Which early SS should be our 1st pin?

My partner Mira and I are looking to pull the trigger on purchasing a pinball machine, and have a list of finalists we’re considering. Our budget is $1000. While we both love playing EM machines, we’re leaning toward an early SS. Here are a list of pins we’re considering; which would you buy as a 1st pin and why?

  • Flash, 1979
  • Stingray, 1977
  • Firepower, 1980

We would also consider purchasing Surf Champ instead of these. Thanks in advance for any advice you’re willing to share!


Firepower has MB, speech, better sound, and deeper rules. I’ve had a Flash and a Stringray, both have incredibly simple rules and so-so layouts, couldn’t wait to be rid of them. Stringray is basically just a luck-fest off the holes with no shots from the left flipper worth going for. Flash you’re just hitting drops repeatedly until you light spinner. I’d take Surf Champ (still have mine two years later) over either of them any day. Firepower will probably be more fun in the long run, but it’s harder to find them in good condition than Surf Champs, they were all played to death in the arcades.


I concur with all these observations, and it will likely come down to whether you’d rather have an EM or SS game. One thing I will say is to make sure your first game is fully operational from the get go. I’ve seen too many people buy project games for their first pin and its a terrible idea.


Firepower! You’ll find plenty of folks interested in a sell or trade when you do get bored of it.

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Thanks for the advice, everyone! We are going to focus on Firepower if it’s in good working order and can get it at a decent price. Otherwise we’d be happy to own Surf Champ!

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I would also consider opening up the list to include more game titles. Maybe some members here can offer suggestions. There were a lot of really fun to play games from the late 70s!

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Firepower out of those, but there are tons of awesome games in the same price range. Don’t forget about the early sterns!!

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I Know most people will vote for firepower but I personally like flash more because of the layout and artwork.


Whatever, FIREPOWER!