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
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!