OPs post was dead on. Like others I’d add that space constraints play a significant part in the NIB decision as it usually means you have to get rid of a family favorite to bring a new game in to an established collection.
Since 1997, I have bought 8 NIB games. Medieval, RFM, STLE and BM66 remain. The other 4 (SWE1, Monopoly, TH, AMH) left primarily to make space for some great examples of Bally/Williams favorites. If I had the space, I’d probably still have Monopoly (dream theme) and AMH.
The only mainstream games on the radar I’m considering NIB are Munsters, Elvira 3, and Toy Story. I probably can make the space for two, but should probably only consider one since it’s more likely to be a Premium/LE and cost is far more of a factor than it was in the past.
Munsters probably doesn’t make the cut unless I don’t like either of the other two. It just seems too shallow code wise to be a keeper and at this stage of my collection the only games coming in have to have a good chance of staying long term. Elvira interests me because Lyman is doing code and I have EATPM and SS to complete the trilogy but it’s probably the theme that interests me least of the three. Toy Story is a no brainer for us unless JJP doesn’t get the IP assets required to make the game worthy of the license.
Stern’s Spike node boards and potential future reliability/repairability/availability/cost issues scare the hell out of me. Stern build quality is another concern though it seems to have improved recently. But stripping the BOM to the bones (e.g. no Munsters drop targets and trap door) might be the bigger problem. I almost certainly would have had a Munsters by now if those were in the game.
Unless I just have to have an Elvira LE, my NIB money probably stays in the bank until I see Toy Story. But whichever game(s) I end up getting I suspect this year/next year will be my last journey down the NIB road (unless JJP does an awesome BTTF game) - too much money and uncertainty and too few potential themes left to interest me enough to move any of my existing games.
However, if I had the space I think NIB fatigue would be a factor. I think Stern does too many games with too many options and is at the point of being more interested in milking the pinball resurgence of the last few years for as much money as they can while stripping game features down to what we saw in the yers after WMS closed shop. JJP seems to be stuck trying to figure out how they can continue to build the immersive and quality games they are known for without pricing most of their target buyers out of the market.