Lets count...i'll start
i'm sure there are lots out there that have pinball machines, but are not pinheads or collectors. I think for collectors, there are probably around 15000 of us that are registered as avid collectors on various sites. Just from tournament listings, and other pinball news groups. That would be my guess. Maybe less as some play a tournament and just happened to be at a show for a reason or another.
Quoted from Craig:
The "How Many Pinheads..." thread got me to wondering how large a tribe we are. Does anyone have an informed idea how many people (in the U.S. and also elsewhere) own at least one pinball machine and, more important, how many actively collect pinball machines? And on what basis would you make that determination?
I'm going with: Bigger than most people think, Smaller than most Pinsiders think.
There aren't enough owners for this hobby to support multiple new manufacturers, but there are far too many owners for any of us to get a cheap, top name pin in great shape.
Isn't that really what's most important?
there are actually only 12 pinball owners in the world. this website is just part of some giant pinball-illuminati conspiracy.
Quoted from kwiKimart:
I'm going to take an estimated guess of.........
ONE MILLION PINBALL OWNERS
This probably isn't that far off. I bet there a lot of people out there that own a machine or two that really aren't into pinball. The division VP of the bank I used to work for had a couple of pinball machines in the gameroom at his 3-story million dollar house on the lake (he had a big party there to show it off to all of us). I doubt he could keep the ball in play more than 30 seconds on them but he owned a couple. I'm sure there's a lot of rich people like that out there.
Quoted from nate1981s:
I would say that more than half of all pinball owners are people that don't want to be. A hand me down EM pinball that their uncle left them, or their father had sitting in their basement/garage/spare room etc.. 9 out of 10 people that I have run into that had a pinball in their house fit in this category but the others nearly always own multiple machines, 5+
I know many players who don't go to pinside. Don't know why. This an amazing place.
I want to find my games from the people who don't want be owners - Jackpot!
It would not be impossible to make an educated guess.
1. Compile a list of major titles from 1936-Present
2. Find production numbers for as many of these as possible. Where not available, make an educated estimate
3. Estimate the percentage of units still in service, giving higher percentage to newer machines
This would at least provide a ballpark figure of the overall pinball population in the world. From there it would be a little tougher to estimate the percentage of those machines owned by private individuals at home.
It would take some homework, but it's not impossible to make a good guess.
Ok, so here's just one example, just think about how many different pins are out there.
"The Addams Family is the best selling pinball machine since the 1930s, having sold 20,270 units."
That's just 1 pin !!
Just scroll through IPDB and you'll find hundreds of pins produced before you realize
your fingers are numb, you can't see straight, and you've gotten no where near the end of the list.
Answer to the OP question= Big, VERY BIG!!
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