(Topic ID: 244685)

Good first pins?


By luigi90

5 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 33 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by colinize
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 5 months ago

    Hey all,

    I have just rediscovered the pinball bug and am now at the point in my life where I can actually afford my own table, thankfully. I've been browsing reviews of several tables and lots of them say something to the effect of, "not one for the smaller collection" which leads to my question, in your opinion what would be a good first pin to own in a new collection?

    Thanks,

    Luigi

    #2 5 months ago

    I think a NIB Stern Pro is a great way to start. The reason being there are a couple of great games available that work well in a small collection (Deadpool and Iron Maiden. You might also still be able to find a distributor with a Star Trek vault or Metallica sitting around). Also as a novice, you won’t have to do any work on either for a year or two. The biggest challenge to someone new is being able to look at a used game and identity any issues prior to buying.

    #3 5 months ago
    Quoted from luigi90:

    Hey all,
    I have just rediscovered the pinball bug and am now at the point in my life where I can actually afford my own table, thankfully. I've been browsing reviews of several tables and lots of them say something to the effect of, "not one for the smaller collection" which leads to my question, in your opinion what would be a good first pin to own in a new collection?
    Thanks,
    Luigi

    Happy to help, but we really could use a ballpark budget to answer this better.

    #4 5 months ago

    I always suggest finding local collectors to start. You'll need that help for when something goes wrong and you haven't quite learned how to troubleshoot it yet. I also always suggest finding an early solid state game (either numeric or alpha-numeric) that is 100% working. Meaning all the switches work, and the mechs work, all the lights and displays work. The reason being is that when things break, it'll be a little at a time, and you'll be able to do more of the work yourself and slowly learn the process of going through your machine. You will find games from the late 70s to early 90s just as enjoyable, if not more enjoyable than the new shiny. Lastly, do research on pricing for specific games you're interested in and you should be able to find a machine without overpaying for it.

    This way you'll get your feet wet, learn upkeep skills over time, and not have too much money into the hobby if things don't work out.

    #5 5 months ago

    A NIB stern would be a good choice most of them are fast playing and have good deep rule sets some that come to mind are Iron Maiden, Deadpool, Metallica,and AC DC.

    #6 5 months ago

    It depends on a lot of factors. Era is huge. You will have a completely different selection between modern games and EMs or early SS games.

    I’m sure we can all help narrow it down if you answer a few questions.

    What’s your budget?

    What games have you played that you like?

    If theme is important, is there a theme you would prefer? (Space, sports, music, superhero’s, etc.)

    #7 5 months ago

    Also, your location can be a big factor in terms of what might be easily available to you. Generally speaking, NIB games are available no matter where you are if you're willing to pay for shipping. The used market could be pretty small though if you're not near a major metropolitan area.

    #8 5 months ago

    A Stern Star Trek Pro will give you a lot of bang for your buck.

    #9 5 months ago

    My advice is don’t buy a NIB as your first pin!

    Buy a solid, playing used pin without any major issues.

    First of all I don’t think there are any new pins right now that offer better gameplay than any of a number of used titles from the past. Second, a used pin is more likely to hold its value or possibly appreciate vs a new pin which will almost certainly drop in price. If you want a more modern pin look at the titles from a few years ago, many Stern Pros can be had for around $5k or so, some are dipping into the $4k range. That’s around $1000 less than a NIB game that will be worth $500-1000 less (or worse if you happened to buy Munsters) in a year or so. If you want to learn about how to work on pins then you can get a System 11 title or a 90s DMD title for a fraction of a NIB game.

    My first game was a project PinBot that I bought for $1200. I fixed it and learned a ton along the way. My current collection includes PinBot (around $1900 in it), Jurassic Park ($3200 in it including mods), Whirlwind ($2000 in it) and STTNG ($4400). I could sell my collection for more than I paid and have had a blast playing the pins. My collection has been purchased within the last 6 months so deals are out there if you look for them and are patient.

    Just MHO.

    #10 5 months ago

    Despite all the previous comments, you certainly do not have to buy a NIB game--they're expensive!

    There are plenty of vintage games available. If you go to any shows, there are usually a wide range of titles available at various price points.

    $2500-$3000 can buy a fairly nice DMD game.

    About how much are you looking to spend? Are there any games that you've played so far that you like?

    #11 5 months ago

    data east games are good starters if your budget is $3000 and under. You can get a used Stern pro these days for $4000-$4800.

    #12 5 months ago

    Play it before you buy. If you don't enjoy the test drive, keep looking.

    You can also check out a pinball show, pinball museum, or barcade to get a feel for what's fun.

    What's your skill level at fixing basic electronics and mechanical things?

    #13 5 months ago

    Iron Maiden PRO all day long. Such a great game for the price!!!

    #14 5 months ago

    It's totally not the same as a real pinball machine, but you can buy a virtual pinball game like Pinball Arcade or Pinball FX3 to try lots of different tables and see for yourself.

    #15 5 months ago

    When someone says "not one for the smaller collection", he probably means you can get bored quickly because it is too easy, too hard, or there is not much to do on that playfield. If it is in a larger collection, you will not play it as long or as often so you will not get bored as quickly. Everyone's abilities and tastes are different, so that opinion might not apply to you. Also, you can often adjust the settings on a DMD to make it as easy or hard as you want but you cannot change the playfield! The best is to try it before you buy.

    #16 5 months ago

    Agree on using virtual pinball as a way to get a general idea of whether you might like a game or not. When I was trying to figure out my first pin, someone suggested PinBot and I downloaded it on my computer to see what it was about. Once I heard that soundtrack I was hooked! Still love it! When I’m in multiball sometimes I just trap up both balls and listen to the multiball song for a while!

    #17 5 months ago

    Also on the “smaller collection” thing, I’d be wary of trying to find a perfect machine for a smaller collection. Pinball is a hobby where you have options and can trade or sell machines reasonably easily if you buy them well. My Jurassic Park is a fun game but probably one I will trade or sell in the next 6 months and try something else. You will find pins you love and some you play for a bit and move on. Another reason to avoid NIB pins IMHO unless you can take the financial hit when you move it on.

    #18 5 months ago
    Quoted from luigi90:

    I've been browsing reviews of several tables and lots of them say something to the effect of, "not one for the smaller collection"

    Some games are fairly basic, very difficult, or a bit of a novelty. They can get old or frustrating quick in a small collection where that is all you have to play. Truth is that any game gets old fast in a small collection. Best to start with cheaper games where you can build up a smaller collection fast. Hard to do that with new games unless you have a big budget. Also keep in mind that your tastes will change as you play more games, learn rules, and get better at playing.

    #19 5 months ago
    Quoted from luigi90:

    Hey all,
    I have just rediscovered the pinball bug and am now at the point in my life where I can actually afford my own table, thankfully. I've been browsing reviews of several tables and lots of them say something to the effect of, "not one for the smaller collection" which leads to my question, in your opinion what would be a good first pin to own in a new collection?
    Thanks,
    Luigi

    My best advice is to go to a location that has a lot of pinballs, play them, put more coins, start digging the games and see which one invites you to put more coins and keep going at it.

    I was considering getting an AFM, after a few plays, and went playing it more and more until I started reaching a decent level. At that point I realized I wasn't so much into it anymore as it felt very repetitive and not so exciting so I gave up on my buying plan but still put a coin in it once in a while.

    For my home games, I chose games that have lots of modes, lots of shots and deep rules, in return it makes them more stop and go than flow, something that not every player appreciates as much as I do, but I really like how compelling it is to discover new things on a game, and how exciting it is to complete modes. So I started with a WOZ and got a TSPP recently.

    #20 5 months ago
    Quoted from adol75:

    My best advice is to go to a location that has a lot of pinballs, play them, put more coins, start digging the games and see which one invites you to put more coins and keep going at it.

    I second this!!
    Welcome to the addiction!!

    #21 5 months ago

    Whatever you can find locally for a fair price. Beyond that it all depends on your budget and what style of game you most enjoy.

    #22 5 months ago

    Doesn’t really matter what your first pin is- soon they’ll be two, then three, then four, etc. Best advice I can give is to find one fully working, close by and for a good price, have fun, then start looking for the next one.

    Demolition Man, Jurassic Park, World Cup Soccer, Termintor 2, NBA Fastbreak, Taxi, Judge Dred, Fish Tales are a few options for pins $3000 and under that are fun

    #23 5 months ago

    I would get an Alien or Lebowski. Maybe Pirates LE. Easy to get, cheap.

    #24 5 months ago

    T2 was my first DMD game and I still have it, over 20 years later. Still enjoy playing it, probably a good entry game -

    #25 5 months ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    I always suggest finding local collectors to start. You'll need that help for when something goes wrong and you haven't quite learned how to troubleshoot it yet. I also always suggest finding an early solid state game (either numeric or alpha-numeric) that is 100% working. Meaning all the switches work, and the mechs work, all the lights and displays work. The reason being is that when things break, it'll be a little at a time, and you'll be able to do more of the work yourself and slowly learn the process of going through your machine. You will find games from the late 70s to early 90s just as enjoyable, if not more enjoyable than the new shiny. Lastly, do research on pricing for specific games you're interested in and you should be able to find a machine without overpaying for it.
    This way you'll get your feet wet, learn upkeep skills over time, and not have too much money into the hobby if things don't work out.

    Agree 100%! Best way is to find a local collector.

    Take your time! Waiting many months or more is normal.

    The lemons that you don’t buy can be more important than the ones you rush and buy. Patience, patience and more patience. Lot’s of crap games that you won’t know are crap until you get more experienced. And there are some unfortunately in this hobby that might take advantage of you.

    Also, I believe in spending a bit more for a nice, clean, 100% working example as your very first game. Sometimes newbs think they can save all this money and end up spending more because they don’t know how expensive some parts and tools can be. Not to mention then waiting months or more with a non-working game they can’t play so buying a working one is gold if you can afford. This is just my opinion though as others take the opposite tack and do very well indeed.

    Welcome to this hobby! I love it everyday! Beware it is very addictive

    #26 5 months ago

    Thank you so much for these extremely in depth answers, not that I expect any more assistance but to answer some questions:

    As far as era as long as it's a solid state game I am happy

    Budget, I wouldn't want to spend much more than $5,000

    #27 5 months ago
    Quoted from luigi90:

    Thank you so much for these extremely in depth answers, not that I expect any more assistance but to answer some questions:
    As far as era as long as it's a solid state game I am happy
    Budget, I wouldn't want to spend much more than $5,000

    Stern Pro for that money.

    #28 5 months ago
    Quoted from luigi90:

    Thank you so much for these extremely in depth answers, not that I expect any more assistance but to answer some questions:
    As far as era as long as it's a solid state game I am happy
    Budget, I wouldn't want to spend much more than $5,000

    Used Stern Pro and they lose little to no value on resell provided that you take good care of it and perform regular maintenance duties.

    #29 5 months ago

    I would have to say that Batman Forever is the most loaded game for a reasonable price that I've come across. I don't own one, but I can't believe how awesome the game is for the price that they sell for.

    #30 5 months ago

    I can speak intelligently to Jurassic Park, Stern Star Trek, Star Trek TNG, Last Action Hero, Attack From Mars remake, The Hobbit, World Cup Soccer, Pinbot, and Big Guns in the year I've rotated them through my basement. I have gotten reasonably good at troubleshooting machines, but I would say from a balance perspective of reliability, value, and depth, Stern Star Trek is your winner here.

    It is a modern machine that can be had for around $4200. You don't lose any play features from going with the pro. There are very few mechanical moving parts. There is alot to shoot for and some code depth. It is easy to play but hard to master. It is deep enough and challenging enough that you likely won't "blow it up" in a month. It is a smooth shooting Steve Ritchie machine. If you like the theme I would recommend this as your winner. Note that there are other games in this list I enjoy more, but the Stern Star Trek Pro is a great value and I believe well put together from a reliability point of view. If you dive into the hobby head first, spend $4200 on a Stern Star Trek, play the crap out of it for a month and then it just collects dust, you can sell it on pinside for about $4200 and not feel bad about anything.

    Good luck!

    #31 5 months ago

    Literally anything that works 100%

    #32 5 months ago

    I would start off with a HUO Spiderman at $4500. Play it for 3 months and then trade for another game like Metallica, etc.

    Good luck and welcome to the club/addiction

    #33 5 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Literally anything that works 100%

    I’d actually argue for an older machine with minor issues so you can learn how to do maintenance on the machine.

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