Gifts for the Pinball Fanatic
Posted 08 December 2015
If you have a pinball fanatic on your shopping list and are struggling to find that perfect gift, fear not. Our gift guide is designed to help the non-pinballer pick out a fantastic gift. This top ten list includes moderately priced items that can be utilized as stocking stuffers or as a bigger gift for the main event.
The trick in gift selection is knowing what the recipient already has vs. what they need. Therefore, our list includes items that are classic staples for every pinhead or items you can easily identify as missing from your pinheads collection through simple visual observation.
Play field cleaning products $
Pinball lovers always are in need of basic maintenance supplies. A staple for every collector is Novus cleaners and polishing cloths. Pinballs pick up and spread dirt across the playfield that makes the game lose its shine. The Novus suite of products help clean and remove scratches on the playfield and plastics. Available in 2oz and 8oz sizes, these products are perfect stocking stuffers.
New balls $
There is nothing like the shine of a brand new silverball speeding through your favorite game. Over time, pinballs become scratched and dull. Help your pinball fanatic shine up their game with a set of new Pinballs from Marco Specialties or Pinball Life. Even new-in-box game owners replace the stock balls with higher quality versions. Most games take 3-6 balls so be sure to pick up enough! You can even have a little fun with pinballs by throwing in one or two colored or glow in the dark pinballs. Glo-Balls are available as singles or in sets of four.
LED kit- replacement bulbs $$$
If your favorite collector has an older game, chances are they have been dreaming of upgrading their game with LED bulbs. LED kits are sold for the most popular games which makes this an easy gift to pick up! Imagine the excitement when your pinball fanatic opens their LED kit! Available from CoinTaker and Nifty LED. You will no doubt know if your pinhead has done an LED replacement project because you've found old bulbs rolling around your floor or heard expletives shouted from the game room during the project. If you still are not sure, take a look at the bulbs visible on the playfield (see photo or Google LED pinball bulbs for additional samples). LED kits are listed by game and range between $150->$200.
Undercab kit $$
Gamers that love to turn off the lights and pump up the game room volume will love adding an under cabinet lighting kit to their game. There are a variety of kits available from simple to complex. Single color kits light up while the game is on and range in price from $25-$50, while more sophisticated kits from Pinball Decals that pulse, fade, change colors or activate with music are certain to be popular. Most high-end kits are fully customized, interactive and illuminate in sync with activities happening in the game. High-end versions sell for about $120.
Speaker lights $$
A simple and effective accessory that many enjoy is the speaker lighting kit.
These kits add a touch of LED color to the speakers in the game backbox. Available in a variety of colors to match almost any title from The Walking Dead to Avatar. We recommend checking out moderately priced speaker light kits at Pinball Life. Kits typically come with a remote that allows for a variety of functions including color change, pulsing, fading and more.
Must have mod for their game $-$$$
A new internet tool makes it easy to conduct pinball specific searches to find the perfect accessory (aka mod) for your pinhead's favorite game. Search the site using the name of the pinball table plus the word's 'best mod' or 'accessory'. For example, search 'best Tron pinball mods' or 'best Metallica pinball mods'. The search will return both internet discussions about the best pinball mods for that game as well as retailers where you can pick up these goodies.
Pinball Santa $$$
This Santa is a fun holiday-themed pinball gift that the whole family will enjoy. The 8.25" Pinball Machine Figurine LED Lights W/Santa Plays 8 Christmas Tunes by Roman has LEDs that flash to the rhythm of holiday tunes as Santa plays the silverball. Eight different holiday tunes and an on and off switch when you've had enough holiday cheer! Don't forget to pick up the AAA batteries!
Pinball Magazine $$
Created more like a book, Pinball Magazine is an annual publication that is the perfect gift. This years edition features a complete review and discussion of Kiss Pinball. Interviews and great photos can be found in this high-quality magazine. Current and back issues are also available via the Pinball Magazine website.
Lamps and Clocks $$-$$$
New this year to the pinball scene is Pinball Gifts featuring licensed Williams pinball accessories that are sure to delight your pinball fanatic. The products feature artwork from classic titles such as Fish Tales, Cirqus Voltaire, and Attack from Mars creatively
integrated into lamp shades, coaster sets and clocks. These accessories are a perfect addition to the game room. The artwork on these great gifts is second to none.
Tee Shirts $$
Tee shirts are most certainly popular among followers of the silver ball. The best part about tee shirt buying in 2015 is the great variety available online. You can create custom designs at Cafe Press or search 'pinball' on their site to find existing designs. Other great designs include - the Metallica lover's favorite, Dirty Donny; for the Pinside lover, a logo or (R)Evolution tee; or these new arcade tees from The Two Fools.
Of course, a safe bet for any silver ball champ is a gift certificate. While not as personal, a gift certificate ensures that your recipient will get exactly what they need. Contact individual pinball retailers for information on gift certificates.