(Topic ID: 43849)

I Believe pinball can make a comeback on location...........!!!


By iceman44

6 years ago



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  • Latest reply 6 years ago by Crazybanana
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    #1 6 years ago

    Yeah, I know, Iceman the optimist, but hey, I played a sh*tload of AC/DC this week at Eric's in Breck primarily and I'm telling you, I had more kids and teenagers next to me playing LOTR, SM and TF it was really unbelievable......the kids/teens love Lotr, SM and TF...didn't give a crap about AC/DC, which was good for me.....

    I was talking to Chris at Eric's and they want to expand pinball operations!....They have those four pins which are maintained beautifully! Thanks to JJ at Gexexchange....

    If you put a rode hard turd on location like TOM at Beaver Run, nobody is going to play it....other places in Breck like Eric's, Ullers, Brooklyn's, put out quality LE's and people play the heck out of them....

    Every time a kid or teen came up I asked them how they liked the pinballs and they were thrilled to play....video overkill is upon us....I heard one mom tell this little kid that he had to play the pinballs because he spent too much time on video!

    And, I had these kids constantly bumping up all over me and the glass, trying to see, while I'm trying to take down AC/DC! Really cool....

    I did post the high scores on AC/DC although some DB has grand champion at 322 million...

    Rock and roll!! Feeling great about pinball..........

    #2 6 years ago

    I hope you're right.

    #3 6 years ago

    Hope springs eternal

    #4 6 years ago

    when I was at enchanted castle, transformers and xmen got a lot of play from the kids.. Theme has a lot to do with attraction to non-pinheads

    #5 6 years ago

    I know this totally BLOWS in most pinheads minds, including my own, but I'm just throwing this out there as a father of 3 girls......if JJP is licensing a Bieber pin it would blow up on location, just sayin and my kids would force me to buy one...

    My kids in unison said, "dad, if they do make a Bieber pin, you have to get it"....translation, they won't love me anymore if I don't..Haha

    The thought makes me want to puke but hey, you could have lined up 4 Bieber pins and had them going full tilt at Eric's with 10 deep waiting to play....hehe

    -1
    #6 6 years ago

    Not gonna happen. There are occasional threads trying to show kids and women playing pinball like its some new development. But it's the exception not the rule. Kids will play pinball when there's nothing better to do. Give them am Xbox and they're not gonna play much pinball. Women generally don't like pinball. Yes there are some example of girls playing. But more of us have wife threads where they allow us to have them. Some wives limit the machine count etc. in general, the interest isn't high enough for people to be swarming into arcades to just play pinball.

    #7 6 years ago

    That's really awesome!! Maybe pinball is very different for kids now and outside the norm.

    #8 6 years ago
    Quoted from markmon:

    Kids will play pinball when there's nothing better to do. Give them am Xbox and they're not gonna play much pinball. Women generally don't like pinball. Yes there are some example of girls playing. But more of us have wife threads where they allow us to have them. Some wives limit the machine count etc. in general, the interest isn't high enough for people to be swarming into arcades to just play pinball.

    Totally disagree and not what I've seen all week....kids played pinball with so many other video games available at Eric's, along with women....and my wife and 3 girls like pinball a lot.....

    The negative attitude is not right! They won't be "swarming into arcades" ever to just play pinball, it has to be part of an otherwise desired destination....

    Put a little creativity in the mindset and see what happens!... It's the stale, close minded attitudes that reflect the average pinhead....its a new day, and JJP and Stern are gonna up the ante for pinball again....

    #9 6 years ago

    Not only that, but i feel that operators hate pins...

    most ops refuse to operate pins simply cause of they reliability. Anybody can tell you a video game is 50x more reliable than a pin.

    Although, i believe these new sterns are some of the most reliable pins out there! Whitestar, and S.A.M. are some of the most bulletproof boardsets out there.

    my .02 cents

    #10 6 years ago

    I wish this were true, but it not. There is not enough profit in pinball for it to be a viable business.
    I had a couple of locations with machines, it wasn't even close to worth it. Even if it makes 200 a week which believe it or not is good earnings, with the initial investment of machine,insurance, permit, time to clean out and count the money, maint. And let's not forget breakdowns, and repairs due to abuse. It's just not worth it, the money is in selling them to the collector/home market period!

    #11 6 years ago
    Quoted from Colehvac1:

    I wish this were true, but it not. There is not enough profit in pinball for it to be a viable business.
    I had a couple of locations with machines, it wasn't even close to worth it. Even if it makes 200 a week which believe it or not is good earnings, with the initial investment of machine,insurance, permit, time to clean out and count the money, maint. And let's not forget breakdowns, and repairs due to abuse. It's just not worth it, the money is in selling them to the collector/home market period!

    That's totally wrong, these guys are making good money at .50 cents a play! And will expand this fall.....the quality of the pins is getting better and maintenance is easier...watch it happen, just because you failed doesn't mean others can't succeed and will........

    #12 6 years ago

    Just so you know, the guy before me failed, and the guy after me failed! Also I own a profitable hvac business, so I'm familiar with how to operate a business and make a profit, not just as a hobby or for the fun of it. If you believe in it so much you should invest in it and make money at it, why share the secret with the rest of us, use the valuable information to grow pinball and make some money.

    #13 6 years ago
    Quoted from Colehvac1:

    I wish this were true, but it not. There is not enough profit in pinball for it to be a viable business.

    You obviously don't know how much money the PHOF in Vegas donates to charity each year.

    #14 6 years ago

    There are people that fail every day in business because they are either not smart enough, don't work hard enough or are in the wrong place at the wrong time....

    There will be smarter people that come along like these guys at Eric's and make it work....

    I don't need pinball to make money! Although I'm sure I could, I make too much otherwise

    Just because it doesn't work for a few that didn't get it right for whatever reason doesn't mean it won't work for others who do it right...just sayin...

    #15 6 years ago

    Do the math, at .50 a play a new 8000 acdc has to be played 32,000 times before the operator will break even on the game, providing there's no maint,no breakdowns,no abuse.

    #16 6 years ago
    Quoted from Colehvac1:

    ...share the secret with the rest of us, use the valuable information to grow pinball and make some money.

    The only secret is location, location, location.

    Tim Arnold makes over *six figures* a year with his pinball business in Vegas.

    #17 6 years ago
    Quoted from Colehvac1:

    Do the math, at .50 a play a new 8000 acdc has to be played 32,000 times before the operator will break even on the game, providing there's no maint,no breakdowns,no abuse.

    That's bad thinking. It's true if the game becomes worth $0 the second it's out on site. But you but the game for $6500. You get $150-$200 a month for a few years. Then you sell it for $5500 when done. That's how you should look at this aspect.

    #18 6 years ago
    Quoted from Colehvac1:

    Do the math, at .50 a play a new 8000 acdc has to be played 32,000 times before the operator will break even on the game, providing there's no maint,no breakdowns,no abuse.

    Hmmm...wonder why they want to expand and put more pins in.....it didn't work for you, no need to dump on what other guys are capable of doing...

    #19 6 years ago

    I'm pretty sure .50 / 8000 is 16000. Also, the op is going to sell the machine one day and recoup some of the cost. Plus they can depreciate it on their taxes. Bottom line, the time to break even is appropriately measure in the cost of the game

    #20 6 years ago
    Quoted from markmon:

    That's bad thinking. It's true if the game becomes worth $0 the second it's out on site. But you but the game for $6500. You get $150-$200 a month for a few years. Then you sell it for $5500 when done. That's how you should look at this aspect.

    Exactly, if properly maintained....hey, I'm going to be a big cheerleader for these guys! Let's go, make it happen for the pinball world...I respect the heck out of you for trying....

    Location, location, location...

    And the depreciation, forgot about that (as a cpa that's terrible)...

    #21 6 years ago
    Quoted from markmon:

    That's bad thinking. It's true if the game becomes worth $0 the second it's out on site. But you but the game for $6500. You get $150-$200 a month for a few years. Then you sell it for $5500 when done. That's how you should look at this aspect.

    yeah this comes in to it, but at the end of the day if your into siting machines to make money you'll make a bunch more by just buying some big buck hunters and redemption crap.

    #22 6 years ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    I know this totally BLOWS in most pinheads minds, including my own, but I'm just throwing this out there as a father of 3 girls......if JJP is licensing a Bieber pin it would blow up on location, just sayin and my kids would force me to buy one...
    My kids in unison said, "dad, if they do make a Bieber pin, you have to get it"....translation, they won't love me anymore if I don't..Haha
    The thought makes me want to puke but hey, you could have lined up 4 Bieber pins and had them going full tilt at Eric's with 10 deep waiting to play....hehe

    If you buy one we will all lobby to ban you from Pinside

    #23 6 years ago
    Quoted from Magic_Mike:

    You obviously don't know how much money the PHOF in Vegas donates to charity each year.

    Yes the phof, Disneyland, it's a specialty location that makes money, but if you recall in the 70s you could find a machine at every 7-11, diner,deli,candy store etc etc there is a reason there are pinside rs posting to find pins in the wild, the reason is there are none on location because it's not profitable, I had a b-day party yesterday for my 13 year old, 15 children from 10-14 were there, they all sat in the chill room and played Xbox360, it's the cool thing to do. I collect and wish pinball was on every corner like the old days, but it's just not ever going to happen. If not for the home collector market stern,jjp and whoever else would not make enough money to be able to stay in business.

    #24 6 years ago
    Quoted from PW79:

    If you buy one we will all lobby to ban you from Pinside

    I'll ban myself out of sheer embarassment!

    Ok, I'm off to play some more AC/DC and grab a good meal....I'm a believer, I'm going to stay positive and think things are heading in the right direction based on what I see and my instincts...

    And on the way there I'll be listening to a Tony Robbins CD

    #25 6 years ago

    Pinball can make a comeback, as soon as corporate America gives up on, any town USA !

    #26 6 years ago

    Also I never said one negative thing about anybody trying to make a go of earning money with pins on location, btw its 32000 plays because you have to split the profits with the location so in order to make it work you have to make 16000 divide it with the location owner and that equals 8000. Don't forget insurance, are you going to leave your 8000 game in a location that could be robbed or burns down with no insurance, and believe me when uncle Sam finds out your operating a business he wants you to give a piece of the action(your a CPA) you should know this, obviously you work for somebody because this is how employees always think, they only see what the Boss is charging, never what the boss is paying in overhead.the gross is easy, the net is hard. I collect pinball machines, I believe in the hobby and want it to flourish, I'm not being negative I'm telling it like it is.

    #27 6 years ago

    I would love it if you we're right but a new stern game brings in $40 a week were I'm from. I could put a cardboard box with a coin door on it and earn almost that much. I've heard WOZ is doing a ton better but I've seen mm and cc only bring in $50 on a good week. I've got three games on route and they do about $25-$45 a week. They are all maintained very well so it isn't that they are in bad shape. They are in an arcade with 20 vids that each earn 3-5x what a pin does. We have several vids that do $250/ week. A pin has never done that. I like your attitude though and I'll keep the faith. I drop a few coins in a pin anytime I see one in the wild.

    Chris

    #28 6 years ago
    Quoted from joemamma:

    I would love it if you we're right but a new stern game brings in $40 a week were I'm from. I could put a cardboard box with a coin door on it and earn almost that much. I've heard WOZ is doing a ton better but I've seen mm and cc only bring in $50 on a good week. I've got three games on route and they do about $25-$45 a week. They are all maintained very well so it isn't that they are in bad shape. They are in an arcade with 20 vids that each earn 3-5x what a pin does. We have several vids that do $250/ week. A pin has never done that. I like your attitude though and I'll keep the faith. I drop a few coins in a pin anytime I see one in the wild.
    Chris

    I know your for real, one pin in a busy location would earn 25.00 a week, I know other operators in NYC, and at .75 cents a game they are barely earning 100.00 a week, in a fantastic location,I'm glad someone from the real world spoke up. Thanks for telling the truth.

    #29 6 years ago

    You mean BelieBER?

    #30 6 years ago

    My son believes in the Easter bunny.

    #31 6 years ago

    I'm all for location pinball. Nothing would be better than it making a comeback.

    #32 6 years ago

    well I for one hope so!!

    #33 6 years ago

    Here is also what you need to know about pinball. A new one will cost what? $5500-7000??? You can buy a crane or prize merchandiser and make 5-10 times what the pinball makes and have zero maintanence on the crane.

    Pinball still has its spot on route, but its not going to earn more than any new arcade game or redemption piece.

    Its funny because when I was servicing a pinball one day, I had a guy playing it that was raving how it has to make so much money, etc.. I showed him the audits for the year it was there and then pointed to the DDR and said that made 15K the past year. I think he got the idea!!!

    Brian

    Quoted from Colehvac1:

    I know your for real, one pin in a busy location would earn 25.00 a week, I know other operators in NYC, and at .75 cents a game they are barely earning 100.00 a week, in a fantastic location,I'm glad someone from the real world spoke up. Thanks for telling the truth.

    #34 6 years ago

    Pinball on route is almost dead here. The movie theaters may have 1 or 2, but the last time I saw one and played it, one flipper was broken, the other was only strong enough to hardly lift the ball to the other flipper.

    The Scandia in Fairfield/Cordelia is now pinball-free. When I was young they had the BEST line up, hands down, as the years went by, the games became unplayable, and were sold off. Stopped by 3 weeks ago, and the kid at the counter said the last 3 were sold during Jan.

    You can find them in some areas still, but for the most part, it is close to extinction in the wild here.

    #35 6 years ago

    iceman is right. the math on this is twofold. first is get pins on location. second is MAINTAIN THE EFING GAMES! i have been to many locations in the last year to play pinball. most dont care at all about the games and that hurts pinball more than any thing else. the flipside to this is ops who do care. i went to a little bar and grill just the other day,thursday to be exact. that had a getaway. the game was perfect. playfield clean,all lights working,dmd bright,flippers,pops and slings sharp and crisp. everything working as it should. when getting a soda i talked to the bar keep who told me the op had been in that morning to service the game and he takes really good care of it. we need more ops like this. if the games are kept up and new people put money in and dont get ripped off they will put more money in an so on. its the ops period. they will make it or finish off location pinball. its that simple.

    #36 6 years ago

    I think the barcades have a decent shot, as good as anybody, at bringing location pinball back. You can hold tournaments there for prizes and do all kinds of promotions. Just need good barcades and well maintained machines.

    #37 6 years ago

    hey dsuperbee, i know a few locations in sac that have well maintained pins. let pm me if you wanna go play some pins in the wild some time.anyone else in the sacremento area i welcome too. we could make an afternoon of it and support location pinball.

    #38 6 years ago

    Isn't on-location coin-op on the long list of "Things the Smartphone Has Killed?"

    #39 6 years ago
    Quoted from benheck:

    Isn't on-location coin-op on the long list of "Things the Smartphone Has Killed?"

    comon ben, you are gonna be one of the guys our grand kids read about in history books that saves pinball. long live the silver ball!

    #40 6 years ago
    Quoted from mrgone:

    if the games are kept up and new people put money in and dont get ripped off they will put more money in an so on. its the ops period. they will make it or finish off location pinball. its that simple.

    Just back from a great meal and at least an hours worth of AC/DC....more kids, teens and oldies next to me having fun....

    It will happen again...I am a "Justin Belieber"

    Btw, each kid said they would give up 6 Bday's for a Bieber pin....yeah right

    #41 6 years ago
    Quoted from benheck:

    Isn't on-location coin-op on the long list of "Things the Smartphone Has Killed?"

    No, there are apps like PinballMap and PinballLocater.

    #42 6 years ago

    I used to put classics out in the wild thAt were a pita to maintain..they really dont like being on 8+ hours a day..having better luck with newer sterns

    #43 6 years ago

    I have a couple of machines on route in a bowling alley where almost every night is packed with league bowlers and their families...even with this amount of traffic, I barely make enough money to consider it worth it.

    And this is putting B or C titles there...I would never put a NIB or A title there. With my average take it would take me over 5 Years to recoup my money on the pin.

    And as some have mentioned, it really doesn't make much of a difference what title I put out there, they all make about the same amount as every other one I have put there...

    #44 6 years ago

    In my house as long as there are video games pinball is dead

    However, we have set a limit on anything that has a screen (ie tv, computer, iPod, etc) and now the kids are playing pinball. I am guessing that's true in the wild as well. Kids want to stay busy, and play with something.

    #45 6 years ago

    Location, Location, Location. Pins suffer here cause most are in smokey bars that you have to be 21 to enter. Really not catering to the younger crowd.

    #46 6 years ago
    Quoted from Rick471:

    I would never put a NIB or A title there. With my average take it would take me over 5 Years to recoup my money on the pin.

    Hey Rick, that's what these guys do, put the NIB le's and A titles out there and do well with 50 cent plays...they should be at 75 cents at least though on the NIB's....I wonder if your average take would go up substantially if you had those options....maybe not in that location...he says they get a lot of local repeaters playing, like the old days, because of SM, LOTR, AC/DC...

    I had one local guy break open a roll of quarters next to me and play Lotr for an hour while I was on AC/DC...

    GL with your efforts!

    #47 6 years ago

    I think pins will thrive in locations where they are owned and maintained by the business and are put there to enhance the atmosphere/theme. They're not going to be big money-makers, but in the right bars/restaurants they can be a big part of the vibe and set a place apart, and might even break even on their own.

    #48 6 years ago

    Most of the "negative" posts I read are just "realistic", unfortunately.

    #49 6 years ago

    Here is the part I don't understand...we have an industry that has been told for 50 years by operators that they need a product that is relatively service free. Why can't the industry listen and change? Is it impossible to build parts that can last? Flipper mechs, pop bumpers, etc. have remained mechanically unchanged for 50 years. Can't the industry think differently and build a tank the industry demands?

    If I were an operator, I wouldn't accept a product that (according to posts on this forum) rarely works properly out of the box. I wouldn't buy a product that ships incomplete. I wouldn't buy a product that requires the amount of service required to keep them working. Why would you, when you can buy a competing product that works, requires almost no service, and makes more money?

    Everyone blames the operator. Why are we not blaming the industry for decades of "it's good enough"? They have been the problem.

    In my opinion new machines need to be better built than they have ever been built if we want pinball to survive. We need machines that on average needs a 5000 mile oil change, tires at 50,000 miles, and wheel bearings at 100,000 miles.

    #50 6 years ago

    Personally, I hope you are right about pins on location. But having tried my
    hand at this for a few years (as a hobby business), my opinion is its a nice
    dream. The problem isn't finding players either. The issues are many, but
    primarily; cities don't want arcades or pins/vids as they are seen as
    attracting the wrong crowd, ops need liability insurance, licensing fees, poor
    quality & cost of newer pins and cost of servicing.
    Steve

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