So over the past few weeks, I have completed some appraisals for sellers of pinball machines. Some of the more recent games included Addams Family Pinball, Medieval Madness Pinball, Twilight Zone Pinball and High Speed 2, Getaway Pinball. Let's talk about condition. Condition of a pinball machine is the greatest factor in determining an appropriate value for a game. I think is synonymous to classic cars. A classic Boss 302 Mustang which has been restored is worth way more than an unrestored daily driver.
The same holds true for pinball.
Take for example the Medieval Madness Pinball Machine I appraised. The game has been sitting in the owner's basement unplayed for years. The owner purchased the game in 1998. Was the game in an arcade, tough to determine; however, it looked good. The graphics were nice and bright and the playfield, although dirty, was wear free.
The ramps, plastics, rubbers and playfield assemblies all looked good. So you are thinking - this has to be worth major bucks. Well, what if I I told you that batteries leaked all over the CPU and that the game was not playing correctly? That was the case here.
The owner thought that because the game did not play correctly, it was worth less, basically 1-2k. I laughed and said - NO Way, the game is worth considerably more. I explained that even though it wasn't working correctly, these things can always be fixed mechanically. Cosmetics are most important. I provided him an appraisal and he was quite surprised when my number was over $7,000. Consequently, we found him a buyer right away. He was thrilled. Bottom line - condition is king with modern pinball games. Don't let something that's not working fool you on a value. Don't let a buyer tell you "that light doesn't work" or "that flipper doesn't work, so it's worth less" - that's baloney.
If you have a Medieval Madness Pinball, Twilight Zone Pinball or any others, contact us for an appraisal or to sell. Next Up - Lesson 2: Major Features and How They Affect Value.