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By Greg Peck
Missouri Pinball

MoPinball Home Page

    You found a pinball machine listed in the classified adds but you have never heard of it before. You need to find out all you can about it so you can be an informed shopper.

The following information and links will help you do just that. Open up Notepad or a word processor to paste your findings, you can edit the info when you're done and print it out so that you can take it with you. It's also a good idea to create a directory as a place to store pictures.

The links will open in a new window so that this page will stay up.

    Specifications for the machine in question

You need to find out when it was manufactured, how many where made, who made it, main features and maybe who designed it and who did the art work.

To do that you need to search the Internet Pinball Database

Click on the link above, type in the name of the machine and hit the search button. Wipe over the information you need and paste it into Notepad. If you see a picture that you like, right click on it and save it to you hard drive.

Machine specific pages

The best source on the net is Pinball Links - Games. You can find pictures, opinions, tech tips, flyers, rules, sounds, just about anything from people that have owned one.

Flyers, Rulesheets and Instruction cards

Flyers can be found at
The Arcade Flyer Archive
Flyers are the original promotional material sent out by the company when the machine was new. They point out what the company thought were the pins best features.

PAPA Pinball Rulesheets are here.
Rulesheets are written by players of the pinball machines. They discribe the pin features (playfield), how to score points and what the goals are. They give you an idea of how challenging the game is.

Ken's Instruction/Free Play Cards
Instruction Cards found on the machines are the early version of rulesheets. When the games were simpler to play, they gave you all the information you needed to play the game.

Credits Cards That I designed are on my home page

To find out what it's worth (or at least a price range)

Mr. Pinball - Auction Results,
Auctions are the low end wholesale prices (most auctions have a 10% fee tacked onto the bid amount.

Mr. Pinball - Classified Adds
The Classified Adds are your best source for real prices as long as you have several adds to compare.

Ebay listings - pinball
Ebay is the HIGH end, people know they can find just about any pinball machine on Ebay ( may not be aware of other sources ) and pay for the convenience. Unless you really know what you're doing, I would never recommend buying a machine that you have not seen in person. (the newsgroup)
It can take a lot of time but the best source for player opinions is a search of Google Groups - You will find a lot of false leads because of people signing with all the pins in their collection. Forge your way through all of that and you can find information you would never find anywhere else.


Find Other Pinball Owners Near You
You can contact owners from Mr. Pinball - Collectors Register


Other possible sources

Pictures can be found at Mr. Pinball - Photo Gallery .

Locate machine reviews in Game Review Index.

Pinball Manufacturer
The "new" Stern pinball company

Gottlieb EM Machine Info
Here is some info for Gottlieb 1947-1967.