(Topic ID: 162359)

Are all the desirable Titles in Collections?


By phil-lee

3 years ago



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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by EMsInKC
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    #1 3 years ago

    Sometimes it seems that way.After learning a little on my first two refurbishments naturally I became a little discriminating for my next purchase.You would like deeper rule set,higher cumulative scoring,more novelties like return kickers,multi-ball, novelty features.This is the natural evolution for an EM Owner who discovers they can repair and is bitten by the bug(at least it was for me).You read dozens of reviews,look at Play Field photos, try and play as many different machines as possible.Yet when you have compiled "The List" of dream machines you find they rarely appear for sale,save obscure Baltic States or somewhere else unobtainable.Through a 5-State Craigslist search I find many machines that are intriguing but not worth the drive(or price).One would think with a 2 thousand (fill in your own number) Production there would be 2-5 Hundred left of a Title you seek.,I'm beginning to think otherwise,unless they are squirreled away in private collections.Or perhaps the qualities we desire today in a pinball machine differ greatly from reality,the ability of a machine to make coin,and when it didn't perform, was scrapped. I guess I will wait,and hope, unless there is a secret source for rare EM's.

    -12
    #2 3 years ago

    par·a·graph
    ˈperəˌɡraf/
    noun
    noun: paragraph; plural noun: paragraphs

    1.
    a distinct section of a piece of writing, usually dealing with a single theme and indicated by a new line, indentation, or numbering.

    #3 3 years ago

    $ is King!

    #4 3 years ago

    I feel your pain. My standards used to be lower when looking for games to restore, but I soon realized that once I had finished them, that I had no real interest in playing them. So, I am now only looking for those games that I know I will want to keep once I have finished restoring them. The problem is, it isn't easy to find restoration candidates on my wish list. I am not interested in spending up to 1500 - 1800 for "original" games, or games that have already been restored by someone else.

    But, it seems as if when I look at certain threads like, "show us your EM pinball machines", people are somehow finding these titles at reasonable prices. So, I guess there is hope. You gotta just keep looking I guess...

    #5 3 years ago

    Where are you and what is on your wish list?

    I'm guessing most of us felt the way you do early on. You get those first couple games all cleaned up and running great. It's a fantastic feeling, but you're left with wanting more. It's terribly addictive but finding that next project never comes as quick as you'd like.

    It's true, I think it has gotten a little harder to find decent titles in the open market for a fair price, but it does still happen. Once your established in the hobby awhile it gets a lot easier. Eventually you'll find you have more games than you know what to do with. Someday you may find yourself turning games away that you would have died for early on.

    #6 3 years ago

    Just take what comes your way. Last year I picked up an Atlantis about 20 miles away.

    12
    #7 3 years ago

    Patience
    my eager one
    patience.
    If you build a gameroom
    they will come.

    #8 3 years ago

    I think that the availability of un-restored games is drying up; at least in my area. Most of the good restore candidate games that are desirable have been scooped up within the last 5 years as pinball has made a resurgence.

    Now anyone selling a beat up game that has been in their basement for decades sees the price of the restored game market and immediately thinks their old game is more valuable than it probably is worth. This practice has raised the starting price for newcomers into the hobby; because they don't know the value of games, and think they can flip an "deal" that they find.

    This trickles up through the entire resale market. People selling higher worth games think " if their getting X amount for that old game, then my better game must be worth more. Even if it's more then what they got the game for a few years ago. No one wants to leave money on the table for the next guy to collect on.

    As more noobies enter the hobby, more money enters the market. they want a game right now to play and don't want to wait for a deal, so they pay inflated prices for games even if it's just a project machine.

    #9 3 years ago
    Quoted from Luckydogg420:

    I think that the availability of un-restored games is drying up; at least in my area. Most of the good restore candidate games that are desirable have been scooped up within the last 5 years as pinball has made a resurgence.
    Now anyone selling a beat up game that has been in their basement for decades sees the price of the restored game market and immediately thinks their old game is more valuable than it probably is worth. This practice has raised the starting price for newcomers into the hobby; because they don't know the value of games, and think they can flip an "deal" that they find.
    This trickles up through the entire resale market. People selling higher worth games think " if their getting X amount for that old game, then my better game must be worth more. Even if it's more then what they got the game for a few years ago. No one wants to leave money on the table for the next guy to collect on.
    As more noobies enter the hobby, more money enters the market. they want a game right now to play and don't want to wait for a deal, so they pay inflated prices for games even if it's just a project machine.

    Which is exactly why games in great condition should not be restored.

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from Luckydogg420:

    I think that the availability of un-restored games is drying up; at least in my area. Most of the good restore candidate games that are desirable have been scooped up within the last 5 years as pinball has made a resurgence.

    I agree. Often I pick up what I think is an above average copy of a game (meaning, unlike most I see for sale, all the paint is still there, usually), and then I go on ipdb and see these photos of perfectly mint games without even any ball swirling... Decades ago collectors had their pick, and they took the nice games, which means it's mostly the worse condition ones that pop up now in people's basements (and they probably weren't maintained afterwards too). You can still get lucky, of course, but...

    #12 3 years ago

    on occasion a collector dies off and his collection is sold off. Picked up a very nice original Flipper Pool that way about a year ago...

    #13 3 years ago

    I guess it still happens when you can score a rare machine.
    It happened to me recently when I grabbed a Melody on CL.

    I have no idea how or why I managed to get it, but it is in my house as I type this.
    If it happened to me, I guess it could happen to anybody else.
    You just have to be in the right place at the right time!

    #14 3 years ago

    Glad I snagged all the desirable titles when I could. Sure I paid more for some than others might have. But to get what you want, sometimes that's what you have to do. Others I think I got a heck of a deal on.

    #15 3 years ago

    All the titles I desire are in my collection. I honestly feel like I have no more to accomplish once I am done getting a final few more games up and runming in my collection.

    #16 3 years ago

    Some of it is regional - let's be honest , it's a lot easier for machines to survive in basements and garages in moderate temperature regions. Also, there's the population shift factor. For example here in Florida, 40 years ago most of the cities weren't even here, let alone arcades to have pins initially routed in. If you look at population centers circa 1970-1985, that's where you'll find the guys finding the deals for the most part.

    #17 3 years ago

    the hunt is 1/2 the fun for me. I still find good ones but nowhere like I did 5-10 years ago

    #18 3 years ago
    Quoted from Clnilsen:

    Some of it is regional - let's be honest , it's a lot easier for machines to survive in basements and garages in moderate temperature regions. Also, there's the population shift factor. For example here in Florida, 40 years ago most of the cities weren't even here, let alone arcades to have pins initially routed in. If you look at population centers circa 1970-1985, that's where you'll find the guys finding the deals for the most part.

    The northeast seems to be the place to be...Allentown is a fun show

    #19 3 years ago

    Most of the pinball machines I've purchased and have shipped came from either the northeast or The Chicago area. Slim pickings in Florida with a little more success in Georgia, North and South Carolina.
    Also, the quality of the machines seem a bit better in the northeast and Chicago area.

    #20 3 years ago

    Every year, there are less and less un-restored games available to choose from.

    10 years ago, old people would put stuff up for sale hoping to get back what they paid for it. Now, everyone checks ebay first, then puts a crazy ebay price up for sale.

    #21 3 years ago
    Quoted from pinhead52:

    on occasion a collector dies off and his collection is sold off.

    You ain't looking at me, are ya?

    #22 3 years ago

    I see dead machines,Weird Williams,overpriced Gottliebs,fringe Chicago Coin,Stern and South-of the Border and Euro offerings.My list would probably be improbable to fill seeing as I agree with Noobee and only seek Project machines,since fixing them is half the fun,and frankly,I feel like I do them justice.Big Valley is at the top of my list,never seen one listed,though a close second 4 Million BC is listed in Mississippi at a decent price,I just can't take off to the deep South right now.Also would like to refurbish a drop-target Gottlieb that racks up points at the end of ball with add a ball.
    Well,taught myself to repair EM's and it might be time to move to SS and do the same.I did a decent job on my first machine,a Fireball Classic,and it is a strong 3 on my list.Never see one of these for sale either,unless its out West somewhere.

    Thanks for all the feedback Folks!

    #23 3 years ago
    Quoted from electricsquirrel:

    You just have to be in the right place at the right time!

    And have cash, a truck, and be willing to drive for it right away. Bargains only last a short time.

    #24 3 years ago
    Quoted from pinwiztom:

    You ain't looking at me, are ya?

    Why yes, & bonus is that you are really close.
    How are you feeling anyway Tom?

    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    All the titles I desire are in my collection. I honestly feel like I have no more to accomplish once I am done getting a final few more games up and runming in my collection.

    My problem now is that I'm over my limit, there are still games that I'd like to get, but I don't really have one game left that I would really want to part with. Either they're sentimental keepers, great games that I've wanted for a long time, or restorations that I have so many hours in that I would hate to part with them, and they're good players to go with that. I don't care if I lost a bit of money, but I'm just stuck where I am.

    #26 3 years ago

    lets say they made 10,000 of a title
    that is world wide
    half remain in the USA, 5000
    half or more have been destroyed, 2500
    divide by number of states
    most would be in non-collectors houses
    those that are in pinball collections, most collectors have worked up to only having the best of what ever era that love

    you are lucky there is anything for sale

    #27 3 years ago

    Network network network.
    If you find and meet everyone in your area someone may be willing to push a deal your way knowing it's the game you wanted. Or at last you can know the guy who got he deal and visit the game to play it. Sometimes it's not even a game you want.

    #28 3 years ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    Also would like to refurbish a drop-target Gottlieb that racks up points at the end of ball with add a ball.

    not sure there are any AAB pins that have an end of ball bonus

    #29 3 years ago
    Quoted from dasvis:

    How are you feeling anyway Tom?

    i am finally over my crud that i caught at the NWPinball show,
    so you may have to wait a few years to cash in.

    #30 3 years ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    have cash, a truck, and be willing to drive for it right away.

    That usually works.

    #31 3 years ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    it might be time to move to SS

    A lot of early SS games are just EMs in disguise. I picked up a fair condition Stars without boards for $150 last year. It has chimes and everything.

    #32 3 years ago

    You should put some boards in that Stars and play it. That one's great.

    #33 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    You should put some boards in that Stars and play it. That one's great.

    Was that not implied? I did and it is.

    #34 3 years ago

    Depends on what you consider desirable, really. Some people can't sell a machine lots of people can have fun on for $300 on a good day and some people buy dolls for $100,000.

    #35 3 years ago

    I'd suggest being less picky. The less picky you are, the more there is out there to buy.

    #36 3 years ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    I'd suggest being less picky. The less picky you are, the more there is out there to buy.

    You must be picky unless you have unlimited space and voltage. I like traditionally-spaced flippers,small or large,not strange flipper configurations where you can't hold the ball.I like standard 5-ball or 3-ball games, not timed like Williams "Travel Time". I like fast machines with interesting targets, not one-horse wonders like Skylab (though it does look cool).
    Smart people awhile ago figured out what was fun and stowed the machines in storage awaiting repair or kept the best versions in private collections. Good examples do show up on a Nation-wide basis but locally its hit-and miss, like someone said, constant search,fast truck and cash.Oh well,I am thankful for the two I have.

    #37 3 years ago

    To answer the op's question............ IMO, yes, and I also think vid1900 is spot on!

    I entered the hobby in '88, advertised to buy pinballs in a pennysaver type mailed publication. I used to get 30-40 calls a week with people wanting to sell their non-working pin out of their basement. I was able to pick and chose.

    By '95 I noticed I had to hustle if the machine was desirable as by then, there was some local competition.

    By the early 2000's I had to hustle to ANY machine I got a call on as I noticed huge competition by way of an ever-growing hobby, and also a bunch of flippers in the area. The 30-40 calls sank to maybe 1/2 dozen, if that many.

    By 2010, I noticed after dwindling supplies, a few recessions, etc, most general-public-type sellers were plugged into the internet, did searches and attached unreasonable prices on their broken down pinball, (and anything else), rotting away in their basement that could be worth a few bucks. Done with flipping and happy with my collection, I decided to hang up the hand truck.

    Are the desirable titles gone? I'd say so. The hobby is no longer in it's infancy, and those great Wms. Games of the 90's are at or approaching their 20th birthdays. Finding one, or a classic EM reasonable these days is usually considered very lucky.

    #38 3 years ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    You must be picky unless you have unlimited space and voltage.

    Not exactly.

    Look, this all depends on your goal for your own collection. If you know you MUST get game X and you're going to love it, pay a little more to ship yourself that game because who cares? You're going to keep it.

    If not, there is no problem in casting a wider net, picking up a few games for your space, and then turning them over when you decide it's time for something else. If you're looking for multiple titles, there is really no reason that you can't do this. Back when I started a long time ago, I wrote down about 40 pins I was interested in, researched their average prices and noted the low end of it, and then updated the list every so often. Whenever one of those pins showed up at or under the price I had on my sheet, I'd buy it.

    Once in a while, interesting games would show up that weren't on my list but were great deals. I'd buy them and if nothing else, play them for a while before I sold them again.

    Did I have space for all those pins? Nope - but in doing so, I got to experience a lot. With EMs in particular, if you see a machine show up for sale that you're sort of interested in within your local area and it's a good price, get it. Then, when you start getting full get pickier.

    My list got down to basically just BBH not too long ago. I could afford to be picky and wait because I wasn't just trying to fill space. My other games were entertaining. After about three years of waiting, a BBH popped up locally, and I happily snagged it.

    I found it a decent way to go.

    Quoted from Boatcat:

    Are the desirable titles gone? I'd say so. The hobby is no longer in it's infancy, and those great Wms. Games of the 90's are at or approaching their 20th birthdays. Finding one, or a classic EM reasonable these days is usually considered very lucky.

    It's all perspective. Pinball is sort of unique because you can sell games for usually about the same price you buy them for. If I buy a TAF for whatever, play it for a year and sell it a year later for the same price, that's pretty reasonable. When I started, game prices were MUCH cheaper for a lot of titles than they are today, but people didn't go, "Well, that BSD for $1k? KILLER deal!"

    No, they said, "See if you can talk them down to $800. People were giving away BSD's last year! It's a DOG!" (note - back then, most people were route operators, and BSD was a route dog).

    I could have picked up TZs for under $2k *all day*, and yet people found that price pretty unreasonable, believe it or not. The difference was that back then, when your TZ clock broke, you were screwed. Or if it had broken plastics, well, live with it unless someone is parting one out. The repro market was pretty non-existent, and it was expected that a game that you picked up would go down in value by the time you sold it. That $1k BSD? You'd put $500 in parts into it and sell it for $1k again.

    I see the hobby as remaining reasonable. The only way it isn't is if the market for just your games crash. Otherwise, if everything remains relative, you will be able to get the same value in "future games" out of your games at whatever price you pay.

    Hope that all helps someone in some way - I have no idea how

    #39 3 years ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    All the titles I desire are in my collection. I honestly feel like I have no more to accomplish once I am done getting a final few more games up and running in my collection.

    I'd believe you if you didn't still have 39 games on your "wish" list.

    I have considerably fewer games than you, but all the titles I desire are in my own collection, too. My pin lineup is almost certainly final and etched in stone. I love my game room, but I wonder how long my interest will stay at this level if I never buy another pin?

    #40 3 years ago
    Quoted from littlecammi:

    almost certainly final and etched in stone.

    How long have you been doing this?

    #41 3 years ago

    Well, "wish list" is really not necessarily games that I'm looking to keep in my permanent collection.

    #42 3 years ago
    Quoted from MikeO:

    How long have you been doing this?

    It took me 20 years (1994 to 2014) to collect the 13 pins in my game room. Most of them are my all-time personal favorites. I purchased SW:E1 because WMS only made 2 P2K games and why not have them both? I purchased Stern Playboy because I collect Playboy magazine and I have every issue since they added the foldout to the magazine (the Playmate was only a single page photo in the first few issues).

    Purchased CFTBL lightly used (March 1993 production) in 1994.
    Purchased IJ + TZ + ToM + W?D + SS between 1995 and 1998.
    Purchased RFM + SW:E1 both NIB in 1999.
    Purchased Stern Playboy NIB in 2001.
    Ordered BBB in 2004 and picked it up NIB in 2007.
    Bought AFM from a good friend of mine in 2007 the same weekend I picked up BBB (a good weekend).
    Bought a beat MB a few years ago and replaced almost everything, including new cabinet + OEM playfield.
    Purchased Stern Mustang Boss premium NIB in 2014.

    This year I changed 11 games over to LEDs (Mustang is my only game that came with them). Didn't do LEDs in SW:E1 because there is no OCD available for P2K (thanks to Herg for his Capcom OCD board or I wouldn't have been able to put LEDs in BBB) and I think LEDs would flicker badly in SW:E1 (although I did put LEDs in RFM with fairly good results). And I'm keeping my interest up by other minor improvements, like adding purple undercab lighting to RFM and installing Bill Ung's mini saucer kit in RFM (already have his kit on AFM), adding ColorDMD to TZ (now have ColorDMD in seven of my games), drilling a 1-5/8"diameter hole and backlighting the clock in the ToM speaker panel, adding Ingo's trunk board to ToM, adding a virtual (projector light) COBRA topper to Mustang, and adding two more light fixtures in the ceiling of the room over the center aisle. (I'm sure I am overlooking a few other minor additions.)

    #43 3 years ago
    Quoted from Boatcat:

    Finding one, or a classic EM reasonable these days is usually considered very lucky.

    I'm feeling real lucky!

    #44 3 years ago
    Quoted from Boatcat:

    Are the desirable titles gone? I'd say so. The hobby is no longer in it's infancy, and those great Wms. Games of the 90's are at or approaching their 20th birthdays. Finding one, or a classic EM reasonable these days is usually considered very lucky.

    I thought the op's concern was availability. I guess I should've said, "Finding one, or a classic EM reasonable and not in the hands of a collector-fanatic these days is usually considered very lucky."

    With the internet around, the non-collector is now aware his broken pinball is worth more than just a big piece of ugly furniture. Unfortunatly, he has no idea his machine hasn't had the hours of reconditioning needed for the windfall he's expecting........Hence, the term reasonable.

    #45 3 years ago

    There is a lot of luck, no doubt, but there are still good titles out there. In the past 6 months, I just missed on a few nice titles on my local (St Louis) Craigslist. I work out of my house and try to check 2-3 times a day when I'm taking a break.

    Last Saturday, saw this King of Diamonds for $100. I was the first caller and brought it home that afternoon.

    KOD_Back_Box_(resized).JPG

    Playfield_(resized).JPG

    I already have a KOD sample version but this one will be nicer when cleaned up so my other one will go back into circulation. I'm far from a flipper (I've had that KOD for 5 years and did full shop out), I'll sell it for what I paid + the parts I put in it. No more.

    #46 3 years ago
    Quoted from pinwiztom:

    not sure there are any AAB pins that have an end of ball bonus

    I think for the most part you are right, But Bank shot does have an end of ball bonus and is an AAB.

    Quoted from heatwave:

    There is a lot of luck, no doubt, but there are still good titles out there. In the past 6 months, I just missed on a few nice titles on my local (St Louis) Craigslist. I work out of my house and try to check 2-3 times a day when I'm taking a break.
    Last Saturday, saw this King of Diamonds for $100. I was the first caller and brought it home that afternoon.

    I already have a KOD sample version but this one will be nicer when cleaned up so my other one will go back into circulation. I'm far from a flipper (I've had that KOD for 5 years and did full shop out), I'll sell it for what I paid + the parts I put in it. No more.

    Awesome find!
    E

    #47 3 years ago
    Quoted from pinwiztom:

    not sure there are any AAB pins that have an end of ball bonus

    Odin's favorite game, "Jungle King" does. So does "Capt. Card" as long as you lose the ball out either of the side lanes.
    "Subway" gives you 50 points when the ball drains, but I don't know if that qualifies as a bonus.

    #48 3 years ago
    Quoted from heatwave:

    There is a lot of luck, no doubt, but there are still good titles out there. In the past 6 months, I just missed on a few nice titles on my local (St Louis) Craigslist. I work out of my house and try to check 2-3 times a day when I'm taking a break.
    Last Saturday, saw this King of Diamonds for $100. I was the first caller and brought it home that afternoon.

    Ridiculous!!!

    #49 3 years ago
    Quoted from radium:

    Ridiculous!!!

    Yeah, but it has black rubbers!

    #50 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    I'm feeling real lucky!

    I just don't know how you're finding all those sweet titles out there on the left coast!

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