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Wanna be a pinhead

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Who wouldn't want to have their own pinball machine? You too can be a pinhead, all you need is the space and the cash.


I have the space . . . in theory. I have an unfinished basement but it has accumulated a lot of stuff & junk over the past decade of residence so there's not a lot of empty floor space. Getting stuff down to the basement is also a challenge as the stairs make a 180 degree turn halfway down. But ultimately no show stoppers.


The cash is kinda sorta there too. The royalties from Skeleton+ have accumulated a tidy sum over the years - extra income just looking for something to be spent on. Pins can range from several thousand dollars for a NiB Stern or a mint "classic" to $500 or less for a fixer-upper or older electro-mechanical.


One thing which experience has shown me is although I can fix things, that doesn't mean I will fix things. So my preference is for something which is 100% working. (And remember, anything which is labeled "easy fix" isn't or the seller would have fixed it.) Unfortunately, that cuts out a lot of pins available in the under $1000 range, particularly if I also avoid the EMs. (More because they tend to be fairly simple and therefore not worth the $$ IMHO.) Of course, I could get a NiB Stern but that's way beyond my "mad money" price range.


The problem is, even if I stick to my "off the books mad money", I'm still spending hundreds of dollars on an entertainment item. I already have a PS3, Wii and other consoles to "spend" my limitted entertainment time on. Would a pin be worth the $$, or would it end up gathering dust after the newness wears off?

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I used to have a 1969 Gottlieb Airport. It was a great machine and lasted many years. I went through bouts of playing it all the time and ignoring it. They are unbelievably heavy. If you do get one, make sure you have somebody to help you move it. Keep in mind the more complex the machine, the more likely it is to have something break. My machine was older and mostly I just had to keep changing light bulbs in various locations. I would say it is worth it if you can stay within whatever your self imposed limit is. I wouldn't mind having another one, but space is a big issue for me at the moment.

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As an alternative, I want to add that Williams Pinball Collection is probably the best Wii title out there.

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Because it takes up less space, I picked up a cocktail pinball machine. Well, that and it was $80. Works like a champ after some minor effort and new rubber. They typically don't have the variety in the playfield as full size machine, but they have the added feature of being a flat surface when not being played. :thumbsup:

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