(Topic ID: 243697)

What got you into pinball

By zr11990

5 months ago

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  • 83 posts
  • 72 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by ichigokurosaki91
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    There are 83 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 5 months ago

    So, you guys pay thousands of dollars for a box with a piece of plywood with some plastic and lights with a ball rolling around in it, why and how did you get into it and why did you buy your first one. I had a toy one as a kid and it broke so my parents bought me a Star Pool. I wore that thing out. I never changed a ball and when it broke there was a phone number inside of it that we called and the guy charged $150 to fix a flipper 35 years ago. When I was married I ran across a ES for $500 and bought it and it became an obsession. Only in the last few years have I stopped because I don't have the cash to buy them anymore and I don't care for the Stern games either. I own 10 W/B games so it isn't like I don't have one to play.

    What is your story.

    Yes Im bored and don't have anything to do at the moment.

    #2 5 months ago

    I started with arcade games when they were cheap and plentiful... and while filling up a truck with tons of stuff from an ex-operator, he sold me a Back to the Future pin for $300. That was 2006, I think. One of my arcade buddies said "BTTF is a piece of shit...you've gotta get a good Bally Williams game...and then I predict you'll sell all the arcade games and be a pinball guy!"

    #3 5 months ago

    Getting the kids out of the house!

    #5 5 months ago

    As a newcomer I can honestly say it’s my wife’s fault.

    Our kids are now getting into their teens and we decided to redo our loft/game room. We bought a foosball table for Christmas and then my wife says “you know what would be fun up here? A pinball machine.” 4 machines later....Whoops.

    #6 5 months ago

    Mall Arcades. Aladdins Castle, and local bowling center arcade.

    #7 5 months ago

    Grandfather had one in his game room, an old Gottlieb EM called Tournament. As a six year old in 1982, I was fascinated by it.

    #8 5 months ago

    My dad took me to a bowling alley (he didn't bowl) to play the pinball machines. My mechanical and electrical curiosity got the best of me. Williams Gay '90's swinging target and the two drop targets grabbed my attention. How did they work?

    How did the score reels know how to move from 9 to 10? Gas pumps were electro-mechanical back then and the reels were touching one another. The reels on a pin were separated and electrically stepped. I wanted to know how they worked.

    How many here remember electro-mechanical gas pumps. How few here remember totally mechanical gas pumps with the glass cylinders?

    Also, see my pinside story.

    #9 5 months ago

    I enjoyed playing foosball and pinball for years. When I was single I had a foosball table in my apartment (under a light fixture intended for a dining room table). A year after my wife and I bought our house I started looking for a pinball machine. I figured very few people had pinballs in their homes and one game would be perfect in our family room. But it made too much noise for my wife, so she made me move it to the basement. I might have been content with one pin in our family room, but being stuck in the basement called out for conversion into a game room and the addition of more pins.

    #11 5 months ago

    My dad bought a broken Cosmic Gunfight for $50 when I was 8 (in 2004).. Helped him fix that by testplaying it as much as possible hahah, that got the ball rolling

    #12 5 months ago

    Nieman Marcus Christmas catalog in 2009 or 2010 had the Rolling Stones pinball advertised in it.
    I was in shock that pinball machines were still being made.
    Did some research and then bought a Monopoly off Craigslist and then a Pinbot shortly after.
    10 years later and now have as many as will feasibly fit in my house including a RSLE

    #13 5 months ago

    Bar+Beer+loose change

    #14 5 months ago

    My buddy Alan bought me a Ghostbusters Pro pinball after I told him I was never into pinball growing up...yeah...now my collection is 4 (essentially 5) with two more machines on my need list. Damnit...

    #15 5 months ago

    Mame, believe it or not. Built a mame cabinet about 7 years ago. That lead me to visual pinball. Built a table, then started playing around trying to make the vp tables. Realized I had never played any of the tables I was trying to build. Once jjp and spike 2 came around, there is no way to emulate spike 2 (except for the brief while ghostbusters was available). Decided to buy the real thing. Was just going to be one... that lasted all of 30 days.

    #16 5 months ago

    A very unfortunate series of poor choices on my part

    #17 5 months ago

    I was more of an arcade guy because that's what I played as a kid. Around 2009-2010 I saw a Last Action Hero (one of my favorite movies) on ebay, I had no idea they made a LAH and was pretty unfamiliar with all pinball machines. I got excited checking them all out on youtube and started looking for deals on craigslist.

    #18 5 months ago

    Stoned afternoons at Aladdins Castle at the mall in the early 80's.
    Had no idea it was still a thing til 25 years later, while at my brother's friends house, he had 5 machines...
    7 years later, I have 15.
    Found I enjoyed restoring a motorcycle or 2, and a car, now I restore pins.

    #19 5 months ago

    My uncle showed me the way growing up.

    My wife convinced me to buy a $100 EM off CL shortly after getting married. Rest is history.

    I’m extremely competitive, and I love meeting new people. This hobby is perfect for that.

    #20 5 months ago

    I loved arcades growing up in the 90s. And I always was fascinated by the art and the mechs and lights of pinball games, but I never could put money into the machines as I stunk at it, and at the time and age I got more bang for the buck playing the arcade games I was good at. My father though loves pinball. And from time to time he would plunk like 2-3 dollars into a game and my brothers and him would go head to head.
    Fast forward 20 years. My side business is finally doing good business, I have a house and a stable job. My father had a really bad health scare where he required brain surgery. And then more surgeries over the next few years.
    I decided it would be best to go the virtual pin route. And then a friend of mine suggested Chicago St. Pinball(A joliet area pinball arcade) where I could play real pinballs as he knew I was building a virtual one... Well, I fell in love with the real deal, and I put the virtual project on the backburner(6 real pins later it is still on backburner). Once a month I take my father to play pinball. We go to various places and even the expos.
    So... Long story short. I got into it as a way to bond with my father, and also I can tell you, its helped with his response time and coordination. And that is what has hooked me.
    I keep going back, because lets be honest... Even a collector who has 100 machines, still will want 100 more... So many amazing pinballs out there to play and own. And if you don't like collecting... Well, no matter how good your game was... It can always be better. So from that aspect its very addicting. And its also easy to track your growth and progress...
    Its just plan fun... Love it... And I'm grateful for the memories with my father and my other family that the hobby has bestowed upon me... Each pin I've purchased and moved in, has a story to it... Except Iron Maiden... But, the rest have been eventful to get into my house.

    #21 5 months ago

    My buddy Rex showed me, RIP. In 1977 at a place called "Castle Golf" in Riverside CA. I learned to smoke cigarettes and use flippers like there was no tomorrow.

    #22 5 months ago

    My interested started with playing pinball in arcades as a kid. At the time, the biggest arcade in my hometown had nearly a dozen pins set up.

    They slowly broke down and disappeared one by one, and eventually I forgot about them between that and visiting arcades less and less. Then I re-discovered pinball a number of years ago with a few mobile apps when I had some downtime on a road trip.

    After that, I started researching how to build my own game, discovered that vintage games were still available, found that pinball shows took place, and ended up attending Pinfest. I started watching craigslist/ebay/facebook and bought a cheap non-working game, fixed it up, bought another, and they multiplied from there. I started to regularly visit the shows in the northeast, and contributed to the forums, pinwiki, IPDB, and IPSND.

    Then I started a yearly pinball show, which takes place in August in Saratoga Springs, NY called the Saratoga Pinball & Arcade Show.

    I think I've gone a little overboard at this point, and I'm not sure what's next, lol.

    #23 5 months ago

    My dad taught me how to play back in the mid 70s. After that it was Alladain’s Castle and my local bowling alley that we would skip school and ride our bikes to play. Gotta love the 80s...four 12 year olds riding their bikes 10 miles and hanging in the arcade all day on a Wednesday morning? Sure come on in guys.

    #24 5 months ago

    Bought one to put in the house back in 1996. I'm pretty proud I've kept it to just that one...

    #25 5 months ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    Bought one to put in the house back in 1996. I'm pretty proud I've kept it to just that one...

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    #26 5 months ago

    Misses told me to get a hobby 15 some years ago so bought a Pin since always liked it back in the 80’s and then another and another( you know)

    #27 5 months ago

    My parents had a pool hall when I was growing up. We had one pinball machine that would change from time to time. After some time, we went to two machines. I would also play machines at the local bowling alley and the arcade at the mall. Even when I served in the Navy I found pinball machines to play at various places. Today, I live in an area that has very few machines, so on weekends I travel to various cities where I can find machines to play.

    #28 5 months ago

    Me and my dad are big movie guys so he would take me to a stereo shop I was probably around seven years old. My birthday was coming up they didn't know what to buy me but my parents knew I liked dinosaurs and the guy at the stereo shop had some pinball machines so he found and sold us a Lost World Jurassic Park pinball. Few years went by I didn't pay attention to the machine and then about four years ago it clicked I went down to the basement and started playing it so than me and my parents decided to buy some more games second game was DE Jurassic Park and they multiplied after that lol. I also got into the tournament side of things playing in lots of tournaments currently ranked 20.

    #29 5 months ago

    Kind of serendipity - I was at a comic con and visited a booth which had a Stern Ghostbusters. Spent $20 or so on it, really enjoyed it. The next day, out of NOWHERE my mom texts me that I should “get a pinball machine”. How bizarre! I then remembered TAF and TZ from arcades when i was a kid. One trip to Kickback in Pittsburgh sealed the deal. Searched Craigslist and had the absolute luck of finding a TAF 2 miles down the road.
    Tons of games later...

    #30 5 months ago

    A few fleeting moments of brilliance in a sea of ineptitude.

    i.e. What just happened and why can't I do it again?

    #31 5 months ago

    Sunshine Laundromat and a big wad of cash burn a hole in our pocket

    #32 5 months ago

    My 1st job at age 14 in 1974 was at my neighbors swim club. One of my duties was to clean the pinball machines in the snack bar, remove the coins and occasionally replace a burnt out bulb. Bonus was I could play them for free. All were Gottlieb EM's from the 60's like Kings & Queens with manual ball ejection. I would play my own version of multi-ball by shooting all 5 up at once although 1 or 2 would drain usually before I could even get to the flippers. I never forgot the smell of an EM when you lifted the playfield. That summer the owner bought a High Hand, what a marvel that was. Balls would automatically feed to the plunger.

    32 years later I bought my 1st game a High Hand. Still smelled the same when you lifted the PF.

    #33 5 months ago

    I grew up in 80's and loved going to arcades. One arcade put price tags on all their games around Christmas every year. Prices were so expensive and I always thought it would be cool to one day own one. Over the years I thought about getting an arcade but never could pull the trigger. I just knew the one game would get old and couldn't compare with modern games. One day I was looking for something to do on my ipad and found Pinball Arcade. Totally forgot about pinball for years and it was something really cool to get into. I quickly bought a game and was hooked.

    #34 5 months ago

    I grew up playing pinball in the 70s and 80s and loved Fuhouse when it came out. Fast forward 15 years to 2008 when I was out to dinner with a customer and he started to explain how he collected pinball machines. He was describing his Star Trek Next Generation as one of the best ever, and I was enamored because that was my favorite show of all time. I had played two games of STtng on location in the years past and I had no idea what I was doing and I just remember thinking that the game was really big, beautiful and complicated. I sucked.

    Realizing that I probably never gave the game a fair shake I went home and found one for sale on craigslist, played it, got to Borg multi-ball and realized right then after my first jackpot I needed to own this game.

    I then rescued a Getaway from a local kid joint/pizza place for like 900 bucks and rebuilt it. Bought a No good golfers a little bit there after. I wound up selling both the getaway and the no good gofers to create a little space in my garage. Did a house remodel and now have a beautiful huge office with my STTNG and newly acquired Dialed In.

    #35 5 months ago

    I bought a Seeburg jukebox from an OP in the early 80s. When I went to pick it up I saw some old EMs sitting in the back. $150 later a Williams Grand Prix was mine.

    Read my story...

    #36 5 months ago

    "I never forgot the smell of an EM when you lifted the playfield."

    Ooh that smell! Intoxicating!

    #37 5 months ago

    Grew up in the 80s arcades.

    Rediscovered pinball via visual pinball on the PC.

    Was at a bar one night, they had a scared stiff. Next thing I know I am buying one on eBay...

    And the rest is history

    I really need to give a shout out to everyone who contributes to the hobby from a technical support side.... it has been so helpful over the years to have people willing to help, create guides, answer questions, etc....

    Long live rec.games.pinball.

    #38 5 months ago

    I was incredibly depressed, dealing with a slurry of doubt, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety. I moved to a new town, was lonely, and found some games on location. For those brief few minutes of gameplay, I found I could shut out all those awful thoughts and focus on playing, and also figured if I played enough, I could master the game.

    Unrelated to pinball, but I'm better now.

    #39 5 months ago

    I got into it at CAX 2017. Star Wars was launched, the lines were long and the venue too loud to hear it. I decided I would buy one to see if I liked it, and sell it for a minor loss if I didn't.

    I ended up getting really into it.

    #40 5 months ago

    I started at 3, on Rockaway boardwalk, with bingo games...dont know why it caught me at that age.
    Regular pinball came in 1st grade, when i had a nickel left over from lunch and wax lips...it just stared me down every time i went into the luchenette...that would be in Baldwin NY. 47 years later it is a real addiction.

    #41 5 months ago
    Quoted from roffels:

    but I'm better now.

    If you ever aren't. Stop in. I'm here for you.

    LTG : )

    #42 5 months ago

    Stopping in the bar to say hello to my uncle on the way home from 4th grade!
    He would flip me a quarter and bought me a cola, AND there in the corner was a KISS Pinball machine!
    He would say make it last and i did my best.

    I'm a HUGE video game guy, BUT NOTHING BEATS PINBALL!
    Own 4 and wish for more

    #43 5 months ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    My dad took me to a bowling alley (he didn't bowl) to play the pinball machines. My mechanical and electrical curiosity got the best of me. Williams Gay '90's swinging target and the two drop targets grabbed my attention. How did they work?
    How did the score reels know how to move from 9 to 10? Gas pumps were electro-mechanical back then and the reels were touching one another. The reels on a pin were separated and electrically stepped. I wanted to know how they worked.
    How many here remember electro-mechanical gas pumps. How few here remember totally mechanical gas pumps with the glass cylinders?
    Also, see my pinside story.

    Nice story.

    The glass cylinder gas pumps were before my time but I grew up with the electromechanical pumps. Some even had a glass bowl filled with gas next to the price reels and you could watch an impeller rotate as gas was pumping. I don’t know if the impeller was for show or actually did something but I was always fascinated watching it.

    #44 5 months ago

    local 7-11 and of course aladdins castles, and time out gamerooms.

    #45 5 months ago

    I feel like I'm reading most peoples "stories"from their home page... mine is an aunt and uncles bar in the late 70s into the late 80s. Gorgar I remember well but it was Flight 2000 in 1980 that got me. The OP would bring pins in and out along with arcades and I'd watch them pull the coins and mess with them... it was awesome! Star Castle, Death Race, original Atari Sprint... them came Asteroids, Space Invaders and Pacman... was fun to watch it all happen... life was good!

    #46 5 months ago

    Funnily enough I got into pinball without ever playing actual pinball. I grew up in relatively secluded areas all my life and never lived close to an arcade. One day my dad found a game for my 8 year old self to play, Microsoft Pinball Arcade. I immediately fell in love with the game and wanted a real machine. Being in a relatively low income family however, that was out of the question.

    As I got older I forgot about that passion until my friend got me into Farsides the Pinball Arcade a few years ago. Almost like a switch my passion was reignited and started browsing Craiglist one night with my buddy cause we were bored. I saw in the Vancouver area someone was selling a Gottlieb Pioneer, the two player version of spirit of 76. Spirit was one of my favorite tables from Microsoft pinball arcade and I joked about having a look but the guy wanted too much.

    Fast forward couple weeks later I check the ad again and saw the machine had dropped to 750 which at the time was within my budget. (I knew nothing about pricing at this point) I ran the proposition by my parents who I was still living with at the time and the rest is history. Even got the machine for 100 less then the guy was asking.

    #47 5 months ago

    I used to play them at aladdin's castle or bowling alleys as a kid, but was more into video games. Years later I came across The Pinball Arcade. I was hooked playing the games I used to play. Now I have 7 pins and would rather play pinball than video games.

    #48 5 months ago
    #49 5 months ago

    I grew up on a farm outside a small town. There wasn’t a real pinball machine for miles, yet somehow the game of pinball has always been in my life. My first machine was a starcom toy.
    F6FF9B2C-5A1B-464E-BE46-23645097B801 (resized).jpeg

    But I also played a lot of pinbot and pinball for the NES, then I graduated PC pinball. There was a couple windows pinball games that ate up a lot of my time also.
    2510A4F4-5EC7-40CE-9474-0429A8D08A48 (resized).jpeg1976E07E-FBA4-4C59-B7DF-FC04C50ABFED (resized).png

    Jump to high school. My first real experience in an arcade. I played a lot of the vids there but they also had 2 or 3 pins at any one time. I remember white water and fish tales, those two games were the ones where I learned that pinball had an objective other then just keeping the ball going.

    Then nothing for almost 15 years. Then, I built a couple MAME arcades and decided to build a virtual pin. Looked around and found a working players condition F14 tomcat, with the plan to gut it and use the cabinet for parts. Well I got addicted to pinball again. Restored F14, made it better then new wherever I could. Eventually sold it but I had caught the bug by then.

    #50 5 months ago

    In the 70’s, I spent every Sunday with my dad at the bowling alley. After I’d get tired of bowling, I’d stalk the pins to look for free credits or unplayed balls.

    Then in the 80’s, I’d use the last dollar I had to play pins bc the games lasted longer and there was never a line.

    In the early 90’s I would hang around a dive bar in NYC, playing with my friends and some scary looking Hell’s Angels. I used pinball to get to know my husband better when we first started dating.

    In the late 90’s I started looking in to buying a pin but then I had my kid, and life was hectic. It wasn’t until he was about 14 and got into it himself that I got back into pinball, and pretty much the rest has played out here as I bought my first pin, bought a new house, and started to build my collection.

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