Before I go any further, I want to stress that I wish AP and all the pinball manufacturers continued success. However, we're in the grips of a pandemic and a recession, and it would be foolish, as prospective buyers, not to at least discuss the possibility that AP will not survive into next year. AP has sold a modest amount of each of its three titles. I know they belong to a diversified company called Aimtron. Could Aimtron, upon consideration of the marginal profits secured in pinball, decide to pivot and close its pinball operations come January? I don't mean to be unkind by even speculating a thing like that, but for those of us who are interested in Hot Wheels right now, assessing the risks of buying a game from a company whose days may be numbered is prudent, IMO.
How big is the gamble if we *do* buy now? If - Heaven forbid! - AP were to fold its tent come January, what kind of parts and tech support could AP game owners expect to have thereafter? Some? None at all? I've read that AP games use P-Rock boards, just like those in Spooky and I believe Multimorphic. Great, so I wouldn't have to worry about boards, but what about the rest of the parts on the game? Why would AP games be any easier to service in the wake of the company's closure than those of, say, Andrew Heighway? Let's say I buy Hot Wheels this month and I need a ramp or a plastic or a this or a that come next February. Who will have those parts for sale? Will AP sell them to Planetary for resale? And how quickly will they run out? I don't expect to need lots of parts - for this or any game - but it's good to know they're available, just in case, and their availability would most certainly affect the resaleability of HUO games. How reluctant will people be to buy HUO AP games after the company has folded? People are buying Alien today, despite the lack of support from Heighway. Alien is a niche game and collectors will take that gamble. But will they be willing to buy a Hot Wheels for even $4500 if the company is no longer?
I like the quality of AP. They really are standouts as manufacturers, if not as theme selectors. I would like to support them - especially now, when their rivals Stern and JJP are putting sub-par playfields in their games and pretending no one is noticing. AP deserves my business right now, but is the gamble just too big?