I liked pinballs as a kid but it was not a serious item for me. About four years ago I started seeing these pinball machines on youtube that were not pinball machines. I did not know what they were. Turns out they were visual pinball machines. OK. I'm interested. How do they do that? It took me a while to figure out the magic of using a flat screen TV and free visual pinball programs. In 2013, I took the plunge and built a medium budget visual pinball machine.
I did the usual things you do with a VP machine. I downloaded and played lots of visual pinball games. It was a learning experience. Long story short, there was one VP game I kept returning to. A lot. I kept watching youtube vids of this game and it looked like it would be a lot of fun.
We have a local op who has a few 80s pins located in a laundry mat; I had the chance to meet him on night. We talked and he gave me some education. I told him I would like to find a Stern Big Game. He gave me the number of a local guy who had a Big Game. I chased that guy down but we could not make a deal.
A few weeks later, around Thanksgiving last year (2015,) while doing a half-assed random search for pinballs, a Big Game showed up on Craigslist in Oklahoma City. I wound up buying it. And working on it. And working on it. And working on it. I found that working on a pinball machine is more fun that working on cars, so the gear head in me wanted more.
I recently retired. I don't care to hunt or fish, my guitar playing skills are---well, call me fumble-fingers. I needed a hobby and I love the thrill of the chase. So, here I am, not quite one year later and I have four Stern pins, a Sonic Cherry Bell pin, and I just picked up a beat up Game Plan Captain Hook pin.
Right now, I don't get to play much because most of these pins are pretty raggedy and I am slowly getting them whipped into shape. It was a whole lot of machines in a short amount of time. Eventually, I will have them all up playing.
My house has gotten smaller and looks like a pinball warehouse. And I'm having a ball (no pun intended).