National Pinball Museum Closes and Sells Games

Early shoppers examine the games for sale at the National Pinball Museum. National Pinball Museum founder David Silverman discusses games with purchasers. A new owner carts Gottlieb's Pro Football out of the National Pinball Museum. Gottlieb's Big Hurt is a tight fit in this small car.

Early shoppers buying and loading games kept the Museum busy all morning. Click photo to enlarge.

The National Pinball Museum in Baltimore closed on March 3, 2013 after failing to agree on new lease terms with its building owner. The Museum sold about 20 games on March 30 to offset moving and storage costs.

Asking Prices

The Museum announced the sale just one week in advance. A few days later, they posted the following game prices and conditions. (Some games were purchased by phone after the initial announcement, so no prices were listed.)

Game Manufacturer Price Condition
Avatar Stern $4,000 Working. Very nice. Holes in coin from card reader.
Black Hole Gottlieb $1,600 Working. Very nice. Needs motor for black glass.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind Gottlieb $750 Working. Nice cosmetics.
Old Coney Island Game Plan $400 Almost working. Slight battery damage on MPU. Overall good condition.
Fiesta Playmatic $400 Working. Nice cosmetics.
Frank Thomas' Big Hurt Gottlieb $1,700 Working. Very nice.
Jumping Jack Gottlieb   Working. Clear coated playfield, new plastics and drop targets.
Mars God of War Gottlieb $1,100 Working. Very nice. No sound (sound components needs to be rebuilt).
Monte Carlo Bally $500 Working. Nice condition.
Pro Pool Gottlieb $900 Working. Very nice restoration.
Pro-Football Gottlieb $600 Working. Some PF ware and back glass flaking.
Royal Flush Gottlieb   Working. Nice condition.
Secret Service Data East   Working. Good condition. Weak upper flipper.
Sing Along Gottlieb $900 Working.
Slick Chick Gottlieb   Non-working. Above average playfield. Needs back box door. Back glass missing some ink.
Spirit of 76 Gottlieb $900 Working. Good condition.
Street Fighter II Gottlieb $900 Working. Good condition.
Subway Gottlieb $1,500 Working. Average to good condition.
Take Five Allied Leisure $300 Non-working. Nice cosmetics.
The Getaway: High Speed II Williams $1,750 Working. Nice playfield. Avg. cabinet, DMD missing 6 vertical lines.
Theatre of Magic Bally $5,500 Working. Very nice.
Thoro Bred Gottlieb $600 Working. Good condition.
Time Machine Data East   Working. Nice condition. Wrong pop bumper bodies and caps installed.
Time Machine Zaccaria $1,500 Working. Very nice.

Sale Day

Minivans, pickup trucks, and SUVs filled the loading zone in front of the Museum by 10 AM, when the sale started. Early shoppers began inspecting and playing the games they wanted. Couples and families deliberated together on their purchase decisions. Museum founder David Silverman had a story to tell about every game.

As games were sold, museum volunteers Mike Long and I disassembled them and secured them for transport. A WICO game lift and an appliance hand truck eased the burden of carrying the games to the street. Completing his role as the Museum's lead pinball technician, Long provided technical information to buyers about the games they purchased.

When the doors closed after 5 PM, only four games remained: Thoro-Bred, Take Five, Theatre of Magic, and Mars: God of War. Those games may return when the Museum finds a new home.

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