(Topic ID: 18370)

I can't afford this hobby anymore. These prices are ridiculous.


By PinBill

7 years ago



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  • 181 posts
  • 83 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by txstargazer3
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #151 7 years ago

    I don't see what all the fuss is about. I want a NIB so bad I can taste it. Mmmmmm yum. I could probably come up with one but it wouldn't be a responsible move on my part at this point in my life. But to say their over priced is ridiculous. Have you taken a good look at a pin these days? Over 3000 individual parts, art, programing, labor, overhead, advertising, etc,etc etc. I'm sure they would like to make a small profit somewhere along the line.Pins were not designed to go in the home, they were designed to make money. They stopped making money so they stopped making them. We as collectors decided we wanted them in our homes so they started making them again. We have made it clear we didn't want them to change a bit, hell we still want the coindoor. There not going to get cheaper just because there toys unless we let them make them cheaper. We will not have that though(sterns build quality). NIB pins are fairly priced for the Times and for the profit margin required to keep someone interested in making them for us. Does anyone know what a nib coke machine cost in 1990? What's it cost now? I bet it's increased about the same. Along with cars, houses, the list goes on and on. You get what you pay for in the Times you pay for it. The whole pro vs le argument is silly also. When.I bought my jeep I got the same option. Upgrade for more coin. Happens with everything. Everyone looks at it backwards. They think the le is the pin but you can buy a lesser version and save money. No, the pro is the pin and you can buy a nicer version for more coin. We all want a commercial product at a residential price. Same with air hockey tables and pool tables etc. It's expensive as hell because it's a commercial product designed for a business to buy to make money. We just decided to put them in our basements and set them on free play.

    #152 7 years ago
    Quoted from Atomicboy:

    does $7,000 really seem like an unfair inflation?

    nope! 2.5%-3% a year, right about in line with the CPI increase since then

    #153 7 years ago
    Quoted from Atomicboy:

    Hold on, prices of NIB in the 90s, 20 years ago were $3,500-$4,500 for quality b/w titles, new. Stern doesn’t make the same quality, or invest in the same materials. Forget about that for a sec, as we call agree we don’t need another Stern quality discussion, but if you figure on a company making b/w like product, with new innovation, and new parts, 20 years later, does $7,000 really seem like an unfair inflation?

    You're high on your quote from 20 years ago, not factoring in that often 20-50% of B/W titles were sold at closeout pricing ($1900-2200). My friend bought a NIB MB for $3600 in 98, and that was cutthroat pricing... he had to drive 20 hrs round trip bc every distributor was sold out.

    And it's also the fact that the prices didn't creep up or gradually increase over time. It was $4000 NIB for top of the line fully featured model..then directly to $5600, then $6600. Many paid $7400 for their LTBR/BIB. That's within two years. That's why people are having trouble with it, not because the inflation rate isn't correct but because it happened so quickly.

    Stern's new games are selling better at the new price increases than they did before, so I think overall most have indeed gotten a grip.

    #154 7 years ago

    If it ever gets made. It looks cool and it's a great theme.

    And i have another prediction: WOZ is going to be a big bust. I have one on order but i don't know why. I see this pin losing value big time. And not just cause of the "mainstream" theme that every game room in the world will need.

    #155 7 years ago

    agree with the_pin_family 100%

    With new cars today the average transaction price is close to $30K, not every person can not afford $30K but most can buy a nice used car $5K (or even a new but small car for maybe $14K).

    The thing is the car market is huge, they sell 12 million new cars/trucks a year in the US so there is a lot of competition and lots of markets for both cheap or expensive. Pin market is much smaller so we have less choices in new pins.

    I was looking at a car magazine and they had a Ford F-series truck (with diesel and all the bells and whistles) was list for $70K, yes that's $70K for one truck, doesn't unclude a house or anything else. You can get a lower trim level of the F-series truck for $25K so the question is, does Ford have a right to sell a truck for $70K if some people can afford and want to buy it? Even is most regular people can't afford one?

    There is a new pin BHZA that is going to cost $10K+ that's a lot of money, but you don't have to worry about that when you can pick up pins like T2 or Bride of Pinbot two nice pins for under $2K each.

    #156 7 years ago

    Is the growth in the hobby coming from the attraction of the recent NIB titles? Is that the bait that draws folks in, even if they start with buying an older less expensive pin? How are we reaching these new buyers? That is important to understand if we want to bring even more noobs into pinball.

    #157 7 years ago
    Quoted from bigdaddy07:

    Dude, I guess your not familiar with TZ??? My comment was a simple play off the buy in button, not to be taken serious at all. This is a pinball forum after all.

    Ok, if the post doesn't apply to you then don't worry about it. It was merely the trigger and response to several years or reading posts by folks that think more supply increases price. Things like "Since Jack charged 6500 for Woz, then that gave the greenlight to Stern to jack up their prices". Stuff like that. Sorry I took your light hearted comment for a deep misunderstanding of economics and the free market. My bad.

    #158 7 years ago
    Quoted from mechslave:

    You're high on your quote from 20 years ago, not factoring in that often 20-50% of B/W titles were sold at closeout pricing ($1900-2200). My friend bought a NIB MB for $3600 in 98, and that was cutthroat pricing... he had to drive 20 hrs round trip bc every distributor was sold out.
    And it's also the fact that the prices didn't creep up or gradually increase over time. It was $4000 NIB for top of the line fully featured model..then directly to $5600, then $6600. Many paid $7400 for their LTBR/BIB. That's within two years. That's why people are having trouble with it, not because the inflation rate isn't correct but because it happened so quickly.
    Stern's new games are selling better at the new price increases than they did before, so I think overall most have indeed gotten a grip.

    But WHY are they selling better at the new price increases?

    Part of the reason is that they are more fully featured, and have been great playing pins. People were bitching and complaining about how cheap Stern was being with stripped playfields etc. Stern listened and comes out with more fully featured LE models, which are obviously going to cost more. So far, they haven't had trouble selling them.

    #159 7 years ago
    Quoted from rai:

    most can buy a nice used car $5K

    those really don't exist any more, rai. I guess that all depends on your definition of "nice", however.

    #160 7 years ago
    Quoted from RobT:

    Part of the reason is that they are more fully featured, and have been great playing pins. People were bitching and complaining about how cheap Stern was being with stripped playfields etc. Stern listened and comes out with more fully featured LE models, which are obviously going to cost more. So far, they haven't had trouble selling them.

    I agree, I don't think Stern necessarily price gauging (well maybe just a little) but, these newer games have a lot more features that the ones from a couple years ago and so the price has to be higher. I personally will pay 6500 for a nice fully featured NIB machine but, at that price point, I will be more discriminant than at 4500. If I see more then a couple of things I don't like, I will not buy, whereas for 4500 I will be a little bit more forgiving. In other words a 6500+ machine better blow be away, totally, thus I still haven't made a NIB purchase.

    #161 7 years ago

    The Costco "Classic" pins didn't sell very well in my area. They had 3 BDK at my local Costco and they sat for months. Jack was right when he questioning Gary's strategy about not making pins his customers wanted. People want full featured pins with the Pro model being the only type of model they will buy that doesn't have all the features of a Premium/LE. Doubt you will see another Classic model.

    Gary finally listened, but only after Jack decided to start his own company. Stern seems to now being doing better as they have hired people back and ramped up production. More designers + increased BOM = Higher prices. People that can't afford new are purchasing used, driving up those prices.

    Sorry, don't see a big change in the immediate future. I can see a leveling off with production of pins increasing, but there is not a big enough supply glut to flood a market.

    #162 7 years ago
    Quoted from Atomicboy:

    Look around people, Pinside is the only example you need. Look at the explosion here in the last 6 months alone? Massive amounts of people, new people, all drooling over new machines. Supply and demand at it’s finest.

    If it's true that a large number of new people recently became interested in pinball or at least recently decided to join the hobby, what drove this interest? I certainly see that there are quite a few new comers on this board. What compelled you?

    Don't get me wrong, despite the fact that pin prices have increased recently, I welcome everyone! I've been trying to get my friends into pinball for many years without any success. As far as I'm concerned, the more the merrier.

    #163 7 years ago
    Quoted from levcrush:

    If it's true that a large number of new people recently became interested in pinball or at least recently decided to join the hobby, what drove this interest? I certainly see that there are quite a few new comers on this board. What compelled you?

    I suppose I am one of these new people. My obsession began almost a year ago, on my birthday. I was in Seattle for a work conference, and some friends decided to take me to Shorty's to celebrate. I ended up playing MM for 30 minutes on one credit. Just kept getting extra balls and free games. It was awesome. When I got home I decided to look into owning one for my home. Sad I couldn't afford an MM, but one of my co-workers had starting getting into pinball at the same time. So our obsessions fed off each other.

    I dont know if there is one magic answer to why there are a ton of new people getting into it right now. Maybe its that the kids who played 90s DMD games when they were 10-13 are all hitting 30 and have extra income now? Can't say for sure.

    #164 7 years ago
    Quoted from levcrush:

    Don't get me wrong, despite the fact that pin prices have increased recently, I welcome everyone! I've been trying to get my friends into pinball for many years without any success. As far as I'm concerned, the more the merrier.

    +1 Exactly! Let's grow this hobby. Pinball is rising again!

    #165 7 years ago

    I'm one of the "new" people. I love pinball, my parents have an old Twin Win sitting in their basement, and my ultimate "want" for Christmas lists forever has been an Addams Family pinball. I used to go to arcades with my mom in my teens in the 1990s, then went to college, got married, got first house, etc. There hasn't been a pinball to be seen anywhere around me since the mall arcade closed over 10 years ago, so I didn't really have the bug, too many other things to think about like growing up and paying bills. Recently moved into our big house (as in bigger than the 1000 sq ft house we somehow squished into for 9 years) that will be our "forever house" since it has everything we want, including a finished walk-out basement. We are true DINKS... dual income, no kids, a little money to spare. Husband is into electronics, was operations manager for a home theater company until the chain went out of business. Basement in the new house has a huge bedroom that is now our decked-out modern theater with 7.1 surround and 3D 82" TV. He has all the PS3/Vita/Xbox consoles, and we've played the Williams and Gottleib collection for the Wii, but he has never (ever!) played a real pinball in his life. THEN he downloaded the new Pinball Arcade and started playing TOM and TOTAN. Thought they were very cool. I took him to the local pinball store where TOM was sitting in person, and he fell in love with the real thing. ("Wow, it really exists!") A few months of searching later, and I've got a JP on the way and he's already trying to figure out how many pins we will eventually be able to fit into the other bedroom beside the theater, now called the "arcade." He's also starting to realize how many themes there are to pinball, as he's in love with the LOTR one he say in person, and is now introducing his electronic-loving friend to pinball too.

    I think it is people who knew pinball growing up, have it in their blood, and now have the money/room/ability to start getting into it, possibly resurged by the virtual offerings that are now out giving them the pinball fever again.

    #166 7 years ago
    Quoted from DrStarkweather:

    I dont know if there is one magic answer to why there are a ton of new people getting into it right now. Maybe its that the kids who played 90s DMD games when they were 10-13 are all hitting 30 and have extra income now? Can't say for sure.

    I think for me, it's a variety of reasons....but here's something I thought of recently. I liked pins in the 90's but didn't "get" them like I do now. I was more of a video game guy. I think once I learned pinball had rules - levels, modes, "boss fights" even...I got a joy from pinball that the early 80's video games like Super Mario and Megaman gave me. Those old platform action games had a lot of quick reflexes and precise jumps - and it was really satisfying to survive through a tough level. They also had memorable music and sound FX. Video games aren't like that anymore....and I found myself being disinterested in the current style of gaming. The fun I have with pinball is like the fun I had with old video games...but since I didn't "get" pinball in the 90's, it's kind of all new and exciting to me every time I discover and learn how to play a new game!

    #167 7 years ago
    Quoted from markmon:

    Expecting games to drop on price isn't the answer either, though. I'm not trying to be rude here. But pinball prices aren't high because manufacturers are greedy. They're high because it costs a lot to make a good game. A $6000 pinball today is on par price wise with a $3000 pinball in 1993. That's just regular inflation. Complaining about the prices doesn't seem like the answer. If you cannot afford the new pins, wait a few years and see if they drop in price and buy what you can afford.
    And I shouldn't be ashamed of being able to afford 20 expensive pins either It's not that people are just less fortunate. A few years ago I was barely getting by managing a McDonalds for $20k a year. I worked 80 hours a week for several years to get to where I am at now. People make their lives into what they want.

    I disagree, so you are saying pinball prices doubled in 15 years due to inflation while tons of other stuff has gone down (tvs, computers). Bicycles have not gone up if any. Companies use that excuse to double thier price instead of adding the normal few % inflation per year.

    So that means everyones salary has also doubled in the last 15 years?

    Companies like Stern are relasing LP and PRO because buyer will pay that and Stern can have a larger profit margin. JJP we are paying for the R&D thus the high cost.

    You can buy a car for a few grand more that is way more complex.

    #168 7 years ago
    Quoted from mechslave:

    And it's also the fact that the prices didn't creep up or gradually increase over time. It was $4000 NIB for top of the line fully featured model..then directly to $5600, then $6600. Many paid $7400 for their LTBR/BIB. That's within two years. That's why people are having trouble with it, not because the inflation rate isn't correct but because it happened so quickly.
    Stern's new games are selling better at the new price increases than they did before, so I think overall most have indeed gotten a grip.

    Stern attempted to keep the price flat in face of inflation but kept profit by cutting features and cheapening on parts. At one point, they laid off their expensive design teams and kept the most minimal team possible. After customer outcry, they have given up on flattening the prices and have again been making full features machines but are selling them for what they are worth. The are the LEs. They also make the cheaper version called the pro for those that route the machine or otherwise don't want to pay the LE prices. I think it was a great compromise.

    #169 7 years ago
    Quoted from the_pin_family:

    I don't see what all the fuss is about. I want a NIB so bad I can taste it. Mmmmmm yum. I could probably come up with one but it wouldn't be a responsible move on my part at this point in my life. But to say their over priced is ridiculous. Have you taken a good look at a pin these days? Over 3000 individual parts, art, programing, labor, overhead, advertising, etc,etc etc. I'm sure they would like to make a small profit somewhere along the line.Pins were not designed to go in the home, they were designed to make money. They stopped making money so they stopped making them. We as collectors decided we wanted them in our homes so they started making them again. We have made it clear we didn't want them to change a bit, hell we still want the coindoor. There not going to get cheaper just because there toys unless we let them make them cheaper. We will not have that though(sterns build quality). NIB pins are fairly priced for the Times and for the profit margin required to keep someone interested in making them for us. Does anyone know what a nib coke machine cost in 1990? What's it cost now? I bet it's increased about the same. Along with cars, houses, the list goes on and on. You get what you pay for in the Times you pay for it. The whole pro vs le argument is silly also. When.I bought my jeep I got the same option. Upgrade for more coin. Happens with everything. Everyone looks at it backwards. They think the le is the pin but you can buy a lesser version and save money. No, the pro is the pin and you can buy a nicer version for more coin. We all want a commercial product at a residential price. Same with air hockey tables and pool tables etc. It's expensive as hell because it's a commercial product designed for a business to buy to make money. We just decided to put them in our basements and set them on free play.

    There are so many great points in this post, I won't even try to dissect it.

    As for the reasoning for new members, here is my story. I wasn't able to go to arcades when I was a kid. Living on base in Germany didn't leave me with too many options. There were video games, but I liked pins more, even though I almost never had access to them. 20 years later I have a life, family, and income of my own and wanted to have an awesome toy. I looked through ebay for several weeks looking at all of the themes available. I narrowed it down to a few and took to CL as well as continuing on ebay. I found my Super Mario ~120 miles away and drove up a few days later. I had my Super Mario for over 2 years before the upkeep issues I wanted to address finally got to me. I am not forum novice, so I searched out for pinball forums that had the right feel, but also the right finish. I ended up here, and just like many things I do, have found a lot of people, with a lot of experience, and a lot of patience.

    I can't afford the $2K machines, let alone a NIB, but plan to some day. I will learn what I like and get some maintenence practice in the meantime and enjoy the fact that my 3 and 5 year old ask to play SMB several times a week, if not every day. Anyone can play these things, and that's what's so nice. I don't have to find computer games that are not too easy or too hard for my boys, pinball is just 2 buttons and try to last as long as you can. That's all they care about, and so that is all I care about. They like the theme too.

    #170 7 years ago
    Quoted from kwiKimart:

    +1
    Romney 2012!!! I bagged groceries for his wife one time at my job.

    The irony of this post...

    #171 7 years ago
    Quoted from levcrush:

    If it's true that a large number of new people recently became interested in pinball or at least recently decided to join the hobby, what drove this interest? I certainly see that there are quite a few new comers on this board. What compelled you?

    This should almost be its own topic.

    I know I'm one of the new people - been here since March now. For me, it's solely the fact that I'm done with OTS, done with my BSEE, and FINALLY have income better than that of a dishwasher/chef/student. I promised myself once I got to Dayton and got settled down a bit here that I'd get something I always wanted. Long story short, got 3 and counting ....

    #172 7 years ago

    Great discussion with well thought out arguments and no one going over the line. That is refreshing! I see both sides on this one for sure. However, when manufactures start asking $8K for solid well featured pins on a regular bases I may start thinking about getting more into another hobby or at least reducing my interest in pinball. Would I rather have numerous pins that cost me around 8K each or an M3 or boat?....I know this will sound like blasphemy but I may just choose to go the M3 and or boat route.

    That is why I am routing so hard for Skit-B to come through on their project. If they can find a way to offer awesome pins to the public at more affordable prices than the big companies out there (even if they stick with DMD) then I would keep purchasing pins from them without question. Before the 'realists' chime in I know very well that there is a chance this wont happen. It may not work out but hey then again it just might. I sure am hoping it does.

    #173 7 years ago
    Quoted from DrStarkweather:

    e friends decided to take me to Shorty's to celebrate

    Funny, my interest started about 2 years ago at Shorty's!

    #174 7 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    I think for me, it's a variety of reasons....but here's something I thought of recently. I liked pins in the 90's but didn't "get" them like I do now. I was more of a video game guy. I think once I learned pinball had rules - levels, modes, "boss fights" even...I got a joy from pinball that the early 80's video games like Super Mario and Megaman gave me. Those old platform action games had a lot of quick reflexes and precise jumps - and it was really satisfying to survive through a tough level. They also had memorable music and sound FX. Video games aren't like that anymore....and I found myself being disinterested in the current style of gaming. The fun I have with pinball is like the fun I had with old video games...but since I didn't "get" pinball in the 90's, it's kind of all new and exciting to me every time I discover and learn how to play a new game!

    +1

    #175 7 years ago
    Quoted from markmon:

    I want to point out that just because a pin is 20 years old doesn't mean that it will smell bad or not be nice. Of my collection, I have 12 some williams pins that are all 20+ years old. These are all in amazing shape. People come by my place that don't know pinball and cannot tell what are the new pins vs the old ones. If you spend a lot of time making your pins nice, they will be nice. You don't need to be a professional restorer to be able to turn a few screws, remove some ramps, and *clean*. The better pins in my collection were all bought in rough shape and fixed up by me.
    There's also nothing wrong with buying pins in the ~$2k range such as Demolotion man, Johnny Mnemonic, etc. These are some fun games. Buy a little low, clean and fix things up, sell a little higher, put that cash into something a little more expensive, repeat.

    For the record, have owned 4 arcades and 5 pins. None smelled like rat piss. Was just using some (clearly) effective exaggeration. We've all heard the stories, or in my case, seen pictures of carcasses inside cabinets. I've been EXTREMELY lucky of the condition of games that I have bought! Most are not even dusty! I just picked up a Gyruss cocktail yesterday that basically looks like it just came out of a crate!

    I've never spent more than 1500 on a pin, either.

    #176 7 years ago
    Quoted from txstargazer3:

    Is the growth in the hobby coming from the attraction of the recent NIB titles? Is that the bait that draws folks in, even if they start with buying an older less expensive pin? How are we reaching these new buyers? That is important to understand if we want to bring even more noobs into pinball.

    Well, I can answer that in one way. A lot of new pin owners are arcade geeks that have simply become interested in owning pins. March last year I bought some arcade games, started reading the pinball section on KLOV, went and bought my first pin a year ago, and it was pinsanity from there on out. I was REALLY pulled in after playing Tron at a launch party. I hadn't played any of the modern Stern pins from the last 8 years at ALL. I about had a coronary when I found there was a Lord of the Rings game, and an aneurism when I actually PLAYED it.

    #177 7 years ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    None smelled like rat piss.

    I guess I can't ask you now, how to get that smell out.

    #178 7 years ago
    Quoted from NPO:

    As long as we don't start seeing LW3s for $4000, F14s for $3000, and TAF for $20000, I think the pinball prices are....bearable. As many have said, if some people can pop $8000 for a new machine: have at it.
    The thing that scares me is if those NIB prices start pushing up ALL the other prices to where new owners can't afford neither NIB nor 20-30 year old machines. That is when pinball will go from a fun hobby to an elitist's toy

    I think it's already there.

    #179 7 years ago
    Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:

    However, when manufactures start asking $8K for solid well featured pins on a regular bases I may start thinking about getting more into another hobby or at least reducing my interest in pinball. Would I rather have numerous pins that cost me around 8K each or an M3 or boat?....I know this will sound like blasphemy but I may just choose to go the M3 and or boat route.

    I think you are right TDA, the pendulum will swing back in the other direction after a period of time....some people will think about other hobbies like boats and 4 wheelers instead of buying a half dozen or dozen pins at 8k each....maybe some people like myself can be happy with 4 pins or so....when you say that, how bad does that sound! Can I be happy with only 4-6 pins?

    #180 7 years ago

    Actually, I'm loving my new pool...thats a hobby unto itself

    So I think I'll head over to Bass Pro today and check out the boats and 4 wheelers.....I'm thinking about getting into fly fishing too......and I definitely need to get out on the golf course more...

    #181 7 years ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    Can I be happy with only 4-6 pins?

    Hell yes, I can be happy with one pin! I love my DE SW. Wait, Jersey Jack is building WOZ? Well, maybe 2 pins would give me some variety. Pinsiders are now saying The Hobbit might be JJP #2? Well, we are empty nesters in a 5 bedroom house...

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