jcalder8's Blog

Posted on Nov 13th 2008 at 06:17:06 PM by (jcalder8)
Posted under Pinball, repairs, DIY, arcade

There are only two things I have wanted for as long as I can remember that I have not been able to have, the first is a house and that is a long way off, the second is a pinball machine and I thought it was a long way off until recently.

I have had to move back in with my family due to many things and with that comes a change of cities. I normally check Craigslist and Kijiji regularly and since I was moving I thought why not check out my new city. After finding out that Kijiji is used much more than Craigslist I focused on what I always look for, games. Upon finding that there were at least 50 listings within an hour with the word "game" in them I thought it would be better to focus on specific systems. I went through the normal "NES", "SNES", "Nintendo" and so on without finding anything too exciting so I switched over to a search I normally make every 2 or 3 days since I rarely see them any "Pinball". Normally this consists of looking at the 3 or 4 machines that have been listed 6 times already and are well over a thousand dollars. In this new city however there were at least 12 of them, which was exciting just to see the list. Then I looked at the price of the first one $300. My eyes bulged and my mouth went dry. Did I really see that right? $300 for a pinball machine? I quickly read over the description in the ad: Williams 1979 "Laser Ball", needs a bit of work, have to sell, blah, blah, blah, who cares it is a great price in my book so off goes a message.

Two days later...

Still no message back, oh well I guess I just missed out. That is what happens when you do not search regularly for this stuff. So I guess I will try another search, what is listed first again? The same pinball machine; $200. I could not believe it, not only was it still there but the price had gone down. I was not going to beat around the bush like I had in my last message to the seller. I sent a simple message "I want to buy it, let me know" Short sweet and to the point. About 10 minutes later I get a reply that he still has it and wants to know if I can come to get it. I let him know that I do want it but I do not live there yet but my parents do if he needs it gone before I get there and they should be able to pick it up. He replies letting me know he needs it gone in a day and a half, shit I think to myself, now I need to beg my parents to go get this thing for me.

So I call up my parents and ask them if they are willing to go get it for me. Thankfully they are and they call the guy to set up the details. He tells them some problems with the machine but since they do not know much about pinball machines they ask me to call him too, unfortunately I do not know that much either so the conversation is mostly just me saying "oh", "really?" "sounds good I'll take it" A couple of things that I do understand is that it is not accepting credits and there is some flaking on the back glass. The credits I think I should be able to fix myself but the back glass I will just have to make do. He also says that he was working perfectly but then it just stopped accepting credit. He tells me he will not take anything less than $150, this guy really needed to get rid of it I thought to myself. Well whatever I do not mind paying half of what I was originally willing.

The next day my parents try booking a truck but are unable to so they take a chance that it will fit into the back of their Volvo station wagon, after all it has already had two arcade machines in there. When they go and get it the seller has it in his garage with the top off and the glass off and he shows them a couple of the problems, but I had told my parents for $150 you really can not go wrong so they bought it for me.

To say I was excited would be an understatement. Owning my own pinball machine has been a dream of mine for at least 2 decades. It would be a long 5 days before I would get to see the machine but from what I heard it was not in too bad shape so I was not worried. Now as most people know, what a seller says and what the item looks like are often two different things.

Part 2: What I actually bought...

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Good read, looking forward to part 2! Smiley
Im quite jealous. I would love a Pinball machine at my place.
I'm going to laugh if it looks like shit LOL
Nice write-up! Smiley
Cool, my dad has wanted a pinball machine for forever.  I gotta get him one someday...
Sounds pretty sweet. I would love to have a full size pinball or arcade machine someday when I have room. Closest thing I've got now are two of those small tabletop toy pinball machines and a larger tabletop model.

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