Friday, July 17, 2015

The Plight of the Pinball Collector

Hey there Aficionados!

What'cha lookin at bub?!?

I was recently chatting on Facebook with other collectors about pinball machine ownership, and it dawned onto me that the person in question needs three things to have a collection they want. Two of the three are absolutely essential, the third is preferable, as otherwise the collection might turn out mediocre. People who don't own games may not realize this, but these things really come into play as vans pull up to your door and money leaves your wallet, so without further ado:

The Three Things You Need to be a Collector: 


You definitely need money. While you can later trade machines once you have a collection going, you do need money to buy that initial game you want. You will also need money for repairs, restoration, etc. Money is pivotal to owning real pinball.


You definitely need space. While you can be richer than Bill Gates, it won't matter if your available area is the size of a bathtub, no space means no collection. The collector needs room, which is why many of us often times offloads our games in other people's homes, to accommodate for a lack of immediate space.


This attribute is not necessarily pivotal to owning machines like the last two, but is definitely handy in getting the collection you want, let me illustrate. Here in Florida, if I wanted to buy a Williams Jack*Bot today (2015) in good condition, I'm going to spend approximately 2300-2500 dollars for one. That is what they currently go for here. Had I been collecting 10 years ago, I could have snagged one in similar condition for about 1400-1500 dollars. Is that because the dollar has devalued that much in that time? No, it's because ten years ago, pinball in general wasn't as popular, games like Jack*Bot were harder to sell as not as many people knew about that game than they do now (thanks to Internet, Pinside, IPDB, Pinball Arcade, Facebook, etc), and replacement parts were harder to source back then. I wasn't lucky enough to be in the hobby 10 years ago, so now if I want one I'm going to pay the premium to get one. Another way of looking at the luck factor, you want a TX Sector. A game that is not rare but almost never comes up for sale anywhere, as the people that own that game love it and won't let them go. You can be super wealthy, have all the room in the world but you may spend YEARS waiting for one to become available. The flip-side of that, you have a game in your collection, you have the opportunity to sell it or trade it for another game BUT YOU CAN'T because you KNOW that you will never find another example of said game again, or in the condition of the one you currently own. This is the crux of luck in pinball collecting, unlike many other forms of entertainment (movies, music, sports, video games), finding a specific title you want to own might take years or may never happen, no matter how much money you have to go and buy one, at any price.

So there, the three pillars of pinball collecting: money, space, and luck. To be successful at it you need all three, and then some.

What do you think? Am I completely off? Do you agree? Can you think of any other things you need to have a good pinball collection??


Until next time!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Pinball Stances

Player 1.........Step Up!

Pinball Stances, we all have them, but why do we do them? Is it natural? 

What drives aficionados to stand the way they do at a machine?

A typical bank of games in a collection...

Is it due to Center of Gravity? Height? Visibility? Is there even a reason at all???

I wondered about this and started to ask around...And I found some answers!

Marcel Gonzalez (Arcade Pinball Expo show runner):

"A stance aids in the eye level most comfortable to a player. some is low , very close to playfield level (Lyman). Some are almost perpendicular to playfield.

Tall people are pretty screwed in a crowded room. Same as me. I'd have to switch to a stance not so comfortable to me. I guess tall pinheads need space."

I guess surrounding conditions can contribute to someone's pinball stance at the moment...

Whysnow (Pinside Member):
"I actually find that I play best when I am in a more casual stance. Getting closer to the glass tends to help me concentrate and focus, but rarely do I play better.
My wife makes fun of my stance and says I look like I am going to fall over sometimes.

A good friend has the patented 'enders pinball stance' where he stands very wide legged directly in front of the game for a firm base and good nudging core. I heard he does 500 sit-ups a day just to get better at nudging."
Hmm...."Ender's Pinball Stance"???

Rollitover(Pinside Member):
"Me? I stand left foot forward and straight on, right foot back and at a slight angle outward. Upper body tilted slightly toward the machine. Hands firmly down on the machine. I nudge from time to time but not as much as I should and use body english at tense moments. I swear it helps as much as nudging.

My son? He stands feet side by side or right foot back a pinch. His upper body nearly straight up. His hands rest slightly and he rarely nudges. He says he likes to let the machine "play out".

He is a damn good player so lots of people are now copying his stance."

Great responses! So I guess in the end it's all of the above, space factors, height, comfort, boils down to the player and what they personally want when they step up.

In the end, no matter how you stand at a game, it's where the ball is that counts.
And last but not least:

Rick Stetta, does it best!

Until Next time!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

.........And We're Back!

"Phew! I never thought that bathroom line was ever going to let up........."

Hello pinball aficionados, after a while away, I'm excited to announce that WE ARE BACK!!! 


Keep on the lookout for new posts on everything in the world of pinball, including Shows, Tournaments, Games, Players and More!

In our next post we'll be looking at Pinball Stances... 

Hmm, I wonder who that is...
Stay Tuned!