(Topic ID: 130024)

Northwest Container Pinball Buyers Wanted


By Krankypants

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 125 posts
  • 44 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by oropuro
  • Topic is favorited by 17 Pinsiders

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    There are 125 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 3.
    #51 3 years ago

    My Doctor Who is a re-import, as it has a bumper post between the flippers. I bought it from a Pinsider who upgraded to a nicer DH, that he fully restored. The second machine doesn't have the post. There is speculation that the European regulations required the addition to make the gameplay less draining. I wonder if other re-import pins have these types of modifications?

    #52 3 years ago

    Paid the brokers fees today. Here's the fee breakdown for my 10 games. Note that 4 of my 10 were not U.S. made (Zacarria), which may explain the duty charge. I'm sure there's some way to do this stuff without a broker...

    Entry Fee 105.00
    Single Entry Bond 65.00
    Messenger Fee 20.00
    Terminal Handling Charge 50.00
    Duty - Subject to Liquidation 43.37
    Total $283.37

    #53 3 years ago

    That seems pretty good. I have been shopping around and with the amount of games we are getting, ours is going to be about $500 in broker fees.

    So do you have your games yet or are they still clearing customs? I am curious how well they packed yours and how the condition looked compared to the pictures.

    #54 3 years ago

    Is there any interest in a container for the East Coast peeps? I would be interested in joining that group if so.

    #55 3 years ago

    OK, the games came today via truck. I have a bunch of pictures to post, which will follow.

    The big questions I had with this seller are largely answered. Stuff like, Are the games that are shipped the same games I 'ordered'? (Because there were multiples of most games.) What type of hidden things would be lurking? How much was this ultimately going to cost me?

    Bottom line, I think the seller is good and did a decent job. Probably as good as anyone could expect. If his prices were like 20% lower, heck i would buy a full container. But to be honest, given the quality (or lack of) with these games, and the price they are asking, it's a marginal deal. But hey i knew that going in, this isn't a surprise.

    His packing was really good. Games were shrink wrapped, then bubble wrapped, shrunk again, strapped to a plastic pallet, and shrunk wrapped again. Cardboard use used on corners for the most part. Even the guy driving the truck said they did a nice job packing the games. Balls were not removed, but they stuffed paper towels in the holes so the balls would not get loose. (interesting!) Coin doors were unlocked. All the backboxes had keys. Overall the "hacks" were at a minimum.... But frankly i bought less popular games that probably didn't get as beat as say an Addams Family. (I bought, in addition to 4 Zacarria pinballs, Stargate, Hurricane, Road Show, Pinball Magic, Stern Grand prix, Dirty Harry.)

    There was some battery corrosion. Nothing really bad, but most games with batteries had some. I deal with that all the time so it doesn't phase me much anymore. Legs were a mess for sure. But some rust remover bath cleared that up for the most part. Leg bolts, well only about 1/2 are usable. Amazingly from the games i've set up, the leg plates in the cabinets cleaned up with a 3/8" x 16 tap, which really surprised me. Leg levelers were a complete joke, but it's that way with any game i buy so that's nothing. Top glass was all tempered (which really surprised me, usually you get some plate glass in a game or three.) Score displays, so far, have all been working. And the games i've converted to 120 volts so far have booted.

    So is this for everyone? HELL NO. These games will need a lot of work. For the casual guy, you're better off buying a game already here (and paying more), then going through what I'm doing. I'm pretty experienced at taking basket cases and making them decent games. So this plays into my wheel house, but for most people, this is beyond their capabilities. Again if the games prices were lower, it may be worth the risk. But at the prices asked, you really getting ready to pay yourself 5 cents an hour to restore the games.

    I must stress the only reason i did this 10 game container deal was to get the Zaccaria games and the Stern Grand Prix. Frankly I just can't find Zac games over here for any reasonable price. His prices were OK (basically $600 a Zac, plus the shipping and fees). Not great but i can deal with it given I now have a Robot, Zankor, Magic Castle, and a Hot Wheels. Those games just don't live in any numbers here (they are Italian made after all.) Heck there's only one other known Zankor in North American. Robots is really hard to find too. Hot Wheels, maybe 5 in all of North America? And the Stern Grand Prix, at least to me, is cool (I don't like Nascar), and probably less than 10 in the U.S.

    Interestingly, some games had German markings and coin doors with German monies. Most were Italian money though. Only Stern Grand Prix (the newest game) was Euro!

    I also must stress that it is very important to look at his pictures closely. He had nearly all damage areas and issues in the pictures. He did a really nice job with that, in my opinion. Not everything came through, but most things did.

    pictures follow....
    (If you're a Pinball Ninja member, you will also have access to a movie on the games in the near future.)

    #56 3 years ago

    I showed the Williams Road show as a good typical example of what to expect...

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    #57 3 years ago

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    #58 3 years ago

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    #59 3 years ago

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    #60 3 years ago

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    #61 3 years ago

    Thanks for taking the time to post all the info and pics. I find it very interesting even though it's about what I expected to see.

    #62 3 years ago

    Great pics. Any pics of the Zacarria? thx

    #63 3 years ago

    Thanks cfh!
    Good write up!
    Are these games from Andrea?
    I got 3 container games from Italia.I must be lucky but all of them were in great shape.My Demo Man was ridiculously clean.

    #64 3 years ago

    Worked on the Stern Grand Prix (nascar) and Dirty harry today. got both fully working, will now clean them up. The Grand Prix had to have every EPROM re-programmed. Older software and all in Italian! To convert to english had to change every ROM. The dirty harry needed only minor repairs. Also used coin style batteries in both. these will get fully taken apart and cleaned next.

    Going through the games, so are easy (Dirty harry), others not so much. Jerry spent a lot of time on Pinball Magic last night and got it largely working. It was a mess. Roadshow is going to be a laborious procedure too. Neither of the heads work right, that will consume a lot of parts/energy. Not to mention it's about the dirtiest game ever. Needs later software too. Stargate needs latest software. Also the rope light was changed to LEDs. Can't figure out if i like that or not! probably just buy a new rope light from pinball resource.

    Huricane will need a lot of work too. it's just tired looking.
    I will post as things progress.

    I haven't set up the Zacarria games yet. i'm thinking those will be a complete mess, mostly because they are the oldest of the games purchased. Time is definitely the enemy on container games. The older the game, the worst they always are.

    #65 3 years ago

    Got the Zaccaria games set up. Three boot, one does not. gonna be some work...

    Anyway with all the games on legs it has become apparent that Italians don't pay much attention to legs. I have four games with the wrong legs (which means essentially no legs.) They sent a bunch of 27" and 31" legs. Of the ten games i bought, only two use a weird size (Stargate 31", and Nascar/Grand Prix black krinkle legs.) All others are 28.5" (Williams/Bally/Zaccaria/Capcom.)

    So my advice is to tell the Italians to only ship 28.5" legs, assuming you're buying Wms/Bally stuff. WPC would be fully ribbed 28.5" legs. System11 would be half ribbed. I think if you tell them you want 28.5" legs you'll be OK.

    #66 3 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    Got the Zaccaria games set up. Three boot, one does not. gonna be some work...
    Anyway with all the games on legs it has become apparent that Italians don't pay much attention to legs. I have four games with the wrong legs (which means essentially no legs.) They sent a bunch of 27" and 31" legs. Of the ten games i bought, only two use a weird size (Stargate 31", and Nascar/Grand Prix black krinkle legs.) All others are 28.5" (Williams/Bally/Zaccaria/Capcom.)
    So my advice is to tell the Italians to only ship 28.5" legs, assuming you're buying Wms/Bally stuff. WPC would be fully ribbed 28.5" legs. System11 would be half ribbed. I think if you tell them you want 28.5" legs you'll be OK.

    Hey at least all of your games booted except for one. I would consider that good considering the source of the games.

    Not to change the subject, but since you mentioned legs, what length legs do data east games like maverick use? I cannot remember.

    #67 3 years ago

    dataeast/stern/sega used like 3 different sizes of legs. i don't know what, say, maverick uses.

    actually only one Zac booted of the four. but it was easy stuff to fix like bad connectors or fuse holders. so they didn't boot "out of the box" without some work. the one remaining i haven't really investigated too far. it seems really dead though. i suspect it will be more work than the others.

    all the 1990s games did boot. they still had lots of issues, mostly minor battery corrosion or connectors. but that happens with home-breed U.S. games too, so i don't see that as anything unusual.

    #68 3 years ago

    I'd love 27" legs... My basement is short!

    Can I put my Bally/Williams/DE games on Gottlieb 27" legs? I don't care about keeping authentic, I just don't want the legs to buckle out from under the machines.

    I have to find my pinballNinja login info...

    #69 3 years ago

    27" legs will actually make your games more stable and less able to take nudges.

    1 week later
    #70 3 years ago

    from the 10 games we got from Italy, the first one is "done" and ready for play. It's the 1995 Williams Dirty Harry. Came out pretty good. there was one playfield issue on the "crime wave" issert that i couldn't fix as well as I would like. but other than that, the condition of the game is decent. Won't win any awards, but it plays very well.
    http://vfwpinball.com/makehtm.php?game=1995%20Bally/Williams%20Dirty%20Harry,wpc_dirtyharry

    #71 3 years ago

    Got the second game from Italy done. Turned out decent. Next up is roadshow, which is a mess.

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    #72 3 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    Got the second game from Italy done. Turned out decent. Next up is roadshow, which is a mess.

    I presume these "shop" jobs from the container from Italy
    will eventually show up on the pinball ninja site??

    1 week later
    #73 3 years ago

    Here's the roadshow after some work.

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    #74 3 years ago

    Looking good Clay!

    2 months later
    #75 3 years ago

    Container update - We finally received our container. Our games weren't wrapped quite as thoroughly as Clay's, but they all arrived without any real damage. Someone in the group took pics of us unloading them and we will post those eventually. I purchased 5 of the games in the container and I have was pleasantly surprised by the condition of the games. I looked at the pictures from the seller very closely before selecting my games so I knew of a few issues on some of my games, but I expected to find some hidden hacks or parts missing. The two Stern games appear to be ready to play after I convert the power. In fact the POTC looks almost brand new. Both WCS94 games look pretty good too. They will need to be shopped, but they are fairly clean. I know a few of the other buyers in our group had games with a lot of hacks so I think I was fairly lucky. I expected to be doing a bunch of board repairs to get them working, but so far they look much better then expected. I will post some before pics of the games below.

    #76 3 years ago

    Here are the before pics of the POTC. This one was in great shape and came with LED lights even. Only thing this one was missing was the manual.
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    #77 3 years ago

    NICE!

    #78 3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing!

    Would you do it again?

    #79 3 years ago

    Yes, I would consider doing it again down the road, once the seller gets some more games in stock. Their inventory was pretty low the last time I checked, but they were very honest with me throughout the buying process.

    #80 3 years ago

    Here are the before pics of LOTR. This one will need a little bit more work, but appears to be pretty much playable after the conversion to 110V. This one even came with a manual.
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    #81 3 years ago

    Here is the WCS49 #1 of 3. I forgot to take pics inside the backbox, but these ones were mostly hack free. These need a medium amount of work to get working and looking good.

    The third WSC94 I bought that I haven't unpacked yet was the worst of the three. It has the bridge rectifiers removed from the board and mounted on the side of the backbox as well as several of the GI wires connected directly to the board. Both of these issues are pretty common in European games and pretty easy to fix in most cases.

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    #82 3 years ago

    Here is the 2nd WCS94 - It needs some work to get it looking a playing good, but overall its in pretty decent shape.

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    #83 3 years ago

    Glad to hear they finally all came in! That's 2 containers from Italy in this summer and both pretty much as described. Good deal.

    #84 3 years ago

    Thanks again for organizing this Greg! Here my pins - BOP and Magic Castle. Magic Castle was super clean and works 100% after switching to 110v. BOP, I'm still working on. The GI wiring is hacked up a bit, and the driver board needs some work too.

    Also, a couple bonus pictures of us unloading (Greg, Bill and I were in the container). Germain, Jason R, Jason O, and Michael unloading on the ground and into the shop. Couldn't have been a better day for it too; the only day during the week with a downpour .

    Overall, it was fun working with everyone, and I finally have BOP!

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    #85 3 years ago

    A few more from BOP

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    #86 3 years ago

    hail to the tractor!

    #87 3 years ago

    Okay, I need a few container games, a LOTR, POTC, and a few Zaccaria's and I'll be set

    Seriously though, this seems like the closest to a barn raid these days. Perhaps if someone sets another up I would go in, but then of course shipping would have to be added to get them from all the way northwest. Perhaps us southeastern pinheads should put together a crate headed to the Savannah port.

    #88 3 years ago

    To be honest it's really probably not worth it to do this. The finances are right on the borderline. I'm getting 20 games on Tuesday and frankly between all the runaround and the customs and other charges, it really starts to add up. I'm getting a bunch of Zaccaria pinballs that frankly you can only get from Italy. That's really the only reason I did it the second time. Back a year ago when he had some what decent prices and somewhat decent selection, it was borderline worth it. Now I'm not so sure.

    On his latest list of games he is starting to show much more new Stern stuff. But the prices seem really high to me. Given the work that's involved on the skins I just don't think I will ever do it again. The container party has come and gone unfortunately.

    #89 3 years ago
    Quoted from hisokajp:

    hail to the tractor!

    Welcome. I was happy to help. Maybe next time I will actually be able to get a game!

    #90 3 years ago

    So after shipping and customs and everything else, what did each of those games end up costing you?

    #91 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    So after shipping and customs and everything else, what did each of those games end up costing you?

    I'd be curious to know also.

    #92 3 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    The container party has come and gone unfortunately.

    How sad, because it is so freaking cool to see a container full of games. It reminds me of the vending auctions in the Bay Area back in the day....I used to get so annoyed...thinking $3K for a Monster Bash was CRAZY!

    #93 3 years ago

    The games are priced individually so they vary greatly from several hundred dollars for complete garbage up to $7k or $8k for premium titles. Most games are in the $1500 to $3500 range and need a lot of work to make them playable. I got very lucky on the games I picked up and had no big surprises, but several guys in our group are dealing with some pretty hacked up machines. If you fill a container like we did, shipping ends up being around $120 to $150 per game. If you don't fill the container it can be double what we paid for shipping and brokerage.

    Clay is not kidding when he says these games are not great deals. Some of them are OK deals, but in most cases you would be better off buying locally. Once you figure in all of the time, energy, and risks it takes to put an order together (it took us almost 4 months to get our games), along with all of the known costs and potential unknown costs that come with importing a container from a foreign country, its really not worth it in most cases.

    Bottom line: If you enjoy taking risks and working on hacked up machines, this is way to do that. If you are looking to buy some machines to turn around and sell, forget about it. You will not make money at the prices they are charging. I would still consider doing this again down the road, but only for games that I just can't find around my area and even then I will look at the sellers pictures very carefully before selecting games to buy.

    #94 3 years ago

    I got my WCS shy of $1500, minimum fix to make it work (GI connectors, external battery + used DMD) then will need to decide if I go all the way to make a full restore job or keep it low cost player condition. With flipper rebuilt kit, Cliffy and plastic set would still be sub 2k for a good PF and decent cabinet.

    #95 3 years ago

    After seeing that container ship sink off S.carolina, it makes you think. Personally i never get insurance when i bring stuff over. guess i should think about that more... I wired the money at the very beginning of September and the games are showing up tomorrow. The first load i did took longer. it's about timing and when the ship leaves their port. but figure at least 2 month where they have your money and your games and you have nothing! it's a huge risk.

    again the only reason i did it was to get Italian titles that just aren't available here in the U.S. To just buy "regular" games that are available here, at the prices they ask, i don't think it's really worth it. for example all the WPC/Stern titles i've brought over from Italy, i could probably sell for like $100 to $400 more than i paid (not including my labor.) that's hardly incentive to do this. you have to be crazy to want to do this stuff.

    #96 3 years ago

    Like you said, it's about getting the Italian games. I would love to get a Robot and Magic Castle, but think it's not very likely, not to mention I'm not going to do a container when I'm looking for one or two games.

    #97 3 years ago

    Yea unfortunately the Italians won't sell in low quantities. I wish they would. But they won't even talk to you unless you spend at least $10k.

    #98 3 years ago

    Definitely not to make money but it's a fun experience. Nothing like unloading 31 games from a container 5FT off the ground in the pouring rain!

    #99 3 years ago
    Quoted from hisokajp:

    Definitely not to make money but it's a fun experience. Nothing like unloading 31 games from a container 5FT off the ground in the pouring rain!

    Amen! That was indeed a good time

    #100 3 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    After seeing that container ship sink off S.carolina, it makes you think. Personally i never get insurance when i bring stuff over. guess i should think about that more...

    In addition to loss insurance there is an insurance that most people don't think or know about which is insurance to cover if the ship loses power and has to be towed. If this happens they allocate the cost across all of the cargo so you could end up having to pay to get the games you already paid for. Fairly rare but does happen.

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