(Topic ID: 201306)

Classic Stern VE's - How much would you pay for NIB?


By Yoko2una

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 37 posts
  • 19 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by nocreditdot
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“How much would you pay for a Stern Classic VE NIB? (Assume it's your favorite title of the bunch)”

  • Less than $4000 34 votes
    42%
  • Between $4000 - $4500 24 votes
    30%
  • Between $4500 - $5000 12 votes
    15%
  • Between $5000 - $5500 4 votes
    5%
  • Between $5500 - $6000 1 vote
    1%
  • More than $6000 6 votes
    7%

(81 votes by 0 Pinsiders)

#1 1 year ago

Legal disclaimer: This isn't entirely out of the blue.

Last night on the Dead Flip IRL stream, Jack was with Jody and Zach from Stern, out on the Vegas strip. At one point VE's of Classic Sterns was brought up as a very loose hypothetical. Just to gauge interest, the titles Star Gazer and Quicksilver were mentioned. I chatted that I'd be interested in a Quicksilver NIB (even more so a Seawitch, but Quicksilver was referenced so I went with that).

Jody saw that and asked how much I'd honestly be willing to pay for a Quicksilver NIB, and I replied honestly - $4K for a carbon copy, $4.5K if it had upgrades (enhanced lighting and whatnot). In hindsight, I wish I had mentioned $5K for a Seawitch, but I didn't. He said $4K-4.5K would never happen. It was also then briefly mentioned (for comparison I guess) that TNA is selling for $6K. My last reply on the subject was that I thought there was some available space between SM Home Edition and the Pro model and I thought retro titles would fit in nicely, and that if (IF) it sold in high quantity it could be worthwhile.

I honestly think TNA @ $6K is why my $4-5K range for a Classic VE makes sense, but I guess he disagreed... which is totally fine btw!!! In a Quicksilver/Seawitch, I'm conceding thumping kickass music for digital chirps and sound effects, the HD display, the inline drop / scoop feature, multiball, color changing everything, laser cut side rails, and probably a lot of other things I'm forgetting. All I'd ask for out of a Classic VE is the same quality backglass and that it play true to the original.

Let's have some assumptions in place as to keep this as legit as possible... AND NOT TO THREAD DRIFT!

1) No changes or upgrades to sound, rules, lighting, build. No LE's. Just one edition - classic edition which is as much as a carbon copy as possible.
2) QC is fine. We don't need another thread about that. No "I'd buy if Stern could..." please.
3) It is your favorite Stern you're gauging. So if you like Seawitch, think of that. Star Gazer?... work under that premise.
4) We don't need "It'll never happen". A member of Stern, even as a hypothetical, asked a group of pinball enthusiasts last night. So why not open that question to a larger audience and give some free marketing research to them?
5) Did I mention that we don't need "I'd buy if only they'd fix..." comments?

So because it was brought up, even as a pure hypothetical, what would YOU be willing to pay for YOUR personal favorite Classic Stern VE NIB?

#2 1 year ago

Apparently the stream from last night isn't uploaded yet, as I couldn't find it anywhere during lunch, but I'm saving this space for a link and time-stamp if/when it becomes available.

#3 1 year ago

Honestly with the price of restores and the time they take if you have to find a base game, buy the needed parts, etc you are usually in it for 4-5K for most of the better games. I think $4500 is a pretty fair price for a NIB QS, SG, or SW and I think they would sell a decent amount of them but not a ton. They probably wouldn't lose a lot of sales at the pro price of $5200. But I do think it would be a very limited marked and I'd be surprised to see more then a few hundred sell.

#4 1 year ago

I'd much rather remakes of Classic Bally games. Still wouldn't pay more than $4kish though.

#5 1 year ago
Quoted from Toasterdog:

I'd much rather remakes of Classic Bally games. Still wouldn't pay more than $4kish though.

I would think CGC has at least talked about it. I think Centaur and Fathom both could be good options but I still don't see them coming in under 5K.

#6 1 year ago

Personally I feel that 1980 is the best year in pinball history, with so many cool original themes, artwork, electronic sounds, features & gameplay. There's just something really special about this period of pinball, that I think many new players are missing out on. This era was made for multiplayer group play, with adult themes that belong in a baracade. Pick any Stern/Bally/Williams game from 1980... they're all so fricking cool.

TNA has really opened the door to this era of pinball, and I think it all depends how that pin is embraced in 2018. If it really takes off & sells a ton at that price, then companies should really look into producing more games with the early 80's retro feel. I think we just need to give it time.

As far as your original question, it's going to take a $5K+ selling price reproduce the Stern classics (which it probably will), then I'd have to say no. If it's going to cost that much, then I would rather manufacturers design new throwback pins (like TNA) with adult themes, new tech, hardware, and features. The good thing is that the code won't be that difficult to create. It just has to be easy to learn & hard to master.

If I want a game from 1980, it will most likely be cheaper to find one & restore.

#7 1 year ago

Tspp VE for 4000 would take my money. Never going to happen though I wish it would.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

As far as your original question, it's going to take a $5K+ selling price reproduce the Stern classics (which it probably will), then I'd have to say no. If it's going to cost that much, then I would rather manufacturers design new throwback pins (like TNA) with adult themes, new tech, hardware, and features.

That's the thing, perhaps if Stern started a "retro style" line of older pins but with new designs and whatnot, I can see that being up there in price. That's a lot of design, research, development, testing, and everything as it's basically "from scratch". That's why I said I'd be game in the $4-5K range for established classics as they already know where everything goes, the rule sets, and the BoM. Additionally, the BoM's of classics are arguably much less than something like TNA which has a ton of extra stuff going on.

#9 1 year ago

IDK, I just don't see it ever happening at Stern, and if it somehow did, they would charge as much as they could for a classic reproduction.

Now if Spooky wanted to focus on a retro-80's line, that would make more sense. They have the experience now with producing TNA. They could also make a basic new retro pin at a lower cost, if they removed the LCD & the RGB lighting. Focus on hiring a great artist for an original adult theme, but with killer sounds & standard LED lighting effects & score displays. If TNA is a hit, I hope they consider testing those waters. I don't see any other manufacturer out there that would.

#10 1 year ago

You're probably looking at a run of less than 1,000 machines, so pricing has to reflect that. There's a lot of mechs on older games, many of which are not reproduced, plus you need to redo the wiring, etc. - there's going to be an engineering expense involved, not just assembly. Unless they're just going to use existing boards I suspect there would be some re-engineering there as well.

I think Stern could totally do it in the $4,500 range but why bother when they make more on the stripped down Pros.

#11 1 year ago

I had a dream last night that STERN released a TRON Vault Edition that included the drop targets, daft punk multiball, ramp lights, and was upgraded to the new HD display. I'd pay $6K for that. Probably piss off a bunch of TRON LE collectors though...

#12 1 year ago

Meh, forget the old Stern games if priced high as Jody warned.

I'd rather see CGC do some shit like Time Fantasy, Gorgar, Sorcerer, etc.

Man. That would be tits!

NIB Flash Gordon, NIB Black Knight, NIB Firepower, NIB Pinbot...

Oh man, I'd want one of each.

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from PW79:

Meh, forget the old Stern games if priced high as Jody warned.
I'd rather see CGC do some shit like Time Fantasy, Gorgar, Sorcerer, etc.
Man. That would be tits!
NIB Flash Gordon, NIB Black Knight, NIB Firepower, NIB Pinbot...
Oh man, I'd want one of each.

The problem with all of those is that you can buy them in pretty good shape for a fraction of what a new one would cost. A really nice original Gorgar for $1400 is going to make selling a NIB one for 4K pretty difficult. I think there are really only a few games that could make sense.

Centaur, Fathom, and Seawitch are really the only ones that come to mind that could command the price it would need to sell at NIB.

I like the idea of Spooky doing some new retro style titles. I think there might be a bigger market for that then remakes honestly. They might actually make them edgy enough were as I think other companies would wuss out.

#14 1 year ago
Quoted from jgentry:

The problem with all of those is that you can buy them in pretty good shape for a fraction of what a new one would cost.

I generally disagree with this statement. Apples to apples - Finding MINT examples of those games (perfect cabinet, playfield, no rust, no corrosion, etc.) is very, very difficult to do and when they are listed, they sell for thousands of dollars. A NIB sorcerer, gorgar etc. at $4K I think would sell very well. Besides, there are many newbies to pinball who don't have a clue as to pinball repair that want a mint version of a game but don't want to have to deal with electronics that are decades old, drying out, and are ready to have issues at any moment.

#15 1 year ago

Jody is comparing apples and oranges. TNA has waaaay more going into it than a true reproduction of a classic Stern would.

From a cost to produce standpoint, The Pin should be very comparable. The art is done, the code is done, there may be a few mechs that would need to be reproduced, but the design is known. Of course, because it would be a limited run/market the price would reflect that and no way would it come in below a modern Stern Pro ($5K), even though the cost to produce is probably 1/2.

Would people care if the games used modern LED (warm white) lightboards, and equiv. mechanical components (Stern's new rollover targets from WN, modern stern drop target mechs, flippers, etc.)? The game would feel a lot different with the modern Stern flipper mechs, etc., but if it brought the cost to produce down would it matter?

#16 1 year ago
Quoted from jgentry:

The problem with all of those is that you can buy them in pretty good shape for a fraction of what a new one would cost. A really nice original Gorgar for $1400 is going to make selling a NIB one for 4K pretty difficult. I think there are really only a few games that could make sense.
Centaur, Fathom, and Seawitch are really the only ones that come to mind that could command the price it would need to sell at NIB.
I like the idea of Spooky doing some new retro style titles. I think there might be a bigger market for that then remakes honestly. They might actually make them edgy enough were as I think other companies would wuss out.

I'd prolly pay $4K for a NIB Gorgar.

No way I'd pay $1,400 for a $1,400 Gorgar tho.

Gorgar is not the best example, there's plenty "better" classics to remake.

I'm just one dude. Not sure if there are others like me that would shit over CGC saying "The floodgates are open. We are remaking Firepower, Time Fantasy, Gorgar, Black Knight, Sorcerer, High Speed, Taxi, Pinbot, Space Shuttle, Radical, etc"

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from Fytr:

The game would feel a lot different with the modern Stern flipper mechs, etc., but if it brought the cost to produce down would it matter?

It would definitely matter. I love classic games! I'm in a classic pinball league, and I love playing them. I also love modern games.

I'd be tempted to buy a 4K Stargazer that was new in box. But I think my practical side might win. I have been buying classic games for years, and they have been pretty cheap compared to my modern games. That 4K will buy a lot of great games, even now.

So really, I'm not sure the value is there. At 6k the market is very small. And at 3k, it might be more games than they want to make. So here is my solution:

Jody, sell me the rights to make them. I'll pay you a license fee, you hook me up with a playfield manufacturer, and I build these games at a "reasonable" price. I'm offering this off the cuff, as obviously I have not run the real numbers. However between full Alltek boardsets bought in bulk, and CPR in bulk doing plastics and maybe playfield for me directly, we might be able to swing this. Let's chat and figure out how much I need to put into it to be your custom classics house.

#18 1 year ago
Quoted from DaveH:

It would definitely matter. I love classic games! I'm in a classic pinball league, and I love playing them. I also love modern games.
I'd be tempted to buy a 4K Stargazer that was new in box. But I think my practical side might win. I have been buying classic games for years, and they have been pretty cheap compared to my modern games. That 4K will buy a lot of great games, even now.
So really, I'm not sure the value is there. At 6k the market is very small. And at 3k, it might be more games than they want to make. So here is my solution:
Jody, sell me the rights to make them. I'll pay you a license fee, you hook me up with a playfield manufacturer, and I build these games at a "reasonable" price. I'm offering this off the cuff, as obviously I have not run the real numbers. However between full Alltek boardsets bought in bulk, and CPR in bulk doing plastics and maybe playfield for me directly, we might be able to swing this. Let's chat and figure out how much I need to put into it to be your custom classics house.

Not sure if you're serious but maybe we don't even need Stern's involvement in this? From what I've read they never copyrighted the art packages on these games, so anyone can reproduce the BG and PFs. What's to stop someone contracting Homepin, for example, to reproduce the other mechs to original specs (and on the cheap)?

...and you'd want to use http://nvram.weebly.com/new-pcbs.html boards instead of Alltek so you folks could use whatever ROM versions they'd like. A lot of these games have custom tweaked ROMs available now that improve the longevity/gameplay and Alltek doesn't support them.

#19 1 year ago
Quoted from DaveH:

It would definitely matter. I love classic games! I'm in a classic pinball league, and I love playing them. I also love modern games.
I'd be tempted to buy a 4K Stargazer that was new in box. But I think my practical side might win. I have been buying classic games for years, and they have been pretty cheap compared to my modern games. That 4K will buy a lot of great games, even now.
So really, I'm not sure the value is there. At 6k the market is very small. And at 3k, it might be more games than they want to make. So here is my solution:
Jody, sell me the rights to make them. I'll pay you a license fee, you hook me up with a playfield manufacturer, and I build these games at a "reasonable" price. I'm offering this off the cuff, as obviously I have not run the real numbers. However between full Alltek boardsets bought in bulk, and CPR in bulk doing plastics and maybe playfield for me directly, we might be able to swing this. Let's chat and figure out how much I need to put into it to be your custom classics house.

Ha, get the fock outta here.

Jody is gonna use his HAL9000 voice & be all like "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that"

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from T-800:

I generally disagree with this statement. Apples to apples - Finding MINT examples of those games (perfect cabinet, playfield, no rust, no corrosion, etc.) is very, very difficult to do and when they are listed, they sell for thousands of dollars. A NIB sorcerer, gorgar etc. at $4K I think would sell very well. Besides, there are many newbies to pinball who don't have a clue as to pinball repair that want a mint version of a game but don't want to have to deal with electronics that are decades old, drying out, and are ready to have issues at any moment.

True, but people would rush to pay 4K now because it's a super rare find. Will they do they same if it's not rare anymore? I don't think they would. I'd love to see it happen but I just don't see it other then maybe on a few of the top $ classics

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from Fytr:

From what I've read they never copyrighted the art packages on these games, so anyone can reproduce the BG and PFs.

Uh, no. Copyrights apply to an image the instant it is created and displayed. You don't need to apply for a copyright for it to exist.

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from jgentry:

True, but people would rush to pay 4K now because it's a super rare find. Will they do they same if it's not rare anymore? I don't think they would. I'd love to see it happen but I just don't see it other then maybe on a few of the top $ classics

People paid double that for a Stern Star Wars so yeah I'd say so

I think Stern Star Wars has less on the PF than Gorgar lol

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from PW79:

People paid double that for a Stern Star Wars so yeah I'd say so
I think Stern Star Wars has less on the PF than Gorgar lol

Lol, fewer ramps, but waaaay more "force" magnets!

#24 1 year ago

If there is a "list", put me down for a Stargazer

#25 1 year ago

4k and I pay the shipping which is normally between 300-350 and it's a thought worth exploring.
-Mike

#26 1 year ago

Stargazer at $4000 NIB but as close to the original as possible, no blinding leds etc.

But, sounds like Stern wouldn't sell at this price.

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from PW79:

People paid double that for a Stern Star Wars so yeah I'd say so
I think Stern Star Wars has less on the PF than Gorgar lol

Quoted from Fytr:

Lol, fewer ramps, but waaaay more "force" magnets!

I played SW yesterday. 50 games. I kept wanting more. Such an amazing, deep and rich game. SW may have "less" on it but it's way more fun than Gorgar. Isn't that want pinball is about? One of the best pins ever. Amazing flow and progression. Significantly better than all the classic pins mentioned in this thread. Who cares if it's less cluttered with junk on the play field?

Why buy any Stern NIB 'Classics' unless they are substantially cheaper than the amazing machines Stern currently has on offer? Think of Big Juicy Mellons. Why buy it new, at the price Stern wants, when you can get a SW or SMVE or MET or GB or ACDC? All amazing games.

Nevertheless, if Stern moves in this direction (which I believe they will) they will price them very close to what they are selling their newer machines for. To do otherwise does not make business sense.

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from Aussiepinwiz:

I played SW yesterday. 50 games. I kept wanting more. Such an amazing, deep and rich game. SW may have "less" on it but it's way more fun than Gorgar. Isn't that want pinball is about? One of the best pins ever. Amazing flow and progression. Significantly better than all the classic pins mentioned in this thread. Who cares if it's less cluttered with junk on the play field?
Why buy any Stern NIB 'Classics' unless they are substantially cheaper than the amazing machines Stern currently has on offer? Think of Big Juicy Mellons. Why buy it new, at the price Stern wants, when you can get a SW or SMVE or MET or GB or ACDC? All amazing games.
Nevertheless, if Stern moves in this direction (which I believe they will) they will price them very close to what they are selling their newer machines for. To do otherwise does not make business sense.

I'm currently splitting time equally between my SM and Gorgar. There is something wonderful about simpler, single level games that have some straight forward objectives that are still a challenge to get done.

Not everything has to be 2 ramp, pops nest, dozen modes, crazy displays, stacking multiball, w/ flashing leds. That's why there's a market for classics and just something different from the status quo. It's in part why 200 have dropped serious coin for TNA.

There is something to be said about the popularity of classic games and why they're not just all thrown in dumpsters and set on fire.

#29 1 year ago
Quoted from Aussiepinwiz:

SW may have "less" on it but it's way more fun than Gorgar.

I would argue that scoring 2M+ on Flash Gordon is far more thrilling than anything experienced on SW.

To each their own. I say bring on the retro classics!

#30 1 year ago

Are you a stern spy? Gauging our willingness to pay outrageous prices?....

#31 1 year ago

Honestly, I'm pretty unlikely to bother buying any of these NIB if the price is $5K or more. I have more fun finding project pins and fixing them up for way less than that, which is why I have a Star Gazer, Flash Gordon, and a Big Game today. All in various states of ill-repair when I found them. But I can see that wouldn't apply to everyone, and I think that this style of gameplay is under appreciated so more opportunities for folks to play these games = better to me.

More exciting is the prospect of more all-new games in the vein of TNA that offer classic gameplay, simpler rules, amazing original art, but modern lighting, sound, etc. and gobs of fun. The complex rule games are fine but I'd much rather just play 5 games of Flash Gordon instead. Pinball skills, adrenaline, and no tiresome layer of complex strategy game rules on top of it. Not saying there isn't room for both, but I hope we see more of the simpler games in the future.

...okay, I MIGHT shell out for a NIB Fathom.

#32 1 year ago

I think they may come out better making playfields, back glasses and other parts to start a "store" to help people bring back original machines. Kind of like CPR straight from the manufacturer.

#33 1 year ago

I think if stern were to remake the classics I would think cabinets would most likely be decals . Spraying with stencils just seems like it could be a nightmare for them , restrictions on type of paint and spraying conditions . Plus one customer likes a soft edge and another clean lines . I honestly don't think they would go there , a much different time than the 80s when these classics were made . All this is just guessing on my part but would people accept a decaled cabinet version of a classic stern game? I would ,but it would have to be cheaper than what I could get an original painted one for . And this is just one obsticle of many Stern would have to deal with . Which is why it will never happen in the 4-4.5 k price range . Would I buy a Seawitch or Stargazer in that price range ? Maybe

#34 1 year ago

I think Gary has squashed the ClassicVE idea before, but it does make me wonder if Spooky could come out with a machine in the classic street level style. Something that is less complicated to build than TNA but utilizing the P-ROC software capabilities.

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from starfighter:

I think Gary has squashed the ClassicVE idea before, but it does make me wonder if Spooky could come out with a machine in the classic street level style. Something that is less complicated to build than TNA but utilizing the P-ROC software capabilities.

Spooky did design a new cabinet for TNA , would make sense to make some more games for that cabinet style ,wouldn't it ?

#36 1 year ago
Quoted from trilogybeer:

Spooky did design a new cabinet for TNA , would make sense to make some more games for that cabinet style ,wouldn't it ?

Absolutely. The design works and the talent, supplies and assembly knowledge are all in place already. I am just as excited for the future as I am for TNA.

#37 1 year ago

I would be in on the classics for 4 -5K. There is something awesome about the classics. They are usually hammered to death. I have restored a Seawitch and a Meteor for my collection. Each one took a bunch of parts, time and money. 4K would have been a bargain all things considered. Sign me up for NIB Stargazer and Quicksilver now. When the classic Bally reproduction starts, Ill take a Centaur.

Mike

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