Collectible Pinball Machines

Classic pinball machines have evolved from a fun pastime for teenagers to a collectible relic of decades past. They have a nostalgic appeal that invokes a past era with characteristic art and design. There are many types of pinball machines in the market for collectors to find.

What kinds of pinball machines are available?

There is a great variety of pinball machines for collectors to consider. Some of them, particularly some older models, are hand-operated and small enough to fit on a tabletop. Companies built these machines for individuals or families to play at home. Manufacturers made each game model for sale with electronics, flashy displays, and sounds for arcades or other commercial settings.

The right pinball machine for you depends on how much space you have as well as your taste in pinball. For example, many of the upright machines are brands because they were tie-ins for movies, comic books, famous athletes, or other connections. This branding adds to the nostalgia value of the items. Regardless of which model you choose to buy, you will undertake repairs and cleaning to restore your machine to its original condition. Metal machines require a non-corrosive cleaner and often the advice of a dedicated restorer can be helpful. For wooden models, there might be repainting to do.

How do you decide which pinball machines to collect?

Although pinball machines peaked in popularity decades ago, they are still being manufactured today for promotional reasons, just as they always have been. That means the condition and age of each game machine on the market varies from 40 years to contemporary. Moreover, just because a machine is old does not mean that it the ball or levers are in poor shape. The storage of a unit and the care taken to preserve it can ensure that it needs little restoration work, especially once a machine finds its way into the hands of a collector.

It is possible to find and collect pinball machines from every era of production spanning a multitude of different fictional universes and themes. Some people want to dedicate their efforts to locating machines from one particular period or genre, while others prefer to see how one type, like the table, evolved over time or just replay that game of pinball game that they enjoyed when they were young. There are no rules to your collection aside from the ones you pick for yourself, so you are free to select any focus or even no focus in particular.

More to explore