(Topic ID: 137509)

New to Pinball... I'm in love... Now I want one!


By S2005

4 years ago



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  • 128 posts
  • 73 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by saford
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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There are 128 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
14
#1 4 years ago

So, it's been about a month. A few friends of mine had been begging me to go with them to a friends house and play pinball...

I'm 29. I've grown up with consoles, and PC gaming... I kept making up excuses to not go, and blowing them off...

I finally go... and I played for 10 straight hours... I then begged to go back every weekend since then...

I'd have to chalk it down to the guy hosting... first, he's just a really cool dude... he has a TON of similar hobbies/interests, and just a genuinely interesting guy...

He had 6 pins set up ready to play for us. 2 Indiana Jones (Old and New) Star Trek: TNG, Star Trek (Newer Stern), Tron, and Star Wars. I was in nerd heaven... the theme of those pins got me very excited...

I started off, not even breaking a million. I was terrible. (I'm still bad) but I was able to wizard Star Trek the other night. I think I'm in love with that machine the most... it's just pure great. (I think his is the Premium edition).

I'm sure it leads to the same place for everyone... now I want one...

I want to buy that same Star Trek machine... but I feel like it would be redundant since he has one... He and a few of his buddies have put together a pretty great Pinball/Arcade club locally, and I've got to meet a lot of great folks, and play on some cool machines!

I've got around $2000 I can spend right now on one, so obviously that knocks Star Trek off. I could save and get it in a couple months though.

I've been looking at a few others, and I just wanted to post here and get some input from some folks that probably know a lot more than I do on the subject...

I've been looking at Stargate, Goldeneye, and Hook... There's a local guy with a Jurassic Park but he's asking $26xx for it and I didn't particularly enjoy playing it (nor do I have that much to spend at the moment)...

I'm strongly considering taking out a loan and just getting the Stern Star Trek... (If I can find one!)

Oh, probably should give geographical location... Gulf Coast (Mississippi, Alabama, NW Florida area)

TLDR: I wanna buy my first pinball machine! I need advice!

#2 4 years ago

Welcome to the addiction. There are lots of great pins you can still find in the $2000 range. I would see if there are any more out on location around you and get a better idea of what you like.

#3 4 years ago

Do not buy pinball machines on a loan. They're expensive toys and going into debt for one that you might want to swap out in a year is a bad idea.

Honestly Jurassic Park is a great game IMHO. I think $2600 is very high for that title. I think $1,500 - $2,200 is the going rate dependnig on condition. JP has a strong shot layout, cool features, holds its value well, and is deep enough for a first pin that you can really enjoy it.

For $2,000 there are a lot of nice System 11 games. Also for $2,000 in some parts of the country you can get No Fear, which is a really great game for the value.

#4 4 years ago

Welcome.
I have a Star Trek and love it as well. You can get a NIB pro model of that game for around $4800 shipped to your door.
However, I would not take a loan to get a pinball game. Just save up and get what you want then.
Or if you just can't wait then get an older game that you enjoy playing.

#5 4 years ago

You have not been exposed to everything yet. Play more games first and find out what types you like. There is also a difference in games that are fun when played alone and some more when played multiplayer.

You're new, don't jump too quick.

#6 4 years ago

Thanks for the replies! So fast!

Meph, thank you for the welcome! Glad to hear that there are some good ones in my price range! I've been playing a few... I think I've gotten to play about 15 different machines in my first month?

Spiderman, Gorgar, Jurassic Park, No Fear, Johnny Mnemonic, Junk Yard, Big Guns, Demolition Man, Getaway, Indiana Jones (old), Indiana Jones (newer), Star Trek: TNG, Star Trek (new stern), Tron, Star Wars... That's all I can remember right now...

Richthofen, yeah I'd like to avoid the loan... and that puts my budget at $2000. I'll have to look up what "System 11" means... I'm still quite new to this. I got to play a NoFear this past Saturday! It was a very fun machine!

I've just gotta find one in my price range, somewhere decently local!

#7 4 years ago

2 k should get you a Judge Dredd, Johnny mnemonic, Demolition man, black knight 2000, whirlwind, earthshaker, sometimes a fishtales or the shadow (needing work). You have options for some serious titles.

Or let your friend but the high end pins a pic up some early 80s classics.

#8 4 years ago

Thanks also Arcade, and Taxman!

Arcade, I've heard the Pro model is quite lacking compared to the premium... Doesn't matter anyway, I can't afford either heh.

#9 4 years ago
#10 4 years ago

I wish someone told me the following before I purchased my first: Once you get one, you're gonna want a second.

#11 4 years ago

Buy a $2K game from the 'Bang for your buck' list. Disregard the theme... Johnny Mnemonic, Stargate, whatever.

While you play the crap out of that one and learn how to dial-in/fix/fine-tune, build your funds for either another game or sell the current game and buy a more expensive game.

Finally, search the threads here for great advice. Have fun!

#12 4 years ago
Quoted from S2005:

Thanks also Arcade, and Taxman!
Arcade, I've heard the Pro model is quite lacking compared to the premium... Doesn't matter anyway, I can't afford either heh.

Don't let the Pro vs Premium/LE debate steer you away from some great machines either. There is a lot of great information on these forums as well as a lot of people who have nothing better to do with their money. There are a lot of great Pro machines out there. I own a Metallica Pro and it's probably Stern's most full featured Pro out there. It's missing the color changing lighting, the hammer, and spinners, but it's also one fast playing awesome machine. If you are made of money then by all means snatch up every LE you can get. If you aren't then think about the couple of Pro machines you can buy for that same money. They might not be exactly the same but it doesn't mean they aren't great machines.

#13 4 years ago

This is what happens when generations grow up without real arcades. Our OP also fits the demographic that my local pinball gallery owner says comes into his place...Millennials tired of consoles wanting something different. The other of course is us older group that grew up in arcades.

OP...don't take out a loan.

#14 4 years ago

I also wouldn't recommend a project for your first pin. Some people might disagree but get something that is working properly. Play the hell out of it and maintain it. Learn little repairs as they come up. A big project could be very discouraging when you don't know what you are doing yet and don't have another machine to play while you are working on it. Ease yourself into the hobby with something that works and you can enjoy.

#15 4 years ago

Starting out I suggest you buy a working pin. You dont have to pay a crazy amount. You can get a mid 80s williams pin (sys 11) in your price range and have a blast.

I bought a project (non-working) as my first pin, but it was quite a learning experience...and my wife nearly killed me. It happened to be a Stargate. I stupidly traded it and then bought another. It will never leave.

Dont rush the pirchase and look around. We will all be glad to help you decide if you are getting a fair price or not, help you repair, etc. In the meantime play as many as you can. Nobody but you can decide what you like.
Good luck and welcome to the support group!

#16 4 years ago

I agree with the others about not buying a project as your first pin...unless the deal is insane. . My first was a routed T2 which worked fine for about a month and then developed the WPC (the operating system for all those Bally/Williams games from the 90's) issue. A coworker of mine built computers as a side job and taught me how to solder and the basic understanding of how circuit boards worked. I also read a lot of online repair guides and even bought that old Pinball Repair book that's been around for years. If I was you, I'd either save for a nice newer Stern pro or get good $1,500 to $2,000 game from a reputable guy or gal who knows a thing or two about pinball repair and maintenance. Then they could give you some pointers.

#17 4 years ago

Don't spend too much.
Don't spend money you don't have.

Quoted from Mudflaps:

Buy a $2K game from the 'Bang for your buck' list. Disregard the theme... Johnny Mnemonic, Stargate, whatever.
While you play the crap out of that one and learn how to dial-in/fix/fine-tune, build your funds for either another game or sell the current game and buy a more expensive game.
Finally, search the threads here for great advice. Have fun!

Do this stuff!

#18 4 years ago

I bet half the guys saying dont go in debt here have bought a machine with a credit card.
Welcome !

#19 4 years ago

The bug bites hard and the hunt can be just as intoxicating as playing. I've been lucky. I got my first pin and grail theme, Doctor Who, for about the price you are looking, but I was an idiot. I had never lifted a playfield and I barely even knew the location of the power switch. The game has been great, but it more likely could have been a lemon.

I don't regret a thing, but if I had to do it again, I would make sure to go to have first gone to a show (like Expo or Free Play) or, depending on location, join a league or find an arcade (Replay's is down near Tampa). Maybe even see if an experienced Pinsider will let you visit and show you the ropes.

Pinside or the local league will likely get a far better machine than Craigslist or ebay if you are looking used.

Or jump in with both feet, scratch the itch and have a blast. Just make sure you have some extra cash for parts and tools.

#20 4 years ago

Take your time and as others have mentioned do not take out a loan. Be patient and play more titles before you decide and spend hard earned money.

Rob

#21 4 years ago
Quoted from S2005:

I'm strongly considering taking out a loan and just getting the Stern Star Trek... (If I can find one!)

NO.

Do not take loans out for toys. Very bad way to start the hobby, and it won't build good habits. I'm not your dad, and you can do what you want, but bottom line:these are TOYS. Take loans out for emergencies/life and death/things that MATTER.

For $2000ish, I'm going to go on the oddball route and recommend StarShip Troopers. You can get well for under $2000 still, and there's a lot of fun stuff going on in that game. Add in the unusual 3rd flipper, couple multiballs, rocking music, fun callouts, funny animations on the DMD, and you have a rocking pin for sub-$2000.

#22 4 years ago

Poor guy, going to be chasing the dragon the rest of your life now! Welcome aboard!

I say take out a loan now before you get a wife and you no longer have taking out a loan for a hobby as a feasible option!

#23 4 years ago
Quoted from S2005:

So, it's been about a month. A few friends of mine had been begging me to go with them to a friends house and play pinball...
I'm 29. I've grown up with consoles, and PC gaming... I kept making up excuses to not go, and blowing them off...
I finally go... and I played for 10 straight hours... I then begged to go back every weekend since then...
I'd have to chalk it down to the guy hosting... first, he's just a really cool dude... he has a TON of similar hobbies/interests, and just a genuinely interesting guy...
He had 6 pins set up ready to play for us. 2 Indiana Jones (Old and New) Star Trek: TNG, Star Trek (Newer Stern), Tron, and Star Wars. I was in nerd heaven... the theme of those pins got me very excited...
I started off, not even breaking a million. I was terrible. (I'm still bad) but I was able to wizard Star Trek the other night. I think I'm in love with that machine the most... it's just pure great. (I think his is the Premium edition).
I'm sure it leads to the same place for everyone... now I want one...
I want to buy that same Star Trek machine... but I feel like it would be redundant since he has one... He and a few of his buddies have put together a pretty great Pinball/Arcade club locally, and I've got to meet a lot of great folks, and play on some cool machines!
I've got around $2000 I can spend right now on one, so obviously that knocks Star Trek off. I could save and get it in a couple months though.
I've been looking at a few others, and I just wanted to post here and get some input from some folks that probably know a lot more than I do on the subject...
I've been looking at Stargate, Goldeneye, and Hook... There's a local guy with a Jurassic Park but he's asking $26xx for it and I didn't particularly enjoy playing it (nor do I have that much to spend at the moment)...
I'm strongly considering taking out a loan and just getting the Stern Star Trek... (If I can find one!)
Oh, probably should give geographical location... Gulf Coast (Mississippi, Alabama, NW Florida area)
TLDR: I wanna buy my first pinball machine! I need advice!

I'd like to welcome you also. A first game can be the hardest decision you make when you get into the hobby, we can offer you options but the final decision is yours. To help you we should know things about you, ie, single, married, own a house or rent. These things can help us with our suggestion as you get deeper into the "madness". There are a lot of really great people on Pinside but sometimes the "debating" on topics can get a little heated so this place sometimes is not for the faint of heart. Have fun with your search for your first pin, there will only be one so take pictures to remember it by when it comes time to move on.

#24 4 years ago
Quoted from Gryszzz:

I bet half the guys saying dont go in debt here have bought a machine with a credit card.
Welcome !

I use credit cards for purchase protection, not to borrow money.

#25 4 years ago

stargate, jurassic park, judge dredd, demolition man, tales from the crypt. Something like that would probably suit you well if you are in to gaming you likely know all those franchises. If you can check it out in person and maybe try and convince your friend who already owns some pins to tag a long to have a look himself.

#26 4 years ago

Welcome to the addiction.
System 11 just refers to Williams board set that is installed in the game.

Here you can see a list of that series.
http://www.system11.org/

To complicate things there is system 11, 11A, 11B and 11C. Few boards can be swapped between only certain games. It is helpful to swap boards sometimes when trying to track down problems. So I always suggest to new people, if possible try to have a pair of game of the same type of board system so you can swap between games.

#27 4 years ago

Greetings from Mobile! there was just a player from P'cola asking similar questions. I told him to save his money and go to the Southern Fried Gameroom Expo in Atlanta next year, probably June. You'll get to play a lot of different stuff and find something you can inspect and ask others about. Lots of good people and games there.

Eventually when I get my pins back in order I'll have a pin party for the locals. EVENTUALLY.

#28 4 years ago

Take your time and find the right game for yourself. Get something you really enjoy playing.
Twilight Zone was my first in 2008. Even though I expanded my collection, it still remains for now.

#29 4 years ago

Yeah I came to this sight looking to buy and really read up on the top 100 list and studied up on the details, toys, pics and all to get a feel on what I wanted my first pin to be (Home Work). Lucky for you there's a lot lot more members that are probably local to you to play and find a good local 1st pin. Welcome and good luck.

#30 4 years ago

You tube is a good place to watch some games in action. It helped me to decide on buying/not buying based on what I saw especially of the games I could never get a chance to play in person.

#31 4 years ago

If your up for a little drive this November the Flippin Florida event is a good one to go to. The Orlando pinball group should start posting on Pinside about the event soon. I had a blast last year.

#32 4 years ago

Take your time like others have said, plus lean on your friends that you are playing with. They have a nice collection and can probably help and also tell you what to look for in a machine..such as damage and hacks and things

#33 4 years ago

Just by being on Pinside and having a friend with pins, you are already way ahead of where I started. My worst buying mistakes came at the beginning, when I bought without sufficient knowledge or experience. My one bit of advice is to buy from an established collector, someone known to your friend and/or known here. You are a lot less likely to be taken.

#34 4 years ago

This thread is perfect for me, I initially signed up here to create a similar thread. Cheers to OP and all the helpful replies.

#35 4 years ago
Quoted from Gryszzz:

I bet half the guys saying dont go in debt here have bought a machine with a credit card.
Welcome !

Not even once here.
I have purchased over 100 machines and not one of them on credit.
Not saying people do not do it, but I am certainly not in that group.

#36 4 years ago

I bought my first one just over two years ago. I went to a local exposition. While I did go there to play I also went there to try to network. It took me a bit of courage to strike up a conversation but I started talking to a local collector who was servicing his machine. He knew of another local collector who was selling a Whirlwind. Fast forward two years and now I am providing from my collection for the public to play at the very same exposition. People don't come up often but the occasional person does (mostly to take photos of the raised playfield). I like to think that I'm like most collectors and love it when a complete stranger comes up, talks about and expresses an interest in pinball. I love to spread the "disease".

Find your local collector group and meet up with them. Since you have friends who already have a collection ask them.

The Whirlwind was a good price from a local collector who offered limited (6 month) support for a n00b. I think I got lucky but am grateful.

For a first purchase I would recommend what most people have already stated. If you can ... buy within your budget and buy locally from a collector.

#37 4 years ago

Coming from a 'DumbAss' that is really good advice.

#38 4 years ago

There are plenty of great games for under 2k, although it might be harder in Alabama. With your stated interests, I'd go for something like Demolition Man, Starship Troopers, maybe Data East Star Trek or Data East Star Wars. Goldeneye is another great one in that price range. Robocop is another good one, albeit simpler and older, that might be a theme you'd like and below that range. I bought a Johnny Mnemonic after playing on location locally for a year or so, it's another fantastic game that can be found in that price range.

Also - consider yourself very lucky that there's someone in your area that wants to have you over, with that kind of situation I'd invest some of my $2k in bribe beer money and save up for longer. It's not like you don't have anything to play in the meantime!

Kind of unrelated, but if you don't already know about it you should check out the Dead Flip Twitch stream.

#39 4 years ago

Wow, thank you all for your replies!

I just finished reading them all!!!

Based on your advice, I will not be taking a loan to pay for a toy. I am almost debt free as it is. I owe on my truck we just purchased in February, but otherwise, nada.

I'm married (6 years now) and I have two kiddos (5, and 1). The 5 year old actually came with us this past weekend, and got on Big Guns for a couple minutes haha.

I guess patience is what will serve me the best... but it's tough. I've been lurking craigslist and others, but so far, no luck.

I'll keep looking. I have a couple of the guys in the local pin club informed that I'm hunting one as well.

Thanks again for all the wonderful comments and insight! Time to lurk/read a ton more!

#40 4 years ago

Stay off Craigslist. Try to get to know a few more people in the pinball community and have them help you buy from a collector who loves pinball and takes care of his or her games.

#41 4 years ago

Some regional stuff

Pin Church in New Orleans
Gulf Coast Pinball Club
Both on Facebook and have some regional pinball fans you would enjoy meeting.
ARK-LA-TEX pinball club on FB farther away but all the cool people are there.
Check the LA, MS, AR, TX forum thread recent posts for local stuff.

#42 4 years ago
Quoted from S2005:

Wow, thank you all for your replies!
I just finished reading them all!!!
Based on your advice, I will not be taking a loan to pay for a toy. I am almost debt free as it is. I owe on my truck we just purchased in February, but otherwise, nada.
I'm married (6 years now) and I have two kiddos (5, and 1). The 5 year old actually came with us this past weekend, and got on Big Guns for a couple minutes haha.
I guess patience is what will serve me the best... but it's tough. I've been lurking craigslist and others, but so far, no luck.
I'll keep looking. I have a couple of the guys in the local pin club informed that I'm hunting one as well.
Thanks again for all the wonderful comments and insight! Time to lurk/read a ton more!

Hopefully your wife is into pinball also, makes the hobby much nicer.

#43 4 years ago

Wanting one will pass. You should just go ahead and buy two or three right off the bat to save yourself some time. Welcome to this thing of ours!

#44 4 years ago

Welcome to the asylum. I agree with the others and have to say buy whatever you can with CASH. Do not go in debt for pinball.

It can be hard to resist seeing some game rooms and shouting "I WANT...THIS!" but you have to stay sane about it.

Also, see if there are any leagues around you, will give you more opportunities to play.

#45 4 years ago

Never buy what you can't pay cash.
Be patient, this site rocks, some faithful will read your testimony and get you set up.
Welcome to the life of Pinball.

#46 4 years ago

You can subscribe to" Pinball Arcade" and try all kinds of machines to see what you like online.

#47 4 years ago

The take your time is the best advice and it's never a good idea to put yourself in a bad financial place to support a hobby. Play as much different pins as you can and figure out what you don't and don't like. Just because a bunch of people love one pin doesn't mean you will. Youtube and Pinball Arcade (virtual pinball) are useful in discovering pins but no were near the same as playing one in person. Star Trek is a great game but there are a ton of other great games that don't cost top dollar.

#48 4 years ago

Welcome to the Hobby!
Another thing you might want to try even though it isn't the same as actually playing a table is the Farsight Pinball Arcade App. They have a free version and great digital representations of games and their gameplay. It might give you a chance to get a feel for the ruleset, style of play of a table if one comes up for sale in your area. It can be helpful if you haven't seen or played the game.

#49 4 years ago

I would look around for a Demolition Man. It was my first pin, fits in your budget and should keep you interested for a good while. The game has really good flow, like that of Star Trek and can be picked up for around the $2,000 mark in good condition. Mine was $2,200 (if I remember correctly), but it had been stripped, cleaned and in perfect condition. There is one small wear mark on the playfiled where the ball lands after coming off the shooter lane, but other than that, everything was mint.

On a side note, welcome to the addiction. I hadn't played pinball until roaming into a bar one night and stumbling on an Avatar. I said something to my wife along the lines of "Look, a pinball machine. We should try that out". Later that night it was "I'm buying a pinball machine". That was last October and now I own 4 of them.

#50 4 years ago

Buy an EM or another game for under $1,000.

You can play the big money stuff at your friend's place.

Get all moronic thoughts of spending money you don't have out of your head. Bad way to start.

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