The pricing reflects what the market is willing to pay, however it is still a relatively small market, in terms of volume. Stern is not turning into a boutique high end producer anytime soon. Regardless of how big the margin is on a $15k or even 10k pin the overall profit pales compared to the volume they sell with their 5k pros. Stern has taken this root with batman 66 because let's be completely honest here, and maybe I'm reading this wrong as an Australian buyer, but seriously batman 66 does not have anywhere near the fan base or relevance of gb or GOT or even TWD. They have created a super high priced limited run product because that is what the license ditacted. There is no pro model because frankly there is such a limited demand for this title that there is no market for a pro. Operators would not be lining up to purchase pro batman 66 nor would the majority of HUO buyers. They know they would only sell a thousand or so machine regardless, so why not milk every cent they can from those thousand buyers. You may see this happen in the future with license that have dedicated but niche fan bases. If this is the case then that is great for the hobby and for people that want to own their grail theme. However when it comes to massive themes with proper appeal I.e Starwars there is no way Stern is going to loose 3-4-5 thousand pro sales by over pricing. The income and profit they make on those pro sales still far outstrips the money they make on Le or even super Le machines by factors of 100s. Do you really think stern could survive if they only sold 500 or so of every new title? Hell no, not even at 10k a machine. This is a big company with major overheads that has just moved into a new larger manufacturing facility, they are not going botique anytime soon.
The deal is that stern has probably been under pricing there main product line being Pro models for a couple of years, as they where still in survival mode mentality. So yes the new pro price will probably be 6k going forward, however you should get a lot more for your money as far as feature and toys go I.e GB. The high priced Le's are just Stern taking money thats sitting on the table. All the whinging regarding these systems come from people who see these as collectible investments or money making oppertunities. For fuck sake do you think guys that pay 15K or even 10k for a pinball machine are buying them as an investment or give a shit about the resale value. This is disposable money they have and choose to spend it on something they percive will give them enjoyment and fun. Most of the people bitching about not being able to own a 10k Stern are in fact liers, almost everyone that makes this comment would have multiple pinball machines in their collection with a combined worth well in excess of 10k. So yes you could afford a 10k or even a 15k machine but it would mean selling other tables which is not something you are prepared to do , hey me neither, so who give a shit. However all of us have a grail theme that might have a very narrow limited appeal, that means enough for us to trade 2-3 of our collection to own. That what batman 66 is.
I had to laugh listening to the latest podcast from he who must not be named today bitching and crying about the batman 66 pricing, the guy makes fun and ridiculed everyone else on this site that has a complaint then spends 30minutes crying over super Le prices. You know why, because he realised hey I can't make money on buying a 10k limited edition batman like He originally key planed. He also goes onto say that he would jump at the oppertunity to buy a batman Super Le if he hot the chance. The only reason? Because he know he could flip it for more money down the line, for fuck sake it makes me shake my head, this hobby is meant to be about having fun and playing games guys. Guess what PINBALL is not a designed to make you money, STERN is not in the business of making you money. If you spend 10k or 5k on a new toy for your home, be prepared to loose 20 or 30% of the value when you come to sell in the future and yes be happy it is only such a small percentage. The whole market has been totally skewed in the last 5 years when people think that they should be able to buy a pinball machine and then sell it for more then they paid a year or two later. This is not normal in ANY hobby and you know what it just destroys the whole fundementals of the hobby for everyone. Yes a game from 20 years ago might be worth more now then it was nib but that's 20 years of accumulated worth and rarity. Someone trying to sell their orginal Spider-Man or POTC or SPP for thousands more then they paid less then 5 years ago and thinks this is the norm, is delusional if they belive this will be the status quo forever. Bally williams went under that is why classic tables are worth more now then 20 years ago, it's like when an artist dies and his works sky rocket. Buying a new stern is not the same deal.
My advice is don't worry so much 90% of the people having a go in this thread really couldn't give two shits about batman 66 as a theme regardless of the price point and the other 10% either have enough money not to worry or are die hard fans. Really every ones a winner baby that's the truth.