(Topic ID: 300388)

Looking to buy my first pin and could use some guidance!

By Greenfun13

13 days ago


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  • 24 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 12 days ago by jgreene
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 13 days ago

Hi everyone, first time posting on here! (sorry in advance for the long winded first post!)

My parents bought a Pin*Bot way back in 1991 and I have been playing it ever since. However, they are getting ready to move out of state and I realized that I wont get to play it nearly as often.

Guess it is time to start my own collection!

I heard about the auction in Banning, CA and even registered thinking I might be able to snag a good deal (HA!) but as we all know, the prices are out of this world..

I thought it would be appropriate to start with the second title in the Pin*Bot series. I found a (heavily played) BoP locally at a Round Table Pizza and spent about 30 minutes playing it. It was fun and strikes a lot of the same nostalgic cords that Pin*Bot does. It might have been the outgassing display (couldn't read my score) or the fact that it was my first time playing it, so I didn't know all the tricks to the gameplay, but it didn't seem *as fun* as the original..

This Friday I plan on heading down to Pinball Wizards in Paramount, CA where they have a BoP in good condition (also for sale) and put some more time on it before deciding. They also have a few other titles i'll check out while I am there.

If BoP doesn't float my boat here are some other titles that grab my attention:

TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY
STAR TREK (PRO)
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION (I hear these require a lot of maintenance?)
HIGH SPEED
THE GETAWAY: HIGH SPEED II
STARGATE
TALES FROM THE CRYPT
RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

I have read some other post on what to look for when buying used, but was wondering if there is anything specific about the BoP that I should know? That spinning head seems like it could be a problem area?

Lastly, in your opinion, how close should someone's asking price be to Pinsides Estimated Value?

Thanks in advance!

#2 13 days ago

start with a Star Trek Pro.
Lots of challenge with good flow.
plus Stern games of that era are bullet-proof.

#3 13 days ago

I’ve owned 2 Star Trek pros. Great layout and fun game with 3 flippers. Very reliable modern game. Lots of used games Available or You could possibly even still find one new in box with a distributor.

#4 13 days ago

As a younger veteran in this hobby I will give you this advice. There is no perfect pin. All pinball is fun. Some games will last a few month and some a few years. Keep it fresh and switch pins out when your not playing them a lot. If money is no object then start collecting the ones you love. Just know that even the ones you love will eventually become dust collectors. This is a super fun hobby to get started in. You can start with a few thousand, purchase a nice clean game and play it until it becomes dull/unchallenging. Then sell it (around what you paid or more with the appreciation these days) and get another. I would look at a few and buy the one you can get the best deal on.

Right now value is through the roof. This hobby keeps growing and pins seem to be getting more and more expensive as the years go on.

#5 13 days ago

I appreciate the replies!

I wish money was no object, but unfortunately, it very much is.. I know I have more expensive titles listed above (its just a wish list), but I was hoping I could find my first pin for under $3,000 to start, but that is looking like less of a reality the more I look. Part of my concern is that the Banning auction prices are going to continue to drive the used prices even higher..

Is now a good time to try and score one, or should I hold off until things cool down? (will they cool down?)

#6 13 days ago
Quoted from Greenfun13:

I appreciate the replies!
I wish money was no object, but unfortunately, it very much is.. I know I have more expensive titles listed above (its just a wish list), but I was hoping I could find my first pin for under $3,000 to start, but that is looking like less of a reality the more I look. Part of my concern is that the Banning auction prices are going to continue to drive the used prices even higher..
Is now a good time to try and score one, or should I hold off until things cool down? (will they cool down?)

You check out the norcal pinside thread? Just missed a T2 for 2k.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/nor-cal-pinheads-thread/page/141#post-6494192

#7 13 days ago

Patience is the key. I scan CL, FB market Place, Pinside & eBay daily. Good deals do come along fairly often. Buying from a reputable shop usually means the machine is in good working order. Buying direct can yield a better deal, but take your time and check over the pin carefully.

-1
#8 13 days ago

ST Pro is my all time favorite pin, can't lose!

#9 12 days ago

Guidance on your first pin purchase? Just pick any which one. It won’t end there, you'll be getting more anyway!

#10 12 days ago
Quoted from Greenfun13:

Hi everyone, first time posting on here! (sorry in advance for the long winded first post!)
My parents bought a Pin*Bot way back in 1991 and I have been playing it ever since. However, they are getting ready to move out of state and I realized that I wont get to play it nearly as often.
Guess it is time to start my own collection!
I heard about the auction in Banning, CA and even registered thinking I might be able to snag a good deal (HA!) but as we all know, the prices are out of this world..
I thought it would be appropriate to start with the second title in the Pin*Bot series. I found a (heavily played) BoP locally at a Round Table Pizza and spent about 30 minutes playing it. It was fun and strikes a lot of the same nostalgic cords that Pin*Bot does. It might have been the outgassing display (couldn't read my score) or the fact that it was my first time playing it, so I didn't know all the tricks to the gameplay, but it didn't seem *as fun* as the original..
This Friday I plan on heading down to Pinball Wizards in Paramount, CA where they have a BoP in good condition (also for sale) and put some more time on it before deciding. They also have a few other titles i'll check out while I am there.
If BoP doesn't float my boat here are some other titles that grab my attention:
TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY
STAR TREK (PRO)
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION (I hear these require a lot of maintenance?)
HIGH SPEED
THE GETAWAY: HIGH SPEED II
STARGATE
TALES FROM THE CRYPT
RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!
I have read some other post on what to look for when buying used, but was wondering if there is anything specific about the BoP that I should know? That spinning head seems like it could be a problem area?
Lastly, in your opinion, how close should someone's asking price be to Pinsides Estimated Value?
Thanks in advance!

Bride of Pinbot is a great game, but I would not pay big money for it. I used to love this game when it first came out. I owned one in the 90's for a couple of years and then another one recently. I was thinking about keeping it but after a week of play I got bored of it. It became to easy of a game for me. In this game it's all about the head. Once you get to the final stage of the head and keep doing that game after game it kind of loses its excitement. The center ramp always wants to crack at the entrance when the ball makes its first right turn . I had to replace both ramps on the one I had in the 90's since they were so cracked up. The head on my second one needed to be repaired. Even though Pinbot is not on my radar I think I would prefer to have a Pinbot in my collection over Bride. As others stated patience is the key. Anyone can go out a buy a game today but that does not mean they got a good condition game or paid a good price. For me it's all about the find. I have been collecting since the 80's and all of the many games I have in my personal collection were all finds. I never went out a just bought the game I wanted because there is one listed for sale at that time. The price is always been the number one factor when buying a game. I am always looking for the game that is priced as low as possible for a good condition game. If a game is over priced then I will pass and I wait for the right deal to arrive later on. I really enjoy the hunt more than anything. For me it adds so much more satisfaction that you find the game you want, in the condition that works for you and that it was at a smoking price. The Pinside Estimated Price is a good source to start. If you are looking for just a good original working Pin then I would stay near that estimated price as much as possible. I have owned all of the games you have listed. For me High Speed and T2 still hold up the best for me today.

#11 12 days ago

Aww man! I have been watching the Official California For Sale Club... but not the Nor cal one... I better check around for a SoCal one.

Quoted from Vonbaronmattso:

Patience is the key. I scan CL, FB market Place, Pinside & eBay daily. Good deals do come along fairly often. Buying from a reputable shop usually means the machine is in good working order. Buying direct can yield a better deal, but take your time and check over the pin carefully.

When I set my mind to wanting something I turn into a one track mind, haha. I have multiple tabs open dedicated to each individual site now, all I have to do is refresh the pages. Hopefully nothing slips by me now!

#12 12 days ago
Quoted from FIREPOWER1980:

Bride of Pinbot is a great game, but I would not pay big money for it. I used to love this game when it first came out. I owned one in the 90's for a couple of years and then another one recently. I was thinking about keeping it but after a week of play I got bored of it. It became to easy of a game for me. In this game it's all about the head. Once you get to the final stage of the head and keep doing that game after game it kind of loses its excitement. The center ramp always wants to crack at the entrance when the ball makes its first right turn . I had to replace both ramps on the one I had in the 90's since they were so cracked up. The head on my second one needed to be repaired. Even though Pinbot is not on my radar I think I would prefer to have a Pinbot in my collection over Bride. As others stated patience is the key. Anyone can go out a buy a game today but that does not mean they got a good condition game or paid a good price. For me it's all about the find. I have been collecting since the 80's and all of the many games I have in my personal collection were all finds. I never went out a just bought the game I wanted because there is one listed for sale at that time. The price is always been the number one factor when buying a game. I am always looking for the game that is priced as low as possible for a good condition game. If a game is over priced then I will pass and I wait for the right deal to arrive later on. I really enjoy the hunt more than anything. For me it adds so much more satisfaction that you find the game you want, in the condition that works for you and that it was at a smoking price. The Pinside Estimated Price is a good source to start. If you are looking for just a good original working Pin then I would stay near that estimated price as much as possible. I have owned all of the games you have listed. For me High Speed and T2 still hold up the best for me today.

Thank you for this detailed post, I think you sum it up very well.

I grew up always wanting to play BoP, but never had the opportunity to until recently. I think I set the bar too high in my head maybe? Don't get me wrong, I had a blast playing it and will probably go back and play it some more, but it didn't give me that same 'feeling' Pin*Bot does when I fire it up to play. Maybe because I grew up with PinBot? Either way, in my current house I only have room for a single machine (don't worry, there will be more in the future!) so I need to make sure it's one that keeps me hooked. I haven't written BoP off quite yet, but I am quickly getting over the idea of owning one. Plus, the one I was interested in was going for $3,800 firm.. (Good deal, bad deal?)

And that brings me to my next question. How do I know if I am getting a good deal, what would be the best way to compare it to a previous sale? When it comes to cars, this is no problem for me! However, I feel a bit lost here..

As far as T2, growing up, that was my #1 favorite movie, by far. I even used to think that Arnold sang Bad to the Bone. Hahhaha! I also got to play the T2 pin quite a bit as a young kid when we would go on vacation (they always had it at the hotel we stayed at in Laughlin, NV). I need to play it again now that I am all grown up, but I think its one that I would LOVE to have, if nothing else for how big of a T2 (and T1) fan I am. There is one "fully restored" up in northern CA going for $6,500 (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2393756207548566/permalink/3100719276852252/?sale_post_id=3100719276852252). That seems like a lot, but also kinda seems like maybe its a good deal considering its a full resto...? But then I see someone just sold a T2 in players condition going for $2k...

I have a LOT to learn! I am not in a rush to buy something right away, I'll to take my time and wait for something that calls my name.

Thanks again for everyone that has chimed in so far! This forum already feels like a good one, with good supporting members. Seems like that is getting harder and harder to find nowadays, so I really appreciate it!

#13 12 days ago
Quoted from Xtraball:

Guidance on your first pin purchase? Just pick any which one. It won’t end there, you'll be getting more anyway!

So true. Make a few mistakes and learn from them. On a tight budget though, don’t let your child on Christmas night excitement get the best of you.

Getaway would be a great first pin. They made a lot of those. I love the BoP sounds and theme, but the game play of Getaway holds me longer.

#14 12 days ago

My problem with bop gameplay is the left ramp gets worn out and the rest of the pf is pristine

#15 12 days ago

Buy games based on playability, not theme alone. In your price range I would seek out a Baywatch. Absolutely amazing game for the money.

#16 12 days ago

Agree with the above…patience is key. If you set out to buy a game on your trip to Pinball Wizards, you’ll likely make an emotional purchase (I really want a game) rather than an informed purchase (the game is worth the money and is in good working condition).

If you have local places with pins, go often and play to find what types of games you like. Join a league if that’s an option. Get to know others in the area who are in the hobby. They can be a great resource for questions and leads on games. They can let you know reputable (and more importantly the not-so-reputable) sellers in the area. May even meet folks who would go with you to look for issues with a potential purchase.

Another piece of advice would be to also budget for tools and parts. You didn’t mention how the parents’ PinBot was serviced, but if you aren’t familiar with pinball repair, you will be. This site is a great resource to help troubleshoot problems, but you will need tools beyond screwdrivers, like a voltmeter and decent soldering iron.

And be prepared for your second game sooner than you might think.

#17 12 days ago
Quoted from Vonbaronmattso:

So true. Make a few mistakes and learn from them. On a tight budget though, don’t let your child on Christmas night excitement get the best of you.
Getaway would be a great first pin. They made a lot of those. I love the BoP sounds and theme, but the game play of Getaway holds me longer.

From the gameplay I've watched, I think I'd like Getaway quite a bit, but what's a reasonable asking price? I see them listed from $3,800 - $15k... Also, how much better is Getaway than the original High Speed?

When I got off work today I went to the nearest location where I could play Sterns Star Trek (Pro), as talked about above. What a blast, so much going on! My first couple games I was lost! Was able to rack up 57 million before I left (no idea if that's good, but 3rd place was 65m. I felt pretty good about myself all things considered haha)

But I also see how Bride of Pinbot is considered "boring" in comparison to ST.. There is definitely a LOT more depth to the newer games.

However, there's something about the glow and old school feel of an old Williams.. It's comforting and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Oh man... I see how this becomes addicting..

#18 12 days ago
Quoted from MRudowsky:

Agree with the above…patience is key. If you set out to buy a game on your trip to Pinball Wizards, you’ll likely make an emotional purchase (I really want a game) rather than an informed purchase (the game is worth the money and is in good working condition).
If you have local places with pins, go often and play to find what types of games you like. Join a league if that’s an option. Get to know others in the area who are in the hobby. They can be a great resource for questions and leads on games. They can let you know reputable (and more importantly the not-so-reputable) sellers in the area. May even meet folks who would go with you to look for issues with a potential purchase.
Another piece of advice would be to also budget for tools and parts. You didn’t mention how the parents’ PinBot was serviced, but if you aren’t familiar with pinball repair, you will be. This site is a great resource to help troubleshoot problems, but you will need tools beyond screwdrivers, like a voltmeter and decent soldering iron.
And be prepared for your second game sooner than you might think.

I am definitely not going to rush into a purchase. I want to make a confident decision when the time comes. I also plan on playing whatever game I THINK I want to buy extensively before purchasing, if possible anyways.

Now that I found Pinball Map I have a lot of stops to make! Super cool resource to have at our disposal.

I would love to join a league or find other local people to hang out with, I will be doing research on the subject.

As far as repairs, I was raised with the mentality: "if you can pay someone to do it, you can do it yourself". And I do. From laying tile to rebuilding engines, if I can, I do it myself. With that said, our PinBot has been incredibly reliable. Only thing we have had to replace through the years has been the displays, flipper solenoids, and a few bulbs. Kind of amazing, but also neglectful now that I'm thinking of it.. As long as I have the proper information to make a repair, the work itself does not intimidate me.

#19 12 days ago
Quoted from Greenfun13:

... how much better is Getaway than the original High Speed?

It's not inherently better. I prefer the original, though could understand wanting a DMD for a first game, and Getaway does have the neat gimmick with the supercharger loop.

Another worthless opinion of mine is that the original Black Knight is better than BK2 or BK3, but the point would be that fancier gizmos and screens, or higher price points, don't always equal more fun/lastability.

#20 12 days ago

You want a good bang for your buck game that will also meet your Arnold needs. Last action hero. Lots of stuff to do on it, data east games are great for first pins in general. My wife wanted a LAH so she just went and bought one about 16 months ago, I tinker with it.

I continue to do the buy add cash trade up game as far as my personal game, started from a EM, fixed it, sold it, added cash, got a gottlieb system 3, fixed it sold it added cash got a stern spiderman, upgraded it, traded and added cash for a NIB iron maiden, if you don't have income to throw around, you are gonna have to play the long game when it comes to getting what you want.

But if your working with 3k give or take... Do yourself a favor and look at data east games ( Jurassic park, star wars, LAH, lethal weapon, tales from the crypt) they are going up, but are a great bang for buck IMO, but a great way to learn on modern era games. Hell data east turned into stern eventually.

#21 12 days ago
Quoted from Medisinyl:

It's not inherently better. I prefer the original, though could understand wanting a DMD for a first game, and Getaway does have the neat gimmick with the supercharger loop.

Really funny I stumbled on this post because I literally was just looking for a way to get a mod from you, check your PMs.. or don't.. either way. Love your work!!!

#22 12 days ago

And something I had to tell my self that I'll tell you even though today's market is different. when you buy a game, play it, and eventually get bored and wanna change up your line up. When you sell the game, if you take a loss, don't get bummed out, I always told myself if I ended up losing a few hundred dollars, but I played the game for months or years, that money I lost was the price to enjoy the game for the time I had it. But today's market as long as your smart and dont pay more than what something is worth, your all good.

When you buy your game, be smart, buy decent or better condition, take care of it, fix any issues it has, clean it up wax it, upgrade/mod it if you want, and A number 1, enjoy having it, not just playing it but enjoy the whole process, the tinkering and the cleaning, and the maintence. Thats my two cents.

#23 12 days ago
Quoted from Greenfun13:

Thank you for this detailed post, I think you sum it up very well.
I grew up always wanting to play BoP, but never had the opportunity to until recently. I think I set the bar too high in my head maybe? Don't get me wrong, I had a blast playing it and will probably go back and play it some more, but it didn't give me that same 'feeling' Pin*Bot does when I fire it up to play. Maybe because I grew up with PinBot? Either way, in my current house I only have room for a single machine (don't worry, there will be more in the future!) so I need to make sure it's one that keeps me hooked. I haven't written BoP off quite yet, but I am quickly getting over the idea of owning one. Plus, the one I was interested in was going for $3,800 firm.. (Good deal, bad deal?)
And that brings me to my next question. How do I know if I am getting a good deal, what would be the best way to compare it to a previous sale? When it comes to cars, this is no problem for me! However, I feel a bit lost here..
As far as T2, growing up, that was my #1 favorite movie, by far. I even used to think that Arnold sang Bad to the Bone. Hahhaha! I also got to play the T2 pin quite a bit as a young kid when we would go on vacation (they always had it at the hotel we stayed at in Laughlin, NV). I need to play it again now that I am all grown up, but I think its one that I would LOVE to have, if nothing else for how big of a T2 (and T1) fan I am. There is one "fully restored" up in northern CA going for $6,500 (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2393756207548566/permalink/3100719276852252/?sale_post_id=3100719276852252). That seems like a lot, but also kinda seems like maybe its a good deal considering its a full resto...? But then I see someone just sold a T2 in players condition going for $2k...
I have a LOT to learn! I am not in a rush to buy something right away, I'll to take my time and wait for something that calls my name.
Thanks again for everyone that has chimed in so far! This forum already feels like a good one, with good supporting members. Seems like that is getting harder and harder to find nowadays, so I really appreciate it!

To me I think BOP is a $3k or less game which is also the Pinside Average. It's a game that will get old after a while since it's mainly based on one shot. I think there are better games that are above the $3k mark. Prices are going to vary based on playfield condition, cabinet condition, shopped or not, and how mechanical sound the overall game is. For me the best way to compare a good deal is just look to see what is the Estimated Price is on Pinside or look back at the ones that actually sold on Pinside minus the overly modded out over priced games unless that is what you prefer. For me I just like a good condition factory game. I don't need any mods or extras to enjoy the game more. In most cases for me these sort of extra items are more annoying when it comes to playing them unless it make a tasteful improvement like a color DMD. I am more interested in playing a good working clean survivor than having a overpriced museum looking piece of art. I think you would enjoy T2 more. it's very fast, great flow, good action, has a video mode, the gun shot is excellent, and has a lot of different things to do on it instead of just one thing. Plus its a DMD game and all of these will have a Diamond Plate Playfield. T2 is a game that was very fun for me when it came out and still holds up excellent today. This title will not break the bank. You can still find some good prices on T2 but it's always best to look around on other sources as well to find them.

#24 12 days ago

T2 has some fun aspects but it’s not great. (I’ve owned one previously)

It’s fast and can be tough at times. But the rules are pretty shallow to the point I felt I was continuously shooting to start multiball.

As others said Star Trek is a much better game (both versions). Both will be more entertaining as a single game collection.

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