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Looking for a tabletop pinball suggestion or two.

tabletop pinball

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#51 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:56 PM

Searching for more tabletops on eBay, I ran into another American Pinball/Astro Shooter variant: The Price is Right (of all things, ha).

Be careful about the newer ones. They have simplified electronics. The way to tell the old ones (for the ones that aren't obviously new) is a small LED on the very top left edge of the playfield behind the ramps--those are the good ones.

There's even a franklin version with some passive bumpers and a battery box instead of a wall plug.

I passed on a zizzle that would ship, since they wanted a little too much. I'm really leaning toward an old-model astro shooter. I just think it's neat that the ball shoots up the ramp, down a hole and comes up on the other side. (and it costs like 1/5 as much as a zizzle in most cases)

#52 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:25 PM

well, today's the day for me. Found an astro shooter for $52 shipped with the light visible in pics.
I can't help but notice that the seller also is selling a8 gear--which begs the question of which one of you guys I just bought this from.

I'm no collector, so I think sound-reactive LEDs or EL wire is a great way to zazz one of these up. I have some el wire left from my 'tron guy' costume.

I'm also deeply considering making some better artwork for the score area. Since the playfield doesn't say 'astro shooter' anywhere, I'm thinking of making it a 'star raiders' table. (star raiders features "hyperspace" as mentioned on the ramp) Granted my vision of 'stair raiders' is also sexed up with green women and lasers.

http://rover.ebay.co...tm/281097531624


Posted Image

Edited by Reaperman, Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:12 PM.


#53 Austin ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:07 PM

To be honest, I would pass on an older (2006) Zizzle if it is any more than $50. They are truly unresponsive with a terrible flipper button design. It's fun when it works, but that only seems to be about half the time, if that.

#54 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:49 PM

Just noting this since nobody's bid on it and there's less than a day left. It's a low cost, boxed, pirate-themed tomy tabletop with the 'more complex electrics' light clearly visible at:
http://rover.ebay.co...tm/200918318739

I'd go for it, but I pounced on that astro shooter earlier.

Edited by Reaperman, Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:57 PM.


#55 stryperfan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 4, 2013 7:27 PM

So happy I found this forum!! :) I'm a newbie to pinball, and I'm just beginning to collect 3/4 size pinball machines and need recommendations on what else is out there for purchase in the 3/4 size. (I have just bought 3 zizzles: Pirates Dead Man's Chest (G1), Pirates At World's End (G2) and Marvel (G2), tried to track down the rare Atari one but the few prototypes that i could find were quickly snatched up by collectors). I'm so glad to see there are more pinball machines out there! :) Thanks to Cammy and her pics of the Star Galaxy! That looks awesome! Please let me know if anyone knows of one for sale in the US. (Looks like there are three sizes of that one out there? Small, medium w/ legs, and then largest 3/4 size similar to zizzle...is that correct?) Also, if anyone knows of any other 3/4 size or close to it, please share! :) Thanks for any help in learning about pinball here. :)

#56 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 7, 2013 9:04 AM

Yay, my 'Astro Shooter' tabletop finally shipped. Better to have it shipped properly and slowly than quickly and broken I suppose.
As soon as it gets here, I'm going to pop its scoreboard on the scanner to get dimensions and shape for my 'star raiders' art conversion.

I'm planning on using the image from here (link) with the Star Raiders related text/logos. A shame it's a man in the cockpit on that one, but it will do.

I also ordered a 'funduino' from china (which already arrived because my pinball's shipping was so damn slow), and I've been thinking of using it to light/animate a small pinball topper. Specifically (this one). It's from the wrong game, but the style is close to the scoreboard image and the tiny ship down on the playfield itself.

Edited by Reaperman, Tue May 7, 2013 9:19 AM.


#57 bomberpunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:09 AM

i'm a pinball fan AND a TMNT fan, so when i saw this in Toys R Us (for $24.99), i bought two; one for my nephew and one for me.

SDC12294.JPG

it's one of those crappy, constantly reskinned versions. but i hadn't owned one yet. now i have this to add to my American Pinball.

#58 Kosmic Stardust ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 2, 2013 4:10 AM

I must admit, I've become obsessed with Pinball recently since I downloaded Pinball Arcade onto my Ouya. I also bought ever single table they have available. I've even dreamt of Pinball in my sleep! The other day I went to the antique shop and picked up a vinyl 45rmp of "Pinball Wizard" by the Who. Great B-side too, btw. And what do I see at the very same Antique shop? An old Zig Zag electromechanical for $1500. I have no idea if it works or what condition it was in, but I drooled in my mouth a bit when I saw it! :P

Problem is, nothing's quite like owning a real table, and like most people, I've got neither the budget not the space to own a real pinball table or arcade game. I tossed around in the back of my mind what if somebody could produce licensed scale recreations of vintage machines? I'm thinking maybe some of the old EM pinball tables would be simple to reproduce. I did a search for tabletop pinball which led me back to Atariage of all places.

I know most of these are in the $50-$100 range (more if it's discontinued), but I really don't like the idea of all plastic parts, and especially mechanically actuated flippers. :razz: I mean really, how long will these plastic flippers and bumpers hold up while being constantly bombarded with oversized steel ball bearings? Also it seems like many of the tables featured in this thread are just a "hit targets to score points" kind of affair without any real goals and objectives. In that scenario, the primary objective is "keep the ball in play as long as possible" and "hit stuff" to obtain a high score.

Real pinball tables seem to have multiple layers of complexity much like an onion has peels. At the novice level, the primary objective is to prevent the ball from draining and keep it in play as long as possible. Then there's an intermediate level where you actually learn to aim the ball at various targets and ramps. Then at an advanced level, you begin to study and learn the table rules, and you start to unlock various modes such as multiball, earn bonuses, increase multipliers, etc. Then finally there's the "wizard" level where you completely dominate the table and are able to fully explore the game and achieve everything there is to do, play seemingly forever on a single credit, and earn some truly mind-blowing high scores. I believe I've already hit the intermediate level on many Pinball Arcade tables and an advanced skill level on a few others. The other night, I completed the Bride metamorphosis in Bride of Pinbot for the first time. It truly felt like a crowning achievement for me, but I have still yet to earn the elusive "billion bonus". But I reiterate, if you play a table long enough, you will eventually develop an intimate knowledge of the game and become "one" with it. But I regress, as long as I'm playing virtual simulations on a game console, it's still not the real deal.

Despite all of this, I can't seem to find a working pinball table available for play anywhere (and I can't exactly drive from my home in Shreveport, LA to the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, NV). I think there's a slight possibility I might be able to make room for a single table top Pinball in the future. But if I'm gonna get one, it has to be the best there is. As it stands, I'm still sharing a house with my mom. Until I find a decent paying job and can afford my own place, a full scale pinball is out of the question. Even then, I will have to consult my fiance (whom I'll eventually be living with for the rest of my life), and she thinks I have too many games as it is.

I know we gamers and collectors are the minority, but I wish for someone to come along and create small scale tables with arcade-like quality. I would easily shell out 5 bills ($500) for a quality tabletop machine with real wood panels, all metal parts, painted backglass, and addictive gameplay. Subject matter doesn't really matter although the artwork should at least look cool. Currently as it stands there's a huge void between full scale arcade table (several thousand) and cheap kids toy (MSRP under 100). I would prefer something in the middle but they don't seem to exist. After all, go-karts exist to fill the void between Powerwheels and sports cars. That's kinda what I want for Pinball.

Any suggestions? :idea:

Edited by stardust4ever, Tue Jul 2, 2013 4:47 AM.

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#59 Austin ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 2, 2013 3:02 PM

Stardust, it is great to see you becoming interested in pinball. It's also cool to see that you used the Pinball Arcade as an entry to it. I learned digitally, and I think it was a great place to start in order to understand pinball on the multiple levels you described. Now real pinball is my biggest and most focused hobby.

As far as a recreated table with real wood and real metal, it's not going to happen. Pinball tables cost $4,000 - $5,000 new, and the 3/4 size ones aren't that much smaller. The all-plastic Zizzles retailed for $300+ when they were new in 2006. If they were made today, they would probably be $500, and totally not worth it.

If you can make room by rearranging stuff, you can get some good EM games for $100 to $200. Just scour places like Craigslist. Even though they aren't as complicated as the later solid state games, they are still deeper than what you will find on a Zizzle, and will feel like the real deal too. Or you could invest in one of these. At least with these you can use them as a table and stack stuff on top of them when you're not using them. Plus, they aren't much bigger than a 3/4 sized Zizzles, and they won't sit up as high either (no backbox to worry about).

As far as the 3/4 size ones, the Zizzle models are the only ones with real goals. You have to complete each light on the table to get to the wizard mode, and certain shots like the right ramp will keep rising in value if you can combo it. Unfortunately, the Zizzles are very cheap and in order for them to play right you will need to do some work to them. If you lived closer to VA, I'd give you mine!

#60 Kosmic Stardust ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 3, 2013 8:11 AM

Right now, I would just be happy if I knew of a back alley bar or club somewhere that still has a working pinball machine in service that I could clink some quarters into. I haven't seen a working pinball in ten years, and all the local arcades mostly don't even stock video game machines anymore. Nowadays, it's all about winning tickets to redeem for prizes. Yeah, spending $20-$30 in tokens to get a wad of tickets that I can redeem for a 50 cent "prize" sure sounds like fun to me... /sarcasm

The plastic construction on those tabletops kind of kills it for me. Even if the ramps were plastic, they could at least make them thicker so that they don't wobble as the pinball travels up (I was watching a video and I could see the reflection on the ramp flexing as the ball hit it which means it's paper thin), and I can't imagine that plastic bumpers with active relay coils would hold up. The commercial machines were built to take abuse and when a part does break or wear out it's usually inexpensive to fix, just somewhat labor intensive to access it. I guess I'll be sticking to video games for the time being, at least until I get my own place. There's an antique dealer in my town with a Ding Dong EM pinball table for $1500, and without even turning it on, just looking at it has some serious condition issues (dry rotted rubber grommits; near the drain, there's ruts etched into the table from flipper wear). IMO doesn't look like that fun of a table anyway, and vastly too much money for one that doesn't work.

Edited by stardust4ever, Wed Jul 3, 2013 8:40 AM.


#61 Austin ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 3, 2013 11:59 AM

Yeah, don't ever spend $1500 on a EM. That's the kind of price you will be looking at for a Dot Matrix Display era (early '90s and up) game. EMs you will be able to find really cheap, so don't spend a lot for one when you move out.

I just did some searches for pinball in Louisiana, but didn't have much luck. There is this place in New Orleans called the "PinChurch". It looks like it's a private collection and they open it up every now and then for gatherings or tournaments. Outside of that, I couldn't find any others. The community must be pretty small down there.. :(

#62 Kosmic Stardust ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 3, 2013 12:44 PM

I just did some searches for pinball in Louisiana, but didn't have much luck. There is this place in New Orleans called the "PinChurch". It looks like it's a private collection and they open it up every now and then for gatherings or tournaments. Outside of that, I couldn't find any others. The community must be pretty small down there.. :(

I live in Shreveport, in the northwest corner of the state, about 20 miles from the Texas state line. New Orleans is a six hour drive at least. Dallas is actually closer, LOL! I know of one Shreveport pinball collector in another forum. maybe i should join that forum and ask him if there's anywhere nearby with pinballs set up for public play.

Yeah, don't ever spend $1500 on a EM.

Especially ones are in pretty serious need of restoration. :roll:

#63 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 3, 2013 1:15 PM

I just did some searches for pinball in Louisiana, but didn't have much luck. There is this place in New Orleans called the "PinChurch". It looks like it's a private collection and they open it up every now and then for gatherings or tournaments. Outside of that, I couldn't find any others. The community must be pretty small down there.. :(

I heard about that one (I think at a house party somewhere) but never really tracked them down...or even remembered it until you mentioned it. I don't know if I'm 'into' pinball enough for a group like that, but maybe someday I'll find them. Most of the pinball machines still in bars here play like they've never been maintained.

The one good thing about talking to the wife about the price of pinball ownership is that when I do find decent tables, my budget for playing on them is increased up to 'as much as you damn want.' I can play a lot of damn pinball and not get near the cost of owning a table.

#64 mckafka99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:26 PM

Forgot to post to this way earlier but shortly after this thread came up, I found the black version of the Tomy Atomic Arcade pinball for $2.99 at a Goodwill. I was able to test it first (not believing the price) and the only shortcoming to it was the fact that the top right bumper only works about 50% of the time. For 2.99, I couldnt pass it up. Since then, I've been trying to get in on one of the American Pinball models on eBay but they always seem to creep up above a price I'm willing to pay. There's one of the Coca Cola models up now but the included shipping has already pushed it to near $190 with a day and a half to go.

#65 bomberpunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:17 AM

why i have never heard of PinChurch is beyond me. (i'm in NOLA)

#66 ComputerSpaceFan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:03 PM

Hey there,
I am curious what tabletop pinball table you folks would recommend to me given my only requirement is it must be run by batteries. It can be multiple C or D batteries, that's fine, the spot this is going has zero power so battery-only is my only option. I'd rather not spend major cash but I'm open to suggestions.

Also, of the battery driven ones, roughly how long do they last before needing to replace them? Is the table playable for an hour or so and then you need to get new batteries or would it last longer?

#67 Kosmic Stardust ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:59 AM

Hey there,
I am curious what tabletop pinball table you folks would recommend to me given my only requirement is it must be run by batteries. It can be multiple C or D batteries, that's fine, the spot this is going has zero power so battery-only is my only option. I'd rather not spend major cash but I'm open to suggestions.

Also, of the battery driven ones, roughly how long do they last before needing to replace them? Is the table playable for an hour or so and then you need to get new batteries or would it last longer?

Hmhd Nickle metal hydride batteries can be chagred manh=y times
:D

#68 Seob OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:08 PM

I recently came across a tomy pingg ball flipper, complete in box with manual for only 2,50 euro. Yesterday i tried it, lights went on ,but no power to the motor. Popped it open to search for the problem. A loose wire on the motor was the problem. Fixed it and it runs nice. It's more quiet then i though, after seeing a review of it on youtube.

#69 BrutallyHonestGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:51 PM

i picked up an Atomic Arcade Pinball at a flea market for $12, it's awesome and I highly recommend it.

#70 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:00 PM

Best table top pinball ever:

51Kdx7ue5hL._SX385_.jpg

...Duo Pinball controller and tables for the ipad. Only $10 on Amazon! Everyone has an iPad or two by now, right?

#71 mckafka99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:27 PM

Best table top pinball ever:

51Kdx7ue5hL._SX385_.jpg

...Duo Pinball controller and tables for the ipad. Only $10 on Amazon! Everyone has an iPad or two by now, right?


I picked up one of these on the cheap too. It is nice for what it is (@$10), it is just a shame that it doesnt work with Pinball Arcade. It has crossed my mind to get another one and an icade 8-bitty or core and try to put the icade innards into the duo controller.

Edited by mckafka99, Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:29 PM.


#72 Kosmic Stardust ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:57 PM

It is nice for what it is (@$10), it is just a shame that it doesnt work with Pinball Arcade.

:_(

#73 mckafka99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:26 PM

I picked up one of these on the cheap too. It is nice for what it is (@$10), it is just a shame that it doesnt work with Pinball Arcade. It has crossed my mind to get another one and an icade 8-bitty or core and try to put the icade innards into the duo controller.

Finally got around to picking up another Duo controller and 8 Bitty. Removed buttons from old 8 bitty so I could get at the small wires and circuit board to wire up the Duo left/right flippers. Mounted the 8 Bitty controller under the Duo with Velcro and voila, Pinball Arcade with proper left/right flippers and it makes it even more awesome then it already is. I didn't take the time to try to figure a way to wire up the plunger, but almost doesn't seem necessary; having side mounted flipper buttons in a controller that fits in the lap accomplishes my goal. It's a real shame the the Duo Games and the Pinball Arcade folks didnt make the products compatible; the controller has a nice feel and the PA games are really good - seems like a natural fit. Also, it works really nice with the Zacharia Pinball Master Edition app which allows one to customize iCade controls.

#74 bomberpunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:16 AM

for the past few months, i've been eyeing a larger version of the TMNT tabletop game as shown in post #57 at my local Target. the wife said at $79.99, it wasn't happening.

 

monday afternoon i saw that it was GONE. that's when i went into panic mode and researched who made them (Moose Mountain) if i could order direct. there are two on amazon listed at $299, and i doubt they will sell. otherwise they do not exist on the internet and you can't order them from the stores that Moose Mountain distributes to. yes, i checked them all.

 

tuesday afternoon we return to Target to see if they had "any more in the back" (am i the only person who does this?) and of course they didn't. then i learned two things:

1. if they place a dot next to the bar code on the shelf, it's out of stock

2. they can check OTHER STORES with the same little handheld barcode scanner gun

 

sooooooooooo, tuesday night we drove an hour away to a store in Hammond and i got my fix. there are 2 left.

 

my wife and 5-week old daughter went for the ride, and sadly i do not feel guilty... merry friggin xmas to me!!

 

9805_a_l.jpg



#75 Kosmic Stardust ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:35 AM

^^You got lucky indeed! :-D

 

Be sure to post a gameplay review. Inronically, I'm a turtle mood because I was just bustin' my chops on the TMNT II: the Arcade Game for NES. Picked it up at Game-X-Change this morning. Much better game than the first, probably the best of the series IMO.






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