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(Topic ID: 107890)

Chinese knock-offs could derail pinball comeback


By SuperPinball

6 years ago



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  • 293 posts
  • 107 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Chrisbee
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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    #1 6 years ago

    I just came across what looks like an Avengers Pinball game that can be produced for US $180 - 999 new at 300 units/month by a company in China. This could potentially ruin the pinball industry in the US and UK. Has anyone come across a machine that might have originated from China?

    http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Electric-hot-sale-pinball-Pinball-machine_1758522638.html

    #39 6 years ago

    Ever since China entered the World trade organization, the U.S has closed 5000 factories per year. They thought back then that the Chinese were incapable of manufacturing quality goods at cheap prices. Today everything from the underwear and t-shirt you wear to computer electronics is manufactured in China. The Chinese manufacturing capability currently surpasses the U.S. To take a pinball machine like Medieval Madness, strip it down, and make exact duplicates is not far fetched. They easily have the capability to do so and at a price point sub $1000. The more labour intensive something is, the greater their advantage. Planetary Pinball could have easily contacted one of these companies instead of C.G. or Stern to take a Williams Pinball machine, copy it and re-release. I think we will see exact copies of the most popular pins coming from China in the near future. Pinball is not exempt from the same economic forces that drove any other manufactured good to China.

    #49 6 years ago
    Quoted from dsuperbee:

    I seriously doubt you will start seeing knock-off pins anytime soon. There simply is no market for it. I know it happened in the 80s with High Speed, but the pinball/arcade market was an entirely different beast then than what it is now.

    Here is a company that will take any design you have and will manufacture the pinball to exact specs. They have the facility and the manpower to crank out these thinks sub $1000. If Medieval Madness Remake LE is going for $8000 US and its virtually sold out in pre release, there is definately demand to release other titles at say $2000. when you factor in other ppl wanting to make a buck as well.

    #61 6 years ago

    If I had a million bucks I would probably have one of these companies make a limited release of a thousand pins. Exact duplicates of any of the top ten pins and sell them for $2000 each. Who wouldn't want a brand new Twighlight Zone or Addams Family for $2000. I would sell out within a year and make a cool million in profit.

    #63 6 years ago

    There are companies in China that can recreate any pin you like if you have the coin to invest in about 1000+ units. They have the industrial base and the capabilities. People were talking 15 years ago about China not being able to make any descent products like irons and hair dryers. Look at them now. I really don't understand how Medieval Madness Remake could go for $8000. Electronics have become very cheap and the design is already done. Someone is making a buck and not the razor thin profits they have us believe.

    #67 6 years ago

    mrgone your statements are contradictory. I am fully aware of manufacturing in America as well as the costs associated (Fixed vs Variable costs). When a product becomes more labor intensive the Chinese company has an advantage. Costs to produce goods in the U.S. are far too high to be competitive. That is why there is so little manufacturing in America today. Why do you feel that a pinball machine is any different than any other manufactured good?

    Quoted from mrgone:

    As for china, they will never make a pinball game worth a dam or one that I will play

    How could you make such a statement? especially since you did so sitting in a chair most likely made in china, typing on a keyboard made in china and looking at a monitor that is made in china. If you want more info you can call someone on your made in china iPhone. China sent a person into space and should not be underestimated.

    #116 6 years ago

    I feel a sense of Deja Vu. Many people actually think China can't produce a decent pin yet can send a man in orbit. I was in China 13 years ago when a U.S. high altitude spy plane crashed in China. The U.S. demanded it back. The Chinese stripped it down copied its components and gave it back to the U.S. They did it in less than one week. Time will tell but my money is that China will be a major player in the Pinball manufacturing over the next few years. It could either be in knock offs or it could be a legitimate person or company like Chicago coin or Stern who contracts them. Kinda like Apple with the iphones.

    #121 6 years ago

    I think its a bit stereotypical to assume the Chinese have no creativity. One needs only visit Shanghai, Beijing or Honk Kong to see that they have tremendous creativity. Their cuisine, art, and culture are world famous. To make a fun pin would not be a problem at all for them. But if they do begin to make pins, maybe it would be a good thing assuming that they would be lower in price and ppl could affort a few more in their private collections.

    #123 6 years ago

    Make it five and your on

    #125 6 years ago

    That company custom builds machines.

    #129 6 years ago

    HOMEPIN proved my point. If that pin is well made, reliable and most of all fun, I'll be getting my $100 from ovfdfireman sooner than expected.

    #131 6 years ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    Maybe you should buy the stock of Alibaba and not the pins, but if its listed on Alibaba, its definitely interesting.
    Alibaba is the US equivalent of amazon and ebay rolled into one. At 260 billion its the 11th largest company on the S&P 500.
    Maybe all pins will be made in China one day?

    I think its headed there.

    #136 6 years ago

    Great deal if its legit.

    #154 6 years ago

    Popbumberpete, how much is the thunderbirds pin gonna cost you in total?

    #160 6 years ago
    Quoted from ahdelarge:

    I'd consider buying a Medieval Madness or Monster Bash re-make, made in China at a reasonable price (e.g. Homepin's $54321 AUD Thunderbirds pricing). These things are costing over $10,000 in Australia and I think that is way too much for me to stomach.

    I pre ordered a Medieval Madness LE for $8000 US. I sure that if that if it were made in China it would cost half that and have the same quality. My wife still isn't speaking to me since I ordered the pin.

    #166 6 years ago
    Quoted from PinPatch:

    Everyone forgets when the western world not longer has the capacity to manufacture goods do you really think prices will stay so low?

    That's actually the scary part. China first wiped out manufacturing throughout the western world to the point where we cant even make an underwear for ourselves then they can charge anything they like.

    #184 6 years ago

    If people were generally willing to pay 15%-20% more for U.S. made goods I don't think Walmart would be a prominent as it is today. The fact that Walmart is China's second largest trading partner proves that the majority of people will drop patriotism for savings. Therefore a Chinese manufactured pinball machine could potentially be accepted with the same enthusiasm.

    1 month later
    #258 5 years ago
    Quoted from Mrjamma:

    Chinese made arcade machines are typically not worth a darn and really badly made. I speak from experience. Steer clear

    Chances are many of the components and replacement parts are made in China. Not sure what made in China pinball machine that you have experience with.

    #260 5 years ago
    Quoted from lowepg:

    Yes.... this Chinese stuff is all shit!!!
    Im holding out an iphone built is good 'ol Detroit! You know, where they are known for quality.... Also on a waiting list for an Ipad and a plasma tv....
    any idea on leadtimes?
    Yessiree, none of that Asian stuff for me!

    lol
    I still can't believe people actually question if the Chinese can make a decent product. They can send a man into space but cant make a pinball machine?

    #273 5 years ago

    Most of the time its the American companies that dictate the budget that the Chinese factories have to work with. Nike tells them that they have $15/ pair and that is what the Chinese deliver. The same holds true for all companies and you would be surprised how little they give the Chinese to work with. Give them the tools and they can make amazing things just as good as anyone else.

    1 week later
    #276 5 years ago
    Quoted from pinballophobe:

    It all depends who owns the factory. Big name companies all have their stuff made in china. But designed elsewhere. If it weren't for places like china,Mexico,India. Everything would more expensive.
    It's the knockoffs or no name brand stuff that is junk. Those companies are pure Chinese looking to make money. Cheap materials and poor quality control.

    Then maybe it's a good thing if big companies make their pins in china just like all other electronics so pins can be cheaper and would attract more people to the hobby.

    #279 5 years ago

    Their labour costs are much lower and pinball manufacturing is so labour intensive that China has a definite advantage. Maybe it will translate to quality lower cost pins. Consumers will win but the North American manufacturers will lose.

    #281 5 years ago

    When the U.S. allowed China to enter the world trade organization President Clinton's intention was to open the billion plus people in China to American made goods. No one in the U.S.(except me ) ever considered that U.S. companies would close their shops, reopen in China and sell their goods back to the U.S. The result was the closure of 5000 factories per year and an ever increasing annual trade deficit ever since. This same scenario is hitting Canada as well as many of the European Union Countries. I don't understand how governments allow that to happen year after year.The incredible national debt is just one symptom. The real answer is to tax foreign made goods to the point that U.S. goods have an advantage. This would be wildly unpopular with other high manufacturing nations such as China but in the end will stop the hemorrhage of wealth. My fear is that it may be too late.

    #284 5 years ago

    Interesting Doc on the subject.

    #286 5 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Please just stop. There's a reason we don't discuss politics here.

    Not discussing an issue will not make the problem go away unfortunately. Sometimes an open discussion is necessary to effect change. If we chose to ignore what is happening, Chinese manufactured pins will be inevitable.

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