(Topic ID: 266198)

First purchase

By HooperTriplett

3 months ago

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  • 35 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by finplanner69
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#1 3 months ago

Looking to buy my first machine when the COVID turmoil reduces, so I'm doing my homework now. Get ready to unload your knowledge/opinions!

1. New or old? My favorite game is Theatre of Magic and would love to own one, but its 25 years old now. I know all machines will need some work over time but taking on an older machine as my first seems daunting, especially for someone with little mechanical skill. But the sentimental appeal of something I spent hours playing is hard to resist. Go with the heart and something old or something new(er)?
2. Machine recommendations? I like a game that has tasks to complete or collect, and so I'm more interested in playability than mastery or score maximization. A deep ruleset is great, but I'm a fair to average player so it's got to be entertaining. If not an older machine, what's a good first buy?
3. Accessories? What tools or gadgets does a first time buyer need? PinFooties? Pinball Skates? What don't I know I need?

Thanks in advance.

#13 3 months ago
Quoted from Daditude:

The most important things are:
1) how much do you have to spend?
2) how much do you have to spend?
3) how much do you have to spend?
4) what are your favorite pins that you have played?

I'm thinking 7 to 8k. Seems like a reasonable starting point.

Addams Family is a family favorite along with Shrek. I've enjoyed Star Trek Next Generation and XMen, but I'm not sure enough to own them. The recent Star Wars was fun.

#14 3 months ago
Quoted from Pinball-is-great:

Consider getting 3 to start out with that are not total disasters and not super pristene, so you can enjoy playing them, and not get frustrated having machines needing tons of repairs. You can learn about repairs/maint/mods/etc as you go forward and don't have to stare at non-working boxes of parts.
Buy a machine within driving distance that you personally inspect, then agree on price, pay cash when deal reached, load it up and drive it home.
Instead of getting one $8000 new machine, consider getting:
(1) nice working e-m type machine from the 70's, approx. price $750 to $1100
(1) decent solid-state machine from the 80's, approx. price $1300 - $2100
(1) pin from 90's to 2005 time frame, approx. price $2200 - $5000
Total estimate = $1000 + $2000 + $4000 = $7000
Later this yr or next yr you can decide if you love all 3 and want to keep them, or perhaps sell (or trade) one or two of those machines.
For where you plan to place the machines in your house (or elsewhere), will they be on ground level floor, or will you need to move pin upstairs or downstairs? This may help you to decide what type of dolly to get to help move machines.
Post a few pics when you get a machine or two set-up. Enjoy!

I like your thinking! There's a Spanish Eyes locally in good shape, and have thought maybe that's where I can start.

#15 3 months ago

blockquote cite="#5588964">"sentimental appeal of something I spent hours playing is hard to resist. Go with the heart and something old"
I think you are on track to making a informed pinball purchase. I would buy a Theatre of Magic if that is your all time favorite. JPOP pinball machines are so fun . He is one of the best . Mine have been reliable.[quoted image][quoted image]

I have to confess that I worry about CGC reissuing it. Not sure that I'd buy a new one, but will the prices of the old drop considerably as a result?

#16 3 months ago
Quoted from bluespin:

But a fully working Theater of Magic as you have a lot of good memories playing it. A lot of people get turned off by the hobby because they buy a project as a first pin and can’t play it for days or weeks. Also not knowing what to look for in a project can lead to a lot of expensive part purchases.
Buy a fully working pin and then buy a cheap project em or ss pin to work on to learn how to repair pins later. I know a collector in your area that can help you find a project later on.

Thanks - I don't want to either regret the purchase or sour on the game because of my inexperience. Please let me know who I should be talking with locally - much appreciated..

#17 3 months ago
Quoted from Daditude:

What is your budget? If it is 20k, then I would buy a TOM and have HEP do a full resto. That would save all your problems/questions/issues.
Have you played POTC, WOZ, Wonka, Tron, MM, MB, AFM, JP2, MET, IM, DP, TBL, etc? All these are newer top tier games with depth. I love TOM too, but until you have seen everything out there and played them (or at least watched a youtube video of gameplay), it is hard to say what you should go for. Again, budget may be a concern.
You will ALWAYS have a better chance of a newer game (or fully restored older game) playing better for longer. TOM is also expensive, however, so buying older wouldn't really net you big bank account savings.
I typically move pinballs by myself. Pinball skates and/or a harbor freight lift are great. You need wrenches or sockets, Phillips head and flat head screw drivers, extra rubber rings and light bulbs, novus products, and micro fiber towels. Pin footies, mats, and dust covers are nice, but not necessary.
This really all comes down to how much you have to spend. Without that answered, there is no way to really give sound advice. Looking at a 7k machine won't help if you only have 3k to spend. More money equals more/better options.
What is your budget?

Reasonably around $7 to 8k.

I haven't played much new (and may not for a while!), but I'm seeing decent prices on Houdini and Wizard of Oz LE nearby. Wonder if they'd be a good reliable buy and then go get something much cheaper to monkey with?

#18 3 months ago
Quoted from PNBLWZD:

Theatre of Magic would be a great choice, as you already like it and Bally machines from that era are very reliable and tend to hold or go up in value. Find one that’s nice but not overpriced and have fun learning and playing.
Don’t buy a project as your first pin though, that will be frustrating. Second pin as a little project maybe ok, as you still have the first to play.

Increasingly that's what I'm thinking. Make room for two - one to enjoy/play with little worry and one to learn on.

#19 3 months ago
Quoted from Completist:

My first pin which i still own today was Cirqus Voltaire. To this date i have done nothing more than replace batteries. So i am not in the camp that 25 year old pins are ticking time bombs and will need a lot of work. Especially in a home environment.
Of course it also depends on how it was used for the last 25 years. Heavily routed / or used in a home. And more important is who cared for it and how it was cared for.
Anyway my two cents is get what you want. I regret nothing from my first purchase because thats the one i really wanted. TOM is a gorgeous game and imo fun to play. I would just get one off of a collector who has shown it some love and taken care of it . And when the day comes when you do need to fix something there is Pinside who will help you if needed.

Thanks! People have recommended Circus Voltaire since I like Theatre of Magic but have never had a chance to play one.

#22 3 months ago
Quoted from rai:

the best pin (IMO) is Attack From Mars remake it's like a 22 year old classic that is brand new best of both world imo.

That makes a ton of sense to. Outside of being more available and with presumably more modern/reliable parts, is the reissue different?

#25 3 months ago
Quoted from Daditude:

With 7k-8k, you have a lot of options. Here would be my thought process:
1) Would I get more enjoyment out of one pin or multiple?
2) What is the best pin (or pins ) I could get?
3) How much does newness/low plays matter to me?
I cannot answer those questions for you...only you can, but here is what I would suggest:
If it were me, I would have more fun with 2 or 3 (or more), instead of 1...so I would make a list of my favorite pins. For instance, I love medieval madness, but for the same price I could get a flash Gordon, paragon, the shadow, and a pinbot...i would MUCH RATHER have those.
I would recommend "bang for the buck" pins or ones that are under priced. There are lists on pinside threads, on the pinside top 100 custom settings, and on the internet. These will depend largely on your tastes, of course, but older pins tend to have a much better bang for the buck...so finding restored/pristine/huo examples is the best of both worlds. For 7-8k, you could easily get 7-15 EMs, 5-10 early SS pins, 3-4 great Williams system 11 games, 2-3 early dmd games, 2 newer "b" titles or lower priced games, or just 1 new game.
Some underpriced titles I would suggest are paragon, pinbot, high speed, the getaway, judge dread, fish tales, revenge from Mars, world cup soccer, taxi, flash Gordon, 8 ball deluxe LE, stargate, nba fastbreak, black hole, etc.
TOM costs around 7k already...but for that, you could have multiples that would probably hold your interest longer. Home games are way different than games on route because depth and variation starts to become EXTREMELY important.
Next, you can ask how good of condition can you get them in. A lot of people fix up early SS and Williams system 11 games...so finding a really nice example often isn't a lot more than just a "players quality" game...plus they are fairly easy to work on if you need to down the line.
Newness of a game doesn't always equate less trouble-shooting. Poorly made new games will break down as easy as extremely well kept older games. You will eventually have to do some maintenance regardless.
If TOM is far better than owning 2-5 games for you, then I would go for it. It likely won't be, however...it isn't for most collectors. If you decide on multiple games, get the best bang for the buck pins. Get the best examples you can get. Use the top 100 list to get an idea of what others like compared to you, along with what will hold/increase in value.

Great point about a home game - I worry about "depth" of a game that I can play all the time. The difference between what I can do/how long I can play an older game like Taxi or Diner to something like Wizard of Oz seems huge. Gets back to the bang-for-the-buck question.

#30 3 months ago
Quoted from jp1985:

I would have to say buy the Theater of Magic or you will always wish you did. I bought Addams Family as that was the game I always played and have no regrets.

I suspect I'll end up with a Theatre of Magic at some point, but I'm not sure it's what I should start with.

#47 3 months ago
Quoted from oPinsesame:

If you can wait a few years there is likely to be a TOM remake which will probably be perfect for you. In the interim whatever new game appeals to you most. When they come out with TOMr you can sell this one for a small loss and be most of the way to a beautiful TOMr.

It does seem perfect to be re-issued, right?

#48 3 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

ToM is a beautiful pin, but it's pretty shallow for home. I have a friend who lost one in the Carr fire a couple years ago, but when he rebuilt his life, he got a Ghostbusters Prem, then a bit later an AfMr LE, and I asked him if he would ever get another ToM and he made a face that said "no." Once he had played the newer stuff, he couldn't go back.

Thanks - not the first time I've heard that.

#51 3 months ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

Do you go to any pinball tournaments? Know any local pinball people? Local Pinball tournaments is a good place to find out about games for sale.

Got a local place that I've been going to (D&D) but not recently and I was really looking forward to my first ZapCon, now cancelled. I do feel like i need to play Spider-Man, Shadow, Wizard of Oz, and some others to get a better sense of them.

#56 3 months ago
Quoted from guitarded:

Saw that Shadow in Tucson, last night.
That would be on my list of Pins Owned if I still lived in Pima County.

Dropping him a note is literally on my to-do list for today!

#63 3 months ago
Quoted from Butch2099:

If you like magic, My brother has a new in box Houdini in Goodyear, full warranty. Easy garage pickup, $5500. https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/ad/92861

Have eyeballed that many times over the past month - wish I had some experience with the gameplay. Good reviews, and that and Wizard of Oz would be the two newer games that we'd consider right now.

#71 3 months ago
Quoted from Daditude:

Did you reach out to him about The Shadow??? What's the news?

Checking it on Sunday!

#73 3 months ago
Quoted from Daditude:

Did you ask

Buy that Shadow.... now! Play it and then keep looking for other pins. You won’t lose money if you decide to sell it later. Great way to cut your teeth and with being stuck at home might as well go for it!
I asked about Houdini as my first pin and got very strong feedback not to buy. Check out my user name for started threads and you’ll see I had a similar question. I haven’t played it but I was told it’s got some very tight shots which can be frustrating for a more novice player. There is a reason these pins that sold new for $7k are selling new for $5500...
I had a Sterns POTC which is a great approachable pin for a decent cost. High playability for family and kids. I sold as I didn’t like the stop and go, no flow shots. Got bored of it after ~12 months.
Picked up a TZ as a good deal and liking it so far. I have just one pin and recognize that one pin no matter what can get old. Sometimes my TZ just makes me mad as I can’t hit the shots. This is when another machine would be nice to play. Not sure it’s my forever pin but a TOM and TZ might be a sweet setup. Need the wife to agree to 2 pins vs just 1
TOM is a machine I want to own one day but with the heavy speculation of a remake I won’t buy one until they come out. Purist will want an original but most would rather pay $7k for a new one thus limiting value of old ones. I’d rather buy a 2-3 year old remake.
WOZ is a beautiful game and I like it but haven’t played it enough to really draw conclusions. I wouldn’t mind owning one and it’s packed with features.

Wow. Great thread and I appreciate learning from someone who is just a year ahead of me in the process!

Most importantly, did the wife get her game?!

#74 3 months ago
Quoted from Daditude:

Did you ask about spiderman and/or any other pins?

He's mentioned it, but I'm hung-up on the Toby Maguire Spidey theme.

#85 3 months ago

Deal struck - picking up the Shadow tomorrow!

#86 3 months ago
Quoted from HarrieD:

My advice:
Get a second handed Guardians of the galaxy PRO.
Several reasons:
1. Complete machine with lots of features and toys (groot in the center, 2 ramps, 3 pops, magnet, rocket kicker), nice sounds, humor from the movie
2. Nice ruleset, not to deep but challenging for a moderate player
3. Great animations, lots of shots.
4. PRO versions to be modded to your own likings but packed with enough items out of the box. (I recommend you add a subwoofer JBL Stage 810, Cleland sound mod, shaker motor and convolux)
5. Price is fair for a second handed machine
6. Fairly new machine so low maintenance can be expected.

Have given this a second look, and things seem much improved with new code compared to when it was released, yes?

#99 3 months ago

Proud owner!

#101 3 months ago
Quoted from Daditude:

Have you been playing it all day? What do you think?

Not yet! Snuck in a couple games this morning but chores most of the day. The DMD is now flickering so I'm going to check the wires to see if something jiggled loose in moving. Nervous...

#104 3 months ago
Quoted from Daditude:

Just save the time and get a color dmd.
Did you end up getting an even better deal or asking about any other pins?

He's in no rush to sell both machines - no deal to be had. He does know a bunch of other locals so he's a great connection to have in addition to being a good guy.

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