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A row of pinball machines in an arcade

Pinball Machine Buying Guide

Pinball machines carry the flashing fun of the arcade to the comfort of your home. This guide will walk you through the differences between pinball machines and how to know which one should come home with you.
Beginners Pinball Machine Buying Guide Video
Beginners Pinball Machine Buying Guide
Beginners Pinball Machine Buying Guide Video Beginners Pinball Machine Buying Guide Video
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Why Buy A Pinball Machine?

Ready to up the ante in your game room? Investing in a pinball machine is a great way to bring more energy and fun to your rec space. It's all thanks to the lights, the sounds, the way everything moves, and the competition. If you've never seen a pinball machine before, get ready. These arcade machines are sensory experiences complete with loud sounds, flashing lights, characters from movies and shows and so much more. The goal is always to reach the high score by pushing the paddles on either side of the machine. That means the user only has control of two buttons—should be easy, right? Not really. It all adds up to an experience everyone loves, both players and watchers alike. Simple in concept and amazing in person, these games are fun for all. That being said, there are a few factors to consider when buying a pinball machine—make sure you pick out one that you'll love playing for years to come.

Make Sure You Have Enough Space

Just like foosball or other arcade machines, pinball machines take up a decent amount of space in the game room. They're not known to be compact, so it's important that you make sure you have enough space before you commit to buying one. While they're certainly not all the same and always vary by brand, dimensions often measure 75 inches high by 29 inches wide by 55 inches deep. When doing your research, keep the size of your available space in mind as well. And don't forget that you have to account for the player when considering your dimensions. There has to be space for the player to stand in front of the pinball machine, and you'll need room for their hands to control the paddles on either side of its body.
There's more to think about than just height and width: these machines are always heavy. Pinball machines are often over 200 to 300 pounds, making them difficult to move. Keep that in mind if you're thinking about moving it from one room to another someday soon, too.
Adult and child playing pinball

Which Pinball Machine Is Right For You?

Pinball machines, like many other game room items, have that luxury price point. You'll want a new machine from a dependable, good-quality brand: those prices can start in the $5,000 range and only go up depending on a number of factors and features. That's why you'll definitely want to take your time deciding which features are most important to you, especially if you're working within a budget. As a general rule, there will be several versions of the same game, and all at different price points—don't assume that the first one you see is the only one they make. Instead, look through the different versions to make sure you're not overpaying for one that has features you don't need. You might want to keep an eye out for a special edition that only runs for a limited time, too.

What Can Drive Costs Up?

Now that you've found the model that's best for you and your game room (whether it matches the ambiance or is a special edition you've been dying for) you can consider some factors that might drive up the cost of your pinball machine. Things like art blades, shooter knobs, tops made of glass, special lights and more can all be added. The result is a custom game coordinated to perform to your preferences, and that looks just the way you want. However, keep in mind that all of these added extras will up the overall cost.
Another cost factor? Maintenance. Because of the way pinball machines function, their warranties don't cover parts for very long, typically nine months or less. That means that you have to factor in maintenance in order to keep your pinball machine working correctly. Plus, you'll need to replace parts on the regular due to normal wear and tear. That's something you should keep in mind when planning out your purchase budget.
Now that you know what to expect before you buy, it's time to consider where you'll make your purchase. Consider quality: it's important to use a company that has a history of both selling and shipping pinball machines (like Abt). Don't forget that these machines are heavy and can be hard to move, so buying from an expert in the field means you'll have a smooth purchase and delivery process, along with local installation if you're eligible. Doing this minimizes your potential for damage.

Other Fun For Your Game Room

Pinball machines aren't the only arcade-level picks for your game room. There's tons of fun to be had, whether you're creating a basement bar or a space for the kids to have fun. From dartboards to video game arcade machines to pool tables, Abt has everything for your rec room. But with our pinball machine buying guide, you've got a great start to having competitive fun, upping your high score and more. If you have any questions or are looking for personalized assistance in finding the right pinball machine for your space, contact our experts at Abt in person, via chat or call us at 800-860-3577. We're ready to help you achieve the next level of fun.