(Topic ID: 306531)

Pinball...What happened? Tell me your story.

By Dantesmark

6 months ago


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  • 91 posts
  • 59 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 89 days ago by naf_llabnip
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “Predict your pinball future”

    • Im done. 14 votes
      13%
    • Im waiting for prices to drop. 30 votes
      28%
    • Im a buyer regardless. 48 votes
      45%
    • Im selling at these prices. 14 votes
      13%

    (106 votes)

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    There are 91 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 6 months ago

    I'm 49 and have always liked/ played pinball. As I grew up I began fixing things. Now I fix clocks, watches, etc. as a hobby. I started reading about fixing and restoring machines 20 years ago. But I am not good with wood, I am pretty good at mechanics. I stayed away from buying a machine simply because I didn't want an unsightly machine in my house. (Like I said, I can't fix wood stuff/ cabinets.)

    So for my 50th birthday coming up I decided to buy an old machine and give it a shot anyway. I settled on Gorgar. Someone was selling one near-enough to me for $2500. I had spoken to him and we set up a day to go and get it. Then he ghosted me four days before I was to pick it up. Eventually he responded and said he sold it to someone else. That was pretty sleazy in my opinion, but what can I do?

    So I said to myself, you're gonna be 50 soon, buy what you want. So I ordered a NIB Godzilla Premium. I don't mind waiting. I'll get it when I get it. I've played it many times and I like it a lot.

    I take my four kids regularly to play pinball at Rock Fantasy in Middletown, NY. He has lots of machines and my kids enjoy it.

    I am proud that my kids will grow up with a machine in their house. Glad I can do my part to keep it going.

    #52 6 months ago

    I started with a $300 Genie. I was way in over my head, it was trashed. Restored it and sold it for $1300. At that time about 6-8 years ago, you would see Addams Family for sale for around $3500, and those were eBay prices which were out to lunch.. And there was a ton of them at that price. I remember thinking I would never pay that much for a game. I would rather find a beater and fix it myself. That never happened. Now people are asking 11K to 17K for them. I should have bought as many as I could fit in my house back then. That was my grail game at the time. I would still like to have one but not willing to give up MMr, AFMr, CCr, or Halloween for it.

    #53 6 months ago

    I’m 42 and went to the arcade all the time as a kid. I remember playing a few pinball games back then, but not many. I wasn’t really into pinball until I went to the Louisville Arcade Expo in 2019. I was already buying/collecting arcade games at that time and went to that show for the arcade games primarily. My son (4 at the time) and I played all the newest Stern titles and some older pins as well. I really enjoyed playing, but the excitement on my sons face watching and actually playing was enough for me to know I’d be purchasing one for our home.

    He really liked the Stern JP, but coming from an arcade game collecting world the price of pins shocked me! So I looked around and ended up finding a good condition Data East JP for sale local to me. Off I went and purchased the pin. Even though it wasn’t the newest Stern model, my son still had that look of amazement on his face when he laid his eyes on it. Especially the first time he saw the T-Rex eat the ball!

    Here we are two years later and I currently have 4 pins now (DEJP, RS, STh and EHOH). With the current pricing of pinball, I don’t know if I’ll be purchasing any more pins anytime soon. But you never know, because my son’s favorite pin is “The King of Pain” and it’s rumored that CGC may be doing another run of them. Only time will tell.

    #54 6 months ago
    Quoted from 03whtlightning:

    I’m 42 and went to the arcade all the time as a kid. I remember playing a few pinball games back then, but not many. I wasn’t really into pinball until I went to the Louisville Arcade Expo in 2019. I was already buying/collecting arcade games at that time and went to that show for the arcade games primarily. My son (4 at the time) and I played all the newest Stern titles and some older pins as well. I really enjoyed playing, but the excitement on my sons face watching and actually playing was enough for me to know I’d be purchasing one for our home.
    He really liked the Stern JP, but coming from an arcade game collecting world the price of pins shocked me! So I looked around and ended up finding a good condition Data East JP for sale local to me. Off I went and purchased the pin. Even though it wasn’t the newest Stern model, my son still had that look of amazement on his face when he laid his eyes on it. Especially the first time he saw the T-Rex eat the ball!
    Here we are two years later and I currently have 4 pins now (DEJP, RS, STh and EHOH). With the current pricing of pinball, I don’t know if I’ll be purchasing any more pins anytime soon. But you never know, because my son’s favorite pin is “The King of Pain” and it’s rumored that CGC may be doing another run of them. Only time will tell.

    Louisville arcade expo introduced me to pinball as well! Back in 2012 i simply went for the arcades and video game hunting...then i saw ac/dc and my life changed.

    #55 6 months ago

    "Ever since I was a young boy...I've played the silver ball."

    Bought my first pin (EBD-LE) in 1984 for $900 (with money from wedding gifts), still play it almost every day.

    #56 6 months ago

    Started buying in 2004. I was 13 years old and mowed lawns to make the money to pay for games. First game was a $50 Gottlieb '2001' from a yard sale.

    I'd buy cheap-as-free EMs, read Clay's repair guides as if they were the Bible, fix them up, keep the ones I liked, sell the ones I didn't. I'd almost always turn a tidy little profit when I'd resell them, and I put that money right back into buying more/better games. It also helped that my dad was a fan too, and would always help with driving me around and loading them.

    Fast forward through the years, and I've amassed (what I would consider), a pretty nice collection for someone my age. There's really only a small handful of games I really want to own at some point in my life, but at these prices, I'm not in a hurry to buy.

    One thing I consistently remind myself of is how lucky we all are to even own ONE game. Even if it's a mediocre title. Very few people in the world have both the funds and room to keep one. I remind myself of that whenever I feel lousy by being priced out of a game I wished I bought "back in the day."

    #57 6 months ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    Started buying in 2004. I was 13 years old and mowed lawns to make the money to pay for games. First game was a $50 Gottlieb '2001' from a yard sale.
    I'd buy cheap-as-free EMs, read Clay's repair guides as if they were the Bible, fix them up, keep the ones I liked, sell the ones I didn't. I'd almost always turn a tidy little profit when I'd resell them, and I put that money right back into buying more/better games. It also helped that my dad was a fan too, and would always help with driving me around and loading them.
    Fast forward through the years, and I've amassed (what I would consider), a pretty nice collection for someone my age. There's really only a small handful of games I really want to own at some point in my life, but at these prices, I'm not in a hurry to buy.
    One thing I consistently remind myself of is how lucky we all are to even own ONE game. Even if it's a mediocre title. Very few people in the world have both the funds and room to keep one. I remind myself of that whenever I feel lousy by being priced out of a game I wished I bought "back in the day."

    Good words of wisdom.....we are very lucky to be worrying about pinball prices.

    #58 6 months ago

    When the pandemic kicked off we shut down by state order and immediately mobilized to tear off the back of our building to build a new addition to house a brand new kitchen, walk-in coolers and bathrooms. During that six month construction sprint a T3 popped up on facebook for $600. That was our first pinball machine.

    Coming out of and trying to survive through covid restrictions I asked myself what are other bars/restaurants NOT doing that could give us a competitive advantage.

    The answer was that $600 T3. We then ran 100mph in that direction.

    We can only hold 19 pins on the floor with the rest held back for rotation but are now contemplating another building addition to build a dedicated arcade room that can hold 60 or so pins.

    #59 6 months ago

    I got into it to play, then enjoyed the referb but I'm not in it for the money. That being said -I have little interest in buying at the prices today its a little crazy and I hope to see a disappointed group sell them off as they become bored with the pandemic man cave lifestyle. As for a great long term investment I'm not sure pins can beat Legos yet.

    I would rather find the shed and barn finds and rebuild them. The kids don't care for perfection and really enjoy the EMs. I think that says a great deal on the level of enjoyment actually needed to have some fun.

    The fever has also brought out a level of parting never been seen before. I do find the need to part out just to make a buck a shame. Once gone, its gone folks -but at least everything will be "rare" lol and I know I will buy that missing part, so I am also an enabler.

    #60 6 months ago
    Quoted from Learmud:

    I got into it to play, then enjoyed the referb but I'm not in it for the money. That being said -I have little interest in buying at the prices today its a little crazy and I hope to see a disappointed group sell them off as they become bored with the pandemic man cave lifestyle. As for a great long term investment I'm not sure pins can beat Legos yet.
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    I would rather find the shed and barn finds and rebuild them. The kids don't care for perfection and really enjoy the EMs. I think that says a great deal on the level of enjoyment actually needed to have some fun.
    The fever has also brought out a level of parting never been seen before. I do find the need to part out just to make a buck a shame. Once gone, its gone folks -but at least everything will be "rare" lol and I know I will buy that missing part, so I am also an enabler.

    Last couple i bought were em's... i think every collectiom needs one.

    #61 6 months ago
    Quoted from Dantesmark:

    Last couple i bought were em's... i think every collectiom needs one.

    I gonna say a Bingo and a Pre-war too. Way overlooked.

    #62 6 months ago
    Quoted from Learmud:

    I gonna say a Bingo and a Pre-war too. Way overlooked.

    No no...em is fine.
    Haha

    #63 6 months ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    Gottlieb Pinball Pool February 1979.
    $1895.00

    Adjusted for inflation, your pinball pool cost $7,266 in today’s money. Considering the advancements in game design and technology today, that figure makes a lot of new games look like a bargain.

    641947D5-E654-453A-943F-F2F3110496BB (resized).jpeg
    #64 6 months ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    Adjusted for inflation, your pinball pool cost $7,266 in today’s money. Considering the advancements in game design and technology today, that figure makes a lot of new games look like a bargain. [quoted image]

    Hmmm

    #65 6 months ago

    Born in 68.
    First pin, Addams Family, 2003. Paid $4k from a retailer.

    This hobby started as arcade pickups off ebay, specifically for the games that rotated through the party store at the end of my street from 1981-83. So Asteriods, Pacman, Stargate, Galaga, Tempest and Centipede. The girlfriend (now wife) at that time recommended a pinball machine. I never played a pin in my life, so Googled for what a good game was, found IPDB, and the #1 title at that time was TAF. Called a local retailer and they had just got one in, from a private collector. I was not hooked immediately though, and there was no room anyway for anything else. We moved to a bigger house and went back to that store and they had a CV for $3200. Next two pins were TZ and Batman Forever. Out of room again, and nine years later move to a bigger house, this would be 2014. By now I had found Pinside and was shocked at prices then, but if I would have known I would have taken out a 2nd mortgage and picked up every B/W from 91 to 99.

    Currently 14 pins and 11 dedicated vids, never traded out or sold, only added since the beginning. As of now, I'm finished due to the prices. We play all the new games on location, luckily there are places nearby that rotate all the new Stern LEs, JJP LEs, and the CGC stuff. Very fun games, but the prices are so out of whack now, I am going to wait for a crash. If it never comes, so be it. I'm going back into the musclecar hobby I put on hold prior to arcade collecting.

    #66 6 months ago

    Late 90s in Paris, France, I used to play arcades and pinballs at Cafes, it was common then to have a game room until Paris started to get gentrified and popular Cafes turned into fancy bistronomy. Loads of games got thrown away or sent back to operators who were giving them away.

    I got a STTNG for 400€ kept it a decade until my daughter was born, sold it for 800 thinking I made the deal of the century !

    15 years forward I moved to a house in the US, heard about a newcomer to the market making my dream theme, the Wizard of Oz, bought a brand new one, then I found Pinside bought a second game, sold it bought another one.

    I'm lucky enough to live close to Free gold watch, plenty of games to play there while waiting for my next dream theme to come out, Toy Story,

    #67 6 months ago

    Played DE JP in 1995, and I absolutely loved it. AFM in 1996 was the first game I FINALLY understood, and it clicked that pinball was more than just slinging the ball around completely randomly.

    Bought my first machine (LW3) in 2003 for $1000 (ebay). Had to let it go for the down payment on a car. Was out of the game for 9 more years, and then after commissioning in the military, finally could enter the game again.

    I got in knowing full well I wanted to learn how to work on them, because either you know how to work on them or they are the biggest paperweights out there. Board work I can do in terms of component replacement, but diagnosing on a component basis is still a bit elusive (even with Clay's guides, it can be tricky and methodical). Nearly any problem I can figure out now in 3 days or less, and that is a very empowering feeling.

    At first, I LOATHED the price increases from 2012 to 2019. Annoyed TF out of me. Then I sold my $4250 Shadow for $7000 plus shipping this year, and well, that sure changed my tune. I love seeing my collection blow up to (intrinsic value) over $50K this year, and now I am hanging onto my games for dear life as the prices go up. It is insanely tempting to go for $12K+ on some of my titles, and I show no shame doing it now. If people are ready to pay what I want, everything's for sale at a steep price.

    Being in Dayton, I am insanely blessed to have really solid barcades in Cincy and Columbus plus Tilt Amusements is really close too for nearly any NIB experience.

    #68 6 months ago

    I am 35.We bought a 2 floor house a couple of years ago. The basement was an empty unused space. I bought a couple of the gen 1 arcade one ups. Shortly after that desire for a real machines came upon me, and I decided I wanted pinball instead of arcades. At the start of 2020 I bought an Atari Superman for $2600 Canadian. Then shortly after a NIB deadpool pro. I have since sold all the 1ups but 1, and have owned a total of 7 pinball machines. I currently have a LZ premium, Mando premium and an original TRON arcade cabinet. I am gonna see what the market does, but I have machines and am in so I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

    #69 6 months ago

    For a good 10-year stretch as a child in the '80s, and early 90s, I played in lots of arcades and pizza shops. I stopped playing for 26 years. Then we rented a beach house with Star Wars Data East. I couldn't stop playing. I only saw the beach two times. I called an old friend of mine, who was a retired technician, and talked to him about how I could obtain a game. He gave me a few tips and I ended up buying a Stern Avatar in July of 2019. I think I paid $2,800 if I remember correctly. I immediately followed it up with a Stern Metallica. That game was either $4,500 or $4,700, I think.

    Anyway, the hobby is getting too expensive. I purchased a friend's Godzilla LE at cost as he didn't want it. I thought it was a good idea because I'm more than likely not going to lose a dime. However; I'm having huge buyers remorse. It's an amazing game but I've learned it's still just a pinball machine. Not worth the cost at all. I missed the days when I could get an avatar for $2,800.

    The bonus is all the awesome people I've met in the hobby! I rekindled old friendships and made many new friendships. I'll be in the hobby until I die!

    -2
    #70 6 months ago
    Quoted from Dantesmark:

    Last couple i bought were em's... i think every collectiom needs one.

    Zzzzzzzzzzz…never.

    #71 6 months ago

    I got hooked on pinball while in grade school in the 70s. Every Wednesday I would go with my dad to his weekly bowling league. I would watch his team bowl, organize the rental balls, bring their empty beer bottles back to the counter and sometimes I would be allowed to help score. Each week, dad gave me a dollar to spend. Usually that meant one bottle of pop for 25 cents and then the rest I spent on pinball. This was when you could play 1 game for 10 cents or 3 games for a quarter. In 1979 my mother brought me to the home of a coworker whose husband bought, fixed and sold pinball machines. He had maybe 20 or so in his garage set up for sale. He had at least that many more in his basement that he was working on. Needless to say, I left dreaming of having a pinball machine. I bugged my parents for weeks and even made a pinball machine out of my legos. About a month later, we returned to her coworkers house and we were shown a few of his new purchases. One of these was a Bally Hi Deal which he just bought and would sell "as is" for $250 and told us that it did work and he would set it up for free play, but any mechanical issues after we took it home would require us to pay. I was very excited. My dad, not so much. My mom, trying to consider this expensive toy. This was a lot of money for my parents. Needless to say, my parents made a major sacrifice for their son who was hooked on pinball. We moved the machine into the basement and played it for hours. One of my greatest memories is of how my mom and I would spend time cleaning and waxing it. Over the years it was played less and less and I often felt sad that it just sat in the basement unused. Around 2010 I asked my dad if I could move it to my house and he thought that was a good idea. This allowed me to finally change the rubbers and ball which had been in it for over 30 years. Hi Deal has worked with few issues for the last 42 years.
    Fast forward to 2015. I finished my basement to better accomdate the games I had begun to acquire and now had a dedicated game room. In early 2016 I found a Star Trek the Next Generation, my holy grail game, and after having the price shock wear off and feeling much the same as my parents way back when, bought my first pin. This led to buying a Tee'd Off and Star Wars Ep1 in 2017. In 2018 I had looked for some time for an Addams Family for my daughter who became interested in my new hobby. In 2019 I bought my No Good Gofers from my friend who I got into pinball and sold the SWEp1 to make room for my first new game. In early 2020 my Medieval Madness remake SE was delivered. My only new game. Later in 2020 after a summer of looking for an Williams Indiana Jones, one was finally found, but I needed to sell the Tee'd Off to make room. So for about a year, my lineup is complete. Each time I go downstairs to play, I try to play Hi Deal at least once in memory of my parents who allowed me to enjoy these great machines .

    6 pins Feb2021 (resized).jpg

    #72 6 months ago

    So many years ago I was lost with no meaning in life and no pinball skills. Then fortune had it, I saw the Craigslist ad below and my life was changed forever. I can't tell you what a value it was for just 5 hours of experteese! Fast forward to now, I have an amazing breathing regimen which I am currently being sued for patent infringement on and a newfound love for deli meat sandwhiches and Shasta soda but I still crave a shot at the Pepsi. I have a new friend Jeff, thanks to it being a Thursday when I went for coaching and 5 hours of footage of Jeff bench pressing. My pinball skills are still non-existent and Patty J is still a lying bitch!

    "Hello my name is Carl and I am offering up my pinball experteese for $50 dollars a hour. I am currently ranked 163rd domestically and 538th internationally and I will teach you any technique you need to master as found here..... http://www.ipdb.org/playing/advanced.html I will also teach you my patent pending breathing regimen. For $50 you get an hour of extreme coaching either at my place (no miners or unaccompanied women) (due to past issues with a liar named Patty J.) I have 6 top quality machines that work 100%. Or I can come to your place ($25) travel fee and help you master one of your games. If I host I do offer a 10 minite break where I offer a sandwhich with your choice from 3 deli meats and american cheese with a shasta brand soda. (the pepsi products are for my son and me) I am available everyday except thurs when my mom and Jeff come over to watch their programs that i record for them. Also sometimes Jeff wants me to film him bench pressing in the game room so that room is off at that time. Slots are filling up so email me soon to get in. Thank you.

    #73 6 months ago
    Quoted from TimBoch:

    I got hooked on pinball while in grade school in the 70s. Every Wednesday I would go with my dad to his weekly bowling league. I would watch his team bowl, organize the rental balls, bring their empty beer bottles back to the counter and sometimes I would be allowed to help score. Each week, dad gave me a dollar to spend. Usually that meant one bottle of pop for 25 cents and then the rest I spent on pinball. This was when you could play 1 game for 10 cents or 3 games for a quarter. In 1979 my mother brought me to the home of a coworker whose husband bought, fixed and sold pinball machines. He had maybe 20 or so in his garage set up for sale. He had at least that many more in his basement that he was working on. Needless to say, I left dreaming of having a pinball machine. I bugged my parents for weeks and even made a pinball machine out of my legos. About a month later, we returned to her coworkers house and we were shown a few of his new purchases. One of these was a Bally Hi Deal which he just bought and would sell "as is" for $250 and told us that it did work and he would set it up for free play, but any mechanical issues after we took it home would require us to pay. I was very excited. My dad, not so much. My mom, trying to consider this expensive toy. This was a lot of money for my parents. Needless to say, my parents made a major sacrifice for their son who was hooked on pinball. We moved the machine into the basement and played it for hours. One of my greatest memories is of how my mom and I would spend time cleaning and waxing it. Over the years it was played less and less and I often felt sad that it just sat in the basement unused. Around 2010 I asked my dad if I could move it to my house and he thought that was a good idea. This allowed me to finally change the rubbers and ball which had been in it for over 30 years. Hi Deal has worked with few issues for the last 42 years.
    Fast forward to 2015. I finished my basement to better accomdate the games I had begun to acquire and now had a dedicated game room. In early 2016 I found a Star Trek the Next Generation, my holy grail game, and after having the price shock wear off and feeling much the same as my parents way back when, bought my first pin. This led to buying a Tee'd Off and Star Wars Ep1 in 2017. In 2018 I had looked for some time for an Addams Family for my daughter who became interested in my new hobby. In 2019 I bought my No Good Gofers from my friend who I got into pinball and sold the SWEp1 to make room for my first new game. In early 2020 my Medieval Madness remake SE was delivered. Later in 2020 after a summer of looking for an Williams Indiana Jones, one was finally found, but I needed to sell the Tee'd Off to make room. So for about a year, my lineup is complete. Each time I go downstairs to play, I try to play Hi Deal at least once in memory of my parents who allowed me to enjoy these great machines .
    [quoted image]

    Great story... im guessing you will never sell the hi-deal.

    #74 6 months ago

    Born in 1980. Bought my first pin NOV 2019, Stern Star Trek Pro for $5,000. Got into pinball after owning a virtual pinball cabinet. Currently own 6 pins and have owned 14 pins total as I buy and sell, keeping my favorites.

    Current prices for the most part will keep me out of the market for Premiums/LE as I stick to buying pros…but for now I am a buyer as I have the disposable income to be stupid with.

    #75 6 months ago

    I loved pinball as a kid growing up in the 70s. When I was in my mid 20s, I was in a KISS tribute band, and my sister showed me an ad in the Trading Times (yes, that long ago) of a KISS machine for sale for $800 - I bought it. The seller had over a dozen games and told me it was a collectors item, not to play the living crap out of it. Well, my daughter was about 7 and her and her friends (and me) were playing it to death so a couple weeks later I called the seller and told him I needed a decoy - bought a Space Invaders from him for $400.

    A year or 2 later a buddy told me about a T2 game for sale in a local sandwich shop. Grabbed it for $800 - it was night and day compared to the other 2 - dmd, ramps, multiball, music, speech, totally different - - that really got me hooked again. I started looking on ebay for games, bought a couple, then word of mouth etc, rec.games.pinball.....Pinside....now we have a couple dozen games in the game room.

    #76 6 months ago
    Quoted from Dantesmark:

    Great story... im guessing you will never sell the hi-deal.

    Hi Deal is family. My oldest daughter will get it someday.

    #77 6 months ago

    2018 we moved into the house we plan to raise our family in. The finished basement, along with my office, was all I was given authority to “decorate”. My goal is always fun. How do I make the space an area to have a fun time with others in? I found a local guy with a warehouse of 100’s of routed arcades.

    I had bet a shot hundreds of times on a game of Silverstrike bowling in bars. Sold. Then while talking to him in his warehouse he suggested pinball from a variety of things do perspective. I had 3 options and knew zero about pinball or it’s pricing. 1.) Comet 2.) SW episode 1 3.) Hurricane.

    So at the time I overpaid in a package deal for Silverstrike and Hurricane. As you always hear, he told me there would be more in my life. Then I found locally a 1980’s quarter slot machine for a good price. 2019 paid a fair price for a Transformers LE that was routed, but less routed than Hurricane. 2020 found a local HUO Aerosmith pro and sunk some extra money in it to make it what I wanted (art blades, side armor, shaker, knocker, sub out, upgraded speakers, etc.). 2021 bought a new custom multicade.

    Basically, I grew up in the 90’s dropping quarters in things and bringing that nostalgia to my basement is fun for me to see my kids enjoy and fun to have a few drinks while playing with the guys. My machines aren’t set to free play (no I do not profit either). Hearing the knocker just wouldn’t seem as exciting during free play and hearing the quarters drop is part of the nostalgia.

    Each pin I have bought has improved from a condition standpoint so I guess 2022 may be my first NIB. Luckily I have distributor about 5 minutes from me. I’d really like to find a quarter pusher, but I only buy locally so I’ll stay patient.

    Due to layout/floor plan my space is limited so I’ll never rival many of the collections on here, but I have my little arcade to be a kid that gets to drink beer in.

    #78 6 months ago

    Merry Christmas everyone. Definitely feeling the nostalgia vibes in this thread. I was about 7 or 8 years old when my folks picked up a nip it at an estate sale. I remember holding on to the machine as it hung out the back of the SUV. Ah the 80s! So my brother and sister and I would play nip it in the basement with all the lights off for hours as kids. I’d love to be able to get us all back together to play it someday. I played In The local pizza shop as a kid but never thought about owning a pinball until many years later in about 2008-2009. I was a special assets officer for a bank in central Illinois. One of my clients had a skating rink we were going to be forcing into liquidation. Turned out to be Gene Cunningham the owner of Illinois pinball and creator of 141 Big Bang bar capcom remakes. I hadn’t thought much about pinball until I met Gene. What a character. He showed me his collection and explained how the BBB project essentially bankrupted him. Rather than increase the price to 7k, he ate 3k per machine. Broke him literally. It was fun playing some special games he had tucked away like the prototype BBB from capcom etc. Anyways, after that experience I was hooked. Bought a road show and took it all apart. I did the worst thing you can do when buying a game. Got it off eBay on my birthday and picked up in the dark. It needed everything and she got it. Took me a year but I had the nicest road show ever. Sold it too cheap before my divorce to just get it gone. Years later I started a company doing atms and pinballs. After a forensic audit I confirmed what I thought. My partner was stealing from the biz. Turned out to be cheaper than paying an employee lol. Still tho the experience was a blast did it for three years buying and selling pins all over the country. Now I just own a few and have a few I’m fixing up. I find it relaxing to clean and fix old games getting them back to their former glory. It also helps justify the crazy prices when I’m in a few grand less than market. Just a few years ago my folks sold our childhood home and they gave me nip it which I immediately had restored by a pro. Clearcoated playfield etc the works. I hope everyone has a nice holiday and a happy new year.

    #79 6 months ago

    My dad had a Valley rotation 7 cocktail game when I was a kid, plus I always remember the pinball section in arcades as feeling kinda cool. Didn’t think much of pinball as a teen or in college. When we bought our first house in 2001 I thought it would be cool to have a game in the basement. Found a 1974 star pool locally on eBay for $250 and really enjoyed restoring/playing games. Currently at 9 games mixed across the eras.

    With prices this high I just don’t see value in buying sys 11 or DMD games given their depth/limitations vs modern games. But I’ve happily taken advantage of the jumps here and sold off 2 lesser games to fund a NIB and other projects.

    I will consider NIB stern games on occasion (likely a GZ premium buyer in the future). I also really enjoy early SS games, but the market is creepy up high on those too!

    #80 6 months ago
    Quoted from jgreene:

    My dad had a Valley rotation 7 cocktail game when I was a kid, plus I always remember the pinball section in arcades as feeling kinda cool. Didn’t think much of pinball as a teen or in college. When we bought our first house in 2001 I thought it would be cool to have a game in the basement. Found a 1974 star pool locally on eBay for $250 and really enjoyed restoring/playing games. Currently at 9 games mixed across the eras.
    With prices this high I just don’t see value in buying sys 11 or DMD games given their depth/limitations vs modern games. But I’ve happily taken advantage of the jumps here and sold off 2 lesser games to fund a NIB and other projects.
    I will consider NIB stern games on occasion (likely a GZ premium buyer in the future). I also really enjoy early SS games, but the market is creepy up high on those too!

    Call if you want to relive your youth!

    F1624849-3FE6-4A45-8AA9-DF95D9633FFE (resized).jpeg
    #81 6 months ago

    Thanks for all the great stories and experiences! Been a joy to read them all.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    #82 6 months ago

    I‘ve also really enjoyed reading about these experiences. Merry Christmas everyone on Pinside.

    #83 6 months ago
    Quoted from Dantesmark:

    wanted to start this thread hoping to hear from hobbyist new and old.
    When did you get in?
    What was your first purchase?
    How much was it?
    Thoughts on how things used to be, how they are now, and your future in this hobby

    If you go to my profile my story is pretty much there... BUT anyway...
    I was into pinball when I was a kid (pre-teen/teen) my parents bowled on our church bowling league so I usually ended up hanging around the bowling alley while they played. I would get quarters from my Dad and slip into the alley arcade (at this time they were dubbed as 18 and older) and play (I say this lightly cause my games never lasted longer than a minute!) pinball...I remember Haunted House being one that claimed many of my quarters, LOL!! cause all the flippers were never working so if I did by chance make it to the upper or lower PF I was pretty much done! Fast forward a few years and I'm getting ready to graduate from high school, another local bowling alley one of my best friends in high school takes me in to visit her Mom (who works there) and I meet who turns out to be my hubby (37 years together now) who also worked there. He was in the arcade playing a vid with his best friend...anyway we ended up hitting it off and played pinball while we were dating they had Black Knight and Space Shuttle. Skip ahead to 2000 (missed the entire 90's in pinball!! Hey life happens!!) We're searching for a new house and we wanted one with a basement for our pool table and Foosball table and we want to add a pin. We searched on E-bay and found a Space Shuttle (1st game (not exact one but title) we played together when dating). We won the auction for $500. it was supposed to be 100% working and in great shape!! LOL!! we learned very quickly NOT to believe all that you read!! We made it a family vacation road trip to go pick it up! Got it home and immediately had to start learning how to repair our 100% working great shape game! So while the boards were being repaired hubby decided to touch up and clear the PF and restore the rest of the game.Then we found a Black Knight, then a Gorgar, then a Sorcerer...and so it goes!! Space shuttle (#1) is still here and not leaving...along with 50+ others that we've added since then. Restoration of games ended up being my work for the next 11 years. I restored games for others from 2001 till about 2011, then I scaled back and now I do my games and a couple for friends but I mostly just do some custom painting and other things for my games...We are pretty happy with our collection and are really not searching for anything to add but you know that with this "hobby" (ie. addiction) you are never really done sooooo...We went through the tourney phase...we started playing in every tourney we could in about 2009 and then we got over that and decided that we would rather spend time at shows with our friends rather than having to be in the tourney area constantly...so we have stepped back and only play in a few tourneys not really chasing points just play for fun...we did start a local league in 2013 and we enjoy it. We have 32 people playing. Not planning to leave the hobby just scaled back on traveling and are planning to scale back the shows we go to...LOL!! Getting to old to load and unload all these games! Planning to just enjoy what we have with friends and see where the hobby ends up!!

    Phoebe

    #84 6 months ago
    Quoted from Butterflygirl24:

    If you go to my profile my story is pretty much there... BUT anyway...
    I was into pinball when I was a kid (pre-teen/teen) my parents bowled on our church bowling league so I usually ended up hanging around the bowling alley while they played. I would get quarters from my Dad and slip into the alley arcade (at this time they were dubbed as 18 and older) and play (I say this lightly cause my games never lasted longer than a minute!) pinball...I remember Haunted House being one that claimed many of my quarters, LOL!! cause all the flippers were never working so if I did by chance make it to the upper or lower PF I was pretty much done! Fast forward a few years and I'm getting ready to graduate from high school, another local bowling alley one of my best friends in high school takes me in to visit her Mom (who works there) and I meet who turns out to be my hubby (37 years together now) who also worked there. He was in the arcade playing a vid with his best friend...anyway we ended up hitting it off and played pinball while we were dating they had Black Knight and Space Shuttle. Skip ahead to 2000 (missed the entire 90's in pinball!! Hey life happens!!) We're searching for a new house and we wanted one with a basement for our pool table and Foosball table and we want to add a pin. We searched on E-bay and found a Space Shuttle (1st game (not exact one but title) we played together when dating). We won the auction for $500. it was supposed to be 100% working and in great shape!! LOL!! we learned very quickly NOT to believe all that you read!! We made it a family vacation road trip to go pick it up! Got it home and immediately had to start learning how to repair our 100% working great shape game! So while the boards were being repaired hubby decided to touch up and clear the PF and restore the rest of the game.Then we found a Black Knight, then a Gorgar, then a Sorcerer...and so it goes!! Space shuttle (#1) is still here and not leaving...along with 50+ others that we've added since then. Restoration of games ended up being my work for the next 11 years. I restored games for others from 2001 till about 2011, then I scaled back and now I do my games and a couple for friends but I mostly just do some custom painting and other things for my games...We are pretty happy with our collection and are really not searching for anything to add but you know that with this "hobby" (ie. addiction) you are never really done sooooo...We went through the tourney phase...we started playing in every tourney we could in about 2009 and then we got over that and decided that we would rather spend time at shows with our friends rather than having to be in the tourney area constantly...so we have stepped back and only play in a few tourneys not really chasing points just play for fun...we did start a local league in 2013 and we enjoy it. We have 32 people playing. Not planning to leave the hobby just scaled back on traveling and are planning to scale back the shows we go to...LOL!! Getting to old to load and unload all these games! Planning to just enjoy what we have with friends and see where the hobby ends up!!
    Phoebe

    I still remember Phoebe "arriving" on the pinball scene and becoming an instant celebrity. Partially because of being one of the first females posting and partially because she was so passionate about it. Still, in my mind, a pinball celeb for sure

    #85 6 months ago

    Earliest I remember is in the early 80s being drawn to some random EM by the clicking dials, bells and lights then getting the chance to "play" though for all I remember now it was just me banging on the glass while an adult worked the flippers. All I know is that from then on any time I saw a machine I'd play it until I was dragged away. Memories of other games back then are blurry but the flood back when I play them now. A few games I remember seeking out over and over though... Black Knight, Comet, Cyclone, Pinbot and High Speed.

    Early 90s started with most of the arcades and other locations accessible to 11 year old me on a bike drying up so I missed out on a lot of titles for a few years. The only games I remember from then are Hurricane which I was already primed for from comet/cyclone and The Machine which was a hell of a drug at the dawn of puberty.

    I made up for it by fleshing out my own ideas for tables on graph paper and even tried making a few of them in the basement using scrapwood and cannibalized toys/appliances with predictable results. I never did give up on making my own but the idea was tabled in late 95/early 96 when AFM came out just as my new driver's license made it accessible and I don't remember much else until college when a convenience store near my dorm got an MM that led to missing a lot of classes.

    2000s started with the industry imploding and a badly broken wrist that kept me out for awhile until LOTR dragged me back in. Continued to playcasually for the next several years, stymied by the responsibilities of adulthood and recurring problems with the wrist.

    Around 2018 life had settled down and my wrist had healed as much as it was ever going to so I started getting serious again first at locations and then just as 2020 started I decided it was time to revisit the homebrew idea. Picked up a boardless, water-damaged Baywatch with most of the plastics missing or broken but the mechanicals more or less intact, dusted off my old box of crap from radio shack and blew up a lot of transistors refreshing my memory of how they all work. Meanwhile was going to every location I could find for "research" and checking out makerspaces for space/tool access when covid turned the world upside down so I've been forced to learn by trial and error in my cramped 1 car garage using whatever tools I've accumulated over the years.

    The going has been slow but after a few random playfields to try things out it's starting to get serious. I hope to have something that is fun to someone other than me in another year. Realistically though it'll probably be longer as the Iron Maiden I picked up to continue my "research" keeps revealing new insights that require hours of careful study which cuts into the time I have to spend in the garage.

    #86 5 months ago
    Quoted from Butterflygirl24:

    If you go to my profile my story is pretty much there... BUT anyway...
    I was into pinball when I was a kid (pre-teen/teen) my parents bowled on our church bowling league so I usually ended up hanging around the bowling alley while they played. I would get quarters from my Dad and slip into the alley arcade (at this time they were dubbed as 18 and older) and play (I say this lightly cause my games never lasted longer than a minute!) pinball...I remember Haunted House being one that claimed many of my quarters, LOL!! cause all the flippers were never working so if I did by chance make it to the upper or lower PF I was pretty much done! Fast forward a few years and I'm getting ready to graduate from high school, another local bowling alley one of my best friends in high school takes me in to visit her Mom (who works there) and I meet who turns out to be my hubby (37 years together now) who also worked there. He was in the arcade playing a vid with his best friend...anyway we ended up hitting it off and played pinball while we were dating they had Black Knight and Space Shuttle. Skip ahead to 2000 (missed the entire 90's in pinball!! Hey life happens!!) We're searching for a new house and we wanted one with a basement for our pool table and Foosball table and we want to add a pin. We searched on E-bay and found a Space Shuttle (1st game (not exact one but title) we played together when dating). We won the auction for $500. it was supposed to be 100% working and in great shape!! LOL!! we learned very quickly NOT to believe all that you read!! We made it a family vacation road trip to go pick it up! Got it home and immediately had to start learning how to repair our 100% working great shape game! So while the boards were being repaired hubby decided to touch up and clear the PF and restore the rest of the game.Then we found a Black Knight, then a Gorgar, then a Sorcerer...and so it goes!! Space shuttle (#1) is still here and not leaving...along with 50+ others that we've added since then. Restoration of games ended up being my work for the next 11 years. I restored games for others from 2001 till about 2011, then I scaled back and now I do my games and a couple for friends but I mostly just do some custom painting and other things for my games...We are pretty happy with our collection and are really not searching for anything to add but you know that with this "hobby" (ie. addiction) you are never really done sooooo...We went through the tourney phase...we started playing in every tourney we could in about 2009 and then we got over that and decided that we would rather spend time at shows with our friends rather than having to be in the tourney area constantly...so we have stepped back and only play in a few tourneys not really chasing points just play for fun...we did start a local league in 2013 and we enjoy it. We have 32 people playing. Not planning to leave the hobby just scaled back on traveling and are planning to scale back the shows we go to...LOL!! Getting to old to load and unload all these games! Planning to just enjoy what we have with friends and see where the hobby ends up!!
    Phoebe

    Glad you posted this. I did not know some of those cool things. I have learned many valuable pinball lessons from Phoebe. But the most important one… it’s more fun to share machines in your collection with others.

    1 month later
    #87 4 months ago

    Been collecting arcades and pins of all types and ages for more than 15 years now. Even bought a house with a large workshop on the property so I could expand the collection.

    First coin op buy was a UN Squadron arcade game for a couple hundred and first pin was a Time Zone for a couple hundred. Both are long gone.

    The collection had grown to over 100 games in the workshop, and we've had many great Halloween parties with 60+ games up and running on free play for years...... the reaction walking in the door of a first timer at the Halloween party is always the best

    I've always watched prices and kept my eye out for deals and bulk buys and have only ever bought 1 NIB game (Rob Zombie, which I recently sold as well). I stuck pretty close with my "come what may" approach and rarely did I ever search out a specific game. Everything comes around some time

    Prices have gone up so much in the past couple years I have quit buying anything at all.

    This fall I started selling off games with the direct intent to pay off the house. I made the decision to take action at the time of opportunity instead of letting it pass by and wishing I had done something later on in life.

    At first it was difficult for me to let things go, like anything that's been a large part of your life for a long time, but now as I sit here with only $4k left on the house, I know I made the right decision for me. I found out, that for me, lifting the last of that debt burden is worth so much more than the value of the things we enjoy.

    I've still got plenty of games here to enjoy, and still love getting games back up and running to play for the first time. It's certainly not the end for me, just the beginning of a less stressful and more comfortable life.

    Having no debt and a paid off house at 40 is not something that a lot of people I know have, and will set things up for a better 2nd half of the game

    #88 4 months ago

    Played at the Illini Union basement in the late 1970s - early 1980s. Tons of games lined the bowling alley, pool hall, and big hallway. Great times - especially being only a couple hours south of Chicago - we got a lot of games.

    2001, bought IJ and SS. Both in great shape for just under $3,000.

    From there I bought and sold around 25 games, keeping 2-3 in rotation.

    Fun hobby.

    #89 4 months ago

    I was reintroduced to pinball at the Pinball Hall of Fame in Vegas 5 years ago. I immediately knew I wanted a machine (or two) and looked at a few really nice examples of less well known games under $4,000 at the time. I decided it was worth the wait to find a game I really wanted for sale locally (AFM, MM, IJTPA, Simpsons Pinball Party) but unfortunately the Vegas market has been sparse and prices on the classics nationwide started climbing faster than my budget. Cactus Canyon at the Hall of Fame is the family's favorite and in my top 3 so I'm anxiously awaiting shipping on an SE remake as my first game!

    #90 4 months ago

    I first played pinball through Pokemon Pinball on Gameboy Advance I'm pretty sure... but on location, it was a Phantom Menace at my CiCi's pizza. I played it every week, sinking what coins I had into it. CiCi's closed a few years after, and I was pinball-less until 2018. A Pinball Museum opened up near me, and I jumped at the chance of course. Then I somehow got the money to purchase an Alice Cooper, which is my only machine. Nowadays I can barely afford anything outside of bills, so I'm still stumped on that one...
    Definitely see pinball in my future, but I doubt I'll be buying any for a long time. The prices have definitely gone up from when I looked around Pinside regularly. I've been wanting to get into electrical repair work, and thought learning pinball and arcade might be a good thing while I try pursuing an education, so I plan on doing that this year.

    1 month later
    #91 89 days ago

    Always loved pinball. My first clear memory of pinball was seeing Black Hole for the first time at an arcade in the early 80s in Waco, Texas. My mind was blown; it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. First machine was a Raven in 1996, cost $350, I played it a few years and sold it for $400 (and aside from replacing a few bulbs and sling rubbers, I NEVER had a SINGLE issue with that machine; I had no idea how lucky I was). Finally returned to the hobby during COVID and got my first NIB: a Wonka SE. Unboxing that thing was pure magic that brought me back to childhood level excitement. Found Pinside, have acquired a few more machines from some awesome Pinsiders, and I'm hooked like the rest of ya ... biggest "problem" is no more space, which means life is pretty great in the grand scheme

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