(Topic ID: 48772)

Crappy pins in the wild

By PurpleTophat

6 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 62 posts
  • 30 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by centerflank
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    There are 62 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 6 years ago

    Wish you were closer. Then my areas pinmap would be the most up to date =)

    #52 6 years ago
    Quoted from accidental:

    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.

    I should learn to stay out of these things.

    You left out a couple things. Bearing in mind I'm all for maintaining your equipment.

    Neglected or working they earn the same.

    And for me it's easy. I don't have to add an employee, vehicle, and gas into a drive there and back.

    A few years back people complained that a bowling alley had a Spiderman and didn't update it. It was doing $25 a week. $12.50 for location and $12.50 for operator. So I can see where the operator didn't want to drive 40 minutes one way to update a game and still take in $25 a week.

    LTG : )

    #53 6 years ago

    I grew up in VB, and when I go back to the area I notice that the location pin scene is pretty sad.
    Yes, Flipper McCoys at the beach does not keep their pins up.

    And yes, Flippers Variety Store in Grandy is spectacular.

    Maybe some collectors in Hampton Roads could put some of those working games on location?

    Bring working pinball back to the people!

    Quoted from telmnstr:

    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.

    #54 6 years ago

    That answers the question I guess. I would have thought that neglecting your pins is the best way to reduce your ROI when selling up the pin later on, and lose your high-end customer base (repeat players). If one op doesn't take care of his pins and a competing op does, you can be sure that the money will go to the op that keeps his pins in good playing condition.

    In my city there is only one operator. A few years ago his last remaining competitor got out of the game. Since then all the pins in the city have gone down hill fast and they are all far below average and I consider them unplayable. This is obviously still working for him because people have nowhere else to go. I so desperately want to save his pins from destruction, but I have to watch them deteriorate and reinforce the public perception that pinball has faded into obscurity.

    #55 6 years ago
    Quoted from accidental:

    If one op doesn't take care of his pins and a competing op does, you can be sure that the money will go to the op that keeps his pins in good playing condition.

    Don't bet on it.

    LTG : )

    #56 6 years ago
    Quoted from accidental:

    Is there any economical sense (time or money) to ops neglecting their pins?

    Like Lloyd said, I should know better...

    In locations that cater strictly to casual players (theater arcades, boardwalks, amusement parks, etc), increasing maintenance costs doesn't pay off. A game barely working is not much different than a completely working game to a casual player. Both will earn about the same.

    If it's not a tourist trap location, your earning are directly proportional to the maintenance you put into the game. Regular location players can be very picky. I'm both an operator and a regular location player.

    #57 6 years ago

    I love playing on location. Great variety short of Expo. When I go to a bar, I know it's a crap-shoot, but certain places make it known that they are into Pinball.

    I've not made it to Lloyd's place but I'm sure the games are fantastic.

    I do go to The 1UP in Denver every chance I can get. Lots of games; always new titles and the games are always perfect and clean. Using the pinball map, I found several other places with a bunch of games in the area and loaded them in my GPS just in case I happened to be close.

    Last week the traffic on the interstate was insane so I jumped off the hwy and headed to Moe's BBQ. This place is a bowling ally that has 6-7 games. All games were in really poor shape. Weak flippers, features did not work and every case, dirty as all get out. I found one game that worked for the most part but I actually had to squint through the dirty glass to see where my ball was.

    This seems pretty business as usual for a place that **happens** to have pins. But covering the tops of the pins were postcards promoting a pinball show. I mean really... are you going to be excited about going to a show after playing (or not playing) these pins.

    Very frustrating. I had two rolls of quarters in my pocket and I only spent about $6.

    On the plus side, the BBQ was very good

    Gotta try to make the drive to Lyons one of these days..but that's over an hour from my work location.


    #58 6 years ago
    Quoted from pinball_faz:

    Very frustrating. I had two rolls of quarters in my pocket and I only spent about $6.

    Should've kept the $6 instead of giving it to the most undeserving operator. My policy is no maintenance, no money. Period. I work too hard keeping our existing location games going to stuff the wallets of lazy, greedy operators.

    #59 6 years ago

    I've played dirty games before, I just did not realize how much in disrepair they were. Cool titles too. I never got to play a DE Star Trek before and once I was able to play a breakshot at Korn's house. There was also a Surf 'n Safari. That was the one with the dirty glass and it played really well (tossed my initials on the game too). The majority of my money went into this game.

    #60 6 years ago

    I'd love to hear feedback from amateur operators - those who keep pins in local businesses as a way to help make pinball public, own more pins when you're out of room in your house, with no real expectation to make money beyond breaking even on maintenance. How did you get started doing this, how did you convince the location and navigate regulations and insurance, etc.

    1 week later
    #61 6 years ago

    Saw a location pretty close to where I work. It had TAF, MB, and POTC. Had never played MB and hadn't played TAF in years so I went there after work. Put 50 cents into TAF weak flippers flipped the ball 2 times and then it decided it didn't want to play anymore, trapped the ball and never let go. MB was fun. Weak flippers again and the scoop looked like it was twice as big as when it left the factory. Sad to see 2 classics slowly rotting away.


    #62 6 years ago

    Yes,avoid Fox Lanes! Jukebox Larry does not keep his games up.

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