Mr. Pinball tip for Thursday, June 1, 2023

Evaluating an electromechanical pinball machine for purchase:

First check the cosmetics--that's where the machine either holds or loses its value. Is the playfield worn or is it just dirty? Are the plastics all there and unbroken? Is the backglass scratched or flaking? It is easiest to evaluate the backglass condition from the backside. If the backglass is damaged, is the damage in a semi-translucent or opaque area? Opaque areas are simple to repair, whereas semi-translucent is very difficult. Look at the cabinet and see if it is undamaged or if it will have to be repainted. It is possible to repaint a cabinet, but it is a lot of work to do it right.

Next, open up the machine and check to see if anything looks missing. It is very important to see that the game is complete. Especially look for dangling wires. Keep in mind that almost all mechanical parts are readily available. Cosmetic parts are the ones that can be very difficult to find.

Check also for documentation. Be sure to ask the seller for it. Sometimes they actually know where it is!
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