(Topic ID: 228283)

Crowdfunding for pin manufacture?!


By MegaGhost

6 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 32 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by KozMckPinball
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    #1 6 months ago

    You get a group of pinheads together and bounce of some ideas of what themes they would love to see and there will be many who agree on particular themes they would buy in a heartbeat. I've got it in my mind that one of my life goals is to one day see a "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" pin put into production. While that may or may not be your theme of choice I love the idea that there could be a way of bringing together interested investors in a project to see it born into reality. All of those Led Zeppelin fans out there...or Rush...or another big name band for example...if they were united could collectively put down the cash to get their dream pin off the ground as a group...whereas as an individual it would be financially out of reach for all but the ultra wealthy or those who are willing to take on great debt with a loan.

    I love homebrew but don't really want to personally spend the time and energy to make it happen. And frankly even if I did I don't think it would be all I want the pin to be if I did it all myself. Also, a one of a kind pin isn't going to spread the joy like one that was produced on a larger scale that can be in more homes.

    I heard in an interview with American pinball that they are adding a 3rd line for production of pins that might come from the homebrew or public market. Working with them and doing ones due diligence a person to count the cost of production and licensing...etc. Then they could turn to crowdfunding sites like "Kickstarter" and start a campaign to find more interested people than just on pinside...and offer tshirts...and other goodies for contributing after the project is funded. They've done it for virtual pinball. It would take lots of planning and work but maybe we'd get some titles that would never happen otherwise?!

    I'd love to hear your input about the feasibility of this. Is there another way to accomplish this? Something I'm missing?

    19
    #2 6 months ago

    I hope and pray the pinball community is done with paying in advance for machines that may never be produced.

    #3 6 months ago
    Quoted from MegaGhost:

    Something I'm missing?

    Please read the entire Predator thread and report back with your thoughts please.

    #4 6 months ago
    Quoted from entomophile:

    I hope and pray the pinball community is done with paying in advance for machines that may never be produced.

    Do you see that being an issue with crowdfunding? With kickstarter the money is only collected if there is enough to fund the project.

    #5 6 months ago
    Quoted from MegaGhost:

    Do you see that being an issue with crowdfunding? With kickstarter the money is only collected if there is enough to fund the project.

    To fund the project.

    Doesn't mean that it actually gets built or works.

    LTG : )

    #6 6 months ago
    Quoted from MegaGhost:

    Do you see that being an issue with crowdfunding? With kickstarter the money is only collected if there is enough to fund the project.

    The money is collected once target amount is raised. There is no guarantee that anything will ever be delivered. Plenty of examples of people getting ripped off on Kickstarter.

    #7 6 months ago
    Quoted from Jgel:Please read the entire Predator thread and report back with your thoughts please.

    I'm a long time lover of pins...but new to the whole community scene. I will read it. Not my intent to scratch at old wounds. I feel like I walked in mid-way through a movie that everyone knows the characters and plot but me. Forgive my lack of knowledge about backstory. Thanks. My end goal is to figure out if there is a way to get pins made "by the people" so to speak.

    #8 6 months ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    To fund the project.
    Doesn't mean that it actually gets built or works.
    LTG : )

    True true true. Its possible.

    #9 6 months ago
    Quoted from entomophile:

    The money is collected once target amount is raised. The is no guarantee that anything will ever be delivered. Plenty of examples of people getting ripped off on Kickstarter.

    I know it happens. I wonder if there is a better way?

    #11 6 months ago

    It's unfortunate that these things are so damn expensive. My favorite band, Marillion started the crowd funding model that is used by kickstarter and all Indy bands. It would be nice if there was a better and safer model for pinball investors, though. A lot of big money that has been pissed away has really soured people on the "pay to build" approach. Maybe someone can can come up with an innovative "donation" system that can work with larger amounts, time will tell.

    #12 6 months ago

    This is the best idea I’ve ever heard.

    #13 6 months ago
    Quoted from Frippertron:

    It's unfortunate that these things are so damn expensive. My favorite band, Marillion started the crowd funding model that is used by kickstarter and all Indy bands. It would be nice if there was a better and safer model for pinball investors, though. A lot of big money that has been pissed away has really soured people on the "pay to build" approach. Maybe someone can can come up with an innovative "donation" system that can work with larger amounts, time will tell.

    I appreciate your thoughts. It seems you're right...it would have to be innovative.

    #14 6 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    This is the best idea I’ve ever heard.

    Levi, you are in rare form lately, my friend. Is the old lady out of town or did she kick your broke ass to the curb?

    #15 6 months ago

    Thinking I'll just drain this one. Perhaps I'll revisit it with a different approach after I've looked into it more. Want to save the old-timers the energy of having to type mocking comments. LOL.

    #16 6 months ago
    Quoted from MegaGhost:

    Thinking I'll just drain this one. Perhaps I'll revisit it with a different approach after I've looked into it more. Want to save the old-timers the energy of having to type mocking comments. LOL.

    Don't worry about them. If you are serious about building pinball machines do your due diligence, but you are gonna need to try to build a single game before you get funding(most likely) just remember pinball is hard and expensive. I wish you the best.

    #17 6 months ago
    Quoted from MegaGhost:

    Do you see that being an issue with crowdfunding? With kickstarter the money is only collected if there is enough to fund the project.

    I think you are probably under estimating how much it actually costs to build a pinball machine and also just how much time and effort is needed to bring something to life. For a start you would need to determine if you want a licenced machine. Actually obtaining a licence under your scenario would be difficult - not impossible, but difficult.

    Then you have R&D for layout, artwork (possibly free if you can convince an artist to come on board), programming (again possibly free or a deal done). If not free (or a deal done) factor around $100K~300K MINIMUM for all of the above.

    Then you have to build the machines and ship them all over the place. Who would do this? Stern, Spooky, Homepin? - Maybe.

    Naturally it can be done but unless you think a crowdfunding campaign would raise in the vicinity of $800K~$1.5M >>> then there simply wouldn't be enough money to do it and make the goods (working on an assumption that you could get 100 people all interested in the same theme/machine).

    On top of this you would need several very dedicated people to oversee everything and make key decisions on behalf of all contributors. This will dredge up a host of arguments and discussions - "I don't want a XXX in the game" or "why are you making the XXX purple?" These comments would be endless!

    You already say you don't want to build your own machine - this project would be 2000 times harder than making one machine on your own. Nice thought but a huge amount of work to make it happen.

    All the above is just my opinion of course.

    #18 6 months ago

    You're fine, Ghost.
    Seriously, you're getting the mildest form of ribbing from this crowd. Your earnestness is admirable, but your intuition is spot on... old deep wounds over the idea.

    #19 6 months ago

    Skip Kickstarter.

    Not sure how little you want to be involved, but you have to have some involvement - but maybe gather a group that can do the 'heavy lifting' in their area of expertise.

    Make friends with an artist, ME, EE, CS, and a woodworker. Then talk your new buddies into joining a makers guild (I think that's what they call it) which is a community based place that has CNC, woodworking, shop machinery, etc. to make "things". A local college and/or a community college would be where I look for these people. Stick an ad on the bulletin board about making a pin. Base the electricals on a common platform, like P-ROC, maybe find a used cabinet and repurpose it. The students could likely get credit for their work which gives them a reason to follow thru with it.

    Actually sounds fun, but sometimes it takes me a month to change a light bulb in a PIN, not sure if I would ever finish making my own pin. maybe when I retire!

    #20 6 months ago
    Quoted from MegaGhost:

    I'd love to hear your input about the feasibility of this. Is there another way to accomplish this? Something I'm missing?

    Not going to happen. Too many people have been burned on preorders. Skit-B, Zidware, Heighway, Dutch Pinball, to name the major ones.

    On top of that, investors will want to put in their two cents and a game will end up being designed by committee. Those kinds of projects never, ever go well.

    Take stock of your capabilities and where you might contribute in an undertaking like this. Then, find other people to fill in on the things you aren't able to easily do. Several people have built their own games. But, it can sometimes be several years before it is completed. Not everybody can stick it out for that long, and I certainly commend those who do.

    #21 6 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    This is the best idea I’ve ever heard.

    I withdraw my $20 bet from the Beatles, and will instead save it for the Kickstarter.

    #22 6 months ago

    Geeze... just look at TBL and Dutch Pinball. A fantastic game and lots of investors out in the cold after prepaying. Hopefully someone picks this up and the games actually gets produced.

    #23 6 months ago
    Quoted from Frippertron:

    It's unfortunate that these things are so damn expensive. My favorite band, Marillion started the crowd funding model that is used by kickstarter and all Indy bands. It would be nice if there was a better and safer model for pinball investors, though. A lot of big money that has been pissed away has really soured people on the "pay to build" approach. Maybe someone can can come up with an innovative "donation" system that can work with larger amounts, time will tell.

    Bump for the Steves and Marillion!

    #24 6 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    This is the best idea I’ve ever heard.

    You need the sarcasm emoji, this noob isn't familiar with the sordid history of this sickeningly familiar madness.
    Vonnie D- https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vonnie-d-pinball-update

    SKitB- https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-official-pinside-skit-b-predator-discussion

    Zidware/J-Pop- https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/jpop-update-thread%e2%80%a6%e2%80%a6%e2%80%a6%e2%80%a6%e2%80%a6mg-raza-and-aiw%e2%80%a6

    Even the Stern coffeetable book is so far a failure: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/stern-coffee-table-book-kickstarter/page/25#post-4656359

    TLDR: There is a history of dismal failures, such that the term scam could apply. Don't be the next scammer. Multimorphic has an open platform for developers. I think that's a great option for someone with no resources to work on creating a game.

    #25 6 months ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    I withdraw my $20 bet from the Beatles, and will instead save it for the Kickstarter.

    The second best idea I've ever heard.

    #26 6 months ago

    Why does pinball attract so many people without capital to invest in manufacturing? It seems other Businesses less technical and labor-intensive would be more profitable. Crowdfunding is responsible, or the concept anyway. Pinball is becoming similar to the car market, there are plenty of Manufacturers, plenty of used ones to choose from. Buyers however, especially for the new and high-end, are finite.
    Translation, we don't need no more Manufacturers of overpriced pinball machines. We do need a source of quality, feature packed machines under 5000 dollars, this is only possible with mass production.

    #27 6 months ago

    Man, you are grossly underestimating the difficultly and capital requirements to build any machine that would be valuable in the current market...at any price. Companies with a ton of talent and resources can’t get it done. This is a pipe dream, friend. Let it go.

    #28 6 months ago

    The challenge in manufacturing Pinball is not the access to capital, it is the ability to do it successfully.

    The only conversation I have ever had with Gary Stern was at CAX back before FAST Pinball was FAST (we were Skillshot back then). I introduced myself and told him what we were doing and that I hoped we could make it easier for people to design and build pinball. He told me that these new pinball companies are going to learn that being a pinball company is really being manufacturing company. That running a successful manufacturing company is hard.

    Me being me, I said, “We can at least help develop the next generation of pinball designers for companies like yours to hire someday.”

    Gary said, “this is agree with. There isn’t a next generation of pinball designers coming down the line.”

    Fast forward to 2018 and look at all the budding new pinball designers cutting their teeth in indie pinball. So cool to see.

    I have learned that there is no shortage of money out there to create great things. I have also learned that pinball is NOT some special case where all the normal rules of business don’t apply (JPOP used to argue with me about that. “Aaron, Pinball is different...”)

    If your idea and/or design is THAT good, the opportunity to take it to the next level will present itself. If your indie pinball company’s business plan is sound, the money will come.

    Aaron
    FAST Pinball

    #29 6 months ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    Why does pinball attract so many people without capital to invest in manufacturing?

    Maybe they want their dream theme to be made, since it's unlikely anyone else will build it ?

    LTG : )

    #30 6 months ago

    Once you get your pinball company started, please contact Paperflock and see if you can get the Stern book moving...

    #31 6 months ago

    @OP, why not start by restoring a game, learn how a machine works
    then retheme an old trashed machine

    learn all you can, maybe you have more abilities than you think

    #32 6 months ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    Maybe they want their dream theme to be made, since it's unlikely anyone else will build it ?
    LTG : )

    If it's a music pin based on show tunes, I'm out!

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