(Topic ID: 86953)

Price Check - F-14 Tomcat

By dudel

5 years ago

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  • 25 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by 27dnast
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#1 5 years ago

Hi guys,

absolute pinball beginner here. I am currently on a mission to purchase my first pinball and already found something interesting (pinball is in the same town), namely a Tomcat. Here is the corresponding ebay auction: ebay.com link » Flipper Williams Tom Cat Multiball Abholung Saarbruecken Saarland

The descriptsions roughly translates to:
- Playfield is in good to very good condition. Flipper door (coin door?) is not damaged. Original paint. All keys.
- Negative: 3rd display is broken.
- Everything else works

The pics are somewhat blurry and to me it seems it is a bit worn, but as I said I don't have much of a clue.

The price of 1000€, which translates to roughly 1300$, is pretty high, I guess, considering that one display is broken and the overall condition. I thought about offering something like 700$. What do you think?

Luckily it is in the same town, so a visit and test play should probably a must. From what I've read so far about F-14 is that I have to watch out for bubbles on the mylar, raised playfield inserts and the batteries. Anything else in particular?

I am really excited to get my first pinball and this forum is really great. I could read it all day, but I think it's also time to get active now, so your help would be much appreciated!

#2 5 years ago

Run from this one and don't look back

#3 5 years ago

It is worth whatever you are willing to pay for it.

If it's cheap relative to your location, and you have no problem doing repairs. Have it it.

FWIW, most F-14's with original displays will need to be replaced as the original plasma's are past their lifetime. LED displays are about $150USD so factor that into your costs.

#4 5 years ago

Don't know prices for your location but that is way over priced for here. Look elsewhere...

#5 5 years ago
Quoted from Patofnaud:

If it's cheap relative to your location, and you have no problem doing repairs. Have it it.


It all depends on location, US$1300 is on the lower end of the price scale for this in my area. Some people tend to forget that pins are a dime a dozen in certain areas of the US, not so much so for other places in the world. There are a fair number of people on here that would balk at the prices we have to pay in my area for a game.

You need to contact someone in your area that collects pins to see if that is a reasonable price or not. You may try Dragon's Lair Fans website as it is located in Europe and someone on there may be able to give to a better idea on the pricing. In general though, prices tend to be a bit higher on eBay than the local price.

#6 5 years ago
Quoted from dudel:

absolute pinball beginner here

Early Williams with 40 pin inner connect between mpu and driver. Nightmare if you don't do board repairs and are good and soldering.

Depends on your background. If you know electronics and are pretty handy then pin with issues maybe OK for first pin. But really you should start with one 100% working.

Also display = $. and LED replacement displays of almost 300. forget it.

Why not start a new post, look for someone in your area close that may help you out? Someone that can make your first purchase a pleasurable one. Something working with solid rebuilt flippers, off board battery etc.

#7 5 years ago

A nice F-14 around me goes for around $1,600.. I've seen a few sell lately for around that price on CL.. But condition is everything!

#8 5 years ago
Quoted from CNKay:

Early Williams with 40 pin inner connect between mpu and driver.

Correction: F-14 is a System 11 with one board combination MPU and driver, there is no 40 pin interconnection.

#9 5 years ago

$1100USD or so is a fair price for a nice F-14 Tomcat.

#10 5 years ago

F-14 in the U.S.
- this was a high production game that seems to have had a lot of survivors. A lot of of them around, and a lot of lower end condition games are frequently seen.

Besides those specifics you mentioned such as watching out for battery corrosion, condition overall is important. Blurry pics are not going to cut it and you will definitely need to see it in person. This is one game where if you are not comfortable with playfield work such as removing mylar or repairing inserts, you may want to hold out for a better example if paying a higher price. If you have no problem working on this sort of thing, then you really need to work towards getting the price down. Walking away is an option where the game is in a more plentiful supply, so besides the overall condition, how frequently you are seeing potential candidates in your geographical area will be a factor.

#11 5 years ago

The arrowhead inserts are horrible to level if any are lifted. Too many axises (axi?) to pivot on when simply warming to reset them unless you plan on cutting them all out, scraping glue out and resetting clean. Still, over time the heat from the lamps likely warped them and you won't get them level.

Unless fully mylar'ed, there will be lots of wear in an arc above the pop bumper and around the upper loop. Seen a lot down to the wood in these areas around the inserts.

Also known design problems lead to blown switch/solenoid drivers due to shorting. May have been fixed fully, or fixed and 2 flashers removed that you may want to add back.

Also, ensure all of the beacons are intact, and all the reflectors are there. Very hard to find replacement parts for those cheap.

#12 5 years ago

Lately this game is been very hot...

#13 5 years ago

Sold one for 1750 at York.

#14 5 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

Correction: F-14 is a System 11 with one board combination MPU and driver, there is no 40 pin interconnection.

Man I always do that with F14 for some reason. Good call. I guess i remember it in the arcade line up with flash black knight and gorgar. So you are good there, a better board set.

It is a fast a fun pin for sure.

#15 5 years ago

Seems like a fair price for an F-14 in europe. It's a really cool game and everyone knows it.

One sold here for $1000 yesterday. Lasted about 45 minutes.

#16 5 years ago

Thanks a bunch for all your input.

In Germany I have seen some past offers for ones in near perfect condition for ~$1500, some in good condition for ~$1000 and some with "minor work to do" for ~$700 or less.

Currently I do not have any experience in repairing etc, but I am really eager to learn it. That said good will alone will probably not help me much in that situation. So I tend to follow the advice that some of you have suggested to look for one that is sure to be working 100%. Over time I will probably get enough chances to learn some repairing.

Nonetheless, I think I will still try to see it in person and if it plays good and the guy makes a really good offer, I can still think about it. I am pretty sure it will not go for the price in the auction..

#17 5 years ago

Display is an easy fix, just buy a LED display and swap it. If it has any other problem like battery corrosion or gameplay issues, unless you really want to dive deep, you may want to pass on it. But if it is just the display, no worries.

#18 5 years ago

I say again.... RUN!!!

#19 5 years ago
Quoted from joemamma:

I say again.... RUN!!!

Could you please elaborate a bit so that I know for what to watch out in the future? Thanks =)

#20 5 years ago

Looked at the pictures -- the two problematic flashers have been removed (under the reds by the upper T-O-M C-A-T targets), so you may want to add those back and undo the reversal on the bottom boards and/or fix any issues they caused on the MPU.

Also, I'd kill for the PF and cab in as good condition of that, but let me state mine is about a "D" quality and that one is a "C+" So I would expect a price closer to 850-900 EUR instead. 1000 EUR seems high but they've definitely sold for that much. Here's a list of recent actual sell prices: http://www.pinpedia.com/machine/F14-Tomcat/prices

Germany only: 657, 799, 1021, 1110, 855, 856, 1005, 1043, 890, 987, 405, 734, 606 (throwing out highest and lowest in the last 12 months). Average: 843 Euro

US only: 1730, 900, 900, 1945, 1450, 2121, 1136, 1100 (again throwing out highest/lowest over 12 months). Average: $1410 USD

Looks like it's more common in Germany and sells for less too. I'd hold out to get it for 850 EUR. Also if you buy it outside of ebay (don't bid) the seller will save about 20% in selling fees IIRC so that might mean you could offer 800 EUR cash and take it and the seller gets just as much as they would selling at 1000 on ebay.

As far as the display. A $60 replacement glass and some soldering will fix that if you don't want to spend $180+ on the LED. But if you do spend $180+ then you can probably sell the existing panel with 3 working for ~$100 to someone that will want it, making up most of the difference and never having to replace another plasma again.

#21 5 years ago

Thank you very much for the detailed advice! I also did not know pinpedia, awesome resource.

#22 5 years ago
Quoted from dudel:

Nonetheless, I think I will still try to see it in person and if it plays good and the guy makes a really good offer, I can still think about it. I am pretty sure it will not go for the price in the auction..

Best idea. The photos don't show a lot of the usual issues for this machine.

1 week later
#23 5 years ago


I've got a nice one I am selling right now.. $1,499obo just placed in marketplace.. PM for more information or pictures.

#24 5 years ago

From my personal experience owning an F-14 since 2009 I believe it to be a great starter pin because it is built like a tank.

Other than normal, routine maintenance I have been very lucky with my machine. As another poster pointed out, the Plasma displays (or in my case the driver board they mount to) will wear out over time. So I guess my biggest maintenance expense has been the purchase of a new XPIN display, which BTW, is an awesome product.

So really it comes down to price based upon condition. They all were full-mylar from t he factory and every on eI've seen or read about has some lifting of the arrowhead inserts beneath the mylar. Mine isn't enough to affect gameplay so I have no desire to mess with it. The other thing to look at is if the mylar lift has actually pulled the decals/lettering stenciled atop the inserts up with it. That's a big detractor in value in my opinion.

Good luck.

#25 5 years ago

I think these F-14's can go anywhere from the low to high $1,000's.... if you're looking at one with a blown-out play field it will be on the lower end... if you're looking at one with insert art intact, etc, and a solid play field... then you are probably going to pay closer to $1700.

It's a great game... awesome light show... awesome callouts. Definitely get one if you can!

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