Hello Pinside Community,
My wife, children and I were bit by the pinball bug about 18 months ago. We have played enough on location to know that we will eventually purchase a pin for our home and enjoy the heck out of it as a family. We are lucky enough to have a fairly large finished basement with a main room that we plan to convert into our family game room. This room is large enough to have a home bar, pool table, and up to 4 pins against the wall. It certainly is what you would call a blank canvas.
That being said, I expect there is a lot of collective expertise and lessons learned within this forum and its members. I would love to hear what advice those in the community would have to someone just getting into collecting pins for home use. As of today, our dream line up is Jurassic Park (Stern), Pirates (JJP), Theater of Magic and Attack from Mars (CGC remake) which I hope to purchase over the next 1-4 years.
The basic questions I have are around purchasing, maintaining and fixing these games. On the purchasing side I am curious if I should focus on NIB vs HUO games. On the maintenance side I am curious about how much time is required to upkeep 4 pins that maybe will see 25-50 plays a week each. I do have an engineering background so am not immediately frightening by the concept of lifting a playfield to troubleshoot and fix issues. In fact, I anticipate actually enjoying the process of learning how these things work. My engineering background is more on the software programming side, but certainly have some limited experience in soldering and laying out bread-boarded circuits. With that being said, am I well positioned to stay on-top of the maintenance?
I know there is a lot I still need to learn. At this point I don't know what I don't know, and am just curious as to what I am not considering. Are the next 2 years an advisable time to invest in these games, or would some of you advise to wait and see how the resurgence of pinball continues to trend? I get that nobody has a crystal ball, but am curious how some of you would advise someone new entering the collecting hobby.
Overall we are thrilled to have found this hobby and cannot wait to get the first game in our home. I more than look forward to making lasting pinball memories with our 2 your boys.
Thanks in advance!