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(Topic ID: 251159)

Just entering collecting hobby: Recommendations?

By jacksparrow0112

1 year ago

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  • 47 posts
  • 41 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Coz
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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    #1 1 year ago

    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!

    #26 1 year ago

    Wow - What an amazing community here! Just 1 hour after posting and I already have 20+ individual responses. This is really exciting. Thanks everyone for being so generous in sharing lessons learned and recommendations.

    So far there are definitely some themes emerging from the posts above. Many of you recommend that I start off by looking at older/cheaper titles to get my feet wet. Though I love the vintage look and sounds of EMs (especially their amazing artwork) the kids and I are not really a fan of playing them. The only exception might be "Black Hole" because I love that reverse lower playfield concept. I will consider researching the Gottliebs and Data Easts that are out there to see if I can find something as a viable starter pin. My original thought was that a NIB pin would have less chance of issues, but I'm beginning to learn that that isn't necessarily the case.

    To date, my entire pinball education has been provided in the form of podcasts. I spend 10 hours a week commuting and dedicate that time to catching up on all of the great content available. It's a great way to unwind after a hard day at the office. I have learned so much this past year about all of the current manufacturers, their latest offerings, and yes, even some of the quality issues that have been occurring. Most recently with the release of Jurassic Park I have discovered Twitch and streaming and have been tuning into the FlipNOut Monday streams of that title. As I get to be a better player (hopefully through playing our first home pin) I look forward to joining a local league and/or playing in local tournaments. Just recently I figured out that one can learn a lot by watching more experienced players play in person.

    As far as I figure, I have a few advantages entering this hobby. The first one is that my wife approves and is also excited to get into it. I can't imagine trying to justify the price tags associated with these games if she wasn't into it. Second - I have a great room layout. It is a walkout basement and the future pin wall is directly adjacent to the sliding glass patio door. I can literally back my wrangler up to the door to load and unload pins. No needing to navigate hallways and staircases which seems to be a big plus.

    Thanks again everyone for reaching out. I really look forward to officially joining this hobby, and you have no idea how much I envy those of you who have one or more pins in your home right now. It's been a dream since childhood that I hope to realize in the next 12-18 months.

    #33 1 year ago

    It's amazing how many of you half-joke that 4 pins will be impossible to limit myself to. As an outsiderto this collector's hobby dying to get in, that sounds like an almost unattainable goal right now. Luckily (or maybe unluckily) with some furniture rearranging I could realistically fit up to 25 pins in my walk-out basement alone. But in there lies the paradox because I would surely be divorced and as a result no longer living in this house...LOL!

    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from wolverinetuner:

    You also might not think ROI is an issue, but, trust us, you’ll likely want to sell some titles, even ones you like, to get others and keep things fresh as time goes on. I personally don’t need to make money on a pin, I just want to feel confident that if I ever sell it, I’ll get back what I paid for it.
    I have all EMs, but I think this applies across the board. BTW, if you ever find a Black Hole that’s an EM, let me know!

    HA! Just goes to show how much I still have to learn about this hobby. Total noob mistake right there. Thanks for the education.

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