How long an arcade held onto their pins came down to local demographics. If an arcade had enough pin fans to offset to time expenditure needed to keep the machines going, that arcade would hang onto their pins for longer.cait001 wrote:thanks for the reply!
Now I want to hear from pinhead in regards to the pinball angle.
Pins were some of the most time intensive machines in the arcade for even basic upkeep, so they really had to pay their way if they were to be kept.
Giving a 90s era pin a proper, thorough cleaning could take up to 30 minutes or more depending on how much disassembly was required to access the table itself before you could do the washing, waxing and polishing of the table. Add to that the time involved in inspecting the rubber for degradation and testing all the microswitches for the bumpers and what not and you had a recipe for a money loser.
The amount of time needed depended on the game too; "Star Trek Next Generation" was a breeze to clean and relatively popular as long as the show was still on TV. However, "Last Action Hero" was a beast to clean and about as much a flop as an arcade game as it had been as a film in cinemas.
I knew that if I had to call a technician to fix a pin, I probably wouldn't see them for a few days as pins were low priority and fixing one for even the most modest of malfunctions would take the better part of an hour of the tech's time when disassembly and reassembly was factored in.
Through the late 90s, New Way Sales was selling off a lot of their pins and older video games. In that period, when a pin was pulled from an arcade it was a fair bet that it was being pulled from company inventory as well.
It made sense as very few arcades, at least in AB and SK regions that our techs covered, had demographics that supported pins. The Kingsway and HUB Mall locations kept pins on hand well after the last ones had been pulled from Mill Woods Town Centre and Southgate Mall. However, Kingsway and HUB had very different demographics and saw a much lower volume of high school kids and more post-secondary students and other 20 and 30 somethings coming in.
In that period, pins were much better off in the hands of collectors and enthusiasts who had the time, resources and passion to keep them going properly.