(Topic ID: 50205)

Need Advice ASAP! About to Make My First Purchase Ever (EM)


By Frankenator

6 years ago



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  • 23 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by Craig
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    #1 6 years ago

    I have a local with a 1977 Liberty Bell machine that's been in a family for 30 years (never an arcade game) it's in full working order with "some faded paint and has a few scratches on exterior cabinet but playfield and back board look good for its age."

    I can't afford a DMD yet, and he is willing to sell for $500 which is $50 more than my current budget. This machine is hard to find any good price comps on... looking for quick advice I think I will have to move on this soon. Here are the two photos he could send me from his phone. Any input is GREATLY appreciated I'm 100% new to this hobby, and I want something that I could resell in the future for AT LEAST what I put into it.

    IMG958910.jpg IMG954004.jpg

    #2 6 years ago

    $500 for a working Liberty Bell is just about right. Not expensive but not a bargain either.

    If you like the machine, go for it!

    #3 6 years ago

    ... also, $377 is the average price that Liberty Bell's sold for in the past 5 years on Ebay.

    Given this is working and advertised as an HUO, $500 keeps sounding even better.

    #4 6 years ago

    As Pismo Arcade said, it's sounds like a fair price.

    I think there are quite a few comparable EMs you could probably get for $500, so make sure you find it fun to play. Condition is key regarding value and you can't tell much from the photos.

    Make sure everything is working, ie. the game starts and scores correctly for both players. Generally, I've found that if an EM is working, it stays working as long as it's played.

    Take a close look at the playfield to see if there is much wear down to the wood, bad touch-ups or planking (fine cracks that follow the grain).

    Worn rubber is not a problem as you can get a complete rubber ring kit for about $20.

    Take a close look at the backglass for paint flaking or bad touch-ups.

    Good Luck

    #5 6 years ago
    Quoted from PismoArcade:

    $500 for a working Liberty Bell is just about right. Not expensive but not a bargain either.

    What he said. Not a screaming great deal, but not unreasonable.

    #6 6 years ago
    Quoted from PismoArcade:

    ... also, $377 is the average price that Liverty Bell's sold for in the past 5 years on Ebay.
    Given this is working and advertised as an HUO, $500 keeps sounding even better.

    It might be HUO but I've learned to take this with a grain of salt. People mean well but are usually mistaken, often just repeating what they were told when they bought the machine.

    Condition is everything. Even if a machine was HUO but was stored in a bad environment, it could be in very poor condition.

    The photo shows that all the paint around the start button has been worn away, so it's probably seen a lot of plays.

    #7 6 years ago

    Also, to get an idea of how worn the game is, look at the areas on the playfield where the ball hits the playfield after being kicked out by the saucers. Also look at the top arch (where the ball gets shot onto the playfield) for a groove.

    If these areas haven't been touched up and look good, the machine has either not had many plays or has been taken care of.

    #8 6 years ago

    Thanks for all of the helpful input! I am hopefully going to be able to play on it tonight and give it a thorough inspection. I've already read the pinrepair site about EM components... and now this. My ADD can't help but search around before pulling the trigger and there is a Demolition Man fairly close to me for $1250 (waiting to hear back on details regarding the condition). Much more than I want to spend now but my thinking is that there might be more POTENTIAL resale value if I refurbish/rebuild the DM (and a much more in depth play experience).

    On one hand I'm thinking I can get started "old school" and work my way into DMD... on the other hand I'm always thinking bang for my buck and could justify spending more if the dollars spent are leveraged better... make sense? I'm so glad this community exists... ultimately the decision is mine based on what I see and play, but I appreciate the experience and insight offered that can be helpful guidance to me.

    #9 6 years ago

    DM is fun, if there are no major issues, you should get it!

    #10 6 years ago

    Fun machine and not a bad price considering the condition. I would not look at this machine as an investment, since you will probably only get out what you put in it or possibly less. Good luck.

    #11 6 years ago

    banana are you talking about the Liberty Bell? This is why the DM might tip me over it seems to have more investment potential.

    #12 6 years ago

    I would say the DM is a better value if it's in decent condition. If it's not, your sweat equity will reap bigger rewards.

    I don't know that the EM will help much in "working" your way into a DMD, other than getting some experience adjusting slingshot switches and flippers and maybe replacing a coil. They are really very different animals.

    That said, as far as play goes, I really like some of the EMs. Seems like people are clamoring for fast games with short ball times these days. I haven't played alot of the Williams EMs, but I think they have pretty strong flippers, so they might give you that. Someone can correct me if I'm mistaken.

    #13 6 years ago
    Quoted from Jvspin:

    That said, as far as play goes, I really like some of the EMs. Seems like people are clamoring for fast games with short ball times these days. I haven't played alot of the Williams EMs, but I think they have pretty strong flippers, so they might give you that. Someone can correct me if I'm mistaken.

    You are correct. Williams EMs from this era are generally fast. Liberty Bell is essentially Grand Prix with different art and no in lanes. Fast game with a very satisfying spinner shot. Should be a fun one if you decide to go that route. $500 could probably be recouped down the road if maintained properly.

    If your looking for an investment opportunity you should probably pass. If you looking for a game you can have fun with essentially for free after you resell then go for it.
    Alex

    #14 6 years ago

    There is a guy near you who refurbed a DM and made it real nice. I think he's on here too. His name is Bob M. If you are on Facebook you should join our local group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pinvid/

    $1250 is a real good price for a DM if it's in decent condition. I wouldn't even think about buying an EM, but that's just me. Too boring and slow for my taste. Some people love them though. Depends on what you grew up with I guess. If you've played mostly SS and DMD's in the past I don't think you'd like an EM. There's a reason they are relatively cheap.

    #15 6 years ago

    I'm doing what I can to increase my budget comfortably so I can go DMD instead of EM (amazing what I'm suddenly willing to sell to make this happen sooner than later - speaking of which I have a really nice Fender California Fat Telecaster if anyone here is shopping for a really nice guitar). DMD is advancing as the winner as I examine my personality and tendencies and desires for my first buy. The more I thought about it an EM machine will probably never get my adrenaline going like the buildup to completing a difficult mode or a hurry up or skill shot, etc. on a DMD (and the accompanying sounds and light show vs chimes - you all know what I'm talking about - nothing wrong with EM just realizing my personal preference now that it comes to putting down more than quarters).

    That being said I'm all ears if anyone knows of an unlisted machine that is around that $1000 to $1250 price range as long as it functions okay I'm glad to save some money initially and rehab the machine to make it as new as possible again.

    #16 6 years ago

    I'd say get what you will most enjoy playing and don't let resale be a major consideration. If you like it enough, you won't want to resell it, at least for quite some time.

    #17 6 years ago

    I'm sure most of us remember a time when we couldn't wait to purchase our first machine and bought the first one we saw, only to later regret it and wish we waited.

    Take your time and don't buy something just to buy it.

    #18 6 years ago

    What PismoArcade said!

    #19 6 years ago

    Thanks everyone - I'm trying my best to be patient and wise about this... all of the input is really helpful. I'd rather be on the patient and picky side than to rush into something that could be less than ideal both enjoyment wise and financially. This has really helped me not be in the "forcing the issue" mode like I was even just yesterday. I'm doing my best to manage my enthusiasm I didn't expect this to be such a big deal but there's just that "something" about pinball.

    #20 6 years ago

    OK so DM is gone found out through another Pinsider. Did find this - waiting for photos it's probably around an hour drive for me to see it:

    Bad Cats, 1989 Williams: 1500.00
    For sale is my bad cats pinball machine. It is in overall excellent condition. It has been home used since 1990. No cabinet fade. All original boards. Playfield and ramps are in excellent condition. No hacks on boards. The only negative to the game is that it is missing some background music. I do not know if it is a ribbon cable or sound ROM. Backglass is perfect. Display is in very good condition.

    It's hard to find good comps for this machine I don't know if I can talk him down to where I would want the price to be - closer to $1000-1250 range. Anyone know what a fair price for this might be? (I know it's system 11 single ball but the upside is my two daughters are cray for cats this would go a long way in the "whole family" enjoyment category)

    #21 6 years ago

    Question:

    Have you ever played "Bad Cats"?

    #22 6 years ago
    Quoted from PismoArcade:

    Question:
    Have you ever played "Bad Cats"?

    Zero plays. Just video footage from online. I don't want to waste time on the forums with every little thing that pops up, so I think I'm going to wait, watch, play some more machines, save my money so I don't have to bottom feed and then go shopping with a better plan. I just have to fight that urge/impulse that wants something RIGHT NOW. There's been great help from everyone thank you all who have contributed!

    #23 6 years ago
    Quoted from Frankenator:

    I just have to fight that urge/impulse that wants something RIGHT NOW.

    Yup. I think many of us regret that we didn't make a better informed first purchase. I like my first pin, but for the same amount of money I definitely could have gotten something better. As one of my friends reminds me, "Education is expensive."

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