Greetings Pinside community, great to be here!
I've been a long time fan of pinball machines since I was a kid in the 90's, and I remember whenever I would go to arcades I would always be pulled into the allure of pinball machines as opposed to cabinets. I've had fond memories playing Bride of Pinbot, Attack From Mars, Funhouse, and I even managed to play a few games on Revenge from Mars!
Well the urge to own my very own nostalgic pinball machine has finally become too intense, and I've been taking the time to carefully research and look for an ideal first pinball machine to enjoy.
Here is the criteria I have come up with that I think is a good starting point:
1. I want to purchase a machine from the 80's onward that is solid state and/or DMD
2. I'd like to get one that has multiball, ramps and/or skill shots, and overall a machine that has a mixture of fun factor and depth. A big plus is if it taps into my nostalgia or is a pinball machine I have played before. (I have a wishlist made up already on my profile)
3. The price range I'm looking for is $1500 and under for a machine in good shape an can be played without needing lots of initial work.
4. Machines I've seen so far that interest me and potentially fit this criteria are F-14 Tomcat , High Speed , Pinbot , and possibly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles .
5. If there are other machines you would like to suggest I look at please let me know!
My thinking is I don't want to have my first machine break the bank and have a high cost ceiling to it. I feel like that's a foolish beginner mistake to make, and I'm better off purchasing a more bang for buck budget machines that I can enjoy and can lure me into purchasing more elaborate machines down the road.
So that's my criteria for a pinball machine, and here is what I have been observing in terms of purchasing one.
1. I'm assuming that the Pinside market should be seen as a last resort for a purchase as prices seem to be very inflated for even very basic machine.
2. Are sellers on pinside with OBO options flexible, or should I only expect a $100-$200 deviation at most? (Meaning if they are selling a machine for $1500, I should only expect them to go down to $1400 at the lowest)
3. Is it generally not worth it to have a delivery service pick up and ship the machine to my house on a low cost pinball machine? How much on average does shipping cost?
4. Should I assume that the maintenance cost of a pinball machine will cost as much as a brand new machine over a short period of time? (Meaning if I purchase a well maintained machine for $1500, that in 1-2 years I'll have spent that much fixing problems that occur with it)
I'm realizing that finding the right machine you want all comes down to patience, which I'm fine with doing. My plan is to check here at pinside, craigslist, and ebay every day to scan for a machine I'm looking for.
If there are other factors I should consider, or if the pinside community has any questions for me let me know! Thank you!