(Topic ID: 33200)

A question for the creators of Predator and BHZA

By QuickSilverShelb

6 years ago

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  • 125 posts
  • 41 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by spfxted
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#12 6 years ago

If Predator were to be available to anyone that wanted one, I would cancel my order now. Part of the fun of being the 'guinea pigs' of a new company is taking the risk and being rewarded with a rare machine. I have limited funds and limited space, and want the cool rare machine. Sure, it may suck, but with only 250 people having one it is so limited that it is still cool. (But it wont be bad. I have faith.)

#22 6 years ago

I have tried to reply a few times also, but kept editing myself so much I just gave up. Oh well, back to screwing over all of pinball because I want a cool rare pin in my tiny personal collection, that I dont intent to ever sell (so value doesnt really matter) but can guarantee it will get the heck played out of it. (insert evil laugh here.)

#35 6 years ago

Blondetall's top 10 reasons for buying a Predator pinball:

10. I like pinball, pinball is cool.

9. I like Predator, Predator is cool.

8. I like the idea of a smaller company who is actually catering to the wants/needs of the players. (Also, they are putting up with our pony silliness, and that's cool too.)

7. Achievements! Husband is a gamer, and this (to my knowledge) is the first pinball with PS3/XBox-esque achievements. That way he can keep track of how badly I'm kicking his butt or vice versa.

6. I am one of 250 people taking the initial risk in a brand new company. I'm not new to pinball but am new to actually owning them, and to me it is an adventure. I will proudly point to my machine and say "I got one of the first."

5. Being one of the first 250, I am taking a risk. If the machine never gets made, sucks, etc, then I've wasted my money and/or time spent waiting on this machine when I could have been buying other titles and playing them in the meantime. For now, there's no real option of buying another machine because I'm saving up for Predator.

4. Even if I wanted to buy other machines, I'm in a pinball desert. I could take that same $5000 and go to the local pin shop and get (I'm not kidding here) a Williams High Speed 2 ($4195 plus tax) or 5/8ths of a POTC ($7995 plus tax.) There is only one Pinsider close to me, and my parents have already bought most of his collection when he sold anything. I work 2 jobs and can't drop everything to chase CL ads when the local retailers are already circling them, and anything I get I have to ship in. I've already been laughed at for paying what I did for my first pin, JP, but at the time eBay and shipping were my only option. I'd like to not be screwed for once, and a $5000 NIB rare machine sounds pretty darn good to me.

3. Yes, I want a rare machine. I haven't been buying machines forever to have a collection where I have equity built up so that I can sell one to fund others, or swap machines. I personally have 2, and I paid a premium for them because I got them in the last year. I will never have the collection that others have, but at least I can have a rare one that they don't have.

2. Yes, if they were to make as many Predators as they could sell, I would drop my pre-order right now. You know why? Because then I could buy something else, play it for awhile, wait to see how Predator ranked or was received, and get one eventually/later. Not because I wouldn't want the machine, but there's absolutely no incentive to get one now if I can always pick one up later. I'd love a WOZ too, but since JJP is dead set on it being the greatest pin ever and making a literal ton of them, I can wait. If WOZ was limited to 250 and Predator was being mass produced, I'm be standing in the other line right now. Doesn't mean that I don't want both. But I have something called a degree in business that says there's this thing called supply and demand, and I'd like to be on the right side of it.

1. I am female. I am at times irrational, selfish, and an enigma. I don't shop for girly things, I don't do pedi/manicures, and I don't collect purses or shoes. I hate paying high prices, yet I like nice things. I analyse everything that I buy to make sure it is the best deal. I drive my BMW roadster to the local grocery store then use coupons on groceries to maximize my savings. I work 2 jobs. When I truly want something, I get it. Also, my maiden name is Jones, and I really do like it when people try to "keep up" and then whine when they can't.

#40 6 years ago

JPop- I totally would be in your line too if I could afford it, but then I'd have to get a 3rd job.

#48 6 years ago

Dang it, sammiesguys, I totally forgot to put that on my list. Yes, I'm pretty sure "leave it in the box and never play it" was in some agreement we all made when we got on the list. Also, if I ever do open it, I'm going to go one step further and deny that homeless guy the box too. Because I'm selfish like that.

#51 6 years ago

Jonny, I warned you to back off the ponies. They have taken you to a dark dark place.

Plungemaster- I would be in agreement with you if you were referring to the people who purposely buy up a lot of limited/rare machines and then stack them in their garage waiting to cash out on those that didnt get one because they were hoarded. But I am just buying one, and I am going to play it and not hoard it for resell.

#62 6 years ago

That reminds me of my favorite closing credits song sung by a homicidal operating system.

[Aperture Science: We do what we must because we can
for the good of all of us except for the ones who are dead.
But there's no sense crying over every mistake,
you just keep on trying 'till you run out of cake,
and the science gets done, and you make a neat (pinball)
for the people who are still alive.]

Someone make me a Portal pin, stat. I will buy and hoard them all.

#71 6 years ago

OK, this is absolutely not smartass (for once) and I'm being sincere. Honestly, how big of a pinball community is there that is willing to pump thousands of dollars into the pin market each year for all these tables if they were all readily available? I know that it is making a comeback due to people my age finally being able to afford them, more virtual tables available on more platforms, retro resurgance, etc. However, there have been NO public places around me to play for the last 15 years save the new arcade that literally opened this past Friday, and they only have 4 pins and already a few bad reviews. NO routes, NO bars, NO restaurants, NO collectors opening up their houses to the public... nothing. Luckily I found one (that's ONE) Pinsider close to me and was able to get some pins from him, otherwise my only option at all is the retail shop that was mentioned earlier that wants over $4000 for a HS2. I have no public place to play, no cheap options, and no hope of resuragnce in this area.

The only way that I can play is to buy them and put them in my house. I'm sure lots of us will open their doors to fellow collectors and let them play, but I'm not spending $5K+ on a machine to put it on the corner to let someone's kid abuse it for the few quarters it may produce in "profit" for me. At $1/play, that's 5,000 games that would have to be played on it to 'break even,' not counting maintenance and obvious wear/tear to the machine in the meantime.

I am pretty sure that the majority of people who are buying the "limited" machines are also putting them into their house and not putting them out on route for others to play. So then, honestly, how many people are out there to pump thousands of dollars a year into buying all the available machines to support hundreds upon hundreds of each to be made? Right now you've got 1 major company (Stern) pumping out 2-3 machines a year, plus JJP, plus SkitB, P3, Heighway, Spooky, etc all in the works to produce more. Let's be realistic and say that there are 7 new machines produced in total by all per year. If you've got 7 machines being produced for "everyone that wanted one" at a conservative cost of $5,000 per machine, that means that your average collector needs $35,000/yr plus the space to put them. That doesn't include money/space for any of the used games, or take into consideration the used market for these brand new games since not everyone keeps their games forever and there will be a big secondary market if tons of games are produced. I don't have the space or $35,000/year to begin to be able to keep up with that. I have to be selective with the little extra money that I have to put into this hobby, and I believe that I'm not the only one in this situation.

When TAF and TZ were made, pinball was a public thing, with public places to play, and a huge market that produced income. Now there are very few actual operators, and if I take their word for it on Pinside alone, they are in it more for the joy/nostalgia/fun instead of pure profit. Between maintenance and high costs of new machines there isn't a ton of profit to be made. Yes, it would be great if all the machines were available to everyone to play. Yes, I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT if there was some place near me with new/used/operating machines that I could go pump quarters into instead of saving up money for 1 pin that I can afford. I honestly have never played 98% of the pinball machines out there, and the ones that I do play reside in my house and my mom's house because we have pumped thousands of dollars into them to be able to do so.

Times have changed, and until arcades are once again a viable money-making public entity that creates a demand for hundreds of multiple machines to be made every year, there simply isn't a market for them. Botique companies are appealing to the smaller masses because the pinball community itself is a small sub-set of the general public. The general public has no interest in pumping thousands of dollars into one game that requires constant maintenance and/or breaks and has to be returned or maintained (see The Pin) when they can get a PS3/XBox/Wii/Vita and play games on it, or simply download Pinball Arcade on their iPhone and pay less than $5 per table. I've told a few friends how much money I've spend just on JP sitting in my house and/or how much my mom has spent on the 4 machines she's bought in the last 9 months, and they think we are insane. Pinball collectors as a general group ARE insane, but that's what makes the hobby interesting and fun.

EDIT- closing thought
Just because we all want to be able to play the newest and coolest machines and have the chance to own one for our very own does not mean that there is a viable market that would support this.

Supply and demand. Period.

(mic drop)

#75 6 years ago

(Chattanooga is really pretty. We have a river, and mountains, and the fastest internet in the nation. And somehow we're supposed to be mentioned in Iron Man 3. Y'all move on down here so I can play your games.)
Oh neat. I just realized I can see my office in this pic.


#77 6 years ago

You're mistaken. I drive a Vibe. (seriously, he he)

#80 6 years ago

Ted, are you bringing me a pinball machine to work? Awesome. To find me, just go across the bridge on the right, up the hill to the $200M campus that looks like our logo, and make any pinball noise. I'm one of 6000 cube jockeys here. I'll find you.

I love my Vibe. I use it daily. (To get to work and back, you dirty-minded boys.) Unless I'm driving the roadster, which is paid for by job #2... and now we're back to vibe talk again.

Wait a minute, I think we got off track here... back to your reguarly scheduled pinball discussion.


#86 6 years ago

I'd have a problem with SkitB getting done with their 250 run then re-running another 500 Predators MOSTLY because that would delay their #2 pin, which they already have the ideas and code for. The reason they are starting with Predator being a run of only 250 is so that they (literally Some Kids In The Basement, a few dudes in their garage putting these together without millions in presale money, company buildings, factory workers, investors, etc) can prove what they can do and use any money that is profit towards building the company and brand. That way, when pin #2 comes out and people see what they did with Predator, there is a greater demand, they can make more than 250, and they can actually make a profit. There WILL be more than 250 made of pin #2, I can basically guarantee you that. But as a small start-up company they have to keep their first venture managable and small enough so that they can actually deliver it. Not only physically deliver it, but deliver a kick-ass pin despite everyone saying that a few guys in a garage can't do it, and do it so well that their machine is desired and wanted as much as or more than all the other available pins for sale, both used/resell and NIB.

Also, it isn't $4,000. Right now they are looking at $4,750, but even that isn't set in stone because they are working on making the best machine with the best products they can, and could very well go up. (Which means even more people would drop off the list.) In every update we get they are explaining exactly what products they are choosing and why. It could change. Let's also bring in the fact that when they stated that they had "sold out" and the intial 250 machines were claimed, there was a waiting list of at least 40 people at one point. Once they asked for a $250 deposit (which they literally took a vote on to ensure that we were ok doing so, and told us exactly what it was for- to get products that they could buy cheaper than rent in the long run since they would need them for production) then a lot of people dropped off. March 15th was the deposit deadline, and in the last few days many people have come back on the main thread with "Yay! I got on the list!" We haven't even gotten to the "half down due when your number comes up" part, which will see even more people dropping off if/when they cant come up with the money, or because they are not impressed with the reviews of the first machines delivered to customers.

I hope it is absolutely a kick-butt machine, simply because that is what they are going to have to deliver to get these 250 produced, paid for, and out the door. I really really hope that they get these 250 sold and people want more, because that means that there is hope for their company and that they are doing something right, and can move on with their second pin. I see absolutely no reason that running another set of them would benefit them in any way, because those of us who are on the Predator list have already asked if we can get our same machine # reserved for the second pin, meaning they've got sales waiting when they move to pin #2. You know what they said when we begged for first shot? That they would be glad to do it if we wanted it and asked for it, but that seemed like pushy marketing to them and they didn't want to push that on us. They are trying to put their machines where their mouth is and actually prove what they can do, and let the machines do the talking.

As my husband said to me earlier... A lot of times small niche companies will do a limited run on their first product they produce. The limited run is to help insure the product will sell out. Keeping the product on a limited run and not re-running it rewards the people who took the risk and bought that first product. If the product is crap then there is still the rarity factor. If it is great, not re-running the product can be seen as a "thank you for believing in us". Leaving it as a limited run in SkitB's case is critical to the success of the company.

#87 6 years ago

Oh, I forgot about the "running more at $8K" thing. Them selling more machines at a higher price would benefit me in absolutely no way whatsoever. As I've stated, I have no intentions of reselling my machine, hence the "I don't care about the value." If I was out to make money on it, and the price point went up to $8K, then I'd have a perceived value of $8K instantly and that would be seen as a benefit... if I were planning to sell it. Which I am not. I'm going to play the heck out of it and decorate my lounge around it.

But as you've stated, you can't afford the $4K+ version and aren't even a player in this, so why would you want a pin that you desire to immediately go up that much more in price as well? These "many others" that you want to enjoy the pin as well, where are they? Do they have $8K to spend on one if/when more are made? And if so, why didn't they get one of the original 250 since from what I can tell over 30-40 people on the wait list just advanced to the main list of having one. Do you/they just want someone else to buy them and put them on location somewhere so that you can maybe put a few quarters in it and play a few games now and then? That seems kinda selfish too... to make a company bear all the risks of making more machines and pissing off their initial buyers who helped get them started, and then wanting someone else to buy them/maintain them, just so that you can play them because you can't afford one on your own now.

And honestly, I do know how you feel on that point of wanting to play machines that you don't have access to. I'd love to be able to play a MM, or a TOM, or a NGG. But you know what? There's nobody around me with one, I can't afford one, and therefore I don't have one. I play my virtual version if there's one available and I play the machines that I do have. I don't sit around wishing that someone would rerun all the old machines that I can't have at a price point that I couldn't afford to pay anyway. I get jealous of the people that can afford the huge collections and get whatever they want. Like you said, it's an entertainment machine and very much a luxury, and I know that I feel lucky to be able to even own the 2 that I personally have.

#89 6 years ago

Ted, I'm still at work, and I still don't see you anywhere nearby with that pinball you were supposed to bring me. Probably because you're too busy waiting around for me to type a ton of stuff, then say 'ditto.'

#97 6 years ago

Apparently I don't get your point. I am discussing, and I'm giving you plenty of facts. I haven't even gotten hateful or called you names, except for selfish, which you called everyone that is on the BHZA and Predator lists. Heck, I even told you that I agree with you on a point.

Please tell me the assumptions that are wrong. Because I don't see any. From where I'm standing your point is that everyone that wants one should be able to have one. You've been stating this over and over, despite now saying that you can't afford one anyway and that if they re-ran them at a price point double what the initial investors paid that somehow us original buyers should be ok with that because our machine value would go up. Yet you also say that one of the big problems with pinball machines today is the high prices. So yes, you are correct, I'm totally confused at what you are saying. I can handle discussing just fine. Hell, I've written way too many words for half the people on here to even read (TLDR) because I had the evidence to back them up. I've got degrees in business and marketing along with multiple certifications on both areas and 10 years of business experience working retail, corporate, and running my own sales business. Oh, and I'm female, so I can argue anything. So please, tell me again how wrong I am. In detail this time.

#99 6 years ago

Wait... I just realized that maybe I'm being punked by Kevin/SkitB. Maybe, just maybe, they are testing to see how loyal their customers are. Did I pass the test Kevin? Do I get my Predator now? Because I seem to be drinking AND serving the SkitB Kool-Aid today in high quantities.

(Don't forget my pony.)

#102 6 years ago

Ted! Since you aren't delivering me a pinball today, I need you to make a public service announcement about the sad plight of pinball, complete with Sarah McLachlan music and sad puppies that make people cry. Maybe, just maybe, if we can get thousands of people to pledge hundreds of dollars a month to me, I can save all the pinball machines. I'll open a wonderful facility to the public and let them play every machine for free. I'll even bake cookies.

"For just a small donation of only $5,000 a month, you will receive a picture of the pinball machine that you sponsor. Your name will be included on the Free Play card, and you will receive email updates on the current high scores, as well as the used rubber rings after we give them a relaxing day in our pinball spa. Please, help us save the pinball machines from terrible lives of being locked in some collector's basement."

(Oh crap, it looks like I went back into sassy mode. I told you all I'm irrational.)

#107 6 years ago

(I'm first in line if this is SkitB's #2...) image.jpg

#110 6 years ago

Movie clips, because they didnt feel that them creating animation for a DMD from scratch would match the style of the artwork and game. Next big update due in April, hopefully with more artwork and details.

3 weeks later
#122 6 years ago

(I'm still waiting for Plungemaster to come back and tell me all the wrong assumptions I made.)

#124 6 years ago

(I'm also still waiting for Ted to deliver my pinball machine at work. I'm still serving Skit-B Kool-Aid, I'll save you a glass.)

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