(Topic ID: 19000)

Would like advice on buying first (and only) pin....


By rdawsoniii

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 44 posts
  • 35 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by Acampero
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 7 years ago

I have been a long time pinball fan (loved playing King of Diamonds back in the early '70s) and am looking to buy my first pinball machine. I only have room for one and would like suggestions for the "one" to get. Here is my criteria:

1. Fun to play (obviously).

2. Deep enough to keep me interested, but easy enough for my grandkids when they are old enough, and my wife, to enjoy.

3. Reasonably priced (hopefully less than $5,000).

4. Reliable mechanical reputation. I'm not mechanically inclined and most service work would have to be done by a professional.

5. Have "long lasting" appeal. I'm not looking to flip machines...I want something that will still be fun to play 5 years from now (for the casual player). The one I buy, I will keep.

I'd be happy for any recommendations you folks can give. I'll download and play them on Visual Pinball, then narrow the list down to a couple and go from there. So far I've played the Pinball Hall of Fame: Williams Collection machine and a few on Visual Pinball. I *love* Funhouse on PHoF and The Simpsons Pinball Party on VP.

And....I'll likely buy from someplace like thepinballcompany, as I am a little leery about Craigslist and private sellers. I don't know any collectors or anyone in the pinball community here in Iowa.

Thank you in advance!

#2 7 years ago

If you can only have one, I'd go with The Simpsons Pinball Party, Lord of the Rings, or Twilight Zone. All three are very deep and a lot of fun.

#3 7 years ago

For that i would say ToM. the colors and theme is great for kids and for a recreational player will keep you busy.. plus the magnets are cool.

You can get a REAL nice one for 4500.

#4 7 years ago

I'd agree with LOTR... but I think to truly enjoy it, you have to be a fan of the LOTR theme. Doesn't get any deeper... we've had ours for 3 months and we're still haven't figured all of the rules yet. Only issue I see is that some small kids can get scared by it (sh*t, with the 12" sub, I still get scared when ballrog roars...). Also, you've really got to be in the mood to play LOTR... it's emotionally draining and you have to be prepared for the epic voyage.

Spiderman is also a great option... pretty universal theme that adults and kids can enjoy... it is by the far the pin that gets the most play and the last one that will leave my collectionn.

#5 7 years ago

lotr

#6 7 years ago

Good responses so far. Thank you.

#7 7 years ago
Quoted from rdawsoniii:

I'll likely buy from someplace like thepinballcompany, as I am a little leery about Craigslist and private sellers.

If you're talking about the place in missouri, all they do is post "LTB" ads on RGP, buy a machine and jack up the price by $3K before selling it to you.

#8 7 years ago

I am in the same boat with you. Looking for my first machine and just about the exact same 5 things you mentioned. I am leaning towards TFTC because I remember liking the game and theme. I like fast play and ramps. Now I just have to find one.

#9 7 years ago

"only" pin, that's funny. Let's see you just buy one...

#10 7 years ago
#11 7 years ago
Quoted from 30FathomDave:

If you can only have one, I'd go with The Simpsons Pinball Party, Lord of the Rings, or Twilight Zone. All three are very deep and a lot of fun.

Quoted from Pinchroma:

For that i would say ToM. the colors and theme is great for kids and for a recreational player will keep you busy.. plus the magnets are cool.
You can get a REAL nice one for 4500.

I have/had all of these machines and I can say I totally agree. Any of those would make great "1 game" purchase.

#12 7 years ago

First off, I'd like to say, Good luck on that "And Only" comment! That will come back to haunt you! That is exactly what I once said, over ten years ago when I picked up my first pinball machine! I've now owned countless pinball machines over the years!

Second, If your that big of a pinball fan, and I see that your in Iowa. You may as well .

And lastly, I'm a huge Road Show , TZ , TSPP , EarthShaker , MM etc fan. And it sounds like you'll fall right in line with the rest of us on this so called hobby/addiction!

Welcome to the party!

-Aaron

#13 7 years ago

Simpsons Pinball Party, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spiderman.

I'd so say just by all 3 now as you will never stick to one pin so just buy 3 now and be done with it

#14 7 years ago

TZ is the best pin of all time deep and also fun if you are just kicking the ball around. Lots of toys etc. but maybe not known as the most reliable pin.

I would guess a new pin like Tron or X Men or fill in the blank may be great, as new may be more reliable. I bought a PotC and it is the only pin I have owned thayt has not had any problems 'yet' that was a new pin the others were 10 years old when I bought them.

One thing, if you buy a good pin like IJ, TZ, TAF, CFTBL, LOTR, STTNG, TOM etc.. you will have no trouble selling it if you want to try something different. This is one thing about pins, you may get tired of a pin and may want to try something different and people will want to buy your old one.

#15 7 years ago

Hey,

If someone held a gun to my head and said I had to get rid of every machine except one, I'd probably have to keep The Simpsons Pinball Party. The theme is relatively appealing to kids and adults. There is a TON to do for those who are experienced pinball players. For those who aren't, you can say "shoot the garage, and then try to get three balls on the couch", and they'll be busy all freakin' day. With that said, I have not owned LotR or Twilight Zone, but would like to. If you like either of those themes better, by all means, they're great games as well (I haven't played LotR to any great degree, but it seems it falls into the same category).

Luke

#16 7 years ago

Only one... TZ

But, Its a very complex machine.

It had many repro parts available and many people know how to work on pinball in the midwest.

If you're not a Sci-fic or TZ fan, it probably won't do it for you. A great Stern thats not taking huge price hikes yet is Pirates of the Carribean. It would be new(ish) and less likely to break.

Also, if you dont know, you can get any of the new sterns nib (pro version) for less than $5000.00. You just have to PM some of the distributors on this forum.

Good hunting!

#17 7 years ago

What it comes down to, is what YOU like. I would suggest you download Visual Pinball, (free), every game mentioned here, and more, (free). Sure, playing the real machine is different, but you get to try out the rules and visualize the table. The ROM's are exactly the same in the real pins as they are in the virtual pins.

Turns out I liked Scared Stiff by far the best out of all I had downloaded, and that's the lone pin own (currently)

#18 7 years ago

Get a new King of Diamonds from pinball past in Omaha NE

#19 7 years ago

If you *love* Funhouse, you should consider it. Gotta get something you like. It strikes the difficulty balance you are seeking, price range, relatively low maintenance (Rudy is the most complex part), and long lasting appeal. Some people find the theme a bit creepy, so consider that for wife, children etc. Addams Family would also be a good choice (the hard cores here will groan), but it also fulfills most of your criteria, except might be pushing it on the price. I don't know why everyone is recommending TZ for you: it's very deep/complex, not likely to be enjoyed by casual players, high maintenance, and expensive.

#20 7 years ago

If you already know you like tspp then I would go with that. I got my tspp a month ago (my first pin) and I love it. It has one of the deepest rule sets yet my roommate who knows nothing about pinball can flail away on it and have fun.

Lotr and TZ are also great games but themes may not be appealing for grandchildren. Tspp great theme for all. The show on fox has run for more years than any other show on tv (except maybe for some of the soap operas). I have put a ton of games on it and haven't even got close to beating all the modes. I probably never will either but won't keep me from trying.

Also I have heard the sterns are easier to maintain that the older Bally/williams and parts are easier to find. Not sure how true this is but seems logical just based on technology getting better/ designer's learning from past mistakes.

Good luck with your search. I was lucky and found a local pinhead in my areas who helped me a lot and introduced me to several more. This is how I found my 2nd pin 3 weeks later lol(no fear). It's gonna be hard to stay with just 1 pin. The more I played tspp the more I liked it but also the more I wanted to get more pins. I can see it turning into a sick addiction. As soon as I make more room I will prob add a third.

Post edited by jaydawg0006 : Typo

#21 7 years ago

Spiderman all the way fun for everybody

#22 7 years ago

Good suggestions..thanks.

Games like TZ, TOM, LOTR, etc. are priced above $5,000 at thepinballcompany, so that is more than I want to spend.

I am in the process of checking out machines via Virtual Pinball, so hopefully I can get things narrowed down a bit.

And yes, this will be my ONLY machine. I have a bad case of BAS (banjo acquisition syndrome)...I don't need PAS, too. Besides, I only have room for one.

#23 7 years ago
Quoted from rdawsoniii:

And yes, this will be my ONLY machine

That's what I thought too...

<insert diabolical Black Knight laugh after Magna Save fail> HA HA HA HA HA

#24 7 years ago

I would go Whitewater!

#25 7 years ago

Search for top score gamerooms in festus mo as they have better prices than pinball company.

#26 7 years ago

My 1st was LOTR and it hit every box. I traded it to get MM, but I'm already actively looking to grab another one asap.

#27 7 years ago

You may still be able to find a Tron Pro at that price range. If so, grab that one . . . then enjoy all the modding you can do to it . . . just the modding on Tron will keep you busy for a long long time.

#28 7 years ago
Quoted from turbo20lbs:

"only" pin, that's funny. Let's see you just buy one...

Made me laugh to.
I thought the same thing when I started.

Now it's like,why do I need a kitchen table,or do I really need a couch and loveseat

Lotr is deep,but might not be for a newbie,SM for sure if you could find one under 5000.00
TOM is fun,looks great,but you might tire of it after a while.

Good luck with your choice.
You can always sell and get another one.

#29 7 years ago
Quoted from rdawsoniii:

Good suggestions..thanks.
Games like TZ, TOM, LOTR, etc. are priced above $5,000 at thepinballcompany, so that is more than I want to spend.
I am in the process of checking out machines via Virtual Pinball, so hopefully I can get things narrowed down a bit.
And yes, this will be my ONLY machine. I have a bad case of BAS (banjo acquisition syndrome)...I don't need PAS, too. Besides, I only have room for one.

The pinball company is a total ripoff. Don't even go near them. Retail for everything and from what i read here they just buy from Craigslist, windex and jack the price up.

#30 7 years ago

The voice of reason. Since you're not mechanically inclined, don't do it. You're just asking for trouble and frustration. A pinball machine will require constant maintenance. This could turn into a random purchase that could cost you thousands. You need to learn the maintenance side, if you're going to own.

Owning one machine, is like owning one movie or board game. You'll be sick of it fast. It will be collecting dust after 3 months. Possibly broken too.

Stick with the vp at home. Keep doing what you're doing.

#31 7 years ago

I have a friend at work that wanted a pin for his gameroom. Just one. No more than that because he didn't have room. That was just 6 months ago. He now has four!
Pins are more addicting than Lays potato chips!

#32 7 years ago
Quoted from rdawsoniii:

Games like TZ, TOM, LOTR, etc. are priced above $5,000 at thepinballcompany, so that is more than I want to spend.

I'd recommend placing a wanted ad here, and see what offers you get. Each of those pins can easily be had for less than $5000.

#33 7 years ago
Quoted from Tommi_Gunn:

The voice of reason. Since you're not mechanically inclined, don't do it. You're just asking for trouble and frustration. A pinball machine will require constant maintenance. This could turn into a random purchase that could cost you thousands. You need to learn the maintenance side, if you're going to own.
Owning one machine, is like owning one movie or board game. You'll be sick of it fast. It will be collecting dust after 3 months. Possibly broken too.
Stick with the vp at home. Keep doing what you're doing.

I have to second that. I have to tinker and fix them all the time and I have only 2 but I can fix most things.If you have to pay someone to fix them it will get very costly.

#34 7 years ago

TSPP - Simpsons comes to mind for me with your thoughts. There is a reason they put them in Chucky Cheese and it is very deep as well. If you were to spend more than $5k I would consider WOZ

#35 7 years ago

If you are only going to buy one pin and you are not big on the maintenance side of things buy a NIB game.

#36 7 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

If you are only going to buy one pin and you are not big on the maintenance side of things buy a NIB game.

Excellent advice TigerLaw!

#38 7 years ago
Quoted from Tommi_Gunn:

The voice of reason. Since you're not mechanically inclined, don't do it. You're just asking for trouble and frustration. A pinball machine will require constant maintenance. This could turn into a random purchase that could cost you thousands. You need to learn the maintenance side, if you're going to own.

Owning one machine, is like owning one movie or board game. You'll be sick of it fast. It will be collecting dust after 3 months. Possibly broken too.

Stick with the vp at home. Keep doing what you're doing.

That is discouraging. Maybe I should just forget the whole thing.

I still need to try Spiderman, but so far Funhouse and Simpsons remain my favorites. Tales of the Arabian Nights is fun too, but probably out of my price range.

#39 7 years ago

Everyone starts somewhere in this hobby. I bought a routed but relatively good TAF for my first pin and just owning it, playing it and checking the occasional forum got me enough experience to continue in this hobby.
I paid for a few repairs early on, but that hasn't happened in a long time now. Don't get discouraged.
Many guys here feel the need to have a lot of games, but I've seen many people that can easily own one or two pins for years and still enjoy them. Just make sure to find a theme you like.
TZ is a great suggestion and I think the occaisional repair is worth the education. Once you get it shopped and working, most pins are relatively trouble free for a long time.
NIB is not a bad option, but there aren't many newer games that would hold my interest like TZ or other older titles. Tron might be one. SM is also a decent option for the price.
Find 3-5 themes you love and the pick the one that is newest and most reasonably priced. You can always switch it up later.

#40 7 years ago

With a $5k cap is still think TSPP would be good. SM and some of the others would be out.

#41 7 years ago

If I were you, I would take up the offer to join the Iowa Pinball Club and meet those guys and play their games. The best, fairest deals are often from other nearby hobbyists. And you're likely to make some new friends and meet folks who will help with repairs and showing you the ropes. Good luck.

1 week later
#42 7 years ago

Thanks to everyone for their input. I think right now my "Top 3" list is:

1/2...tie...Funhouse and Who Dunnit? (been playing this on Virtual Pinball and enjoy it very much)

3...Simpsons Pinball Party

#43 7 years ago

TSPP would be a great pick. It's my first pin as well.

#44 7 years ago

Someone on this board said that Pins are like rabbits. Watch them multiply!

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