A dark night for Stern

(Topic ID: 200173)

A dark night for Stern


By jfh

1 year ago



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There are 1860 posts in this topic. You are on page 27 of 38.
#1301 1 year ago

I hear what you're saying pinsanity - you make some good points.

One of his points he is making (for those of you who don't get it) is that the current market has been/is sustained by the fact that we collectors can get almost all our investments back when we sell. A market like this can withstand (and this is why we have seen) rapid price increases. In other words, if you buy a pin for $10,000 say and can sell it for $9,000 6mo later say then all that is lost is $1000 (& some potential investment gains say). If the initial price was $5000 and 6mo later you sell for $4000, it's about the same loss. If you have to sell your $10,000 pin for $5,000 then this is a whole other story and this can have a tremendous impact on whether or not people buy NIB.

#1302 1 year ago
Quoted from spinal:

If you have to sell your $10,000 pin for $5,000 then this is a whole other story and this can have a tremendous impact on whether or not people buy NIB.

That would be the bottom falling out, and that would be a whole new set of problems, likely far bigger than pinball.

#1303 1 year ago

Pinball machines are just stuff like anything else and are not immune to the fundamentals of economics. Yes, more people are coming in the hobby but supply is rapidly increasing as well to meet that demand. Don't kid yourself that we will always have a market like this.

Changes in this market, when they come, may have nothing to do with larger economy.

#1304 1 year ago
Quoted from spinal:

Don't kid yourself that we will always have a market like this.

Agreed. Buy now while its cheap. Prices have steadily climbed for 30+ years.

#1305 1 year ago

Rubber duck I'm not the one complaining

#1306 1 year ago

Hi pinsiders !! Happy Halloween !!

#1307 1 year ago
Quoted from dejavu-pin:

Hi pinsiders !! Happy Halloween !!

Wtf?

#1308 1 year ago
Quoted from dejavu-pin:

Hi pinsiders !! Happy Halloween !!

Caught it just in time!

#1310 1 year ago

With today's GOTG reveal, anyone have thoughts on why Stern didn't show the game at Expo?

1) Game not ready.
2) Code still alpha.
3) Bad PR to announce anything before a Batman code drop
4) unfavorable comparison between $9k GOTC LE and $9.5K POTC LE
5) something else?

#1311 1 year ago
Quoted from jfh:

With today's GOTG reveal, anyone have thoughts on why Stern didn't show the game at Expo?
1) Game not ready.
2) Code still alpha.
3) Bad PR to announce anything before a Batman code drop
4) unfavorable comparison between $9k GOTC LE and $9.5K POTC LE
5) something else?

All 5 + they didnt want their product competing with JJP's product....

#1312 1 year ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

...they didnt want their product competing with JJP's product....

not even close to JJP POTC

#1313 1 year ago
Quoted from beatmaster:

not even close to JJP POTC

and the GOTG LE is $9K....

#1314 1 year ago
Quoted from jfh:

With today's GOTG reveal, anyone have thoughts on why Stern didn't show the game at Expo?
1) Game not ready.
2) Code still alpha.
3) Bad PR to announce anything before a Batman code drop
4) unfavorable comparison between $9k GOTC LE and $9.5K POTC LE
5) something else?

Notice the lack of showing the LCD so far? A high chance it's due to code...

Or maybe they were just late and it pushed back approvals....

25
#1315 1 year ago

IMO the only Stern to consider is a Pro.

Once you reach Stern’s Premium or LE pricing you should just go JJP.

Example:

Stern Star Wars LE

Vs

JJP Pirates

I mean. Cmon. FFS. Don’t be a fool.

#1316 1 year ago

Maybe not such a dark night for stern with the release of gotg. Great theme and if plays as good as it looks they're on a winner

#1317 1 year ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

All 5 + they didnt want their product competing with JJP's product....

...at the end of the day it is competing. Once they're all for sale simultaneously, they're competing. Not showing at Expo doesn't change that.

#1318 1 year ago
Quoted from jfh:

With today's GOTG reveal, anyone have thoughts on why Stern didn't show the game at Expo?
1) Game not ready.
2) Code still alpha.
3) Bad PR to announce anything before a Batman code drop
4) unfavorable comparison between $9k GOTC LE and $9.5K POTC LE
5) something else?

All of the above. This way they have more control and so don't have to answer any questions like "did -hewhosenamecannolongerbespoken- work on it and if so, what were his contributions?" or "what version is the code?".

It might be that in the future, given their decreasing focus on collector market (did you watch Stern Expo talk?), that we might see less and less focus or even skipping of releases entirely at shows. It has its advantages for them given the direction they are taking the company and issues they are dealing with.

#1319 1 year ago
Quoted from jfh:

With today's GOTG reveal, anyone have thoughts on why Stern didn't show the game at Expo?
1) Game not ready.
2) Code still alpha.
3) Bad PR to announce anything before a Batman code drop
4) unfavorable comparison between $9k GOTC LE and $9.5K POTC LE
5) something else?

Likely 1-3, combined with:

Games announced on factory production schedule, not shows. BM66 broke that rule.

-10
#1320 1 year ago
Quoted from PW79:

IMO the only Stern to consider is a Pro.
Once you reach Stern’s Premium or LE pricing you should just go JJP.
Example:
Stern Star Wars LE
Vs
JJP Pirates
I mean. Cmon. FFS. Don’t be a fool.

Looking at those two games, and knowing how much fun SW is, I'd gladly be a fool and buy it again.

Worth. Every. Penny.

12
#1321 1 year ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

Looking at those two games, and knowing how much fun SW is, I'd gladly be a fool and buy it again.
Worth. Every. Penny.

I'm glad you like it beelz.

I wanted to like it too.

Played it Saturday. I will say the game shot nicely, looks better in person & the clips/sound are cool.

But that's about it. Well, to me at least. IMO the SW product just does not match the price.

I just dont like expensive, empty, incomplete games.

Maybe code can save it. Let's hope so. It is Star Wars. I'd love to love it.

But for me & my wallet the value @ Stern's Premium/LE pricing just aint there. So if I'm spending that kind of money it wont be on a nearly toyless PF with beta code that takes 3-5 years to mature. If ever. A game where Stern said "why try, its Star Wars, a box of lights would sell" (paraphrasing a rumor).

GOTG is on my wish list. If it gets legit code I will 100% buy a pro. Day one if code is there.

Based on historical data however I've got some time

#1322 1 year ago
Quoted from jfh:

With today's GOTG reveal, anyone have thoughts on why Stern didn't show the game at Expo?
1) Game not ready.
2) Code still alpha.
3) Bad PR to announce anything before a Batman code drop
4) unfavorable comparison between $9k GOTC LE and $9.5K POTC LE
5) something else?

Just a guess, but it was likely a combination of 1-3. Likely not just a coincidence that BM66 code dropped and the next week we get the reveal.

I think the unfavorable comparison to JJP is way over stated. To get everything toy wise on a JJP game you have to pay $9500, you can get everything on a stern premium for $2300 less then that. I think there is no question that a JJP game has more to offer then a stern LE but with the stern LE people are paying just to have something that is lower production. They know it's not worth it but they want it anyway and the money doesn't matter to them. I also do not feel the stern and JJP are competing as much as people think. Stern can offer pros even with the price increase cheaper then everyone else. I like all pinball and I think JJP has made nothing but solid good games but I honestly have not found any of them to be as fun as any of my sterns to date. WOZ is awesome looking and has lots to do but I found it a chore to play and didn't like the layout. TH looks great and has some fun stuff but after a few plays I literally was done with it. It's a multi ball barrage and just wasn't fun for me. DI shoots great and is loaded with cool stuff but once again it doesn't grab me. The call outs and lack of intensity of the game just let it a little flat for me. POTC looks cool and has some new stuff but it's priced higher then I will pay for a toy so it's not even an option in my mind. I'm also not sold on 102 modes being a good thing but time will tell. I'll play it at friends houses and keep adding to my retirement account instead. JJP is doing a lot of things right. But they have not made a game yet that I felt I needed to keep and I have 3 sterns bolted to my floor. More toys and more modes do not always equal more fun, I would have thought everyone would have learned that by now from AFM. I can have just as much fun on my cheap 1980 B/W games as any new stern or JJP game.

20
#1323 1 year ago
Quoted from PW79:

IMO the only Stern to consider is a Pro.
Once you reach Stern’s Premium or LE pricing you should just go JJP.
Example:
Stern Star Wars LE
Vs
JJP Pirates
I mean. Cmon. FFS. Don’t be a fool.

Anyone I have ever talked to who is not a pinhead and hears how much I spend on any pinball machine thinks I am spending stupidly. I agree the LE is very overpriced, but $8500 USD for any pinball machine is just crazy stupid no matter who the manufacturer is. We are all a bunch of fools.

#1324 1 year ago
Quoted from spinal:

It might be that in the future, given their decreasing focus on collector market ... that we might see less and less focus or even skipping of releases entirely at shows. It has its advantages for them given the direction they are taking the company and issues they are dealing with.

Why do you think Stern is decreasing focus on the collector market? Unless you mean not paying attention to issues collectors care about, it seems like Stern is very interested the additional margins that Premiums and especially LEs bring.

#1325 1 year ago
Quoted from jgentry:

I think the unfavorable comparison to JJP is way over stated. To get everything toy wise on a JJP game you have to pay $9500, you can get everything on a stern premium for $2300 less then that. I think there is no question that a JJP game has more to offer then a stern LE but with the stern LE people are paying just to have something that is lower production. They know it's not worth it but they want it anyway and the money doesn't matter to them.

You really think Stern LE buyers are paying a 50% over a Pro just to get something produced in lower numbers and that money doesn't matter? That's ridiculous. As production numbers go, no LE from Stern (or JJP for that matter) can be considered limited (except maybe Batman 66 LE/SLE). If production > 300, that's not limited.

And if money doesn't matter to LE buyers why is there so much complaining about price?

#1326 1 year ago
Quoted from jfh:

You really think Stern LE buyers are paying a 50% over a Pro just to get something produced in lower numbers and that money doesn't matter? That's ridiculous. As production numbers go, no LE from Stern (or JJP for that matter) can be considered limited (except maybe Batman 66 LE/SLE). If production > 300, that's not limited.
And if money doesn't matter to LE buyers why is there so much complaining about price?

You got a better reason why they are paying that much for an LE when a premium is the same game? I'd love to hear it because all that I see are people that are not worried about the money and just want it anyway. If you haven't noticed people on this forum complain about everything.

#1327 1 year ago
Quoted from jfh:

With today's GOTG reveal, anyone have thoughts on why Stern didn't show the game at Expo?
1) Game not ready.
2) Code still alpha.
3) Bad PR to announce anything before a Batman code drop
4) unfavorable comparison between $9k GOTC LE and $9.5K POTC LE
5) something else?

I think they would have done a reveal at Expo only if they were 100% certain it would have been the star of the show. With JJP's reveal looming and the very real possibility they may be outdone, it just didn't make sense for them to do it. They made a good decision IMO. The inevitable comparisons between POTC and GOTG would not have been in their favour. I choose #4.

#1328 1 year ago
Quoted from pipes:

I think they would have done a reveal at Expo only if they were 100% certain it would have been the star of the show. With JJP's reveal looming and the very real possibility they may be outdone, it just didn't make sense for them to do it. They made a good decision IMO. The inevitable comparisons between POTC and GOTG would not have been in their favour. I choose #4.

And what's that say about Stern's faith in their own product, especially versus competitors' products?

#1329 1 year ago
Quoted from jgentry:

You got a better reason why they are paying that much for an LE when a premium is the same game? I'd love to hear it because all that I see are people that are not worried about the money and just want it anyway.

Does stupidity count?

I've purchased 2 LEs - Star Trek and Batman 66. Both were grail themes for me. Both primarily on asthetics. The backglass and lighted side rails (and the blue) were a big draw. In each case, I assigned some value to the signed playfield. I probably would not have purchased ST if I couldn't get an LE because I just hated the look of the other two options. BM66LE - the art package and topper were the difference with the episode/gadget editions with a truly limited number being of some interest. In both cases I struggled with the price difference. But I though both titles had classic themes that would hold up over time and were games I were very likely to keep long term, so having the "eye candy wow" factor was justifiable.

I can't see buying an LE based on a title no one will remember in a few years, especially now that there is no longer anything of substance that separates a Stern Premium from an LE.

#1330 1 year ago
Quoted from jfh:

Does stupidity count?
I've purchased 2 LEs - Star Trek and Batman 66. Both were grail themes for me. Both primarily on asthetics. The backglass and lighted side rails (and the blue) were a big draw. In each case, I assigned some value to the signed playfield. I probably would not have purchased ST if I couldn't get an LE because I just hated the look of the other two options. BM66LE - the art package and topper were the difference with the episode/gadget editions with a truly limited number being of some interest. In both cases I struggled with the price difference. But I though both titles had classic themes that would hold up over time and were games I were very likely to keep long term, so having the "eye candy wow" factor was justifiable.
I can't see buying an LE based on a title no one will remember in a few years, especially now that there is no longer anything of substance that separates a Stern Premium from an LE.

That's what sterns LE model is counting on. They want a must have theme that people will make up enough reasons in their heads to buy it and somehow justify the difference. There's nothing wrong with buying them, it's your hard earned money so spend it however you want. STLE and BM66LE are 2 of the best looking ones in my opinion. Stern is counting on those things mattering to enough folks. For those that could care less the premium gives you the same play with a good savings and for those looking for better value the pro's hold up the best for resale and often do not play that different and in some cases play better.

What's going to be really interesting is if they roll out another price increase for Elvira 3. Now that they have seen what JJP added to quickly snatch up 200 SE sales of $12500 are they going to try to pull the same thing. Some barnacles and a topper do not cost 3K. I see stern trying the same crap real soon so it will be interesting to see how many people can resist Elvira 3 if that happens. JJP just proved the price ceiling has not been reached yet.

#1331 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

...at the end of the day it is competing. Once they're all for sale simultaneously, they're competing. Not showing at Expo doesn't change that.

Obviously thats the case, but not having to deal with real time backlash face to face with your customers plays a factor....

#1332 1 year ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

Obviously thats the case, but not having to deal with real time backlash face to face with your customers plays a factor....

You are not serious are you? Pinsiders talk the biggest game online, in person they are timid and barely do anything other then shake Gomez's hand, tell Steve he's their favorite, ask Borg how he keeps making such great games, or ask Gary what his favorite craft beer is right now. I've been to a bunch of shows and I've never seen anyone go after anyone from stern other then Jody and he for the most part brought that on himself. Even then it was mostly people slinking back to their room to talk about it online with absolutely no personal interaction.

#1333 1 year ago
Quoted from jgentry:

You are not serious are you? Pinsiders talk the biggest game online, in person they are timid and barely do anything other then shake Gomez's hand, tell Steve he's their favorite, ask Borg how he keeps making such great games, or ask Gary what his favorite craft beer is right now. I've been to a bunch of shows and I've never seen anyone go after anyone from stern other then Jody and he for the most part brought that on himself. Even then it was mostly people slinking back to their room to talk about it online with absolutely no personal interaction.

so your saying many pinsiders are pussy's?

#1334 1 year ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

so your saying many pinsiders are pussy's?

I'm saying that if GOTG was at expo there absolutely would not be backlash in sterns face. There would be a line the whole show of people waiting to play it. Some would race back to their room to bash it on pinside because they say shit online they would never say to some ones face. Pinball isn't exactly a tough guys hobby no matter how some people try to present themselves online.

#1335 1 year ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

so your saying many pinsiders are pussy's?

You weren't around for the SkitB debacle. A lot of people here were talking some very serious shit, to the point of threatening physical violence and the mods had to come in multiple time and cool people down.

Fast forward months down the road, Kevin (lead guy of SkitB) was seen at an arcade auction buying games. This was THE moment to stand up to him after basically embezzling our community, claiming bankruptcy, and then being seen buying games.

What happened? Someone took his picture - with his back to the photographer - walking away.

We sure showed him.

#1336 1 year ago
Quoted from jgentry:

I'm saying that if GOTG was at expo there absolutely would not be backlash in sterns face. There would be a line the whole show of people waiting to play it. Some would race back to their room to bash it on pinside because they say shit online they would never say to some ones face. Pinball isn't exactly a tough guys hobby no matter how some people try to present themselves online.

I hear ya....

#1337 1 year ago
Quoted from jfh:

Does stupidity count?
I've purchased 2 LEs - Star Trek and Batman 66. Both were grail themes for me. Both primarily on asthetics. The backglass and lighted side rails (and the blue) were a big draw. In each case, I assigned some value to the signed playfield. I probably would not have purchased ST if I couldn't get an LE because I just hated the look of the other two options. BM66LE - the art package and topper were the difference with the episode/gadget editions with a truly limited number being of some interest. In both cases I struggled with the price difference. But I though both titles had classic themes that would hold up over time and were games I were very likely to keep long term, so having the "eye candy wow" factor was justifiable.
I can't see buying an LE based on a title no one will remember in a few years, especially now that there is no longer anything of substance that separates a Stern Premium from an LE.

I wasn’t at Expo, but from what I read about their weak presentation, it kind of seemed to me like Stern expected some drama about their designer who was arrested. Maybe they didn’t want to risk tainting their newest game if audience questions went in that direction. They sure didn’t seem worried about the BM66 code debacle though and seemed oblivious to that escalating backlash at the time.

#1338 1 year ago

They really can't compete with JJP or CGC in regards to quality, value or what you get for paying up for the LE....they are banking on theme, which I will admit is important...

#1339 1 year ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

They really can't compete with JJP or CGC in regards to quality, value or what you get for paying up for the LE....they are banking on theme, which I will admit is important...

Really? You think a Stern Pro is more than 40% worse than a JJP base model? It’d have to be to cover the cost spread. Whatever your take is, the “value” model in Pinball is and will likely remain the Stern Pro.

#1340 1 year ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

They really can't compete with JJP or CGC in regards to quality, value or what you get for paying up for the LE....they are banking on theme, which I will admit is important...

There's the other end of the spectrum though. While JJP or CGC LE/SE models appear to have more value and quality neither of those companies can currently compete with sterns pro model price point. If people are being honest, you can't get $4300 more fun out of a POTC LE then you can most any of the stern pro models. People think it looks awesome and they want it so they pay the price. It's not likely that they will play it more then the guy that bought a stern pro plays their game. You can also pretty much assume that the much higher priced game with take a bigger resale hit. To me that still makes a stern pro the best value and it's not even close.

#1341 1 year ago
Quoted from jgentry:

If you haven't noticed people on this forum complain about everything.

They also stop buying games due to their complaints.

Plus its the internet

#1342 1 year ago
Quoted from jgentry:

There's the other end of the spectrum though. While JJP or CGC LE/SE models appear to have more value and quality neither of those companies can currently compete with sterns pro model price point. If people are being honest, you can't get $4300 more fun out of a POTC LE then you can most any of the stern pro models. People think it looks awesome and they want it so they pay the price. It's not likely that they will play it more then the guy that bought a stern pro plays their game. You can also pretty much assume that the much higher priced game with take a bigger resale hit. To me that still makes a stern pro the best value and it's not even close.

I wasn't referencing the Pro models....I was only discussing the Premium/LE models....clearly the Pro model is Sterns sweet spot.

#1343 1 year ago
Quoted from jgentry:

You are not serious are you? Pinsiders talk the biggest game online, in person they are timid and barely do anything other then shake Gomez's hand, tell Steve he's their favorite, ask Borg how he keeps making such great games, or ask Gary what his favorite craft beer is right now. I've been to a bunch of shows and I've never seen anyone go after anyone from stern other then Jody and he for the most part brought that on himself. Even then it was mostly people slinking back to their room to talk about it online with absolutely no personal interaction.

Not what I have seen at CES. I've never been to a pinball show so maybe that's how things go there, but not CES.

#1344 1 year ago

gotg wil be a great game for stern and oparators!
and bring new kids into the hobby

#1345 1 year ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

I wasn't referencing the Pro models....I was only discussing the Premium/LE models....clearly the Pro model is Sterns sweet spot.

Got you. So you’re saying only that JJPOTC is just more than $1600 (18%) better than a Stern Premium. Definitely a closer case. And the LE is of course no challenge (unless you’re comparing to JJP’s bonkers LE pricing of course).

-1
#1346 1 year ago
Quoted from tacshose:

Not what I have seen at CES. I've never been to a pinball show so maybe that's how things go there, but not CES.

That's a electronics and tech show were 90+% of the people walking around have never seen a modern pinball machine. So who exactly at that is walking up to stern and giving them the business about price increases, code completion, and QC issues?

Quoted from PW79:

They also stop buying games due to their complaints.
Plus its the internet

Some might, but even you have GOTG on your wishlist. Peoples hard lines in the sand haven't stood up very well when something shiny and new gets released. While the hobby continues to grow stern isn't going to notice a few people dropping out. If the hobby quits growing or start decreasing they will feel it though. In a lot of ways I think stern is listening, but big companies turn slowly.

#1347 1 year ago
Quoted from jgentry:

That's a electronics and tech show were 90+% of the people walking around have never seen a modern pinball machine. So who exactly at that is walking up to stern and giving them the business about price increases, code completion, and QC issues?

Some might, but even you have GOTG on your wishlist. Peoples hard lines in the sand haven't stood up very well when something shiny and new gets released. While the hobby continues to grow stern isn't going to notice a few people dropping out. If the hobby quits growing or start decreasing they will feel it though. In a lot of ways I think stern is listening, but big companies turn slowly.

My wishlist is a list of games I wish Stern finishes.

My family wants this game & we bought my wife a new car so I'm due like 6 NIB according to my calculations (since I'm not buying myself a car too haha). So space/money is not the reason for it being catagorized as wishlisted vs owned.

Agreed with your other points too. Especially the pinball tough guy act. Hell I'm such a dork my auto correct recommended “doughnut" when I started typing tough guy lol.

#1348 1 year ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Got you. So you’re saying only that JJPOTC is just more than $1600 (18%) better than a Stern Premium. Definitely a closer case. And the LE is of course no challenge (unless you’re comparing to JJP’s bonkers LE pricing of course).

I suspect your referring to the CE model and not the JJP LE models? The CE model is ridiculous....one nice thing that JJP does is all three versions of the game play exactly the same, which is not the case for Stern...the standard version of the DI is $8K shipped, the premium version of the recent Stern games (SW, GOTG) is $7900 (MSRP) so essentially not much of a price difference. So with JJP you can always buy the standard version, and get the same exact same game play as the CE...there is no doubt that the PRO Stern models provide a level of value relatively speaking....

#1349 1 year ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

.one nice thing that JJP does is all three versions of the game play exactly the same, which is not the case for Stern

This keeps coming up as some sort of positive point, but the only way it is accomplished is with JJP simply not offering a cheaper version at all, and on the flip side has added the Collectors Edition as a permanent top tier.

#1350 1 year ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

I suspect your referring to the CE model and not the JJP LE models? The CE model is ridiculous....one nice thing that JJP does is all three versions of the game play exactly the same, which is not the case for Stern...the standard version of the DI is $8K shipped, the premium version of the recent Stern games (SW, GOTG) is $7900 (MSRP) so essentially not much of a price difference. So with JJP you can always buy the standard version, and get the same exact same game play as the CE...there is no doubt that the PRO Stern models provide a level of value relatively speaking....

I was looking at JJPOTC Standard, $8500 + ~$300 shipped right? I didn't realize there was that much of a price hike from DI. Is JJP now offering free shipping on DI? Or are they doing free shipping across the board now? If so that's effectively a $300-$400 price cut, which is nice for JJP buyers.

If I got JJP list + shipping prices wrong I'm open to correction. But it's not realistic to compare JJP prices (which as I understand it are relatively fixed) to Stern MSRP (which as everyone knows is significantly higher than what distributors actually charge). I believe SW Premium was $7200 shipped, and word on the street is GOTG is maintaining SW pricing.

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Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 7,599.00
Pinball Machine
Operation Pinball
$ 22.50
$ 9,500.00
Pinball Machine
Classic Game Rooms
$ 39.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
The MOD Couple
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