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(Topic ID: 150537)

Is Ripley's a good earner these days?


By NorCalRealtor

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by TheLaw
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 4 years ago

Just learned my location has 1 more slot to fill. It's slim pickings right now in the local market. I can pick up a clean Ripley's from a buddy for around $3000 to fill the slot, but I'm not sure how it would earn.

It may be somewhat more popular due to The Pinball Arcade, but it's still an obscure theme with a complex layout. My gut is the pinheads would like it (our league plays there), but the casual customers would walk right past it. If so, the pinheads alone would not drop enough coin to carry it and I should pass.

Has anyone here operated one, or have some experience to share?

Also, if you think it would be a dud, what would you recommend instead for similar money?

Which DMD era pins earn well, play well and aren't too high-maintenance for around $2500-$3500?

#2 4 years ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

Just learned my location has 1 more slot to fill. It's slim pickings right now in the local market. I can pick up a clean Ripley's from a buddy for around $3000 to fill the slot, but I'm not sure how it would earn.
It may be somewhat more popular due to The Pinball Arcade, but it's still an obscure theme with a complex layout. My gut is the pinheads would like it (our league plays there), but the casual customers would walk right past it. If so, the pinheads alone would not drop enough coin to carry it and I should pass.
Has anyone here operated one, or have some experience to share?
Also, if you think it would be a dud, what would you recommend instead for similar money?
Which DMD era pins earn well, play well and aren't too high-maintenance for around $2500-$3500?

Love the game, but I don't think it would earn well. The game is too difficult and the ruleset to unique for casual players to pick up quickly. Personally I love the theme as well, but I don't think kids or a casual audience would be attracted to it. We don't have any on route locally anymore for a reason. I think your gut is right on, pinheads would play it and casual players would play a game with a theme they know from current popularity or a game they reminder from their youth.

South Park earns if you don't have one on route already.

#3 4 years ago

yeah unless its a league location it probably won't earn more than any other game

but I hear southpark is one of the best earners, I would also think that SMB would do well.

it seems like a lot of the games that pinheads don't care for earn well

#4 4 years ago
Quoted from timtim:

yeah unless its a league location it probably won't earn more than any other game
but I hear southpark is one of the best earners, I would also think that SMB would do well.
it seems like a lot of the games that pinheads don't care for earn well

With SMB you may have the reverse issue, casual people would play it, but the pinheads would avoid it. Family Guy is great for all types of players if you can find one for $3500.

#5 4 years ago

My friend who owns a 30 game location has said that RBION gets fewer plays than most or all of their other Stern machines. I agree with your gut. Pinheads like it, but others will walk past. They won't know that it's a fun, reasonably complex Lawler game. They will just see it as a goofy theme.

Funny thing is that I was going to make a similar thread today asking what titles earn well in the wild that aren't on or close to being on the A-list. My same friend had a DESW front and center when they got it from another friend of mine in early 2015 and it out-earned everything for several months. Since then, their TWD pro has taken it's physical spot and earning spot as well. They say that South Park does really well among the .50 games. They have high ranked Sterns at .75, lower ranked ones at .50, most DMD's at .50, and the few EM's there at .25... for reference.

I have half of an 8 machine location and am wondering what title I should be looking at in the same range, but likely in the sub-3k range.

#6 4 years ago

I still don't understand how to play RBION. However, I've seen it on location in three random locations now. I imagine it must have some appeal.

#7 4 years ago

Wow, lots of similar posts all at the same time. Since SMB was brought up, here are my % for the last 2.5 months, which is when all 4 of my machines have been at the location at the same time.

diner: 22.01%
ice fever: 20.91%
Mario: 31.60%
police force: 25.47%

I run events at this location and in both types, games are either played once, or picked at random, so should come close to 25% split in the long run. Mario gets plays from casual players more than my other machines. On the down side, there is no way to turn off extra balls, and there is a way to get several extra balls per ball, so having players plunge extras at events is quite a chore.

#8 4 years ago

Interesting to see this as your highest earner. I'm not completely surprised though, as Mario's appeal is wide and varied. Makes me wonder why we haven't seen more games based on video games recently. They're just as popular and lucrative as movies and television shows are.

#9 4 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

I still don't understand how to play RBION. However, I've seen it on location in three random locations now. I imagine it must have some appeal.

Step 1: Hit vari-target, follow on screen instructions.
Step 2: Hit right ramp to relight vari-target.
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 through 2

#10 4 years ago
Quoted from insearchofspace:

Step 1: Hit vari-target, follow on screen instructions.
Step 2: Hit right ramp to relight vari-target.
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 through 2

If only it were that easy...

#11 4 years ago
Quoted from insearchofspace:

Step 1: Hit vari-target, follow on screen instructions.
Step 2: Hit right ramp to relight vari-target.
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 through 2

I almost never hit the vari-target...lol

#12 4 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

I almost never hit the vari-target...lol

I never shoot the scoop. I always get crazy rebounds when I try to hit the scoop, so I go strictly vari-target for starting continents.

#13 4 years ago
Quoted from mbaumle:

Interesting to see this as your highest earner. I'm not completely surprised though, as Mario's appeal is wide and varied. Makes me wonder why we haven't seen more games based on video games recently. They're just as popular and lucrative as movies and television shows are.

Yes, when I am there and see children playing, it's always SMB. I can't blame them. Between my games and the 4 games my buddy owns there, it's the only theme that would appeal to kids.

Non pinheads, no matter the age will gravitate to a theme they like if they are going to play.

#14 4 years ago

In my lineup of 60 machines, RBION is very near the bottom. My highest ranking 'cheap' games are: Austin Powers, WCS, South Park, and Dr Who.

#15 4 years ago

AP, really? I want to want that game, but the toilet is just, blah. Have only watched gameplay vids though, and not seen one in person. But, in that range, I'm likely to look at something else. But, just like SP, I'm sure AP is a casual player magnet.

#16 4 years ago

Great feedback, everyone! It looks like we've got a consensus. Plus, I just found out the slot is getting filled with a BDK, so there's no longer room for it anyway.

It's only a matter of time before another slot opens up, so I'm going to mull over possibly getting a SP or SMB. I have the opposite concern with those though. I think the casual players would love them and the league players would avoid them. The ideal pin for this location would appeal to both groups. The #1 pin at this location since the day it came in is TWD Pro, which appeals to both big time. I'm hoping the IJ4 I just put in will give it a run for it's money, but with only some appeal to league players I'm not sure it can beat it. The casual players are loving it.

#17 4 years ago

anyone got a ripleys for sale around Cleveland? I'm looking.

#18 4 years ago

I've got a buddy that drops nickels into my Frontiersman nonstop.

Now that he's hooked on Ripley's it might become a good earner as well.

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from insearchofspace:

Step 1: Hit vari-target, follow on screen instructions.
Step 2: Hit right ramp to relight vari-target.
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 through 2

Sure that works for modes. Or you can hit the scoop for first award of starting a mode.
Follow instructions to complete mode and gain Ripley latter. All Ripley letters start Atlantis, extrememly had.

Add in hitting shrunken head advances up towards locks & MBs. Shoot 2 Jackpots to light SJ, which awards currently lit SJ. Collect all 6 SJ then 1 more for Frog Frenzy, impossible.

Follow matrix in the middle will give you an idea of matrix award awarded by shooting the temple....this includes important things like 2X PF.

The rules aren't very difficult at all, the game is.

#20 4 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

The rules aren't very difficult at all, the game is.

What gets you the Ripley letters?

#21 4 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

What gets you the Ripley letters?

Quoted from TheLaw:

Follow instructions to complete mode and gain Ripley latter.

Basically, a certain(t) number of hits or jackpots in a mode. So for Asia, it's hitting spinners. You can see a little dude walking over hot coals and the more you spin the more he moves till he's done, mode over, Ripley letter.
Europe is hitting enough tombstones. The MB modes work by shooting both ramps then either head or idol to relight, gotta collect X jackpots.

So going to all the Continents will get you a continent bonus, then they start over and you keep trying to spell Ripleys

#22 4 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Basically, a certain(t) number of hits or jackpots in a mode. So for Asia, it's hitting spinners. You can see a little dude walking over hot coals and the more you spin the more he moves till he's done, mode over, Ripley letter.
Europe is hitting enough tombstones. The MB modes work by shooting both ramps then either head or idol to relight, gotta collect X jackpots.
So going to all the Continents will get you a continent bonus, then they start over and you keep trying to spell Ripleys

They timers are very short for the non-multiball modes so you can't miss much. Plus there is no carryover, so if you get within 1 spin of completing Asia the first time you play it, you will need all 24 spins again to complete it the next time you play it.

#23 4 years ago

Remember to stack a multiball mode on top of a single ball mode, too! Start Europe, for example, then hit the right ramp followed by the varitarget.

#24 4 years ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

Great feedback, everyone! It looks like we've got a consensus. Plus, I just found out the slot is getting filled with a BDK, so there's no longer room for it anyway.
It's only a matter of time before another slot opens up, so I'm going to mull over possibly getting a SP or SMB. I have the opposite concern with those though. I think the casual players would love them and the league players would avoid them. The ideal pin for this location would appeal to both groups. The #1 pin at this location since the day it came in is TWD Pro, which appeals to both big time. I'm hoping the IJ4 I just put in will give it a run for it's money, but with only some appeal to league players I'm not sure it can beat it. The casual players are loving it.

give us some more details about your location for some more pointed feedback...

How many games?
What is the location?
What is the percentage breakdown in the current line up and what is the trajectory for games?
What is your gut on pinheads vs casual players?

#25 4 years ago
Quoted from ktrain315:

anyone got a ripleys for sale around Cleveland? I'm looking.

Have you asked Brian about his yet? Seems like it's about time for that game to be swapped out of the lineup.

Anyways, back on the topic of its performance on location, I tend to see the one at Euclid Tavern being played fairly often, casual players will still approach it regardless of the theme.

#26 4 years ago
Quoted from desertT1:

Funny thing is that I was going to make a similar thread today asking what titles earn well in the wild that aren't on or close to being on the A-list. My same friend had a DESW front and center when they got it from another friend of mine in early 2015 and it out-earned everything for several months. Since then, their TWD pro has taken it's physical spot and earning spot as well. They say that South Park does really well among the .50 games. They have high ranked Sterns at .75, lower ranked ones at .50, most DMD's at .50, and the few EM's there at .25... for reference.

Interested in this thread if you make it. Opening a location soon that will have a good amount of B & C list titles, so I'll have some information to share as well.

#27 4 years ago
Quoted from WaddleJrJr:

Interested in this thread if you make it. Opening a location soon that will have a good amount of B & C list titles, so I'll have some information to share as well.

OK, I'll make it and then the OP won't have as much noise in here.

#28 4 years ago

I'm not much of a topper guy, but does a cool and well-lit topper increase the revenue on a location pin?

There's a bit of a "look at me" factor. Many slot machines have them. There must be something to it.

Any ops care to chime in?

Something like this?

8613e452e2bd91a36f06107f5763df3c708da503_(resized).jpg

Or this?

tron_topper_(resized).jpg

Worth it? Not worth it?

#29 4 years ago

from what I can tell it does nothing. I would spend on ColorDMD if you want to splurge. Takes a long time to pay off, but then you have a spare DMD you pulled out and the color seems to give a SMALL uptick for a couple months.

Reality is that once you find all the $$$ in the room I dont think there is much that can be done in the actual room to help you.

Efforts are best spent trying to promote pinball and get new players in the door.

If you have enough games and the time, then I suggest hosting a once a month IFPA sanctioned event. It will bring in some players and once some competition is on the line you may see them thank you for your efforts by dropping in more coins throughout the month.

#30 4 years ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

I'm not much of a topper guy, but does a cool and well-lit topper increase the revenue on a location pin?

More like an item that should be removed before putting it on location. If you can't lock it down, it may not be a good idea to leave it there.

#31 4 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

More like an item that should be removed before putting it on location. If you can't lock it down, it may not be a good idea to leave it there.

Good point! I think this location is pretty safe, but my buddy did have his WH2O topper stolen elsewhere. Damn, I hate thieves.

#32 4 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Sure that works for modes. Or you can hit the scoop for first award of starting a mode.
Follow instructions to complete mode and gain Ripley latter. All Ripley letters start Atlantis, extrememly had.
Add in hitting shrunken head advances up towards locks & MBs. Shoot 2 Jackpots to light SJ, which awards currently lit SJ. Collect all 6 SJ then 1 more for Frog Frenzy, impossible.
Follow matrix in the middle will give you an idea of matrix award awarded by shooting the temple....this includes important things like 2X PF.
The rules aren't very difficult at all, the game is.

Disagree you have to learn when to try to cash in what.

Some modes can stack with multiball, some can't. Some modes stack very well with temple awards. Road Trip, 2x playfield, etc. Learning when to scramble the temple, when to shoot the temple, and nudging to get the right lane are key to good scores.

Scoop awards change when in modes. Knowing which awards are available for which modes is a big deal.

RBION has a great rule set that requires being aware of what potential stacking can be done.

Problem is, it takes a good number of games to understand what is going on. It is just not a good route game unless you have regular pinheads.

#33 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

from what I can tell it does nothing. I would spend on ColorDMD if you want to splurge. Takes a long time to pay off, but then you have a spare DMD you pulled out and the color seems to give a SMALL uptick for a couple months.
Reality is that once you find all the $$$ in the room I dont think there is much that can be done in the actual room to help you.
Efforts are best spent trying to promote pinball and get new players in the door.
If you have enough games and the time, then I suggest hosting a once a month IFPA sanctioned event. It will bring in some players and once some competition is on the line you may see them thank you for your efforts by dropping in more coins throughout the month.

This is basically where my location is sitting. I do events, but the location doesn't get casual foot traffic, like bowling alleys do. You are either there to play hockey or soccer, or you are there to watch somebody play hockey or soccer. Everyone else is playing pins, and I already know them. My next step is some sort of advertising. The building is right along the freeway, and they have a huge banner on that side, so maybe a Tucson Pinball banner right below it. It's also just off of a pretty busy street, so maybe a street sign. Tucson has some pretty odd laws about street signs, so I'll have to research. There isn't a marquee with backlit slots for the various businesses, or that would be what I would do first. This major street is backed up every day during rush hour, so lots of very slow moving and very bored eyes will wander to any new sign.

#34 4 years ago
Quoted from dung:

Problem is, it takes a good number of games to understand what is going on. It is just not a good route game unless you have regular pinheads.

Totally agree there. When I heard the original question I was assuming there maybe could not be a worse game to put on location. Years ago I used to go to a bar that had it strictly to play...for a long time. I don't think I ever saw anyone else playing it

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