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(Topic ID: 58579)

Do I have a Pinball Addiction?

By winteriscoming

7 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 32 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by jfre81
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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    #1 7 years ago

    I went from zero to 6 pins (and a Williams Slugfest) in about 7 months. Do I have an addiction or do these machines just multiply on their own?

    I was a kid in the 90's, but didn't really get into pinball even though there were a lot of them in the arcade I went to. I was more interested in ticket redemption games so I could bring home worthless junk. I really wish I had appreciated pinball when it was there.

    Since the death of arcades in the late 90's none have popped back up locally for me. The best I have is a bar that I haven't been to with a few pins and an annual arcade expo (I can't remember if that's occurred for 2 or 3 years now). If I travel a couple hours in a few directions I can go to a Dave & Busters or similar, but none have pinball.

    Anyway, at the expo a couple years ago, I rediscovered Williams Slugfest. See, that one actually allows you to redeem cards, so I played it as a kid even though I didn't care about sports or sports cards... At that expo I played some DMD pins and ignored anything older.

    Soon after, I found Slugfest locally on craigslist and bought it. Any DMD pins I saw were outside of my price range for impulse buying, but Slugfest came in at a much lower price point. It was kind of my launchpad into pinball, and it wasn't until the next expo that I really gave pinball the attention it needed. I learned that a pin didn't have to have a DMD in order to be fun. It was after that expo that I decided I needed to buy my first pin. I fell in love with Jurassic Park and hope that it will be my first "big" pinball purchase sometime in the not too distant future. I was going to have to go with something older and much cheaper for pin #1.

    I saw a Williams Alien Poker locally for what I thought was a good price. I researched the game, read reviews, watched videos and loaded it up in Visual Pinball. I had to have it! I learned the rules and how it was supposed to work before I even went to look at it. I was able to get the price down after pointing out some things that weren't working correctly (lights coming on at the wrong time or not at all, etc...) So it became my first true pinball machine. I quickly fell in love with troubleshooting and repairing every little issue that came up. I put it down in my basement with Slugfest. I wasn't going to buy any more games until after I got married in April 2014...

    But I kept periodically seeing what popped up locally on Craigslist, specifically looking for deals under $500... and then I saw a Stern Dracula project machine. Well, I love fixing stuff, so a non-working project machine would be right up my alley. I got in touch with the seller, and when I went to pick it up, discovered he had more project machines in unknown working order that he was willing to let go for super cheap.

    The next day I bought my Trident project machine.

    The next week I bought Big Game and Stars project machines...

    My collection grew by 4 pins in less than 2 weeks.

    Alright, I had enough to keep me busy, right? I got Dracula and Stars fully working. I'm still restoring the Trident playfield and have a replacement pf for Big Game on order to replace the trashed one that's in it, so two of my games aren't even currently playable.

    I have fallen in love with these early solid state games, but had a burning hole in my very core for something with ramps and multiball...

    I still searched craigslist to see what was available. All kinds of pricey games were there, but I couldn't drop that kind of money all at once. I wanted sub $1k... sub $500 if possible. System 11 games would show up at over $1k, but not many other options. I did see a Gottlieb Genesis for $500 which was reported to be in questionable working condition with broken ramps. I'd have probably gotten it if the seller would have returned any of my emails... so that one didn't pan out.

    Well, today I purchased a reasonably priced, fully working, good condition Special Force. I have read mixed reviews, and some people seem to really hate it, but not me! It's a perfect scratch for the particular itch I have, until I have a larger amount of expendable income to drop on a Jurassic Park, after I get married (yes, she knows I plan on getting a JP).

    I haven't been spoiled by all of the triple A titles, so in a way I'm kind of discovering pinball for the first time and going through the generations from late 70's solid states with numeric displays to late 80's with alphanumeric (technically Slugfest gives me some exposure to the 90's DMD era). I don't play a game and think how much better another one is. I enjoy each one for what it is. Though I'm probably not being fair to EMs, since I've been avoiding them.

    So, do I have an addiction? I haven't broken the bank yet. My entire collection was bought for less than the price I've seen on some Jurassic Parks (though I probably could have purchased a lower priced JP for what I've spent over time so far), not to mention the obscenely priced triple A titles... Not that I wouldn't want a triple A, but I will have to be in a vastly different economical situation before I can make a purchase like that.


    #2 7 years ago

    nope your fine.

    #3 7 years ago

    Nope, you're just catchin' up! Once you run out of money and space, you'll settle into a milder pace.

    #4 7 years ago

    Not addicted. I got my first five in 3 months, but paid for WOZ in full (6). Now just waiting for my MOPLE and THLE when its out Great hobby.

    #5 7 years ago

    Its a cool phenomena! =)
    I started last autumn buying a jackbot, now i have bride of pinbot as well and i am working on it as much as i can to get it top notch. However im allready thinking about what my next machine will be. I have put a maximum of 10 machines for my collection due to space (money, sure, but that will come in more along the way but space does not..). Don't know if i will keep that 10 machine limit or what will happen in the next years but its a strange hobby that seem to live its own life =)

    #6 7 years ago

    Seems OK.

    #7 7 years ago

    Man that's a long post. Maybe it should be moved to the story section
    Na your all good, cant have too much of a good thing

    #8 7 years ago

    Asking if you have a pinball addiction on pinside is like going to the bar to ask if you have a drinking problem.

    #9 7 years ago
    Quoted from mickthepin:

    Man that's a long post. Maybe it should be moved to the story section

    Insomnia kicked in and the words just flowed... At the very least, I gave a summary in the first sentence in case anyone wants to skip the rest!

    Quoted from TheRingMaster:

    Its a cool phenomena! =)
    I have put a maximum of 10 machines for my collection due to space (money, sure, but that will come in more along the way but space does not..).

    That's a great idea! My entire basement is unfinished, so I have to decide what will ultimately be the game room, and figure out how many pins can reasonably fit... and then figure out where the extra ones will go when I exceed the limit.

    Quoted from brent149:

    Asking if you have a pinball addiction on pinside is like going to the bar to ask if you have a drinking problem.

    You're probably right, but I won't get the response I want to hear if I ask anywhere else! At least I know I'm not alone.


    #10 7 years ago

    The pinball fever is quite bad at first, but it tapers down once you're out of money and space. We (my parents and my husband/I, because the fever spread across the family) went from 0 pins to 9 pins in 1 year. And luckily for your wallet yours are the cheaper ones, because my first pin WAS a Jurassic Park, and I got it off eBay then had to ship it, so it wasn't cheap by any means. (But it was the one that I wanted and I was a newbie at the time, so live/learn/make friends on Pinside to get better deals. ) Somehow we got more expensive from there, but I'm at the "content with what I have" stage now, so that helps. Of course, when you stop buying more pins, then you start fixing up/shopping/modding the ones that you do have, so there's always something to do and spend money on.

    Congrats and welcome to the addiction!

    #11 7 years ago

    Welcome Jim, all the best with your projects, I feel a lot better now after reading your post, I really thought a had a Problem buying pins with limited space to put them in my spare room,

    #12 7 years ago

    Hi my name is Nilroc and I'm a pinball addict. image.jpg

    #13 7 years ago

    I bought one and within in six months had five. Space and money will dictate the hobby in the future.

    #14 7 years ago

    Welcome, Jim!
    That is a great story. I think you should move it or copy it to the story section. It's an excellent story.

    And yes, you do have a problem.

    #15 7 years ago

    Nope, your good Once you get one in its hard to stop. If my wife didn't say otherwise I would probably have a pin in the kitchen and another in the living room!

    #16 7 years ago
    Quoted from PanzerFreak:

    Nope, your good Once you get one in its hard to stop. If my wife didn't say otherwise I would probably have a pin in the kitchen and another in the living room!

    Haha agreed, started with one went to 5 now at 2 looking for another........wife not impressed when I started moving furniture outside haha

    #17 7 years ago

    Holy crap I just bought a special force and I really enjoy it!

    #18 7 years ago

    And yes you do have an addiction just embrace it and let it run wild!

    #19 7 years ago

    LOL...I am about to break ground on a 24x36 western jailhouse themed arcade in my back yard....and I only have one pin so far. I have passed up numerous deals in the past few years, because of lack of space...never again!.."build it and they will come"...addicted hhmmmm?

    #20 7 years ago

    It gets worse before it gets better.....or should I say it just gets better and better

    #21 7 years ago

    Sounds perfectly normal to me, but I am hardly disinterested. I agree with the posts above: your pace will likely slow or stop when you run out of space. I hit that point earlier this year, and I haven't bought anything since. It is a lot easier to generate more cash (e.g., through selling something else) than it is to create new space, especially in a house with several other people to consider. I hope to get my first NIB in the next year or so, but I won't enjoy having to sell one of my current pins. Still, it is a good problem to have. Not many people are this fortunate.

    #22 7 years ago

    to many beers & late nights,

    #23 7 years ago

    1800pinballanonymous hi my name is winteriscoming and I have a problem lol

    #24 7 years ago

    I would say...Nope.

    #25 7 years ago

    Hmmm, can't tell from your novel above.

    Perhaps an honest answer to this simple question:

    Do you now regularly find yourself doing "all weekend pinball binges"?


    #26 7 years ago

    sometimes i feel like selling everything & moving on


    #27 7 years ago

    If you join Pinside and start talking pinball you are on the zone of addiction. Anything you keep going back for more of can't ever have enough that's a true addiction. You proably fall somewhere in there I have not purchased my first pin but I hope to soon within the next year though I did promise myself to save now for a Twilight zone I'm in love with it.

    5 years later
    #28 1 year ago

    I've been collecting since 2003.
    Very aware of my addiction and the family is aware as well.
    No family vacation this year as I just spent around 28k on 5 new titles in less than 3 months.

    Really do wish i could get this under control.

    #29 1 year ago

    I would say you've done an admirable job of getting some value pins to start with. Some people dive in buying NIB pins right off and spend a LOT more money than you did.

    I love the system 11 games, those are my sweet spot right now, own 4 of them (Pin*Bot, Whirlwind, Earthshaker and F-14 (a restoration project)) and one DMD pin, STTNG. I started buying pins about 8 months ago as well so we are in about the same boat!

    #30 1 year ago

    I think your story is very typical and frankly explains the demand and growth we are seeing in the market place over the last 5 years. When I first got into this hobby 9 years ago, it took me a few years to get up to 4 games. But at the time, the hobby was just starting to grow again and pinball had 1/10 of the exposure vs. what it gets now. Games sold for $2000-$4000 all day long. Now because of the hobby explosion, so many new pinheads are entering the space, all looking to build a collection ASAP based on the “norm” they see across the web. A few hundred new pinheads a year, buying up 4-6 games in the market is pretty powerful. Hopefully we continue to grow without becoming over saturated.

    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mato:

    wife not impressed when I started moving furniture outside haha

    Be careful, that may be your new bedroom.

    #32 1 year ago

    Slugfest came out around the peak of my baseball obsession as a kid. I spent untold amounts of tokens trying to pop a ramp up so I could hit a pinball over it and win some baseball cards. I could have saved that money for college or something, but would that be as fun? Probably not.

    Who knew in the 90s that the pinballs that were being nearly given away after the death of the arcades would appreciate more in value than Ken Griffey Jr's rookie cards?

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