(Topic ID: 204195)

Is this hobby still affordable??


By zpinman370

2 years ago



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  • 247 posts
  • 126 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Blake
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “Is Pinball still affordable to average Joe?”

    • NIB pricing is too high 285 votes
      52%
    • NIB pricing is what it should be 37 votes
      7%
    • Re-sale pricing is getting to be too much as well 226 votes
      41%

    (Multiple choice - 548 votes by 414 Pinsiders)

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    There are 247 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 5.
    #101 2 years ago
    Quoted from RobKnapp:

    Census has the annual real median personal income at $31,099 in 2016.

    Cool. There it is...the average joe can afford 3 nib’s per year. Even have some left over for mods.

    #102 2 years ago
    Quoted from TimeBandit:

    It's way too expensive. I'm totally priced out. Once my AFMR, Alien and JJPotC arrive I think it's going to be almost impossible for me to buy more than three or four machines after that.

    why must you only buy NIB? Expand your horizons. Buy a non working early SS bally or williams. Learn to get it going. Find one for $200-400. put time and effort in cleaning. Fixing. Restoring. By the time you are done. You have a nice working and playing game for $500. Many early SS games are fun as all shit. My atlantis and my alien poker, I have $500 invested in both. Many say they are the nicest they have ever seen or played. Having a nice playing example is the key to enjoying the experience. Games you may have dis'd before because they played like shit, you will find 10x's more enjoyable when you play a nice example, that is playing correctly and leveled correctly. With nice warm white LED's or natural bulbs.

    #103 2 years ago
    Quoted from underlord:

    By retirement do you mean using the pin as a coffin? Other than that, then yes. Not a good investment at all.

    I like that! I will let my wife know to use one of her old machines as my coffin. Excellent money saving and plenty for me to do in the after life!

    #104 2 years ago

    I think asking if the hobby is still affordable is interesting to me because we are the ones setting the prices. It’s not that we are buying from some big companies that are pricing us out and catering to the rich. The NIB market is high but no more than some classic games in the after market. Games are worth what someone will pay.

    I’m in the low end and don’t have expendable income. In my household we are budgeted but any OT money I get to keep for whatever I want since it’s not part of the budget. I got infected with the Pinball virus by a friend and wanted to get into collecting. I saved up and bought my first game for $1100. When I collected some more money from work and selling some old stuff on Craigslist I sold the game and bought a dmd game for $2200. As my repair skills have improved and I saved up some more I’ve bought some system 11s needing work one at a time and fixed them up and sold for a little profit. I just bought a second dmd game needing a little work but I love working on them. Now I can start saving for a 3rd to go through the cycle again of buying, fixing and selling and eventually getting one I’ll keep. Maybe then I could sell two of the three and bump up to a NIB or more premium title. My collection is growing over time.

    Some that are new to the hobby can jump right in and buy a few of any level and that’s fine for them. I can’t but I’m not priced out. I just have to work up from the bottom and I enjoy that part of it. Getting a newer machine feels like an accomplishment to me.

    I’m not expecting to end up with a MM or a MB anytime but I enjoy what I have.

    #105 2 years ago
    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    why must you only buy NIB? Expand your horizons. Buy a non working early SS bally or williams. Learn to get it going. Find one for $200-400. put time and effort in cleaning. Fixing. Restoring. By the time you are done. You have a nice working and playing game for $500. Many early SS games are fun as all shit. My atlantis and my alien poker, I have $500 invested in both. Many say they are the nicest they have ever seen or played. Having a nice playing example is the key to enjoying the experience. Games you may have dis'd before because they played like shit, you will find 10x's more enjoyable when you play a nice example, that is playing correctly and leveled correctly. With nice warm white LED's or natural bulbs.

    OMG that’s sounds like sooo much work not the way I wanted to go as I didn’t need a project I have so may of those and a couple of teenagers to boot....I just wanted to play, out of the box...and for warranty I could call a guy to come and fix it

    Having read and researched about all the pins I am buying I’ve documented settings, tricks and tips, mods and addons....and let me just say wow...what a trip , and happy to be here... to absorb all the great knowledge...I needed a new hobby and loved pinball in my teens and have pages of things I want to try when my pins arrive...now that I can afford to buy new with the exception of a twilight zone that I am hoping to be completely modded and jacked up with leds, DMD etc....all new pins for me....why...because I don’t want to do any up front diagnostics on old tech or pins I want to get a base line on new tech...and actually get an appreciation for what I like, what works and what doesn’t...I’ve also playing a lot of pinball these past 9 months, and actually enjoy and love the commitment both time and money people have put into the hobby it’s awesome...

    Back on topic I have to agree this hobby while expensive is not a placeholder to something better...when I was 16 I wanted to buy my first pinball...CDN in 1989 was 3500....used at the arcade I use to goto...bought a car instead....glad I did that

    Today is no different as choices abound for where I can spend my money, same for everyone here and the fact that there are typically price point choices that can be had there is no barrier to entry at all, can’t afford super duper premium...ok buy a pro and mod the shit out of it till you get to where you need to....Adding there is huge uptake...when I told friends and coworkers what I was up to and what’s being delivered to my house without exception everyone has genuinely been excited and want to come over when ready Whole bunch of us all reliving our youth on cool and exciting themes, evolved technology, and repurposing of what works and a little experimentation are creating new memories...what’s not to love and a small price to pay to get into something wildly entertaining where we aren’t all at the bar staring at our phones or the next hot blonde who walks in...although that’s fun too...have to say though big thank you to everyone on the forum for what is turning out to be a blast...

    #106 2 years ago

    Of course, its just that a lot of buyers want to jump in at the deep end first and to be able to show off the shiny new thing. In this epoch of facebook and various other forms of vacuous social media its understandable even if slightly illogical to me.

    One JJP/Stern LE or five players condition B list Bally Williams. If I was limited by disposable income and forced to make a choice I'd take the latter any day.

    As it stands I simply choose not to buy at that price point as I can't see that kind of value in a single pinball machine regardless of the manufacturer.

    I have just finished resurrecting the last of half a dozen non working EMs (which I don't even enjoy playing) and the sense of satisfaction I got from that far outweighs opening up a cardboard box.

    #107 2 years ago
    Quoted from pinsanity:

    Of course, its just that a lot of buyers want to jump in at the deep end first and to be able to show off the shiny new thing. In this epoch of facebook and various other forms of vacuous social media its understandable even if slightly illogical to me.
    One DI/Stern LE or five players condition B list Bally Williams. If I was limited by disposable income and forced to make a choice I'd take the latter any day.
    As it stands I simply choose not to buy at that price point as I can't see that kind of value in a single pinball machine regardless of the manufacturer.

    Wow 59 pins in your collection....cmon have you played TWD? That game is sooo worth NIB pricing a bunch of us were playing that game and found out they were rereleasing it. We all decided to buy one NIB as not alot of them used here in Canada....

    #108 2 years ago

    Yes, this hobby is still affordable.
    If you are willing to do a little networking.

    Good deals are still out there. You just have to be patient. Are nib prices going crazy, yes.
    Many, many good older titles out there.
    Find them, play them, enjoy them.

    #109 2 years ago

    I get the impression this poll is only about NIB rather than the entire hobby, as evidenced by thread responses being all over the board.

    Considering I've known many people to get used games for next to nothing it's absolutely affordable, for everyone. In fact I know of a pinball machine available today for $50. Needs a little work, but it's cheaper than a copy of Super Mario Odyssey.

    #110 2 years ago

    What can you afford OP?

    #111 2 years ago
    Quoted from Requis:

    Wow 59 pins in your collection....cmon have you played TWD? That game is sooo worth NIB pricing a bunch of us were playing that game and found out they were rereleasing it. We all decided to buy one NIB as not alot of them used here in Canada....

    Yes, but thats 25 years worth of buying/restoring/selling then rinse and repeat to trade up until you finally can justify to outlay funds on a bunch of 20 foot container imports and even then they always come with the percentage of obligatory non-working container space fillers.

    These days it seems everyone wants to start their collection at the high end/LE and stay there.

    I played TWD at a friends house along with half a dozen other various Stern LE machines he has and yes it is a good player, but once they went past the 10k mark here in Australia for a full featured machine the justification for the outlay just wasn't there for me personally.

    And at 8250 for an entry level Pro, most operators aren't going to justify that either which is unfortunate as that is where the real hobby resurgence lies.

    Quoted from Baiter:

    I get the impression this poll is only about NIB rather than the entire hobby, as evidenced by thread responses being all over the board.
    Considering I've known many people to get used games for next to nothing it's absolutely affordable, for everyone. In fact I know of a pinball machine available today for $50. Needs a little work, but it's cheaper than a copy of Super Mario Odyssey.

    I think the pinball hobby is splitting into two subgroups, the pre 2012 collectors who remember quite well when pricing amongst the NIB manufacturers was whilst rising still quite reasonable given the end product, and those who have started their collections in the last 2-3? years and see 10k plus machines for an entry level machine as the norm.

    On that note, if NIB pins were subject to regular depreciation values like any other piece of electronic entertainment equipment, sales would be a fraction of what they are for home use collectors, IMO.

    Resale value within this new breed post 2012 collector community is the main factor sustaining home sales and justifying by proxy the corresponding price increases.

    #112 2 years ago

    The topic of the thread is: "Is this hobby affordable."

    I say that yes it is, for beginners and casual owners.

    Suppose I have a couple over to my house and they play my pins and have a great time.

    After they leave, they discuss getting a pinball machine for their rec room.

    The newbies always love my Bally Atlantis the most, so let's day they decide to get that one. So they have to pony up $1800 or so.

    Or they buy a High Speed for $2500.

    That's affordable for the average couple to buy.

    A related question is:

    Is this hobby affordable for collectors?

    I say that it's not really a practical hobby for the average guy to get started in as a collector at this point.

    Suppose a guy wants 3 grail games like TAF or TZ and 3 random games like DM. That would be a good solid collection.

    That would be around 3 x 6500 + 3 x 2500 = say $27,000.

    Most people could not afford that.

    Of course, the foam-at-the-mouth type collector who drives a 15 year old Windstar and drinks Meisterbrau so he can buy more pins will make the investment, but that's true of all hobbies.

    The true fanatic will always find a way to squeeze his budget for one more roman coin or artillery luger.

    But the average guy looking to start collecting pins is currently priced out of the market.

    A related topic is:

    How can prices still be rising if the average guy is priced out of the market?

    Answer: The supply is so small that you don't need the average guy in the market.

    How many CVs are out there for sale in a year? 5 or 10? You need 5 or 10 buyers out of 350,000,000 people.

    This is a microscopic market.

    #113 2 years ago

    a hobby is no fun if you can get into it and on day one own the baddest, most expensive toys it has to offer. There are thousands of affordable pinball machines out there ready for purchase. It's perfectly okay if not everyone can afford every brand new game that comes out straight from the factory.

    #114 2 years ago

    Every type of collector, guns, guitars, art, coins, stamps, you name it.

    They all say the same thing:

    Prices are shockingly high and they will fall soon.

    Which is horseshit.

    For 20 years people have been telling me that prices of this or that are a "bubble" and going to fall soon. As the prices steadily march upwards for decades on end.

    #115 2 years ago

    I've been trying to justify it for 3 years now and as close as I think I got to pulling the trigger, I really wasn't all that close. NIB in Canada is nuts and the used market for reliable newish machines is well beyond my comfort zone. I've zero interest in old games and I'd never pick up a game just to have a game. My pinball addiction came in the early 90's and was finally reborn about 4 years ago when machines (thankfully) finally stated to reappear in my frozen north home. The games I would pick up from back then have unrealistic price tags for me. The wish list for two decades was Black Knight 2000 and Twilight Zone. Recently there was a BK2000 for 3 or 4k (something like that) - that almost killed me. I'm at the mercy of a small handful of locations which really isn't a bad option what so ever as I can put serious time on multiple machines at a dollar a pop. I'm sure I've dropped a thousand + down on pinball easily during that time (no mention of the millions of dollars on beer fuel). Good deal vs 9K+ for a single machine. I do wish I could afford to get into the club, swap out games, etc, but, yea, life.

    #116 2 years ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    No. Buy used games. EMs especially. EMs and early SS games can be had for 1000 or less still all day long.

    This is the camp I'm in... A NIB or even a used modern game will always be out my means until the lottery lady pulls my numbers. I've met plenty of friends through this hobby and have several locations around me who's modern games I can play and I'll keep buying the EMs and early SS games from my childhood.

    -Steve

    #117 2 years ago
    Quoted from t2000:

    I suspect that a lot on here that buy NIB constantly are not in a very good financial position and the hobby keeps them broke and probably in debt- just my opinion. I could easily afford to go crazy and buy every NIB game....... As someone already said patients is the key!

    To claim that ppl who buy NIB are in bad financial shape, state that you can easily afford every NIB pin, and not know how to spell the word "patience" really says a lot about you.

    #118 2 years ago
    Quoted from VDrums2112:

    This is the camp I'm in... A NIB or even a used modern game will always be out my means until the lottery lady pulls my numbers. I've met plenty of friends through this hobby and have several locations around me who's modern games I can play and I'll keep buying the EMs and early SS games from my childhood.
    -Steve

    Same here. Not into EM's but every game I have aside from my Earthshaker (paid $1,800, fully working) I either got cheap and broken and fixed it or traded for:

    Flash - picked up off Facebook for $400, sold as "not working". The game wasn't set to freeplay and the coin mech switch wiring was disconnected so it wouldn't credit up. Drop targets weren't dropping all the way/registering. Tore it down, cleaned it up, cleaned all the drops, rebuilt flippers, just about done.

    High Speed - Traded a Sliver Strike Bowling I paid $300 for in 2012. Got it on a good deal because the game wouldn't start and the owner didn't know how to fix it. Turned out to be the exact same situation as the Flash, not kidding ha.

    Laser War - Traded a BurgerTime, which I got in trade for a Space Duel I paid $400 for. Column of switches was out which turned out to be a dead resistor on the MPU.

    Space Shuttle - $625. Most switches needed adjusting, alot of lights were out due to a few dead resistors, playfield was destroyed so I had an overlay printed and cleared.

    This is an interesting question because the hobby is "affordable" to me, but I stick to the games I can afford. I can't see myself ever being able to spend over 2K on a game, and even then it would be once every few years. I've enjoyed getting the older games and working on them and cleaning them up and playing all the new stuff on location in our league. The longer I do this, I think I'd rather have more older games in a personal collection anyway than say sell it all for one nice DMD game.

    #119 2 years ago

    It's not so much as unaffordable as it is just feeling some prices on certain machines are batshit crazy.

    #120 2 years ago

    yes still affordable.
    you just need to look for pin in your range price.

    now i you prefer to live in Europe and pay 35% more than the NIB US prices, you are welcome.

    #121 2 years ago

    Affordable is a subjective term!

    I struggle personally with how much to spend on certain pins as the "inventory" fluctuates. I consider holding off to see if they will remake older titles (Monster Bash). Buy an old one and shop it up? Buy a remake or NIB ? What happens if the node boards go bad down the line?

    I am still learning, but frustration sets in quickly when trying to conduct business with the secondary market sellers.
    I notice more and more often they want top value for their machine despite having not shopped or upgraded it.

    As for NIB as you started the thread with, I think its a tough call.
    We want the companies to succeed thereby keeping the hobby alive and future releases viable. But who knows how well the value of these pins will hold up?
    Case in point, Wizard of Oz; Buy a new one with all the bugs worked out, or save money and buy a home use/routed machine.

    It isn't good for anyone when the prices go up. So I will suggest it is quickly becoming unaffordable....

    pinimage (resized).jpg

    #124 2 years ago
    Quoted from Zavadoza:

    To claim that ppl who buy NIB are in bad financial shape, state that you can easily afford every NIB pin, and not know how to spell the word "patience" really says a lot about you.

    I think you misunderstood. I think he meant that he's a doctor and having "patients" is the key to affording NIB. He spelled it correctly.

    #125 2 years ago

    As the originator of this post i am just getting a chance to see all the responses. Lots of good thought's and opinions - THX for all the feedback!!!

    In my case I am a player first and a wanna be collector second. I do want my games to, as just like everyone, hold their value but I am not afraid to play them. Someone earlier asked what my budget was and I would be a 1 NIB Pro per year type of budget.(the premiums and LE's are way to much here in Canada) That being said i do like a lot of the 90's games so would love to pick some decently maintained and priced games from that era. What I have found when looking is that a lot of those titles have become very pricey due to the demand and issues we see with some NIB pins.(thus more demand-ugh) I love the Stern games and lets hope they can get a better product out to the masses and help free up some of the older titles at a more affordable price. I would like to pick up a couple of the older machines this year rather than buy NIB if they can be found affordable.

    #126 2 years ago

    I myself don't think of this hobby as affordable. It requires thousands in disposable income. Its an awesome hobby and I'm glad I can enjoy it but it seems a little callous to call it affordable. Maybe it's just the usage of the word affordable. That word makes me think of when I wondered if I could afford to buy food, pay my bills, shit like that. The word has the connotation of struggle, at least for me.

    #127 2 years ago

    If you want a game and you can swing the price, then just go for it.

    You can always sell it later, probably at a profit.

    So why wait?

    When I bought my TZ for $2400 it seemed like a big fat pile of money. but in retrospect...

    #128 2 years ago

    This hobby can be as affordable as you make it. Buy $100 EMs and fix them up...affordable. Buy every single brand new game available...not affordable.

    #129 2 years ago

    We are certainly a bunch of nutty fools for paying thousands for games but then so are people who buy a new boat with a 10-15 year loan.

    If you can afford it without sacrificing things you NEED then go for it.

    #130 2 years ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    This hobby can be as affordable as you make it. Buy $100 EMs and fix them up...affordable.

    Again, where are you finding these deals?

    Nothing like that exists in my area. It used to ten years ago, now there's nothing under $1,000.

    #131 2 years ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    I myself don't think of this hobby as affordable. It requires thousands in disposable income. Its an awesome hobby and I'm glad I can enjoy it but it seems a little callous to call it affordable. Maybe it's just the usage of the word affordable. That word makes me think of when I wondered if I could afford to buy food, pay my bills, shit like that. The word has the connotation of struggle, at least for me.

    If starting Nib price was SLE or CE I would say the hobby is not affordable anymore, I mean enough Customers to buy.

    #132 2 years ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    Again, where are you finding these deals?
    Nothing like that exists in my area. It used to ten years ago, now there's nothing under $1,000.

    You're not going to find them on PS or Ebay or even CL. Networking my friend. Also sometimes things just don't pop up in your backyard you might have to drive a little. Picked up a $100 Star Gazer but had to go to Kentucky to get it. Also old school word of mouth and such can shake things loose from people that have a game they're getting rid of. Got a free Cheetah that way and a $100 Gottlieb Magnotron.

    #133 2 years ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    You're not going to find them on PS or Ebay or even CL. Networking my friend. Also sometimes things just don't pop up in your backyard you might have to drive a little. Picked up a $100 Star Gazer but had to go to Kentucky to get it. Also old school word of mouth and such can shake things loose from people that have a game they're getting rid of. Got a free Cheetah that way and a $100 Gottlieb Magnotron.

    Yes for sure. Create a network is the key. I love pinside and other mediums as was of selling and buying games but I have about 20 or 25 numbers saved in my phone and I go through those first. It goes both ways though when doing things that way. I have to pass some deals on sometimes. It all comes out in the wash though

    #134 2 years ago

    Was it ever really affordable? I know that several years ago you could pick up older machines on the cheap. Same goes today. That's just the market. But NIB was always on the luxury consumer end. NIB Williams went for 3k-4k in the early 90's. Like many have said in this thread, pinball machines are marketed towards the operator. I believe the surgence of home ownership comes to the fact that us adults who grew up in the arcades dreamed of having our own machines. As we got older and incomes increased we made those dreams come true to where now it seems the manufactures are marketing to the home buyer as well (Jersey Jack). It all depends on what "affordable" means to you. If you are passionate about your hobby and it brings absolute joy to you, you will find a way to make the money appear. Sometimes it takes cutting corners in other aspects of your life to make buying machines easier. We don't drive fancy cars or spend money on nice clothes and other things I can care less about. I am very blessed to have a wife who is as much or even more passionate about pinball then I am so when it comes to spending money on one of these bad boys, we don't look back. Yes we cringe and sometimes cry on the inside but at the end of the day these things bring so much happiness that the money spent is justified. Some families spend NIB money on a week vacation. But that only lasts a week. Pinball machines and the experiences those give you with friends and family can last a lifetime. We are new in purchasing machines and the 2 or so months we have had ours I have spent more time hanging out with my brother playing pinball these past months then I have had hanging out with him in the past 10 years. That says a lot to me and every dime is worth that. Especially the time that my wife and I spend together playing. As others have said, we do get wrapped up in this and see other peoples collections and want to be like them and own them all but at the end of the day its whatever makes you happy. You don't know these other collectors stories or what corners they cut or sacrifices they took in life to get there. Yes some people are super rich and have the means to buy what they please but I rather be poor and work my ass off to buy one machine then to be super wealthy and buy a lot for that one machine will mean so much more to me when I am playing it. If something seems out of your reach, plan ahead and a get a game plan going. Make goals. Make it a goal to buy one machine a year if you can. Even if that means picking up a bartending job on the weekends or learning a new trade like learning how to fix these things and selling your talents on the side. This hobby doesn't have to be about owning your own either. It can also be you finding these out in the wild and spending time with friends playing that way and becoming a local champion or a casual enthusiast. I know that some of the best players in the world don't even own machines. They just play on location. I do wish these machines would be cheaper though and I think in due time they will mellow out to where there will be so much competition in the industry and supply that something will have to give. One would hope...

    #135 2 years ago
    Quoted from irobot:

    The topic of the thread is: "Is this hobby affordable."
    I say that yes it is, for beginners and casual owners.
    Suppose I have a couple over to my house and they play my pins and have a great time.
    After they leave, they discuss getting a pinball machine for their rec room.
    The newbies always love my Bally Atlantis the most, so let's day they decide to get that one. So they have to pony up $1800 or so.
    Or they buy a High Speed for $2500.
    That's affordable for the average couple to buy.
    A related question is:
    Is this hobby affordable for collectors?
    I say that it's not really a practical hobby for the average guy to get started in as a collector at this point.
    Suppose a guy wants 3 grail games like TAF or TZ and 3 random games like DM. That would be a good solid collection.
    That would be around 3 x 6500 + 3 x 2500 = say $27,000.
    Most people could not afford that.
    Of course, the foam-at-the-mouth type collector who drives a 15 year old Windstar and drinks Meisterbrau so he can buy more pins will make the investment, but that's true of all hobbies.
    The true fanatic will always find a way to squeeze his budget for one more roman coin or artillery luger.
    But the average guy looking to start collecting pins is currently priced out of the market.
    A related topic is:
    How can prices still be rising if the average guy is priced out of the market?
    Answer: The supply is so small that you don't need the average guy in the market.
    How many CVs are out there for sale in a year? 5 or 10? You need 5 or 10 buyers out of 350,000,000 people.
    This is a microscopic market.

    If they are paying 2500 for a high speed, I hope they were lubed up first.

    #136 2 years ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    Again, where are you finding these deals?
    Nothing like that exists in my area. It used to ten years ago, now there's nothing under $1,000.

    I don't know your market. But we have them around here a lot. Finding a $100-$300 EM or early SS isn't out of the ordinary. I've probably bought 5 in the past 6 months. Most were working. Needed some tweeking but working for the most part.

    #137 2 years ago
    Quoted from HookedonPinonics:

    Was it ever really affordable? I know that several years ago you could pick up older machines on the cheap. Same goes today. That's just the market. But NIB was always on the luxury consumer end. NIB Williams went for 3k-4k in the early 90's. Like many have said in this thread, pinball machines are marketed towards the operator. I believe the surgence of home ownership comes to the fact that us adults who grew up in the arcades dreamed of having our own machines. As we got older and incomes increased we made those dreams come true to where now it seems the manufactures are marketing to the home buyer as well (Jersey Jack). It all depends on what "affordable" means to you. If you are passionate about your hobby and it brings absolute joy to you, you will find a way to make the money appear. Sometimes it takes cutting corners in other aspects of your life to make buying machines easier. We don't drive fancy cars or spend money on nice clothes and other things I can care less about. I am very blessed to have a wife who is as much or even more passionate about pinball then I am so when it comes to spending money on one of these bad boys, we don't look back. Yes we cringe and sometimes cry on the inside but at the end of the day these things bring so much happiness that the money spent is justified. Some families spend NIB money on a week vacation. But that only lasts a week. Pinball machines and the experiences those give you with friends and family can last a lifetime. We are new in purchasing machines and the 2 or so months we have had ours I have spent more time hanging out with my brother playing pinball these past months then I have had hanging out with him in the past 10 years. That says a lot to me and every dime is worth that. Especially the time that my wife and I spend together playing. As others have said, we do get wrapped up in this and see other peoples collections and want to be like them and own them all but at the end of the day its whatever makes you happy. You don't know these other collectors stories or what corners they cut or sacrifices they took in life to get there. Yes some people are super rich and have the means to buy what they please but I rather be poor and work my ass off to buy one machine then to be super wealthy and buy a lot for that one machine will mean so much more to me when I am playing it. If something seems out of your reach, plan ahead and a get a game plan going. Make goals. Make it a goal to buy one machine a year if you can. Even if that means picking up a bartending job on the weekends or learning a new trade like learning how to fix these things and selling your talents on the side. This hobby doesn't have to be about owning your own either. It can also be you finding these out in the wild and spending time with friends playing that way and becoming a local champion or a casual enthusiast. I know that some of the best players in the world don't even own machines. They just play on location. I do wish these machines would be cheaper though and I think in due time they will mellow out to where there will be so much competition in the industry and supply that something will have to give. One would hope...

    NIB was never 4k in the B/W days. Hell, even in 2009 NIB from Stern was only $3400 shipped to your door depending on who you bought from. And then, we could get playfields from stern for $250 easy. When super auctions was on thursday nights, and the pins would finally go on sale at like 11pm at night. You could get 3 early SS in a package deal for $15 just to get them out of there. Couldn't give the shit away. If you got $400 for a hercules or a williams Joust. It was a gift. Safecrackers would be lucky to get $1000 for one. So not only was it affordable. But people were practically paying you to get it gone.

    #138 2 years ago

    Oh, by all means get out of the hobby. Prices drop for the rest of us bottom feeders!

    g138126905174655302 (resized).jpg

    #139 2 years ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    I myself don't think of this hobby as affordable. It requires thousands in disposable income..

    Ready to play at $525 on EBay. Almost all the games I have ever bought were under a grand as I have next to zero disposable income.

    s-l1600 (resized).jpg

    #140 2 years ago

    I'm pretty much done buying machines now. For me, they aren't affordable anymore. I'm keeping what I got, but am glad I bought when I did.

    #141 2 years ago

    Depends on your income really. If you really stop and think about the hobby, collecting big commercial machines for the house is pretty bizarre.

    #142 2 years ago
    Quoted from Marvin:

    If they are paying 2500 for a high speed, I hope they were lubed up first.

    I get it! Cause you think he took a penis in the butthole on that deal! (And this metaphorical penis would cause way more pain if you didn’t apply lubrication first.)

    Hilarious and original!

    #143 2 years ago

    The entry price has gone up compared to years ago. $250 is probably around the baseline these days for an EM or early solid state game which might or might not be at least partially working.

    I can still get games for that price, but you have to be able to respond and move very quickly. It's pretty competitive out there--lots of people hunting for games while the supply is dwindling. That's why I always cringe these days when a game gets parted out unnecessarily. There are a lot of people who would tackle a project that someone else might think is not worthwhile.

    For a fully working, plug & play game--you can still get EMs for $400-$600. For early solid state, $500 is usually about the floor Although, I saw a working dynomite in my area for $400 a few days ago.

    You also have to be open to settling on whatever titles happen to become available--if you want a specific game, you'll either have to pay for it, or simply get lucky in finding one.

    So, if you want to get into this hobby, then yes, you need to have some spare funds for it. Any hobby that requires parts and materials can be costly.

    #144 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    The entry price has gone up compared to years ago. $250 is probably around the baseline these days for an EM or early solid state game which might or might not be at least partially working.
    I can still get games for that price, but you have to be able to respond and move very quickly. It's pretty competitive out there--lots of people hunting for games while the supply is dwindling. That's why I always cringe these days when a game gets parted out unnecessarily. There are a lot of people who would tackle a project that someone else might think is not worthwhile.
    For a fully working, plug & play game--you can still get EMs for $400-$600. For early solid state, $500 is usually about the floor Although, I saw a working dynomite in my area for $400 a few days ago.
    You also have to be open to settling on whatever titles happen to become available--if you want a specific game, you'll either have to pay for it, or simply get lucky in finding one.
    So, if you want to get into this hobby, then yes, you need to have some spare funds for it. Any hobby that requires parts and materials can be costly.

    Just like when I started in 2002, your low end for a decent working EM is about 400 bucks. Shows like Allentown and pintastic tend to have a bunch of those. There’s room for everybody in the hobby.

    The “this is a rich man’s hobby!!!” Outrage almost always comes from newbies who think the hobby is $7,000 games.

    #145 2 years ago

    One thing everyone is ignoring is the fact that the collector type games are a decent store of value.

    If you bought a TZ around 10 years ago for $2400 and now it would be worth what? $7000 or so?

    If you had bought two TZs back then and sold one now, you'd have the remaining one for free and a $4000 profit.

    That's pretty darn "affordable".

    If you're on the fence about buying a game, check out some of the 1980s SS games.

    Some of them are a LOT of fun to play.

    #146 2 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Just like when I started in 2002, your low end for a decent working EM is about 400 bucks. Shows like Allentown and pintastic tend to have a bunch of those. There’s room for everybody in the hobby.
    The “this is a rich man’s hobby!!!” Outrage almost always comes from newbies who think the hobby is $7,000 games.

    Yeah, but it ain't a poor man's hobby, either.

    On a comparative basis, IMO pins work out to be cheaper than golf or power boating. But on an absolute basis, it is not a cheap hobby. Especially, if you cannot do your own trouble-shooting ad repairs. And even of you do your own work, you are looking at buying more than a few dollars worth of tools.

    A poor man's hobby would be a cheap acoustic guitar.

    #147 2 years ago
    Quoted from cottonm4:

    On a comparative basis, IMO pins work out to be cheaper than golf or power boating. But on an absolute basis, it is not a cheap hobby. Especially, if you cannot do your own trouble-shooting ad repairs. And even of you do your own work, you are looking at buying more than a few dollars worth of tools.

    It can really be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be.

    #148 2 years ago

    What tools do you need to keep a pin running?

    A $15 pencil soldering iron, a $15 desoldering iron and a $25 sears multimeter.

    My atlantis had two problems: a flasher out because of a bad SCR and a fuse kept blowing because of a bad coil diode

    So that cost me like $10 in repairs.

    I'm not an electrician, I'm in construction. I know exactly nothing about electronics but I still doped it out.

    these games were meant to be kept running by the vendors, not electronics repairmen.

    #149 2 years ago

    I find it ridiculous that some WPC95 pins are more than NIB pins. The pins are 20 years old! I know the demand is high for them but still...

    12
    #150 2 years ago
    Quoted from Pinball-DOOD:

    I find it ridiculous that some WPC95 pins are more than super LE NIB pins. The games are 20 years old!

    i also find it ridiculous that Stern still can't consistently make games that are better than some 1990s pins.

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