(Topic ID: 14292)

Should I or Shouldn't I have bought this AFM?


By MrWizzo

7 years ago



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#1 7 years ago

Been on Emerald Isle, NC all week and played a few pins by what turns out to be a fairly large operator in the area. Pins generally play well and are well maintained. I give him a call to see if he has an AFM or FH on route. He has an AFM but isn't really open to selling. I ask what price would get him to consider. He replies for me to make an offer. I say depending upon condition 3,500 to 4,500. He asks if no shopping involved. I concur. he agrees to 3,500.

I meet him at his shop in Jacksonville. Nice elderly man in the business for 40 years. He has thousands of items on location: pool tables, pins, videos, jukeboxes, etc. He has not gotten old being no fool, that's for sure. Johnny and I go to the movie theater to see the AFM. On the way we talk about the 68 ford 3/4 ton pickup he is restoring and I tell him about my 69 corvair convertible.

The AFM was one of the limited snow white cabinet editions. I mean this game had to have seen more sun in its day than Miami Beach! Cabinet is literally almost pure white. My thinking is a game that needs a decal job, needs a decal job, so extreme need is no biggie. I focus on the playfield next.

Couple pf issues. One insert has wear on black outline. Easy fix. The large red hotdog-shaped insert between the slings is raised on the right side with the wear again confined to the black outline. Should flatten out. I thought it could be a sign of the playfield having warped, but that did not seem to be the case. The rest of the inserts are flat. Very minimal SOL wear. A cliffy puts that in order in a heartbeat. Plastics all unbroken. No cracking on the the ramps. Strobe light works. All martians there and in good shape. One LED out on mothership. A string of lights out on the big light board under the playfield. Most probably an easy fix. DMD a little weak. Back of translite assembly will need some attention. J120 starting to discolor.

Plays great. Everything works perfectly. The kickback on the ball back from the Mothership is the strongest I have experienced on an AFM. Stop in the middle of the second game. No need to paly it anymore.

Most of you will probably shake your head at this, but the clincher for me was when I lifted the playfield, and the manual, large manilla envelope were there together with the UNOPENED GOODIE BAG! I know this is stupid. But that goodie bag really excited me.

I ask Johnny that given the expense of the DMD and the poor condition of the decals if he would accept $2,800. He agrees, and we shake hands.

He will hold the game in his wharehouse for me until I decide whether to ship it to VA, come pick it up or ask him to deliver to my house on Emerald Isle.

I have been toying with the idea of trading my newly shopped MM for an AFM and players to be named later, but at 2,800 I figure I can play the AFM and decide whether to go with one or keep both. Pretty sure I can get my money back on the AFM if I need to.

I figure that it is about time or me to grow up and take on a playfield swap and a decal job. Estimating $200 for the DMD, $350 for the decals, $700 for the playfield and maybe 2-300 for other parts, I'll be in the game for 4,200-4,300 plus my labor of love. I think that is a decent price for such an AFM, especially with the goodie bag!

What do you think?

#2 7 years ago

I would have done it. Nice score. I'm so jealous!!!

Oh, and congrats!!!

#3 7 years ago

Yeah man! Sounds like you've got a plan already!

#4 7 years ago

Now days a $2800 AFM is a no-brainer. You did great. Congrats and enjoy.

#5 7 years ago

any afm in any condition is worth 2800+. Good score!

#6 7 years ago

You obviously did quite well, not that you don't already know that.

#7 7 years ago

April fools day was 4 days ago.

#8 7 years ago

great buy. congrats

#9 7 years ago

That game is worth 5500. Right now ! Nice score

Jim

#10 7 years ago
Quoted from davewtf:

You obviously did quite well, not that you don't already know that.

Dave:

I honestly posted to share the story but also needed to know if given how trashed the cabinet was, I made Johnny an appropriate offer. It's nice to get feedback from others more knowledgeable than I am.

Dan

#11 7 years ago

That is a crazy-good score on AFM. I'm into almost $6k on mine with shipping, upgrades and other parts... and it also needs a decal job. Well, it doesn't absolutely need it, but I'm crazy that way.
Too bad you found one though, I might have offered you mine in trade for your CV

Nice one!

#12 7 years ago

No love for the goodie bag?

#13 7 years ago

what's in the goodie bag?

#14 7 years ago

You should really give it back to Johnny.

#15 7 years ago

crazy good deal, I paid twice as much for mine, and I was not disappointed

#16 7 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

Too bad you found one though, I might have offered you mine in trade for your CV

I am pretty much in my final line up (famous last words). That one is my second CV and will stay. The other game I had two nice examples of was FH, and I am keeping an eye out to get Rudy once again.

Dan

#17 7 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

what's in the goodie bag?

I didn't examine it fully, but a pair of slings plastics, flipper rubbers, some bulbs, probably a key fob or other AFM-specific items. The only other game I had bought that had the goodie bag was my first CV, and that was from an operator also.

Pinball's version of SWAG, I guess.

Dan

#18 7 years ago
Quoted from MrWizzo:

Drano said:Too bad you found one though, I might have offered you mine in trade for your CV
I am pretty much in my final line up (famous last words). That one is my second CV and will stay. The other game I had two nice examples of was FH, and I am keeping an eye out to get Rudy once again.
Dan

I hear ya, I'm in the same boat.
Once BHZA arrives I'm just about done. Got what I wanted and I'm pretty happy. I just find AFM very similar to my MM and I think that it is the one pin I may have to trade/sell. The only titles out there I'm interested in replacing it with are either CV or TRON.... or maybe both

#19 7 years ago

Great buy!!! How many AFM's will you find for under $3k today?

#20 7 years ago

That is a crazy price on the AFM. Without doing a thing to it, you could flip it for 1500 or more. So you know you got a great deal.

With all the parts available, great time to restore it. Plus the satisfaction of restoring it will make that much more special to you.

#21 7 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

I just find AFM very similar to my MM and I think that it is the one pin I may have to trade/sell. The only titles out there I'm interested in replacing it with are either CV or TRON...

Ah yes, the eternal question, AFM or MM? I have been dealing with that for a while, and I will finally figure it out for myself. I love the alien and an international theme of AFM, but haven't played it enough to decide if it is a keeper. I expect it is.

When I was at the Pinball Palace in Pa a few months ago, AFM and MM were side by side, and what struck was how the sound and music of MM seemed more entertaining and almost cinematic than that of AFM. If I decide to keep the AFM, I may sell the MM. That would give me the opportunity to jump into one of these upcoming niche offerings like BHZA or JJPs second offering or SKITBs Predator. Never purchased a NIB game before. That would be pretty cool!

CV is so unique in a lot of ways. I love the colors and the weird, twisted gender-identity crisis of the ringmaster. I think that is why he is so belligerent and exposes himself to abuse! Got to wonder what lies latent in Popadiuk's head! You gotta get a couple tweaks worked out- level of the boom balloon, reliability of the high wire ramp switches, something to correct the tendency of the ball not staying in the first juggler saucer- but after that, pretty straight forward. Make sure you check the back of the translite assembly. The kicker in there for the cannonball often cracks the plastic back. I could be wrong, but I think the CV will continue to appreciate whereas not sure the same is true about Tron at least in the short term.

Dan

#22 7 years ago

Since you have to get a DMD, get the ColorDMD instead. Not a whole lot more.

Nice Grab! I WISH I could find the same deal!!!

#23 7 years ago
Quoted from jimjim66:

With all the parts available, great time to restore it. Plus the satisfaction of restoring it will make that much more special to you.

Agree. Considering Treasure Cove for the decals. Any suggestions on the playfield?

Hey, thanks a bunch for everyone's input. Off to bed. Meanwhile...

..."sleep well and dream of large women."

Dan

#24 7 years ago

If I came across a deal like this I'd buy it in a heartbeat without even thinking about it. For that price, I'd just have it shipped to HEP or other high end restorer and would have a top quality AFM for a lot less than it would be worth.

#25 7 years ago

I'd have bought it if it were in that Wh2o's condition that was on ebay. And this one actually plays? Awesome score.

#26 7 years ago

Great buy!

Quoted from jeffsgames:

Since you have to get a DMD, get the ColorDMD instead. Not a whole lot more.

I second this.

#27 7 years ago
Quoted from MrWizzo:

davewth said:You obviously did quite well, not that you don't already know that.
Dave:
I honestly posted to share the story but also needed to know if given how trashed the cabinet was, I made Johnny an appropriate offer. It's nice to get feedback from others more knowledgeable than I am.
Dan

No offense meant, Dan. My personal opinion of you is that you are quite knowledgeable in general, so i assumed you knew!

Anyhow, you can definitely send something like this to somebody reasonable like Jim McCune on here for a full restoration and be several thousand dollars ahead of the game IMHO.

#28 7 years ago

Congrats on an AMAZING score!

#29 7 years ago

That's a crazy deal, you took that old man!

#30 7 years ago
Quoted from MrWizzo:

I honestly posted to share the story but also needed to know if given how trashed the cabinet was, I made Johnny an appropriate offer. It's nice to get feedback from others more knowledgeable than I am.
Dan

You basically ripped the old man off, congrats

#31 7 years ago

Nice score. I don't think you took him, it was fair based on what you describe.

#32 7 years ago

hell yes you buy that

#33 7 years ago

I disagree...i would not buy it.
Pls give me his name so i can tell him for you.

#34 7 years ago

Hey, I know an old man who wants to get rid of his excellent AFM for your excellent WH20 and 4k.
Maybe you could work out the details with this old dude?

IMG_4879.JPG

#35 7 years ago

Really? I told you what I paid for mine earlier this week, so either you think I got ripped off or you're fishing for comments. You could buy one of those brand new decaled cabinets and STILL be ahead of the game.

#36 7 years ago
Quoted from herg:

Really? I told you what I paid for mine earlier this week, so either you think I got ripped off or you're fishing for comments. You could buy one of those brand new decaled cabinets and STILL be ahead of the game.

Herg:

Actually when I saw your pictures, I thought that you got a good deal on a really nice game. Why would I think you got ripped off when games in good shape (as yours seems to be) are going for 6-7 K?

I never bought a game in the condition mine is in, so I really did not know how to judge its value. That's why I was looking for opinions. Is there something wrong with that? But fishing for comments, that makes it sound like you are annoyed for some reason. Unsure why that would be.

Anyway, I guess the fishing for comments comment means that I should know what the brand new decaled cabinets you refer to are, but I don't. If you would let me know about them, that could be very helpful.

Thanks,

Dan

#37 7 years ago
Quoted from davewtf:

No offense meant, Dan. My personal opinion of you is that you are quite knowledgeable in general, so i assumed you knew!

Anyhow, you can definitely send something like this to somebody reasonable like Jim McCune on here for a full restoration and be several thousand dollars ahead of the game IMHO.

Thanks for the compliment, but I definitely have holes in my collecting experience and knowledge. That's whats great about being part of Pinside learning form others. The game made sense to me because I have been wanting to take on a decal job and playfield swap. A little intimidating at this point, but there is a lot of experience here to glean from.

Quoted from guymontag451:

That's a crazy deal, you took that old man!

Quoted from turbo20lbs:

You basically ripped the old man off, congrats

Guys, not at all. For whatever reason, he chose to agree to my offered price. I really do not know why. This was a savvy experienced businessman. I have been in business 22 years on my own, and the only way to have enjoy longevity is by pursuing a win/win philosophy with each client as far as possible. I think that when he heard my offer of 2,800, looked me in the eye and told me that he checked on its value before I came over and then accepted the price, it was because when he asked me to make an offer over the phone, the range 3,500 to 4,500 I quoted him told him that I was serious and not trying to get something for nothing from him. I am sure he deals with people trying to lowball him all day, which is why he told me right up front he was not interested in selling anything. My experience with large operators is that I have always paid significantly less for games from them than private collectors because the games are just a commodity to the ops I have dealt with. He admitted that he had zero interest in the games as a hobbyist. For whatever reason, I gained favor from him and got a good deal on a game with potential.

#38 7 years ago

Nice find Dan.Bring it back to Va. and add it to your collection.Find some decals and I will help you put them on.

#39 7 years ago

I think you made a fair offer based on condition and He accepted it.He knew what He was doing and so did you!

#40 7 years ago

Mrwizzo you need to add spiderman to that nice collection of yours.

#41 7 years ago
Quoted from brz:

Nice find Dan.Bring it back to Va. and add it to your collection.Find some decals and I will help you put them on.

Cool! Thanks. I tried getting a Data East Stars Wars for Robert that Johnny had in a bar down there, but he was not interested in selling it.

I am leaning toward bringing it back up here. Really appreciate the offer. Thanks again.

Dan

#42 7 years ago
Quoted from Loupie:

Hey, I know an old man who wants to get rid of his excellent AFM for your excellent WH20 and 4k.

Seems like a good deal. Would you do the same for my excellent TSPP? (joke)

#43 7 years ago

Dan,

You could always just ship it directly to me > name your price for the finders fee. I will restore it and let you know if you made a good purchase

#44 7 years ago
Quoted from scooter:

Mrwizzo you need to add spiderman to that nice collection of yours.

Scooter:

You know, you must be psychic. I played SM down there all week and have been seriously thinking about that.

Until yesterday, the scoring switch on the right ramp didn't work, so i couldn't start any modes. Love the Venom shot. I wish I could hit the left ramp on my TSPP with the same consistency. I still have William Defoe's Green Goblin cackle popping up in my head a day later.

Maybe once I have finished shopping my Creature and done the restore on the AFM. I thought another FH was next, but things are always in flux with pin collecting.

Dan

#45 7 years ago

Loupie, Kwiki, Whysnow:

It's nice to have so many new friends!

Wizzo

#46 7 years ago

#47 7 years ago
Quoted from MrWizzo:

I never bought a game in the condition mine is in, so I really did not know how to judge its value.

Hey Dan,
Not sure what you're used to, but aside from the few very minor normal wear and tear issues you listed, the only thing wrong with this game seems to be the faded decals. Man, that's just a set of big stickers! You scored big time and there's nothing wrong with the condition of this game (especially at that price). The most bothersome problem will be sorting out those lights and that wouldn't worry me too much.

I was lucky enough to score an old set of Pheonix Arcade silkscreened decals for my forthcoming AFM restoration. I would highly recommend trying to do the same if you can. Avoid the inkjet options out there for this title. If you're not doing the work yourself, guys like Jim or Chris might have some set aside? Dunno???

#48 7 years ago

I'm sorry, but I was a bit annoyed. Guess I assumed that someone who has owned machines as long as you have, is capable of doing a full teardown shop job, and knows the price of a machine in good condition would know that this is a steal.

You can get cabinets from letsplaypinball.com, but if your cabinet is solid, I would just do decals.

#49 7 years ago

hah! Never assume anything! I've been collecting machines for 20 years and STILL have trouble lifting the playfield!

#50 7 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

MrWizzo said:
I never bought a game in the condition mine is in, so I really did not know how to judge its value.
Hey Dan,
Not sure what you're used to, but aside from the few very minor normal wear and tear issues you listed, the only thing wrong with this game seems to be the faded decals. Man, that's just a set of big stickers! You scored big time and there's nothing wrong with the condition of this game (especially at that price). The most bothersome problem will be sorting out those lights and that wouldn't worry me too much.
I was lucky enough to score an old set of Pheonix Arcade silkscreened decals for my forthcoming AFM restoration. I would highly recommend trying to do the same if you can. Avoid the inkjet options out there for this title. If you're not doing the work yourself, guys like Jim or Chris might have some set aside? Dunno???

Drano:

In the past (1997-2005) I would have looked at the game and left immediately as I have always stressed getting games with very nice cabs, so this is change in mental paradigm for me. I appreciate the perspective on the decals, and I think that they have become more prevalent as these games age, I am getting more comfortable with this and am looking forward to the challenge. I have to get a better look at the playfield, and the lights will be eventually an easy fix.

Probably the question wasn't so much about price, but about breaking out of a comfort zone of
buying the nicest game possible reasonably. I think I have turned the corner on that issue with this perchase. When I got back into pins earlier this year, I expected to be able to pick up an AFM for 4 or 5 K.

At lot has changed in terms of the market and I am still in the learning curve. Thanks for the encouragment, advice and directon. Much appreciated.

Quoted from herg:

I'm sorry, but I was a bit annoyed. Guess I assumed that someone who has owned machines as long as you have, is capable of doing a full teardown shop job, and knows the price of a machine in good condition would know that this is a steal.
You can get cabinets from letsplaypinball.com, but if your cabinet is solid, I would just do decals.

Harold:

Keep in mind as I mentioned above, I have been out of pins since early 2005 and just got back in the beginning of this year and still trying to catch up on market conditions and trendings. When I saw that your game was 5600, I think it made me realize that my pipedream of a 4K AFM was just a bit antiquated. I have never gone this route on a game before, so I have needed some reassurance that buying the game in its condition made sense. The replies have made me feel more confident about the purchase and the help and direction even better.

I doubt that I ever come across as a shrinking violet on line or in person, but that doesn't mean I don't ever need to seek reassurance on a decision. Despite whatever my strengths, it doesn't mean that I have no weaknesses and would never benefit from the opinions or experience of others. I would rather not reinvent the wheel.

I apologize if I somehow offended you. Thanks for the info on the cabinets. I hope the offer to check out your TOTAN and Card Whiz still stands.

Dan

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