(Topic ID: 48772)

Crappy pins in the wild


By PurpleTophat

6 years ago



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  • 62 posts
  • 30 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by centerflank
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    #1 6 years ago

    Alright, that's it. I take it back. It wasn't long ago that I went off about not paying a premium to play pins on location. Most of that had to do with the wife not being very good, but I don't care anymore. I'll pay to play games in DECENT damned shape.

    So we're spending the weekend dog sitting for my parents up in Northern IL close to the WI border, and we thought it would be fun to visit the pin map and spend a good part of our Saturday driving from one location to another playing some different pins. Sounds like a fun evening with the wife, right? Yeah, well you should have seen the condition of these games! Just a load of unplayable junk. Broken flippers, broken plastics everywhere, weak kick-outs, dirty as all hell, broken dmds, you name it. One place had the sound completely off. Set it to 1, but leave it on!

    So disappointed. So that's the end of my preference for lower play prices. Now that I own a HUO game and I treat it like my baby...I can't stand to play games that have been beat to hell and not kept up AT ALL. As one Pinsider told me recently, when you see a pin in bad shape, don't pay to support that operator, no matter what the price. Well I think from here on when I see a pin that's clearly been kept up and cared for, I'm going to throw some plays on it no matter what the price as well.

    Anyways, that's my lesson learned the hard way for the day. Goodnight all!

    #2 6 years ago
    Quoted from PurpleTophat:

    As one Pinsider told me recently, when you see a pin in bad shape, don't pay to support that operator, no matter what the price. Well I think from here on when I see a pin that's clearly been kept up and cared for, I'm going to throw some plays on it no matter what the price as well.

    Thank you !

    LTG : )

    #3 6 years ago

    i agree, more often than not games i find on route are beat to heck and almost unplayable.

    #4 6 years ago

    Took the kids to an arcade in Chicago area where they had revenge from mars, one of the flippers were so week you could barely get a shot off and it would stick so I moved on to lord of the rings, well the flippers on it worked but the dmd had issues and had broken parts, there was another pinball, can't remember the name, but it was turned off, very dissapointing no wonder pinball has took a dive at the arcades.

    #5 6 years ago
    Quoted from PurpleTophat:

    Alright, that's it. I take it back. It wasn't long ago that I went off about not paying a premium to play pins on location. Most of that had to do with the wife not being very good, but I don't care anymore. I'll pay to play games in DECENT damned shape.
    So we're spending the weekend dog sitting for my parents up in Northern IL close to the WI border, and we thought it would be fun to visit the pin map and spend a good part of our Saturday driving from one location to another playing some different pins. Sounds like a fun evening with the wife, right? Yeah, well you should have seen the condition of these games! Just a load of unplayable junk. Broken flippers, broken plastics everywhere, weak kick-outs, dirty as all hell, broken dmds, you name it. One place had the sound completely off. Set it to 1, but leave it on!
    So disappointed. So that's the end of my preference for lower play prices. Now that I own a HUO game and I treat it like my baby...I can't stand to play games that have been beat to hell and not kept up AT ALL. As one Pinsider told me recently, when you see a pin in bad shape, don't pay to support that operator, no matter what the price. Well I think from here on when I see a pin that's clearly been kept up and cared for, I'm going to throw some plays on it no matter what the price as well.
    Anyways, that's my lesson learned the hard way for the day. Goodnight all!

    Sadly, I found similar conditions exist at the Pinball Parlor north of Philly. I was just disappointed - particularly with the roomful of EMs - half of them turned off and of the remaining ones, only 3 of them were playable. I'd gladly give a second chance if conditions there improved - I am always happy to support pinball - but so disappointed when I find conditions like this.

    I head to St. Peters Village Arcade (VERY limited hours - Sat & Sun daytime only) - exclusively classic EMs here. Other Grade A pinball within my travel sphere exists at Pinball Gallery (Downingtown, PA) and Silverball Museum (Asbury Park, NJ).

    #6 6 years ago

    I am now going to make a habit of taking good notes on the condition of machines that I play on location and updating the pin map with condition updates and the date on which I visited the machine. If more people start doing the same, maybe we can save each other from traveling to crappy machines, and help identify what few machines are out there that are actually in good condition.

    I figure it could only help!

    #7 6 years ago
    Quoted from PurpleTophat:

    I am now going to make a habit of taking good notes on the condition of machines that I play on location and updating the pin map with condition updates and the date on which I visited the machine. If more people start doing the same, maybe we can save each other from traveling to crappy machines, and help identify what few machines are out there that are actually in good condition.
    I figure it could only help!

    Yes! I always try and do this, and super appreciate seeing notes from other users ahead of time. When I see that a game was broken and the update is recent it's helpful to know. The smart ops are using the app too, and posting their own updates when they fix things. Sadly not too many of those, but I met one up in SF the other day, they're out there.

    #8 6 years ago

    saw a TAF yesterday at my local bowling alley. Turned on. Ten credits on it. No balls to be found. Must be stuck in the tunnels.

    It was in need of some serious love.

    #9 6 years ago

    Crappy games in the wild can be fun...just a diff'rent way of playing. eXpecially if there's no tilt.

    #10 6 years ago

    There's a pizza joint in town with an Addams Family and Lethal Weapon 3. I don't really know how to describe how filthy the Family is. It leans wildly to the right. Thing doesn't work. I mean, I could go on but it's probably the worst piece of shit I've seen on location. The Lethal Weapon is OK but I think it's because no one plays it.

    I should take picture of that playfield. I'm surprised the ball doesn't leave a trail through all the dirt like a boat wake.

    #11 6 years ago

    The lotr that used to be on location near me had a broken gollums cave for close to 2 years. Every time you hit the shot it wouldn't register and needed a ball search to kick up to the ramp. Even after I kept telling the op while he was there working on it that the shot wasn't working it never got fixed. No surprise I've never seen another person playing any pins there in the 2 years I've been going on my lunch breaks and after work

    #12 6 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Crappy games in the wild can be fun...just a diff'rent way of playing. eXpecially if there's no tilt.

    Yeah there's a Sopranos around here in lousy shape with no tilt on tile floor and you can basically slide the machine from side to side and play forever! Too bad the safe doesn't even work though.

    Quoted from Aurich:

    Yes! I always try and do this, and super appreciate seeing notes from other users ahead of time. When I see that a game was broken and the update is recent it's helpful to know. The smart ops are using the app too, and posting their own updates when they fix things. Sadly not too many of those, but I met one up in SF the other day, they're out there.

    Yeah, we need to start a movement here. Get our fellow Pinsiders to update after they play a machine with a date and condition report. I just did a few tonight.

    The other problem seems to be that there are a couple of people around here who will give a fresh update to a location without even having been there. One time I sent the guy a message and he told me he was "just going through and verifying that addresses were correct". Well that's all well and good, but then it makes it look like the info has been verified recently, when in fact it hasn't. I drove a pretty good distance to play a Spider Man that was listed in good shape only to find that it had been replaced with a broken down South Park. Kind of frustrating when the listing said it was updated the day before. As a community, it's our resource, so I for one am going to do my best to update it whenever I play a game on location.

    #13 6 years ago

    I was at Epthegeek's last night, he was saying that place in Lombard, Enchanted Castle had solid machines.

    #14 6 years ago
    Quoted from navajas:

    I should take picture of that playfield. I'm surprised the ball doesn't leave a trail through all the dirt like a boat wake.

    Yeah really! We have a POTC at a Theater over here, and I SWEAR the dirt actually makes the ball die right over the drain. It's really weird. Never seen anything like it but every time I try a standard post pass it can't seem to cut through the dirt to the other flipper!!! REALLY STRANGE! Looks like there's a magnet in the drain or something.

    #15 6 years ago

    I'm lucky in Minneapolis... I know of 3 locations in 10 miles that have anywhere from 8 to 30 fully functioning games. They should advertise that on the real estate listings: "full access to pinball".

    #16 6 years ago
    Quoted from centerflank:

    I was at Epthegeek's last night, he was saying that place in Lombard, Enchanted Castle had solid machines.

    Holy hell! Looks like they've got 18 machines over there now! If they're in good shape, I think we're in business! I've never been, but I think we're going to head over there some time this week for sure!

    #17 6 years ago

    Enchanted Castle is good for now. Hopefully they will keep the machines repaired as they break down. They have all Stern games, so they will have a lot of repairs in the future.

    #18 6 years ago

    Theater closest to me in Madison has had Rocky and Bullwinkle and Big Buck Hunter for nearly 2 years now. Sigh.

    I think we all get spoiled on home games and don't realize the horrors on the open road!

    #19 6 years ago

    Place about 45 minutes away from has TSPP, SP, WOF, Sopranos, T3, Monopoly, and NASCAR. Only ONE works!!!!

    #20 6 years ago

    Wally's house of booze in Wenatchee Wa, only 3 games but kept up weekly.. LOTR TSPP and TMNT

    #21 6 years ago

    Well see, if all of us decide that when we see games in crappy shape, we'll update the pin map on this site with the current date and condition of the machine, slowly but surely we'll start getting a better picture of where the better machines are.

    I plan on owning as many machines as I can afford and have room for, but as long as there are pins in the wild, I will play pins in the wild!!! Hell, the wife and I are heading to Niagara Falls for her Birthday next month, and we plan on following the pin map playing different pins for the whole road trip there and back!

    #22 6 years ago
    Quoted from mattenno:

    They have all Stern games, so they will have a lot of repairs in the future.

    Yes, Bally/williams/gottlieb/sega/capcom/data east have never needed 1 repair ever in the history of pinball.

    #23 6 years ago
    Quoted from oropuro:

    Wally's house of booze in Wenatchee Wa, only 3 games but kept up weekly.. LOTR TSPP and TMNT

    See, now go to the pin map and update it! If it ain't there, add it! Put the date, then the condition of each machine.

    #24 6 years ago
    Quoted from centerflank:

    I was at Epthegeek's last night, he was saying that place in Lombard, Enchanted Castle had solid machines.

    Went there about a month ago it's pretty sweet.

    #25 6 years ago
    Quoted from centerflank:

    Yes, Bally/williams/gottlieb/sega/capcom/data east have never needed 1 repair ever in the history of pinball.

    Yeah, I mean I don't wanna get off topic here, but I really don't understand why anyone who loves pinball doesn't appreciate Stern. What would you prefer? That they closed up shop like the others?? Beyond however many other points I could make, how much do you think the older machines from those other companies would cost you now if Stern had shut their doors too?

    I'll just never get the hate AT ALL. If you think that others made better games, that's cool by me, but if they had shut their doors, where would we be now? I for one appreciate the hell out of the fact that they kept making games when nobody else was. I wasn't making games. You weren't making games. They were. Any business owner will tell you that it ain't easy. Good for them and thank you Stern. Oh? Am I a fanboy? Sure! I love my Stern game.

    Well that was probably pointless because it's been gone over a hundred times, but I just had to.

    #26 6 years ago

    Check my collection, I love them all, I dont own any gottlieb/data's/sega's but Id never blast them ever! Check every post Ive ever made.

    This is a pinball Lovin site, right?

    #27 6 years ago

    DAMN RIGHT!

    #28 6 years ago

    Yes, STERN!, The only company you can call up any distributor and get a NIB in your house 2-3days later.......THANK YOU STERN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    #29 6 years ago
    Quoted from PurpleTophat:

    Yeah, I mean I don't wanna get off topic here, but I really don't understand why anyone who loves pinball doesn't appreciate Stern.

    I appreciate a company that produces pinball machines. I won't suck their dick or act like they are saving the world though. That goes for any company at any time.

    Quoted from PurpleTophat:

    If you think that others made better games, that's cool by me, but if they had shut their doors, where would we be now?

    Buying a bunch of pinball machines for a shitload less then we are now <---JJP started it no argument there.

    #30 6 years ago

    It's always a bummer to see pins in poor shape on location. But it's also really cool to see pins in good, clean, working condition on location. There's a movie theatre near me (Rogers 18) that has a TAF, DH, and Popeye. They are all in really great shape. I like to tell my wife the movie starts an hour earlier than it actually does, that way I get to play some pinball! She is starting to catch on though...

    Then there is SS billiards and Blainebrook that also have pins in good, clean, working condition which is awesome. Those are the only places that I have played pins on location in my area.

    I did just back from Universal Studios in Orlando. They had a Shrek pin at both of their parks. They were both in such terrible, unplayable shape. I had to walk away from both of them because the flippers were so weak, you couldn't even really play a game. It sucks to see that. I'm on board for updating the pin map. Good call!

    #31 6 years ago

    This TAF Hilton just hooked me up with, is a slight project, within a few hours of monkeying with it, is a way better play than the TAF at Fox Lanes in Waukesha.

    Operators for random locations need to step big time, this is what really hurts the pin hobby.

    I know a few location operators on here are awesome(doughslingers for example) but he's in the minority.

    #32 6 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    I appreciate a company that produces pinball machines. I won't suck their dick or act like they are saving the world though. That goes for any company at any time.

    Well Christ, I should hope not! I'm not looking to start a love-fest. Just saying that I don't get why you'd hate any company that makes something that you love! Just seems all types of goofy to me.

    #33 6 years ago
    Quoted from centerflank:

    This TAF Hilton just hooked me up with, is a slight project, within a few hours of monkeying with it, is a way better play than the TAF at Fox Lanes in Waukesha.
    Operators for random locations need to step big time, this is what really hurts the pin hobby.
    I know a few location operators on here are awesome(doughslingers for example) but he's in the minority.

    Damn, I would give my big toe for TAF. Congrats!

    Any operators who are on this site need to start updating the pin map! I'm so sick of crappy games out there that the wife and I will drive to your machines if they are in good shape. Start updating! When you fix something, tell us about it. When you switch a machine out, update it!

    #34 6 years ago
    Quoted from PurpleTophat:

    I'm not looking to start a love-fest. Just saying that I don't get why you'd hate any company that makes something that you love! Just seems all types of goofy to me.

    Yeah actually love fests happen quite often round here so i never know

    There are plenty of reason to dislike a company. Companies that give you incomplete games, raise their prices for no reason, don't let you know what's going on, etc etc. Not specific to one company. You & I that don't by NIB there's a lot less reason.

    Quoted from PurpleTophat:

    Any operators who are on this site need to start updating the pin map!

    ops don;t worry much....they get the same monies working games or not.

    #35 6 years ago
    Quoted from PurpleTophat:

    Any operators who are on this site need to start updating the pin map!

    I do. In return, I would appreciate it if you would let someone at the business know if any of the games need attention. Lots of folks complaining in this thread, but I don't see many trying to get things fixed. The goal shouldn't be to map all the bad pins out there. It should be to get most all of the games on the map in good working order.

    I play on location regularly (besides my own games). Before I write off any location, I always try at least once to get repairs made. Business owners want to know if their games can earn more. You will run into lazy ops, but most business owners want to know how they can make more money. Tell someone the issues, then come back a week later if possible to see if anything was done.

    Quoted from PurpleTophat:

    When you fix something, tell us about it. When you switch a machine out, update it!

    Sure. In return, please tell someone if you find a problem. They can't fix themselves!

    #36 6 years ago
    Quoted from centerflank:

    I know a few location operators on here are awesome(doughslingers for example) but he's in the minority.

    I should ad LTG in there also, Ive never been by his place, but I assume everything is quite pristine.

    #37 6 years ago

    I wish more ops would put an email for machine comments on the rules card. Just get a gmail address you check semi-regularly, now that everyone is smart-phoned up you'd get plenty of helpful feedback. Whenever I see that it says to me that the machine is more likely to be taken care of.

    #38 6 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    I wish more ops would put an email for machine comments on the rules card.

    It is much easier that way, but from my experience, you get better results by telling someone who works there. The business calling the op gets a lot more attention than an email from a player. Yes, you do have to talk to a human and tell them their games suck, but it gets better results.

    Quoted from Aurich:

    Whenever I see that it says to me that the machine is more likely to be taken care of.

    I don't have any contact info on my games, but when a problem is reported, I get a call right away and I fix it within 24 hours. If the equipment is in good shape, there's no need for any contact info. Last thing I want is 18 emails a month asking me if I want to sell my EATPM.

    #39 6 years ago
    Quoted from PurpleTophat:

    So we're spending the weekend dog sitting for my parents up in Northern IL close to the WI border, and we thought it would be fun to visit the pin map and spend a good part of our Saturday driving from one location to another playing some different pins.

    Next time you're up in that area, check out the Roadshow at Frank 'n' Fries north of Waukegan. It's probably one of the nicest condition games I've ever seen on route...

    Later,
    EV

    #40 6 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    It is much easier that way, but from my experience, you get better results by telling someone who works there. The business calling the op gets a lot more attention than an email from a player. Yes, you do have to talk to a human and tell them their games suck, but it gets better results.

    Honestly though, half the time I simply won't bother. Sad, but true. An email though, I might. The other half the time can be a mixed bag, I get a lot of "shrug it's broken, whatever" responses. I guess it depends on if you talk to someone who cares, an hourly employee might not give a shit.

    #41 6 years ago

    Some of these machines look more abandoned than on a route.

    #42 6 years ago

    The area I live in (Norfolk VA) is full of pretty bad condition machines. Even the arcade at the Virginia Beach oceanfront that has a tech there -- the games were pretty bad. Perhaps that has changed as I haven't been there in a year or two but I doubt it.

    Private collections are where the working machines are around in Southeast VA. The ops don't care.

    An hour or so down the road in Grandy NC (near the Outer Banks) from us there is a gas station/variety store that is pinball mecca. MM, TAF, CacCan, MBash, Tom, CV, TOTAN, CFTBL, TZ, STTNG, AFM, RFM, SWep1, Cyclone, Funhouse, Road Show, Big Bang Bar, Shadow, Guns and Roses, Black Rose, Tron LE, Rolling Stones LE, WW, Tales Crypt, LOTR LE... and a bunch more. Avengers, Iron Man, Batman (Stern), Xmen, Transformers, Avatar, and more. It's an op's collection setup for the public that know pinball. He has a ton of locations elsewhere and I've heard the games are mostly kept up on location. It's been beautiful. It's called Flippers Variety Store and it's something else.

    That being said, it takes a bunch of work to keep them up and running. New sterns definitely fair better than 90s era Williams machines as far as reliability.

    #43 6 years ago
    Quoted from centerflank:

    Yes, Bally/williams/gottlieb/sega/capcom/data east have never needed 1 repair ever in the history of pinball.

    I love Stern's, but I also have played quite a few on location. Compared to the Bally/Williams I've come across, they seem to have more issues.

    #44 6 years ago
    Quoted from mattenno:

    I love Stern's, but I also have played quite a few on location. Compared to the Bally/Williams I've come across, they seem to have more issues.

    Well, in my experience...since Ive owned them

    LOTR=0 issues
    Xmen=1 broken nylon tip of a plunger assembly
    Avenger=0 issues, although my Topper was shorting out and blowing fuses, non Stern related
    Tron=0 issues

    The B/W games Ive owned need much more attention, but they were much older as well...

    #45 6 years ago
    Quoted from mattenno:

    Compared to the Bally/Williams I've come across, they seem to have more issues.

    Well I don;lt come across many games on location these days that are great runners

    #46 6 years ago

    pretty typical... ops don;t make money on pins. why keep dumping money in to them?

    #47 6 years ago
    Quoted from surfsled:

    pretty typical... ops don;t make money on pins. why keep dumping money in to them?

    More to the point I have heard they make the same amount running well or poorly.

    #48 6 years ago

    There's a NASCAR near me and I've gone into the place three times to no avail, sitting there idle, "waiting for their part." I think the op is actually employed by the place. I'd love to offer to buy the game as I'm really interested in that pin, but they a) probably would have some crazy sell policy with outrageous asking price, b) machine has been cared for in this manner already - says a lot. Might have to try anyway.

    #49 6 years ago
    Quoted from shimoda:

    b) machine has been cared for in this manner already - says a lot. Might have to try anyway.

    I'm telling you my NF had 40 lbs of coil dust on the bottom and every damn where on the PF...but it cleaned up super nice. You never know.

    #50 6 years ago

    An operator might be able to answer this question with conviction:

    If you regularly look after a pin, keep it clean and protected, and fix issues as soon as they crop up, is this less work in the long run than neglecting the machines like many ops do? Is there any economical sense (time or money) to ops neglecting their pins? I can't understand why such horrible neglect is the norm.

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