(Topic ID: 291676)

Banning Pinball Museum to auction their collection

By Steve_in_Escalon

9 months ago


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    #801 4 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Tragically, the lesson repeats itself yet again: Never open a "moonbase" amusement business out in the sticks just because the rent is cheap and space is plentiful.
    If you build it, they may not come.
    I find it is usually best to combine the powerful eye-catching "pull" of pinball with some sort of high-profit "push" item (like alcoholic beverages, or heck, just ordinary beverages). Tim Arnold has repeatedly mentioned his soda machine is his #1 profit earner. Heed his advice.
    On my North American pinball tour, Blairally was extremely grateful to have their ball bowler repaired. Not because it made tons of money, but because customers would park in front of it for hours and drink many gallons of beer.
    What's the best of all worlds for pinball? In my opinion: Breweries. Every brewery needs a unique draw to pull people further than the local bars, and the inventory sells for top dollar at a price which cannot be undercut... literally selling it at the source.
    Contact your local breweries and get some machines in there. They have the space. They have the product. They need the pull. You just might be the answer they've been looking for.

    It's hard to make those generalizations about MOP because the fact is it was only open two weekends out of the year. You wouldn't survive in any city doing that.

    #802 4 months ago

    Is it possible to watch the auction live without having to register? I'm not bidding, but would like to see where the prices go.

    #803 4 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Tragically, the lesson repeats itself yet again: Never open a "moonbase" amusement business out in the sticks just because the rent is cheap and space is plentiful.

    This wasn't an amusement business - it was a place to double dip and advance the dream.

    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    I find it is usually best to combine the powerful eye-catching "pull" of pinball with some sort of high-profit "push" item (like alcoholic beverages, or heck, just ordinary beverages). Tim Arnold has repeatedly mentioned his soda machine is his #1 profit earner. Heed his advice.

    The same advice that included that he only does ONE thing and distinctly fought doing anything else, including snacks/food and merch insisting on only the popcorn machine?

    Let's stop comparing Banning to other actual arcades that were trying to be a public venue and support themselves with customer dollars. The MOP didn't even own the games...

    #804 4 months ago
    Quoted from mostater:

    Is it possible to watch the auction live without having to register? I'm not bidding, but would like to see where the prices go.

    Yes, it's live. You can just watch it.
    In regards to pick UPS.
    Captain's is a business and auction house.
    Of course, they will help you make all arrangements. You pay, they will help you figure out a load out.

    #805 4 months ago
    Quoted from Code_Blue:

    It's hard to make those generalizations about MOP because the fact is it was only open two weekends out of the year. You wouldn't survive in any city doing that.

    True, but MOP didn't survive outside of the city either.

    Moonbase venues always tempt the imagination due to the low price per sqft. and ample space ("Wow, look at the empire I could build!"). But unless you have the sheer magnetic pull and bottomless resources of Disney World, building a Pinball Field of Dreams doesn't typically work out.

    How many times has this happened in our hobby? Too many. Makes me sad.

    Quoted from flynnibus:

    This wasn't an amusement business - it was a place to double dip and advance the dream. The same advice that included that he only does ONE thing and distinctly fought doing anything else, including snacks/food and merch insisting on only the popcorn machine?

    Let's stop comparing Banning to other actual arcades that were trying to be a public venue and support themselves with customer dollars. The MOP didn't even own the games...

    Double dip and advance the wha?

    MOP was marketed as an amusement headquarters. An arcade oasis in the desert. "A place to spend a few bucks and play tons of games". Got the t-shirt, drank the beer. What's the diff to the average visitor? If it wasn't a public venue, why was it open to the public? If it wasn't a business, why did it operate like one?

    Doesn't matter anyway. I'm not here to argue semantics or derail this thread. I'm a little depressed to see yet another huge pinball venue bite the dust and throwing out 2c to future pinball dreamers... don't build another moonbase. Tour your local breweries and see the possibilities.

    (and don't overspend at the auction... here we go!)

    #806 4 months ago
    Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

    Yes, it's live. You can just watch it.
    In regards to pick UPS.
    Captain's is a business and auction house.
    Of course, they will help you make all arrangements. You pay, they will help you figure out a load out.

    If it’s like past auctions you can watch the actual auction as live video over the internet. So you can see how the actual bidding goes as you are watching, hear what they say about the item, etc. You can also just open up the catalog and the current item being bid on will show up with some text showing the bidding. From there you can go backward to the ones that have already been sold and see those hammer prices.

    #807 4 months ago

    Perhaps you missed where I obviously said I was looking for early 2000s eBay results? Why be so obtuse when I quoted the exact link you uselessly reposted?

    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Tragically, the lesson repeats itself yet again: Never open a "moonbase" amusement business out in the sticks just because the rent is cheap and space is plentiful.
    If you build it, they may not come.
    I find it is usually best to combine the powerful eye-catching "pull" of pinball with some sort of high-profit "push" item (like alcoholic beverages, or heck, just ordinary beverages). Tim Arnold has repeatedly mentioned his soda machine is his #1 profit earner. Heed his advice.
    On my North American pinball tour, Blairally was extremely grateful to have their ball bowler repaired. Not because it made tons of money, but because customers would park in front of it for hours and drink many gallons of beer.
    What's the best of all worlds for pinball? In my opinion: Breweries. Every brewery needs a unique draw to pull people further than the local bars, and the inventory sells for top dollar at a price which cannot be undercut... literally selling it at the source.
    Contact your local breweries and get some machines in there. They have the space. They have the product. They need the pull. You just might be the answer they've been looking for.

    For me, it’s claw machines and skee-ball. They make so much you want to laugh and cry. People are suckers.
    Vending makes silly money and new locations literally don’t even ask for a split anymore, they just want a vending machine for convenience!

    #808 4 months ago
    Quoted from John_I:

    Well that pretty much seals it. No good deals will be had.

    But good times will be had. I get to go!

    1 to three preview is the last time games will be played at banning. Going to be a busy couple hours.

    I also wanted to mention holy moly we got some detailed pics from captains. I hope those pictures remain accessible.

    #809 4 months ago
    Quoted from Coindork:

    I hope they are taking into account the amount of internet traffic this could potentially generate. Even if people are not bidding and just following the auction it’s going to eat up a lot of bandwidth.
    The internet connectivity at Banning has always sucked.
    Hope they are taking this into account and taking the proper measures.

    Since I plan on being there in person, I certainly DO hope they crash the site. Is that wrong?

    #810 4 months ago

    Well, being local for once is going to be a great thing - I've isolated two dozen pins I'd like to have, calculated the final price and backed that out to the highest bid I want to make, including all relevant factors - you may think me crazy, but I won't buy anything that's not a good price compared to what I can pickup elsewhere. If I come away with ONE, in that range, I'll be happy. There are only a few rares I'd like, but none of them beyond what they are worth on the regular market.

    I do hope they keep out anyone not bidding - it's going to be crowded enough, and I hope they enforce the mask mandate we have in CA. Good luck all, and don't bid on MY pins! But go crazy on any video or EM you see, they are all yours!

    #811 4 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Tragically, the lesson repeats itself yet again: Never open a "moonbase" amusement business out in the sticks just because the rent is cheap and space is plentiful.
    If you build it, they may not come.
    I find it is usually best to combine the powerful eye-catching "pull" of pinball with some sort of high-profit "push" item (like alcoholic beverages, or heck, just ordinary beverages). Tim Arnold has repeatedly mentioned his soda machine is his #1 profit earner. Heed his advice.
    On my North American pinball tour, Blairally was extremely grateful to have their ball bowler repaired. Not because it made tons of money, but because customers would park in front of it for hours and drink many gallons of beer.
    What's the best of all worlds for pinball? In my opinion: Breweries. Every brewery needs a unique draw to pull people further than the local bars, and the inventory sells for top dollar at a price which cannot be undercut... literally selling it at the source.
    Contact your local breweries and get some machines in there. They have the space. They have the product. They need the pull. You just might be the answer they've been looking for.

    And hence why my arcade officially lives in a building that is a designated microbrewery. I get to deal with the arcade which is what I care about. They get to deal with the beer which is what they do best and helps bring customers to my arcade. A very copacetic relationship if ever there was one.

    #812 4 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    (and don't overspend at the auction... here we go!)

    #813 4 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    For sure the experience is better than PHOF, but it’s not in Vegas, therefore not really accessible.

    I'm trying to understand the above statement.

    The PHOF is in Vegas and is very accessible now, on South Las Vegas Blvd., across the street from the Mandalay Bay/Delano casino complex and next door to the Harley Davidson store.

    It was full of customers on the two occasions I visited this past week.

    #814 4 months ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    Tim Arnold has repeatedly mentioned his soda machine is his #1 profit earner. Heed his advice.

    Well, it certainly isn't the pinball machines earning the most profits there. 37% were out of order there a month ago. Two weeks ago, 41% were out, including virtually all of the ones out two weeks earlier. Six days ago, all of the same were still down with the addition of Homepin's Thunderbirds.

    One of my fellow VFW Pinball club members was in town this week and went to the PHoF. He left disappointed and angry as he believes 50+% of the pins were down. Also, many of the powered up pins had major problems with Flippers, VUKs and critical targets not scoring.

    #815 4 months ago
    73CD5AE6-DB0A-4D77-BDEC-5E799C1D8F13.gif
    #816 4 months ago
    Quoted from calprog:

    Should be a great auction. Chris at Captains is a great guy and put a lot of hard work into this auction. I wish them success!

    He supports shil bids and shenanigans in his auctions. That is not my definition of a great guy. He will make tons of money for what many consider rather easy work.

    #817 4 months ago

    i was about to say, "what are they gonna do, buy them back?" but if a shill bid is 27% less than the going rate, i guess they would

    #818 4 months ago
    Quoted from MtnFrost:

    Well, being local for once is going to be a great thing - I've isolated two dozen pins I'd like to have, calculated the final price and backed that out to the highest bid I want to make, including all relevant factors - you may think me crazy, but I won't buy anything that's not a good price compared to what I can pickup elsewhere. If I come away with ONE, in that range, I'll be happy. There are only a few rares I'd like, but none of them beyond what they are worth on the regular market.
    I do hope they keep out anyone not bidding - it's going to be crowded enough, and I hope they enforce the mask mandate we have in CA. Good luck all, and don't bid on MY pins! But go crazy on any video or EM you see, they are all yours!

    if your comparing the banning pins to pins at other auctions and thinking they are the same, your making a big miscalculation. These have been properly maintained and been burned in on a location. Normal auction pieces can come from an operators route where repairs are quick and dirty to get the game back to earning money. Or home repairs where people might not know what they are doing. Plus being local, you can see what your bidding on. touch up paint, playfield wear, mylar, missing plastics, and wires soldered directly to the pcbs are not easy to see in a photo.

    I seriously doubt there will be any shill bidding here. You might see speculators bidding thinking they can later flip it for more, but I dont think they are buying anything back. You call it a shill bid, I think of it as a game having a reserve price. Be happy you had a chance to see it / opportunity to buy it. If it gets bought back, sometimes you can make a deal on it after the auction is over..

    #819 4 months ago

    So to make sure I understand the price of the item is the hammer price (the item you bid for) + 18% of that for their fee + 7.75% sales tax (no matter where you live), and then whatever it costs to ship?
    Nevermind this has been posted like 100 times

    I want that Star Wars pod, Im sure my parents would love to see that just pop up in their basement. pew pew !

    But man my watch list is overflowing. Wonder if I will actually win anything.

    #820 4 months ago
    Quoted from pinlink:

    Anyone know if it costs money to just register to bid? Capt auction is asking for payment info to just create an account.

    The payment is like a credit card left with the front desk at your local hotel, you need it to enter or bid. But there is no actual lasting charges unless you buy.

    That is what I understand here. I would have passed if there was an actual entry cost.

    I am going for closure myself today. But I have volunteered five days or more in the place. So a qualified buyer but not bidding. You never know….

    I was really looking forward to the banning haunted house again.

    (I will snap a pic of it before I go)

    #821 4 months ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Well, it certainly isn't the pinball machines earning the most profits there. 37% were out of order there a month ago. Two weeks ago, 41% were out, including virtually all of the ones out two weeks earlier. Six days ago, all of the same were still down with the addition of Homepin's Thunderbirds.
    One of my fellow VFW Pinball club members was in town this week and went to the PHoF. He left disappointed and angry as he believes 50+% of the pins were down. Also, many of the powered up pins had major problems with Flippers, VUKs and critical targets not scoring.

    Nic and I having the two largest public collections in Virginia can attest to how damn difficult it is to keep things operational. And I only have 35 pins. I heard MOP did a much better job (made easier by being open only a few days a year). Asheville when I went down there in June was unfortunately a mess. Never played on so many poorly functioning and out of order machines. That one has a right to be mad about given then single entry price at the door. But they have so many throngs of paying customer they don’t seem to much care. PHOF at least doesn’t have a cover charge. But yeah it’s not a good look regardless. Basic problem is that every one of these places has the unwritten “volunteer labor force” that is part of any financial equation. You can’t actually pay your techs if you hope to stay financially afloat. Luckily for us we have the worlds most dedicated and awesome pinball techs, who get just as upset when a game doesn’t play well as we all do. RPM has Nic who is double duty worlds greatest tech and manager. Tim still is mostly the solo proprietor and whomever happens to drop by that he trusts can pitch in. PPM I have heard has a great crew out in the Bay Area. If any of us had to pay the going rate of $75/hr he wouldn’t keep the lights on. The whole model of stick a bunch of arcade (mostly pins) on the floor = profit is just fantasy. The 50 % broken is more typical, and even when most arcades only have a few pins they are usually decrepit. Why ? Well let me tell ya the tail of our local university student hall that thought it could leave a brand new Spider-Man, amazing condition Twilight Zone and Roller Coaster Tycoon out on free play. The Twilight Zone broke day 1 and was soon escorted out of the building (didn’t see that coming did ya). The Spider-Man was covered in a layer of dirt the likes of which I thought not possible on a new pin with damn near every mech broken. They paid a local tech to do the best he could and he’s great but couldn’t keep up and they got tired of paying him. Lesson learned, they have no pins anymore. I totally get why people get mad when they don’t know all the details. I’m still disappointed in Asheville given how much money I saw them taking in, but maybe that still isn’t enough to service their collection. It’s a tough tough business to be in regardless

    #822 4 months ago
    Quoted from OldHockeyGuy:

    I'm trying to understand the above statement.
    The PHOF is in Vegas and is very accessible now, on South Las Vegas Blvd., across the street from the Mandalay Bay/Delano casino complex and next door to the Harley Davidson store.
    It was full of customers on the two occasions I visited this past week.

    Sorry poorly worded on my part. Banning/MOP was an amazing location with well playing games. But they were not in Vegas. If they were in Vegas they would have succeeded. PHOF succeeds mainly because it is in Vegas (as you observed). If PHOF was anywhere else (my town for instance) it would not succeed. Would not have enough paying customers. And linking on to what I wrote above, PHOF doesn’t much care what one thinks of its collection. They have more than enough people who don’t care how well the game works, and they cater to that crowd, not pinside crowd. There are more non-affecianados looking for something to do in Vegas than there is affecianados there to judge the poor condition of the games. It is a very smart strategic decision of Tim even if it might disappoint us all. And it’s why my arcade has half pins (an ungodly amount for a non pinball only arcade) AND it has 2X more in video games and skee ball etc. that’s what my customers truly care about. The whole great playing pins is just an OCD thing on our part, not a requirement at all to stay in business

    #823 4 months ago
    Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

    When my cousin in Colorado texts and asks...
    You know about this Banning pinball auction?
    My 85 year old mom calls and asks...
    Did you hear about this pinball auction in banning?
    When everyone at works asks.....
    You going to Banning this weekend?
    I'd say...the whole world knows about Banning, and my buddy in Australia is calling in an hour.

    Mother-In-Law just texted from Santa Fe. Heard about the auction on NPR. This has officially...

    Jumped the shark

    #824 4 months ago
    Quoted from zh2oson:

    Mother-In-Law just texted from Santa Fe. Heard about the auction on NPR. This has officially...
    [quoted image]

    John better happily convey that check over to Chris. Captains earned it and cemented their reputation as the go to place when you got a large collection to sell. The Sotheby’s of arcades

    #825 4 months ago
    Quoted from Mrbill:

    if your comparing the banning pins...

    I know you meant to respond to somebody, pretty sure it wasn't me!

    #826 4 months ago
    Quoted from zh2oson:

    Mother-In-Law just texted from Santa Fe. Heard about the auction on NPR. This has officially...
    [quoted image]

    Savannah Guthrie just announced it on the Today Show this morning. Said they hope to get $7 million for the 1700 machines. That’s about $4,100 each and about $2 million in commission for the Captain himself. That is if they stick to both the buyer(18%) and seller(15%) fees added onto the final bids.

    #827 4 months ago

    I have to admit, after being initially very excited by this, now I'm not so sure I'm going - oh, don't get me wrong, I'll still bid, but if the expectation is that every sale will be wildly out of alignment with current pinball prices due to hype, I may not do more than place my max and then review later to see who won. What do you all think? Too much frenzy and too little opportunity to pick up something at a reasonable price?

    #828 4 months ago
    Quoted from zh2oson:

    Mother-In-Law just texted from Santa Fe. Heard about the auction on NPR. This has officially...
    [quoted image]

    Not off yet, but we are about to watch. See you there!

    #829 4 months ago
    Quoted from MtnFrost:

    I have to admit, after being initially very excited by this, now I'm not so sure I'm going - oh, don't get me wrong, I'll still bid, but if the expectation is that every sale will be wildly out of alignment with current pinball prices due to hype, I may not do more than place my max and then review later to see who won. What do you all think? Too much frenzy and too little opportunity to pick up something at a reasonable price?

    If most of the buyers are locals, I think the real bargains will come in about 6 months when the people start getting tired of storing the machines they hardly play.

    #830 4 months ago

    I would guess the payment goes the other way. Captains hands the payment to pinball museum. This is a well oiled machine. It’s surely all set up already, today. It’s all business now. (Mostly)

    Quoted from pookycade:

    John better happily convey that check over to Chris. Captains earned it and cemented their reputation as the go to place when you got a large collection to sell. The Sotheby’s of arcades

    #831 4 months ago
    Quoted from uncivil_engineer:

    If most of the buyers are locals, I think the real bargains will come in about 6 months when the people start getting tired of storing the machines they hardly play.

    Have to admit, I think you are right! At least I'm no longer feverous with pinball desire.....common sense has kicked in.

    #832 4 months ago
    Quoted from zh2oson:

    Mother-In-Law just texted from Santa Fe. Heard about the auction on NPR. This has officially...
    [quoted image]

    Yeah, I think pretty much every single person I know has sent me the amazing news. What's funny is that they all seem to think they are giving me a news bulletin, like, "hey, did you know about this?".

    #833 4 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    Nic and I having the two largest public collections in Virginia can attest to how damn difficult it is to keep things operational. And I only have 35 pins. I heard MOP did a much better job (made easier by being open only a few days a year). Asheville when I went down there in June was unfortunately a mess. Never played on so many poorly functioning and out of order machines. That one has a right to be mad about given then single entry price at the door. But they have so many throngs of paying customer they don’t seem to much care. PHOF at least doesn’t have a cover charge. But yeah it’s not a good look regardless. Basic problem is that every one of these places has the unwritten “volunteer labor force” that is part of any financial equation. You can’t actually pay your techs if you hope to stay financially afloat. Luckily for us we have the worlds most dedicated and awesome pinball techs, who get just as upset when a game doesn’t play well as we all do. RPM has Nic who is double duty worlds greatest tech and manager. Tim still is mostly the solo proprietor and whomever happens to drop by that he trusts can pitch in. PPM I have heard has a great crew out in the Bay Area. If any of us had to pay the going rate of $75/hr he wouldn’t keep the lights on. The whole model of stick a bunch of arcade (mostly pins) on the floor = profit is just fantasy. The 50 % broken is more typical, and even when most arcades only have a few pins they are usually decrepit. Why ? Well let me tell ya the tail of our local university student hall that thought it could leave a brand new Spider-Man, amazing condition Twilight Zone and Roller Coaster Tycoon out on free play. The Twilight Zone broke day 1 and was soon escorted out of the building (didn’t see that coming did ya). The Spider-Man was covered in a layer of dirt the likes of which I thought not possible on a new pin with damn near every mech broken. They paid a local tech to do the best he could and he’s great but couldn’t keep up and they got tired of paying him. Lesson learned, they have no pins anymore. I totally get why people get mad when they don’t know all the details. I’m still disappointed in Asheville given how much money I saw them taking in, but maybe that still isn’t enough to service their collection. It’s a tough tough business to be in regardless

    I have 3 pinball machines that I baby and tweak and play bunches of games on with no issues, and it seems that every time some people come over and start playing, at least one if not two develop problems out of the blue, or even go down entirely. I just can't imagine these scales.

    I went to Banning a number of times. There would be some machines down sure, but not really that many. And there were hundreds and hundreds to play, and it seemed to me the vast majority of those worked pretty well. An amazing effort really. I have been to PHOF a number of times, it was not as good, but for me I did still have fun and found enough good ones to play to be happy.

    This makes complete sense given the operations. There was a team of dedicated people from the local area who would go to Banning and work on the machines on a volunteer basis. And, it was only open a few times a year for hordes of people to come in and start banging away on everything. PHOF is open all the time, and only has Tim Arnold and a few others to keep everything going. I can't even grasp how they can keep it all going at all.

    I thought about all of this a few times, and it seems to me that in order to keep things going best and not go completely insane you would need an ordered, organized, systemized, process in place. You would need to buy all the common parts in bulk to save money, such as flipper repair kits or parts, lamps of course, rubbers, pop bumper parts, etc. These would need to be stored in an organized inventory where they could be quickly and easily accessed. If you were really anal, you would have a complete and organized inventory of every machine and track everything that was done to it, its current status, when it is due for an inspection or maintenance, etc.

    But the real stickler is you need the people to do the work. Its not like you can hire someone off the street to do it, there are only so many who have the special skills to fix pinball machines in an efficient manner. People could be taught I suppose.

    #834 4 months ago

    Here's a tip for everyone who is headed over to be there in person. Take SEVERAL of those phone battery banks with you (and the cable of course). If you are hanging out in there for the good part of the day, you have a crappy phone signal, and you are probably taking lots of pictures and even videos. You will drain your battery much quicker than you would think. Then you'll be dead in the water, or find yourself sitting in your car trying to juice it back up and missing the fun.

    #835 4 months ago
    Quoted from xsvtoys:

    I have 3 pinball machines that I baby and tweak and play bunches of games on with no issues, and it seems that every time some people come over and start playing, at least one if not two develop problems out of the blue, or even go down entirely. I just can't imagine these scales.

    There’s two ways to approach repairing games, put the fires out as the pop up or completely go through them. It takes a lot of time up front to get them like this but worth it in the long run. When I do parties at my house with 60-70 machines being played it’s almost a guarantee something breaks or needs adjustment but most of the little stuff people don’t notice. That being said only 7 games here are less than 20 years old.

    Quoted from xsvtoys:

    Its not like you can hire someone off the street to do it, there are only so many who have the special skills to fix pinball machines in an efficient manner. People could be taught I suppose.

    Correct. It’s like writing an encyclopedia from scratch. It can be done but will take a long long time.

    #836 4 months ago
    Quoted from pookycade:

    The whole great playing pins is just an OCD thing on our part, not a requirement at all to stay in business

    I don't entirely agree. The people that care are your ambassadors. At some point, if enough of those ambassadors tell other people that are casually interested in visiting an arcade that your arcade sucks because the games are all busted, that's 100% hurting your business. On the other hand, pinball is rapidly approaching way too expensive to make any sense operating. The cost of parts, a new game and especially the time spent maintaining them (and new games are often worse than old ones here) is increasing at an exponential rate and is IMO, unsustainable.

    #837 4 months ago
    Quoted from xsvtoys:

    . . .
    it seems to me that in order to keep things going best and not go completely insane you would need an ordered, organized, systemized, process in place. You would need to buy all the common parts in bulk to save money, such as flipper repair kits or parts, lamps of course, rubbers, pop bumper parts, etc. These would need to be stored in an organized inventory where they could be quickly and easily accessed. If you were really anal, you would have a complete and organized inventory of every machine and track everything that was done to it, its current status, when it is due for an inspection or maintenance, etc.

    I never saw their machine shop(s) / repair rooms, except briefly through a window, but it looked to me that they came a lot closer to this than PHOF. I recall many, many times seeing games that were down on the floor, with one of those white forms under the glass detailing and tracking what work needed to be done on that game -- sometimes listing parts -- in order to get it back up and running. At the various iterations of PHOF in Vegas, going back to the first one adjacent to those cinemas, I got into the habit of leaving post-it notes or mini-notepad pages on dysfunctional machines, with a specific description (or at least educated guess) as to what the problem was, then I'd let Tim or one of his people know about it. The reaction from Tim's volunteers varied, some being very glad to get the report, but with Tim it felt more like I was the not-so-welcome bearer of bad news. [One time I even discovered the head of a socket wrench that had been left sticking out of a kickout hole on the playfield, glass and lockdown bar still in place, but the game had never been turned off, or marked 'Out of Order' ​!] Definitely a better system was in place at MOP.

    #838 4 months ago

    So going to the auction - you will only be able to attend in person if you put down a 300 deposit, they are only letting in those who are bidding. As I am reading it, which is good. And to be clear - they want a CASH deposit. FYI

    #839 4 months ago

    Pooks, XSV, Jay, a lot of you folks are 100% on target and understand the reality of pinball-as-a-business-venture.

    Without knowledge, without a sincere level of passion, and without a solid business strategy... every pinball-based venture will fall apart. EVERY ONE. 100% guaranteed. Always.

    Even when all of the fundamentals are in place, pinball only lives on because we want it to... through sheer force of will!

    PHOF caters to the masses and takes all the hits of having a huge public location in the middle of a tourist city. Tim works himself to the point of physical and mental collapse. It's amazing he had the energy to launch PHOF 2.0 considering the stress and backlog. His games aren't collector quality and never will be, nor will they need to be. It's all about the quantity, and believe me, Tim knows the game better than anyone else playing with those big boy casinos and managing tens of millions of quarters flowing through those coin slots. He's also been quite generous with sharing his strategies and information, but few want to follow in the footsteps required to do it. It's a life-changing level of commitment. Perhaps only a task for an insane man.

    Quantity also wins for Asheville with its hugely favorable location, attractive business storefront, and media coverage constantly funneling streams of new visitors in the door. Enough to keep the cash registers full no matter what happens. They're the big winners of the pinball hobby. Others include Up-N-Down Lounge, Quarterworld, Ground Kontrol, etc... all of them able to sell alcoholic beverages too (except PHOF).

    Pooks (Decades Arcade) and I and a handful of others across the continent represent the mid-tier. We lack some of the advantages of the big guys and have to make it up somehow. Oftentimes by catering to other passionate weirdos like ourselves who want "boutique pinball" at the best possible quality without wrecking our day jobs in the process. We operate on slim margins and put in a lot of overtime to keep things running. Some months are a wash, at best. But we persist! FOR YOUUU!

    In my case, I have neither a good storefront (looks like a bank from the outside), nor the ability to offer alcoholic beverages on demand. I'm also limited in terms of indoor space... can get maybe 65 maximum in here. So if I can't expand "out", I'll move "up"... putting the focus upon an extremely high quality experience in terms of lighting, gameplay, variety, refreshments, merchandise, special events, perks for sustaining members, etc. Even then, as good as RPM has gotten over the past three years, I'm constantly having to innovate to keep pace and stay competitive. It never stops. I just worked 38 days straight.

    Pooks has a solid strategy by anchoring himself to a brewery. I strongly believe pinball + brewery represents its ultimate evolved form... combining a low-profit, high-maintenance attraction with a high-profit, out of the way product with lots of floor space to burn. It's so perfect it hurts. Every brewery should have some pins in it. Enough perhaps to set the public's expectations no matter which one they visit.

    Anyway, don't get me started... I got auctions to watch and money to hopefully -not- spend. Hopefully. *gulp*

    #840 4 months ago

    NV its good to hear from you, I was gonna post about your setup. I am pretty sure you are one of those "full-on attack" types with your machines (as in go through everything and get it all optimized and tweaked), and I was going to bet that your 65 or so machines have a high percentage that are working and in good condition. I've learned a lot from your various posts and videos, and I with I had been able to have you come by here on your tour. Of course, there is still a big difference between 65 of them and 650 of them.

    And here is a slight side trip that I also was wondering about for all of you managers. If you are taking money into the individual machines as opposed to accepting some sort of other payment and having everything on free play, the simple management of all of that gets mind-boggling at scale. Luckily coin mechs are somewhat cheap and easy to replace. But, how about just managing the hard money? The PHOF is all quarters, I can't even imagine how many quarters even in a day. There must just be piles and piles of them. They all have to be removed from the machines and counted, and then presumably some go back into the coin changers but then all the rest have to get to the bank somehow in sacks or whatever. This all takes time and effort. And of course, its <--money--> so you gotta make sure to keep track of it all.

    #841 4 months ago
    Quoted from MtnFrost:

    So going to the auction - you will only be able to attend in person if you put down a 300 deposit, they are only letting in those who are bidding. As I am reading it, which is good. And to be clear - they want a CASH deposit. FYI

    Right now it looks like I will be able to attend on Saturday only. However my schedule may put me arriving there after 1100. I think they are going to find there will A LOT of people willing to put down a deposit to attend. I don't think this will bode well for Chris's style of moving from machine to machine during the auction. Today's bidding may be very telling as to how the rest of the auction will go down.

    #842 4 months ago

    warmups are underway with some pigs in a poke.

    #843 4 months ago
    Quoted from xsvtoys:

    NV its good to hear from you, I was gonna post about your setup. I am pretty sure you are one of those "full-on attack" types with your machines (as in go through everything and get it all optimized and tweaked), and I was going to bet that your 65 or so machines have a high percentage that are working and in good condition. I've learned a lot from your various posts and videos, and I with I had been able to have you come by here on your tour. Of course, there is still a big difference between 65 of them and 650 of them.
    And here is a slight side trip that I also was wondering about for all of you managers. If you are taking money into the individual machines as opposed to accepting some sort of other payment and having everything on free play, the simple management of all of that gets mind-boggling at scale. Luckily coin mechs are somewhat cheap and easy to replace. But, how about just managing the hard money? The PHOF is all quarters, I can't even imagine how many quarters even in a day. There must just be piles and piles of them. They all have to be removed from the machines and counted, and then presumably some go back into the coin changers but then all the rest have to get to the bank somehow in sacks or whatever. This all takes time and effort. And of course, its <--money--> so you gotta make sure to keep track of it all.

    I've hung out with the PHOF crew a few times. Usual procedure is unlocking each machine, picking out all the coins, lugging heavy sacks to the counting machine on the floor, dumping them in... ka-chunk-ka-chunk-ka-chunk and away it goes. Everyone's hands were tinged gunmetal grey by the end, likely covered with esoteric bacteria from all over the globe. It's a living, eh? One of the reasons I'll never do coin drop. In a brewery, however, that's a whole different matter...

    OK back to the biddin's! *rubs hands*

    #844 4 months ago

    Is there any way to monitor the bidding online aside from registering for the auction?

    #845 4 months ago
    Quoted from greenhornet:warmups are underway with some pigs in a poke.

    Wonder if anyone will show up at the auction with one of those sticks poking around the pinball machines . That would be awesome.

    #846 4 months ago

    I usually like watching Captains Auction even if I don't buy anything, but I'm clearing my schedule and pulling up a front-row seat for this shit just to watch the chaos
    ezgif.com-gif-maker-43.gif

    #847 4 months ago
    Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

    Yes, it's live. You can just watch it.

    Is there a link somewhere to watch live online? I don't see anything on that on the Captain's website...

    #848 4 months ago
    Quoted from cdylanm:

    Is there a link somewhere to watch live online? I don't see anything on that on the Captain's website...

    Search this thread in the search feature for just this thread. Near upper right side.

    LTG : )

    #849 4 months ago
    Quoted from xsvtoys:

    Yeah, I think pretty much every single person I know has sent me the amazing news. What's funny is that they all seem to think they are giving me a news bulletin, like, "hey, did you know about this?".

    Yeah, everyone who's sending it to me...I'm like "You think I didn't know? You. Are. Adorable!"

    Even though this is getting a ton of attention, I still don't think "normal" people are willing to pay this much or deal with shipping....I still think deals will be rare or a fluke...but I don't think it's gonna be flooded with new wanna-be hobbyists bidding huge money. We'll see, though!

    #850 4 months ago
    Quoted from tfduda:

    Is there any way to monitor the bidding online aside from registering for the auction?

    Just register. Use a burner credit card. Give fake info if you're paranoid.

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