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What Are Some Questions To Ask When Buying A Pinball Machine?

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Playing pinball can be a great way to pass the time and make money. However, before you start searching for a pinball machine, there are many factors you need to consider. Making a list of the most relevant questions to ask yourself when getting a pinball machine can help you find the perfect one for you and your needs.

So, what are some questions to ask when buying a pinball machine? When buying a pinball machine, you should consider the following questions:

  • What are you getting the pinball machine for?
  • How much is the pinball machine?
  • Do you have enough space to fit the machine?
  • Which type of pinball machine is the best?
  • How do you maintain a pinball machine?

If you’re in the market for a pinball machine, this article will answer some of your questions and allow you to make an informed decision. None of these questions mean you should or shouldn’t buy a pinball machine but they will make the decision easier for you if you consider each one carefully. 

Do you want to get a pinball machine for your game room but can’t afford the many thousands of dollars that the ones from Stern will cost? Then you have to check out these Arcade 1Up Pinball machines that are available for far cheaper. You can see the available options by clicking here.

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If you have a game room (or want one) you have to check out this classic arcade game console that attaches directly to your TV.

This machine has classic arcade controls but hooks directly up to your big-screen TV so you can easily move it (even if you don’t have a dedicated game room).

Oh, and did I mention that it has 5,000 games built in that you can play anytime you like?!?!

Questions to Ask When Purchasing a Pinball Machine

Before purchasing a pinball machine, many questions should be addressed. Below are just some of the questions you should ask yourself when thinking of getting a pinball machine.

1. What are You Getting the Pinball Machine For?

Before you commit to buying a pinball machine, ask yourself what you want it for. Some people buy these machines to use for commercial purposes while others get them because of their passion for playing the game.

If you are buying the machine for commercial purposes, it is wise to make a business plan first. This will help you determine how much money you are likely to make. Having an estimation of the money you will make from the pinball machine will help you decide how much money to invest in the machine.

Commercial pinball machines are best placed in high-traffic areas such as bars, casinos, or other places where people congregate or spend time. These places result in the best profits because more people are available to play the machine. The best advertisement for a pinball machine is other people playing it!

If you are purchasing the machine to use it in your business, it may also be a good idea for you to purchase a new machine because commercial pinball machines tend to be used much more frequently by people than a machine that is used at home. A used machine may not last as long as you need it to or require repairs much more often. 

On the other hand, if you are purchasing for personal use, you have the freedom to choose either a new or used machine. Finding a pinball machine locally is not very difficult if you know the right place to look.

2. How Much is the Pinball Machine?

The next thing you need to consider is whether you have enough money to purchase a good pinball machine. Come up with a definite budget range before you start shopping.

An old pinball machine that requires some repair can cost as low as $200 to $500. However, you must investigate the cost of the repairs to determine if it is a wise purchase.

There are standard and more reliable (but used) pinball machines that cost between $500 to $2000. They do not require too much repair, but you may have to work on a few loose screws and replace some worn-out flippers.

 You can even find some good used pinball machines that don’t need any repair at all in this price range but they will often be the less popular models that people have had sitting around for a while. The more popular games will go for a higher price. 

If you are looking for a brand-new pinball machine with a warranty, you will have to spend $4500 to $6000. However, when considering the costs, remember that a pinball machine straight out of the factory is likely to last for a very long time.

3. Do You Have Enough Space to Fit the Machine?

Before shopping for a pinball machine, you must make sure that you have enough space to place it. So, you should consider taking the machine’s exact measurements and comparing them to the space you are planning to place it.

A pinball machine that is too large may make it difficult for you or any other player to enjoy the game. It is worth noting that pinball machines are available in different sizes, and you can easily find something that will fit in the space you have available.

Way too many people buy a machine before measuring the place where it will go and end up having it stick out into a walkway or even having problems moving the machine into the location they wanted it. 

When I was a kid we had a basement that we had finished. When we started trying to move furniture down the stairs we realized that the person doing the remodeling hadn’t made the stairs large enough at the turn and there was no way to get a couch or anything bigger than an armchair down the stairs!

Don’t make this mistake when buying your pinball machine! Measure the location and any narrow spaces to make sure you can get the machine to the room you are going to place it in. 

4. Which Type of Pinball Machine is the Best?

There are different types of pinball machines, with each one having unique advantages and disadvantages. The first type is Electro-Mechanical (EM) machines that are controlled by a score motor and stepper units.

There are also Solid-State pinball machines that are controlled by a microprocessor and Dot Matrix Display machines, which are Solid-State machines that incorporate a display for scoring and low-resolution video reproduction.

EM machines tend to offer simpler gaming options, which is why they are ideal for home use. The more complex options are better suited for commercial use since they provide a variety of gameplay options to different people.

5. How do You Maintain a Pinball Machine?

Every pinball machine needs some maintenance. However, brand-new machines are going to need less maintenance than their used counterparts. It is also worth noting that EM machines require a more hands-on approach to maintenance because of their multiple switches.

SS machines (solid-state), on the other hand, are more like computers, which is why you need to maintain them as you would maintain a computer.

It’s necessary to compare the different types of machines available and determine which of them you think you can easily maintain. It is equally important for you to consider where you will get spare parts in case your machine breaks down. You want the machine you purchase to have parts that are easy to get.

When considering maintenance on an older game you need to think about not just the exterior but the interior electronics as well. Corrosion is a pinball machine’s mortal enemy as it can start to damage the different components over time including the circuit boards, rubber rings, bolts, etc.

Brand new machines (or newer machines) won’t have that issue for many years to come plus you will know how well you take care of the machine whereas with older machines you won’t really have any idea how they have been treated over their lifetime.

Understanding Pinball Machines

Pinball is an arcade game that requires a player to manipulate a ball or balls on a playing field that is set up within a glass-covered cabinet that is often referred to as a pinball machine. To win, a player must score as many points as possible. Most people prefer to play against friends or relatives since the best part of playing pinball is trying to beat the best person you know. 

Players can earn points by aiming the ball toward specific targets. Difficult targets offer higher points, while simpler targets only earn a player a few points. There is a drain located just beneath the playing field that acts as a collection point for the balls. The game ends when all the balls have dropped into the drain.

While older pinball machines were quite basic, modern machines have sophisticated storylines that make the game even more interesting. It is worth pointing out that there are even pinball machines that incorporate digital displays to make the game more exciting.

To find your ideal pinball machine, do some online research to find out if any local stores stock the machine. You can also look for information on collectors who are willing to sell a machine to you. Additionally, some people have these machines in their homes and may be willing to sell one to you at an agreed amount.

Get a Pinball Machine and Enjoy the Fun!

A pinball machine can be a good investment If you are thinking of making money with it. All you must do is come up with a sound business plan including finding a good location. You can often find shop owners who will gladly allow you to place your machine in their store for a portion of the profits. 

If you are looking for a pinball machine to use at home, the best advice that I can give you is to pick one that fits within your budget while also finding one that is a lot of fun.

My personal favorite is the Medieval Madness machine that was made by Williams in 1997. It has tons of fun gameplay and lots of moving parts that allow you to get high scores if you have enough skill to continue to destroy the castle or beat the trolls.