(Topic ID: 59518)

Are all pins created equal?


By chinosts

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 30 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by chinosts
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#1 6 years ago

I recently bought a STTNG. The only other pinball that I have ever owned was a Stargate and I had that for a couple of years. Not a bad machine by all accounts but I've probably played my STTNG more in the last month than I played Stargate the entire time I had it. Sad I know but to me this clearly illustrates the differences between a good machine and a truly great one.

There are some machines out there that go for crazy prices e.g. MM, BBB etc. I've never played BBB and I have only ever played MM on a virtual pin (I thought it was OK but I don't think I would pay 10K for it).. I'm going to ask a silly question.. Why are these pins so sort after? I get that they are great machines.. I understand that some pins are better than others..

Maybe I just need to play an MM for real.. It must be a freaking awesome pinball machine..

If you put a NIB MM and a NIB TZ in front of me now.. My heart would say take the TZ but my head would say take the MM, sell it and buy a HUO TZ, IJ and TAF and retire a happy man...

#2 6 years ago

It's all opinion.

Personally, I'd take STTNG over MM.

#3 6 years ago
Quoted from kwiKimart:

It's all opinion.
Personally, I'd take STTNG over MM.

Yep.. Demand drives the prices up..

I guess it means there are enough people who love these marquee machines and are willing to pay much $$$ for them. Could any machine suddenly jump up $10k in value?

#4 6 years ago
Quoted from chinosts:

Could any machine suddenly jump up $10k in value?

A few years ago, you could easily get an AFM for under $5k. Look at the prices now.

#5 6 years ago
Quoted from kwiKimart:

A few years ago, you could easily get an AFM for under $5k. Look at the prices now.

I agree I bought my afm this year and its difficult to hand over a stack that big for 1 machine.

#6 6 years ago

Why is LeBron James paid more money than the 12th guy on his team?

#7 6 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Why is LeBron James paid more money than the 12th guy on his team?

Beacuse he's the best player in the NBA.

#8 6 years ago
Quoted from kwiKimart:

Beacuse he's the best player in the NBA.

MM is the LeBron James of the Pinball World...

#9 6 years ago
Quoted from chinosts:

MM is the LeBron James of the Pinball World...

and STTNG is Kobe.....

#10 6 years ago
Quoted from chinosts:

MM is the LeBron James of the Pinball World...

As kwiKi said above, all a matter of opinion.

MM is a good game in my opinion, but not any kind of good value in todays market. That doesn't make it worth a penny less than it is. But I'd rather have 4 fun pins valued at $2500 each with plenty left over for burgers and beer than an MM. And right after I say that there will be guys that will say they would rather have that MM. All the games have different values to different people.

#11 6 years ago

At the risk of offending some, it's also about pride and ego. What person doesn't want to have the best in a particular hobby? Does a 100K SuperSnake Mustang get you to the store and back better than a 20K Cobra? Nope, but you get more looks, more thumbs up, and more attention in the SS...Well, owning a BBB, you get more attention in the pinball world. When money is not a priority, then why not own what's perceived as the best?

#12 6 years ago
Quoted from DaveH:

As kwiKi said above, all a matter of opinion.
MM is a good game in my opinion, but not any kind of good value in todays market. That doesn't make it worth a penny less than it is. But I'd rather have 4 fun pins valued at $2500 each with plenty left over for burgers and beer than an MM. And right after I say that there will be guys that will say they would rather have that MM. All the games have different values to different people.

Yes..yes I get that.. But to drive up the value that much I think there must be heaps of people that think MM is better than say a TZ or STTNG.. So this takes me back to my original point... What makes these pins so sort after? I completely understand why a STTNG would sell for several thousand dollars more than a Stargate as STTNG, in general, is clearly more fun to play.. Do most people think MM is $10k more fun than STTNG?

If so, what are the defining factors?

#13 6 years ago

There are a lot of competitive collectors that prize scarcity. Some people have highly limited space (be it for legitimate lack of space or an unruly spouse) and can only have a few machines . . . so they think why not go all out.

For games like BBB, you just don't see them come on the market very often. People can ask for them what they wish. MM is a game that was under produced right out of the gate and it was such a monster earner on rout the operators didn't want to sell them - so they slowly defused into the home use market.

#14 6 years ago

There were nearly 4 times as many TZ made then MM so that certainly factors into the supply/demand equation.

#15 6 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

There are a lot of competitive collectors that prize scarcity. Some people have highly limited space (be it for legitimate lack of space or an unruly spouse) and can only have a few machines . . . so they think why not go all out.
For games like BBB, you just don't see them come on the market very often. People can ask for them what they wish. MM is a game that was under produced right out of the gate and it was such a monster earner on rout the operators didn't want to sell them - so they slowly defused into the home use market.

Interesting... I guess Excellent Game-play + Scarcity = $$$.

I actually suspected as much but was interested in other people's ideas on it. Using this theory, if they had only made 3000 TZs then they would most likely be selling for around $15k min.

Makes sense.

#16 6 years ago

I've always wondered the same thing. A STTNG has been in my lineup since
1996 and its still one of my all time DMD faves. Have played a number of MM's
at shows and in private collections, but thats not the same as having one at home.
I'd take STTNG over MM. Of course both would be acceptable!

Over the years manufacturers have designed some machines to be very challenging
for advanced players and others very simple & easy for newbies. Whatever
the market at the time called for.
Steve

#17 6 years ago
Quoted from kwiKimart:

A few years ago, you could easily get an AFM for under $5k. Look at the prices now.

A few years ago you could get them for under 4K and when I told people I would pay them 5K or more for a nice one they all told me I was NUTZ. LOL now who is laughing.

As for the OP question no games are not equal. They vary in many ways. If you like the cheaper titles and still have fun and enjoy the game then bonus. Most everything in the top 100 games are loads of fun. Occasionally a theme will ruin this for you. Just have fun play pinball and do not get to hung up on this. IMO Only difference to me is staying power. Some of the higher priced games do not bore as quickly.

#18 6 years ago
Quoted from zarco:

I've always wondered the same thing. A STTNG has been in my lineup since...

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who was wondering why...

I can see now that the rareness of a machine will always add to its value.

If you combine low availability with a decent number of people wanting one then you will have a perfect storm for price increase.

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from Shoot_Again:

Just have fun play pinball and do not get to hung up on this. IMO Only difference to me is staying power. Some of the higher priced games do not bore as quickly.

I've seen that advice handed out many times here on Pinside. It's like a Pinside mantra!

I agree about not getting hung up on prices vs play-ability vs fun factor etc etc etc. I was more just curious about what people thought was the defining factor that makes for a marquee pin.

#20 6 years ago
Quoted from chinosts:

I recently bought a STTNG.

Quoted from chinosts:

Interesting... I guess Excellent Game-play + Scarcity = $$$.

I actually suspected as much but was interested in other people's ideas on it. Using this theory, if they had only made 3000 TZs then they would most likely be selling for around $15k min.

Makes sense.

Another thing to note, and since you mentioned STTNG, I think a couple other items often come into play for the games that have been out a long time . . . how reliable are they? STTNG does not have the same level of reliability as AFM, SS, MM, TOTAN, etc.

I believe that if you are not particularly skilled at constant tweaking then you should avoid the high maintenance games like STTNG and go for the more reliable games. I think many people feel this way and this is why STTNG perceived value/price does not compare favorably to the fun factor (the game is a blast yet many, like me, shy away from it because of at least perceived maintenance issues...TZ is another game like this).

#21 6 years ago

Mine aren't. LOTR is the best, followed by SM, and lastly Tron:LE.

#22 6 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Another thing to note, and since you mentioned STTNG, I think a couple other items often come into play for the games that have been out a long time . . . how reliable are they? STTNG does not have the same level of reliability as AFM, SS, MM, TOTAN, etc.

I don't know if reliability is a huge factor...

There are a lot of factors that go into pin prices, and it isn't just gameplay and scarcity... in fact, I don't think that those are even the biggest factors. The biggest one (at least for games from the 90s) is how it earned I think. The quick reason is that if it didn't earn, the ops took them off route right away. Not on route means no nostalgia for the title, which means people aren't looking for them as much. Also meant ops sold them cheaply, and they were known as cheap games.

MM was / is an expensive game because ops wouldn't trade them for NIB games because they earned so well. They were always out earning coin, and you had to pay a huge premium to get one. You still do today.

Theme goes into this a lot too. If a machine has a crappy theme (or even a not-so-family-friendly one), it is going to be more muted in it's value.

There are some other factors, but those play into it just as much. It's hard to argue that CC has extremely good gameplay - it's woefully incomplete - but scarcity and theme, as well as the fact it was marketed as a collectible from almost day one - definitely helped it out.

#23 6 years ago

To me the only defining factor is length of stayability in a collection. Larger collections almost always have some cheap but fun games in them. Smaller collections I would pick your favorite big name pin. To me they just seem to last longer. Not always deeper games they just have that press the button one more time factor to them. I personally use to enjoy EM and SS games much more until I owned a few WPC A titles. Then they lost some of their fun and luster. Enjoy the cheap stuff while you can once you move upwards its hard to move back with fun being the only reason.

#24 6 years ago

There's always a tittle that will grab you. I remember when I bought my first pin there was a guy who was schooling me, telling me what to look for, and I remember him telling me if you spend 2k on a pin this is what you get, and I remember him saying something about 5-6k pins, and I instantly thought 5k on a pin, never, I just wouldn't ..that all changed the night I played lord of the rings for the first time!!I from that moment realized there's a big, big difference between games. Why they demand the price they do. When I found the rite one I had no problem handing over the big wad of bills, because what that guy explained to me, made all the sense in world.

#25 6 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Another thing to note, and since you mentioned STTNG, I think a couple other items often come into play for the games that have been out a long time . . . how reliable are they? STTNG does not have the same level of reliability as AFM, SS, MM, TOTAN, etc.
I believe that if you are not particularly skilled at constant tweaking then you should avoid the high maintenance games like STTNG and go for the more reliable games. I think many people feel this way and this is why STTNG perceived value/price does not compare favorably to the fun factor (the game is a blast yet many, like me, shy away from it because of at least perceived maintenance issues...TZ is another game like this).

I bought my STTNG a couple years ago, and haven't had ANY problems with it. I know other collectors who've had the same good luck with it. When it comes to reliability, it's all about condition and who the pin is coming from. The guy that owned my example did a great job maintaining/tuning it. In fact, I've had more problems with my NIB pins! (AC/DC and MET to be specific...).

From my perspective, STTNG is the best "bang for the buck" pin around. For a wide body, it plays incredibly fast. The ColorDMD mod is great on this title...

#26 6 years ago

Everything is relative in this universe accept morality.
"Equality" is a bogus concept other than we all have natural rights.
We all have different tastes, conditionings and experiences that lead to preferences.
That being said,
All pinball machines have balls.

#27 6 years ago
Quoted from HighProtein:

Everything is relative in this universe accept morality.
"Equality" is a bogus concept other than we all have natural rights.
We all have different tastes, conditionings and experiences that lead to preferences.
That being said,
All pinball machines have balls.

Again it is the Mantra!

1 week later
#28 6 years ago

I've mentioned in the PAPA thread that I found some games I never thought would be great are and others that are rated high and perceived great....not so great. I personally like LOTR better than MM for a sort of similarly themed game. I tend to like less popular tables regardless of price. Part of going to PAPA was to see what I thought of XX game. To each his own.

#29 6 years ago
Quoted from bub2010:

I've mentioned in the PAPA thread that I found some games I never thought would be great are and others that are rated high and perceived great....not so great. I personally like LOTR better than MM for a sort of similarly themed game. I tend to like less popular tables regardless of price. Part of going to PAPA was to see what I thought of XX game. To each his own.

Exactly. Although I've been a fan of MM (among others) since it came out (played a super-restored MM when I bought my WPT--it was so smooth it played like a video game version), some highly-ranked games just don't make my list of games I want to play, much less own (TZ and STTNG at the top of this list). OTOH, games like WPT and Mars Trek are killer imo; SST is another fave. Many people won't even consider these. I also love classic Stern games, with cool layouts and drop targets everywhere. And I am not a fan of all the cookie-cutter "fast" fan layouts that are ommon these days; many people want nothing but this type of game. I love EMs and SS games with odd layouts and interesting ball dynamics.

So yeah, to each their own.

#30 6 years ago
Quoted from StevenP:

..some highly-ranked games just don't make my list of games I want to play, much less own (TZ and STTNG at the top of this list).

You had me until you said you didn't like TZ or STTNG! Just kidding.

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