(Topic ID: 322901)

Where did all the Thunderbirds go?

By Mad_Dog_Coin_Op

68 days ago


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  • 47 posts
  • 36 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 66 days ago by Darkwing
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 68 days ago

I find it curious that there hasn’t been a Thunderbirds listed on Pinside for almost 2 years. Where did they all go? Did it disappear like the Yugo? I know the game is bad but even bad has a collector value. I could see collectors having it in their collection just to poke fun at it for being so bad. Any theories out there? Didn’t several hundred get made?

#2 68 days ago

Who cares! It’s a Thunderbirds
They all went on an I-N-T-E-R-N-A-T-I-O-N-A-L-R-E-S-C-U-E

26
#3 68 days ago

Landfill like ET?

12
#4 68 days ago

I heard all 4 of them don’t trade hands often.

#5 68 days ago

It is interesting though!

#6 68 days ago

Only 21 pinsiders show they own Thunderbirds and only 5 arcades where you can play one on location.

I wonder how many were sold?

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#7 68 days ago
Quoted from Coz:

I wonder how many were sold?

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Too many

#8 68 days ago

I just find it strange. There are lots of games with low production numbers that regularly show up for resale on Pinside. For some reason, not this one. It was almost like they were recalled or maybe someone activated the self-destruct sequence. They just seem to be gone.

#9 68 days ago
Quoted from Mad_Dog_Coin_Op:

I just find it strange. There are lots of games with low production numbers that regularly show up for resale on Pinside. For some reason, not this one. It was almost like they were recalled or maybe someone activated the self-destruct sequence. They just seem to be gone.

How often do you see cosmic carnivals for sale?

My guess is final production numbers of thunderbirds was somewhere in that neighborhood.

I really don’t think there are triple digits of thunderbirds out there.

#10 68 days ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

How often do you see cosmic carnivals for sale?
My guess is final production numbers of thunderbirds was somewhere in that neighborhood.
I really don’t think there are triple digits of thunderbirds out there.

In the last 2 years two of those showed up. There is no way Thunderbirds is that low of a production run. I’ve seen videos of the factory with dozens of them on camera and that was after they were already shipping. Maybe the ones in work were all scraped?

10
#11 68 days ago

Part of the problem might be that people paid $X for one but can only now get $X/2 or whatever. Not much incentive to sell.

#12 68 days ago

I kind of feel like the real pinhead people didn't jump on it.. so they probably ended up at those casual owner homes, where hopefully they are providing some enjoyment. I kind of feel the same about Stern home 'pins'. I know they sell them.. just don't see them for sale as often as you would think. I just assume that they end up in more casual homes, where the owners are not necessarily looking to always swap or convert into some other pin they get excited about

#13 68 days ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Landfill like ET?

Lol yup

#14 68 days ago

Like others have mentioned, I just don't think there's many out there. You never see Jetsons come up for sale because few were sold.

I finally played a Thunderbirds recently and I can see why. Oof.

18
#15 68 days ago

As the only distributor in USA we sold them all here and they ended up mostly in the hands of collectors and a few locations. As much as people like to talk negatively about stuff they haven't played or played much (not referring to anyone in particular or anything just in general) many i sold to still has have their game and enjoy it and are looking forward to Spinal Tap - but of course a number of them did re-sell as well. Remember Pinside is a tiny but loud microcosm of pinball collectors and people who enjoy something may not be on here and if they were you think they're going to voice that opinion and get the shit beat out of them - probably not. Many 'collectors' just like having something rare that nobody else has. Frankly the game has more mechanical stuff going on with it than may current games that sell for double or triple the price. Is it everyone's cup of tea, absolutely not. I think whoever has them is enjoying them now that they settled into the hands of appreciative owners and most won't be for sale - that happens alot with many things that are low production - a few sell over and over but many eventually find a happy forever home. How about the Mafia - none of those for sale either. Same deal but we only had / sold 2 the 10 of those made.
Be nice everyone - it's only pinball : )
Joe

#16 68 days ago

Or perhaps the owners just don't want to let others know they own one? I can understand that.

John

#17 68 days ago
Quoted from PinballSTAR:

As the only distributor in USA we sold them all here and they ended up mostly in the hands of collectors and a few locations. As much as people like to talk negatively about stuff they haven't played or played much (not referring to anyone in particular or anything just in general) many i sold to still has have their game and enjoy it and are looking forward to Spinal Tap - but of course a number of them did re-sell as well. Remember Pinside is a tiny but loud microcosm of pinball collectors and people who enjoy something may not be on here and if they were you think they're going to voice that opinion and get the shit beat out of them - probably not. Many 'collectors' just like having something rare that nobody else has. Frankly the game has more mechanical stuff going on with it than may current games that sell for double or triple the price. Is it everyone's cup of tea, absolutely not. I think whoever has them is enjoying them now that they settled into the hands of appreciative owners and most won't be for sale - that happens alot with many things that are low production - a few sell over and over but many eventually find a happy forever home. How about the Mafia - none of those for sale either. Same deal but we only had / sold 2 the 10 of those made.
Be nice everyone - it's only pinball : )
Joe

Interesting take. But Nope. That’s not it. It’s almost as if you haven’t played one before. It is not hyperbole when I say tbag is the worst pinball machine ever made that I have personally played. I have not played a more pathetically bad and less enjoyable game ever. It fell out of the suck tree and hit every branch.

#18 68 days ago
Quoted from vicjw66:

Interesting take. But Nope. That’s not it. It’s almost as if you haven’t played one before. It is not hyperbole when I say tbag is the worst pinball machine ever made that I have personally played. I have not played a more pathetically bad and less enjoyable game ever. It fell out of the suck tree and hit every branch.

Your comments actually compel me to want to play it.

#19 68 days ago
Quoted from Dayhuff:

Or perhaps the owners just don't want to let others know they own one? I can understand that.
John

John, I’m convinced/concerned you have a deep dark down secret

#20 68 days ago
Quoted from elcolonel:

Your comments actually compel me to want to play it.

Was thinking the same thing

#21 68 days ago
Quoted from elcolonel:

Your comments actually compel me to want to play it.

People often complain about the top 100 list, but I think sorting on the bottom end, it might be somewhat accurate :
https://pinside.com/pinball/top-100/page/4

I don't mean to be totally harsh on it either, I probably have about 50 games on it, and seem to have rated it at 5.86 (which is very low for me..lol)... I find I can enjoy playing many machines, and a rating of 4.532 still indicates some redeeming factors.. maybe the nostalgic art, maybe some implementation of sounds I can still recall from playing it... But still, looking at the games that are ranked slightly less worse, I'd be quite happy to take them over this one.. so I guess there you go.

I think the biggest burn from it is probably that it was not particularly cheap when it was released. This would create a lot of animosity, since it becomes more of a value proposition... I'd be choked too likely. At the price it was, it really under-delivered in all aspects.

#22 68 days ago
Quoted from vicjw66:

Interesting take. But Nope. That’s not it. It’s almost as if you haven’t played one before. It is not hyperbole when I say tbag is the worst pinball machine ever made that I have personally played. I have not played a more pathetically bad and less enjoyable game ever. It fell out of the suck tree and hit every branch.

I played a Thunderbirds at a show Pinball Star graciously supported. I thought it was not nearly as good as Stern or JJP. It played alot like an EM to me. Not something I care for at all. But there are avid EM fans on this site. To each their own. If people like thunderbird, more power to them.

#23 68 days ago
Quoted from elcolonel:

Your comments actually compel me to want to play it.

Quoted from mjg417:

Was thinking the same thing

It is worth putting some time on it just to experience that moment when you realize just how awful it is in every respect, and all you can think is WTF am I experiencing. The ramp to nowhere, the never ending ball lock/release, the crappy art, the cheap looking/feeling things that physically make up this monstrosity, and to top it off, the incredibly shallow code that is also very buggy. It’s like the guy that brags, “hey, it may not be very big around, but at least it’s short.”

#24 68 days ago
Quoted from sataneatscheese:

I played a Thunderbirds at a show Pinball Star graciously supported. I thought it was not nearly as good as Stern or JJP. It played alot like an EM to me. Not something I care for at all. But there are avid EM fans on this site. To each their own. If people like thunderbird, more power to them.

Yeah, I'm an EM guy... Looking at the bottom end of EMs, I'd put it just before Darling so # 289.

https://pinside.com/pinball/top-100/em/page/3

#25 68 days ago

I can tell you exactly where the Thunderbirds went. If you have a Visio TV and wifi or ethernet in at house, you have a "Watch Free" option on it with quite a few channels on it, all free. Occasionally, one of those free channels shows old Thunderbirds episodes. That is where they went. To the great free TV afterlife.

11
#26 68 days ago
Quoted from vicjw66:

Interesting take. But Nope. That’s not it. It’s almost as if you haven’t played one before. It is not hyperbole when I say tbag is the worst pinball machine ever made that I have personally played. I have not played a more pathetically bad and less enjoyable game ever. It fell out of the suck tree and hit every branch.

It's a take from an owner and someone who sold every one in the US and knows who bought them, and what their opinions are of it. Many of those are on the interested list for Spinal Tap. Frankly, the last few were extremely hard to sell while the first ones were really easy to those loving the theme or wanting something unique. Did some despise it - absolutely. Do some still enjoy owning it - absolutely. I speak from a position of experience in answering the question asked of where they are and why not for sale. Maybe with the low numbers built - there's just enough out there to find happy owners. That's all i'm not trying to make any commentary of the game or debate anyone. There's a ton of rich dudes with expensive non playable Magic Girls aren't there ? Kind of the same logic.

#28 68 days ago

Oh, and "Thunderbirds are GO!" on nearly every episode. Don't forget that.

#29 67 days ago

Back to the original question I have seen two for sale in my area. One was listed at $4k for close to a year and the other was around $2.5k that one of course didn’t last very long…

#30 67 days ago

In the Detroit area you can watch the Thunderbirds - Sunday mornings at 6:00 am . On METV .

#31 67 days ago

Hopefully playing the pin is better than watching the tv show

Quoted from TenaciousT:

In the Detroit area you can watch the Thunderbirds - Sunday mornings at 6:00 am . On METV .

#32 67 days ago
Quoted from vicjw66:

Interesting take. But Nope. That’s not it. It’s almost as if you haven’t played one before. It is not hyperbole when I say tbag is the worst pinball machine ever made that I have personally played. I have not played a more pathetically bad and less enjoyable game ever. It fell out of the suck tree and hit every branch.

I've not been able to play either, but is it worse than Vacation America? That game gets a lot of Shite.

#33 67 days ago

I doubt many of them were made, and most of them probably went to Europe (I know my preordered one went there)

#34 67 days ago
Quoted from PinballSTAR:

It's a take from an owner and someone who sold every one in the US and knows who bought them, and what their opinions are of it. Many of those are on the interested list for Spinal Tap. Frankly, the last few were extremely hard to sell while the first ones were really easy to those loving the theme or wanting something unique. Did some despise it - absolutely. Do some still enjoy owning it - absolutely. I speak from a position of experience in answering the question asked of where they are and why not for sale. Maybe with the low numbers built - there's just enough out there to find happy owners. That's all i'm not trying to make any commentary of the game or debate anyone. There's a ton of rich dudes with expensive non playable Magic Girls aren't there ? Kind of the same logic.

So how many did you sell in the US? That would help greatly it determining a total production number.

#35 67 days ago

One is at the pinball hall of fame never being played. All of their games are heavily routed ,but Thunderbirds looks mint.

#36 67 days ago
Quoted from koji:

People often complain about the top 100 list, but I think sorting on the bottom end, it might be somewhat accurate :
https://pinside.com/pinball/top-100/page/4
I don't mean to be totally harsh on it either, I probably have about 50 games on it, and seem to have rated it at 5.86 (which is very low for me..lol)... I find I can enjoy playing many machines, and a rating of 4.532 still indicates some redeeming factors.. maybe the nostalgic art, maybe some implementation of sounds I can still recall from playing it... But still, looking at the games that are ranked slightly less worse, I'd be quite happy to take them over this one.. so I guess there you go.
I think the biggest burn from it is probably that it was not particularly cheap when it was released. This would create a lot of animosity, since it becomes more of a value proposition... I'd be choked too likely. At the price it was, it really under-delivered in all aspects.

The last page of the top 100 is brutal. I see a ton of titles that don’t belong there.
Hollywood Heat has been immensely popular at shows and is a hidden gem. Hardbody is a great playing game, it’s literally just BMX reskin.

Shaq Attaq, Millionaire, Rescue 911??
Terribly underrated.

There are really some modern dumpster fires that belong on Page 4. Travesty that it will take ages for them to actually filter to their proper rating.

#37 67 days ago

Don't forget the sharp punji slick flipper Buttons, oh my...
How could they get the simplist thing wrong, we fell about laughing when it showed up at Banning , wear padded gloves if you play one.

#38 67 days ago

I played two balls, not finishing the second, walked away with the second ball still in play.

#39 67 days ago

My buddy traded his extra gladiators for a thunderturd to route a few years ago. Earned shit and said it was a hard sell at 3k.

I dumped about $20 into it. More just to support my friend. Wouldn't waste another dollar on it if I saw it on location

#40 67 days ago

PinballSTAR, I've never gotten to play Thunderbirds. In your opinion, what game or games released at the same time or more recently than Thunderbirds are not as good as Thunderbirds?

#41 67 days ago
Quoted from PinballSTAR:

Be nice everyone - it's only pinball : )

I wish Mike from Homepin followed your advice.

#42 67 days ago
Quoted from Dayhuff:

Or perhaps the owners just don't want to let others know they own one? I can understand that.
John

There's a moped joke in there somewhere.

#43 67 days ago

To me the game felt like it was something between a Zizzle and a "real" pinball machine. Figure 25% Zizzle, 75% real. If the price was 50-75% of a Stern, I could see it being okay for family that wants a NIB machine without breaking the bank. Something for people that want to bat a ball around but probably won't get addicted like everyone on here.

#44 67 days ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

I wish Mike from Homepin followed your advice.

oh that reminds me .. did you ever send the maintenance info you promised?.. ( just to jog your memory "I really appreciate you reaching out to us .." etc ..)

#45 67 days ago
Quoted from PinballSTAR:

Frankly, the last few were extremely hard to sell while the first ones were really easy to those loving the theme or wanting something unique.

That about sums it up.

#46 67 days ago

I played it quite a few times on location, the game is entertaining but it costs a bit of time to find your shots. Not the best game but absolutely not the worst (it got more coin drop than Stern Zeppelin). Most lacking are the rules, not the actual layout or build quality (as far as I could see).

Most likely current owners don't consider selling it, as they only would get a fraction of the value because of the low public opinion.

#47 66 days ago
Quoted from elcolonel:

Your comments actually compel me to want to play it.

Seriously, this. Amazing how some cannot fathom an opinion different than their own.

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