(Topic ID: 261310)

Looking for a QUALITY older machine

By gordonshumway

2 years ago


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  • 47 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by altan
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    #1 2 years ago

    Been down the used route, the new route and have been a bit flummoxed.

    The old machine brought nothing but maintenance issues. The new machine (Hobbit) was too hard for the family to master, and it was flawless in its reliability. That said, we still want pinball in our life. That brings the question:

    Is there an older machine (or newer) that is computerized that is built of high quality that offers a simpler theme for those who don't hold an in depth play skill?

    In addition I want a collector type piece that will hold its value and has seen nothing but pampered care since new (preferably) one owner. I'm open to any ideas, and certainly to a good machine that meets this criteria. Thanks.

    #2 2 years ago

    I recommend a home use only iron man or spider man. Two newer pins with simple rules, high fun factor,and ultra reliable.

    You can occasionally find 80s and 90s pins in very nice shape, but they will still be more prone to occasional issues due to age.

    #3 2 years ago

    I think something like this may be what you're looking for. Not too hard but great code, excellent theme, and reliable. And the seller is a really nice guy too that maintains his games well and is in your State!

    Machine - For Sale
    HUO - Undocumented (Home Used Only) “HUO Spider-Man Vault. Second owner, ~370 plays. No known issues. Looks and plays great. Please note: Color DMD pictured is not included. Shaker Back Alley train (red) w/ Light ki...”
    2020-01-29
    Plymouth, WI
    6,200
    Archived after: 34 days
    Viewed: 780 times
    Status: Didn't sell to Pinsider

    #4 2 years ago

    Yeah. Spiderman is probably bettter if you have kiddos. Iron Man may kick their butts too hard.

    You can find the original stern 2007 spider man for around $4500, or the 2015 vault edition for around $6000. Both are excellent. Some of the vault editions had insert ghosting, so keep an eye out for that.

    #5 2 years ago

    Trying to wrap my head around "Hobbit was too hard for us."

    Any HUO Stern game from the past 10 years will probably fulfill your criteria, except for "easier than hobbit."

    #6 2 years ago

    I think your best bet would be to find a trustworthy person/company to get the machine from. Its not so much the machine being reliable as it probably was the condition and maintenance was done poorly causing your older game to be un-reliable. That being said, any gottlieb system 3 is probably going to be in general pretty reliable in my experience.

    #7 2 years ago

    Find yourself a TNA.

    Thanks
    Blake

    #8 2 years ago
    Quoted from Blake:

    Find yourself a TNA.
    Thanks
    Blake

    That sounds to me exactly what he doesn't want. remember he couldn't master the hobbit.

    #9 2 years ago
    Quoted from tjc02002:

    That sounds to me exactly what he doesn't want. remember he couldn't master the hobbit.

    Ruleset on TNA is super simple and straight forward. Machine is new so less technical issues. I don't think he mentioned it has to be an easy to beat game.

    Thanks
    Blake

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from Blake:

    Ruleset on TNA is super simple and straight forward. Machine is new so less technical issues. I don't think he mentioned it has to be an easy to beat game.
    Thanks
    Blake

    As a casual player, I haven't found the concept and rules very approachable. I can appreciate what the game is, that it's wildly popular with tournament players, and the impressive achievement for a homebrew designer to get the game into production, but as a casual player, it's just not the kind of game I enjoy. If you had trouble with Hobbit, you will probably have trouble with TNA.

    I agree that SM is a fun game and is very approachable for casual players, and it isn't too expensive compared to other similar era games.

    #11 2 years ago

    I'd echo spiderman, but keep in mind you're flinging a steel ball into plastic and mechanical parts. While it may be more reliable than what you had before in terms of an older game, something at some point will break or need maintenance, large or small.

    #12 2 years ago
    Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

    I recommend a home use only iron man or spider man. Two newer pins with simple rules, high fun factor,and ultra reliable.
    You can occasionally find 80s and 90s pins in very nice shape, but they will still be more prone to occasional issues due to age.

    I have to agree with this.

    You can find older machines in great shape, but you really have to look hard.

    Another option may be to get one restored. There are several great pinball restorers here on pinside.

    #13 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    As a casual player, I haven't found the concept and rules very approachable. I can appreciate what the game is, that it's wildly popular with tournament players, and the impressive achievement for a homebrew designer to get the game into production, but as a casual player, it's just not the kind of game I enjoy. If you had trouble with Hobbit, you will probably have trouble with TNA.
    I agree that SM is a fun game and is very approachable for casual players, and it isn't too expensive compared to other similar era games.

    Playfield is 1/10 as convoluted as new Sterns. Shots are straight forward (loops, scoops, drops) and light up with big bright simple to read inserts. LCD integration is simple (not a bunch of story) and requires no previous knowledge of the theme.

    Not a lot of fluff. Does not require player to understand in depth rules and storyline to get a decent score. TNA is an early 80's pin dressed up and presented nicely with todays tech.

    Thanks
    Blake

    #15 2 years ago

    My #1 recommendation for you would be a Stern Star Trek. It is a newer Stern (2012 I think) that has held up well and doesn't use the newer Node Board system. There is a Stern Star Trek on route that has literally been going solid for 30,000 plays. There are multiple tiers from Pro to Premium to a Highly sought after and collectible LE.
    The gameplay is shallow for beginners and deep for experts where you will likely never beat it. Also, from a mechanical movement point of view, there are almost no moving parts. The switches are all optos instead of physical switches, and the only moving parts are the Vuk by the ship, the pop bumpers, the slings, and the flippers. I took one apart to re-rubber it when I got mine and I was impressed with how mechanically simple the game was while still being loads of fun. I had a hobbit and agree with the complexity, but Stern Star Trek can be boiled down to, shoot behind the flipper to start a mission, shoot the blinking lights to complete the mission, complete the missions to start wizard modes. Great game that is reliable and simple to maintain while being fun for the family.

    Good luck and happy pinball.

    #16 2 years ago

    Stern potc
    Great for kids

    #17 2 years ago

    Munsters seems like it was built for the market you described, but I’d agree with most of the other folks here with Spiderman... I also think Spiderman is more fun.

    #18 2 years ago

    Any of the CGC remakes

    #19 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    As a casual player, I haven't found the concept and rules very approachable. I can appreciate what the game is, that it's wildly popular with tournament players, and the impressive achievement for a homebrew designer to get the game into production, but as a casual player, it's just not the kind of game I enjoy. If you had trouble with Hobbit, you will probably have trouble with TNA.
    I agree that SM is a fun game and is very approachable for casual players, and it isn't too expensive compared to other similar era games.

    Invest in a nice party pack of Atari games.

    #21 2 years ago
    Quoted from gordonshumway:

    That brings the question:
    Is there an older machine (or newer) that is computerized that is built of high quality that offers a simpler theme for those who don't hold an in depth play skill?

    Quoted from Kwaheltrut:

    Any of the CGC remakes

    I second this. I have owned both Monster Bash remake and Attack from Mars Remake and the build quality is excellent. I much prefer the gameplay and rules of AFM over MB, but check them both out and see what works for you. This would check every box you have.

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from chad:

    Invest in a nice party pack of Atari games.

    lol

    They are probably better suited to an enthusiast and tinkerer, rather than someone who's looking for a modern maintenance-free game.

    #23 2 years ago

    I'm not sure it's possible to have a steel ball flying around a playfield without something eventually going wrong. You can have issues with any game, new or used. With that said, I'd probably look at Attack From Mars, Monster Bash, Jurassic Park, Star Trek, or Spider-Man.

    #24 2 years ago
    Quoted from lpeters82:

    I'm not sure it's possible to have a steel ball flying around a playfield without something eventually going wrong. You can have issues with any game, new or used. With that said, I'd probably look at Attack From Mars, Monster Bash, Jurassic Park, Star Trek, or Spider-Man.

    I would also like to note that 90% of the problems I have are immediately after moving them. If you set them up and leave them alone minus normal maintenance they are pretty solid. My issues have come from games notorious for being un-reliable, like my ST:TNG cannons or Jurassic Park (1993 DE version) TREX. Or just buying broken games to fix

    #25 2 years ago
    Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

    I recommend a home use only iron man or spider man. Two newer pins with simple rules, high fun factor,and ultra reliable.
    You can occasionally find 80s and 90s pins in very nice shape, but they will still be more prone to occasional issues due to age.

    Totally agree. The most reliable game I've had was the oldest until recently... my 1990 Whirlwind. Still not so much as even a stuck ball.

    #26 2 years ago

    I think the better question was what made it hard for your family? Was it the crazy in depth rules, or is it just that everyone needs to work on their skills a little more?

    #27 2 years ago

    Hobbit was a great game, loved the quality of a JJP. When I said I dislike "maintenance", I didn't mean any work at all. I enjoy tinkering, and JJP required not only a bit of troubleshooting, i.e. mis-wired switch, broken wires, or the mods that (should have) been done initially - the flaps, plastics and wireforms. I'm ok with that. I'm spoiled now with the flat panel screen as compared to the small (maybe) colored display. It had excellent glass (invisi) and my playfield was a "10". I can't really fault anything on Hobbit, it was truly a great game. We did however have trouble getting anywhere with the rules and scoring. I've looked at MB and AFM, or Medieval Madness remake as a next? I'm not sure I'll enjoy it without a flat screen (any comments here are appreciated). The maintenance issues I encountered on the "old" machine were simply a 1980's vintage worn out pin that had been worked on, but never rebuilt to my taste. I really want a pin I'll be proud of for our beautiful game room.

    #28 2 years ago

    Pick a Bally/Williams you like. Create a worklist of what is needed to make to your liking.
    Do it, yourself, hire others.
    I primarilty mess with EM but its the same thing, I go through every inch and they always play with very few issues.
    Cargument? Bought what I wanted, a 98 Landcruiser, now going through all maintenance/ repair. It will be reliable after this is completed.

    #29 2 years ago

    Newer game with pretty straight forward rules - AFM remake, Aerosmith, Munsters, Iron Man, and Stranger Things. I'd personally go for a Jurassic Park as it's a TON of fun to shoot and pretty easy to pick up on. Good luck with your search!

    #30 2 years ago

    The Milwaukee Gaming Classic is only a few weeks away. Come to the show. Play lots of different games. Decide with your family what you like best. Meet and talk to Vidgameseller and Kingpingames for new games - including most that have been mentioned here. Looking for a used game with local support? See Paul Reno from Home Gameroom Supply.

    #31 2 years ago

    I’d agree with JP, great game for all skill levels

    #32 2 years ago

    What games have a complete "computer" like JJP? Who has the best "non-flatscreen" display? Best sound?

    Thanks

    #33 2 years ago
    Quoted from gordonshumway:

    Hobbit was a great game, loved the quality of a JJP. When I said I dislike "maintenance", I didn't mean any work at all. I enjoy tinkering, and JJP required not only a bit of troubleshooting, i.e. mis-wired switch, broken wires, or the mods that (should have) been done initially - the flaps, plastics and wireforms. I'm ok with that. I'm spoiled now with the flat panel screen as compared to the small (maybe) colored display. It had excellent glass (invisi) and my playfield was a "10". I can't really fault anything on Hobbit, it was truly a great game. We did however have trouble getting anywhere with the rules and scoring. I've looked at MB and AFM, or Medieval Madness remake as a next? I'm not sure I'll enjoy it without a flat screen (any comments here are appreciated). The maintenance issues I encountered on the "old" machine were simply a 1980's vintage worn out pin that had been worked on, but never rebuilt to my taste. I really want a pin I'll be proud of for our beautiful game room.

    Dude, you just got lucky.

    Every single pinball machine - even new ones - has potential "maintenance pitfalls." You can go years without an issue, or a game can "break" within 5 plays. Doesn't matter the model or make. The fact that you successfully owned a Hobbit - a known Maintenance nightmare - and had zero issues shows you how inexact this science is.

    I don't think you are gonna get what you want here. People are just shouting out the names of their favorite games. The best advice you got here is to go to a pinball show or a big pinball arcade somewhere and just play the games and see what you like. If you want a "flat screen" that limits you to about a dozen games or so these days so shouldn't be so tough to narrow it down. The five JJP games, the Spooky games, and the Stern games built in the last 4 years have LCD screens (I think that's what you mean by "flat?")

    I do think you making the right move avoiding "old" games - buy something new, made in the last few years, and you'll be loading the maintenance lottery well in your direction.

    #34 2 years ago
    Quoted from gordonshumway:

    What games have a complete "computer" like JJP? Who has the best "non-flatscreen" display? Best sound?
    Thanks

    The CGC Special Edition and Limited Edition remakes have outstanding color DMD displays. I have an AFMr SE and the display and sounds are great considering the audio was recorded in 1996. If you are looking for the JJP package it probably will not live up to your expectations; however, the game is more fun to shoot (in my opinion), has much better call outs, and the rules are easy enough for my whole family to understand.

    I have found that the flatscreen displays are cool for people watching you play but are not particularly beneficial to the player. The more that is happening on the backbox the harder it is for the player to follow unless you are constantly trapping each shot and looking up.

    #35 2 years ago

    Based on the posts you’ve made, I’d say Monster Bash, Vault Spiderman, or Star Trek Pro. In that order.

    #36 2 years ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Based on the posts you’ve made, I’d say Monster Bash, Vault Spiderman, or Star Trek Pro.

    None of those has the “flat screen” he craves from a quality older machine.

    #37 2 years ago
    Quoted from gordonshumway:

    What games have a complete "computer" like JJP? Who has the best "non-flatscreen" display? Best sound?
    Thanks

    You need to just hit the MGC show or a barcade and play some games, I think. We cant decide for you.

    #38 2 years ago
    Quoted from LargemouthAss:

    The CGC Special Edition and Limited Edition remakes have outstanding color DMD displays. I have an AFMr SE and the display and sounds are great considering the audio was recorded in 1996. If you are looking for the JJP package it probably will not live up to your expectations; however, the game is more fun to shoot (in my opinion), has much better call outs, and the rules are easy enough for my whole family to understand.
    I have found that the flatscreen displays are cool for people watching you play but are not particularly beneficial to the player. The more that is happening on the backbox the harder it is for the player to follow unless you are constantly trapping each shot and looking up.

    Where's Odin when you need him?

    "Pretty sure every digital machine I own has flat screens. Put my Dirty Harry screen on a flat surface and a ball won't even roll on top of it! Except maybe old gottliebs which are slightly rounded? Still my struggle buggies is the best game I own and it has curved screens!"

    #39 2 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Where's Odin when you need him?
    "Pretty sure every digital machine I own has flat screens. Put my Dirty Harry screen on a flat surface and a ball won't even roll on top of it! Except maybe old gottliebs which are slightly rounded? Still my struggle buggies is the best game I own and it has curved screens!"

    I meant the LCD screens on modern Stern/Spooky/JJP games. Pretty sure that was obvious.

    #40 2 years ago
    Quoted from LargemouthAss:

    I meant the LCD screens on modern Stern/Spooky/JJP games. Pretty sure that was obvious.

    It was obvious.

    #41 2 years ago

    I appreciate the comments.

    I guess I'm looking for value, reliability, and something that everyone enjoys. My wife and I really loved Hobbit. The sounds and screen were a "10". I appreciate LargeMouth's comment - hadn't thought about that. You are right, the screen is really for the kibitzer's. We plan to go to Milwaukee in April. I know that this whole opinion thing is a personal preference. Everything in life is that way. That said, you ALL have way more experience in these machines and I always gain knowledge from every post. My original Williams Fire! was fun, but it was kind of like trying to keep a '68 Mustang going. It was always something. Both Hobbit and the old Fire! were money losers in the end. There probably are few if any machines that don't end up costing you. That's OK, that's entertainment. I would however like to keep that to a minimum. I have several old Hamm's beer signs in my playroom. They too were expensive, all were "like new" and collector quality. In their case, the family loves them and would never part with them. I hope that the next pin will bring the same - pass it on to the next generation...

    Again, thanks to each of you for your valued input.

    #42 2 years ago

    Please let us know which way you choose to go.
    I need a resolution.

    #43 2 years ago
    Quoted from gordonshumway:

    I guess I'm looking for value, reliability, and something that everyone enjoys.

    This doesn’t exist. Haha

    Just go to a big show and play a bunch of stuff and see what speaks to ya. Then hope it’s for sale. Everyone’s different.

    #44 2 years ago
    Quoted from gordonshumway:

    My original Williams Fire! was fun, but it was kind of like trying to keep a '68 Mustang going.

    Fire! Was the easiest to maintain machine I’ve ever owned and I made money on it when I sold it.

    #45 2 years ago

    AFMre Classic, nice price for the classic model.
    I own the SE and the family and friends love it.

    #46 2 years ago

    Thanks guys. Started looking at Jurassic Park LE last night. I'll need to play it. AFM also is in my long list right now. I really want new, but if not, I hope I can find a HUO that is as nice as the Hobbit I just sold. I keep things pristine and would never be happy with any less.

    #47 2 years ago

    Go with Terminator 2.

    Why?

    1) Not too expensive on the pinball scale
    2) It's a classic
    3) it's fast and has flow
    4) It's very approachable
    5) But it's deeper than many give it credit (although I'm not saying it's deep)
    6) Better toy (shoot ball across playfield) than many more recent pins
    7) Maintenance isn't huge. If you get a restored one it should work well for a long time
    8 ) Has callouts from the real actor (Arnold), not poor sound alike
    9) Gameplay is very rewarding

    ... Altan

    Quoted from gordonshumway:

    Been down the used route, the new route and have been a bit flummoxed.
    The old machine brought nothing but maintenance issues. The new machine (Hobbit) was too hard for the family to master, and it was flawless in its reliability. That said, we still want pinball in our life. That brings the question:
    Is there an older machine (or newer) that is computerized that is built of high quality that offers a simpler theme for those who don't hold an in depth play skill?
    In addition I want a collector type piece that will hold its value and has seen nothing but pampered care since new (preferably) one owner. I'm open to any ideas, and certainly to a good machine that meets this criteria. Thanks.

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