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.