(Topic ID: 51207)

A possible LE solution

By bigdaddy07

6 years ago

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  • 90 posts
  • 36 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by heckheck
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    #6 6 years ago
    Quoted from bigdaddy07:

    I may be wrong on this but, I have the feeling that most of us here don't really care if a pin is limited with a plaque and some number on it but, more importantly we want a fully featured pin and possibly the art and bling package of an LE in the case of a theme that we find personally appealing. The problem with LE is that only 400-500 people can get the fully package and thus causing price pressure and feuds within the pinball community.
    Now, what if...and keep an open mind please...what if, instead of having an LE that is limited to a small number, they have say a super addition that has all the features, bling, everything for those that want the whole enchilada pin? This would give the collector/player/enthusiast a choice without causing this dilemma of purchasing 6-12 months before the pin is announced, taking the animosity against the hoarders and flippers away and possibly restoring peace to the community once more. All the while Stern can sell as many as the demand fills of its highest margin titles and hopefully avoid future vilification over shorting its suppliers on high demand pins or getting stuck with excess stock of a title that didn’t turn out to be very popular.

    You'll always have a fraction of people that want to keep LE's limited. That is obvious from reading this board.

    The only happy medium might be a limited run as I've suggested in the past. LE open to all orders up through X date. Satisfy demand for LE's and people late to the party get to choose the Premium. Even that thought rubs many the wrong way.

    In the end, people looking for LE's have different motivations.

    Some (most maybe?) are capitalists and want the LE for flipping or future profit potential.

    Some are elitist and want the LE for bragging rights, as something not everyone else has.

    Some are theme centric and want the LE for the specific art/trim package along with the "full" play package.

    It's the latter group that has to swallow hard and try to scrounge for pre-orders taking risks with the speculators to try to tie down an LE on a theme that matters to them.

    The flip side of the coin is what does the LE model do to Stern's bottom line. Are they leaving money on the table? Would the market tolerate a few 100 more LE machines in circulation on certain popular titles. Personally I hope they make a few more than 500 STLE's to satisfy demand.


    #11 6 years ago
    Quoted from bigdaddy07:

    No. I mean a super addition. One that has all the extra's but not limited to a small run. That was the point of my post.

    It's the art/trim that's different for the LE not the gameplay. That said, to many, the art matters a lot, and having the best (usually) art package for a theme on a small number of games is the issue some people chafe at when told "just buy the premium".

    #15 6 years ago
    Quoted from MikeS:

    Let the lucky LE owners enjoy their games and meanwhile you can enjoy playing the same game at a lower price point. It's a win/win for everybody except the flippers and hoarders.

    It's not win/win for people who care particularly about a specific theme. Then art/trim can make a big difference to some beyond just playability.

    Over and over and over, I just don't understand why people can't understand this. When shelling out 7-8K for what amounts to a toy, aesthetics MATTER to some.

    It's understandable that Stern is capitalizing on this by making the LE's cost more. What's driving some people insane is that they are going beyond that and restricting supply of the desirable art/trim package to such an extent that flippers/hoarders are also in on making too much money. That puts money in flipper's pockets, but does little for Stern directly.

    Many say Stern benefits indirectly by the feeding frenzy it creates, ensuring that 'B playing' titles LE's sell well too. Whether that feeding frenzy translates into extra sales for Stern over the averaged long term is murky at best in my mind. I think it's simpler than that. Good playing titles will sell a lot of Premiums, bad ones will sell none. If a game is wildly popular in the pre-order stage, Stern leaves money on the table unnecessarily by overly restricting LE's. No reason not to produce a few hundred more if there is great demand and pocket the premium price people are willing to pay (flippers and hoarders be damned).


    #24 6 years ago
    Quoted from krupa:

    And you'll always have a fraction of people that don't seem to know what the letters LE stand for.

    It doesn't stand for 500 either. It could easily stand for 700, 1000, whatever Stern wants it to. It could also stand for no specific round number at all, and just refer to a run produced for a "limited" time. It would still be limited.

    You guys that want it to stand for 500, can scream and shout all day as you do in these threads. I say more power to Stern to make more LEs for STLE, they will I hope, and people will buy them. Stern owes the flipper/hoarder nothing, and can make some extra bucks if they so desire by making enough LE's to satisfy preorders, and as I said, flipper's be damned.

    All those sure that Stern won't increase the numbers, get real. If Stern thinks they can make more money with a different strategy, they will. There's no pact to make LE mean 500 or less. Forget it.

    #39 6 years ago
    Quoted from MikeS:

    It would be interesting to what would happen if the Premium version had the MOP artwork package and the LE had a different package such as "Ride the Lightning", which version would be most sought after. I think even if this were the case people would still be fighting it out over owning the LE version even if the MOP Premium was available at a lower price. I think it's less about aesthetics and more about trying to buy the most valuable stock and trying to be part of an exclusive LE club.

    I would love to see this experiment done. Let Stern post the three artwork packages and open a poll. The package that gets the most votes becomes the Premium. The one with the second most, the LE. Then at least we get more games produced with the artwork most people think accents the theme best.

    I'd love to see the mutiny among the LE owners who have their scarcity but have to settle for the 2'nd most popular art.

    It will never fly. The LE ALWAYS gets the best artwork package. That's not by accident. They are asking more money for a reason (beyond scarcity). Specifically it is supposed to be the ultimate machine embodying the theme, and that includes the best art.

    #69 6 years ago
    Quoted from pinmanguy:

    Personally i think the only issue with what happened with the metallica LE was that the system and market have changed and new practices need to be implemented by distributors.

    You mean like not hoarding and flipping? Not sure how that gets implemented unless they cut out ALL of the little guys and go to just a few distributors they know they can control.

    It sucks for the people that missed out but a LE is meant to be LIMITED.
    I can state right now that i myself will NEVER buy a limited edition as I don't get into that whole collectible side of it I just want to play and a premium will do that with the same features.

    So if you're never going to get one, you don't get the art argument, and you only want a premium, why do you care so much that the LE be so strictly limited?

    If something is limited by definition people should want it but not everyone should be able to get it. That's the whole point of making something limited and ensuring in 10 years time it's sought after still. Yeah it sucks when we're talking about pinball machines that may have better art work, but that's the point of it.

    This makes no sense to me. Why should the point of it be so that people can't get the pin they want, with the "best of concept" art package today from the seller who can meet the demand? Is there some law of nature or rule of hobbies that says a company like Stern serving a hobbyist market must turn out many more copies of the model with mediocre art work, because that is "just how it should be", and deny paying customers lined up at preorder time with cash in hand? This is imposed scarcity, not anything to do with actual cost to create the product (as in a high end luxury vehicle, or hand made piece of art). It's completely artificial.

    Over manipulating their market may undo more sales than it creates for Stern. Some people who miss out on an LE that they really thought they wanted say they will just "live with the premium". Some others will be royally pissed and never want to buy another NIB Stern again, instead finding it just as easy to buy something else (and there is lots of competition coming for those hobby dollars, not just JJP, but all the boutique manufacturers, plus all the old stock of pins out there).

    #75 6 years ago
    Quoted from Max_Badazz:

    Do a search on JJP WoZ number of LE's and see how that turned out.

    It turned out fine, they sold 1000, with plenty of time for people to jump on the train, people are still clamouring to get one, but at least they had a decent chance. They are selling more regular ones too. Didn't hurt their business.

    Even better...do a search on JJP and the number of Hobbit LE's and see how that was taken.

    Jack upped the number to 1500. Even more opportunity for people to get the game they want, on both sides of the Atlantic. From what I understand, these are pretty much about to sell out, so running 1500 LEs didn't hurt the business again.

    LE is limited, not sell a sh!tload to appease more people.

    Nothing wrong with doing this. It may piss you off, but Stern doesn't need to please you any more than they need to please me. If they up the LE run a couple hundred to feed a few more prebuyers on popular titles, that would be perfectly acceptable business practice. It's their decision, there's money on the table for them, I suggest they grab it! Better in their coffers than letting the flippers have it.

    #77 6 years ago
    Quoted from Max_Badazz:

    >>It turned out fine, they sold 1000
    I'm not talking about sales, I'm talking about the bitchfest that happened here on Pinside about how WoZ LE is a game that has 1000 copies floating around and blah blah blah complain complain. Now multiply the anger by 2 and you get more people angry with the 1500+ Hobbit "LE's" blah blah blah complain complain. There was a lot....and I mean A LOT of grumbling about this discussion, so I will not beat the dead horse again.

    Believe it or not, Pinside is like 10% of the pinball universe. The loudest, noisiest, ugliest 10% (give or take RGP, which is a ghost town), but still only a small part, with an ENORMOUSLY overinflated opinion of its collective importance.

    Lots of keyboard commandos. I could care less what righteous indignation bitchfest it starts here if Stern makes more LEs. Stern can make more money, more people can get the pins they want. I hope it happens and I'll be sure to tune in for the elitist moaning if it does.

    #79 6 years ago
    Quoted from Max_Badazz:

    Does Stern want to "potentially" make some extra money by watering down the LE's or stay as is and do what they are doing now which seems to be working or people would not start threads like this?

    We'll see what they do. I'm hoping one thing, you obviously the other. Hopefully mine makes more business sense to them. More $$ (not just potential dollars actual ones) usually makes more sense...

    #81 6 years ago

    Fair points.

    I don't want to run Stern, I just hope they considering what has/is happening in their market, and are further tweaking their formula. Marketing strategies evolve. Companies change them all the time to try to maximize profits. What they are doing is working. Doesn't mean they can't do something else that works even better (for them and the majority of their customers).

    What I do want is an LE (a Star Trek LE specifically) and I don't want to pay the equivalent of a scalper (flipper) to get one, I want to pay Stern. I'm willing to preorder, all I need is for there be enough supply to go around, we'll see.

    #90 6 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    I truly feel that STLE won't be the mess that METLE was.

    I hope not. Right now after the MOPLE aftermath rush, the distributors I've talked to won't take more preorders until they hear what Stern has to say. Understandable. We'll see how it unfolds over the next few months.

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