Friday, June 24, 2016

Pinball Collectors, Collections, and Why They Collect (Case Study #2)

Today on Pinball Aficionado, we're going to return to the world of collecting; the people, the games, and the reasons why they go about acquiring them. What drives someone to collect 300 pound machines that cost thousands of dollars and take up massive amounts of real estate anyway?

Our pinball hobby is full of different types of people, from operators who get games and put them out to earn money, to collectors, big and small, who may acquire games for many reasons. Whether it's the one game they grew up with, or someone who gets these machines as quasi art installations that they can enjoy in their home, the reasons are varied. A while back we looked at our first collector, an opeator with a large number of machines. Today we're going to look at an enthusiast that can be seen as the opposite, a die hard fan with a single game.

Dennis' awesome Surfer!


Collector: Dennis

Location: South Florida

Number of Games: 1

Reason for Collecting: Pinball is Life and you have to start somewhere. Hehe!

Dennis and his Wife at the Pinball Asylum!

Pinball Aficionado: "Do you go after any particular types of games, eras, or the titles from a certain designer or company?"

Dennis: "I Really like solid states and EM's. The basic rules and ease of getting into them appeals to me. I have started to understand and get into modern DMD games, but its a completely different approach; it's more about knowing the rules and maximizing features, modes and multiballs which is pretty cool but much more complicated to wrap your head around all the craziness."

PA: "Why did you choose the game you picked, how did you acquire it?"

Dennis: "I went with my wife to the Orlando Free Play Florida last year (2015) and they had a couple of EM's one of which was Surf Champ which is the 4 player version of Surfer and my wife and I loved it. We came back to it throughout the weekend so, for us, it stood out as a table that offered us repeated challenge and fun. Some time later a collector posted he had a working Surfer for sale, so I went to try it out and liked it, and he even offered to deliver it! I have wanted a pinball machine to practice my shots, etc. and this was a perfect opportunity, and for the price, i couldn't pass it up."

PA: "When acquiring a game, did you do it for a specific reason (gameplay, art, opportunity)?"

Dennis: "For me, this specific table had a little bit of everything. Cool bright colors, good art, good bumper location, good spinner location, drop down targets, and some nice challenging and satisfying shots. Again, out of all the games at Free Play Florida, this one stood out for my wife and myself, so I already knew the boss (my wife) liked it, so that's always good when getting something that's going to take half of the living room space it has permission to be there :-) "

PA: "Anything else you'd like to share???"

Dennis: "The pinball scene in south Florida is amazing! I have met so many incredible, friendly and selfless people that are in this hobby to enjoy themselves but also to share their love of pinball with the rest of the community. The Village BBS (ed. note: an amazing forum for collectors in FL) has been a great place to share ideas, stay up to date with events and stay in touch with a lot of the people involved. I really enjoy going to events and seeing the same friendly faces, as well as new people, and talk about whats going on in the world of pinball and how it has gotten more interesting throughout the years. Through the local events I have gotten into the competitive pinball scene and it has been a very fun ride. The Florida APE was an amazing show this year, and am always looking forward to a new expo or convention that I can attend. I am set to attend the Replay FX in Pittsburgh this year and am eager to hang out and cheer for my pinball friends."

PA: "Awesome! Thanks for your time."

Dennis: "No problem."

So, all you aficionado collectors out there, why do you collect? What kinds of games do you go after? If you'd like to be featured in a future profile, shoot me an email!

Till next time!