I had an interesting discussion the other day with a fellow pin collector about our pinball lineups and collections in general. He is the type of guy that likes to buy when he sees something interesting, but he NEVER sells. I am kind of the opposite. I try to focus on what I am specifically looking for, and I will sell or trade to get there.
In a perfect world, we could all buy 1,000 pinball machines, have a place to put them at and play them, and have tons of money left over for bills and random spending. Well, in real life, that doesn't happen. We all have to have some type of plan...whether it is focused...or the non-plan plan...like my friend. Heck...you may not even realize that you had a plan. I just said "plan" a lot...well...what's one more?:
Here was my plan (see what I did there?):
I am into themes a lot. Of course, toys and gimmicks, lighting, gameplay, and innovation are very important as well, but I prefer to enjoy them within the confines of themes I like. My favorites are movies, fantasy, robots, and sci-fi.
I also like pins from all eras and makers. I find that variety is truly the spice of life, and pins are no different. I love newer pins with tons of toys, but I also like the chimes and bells on EMs...
the robotic voices on early ss pins, the style and innovation on dmds, the wacky themes of some late 80s pins, etc. I also find that I get tired of playing the same style continuously, though I like them a lot. In short, I like to have several "styles" of pins for my collection.
Unlike some others, I can also appreciate different makers. Sure, I lean towards my favorites, but I feel all have something to offer (both past and present). They all have strengths and weaknesses.
Lastly, I really like pins that are varied from one another. Have multiple pins with all ramps is great if you have a large collection...but I don't have the room. I like ramps, drop targets, multiple play field's, bash toys, etc. I am a believer in having a good variety of all.
My current lineup is a 1979 ball paragon, 1986 Williams pinbot, 1993 data east Jurassic park, 2003 stern lord of the rings, and a 2013 jersey jack pinball wizard of oz emerald city limited edition, and a 1982 bally vector. I am very happy with it. All different eras, different makers, different play styles...and great themes; 3 movies, 1 robot/sci-fi, and 2 fantasy/sci-fi...all with great artwork too.
I also like to fix up pins on the side, so that has helped me see what I like best, and even helped switch out the lineup a few times when I find a "gem."
I am sure that like most other collectors, I will change it up at some point. I hope to keep it varied as much as possible, however. I always try to keep in mind what my favorite pins are from each era and what my "wish list" pins are in case I come across them at reasonable prices. Who knows? I may have a completely different lineup in a year or two.
What is your lineup focus?