Quoted from 27dnast:
Just some thoughts... not blanket statements. Of course, reserve the right to change my mind. But curious to see if others in the collecting community have been thinking this.
Recently (over the last year... to year-plus), I've found myself having a rather robust shutdown when it comes to NIB games and game releases. It's not that I'm not interested in the new games, because I am, but I've definitely felt the spark of excitement of new game announcements rapidly diminish. That desire to buy them has been flickering quite a bit. TNA bucked that trend for me, so I'm not 100% shutdown. But in general, it's held true.
There was a period.. back around Stern's Star Trek / Walking Dead announcement time frame where NIB games really carried a ton of intrigue for me. The hobby really hadn't exploded then. Pricing was right on target... and the arrival of NIB games wasn't quite as prolific as its become. Since that time, I think several factors have really tamed my interest in rushing out to buy NIB:
1) Price increases. There's something about the huge leaps in prices (coinciding with a drop in manufacturing quality... and added cheapness for Stern) aren't sitting well with me. Especially knowing what I paid NIB just a few short years ago. And then you hear tid-bits (like Borg saying he wanted four drops instead of one giant target on Munsters)... and I'm left scratching my head. Something's not adding up and feeling right in the price dept.
2) Location play. 4 years ago, if I wanted to experience a new game, it pretty much had to be bought. Now, there multiple local locations reasonably close to my home that have new games pretty much right away. I can scratch the itch and experience new with a car ride and a 5 spot in my pocket.
3)Collectability. This is a big one for me... I don't think most modern releases are collectable. LE or not. I'm not a fan of the "Franklin Mint coin" faked collectability model... or manufacturer controlled rarity. I really grapple with this... but in general, I like collectability/rarity that's crafted by time and/or other circumstances. And while I like to buy games for their fun factor, I'm not interested in paying a premium for suggested collectibility.
4) Used market. Super tempting to let someone else take the hit on NIB and work out issues with the game.
5) Modern board design. Makes me nervous. Looking at you Spike. There's a ton of unknowns with these designs... which makes me concerned, especially if the market (and parts market) has a downturn a few years down the road.
Kind of where my head is at. Could be subject to change. Anyone else in this boat?
I think you pretty much nailed it on the head; especially on items 1, 2, & 3.
For me, i am a bit NIB fatigued, but i've become a much pickier person on what i buy now so that is a good thing. Having more location pinball to play has also helped; again thats a good thing. In the past i was all ready to buy an NIB strictly to own it for a few months then sell for minimal loss and buy the next release; 1. because it was hard to find games on location and 2. the losses were minimal. Now, not so much. Price hikes have played a factor.
Not only is the price hikes a big factor, but taxes are now a thing. I budgeted out $7500 for an NIB this year; the wife wants munsters and i wanted deadpool. However, I am not completely sold on either at that price point which is what's been holding me back on pulling the trigger - not to mention code is a much much bigger issue at these prices now ever than before. Plus, i dont see a lot of titles holding value as well as they used to so i just keep waiting on the sidelines, fatigued. Then, BK3 got announced and it sparked some life; i convinced myself to flex the budget to $9k, put in 3 calls to distributors and thats when i got the news of a new mandatory sales tax on pinballs increasing the price another $500-$700. Am i supposed to keep going over my budget and bend backwards for these fuckers? F*ck that shit, F*#k these prices. Good thing too though honestly, it brought me back to reality so i can wait and see what the rules & code will be like as well as deciding whether the pro or premium model suits me better. Shame too, as i was in a blind day dream thinking about how cool it would be to have Black Knight LE. Who knows, i may still get the LE but christ people, $9500 for a pinball...what the hell is wrong with me/us; and i am still trying to convince myself it's worth it...
I also had my sights on a new YBR WOZ with its rumored release (at the time). Thinking again to myself, ill try to flex my budget to $9500 for one of these and hope JJP figured out a way to reduce price (remove monkey mech) and maybe it'll be $8k and compete with stern. Nope...$11.5k, ugly as F*ck and the monkey mech is still removed, what a kick in the monkey balls if you ask me. OK, ill go with JJPOTC...oh wait, $9500 is still $2k above budget and when i convinced myself to flex that budget, i got told shipping would be another $450. Prices for these pins seem to be all over the place and not as written in stone as they used to be. I used to be able to call up a distributor and get the best price available no matter who i called. Now i have to play games and call 3 or 4 people, get quotes, find out who's shipping is least expensive all while keeping a good rep so they'll help support with any issues. And then someone posts that they get $8k shipped quotes for standard edition JJPOTC's, but they wont give me the source and when i ask distributors they tell me to F* off. It's very draining and seems like a lot of hoops to jump through now just to get a pinball. It was so much easier years back. But, Maybe it's just me?
As for the used market; i still believe used market is all about timing and location. Whenever im in the market to sell, prices are soft flat and low as shit. When im ready to buy; either they are way overpriced or no one wants to sell. I dont think the used market is as bad as a lot of people think, at least not in CA. But it will be interesting to see what happens in this next year with all these titles. At some point, something has to give...at least that's what we've been telling ourselves for the past 5 years haha.
Last tidbit of a story regarding used market and timing. As i convinced myself to flex the budget to $9k a used JJPOTC did come up for sale and i had first dibs. The seller would have been a 13-14 hour round trip drive for me and im so fatigued from all the releases and hobby i just couldnt come to making that long of a trip for a game that has been slowly going off my radar.
Well that's my rant. Im still looking forward and excited to buy an NIB this year, but i do want (need?) to stick to my guns in keeping it within budget because prices do seem so scarce and unpredictable.