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(Topic ID: 210370)

EM pinball machines prices on the way down...on the way up


By Grayman_EM

2 years ago



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  • 72 posts
  • 38 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Electrocute
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There are 72 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 2 years ago

I've noticed (because I collect EM's) that some prices are starting to slip or going down on some EM pinballs. One that isn't really selling lately and I have noticed getting cheaper is Four Million B.C. . I have noticed it slipping below $1,000.00. Also Target Alpha has been getting lower and I think saturated the market. Any others that you have noticed?

Nip-It and Sonic Prospector have been moving up I saw a Nip-it for over $2,000.00 and a Prospector for around $2,000.00. Maybe greed but they aren't rare. Any other EM's on the way up^ .

#2 2 years ago

My observation from looking at CL listings here in Texas is that folks are still posting games for sale in fair condition for WAY more than I’d think they’re worth. Currently there’s a $1500 Top Card in San Antonio in need of quite a bit of cosmetic work and also a $1250 Space Odyssey in Austin. Just seem high.

But good to hear some appear to be coming down!

#3 2 years ago

Like everything else, listers doubling or tripling expected take.

As more basements start getting cleared more of these are going to pop up. People use pristine examples as their starting point, even though theirs "just needs a fuse"

#4 2 years ago

I call it ISS. Internet Search Syndrome. People think that because a certain price came up when they googled their game they will get it too. These same games have been sitting on eBay or CL for years at stupid prices. Sometimes a sucker will come along and scoop one up, perpetuating the issue.

#5 2 years ago
Quoted from kermit24:

I call it ISS. Internet Search Syndrome.

I blame ISIS! Internet Search Idiot Syndrome.

#6 2 years ago

Even EM pinballs that need work some are $500.00 or more. I have never given $500.00 for a pin that didn't work.

Quoted from RonSS:

People use pristine examples as their starting point, even though theirs "just needs a fuse"

Which can and will grow with everything you find that doesn't work as you go along.

#7 2 years ago

I wouldn't put much stock in growing asking prices. Falling ones are more interesting

#8 2 years ago
Quoted from kermit24:

I call it ISS. Internet Search Syndrome. People think that because a certain price came up when they googled their game they will get it too. These same games have been sitting on eBay or CL for years at stupid prices. Sometimes a sucker will come along and scoop one up, perpetuating the issue.

This drives me crazy when they always bring ebay into the discussion. As mentipned prices way too high and more of an advertisement for business.

#9 2 years ago
Quoted from chad:

This drives me crazy when they always bring ebay into the discussion. As mentipned prices way too high and more of an advertisement for business.

That's somewhat of the problem I think. Collector vs. Dealer selling, if possible I would buy off a collector but it's hard to identify which has the pin unless they have their shop in their info next to their avatar?

zacaj don't count it higher they can go until the market collapses on itself.

#10 2 years ago

I collect these games but modestly and slowly but I am always checking local classifieds- I think the market is actually increasing for many EM titles.

Two things Drive this but I will start with an observation so we will call it three.

1) As these games age out the average condition continues to drop- and the feasibility of a repair that does not take hundreds of hours goes down- so the value of a beat up basket case is not moving much- but I do see them at prices I feel are unreasonable yet the listings go away and don’t come back. So the market is going up. I just don’t agree with it.

2) Restored EM titles are going up in value rather quickly- I suppose this is good for me as I restore games but I don’t sell them (never have sold a game- I have 5 and buy carefully). As the availability of good games goes down the price of anything in decent shape continues to rise. The fact is these games are old enough that I truly believe we have two markets- a junk yard of shit that will take you insane time and effort to resurrect- and the remaining good game (I mean not trashed) the value of these increases even as unrestored examples.

3) They are pinball games- and no one can argue that’s not more popular than it was 10 yrs ago or 5 or 2.... as the DMD market goes up these become the entry point and demand is increasing. I see a LOT of EM threads with new buyers- a Lot more than 2 or 5 years ago. So more people are buying them that were not previously collectors. That raises prices.

I disagree with the entire premise. I also know that this is true (see below) and thus the market is all over the place right now. People who know are raising prices on good games- people who don’t are throwing them away.

One thing that will always be true- some view these games as garbage in grandmas basement and they get sold dirt cheap. So its always possible to find really cheap cheap examples.

#11 2 years ago

rufessor some is greed as I saw a Ro Go for $1,500.00 which some were saying was the worst EM made. Even in the auction Sunday the El Toro went for $600.00 which was high and another EM that was talked about being the worst.

I am starting to think if we talk about in here at pinside that may in a little way drive the price? Does that make any sense?

#12 2 years ago
Quoted from Grayman_EM:

I've noticed (because I collect EM's) that some prices are starting to slip or going down on some EM pinballs.

does this mean your going to temporarily suspend your plan to lowball eveybody, going forward?

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/dont-sell-to-someone-else-when-we-agree-on-a-price

#13 2 years ago

Rising prices on EMs is all Nicvolta's fault.

#14 2 years ago

I suppose it’s possible we drive prices up-I know for a fact many will google for pricing and more than one person I have purchased from found pinside and have even used a thread I started (they didn’t know) asking for pricing information to set prices!!!! But- I am willing to pay a lot more today for a good quality EM than I was 5+ years ago- so there’s your answer from me- The market went up.

#15 2 years ago

We are like Ebay in a way that people will lurk or ask about prices here and see what the collectors are talking about. Kind of scary that you can drive the market so easily like they did before the SECC. Unload your machines and watch the market collapse or correct after prices get to high.

#16 2 years ago

Cheap project games have gotten hard to find and clean playing games have gotten easier to sell. It's probably regional but in my area prices are on the way up. A couple years back I could find one or two $200-$300 games a month on Craigslist. Now anything remotely interesting and below $500 is usually gone in days.

Networking through friends seems to be the best way to get affordable games these days. 12 of the last 14 games I have bought, I've gotten through friends in the hobby.

#17 2 years ago

Forget days, any decent deal is gobbled up instantly by dealers/ flippers in my area. You need to be very fast.

#18 2 years ago

Guess its time to sell my 4MBC then....

I do follow what is listed on local CL a bit, and find the amount of lower cost games 200-400 to be pretty slow going. Not to say anything about quality.

#19 2 years ago

My experience, at least in this part of New Jersey, is that it’s incredibly hard to sell any EM for pretty much any price. People just don’t seem to want them.

#20 2 years ago

4MBC... $4 million by christmas

#21 2 years ago

An antique mall around here had a Bon Voyage for sale, no price listed. It appears to be in decent shape.

I emailed them. They said $1400 is the price. I said I hope you like it where it is because at that price it's going to be sitting there a long time unless some fool wants to be parted with his money.

#22 2 years ago

a lot has to do with geography and what has been common in that area for games and not so common. i find too there seems to be this pinball game bandwagon that goes on not sure if its from sites or gatherings but a title seems to get on everyones "a" list for whatever and possibly several reasons and the prices seem to soar, then that popularity wanes with the next "a" game that comes along.. im only going by my perspective regionally (ontario) and i seem to think 60 Gottliebs have been trending downward. they are very difficult to sell. i think their popularity lies in the restoration for these beauties and very few projects can be found , and those that have been restored, most dont see the value , expense and time put into them. id say 70s gottliebs (and im speaking in general) have been having the greatest uprise in pricing . those with nice collections of SS and dmd always seem to want a 70s gottlieb in their collection. id like to think most 70s williams/ballys have stayed rather status quo unless its one of the few titles like old chicago/4mbc etc. i dont see many 60s ballys but any i have have been cheap . id love to see more 60s williams but there too it only seems to be the more talked about titles ie heatwave that command the most. id also think there has been a rise in woodrail prices over the last two years or so , but that too because they are more rarely seen on the market. Again , i dont have empirical data to substantiate but do keep a keen eye on most public sales of games.

Also one thing i used to do is check different mr pinball price guides for trends. for instance ive seen majorettes rise then fall then rise again. i dont know what they use for their sources to gauge increase or decrease their value i suppose this rather large upswing in pinball popularity isnt really measured in those price guides however.

#23 2 years ago
Quoted from AlexF:

A couple years back I could find one or two $200-$300 games a month on Craigslist. Now anything remotely interesting and below $500 is usually gone in days.

Same in north east .I think it's a trickle down affect with price DMD machines, solid state and em the more the top machines gain value lesser machines will gain value over time on people not wanting to drop a grand+ on a machine

#24 2 years ago
Quoted from Mcshaney:

Same in north east .I think it's a trickle down affect with price DMD machines, solid state and em the more the top machines gain value lesser machines will gain value over time on people not wanting to drop a grand+ on a machine

I think that is a huge part of it. For the new homeowner type that decides he wants a game, and suddenly realizes what SS and later are going for, a $700-$800 em seems like a bargain. It may not be what they initially planned on but it makes for a nice compromise. Unfortunately those are the same games we were buying for half price a few years back.

#25 2 years ago
Quoted from singlezero:

Also one thing i used to do is check different mr pinball price guides for trends.

Mr. Pinball is almost as bad as Ebay now a days. True you could find a bargain on there, but now it's just sky high!

Added: By the way Nic I don't blame you, every hobby needs a fall guy.

#26 2 years ago

It will take a new influx of EM enthusiast to bring the prices up to where they really should be. I have been in several challenging Business environments but EM Hagglers are near the top.With a few exceptions EM Buyers are frugal, close- knit Groups expecting a commodity price much like wheat or salt, specific up or down swing limits tolerated and great condition.
This is not against those practices, I have become pretty much the same way. I still would pay above accepted cost for a few titles. By and large,though, the amount of resources put in will rarely equal out when sold.
I love Project machines but so far have not resorted to Price Police "Educational lectures", but wanted to sometimes.
So the price is;
0-350 Projects
350-650 Working Player
Anything above this is Restored,Rarity or Ridiculous.

#27 2 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

An antique mall around here had a Bon Voyage for sale, no price listed. It appears to be in decent shape.
I emailed them. They said $1400 is the price. I said I hope you like it where it is because at that price it's going to be sitting there a long time unless some fool wants to be parted with his money.

Every antique store has high priced pins. I sold a Bon voyage for $500

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from poppapin:

Every antique store has high priced pins.

I bought a couple of very cheap ones from the same exact place, so no.

#29 2 years ago
Quoted from Grayman_EM:

Nip-It and Sonic Prospector have been moving up I saw a Nip-it for over $2,000.00 and a Prospector for around $2,000.00. Maybe greed but they aren't rare. Any other EM's on the way up^ .

Funny these are being advertised in this very same thread. Both of these have been posted for 3 weeks + and haven't moved apparently at these prices.

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#30 2 years ago

Saw a Four Million B.C. on CL for $600.00 but didn't work. I think still needs to come down some. Saw a Faces that worked on CL for $2900.00 and another that didn't for $400.00. The $2900.00 has been there for several weeks and not sold.

#31 2 years ago
Quoted from poppapin:

Every antique store has high priced pins.

I know of one that has a real nice Bally Aladdin's Castle. The first time I asked the price I was told $3500 and about fell over. Then when I stopped in again it had a $4000 tag on it. Last time I think it was $4500. Is this where the $10k by Christmas thing started.

It has a "prop tag" on it. Which is apparently something Aladdin's Castle the arcade chain used to do. I bet the dealer thinks it's from a movie set or something. It is pretty clean. If it would have had a $1500 tag on it in this retail environment he may find a buyer.

#32 2 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

I bought a couple of very cheap ones from the same exact place, so no.

Usually!!

#33 2 years ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

bought a couple of very cheap ones from the same exact place, so no.

Antique mall so a vendor or a consigner probably wants to much for it . My experience is usually over priced at antique stores one timed I screwed up and didnt buy a nice condition beat time for $375

#34 2 years ago
Quoted from AlexF:

I know of one that has a real nice Bally Aladdin's Castle. The first time I asked the price I was told $3500 and about fell over. Then when I stopped in again it had a $4000 tag on it. Last time I think it was $4500. Is this where the $10k by Christmas thing started.
It has a "prop tag" on it. Which is apparently something Aladdin's Castle the arcade chain used to do. I bet the dealer thinks it's from a movie set or something. It is pretty clean. If it would have had a $1500 tag on it in this retail environment he may find a buyer.

Gee Alex, I guess that's what my Aladdin's Castle is worth. Caching

#35 2 years ago

Where were these cheap prices when I was buying the choice rare models in excellent condition that I own now?

#36 2 years ago
Quoted from LesManley:

Funny these are being advertised in this very same thread. Both of these have been posted for 3 weeks + and haven't moved apparently at these prices.

It is because someone tagged Nip It in this thread.

#37 2 years ago

I think there are many factors that are driving em game prices up or down. Geography is one of course but I think one of the biggest factors is the age of the hobbiest these days. Older collectors are starting to retire from the hobby downsizing, and need to unload their games. That's why you're seeing 60s game prices stable or even drop. Harder to unload them. (ask JR about his Diamond Jack) 70s titles are still hot as there are lots of us in the 50 to 60 year old category of people that remember these games from their youth. I've said it before in other threads, these are just big toys and we're reliving our childhood! Early solid state titles are in the same pattern of increasing prices. In 10-15 years, 70s titles prices might decline/stabilize as we the current collectors decline as well.

#38 2 years ago
Quoted from stashyboy:

I've said it before in other threads, these are just big toys and we're reliving our childhood!

Yes, (mostly), but also - No. I'm 66, re-living my childhood with 60s pins, but also delving into this analog technology to discover an ingenious world of pre-digital technology that has largely gone. In my childhood I wanted to know how they worked, now I do. So ...not re-living my childhood, but expanding my historical knowledge of what made the world tick back then. That's my excuse, anyway! In the UK, it seems that more 60s machines are coming onto the market these past couple of years than ever. (So yes, older collectors passing them on.) But the odd thing is that the prices are holding, and even rising. It isn't that easy for a new younger potential collector to deal with a 'non-working' game - harder in the UK than in the US, since we have to import most spares - so why do so many people here apparently want the 60s pins that are being sold? Might be mostly interior designers. Get it to light up, put it into the corner of a large loft apartment, and it's a 'cool feature' for a few hundred - which is cheap. And some, of course are becoming (gulp) coffee tables etc.

#39 2 years ago
Quoted from oldtowner:

Yes, (mostly), but also - No.

That's me too. Nostalgia got me into pinball but my focus isn't really the games I grew up with.

#40 2 years ago
Quoted from oldtowner:

Yes, (mostly), but also - No. I'm 66, re-living my childhood with 60s pins, but also delving into this analog technology to discover an ingenious world of pre-digital technology that has largely gone. In my childhood I wanted to know how they worked, now I do. So ...not re-living my childhood, but expanding my historical knowledge of what made the world tick back then. That's my excuse, anyway! In the UK, it seems that more 60s machines are coming onto the market these past couple of years than ever. (So yes, older collectors passing them on.) But the odd thing is that the prices are holding, and even rising. It isn't that easy for a new younger potential collector to deal with a 'non-working' game - harder in the UK than in the US, since we have to import most spares - so why do so many people here apparently want the 60s pins that are being sold? Might be mostly interior designers. Get it to light up, put it into the corner of a large loft apartment, and it's a 'cool feature' for a few hundred - which is cheap. And some, of course are becoming (gulp) coffee tables etc.

I like what you said about wanting to know how they work and expanding historical knowledge of what made the world tick back then. I think that's one of several factors in my interest. I always loved these games but once I owned one and started taking them apart and putting them back together again -- seeing the genius in how they were designed and put together -- my love for this hobby grew 100 fold.

#41 2 years ago

I am finding it super hard to untangle me and the market. I was to young in the 70’s to make it to an arcade unattended and for sure grew up playing video games and not pinball. I literally have no recollection of ever really playing a pinball game- I know I did, but I have distinct memories of Joust and Defender and PacMan and Robotron etc... yet I have no interest in owning one of them. If I am a normal collector- of pinball- then I am not so sure that price goes with age of collectors. For SURE you need to be old enough to have disposable income, but I know more than a few collectors buying EM games that are younger than I.

I think there is an emphasis on analog tech lately thats in part a response to the sterility of digital. So Pinball- Vinyl- Cars- some how are all collected together and I actually think this connection is what really counts. My question is- will my kids see this as interesting or just stupid- and I suspect it will remain interesting.

We went to Universal Studios and went on some (most) of the rides and everyone- liked the real roller coasters (analog tech) a lot more than the virtual reality 3D rides. Don’t get me wrong- I love tech- but the real deal is so much more interesting. That’s why I like pinball- if that continues to translate to even a fraction of the kids today these games are not going down in price over the long term. In this case when I say Analog- I refer to an actual metal ball and solid objects with flippers- not to SS vs EM.

Pinball is not an investment for me and I really don’t care what the value does- any more than I care how much my current pedal bike will be worth in 5 years- just saying that I think it goes beyond what you grew up playing.

Totally agree with everyone else saying they are cool for more than 1 reason.

I do however wonder what the art will be thought of. I cannot find a single game from the 60’s or earlier I have any interest in owning- just cannot do the art. So if younger kids start to feel the same way about the 70s games... then I am totally wrong and in 25 years none of these games are worth jack. Who cares.

#42 2 years ago

Totally agree about the current vogue for analog. Also - I have no personal interest in the potential monetary value of the three machines that I have - buy i do hope there's enough interest in EM pins in the future (I'm talking generations now) for at least some of them to survive, and the best chance of survival is if they have monetary value. Re: "60s or earlier - cannot do the art" - now that's interesting. I think maybe art style is just a personal thing, not necessarily tied to age? I like the art on many 50s and 60s games, and that's no doubt an age thing for me - but also, I know younger people who like pin art from that period too. Or at least some if it. 1950s representations of native Americans, and such themes as 'Minstrel Man' wouldn't go down too well with some, understandably. I wince myself sometimes, and I grew up with those themes.

#43 2 years ago
Quoted from LesManley:

Funny these are being advertised in this very same thread. Both of these have been posted for 3 weeks + and haven't moved apparently at these prices.

Nip It would be gone if it was a game I wanted. Single player games(especially Wedgeheads) seem to be going up.

#44 2 years ago
Quoted from rufessor:

I do however wonder what the art will be thought of. I cannot find a single game from the 60’s or earlier I have any interest in owning- just cannot do the art.

Man that's one of the things I love most about EM's it's the retro art, mostly unlicensed themes, often everyday kind of scenes, it's classic. All the more modern offerings that are just adverts for movies or bands or TV shows don't interest at all in terms of art. Everyone is different though, there's room in the pinball pool for lots of tastes.

#45 2 years ago

I get that, for sure there are plenty of collectors who find the early games amazing art wise- that speaks to this not being a “dude over 55 market” which is a good thing for the longevity of all these fun toyz! To each his own- I vote brunette

#46 2 years ago
Quoted from rufessor:

I get that, for sure there are plenty of collectors who find the early games amazing art wise

I hosted a staff party last year, and a millennial co-worker said, "I heard you had 'old pinball machines', but I didn't think they would look like this. It's like a whole wall of art!"

I think the aesthetic is still appreciated by many younger than me (48).

#47 2 years ago

I talked to a local guy who posted a Wizard! for $4k. He said he saw games on ebay selling for $5k.

After it sat for a few weeks, I went to go see it and he was still adamant he wanted $2k. Nice machine, perfect backglass, playfield wear, and he couldn't get it to start up.

I walked away.

#48 2 years ago
Quoted from zene10:

I talked to a local guy who posted a Wizard! for $4k. He said he saw games on ebay selling for $5k.
After it sat for a few weeks, I went to go see it and he was still adamant he wanted $2k. Nice machine, perfect backglass, playfield wear, and he couldn't get it to start up.
I walked away.

That's what gripes my ass is when people post ads quoting eBay asking prices. These people clearly know nothing about the pinball hobby or the used market. They're not even smart enough to look at sold listings and see what games actually sell for (which is still probably more than real market value). Most of these people asking these ridiculous prices are not/never have been/never will be pinball hobbyists.

Name me one Pinsider or RGP'r that is experienced in the hobby who could honestly ask $4.5K for a player Aladdin's Castle, or $4k for a players Wizard! and not feel guilty about it. I know I couldn't.

-Steve

#49 2 years ago

UK and European EM prices are on the rise and have been for some 2 years. I think its much due to the prices being paid for SS and DM, the later especially, games falling out of most peoples price range. For example, Bop [Bride of Pinbot] prices are always 1k and more, 5 years ago these were in the low hundreds.

'Collectable' EM machines are going the same way where early Gottliebs used to be around for a hundred or so pounds, now most are a grand upward, in working order.

The trend seems to be folk in the retirement range are reliving their youth and treating themselves to a machine they played in their youth. In the UK, those in that range are generally quite well off and pay accordingly.

#50 2 years ago

ebay.com link » Like

Got to love it. Skylab $1,999.00 98% working, wonder where the other 2% is?

Mine $600.00 and well not perfect it is well worth the price.

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