(Topic ID: 26)

Best price you have ever paid for a pinball machine.

By erak

13 years ago

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  • 129 posts
  • 106 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 years ago by Hawk007
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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    There are 129 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
    #1 13 years ago

    I would just like to know what is the best price you have ever paid for a pinball machine? Working or not. I recently paid $ 50 dollars Canadian for a working Hollywood Heat machine. I picked it up at a garage sale, the lady that sold it to me said it used to work but just stopped. I bought it anyway, because come on 50 bucks, can't go wrong. So I got it home plugged it in, nothing. I noticed that the plug was all taped up though, so I cut off the plug replaced it with a new one I had at work. And guess what a perfectly working pinball machine for 50 bucks and about 2 minutes of labour. Hazzah.

    Please post your pinball stories, and let me know whats the best deal you have received on a pinball.

    Thanks Eric.

    1 week later
    #2 13 years ago

    Wow thats far out, must be the best deal of the year.
    all of the project -non working 'pins' I get are real mind benders to fix.
    Good to see someone get lucky , hope the next one will be me

    1 week later
    #3 13 years ago

    I always like to make deals with people who already have their sights on a new game and need to get rid of a game rather fast. A friend of mine had a Tales from the Crypt which he was selling for a 'regular' price. But it needed some work first, before he would sell it. He already had a Tommy on the way but no more room. Basically, he really needed to get rid of the Tales fast. That's where I stepped in and made an offer to take it out of his basement and fix her up myself. Saved me 200 euros but I think he was even more pleased with the deal, saved him a lot of time and allowed Tommy to move in. Fixing the Tales took me 2 nights work, but it really makes a game so much more fun, if you fix it up yourself.

    1 month later
    #4 13 years ago

    Ive recently restored that hollywood heat machine new rubbers and other new parts. But recently I had the displays go out. Too bad... Ive posted a question on tech support any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    #5 13 years ago

    Of course the best price is FREE, and that actually happened to me years ago. My dad had a truck parts shop and one of the guys had a Williams Doodle Bug in the back. Every time I went to the shop with my dad I would always ask him about that machine collecting dust in the back. He finally one day asked the guy that owned it and he said that it didn't work and needed restoration. Bugged the guy enough about it and he finally gave it to us for free. Brought it home that same day and plugged it in and it would light up, but that was it. I spent about 3-4 hours just cleaning it and everything. Plugged it in again and still the same thing. I started to flicker with the relays and I touched one of the score relays (I think) in the backbox and....DING DING DING...it came to life. Worked 100% after that.

    2 weeks later
    #6 13 years ago

    1300 USD for a mint Twilight Zone 12 years ago.

    #7 13 years ago

    Ya, you could get a Medieval Madness for that price back then too. Anyone wanna let me borrow their time machine? ;-p

    #8 13 years ago

    That's pretty wild! Maybe in 10 years we will be pontificating the days when Judge Dredd, the Shadow, and Tales From the Crypt machines were only 900 bucks.

    3 weeks later
    #9 13 years ago

    Over the weekend I picked up Chicago Coins - Sound Stage from 1976 an EM game it just needed new rubbers & a good cleaning, I got it for $100.

    #10 13 years ago

    hi.didnt get anything for free, but picked up a mint batman forever for $1,000 US.have picked up about a dozen pins in the last 3 months for all about half price.with the economy being not great to say the least, some peoples "unwanted or cant afford to keep em anymore toys" can be another mad pinball collectors dream...lots of pins real cheap at the moment.economy may get worse.great time to buy buy buy..in a few years, market will rebound and everything will have gone thru the roof again.in 5 or ten years, the 900 us dollars for some pins will leave people saying "no way, you couldnt have got it that cheap, its 6 thousand now"'..buy buy buy...every house needs at least a few extra pins !

    #11 13 years ago

    Segaman brings up a good point now is the time to buy!- as long as your not the type who panics when he/she cant sell it right away, selling can be a real pain in the ass might want to try and sell one first before going in heavy-could change your mind?
    You have to have a game plan or some type of discipline so things wont get out of sight.
    1) good storage- rain , mold, and other acts of mother nature
    2) budget -pick a cap amount per year or 1/4 and stick to it X=$$$$
    3) only buy games that you like- no junk or other peoples headaches, missing plastics or crummy backglasses are a sign to move on
    4) time line- two year bench mark " is this hobby still fun or should I move on?"
    "is this the reason my wife dumped me and took the kids?"or even-
    "I should of bought more when the price was so low".
    Last 5) why are you collecting pins? is it the thrill of finding one and fixing it up or just about the $$$$ after the sell? Do you still play the games or couldn't care less anymore?
    like the Black Knight once said -"Give me your money!"

    1 week later
    #12 13 years ago

    I paid $3000 for: Star Trek TNG, Shadow, Corvette, Twilight Zone together, all of average condition 2 years ago.

    #13 13 years ago

    All of these for $3,000.00, wow, what a deal, my star trek cost AUS $4,500.00 and my TZ $7,000.00, how bad were they?

    #14 13 years ago

    Well, Sttng had a wear at the left flipper and backbox decals were not in good shape, other than that everything worked, TZ was missing the display and the 8 driver panel, but because of this, it was in a garage for years, so it's in pretty good shape, Shadow and Corvette was all working just some scratches on the decals, broken start button...
    So each needed a little work, but no big deal.

    #15 13 years ago

    Addam's family. Got a great deal on ebay

    #16 13 years ago

    I got my Jurassic Park for free, but it was for trade in advertising. Still, the deal was perfect for me because all I had to do was give some promo time to the place on my podcast and on my site for a little while. It was WELL worth it.

    #17 12 years ago

    How about a Cactus Canyon for $1200. It was my first pin purchase several years ago. Even then I should have payed $5000.

    #18 12 years ago

    Oh sure, caligirl, come in and top everybody's story!

    Welcome to the site.

    1 week later
    #19 12 years ago

    I bought a Twilight zone for $500, a STNG for $600, and a NICE Paragon for $150. I have had over 10 games given to me , the best was a Bally Skateball.

    #20 12 years ago

    $455.00 far a working Swords Of Fury. My 1st machine, I'm in love !

    2 months later
    #21 12 years ago

    i got a free high speed pinball back in 1996. i owned a poolhall/coffee shop and an operator wanted some machines in my location because there was alot of customers. i gave him the location after i got my "gift". game was in decent order too. he even replaced the flippers for me and got new rubber to boot!

    3 weeks later
    #22 12 years ago

    a tz with a reset problem for 450€. I got a space shuttle for free but never worked (acid damages)

    #23 12 years ago

    So far my best deal is a free Revenge From Mars Pin2000 machine. I got it for repairing one of the same and a Star Wars Episode One Pin2000. I have to say though I still like playing some of my older ones better but it is a big WOW factor when people first see it.

    3 months later
    #23 12 years ago

    Got my Meteor for free. I was helping my buddy move into his new house and tucked in a back corner in pieces was the Meteor. I made a comment about how they forgot the machine and my friend asked if I wanted it. I was like Heck yeah! Don't think that will happen ever again. However, I've put about $800 into it. Most of that cost has been replacing the Backglass, and upgrading the circuit boards. Oh and shipping costs.

    #24 12 years ago

    I got an xbox 360, a nintendo DS - and a wii for FREE won them all at a raffle, but no pins Id rather have free pinball...

    #25 12 years ago

    Wow... Some of you are very lucky indeed (and I mean that directly). So far I have not had any luck with pin deals, but hearing stories like yours keep the hope (in)sanely alive!


    #26 12 years ago

    Just paid 2500 for a HUO Champion Pub,I felt pretty good considering I paid 2700 for a Monopoly 3 years ago.I really envy some of the deals you people get.It always seems like most pins are a few hundred miles from central Illinois.

    #28 12 years ago

    People revisiting this thread made me almost forget about the old Bally Rocket machine I picked up for next to nothing and sold a an EU collector. It was one of those things that came up in a grocery line talking to an old man in his 80's who had it in his basement.

    I can't believe the $5200 they want for the Medusa jbscar sent me the link on. I paid $165 for mine and maybe put $250 in parts restoring it to original. And mine has the factory MPU board and not the generic Alltek replacement that doesn't operate the machine in the same way.

    It pays to talk about the hobby and socialize. You never know who has what or some thing stuck away somewhere. Like the Spiderman Black I have in storage... it only came about because somebody knew I was into pinball and knew somebody clearing out a storage bin. Otherwise it would be in a landfill right now.

    Watch your local ads and places near you. That's how I found Wolfman who travels around buying and selling. I just emailed a response about one certain machine and now I have another major source for future machines through him and everyone he's spent 30+ years associating with.

    #27 12 years ago

    Bally Rocket - $100 (sold - profit $2000)
    Bally Medusa - $165
    Williams Phoenix - $200
    Revenge from Mars Pin2000 - Free (sold - profit $3400)
    Gottlieb Haunted House - $280
    Gottlieb Street Fighter II - $500

    #27 12 years ago

    No need to worry Brokedad! I LOVE hearing the stories!

    #28 12 years ago

    I just picked up a 1969 Gottlieb "airport" today for $160, and yesterday I scored a Williams Comet for $300, some work to be done though... Starting out a few months back I traded a beat up old macbook and a record player for a 1985 Williams Sorcerer, that was a steal for sure.

    There is deals to be had out there, you just have to work to get them.

    #29 12 years ago

    I bought my LAH for 300 Euros, announced 70 Euros ( yes ..seventy..) on the net.

    I don't undertand how are making my competitors to buy before me on the net.
    I wake up à 5hAM ..I look different sites (attic sales sites, ebay and others,...) frequently (every 2 hours perhaps.. how can we do that at work.....OMG if my boss is pinside subscriber..)

    When I give a call , it's always "too late"...humm...a competitor just phoned before me.Who is it ? You ? How do you know that great deal before me ?

    For this Last Action Hero , i Saw 70 Euros ...Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    I phoned , 1 wrote, 1 phoned , 1 SMS ?? , 1 explained it wasn't the good price, 1 made a bid , and wrote , 1 phoned again, 1 promissed a bottle of wine- do you preffer red or white ...ok red....??? 10 times/ 50 times/ 100 times !

    And i won.
    So This story isn't "my best price" , but "my best challenge"

    Next time i will give you this story "A bottle of wine in exchange of an old rhum ..." for my Canada Dry..A drink too !!


    #30 12 years ago

    I forgot to mention the Jackbot I got for $300. I loved it and planned on keeping it around after restoration, but somebody offered me $1500 and I had a hard time turning that sort of turnaround only 3 weeks later.

    #31 12 years ago

    Oh the past sell regrets .. that in itself would make a good thread. All those machines we sold and now might want again. I noticed Robin recently bought another Demolition Man and plans to keep this one. I wouldn't mind having the Bally Rocket back I sold .. The Pin2000 not so much as it was more eye candy than old school pinball fun.

    #31 12 years ago

    Jackbot for 300! What a steal...

    I just picked up a 1964 Williams "Heat Wave" for $80 today. Needless to say, it's been a good week. What a freakin beauty this one will turn out to be. Check out that flipper setup with the wedge in the middle. Nice!


    #32 12 years ago

    I bought DE Time machine, Dr Who, and Skateball all at once. Basically got Skateball for free cause it was a package deal. Just recently got it working. Cost me about 200 to get it back up and runnin. Not the best deal in the world, but the mint backglass alone is worth more then that

    1 year later
    #33 11 years ago

    I got started collecting by buying a Champion Pub and No Good Gophers for $60 delivered. Had no idea of the deal I got. I got it from a person that was selling stuff from a agency on a base that did not know anything about the machines. That was in 2000. Second best deal was my Gorgar, Blackout, Defender (not pinball) and a Monopoly game from Franklin Mint for $250. The machines have been home use for most of their life. I am hooked.

    #34 11 years ago

    I paid 450 for my street fighter II(pretty good shape) back in 2002. Thinking about getting another one but being very picky about it.

    #35 11 years ago

    Best actual deal I got was a Fathom that I got for doing a days work for the Arcade company I was doing side work for. The manager said his two best techs had spent about a month off and on trying to get it working with no luck and asked me if I would take it for payment (he didn't want to mess with it any more). I agreed and at lunch I fired it up to take a look.

    I saw that it completed power on self test but didn't complete the startup sequence. All the displays were completely lit but the displays were rolling (looks like AC in the DC bus). I had seen this before and started looking on the playfield. I found one of the balls stuck behind one of the rubber rings. I released the ball, and the game finished startup and began playing. The manager walked in and saw me playing the game. He just stood with his mouth open for a few minutes and then turned and walked out shaking his head.

    2nd best was probably a Fireball Classic I picked up for $100 working and in great shape.


    #36 11 years ago

    "That's pretty wild! Maybe in 10 years we will be pontificating the days when Judge Dredd, the Shadow, and Tales From the Crypt machines were only 900 bucks."

    Oh the humanity... Please do not say things like this!

    1 year later
    #41 9 years ago
    Quoted from Santeh:

    "That's pretty wild! Maybe in 10 years we will be pontificating the days when Judge Dredd, The Shadow, and Tales from the Crypt machines were only 900 bucks."
    Oh the humanity... Please do not say things like this!

    With the possible exception of JD, I would say those days have already arrived! Pinflation in action.
    (The original comment in this thread was made only three years ago.)

    #42 9 years ago

    I had a family member selling a few games and I did not want to lowball my own family member. They wew routed, dirty (rat nest dirty) and in need of major work. Eventually I arranged a deal between him and my bud. He offered and my friend accepted these prices.

    TZ $200
    JP $200
    BOP $200

    They are all working and looking good now.

    #43 9 years ago

    I got a CFTBL, FH, & BSD for $2900, from a local man, who delivered them to my house. None of the games worked.

    #44 9 years ago

    Old times best deal sample TZ in 1997 for 1250 (maybe not really a deal). Current days best deal AFM last summer for 2800 (needs decals which I got PHX, really decent playfield and I have a first run repro replacement, both the decals and pf cost me 950.)

    I remember when my now favorite game CFTBL was selling for 400-600 in the mid 90s.


    #45 9 years ago

    Love to read old threads sometimes, this was worth it. If only I had known about pinball six months ago lol. Great stories about machines being given away for next to nothing!

    #46 9 years ago

    That would have to be my Black Knight.

    Picked it up at the end of an estate sale, the people were flying out the next morning and it was one of the few things left in the house.

    They said no one even knew how to turn it on until a guy who used to work in a bar came in and flipped the switch, but then it wouldn't start, even with credits on it. Most people were concerned about the effort it would take to move it.

    It was in excellent condition overall, and the guy even pointed to a couple boxes and said "all of that goes with it too". It was 3 boxes, inside one was a bunch of tools and small spare parts, another bigger box had a new backglass, and the last box had a brand new CPR playfield. The guy must have liked "spare parts" because this machine really needed none of it.

    I asked how much, he kind of mumbled and said "we need to be out of here tomorrow"...I said "OK, how much?" He said "It's all yours for $100.00" Without hesitation, I handed him $100.

    He was shocked that it only took me 5 minutes to have the legs off and have it loaded in the truck after so many people grumbled about how hard it would be to move.

    Got it home, set it up, won't start. Take closer look at the thing, only 2 balls in the lower trough, 3rd ball is in the coinbox, put in in, fires right up!

    #47 9 years ago

    Working Pinbot - 200 bucks. Issue....they didn't know where the power switch was...and they owned 3 other pinball machines.


    They honored the price though...props to that lady.

    It's not an epic score like most on this thread, but for a noob starting out it was a wet dream come true.

    #48 9 years ago

    175 my captain fantastic. Little cleaning and some adjusting and she plays like a champ

    #49 9 years ago

    $25 for a working Stern Stars

    #50 9 years ago

    $1800 for a near mint TZ with flipper issues less than 2 years ago.

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