Hey All, i'm new to Pinside and i'm loving the forums. A little about myself. I'm a 36 year old father of a 4 year old girl and a 3 year old boy. I spent a lot of my youth in arcades and grew up playing Cyclone and then my favorite pin, Phantom of the Opera. I played other pins back then like Comet, High Speed, Adams Family, and others but none of them really captivated me like Cyclone and POTO. During college I drifted away from pinball and really got into Fighting games. Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat took up all of my time.
I have been a Correction Officer for NYS Dept of Corrections for 13 years now and once I started that job I got sucked into MMO Gaming. Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, Star Wars Galaxies, and WoW managed to suck me in for about 12 years. My wife has always been a computer gamer and played with me, but she has never touched a pin in her life.
This past year I really got sick of MMO gaming and dealing with most of the people that come with that type of gaming. Lots of kids or just plain rude adults that find the internet as a place that they think they just be a douche and get away with it! Early this spring I decided it was time to find a hobby that let me get away from my computer more and do something productive. I started buying mid 80s-90s Jukeboxes that were beat after decades in a bar, gutting them, restoring the cabinets, and converting them to digital widescreen or touchscreen jukeboxes. I just sold my first one yesterday which has actually lit a fire under me to finish my 2nd one and get working on some others.
My search for a new hobby has actually brought me back to my old love of pinball. My best friend from childhood is one of the few I still keep in touch with and he has remained fully rooted in his love of pinball. He has a small collection of 4 games and has been trying for years to get me back into it. I wanted a hobby that would actually let me socialize with my friends again and could include my wife and kids, so here I am.
My jukebox projects are going to fund my Pin collection and I plan to pickup my first pin within a month or two. POTO was my favorite growing up. I loved the theme, the music, the fast multiball play. It was just a fun game. My fear now though is that after playing my friend's LOTR that it will just pale for me. I love everything about LOTR. I installed Visual Pinball so I could try out a couple tables to get an idea for their play and I already know that I WILL own Indiana Jones the Adventure as well as LOTR.
So what approach have you guys taken to collecting? I am near Syracuse NY so I have been scouring upstate NY craigslist as well as Vermont where my brother lives. I have seen pricing all over the board so I really don't know where to begin. I know the pins I really want (IJ/LOTR) are going to run me 4-5k so would I be better off just picking up games I can find under 1k and beginning a collection? My friend picked up his LOTR last year for 2k and last time I played it (a year ago) it looked great to me. I wasn't looking at it as a collector then but it played fine and I don't remember any issues with it. So is it possible to find deals like that or was he just extremely lucky? Also what is a good going rate for a decent POTO?
Anyways, sorry for the wall of text. Just wanted to introduce myself and say hi.