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Old Pinball Machines: Junk or Not Junk?

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Unlike other markets such as the used car market, the purchase and sale of used pinball machines isn’t as large or well established.

Old Pinball Machine

Determining the value of your pinball machine requires some judgment, but it’s possible to do so with the right information. If your pinball machine is inoperable and the repair is expensive, the resale price will be greatly affected, in which case it’s probably a good idea to consider junking it to make room in your home for other items.

Finding the Value of your Pinball Machine

Every year, a price guide is published by Mr. Pinball, and it will have recommended prices for purchase and resale based on model number, game, and manufacturing company.

The guide is pretty well determined, and in fact, many purchasers use it to make bids on machines that are up for sale. The book also tells you what to look for in making estimates, and it’s mostly tied to having a good playfield and a functioning system.

The playfield suffers a lot of wear and tear from having a metal ball rolling and bouncing of its surface. The main damage happens in the form of chipped or missing paint. In addition to looking less interesting, it also affects the trajectory of the pinball, and can change the difficulty of scoring on different parts of the board.

The definition of having a playable or workable game involves many different things:

  • Being able to load the pinball
  • Having the pinball gain enough speed on release
  • Having the game detect and respond to the pinball activating scoring parts
  • Lights flashing and working, along with accompanying sounds
  • Accurate counting and displaying of score

For functioning pinball machines, prices commonly go for one thousand dollars or less, and you will be able to find willing buyers, depending on the area where you’re located.

Fixing your Pinball Machine

Even simple replacements can be expensive when it comes to pinball machines, largely because the manufacturer does not make many spares. Even simple lights can be end up as a pricey purchase. For repairs only require commonly acquired parts, it may be enough to hire a handyman who has some knowledge of electrical work to do the job.

If worst comes to worst and your machine is beyond repair, Junk It! provides disposal services for large, heavy, and odd shaped items.

Written January 19, 2015 by Christopher Luciano

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