(Topic ID: 155350)

Ways to tell a true HUO?


By KenPin

3 years ago



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  • 64 posts
  • 41 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by jibmums
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    #1 3 years ago

    I often see pins advertised as HUO but when asked for documentation, they say that the previous owner told them it was HUO. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous sellers out there that will make misrepresentations about this. So what are some things you can look for to confirm a pin in really HUO???
    One thing I've been told is to look at the coin mech's. If it is HUO, the coin mechs should be clean because no quarter has ever passed through them. Of course, coin mechs can be swapped out, but it's one way to help you determine if a pin is HUO.
    Does anybody have any other ways?

    I haven't seen a post that address this. If there is one please direct me to it. Otherwise, let's get the wisdom rolling here.

    #2 3 years ago

    Shooter lane, of course. But honestly, just the overall appearance. If you bought a new game and unboxed it, shouldn't it look pretty much exactly the same? I take care of my things and so do most people.

    To me, HUO is a condition and it better be 99% perfect.

    #3 3 years ago

    A while back, I bought a HUO Lights Camera Action. While it was HUO, it was still very well loved, and it had all sorts of cracked plastics, and the previous owner didn't use the correct flipper rubber, so it had the slightest bit of paint "smearing" on the lower left hand side of the playfield.

    Now, everything else was immaculate, and after a quick wipe down with some novus and wax and ordering a piece or two from pinball resource, the game looks brand new.

    Lesson learned, a HUO game won't always looks incredible at first, but they'll clean up really nice with less effort than a routed game. I had found out that it was HUO after I had asked for the backstory of the game, and they had pictures of the kids unboxing it during the Christmas they got it as a gift.

    #4 3 years ago

    With the receipt of purchase.

    #5 3 years ago

    Some primary indicators...(not 100% guaranteed):

    Paperwork.
    Sales receipt (with the name of the seller) and original warranty cards.
    All original manuals in new condition (operator, handbook, schematics).
    All complete original "goodies" bag (rubbers, plastics, fuses, etc), including promotional items included with the game when released.
    Used games almost NEVER have all these items, including lightly routed games.

    Backbox PCBs.
    Serial numbers will match, and will look brand new.
    They will be BRIGHT green, there will be little if no dust.
    You will see no trace "heat bubbling" on PCBs due to lack of hours operated.
    Ribbon cables will be bright white coupled with the same boards above.
    No heat means no dirt which collects to electronics, unless the game was kept in the Middle East in a sandstorm.
    They will not smell like smoke, look like tar, unless the owner was a chain smoker in their basement.
    Connectors will not be burnt, traces undamaged, unless neglect by the owner.

    Cabinet.
    Pure black, white, or natural wood, no dirt or carbon from coils.
    The only way this can be generally faked is if a game was rebuilt from scratch or cabinet was swapped.
    However, not guaranteed, as I will give an example.
    I purchased an Embryon that had MPU "crib death", but was routed for 3 months and REBOXED!
    Cabinet was white but still had around $50 in quarters inside.
    This was not "HUO" seller..."Here's you sign".

    Game play meters (non-CPU memory controlled)!
    They are RARELY faked, or "rolled back" like a car odometer.
    Operators in older titles install them, and sometimes in new games with electronics as well "old school" style.
    This was not often a factory standards after 1975?, operator's "choice".
    Home user don't normally put 90k plays on a game either.
    Sellers forget about this one with "HUO" claims...oops...

    Shooter lane can be faked, playfield swap, or "regrind" with sandpaper.
    Playfield can be faked with re clearcoating the playfield, new plastic sets, "Treasure Cove" treatment, etc.
    Cabinet can be faked with re decaling, and new labelling including serial numbers.
    Coins mechs and coin doors are replaced all the time.
    Coin door lock bars and bolt holes are STANDARD for certain later games of age, so that is NOT an pure indication of a routed game, BUT were generally considered an "option" at the factory later on for cost. Operators sometimes bought games in bulk, and then opted to sell them for profit beyond a route, all with lock bars still in box. If there is wear on the holes and lock bar, I would be suspicious.

    If an owner wants to go through the trouble of properly faking a "collector quality" HUO game (purchased NIB), it is a TON of work, but is still possible if they REALLY know the manufacturer methods of the title and age.

    Attached is a photo of a HUO backbox boards of one of my games.
    It is 22 years old purchased NIB in 1994.
    You can spot the "real deal" directly.

    The reality is you pay for "condition" not "HUO" although some people are really picky about boards and playfields matching in serial numbers.
    HUO games can look like complete $#@! due to neglect.

    20160320_101628_(resized).jpg

    #6 3 years ago

    You never can, just because someone has paperwork they bought it doesn't mean they never routed it either. As folks have said, it really comes down to condition. However, some tell-tale things to look for are extra bolt holes for coin door hasps (but some games came with them from the factory), matching serial #'s on the boards with no sign of operator hacks, lack of fingerprints and dirt under the game by the power switch, non-rusted feet levelers, "burn" marks around the light bulbs in the head from being left on 24/7, pretty pristine sliders on the back game rails, and the condition of the lockdown bar (hopefully not many drinks spilled on a home game). However, don't let the coin mechs fool you. They should be a lot cleaner, but I and several friends like the nostalgia of putting quarters in so HUO does not necessarily mean that a quarter never passed through it.

    23
    #7 3 years ago

    HUO / Not HUO.....doesn't matter at all.....condition is king.

    #8 3 years ago
    Quoted from Jimmyd044:

    With the receipt of purchase.

    I still laugh every time I see this one... receipt proves absolutely ZERO.

    #9 3 years ago

    My POTC is an undocumented HUO. Here are a few pics that show how few plays it got. The shooter lane is similar. I don't really care that I don't have the receipt; I expect pics like these to sell the game if I ever get tired of it.

    image_(resized).jpg

    image_(resized).jpg

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    My POTC is an undocumented HUO. Here are a few pics that show how few plays it got. The shooter lane is similar. I don't really care that I don't have the receipt; I expect pics like these to sell the game if I ever get tired of it.

    image_(resized).jpgimage_(resized).jpg

    You should play that more

    #11 3 years ago

    You can never be sure.

    Even if someone shows you the receipt from "Asstro Amusements 1978", that does not mean that they did not put the game in their uncle's bar for a few years after the kids got bored with it.

    Unless the game is less than 5 years old, always assume everyone is a liar.

    #12 3 years ago

    I actually like using quarters or tokens with my games versus free play. Doesn't change Huo status I hope.

    #13 3 years ago

    Personally, I think HUO is an irrelevant term. You can never know for sure if that game has ever been in public or not unless you bought it yourself and are keeping it, but it doesn't really matter anyway. You could have a home owner that beats up on their pins, and on the other hand you could have location where the pin never gets used.

    The condition of the pin at the time of sale is the only factor. Condition is king.

    #14 3 years ago
    Quoted from Astropin:

    You should play that more

    Oh yes, I'm making up for lost time POTC is getting more play than anything right now.

    #15 3 years ago

    If you bought it yourself or know the person you are buying it from and remember when they bought the machine and know for a fact it's been sitting in their house the entire time. Other than that, it's all in the condition.

    I have a Bally Harlem Globetrotters that is supposedly HUO. Can I prove it? Not really but it is virtually mint and still had the plastic protective coating hanging on the side rails and coin door which are very strong indicators. Of course it's HUO.

    I have a few others that are supposedly HUO. Put it this way. They are either HUO or they were put in commercial locations where nobody ever played them.

    #16 3 years ago

    Man I you have to ask because you can't tell if it's huo or not, it's probably an indicator that it's in great shape and good enough. Condition is what matters not history.

    -2
    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from Astropin:

    HUO / Not HUO.....doesn't matter at all.....condition is king.

    Not entirely true... HUO and beautiful condition compared to not HUO and beautiful condition can mean hundreds of dollars when selling.

    #18 3 years ago

    Condition is king.

    I don't particularly care where it lived. If it has paperwork, great, it's kind of interesting to see the game's history. But I've also seen games that had paperwork and were woefully worn, abused, and neglected.

    Don't get hung up on a game being listed as "home use only".

    #19 3 years ago

    Condition is king. The terms "HUO", "Restored", "Fully Restored", etc mean a bunch of different things today depending on who you talk to.

    A game can be truly HUO in a home environment it's whole life only to be beat up because the owner never changed the balls, scratched the cabinet badly while moving the game, rarely cleaned it and didn't put Cliffy's / mylar down in wear prone areas. On the opposite end you can have a routed game that was taken care of very well and looks great. Should the HUO game be worth more because it was in a home environment it's whole life and the owner still has the original receipt? Heck no.

    #20 3 years ago

    You bought it new. Then you used it only at home.

    #21 3 years ago

    I take pictures of mine in and out of the box when I get it. I then post it on pinside to document it.

    #22 3 years ago
    Quoted from PNorth:

    Personally, I think HUO is an irrelevant term. You can never know for sure if that game has ever been in public or not unless you bought it yourself and are keeping it, but it doesn't really matter anyway. You could have a home owner that beats up on their pins, and on the other hand you could have location where the pin never gets used.
    The condition of the pin at the time of sale is the only factor. Condition is king.

    I couldn't agree more. I have rescued a pin in that was in a basement for 20yrs being played almost daily as is, 80% non functional. Slings didn't fire, toys didn't move & most of the GI out. They couldn't find the keys to the head & pried the lock out. The BG, Cab & boards are mint. The second was at in a collectors hoard of high end pins. Played it sparingly, but never maintained. Never changed the balls, batteries, rubbers, or cleaned the PF. But had the original shipping box, receipt, & goodie bag stapled in place. Lastly, my POTC was in showroom condition inside & out with under 400 plays. Still had the price tag with delivery info hanging in the head.

    #23 3 years ago

    There is no way to tell. It is an overused acronym that is ultimately meaningless.

    Paperwork doesn't say if it was on route, just that they had paperwork. People can and do lie.

    Condition will tell you if it is low play. It will not tell you if that play was on route or not.

    End of the day, stop buying stories. Buy off condition.

    #24 3 years ago

    I just spend my time these days looking for original boxes to my games. Box condition is king when flipping games.

    #25 3 years ago

    See if sellers wife bitches about how much money he spent to buy the game . Shane

    #26 3 years ago

    HUO....to me implies condition. Not nec all that important. I think it has a more specific expectation vs "mint". Its's almost never "mint" in person...lol

    #27 3 years ago

    The condition of the bottom of the cabinet is something I always check. Nicotine fingerprints from bar life can give you some clues.

    #28 3 years ago
    Quoted from tp:

    I take pictures of mine in and out of the box when I get it. I then post it on pinside to document it.

    This doesn't nessacaryly mean anything though. All that proves is you bought the game NIB. Doesn't mean the game wasn't ever on route.

    HUO is a term that honestly shouldn't be thrown around as much as it is. What about games that are HUO that then get taking to shows? Those games get upward of a 1000 plays in weekend. Some of my pins on route don't receive 1000 plays in a month. Are those pin then considered routed pins?

    #29 3 years ago

    HUO is not a condition - it is merely a description of one aspect of a game's history. Using it as an indicator of condition is nonsense.

    Furthermore it is a description that is almost impossible to verify. It's a marketing term for suckers, nothing more.

    a game could have never been put on route in its life but still be a filthy, broken down, hacked up mess. "Home use only" would be true but so what?

    #30 3 years ago

    I wonder how many HUO games have the original balls in them? "Wow, I didn't know that the glass comes off"

    #31 3 years ago

    If you can't tell, what difference would it make?

    #32 3 years ago
    Quoted from mamemaster:

    HUO....to me implies condition. Not nec all that important. I think it has a more specific expectation vs "mint". Its's almost never "mint" in person...lol

    Quoted from pezpunk:

    HUO is not a condition - it is merely a description of one aspect of a game's history. Using it as an indicator of condition is nonsense.

    Here we go again

    HUO discussion threads:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/request-definition-of-shopped
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/poll-your-personal-definition-of-collector-quality
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/players-condition-definition
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/why-does-routing-a-game-lessen-the-value
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/huo-is-this-being-overused
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/opinions-on-collectors-quality
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/huo-question-thoughts
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/wtf-does-lightly-routed-mean
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/difference-between-cq-collectors-quality-and-huo-unconfirmed-huo
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/shopped-pinballs-lets-stop-the-madness
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/how-much-is-huo-worth
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/home-use-only-question
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/home-use-only-huo-no-more
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/your-thoughts-on-undocumented-huo-games
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/am-i-the-only-one-who-smells-bs
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/new-pinball-term-ruo-which-means-route-use-only
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/low-play-machines-somthing-to-think-about
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/huo-pinball
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/huobc
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/no-much-does-huo-increase-the-value
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/terms-in-pinball-that-are-now-pointless
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/definition-of-huo
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/shopped-curious-what-does-it-imply-to-you

    #33 3 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Here we go again
    HUO discussion threads:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/request-definition-of-shopped
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/poll-your-personal-definition-of-collector-quality
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/players-condition-definition
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/why-does-routing-a-game-lessen-the-value
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/huo-is-this-being-overused
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/opinions-on-collectors-quality
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/huo-question-thoughts
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/wtf-does-lightly-routed-mean
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/difference-between-cq-collectors-quality-and-huo-unconfirmed-huo
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/shopped-pinballs-lets-stop-the-madness
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/how-much-is-huo-worth
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/home-use-only-question
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/home-use-only-huo-no-more
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/your-thoughts-on-undocumented-huo-games
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/am-i-the-only-one-who-smells-bs
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/new-pinball-term-ruo-which-means-route-use-only
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/low-play-machines-somthing-to-think-about
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/huo-pinball
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/huobc
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/no-much-does-huo-increase-the-value
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/terms-in-pinball-that-are-now-pointless
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/definition-of-huo
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/shopped-curious-what-does-it-imply-to-you

    I don't get it. What are you trying to tell us?

    #34 3 years ago

    Shooter lane first, scoops and high traffic areas, and finally the cab.

    Period. Nothing else matters. If the cab is F Ed up or nicked its most likely NOT HUO.

    Pin comes into the house and then doesn't move. Hard to F up the cab.

    #35 3 years ago

    Shooter lane is NOT an indicator of HUO IMO. I've seen guys put mylar in the shooter lanes and put them on location.. thousands of plays, nice shooter lane. On the other hand, a HUO with no protection after a few years (or sooner) can show some wood chipping or wear. If you think shooter lane is the main thing to look at, you're wrong.

    Some guys have lots of parties, big families, and machines get thousands of plays at home.. then there's the single collector (or married couple) that plays their machines very little. Both are considered "HUO", but the condition of each one will vary.

    Lots of tricks and people looking at the wrong thing if you ask me... overall condition is key. Without personally knowing the history of a machine, you may never really know if it's truly HUO or not.

    #36 3 years ago
    Quoted from Cobray:

    Shooter lane is NOT an indicator of HUO IMO.

    I've seen them refinished too and looked better than new.

    LTG : )

    #37 3 years ago
    Quoted from Cobray:

    Shooter lane is NOT an indicator of HUO IMO. I've seen guys put mylar in the shooter lanes and put them on location.. thousands of plays, nice shooter lane. On the other hand, a HUO with no protection after a few years (or sooner) can show some wood chipping or wear. If you think shooter lane is the main thing to look at, you're wrong.
    Some guys have lots of parties, big families, and machines get thousands of plays at home.. then there's the single collector (or married couple) that plays their machines very little. Both are considered "HUO", but the condition of each one will vary.
    Lots of tricks and people looking at the wrong thing if you ask me... overall condition is key. Without personally knowing the history of a machine, you may never really know if it's truly HUO or not.

    Shooter lane condition is for the guy's who get off trying to one up each other. There are plenty of people in this hobby with little man syndrome that need to flaunt crap to feel superior. Funny thing is many of these people know nothing about repair. Their measure of another collector is the size of his wallet. Idiots...

    #38 3 years ago

    My LOTR shorter lane would make some collectors cry, but the rest of the game looks gorgeous. To each his own.

    I'm telling you guys, the box is key!

    #39 3 years ago

    Trade a few of these babies and you get desensitised. Who gives a crap. If it works, plays snappy and smells ok, it's good enough for me.

    #40 3 years ago

    Are there lying dicks in this hobby? Sure

    Shooter lane, scoops, high wear, cab, inside and out.

    I wouldn't buy anything with Cliffys installed. Put some F Ing Mylar or cling vinyl down.

    It's not that F Ing hard to figure out.

    Plus, you have to know who the good sellers are and the Shit sellers. I won't buy a pin outside of Pinside. Plenty of DBs but they will get crushed if they F somebody

    #41 3 years ago

    Who cares. Condition is everything and HUO doesn't guarantee quality.

    #42 3 years ago
    Quoted from Hougie:

    My LOTR shorter lane would make some collectors cry, but the rest of the game looks gorgeous. To each his own.
    I'm telling you guys, the box is key!

    Is yourLOTR the pinball equivalent of a butter face? Haha

    #43 3 years ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Is yourLOTR the pinball equivalent of a butter face? Haha

    If her face is narrow, rough, and sunken in...yes it is.

    #44 3 years ago

    Man, I don't know why everyone is obsessed with this 'HUO' status....condition is king.

    I have seen games that were put on site back in the day, that are now in private collections and look near new.

    Doesn't matter where the games where located, its the volume of plays and how they have been handled.

    #45 3 years ago
    Quoted from Esoteric_rt:

    Man, I don't know why everyone is obsessed with this 'HUO' status....condition is king.
    I have seen games that were put on site back in the day, that are now in private collections and look near new.
    Doesn't matter where the games where located, its the volume of plays and how they have been handled.

    A number of those machines now sit in collector's hands as HUO too.

    #46 3 years ago
    Quoted from KenPin:

    I often see pins advertised as HUO but when asked for documentation, they say that the previous owner told them it was HUO. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous sellers out there that will make misrepresentations about this. So what are some things you can look for to confirm a pin in really HUO???
    One thing I've been told is to look at the coin mech's. If it is HUO, the coin mechs should be clean because no quarter has ever passed through them. Of course, coin mechs can be swapped out, but it's one way to help you determine if a pin is HUO.
    Does anybody have any other ways?
    I haven't seen a post that address this. If there is one please direct me to it. Otherwise, let's get the wisdom rolling here.

    We buy most of our pins new. All the new pins have coin mechs fitted and all have money through left and right slot. All are genuine HUO, and all are fitted with Cliffys. It is all about how well they are looked after.

    #47 3 years ago

    can look at the actual shoots in the coin door (not just mechs). also there would be paint finger where, where coins are inserted.
    obviously, not on a 1 year old supposed HUO pin, but referring to pins several years old.
    there are other ways pending brand and year of machine.
    id say 90% of the people who sell a pin claiming HUO dont know for sure and were not original owner. newbees who dont know better fall for that loosely used term and shame on sellers who use that term to try to get more funds. its a form of scamming.
    I'd never buy and spend more based on that term alone.

    #48 3 years ago
    Quoted from dung:

    A number of those machines now sit in collector's hands as HUO too.

    Yep. I bought a pin that was routed but in beautiful shape. I did my usual deep cleaning and later sold it. The next owner listed it as "HUO" when he sold it.

    -2
    #49 3 years ago

    Want a safe bet for this week? You can bank on this: The ones who don't like the term huo, don't have any huo fs only routed. Get over it, you use and abuse for cash and then think your routed pins should fetch a hundred less than you paid new. I'll keep my opinion you keep yours cuz their definatly different, unless in reality your really still in the closet over your love of huo machines. It's a new era, plenty of huo machines floating around these days, as more people are buying machines just to put in the home. It's not the70s 80s and 90s anymore and a description of huo does mean something. My huo pins are documented, with pictures,receipts,posts, and condition when you come and look in person.

    #50 3 years ago
    Quoted from tp:

    Want a safe bet for this week? You can bank on this: The ones who don't like the term huo, don't have any huo fs only routed. Get over it, you use and abuse for cash and then think your routed pins should fetch a hundred less than you paid new. I'll keep my opinion you keep yours cuz their definatly different, unless in reality your really still in the closet over your love of huo machines. It's a new era, plenty of huo machines floating around these days, as more people are buying machines just to put in the home. It's not the70s 80s and 90s anymore and a description of huo does mean something. My huo pins are documented, with pictures,receipts,posts, and condition when you come and look in person.

    if they are in great shape, great. congrats. home use only still isnt a condition, though. merely a description of how it was used. condition matters, HUO doesnt.

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