Quoted from chuckwurt:
It is that. Got to get while the getting is good. They have way more demand than supply right now. They have to respond with price hikes to take advantage.
This is a money grab and the result of not having a lot of competition out there. People decide with their wallets and this hobby is full of people with disposable incomes.
Unfortunately the price increase is enough to make a dent, but people have this money. if you are spending 6k on a pin you also have $7K.
Stern understand this and decided to gouge their clients base.
Flippers will now push the bar again, people will get used to the new over MSRP of $10-11K for a premium in the used market, Stern will then increase their prices again while continuing to provide a subpar product when compared to the competition.
If Stern made a quality product I would be ok with their price increase. This would justify it to support the company, better pay for the employees and a better company culture. I suspect this is not the case, they might expand and hire more people, but I don't think people are getting paid more.
Cabinet quality will continue to be the worst I have seen in a pinball machine, crap decals and cheap electronics. The spike II system might cost $500 per board, but the components on these are cheap. It is an arm computer with a SD card reader. It cannot get cheaper than that.
These new prices are ridiculous and just a money grab. It is disappointing to see this from a company that calls itself 'a lifestyle' company.
Let's be honest, Elwin's games are well designed, but they are built around the cheapest components and toys I have ever seen in pinball, nonetheless, we continue to buy into this crap, people often repairing a NIB and being ok with it 'IT IS PART OF THE HOBBY' I hear...
It is sad really.