If you’ve reached this page, chances are you’re looking to buy a new pinball machine because you don’t know where to start. I’ll try and run down the options for you to make it easier. The number one way to save money on pinball is to call. Not email, not Facebook message, call. If you’re looking to buy a new pinball machine, there are a bunch of good options. For new machines, there are currently four different manufacturers shipping machines. They are Stern pinball, Jersey Jack pinball, Chicago Gaming, and Spooky pinball.
Buying a New Pinball Machine (Stern)
Stern is the biggest manufacturer followed by Jersey Jack, then Chicago Gaming, and Spooky pulling up the rear. If you’re looking to buy a new Stern, you’ll see that most games have three options, a pro, premium, or an LE. The pro is the basic model, the LE is the highest end model with all the bling and some playfield changes, and the premium is basically the same as the LE with slightly less cosmetic stuff.
I personally like the pro models more than the other two most of the time, about the only game where I like the premium more is AC/DC pinball from a few years ago. If you look on Stern’s website, you’ll see that they have prices listed there as suggest retail prices. Look at those prices like you would sticker prices on cars, basically you can do a lot better than those prices. However, to get those prices, you can’t do it on the internet, you must call due to Stern pricing rules (they don’t allow lower prices in writing via website or email).
So who do you call? I would suggest this vendor in pinball sales:
When you call them up, tell them that you were referred to them by gameroominfo for special pricing, they’ll know what to do. I have bought 2 new in the box games from Stern in the past, Iron Man and AC/DC Premium. The current games they have for sale are:
Buying a New Pinball Machine (Jersey Jack)
With Jersey Jack you only have high end models similar to Stern’s premium and LE. Most new games come in three models, standard, LE (Limited Edition), and CE (Collector’s Edition). Unlike Stern though, the LE’s for Jersey Jack really aren’t that limited and they make multiple LE’s of most games. The CE is lot more similar to Stern’s LE in that they’re very limited, only a lot more expensive at over $12,000 apiece.
The games themselves are generally on a much higher technological level than all the other manufacturers. Feature a big LCD screen in the backbox, LED lighting, custom molded toys, etc, they’re clearly packed with more materials than everyone else. So while they’re very expensive, you’re also getting your money’s worth (although it’s a lot of money). For buying one of these, I would also suggest contacting Pinball Pro. Jersey Jack currently has these games for sale:
Buying a New Pinball Machine (Chicago Gaming)
Chicago Gaming is a new player in the market feature remakes of the best pinball machines from the past. They’ve only made two machines so far, Medieval Madness and Attack From Mars. Medieval Madness is only available in one trim model now, the standard model, while Attack From Mars is available in a base model, the SE, and the LE. The three models have various upgrades including big color screens and toppers.
Unlike the other vendors, existing used machines exist for the games they’re remaking. However, those used machines are as expensive as the new ones, so it doesn’t really make any sense to buy an old one at this point.
Once again, I would suggest contacting Pinball Pro. Chicago Gaming has these games for sale currently:
Buying a New Pinball Machine (Spooky Pinball)
Spooky Pinball has been around for a few years. Their first game was America’s Most Haunted that was limited to 150 machines. In fact, I was in on the first round of those games, owning #38 or #39 (can’t remember which one). It was a really fun game but it was a little unreliable due to the hobby servo’s they used on that game.
Fast forward to now, they’re now producing a bunch of new games and the quality issues have been largely addressed. You can currently order The Jetson’s pinball, Domino’s pinball, and now Total Nuclear Annihilation (TNA). Total Nuclear Annihilation has been a huge hit so far, a throwback game that offers a unique challenge different from all other modern games.
Spooky Games aren’t as expensive as some of the other manufacturers, ringing in at a little over $6000. The best place to order them is from them directly, although you might try Pinball Star Amusements to see if they’ll add in anything additional if you order from them. Pinball Star can be reached below:
Currently Spooky has these games available for order.
- Total Nuclear Annihilation
- The Jetson’s
Hopefully the rundown above will help you buy a pinball machine. I know for a new person to the hobby that it can be a confusing process and a lot of time local dealers will take advantage of new buyers (similar to car dealers). I’m hoping the information above will help you save money and frustration, pinball sales is kind of an old fashioned business unfortunately due to the distributor network most of them follow.