Found it! A £2k budget for my first Pin

Jackolantern

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Apr 7, 2021
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Ch43 6ut
Evening all,

I'm completely new to the site. I've been reading a lot for the past few months across various sites but liked the community here so joined up.

I'm looking to take the plunge with buying my first Pin. I've played various pins in the past but first enjoyed playing when we had one in our school common room 20 years ago (No Good Gophers)! Since then I now have two boys who have caught the bug so decided now was the time to see what I can get hold of...

Prices seem high at the moment and I think the market is a melting pot for newbies like me who could really get taken for a ride on eBay/Gumtree/Shpock. I realise my budget is small but I'm hoping as part of this community I can get some rock solid guidance - I hope I am realistic though on what this money will get me, so I have not defined a particular range of pins, just listed a few hopeful aims:

1. Has to be playable as I don't yet have the knowledge to repair.
2. Gottlieb/Williams/Stern pin would be great as that's what I've played.
3. Would ideally like a 90's machine with decent playability and family friendly for my children to enjoy too.

Out of my price range for now, but my real target is to get a Stern Indiana Jones - it has been a pin that as a family we have really enjoyed playing in the past. If one came up at any point I'd be very interested and would evaluate my budget accordingly!

I'm based on Merseyside and hopefully easy to deal with and willing to listen and learn.

Thanks in advance,

Jack
 

SteadyP

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May 25, 2020
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Steady
2k Stern games do come up but they can be hard to come by/ make sure you watch the for sale section on your alerts. Great community here- fantastic people who are always willing to give invaluable advice. Good luck with your search :thumbs:
 
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Jackolantern

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Apr 7, 2021
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Ch43 6ut
I've had a Gottlieb for just over a year and still not working. Are you sure?
I had a Stern IJ . It gets mixed reviews but I liked it.
I would take Stern IJ in again.
I've seen the Gottlieb challenges come up a lot in the threads...! I think I just have to buy as wisely as possible and any pin with a known history as part of this community will always be beneficial. However I appreciate that whatever pin I buy will require both repairs and maintenance - I just want to avoid getting a complete lemon, hence avoiding the typical auction/sales sites!

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Solar Sailer

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Jun 22, 2018
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I've seen the Gottlieb challenges come up a lot in the threads...! I think I just have to buy as wisely as possible and any pin with a known history as part of this community will always be beneficial. However I appreciate that whatever pin I buy will require both repairs and maintenance - I just want to avoid getting a complete lemon, hence avoiding the typical auction/sales sites!

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I bought knowing my haunted house would be a long return to play. Hoping to have it up and running by Christmas. Many here continued to guide and assit.
 

DRD

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Oct 26, 2014
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@Jackolantern

Good luck with your search.

You will need to be prepared to move fast. If a game is fairly priced at 1.8k, it will probably be verbally sold within hours.

If it is actually advertised at 1.5k or below, 6 people will have offered to buy it within minutes - at least one of whom will be willing to travel hours and collect it that day.
 
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replicas

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Nipper Pinball
welcome.gif
to Pinball Info @Jackolantern .
 
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Jackolantern

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Apr 7, 2021
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Ch43 6ut
Hi, Maybe widen your search a little and look at some early Data East titles. Good solid machines that seem to sell 25% below prices of the others sometimes. Also, don't dismiss a machine that might be working 95% but need some TLC with playfield cleanups/plastics/repair.
Your advice makes a lot of sense. I'll definitely consider Data East too.
@Jackolantern

Good luck with your search.

You will need to be prepared to move fast. If a game is fairly priced at 1.8k, it will probably be verbally sold within hours.

If it is actually advertised at 1.5k or below, 6 people will have offered to buy it within minutes - at least one of whom will be willing to travel hours and collect it that day.
Yes I'm ready to move quickly - noticed a few good pins slip through in the past few weeks. Also realise that there is a pecking order so thought it best to join the community so at least people get to know me and what I'm looking for instead of just being a blind bidder!
 

JAG555

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Jul 23, 2017
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We have all been in your shoes and I started with a similar list / budget.

My advice, for what it or worth, is to avoid Gottlibs for your first pin (despite the seemingly lower costs). My first pin was a Street Fighter II (great theme for me), but I spent more time fixing it and waiting for rare parts to be delivered from the States, than I did playing it. As much as I loved that pin (bit like the love of your first car), I had to get something more reliable.

If you could squeeze another £500 into your budget, I would think your options would widen when things come up.

A semi-modern Stern is a great choice in my opinion and Indy is a great game.

Good Luck
 
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Jackolantern

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Apr 7, 2021
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Ch43 6ut
We have all been in your shoes and I started with a similar list / budget.

My advice, for what it or worth, is to avoid Gottlibs for your first pin (despite the seemingly lower costs). My first pin was a Street Fighter II (great theme for me), but I spent more time fixing it and waiting for rare parts to be delivered from the States, than I did playing it. As much as I loved that pin (bit like the love of your first car), I had to get something more reliable.

If you could squeeze another £500 into your budget, I would think your options would widen when things come up.

A semi-modern Stern is a great choice in my opinion and Indy is a great game.

Good Luck
Really appreciated - I can't disagree with that advice. More money is always the temptation in this hobby.. will definitely keep an open mind when it comes to cost:value!

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Colywobbles

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+1 for IJ and Stern as they fairly bombproof around that era 2k however may be a big ask!

I sold a really nice one in the community last year for 2.5k I had done a really nice super shop on it with full LED, fully stripped playfield, polished all the metals ect ect.
I even replaced all the clear plastics and put my Flourecent plastic protectors to protect each and every original one which took me about 30hrs alone. It looked absolutely stunning!

It was sold on sold on eBay not long back for £3.5k which absolutely gutted me but hey that seems to be the destination nowadays.

Welcome to the community and good luck with your search and shout if I can help bling your new pin.

My blinged up one

D5604886-B7FE-4883-932D-B219AEEC1057.jpeg
 

Solar Sailer

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Jun 22, 2018
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+1 for IJ and Stern as they fairly bombproof around that era 2k however may be a big ask!

I sold a really nice one in the community last year for 2.5k I had done a really nice super shop on it with full LED, fully stripped playfield, polished all the metals ect ect.
I even replaced all the clear plastics and put my Flourecent plastic protectors to protect each and every original one which took me about 30hrs alone. It looked absolutely stunning!

It was sold on sold on eBay not long back for £3.5k which absolutely gutted me but hey that seems to be the destination nowadays.

Welcome to the community and good luck with your search and shout if I can help bling your new pin.

My blinged up one

View attachment 136284
That looks stunning.
 

Jagspete

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May 27, 2019
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Never had one myself but there’s a Riverboat Gambler (I think ) on Facebook marketplace for 1.5k. Data east used to be cheaper but the film tie ins can make them more attractive and push price up. Keep a check on the eBay /gumtree thread as you’ll get an idea of asking prices versus perceived values
 
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J

Jackolantern

Site Supporter
Apr 7, 2021
14
39
13
Ch43 6ut
+1 for IJ and Stern as they fairly bombproof around that era 2k however may be a big ask!

I sold a really nice one in the community last year for 2.5k I had done a really nice super shop on it with full LED, fully stripped playfield, polished all the metals ect ect.
I even replaced all the clear plastics and put my Flourecent plastic protectors to protect each and every original one which took me about 30hrs alone. It looked absolutely stunning!

It was sold on sold on eBay not long back for £3.5k which absolutely gutted me but hey that seems to be the destination nowadays.

Welcome to the community and good luck with your search and shout if I can help bling your new pin.

My blinged up one

View attachment 136284
Fine example of an IJ ... Would break my budget for that!!

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J

Jackolantern

Site Supporter
Apr 7, 2021
14
39
13
Ch43 6ut
Never had one myself but there’s a Riverboat Gambler (I think ) on Facebook marketplace for 1.5k. Data east used to be cheaper but the film tie ins can make them more attractive and push price up. Keep a check on the eBay /gumtree thread as you’ll get an idea of asking prices versus perceived values
There was and I saw it. Within 15 mins of seeing it, it was listed as sold. Timing is everything!

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Monkeyboypaul

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May 29, 2013
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Paul G
And once you have found your first pin be prepared to have to find space (and cash) for another one, and another, and another....
Heed this advice.

I went from 1 initially, peaking at 9, and back 'down' to 7 currently. Some members aren't limited by space or money, so in some cases the number just keeps rising!
 

Ross Hamilton

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Mar 4, 2016
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My top tip is to work out your current budget and put that to one side, then add something to it every month. Sooner or later your budget and what's for sale will coincide perfectly :) And by exercising that bit of patience you will reduce the likelihood of making a rash decision and ending up with an over-priced or ropey old machine. I did it last year, I was able to put all the income from my second (part-time) job to one side for 9 months by which time I had enough (well, just about enough) to pick up a modern Stern that I'd coveted for a long time, by then I had seen several other ones come and go so I felt like I was doing it with my eyes wide open and well aware of the going rate for one.
 

Chris

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Jul 21, 2011
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Good luck with your search, we have a Stern Indy and love it. Maybe save a bit more, you shouldn’t need much more for a Stern Indy if one comes up for sale.


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Jackolantern

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Apr 7, 2021
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Ch43 6ut
And once you have found your first pin be prepared to have to find space (and cash) for another one, and another, and another....
Oh yes... Like anything, once you have the bug it is hard to keep it under control! The aim is to buy sensible at first and whilst I may end up having multiple pins, I really want to enter the hobby with a good experience so my boys also enjoy it and get hooked! That way any future additional expense is clearly identified to my wife as supporting our children's hobby 😁
 

Andydn

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Oct 14, 2019
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My top tip is to work out your current budget and put that to one side, then add something to it every month. Sooner or later your budget and what's for sale will coincide perfectly :) And by exercising that bit of patience you will reduce the likelihood of making a rash decision and ending up with an over-priced or ropey old machine. I did it last year, I was able to put all the income from my second (part-time) job to one side for 9 months by which time I had enough (well, just about enough) to pick up a modern Stern that I'd coveted for a long time, by then I had seen several other ones come and go so I felt like I was doing it with my eyes wide open and well aware of the going rate for one.

Good idea that , setting a price limit too low means ultimately you could end up with a pin that doesn’t really excite you. I remember getting my first modern Stern after thinking I’d never afford one - I now have 5


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Calimori

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Mar 15, 2012
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Calimori
Put up a wanted advert for a Stern IJ with your budget and someone might be thinking of moving one on.

My view is to buy from here, sensible pricing, easier to trust seller and more often than not, someone else would have owned it before to help with the history.

Old machines need a bit of work, not always complicated but a switch that doesn't work or a wire that needs resoldering. My advice is to start with 2 machines so one is always working, it stops the kids getting annoyed. ;)
I have 6 and at any one time, at least 2 are being worked on or are missing a part.
 
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Jackolantern

Site Supporter
Apr 7, 2021
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Ch43 6ut
Put up a wanted advert for a Stern IJ with your budget and someone might be thinking of moving one on.

My view is to buy from here, sensible pricing, easier to trust seller and more often than not, someone else would have owned it before to help with the history.

Old machines need a bit of work, not always complicated but a switch that doesn't work or a wire that needs resoldering. My advice is to start with 2 machines so one is always working, it stops the kids getting annoyed. ;)
I have 6 and at any one time, at least 2 are being worked on or are missing a part.
Ok thanks for the great advice on the Stern IJ . I didn't want to spam with 'wanted' posts but appreciate it may capture the attention of the right person.

I will definitely be patient for the right opportunity on here. In the last 24 hours there have been a huge amount of helpful members both on this thread but also who have PM'd me to help me out and I really appreciate it.

The tape measure are calculator are out to assess whether a second pin (after a well assessed first purchase!) is viable .

Thanks all,

Jack

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wotguvnotmeguv

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Jul 18, 2020
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Plenty of scope to get the ball rolling with an EM or two with that kind of budget – some would argue you should really be able to get four for £2k (although possibly pushing it in the current market :D).

I got an 60s Williams Cabaret as my first pin and absolutely love it. It's admittedly been sidelined a bit since I got my first DMD, and ultimately may get moved on after I've refurbished it a bit, but in my limited experience there's a lot to be said for just pulling the trigger on one and taking it from there. It was good to just get one through the door and see how it worked in the space I had allocated, and now I've been able to plan round it accordingly.