Quoted from g0nz0:
I've always seen "market" price and "hype" price as seperate. I buy and sell old retro consoles. It seems every 5 years or so original Nes's go from 30 bucks to 150. Sometimes trends pick up and create "artificial" prices. I personally believe these high prices will scare a lot of new pinheads from even getting into the hobby.
Then demand will fall and the more realistic "market" price will return. That is the reason I can't buy anything at the moment. One I can't afford them and two if I could I wouldn't. I don't want a pin I have to take a loss on later to flip.
I just hope it drops soon so I can enjoy the hobby like those who got in early get to enjoy.
Still just seems like simple supply and demand to me, I'm not sure what "artificial/hype" prices mean other than prices higher than what they were at some arbitrary point in the past that you're thinking back to. Isn't it more accurate to say that "market" prices fluctuate in any market, and pinball is in an extended upswing now, which you believe is unsustainable? It could be a result of many more people getting interested in pinball ownership over the past few years (count me among them), or maybe it's the same old buyers engaging in speculation buying, but either way prices are up because demand is up. If you're right and higher prices drive people away from the hobby, that should self correct and prices should come down as demand falls.
Until then, pinball ownership remains a relatively rich man's game. Luckily, unlike with stamps or bottle caps, you can fully enjoy pinball at the local arcade or a fellow pinhead's house for a handful of quarters or a six pack of beer. What a great hobby!