I wouldn't necessarily agree with that. You can't say they have nothing to do with each other. WH2O has a ton of ramps and the whirlpool and the "waterslide" ramp down the left side, which makes the game fun and is definitely indicative of the theme. Having a whirlpool shot/ramp on a Nascar really wouldn't mesh...would it? Themes matter more now especially with Stern games, because the games are designed somewhat generically off a template. You don't see games like WH2O getting produced anymore...games now have the same smaller ramps, tiny pops, etc. The theme has taken over for Stern for the most part. But JJP's WOZ has a ton of fun shots, ramps all over the place...good design. The PF actually comes up to the glass because of all the ramps, toys and trinkets...the game actually fills the cabinet. I'm not a Wizard of Oz fan...but would I own a WOZ at some point? Hell yeah. Jack and his team did a good job on that game...art package, sound, design and the game plays extremely well.
Quoted from wayout440:
I think true collectors can appreciate great themes above and beyond a not-so-great playing table.
Most pinheads tell you never to buy a game based solely on theme...but I've done it multiple times without even playing the game first. And I've rarely regretted it. As wayout said, even if the gameplay is somewhat sluggish, most hobbyists can find something they like about a game. Unless you only want to own one pin, it's nice to have other attractive pins, or themes you like in your collection. Game play will not always be optimal on every pin you like the artwork on.
For instance, I have a GTB Sys 80 Spidey. Game play is what it is, but I love that game. Not horrible to play at all...enough shots to keep you busy, and I really like the blips and beeps that soundboard spits out. Some people just don't like wide bodies. If you have the space, I would have that Spidey just to stare at the original Marvel artwork all day. Attractive BG, and the PF art is absolutely awesome on that pin.
Would I spend $7,500 on a pin just because of the theme or art? Probably not. But IMO there are only very few pins I've ever come across, EM, SS, DMD, etc. that I thought the gameplay was absolutely horrible and there was nothing to like. I've played several pins that I could not stand the theme on but they were great...and I'd definitely grab one of those if I came across one at a great price.
Look at AC/DC. That is a very well designed game, and even more fun and attractive modded out. But I know people that have that pin, yet they cannot stand AC/DC.