Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pinball Ownership: YEAR ONE

Well, it has been exactly ONE YEAR since I bought my Medieval Madness pinball machine.  As some of you might know, I enjoy being somewhat organized, and so I am here to say that I have kept meticulous records of all of my pinball spending over the last year!  Let's see how it all breaks down...

First off, let me just say that I am going to ignore the large sum of money I initially spent to buy the pinball machine.  I knew I was never going to pay that off, and I was happy to pay it, to bring this machine into my life.  In looking through all my receipts I was more interested in knowing if the machine was bringing in enough money to sustain all the tools and parts I had to buy, to fix up the machine.

The Center for Cartoon Studies graciously lets me keep my machine in their media room, which is adjacent to the senior studio space.  CCS students have 24-hour access to this space, and they have been playing A LOT of pinball over the last year!  Jon and I both donate half of the money made by the machines back to the school (in the form of the April Fog Memorial Scholarship) but even so, the machine brought in $692.50

The biggest expense was PARTS.  My Medieval Madness machine was in AMAZING shape, but it still needed a little work, like all pins do!  In the last year I have put in LEDs for all of the computer-controlled lights, rerubbered the playfield, put in all new coil sleeves, replaced both troll stand-up targets, replaced the castle gate, as well as a million other little repairs as the game broke and needed parts to be repaired or replaced.  Total cost for one year of parts:  $534.26

The other main expense was TOOLS.  I pretty much had to start from scratch here.  Pinball maintenance requires some very specific tools (soldering gear, digital multimeter, etc.) as well as some very basic stuff that I did not have, like a ratchet set.  Hopefully I'll only have to buy this stuff once (unless more of my mail is stolen!) so I see this as a solid investment in the future of the machine's wellbeing:  $244.52
Okay, kids, it's MATH TIME!
- $534.26
- $244.52
  - $86.28
Well, I don't know about you, but I think $86 is a very reasonable price to pay for one year of a fun new hobby.  I learned a lot about fixing up pinball machines and about electronics and circuit boards and all kinds of other things.  Plus I got to play a lot of pinball and share it with a bunch of other people.  Again, I'm not counting the initial cost of the machine here (or other side stuff like pinball DVDs) but even with that stuff added in, it's been a total blast operating this machine, and I look forward to another year keeping it in the best shape I can!


  1. Fantastic blog. I'm new to pinball- but I'm hooked. As soon as I have somewhere to put one I want to get my own machine-


  2. Thanks! As you can see, we're pretty much new to pinball too. We have a lot of great resources listed on the right-hand sidebar. Check them out and dive in! The pinball community is a great one. :)