(Topic ID: 158038)

Operator Opinion: 1 Newer Stern Pin or 2 Older Pins?


By CookyJar

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 31 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by CookyJar
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“Which set if pins for a location? Spending range $4000- $4500”

  • 1 Newer Stern (ST, XM, TWD, GOT, WWE, IM, etc) $4000- $4500 15 votes
    48%
  • 2 Newer Sterns (RCT, Monopoly, WOF, etc.) $2000 - $2500 each 3 votes
    10%
  • 2 Older Pins 80s - 90s (WW, ES, HS, TFTC, etc.) $2000 - $2500 each 7 votes
    23%
  • 2 Mix of Newer Sterns and Older 80s - 90s machines $2000 - $2500 each 6 votes
    19%

(31 votes)

#1 3 years ago

Just starting to stick my toe from the player/restorer side to the operator side and I have a question for operators.

I have two games on location in a local comic book store and they are interested in expanding the line up. Currently I have around $4000 -$4500 to play around with. My question is should I go with 1 Newer Stern (ST, XM, TWD, GOT, WWE, IM, etc) that are around $4000 or so price range lightly used? Or go with 2 older Stern machines (RCT, Monopoly, WOF, etc.) that run around $2000 - $2500 or 2 older Williams System 11, Data East, Sega from the late 80s to mid-90s that are around the $2000 - $2500 price range?

I'm estimating that the newer Sterns can be set at $1 per play or $2 for 3 plays and the older machines would be $.50 per play or $1 for 3 plays. Keep in mind that this is a comic store, so comic friendly titles may like IM, TWD, might fair better. Also, the location is not super close by, so I'm also looking for dependability, so I'm not fixing something every day.

#2 3 years ago

(Not an operator, but a comic geek who's spent many many many many hours in comic stores)
In my opinion, get X-men. Iron Man is a great game for pinheads, but it's a beast. It eats your money and laughs at you.
X-men has a super deep code set which will entice people to come back again and again and again. Plus, if you got the better callouts that someone was doing, then it would have the music and voices that people are more familiar with.
Or TWD. It'll bring in the more casual people...
Just my 2¢

#3 3 years ago

How do you edit a poll question? Meant for poll to read: Poll: Which choice of pins for a location? Spending range $4000- $4500

#4 3 years ago
Quoted from Kilowog2814:

(Not an operator, but a comic geek who's spent many many many many hours in comic stores)
In my opinion, get X-men. Iron Man is a great game for pinheads, but it's a beast. It eats your money and laughs at you.
X-men has a super deep code set which will entice people to come back again and again and again. Plus, if you got the better callouts that someone was doing, then it would have the music and voices that people are more familiar with.
Or TWD. It'll bring in the more casual people...
Just my 2¢

Cool, I appreciate comic geek opinions as well, being that I am one.

#5 3 years ago

GB pro

#6 3 years ago

It all depends on how well your current pin is earning in there. What game is in there now and what does it bring in monthly. Also what is your split with the store

#7 3 years ago

My experience operating in a popular comic book store was not a good one.

Regular customers would come in to pick up their subscriptions, and do one of two things:
1) Comment how cool whatever machine was, then keep walking
2) Walk right past them like they didn't exist

The only people playing my machines were a couple employees, and a league from time to time.

Lineup was:
Doctor Who
Swords of Fury
Mata Hari
4-player X-MEN vid

I have also heard from others, comic books stores generally have minimal earnings.

You would think there would be a bigger crossover, but...

-Mark

#8 3 years ago

Also, in my experience, more pins in a location = better earnings.

My 90's WMS games earn very well in bars...priced at $0.75/play or 4 games for $2.00.

New Sterns are $1/play or 4 plays for $3.

For the customer, $0.89 = $1 if using PayRange.

-Mark

#9 3 years ago
Quoted from Dr-Willy:

It all depends on how well your current pin is earning in there. What game is in there now and what does it bring in monthly. Also what is your split with the store

Yes, also very important is the split.

Don't do 50/50 with a new Stern...it will take forever just to recoup the purchase price, not taking into account breakdowns, wear and tear, your time, etc.

-Mark

#10 3 years ago

So many things to consider as all titles (new and old) are not equal and do not earn equally. Are you trying to do this to make more money or for fun? A lot of variables.

Newer games are easier. I go over my games very well and they play great but I must have at least one soldered component go out every other week with dried up solder on older games. Other odds and ends break too. Same thing happens on new games but a bit less frequent.

Keep in mind too that there is only so much money in the room so adding games may not raise the total amount you are making it may just split that cash over more games.

#11 3 years ago

If i had that amount of money for route pinballs I would be looking to buy a south park and Super Mario.

#12 3 years ago
Quoted from clg:

So many things to consider as all titles (new and old) are not equal and do not earn equally. Are you trying to do this to make more money or for fun? A lot of variables.
Newer games are easier. I go over my games very well and they play great but I must have at least one soldered component go out every other week with dried up solder on older games. Other odds and ends break too. Same thing happens on new games but a bit less frequent.
Keep in mind too that there is only so much money in the room so adding games may not raise the total amount you are making it may just split that cash over more games.

Totally agree...but in any location with decent foot traffic:
Two is always better than one, especially if one is in use or broken down
Three is usually better than two
Four is sometimes better than three
More than that, and you have a pinball *destination*, and not merely a location.

Of course, that all depends on the clientele.

90's pins I have recently operated, all of which earned well:
Bride of Pinbot
White Water
Doctor Who
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Revenge from Mars
Star Wars: Episode I

-Mark

#13 3 years ago

Cheers Mark. I am with you on two and think that is my minimum. I am deciding right not between adding a third to a location or not. I was going to do it but now may have a new place coming so may not get a chance to see how it does.

BOP does very well. I have a WH20 in right now that is also earning very well. T2 has done well for me in the past. Addams is another that will earn great but they are not cheap. The thing here is it is getting really hard to get 90s games in decent shape for a reasonable price. Sort of giving up on them and going with new as at least I can get them!

Putting a WOZ out next weekend so will be very interesting to see how it does!

#14 3 years ago

Was thinking that, but it's a little above my price range. Plus it looks like a store customer bought one for the store, from what I've heard he's a noobie to pins (this is his first). So I 'll likely be the one servicing it when it breaks down.

#15 3 years ago
Quoted from CookyJar:

I have two games on location in a local comic book store and they are interested in expanding the line up.

What are these two games? They must be doing OK if the shop owner wants to expand.

#16 3 years ago
Quoted from Dr-Willy:

It all depends on how well your current pin is earning in there. What game is in there now and what does it bring in monthly. Also what is your split with the store

Doing a 50/50 split with the location and they have thrown in for parts cost. Currently just put in a really nice T3, so I haven't been able to gauge how well it does yet. I had a Space Shuttle in for a while and it was pulling in around $40 a week. However it started having some regular breakdown issues so I pulled it and put in the T3. I also have a Donkey Kong which is doing around $25 or so a week.

#17 3 years ago
Quoted from Kilowog2814:

In my opinion, get X-men. Iron Man is a great game for pinheads, but it's a beast. It eats your money and laughs at you.
X-men has a super deep code set which will entice people to come back again and again and again. Plus, if you got the better callouts that someone was doing, then it would have the music and voices that people are more familiar with.
Or TWD. It'll bring in the more casual people...
Just my 2¢

These are good suggestions.

#18 3 years ago
Quoted from clg:

So many things to consider as all titles (new and old) are not equal and do not earn equally. Are you trying to do this to make more money or for fun? A lot of variables.
Newer games are easier. I go over my games very well and they play great but I must have at least one soldered component go out every other week with dried up solder on older games. Other odds and ends break too. Same thing happens on new games but a bit less frequent.
Keep in mind too that there is only so much money in the room so adding games may not raise the total amount you are making it may just split that cash over more games.

Having fun but also seeing if I can make some money. Kind of testing the waters to see if it's something that I'd like to get more into. I've enjoyed having them at my home, but also like to see the enjoyment that other people get out of playing them.

#19 3 years ago

They want to put more game in however they are dedicating the back of the store to the "arcade" area. At first when I put in the Space Shuttle, it was kind of in the middle of the store. So when you first walk in you immediately see it. Of course it was doing better business in that spot then the back where it's kind of hidden. I need to convince them to put up a sign or something to show that pins and arcades are in the back.

#20 3 years ago
Quoted from CookyJar:

Having fun but also seeing if I can make some money. Kind of testing the waters to see if it's something that I'd like to get more into. I've enjoyed having them at my home, but also like to see the enjoyment that other people get out of playing them.

If you are after making some money find a new location. With earnings like that, a 50% split and a long drive you can do a lot better. I know people here always talk about how they don't earn but I am not sure I agree with that. Find a good pub and forget or seriously rethink the split. The games get people in and keep them there longer and they will make money off drinks. If they insist on a cut put up some bar tabs each month for the high scores. I always factor in the cost of my time, the parts and depreciation and that needs to keep me solidly in the black or it is not worth it.

#21 3 years ago
Quoted from CookyJar:

they are interested in expanding the line up.

Why not if you are buying the equipment.

Will the location justify more games, or are you spreading the same income over more games.

You'll need to figure this out. Or learn it.

LTG : )

#22 3 years ago
Quoted from clg:

If you are after making some money find a new location. With earnings like that, a 50% split and a long drive you can do a lot better. I know people here always talk about how they don't earn but I am not sure I agree with that. Find a good pub and forget or seriously rethink the split. The games get people in and keep them there longer and they will make money off drinks. If they insist on a cut put up some bar tabs each month for the high scores. I always factor in the cost of my time, the parts and depreciation and that needs to keep me solidly in the black or it is not worth it.

It's close to my work, which is the bit of a drive. So I only go to collect/service after work, otherwise it would definitely be a loosing proposition.
Pubs/bars worry me that the machines will take more a beating, at this location they are generally respectful of the machines.

#23 3 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

Why not if you are buying the equipment.
Will the location justify more games, or are you spreading the same income over more games.
You'll need to figure this out. Or learn it.
LTG : )

You're right I am the one laying out the cash.

The location is fairly new, I only put my game in a week or two after they opened. They are still finding a solid foothold and customer base. It's a fairly affluent neighborhood, but does having money to spend turn into game play dollars? So I guess like you said I'll have to figure it out/learn it.

#24 3 years ago
Quoted from CookyJar:

I'll have to figure it out/learn it.

Welcome my friend, to being an op.

LTG : )

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from CookyJar:

Was thinking that, but it's a little above my price range. Plus it looks like a store customer bought one for the store, from what I've heard he's a noobie to pins (this is his first). So I 'll likely be the one servicing it when it breaks down.

This would have me not spending anything.
The GB will likely make most of the money that is available at this location.

#26 3 years ago

I agree with all the advice here so far. Generally more is better. And a varied line up helps as some people want to play classic games, some want to play the new Sterns.

When operating pins you need more than a 50-50 split. They cost too much and require too much maintenance to give away 50%.

#27 3 years ago
Quoted from CookyJar:

Was thinking that, but it's a little above my price range. Plus it looks like a store customer bought one for the store, from what I've heard he's a noobie to pins (this is his first). So I 'll likely be the one servicing it when it breaks down.

Does your contract stipulate the games must be on when the store is open?
If your goal is to make money why doesn't your contact specify you're the only company providing amusement devices in the place?

If the location owner sees you making money, they will kick you out in a heartbeat and buy their own games.

#29 3 years ago

Have to go with the theme, need to remember the target market. Comic store. I agree x-men, spider man, anything that has ties to comics. We have 10 machines in a location(brewery). 1WMS and the only people that play it are pin heads. My sterns do awesome, popular themes. Simpsons, monopoly, walking dead, kiss, South Park, super mario(money printing machine). People feel better dropping 1$ for a newer machine. You would have to set older machines for 50c. I new stern at 1$ per play will do the same as 2 old wms at 50c and you are not risking people saying wtf is this game?

#30 3 years ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Does your contract stipulate the games must be on when the store is open?
If your goal is to make money why doesn't your contact specify you're the only company providing amusement devices in the place?
If the location owner sees you making money, they will kick you out in a heartbeat and buy their own games.

No contract, just a handshake agreement (I know, I know, rookie mistake). I'm a friend/co-worker with one of the guys who is a silent partner in the comic store, so that's how I got involved.

#31 3 years ago
Quoted from PINQUEST:

Have to go with the theme, need to remember the target market. Comic store. I agree x-men, spider man, anything that has ties to comics. We have 10 machines in a location(brewery). 1WMS and the only people that play it are pin heads. My sterns do awesome, popular themes. Simpsons, monopoly, walking dead, kiss, South Park, super mario(money printing machine). People feel better dropping 1$ for a newer machine. You would have to set older machines for 50c. I new stern at 1$ per play will do the same as 2 old wms at 50c and you are not risking people saying wtf is this game?

Yeah, I think the name recognition factor will definitely drive up interest, especially with non-pinheads. When I had Space Shuttle running a lot of people where playing it out of the "Wow, I have seen pinball machine in forever! Let me throw a couple of quarters in it." fascination. I'm just not sure if that will carry over into repeated play over time.

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