I haven’t been in the hobby all that long, and frankly don’t know that much about Pinball machines yet. But what I’ve found so far in my own collection is interesting and I’m wondering how far it goes or have I just been lucky to stumble upon it:
My first machine was Spy Hunter. Through my research of the machine and maintenance I discovered that it has an identical twin: Saturn 2. Saturn 2 is apparently a “Conversion” kit, does this mean that it’s a new/different machine, or that distributors simply re-branded the same machine? There were 2,300 Spy Hunters produced, 1,200 Saturn 2’s, but basically there are 3,500 of the same machine, just some have a different title and graphics. The two machines, aside from title and theme, play exactly the same. But cost is a little different, Spy Hunter goes for about 1k, Saturn 2 about half that, if you can find it. Aside from name recognition, is there any other difference?
My second machine was Jungle Princess. This is the 2-Player version of Jungle Queen. Identical games as far as I know, Princess typically sells for less than the Queen, due to the extra player options. About 3x as many Queens were made.
My next machine that I prepped for a relative was a 1969 Post Time. This is the Add-a-ball version of Paddock, which plays the same but is set to replay and has slightly different (lower) scoring. Both sold about 2,000 units, with pricing about the same, but Paddock appears to be more common to find today.
The next machine I got (again for a relative) was a 1970 Baseball. Fun game, and there is an add-a-ball version called Batter Up.
My latest machine that I’m still working on is Super Star. It looks like there is an add-a-ball version called Big Star.
This knowledge would be useful in finding parts, or if you can’t find the one machine you want it may give you another machine to target. Or just get the cheaper of the two machines where possible to save some $$$.
Is this common, are all machines pretty much paired with another similar machine? And if so did this stop at some point (maybe with DMDs)?
Just curious as my entire collection appears to have twins.