love. Not many people will invest $1k or more into a game that’s worth $2.5k just to have it look nicer, and since the gameplay isn’t top notch they just don’t get the attention other games do.

#21 10 days ago
Quoted from jonebone:

I'm into Pinball enough to visit the museum in Vegas on a trip and to have casually popped quarters here and there. Just have never owned one myself.
I have sealed video games, lighted Nintendo signs and even baseball cards worth more than the cost of the pins I'm interested in. It's really not a big deal to get one and only play it sporadically if you have the room for it. I should have one in a month or two I'm sure. Patient enough to look around but motivated enough to pay out when I find what I want.

Get the theme that makes YOU happy. You’re buying it, you’re living with it.

#22 10 days ago
Quoted from underlord:

Get the theme that makes YOU happy. You’re buying it, you’re living with it.

I agree. Buy the game YOU enjoy. Who cares what anyone else says. My only advice is to play all the pins you are interested in. Do not buy one before playing. I’ve made that mistake before.

#23 9 days ago
Quoted from Coz:

I agree. Buy the game YOU enjoy. Who cares what anyone else says. My only advice is to play all the pins you are interested in. Do not buy one before playing. I’ve made that mistake before.

Read his replies, i don't think he really care as much about how they play, or if they are fun.

Theme is the primary factor, and he said it's no big deal to have sit and only be played sporadically.

If theme is more important than game- play, he has less chance to be disappointed in what he ends up with. Otherwise he would not get any of the games in his list.

#24 9 days ago
Quoted from jonebone:

... and WWF Royal Rumble being boring.

Interesting. Out of the choices listed in the poll, i'd take Royal Rumble over all of them. Fun game, IMHO.

Quoted from jonebone:

I have sealed video games, lighted Nintendo signs and even baseball cards worth more than the cost of the pins I'm interested in. It's really not a big deal to get one and only play it sporadically if you have the room for it. I should have one in a month or two I'm sure. Patient enough to look around but motivated enough to pay out when I find what I want.

I remember those days. I ended up selling off my console collection 8 or 9 years ago because the pinball bug got me! I also have arcade games too. I found it more fun to have a couple of pins and a few arcade cabinets I can play from time to time. All of my console stuff just sat on the shelf. Had my fun with those when I was a kid in the 90s. By my late 20s, I lost interest completely. Not saying it's the way to go for everyone, but I really have no regrets selling them for a new and exciting hobby. So much better replay in pinball. Plus, I found the social aspect to be even greater. I will say, the only thing I miss however are some of my Genesis/Megadrive games.

To pick an answer in your poll. If I had to choose one of those themes, it would be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It's the best theme of those 4.

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