Alien pinball buying advice

(Topic ID: 191701)

Alien pinball buying advice


By kurgan999

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 50 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by T-800
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

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#1 1 year ago

Hi,
we all know what happend/happening to Heighway company and Alien pinball and i need ur advice/opinion.

Friend of mine is willing to sell to me his Alien pin in amazing condition, big screen , xeno head work, no flicker on leds,beacons toppers etc ...

he asking solid ammount of money , and i would like to ask about your opinion is it worth to buy or its more risk? lets say money is not problem attm cose of that i would not want to mention price cose its not that important...

i am big fan of alien franchise and big fan of alien pinball . and i can retire after this one.

should i take it or to take a risk and waiting rebirth of heighway ?!

its maybe one time opportunity idk

lmk

ty

#2 1 year ago

Well, if money is no issue, buy it and enjoy it, but knowing the risk that if Heighway goes out of business, you probably won't find any parts or support - you may end up with a nice looking but expensive paperweight.

If money is an issue, I'd say wait to see what happens. If they do produce Alien, you can buy one with more confidence that there will be replacement parts and tech support. I personally would go this route.

#3 1 year ago
Quoted from kurgan999:

he asking solid ammount of money , and i would like to ask about your opinion is it worth to buy or its more risk?

Is it more than what HP charges? If so, I'd wait for these to be full production and in stock at your nearest distributor.

#4 1 year ago

yeah its much more than what hp charges now... and thats why i asked cose in case it goes in full production i can still have it for less money and with full product support.

but if they not produce more than i will lose it and thats bad scenario in this spot.

ty for getting back !

#5 1 year ago
Quoted from kurgan999:

i can retire after this one.

Wasn't that Heighway's plan?

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from kurgan999:

yeah its much more than what hp charges now... and thats why i asked cose in case it goes in full production i can still have it for less money and with full product support.
but if they not produce more than i will lose it and thats bad scenario in this spot.
ty for getting back !

Run far away then. I wouldn't want any part of this game if I were you.

#7 1 year ago

Much more.... no way.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from kurgan999:

yeah its much more than what hp charges now... and thats why i asked cose in case it goes in full production i can still have it for less money and with full product support.
but if they not produce more than i will lose it and thats bad scenario in this spot.
ty for getting back !

Damn your friend is going to charge you much more than what he/she paid , don't buy buy it .

#9 1 year ago

I still have an LE on order....if it's more than what they are " selling" for new, I would say definitely wait. No reason to pay more, unless you just had to have it now.....these are going to get built....give it some time and get a new one...

#10 1 year ago

Firstly tell that friend to suck it, then wait until this pin is in full production and being shipped out to people and distributors with all the bugs worked out.

#11 1 year ago

thanks all for getting back.

yeah hes friend and he have right to set up price he would like to sell for , me as customer had to decide if its good investment or no .

so far its leading to pass so we will see .

i appreciate if i can get more opinions on this .

i also contacted one of the pin owners and they also not recomend to buy cose its not finished / fully working product

12
#12 1 year ago

Why on Earth would you pay more than RRP for this? Either HWP goes bust and you have a game with unfinished code and irreplaceable parts, or they succeed and you can buy your own NIB for less money

#13 1 year ago

thing is simple , i would pay more than RRP cose i am not sure if another alien will see the light of the day ever. even with unfinished code its playable and regard parts i think all can be found/changed if something broke.

i was first to offer he didnt offered to anyone else yet , he wait my final decision. he will sell to next person if i not accept.

its very simple, if i am 100% sure that i can buy finished product and that they will make new ones i would pass on this offer. but things are unclear yet and i am running out of time to make my decision.

its very hard for me to make proper decision cose its not small ammount of money to risk , and its even bigger risk that maybe i will never had a chance again to buy this.and if that happens no money in world can buy me one. and i will curse myself i passed this offer for my entire life .

so i trying to consult with other pinheads and make best decision.

ty

#14 1 year ago

Noone can hear you cry in space.....wait and save yourself a ton of aggravation

#15 1 year ago

Unless you're perfectly fine with throwing 8-10k in the toilet (my guess on the price), don't do this. It's only going to cause stress.

#16 1 year ago

It all comes down to 1 question...

Do you think the new HP will succeed?

If yes, then dont buy.
If no, then you have other questions to ask.
>>Do you love the game and really want it no matter what?
If yes, then price will only go up if no more are made.

Quoted from j69:

you have a game with unfinished code and irreplaceable parts

to reply to this, I would say the game is 95% complete in code and just polish mainly (plus final final mode)
I am not sure what parts are irreplaceable. There really isnt much from a mech POV that is not replaceable with off the shelf stuff. Cosmetics and plastics are I suppose, but those can be remade. Zotac is off the shelf. Light boards I suppose are the biggest game specific thing.

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

It all comes down to 1 question...
Do you think the new HP will succeed?
If yes, then dont buy.
If no, then you have other questions to ask.
>>Do you love the game and really want it no matter what?
If yes, then price will only go up if no more are made.

to reply to this, I would say the game is 95% complete in code and just polish mainly (plus final final mode)
I am not sure what parts are irreplaceable. There really isnt much from a mech POV that is not replaceable with off the shelf stuff. Cosmetics and plastics are I suppose, but those can be remade. Zotac is off the shelf. Light boards I suppose are the biggest game specific thing.

Light boards, lights, switches. All have functionality issues and all are proprietary. To me that means a lot do the game is not easy to fix, maintain, or replace. Huge risk if things don't make it at Heighway. It may become rare, but it may become a rare brick just like some of the full throttles out there have.

#18 1 year ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

Light boards, lights, switches. All have functionality issues and all are proprietary. To me that means a lot do the game is not easy to fix, maintain, or replace. Huge risk if things don't make it at Heighway. It may become rare, but it may become a rare brick just like some of the full throttles out there have.

nah, plenty of lights and switces available even now. With 70 plus fullT and 20plus Aliens out there, plus a whole bunch of parts as HP I have no concerns about finding lights or switches. I also have info on where to get copies made if it ever came to that.

I understand that some people have found it diffcult to work on but so far I have found it pretty intuitive. It is different but all makes sense. Mechanically and brain wise it is all the same as other new games. The only real PITA is the light boards but there are work arounds for that if they were unrepairable ever.

I personally think the new HP will be just fine and it is all a moot point, but lets be honest here. People are paying 20kplus for MG and there are 25 of those. If no more Alien get made, then the price is sadly going up. It is a fully functioning game and people much different than either you or I are happy to pay 20k for the rarity alone. Toss on top that it is so much better and complete and hell even playable than MG and that is the reality we live in.

My advice to the OP is just wait and buy one once HP makes it. If they dont make it, then I guess you will pay way more down the line, but I woudl rather pay more later when all the knowns are determined rather than pay now and be betting against newHP.

#19 1 year ago

You'd be a greater fool for buying it. In a case like this, two types of individuals are required - a fool and a greater fool. Your friend was clearly a fool for buying and receiving his game early, because there are many reliability issues yet to be resolved by a financially insecure company. You know the saying, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice .... well back to the story. Your friend bought and received his game, but is probably having second thoughts about its maintainability about now. So he offered to sell you his early Alien at a premium (he should be offering it at a discount), and he needs a greater fool so as to complete the transaction. This is where you potentially come in - don't do it. If you buy this early Alien, you become the greater fool, so I suggest passing it to the next on the list. Rest assured, the winner of this pin will soon be looking for a greatest fool to unload it. Should that not work for him, he may eventually lower his asking price to match or be less than HP pricing, at which time you'll be back here and we will be saying - buy that Alien!

#20 1 year ago

There is no way I would buy the pin described.

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

There really isnt much from a mech POV that is not replaceable with off the shelf stuff.

I was of the understanding that nearly all of the mechs aren't 'off the shelf', but custom designed and made for HP. Like jet bumpers, flipper mechs, switches in particular seem decidedly 'HP' only.

Quoted from Whysnow:

Zotac is off the shelf

That and the audio amp (which you can buy for $8 from Aliexpress btw) are the only two items in the entire cabinet I can see that are off the shelf, the rest is custom made for HP.

Quoted from Whysnow:

nah, plenty of lights and switces available even now.

From where?

-1
#22 1 year ago

If it's such a swell game, then why is your friend selling it?

#23 1 year ago

Tough call no one here can accurately answer:

A) heighway doesnt build more games, it will be worth alot more than your probably paying now/be hard to find

B) heighway does come through and you lose some cash

If it were me if it were more than a few grand over nib price I would give the new guys a few months to see if anything happens first

#24 1 year ago

he didnt bought it he traded for other game ... he had 3 of em . 1 sold, 1 keeping for himself and 1 had been offered to me cose he know how much i love alien franchise and alien pinball.

i also have info that even if highway make pins they are goin to be at higher price which leads me to similar price my friend asks . so idk i will not lose a lot in case i purchase it now if we talk bout investment and risks of losing money here.

i will think for one more day and see what to do.

i definetly want this game no matter what happens thats biggest problem .

#25 1 year ago

Wait!@!!
No hurry, just give it time like the rest of us.
Let's see how this pa s out.
But, your asking the crowd here, wait.
I also see based on your comments that you know this already.

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from kurgan999:

i also have info that even if highway make pins they are goin to be at higher price which leads me to similar price my friend asks

If that's the case...buy it! I thought you said it was MUCH more than original price...

#27 1 year ago

How much does he want to sell it to for ? Why not disclose that information. What's the difference, we do not know him or you. As a matter of fact, you guys are not even in the same country. It would make this discussion more relevant to the answers you are looking for. I am sure inquiring minds want to know.

-3
#28 1 year ago
Quoted from Sonny_Jim:

I was of the understanding that nearly all of the mechs aren't 'off the shelf', but custom designed and made for HP. Like jet bumpers, flipper mechs, switches in particular seem decidedly 'HP' only.

custome designed but easily replaceable with off the shelf parts in most cases. Pops are just like DE or what Spooky uses. All coils in the game are just coils and can be replaced with comparables. Inductive switches are HP specific but can be found if you know what you are looking for and where to look. They are also unlikely to fail and have been proven to be very reliable technology, so of little concern.

Quoted from Sonny_Jim:

the rest is custom made for HP.

You claim alot of things as fact that are not accurate. Almost every single component is easily sourced for replacement if needed. They may have custom made things like their own coils, but that is not a game specific item.

If I were to list out the components that are irreplaceable it would be a short list and those are not mechs but things that are unlikely to break or could be easily fixed if needed in the future (i.e. ramps or make a new plastic)

from the right places if you have a game and have looked around for them. I grabbed some extras just to be sure and have them. At this juncture I see no need to publically post where I got them from.

#29 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Pops are just like DE or what Spooky uses

'it looks just like it' doesn't mean it's a drop in replacement. What's the use of these 'super handy' drop out mechs you can replace in seconds if you can't buy the replacements?

Quoted from Whysnow:

They are also unlikely to fail

What happens if a coil wire comes off and fries a switch board, or any other random Act Of God. Where are you going to source a replacement from, even today?

Quoted from Whysnow:

All coils in the game are just coils and can be replaced with comparables

At no point did I mention coils, as you point out these are perhaps the easiest part to source. I'm talking things like flippers, ball scoops, ball guides, power supplies, driver boards, node boards. Basically everything except coils.

Quoted from Whysnow:

You claim alot of things as fact that are not accurate

Like what? Specific examples please. (*cough* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem *cough*)

Quoted from Whysnow:

can be found if you know what you are looking for and where to look.

Quoted from Whysnow:

I grabbed some extras just to be sure and have them. At this juncture I see no need to publically post where I got them from

Could you be anymore vague when asked a direct question?

What you are saying is that you've somehow got yourself a secret stash from somewhere, ergo that means down the road parts supply isn't going to be a problem for anybody? I mean, it might not be a problem for you, as you seem to be the head of their Pinside PR department, but what about the guy who's been asking for MONTHS to get the parts and software to get his FTH fixed?

#30 1 year ago

I owned the game two months and had LEDs and switches acting up. Parts were not available from Heighway or other sources as the inductive switches have custom mounting hardware. The game relies heavily on those boards, LEDs, and inductive sensors. To say that they are easily replaced I think is very misleading to a potential owner. On top of being hard to find switching it any of the switches or LEDs can require removing large sections under the playfield to access what may be problematic. Even then it's hard to say if issues are LED specific, board specific, connector specific, and a lack of manual of any sorts from Heighway was also problematic. Variation in time zones made customer service an issue in addition to them frequently telling me to check connectors or make sure a bulb or sensor was connected to board properly. I was also told by Heighway that some of the lighting issues could be electrical interference from wiring within the game.

My advice to anyone is wait it out.

#31 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

from the right places if you have a game and have looked around for them. I grabbed some extras just to be sure and have them. At this juncture I see no need to publically post where I got them from.

Please post - I'd like to grab a few 'just in case' as well.

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

To say that they are easily replaced I think is very misleading to a potential owner

to say that it is a faulty switch or light would be very misleading also. In all cases I have seen it is an adjustment to make things work and not something faulty. As you note, the light boards are a PITA to pull off just to adjust a switch. However, the discussion at hand is reliability and from all evidence thus far, the game components have been extremely reliable. For example, our FullT on route never had a switch or light component issue the entire time we had it. The light/switch pf boards seem to be the main root of any/all issues on Aliens from what I have seen.

The reality of the microcosm of Pinside seems to be a few FullT with major CPU issues that need resolved? Sounds like one alien with a bad CPU also (whom really knows)?

Quoted from Tsskinne:

Even then it's hard to say if issues are LED specific, board specific, connector specific, and a lack of manual of any sorts from Heighway was also problematic. Variation in time zones made customer service an issue in addition to them frequently telling me to check connectors or make sure a bulb or sensor was connected to board properly.

I agree and this is the #1 thing that needs to be fixed on the customer service side. They were always good to me, but with the multiple interations that went out the door I think they were at a loss for troubleshooting. Multiple times it likely is the combination of poor connector, light board, and/or inline switch/bulb. It has been a steep learning curve on this end, but I feel pretty confident at this stage that I can address most of what may come up. I am currently waiting out the new ownership and hoping they come through on their end of the deal to take care of all current customers, but if things were to fail I am confident I can keep the game running indefinately.

11
#33 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

to say that it is a faulty switch or light would be very misleading also. In all cases I have seen it is an adjustment to make things work and not something faulty.

To say that YOU know what Tommy discussed with Heighway Pinball about his machine is pretty misleading....at best.

Quoted from Whysnow:

from all evidence thus far, the game components have been extremely reliable.

All YOUR evidence perhaps. You do remember I own an Alien too right? My playfield LCD went out after a few weeks of play. I'm waiting for new management to make that right. I've also got lighting issues ... and yeah, my Xeno mech has never worked from day one. Andrew promised me in person back in March I'd get the updated mech's 'within a few weeks' ...I'm still waiting.

Hilton, love your passion, but you really should just reply WITH YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES and not make blanket statements about everyone else.

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

to say that it is a faulty switch or light would be very misleading also.

Yes you're right and I'm not the one saying it, it was Heighway tech support and not me. I'm explaining exactly what happened on the machine in my possession previously. Hours and hours of footage of it being streamed where the problem is visible both before and after several attempts at Heighway's suggested fixes. The machine continued to have more and more issues arise the more it was played. Again just my experience on my former machine.

Also still waiting on all the spare sensors and LEDs and LED strip and Xenomorph mech and drop target mech I was promised multiple times to give to new owner. Not holding my breath but ideally new owners deliver like they have said.

Heighway Pinball team US was incredibly helpful with as much as they could be. The U.K. Side left much to be desired.

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from SunKing:

Hilton, love your passion, but you really should just reply WITH YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES and not make blanket statements about everyone else.

do I really need to footnote every post on a internet forum? I am under the impression everything posted on an internet forum is IME or IYE.

to me, this should be understood on the forum but if it wasnt then this infers it pretty clearly.

Quoted from Whysnow:

from what I have seen.

just sharing MY experiences and MY opinons on the interweb.

#36 1 year ago

I think we can all agree that Alien as it currently stands will require a competent technical skillset and the support of the community/other owners to keep things running. The community will be key in helping to share knowledge and skill to help each other out.

I like to hope that new HP will make some things happen and this will all be a moot point.

I think we can also all agree that only someone with plenty of money to blow should be buying any rare and boutique game.

#37 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

just sharing MY experiences and MY opinons on the interweb.

immediately followed by

Quoted from Whysnow:

I think we can all agree

Just sayin' ...

#38 1 year ago

My $0.02

Two possibilities:
- Game production is resumed; LE and SE are flooding the market. New games are more reliable, some issues in the early prototypes will be fixed. You are going to lose a lot of $.
- No more Aliens. Will its value skyrocket? May be, but I doubt it. On the plus side, rarity may increase value. Provided there is real demand. On the negative side, no more support, some parts hard to replace etc. This will negatively affect demand...

I would only take the risk if:
1) you are loaded with money
2) you like to take risks and you do not mind being laughed at if the gamble fails
3) you are experienced enough in repairing games without support
4) it's a must have for you

Disclaimer: I own two super rare games (Nemo and Wooly, produced in lower numbers than the current number of Aliens) and I have yet to receive offers to buy these games for outrageous amounts of $...

#39 1 year ago
Quoted from jlm33:

My $0.02
Two possibilities:
- Game production is resumed; LE and SE are flooding the market. New games are more reliable, some issues in the early prototypes will be fixed. You are going to lose a lot of $.
- No more Aliens. Will its value skyrocket? May be, but I doubt it. On the plus side, rarity may increase value. Provided there is real demand. On the negative side, no more support, some parts hard to replace etc. This will negatively affect demand...
I would only take the risk if:
1) you are loaded with money
2) you like to take risks and you do not mind being laughed at if the gamble fails
3) you are experienced enough in repairing games without support
4) it's a must have for you
Disclaimer: I own two super rare games (Nemo and Wooly, produced in lower numbers than the current number of Aliens) and I have yet to receive offers to buy these games for outrageous amounts of $...

If you fullfill #1 then I dont think #2 matters/happens

#40 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

from the right places if you have a game and have looked around for them. I grabbed some extras just to be sure and have them. At this juncture I see no need to publically post where I got them from.

Quoted from Whysnow:

I think we can all agree that Alien as it currently stands will require a competent technical skillset and the support of the community/other owners to keep things running.

You're a proponent of pinball and everything about it - you decree support is required from the community and other owners - yet you won't divulge your parts source.

I don't know you and I try to give you the benefit of the doubt because I typically like your pinball passion. But, that was a d!ck move.

To the OP - don't buy it unless your "friend" is willing to sell it to you at or below his/her cost.

-2
#41 1 year ago
Quoted from dtowndobe:

You're a proponent of pinball and everything about it - you decree support is required from the community and other owners - yet you won't divulge your parts source.
I don't know you and I try to give you the benefit of the doubt because I typically like your pinball passion. But, that was a d!ck move.

sorry but it would be stupid to post it publiclly at this juncture. I have no problem reaching out to help actual owners of the game in need.

My impression is WAY too many haters on here and if some knew the source for certain parts they would possibly go out of their way to make things harder for others that could actually need them.

#42 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

sorry but it would be stupid to post it publiclly at this juncture. I have no problem reaching out to help actual owners of the game in need.
My impression is WAY too many haters on here and if some knew the source for certain parts they would possibly go out of their way to make things harder for others that could actually need them.

That's too bad.

#43 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

My impression is WAY too many haters on here and if some knew the source for certain parts they would possibly go out of their way to make things harder for others that could actually need them.

Same bullshit answer for those "special" WOOLY mechs which turned out to just be single target drops.

There's no international conspiracy out to screw you over, by the way. That's all in your head.

#44 1 year ago

last one sold here in europe for 10.200$ and it took 10mins to sold so you got aprox price for how much he goes 500$ +-

#45 1 year ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Same bullshit answer for those "special" WOOLY mechs which turned out to just be single target drops.
There's no international conspiracy out to screw you over, by the way. That's all in your head.

I love the know it alls that actually dont know jack...

I find it funny albeit a little sad.

#46 1 year ago

*Warning, this is not sugar-coated*

Dude, you need to get your emotions in check and think with your head. You're ready to spend THAT level of money on a game that frankly is still in its proto stage, you have no guarantee HW is going to make it through this "re-org", you prolly couldn't get tech help for it right now and prolly not until the "new HW" gets their ducks in a row, there's realistically a number of things that could go wrong or already have been documented to go wrong that you may/may not have the capability to diagnose and repair, and you don't know about the availability of spare parts/tech help in the future.

Seriously, stop and ask yourself "why do I want this special snowflake game?". DON'T buy it just to say "I have one of like....10 in the world." To me, if your "friend" is willing to stick it to you that hard, you need to step back and re-think this.

And we wonder why pin prices don't stop rising. People can't stop throwing money at them.....-______-

#47 1 year ago

I agree. I see no reason to buy this game now.

Granted I think new HP will make stuff happen and reality is that they will pump out hundreds if not thousands of this title at production quality levels.

Why overpay now when you can buy your own NIB hopefully in the next months/year...

#48 1 year ago
Quoted from kurgan999:

should i take it or to take a risk and waiting rebirth of heighway ?!

You should definitely wait unless you have more money than brains.

#49 1 year ago

npo u got point and i will consider it with high dose

ty all for inputs and helps will make my decision much easier

cheers

1 week later
#50 1 year ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Same bullshit answer for those "special" WOOLY mechs which turned out to just be single target drops.
There's no international conspiracy out to screw you over, by the way. That's all in your head.

I'm glad you are such an expert on my WOOLY build and apparently know more about sourcing the parts than even me. I can tell you as the designer and the guy responsible for spending MONTHS tracking down parts and constantly bothering vendors and suppliers it was alot more than just the drop target assembly (which at the time were over $100 at Marco and were the ONLY source). Next time you design your own game from scratch and try to source a bunch of difficult to find parts (mini flippers, extended flippers for upper playfields, VUK's, spinner assemblies, ramp switch bracket assemblies, troll mech assemblies, even trough assemblies at the time!) let me know; until then you're just continuing to spew your toxic conjecture like usual. As for the "conspiracy," if you haven't noticed there's been literally dozens of homebrew projects popping up (which is awesome!) but if you or anyone else can't put two and two together and realize that maybe these homebrew guys might have wanted to go out and buy a bunch of these parts simply because they knew they might be hard to get, then you've got your head in the sand and your ears plugged.

I wouldn't be surprised if HP or any other up and coming manufacturer has run into or will run into these sourcing issues. Just look at Homepin - the one company out there that's eliminating the sourcing problem altogether - they're making practically everything on their own, investing millions, and taking their time so they don't get into this type of a jam.

I'm just glad Pinball Life is spending a lot of time and money devoted to us homebrew developers and now offering great, economical, choices for critical parts as well as some unique parts, all of which were nowhere near available 4 years ago.

Ps. I loved playing Alien in Chicago last fall and again at TPF this spring; I wish HP all the success in getting that game out the door.

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