(Topic ID: 28095)

Almost ready to buy first machine. Suggestions for 2k price range?


By Pmack963

7 years ago



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  • Latest reply 7 years ago by lpeters82
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    #1 7 years ago

    Update: I got one! Just picked up a WPT from anther pinsider yesterday. Poker theme is perfect for me, and it will go great in my game room. I drove 12 hours round trip to get it and set it up last night, and it plays great. Thanks to the people who made recommendations to me.

    Now I can begin the long task of learning about care/maintence/repair when something eventually fails on it.

    Greetings everyone,

    First I wanted to thank everyone for the advice and raitings they post on this forum. It is incredibly helpful, especially to people looking to start a collection or learn about the hobby. I've poured over the site for a few weeks now and it is a gold mine of good information. Nothing would leave a bad taste in someone's mouth more than getting ripped off on their first purchase or buying a lemon.

    Anyways, I have about a 2,000 budget, but could go up by a few hundred if necessary, and was looking for advice from the experts about what type of machine I could buy to start a collection. I mostly enjoy the games made after the 1990s with a Dot Matrix board. I've spent the last month just reading craigslist and checking estate sale listings near me, (St. Louis) and so far nothing has popped out. I've also checked out two local stores that sell used pins and the machines seemed to be not only overpriced but in fair to poor condition. I should also add that I have no experience in repair or knowledge of pinball machines, so I'm also toying with the idea of saving up for another few months and buying a shopped out 3,000 or 3,500 range machine to avoid repair problems for awhile, at least untill I can learn more over the next few years.

    Advice is welcome. Thanks again

    #2 7 years ago

    Tons of great games in that price range. Here's a few:

    Demolition Man
    Bram Stoker's Dracula
    Johnny Mnemonic
    No Fear
    Judge Dredd
    Fish Tales

    All of those titles are available in the Midwest on a regular basis. Make sure to have cash ready to go, and ask yourself if you're willing to drive possibly to Chicago or KY or TN to get the pin you want. Good luck, welcome to the board, and let us know what you end up getting!

    #3 7 years ago

    I would go Shadow or FT.

    #4 7 years ago

    No Fear. It might be the best bang for the buck of any pin out there.
    Most people dismiss it as a limited table, but I think of it as a shooters table with great flow and
    the shots are tight. It's not super deep, but that's OK.. It's pretty hard to complete anyway.

    I've seen several pop up, all for around 1500 to 1800.... I got mine for 1800, it was HUO, and looks brand new (other than the cab fade).

    #5 7 years ago

    Go for variety. Get a Gorgar and a Black Knight and you'll be pleased for a while. 1 machine gets old quick without variety.
    Then save 2k while playing the other pins and spring for a DMD like the ones mentioned above.

    Variety is the spice of life.

    #6 7 years ago

    You could get 2 gottlieb dmd's! sys 3's are reliable, usually good game play but odd themes.

    #7 7 years ago

    Thanks for the responses. I will definately start looking up reviews and videos of those machines. Is craigslist the best route? I've also been looking over the pinside market for the past few weeks, my assumption is that would be a much better deal compared to getting ripped off at retail.

    #8 7 years ago

    I'd vote for no fear as well. It was my first pin and I still love it. One thing about that is nice as a first pin, in my opinion, is there is less mechanical playfield parts to break than say a DM or JM, where the cryo claw or hand can be problematic. I feel like it's pretty easy to work on.

    #9 7 years ago
    Quoted from Pmack963:

    Is craigslist the best route?

    Its ok, dealing with fellow pinsiders is the best way to go though!

    #10 7 years ago
    Quoted from centerflank:

    Its ok, dealing with fellow pinsiders is the best way to go though!

    You can also check out Mr. Pinball.com's classifieds section. Best thing to do is meet other people, and make some pinball friends. Let them know what you're looking for. Have you been to CP Pinball in South Roxana, IL yet? Head up there one night that he's open and you could try out a bunch of games that would be in your price range.

    #11 7 years ago

    I need to head over to CP Pinball. Its not that far a drive away and it looks like a fantastic venue for spending a few hours playing games. Thanks

    Quoted from jk2171:

    You can also check out Mr. Pinball.com's classifieds section. Best thing to do is meet other people, and make some pinball friends. Let them know what you're looking for. Have you been to CP Pinball in South Roxana, IL yet? Head up there one night that he's open and you could try out a bunch of games that would be in your price range.

    #12 7 years ago

    Can you still get a Congo for under 2 grand? If so, I'd vote Congo, JP or FT.

    #13 7 years ago
    Quoted from jk2171:

    Tons of great games in that price range. Here's a few:
    Demolition Man
    Bram Stoker's Dracula
    Johnny Mnemonic
    No Fear
    Judge Dredd
    Fish Tales
    All of those titles are available in the Midwest on a regular basis. Make sure to have cash ready to go, and ask yourself if you're willing to drive possibly to Chicago or KY or TN to get the pin you want. Good luck, welcome to the board, and let us know what you end up getting!

    This is a really good list to start. I think BSD may be slowly creeping out of that range. Depending upon what you are looking for, you may also add World Cup Soccer 94 to the list although not on everyone's favorite list.

    Quoted from centerflank:

    Its ok, dealing with fellow pinsiders is the best way to go though!

    A fellow hobbyist would be willing to help you and give you advice based on his or her experience. Great way to make new friends, also.

    Whatever title you settle on, make sure you learn what that game tends to require before you by it.

    Dan

    #14 7 years ago
    Quoted from northvibe:

    You could get 2 gottlieb dmd's! sys 3's are reliable, usually good game play but odd themes.

    I second this; lots of very good Gottliebs at good prices. People knock the games, but they are a lot of fun.

    #15 7 years ago

    There was a 'Rescue 911' from Gottlieb listed locally for 1500 on Craigslist. I passed because after reading some reviews and watching a youtube video it didnt seem that interesting. Whats a fair price for a Gottlieb?

    #16 7 years ago

    Starship Troopers! You should be able to find one in great condition for under $1500. The theme might not be for everyone, but it offers a lot of bang for the buck. Of course the B/W elitists will trash it, but that's okay.

    #17 7 years ago
    Quoted from Pmack963:

    There was a 'Rescue 911' from Gottlieb listed locally for 1500 on Craigslist. I passed because after reading some reviews and watching a youtube video it didnt seem that interesting. Whats a fair price for a Gottlieb?

    Depends on what you're looking for in game. Look at the 'Archive' here on Pinside and search through Gottlieb games. A lot of Sys 3 games are the way to go (1989?-1994?). Each machine will have a ballpark price on what it has been going for on the market. If you buy a Gottlieb, make sure you check out Steve Young at pbresource.com. He only takes checks, but the service and personality of him and his staff are top notch.

    That being said, Rescue 911 for $1500 seems a bit high unless it's in really good condition. I have seen some really good themes like SMB and Freddy go for much cheaper.

    Biggest thing with buying a new machine sometimes is PATIENCE. Don't just jump on a deal unless you know what you are buying and you believe it is a good price. Do your research and don't succumb to "pinball fever".

    That is how you lose money very fast in this hobby.

    #18 7 years ago

    BSD. My favorite pin(for playing), easy rule set, tough game and will make you a better player.
    I500. Fun game with good sounds and nice toys, also a beauty of a playfield.

    I think most DMDs will be fetching mid 2s at this point but these two titles still could be found under 2k if patient. Of course if too patient the price scale will just again.

    I do own the two pins I mentioned so I do feel comftorable in the recommendation.
    I would buy from another hobbyist before going to CL.

    #19 7 years ago

    Any Black Rose fans out there, that's my vote and it's on my list of machines i want.

    #21 7 years ago
    Quoted from mrSATURN2012:

    I second this; lots of very good Gottliebs at good prices. People knock the games, but they are a lot of fun.

    Not to mention they are the most reliable system of all the other games of the same era.

    #22 7 years ago

    Good advice, thanks again. But Patience is so hard when I have cash burning a hole in my pocket!
    And Thanks to the other posters for the recommendations, I am watching videos and reading reviews about each of the machines you guys listed.

    Quoted from mrSATURN2012:

    Depends on what you're looking for in game. Look at the 'Archive' here on Pinside and search through Gottlieb games. A lot of Sys 3 games are the way to go (1989?-1994?). Each machine will have a ballpark price on what it has been going for on the market. If you buy a Gottlieb, make sure you check out Steve Young at pbresource.com. He only takes checks, but the service and personality of him and his staff are top notch.
    That being said, Rescue 911 for $1500 seems a bit high unless it's in really good condition. I have seen some really good themes like SMB and FREDDY go for much cheaper.
    Biggest thing with buying a new machine sometimes is PATIENCE. Don't just jump on a deal unless you know what you are buying and you believe it is a good price. Do your research and don't succumb to "pinball fever".
    That is how you lose money very fast in this hobby.

    #23 7 years ago

    Jurassic Park has everything you want in a pin for the 2k range. Great modes, shots, toys, fairly easy to work on. Also a blast to customize.

    If you're more of a bally/williams fan, go the Terminator 2 route and have a handful of cash left over for mods, leds, etc. Classic, fast pin, fun shots, real nice bang for your buck.

    Good luck in your search

    #24 7 years ago

    I'd suggest you double check to make sure any game you look at is around the going rate, and just go for it. You can always sell it for around the same money later. Or, at the price range you're looking at, you lose a little bit... it's not the end of the world.

    #25 7 years ago

    Both my Gottlieb sys 3 games were $1k. In decent condition as well. Had nothing break during ownership, waterworld motor got loud, that's it.

    #26 7 years ago

    What part of St. Louis are you in? I'm in the Oakville area... my brother and I put up a wanted add on CL about a jurassic park and a guy had one and we got a pretty decent deal. I'd suggest trying the same, as it was easier to let someone know you want it, rather than them putting it up there and hearing from 20 people about it. CP pinball is the BEST place ever...been there 5 times in the last 2 months. Patience is the biggest deal, but at the same time, having money in hand ready to head out to a deal. Also, there is an arcade auction coming in late December, so you can check that out as well.

    #27 7 years ago
    Quoted from northvibe:

    Both my Gottlieb sys 3 games were $1k. In decent condition as well. Had nothing break during ownership, Waterworld motor got loud, that's it.

    My SF2 was $550 2 years ago! The playfield is a little beat up, but not too badly. Plays great.

    #28 7 years ago

    DE titles, HS2, FT. I was shocked how many non pin people like LW3 but it gets little love here.

    Good call passing on R911. It's pretty bad and even as a first, definately not worth 1500.

    Sounds like you have a lot of good advice already here.

    #29 7 years ago

    T2
    Getaway
    World Cup soccer '94
    Red and Teds Roadshow (thats a little more though, around 2,300)
    Diner (not a dmd but great)
    BSD (also a little more like roadshow)
    People do seem to really like Lethal weapon 3 but I have never played it.

    #30 7 years ago

    JP is a great game in that price range.
    BF is also a good game in that price range.

    #31 7 years ago
    Quoted from mrSATURN2012:

    Steve Young at pbresource.com ... personality of him ... are top notch.

    Things arrived on time and as advertised, despite the hoops of mailing a check, waiting for it to clear, and having to navigate his awful website. He's a peach!

    I paid $900 for the dirtiest SMB on the east coast. Fun but I play my pinbot more.

    If i had $2k I'd get the nicest JP I could find.

    #33 7 years ago
    Quoted from jk2171:

    You can also check out Mr. Pinball.com's classifieds section.

    Have you seen some of the prices there lately? Good mercy, it's like they're trading barrels of oil over there. $4000 for a RFM, RBION for $3600, Twister at nearly $1900, SST at $2900, and The Shadow at $2700 just for a quick look in the last 2 weeks timeframe - sheesh.

    My advice, sniff through threads here on Pinside and see what people HAVE paid in the past year. Personally, and this is just me, I wouldn't say how much money I have ready to spend. If people start asking how much you're looking at spending, just tell them "I'd just like to see what you have for sale." or just tell someone what machine you want in particular (in the future, obviously, you started this thread to get a "feel" for what machines you can get for around $2k). Do your homework ahead of time though , because if you start naming off very specific machines, some people will jack the price of that particular title. Ask me how I know.

    But, in terms of Pinside, people will be great and straight with you here. For $2k +/- $300:

    JP
    TFTC
    ANY Sega game
    RS
    JD
    LAH
    DM
    HS2
    WW
    JM
    SP

    See this thread for all those acronyms: http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pinball-machine-abreviation-definitions

    #34 7 years ago

    Here's another vote for WCS 94. Have had mine for over a year. Still lots of fun in a 9 pin line-up.

    #35 7 years ago

    I need to play that WCS because lots of people have suggested it for a first pin. I hate soccer, so I'm not sure how that would work? I did have fun playing Dale Jr., though so maybe there is hope for WCS yet.

    #36 7 years ago

    WCS
    DM
    FT
    Congo
    BK2K
    TFTC
    JP
    BSD

    If you can find a shadow for 2K obviously go for that but unlikely.

    #37 7 years ago

    JP or JM. JM is so underrated.

    #38 7 years ago
    Quoted from mrpostman:

    I need to play that WCS because lots of people have suggested it for a first pin. I hate soccer, so I'm not sure how that would work?

    This is America, we all hate soccer WCS is a an awesome fun game for sure.

    #39 7 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    This is America, we all hate soccer WCS is a an awesome fun game for sure.

    + a lot

    Dan

    EDIT: Agreeing with the second half. Don't want Taylor mad at me.

    #40 7 years ago

    This is America, we all hate soccer WCS is a an awesome fun game for sure.

    Speak for yourself. Some of us are intelligent enough to understand why it's called the "beautiful game."

    image.jpg

    #42 7 years ago

    JM all the way... Fast, great toy, good modes and just try to keep multiball alive.

    #43 7 years ago

    I'm pretty sure most of these have been listed, but...Bram Stokers Dracula, Fish Tales, Jurassic Park, Tales From The Crypt, Johnny Mnemonic, World Cup Soccer, Black Rose, Congo, Judge Dredd, Demolition Man, No Fear, Terminator 2, Hight Speed 2: The Getaway and Whirlwind

    #44 7 years ago
    Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

    Jurassic Park has everything you want in a pin for the 2k range. Great modes, shots, toys, fairly easy to work on. Also a blast to customize.

    Absolutely agree. Paid $2100 for mine and I am LOVING it!!! JP will never leave now.

    #45 7 years ago

    I've got some deals I am working on this weekend, but I might have a JD I would part with to get a new pin in my rotation, and I am in St Louis! Waiting to hear back from some people about other machines. If you might be interested let me know. Lots of good games for that price range. Good luck with the search.

    #46 7 years ago

    I just picked up a near mint DM with LEDs around your budget from a pinsider.

    1 month later
    #48 7 years ago

    I think fish tales or getaway hsII would be a good fit. Try to pick something up for about $1500 and then start saving for your second pin.

    #50 7 years ago

    Is it still possible to find a Shadow for under $2000, without getting a steal? Around me they seem to be averaging $2500.

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