Market goes up has to come down

By Stew20

September 30, 2021

22 days ago

Hello people,

I'm new to Pinside but old to the world I've seen a lot of things in my 73 years and not surprised by many but I was surprised when my wife of 53 years told me to buy a pinball machine for my eight grandchildren. I have owned a couple pinball machines in my lifetime my first one I traded a slot car race set to my cousins for a 1950s Bally EM pinball in 1961. In 1993 I bought my second pinball machine a used Gottlieb force ll for $300.00 it was in great shape looked new and I put it in my man cave alongside Operation Wolf arcade game and we all enjoyed them including my new grandsons for nine years. We sold the house and the games and bought Xbox for the grandchildren to play when they came to visit.

That brings me back to Grandma telling me to buy a pinball machine for the grandkids for when they come to visit. When I found the Pinside web site I was shocked at the prices that were being paid for 10, 20, 30, and 40 year old machines and I told my wife they're not worth the price people are paying for them. Then I told her what the new pinball machines were selling for and that all of them were movie Themes with a bunch of plastic toys on the playing fields and people were buying them 7,8,9 thousand dollars and after production ended people that bought them for investments were reselling them for three or four thousand more. I've seen this happen before in many different markets This too will pass and people who are paying these high prices for pinball machines are going to be on the short side of the market and find out they just got burnt. One more thing why can’t you buy a new pinball machine without a movie theme and with what I would like in a pinball machine Bumpers, Drop Targets, Ball poppers and slings and you can keep your beanie baby toys. Thanks from a old man, Art

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15 days ago

Hello Art, great story. I agree what goes up may eventually come down, but there are some interesting factors driving prices at moment. None are permanent, but at the moment very powerful.
Baby boomer/GenX effect - buying power.
The covid effect - investing in home amenities.
Resurgence of arcade games across locations.

15 days ago

The up side to your beanie baby factor is that they might be attracting all the attention and $ away from the more simple games you'd be in the market for. The newer the game, the more complex the rule sets and more high-tech. Someone may correct me, but I'd roughly state that every decade the games seem to step into a slightly more advanced era. '70s being a lot of classic target chasing and simple rules of mostly mechanical machines. Ie scoring is based on how long you can keep hitting stuff. '80s getting more electronics and complex rule sets (hit 3 of these then hit that one over there then up the ramp for big points). '90s started to see bi-level fields and small digital screens adding to the attraction and often included mini arcade style games on them initiated by target sequences. You get the idea--not much different than cars and washing machines. Being relatively new to 'the sport' myself, I have come to realize there is probably a game out there for everyone. TONS of themes from airplanes, motorcycles, gambling, bar-brawls, poker, golf, theme parks, movies, TV, etc. Today, most owners are far more conscious of care and upkeep of their machines. Many are restored and well kept so the value is probably there. On that note, you can probably find a copy of that old Force II to fit your budget: 1) a nice clean well oiled machine, or 2) a not-so-nice copy that still plays well, or 3) one that's not working at all, and you can tinker on with the grandkids. Keep your eyes open. You're at the dance seeking the homely girl in the corner being ignored. She might turn out to be a fire-cracker a really good cook!

13 days ago

Hi Brobra , I think you exactly right about GenX they certainly have more money than us Baby Boomers had. It would cost me 10 cents one dime to play a 5 ball pinball machine in the late 50s. I used to round up pop bottles 2cent per bottle and return them to the store so I could play.
Covid has had a lot to do with people looking for entertainment while stuck in the house.
Take care and keep the ball in play.

13 days ago

Hogzillaman, It’s not about simple games as you call it over more complex and high tech it’s about dollar and cents. The new games the High tech movie theme, Rock & Roll machines with their plastic toys and royalty fees are costing collectors money and putting it in the pockets of movie producers and Rock stars while costing you the buyer's in the collectors market while driving up the prices on the 10, 20, 30, 40 year old machines Which I believe to be ridiculous. It’s not about my budget These older machines break down need repair and as the adds say shows some ware has scuffs and don’t forget the 30 and 40 year ware on parts. How your 20 year old computer is it running today or is it at the dump. These old machines are not worth the money! they will break down and cost you more and the new machines one year warranty speaks for itself.
Hogzillaman, It’s all about the money. I made mine the old fashion way I earned it, and it let me retire after 30 years of working at the age of 50. It is not about budget to me it’s about value for the money and I don’t believe the older machines are worth what the sellers are asking. I collect old cars and trucks from the 40s & 50s and 60s and what I have learn from that is people who restore one they over spend and when it comes time for them to sell they lose money or keep it.
Good Luck to you.

13 days ago

I do agree that the new high tech pinball machines have had effect on the older models but if you take into account the older machine that have been “shopped and refurbished” that some parts have been replaced and other are working at the time of inspection and the game shows ware Your still buying used 10, 20, 30, and 40 year old machine that most likely come out of a arcade, store, gas, station and had a lot of play before someone bought it for home use. Most new machine are bought for home use value is higher because of low play and condition on resale. Old machine’s that just what they are and everyone should know what happens with heat and electronic stuff over time. My opinion the older machines on Pinside are not worth the price even if you do your own repair work. Good story Art

8 days ago

I think the opposite - prices were too low for too long. Prices may come down a bit but don't kid yourself, they aren't coming back to where they were. Replacement costs of new machines and prices paid for these now will keep them higher permanently. I also see new generations of players coming in and kids in their 20's playing regularly. I never dreamed of owning machines as a kid, the next generation of players see it as likely when they have the money. Having $10,000 pins in your house is "normal".

8 days ago

There's also the general inflation factor. $1 today is not equal to $1 yesterday and if you look at the money supply the printers are working overtime right now. The price of EVERYTHING is going up and not going back down without some serious air let out of this bubble.

7 days ago

Continuous changes in technologies are inevitable. AR & VR augmented reality and virtual reality are the future of the whole entertainment industry. When VR Virtual reality comes it will dominate the gaming dollar. History has shown us that pinball manufactures have had there ups and downs. For decades, three companies — Bally, Gottlieb, and Williams made pinball games. But all three companies have either gone out of business or stopped producing pinball games. Gary Sterns still producing pinballs that his father Samuel started. Gary was quoted as saying in Parade magazine that “the economics of starting a pinball company today wouldn’t make sense.”
All I am saying right now you have some people making money by buying and selling they are driving the market holding the machines some still in boxes till the production run has been completed and then selling for thousands more than the manufactures price. Stopping some collectors from buying new and that drives up prices for the older machines which become over inflated and when the bubble burst a lot of people lose. 10 ,20, 30, and 40 year old electronic bringing 5, 6, 7, 8 thousand. PT Barnum said "You can fool most of the people most of the time" Good Luck

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