As people look for some “unconventional” forms of at-home entertainment, Fox Business reports, pinball machine sales have surged this year.
They say that some people have additional pocket money to spare in 2020 due to the reduction in more typical expenses like travel or dining out, so pinball machine sales among first-time buyers have greatly increased.
“It’s a challenge to entertain everybody when your options of going out have been removed,” said Stern Pinball’s Dave Peterson. “People quarantined at home are looking to entertain their families, and pinball is a terrific way to do that. Now our real challenge as a company is to scale our manufacturing up in order to work off those backlogs and meet that demand.”
Added Jersey Jack Pinball’s game designer Eric Meunier: “People are spending a lot more time at home, and a lot of people are putting up their own home arcades.”
Salt Lake City’s Fox13 followed up locally on the “pinball surge,” and reported that Kelly Thomson of Utah Pinball Repair has had an increase in calls from people wanting to get their vintage pinball machines working again.
“Definitely since the pandemic, with people being at home, if they have machines sitting in their basement, they’ve noticed it and it’s inspired them to call me to come and fix their machines,” he said. “I would say I’ve definitely doubled the number of calls I get.”
Quarters Arcade Bar is also doing quite well – reopened for about four months. “We’re going to be starting up pinball league night on Mondays again, so hopefully we’ll be able to start rebuilding our community,” said owner Michael Eccleston. He noted that he doesn’t see some of his old regulars anymore, but new ones have taken their place.