(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over

By HeighwayPinball

5 years ago

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  • 26,994 posts
  • 1,037 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 hours ago by Averell
  • Topic is favorited by 274 Pinsiders


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  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

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Topic index (key posts)

53 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 10 items.

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Post #9151 Insight from Alien's programmer on tournament mode Posted by Ferret (3 years ago)

Post #9234 Update on distribution Posted by HeighwayPinball (3 years ago)

Post #9660 Here we show you a short clip from the 'Ambush Multiball' mode Posted by HeighwayPinball (3 years ago)

Post #10128 Photo of Alien at UK Trade Show Posted by unigroove (3 years ago)

Post #10230 game play video from EAG UK tradeshow Posted by Join_The_Cirqus (3 years ago)

Post #10231 game play video from EAG UK tradeshow Posted by Join_The_Cirqus (3 years ago)

Post #10914 Alien ships Posted by ZenTron (3 years ago)

Post #10916 Alien ships Posted by HeighwayPinball (3 years ago)

Post #11230 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by ezeltmann (3 years ago)

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#2743 4 years ago

As somebody already said it, I also saw the playfield on the phone and it really looks great. Also the shot layout and the whole concept appeals to me, as does the way that Andrew seems to seek out people with a love for and knowledge of Pinball machines. Btw I ordered an Alien LE today ! This one is going to sell out fast once all is revealed

Love your work Aurich !

2 weeks later
#2898 4 years ago

Just wanted to let you know that Andrew replied to my e-mails perfectly while they where waiting for a transfer flight. Sometimes it is just not convenient to answer all mails. With all the asking for progression, how can they progress ??? When there is absolute silence then I would get it but Heighway is very nice with the information about what they are doing.

Do not get me wrong: if something takes too long, I want answers also, but with Pinball machines sometimes there just is not much to tell. And Heighway seems to me to be the only producer that really gives answers when they can, also here on Pinside.

1 week later
#2960 4 years ago

I can only say that MK6PIN is right. After seeing some of the things on the telephone of Andrew I had no choice but to order one. I really thought that GoT would be my grail pin, but GoT does not even come close.

And if you are on the fence: take the big screen. Trust everyone that is telling you that over here. They know what they are saying

#2961 4 years ago

Sorry, wrong click ! its late here hihi

2 weeks later
#3041 4 years ago

You should buy the big monitor in the backglass. The system is modular, if you do not have that screen, then you cannot use it. If there comes an upgrade/update that separates the video feeds either of the current games or future ones, you have the screen. I bought it for that reason as I intend to make use of the modular possibilities of the Heighway system.

Andrew believes firmly in the modular setup and we can only guess what he is planning, but I would bet on it that he will use the assets that are available as extensive as possible within the technical possibilities.

Bottom line: if you do not have it, the game cannot use it.

3 weeks later
#3754 4 years ago

Looks exactly as it should be. Tied together with the screen, plastics and toys this will be one awesome machine. Great work Aurich and the rest of the team !

#3961 4 years ago

We should all wait to judge when the machine is ready and we can see it in person. Personally I disliked almost everything about the GoT LE, but as it is one of my favorite themes I went ahead and bought it. In person it is a very beautiful machine.

So this playfield I already like and this is only the first layer of the machine. Much more to come. But if GoT is any indication of how the pictures are compared to the real thing, this will be over-awesome. Just my thinking..

#4049 4 years ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

Why always taking GOT to make an artwork comparison with Alien?
Without making a comparison with Alien, it seems to me that Stern has succeeded many pf artwork. Metallica is stunning, x-men, TWD etc are very good too...

Because GoT had the potential to be visually stunning with all the visuals the series provides. And Stern has had tons of experience with playfield design and should know better. I have had all the pins you reference and none of them was as thought out as this one. Just made by people that can photoshop but have no heart for the theme they are working on. GoT playfield is just a let down, it only uses assets from the starting credits of the series.

I agree that the pins you reference are very nice complete packages, but a company like Stern that has made tons of pins should do better and the Alien playfield proves that it is possible, even for a less experienced company.

#4269 4 years ago

What I understand from licensing is that not all assets belong to the same licensor. It may very well be that the licensor of the Sigourney Weaver assets is not the same as the licensor of the Alien assets. Therefore the licensing is so difficult in many cases. It can even be that the licensor of the soundtrack is again another one than that of the movies.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but that is how I understand it.

#4434 4 years ago

Why do some people here over scrutinise every word that is being said and even get quotes from other threads into this one ? Aurich said a zillion times that nothing is set in stone and negotations are underway. Heighway tries to be open and chill and are communicating and all I see here is people making conclusions while that is not even possible at this point.

Aurich is telling us very clearly how things came to be. He is not a legal expert that weighs every word he says, he is basically just one of us pinballers that wants to keep us in the loop. One way or the other everything is being made into a negative here. This will eventually lead to them behaving just as the rest of the manufacturers: bad communication.

As Aurich said multiple times, just wait to see how this game unfolds the next few months. I feel it will be a great game as the people that are making it are people that have a heart for pinball and are players and buyers themself. Please don't force them into radio silence.

4 months later
#6291 4 years ago

I have seen the promo video and all I can say is: happy I am in on an LE with the big screen. This thing does not compare to anything whether you like the movies or not. It's really something.

2 months later
#7038 3 years ago

This forum gets crazier by the day. Of all the new businesses that are started every day, only a few survive. That is a fact of doing business. The fact that someone was involved with a business that is listed as closed does not say anything about that person without the proper context. This is just witchhunting.

I would be more interested in this information when Heighway Pinball had only made promises, but they are sending Pinball machines around the world as we speak. For me it seems normal that a credit rating falls whenever a company is spending more then it is getting in. That is what I think - I have no financial information at all - is happening because Highway does not oblige their buyers to pay in full upfront. They are doing it the right way and that costs money, but when it for some reason should go south, the buyer does not suffer a tremendous loss.

I think if anything, Heighway Pinball should be applauded that they have chosen to work like this. This way is the only way that makes it possible for them to be a stable business as soon as possible. They do not have to fill in the financial holes of the previous machine with their current machine as I think some other companies have to.

Just my $0.02

2 months later
#9232 3 years ago

Personally I got an SMS from Andrew today and some mails last weekend. I think they are working very hard to getting everything ready for production. Andrew is the guy that everybody needs to speak to. I think these are growing pains and Andrew is doing his best to cope.

Everything I read or hear is that Alien has been quite a succes at Expo and now they are getting a massive amount of mails.

I truly believe that Andrew is for real an not like other "manufacturers" that promise a lot and do not deliver. He has delivered already, but as you all know, pinball is hard. Making one machine is not like manufacturing a lot of them. Of course he also missed deadlines, because manufacturing is hard. They will learn in time how to arrange this stuff.

2 months later
#10485 3 years ago

Heighway is serious about making machines, but I guess they do not want to ship bad machines. That would instantly destroy their business. It is a company that has shipped machines that just work, without playfield issues or something similar. Somebody earlier mentioned that he expects Heighway to have set up a line, inventory, workers etcetera to be able to speed up production. Any idea what that costs ?

I am happy that there are people like Andrew willing to undertake such an endeavour to provide us with a choice in the market. Machine prices have gone stellar and Heighway aims to deliver a good product for a decent price. I cannot say that about Stern. They just combine price increases with cost cuts. Even JJP does this in a way. No topper for The Hobbit and Dialed In is more expensive even when it has got no license fees and is not a wide body.

My personal opinion is that Heighway has the potential to be a good contender in this market, but they cannot do it without our trust. Even the biggest banks in the world cannot survive if every of their customers is clearing out their accounts, think about that. Every business needs paying customers. They pay for all the stuff that is needed to sustain a business that has costs for housing, inventory, overhead, etc.

2 weeks later
#10953 3 years ago

Congratulations Andrew !! Nice work !

2 weeks later
#11620 3 years ago

It is not only the monitor that you pay for, also the system to hang it inside the backbox, connections to the CPU (they have to use a system with three outputs instead of two), extra time to install it in the backbox etc. You cannot just buy a 150 dollar screen and then it is magically installed inside the cabinet. It is all work that has to be done.

1 week later
#12029 3 years ago

My 2 cents about the backbox monitor: you already get a very good color display in the playfield. The backbox monitor costs extra, yes, but is not needed in any way for the game to function and function very good. Having the main display in the playfield where your eyes are takes some getting used to but it works great once you do.

Having the same display but much larger in the backbox is just very cool and good looking. If I see what some mods are being sold for (and I mean mods that are just cosmetic) than the commercial grade monitor is relatively cheap. And the monitor does add something to the game also as you can watch your bonus and scoring when you walk away making room for another player or when having a drink in between balls.

Also I know that Heighway is also exploring the possibility to display more or other things on the second screen. Will not be with this game but maybe for one of the next games. If that will happen you will need the screen when using the same cabinet or you have to buy another full game with monitor and the old one will look dated next to one with the screen

1 month later
#13028 3 years ago

Why do people here judge immediately based on a minute of video ? Same thing with the playfield when it was shown. Now almost everybody loves it.

The ramp lighting is RGB so it can and i suppose will blend in with the game VERY good and it will be something special i hope. Cannot jump to a conclusion right now about that seeing it only in attract.

I like the package, bring it !!!

Well Done Heighway Team.

#13039 3 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

They do? My opinion of it hasn't changed *cough*sega*cough*.

Yes. I was at TPF and heared a lot of opinions of people who were standing by the machine. Either they did not show their true colors or they did like it very much. Never heard a bad thing. But obviously not everybody will like it just as with every other machine in existence, hence I said almost everybody.

1 week later
#13468 3 years ago

Heighway needs to make machines to get the money that is tied up with Cointaker. For that they need parts. Because of the bad reputation Pinball companies have gotten because of the companies that went under or were bad at fulfilling the bills, parts must be paid for in advance. So that costs money. Refunds also cost money. What would you choose to pay if you were serious in building up a company that can produce and deliver pinball machines ? Ask yourself that.

My opinion: if people here are yelling that the financial situation at Heighway is bad, it probably will be a self fulfilling prophecy. More buyers will back out and the flow of money will stop. More people will be yelling their refund does not get paid back and even more people will want to back out.

As nice it would be to think that these startup companies will not touch our preorder money, it is just BS. Again: ask yourself what you would do. They need the money to keep the lights burning. Attracting money in other ways just is way to expensive or maybe even impossible. Furthermore I like to think think that Heighway is actually the most eager to get production running and deliver these things. Only way to keep in business as the monthly costs have to be paid every month.

I am paid in full for an LE since 2015 and there is no doubt in my mind that Andrew wants to deliver my machine. Way to much drama here and I suggest if you do not have the stomach for waiting a long time or do not have this money as disposable income, please do not preorder. By asking for a refund you are killing the startup as they count on that money to make the things WE want. You cannot say: oh I am a big supporter of XXXX and then ask for a refund. You are then the opposite of a supporter.

To be clear: this is just my opinion and thoughts, I am just one of you all, a customer that is eagerly awaiting his toy.

3 weeks later
#14539 3 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

2. We will not be announcing any new games for the foreseeable future. Alien gets made now, and in the foreseeable future

HP just made this statement (see quote). No need to get upset about something that is not going to happen.

2 months later
#15714 2 years ago
Quoted from ezeltmann:

I can say that Daniel has been communicating and working with me to get my complicated situation resolved.
The SE's are being built and LE's still seem to be in the distance. Actual news!

Same here. I had a rather complicated order which was changed a few times in the course of two years but was not updated in their system and after some (very good) communication with Daniel and Morgan they decided to honor the agreements I made with Andrew.

Daniel also kept me up to date of the things going on in the factory and what their goal was. After the public announcement they did I was happy to see that it was exactly like I was told.

I am now more confident than ever that this will be a succes and that Alien will be epic.

2 weeks later
#16043 2 years ago
Quoted from Dust2000:

The LE was £6500 now it's £8500

I guess the problem also lies in the fact that the value of the pound is much less now compared to the dollar. I guess a lot of parts need to be bought in USD and that might have something to do with the rise in GBP.

I know for a fact that for a lot of other products prices in pounds have gone up while the price in dollars did not.

Furthermore they did announce that this would happen, only not how much more the price would become.

#16081 2 years ago
Quoted from bob_e:

I don't understand VAT... what VALUE is being added?

It is a tax added to the value of a product not value added to the tax

You could look at it like this (this is an example): trade businesses buy and sell products. For instance they buy for $100 and they sell for $120. So they add 20 dollar value to the product. Does not matter if they really add value or just put on profit. Over that 20 dollar VAT is charged and has to be payed by the buyer of the product. So essentially VAT is the tax over the added value (or price) of that product, hence Value Added Tax.

2 weeks later
#16445 2 years ago
Quoted from drinkduffbeers:

Snap. I sold my mint STTNG to make room for my imminent Alien. Fast forward to the present and just bought a STTNG to fill my Alien sized space.
A lesson there somewhere!

And the lesson is: do not pre-order and definately not pre-pay. Not for an LE, not for getting the machine early, not for getting a discount, not for nothing. A small deposit to make the seller know you are serious is alright, but not non-refundable. So much can change in the time waiting for a machine to arrive and when something happens (car breaks down, accident, work stops etc) you not only lose the deposit, but also have to pay the rest of the outstanding money. If you buy and pay for the machine when it gets delivered, you have the machine and when a problem arises you can sell it, but with non-refundable pre-orders you can only wait. All the risk is on the buyer.

This is in my book not normal business. The seller should take the risk as they also benefit from the profit and as a buyer you do not have any influence in the business but you do pay for it to be able to exist.

I really like TNA and also very much like Spooky, but with their non-refundable deposit and delivery in 6-8 months it is just a no-go for me. I like that they would help you sell the machine but that just does not cut it. There is always the risk that something unexpected happens. Factory could flood or something that I never hope will happen.

I did my share of pre-ordering and pre-paying and every single time it was nerve wrecking or at the least frustrating. Never again.

#16448 2 years ago
Quoted from J85M:

It's how pre-ordering a Stern LE works here in the UK these days.

When I order a Stern here in Belgium at the only distributor i pay no deposit or nothing. I can transfer the money after delivery.

edit: I do no know if they work for everyone like that, but surely for returning customers.

#16455 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

spooky is not really a new startup at this point.

Exactly. And exactly that is why they should NOT ask for a non-refundable deposit. They should be able to sell the game anyway and they should have build up some kind of buffer by now.

Instead they themselves keep behaving like a start-up hence the same risk for the customer.

#16466 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

If a tornado takes out the shop then they have insurance.

Says who ? I would believe most companies have this but in reality I never heard of any insurance with all the pinball companies that have/had trouble. Back on topic of Alien: the problem with the deposit is that we have to rely on promises made by the manufacturer. Who would ever put money on Alien or TBL when the manufacturer would have been honest with their timeline ?

My point is that anything can happen to the buyer as well as the seller. Even if Spooky/Heighway/DP/fill in whatever would be insured, the deposit of Spooky would be non-refundable and as a customer you have no choice but to wait and hope.

Also with a refundable deposit it all depends if the manufacturer has the funds to pay back the refund so that is also of little worth. Without the deposit there would be no problem whatsoever and when somebody wants the game they will buy it anyway.

#16468 2 years ago

I said in my first post about this subject that I like Spooky. This was not an attack on them, but more an opinion on the whole pre-order pre-pay culture. There would be much less drama without that. Let them build up some stock and then sell them. Without the pre-ordering Spooky would not have gotten in trouble, so win-win situation for everyone.

1 month later
#17965 2 years ago

If I would venture a guess it would be a book with faces ?

2 weeks later
#18463 2 years ago
Quoted from libtech:

Maybe they are trying a different brand, with lower rez, since a few guys have had issues? Mine is clear, and flippers are strong

No, the plastic was still on. I had an argument with someone about that and they wanted to keep the plastic sheet on. They knew it was there.

Flippers were not too bad when I played both of them, but usually the flippers get turned down a bit during shows because they get no rest at all. I know for a fact that JJP also does this.

Playfield was indeed dark, but the one on the inside ring was darker than the one on the outside ring (which got more ambient light) so that could vary depending on your gameroom lighting. I plan to put in some ledstrips underneath the metal that holds the glass in.

#18581 2 years ago
Quoted from Ferret:

The inductive switches are socketed devices.

Also, if the switch does not work, try pressing it in a little. There are lights on the inductive switch that indicate if they work. They can get dislodged in transport.

#18729 2 years ago
Quoted from Davidus56:

I’m willing to do a test and report back here if Heighway will do it.

This is not how it works in a production environment. What you suggest is that with the money of 1 machine they can make that one machine. This is not true. If you buy parts for one machine it is exponentially more expensive than say for 100 machines at once. Those guys need to spend hundreds of thousands in parts to get some kind of production going. They may get parts from dozens of different sources. Only the transportcosts of getting all the parts in a single quantity could be massive.

I have no knowledge about how it goes at HP but this is true for almost every production facility.

#18733 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Meh... they keep making promises about money, timelines, and communications and then keep failing to keep their own promises.

First I want to say that I always appreciate your posts. They are mostly well thought out and to the point. But in this case I must disagree. The whole point of the letter seems to me that they do NOT want to make any promises, but inform us that they are still working very hard on getting the machines as best as they can. They do not seem to want to rush them out the door, as then we would all be over them if they are not up to par.

I had a long face to face conversation with one of the employees at Heighway and discussed a lot of stuff with him (not one of the new owners) and what I can tell you is that the people there are very passionate about Pinball and the employees are very happy with the new owners. The new ownsers are into it for the long run, not to make a quick profit and then abandon ship. I believe he was sincere and he did not have to lie about anything or was kept to an NDA or something.

Of course we still have to wait and see what happens and if they can pull it off, but seeing how many refunds they did and still go forward I have much more confidence in the situation than 6 months ago.

#18739 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

In June, the Investors said "We are currently ordering loads of parts (there is stock from before so not all parts need to be ordered) from our suppliers to build 175 games until the end of August"
It took from June to the end of November to realize that wasn't real? Or what they really can build?
Notice from the update... any realistic (or even attempts at..) addressing quantities or velocity.
Your comment made sense in June... now not.

If you are not working there, you cannot even begin to know anything about the situation. It was precisely like you said, they ORDERED parts. That does not mean they got all the parts from the suppliers or even got parts that they could use immediately. That is exactly what the letter is saying. They run into a different problem almost every week.

But I guess you can read the letter in a positive way or a negative. I for one choose to look at it positively. Not that I am saying all is good now, I outed my reservations in my first post regarding this, but the guys over there are not begging for any more money or promising people their machine first when they pay now. Instead of that they do keep the lights on at the factory at their own expense.

I am not saying that I believe everything is ok, I will wait for that when everyone that has paid gets their machine or their refund.

#18777 2 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

My compliments to both of you for being excellent representatives of your employer.

Maybe they are just proud of the machine and their work for it ? I never saw them much before the new ownders took over.

1 week later
#18948 2 years ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

I was thinking of flying to the Netherlands and bringing one back in my pants.... lol

Why would you come here (The Netherlands) ? No Aliens here, they are made in Wales which is quite far from here

Otherwise I would surely have my LE by now !

1 week later
#19046 2 years ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

Also, maxing the game volume? I can’t have it above 5 without it causing sound to loudly go through my entire house.... the sound system on this game is serious, no idea how anyone anywhere could max the volume or even have it above 5 or 6. I can easily keep it at volume 1 and it’s louder than most pins I keep in my home. I have it currently on 3 which is, well intense enough and drowns out the flipper scream.

libtech also said to turn down the volume on the amplifier. If you do that you can regulate the volume also more precise and setting 1 would be way less loud.

#19179 2 years ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

Got 4 slots with 4 usb cables

Aren't there any more to the left ? I do not own an Alien, but most motherboards I know do have more of them, normally at the leftmost of the motherboard.

#19228 2 years ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

Are LE’s still shipping before Christmas?

#19314 2 years ago
Quoted from Almost4200hp:

Good luck with that, Wales isn't in europe

What ??? Last time I checked it was ?

1 week later
#19387 2 years ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

I hope the bad playfields are not the end of Heighway, the theme is so cool it would be a shame if this is the begining of a catastrophe...

As far as I know the playfields come from Mirko in Germany unless something changed. They should be the best we can get if they are from Mirko. I am sure he will stand by his product and solve these problems.

1 week later
#19565 2 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

I have to be honest. I got my SE and it's a great game, but the way things have gone I wouldn't even dream of getting in on the "next title"... even if it was a dream theme.

Actually I think I would, except I would never pay anything anymore, no matter what the promises or benefits I can get by pre-paying. That goes for all pinball companies by the way. As soon as they have made my game, then they can have the money, not before.

2 weeks later
#19874 2 years ago

In reaction to the hate for delt31 I can say the following: I am waiting for this game since november 2015 (fully paid) and I for one am glad that somebody that owns the game shares his experiences with it. Also the fact that other new owners do this I like, because I see that the quality of the game is steadily growing better.

If all we read about is the negative stuff, I am sure that I can forget about ever getting my machine as the current owners of HP will not be able to sustain putting money in the company when there is no expectation of new orders. Also they are in a pinch , because Alien has gotten so much negativity that it will maybe never be the seller it should be, and they cannot announce a new machine because everybody here will then crucify them for not delivering all the owed Aliens first. So what can they do ??

I sure as hell do not want to lose my money, but I get that HP is a business and a business has to get money from selling stuff. If the biggest pinball community is not allowing positive feedback on their product and also is not allowing the company to move forward with new products that do not have the burden of the negative publicity, what will happen then ? I sure hope they can get all the machines delivered and move on and if the positive input of people here can lead to that I am all for it.

This does not mean I agree with how HP is handling the business right now and I would do things quite differently, but I can imagine how they feel. I just hope they do not give up as I think that Alien is a great pinball machine.

1 week later
#20042 2 years ago

First time I get anxious to get my machine. Waiting for years and that factory is only 600 kilometers from me

#20126 2 years ago

Actually they said they would remove the optics and instead we get the large backbox screen instead. I paid extra for that (and for chrome finish and demirrored glass) but if I just get the machine I am happy at this point. If things were different I would be much more aggrivated, but the guys that took over the firm essentially saved me from getting nothing at all...

2 months later
#21015 2 years ago

I still did not see any official announcement about this fiasco, but what about the promises from the new owners that they would not give this up ? Were they not succesfull businessmen ? I have had some conversations with one of the new guys and he assured me I would get my moneys worth. Again, if this is true, then they even fooled all their employees as I heared several of the team say these people are for real and we will not be let down, just hang in there.

Even if I would have gotten my machines, what good would it be if the company folds ? No spare parts, no service, no nothing.

I sure hope that this is not going down the drain like this.

1 week later
#21830 2 years ago

I guess the truth is in the middle somewhere. Lost a lot of money due to this, but I was of course aware of the risk. For me this was not as big a risk as some of the other startup companies as HP had produced and delivered machines already before I went on board. Seeing how long AH kept the business going seemed to me an indication of the good intent. He also did not abandon the company but left it to the new investors who - as also stated in the interview - promised to make everybody whole.

I was also personally assured that I would get my machines, as well as they put that in the statement that went out on Pinside.

Of course where there is smoke there is fire, but I for one do not know where to put the blame. I only know this venture has ended and it ended badly. Lesson very much learned and I will do everything necessary to recover some of the loss, but will not engage in personal attacks as I am not in the know of everything.

Just my two cents.

#21834 2 years ago
Quoted from jgentry:

About saving as much of their investment as possible as they knew Alien and HP was toast.

Yes, so it seems. But if that is true they never intended to continue the company, seeing the timeframe.

4 weeks later
#22293 2 years ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

Very kind reply....I'm grateful and fortunate, but still w atonement, knowing there were many that just lost and didnt get the chance to obtain one...

Just enjoy the machine. I wish you much luck with it (and I think I am the largest consumer creditor on the list ) and many happy plays ! Do not feel bad about what happened, it was not your fault.

2 months later
#22972 1 year ago
Quoted from maur:

Who is selling NIB Alien in EU? I've searched but found nothing

Zpeakabonk in France, RS Pinball in Austria just to name a few. They have the machines in stock (that I paid for by the way but whatever)

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