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preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) Dork
7/26/22 2:35 a.m.

Have pinball machines been discussed here?

Late 70s, I was racing BMX (eventually 6th in my region), had a '63 split window in a detached garage, playing ice hockey, and living in the very cool town of Boalsburg, PA. I was born in 1970.

Divorced parents, whatever. Was living with the step-dad. For whatever reason, not related to the living situation my dad sent me a video game system and I was hooked. Been playing them since.

I can go through the myriad of games I have been lucky enough to have. There are 5-ish consoles under my TV right now plus a couple game ready PCs. I just started Elden Ring on PC since I am on night shift and cannot be in the shop. I will straight berkeley you up in a real arcade 1941.

But pinball man...the flashing lights, the agility, the over-played song from The Who.

When I was in high school I befriended a guy that had a 1950s-1960s era baseball themed pinball machine. I was hooked, but his mother hated the incredible noises it made and made us stop playing after a game or two.

I have a dream.

My dream shop would have a dust free room attached that has a couple of my cooler cars parked amongst pinball machines and a hangout space that had my consoles and a driving sim rig.

PB rigs are so damn expensive right now, and have been. $2k? I'd buy another car, or actually buy parts for ones I already own. Crap.

Thoughts?

SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
7/26/22 6:38 a.m.

I grew up during the mall arcade boom.  I was an absolute junky.  Video games from the early to later part of the 1980s were right up my alley.  I used to ask for quarters for my birthday (and any other holiday) and spend hours in the arcade.

My family was Jewish and I had my bar mitzvah in 1985.  I grew up in one of those tight night communities where my parents were friends with all of the neighbors, and they all had kids around my age.  The parents all got together and gave me money to buy a pinball machine.  I still remember going shopping for it, which in 1985 wasn't as easy as it is today.  We wound up shopping in a guys' basement, as he was just starting out in the business of selling used arcade games.  I wound up buying a pinball machine called Gorgar.  If I remember, it was the first talking arcade game, or something like that.  I absolutely loved that thing and would play it for hours.  I also remember how many bulbs it went through and how sensitive to humidity it was.  The guy I bought it from went on to be pretty successful in the business and apparently is still around today...I just Googled it and came up with his business.  https://tntamusements.com/

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
7/26/22 7:14 a.m.

You found someone selling a full, working machine for $2k? Paging MNDSM to the green courtesy phone...

 

I've always been a big big fan, from mall arcades top random shopping stores that kept a machine or two out front. Some day I'll have a machine here at the house. Due to cost, I've even been thinking of a digital machine so it's like I have a bunch of setups at once. 

TThe best date I've ever had was to the Pacific Pinball Museum in Oakland, CA. Small, unassuming storefront with a tiny sign, walk through the door and a dozen of the newest pinball machines were setup, they are the only ones that took money. After paying your entrance fee, you could start going through the rooms. A pre 1920s room, complete with machines you could still play, then like 20s-50s, 60s-70s, 80s-90s, then early 00s rooms. All the machines were included with your entrance, each room has a jukebox full of that era chart toppers. It was freaking awesome and I didn't wanna leave. 

 

 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
7/26/22 8:27 a.m.

A place in my neighborhood:  https://www.tiltpinballbar.com  Due to pandemic I have yet to go there, but I want to check it out.  I see they have my favorite game from back in the day, 8 Ball Deluxe.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/26/22 10:03 a.m.

We had one in our house when I was a teen. It was fun when it worked, for a while anyway, but since I had a basic knowledge of electro-mechanics & could fit my torso inside the front opening, I was the one who also had to fix it. And it broke constantly. 
 

Maybe newer ones are better? But all the solenoids, switches, bulbs & relays in the 1980's one we had required near constant maintenance. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
7/26/22 10:09 a.m.

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
7/26/22 10:27 a.m.

Well, I had no idea that pinball prices had spiked so much. I remember when Addams Family was pretty much the only one fetching >$1500 or so. Now I see tons for $5,000+. WOW. A friend of mine has a warehouse full of video games and pinball machines in Illinois; maybe he's cleaning up these days!?

I've played pinball a bit, but never got as into it as I did the video games. I've had a few different games and regret selling them as they're so expensive now I doubt I'll ever have another one. We'll see. My favorite was Asteroids, and while I made good money on it at the time I am sure it's worth a lot more now. I also had Galaga, Mr Do, and an old Turbo sit-down cabinet that had been converted into a flight simulator.

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) Dork
7/26/22 11:20 a.m.

Pandemic pricing maybe?

There is a pinball museum in Chattanooga. You can get an all day pass for $15.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/26/22 12:14 p.m.

While growing up, friends of ours had an arcade pinball machine in the basement. Instead of feeding it quarters, you flicked a toggle hidden beneath the bottom of the machine. (That blew my 12-year-old mind.)

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
7/26/22 12:16 p.m.

I know I'm bringing up mostly arcade games again, but Galloping Ghost in Chicago is incredible:

https://www.gallopingghostarcade.com/

They have over 885 games in a rambling old strip mall type building. They do have 44 pinball machines:

https://www.gallopingghostarcade.com/gameslistgallopingghostpinball/

It's $25 at the door then free to play. I would hate to see what their power bill is like. I went once for my birthday and it was astonishing. It was definitely not crowded.

11GTCS
11GTCS Dork
7/26/22 1:20 p.m.

In reply to preach (dudeist priest) :

I'm guessing you're aware of this but if not; Funspot in Laconia (not far from Weirs Beach) has large arcades with vintage games including pinball. Not terribly far from your location.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/26/22 1:46 p.m.

In reply to dculberson :

Woot, 720.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
7/26/22 2:34 p.m.
RevRico said:

You found someone selling a full, working machine for $2k? Paging MNDSM to the green courtesy phone...

 

I've always been a big big fan, from mall arcades top random shopping stores that kept a machine or two out front. Some day I'll have a machine here at the house. Due to cost, I've even been thinking of a digital machine so it's like I have a bunch of setups at once. 

TThe best date I've ever had was to the Pacific Pinball Museum in Oakland, CA. Small, unassuming storefront with a tiny sign, walk through the door and a dozen of the newest pinball machines were setup, they are the only ones that took money. After paying your entrance fee, you could start going through the rooms. A pre 1920s room, complete with machines you could still play, then like 20s-50s, 60s-70s, 80s-90s, then early 00s rooms. All the machines were included with your entrance, each room has a jukebox full of that era chart toppers. It was freaking awesome and I didn't wanna leave. 

 

 

2k will buy a running early 80s ss machine. Anything worth owning is 5k plus right now. Ownership groups are so unbelievably toxic right now- I've divested myself of the lot. 

 

That being said, I know of several pinball haunts. Florida in particular - there the pinball lounge in oveido, right down the road from a place called the district - that also has a stack of pinball, and arcade monsters. For some reason Seminole county has it locked up. 

 

In Minneapolis there's a place called s&s billiards- it's as divey as it gets but it has a good selection. There's also Mortimer's, blainebrook, and Eastside pinball (though I am not sure where they are right now). Plenty of stuff out there. 

 

If I were any of you, I'd avoid owning anything you didn't purchase new. The market is stupid right now and every seller things they have gold- and the four collectors that can afford it are pricing everyone out of the market. It's not worth it right now. 

stroker
stroker PowerDork
7/26/22 2:51 p.m.

Funhouse!

 

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
7/26/22 2:54 p.m.

In reply to stroker :

They just released funhouse 2.0 Rudy's revenge. It's an overlay on an original funhouse pin. Pretty neat. 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/26/22 3:01 p.m.
stuart in mn said:

A place in my neighborhood:  https://www.tiltpinballbar.com  Due to pandemic I have yet to go there, but I want to check it out.  I see they have my favorite game from back in the day, 8 Ball Deluxe.

Gor-Gar was a good machine, but 8 Ball Deluxe was my jam! I skipped PSYC100 many times and spent that hour playing 8BD in the Stamp Student Union at UMCP.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
7/26/22 3:59 p.m.

My wife and I both entertain thoughts of having a personal arcade/game room with vintage pinballs, but the insane prices will keep us on the sidelines at least until kids are through college.  And by then, exotic/classic cars will likely be cheaper than pinballs, so we might just collect those instead.

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones Dork
7/26/22 4:12 p.m.

Current setup, but changes every so often, usually one a month or so, it's addicting. 
 

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) Dork
7/26/22 4:18 p.m.

In reply to 11GTCS :

Yep. Probably an hour from me. Only place to break video game world records supposedly.

Here's an older machine for under $2k:

https://nh.craigslist.org/for/d/new-ipswich-gottlieb-pinball-machine/7512757835.html

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
7/26/22 4:29 p.m.

In reply to preach (dudeist priest) :

That machine is realistically worth half that. Em machines (electromagnetic, or pre sid state electronic) aren't actually worth more than a few hundred unless they're insanely rare. People are overpricing the E36 M3 out of everything. 

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
7/26/22 4:29 p.m.
Steve_Jones said:

Current setup, but changes every so often, usually one a month or so, it's addicting. 
 

If you haven't yet- get with the jjp toy story. Super legit machine. 

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones Dork
7/26/22 4:41 p.m.

In reply to Mndsm :

Been here and gone already. Wasn't feeling it.  The worse thing they did was brand it Toy Story 4, should have left the 4 off. A guy wanted my Jurassic Park and made an offer on the TS4 when he was here.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
7/26/22 4:52 p.m.

In reply to Steve_Jones :

I really enjoyed it. Not enough to pay the 15k they're getting, but there's two in my area and I have some quarters. I think the only machine I'd own at this point would be the tna 2.0 or whatever they're calling it. 

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones Dork
7/26/22 5:25 p.m.

In reply to Mndsm :

I think the issue was it was hyped for 2 years, so no matter what it was going to be a let down. My favorites have been Jurassic Park, Godzilla, and Pirates of the Caribbean, but all 3 went up in price enough to say "not that much" especially the POTC, no way a single machine is worth $30k no matter how fun it is. If I was going to recommend a new in the box machine to someone, I'd say a Cactus Canyon remake is a buy at $8k. The market is dumb at the moment, but has been for 3 years, stuff will go down at some point.  Just like everything else, the $1500 machines are $4500, the $4500 machines are $8500, etc.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
7/26/22 5:58 p.m.

When I was in college there was a Captain Fantastic machine in my dormitory's rec room.  Someone figured out that if you gave it a swift kick just right, it would start up a free game.  Eventually that went away when the guy who serviced the machine saw there were hundreds of games racked up on the counter, but no money in the coin box.

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