Pinball is a unique hobby that in the digital age, is a physical game that is an immersive experience. Lights, music, action that everyone easily can enjoy. Find the pinball hobby as a socially distancing activity!
GAD Vending gets questions daily about pinball for home. How to participate locally in tournaments. Where to play pinball – adult and with the family. What pinball do we stock, and why!
Where to play pinball?
There are several pinball simulators and video games, such as The Pinball Arcade. You can download these onto your phone or tablet and they are great ways to get access to a lot of machines to figure out what types of games you enjoy.
However, nothing is better than playing a real machine. To find some near you, a couple resources you can use are the Pinball Map app for your phone, or you can look at the Pin Map on pinside.com.
I think I found a machine for my house – but I’ve never played pinball before.
So you found a machine, or even better, a group of machines to try. Once you’ve found the locations of these games – just put your money or tokens in, or if it is a fancy place you can pay with your phone. Most machines have a start button on the front of the machine, push it and play! Want to play against friends or a random person you just met? Put in enough money for two credits (or three or four) and push the start button twice (or thrice, or four times). For one credit, on most modern machines you will play three balls per game, while older games are typically a set to five balls.
How many different pinball machines exist?
Thousands. Check out the Internet Pinball Database to find specific machines. There are a few different eras of pinball machines:
- Electro-mechanical (EM): 1947ish-1978ish
- Solid State (SS): 1979ish-1989ish
- Dot Matrix Display (DMD): 1990ish-2012ish
- Colorized Displays: 2013ish-current
The years aren’t exact because different pinball manufacturers implement changes at different times. But you get the general idea.
How do I go about buying a pinball machine?
Decided on the game for you? That’s great! Figure out your budget, where you’re going to put the machine, and how you’re going to move the machine.
Like a car, newer machines (or machines with less play) will require less maintenance than older machines. That isn’t always true, but is a good rule of thumb.
So, how much does a pinball machine cost?
Somewhere between $25 and $25,000. As a point of reference though, brand new machines cost $5,000 and up, and you can find nice DMD/solid state games for about $1000 at the low end.
Call GAD Vending. We are able to price multiple machines, the various versions available and give you options on what you want. We generally sell new machines and service existing games. If we have something used in stock, we post it online and we’ll let you know what we have available.