The extra life pinball machines get in home game rooms

Shaggy October 5, 2010 2

Newsfeed 940 via The Stinger Report

As video games have aged, the number of people who collect the old stuff has increased and we see more articles discussing the community behind the collecting. A strong collectors community exists behind pinball as well but they differ a little in helping drive new pinball sales on some level. Here is an article by Tampa Bay Online that gets into some of the changes the pinball industry has seen in modern days, specifically that collectors angle and how they help drive sales behind such machines.

The article gets into how sales of pinball machines to arcades has suffered, although it’s incorrect to state that no one in the amusement industry buys them anymore – I know of many locations that will, depending upon the theme. AVATAR shouldn’t be hard to find and if Stern takes the plunge on a TRON pinball then I think that will be relatively easy to find as well. But it is true, as the article discusses, that pinball isn’t the best ROI item an arcade can get. That’s why I’d love to see some technological improvements take place with the games although I can understand the problem that exists – Stern is trying to keep costs down and switching to something like an LCD would drive that up for them. At the same time I think that a pin which is up-to-speed with current technology would be much more likely to get a faster ROI than the current style of pins. This means someone will have to take a risk on it to find out, which at the very least Marsaplay is doing in Spain.

If you’re interested, the article can be read here.


  1. MitchSchaft October 5, 2010 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Nice article. It makes me think of the Pinball2000 machines. I have never played one and would love to track one down!

  2. Anonymous October 6, 2010 at 8:56 am - Reply

    Stern really needs to get with the times and stop making lame, uninspired pinball titles based on old technology and popular movies, if they want to survive into the next decade. They must dedicate themselves to creating “original” machines that capture the imagination of their customers and the public at large (think Circus Voltaire, FunHouse, Theatre Of Magic, etc), and equipped with LCD displays not only on the backboard for scoring, but imbedded in the playfield itself, that might even tell a story as the game progresses. If someone is now willing to spend $4500 on a machine based on old technology, one would think they would be able to reach down for another $500 or so to cover a “21st Century” pinball machine. This thinking should also spill over into the arcade sector, where players would be willing to spend more money on playing pinball for a new “immersive” experience, as well as capture younger players hooked on video games. Stern has never really “made their mark” in the pinball industry (except as its last surviving member for now) and updating this classic arcade game to appeal to a new generation would give them some respect in the pinball community, as well as giving them a real place in the storied history of the pinball machine.

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