Buying my first pin- advice for around 1000-1500


By WorldWideWeapon

1 week ago


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  • Latest reply 1 day ago by jmountjoy111
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    #1 11 days ago

    Hello everyone. I’m looking for my first pin in the next few months and I don’t really know where to start. I have around 1,000-1500 to spend. I have ZERO experience with repairing anything like a pinball machine. So I would want something that is in good working order. My uncle had a machine called skateball that we played when I was a kid. I enjoyed that game a lot. I want something that has some cool ways for getting bonuses but yet not over the top. If anyone has a list of recommendations in the price range that would be awesome.

    Thanks,
    Alex

    Just an update for the top: I've went and played some pinball in the past week and really enjoyed a few different games. I found out I enjoy games with ramps and "holes" (not sure if that is the correct term) more than just bumpers and drop targets. Yes this makes my game harder to find as ramps and such seems to get pricey. I currently have two games that I'm going to look at in the next couple days.

    Last action hero - seems to be IMO one of the best games for my preferred style. without spending over 2k
    Pinbot - Watched several videos and read reviews. Seems to be a great game at a good cost while fulfilling what I'm looking for.

    #2 11 days ago

    If you were able to bump your budget up to $2500 you would open the doors for a lot more potential machines that have some depth and won't get boring as fast.

    #3 11 days ago
    Quoted from Djshakes:

    If you were able to bump your budget up to $2500 you would open the doors for a lot more potential machines that have some depth and won't get boring as fast.

    That would be tough, only reason being is I'm also looking at getting an NBA Jam arcade along with the pinball. Is there something you really recommend for $2500?

    Or has your experience been there really isn't anything with depth. I have kids that are 2 currently so a little too young but I don't think I want something too advanced that they couldn't enjoy in a year or so.

    #4 11 days ago

    Even if you could bump up to around 2k you might be able to find some of the better system 11 titles, Taxi, Mousin Around, Earthshaker, etc. Great family friendly games with not a whole lot of depth but really fun to play.

    #5 11 days ago

    Depends what you want - if you’re good with an older solid state game you can find one if you look hard enough. Shakes’ suggestion is related to the fact that 2500 can buy you a DMD Game which by and large are also easier to work on

    14
    #6 11 days ago

    There’s nothing wrong with sticking to your budget. For that price your options of reliable digital machines will be very limited. Look into Data East Hook, Williams hurricane, f-14, things like that. You might consider an EM game from the 70s. You’ll have tons of options in your budget.

    -9
    #7 11 days ago

    Dialed In is a good game.

    #8 11 days ago
    Quoted from jonesjb:

    Dialed In is a good game.

    I thought you were more of an Alien guy!

    #9 11 days ago
    Quoted from supermatt:

    Even if you could bump up to around 2k you might be able to find some of the better system 11 titles, Taxi, Mousin Around, Earthshaker, etc. Great family friendly games with not a whole lot of depth but really fun to play.

    Hate to be a new guy here but I dont even know what system 11 means. Also DMD game? sorry fellas super pinball newb here

    #10 11 days ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I thought you were more of an Alien guy!

    Haha yes, and Total Nuclear Annihilation. But to answer the question, Mousin’ Around Or Bad Kats may br good options.

    #11 11 days ago

    after seeing the comment about not being able to get a digital machine for 1500, Maybe its best i just hold back for bit and be willing to drop the extra 1k.

    #12 11 days ago

    There's plenty of digital games in that price range. Get yourself a Williams comet for around $1,000 you will not be disappointed.

    #13 11 days ago
    Quoted from WorldWideWeapon:

    after seeing the comment about not being able to get a digital machine for 1500, Maybe its best i just hold back for bit and be willing to drop the extra 1k.

    System 11 are games made by Bally and Williams from he mid to late 80s.

    Go to system11.org for info on all of them. Most of those should be near your budget or a tad higher.

    As mentioned before. The menchancial games (turning score reels instead of digital scoring), sure be easy to find in, and even under your budget for nice ones from the 70s.

    Then you have the early solid state games. These were the games from 79-mid eighties that had digital scoring and sounds. Beeps and boops instead of chimes. Plenty of these are in your range too.

    By the way. Since you’re in Cincinnati you’re near a ton of local collectors and places to play. Send me a private message for more info on local events and leagues and places to play.

    #14 11 days ago
    Quoted from WorldWideWeapon:

    after seeing the comment about not being able to get a digital machine for 1500, Maybe its best i just hold back for bit and be willing to drop the extra 1k.

    If you don't have your heart set on a particular game, and you are open to shopping out/cleaning up a machine, $1500 will land you just about all System 11 titles (sans a few). It just takes longer, and you have to be pretty picky about what you're buying (not buying a project/junker for $1500). Finding a $1500 Pinbot that just needs a shop job is not out of realm of possibility at all.

    #15 10 days ago

    Get a Jungle Lord. Ignore the artwork and have fun for years. Should be easy to find at 1500 or under.

    #16 10 days ago

    1500 can land a lot of gottliebs. Good bang for the buck, and built like tanks. Gladiators, big hurt, wipeout, all good games and dmd as well

    #17 10 days ago

    Can't go wrong with a Terminator 2.....

    #18 10 days ago

    There are a bunch of classic solid state games well within your budget. My recommendation is to go to the games tab, search by classic stern, bally and williams. Look at all the games between 1978 and 1985. Write down the names and average prices, then look up game play videos on youtube. You will find something that interests you. Then look on the map of that game for one that is local on route or for sale. Then go play it.

    #19 10 days ago

    Here's a really fun game near you, a little over your budget, but might be worth checking out:

    Machine - For Sale
    Fully shopped/refurbished “Top BACK left corner of cabinet head corner needs repaired but cabinet and head is solid and the graphics are nice. Some lock holes drilled in coin door. The scratches in the pics...”
    32 days ago
    Cincinnati, OH
    2,200

    #20 10 days ago

    Definitely get yourself a Solid state game. You can find them for under $2K but the better titles will have some wear and tear on them at that price.

    #21 10 days ago

    Here's another fun game on Craiglist, might be worth having a look:

    cincinnati.craigslist.org link

    Taxi and Pinbot are both well-respected System 11 games.

    #22 10 days ago

    I wouldn't worry about the kids too much, you will probably have either traded your first game or bought another within a year so find something you like.

    I like the suggestion about picking a few titles in your price range then hitting youtube.

    Maybe find a Space Shuttle.....

    #23 10 days ago

    Here's a slightly older game on eBay which would also be a fun first pin. It's in Cleveland but might be worth the drive, looks nice in the pics, and its within your budget:

    ebay.com link » Vector Pinball Machine

    #24 10 days ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    System 11 are games made by Bally and Williams from he mid to late 80s.
    Go to system11.org for info on all of them. Most of those should be near your budget or a tad higher.
    As mentioned before. The menchancial games (turning score reels instead of digital scoring), sure be easy to find in, and even under your budget for nice ones from the 70s.
    Then you have the early solid state games. These were the games from 79-mid eighties that had digital scoring and sounds. Beeps and boops instead of chimes. Plenty of these are in your range too.
    By the way. Since you’re in Cincinnati you’re near a ton of local collectors and places to play. Send me a private message for more info on local events and leagues and places to play.

    Thanks so much for the info. Ill PM you tomorrow lol, only arcades that im aware of are arcade legacy and 16 bit. Both in Cincinnati. outside of that, havent really looked.

    #25 10 days ago

    This guy in Indianapolis has a Comet, doesn't list the price, but it should be within your budget.

    indianapolis.craigslist.org link

    #26 10 days ago

    Plenty of great games out there for your budget. Early Bally solid states are readily available in that range. Data East has some good games that are around that value. Honestly, go out and play some pinball on a lot of different machines from a bunch of different years. Find what you like within your price range. You will find some great games. I like the suggestion of Comet. That game is great and in your price range. Most of my games are in that price range.

    Any pin will get old after a while. The trick is to pay a fair price and sell it for a fair price. Then you can trade and swap them out when you get bored.

    #27 10 days ago
    Quoted from solarvalue:

    This guy in Indianapolis has a Comet, doesn't list the price, but it should be within your budget.
    indianapolis.craigslist.org link

    Dang.. looks like a solid find. I'm not sure I'm ready to pull the trigger just yet. Want to make sure everything goes well with finishing my basement and that stays on budget before I buy a my games.

    Also holy crap guys! I wasn't expecting this many responses so quickly. I do think I want to get out and play some. its been years and years since I actually have.

    #28 10 days ago
    Quoted from WorldWideWeapon:

    Dang.. looks like a solid find. I'm not sure I'm ready to pull the trigger just yet. Want to make sure everything goes well with finishing my basement and that stays on budget before I buy a my games.

    No rush, I just wanted to show you that there are many solid options near you that are within your budget. There will no doubt be others when you are ready to buy.

    #29 10 days ago

    I believe you should take Chuck up on his offer. Learn and play more before you buy.

    #30 10 days ago
    Quoted from WorldWideWeapon:

    Dang.. looks like a solid find. I'm not sure I'm ready to pull the trigger just yet. Want to make sure everything goes well with finishing my basement and that stays on budget before I buy a my games.
    Also holy crap guys! I wasn't expecting this many responses so quickly. I do think I want to get out and play some. its been years and years since I actually have.

    This is what I would recommend. Go to pinballmap.com and select cincinnati. Lots of places with at least one game. Arcade legacy opens a new location in Newport this Friday. 6 Pins. 4 of which are well within your budget.

    #31 10 days ago

    In that price range, I think Firepower is your best bet. It's a fun game, it'll be a good, relatively easy system to learn repairs on, and the price will be right.

    #32 10 days ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    This is what I would recommend. Go to pinballmap.com and select cincinnati. Lots of places with at least one game. Arcade legacy opens a new location in Newport this Friday. 6 Pins. 4 of which are well within your budget.

    yeah im 100% going to check his place out. I know the owner from my job. So I might pick is brain for bit.

    #33 10 days ago
    Quoted from WorldWideWeapon:

    yeah im 100% going to check his place out. I know the owner from my job. So I might pick is brain for bit.

    Jesses a great dude and has played tons and tons of pinball. I will say the Cincinnati mall locations games need lots of work so I’d stick to the bar location on spring grove and the new Newport location for now.

    #34 10 days ago

    All who said
    to get out there and
    play gave good advice.
    Equally important is to begin to identify what you like about pinball. Will any game in general satisfy? What about features? Do you really like pop bumpers? What about drop targets?
    Spinners, ramps, rollovers?
    Then beyond the basics you have DMD's, vuk's, multi-ball and a host of other things.
    So take your time. Play a wide variety of games. Identify your preferences and what you absolutely have to have in a machine.
    And remember should your first machine
    lose it's appeal,
    you can always buy another

    #35 10 days ago
    Quoted from jonesjb:

    Haha yes, and Total Nuclear Annihilation. But to answer the question, Mousin’ Around Or Bad Kats may br good options.

    Not at $1500.

    The crazy cat lady community has juiced up the prices on both of these.

    #36 10 days ago
    Quoted from rollitover:

    All who said
    to get out there and
    play gave good advice.
    Equally important is to begin to identify what you like about pinball. Will any game in general satisfy? What about features? Do you really like pop bumpers? What about drop targets?
    Spinners, ramps, rollovers?
    Then beyond the basics you have DMD's, vuk's, multi-ball and a host of other things.
    So take your time. Play a wide variety of games. Identify your preferences and what you absolutely have to have in a machine.
    And remember should your first machine
    lose it's appeal,
    you can always buy another

    Thanks for the reply. I thought I was just going to buy a “basic” pin but In the next couple weeks I plan on getting out and play some to see what I really like. Although I Watched some videos on firepower and fireower 2 and those look pretty cool and in my price range

    #37 10 days ago
    Quoted from WorldWideWeapon:

    Thanks for the reply. I thought I was just going to buy a “basic” pin but In the next couple weeks I plan on getting out and play some to see what I really like. Although I Watched some videos on firepower and fireower 2 and those look pretty cool and in my price range

    Firepower, Firepower 2, Gorgar, Blackout, Xenon, Comet and dozens of other titles can be found in good condition within your price range. If you're claiming to be a total "newb", I'd advise staying within budget and getting an early 80s game in better condition (with consolation going to late 80s - early 90s Data East and Gottlieb, many of which are within budget).

    Going with something more expensive, with more features (more things to break)... OR a ton more features & newer but beat to crap, is really jumping into the deep end for your first game.

    There will be more to come, and even if you run out of space or get bored of the 1st game you have, it's going to retain most, if not all of its initial purchase price (depending on what you've paid), so you're halfway to your next title already.

    #38 10 days ago
    Quoted from WorldWideWeapon:

    That would be tough, only reason being is I'm also looking at getting an NBA Jam arcade along with the pinball.

    Unless you plan on having 3 other people around to play with, I would avoid getting NBA Jam. First off, they are getting more expensive (if you want dedicated). Second, the game is just not as fun without people to play with. You can play pinball by yourself or with friends and the enjoyment is similar. Playing NBA Jam by yourself is just depressing. I sold mine early this year (dedicated Tournament Edition) and used the cash to buy a budget pin and a super chexx.

    As far as titles go, your lower budget...Williams System 9 (Comet, Sorcerer, Space Shuttle), earlier Data East games (Laser War, Secret Service, possibly Hook or Time Machine) or your higher budget... Williams System 11 (Taxi, Pinbot, Space Station, Earthshaker, F14, High Speed, Roller games), deeper Data East Titles like Last Action Hero. You could even find some later Williams like Fish tales, Black Rose, and Flintstones for 2500 or less.

    Definitely play them beforehand. Tastes vary.

    #39 10 days ago

    I bought my first 2 games this year- #Blackwater 100 and #Special Force. They are way low on the top games list, but we are having a ton of fun with them. Blackwater has 5 flippers on 3 play fields (one is backward) and you basically have to hit every target under the glass. There are tunnels and ramps everywhere. It's a dirt bike theme. I don't ride dirt bikes myself, but it's a blast. Special force is a ridiculous 80s kind of Rambo style army game. Reminds of my childhood playing with GI Joe's. You hit some targets to load a helicopter with bombs and then if you make the helicopter ramp it "drops" the bombs on the huts, which are pop bumpers that rapid fire (pop pop pop pop pop).

    How did I specifically get these two titles? Well, mainly because they happened to be on Craigslist when I was looking! It's fun to see what all is out there.

    On the other hand, I have had to fix a couple things in these 30 year old games. I learned to solder and rebuild one flipper on blackwater (I was cursing it for having 5 of them at first!). I learned about the switch matrix on special force when a handful of things weren't working at the same time. Found a single broken wire with my son and a multimeter I've actually enjoyed the repair aspect.

    Point is, you never know what you might find!

    #40 10 days ago

    I would definitely look at Pinbot if i were in your shoes.

    #41 10 days ago

    Just another idea, besides actually playing pinball, or watching videos, you could also do some Pinball Arcade on an Ipad or xbox or something. You might find some games that sounds just annoy you, or the layout isn't to your liking.

    Good luck!

    #42 10 days ago

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention what a great resource we have in the ipbd, the pinball data base. Great way to check out artwork, playfield layouts and artwork. Also lists all features for any given game and has players ratings as well.

    #43 10 days ago
    Quoted from foureyedcharlie:

    I would definitely look at Pinbot if i were in your shoes.

    Agreed, PinBot is the best of the budget System 11s in my opinion.

    PS: I would also strongly consider putting your NBA Jam budget into pinball. My reasoning is that ports and virtual console versions do a pretty good job of replicating games like NBA Jam. I can't say the same about virtual pinball.

    #44 10 days ago

    The market today is insane. A lot of the system 11 games listed are outside of the $1500 range. But I will agree system 11 is a cant lose.

    I vote high speed if I had to choose a sure bet. Loads of fun and under $1500. Oh and there a an absolute million of them so it should be easy to find.

    #45 9 days ago

    I recently sold my Data East Secret Service and I absolutely miss it. Great pin for under $1.5k Has drop targets, an elevator, 3 flippers, multiball, metal ramp, speech, a cool spy theme, and some of the best pinball music from the era.

    #46 9 days ago

    Yer thread title is full of typos bud. It should read "Buying My First Pin--I500"

    #47 9 days ago

    What I like about your thread is the title which seems to imply that you might understand that after the first there will be a second and a third and....

    #48 6 days ago

    So I went to arcade legacy and played a few machines. I got to play firepower, super mario, and funhouse. I llooovvveed funhouse but it was way out of my price range. I also enjoyed super Mario. Firepower was fun although it reminded me a ton of the skateball game I played as a kid. There was a machine there for sale called corgar. I really wanted to check it out but a guy literally played it without getting off for 2 and half hours lol. The guy said he was selling it for 1k with 1 year of service if anything happened. But my end result is I might end up saving for another year on a pin. I really really like funhouse and super Mario

    #49 6 days ago

    Corgar = Gorgar?

    What made Funhouse appealing to you? That quality is what you should be looking for in other games perhaps.

    #50 6 days ago
    Quoted from RonSS:

    What made Funhouse appealing to you?

    Im voting it is because it’s one of the best games ever made. But price reflects that as well. I’d love to have one.

    As for smb it gets old pretty fast.

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