(Topic ID: 239972)

First Pin: Modern Stern or Respected Classic (sameish price)


By catch20two

3 months ago



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  • 40 posts
  • 31 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 89 days ago by rai
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#1 3 months ago

It seems good condition versions of classics (whitewater, getaway) are edging close to the price of modern sterns NIB. I want to buy my first pin, and am trying to figure out which route to go. I expect it will be my only pin for at least a year, so I do want to make sure it's something I can play for a while. Are newer generally always better in terms of depth and home use? Are the older classics just fundamentally good games that have staying power on their own? In particular, I'm deciding between something like whitewater or getaway on one hand, or deadpool or ghostbusters on the other (since I need to sell the wife, theme is a factor and iron maiden is out).

I know a lot of people say get a cheaper older DMD game to start, but the good ones are edging into modern pricing. So any thoughts on which route to go, if pricing is essentially the same?

#2 3 months ago

Find one you and your wife like. New or old it's a pinball machine and you both will be blown away that something so awesome is in your home. Either way your probably going to pay for repairs. New pin you need to make adjustments you might not be comfortable with. Old may be already dialed in but issues may arise. It's pinball something is always happening. Older ones may be easier to work on yourself though if you decide to take that plunge. You can't go wrong either way.

#3 3 months ago

If pricing is the same on a Getaway and a NIB Stern you are getting ripped. Getaway could be a fun first pin and should be 2400-3200 depending on condition. You can always sell your game to get something else before your year is up.

Deadpool > Ghostbusters if it's a pick between those two.

#4 3 months ago

Getaway was my first pin, and it's a fun game, but it is more like worth half the price of a modern used Stern Pro. The Stern will be more fun, for longer, IMO. Just more more to do, superior rules, and better gameplay. If the money is anywhere near close, the Stern is a better pick in a one pin home. If you can afford the Stern, I'd get it.

Either way though, unless you way overpay, If you decide to go the other way you can easily sell whichever pin you end up with, and get the other with little to no money lost...

#5 3 months ago

not sure this helps but my wife loves the newer games.
Ghostbusters have a bigger gap between flippers so she's going to have a tough time with that game.
Deadpool also has a tough right ramp that probably won't hit very often which will also lead to frustration.
How about Batman? Does she likes that title because that's an easier shooter.

#6 3 months ago

Or how about Game of Thrones? All the shots are more accessible and it's a real deep game too so it'll have some staying power for you as well. That would be my choice!

#7 3 months ago

Modern Stern.
New games just keep coming, you will find great huo pros/prems for sale lower than many older pumped b/w titles.

Whichever you choose, be patient and land a deal.

#8 3 months ago

If your budget is around a NIB Stern pricepoint, then you can’t go wrong with Deadpool. Fun game, great animations/callouts and a killer art package.

#9 3 months ago

If you're finding Getaway's priced at Stern NIB pricing I'm guessing you're buying retail... the prices quoted above would be what you could expect to pay in the wild. If you go that route make sure you are comfortable with who you are buying from, pinball machines require maintenance, something will break, fall off, wear out eventually and buying from a reputable retailer or seller here on pinside will really help you down the road. You also should plan on rolling your sleeves up and getting a little dirty to make the most of your pinball experience. Even new machines need to be waxed and tweaked! Enjoy the ride, pinball is a great hobby.

#10 3 months ago

That's tough. So many good ones to choose from. I would suggest playing some on location/going to a show and find a title the fam enjoys. Buy it, then start saving for your second. There will be more....many more.....

#11 3 months ago

If your budget is in the $2500 Range... I would look for 2 Older pins that are good players... Gorgar, Comet, F14... or even a lower end DMD like Rescue 911... don't listen to the haters... if R11 is set up nice it is a good game... and a great first pin... The good thing is pins kept in good shape almost never lose value and as you fix and clean they can go up... I would go with two older pins and learn what it takes to keep them up and running... how to maintain... adjust... clean/wax etc... BTW you are not too far from me (I am in MD)... and I will have a nice Comet for sale in a few weeks... probably around the $1200 mark... Once you get the hang of all that, then go for the higher dollar pins...

#12 3 months ago
Quoted from Lathroum:

If your budget is in the $2500 Range... I would look for 2 Older pins that are good players... Gorgar, Comet, F14... or even a lower end DMD like Rescue 911... don't listen to the haters... if R11 is set up nice it is a good game... and a great first pin... The good thing is pins kept in good shape almost never lose value and as you fix and clean they can go up... I would go with two older pins and learn what it takes to keep them up and running... how to maintain... adjust... clean/wax etc... BTW you are not too far from me (I am in MD)... and I will have a nice Comet for sale in a few weeks... probably around the $1200 mark... Once you get the hang of all that, then go for the higher dollar pins...

Was just going to say pretty much this, skip the new pins or "A" listed Bally/Williams and go for good solid state games, you can get 2 for your budget. Get one that's in 100% working order. This way when things break, you can get your feet wet with learning repairs and still be able to enjoy it. I would argue that some SS games are just as good as what any NIB game is coming out today.

#13 3 months ago

what is your budget? get the best game you can afford and make sure it's fully working and in good condition, since you're new to the hobby and want to be able to enjoy it and play right away. Demolition Man, Fish Tales, Jurassic Park are all good value games currently ranging in the upper 2's to mid 3's. If you can afford more in the 4-5k range I would say go for a newer stern possibly, Spider-Man, Star Trek, DP, Star Wars etc.

-2
#14 3 months ago
Quoted from Lathroum:

If your budget is in the $2500 Range... I would look for 2 Older pins that are good players... Gorgar, Comet, F14... or even a lower end DMD like Rescue 911... don't listen to the haters... if R11 is set up nice it is a good game... and a great first pin... The good thing is pins kept in good shape almost never lose value and as you fix and clean they can go up... I would go with two older pins and learn what it takes to keep them up and running... how to maintain... adjust... clean/wax etc... BTW you are not too far from me (I am in MD)... and I will have a nice Comet for sale in a few weeks... probably around the $1200 mark... Once you get the hang of all that, then go for the higher dollar pins...

Interesting sales pitch.

#15 3 months ago

I was in your situation when I started too, spend my entire budget on 1 NIB Stern or buy a couple games. Canadian pricing for NIB is pretty high ($7700+13% taxes from the dealers here). For around $1.5k less than that I got a pair of games (Jurassic Park and Getaway).

With the current market, even if you get bored of your games, you can sell them at break even a few months down the road or trade them for something else.

If you have the space I think getting a pair of used games will give you a bit more lasting power vs 1 Stern, plus then you and your wife can play at the same time.

If you can only have one though, I'd probably buy a deep rule set Stern. I played Ghostbusters for a solid week when we had it at work and it is a hard game with the flipper gap and the Scoleri brothers pop ups. Deadpool looks good though.

#16 3 months ago

Not really a sales pitch... just what I think is a better way to go... learn about what it takes to own a pin... how many have you seen from houses that are hammered and hacked and dead because people think you just turn them on and go... I don't care if he buys mine (at $1200 it will sell easily)... just trying to pass on a good deal to a first timer... I already have another comet in my collection it's a great pin... Why spend so much money when you don't know how to maintain or fix anything or have never even owned a pin at all... I sold a pinball to my brother... it broke... he never maintained it... he never learned to work on it... and he got mad at me that I would not fix it for free... repairs can be expensive if you don't know how to do them...

Quoted from cottonm4:

Interesting sales pitch.

#17 3 months ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Interesting sales pitch.

i don't know if i agree with it.....for your first one, get something with some bells and whistles that you aren't going to get bored with.....maybe employ the other strategy if you already have a few games.

#18 3 months ago

Your thoughts are valid!! I own both e GB PRe,and a DP LE,and between those,the DP would rock in your house as a first pin!!GB is a fine ,fun,ride,but needs a lot of dialing in,and a few mods,and DP is good right out of box! Read these posts,they have the right idea!!! Good luck,have fun!!!!

#19 3 months ago

For me as fun as the 90's stuff can be they just don't compare to the new pins. NIB Stern all the way. But as always its up to you to try them all and decide for urself.

#20 3 months ago

1. What is your budget? Nothing else matters until you decide this factor.

2. Decide on a theme. There are tons, and they can make all the difference for you and your family. I like movie themes, so that really enhances my enjoyment factor. It can be a big deal for you and your family.

3. Play as many pins as you can to help you decide. You may find that you enjoy certain aspects of pinballs more than others (lighting, theme, toys, ramps, drop targets, etc.). Look for them in local barcades, movie theatres, malls, etc.

4. Use the top 100 pins list as a guide...not an ultimate final list. Sure, the top 100 is a great list...but you will also have personal preferences. A lot of those games are rated highly due to newness, sentimentally, depth of the ruleset, or people jumping on a pinball bandwagon (in some cases). Find out what you prefer personally.

5. Wait for the right priced machine. Once you have honed onto the first 4 items, search for your personal top "pin list" and wait for a good deal. You mentioned that getaway costs the same as a new pin. That is not correct. It should be about half that. You can always find good deals if you wait.

6. Make plans for your next pin. You say that you will only have 1 for the next year...but that is very tough to abide by. Most pinball collectors fall down the rabbit hole and get several quickly. Be prepared. Measure your space and see how many you can fit in. You will be happy you did.

#21 3 months ago

Perhaps a hybrid choice, a NIB classic like AFMr or MBRr. Pinheads and non-pinheads both, like these. Rules aren't as deep as modern Sterns, but if family opinions matter I can tell you 3 out of 4 members of my family just want to flip a fun and kinetic play field and could care less about elf gifts.

#22 3 months ago

If you can find an old Bally or Stern that you like, an advantage is Alltek makes some nice reasonably priced circuit boards that make it easy to keep your pin running if you are not knowledgeable with electronics repair.

The link lists all games compatible with Alltek boards.

https://www.allteksystems.com/mobile/index.html#!/product-mpu-board.html

#23 3 months ago

I wouldn't worry about costs as much as getting the games you most enjoy. You can buy a whole room full of old cheap pins for the same price of one NIB pin. But if you don't really enjoy playing those pins it's a complete waste of time and money. If you buy a modern Stern pin and think it will be great just because of theme and 'depth', same thing. Play as many games as you can and figure out what you like the most. Everyone likes different games for different reasons. For me, older simpler games can be a ton more fun than modern complicated games. On the other hand, modern games can be fantastic with great rules, lots of features, and everything works well.

For starting out, it would probably be better to find less expensive games to build up a 3-5 pin collection. Wait for games like Deadpool to flood the used market and then trade up for a lot less money than buying new. However, if you just really enjoy modern games and not so much older games, jump in new. Better to have one pin you really enjoy than several that are just okay.

#24 3 months ago

When considering a first pin, your best money is spent AFTER you go to a show OR join a local league and play 50-100 titles more than once. A lot of people really think they like a game and after 10 MORE plays (after they buy it), they realize it's just not for them.

Whitewater may be priced around a NIB Stern but certainly not Getaway. Both are good games but I tire of Whitewater very quickly and Getaway never gets old.

You can get a decent HS2 for 3K or less.
You can buy F-14 Tomcat for 2K or less.
You can buy a bunch of classic late 70's-early 80's Bally's or Williams machines for under 2K.

2 of these classics hold up better over time against a single Stern machine but that's just my opinion. You need to actually play them for yourself.

To some extent, I agree with the idea of a MB remake. It's the better buy right now for NIB. Try to play one 20 times and decide that way before you lay out the money and have to resell for something else because you don't like it.

Also, Barcades with pinball are near every town these days. Go play some location games for 2-3 hours.

Whatever the path you choose, make certain you play the hell out of a game before you decide that it's the one you are taking home and you should be fine. No one on here has an opinion that is better than yours about what game(s) you should own.

Also, there is a price guide of sorts here that tracks sales but it's not always super current/accurate: http://www.bostonpinball.biz/eBay112118.htm

#25 3 months ago

NGG was my first pin and I still love it.

#26 3 months ago

snyper2099 solid advice...In my experience with most people a game that costs 2k might be a game that you keep hitting the start button on vs some of the Newer sterns. My first game was Last Action Hero i purchased for $2200 and played the heck outta it.Unfortunately all games are going up in price vs even 6 months ago. Also making sure the wife likes it is a huge advantage for you...Good Luck with your search.

PS find Pinball Map app on your phone to locate games in your area to play.

#27 3 months ago

Agree with going for less expensive older titles. Taxi, Pinbot, F-14, High Speed are all under $2500 easily. Two of those will run you $5k or less, still $1000 less than a Stern pro with shipping. Also NIB machines depreciate in price overall while the classics will likely hold their value more over time. Some of the classics are currently very high, especially the “A list” titles so I stay away from those personally. My current collection is Pinbot, Jurassic Park, STTNG and Whirlwind. All purchased for good prices and I could sell them for probably $3-4K more than I have in them.

#28 3 months ago

BLUF: Get Deadpool or Ghostbusters... CRABTOWNE USA is an hour from you and has both.

I am about 6 months into owning a pinball machine... and have owned 5 in that time. I am local to you in MD. Before you buy a machine, go to MOMs organic market in College Park. The guy who owns the whole company is a pinhead, and has part of his personal collection in there... About 30 machines including all the Jersey Jacks, and a dozen or so modern Sterns. https://pinside.com/pinball/map/where-to-play/11547-mom-s-organic-market-college-park-md If you have time check out VUK https://pinside.com/pinball/map/where-to-play/9002-vuk-bethesda-md in Bethesda with about a dozen higher end games, and Crabtowne USA in Glen Burnie with 32 mostly older games but has a Ghostbusters, Star Wars, and Deadpool https://pinside.com/pinball/map/where-to-play/1526-crabtowne-usa-glen-burnie-md. If you can only hit up one place try MOMs. I'm sure you've heard of these places, but play the World Cup Soccer's and Addams Family's that you see. Some are in great condition, some are not. The reason I mention this is so that you can see the difference between a well maintained machine, and one that has been beat up since before I was born. Between these 3 locations there are 75 pinball machines to try... including most Sterns made in the past 5 years.

One thing I have learned is that there is not always a direct correlation between price and personal enjoyment of pinball machines. I currently have a loaded Hobbit and a Jurassic Park. The Hobbit is probably worth $7200 and the Jurassic Park $3500. Both are about equally fun to me. I have also noticed that if you buy a used pinball machine, play it for a few months, and then sell it... you will sell it for about what you bought it for. You could very easily get a GETAWAY for $2800... put a hundred dollars into it to re-rubber it, put in some new balls, maybe partially LED it or put in a cheap mod... and then sell it in 3 or 6 months for $2800. Pinball ties money up, but doesn't actually have to be that expensive.

An older machine will require some maintenance and you will have to fix things from time to time. Something will break no-matter what you do, but 20 minutes of youtube videos can teach you basic soldering and how to use a multi-meter. The pinball machine clubs on this site are full of people asking how to fix specific problems. I have also noticed that some machines are really complicated and more prone to breaking than other ones. Star Trek The Next Generation is very prone to breaking, whereas after briefly owning a Stern Star Trek Pro, there is very little on that machine that could break.

I go back and forth all the time on what my favorite machine is or what I want to have in my home. I think I'm going to keep my Jurassic Park for now, and switch out my Hobbit for a Stern Star Wars Pro and something like a Getaway or Fish Tales in a few months. Whatever you decide doesn't have to be permanent. I personally would recommend getting a lightly used Stern as a first machine, but wouldn't shy away from a Getaway as a first pin either. Just bear in mind that the Getaway is almost 30 years old and you will have to fix things from time to time. If it was working when you got it I'd guess maybe 8 hours of tinkering in the first month (rubbers, a few lights, whatever breaks when it gets moved) and then maybe an hour a month later on. With the exception of some drop target issues I've seen in the wild, I think Sterns are pretty solid, and more than solid enough for home use.

One thing I didn't understand at first was that new machines get new code releases for the first year or so. I think a Deadpool will get several code updates over the next year, and Ghostbusters would be a good choice too. I'd shoot for a $5000 used Deadpool cash deal or $4800 used Ghostbusters deal.

Not in your original list (and controversial) but Star Wars is great for depth, Star Trek and Game of Thrones are also good options.

If you would like to look under the hood of a 1993 Data East Jurassic Park or a 2016 Hobbit, I am in Crofton Maryland. Feel free to PM me with any questions or an unbiased opinion on any potential purchase.

#29 3 months ago

Go and play a bunch of games and see what you like. HOWEVER, I would stay away from new Sterns until they've been out a couple years- they ship with base code that may or may not get updated, and have had some quality issues. In their defense, they do pretty well at handling the quality issues. Code on the other hand is a HUGE crap shoot

#30 3 months ago

I just wanted to add I don't think Stern SW's is a good first pin. I own it and its everything described but very fast and somewhat brutal.

If you looking at a Stern Steve Richey designed pin I would look at Star Trek or Spiderman. Good luck.

#31 3 months ago
Quoted from ausretrogamer:

If your budget is around a NIB Stern pricepoint, then you can’t go wrong with Deadpool. Fun game, great animations/callouts and a killer art package.

I’ve got a used Deadpool pro and Star Trek pro for sale if interested. I’d definitely recommend those two, they have been fun for the family

#32 3 months ago

What did you decide to go with?

#33 3 months ago
Quoted from Daditude:

What did you decide to go with?

Yeah, the OP disappeared! Some good advice in this thread.....

1 week later
#34 3 months ago

Thanks all for the great advice. The different perspectives and explanations here were exactly what I was looking for, and would be helpful to anyone getting into the hobby.

I took the advice of many and got out to play a ton of pinball in the last couple weeks. After some play, I decided my first (and, for a while, only) home machine should be a newer machine, and Iron man, LOTR, GotG, and Deadpool were all candidates. In the end, I'll be going with Deadpool, as it has the right mix of gameplay, theme, and family appeal for me right now. That said, I already see how having a little variety would be good, and I expect I'll be on the lookout for a deal on an older (maybe less popular given current prices) DMD to add at some point.

#35 3 months ago

Sounds like you're headed in the right direction. If you really like playing on location take it another step and try playing in a local tournament to meet other enthusietsts. You may really like it.

#36 3 months ago
Quoted from catch20two:

I decided my first home machine should be Deadpool, and I expect I'll be on the lookout for an older DMD to add at some point.

Only two games? By the Pinside name you've chosen, it looks like you're destined to own 22 games.

#37 3 months ago
Quoted from littlecammi:

Only two games? By the Pinside name you've chosen, it looks like you're destined to own 22 games.

I wouldn't worry. I remember getting my only game about 11 games ago.

#38 89 days ago

I started out with older pins like T2 Bride of Pinbot and working up to CFTBL, IJ, Sttng, TZ etc.

But that was a different era because could get games like T2 for $1700 or CFTBL $2800. When newer Stern were closer to $4K

Now things are more close since the older pins are more (new Sterns are more too).

But I found (* your results may vary * ) the older pins were not as bullet proof and could break down more. I’m not a diy fixer so older pins would be sitting or not working 100%

At same time I bought a nib Stern Potc and 12 years on its still unbroken. 100% working.

That don’t mean every old pin is more work than every new pin but in general I think new pins are more reliable.

I like the newer pins because they are cosmetic newer unless you get a restored older pin that might cost $7-9k that is probably better than new.

I love AFM remake is the same as the 20+ year old AFM but I prefer the remake because better display and lights and cosmetic perfect. My recommendation is 100% AFM remake which is both old (design) and new (not 20 years of use).

#39 89 days ago

Something to consider is if you buy something used at a decent price you can usually sell it close to that price so you are not locked in to one pin or have huge depreciation. If you buy nib you’ll likely lost 10-20% on resale. Not horrible but say $500-1000 lost on a nib pin.

I’ve lost as much as $1500 on a nib purchase but owned it for 5 years so even that was just $25/month. It gets more costly if you only keep it for 6 months which some people do so if they lost $500 every time they sell they’d lose $5k over 5 years.

IMO if you want nib pin play first decide if you will be able to keep it several years. I see many Munsters people trying to sell LE and think they only owned a few months. $250 lost per month if the lost $750 over 3 months.

With used games you can almost buy and sell with minimal loss jus a matter of moving the pins around.

#40 89 days ago

Try finding Pinside people in your neck of the woods you can play more pins before you decide.

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