(Topic ID: 304535)

Why so much hate on reimported games?

By PinDeLaPin

2 years ago


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  • 44 posts
  • 28 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Coindork
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    #1 2 years ago

    Just browsing the classified listings earlier and I noticed a couple listing were sure to say their particular game was not a reimported game. So the question is who really cares and if you do care then why? It is the exact same game the only way to disseminate it is by the coin door and if someone swapped out the doors then without looking at the serial number tag you'd never know it left the country. If i'm missing something here please feel free to fill me in otherwise i'll just keep scratching my head on this one.

    #2 2 years ago
    Quoted from PinDeLaPin:

    If i'm missing something here please feel free to fill me in otherwise i'll just keep scratching my head on this one.

    People assume that since it's traveled from across the globe it's somehow in worse condition. Pretty strange to me as well.

    #3 2 years ago

    Wasted energy in todays pin market. Finding a pin you’re looking for from any location can be quite the hurdle. Too much demand and too little supply…

    I’ll take a reimport Funhouse these days if anyone has one for sale.

    #5 2 years ago

    Beat me to it

    #6 2 years ago

    They don’t take quarters

    #7 2 years ago

    Yeah I see that lists the difference's but doesn't explain really why folks get so down on a reimport. Still waiting for some kind of valid explanation

    #8 2 years ago

    They were generally more hacked up and worn out than domestic games. And yes, some people don't like the look of the foreign coin door (personally, I replace them with a domestic door).

    But with demand up and supply down throughout the last few years, I don't think I've really seen too many people going out of their way to specify when a game was a reimport. At this point, probably most of the reimported games have been repaired at some point after being reimported, and have had the worst of the hacks already corrected.

    #9 2 years ago

    The voltage difference keeps me at bay. Yes, I know they can be converted, just don't feel like fooling with it, as do many others.
    I always preferred in a weird way the German version of Fireball. I would probably pay a premium for that if seeking one.
    On the flip side I purchased a Williams Merry Widow that had been stored for years in Sweden.
    I assume it was in such great unplayed condition because it sucked and was quickly pulled.
    However they didn't abandon it, wherever it was stored was dry and climate controlled.
    Really in many ways the best OEM condition EM I have ever owned.

    #10 2 years ago

    Most people have a hard time understanding the game if it's picked up a foreign accent.

    #11 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    They were generally more hacked up and worn out than domestic games.

    Yup. Back in late 90s early 00s there was a steady supply of games from local amusement auctions, and also from people importing containers of games from overseas. The imports were cheaper but almost always in much worse condition. Europeans tended to play the hell out of them and ops resorted to creative repairs due to parts not being readily available. Add in moisture from storage and the boat ride and imports got a somewhat deserved bad rep. They've never recovered.

    #12 2 years ago

    I've gotten many clean titles from overseas. And severely nicotinized ones to. Sure hacks could present , but if you're going to do a restore on it what does it matter...

    #13 2 years ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    The voltage difference keeps me at bay. Yes, I know they can be converted, just don't feel like fooling with it, as do many others.

    It's not complicated, especially on 90s games. Just swap out a jumper plug (or re-jumper it if you don't have a domestic replacement on-hand). With detachable power cords, that's easy to swap to the plug type you're using.

    On older games, you need to desolder a wire on the transformer and solder it to the one with the voltage that matches your wall voltage. Then either replace the whole line cord (desolder 3 wires), and solder in a new line cord (again, 3 wires). Some people just chop off the plug and add a new one, but personally I don't like to do that.

    If anyone is not sure how to convert a game, just post a thread asking about it, and folks can point you in the right direction. Usually most of the info you need is already in the game manual, pinwiki, or in older threads on the forums.

    #14 2 years ago

    In my case, seeing the 220V sticker inside turns me off

    #15 2 years ago

    If restored properly as chad said it should not be difference. But owning one i have seen with my two eyes. Also have see many more for sale. But ForceFlow is correct about it. They are basket cases and most are never restored because they are in such poor shape to start. Many are just parted or do a bare bones to get to work if even does work then out of there hair. Sadly many were quote fixed (nothing thing more just wiped off ) sold and charged top price ( the ebay deal ) for it.

    Just think you buy a game unseen (you should not ever do) as a just needs shopped. Then from where ever to you at the shipping price and the quote just needs shop price. It is at you door moldy, water damage to cabinet. Maybe to playfeild, rust on every metal and the wiring looks is a disaster and may have mice possibly termites.

    This happen a lot in the 90's and the 1st buyers well you were S.O.L. Look at pinball's horror pic thread.

    #16 2 years ago

    I suppose there are some horror stories but then there are also horror stories with deals made on non imported machines. Simply put as chad did if you are buying a machine and obviously plan to shop it out and do the repairs anyway I just can't see the phobia of buying something because it went on vacation to another country and then returned back home. Seems to me a stigma has been associated that just hasn't been let go of. It's not the 90's or early 2000's anymore we have parts available quite readily and a vast resource of knowledgeable people here to help with any problems that machine may have. In these crazy days of pin shortages and sky rocketing prices i'm not sure why anyone would turn up their noses at anything anymore.

    #17 2 years ago

    I have had two reimport games and both had a bit of corrosion and a little bit of planking. When selling, there were people who didn’t want them due to the reimport status so it limited the buyer pool. I shy away from reimports unless it is a title I really want or it is a crazy good deal.

    #18 2 years ago

    I had a reimport Twister (from Belgium) for several years; it was in good to excellent condition, with no corrosion or damage to any wood surfaces. The only slight issue was that the game had been totally LED converted except for one very difficult to access GI bulb, and of course my OCD would not let me leave it alone so I HAD to tear apart ramps and other stuff just to get that one lone LED in there, lol.

    The only actual problem it ever had was that the bearings in the fan motor were getting tired by the time I sold it, so it was starting to get noisy.

    #19 2 years ago
    Quoted from Thermionic:

    I had a reimport Twister (from Belgium) for several years; it was in good to excellent condition, with no corrosion or damage to any wood surfaces. The only slight issue was that the game had been totally LED converted except for one very difficult to access GI bulb, and of course my OCD would not let me leave it alone so I HAD to tear apart ramps and other stuff just to get that one lone LED in there, lol.
    The only actual problem it ever had was that the bearings in the fan motor were getting tired by the time I sold it, so it was starting to get noisy.

    This is exactly my point. If you go to look at a game for sale and just for the hell of it we will say it is a re-import. Obviously if it's torched you're not going to buy it and that's regardless if it's a domestic model either. The point is if the game is in good condition whether it is a re-import or a domestic model I just fail to understand why people have this stigma towards them. I get it if it's all corroded or rusted or it has planking but if it's not then what the hell is the big problem?

    #20 2 years ago

    The hate is really a relic of the past; nobody cares about this any more. These reimport games have been back in the US for decades at this point.

    People put all sorts of stuff in their ads that nobody cares about…I mean yeah I can point out that the boards on my game have all “matching serial numbers!!!” But it doesn’t mean anybody has any particular hate for games where that’s not true.

    I hardly ever have anybody ask about import status these days. People care more about LEDs and shooter lanes.

    #21 2 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    The hate is really a relic of the past; nobody cares about this any more. These reimport games have been back in the US for decades at this point.

    My utterly butchered Jurassic Park re-import from Spain was purchased in May 2020 so still very much relevant. They are still out there, though in fewer number I'm sure. I always buy on condition so not that much of a concern for me aside from when inspecting a re-import machine to look closer for damage that is not obvious.

    Your experience may vary, tax and destination extra.

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    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    People put all sorts of stuff in their ads that nobody cares about...

    It's not the people putting the ads, it's the people calling out they're re-imports. Still happens all the time.
    Then you start going down a fucking "coin door hole" like a Wh20 thread not long ago.

    #23 2 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    It's not the people putting the ads, it's the people calling out they're re-imports. Still happens all the time.
    Then you start going down a fucking "coin door hole" like a Wh20 thread not long ago.

    This guy gets it! I don't understand why you can't look at a game and disseminate whether or not it's a turd or not and who really gives a shit where it came from. I understand that a lot of overseas operators didn't give their games the love that a lot of us do and had to do all kinds of hacks to keep them going. However you can't say that every single re imported game is a hacked up turd. I have seen countless games here in the states that look like somebody drug them behind their truck for a few miles. Never once have I seen somebody go up and get ready to play a game then look at the coin door and say that it's an imported game and walk away from it. Silly season I tell you

    #24 2 years ago

    I get where you guys are coming from. Maybe I need to adjust my mindset a little. I had a bad taste in my mouth from my last sale of a reimport so maybe I’m a bit jaded. Literally had someone on this site set up time to look at the game and then message a couple hours later to say “just noticed it is a reimport, I’m out” so it is definitely still a relevant thought with some people.

    #25 2 years ago

    My favorite is the whole rust/corrosion issue people throw out there. They act like the pin was just strapped to the deck of a pirate ship waves crashing into it. The number of people I have heard talk about salt water with a straight face. Shipping containers are airtight and basically everything people own was in one at some point.

    #26 2 years ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    My favorite is the whole rust/corrosion issue people throw out there. They act like the pin was just strapped to the deck of a pirate ship waves crashing into it.
    The number of people I have heard talk about salt water with a straight face.

    On that point, I'm more concerned about pins that have been in Superstorm Sandy living here in the Northeast. Every once in awhile a pin that was clearly underwater pops up for sale. High water mark on the cabinet is a dead giveaway.

    "needs a fuse"

    #27 2 years ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    My favorite is the whole rust/corrosion issue people throw out there. They act like the pin was just strapped to the deck of a pirate ship waves crashing into it. The number of people I have heard talk about salt water with a straight face. Shipping containers are airtight and basically everything people own was in one at some point.

    I'd worry more about a pinball machine near a swimming pool in a home. Chlorine does a number on them.

    LTG : )

    #28 2 years ago
    Quoted from Darscot:Shipping containers are airtight

    Can't argue with the rest of what you said but shipping containers are not airtight.

    -1
    #29 2 years ago
    Quoted from CryHavoc:

    Can't argue with the rest of what you said but shipping containers are not airtight.

    Well there may not stand up in outer space but they are water tight and there is not enough air to survive more than a few days depending on how full it is. Unless you using them for livestock they have no more than very minor ventilation for expansion and contraction.

    -1
    #30 2 years ago
    Quoted from PinDeLaPin:

    the only way to disseminate it

    Quoted from PinDeLaPin:

    you can't look at a game and disseminate whether

    Once, I can overlook...

    If you don't want to say "discriminate" (a perfectly fine word BTW), just say "tell"! "Disseminate" means to spread widely.

    Anywho, I was glad when my eBay Funhouse turned out to be a reimport: most of the trial Diamondplate games were exported I believe, and that's how I got mine!

    #31 2 years ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    Well there may not stand up in outer space but they are water tight and there is not enough air to survive more than a few days depending on how full it is. Unless you using them for livestock they have no more than very minor ventilation for expansion and contraction.

    They are also vented for the purpose of condensation prevention. Don't want condensation forming and raining down on your pins. But I was really just making a minor correction that you apparently already knew so now I'm just confused why you would say they are airtight when you know they aren't?

    #32 2 years ago

    I think this game accepting Dutch Guilders is a plus. They love The Hoff over there.

    And yes, I've found a couple hacks like board connections and a soldered fuse. Plays fine though.

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    #33 2 years ago

    Some of the worst hacks I've ever seen are on reimports. Attached is a gilligan I'm working on.

    They like to add metal coil sleeves overseas as well.

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    #34 2 years ago

    I think it depends on the situation

    1. If you are a classic pin person who has no issues repairing / restoring, it's a non issue. Value is based on condition regardless of whether it's a re-import or not

    2. If you aren't into repairing pins and are purchasing from a reputatible seller who has repaired / restored the pin, it's a non issue. Again, value is based on the condition regardless of whether it's a re-import or not

    3. If you aren't into repairing pins and don't have experience evaluating the condition of a pin, everything being equal, re-imports are probably a bit more risky (but any game can be hacked and/or in crap condition)

    #35 2 years ago
    Quoted from CryHavoc:

    They are also vented for the purpose of condensation prevention. Don't want condensation forming and raining down on your pins. But I was really just making a minor correction that you apparently already knew so now I'm just confused why you would say they are airtight when you know they aren't?

    Watertight, airtight for the purpose of my point it didn't make any difference. My only point was there is nothing getting in their that will cause corrosion. My point is just the humor in the argument of "I don't want a pin that has been shipped the salt water causes corrosion on the boards". I wonder why basically every other thing on the planet with a circuit board managed to go on a ship without issue but import pins that is at least 1000 off because of the corrosion. I love that pins go LTR freight legs on in saran wrap but the shipping container is the problem.

    #36 2 years ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    Watertight, airtight for the purpose of my point it didn't make any difference. My only point was there is nothing getting in their that will cause corrosion. My point is just the humor in the argument of "I don't want a pin that has been shipped the salt water causes corrosion on the boards". I wonder why basically every other thing on the planet with a circuit board managed to go on a ship without issue but import pins that is at least 1000 off because of the corrosion. I love that pins go LTR freight legs on in saran wrap but the shipping container is the problem.

    I understand. Hence why I said I can't argue with everything else you said, and later why I said it was just a minor correction. If you really want to go the rounds over this I'll just bow out now because, believe it or not, I'm already in your corner dude.

    #37 2 years ago
    Quoted from CryHavoc:

    I understand. Hence why I said I can't argue with everything else you said, and later why I said it was just a minor correction. If you really want to go the rounds over this I'll just bow out now because, believe it or not, I'm already in your corner dude.

    Yeah, we are on the same page, all good man.

    #38 2 years ago

    Personally, I don't care if something is an reimport or not. Cosmetic condition of the playfield and cab are the most important factor to me. Just about everything else can be addressed, repaired, refurbished, or replaced. If I find a dead game with a nice playfield and cab, that's a gem. I can do the electrical, electronic, and mechanical repairs & rebuilds. But, I understand the prospect of doing all that terrifies some people.

    Probably at least a third of my games were reimports. Granted, they weren't fresh out of a shipping container, but most weren't booting and flipping either. Some had some various operator hacks, some were missing parts/boards. Nothing truly hideous, though.

    #39 2 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Probably at least a third of my games were reimports. Granted, they weren't fresh out of a shipping container, but most weren't booting and flipping either. Some had some various operator hacks, some were missing parts/boards. Nothing truly hideous.

    Back in the day the vast majority of pins were sold overseas, and major OPs had pull with Williams.

    Lightning flippers is a great example of something that came from major overseas OP that complained about ball times

    #40 2 years ago

    Condition is everything. I've owned some great re-import games and a couple of dogs.

    In many ways, it depends on the country it was in. For example, I had a Gottlieb Deadly Weapon that was re-imported from Italy. It had around 15 drill holes in the cabinet from some type of licensing plaques along with all kinds of electrical hacks...most likely due to the lack of parts availability.

    On the other hand, I had a BSD that was Dutch and it was in beautiful shape with a perfect playfield and non-fade cabinet which is amazing considering the two over-sea journeys it took.

    #41 2 years ago
    Quoted from PinDeLaPin:

    This is exactly my point. If you go to look at a game for sale and just for the hell of it we will say it is a re-import. Obviously if it's torched you're not going to buy it and that's regardless if it's a domestic model either. The point is if the game is in good condition whether it is a re-import or a domestic model I just fail to understand why people have this stigma towards them. I get it if it's all corroded or rusted or it has planking but if it's not then what the hell is the big problem?

    Totally agree, seeing is believing; I don't care if the game shipped from Pitcairn Island if it's an otherwise good machine.

    I really don't know what the hangup is. The voltage conversion was easy, and I left the Euro coin door in place as a novelty/conversation piece (well, honestly I was just too lazy to bother changing it, so this the best excuse I could think of lol). So to me, it was no different in the end than buying one that has lived its life locally, and in this case I would have waited a LONG time to find a "domestic" one in equivalent condition (I've not bothered to look up the exact number, but I believe this game had a fairly small production run).

    #42 2 years ago
    Quoted from DanQverymuch:

    Once, I can overlook...
    If you don't want to say "discriminate" (a perfectly fine word BTW), just say "tell"! "Disseminate" means to spread widely.
    Anywho, I was glad when my eBay Funhouse turned out to be a reimport: most of the trial Diamondplate games were exported I believe, and that's how I got mine!

    Well now that english 101 has wrapped up i'm glad to hear your reimport machine turned out not to be a turd for you. See everyone not every reimport story ends sadly.

    #43 2 years ago

    75% of the reimported games I have picked up have always had hacks and problems. The trouble with them is that if you see one hack, there are 10 more hidden.

    #44 2 years ago

    Nice condition re-import > beat up domestic pin.

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