How it all started
The first pinball machine I ever played was at a laundromat in N. Michigan. I can’t tell you what it was because i can’t remember but it only cost $.10 per game and I played it a lot, I liked the mechanical physicality and ingenuity of pinball over videogames from the start, there are some basics that remain the same on all pinball machines, so you have a baseline familiarity with what to expect when stepping up to one in an arcade. This matters when you are 12 years old and have 10 quarters in your pocket.
In high school my buddy and I got jobs at a small local amusement park that had an arcade. When we were done with our shift, we would hang out at the arcade to play games and meet up with friends. I remember when Funhouse pinball machine came in for the first time. We played the hell out of it!
I was so lucky to have learned a LOT from my dad growing up. Although his workshop was bigger than mine, I had a workbench. At 13 I read a state electrical code booklet and safely tapped into the house wiring to put some outlets on my bench. At 15 I designed, etched, drilled, and successfully built a custom digital 3-PCB device for my dad’s slot car racing club. All through junior and senior high school I had a job assembling and testing circuit boards for a high-end audio gear.
Back at home my dad and I spent a lot of time together repairing pinballs and shuffleboard bowling machines.
At one time we had 2 bowlers and 8 pins in our basement. I’d help trace wires, read schematics (which he couldn’t do), diagnose, and be a 3rd/4th hand for certain tests. He’d buy them not working, we’d fix them, resell some and keep most. But they were all EM, as this was back in the Day.
At 17 I entered a KQRS contest when Ted Nugent was in town playing a concert. My friends and I had tickets to the show. And he drew my postcard to win the (digital) Nugent machine! It was just barely used, but I and my high school friends put some miles on it in my parent’s basement. Of course my high scores ruled the roost. I was king of bumping, our first family pinball machine was Tropicana (no flippers!).
Now as an adult, my old interest in pinball turned into a new hobby. A pinball machine restorer by trade, I have bought over 114 old pinball machines since 2012, which I restore to look and play like new.
“There aren’t very many places to play pinball machines anymore, If you want to play games that are reliably maintained, the only way to ensure that is to own it yourself. Click here to buy pinball machines
Old Pinball Machine, made modern
The first game I bought in 2012 was twilight zone pinball machine, a 1993 model designed by Pat Lawlor and based on the TV series of the same name.
I bought it for $700, a relatively low price for a pinball machine. The seller thought it was beyond any possibility of restoration, so it was considered a “player’s game” rather than a collector’s piece, which was fine by me, someone who believes old used pinball machines are meant to be restored and played.
I can do some pretty high end (restoration work), But I also appreciate the attitude if the game is here to be played.
I aim to keep games from wearing out, and to make sure they continue to be fun to play often.
You quickly learn that you need to understand how to rebuild flippers and eventually, if you are fussy like I am, you start realizing there is a lot more you can do to improve them and even make them play better than new.
The problem with classic pinball machines, is that they were built to last no more than a few years in an arcade setting. The hobbyist community of collectors and refurbishes has only developed in the last 10 to 15 years, which has given rise to industries that cater specifically to the desire for the machines to last longer at increased prices.
However, I have managed to put together a great team of Pinball Machine lovers who share the same views as I do, we buy and restore old and used Pinball machines before selling them.
We believe Pinball machines shouldn’t be limited to the rich only, we try as much as possible to restore used pinball machines for sale at very affordable prices. Our prices are gotten from the total cost of buying and restoring each pinball machine plus an 18% margin. When buying from us be sure to get the best Prices. Don’t miss out on our exclusive deals today. You can order here.