(Topic ID: 59251)

What has caused the resurgence of pinball?


By rustybomber79

6 years ago



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    There are 210 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 5.
    #51 6 years ago

    For me it was as simple as staying in a hotel that had a small arcade and a few pins in it . I played the hell outta them that weekend and though , I wonder if I could buy one. Aaaannnd I did .

    #52 6 years ago

    @butch...

    i suppose... that being said, i'm still having a hard time seeing it... if you were already a pinhead, maybe... but a "new person"? even $3k was a pretty steep entry price if the economy was truly affecting your wallet...

    i freely admit that i may be being blind here...

    don't undersell the value of a memory... i have many good ones that i wouldn't trade for something more tangible...

    #53 6 years ago

    I think we live in a bubble. That pins fail to attract much attention on location is evidence that pinball has changed. Most people never consider owning a machine; they don't like playing. But for those that do, many are just understanding that they are widely available for home use. And then once you get one.... Thus higher demand because pins are becoming hot as a collectibles. Just my two cents.

    #54 6 years ago

    It's all Clay's fault!! We could all be picking up free broken B/W 90's tables from people if not for his guides and TOPS videos.

    Seriously though, without Clay doing his thing I don't see how the hobby would be anywhere near as popular as it is today.

    #55 6 years ago

    I played a real pinball machine once at some bowling alley in Waltham, MA when I must have been like 7, I don't really remember. I was just attracted to it because of the toys on the playing field. It was a "Revenge From Mars" and I remember playing for some time racking up a lot of points. From there I just played a lot of "Space Cadet" on Windows. Almost 20 years later I heard an ad on the radio for "The Pinball Wizard Arcade" in Pelham, NH. I went there and I was re-hooked.

    A guy was watching me play "Spiderman" one day (the guy has since disappeared and I have no clue where he went) and told me I was pretty good. I was shocked and he introduced to me to the local league. He taught a few tricks and mentored me for a bit by merely watching him and for that I'm really grateful. Then PAX East 2013 I met Bowen Kerins and Mark Steinman. I learned there was an actual organization for pinball which also blew me away. There is a huge cult following and pinball was much bigger than what I initially thought pinball was.

    Really the last time I have ever been to any arcade was back in the 90's because I just never saw an arcade machine since then or arcade for that matter. The ones I do remember really breaks my heart because I remember fun times. Now all of a sudden it's just there and back in full force. I'm still in shock.

    #56 6 years ago

    Born 1973-1977....................We did!

    #57 6 years ago
    Quoted from Carl_694:

    I think we live in a bubble. That pins fail to attract much attention on location is evidence that pinball has changed. Most people never consider owning a machine; they don't like playing. But for those that do, many are just understanding that they are widely available for home use. And then once you get one.... Thus higher demand because pins are becoming hot as a collectibles. Just my two cents.

    while they are becoming "hot as collectibles", that doesn't imply a resurgence of pinball... hell, a cursory glance through the threads at pinside would seem to indicate that many people don't even play their games because they are too afraid to "hurt" them...

    if anything "hot as collectibles" will kill a market, as it drives pricing "for collectibility" vs. pricing "for players"...

    again, i freely admit i'm being blind, but from this seat, any thought/discussion of a "pinball resurgence" on a site such as pinside (i.e. insular community) is a bit of a "circle of self pleasuring"...

    #58 6 years ago
    Quoted from absocountry2:

    People that grew up playing pinball now have disposable income to buy these machines. My opinion.

    Absolutely agree totally.

    #61 6 years ago

    Everything that's old is new again, plus so much more "real" than the video game experiences most of us have had for the past 20 years....people actually have to get together and can't rely on online completion....the social aspect of it is my favorite.

    #62 6 years ago

    HIPSTER'S !

    #63 6 years ago

    I hate hipsters! THEY ARE LIKE THE PLAGUE!

    #64 6 years ago

    (I mean all of this in a non attitude- thankful I found Pinside and got my first pin kind of way.)

    First of all - Pinball is a very reasonable hobby!!!! Especially for how fun it is! Look around for other collectables and see for yourself. Fyi - Boating is on the high side.

    You can get the grail of pinbal MM for what $12,000, $20,000 for the cherry/best one around. Compared to the grails in about all adult collectables and hobbies that is nothing! If you can't afford that buy a Pinbot or F14 for $1000-1200 and have a blast of your own. Add more later if you like it and can afford them. It is that simple.

    C'mon, man! Pinball owners do not dress, look and have as much money as that Monopoly guy!

    If you are an adult and can't afford $1000 for something you really like you either need to budget better or work harder. Bring coffee and bag your lunch and a pinball will magically appear in your basement!

    The toughest part of buying a pinball is finding one locally in good shape that you have on your wantlist. You pay not what a seller wants, but what it is worth to you. Though the next guy may value it higher.

    You have some really nice people locally and online who are willing to help a total stranger adjust your broken flipper. Unheard of in most collectable markets.

    Stern is a big part of the pinball growth with a great run of games, especially the last 5 years.

    Nostalgia plays a roll, but the play of the table's rule. In the end people will pay more for a newer pin with more toys on the playfield than an older pin that is great as well, but has less bells and whistles. Newer technology is fun and can/will draw new players.

    Stern may actually help keep older pins prices from going through the roof. Example - do I want a Monster Bash or ACDC Premium? A great decision to make, but these newer great pins at similar prices keep the older pins in check.

    If there is a bubble, what is the worst that will happen?
    Answer- You have fun playing your worthless pinballs in your basement with your few friends who still play and you laugh when someone tries to sell their Medieval Madness on Craigslist for $4000 and then say "that is way to high, what fool would pay near that?!" You then get it for $2500 and he delivers it and throws in a Pinbot to get the deal done. That is soooooo horrible!

    All of these things mentioned have a part of making pinball more popular, but still what 1 in 1000 people have one in their homes? It is a growing bubble, but a tiny one.

    So buy what you can afford and learn how to wax a playfield and have fun and remember that one of best parts of Pinball is the people.
    Cheers!

    #65 6 years ago
    Quoted from stretch2:

    Absolutely agree totally.

    Exactly. It's a niche market with its own website universe. No different than a lot of different hobbies or collectables. Perhaps this will happen with RC planes, too, or something similar. Sure, we might think pinball is better, but that's irrelevant to the would-be RC collector, who argues pins are too big and require too much maintenance. It's all in what you want/appreciate. If you think about it, few machines, even one with 10,000 produced, would be readily available if everyone wanted one. The demand is not that strong, at least broadly among the general population.

    #66 6 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    while they are becoming "hot as collectibles", that doesn't imply a resurgence of pinball... hell, a cursory glance through the threads at pinside would seem to indicate that many people don't even play their games because they are too afraid to "hurt" them...
    if anything "hot as collectibles" will kill a market, as it drives pricing "for collectibility" vs. pricing "for players"...
    again, i freely admit i'm being blind, but from this seat, any thought/discussion of a "pinball resurgence" on a site such as pinside (i.e. insular community) is a bit of a "circle of self pleasuring"...

    I was trying to quote this, oops!

    #67 6 years ago

    I still strongly argue that LEDs have something to do with it. If you look at a wall of incandescent lit backglasses and then look at a row with LEDs. LEDs catches the eye and to me pinball machines have turned into a work of playable art. During the 90's everything had a yellowish glow, and they all looked the same.

    I always liked pinball as a kid, but back in 2009 i googled a video of TOTAN, lit up with LEDs, and it changed the way I looked at pinball machines. Before they were games, now they are art pieces. At least to me.

    #68 6 years ago
    Quoted from Carl_694:

    I think we live in a bubble. That pins fail to attract much attention on location is evidence that pinball has changed. Most people never consider owning a machine; they don't like playing. But for those that do, many are just understanding that they are widely available for home use. And then once you get one.... Thus higher demand because pins are becoming hot as a collectibles. Just my two cents.

    Good point. Pinball is crazy on Pinside. The rest of the world doesn't really care. That is OK with me as long as new pinballs come out and people who do own and play still care about sharing a game and helping others.

    #69 6 years ago

    1. With most arcades shut down, people that grew up playing in one now have disposable income and recreate that experience at home. Games that you loved dumping quarters into you can now fulfill your adolescent fantasy and buy one.

    2. Virtual Pinball has stroked some of those old fires and created new ones.

    3. People are being reintroduced to pinball and arcade machines by going to shows. It is not a coincidence that the popularity of shows have increased the same time as the pinball resurgence. Every show that I have gone to has gotten bigger and bigger each year with new faces.

    4. It is a hobby that has more than 1 facet. You can play, mod, tinker, trade and collect. It hits on multiple levels.

    #70 6 years ago

    Disposable income + great new games = Resurgence

    #71 6 years ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    A resurgence, or a shifting of how and where, what is left is played ?
    LTG : )

    this.

    I see no resurgence.... if anything, I continue to see fewer and fewer games in the wild.

    We had a couple pinball companies, then we had one, now we have 1.25.... hardly a resurgence IMO....

    in '92-'93, there were 8 titles made that exceeded 10,000 units produced!

    There hasn't been even 1 since.

    It's niche manufacturing now.... a couple thousand titles, mostly swallowed up in peoples basements... i dont see that expanding the hobby.

    #72 6 years ago

    People that say "hipsters" are wrong. Hipsters are people in their early twenties living in small apartments in the city, drinking cheap beer,and going to see loud bands with low paying jobs. They are not buying pinball machines, just playing them in bars.

    Its us ex-hipsters in our mid thirties who moved twenty minutes outside the city, moved into a real house to start a family, realized they have space, got a decent job, and no longer spend all of my money at bars seeing loud bands. I am buying pinball machines.

    #73 6 years ago

    My life plan was always to have a basement full of pinball machines. I stopped racing, so then I could afford to do just that.

    #74 6 years ago

    There are lots of good ideas in this thread. Regardless of what we call it, something has changed since around 2008 when CSI and 24 took Stern to the brink of closing down the production line. I live in a small neighborhood in the burbs of Tampa and of the 15 or so people I know in our subdivision, 3 of them besides me had pins when I met them through our HOA. We're all middle class, early 40s to early 50s in age and surprisingly, none of us have children. I don't know what the common denominator is, but I bought my first pin back in 2008 and up to that time had never met anyone who had a pin at home.

    #75 6 years ago

    Its fun and lots of the younger people / players are learning this for the 1st time.

    Graphics in video games can be amazing but there is nothing like the mechanical interaction of a pinball on a good machine table. Video games are fun but more cookie cutter themes and eye candy.Pinball machines embody unique designs , build and real artwork that is unique.

    The only thing like pinball is another pinball machine.

    #76 6 years ago

    all us nerds born around `72, grew up in arcade 80's, and now have enough money in our 40's to spend trying to recapture childhood, instead of previous generations who bought motorcycles & hookers to get through their mid-life crisis

    #77 6 years ago
    Quoted from RTR:

    I am pretty sure it was the thread I started on The Big Lebowski pinball machine. When I started taking those pretend preorders, things just started poppin'.
    All this interest is just a warm up for TBL LE roll out one day....

    PRETEND?
    WTF!?!
    So, my order is not going to be fulfilled.
    Your rep is now tarnished forever

    #78 6 years ago

    The MAME "Boom" preceded that of pinball. People got tired of playing repetitive classic games and looked towards the one form arcade entertainment that can't be emulated(well). Pinball.

    Also, people who were young in the "golden age" of arcade's are now reaching 40ish and they are having their midlife crisis'. They are all trying to capture their childhood by owning trophies of the time. Pinball, arcade games, cars.

    There has also been an uptick of sports cars from the 80's-early 90's. They're only going up from here. Grab an IROC-Z Camaro, Mustang 5.0 and/or Dodge Daytona and watch them balloon in value in the coming years. Mark my words.

    #79 6 years ago

    Born 66 and I'm a late computer nerd and video gamer, 80s and diner times bunking off school to play defender, PAC, galaxian (my fav) et el and never remember seeing a pinball machine in the arcades at that time. Fast forward to the pub (91-2) as my local got a new T2 in and I played it to death when it left the pub pinball stopped for me until 2012 although video games has stayed with me since the 8 bit NES and I have or had every console and handheld along the way, except Wii-U what a let down for the money.

    I was after a new hobby and while looking on auction sites I saw a T2 for sale and had a flashback to my local pub in the 90s, after thinking about it I bought a Fish Tales (of course) in 2012 and have been getting it back up and running.

    For me it is the ultimate boys (and chicks) toy, it's a game in its own right, it is electrical, it is mechanical and you can mod them to death, so many dimensions to "just a pinball machine" awesome. Lets keep it to ourselves though eh T2 is on my most wanted list now.

    Long way of saying old nostalgic git with a bit of disposable dosh uses Internet (auction sites) buys pin and recaptures youth

    #80 6 years ago

    The common theme in most of these posts is that we all are just fulfilling our youthful dreams. We played them when we were young and at that time we wished we could have them in our living rooms. Now that we are old enough and have some $$$ we simply fulfill that dream.

    Another interesting thing I am seeing is that the younger we are the more we seem to be attracted to the newer games. I'm now 54 and it was the mid 70's when I enjoyed pinball the most as a teen. Not surprisingly the 3 pins I own are a 1972 Williams Super Star EM, a 1978 Bally Star Trek SS, and a 1979 Game Plan Star Trip SS. The exact type of games I would have been playing in my youth.

    Younger Pinsiders seem to be owning the newer games of the 80's and 90's. Again because these were most likely the games they played.

    It's probably in our genes and DNA. It all seems like an insurgence because, with the internet, we are all a lot more connected and informed. But I bet even if the internet never existed, we still would have been attracted to our pins and would be owning them just as we do now. The internet has just made it a lot easier!

    #81 6 years ago

    If it wasn't for the Internet I doubt many of us would have a machine. The wealth of information and advice how to repair and where to buy machines and parts is readily available. Ironically, I blame the Internet for the crappy economy overall. Seems I buy almost everything online these days.

    #82 6 years ago
    Quoted from taz:

    There are lots of good ideas in this thread. Regardless of what we call it, something has changed since around 2008 when CSI and 24 took Stern to the brink of closing down the production line. I live in a small neighborhood in the burbs of Tampa and of the 15 or so people I know in our subdivision, 3 of them besides me had pins when I met them through our HOA. We're all middle class, early 40s to early 50s in age and surprisingly, none of us have children. I don't know what the common denominator is, but I bought my first pin back in 2008 and up to that time had never met anyone who had a pin at home.

    I'm interested in the "kid factor". I personally know 3 other people who have multiple machines and none have children. I have 3 kids and so far only one machine, I simple can't afford it. Obviously,this isn't going to be the norm but it makes me curious if the owners with big collections have children. My kids like my pinball machine but they don't love it and still mostly play their Xbox. But the couple times I took them to some places that had a lot of machines they had fun. Maybe they'll get more into it if I get a newer machine. I know they'd love one of the stand up arcade games. Might pickup one of those someday too.

    #83 6 years ago

    As a teen in the 90's I pretty much ignored pinball while in the arcade. Sometime in 2001 I discovered Visual Pinball/VPMame & got hooked on such games as Twilight Zone, Getaway, Indiana Jones, Addams Family games I had only briefly or never played as a real machine. This led me to purchasing my first pin (IJ) a couple of months later so yes I think Pinball Arcade must be a factor these days for sure.

    #84 6 years ago

    For me, it was Zen Pinball. I'm pretty new to the hobby.

    #85 6 years ago

    I think it's related to a general movement with classic americana. Look at all these reality TV shows like Pawn Stars, American Pickers, the dude that restores old objects (American Restorations? I forget the title, but love that one), etc.
    Pinball machines are beautiful classic american machines, and it that sense I think it fits in with that stuff.

    Personnally, a couple years ago my band and I stayed over at a friend's house one night who had a couple machines (Escape from the lost world and Skateball if I'm not mistaken), we had a blast gambling on EFTLW and I was hooked.

    #86 6 years ago
    Quoted from hool10:

    Then PAX East 2013 I met Bowen Kerins and Mark Steinman. I learned there was an actual organization for pinball which also blew me away. There is a huge cult following and pinball was much bigger than what I initially thought pinball was.
    .

    I was there too. I always really liked to play pinball when I saw one, (but I wasn't "into it") so I went to their session. Their panel had a similar effect on me, it made me realize its been a very long time since I have played pinball and its because they are not around like they were back in the day. It also made me realize that there is a lot more to it than keeping th ball in play, when they said you can "win" at a pinball game it blew my mind. Thankfully they shared some websites where you could find pinballs on location in your area, and they mentioned Pinside too! (So here I am) I found one near my work on location and played a lot on my lunch breaks and it really got me into it. I then kept seeking out more places.

    Its a healthy hobby for me and my wife thinks its silly but supports it because, its cheap (for right now ). I can go play at a few arcades near me spend less than $20 for 3-4 hours of entertainment. (and not come home drunk, haha). I mean thnk about it, a round of golf can be close to or over $100 at some places, hell a movie for one is $15 before popcorn now days. Just last night my wife gave the blessing to buy my first machine (with a decent budget too!), a few stipulations have to be met first, but I will have one soon enough!! And in the mean time I am lucky enough to live in an area where I can play some in the wild.

    #87 6 years ago

    Gravity

    #88 6 years ago

    Haha, Nice name. "I just opened my mouth and out it came."

    #89 6 years ago

    Karma baby! Pat Lawlor declared "Pinball will be dead in five years" in 2007 (at Pinball Expo). We just HAD to prove him wrong!

    #90 6 years ago

    I bought my 1st pin about 20 years ago. I never thought about owning more than one until about 3 years ago doing a search on the internet I found out that there are a lot of people that own more than 1. Once I started thinking about owning more than 1 I started buying more and I'm up to 8 now. I ran into a friend a couple of years ago that I hadn't seen since high school. He was the same way. He had 1 pin he bought a long time ago and never thought about owning more. Then he saw my collection and now he has 4. I think a lot of people just never thought about buying a bunch of pins until they happen to stumble across someone that has them or a site like Pinside and then realize what a great hobby it is. And now the word is spreading fast and more and more people are getting into it. And people like Clay make it possible as they teach everyone how to repair their games. Also parts are much more available then they used to be. It is much easier to own and maintain a pin than it was 5 or 10 years ago.

    #91 6 years ago
    Quoted from rustybomber79:

    "I just opened my mouth and out it came."

    You're a lucky man, Mr Vanderhoff.

    #92 6 years ago
    Quoted from rustybomber79:

    I was there too. I always really liked to play pinball when I saw one, (but I wasn't "into it") so I went to their session. Their panel had a similar effect on me, it made me realize its been a very long time since I have played pinball and its because they are not around like they were back in the day. It also made me realize that there is a lot more to it than keeping th ball in play, when they said you can "win" at a pinball game it blew my mind. Thankfully they shared some websites where you could find pinballs on location in your area, and they mentioned Pinside too! (So here I am) I found one near my work on location and played a lot on my lunch breaks and it really got me into it. I then kept seeking out more places.
    Its a healthy hobby for me and my wife thinks its silly but supports it because, its cheap (for right now ). I can go play at a few arcades near me spend less than $20 for 3-4 hours of entertainment. (and not come home drunk, haha). I mean thnk about it, a round of golf can be close to or over $100 at some places, hell a movie for one is $15 before popcorn now days. Just last night my wife gave the blessing to buy my first machine (with a decent budget too!), a few stipulations have to be met first, but I will have one soon enough!! And in the mean time I am lucky enough to live in an area where I can play some in the wild.

    You are right in that you don't even have to own a pin to play pinball. $20 for 3 hours of entertainment is awsome. Finding a good pin to play on location is like finding a diamond in the rough. I recently was on vacation in Maine and found alot of diamonds in one place- AFM, MB, Sstiff, Batman, Spiderman, Family Guy, Dr. Who, Black Rose, Freddy, and Ripley's. Thanks Coast City Comics!

    My wife gave me the OK to get one then two. Mabey look for a game she might like also. Not Freddy Kruger.

    So what games are you looking at? Good luck!

    #93 6 years ago

    So, yes, the youth of the pinball heyday are now in a financial position to put machines in their own homes....

    But, will the youth of today be doing the same when they have the means?

    Sorry, but NO Way.

    Their "rec rooms" might have some vintage items from THEIR youth:
    an Xbox (before it went holographic 3D), an old ipad (before all devices became wearable), etc. But I doubt you'll see anything resembling a real pinball machine. Maybe a MAME box or a virtual machine... but not pinball as we know today.

    You can put ruby slippers on the flippers, but it aint gonna drive the young masses to pinball.

    I have to go to websites like this one, run searches just to FIND a pinball machine in the wild within 60 minutes. If THAT dramatically changes, then maybe Ill change my prediction.

    #94 6 years ago
    Quoted from RogerKlotz27:

    The Documentary "Special When Lit" is what did it for me. Good Thread

    That's what led to our first pinball purchase, too.

    ...and eventually led to our new pinball resurgence documentary, where we will explore the elements of this very question! www.shootagainpinballmovie.com

    #95 6 years ago
    Quoted from lowepg:

    Sorry, but NO Way.

    Don't be so sure...

    #96 6 years ago

    A friend's 7 year old was at our place last week, and had never even seen a pinball machine before. A few hours and many games later, he was begging his mom to download the Pinball Arcade on her phone so he could keep playing on the ride home!

    So there's hope, but I agree we need more location pinball for it to be widespread - most kids just don't know someone who owns a machine.

    #97 6 years ago

    People longing for analog experiences in a digital age.

    #98 6 years ago

    Disposable income + video pinball were the main reasons for the growing interest in pin playing. I'm not sure I'd class it as a resurgence though as that would to me imply seeing more pins in the wild and I'm not seeing that yet.

    #99 6 years ago
    Quoted from jackd104:

    People longing for analog experiences in a digital age.

    I think this is the most accurate explanation.

    #100 6 years ago

    I agree with most of the aforementioned reasons as far as general increase in popularity.

    Personally what brought me back to pinball was fixing a game for a friend, followed up by a trip to PAPA. Nostalgia + "I gotta have one of these for myself to mess around with"....turned into now I don't have room for more.

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