Pinball machines have made a comeback in recent years with the increasing popularity of retro games. Although they’re always exciting to own, they’re a pain to move and store. As relatively specialized devices, pinball machines can be pricey, and handling them improperly will lead to unwanted effects. 

Systems may malfunction, some design features may sustain damage, and dust may accumulate within the equipment’s parts if you don’t exercise caution in handling them. Even so, pinball machines can be incredibly fun and rewarding to own. If you have a love for retro gaming, it can be the best thing you ever purchase for your home. 

To keep your pinball in good condition for years to come, it’s crucial to know the right ways to move and store it. Here are some steps you can take to ensure its safety:

Step 1: Remove and Store the Balls

The balls in your pinball machine can cause damage to the other parts during the process of moving, so it’s best to remove them first. They are usually located in a specific storage container that you can access by using a screwdriver. It’s advisable to ensure that there aren’t any more balls stuck within the interior of your machine, so check it thoroughly before continuing with the next steps.

Secure the balls in a separate container that you can label to keep them organized and make them easier to locate. A plastic box can do the job just fine. You may use tape or a lock to ensure that no balls go missing.

Step 2: Fold or Remove the Backbox

Pinball machines usually have an ornate vertical box called a “backbox” or “head.” In newer models, they display the scores and other electronic elements. You can either fold or remove these heads to reduce the machine’s bulk and ensure its safety. Newer models often have pins that enable you to do so, while older machines usually require the use of screwdrivers or wrenches. Afterward, you can put it aside as you disassemble the machine further.

Step 3: Disassemble the Legs

Removing the legs of your pinball machine makes it less bulky and easier to move. To ensure your equipment’s safety, you may have to call some friends to help you out. As the machine stands, you’ll have to disassemble the legs one by one. After removing or folding them, your companions will have to lower your machine to the ground safely. It may also help if you store the bolts or screws in a safe location.

Step 4: Protect and Move the Machine to a Safe Storage Area

You and your companions will have to wrap up each disassembled part of the machine separately to prevent scratches and other damages. You may opt to use blankets, bubble wrap, or other types of safety coverings before you place them in a box. Keep the balls, screws, bolts, heads, and legs close to reduce the chance of misplacing some parts. You’ll have to seal the containers to secure your machine.

It’s best to measure all the routes to the storage area before transporting your pinball machine. Make sure that all hallways and doorways can accommodate your container. Transport it bottom side down to avoid damage, but you can also carefully put it on one side if necessary. It’s advisable to put bumpers or other shock absorbers to protect your equipment. Keep it in a secure space and avoid storing heavy items on top. To ensure your machine’s longevity and safety, it’s best to store it in a climate-controlled facility away from direct sunlight.

Store Your Items in a Climate-Controlled Facility

Protecting your pinball machine requires moving and storing it the right way. With these four simple tips in mind, you can ensure that your machine remains in top condition for as long as possible. It’s a timeless classic, after all, and you’ll get to enjoy it for the years to come. 

If you’re looking for climate-controlled storage units near Birmingham, AL, Jefferson Storage is the place to go. We’ll ensure that your items—including your prized pinball machine—remain safe and secure in our facility, keeping them protected against the elements. Contact us for rates today!