(Topic ID: 285920)

First pinball for $4k or less

By mbb491

3 years ago


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  • 52 posts
  • 32 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by mbeardsley
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    #1 3 years ago

    Looking at a first pinball for $4k or less from local dealer in CT. Choices are bride of pinbot, dataeast jurassic park, roadshow, rollercoaster tycoon, Dt. dude, mary shelley frankenstein, high roller casino, lethal weapon 3, terminator 2, and who dunnit.

    all seem in good shape. these seem to be selling all with in a few hundred dollars of each other.

    Any help in the decision making process, greatly appreciated. it will be our only game.

    #2 3 years ago

    Play them all if you can or do some research on them and buy the one that appeals to you most. Cost matters, but whether you like it or not matters just as much if not more. You have a pretty good variety to choose from and if this is going to be your only machine, it better be something you're excited to own.

    #3 3 years ago

    Play them all and buy what you like best. There are many different play styles in that list...none really compare directly to each other, and only you know what you enjoy. Also, I realize this is at a dealer, but $4k is definitely high for all of them, so they better be in perfect shape and hopefully they offer some sort of support to make it worth the extra money.

    For me personally, I probably like Jurassic Park best out of those. Many people love Bride, but it doesn't do much for me. RCT is the most modern of the group, and it a pretty cool, underrated game. T2 is a well loved classic from the early DMD era.

    #4 3 years ago

    Come Buy my Hurricane with colorDMD and powder coated multi color wire forms, plus more! $3300

    #5 3 years ago
    Quoted from mbb491:

    Looking at a first pinball for $4k or less from local dealer in CT. Choices are bride of pinbot, dataeast jurassic park, roadshow, rollercoaster tycoon, Dt. dude, mary shelley frankenstein, high roller casino, lethal weapon 3, terminator 2, and who dunnit.
    all seem in good shape. these seem to be selling all with in a few hundred dollars of each other.
    Any help in the decision making process, greatly appreciated. it will be our only game.

    Take the family and play all of them. See what everyone thinks and decide based on their preferences.

    #6 3 years ago

    3695 plus tax for a lethal weapon , I would pass on all those prices. These are retail, Don't over pay. I would avoid any price that ends in 95.

    11
    #7 3 years ago

    I usually hate these answers; but most of the games you listed are $2000-3500 games to me. Personally, if I had $4000, I’d save up an extra $500 and wait for a newer Stern to come around. I’ve seen Star Trek, Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Aerosmith and others sell for close to $4500. I think you’ll get far more enjoyment, value, and bang for buck doing this. Just my $0.02.

    #8 3 years ago
    Quoted from Marty_Graw77:

    I usually hate these answers; but most of the games you listed are $2000-3500 games to me. If I had $4000, personally I’d save up an extra $500 and wait for a newer Stern to come around. I’ve seen Star Trek, Star Wars, Ghostbusters, and others sell for close or $4500. I think you’ll get far more enjoyment, value, and bang for buck doing this. Just my $0.02.

    This. If you can stretch the budget a bit, you go from decent choices to great choices. $4k is an awkward price point these days. $4.5-$5.5 opens up a ton of great possibilities, covering most modern Stern pros and many of the B/W "B-range" titles.

    #9 3 years ago

    Agree.. newer Stern.. save some cash and go with one of them. Lots of great titles. That group is fine, but not nearly what the newer pins are. RCT drove me nuts. Really don't like it. Looks cool.. but no. And Hurricane.. has a special spot in my heart, but $3300? Literally only 5 shots in the game. Itttt'sssss clowntime..

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from Jediturtle:

    This. If you can stretch the budget a bit, you go from decent choices to great choices. $4k is an awkward price point these days. $4.5-$5.5 opens up a ton of great possibilities, covering most modern Stern pros and many of the B/W "B-range" titles.

    where is good place to buy from? are those prices from individuals or retail? thx

    #11 3 years ago
    Quoted from Marty_Graw77:

    I usually hate these answers; but most of the games you listed are $2000-3500 games to me. Personally, if I had $4000, I’d save up an extra $500 and wait for a newer Stern to come around. I’ve seen Star Trek, Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Aerosmith and others sell for close to $4500. I think you’ll get far more enjoyment, value, and bang for buck doing this. Just my $0.02.

    DO THIS

    #12 3 years ago
    Quoted from Marty_Graw77:

    I usually hate these answers; but most of the games you listed are $2000-3500 games to me. Personally, if I had $4000, I’d save up an extra $500 and wait for a newer Stern to come around. I’ve seen Star Trek, Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Aerosmith and others sell for close to $4500. I think you’ll get far more enjoyment, value, and bang for buck doing this. Just my $0.02.

    do you normally buy from individuals? if do where? how can tell are in good conditions? the newer sterns macine, are you referring to used or new fir those prices? thx so much

    #13 3 years ago

    You can ad a poll at top with the games you listed. Its all subjective. Just reading those titles, there are 3 I wouldn't buy.
    Game play is important, what you like to enjoy.
    Can you play all those in his shop?
    Do you want an easy first game? Or one that will take a while to master?

    #14 3 years ago

    Star Trek pro is a really fun game. I think this is a little high but he might take $4500. I have had two of them, I bought one for $3800 and one for $4200 but it has been a few years.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/ad/108679

    #15 3 years ago

    Wasn’t there just a Walking Dead Pro in CT for $4500 yesterday? That seems like the type of deal you should be on the lookout for-especially one in driving distance. When you are on the hunt, it helps to know the 3-5 machines you would possibly buy and stalk FB, CL and this site for a deal. It takes patience but you will usually find a deal within the month.

    #16 3 years ago

    I have a High Roller Casino, love it, fun game, easy rule set, great toys, lots of multiballs. Good first pin. Not a pin you’ll keep forever, but a good introduction. Don’t get something that’s too difficult with deep rules to start with.

    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from mbb491:

    it will be our only game.

    Of course it will.

    #18 3 years ago

    You should be able to fetch a nice RBION for 4K or under

    #19 3 years ago

    If this is your first pin, you may want to buy from a place that will help with problems (and there WILL be problems).

    If you buy a machine from "just some guy", are you going to be able to fix it when it breaks?

    Or are you looking for a "retailer" who can service it as need be? The "guy" will be significantly cheaper, but for a first pin that may not be the best solution.

    Maybe you should read this thread to get a different perspective....

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/buying-a-nib-stern-sucks-and-i-really-want-to-like-it

    As for those choices...I would go with the RoadShow, IMO it's a very under-rated machine.

    #20 3 years ago

    Don’t buy form a local dealer

    Use the classifieds on pinside

    #21 3 years ago

    Road show. Should be easy to sell and has tons of action. You could upgrade with pinsound and color dmd in the future if it’s a keeper.

    #22 3 years ago
    Quoted from mbb491:

    where is good place to buy from? are those prices from individuals or retail? thx

    This website is the largest place to find other pinball enthusiasts, and there is a very active marketplace here. Eventually you will build a network of people and buying and selling within that network is definitely best. Do a marketplace search near you and see what is available. It's pretty easy to see who has a good reputation around here too. Otherwise Facebook groups are becoming a bigger and bigger source of buying and selling, but I would say there is slightly more risk there. Craigslist used to be great, but that's pretty much dead.

    A quality retailer isn't necessarily a bad thing though. You generally will pay more, but SHOULD get some level of support after the sale. But like anything, some are respectable, some are not. A good one can be a great way to go for a newcomer though. Just be careful not to get taken advantage of (by a retailer or individual). Posting here for advise is a great way to avoid that. The prices you posted for those titles, are high. Not insanely high, but definitely high. As I mentioned...I would expect them to be in very good shape, 100% working, and backed by some sort of service agreement or warranty for those prices. And make sure that you love the game before spending that much for it. When you buy smart you can get most if not all of your money back out of a game if you decide to sell. At these prices, you will lose money if/when you sell them.

    Also pins are like potato chips. You might THINK this will be your only machine...but....

    #23 3 years ago

    Get refs from the Dealer first and chase them all down.

    Get an idea of the Support and Services offered from the dealer. Will they provide Warranty Repair? Delivery and Setup? Trade-In Policy on Machines Purchased from and Serviced by them?

    Then, look for these machines here and on the open market to get an idea of the fees you would be paying for some/all/any/none of the above.

    #24 3 years ago
    Quoted from pindel:

    Road show. Should be easy to sell and has tons of action. You could upgrade with pinsound and color dmd in the future if it’s a keeper.

    I would have to agree...of this list of games, a RS under $4k is the only one that sounds like a decent deal...as long as it isn't a basket case. But definitely make sure you like the game. Machine preference is such a personal thing, you have to figure out what you like before spending that kind of money. RS is a pretty cool game, but definitely not universally loved. Few machines are though...even the top rated games like MM or AFM aren't loved by everyone.

    #25 3 years ago

    Out of those choices, DE Jurassic Park or Road Show. But, you’d save money or get more for your money buying from an individual, preferably someone selling here on Pinside. Sometimes there’s value in buying a used pin from a dealer, such as a warranty or free support for some period of time. If there isn’t one, I definitely would think twice about it.

    We all start about the same place when first getting into this hobby, knowing little to nothing about upkeep and repair, but we all learn. Do your research. Ask for help and advice here. Pinside is a great community.

    #26 3 years ago

    Road show. If you don’t buy it, send me the information, I might be interested. I had one a few years ago and really liked it.

    #27 3 years ago

    Hey bud. Buy from the dealer if that is what you’re comfy with. As a first time buyer this might be ideal for you. Yes you will pay a bit more but the convenience and (hopefully) support is why. These people are telling you what’s best for a long timer in the hobby who is very knowledgeable. Pinbot, Jurassic park, and especially roller coaster tycoon are my favs from that list, but yeah play them with your family and buy what appeals to you.

    #28 3 years ago

    Yeah...Road Show, Jurassic Park for sure and even World Cup Soccer. All fun and deep enough for a first time pin. Good family themes too. Good luck!

    #29 3 years ago
    Quoted from jackd104:

    Hey bud. Buy from the dealer if that is what you’re comfy with. As a first time buyer this might be ideal for you. Yes you will pay a bit more but the convenience and (hopefully) support is why. These people are telling you what’s best for a long timer in the hobby who is very knowledgeable. Pinbot, Jurassic park, and especially roller coaster tycoon are my favs from that list, but yeah play them with your family and buy what appeals to you.

    thanks so much..i was leaning towards jurassic park...it was around $ 3700. Roadshow seemed kind of annoying... Rollercoaster Tycoon was really load.
    bride of pinbot seemed cool but a bit expensive for a game from 1991. How do people handle shipping and payments when buying from people on pinside.com?

    #30 3 years ago

    I would recommend Jurassic Park out of those, but you should certainly play all them first to see what YOU like. If course, pricing is a factor too. They will all be high since it is from a retailer and not an individual...but continued help down the line should also be included (unlike from an individual seller). Of course, finding a good local pinball tech would be helpful as well.

    You could also just do what everyone else does (give up and just buy a new JJP GNR, lolololol)

    #31 3 years ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    I would recommend Jurassic Park out of those, but you should certainly play all them first to see what YOU like. If course, pricing is a factor too. They will all be high since it is from a retailer and not an individual...but continued help down the line should also be included (unlike from an individual seller). Of course, finding a good local pinball tech would be helpful as well.
    You could also just do what everyone else does (give up and just buy a new JJP GNR, lolololol)

    How does buying from someone on pinside work with regards to payment, shipping, and buying from reputable person? How do you know if the machine as described with out playing it? Do you have any recourse with the seller? Sorry for all the questions, just trying to understand the process.

    #32 3 years ago

    There is a feedback rating that you may refer to for information on a Pinsiders reputation. Also, when buying any machine it is always better to play it in person, especially since you are new to this. Establish a certain distance that you are willing to travel (say 200 miles) then bring the funds w/ you, Cash on the glass is always the best way. When picking a machine up in person, this will save you on shipping cost, + the aggravation of worry & wait time. You are able to PM (personal message) any Pinsider that has a machine for sale, etc.

    #33 3 years ago

    What is your location?

    #34 3 years ago
    Quoted from Don44:

    What is your location?

    Quoted from mbb491:

    Looking at a first pinball for $4k or less from local dealer in CT.

    Somewhere in that area.

    #35 3 years ago

    Good area to buy a pin, search the market on here and be patient. You can always ask on here if you have any questions.

    #37 3 years ago

    If you're buying from the retailer, I would ask if they offer some warranty. I overpaid a bit on my first machine I purchased locally, but the guy offered a 30 day warranty on the machine, parts and labor included. This came in VERY useful as a flipper rebuild was needed. I was (still am, but have learned A LOT) a newbie that was not at all comfortable with the fix, so his house call and repair more than made up the difference I overpaid. Good luck, shopping is almost as exciting as getting it home and playing!

    #38 3 years ago

    After collecting a few years and having a few machines.
    Get the one you played as a kid.
    That's where the memories are.
    Alien Poker isn't much of a pin, but my brothers all remembered playing it back in the day.
    It will make the first one all the better.

    #39 3 years ago
    Quoted from Don44:

    What is your location?

    Fairfield, CT

    #40 3 years ago

    Are you anywhere near The Sanctum?

    https://tothesanctum.com/

    Might be a useful resource for you, either playing or buying different games.

    I'd suggest a cheaper game to start with, less complicated both rules, mechs, and "lifting the hood" to learn how things work. But everyone is different.

    If you post a general location you'll probably get a few PMs of people near you willing to help out. This can be a very social hobby.

    Good luck, and enjoy whatever you purchase.

    #41 3 years ago

    If you have never bought a pinball machine, it can be very overwhelming. It can be hard to start any hobby. If you feel more comfortable buying your first machine from a dealer, do that. Play each game you’re interested in buying, do not buy your first game without seeing it in person. Will the dealer offer any type of support or warranty? You can always buy from a local pinsider. Check out their ratings and previous sales. I hope you can find a game you enjoy.

    #42 3 years ago
    #43 3 years ago
    Quoted from mbb491:

    How does buying from someone on pinside work with regards to payment, shipping, and buying from reputable person? How do you know if the machine as described with out playing it? Do you have any recourse with the seller? Sorry for all the questions, just trying to understand the process.

    Quoted from Ockeyhead:

    There is a feedback rating that you may refer to for information on a Pinsiders reputation. Also, when buying any machine it is always better to play it in person, especially since you are new to this. Establish a certain distance that you are willing to travel (say 200 miles) then bring the funds w/ you, Cash on the glass is always the best way. When picking a machine up in person, this will save you on shipping cost, + the aggravation of worry & wait time. You are able to PM (personal message) any Pinsider that has a machine for sale, etc.

    Ockey has great answers here. Play it...if at all possible. Buy in person. Cash on the glass. Make sure to deal with someone who has great feedback.

    You are in an INCREDIBLE area for pin deals. That will only help your search. Check pinside, Facebook, and craigslist. EBay, offer up, and letgo can be helpful as well.

    #44 3 years ago

    Well I’m going to agree with those that said Roadshow. It was my first pin so there’s obvious sentimental value but it’s such a great game and Lawlor’s heads are the greatest toys ever in my book. Easy to understand rules and objectives for guests and deep enough for owners. Great bang for the buck pin, it’s loaded!

    #45 3 years ago

    when buying from a person on pinside who is not in your area and shipping is needed, how is payment handled? how do you know if the machine is good working order, what should you look for? do you have recourse from seller? thanks

    #46 3 years ago
    Quoted from Ockeyhead:

    There is a feedback rating that you may refer to for information on a Pinsiders reputation. Also, when buying any machine it is always better to play it in person, especially since you are new to this. Establish a certain distance that you are willing to travel (say 200 miles) then bring the funds w/ you, Cash on the glass is always the best way. When picking a machine up in person, this will save you on shipping cost, + the aggravation of worry & wait time. You are able to PM (personal message) any Pinsider that has a machine for sale, etc.

    How do you normally transport the machine? Van? Do the machines fold up? Do you take the legs off? How to pack it for transportation? thanks!

    #47 3 years ago
    Quoted from mbb491:

    when buying from a person on pinside who is not in your area and shipping is needed, how is payment handled? how do you know if the machine is good working order, what should you look for? do you have recourse from seller? thanks

    Personally...I don't. I only buy local (which I define as how far I'm willing to drive) so it's either from someone I know and trust or I can inspect it myself first. If distance buying I think I would only buy from someone with a good reputation here. Really, it's all about trust level or how much you are willing to gamble. In general, there is no "recourse" as these are person to person deals, and there is not ebay/Amazon/etc as a go-between. And honestly so much can happen in transport that many things may not even be the sellers fault. In general...especially as you are new...buy a brand new machine from a reputable dealer or buy a machine local that you can check out yourself first.

    Quoted from mbb491:

    How do you normally transport the machine? Van? Do the machines fold up? Do you take the legs off? How to pack it for transportation? thanks!

    Legs come off. Modern games the head folds down, older games it comes off. Most larger SUVs can fit a game. The limiting factor is usually height of the rear opening. Vans should all work, and most can take 2-3 games. Pick up truck is nice, especially if you have a cap.

    #48 3 years ago

    Just Google "How to transport a pinball machine" in the search engine & there you will receive all kinds of information. Transporting a pinball machine can seen quite intimidating at first, but it's actually just a process. There are also many answers to your question here on Pinside. Just use the search forum at the very top right.

    #49 3 years ago

    Well, seeing you are Fairfield you may be getting a few PMs from folks in your area, which can be helpful.

    I'm about an hour from you, but if you found something of interest up this way I'd be glad to help you out (inspecting, moving, etc.).

    I'll echo the earlier comments of no shipping. Buy "local". My radius is down to about an hour drive these days.

    #50 3 years ago
    Quoted from mbb491:

    when buying from a person on pinside who is not in your area and shipping is needed, how is payment handled? how do you know if the machine is good working order, what should you look for? do you have recourse from seller? thanks

    I personally wouldn’t buy my first pinball machine and have it shipped. Its possible for a connector to come loose, a wire to break off a switch or a coil in transit. Then what? Blame the seller and seek recourse?

    If it wasn’t close i would plan a road trip (understanding that pandemic times can make this less desirable). Road trips became a thing for me and my oldest kid. This way you can play test and make sure it meets yr expectations. Also takes away the fear of being scammed if you can’t fully vet the seller. My radius varies depending on the value of the machine or how badly i want it. When i was new in the hobby i was driving 8hr one way across international borders to get them. But i used to live in an area that didnt have a lot of inventory relative to the amount of collectors.

    The warranty offered by a fellow pinsider is a “taillight warranty” meaning once you drive away the warranty has expired. Anything beyond that is over and above from a hobbyist imo. Does that mean you are going to have issues? No. I’ve moved plenty of pins and set them up and had zero issues. YMMV.

    Everyone has their own comfort zone. I look at a pin and can look past things that i know won’t bother me or that is in my wheelhouse to fix. It just needs to be priced fairly. Managing expectations is important.

    That said, maybe shipping is the right choice for you. What i like to do is send a lot of pics, videos of gameplay showing that the features of that pin function properly. I will send vids of it booting up with no errors, vids of different diagnostic tests to show a properly working display, lamp test, etc. Some sellers may not want to deal with all that and not be as accommodating and move on the the next person.

    As people have said, pinball ownership comes with maintenance responsibilities. You can either 1) learn to troubleshoot and repair issues yrself - and pinside has amazing people willing to provide online tech support. Or 2) find a local pinball tech who can do this. Either is fine, you might have more important things to do with yr spare time and that’s absolutely ok.

    Payment. Cash is the most preferred however not practical when shipping is involved. I’ve taken paypal when i’m dealing with people i am familiar with (not necessarily know in person). I’ve also taken personal checks and waited for my bank to tell me the funds have cleared. They is also wire transfers and things like that. I know many people think PP F&F or vemno are secure / risk free. I recommend you do your own homework and read their terms...

    Good luck with however you choose to move forward. Don’t be afraid of things failing. Start a tech help thread and pinside will have you back up and running in no time. Or you can do the same with FB but the most common response will be to buy all new boards, or send your boards out to be professional repaired. Even if it just a stoopid lamp not working haha.

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