(Topic ID: 285178)

If you were buying your first pin, budget $4500, what would it be?

By KCPinhead

9 months ago


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  • 126 posts
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  • Latest reply 9 months ago by KCPinhead
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    #1 9 months ago

    Hi all.

    I have been a low-key enthusiast for many years, but I recently discovered this community. Getting ready to take the plunge and start my "collection" by buying my first machine and would love some feedback.

    I have scoped out many "best of" lists and am familiar with a lot of the games that are entrenched near the top of those lists. I just can't realistically spend $7500+ to get one of the greatest games of all time just yet. Looking to spend maybe $4500 and would love to get something to help draw my wife in a little and show her that spending the price of a car on a machine for the basement can actually be a good value.

    I love the newer, shiny, LCD & LED laden stuff (Willy Wonka, Wizard of Oz), but realize those are well out of my range at this time. I also love the more classic stuff (Twilight Zone, Addams Family, Indiana Jones), but am finding those to also be quite pricey for the age. So what's the best value out there? What's a beautiful, well-made game with tons of replayability that won't cost me my first-born to home in my basement?

    Any feedback is much appreciated. Thanks!

    #2 9 months ago

    Try to find a Maiden or Deadpool? 4500 might be tough but I bet it’s achievable

    #3 9 months ago

    really it will come down to what you like, your play style, how big your collection is/will be because some games may be "fun" but as a single game won't last long etc. so answer a few of those questions and we'll throw some ideas out.

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    #4 9 months ago

    Remember that a pin, especially a used one, generally holds it's value so you can get a pin, play it 6 months, sell it, or trade it for another one pretty easy. It's an easier pill for the family to swallow once you show you can get your money back out. Welcome to the deep end!

    Top votes for first pin pin in the $2500 to $4500 range.

    If you like Attack From Mars and Medieval Madness more than Addams Family and Twilight Zone:
    Fish Tales - $3800
    Whirlwind - $3200
    World Cup Soccer - $3400
    Gettaway High Speed 2 - $3500
    High Speed - $2200
    Pinbot - $2200

    If you like Addams Family and Twilight Zone more than Attack From Mars and Medieval Madness:
    Star Trek Pro -4200
    Metallica Pro - 4500
    Star Wars Pro - $4800
    Data East Jurassic Park - 3500
    Last Action Hero - 2800
    The Shadow - $4200
    Roadshow - $3800

    Prices are approximate so don't beat me up pinside.

    Edited to add the awesome graphic with prices from 1 year ago. You have to zoom in to see it, but lpeter82 did an excellent job with this (Go nerds!). Details here. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/statistical-bang-for-your-buck#post-5505232

    545f21e608f59edf1f7dfba7568f3ddd79f160f6.pdf
    #5 9 months ago

    If you could find DP or SW pro in that range?

    Not sure you can but Met or TWD pro or Iron Man are solid fun pins. Don’t forget Star Trek pro and SM.

    I think limiting to $4500 is too restrictive, I mean if you saw something great for $4700 would that be possible?

    Classic games below the heavy hitters (like TZ, TAF, TotAN) games like T2 (cheaper) or CFTBL or STTNG and many others can be found.

    #6 9 months ago

    Best of luck, and welcome to the pinsanity club!

    Theme will be a very important decision for you to make. Will it be for just you, or pro player and guests?

    I own 16 pins, took me awhile to save and buy them, but love them all and won't sell any from boredom. That said...I notice my guests prefer some over others. With your budget, you should have plenty of options, which is a good thing

    The suggestions above should be plenty to steer you in the correct direction.

    #7 9 months ago

    My first pin was BSD... you want to get good at pinball in a hurry that is a good one.

    Its tough as nails but fun.

    12
    #8 9 months ago

    I'd consider a $4K game and you have $500 for repairs, rebuilding flippers, new rubber rings, tools.

    Stuff comes up that might amaze you.

    LTG : )

    #9 9 months ago

    If it were me, open up the budget just a tad more and go after a used Jurassic park pro

    #10 9 months ago

    Your budget will get you into a good game as noted above, you just have some patience and wait for something to pop up locally in KC so you can see it before you buy and won' have to pay for shipping.

    But if your budget isn't firm at $4,500, there are a lot of good recent Stern titles available at $5K.

    #11 9 months ago

    Sell a kidney for $ 1500 and add to the 4500 to buy new game from local vendor who will do service work .

    Then start saving for your second game . Pin children get lonely if you dont have at least two
    ( 3-4-5-6-7-etc they breed fast ).

    Enjoy your hunt Shane

    #12 9 months ago

    Love my BSD, but jeez its tough on casual players. My non pin friends walk up, plunge two balls then walk away. I have to hype it up and they still don't want to play it.

    There's this guy in Mini-soda who keeps telling me to buy Punchy the Clown. I'm not as elite as he is, so I dare not try to match his pinball wizardry.

    My most popular are Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka, but they were pricey.

    Thinking late 80's and some 90's Bally/Williams are a good starting point. Otherwise some of the 2000-2010 Sterns might fit your budget.

    #13 9 months ago
    Quoted from MeNaCeFiRe:

    Try to find a Maiden or Deadpool? 4500 might be tough but I bet it’s achievable

    I sold a Maiden Pro for $4700 a year ago, but prices seem to be up this year because of excess demand/low supply.

    #14 9 months ago

    For Stern Pros, Star Trek, MET, GOT, Spider Man or TWD are all great. For classic Bally/Williams, Shadow or Whirlwind are solid options.

    #15 9 months ago
    Quoted from bepositive:

    Sell a kidney for $ 1500 and add to the 4500 to buy new game from local vendor who will do service work .

    That's the spirit !

    LTG : )-

    #16 9 months ago

    Save a $$ Grand...and get a really nice TFTC.

    Longest lasting in my collection..everybody still loves the game...fun for all ages.

    #17 9 months ago

    Nice to see a fellow pinsider from KC! As others have said, I think it depends on what kind of game you like to play. I will say that santaeatscheese has an excellent list of pins in your price range. In particular, I would recommend Pinbot and DE Jurassic Park. I would also keep LTGs advice in the back of your mind because you are undoubtedly going to want to change out a few things. If you havent already been, head over to Solid State Pinball and talk to Nick. He can point you in the right direction and assist in finding something that you are looking for. I go there to play a few pins pretty much every Sunday around 11am.

    #18 9 months ago

    Star Trek pro is (for me) the perfect game at that price range. You may be able to pry some routed newer Stern pros away at close to that price too...

    #19 9 months ago

    If you have the luxury of going to a distributor showroom, I would try out everything you can to see what you really like first. Also think about if this will be your only pin, or the first of many. As others have said, you can make your money back on a sale if it is kept in good shape.

    I think a Deadpool pro is probably a really good starting place for a first time buyer. Having played most of the recent Stern games it is by far one of the most wallet/player friendly games within your budget.

    #20 9 months ago

    Don’t forget Avatar or Ripley’s lots of Stern pins to choose from.

    I still own my Stern Potc it looks and plays like new although it’s going on 15 years old. Great family friendly pin.
    97C35468-32CC-4BC3-BE5C-B6D7C6F05D85 (resized).jpeg

    #21 9 months ago
    Quoted from northvibe:

    really it will come down to what you like, your play style, how big your collection is/will be because some games may be "fun" but as a single game won't last long etc. so answer a few of those questions and we'll throw some ideas out.

    I guess my first pre-requisite is overall quality of the game. Would love something like in the top 35 of the rankings on this site.

    #22 9 months ago
    Quoted from KCPinhead:

    I guess my first pre-requisite is overall quality of the game.

    Quality as relating to what? Build quality, quality of fun?

    #23 9 months ago

    I appreciate all of the fantastic responses. This is exactly the feedback I was seeking. Many great options to consider.

    #24 9 months ago

    Don't get hung up on the ratings. Your (and your wife's) opinion of the game is most important.

    However, you can use the list to start targeting your search.

    But you are more likely limited by local availability of games in your price range than having to choose from the universe of games.

    #25 9 months ago

    Here is what I would do: 2 options

    1. raise your budget a hair and go JP or DP pro or maybe try to swing ST or MET pro at your $4500 budget.
    2. There is a whirlwind for sale right now for $2600 and then get a high speed for around $2000 and you have 2 pins for around $4600

    #26 9 months ago
    Quoted from Stones:

    If it were me, open up the budget just a tad more and go after a used Jurassic park pro

    There's a 1993 Data East Jurassic Park nearby I've been eyeballing for $3800. Are the newer ones wildly better than this one or no?

    #27 9 months ago
    Quoted from rai:

    Don’t forget Avatar or Ripley’s lots of Stern pins to choose from.
    I still own my Stern Potc it looks and plays like new although it’s going on 15 years old. Great family friendly pin.
    [quoted image]

    agree Stern POTC is a super fun family game and I bought mine for $3600 a year ago. Fixed it up some and sold it for $4500.

    #28 9 months ago
    Quoted from KCPinhead:

    There's a 1993 Data East Jurassic Park nearby I've been eyeballing for $3800. Are the newer ones wildly better than this one or no?

    it is fun, but the newer ones are very good compared.

    #29 9 months ago

    if you really want to get your wife's approval, better find a theme she likes also, or somewhat her taste. $4500 is a great starting amount, most people start much lower, I would not sleep on some great value pins that you can still find a deal on, Demo Man, Judge Dredd, Transformers,Xmen but sounds like you are wanting something newer and you should be able to find a nice newer game like, Mustang, Munsters, Iron Man or maybe Aerosmith. Sounds like the important things are value and wife acceptability so keep looking for good deals, and if not great at repairs ask and check before buying on condition.

    #30 9 months ago

    Johnny Mneumonic.

    #31 9 months ago

    Stick with a theme that you would generally gravitate towards and of course what your family may wish to play. Go with a Stern like POTC, Spiderman, Star Trek Pro, Jurassic Pro, or Star Wars Pro for example. If you can stretch your budget I think some newer Sterns like these might work. I'm sure you can pick something up that is affordable. I miss my T2 and that could be another if you want to step back for something older. Have fun!

    #32 9 months ago
    Quoted from 27dnast:

    Johnny Mneumonic.

    and can be got for $2800. he could still snag a high speed or police force to go with it.

    #33 9 months ago
    Quoted from KCPinhead:

    I guess my first pre-requisite is overall quality of the game. Would love something like in the top 35 of the rankings on this site.

    I never have any problems with any newer Sterns I’ve had. They are more reliable than older stuff

    #34 9 months ago

    I'd say your search depends a lot on if it is just for you or if you are banking on your family becoming addicted. If you are hoping the wife and kids will also enjoy the machine--theme and ease of playability will factor in much more.

    Go Chiefs!

    #35 9 months ago

    Star Trek Pro is a great pin around $4500. It was one of my first modern games. Definitely a fun layout- my wife really liked it too.

    Lots of deals out there if you look, unfortunately most are a long drive or you’d have to ship it

    #36 9 months ago

    NASCAR an Monopoly are great family friendly pins that can be found at a good price.

    #37 9 months ago

    Star Trek Pro, Star Trek Pro, or maybe Star Trek Pro.

    #38 9 months ago
    Quoted from KCPinhead:

    There's a 1993 Data East Jurassic Park nearby I've been eyeballing for $3800. Are the newer ones wildly better than this one or no?

    DE JP is pretty fun (it’s a mashup of Addams & Whirlwind), but at that price, hold out for a Bally Williams game. DE’s are a more cheaply built, clunky, don’t feel/play as good as B/W. Back when they were super cheap (I bought JP for $700), you’d let the chintziness slide...but since prices are higher, you can do better IMO.

    #39 9 months ago

    +1 on ST pro. It was my 2nd game and great shooter. Lots of other good Stern dmd pro games in that price range. You might even find a spike pro for a little more than $4500.

    #40 9 months ago

    Yeah, I'd say shop and find a Stern Pro - such as the now oft-repeated Star Trek Pro suggestion.

    My first Stern was an Avatar Pro that is typically at or under $4k - awesome title as well despite the lackluster reviews. I'd think you could find an Iron Man around the $4500 mark too. Transformers certainly as well, as well as Xmen. Either of those last two you may be able to get LEs at that $4500 price point...

    The Stern Pro machines with few exceptions have code/rulesets that just really provide a lot to do, for tons of replay value. And unless you really overpay you should be able to sell when you're ready for what you bought it for, or close enough to not really matter.

    #41 9 months ago

    Here's something to consider: whatever your first game ends up being, you'll probably love it because it's your first game. Years ago when I decided I was ready to buy a game, I saved up and went to a pinball show and basically bought the cheapest DMD available. It was a World Cup Soccer '94 that needed a little work but was a good price. I don't like soccer. I had never played the game before. But I saw ramps and it looked cool so it was either go home empty handed or give it a shot.

    Once I got some help fixing it up, my friends and I played it constantly. We loved it and played it a lot because we had a pinball machine in the house and that alone was cool enough. While it has been a long time since I owned one, I still think WCS94 is a fantastic game. It's objectively a good game, but there's a layer of "first game" charm and nostalgia too. And I have definitely heard other people have a lot of affection for a really random first game that was whatever they could afford (unless it turned out to be a bad buy/maintenance nightmare).

    For your sanity, i'll refrain from saying what I paid for that WCS94 back in 2007.

    #42 9 months ago

    Most gently used Stern pros can be found for $5k, if you can up your budget a tad. Many should be possible at $4500, especially if you are open to ones that were routed or have a few more miles on them. Star Trek pro has been mentioned multiple times here, and I can't argue with that. That said, I would try to play as many games as you can (more difficult due to current events), or at minimum watch a bunch of streams and see what type of games appeal to you. If you can narrow it down to a few titles that interest you, you can watch for them specifically and we can help suggest similar games.

    There are a lot of good possibilities in your price range. My biggest suggestion is not to rush to buy the first thing you find available. Make sure it's a game you will enjoy, at least for awhile. And if you buy smart, you should have no problem reselling it down the road without losing much (if any).

    #43 9 months ago

    HUO TWD should be available in that price range and it's a killer game. I don't own one, but will some day.

    HUO Iron Man is another killer game that may come up in the price range.

    Failing those two, Star Trek Pro is an incredible game. I love mine and it won't leave. Add a sub and it's heaven. Same is true for Iron Man. I added a sub to it and it's AMAZING!

    Good luck on the hunt!

    #44 9 months ago
    Quoted from KCPinhead:

    There's a 1993 Data East Jurassic Park nearby I've been eyeballing for $3800. Are the newer ones wildly better than this one or no?

    I believe so. Have you had a chance to go to 403 club or Pizza West?

    #45 9 months ago

    A used Stern Pro will be a good deal and hold its value. Parts will be easily available from Marco.

    Have fun!

    I almost forgot, play it first!

    #46 9 months ago

    STTNG, Demo Man, WCS '94, Roadshow, No Good Gofers, Shadow, Indy 500, Stern POTC, Stern Spiderman. Welcome!

    #48 9 months ago

    Guardians of the Galaxy is also a good game. Lots of appeal.

    #49 9 months ago
    Quoted from BradLinden:

    For your sanity, i'll refrain from saying what I paid for that WCS94 back in 2007.

    $1,200? Sold my minty NGG for $1,850 and early production Scared Stiff for $2,600 around 2009, so I'll speculate

    #50 9 months ago
    Quoted from KCPinhead:

    There's a 1993 Data East Jurassic Park nearby I've been eyeballing for $3800. Are the newer ones wildly better than this one or no?

    DE JP is probably my favorite game in the $3k range (though JD and DM are good contenders...man it wasn't that long ago that this was a $1500 discussion). $3800 is a little steep...it should be very, very nice for that much and should have the topper. Many will argue that B/W is WAY better than DE. Bah. I've had many B/W games come and go, and JP is still here. Yes, there is a quality difference, but it's overblown in my opinion. I can't think of another game, B/W or not, that I'd rather have for $3k. But if you go up much from there, and start getting into newer Stern territory, then yes...many of those outshine DE JP.

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