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?