To get an idea what pinball games cost today, I can provide a little background based on my research. Feel free to do your own research, but here are a few benchmark prices to use as a basis for comparison:
1. There is one major manufacturer of new pinball machines today- Stern Pinball in Chicago. You will see prices ranging from about $5,000 to about $10,000 per machine depending on the model and the popularity of the theme. The typical price is around $8,000. These machines all use the latest computer technology, have some amazing features, and frankly are very cool. They sell thousands of these every year.
2. A former pinball designer started a business called “Jersey Jack’s Pinball” in 2011, and they make even more amazing machines with even more amazing features. They make a prototype machine and then limit production to a 1,000 or so units. These are currently selling for between $12,000 and $15,000 each.
3. You can find used pinball machines on Craigslist- there is a very wide range of prices based on the condition of the units and the popularity/resale value of the specific model. This is where I get most of my “project” or donor machines. You sometimes can find older working units for as low as $500 or so, but any machine in decent condition will typically cost between $1,000 and $4,000. Some of the most popular machines of all time (and typical prices) include:
- Medieval Madness- $12,000 to $17,000
- Addams Family- $6,000 to $8,000
- Twilight Zone- $6,000 to $8,000
- Typical Pinball price (newer technology) – $3,000 to $5,000
So, consider yourself an “educated consumer” when it comes to the range of pinball prices. As I start up my business, I need to be consistent with these price ranges, counting on my potential clients to recognize that the comparisons are not apples to apples. I can’t match the wiz-bang technology of the newer computerized machines, nor am I mass producing thousands of machines that are exactly the same. My mission, in fact, is to keep to the technology from the EM era, update the design features with unique custom artwork and perhaps a few nods to the newer computerized/digitized gadgetry. That is why my work is unique. That is why my work is “worth it”.