(Topic ID: 242354)

Contemplating my first purchase


By Erzak

9 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 19 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 months ago by Erzak
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#1 9 months ago

I'm contemplating buying my first pin. I do like to tinker with things, and don't want to buy a NIB or spend thousands. Looking thru the local CL listings (Phoenix area) and found these two within a mile of my house, same seller for both.

"Silver Ball Mania pinball machine by Bally, 1978. Appears all original with few repairs made. Back glass, deck and cabinet are in excellent condition considering the age. It plays without any audio and needs all rubber pieces. Includes repair manual. Key broken off in door. This game looks very complete and an excellent option for restoration. $600.00"

"Flash pinball machine by Williams, 1979. Makes noise and lights up but nothing more. Has original manual. Coin door needs repair and back glass is losing some paint. All rubber parts need to be replaced. Deck and cabinet in good condition. $300.00"

I played Silverball Mania quite a bit in college, and remember liking it. I've never played Flash, though I saw it at ZapCon this past weekend, should have tried it then. I expect there is a VP version of it, so could try that and see what I think.

Guessing that Silverball Mania would be an easier fix since it's working other than audio. but after reading up on both games, here and elsewhere, sounds like Flash is the more fun game. Would either of these be a good first fixer-upper? I'm an electrical engineer, and have built a MAME machine from scratch, but haven't touched the inside of a pinball machine.

The other potential option is I played a Stars (Stern) at ZapCon over the weekend that is for sale for $1100. Of course I didn't write down who was selling it, so it may not be available anymore. That table was a lot of fun.

Of course, I'm not sure where exactly I'd put one, short of losing some furniture in the living room, as Phoenix summers are too hot for a garage. One friend suggested putting it on my wife's side of the bed, since she wouldn't be there anymore...

#2 9 months ago

Get the flash.

Great game and easy to work on.

Plus that’s cheap.

#3 9 months ago

If you have the means, i would pick up both! (Silvermania and Flash)
Offer 800 hundred for trhe pair, and you have yourself a deal and fun projects.

#4 9 months ago

I personally wouldn't get a total project for game #1. I would pay for a working game and have fun with it...shit will end up breaking and you'll have a chance to learn all the fixery in time.

#5 9 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

I personally wouldn't get a total project for game #1. I would pay for a working game and have fun with it...shit will end up breaking and you'll have a chance to learn all the fixery in time.

True. Though I do have a virtual pinball cabinet, so I can play those anytime. I kinda came to the realization when at ZapCon that I really want to have a "real" pin (or two or three) too. VPX is fun, but it's not the same.

#6 9 months ago

I personally think Stars is the best one, but as the only game you won I don't know if it'd choose it; Flash would be my choice.

My advices is always stay the normal owning course of playing, buying, fixing, buying then getting deeper. To me jumping in ready to "restore" a game right off the bat is a a bit much..but that's juts my opinion.

#7 9 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

I personally think Stars is the best one, but as the only game you won I don't know if it'd choose it; Flash would be my choice.
My advices is always stay the normal owning course of playing, buying, fixing, buying then getting deeper. To me jumping in ready to "restore" a game right off the bat is a a bit much..but that's juts my opinion.

I agree. For your first pin, I’d recommend a fully working one. Things will break eventually and you can focus on playing your new pin rather than fixing it.

#8 9 months ago

Stars is the best game out of the three. Flash is the 2nd most fun but much more of a chore to repair than Stars or Silverball mania. I would start with Silverball mania. Fix it, play for a while and then sell it while making a couple of hundo. Then you can get a more expensive game without really spending much more money.

#9 9 months ago

Well, just got an email back from the CL poster that both Flash and Silverball Mania are gone, he just didn't bother to pull his posts after a week+

So I just sent a note to the place that I *think* had Stars for sale. And will keep checking CL, Mr. Pinball, etc.

#10 9 months ago
Quoted from Erzak:

Well, just got an email back from the CL poster that both Flash and Silverball Mania are gone, he just didn't bother to pull his posts after a week+
So I just sent a note to the place that I *think* had Stars for sale. And will keep checking CL, Mr. Pinball, etc.

Any local pinsiders in your area or within 30-60miles? I’d reach out to someone local and maybe play a few pins and buy a good working pin.

#11 9 months ago

Should of bought the stars. At $1,100 working it’s a better deal than those projects, and the best to play too.

#12 9 months ago

Your first pinball buyers lesson.

Don't get your hopes up until you are on the road to look at it then temper your expectations. Could be a trash pile but could be a great find.

#13 9 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

I personally wouldn't get a total project for game #1. I would pay for a working game and have fun with it...shit will end up breaking and you'll have a chance to learn all the fixery in time.

I agree 100%. Buy a working game, you'll have to fix something sooner or later, and it's good to learn slowly than to buy a project and get overwhelmed, frustrated, and then be turned off to the hobby.

Glad to see there are some projects still hanging out there. i'm sure they were scooped up quick.

#14 9 months ago

I would NOT buy a $300 non booting flash project. You are probably ok with the other two games listed. Stars may be more but it's ALSO a much better game than Silverball Mania.

#15 9 months ago

Agree with the above sentiment: Whatever you buy, no matter how cheap or beat, try to get something that boots and flips. Easier to learn from (and heal) a working patient than a dead one.

#16 9 months ago

Stars if you can still get it.

#17 9 months ago

Yep. Still waiting to hear back about the Stars table. And I'm not really in a hurry. Just got excited when I found two tables for sale within a mile of my house. I did look quickly on the Pinside map, and yes, there are a number of Pinsiders nearby. And, more tables at random bars, etc. than I knew about. Will have to expand the radius of my lunchtime expeditions...

#18 9 months ago

Ha, just checked CL again and more stuff listed: a couple of old EMs, Spin Wheel ($800) and Spin-A-Card ($600) and a Williams Laser Cue ($1800). Certainly seems to be a dynamic market.

#19 9 months ago

Heard back this morning that the Stars was sold already. Bummer. Will keep looking...

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