First pinball machine- compare SW Premium vs two LOTR Pro available locally

(Topic ID: 230771)

First pinball machine- compare SW Premium vs two LOTR Pro available locally


By Adaminski

6 days ago



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  • 35 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by Kwoody51
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 6 days ago

TLDR: Getting a first pin. Decided on SW Premium (new). Then 2 LOTR Pro showed up on local craigslist yesterday (12/2/18). Any advice on SW Premium vs LOTR Pro, and if I go LOTR Pro, which one looks better? Craigslist links below.

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We are getting a pin at home as a present for me. Mostly considered new games. We are in Seattle area, and have taken advantage of all the great pubs and arcades to play a LOT of pinball. Decision is mine, but my wife has veto power. Theme is important to me, I found, especially when I can hear the game. I love music, but not metal. So the only music one that would work is Beatles - and it's a lovely game, but we like the ramps and bells and whistles of the other newer games. I would consider us beginner players, even though I've played pinball for 40+ years.

Pretty much decided on Star Wars (Premium/LE). Love the theme. I was 11 when I saw "A New Hope" at the local small town theater in the summer of 1977. Even though SW pin is difficult, the speed and ramps are addictive, and it doesn't matter if ball times are shorter since it's on free play in your home. 2nd place was Guardians of the Galaxy (Pro), but the use of voices that weren't movie actors and the way the choppy clip implementation (IMO) dragged it down. Plus, I like GOTG, but don't love it.

I do also love LOTR (books and movies and pinball machine). Yesterday, I got a curve ball on the decision to get a new game. 2 separate Lord of the Rings machines showed up on local Craigslist. I initially thought someday LOTR would make a great 2nd pin if it came up used in my area. (Yeah, I'm already admitting that out loud, even in front of the wife).

I know the sellers may likely be Pinside members. Sorry in advance! Anyone have any input on the LOTR for sale below - compared to each other or to a new SW Premium? One of the LOTR has a lot of mods, and one is more stock. The stock one is much closer to me (20 minutes vs 1 hour), but I can rent a truck and make trip in middle of the day to avoid traffic.

Seems that there are a lot of Stern SW available right now (even used). Maybe that will still be the case in a couple of years. LOTR available less frequently, maybe.

My wife isn't as big of a LOTR fan, but this is my "present" from her. She loves GOT pinball (as do I)... maybe we should get that for a 2nd...

Thanks in advance for any advice. My guess is that this is a timely decision. I have no idea how long LOTR will last on Craigslist in our area.

Since links will die, for reference I put the text descriptions here. Both machines looked very good in pictures.

Seattle LOTR Pro ($6000):

- Excellent condition LOTR pinball machine.
- Considered to be one of the best pinball games of all time (ranked #5 on pinside.com).
- Bought this from a family in Edmonds. I'm the second owner.
- Machine is in excellent working condition with minor cosmetic wear.
- Manual included.
- Cash preferred (may be willing to try paypal/venmo if requested).

I'm willing to help pack and load the machine, but buyer should plan to haul it themselves. I live in a second floor condo with an elevator, so moving it should not be an issue.

Tacoma LOTR Pro ($5600):

Lord of the Rings pinball machine, lots of mods and upgrades. Pingraffix pinblades, special pinball life flipper coils, ColorDMD, shaker motor installed, shire decal, PDI target decal set, palantir color changing LED, Mind Orbits color changing shooter rod, Path of the Dead figures added, NVram installed, no batteries neeeded, some LEDs installed. Playfield in good condition, some wear on cabinet. Never been on location, I am the 3rd owner and have owned pinball machine about 12 years. Has manual and a few extra parts included. Game plays and works great.

-Adam

#2 6 days ago

I sold Star Wars, missed it and bought another one. I sold LOTR and don’t miss it. It’s technically a much better game, but after you rip through it a few times it gets repetitive... ball times are very long and I found myself playing less and less.

As a single game I wouldn’t recommend it.

There are so many ways to play Star Wars, I never get tired of it. It’s polarizing, so I’d make sure you really connect with the gameplay before you commit... I also highly recommend buying a HUO one vs new, cheaper and also hopefully tweaked by the previous owner. Also less of a hit when you eventually sell

Best of luck!

#3 6 days ago

SW and GOT are my two favorites btw. Fast, smooth, and challenging with numerous ways to play them. Killer 2 game collection in my book... owning both versions of GOT I ended up preferring the pro btw.

#4 6 days ago

I agree a lot with what Gorilla says.

I’ll add that SW is a very tough game, and it may not be a good first pin, but you can put it on 5 ball and/or make some adjustments so it plays easier.

You’ve already hinted at a 2nd pin; so you may want to consider going pro on SW and save yourself a couple thousand $, and maybe even go with an SW PRO HUO and save another $1k. That’s almost $3k savings, almost enough for another stern pro if you catch my drift

I’m a big fan of both SW & GOT pro, but I wouldn’t want both in a 2 pin lineup for one reason, and one reason only...lack of polished code. GOT suffers with many bugs; and SW suffers With lack of display usage in that it doesn’t show scores for critical key elements of the game nor does it do a good job of priority choreography in the highest elements of the game (most notably when you finish one of the 4 major multiballs, it’s an awesome feeling if the code works and you get the Star Wars climatic music as you destroy the Death Star or escape Hoth, however the code is so unpolished this can and often does get cut short by other elements of the game, not to mention it doesn’t display score at all for that final shot nor does it display scoring for other key areas of the game).

In short; both SW and GOT are great games that heavily lack in the polished code department. I’d pick SW over GOT and go with pro versions to save $ towards a 2nd pin.

LOTR was my very first pin and is a classic. Can’t go wrong with this title. LOTR does take some long ball times to get deep into the game, and SW has a lot of strategies with fairly quick progression which has me giving it the nod. But having a fully functional, polished game like LOTR is very appealing in a home environment. Maybe you can push for an SW PRO + LOTR?

Other than that; if you do care about fleshed out polished code, look to get a Keith Johnson (i.e. LOTR) or Lyman Sheats game. While i really love the unorthodox style of Dwight games (SW, GOT), I implore someone at stern to please please get this man some time to polish his games; all 3 of his latest sterns lack in this department.

Sorry for long post, Food for thought.

#5 6 days ago

I agree with Gorilla and Eskaybee, I own both lotr and Star Wars pro.

I play SW pro more often and enjoy the brutality and diversity.

#6 6 days ago

That LOTR in Tacoma seems the best of the 3 choices IMO.

-1
#7 5 days ago

I'd jump on that LOTR in Tacoma immediately. Much better deal than the other one. The color display alone is a $400 upgrade. I have owned well over 50 pins and so far LOTR lasted the longest. Even my wife liked it, who usually has zero interest in my pins. It is one of the best pins ever made.

I love the Star Wars theme, but can't stand the pin. Half the guys in my league feel the same. Some really like it, but it's definitely not universally liked. I find the layout to be no fun with no satisfyaing shots. I like the rules even less.

Game of Thrones is light years better than Star Wars IMO, especially the Prem/LE.

Guardians is a good pin, especially once you swap in the custom audio from Cleland. Good but not great. I like the layout and the artwork, but the theme integration is weak. Still glad I bought it.

From the pins you mentioned I'd rank them as follows:

1. LOTR
2. Thrones Prem/LE
3. Guardians

500. Star Wars

I'd take a Data East Star Wars, or even a Sega SW over Stern SW.

#8 5 days ago

The LOTR know Tacoma would already be in my truck. Get a Star Wars later would be my suggestion.

#9 5 days ago

Hmm... that LOTR in Tacoma is a fantastic deal. If you were to sell it later on you wouldn't lose much money.

Norcal and Eskaybee REALLY know what's up... so I'd give their input serious weight. Just goes to show SW isn't for everybody. Maybe try and get a SW later to join LOTR down the line if you can snag the Tacoma one

#10 5 days ago

I'd go with SW man. Look, LOTR is a nifty game, but let's keep your wife happy. She likes Got, and SW is more like GOT than LOTR is.
Is she smart? Because SW does scares off a lot of dumb dumbs.

The issue is SW is a better game, more up to date, sounds better so by all those metrics maybe you're wife will like it more.
Buuuuut LOTR is a shit ton easier. SO maybe she will like tht...but maybe she'll get sick of waiting for your 10 minutes ball times?

The point is these are never easy answers. So I'd try to keep your wife involved as long as possible.

#11 5 days ago

Just some friendly advice...If you find a good deal on craigslist like the second one you listed with the color DMD I would not post it here. That pin is priced a bit low and won't last long. If it is available still you should not hesitate to pick it up.

#12 5 days ago
Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

If you were to sell it later on you wouldn't lose much money.

Only way to lose money on it would be to add brass/chrome and add tons of mods to it. Know anyone that would do that?

#13 5 days ago
Quoted from Jgel:

Only way to lose money on it would be to add brass/chrome and add tons of mods to it. Know anyone that would do that?

Hey in all fairness I traded that LOTR straight up for a fully restored Monster Bash... the shoddy remake probably made it worth even more!

#14 5 days ago

Thanks for all the quick advice. I see that I may have made an error in posting the Craigslist ad. Oh well. I honestly wasn't sure if that was the better machine (regardless of deal/price). Maybe it was already pending or sold and the post just hasn't been updated.

FWIW I contacted the seller in Tacoma, stating that I wanted to buy, and left my phone number and email. We'll see....

-Adam

#15 5 days ago
Quoted from Adaminski:

Thanks for all the quick advice. I see that I may have made an error in posting the Craigslist ad. Oh well. I honestly wasn't sure if that was the better machine (regardless of deal/price). Maybe it was already pending or sold and the post just hasn't been updated.
FWIW I contacted the seller in Tacoma, stating that I wanted to buy, and left my phone number and email. We'll see....
-Adam

Wise decision! Hope you're able to grab it.

P.s. Personal tastes can differ greatly when it comes to pinball. Gorilla likes SW. I don't. Neither of us are wrong. Take all of our opinions with skepticism.

#16 5 days ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

Wise decision! Hope you're able to grab it.

Quoted from scottslash:

That LOTR in Tacoma seems the best of the 3 choices IMO.

Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

I'd jump on that LOTR in Tacoma immediately.

Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

Hmm... that LOTR in Tacoma is a fantastic deal.

Quoted from Jgel:

Just some friendly advice...If you find a good deal on craigslist like the second one you listed with the color DMD I would not post it here.

Quoted from DudeRegular:

The LOTR in Tacoma would already be in my truck. Get a Star Wars later would be my suggestion.

Quoted from Adaminski:

FWIW I contacted the seller in Tacoma, stating that I wanted to buy, and left my phone number and email. We'll see....

Thanks one last time to everyone for their input.

I was not the first person to contact the LOTR owner in Tacoma. There were 3 others before me. However, I was the first one to contact him that wanted to buy, and not trade. So, I won. Play test, payment, and delivery tomorrow, as long as schedules don't get changed. The Craigslist post has been deleted.

-Adam

#18 5 days ago

The auto-plunge off the stand-ups to the left outlane on SW is the most maddening thing ever. Makes me want to tip it over every time it does that.

#19 5 days ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

The auto-plunge off the stand-ups to the left outlane on SW is the most maddening thing ever. Makes me want to tip it over every time it does that.

I find properly leveling vs. tipping over gives me better results

Also congrats OP, way to hustle!

#20 5 days ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

I'd take a Data East Star Wars, or even a Sega SW over Stern SW.

Laughing..gif
#21 5 days ago

Hope it works out for you!

#22 5 days ago
Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

I find properly leveling vs. tipping over gives me better results
Also congrats OP, way to hustle!

I guess that's a prem+ issue mostly so I've never dealt with it.

#23 5 days ago

I am going to go out on a crazy limb here and tell you to get the LOTR. Both games are great fun, and would be good choices for a home pin collection. However, if you buy a LOTR, keep it in your house for a year, and then sell it you will sell it for about what you paid for it if not a little more. If you buy a Star Wars NIB, it will depreciate and you will be out a few thousand bucks. My vote is to buy the LOTR... keep it for a year, then sell it for what you paid for it and buy a used Star Wars premium. I like the idea of rotating machines so they don't get old.

#24 5 days ago
Quoted from sataneatscheese:

If you buy a Star Wars NIB, it will depreciate and you will be out a few thousand bucks.

So... you mean I can buy a HUO Star Wars pro for $2400 and a premium for $4300? Cool, sign me up!

But yes, we all agree snagging that LOTR is the smart thing to do.

Show us some pics when you get home!

#25 5 days ago
Quoted from sataneatscheese:

If you buy a Star Wars NIB, it will depreciate and you will be out a few thousand bucks.

What?

#26 5 days ago
Quoted from sataneatscheese:

I am going to go out on a crazy limb here and tell you to get the LOTR. Both games are great fun, and would be good choices for a home pin collection. However, if you buy a LOTR, keep it in your house for a year, and then sell it you will sell it for about what you paid for it if not a little more. If you buy a Star Wars NIB, it will depreciate and you will be out a few thousand bucks. My vote is to buy the LOTR... keep it for a year, then sell it for what you paid for it and buy a used Star Wars premium. I like the idea of rotating machines so they don't get old.

As brought to my attention by others, this is wrong. The price difference between a new and used Star Wars premium is well under a thousand dollars right now... it may be worth it for a NIB experience. I was comparing the price of new vs used Star Trek (a decision I'm going through now) and the price to "drive it off the lot" is a lot steeper on that one.

#27 5 days ago
Quoted from pinmister:

[quoted image]

GIFs work again? Nice! Wait. I'm doing it wrong.
tenor (resized).png

#28 5 days ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

GIFs work again? Nice! Wait. I'm doing it wrong.
[quoted image]

You need to select the "original image size" or whatever the option is on the drop down BEFORE you move the gif to it.
P

#30 4 days ago

This was a great transaction with a wonderful pinball collector and restorer, who I believe lurks on Pinside. Now that I'm officially in the hobby, I hope to cross paths with him again at events in "Pugetopolis," especially at the Northwest Pinball Show (http://nwpinballshow.com), where my new LOTR Pro has previously been exhibited.

Oh, and missing from the original ad was that he also added a shaker, and there were more than a few extra parts, including a lot of figures for the play field and possibly for a topper if I want to add them. Plus he helped me set up the machine in my home and showed me the ropes. Oh, and while not a LE, it does have a signed card from George Gomez.

Attached are pictures, per request. I can't wait to start playing! And neither can my friends and family!

-Adam

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#31 4 days ago
Quoted from Adaminski:

This was a great transaction with a wonderful pinball collector and restorer, who I believe lurks on Pinside. Now that I'm officially in the hobby, I hope to cross paths with him again at events in "Pugetopolis," especially at the Northwest Pinball Show (http://nwpinballshow.com), where my new LOTR Pro has previously been exhibited.
Oh, and missing from the original ad was that he also added a shaker, and there were more than a few extra parts, including a lot of figures for the play field and possibly for a topper if I want to add them. Plus he helped me set up the machine in my home and showed me the ropes. Oh, and while not a LE, it does have a signed card from George Gomez.
Attached are pictures, per request. I can't wait to start playing! And neither can my friends and family!
-Adam
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Beautiful! You’ll love it. Enjoy. Now start saving for your Star Wars

#32 4 days ago
Quoted from Eskaybee:

Beautiful! You’ll love it. Enjoy. Now start saving for your Star Wars

No worries...won;t take long till GOT & SW get serious consideration.

#33 4 days ago

Congrats on your new lord of the rings, in my opinion it’s the best game of all time!!! Enjoy!!!!

#34 4 days ago

Man, you did SO much better than I and most of the fine folks here did on their first machine. That thing looks mint as hell... and you got one one with proper skin tone colors on the playfield as well. Enjoy!

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#35 3 days ago

Congrats! Now you can enjoy filling your time with playing your new pin vs all those other pesky house chores

As others said LOTR was a great choice if for no other reason than it’s a proven game so if you sell in the future you aren’t likely to lose any $$$ (barring an economic reset )

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