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(Topic ID: 199903)

Tell me about collecting in the 90's


By dudah

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 95 posts
  • 68 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Classic_Stern
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

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There are 95 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 3 years ago

1992 is when i got my first pin Xenon for$500 from Two Bit Arcade in Austin

dunno if I over paid but it was well worth it

The thing i remember most is the lack of public info you had RGP and i didnt know anyone in the hobby,

Its much better now

--Jeff

#52 3 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

In 2000s, people bought used pinballs like candy. Shipping was around $200 and additional games cost $50 each.

And that was Door to Door service with Dennis Dodel or Kevin ("Jack Rabbit"). No muss, no fuss. Didn't worry if they knew how to care for your fame because they were collectors themselves.

#53 3 years ago
Quoted from viper001:

I had a little scare when Lord Howard Hurtz said his famous line for the first time (that gets beeped) and my wife gave me the look that said I might have to sell this one. Thank the WMS programmers for putting a family mode on that one or it would have been gone.

The unbleeped version is a hacked ROM. Nothing to do with family mode from Williams.

LTG : )

#54 3 years ago

I started in 2000....deals were plentiful and at that time a little diligence on craigslist would yield results as the competition to purchase was non existent. Early SS games were in the $200 to $400 range...Non A title DMDS $800 to $1200....A titles were $2500. I remember passing on a MB at $3k because I thought that was ridiculous. I bought a SS for $1900, a CFTBL for $1600, STTNG for $1500. I bought a T2 for $200, a BSD for $800, a TFTC for $600 and the list goes on. Definitely a different hobby now so I mostly stand pat with what I have.

#55 3 years ago

All great stories, thank you!

I find it especially cool if you got a great deal on a great game back in the day that you still have in your collection.
Trophy of a great win and memory of a different time.

#56 3 years ago

NOB safecracker $400 (including shipping to my door)
$800 MM
$500 creature BL shopped
$500 Jurassic park
$500 drwho
$250 Judge dredd
$400 T2
$400 AFM
$500 getaway
$400 Cirquis V
$370 Star trek NG (had to buy all 4)
$1500 sacred stiff (that game was never cheap)
$1500 Theater magic (that game was never cheap)
Stuff like that. it was easy to get a collection back in the mid to late 1990s for low money.
Note I never saw addams less than $800 and never saw Twilight/Indy Jones less than $1000. Those games were always 'expensive' too.

#57 3 years ago

I used to collect in the 90s, comic books and baseball cards. No they’re all but worthless.

#58 3 years ago
Quoted from Coz:

I used to collect in the 90s, comic books and baseball cards. No they’re all but worthless.

However, it’s now a lot easier to finish those old sets from the 50s and 60s I have been building for 20 years

#59 3 years ago
Quoted from dudah:

I find it especially cool if you got a great deal on a great game back in the day that you still have in your collection.

I'm sure I have others, but one game that will never leave the game room is
the 28' MBA Ball Bowler which I bought in 1994 for $400.00 I have many Ball Bowlers
now, but the MBA actually was my first and before any MBA/Bowleramas were known.
I never knew what I had until someone asked if they could take some pics, it hit
the net, and now I believe there's 18 or 20 of them out there..
Before then, I picked up a Scientific Machine Batting Practice for $10.00
Still have a Batting Practice, but not the same one..
I do still have my first 5 machines that I picked up when I first start collecting
back in the early 90s. One being a nice Drop-a-Card for $25.00

#60 3 years ago
Quoted from jfh:

And that was Door to Door service with Dennis Dodel or Kevin ("Jack Rabbit"). No muss, no fuss. Didn't worry if they knew how to care for your fame because they were collectors themselves.

Those guys couldn't hold a candle to Randy Buffalo!

#61 3 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

The unbleeped version is a hacked ROM. Nothing to do with family mode from Williams.
LTG : )

Sorry Lloyd, I should have been more clear. It was the bleeped version that was offensive, family mode completely eliminates the entire callout. As you point out there is a hacked ROM that also removes the bleep.

#62 3 years ago

Bought Xenon for $600
Bought my first Scared Stiff for $800
Nuff' said!

#63 3 years ago

First Pin -- Midway Race Way with export (plastic) backglass. Bought in June 1978 -- $50 Still have it too!
Pins in the 80's -- Woodrails were $50, Wedgeheads $25, solid state games (since they were still new-ish) $300-$500
Pins in the 90's -- Bought HUO TZ for $700, and 25+ more TZ's from ops for $500 or less, they wanted 'em gone because they were a service nightmare. CV -- $400. Indy -- $350. Early Solid State games, $50-$150. Bought literally hundreds of Seeburg jukes for $50-$150 each which easily sold back then for $500 each.

Best find -- Get a call from an op in the early 90's. He wanted to liquidate all of their EBD's. Nine in total, take all or take none. Bought all 9 for $125 each and the op included numerous boards, NOS displays, two NOS playfields, three NOS plastic sets, and a NOS backglass. THOSE were the days!! LOL

#64 3 years ago

OK lock this thread, too depressing.

2 years later
#65 4 months ago

In the meantime in Europe....

Equals about 2000 us dollars

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#66 4 months ago

This was crazy even then. MM has never been cheaper, deal also included a parts inventory.

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#67 4 months ago

This is a good one also. This was still guilders, so that would equal about 800 us dollar.

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#68 4 months ago

sucks so bad i'm so young really missed the good old days of pinball when we was not all fighting for scraps!!! or being ripped off to high heaven.

#69 4 months ago

Really wish I had started this hobby 10-15 years earlier. I even had the interest back then and talked to friends about getting some pins but never actually did it, no idea why to be honest. Could have saved so much money...

#70 4 months ago

For parts - I had a fake company name to get them from - Wico - They had a big thick catalog to order parts from . I did try to buy rubbers and plastic posts from local venders in Detroit but they were all pissy about selling a few parts .

#71 4 months ago

Just stumbled upon this topic. I started collecting/buying and selling in 1997. Just a few deals I remember:
-CV closed out at $1795 NIB
-Warehouse raid paid $75 per piece, 175 pins, 250 classic videos, huge parts stash
-Stumbled upon a really nice IJ in a laundromat, broken, called the op and he meet me two days later. $300 for that one, had a few other pinballs, one with an Alien (AFM) it was $500 and gave me a Millionaire.
-In 1999 down in S.C. saw an old building which had “Arcade” painted on the side, worn and faded. Sheets over the windows. Tracked down the owner and it was slame full of 80’s pins and classic videos. Guy had not paid the rent in 8 years, owner gave me the contents as he was going to demo the building the following week.
-Last but not least, in 2001 got an email from an ex-WMS employee who was getting married and moving and had a few pins in storage. Got (4) prototype pins for a great price, put me on an Addams proto as well. Diner, Mousin’,Bally HD and Party Zone.

Oh if I could only go back, left the hobby in 2009, kept my personal collection. 2014 got the calling again and well as they say the rest is history.

#72 4 months ago
Quoted from Pinballemporium:

kept my personal collection.

curious, what games did you keep when you exited before?

#73 4 months ago

Got into pinball in 1988. Bought a larger house and looking for interesting items to
fill it up. Laughable in hind sight!

Of course this was before Al Gore invented the internet (sic) so finding pins
was a matter of looking in the local rag. A better way was placing ads in the
classifieds. Very little competition so it was not unusual to get 2 or 3 projects
pins a week. Eventually others jumped in but back then no one knew, or were
not willing to find out how to fix pins. That turned into another great source.
I'd fix pins for local collectors in exchange for two restorable pins.
Early solid state pins were especially easy to acquire. Back then project
pins were in the $200-$300 range. Oh yeah, pinball shows were
also a great source for project pins at reasonable prices. No longer,
at least in my experience.

It was a lot of fun and many pins went through my hands over the years.
Kept the ones we really liked.
Steve

#74 4 months ago
Quoted from zarco:

Got into pinball in 1988. Bought a larger house and looking for interesting items to
fill it up. Laughable in hind sight!
Of course this was before Al Gore invented the internet (sic) so finding pins
was a matter of looking in the local rag. A better way was placing ads in the
classifieds. Very little competition so it was not unusual to get 2 or 3 projects
pins a week. Eventually others jumped in but back then no one knew, or were
not willing to find out how to fix pins. That turned into another great source.
I'd fix pins for local collectors in exchange for two restorable pins.
Early solid state pins were especially easy to acquire. Back then project
pins were in the $200-$300 range. Oh yeah, pinball shows were
also a great source for project pins at reasonable prices. No longer,
at least in my experience.
It was a lot of fun and many pins went through my hands over the years.
Kept the ones we really liked.
Steve

You lived the dream... lol

#75 4 months ago

Bought my Bally Spectrum in mid 80's from local Aladdin's Castle because it wasn't earning. Paid $325 but had the manager write a separate receipt for $225 so I could make my dad believe I didn't get ripped off.

#76 4 months ago

Bought my first game in 1988 from a Trading Post ad. $ 200 Bally Flip Flop.

Got into the DMD's in 2000. Found a sample TZ from a Cincinnati operator and paid $ 2,000 (with tax). Bought from a Louisville and Columbus operator and prices were 2000 for CV, 1800 CFTBL, 1900 TOM, 2000 TOTAN, 2200 RFM. AFM was 2600 but did not buy. Sold these all off by 2003.

Got back in 2007-08 and prices were up to 3900 TZ and 3500 for a sample CV. Sold off again by 2010.

Current prices have doubled again

#77 4 months ago

I dont remember the years, most from Super Auctions, and Distributors.
ICB $50 Non Working, $150 Serviced, working with delivery.
Paragon $100
Toobin, Mint $150....Worn $50-$100
Banzai Run $1200
STTNG $1200
BSD Sweet $1200
Bally Star Trek $100
Champion Pub $800
Fish Tales $1200
Mousin $400
Sega Hologram Time Traveler $300

We all fixed the games up, and traded or sold locally, hopefully just to get our cost of parts back.
No Mods then, no profit really either. No one cared about knicks or scratches in the cabinet, and minor playfield wear was less
an issue than was it all working. No Repro Parts either....NOS, or hunt.
Also in the 90s, I was 30 years younger, and could move these beasts!

#78 4 months ago
Quoted from Ballypin:

Bought my first game in 1988 from a Trading Post ad. $ 200 Bally Flip Flop.
Got into the DMD's in 2000. Found a sample TZ from a Cincinnati operator and paid $ 2,000 (with tax). Bought from a Louisville and Columbus operator and prices were 2000 for CV, 1800 CFTBL, 1900 TOM, 2000 TOTAN, 2200 RFM. AFM was 2600 but did not buy. Sold these all off by 2003.
Got back in 2007-08 and prices were up to 3900 TZ and 3500 for a sample CV. Sold off again by 2010.
Current prices have doubled again

Been there done that. Got into the hobby in 1998: $1300 TZ, $1250 STTNG, $1300 RS, $2000 ToM (including shipping from EU for RS & ToM), $1800 TOTAN, $1750 Safecracker. Got out of the hobby in 2005 and sold them all at a nice profit ($3500 TZ as an example). Come back into in 2017 and wish I still had them all..........

#79 4 months ago

Can't wait to see this post in the future...

Well, in 2020, I grabbed a POTC LE for only $15k....

You39re-a-legend-meme-48048 (resized).jpg
#80 4 months ago

Nothing changed for me. The 90's or now. I was an operator then. I'm an operator now.

Always tried to have the latest and greatest for my customers.

LTG : )

#81 4 months ago

I too started way back in the days of the $800 T2s and $1500.00 TZs.

I never paid more than $2800.00 for a game (mint AFM) until I paid the ridiculous amount of $3500 for a HUO Monster Bash. This was until I bought my only NIB, Met LE.

I could never have the collection I have now if I were just starting out.

#82 4 months ago

I had access to machines by knowing a guy. There was no way I was going to be able to travel to auctions or grab large hauls, and when it came to SS machines, you also needed access to parts, including boards and an EPROM burner. Far preferable to work with someone who handled all that, and catered to a group of customers without over-inflating values. Was a lot of fun to walk around his workshop and see the current stash, or be called when new ones came in. Got my hands on Xenon, Jungle Lord, and Firepower for an average of $400. Fancier stuff like TZ and WW for ~$1K+. Barracora and Centaur from other individual sellers for $500 and $800. Sadly had to sell them all when I got married in 2002 and needed the space. My wife, bless her heart, won't forgive me for it! She's been instrumental in my acquiring a new collection (including replacing Centaur, at much higher expense).

#83 4 months ago

Bought my WH20 for $900 in 1997, from an arcade that was going out of business.
It was so filthy that you couldn't tell what condition the playfield was actually in.
Turned out to be pretty nice. Still have the machine, still play it.

#84 4 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

curious, what games did you keep when you exited before?

All the big title:
CV, AFM, TZ, IJ, MM, Proto BK2K, EBD, Fishtales, Funhouse and Whirlwinds.
-CV is gone, still have the rest plus some.

#85 4 months ago

I started collecting in the early 80's. Biggest differences:
There was no internet, Ebay, pinside etc. Games were bought by looking for or posting ads in local papers or trading magazines, by looking in the yellow pages for operators and visiting their warehouses, and by visiting distributors like active amusement, eastern amusement, and banner in phila. Also by visiting arcades like space port and Aladdin's castle and either asking what was for sale or getting on their mailing list of games for sale. There was little if any competition for games and few sellers to compete with at christmas time. You could buy anything you wanted, limited only by your own wallet and physical strength to clean out warehouses!

EMS were $50 all day long. All titles with rare exceptions. Later on when they first came out, digitals were expensive, but started to get very cheap in the late 80's and early 90's. I bought games coming back from Europe out of containers at ridiculous prices. Af for 900, wcs 450 etc. I was happy to buy a nice addams for 1000 and flip it for 1800 or 2k. If ida only known...
Parts were almost non-existent in the late 70's and early 80's. Countless pins were parted out because a backglass was broken. There were no repros then. Plastics were unavailable except from a parted game. Wax, rubbers and coils you could get from steve young at pbr or Steve engle at mayfair or maybe the local distributor - but that was it. Collectors dont realize how lucky they are today. Almost any obscure part they need available from one or more vendors. And if it's not, somebody has the technology to make it from scratch!
You waited anxiously each month for gameroom magazine or pinball collector to be delivered so you could read a how to article or two and most of all read every single classified ad word for word looking for a good deal. I would read and re-read those ads calling sellers and trying to make deals. Then start all over again the next month.
In those really early days, there were no pinball shows. But there were the gameroom shows in phila, hackensack and Chicago and what an experience they were!! Parking lots with dozens and dozens of trucks full of pins, jukes, slots, traffic lights, 50's memorabilia of all kinds from all over the country! And inside, booths of the finest shopped out gameroom stuff you ever laid eyes on! Bright lights, neons and chrome everywhere! What fun they were!! Its still fun today, but with way more competition. And, oh yeah, just add another zero (or 2) to the prices!

#86 4 months ago
Quoted from mbeardsley:

Bought my WH20 for $900 in 1997, from an arcade that was going out of business.
It was so filthy that you couldn't tell what condition the playfield was actually in.
Turned out to be pretty nice. Still have the machine, still play it.

You over paid.

We open our retail shop selling videos and pins to homes in 1995. We were selling games a few years before that out of a storage garage. We talked to all the distributors and vending companies in all the states surrounding ours. Every Monday we would get faxes from a few different companies on what they took on trade the week before. System 11s were usually 200 to 300 each. With the exception of Addams, most wms games 89-93 were under a grand. At one point TZ, IJ, and STTNG were 600 games. Until ebay came along and showed operators an easy way to sell old stock we were pillaging every pin we could get our hands on. It was glorious... I'm going to go weep quietly in the next room now.

#87 4 months ago

Remember the Pinball Trader (think that's the name) where you wrote your wants /sales and They would be printed in the next issue...

#88 4 months ago

I remember when ebay was first around, a local arcade posted a Monster Bash for $1800.00 starting bid, and it didn't sell.

#89 4 months ago

Most here are relating their experiences with the good bargains in those days.
Once WMS dropped pinball in late 1999 things really started to change for the worse.

There weren't any new B/W games coming out, so ops started holding onto games like MM instead of trading them in. This caused prices for used MMs and others to start going up instead of down. Games coming back in containers from Europe were picked over and in much worse shape than previously. Sellers at auctions used shills to bid the good games up so no real bargains were available that way. Game-specific parts were getting really hard to find.

#90 4 months ago

It wasn't all good in the 90s. Parts were very limited, even on new games. Ramps, plastics, or any proprietary game parts were unavailable. Had to do a lot of custom repair work. Now you young whippersnappers post those pics on the worst pinball hack thread. If we need a ramp we couldn't just click a mouse button and have it show up 2 days later. We busted out the jb weld and got creative.

1 week later
#91 3 months ago

As I'm 20 years in this hobby I made a comparison between pinball in 2000 and today.
Enjoy: https://www.flippers.be/20_years_pinball.html

1 week later
#92 3 months ago

I know my dad bought the Demo man that currently resides in my basement for $400. I remember as a kid getting a Junkyard when it was still a relatively new game (maybe 1-2 years old) no idea what he paid for that but it had to be cheap asf if he had it. Probably got it from one of his operator friends who took it out because it earned poorly. When my dad tells me about what he paid for games back in the day, and thinking of all the games I saw him go through, its just wild.

#93 3 months ago

So about 1999 guys were buying Semi-trailer or Container loads of games comming back from Europe . They would always cherry pick 3-4 of the best games for themself and flip the others . Most of thoes games were 1990's Bally / Williams or maybe a Data East or two . Kind of a gamble but they seamed to make out well . Then the collector's said " oh it's a reimport thats bad " . The truth was they were just as good as the routed USA ones . I think some of the ones from Germany were better than the ones from here . In the early Clay vid's you can see ( Shaggy ) them unloaning a Semi then shooting off firecrackers inside of one . Thoes were the day's

#94 3 months ago
Quoted from TenaciousT:

So about 1999 guys were buying Semi-trailer or Container loads of games comming back from Europe . They would always cherry pick 3-4 of the best games for themself and flip the others . Most of thoes games were 1990's Bally / Williams or maybe a Data East or two . Kind of a gamble but they seamed to make out well . Then the collector's said " oh it's a reimport thats bad " . The truth was they were just as good as the routed USA ones . I think some of the ones from Germany were better than the ones from here . In the early Clay vid's you can see ( Shaggy ) them unloaning a Semi then shooting off firecrackers inside of one . Thoes were the day's

The condition of a lot of the pins were very clean and price was $500 to $800 . I was part of a buy of Hooks, Bullwinkle, Last Action and many WMS dmd games. 1999 Definitelythe heyday.

#95 3 months ago
Quoted from dudah:

Thinking of the 5ish years I have into this hobby - how I hunted down my games and got deals are all fond memories.
I wonder what some of the old-timers in here have seen - Dirt cheap A titles, bulk buys, warehouse raids, etc.
Who's got some cool stories about hot deals they got when pinball wasn't so popular?

Bought a bunch of containers and rolled great titles through the door regularly. Was a great time but also a very bad time because you could not get parts to fix games. Nothing was available. So even if you had the games, you typically had to sacrifice 1 to make a couple of good ones. I hear alot of would of, could of, should of but at the end of the day pinball is not a very good investment even given the appreciation. I am glad I was able to get containers and we had a blast going through a crap load of games. Unloading containers was also a highlight. Piles and piles of games. Never really knew what was going to be coming up next. Always a present. We also bought alot of warehouse finds. I can say those were some of the funnest times, getting into a warehouse and seeing just fantastic games and great prices. Some really great moments. We had parties at the shop about every month and those were just blow outs. Unforgettable and great period of my life. IT WAS a BLAST!!! I could get into some of the memories but a good one was 2 days before Christmas and selling a Rocky and Bullwinkle. I hadn't even opened up the game and a lady came over cause she needed something for the kids at Christmas. Well she comes over, I open up the game and there is an X-rated backglass in the game. There's ROCKY and there's Bullwinkle .... Graphic!!!... she freaks out, screams at me and leaves. Oh the days.

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