(Topic ID: 264212)

Is the pinball market about to collapse?


By 27dnast

3 months ago



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    #1 3 months ago

    No need to detail the radical rise of pinball (both manufacturing and the secondhand marketplace) over the last 3+ years. There’s always been this sense that it’s red hot, but highly dependent on strong economic times.

    This “situation” our country and the world has encountered is turning into a bigger economic mess than expected...and at this point it’s hard to tell if we’re just beginning to wade into a bigger mess, or just testing the waters before we retreat to dry ground.

    What in the world is this going to do to the secondary market?

    Personally, I think this is the stress test we’ve all assumed would buckle the market and force sell offs. But, it’s hard to say what that might ultimately mean...

    Speculate away, Pinside!

    -3
    #2 3 months ago

    No

    19
    #3 3 months ago

    Collapse is unlikely, but a slowdown is inevitable. The glut of new machines doesn't help.

    #4 3 months ago

    No is one outcome. Why, tho... why No and not maybe.

    41
    #5 3 months ago

    The entire economy is going to crash big time, more than the common person realizes.
    Pinball is an expensive toy, the pinball market will be impacted along with everything else.
    My guess, is it's going to be difficult to sell $10,000 machines

    #6 3 months ago

    Yes, let me see...I can take your White Water, Addams Family and Big Game at reduced prices...they won't be worth anything soon, so best to sell now.

    #7 3 months ago

    CrazyLevi - Uh oh, looks like you're up for a response to a pinball market crash thread!

    My guess is that most collectors will hunker down and hold on to the machines they already have. If you can afford a bunch of pinball machines, you can probably afford to weather this economic storm. I do think NIB game sales will probably slow down and high end machine pricing ($5K+) may come down a bit as well, but I don't see a collapse in the pinball market overall. I'd be more concerned with some of the barcades and impacted business due to social distancing and quarantine.

    37
    #8 3 months ago

    I’d certainly be losing some sleep right now if I were someone selling ridiculously expensive non-essential luxury items.

    #9 3 months ago
    Quoted from Eric_S:

    @CrazyLevi - Uh oh, looks like you're up for a response to a pinball market crash thread!
    My guess is that most collectors will hunker down and hold one to the machines they already have. If you can afford a bunch of pinball machines, you can probably afford to weather this economic storm. I do think NIB game sales will probably slow down and high end machine pricing ($5K+) may come down a bit as well, but I don't see a collapse in the pinball market overall. I'd be more concerned with some of the barcades and impacted business due to social distancing and quarantine.

    This kind of rolls with my thoughts. I do think another component will be a slowdown in new money/collectors creating more completion in the secondary market. So maybe not a panic sell off... but a reduction in overall demand that might depress prices some.

    11
    #10 3 months ago

    The whole economy is going down. Disposable income fuels pinball. It’s quite simple. This will be the next 2008-2009 for pinball.

    I spoke with a distributor yesterday he’s already panicking. Not mentioning name because that’s unnecessary.

    54
    #11 3 months ago

    No matter if the market goes down, stays flat, or goes up this is the reason why people shouldn't buy pinball machines as investments. I think you almost need to be comfortable that if there value drops to 0 that you will be fine financially.

    With that being said it's great having pinball machines at home right now during this time as it's a fun distraction.

    #12 3 months ago
    Quoted from Multiballmaniac1:

    The whole economy is going down. Disposable income fuels pinball. It’s quite simple. This will be the next 2008-2009 for pinball.
    I spoke with a distributor yesterday he’s already panicking. Not mentioning name because that’s unnecessary.

    Wonder why they are panicking , They always say they don't make that much on selling pinball machines.

    #13 3 months ago
    Quoted from Brtlkat:

    Wonder why they are panicking , They always say they don't make that much on selling pinball machines.

    That’s probably why.

    #14 3 months ago

    Stern and Spooky will survive.

    Stern have had some great years so they should have built up decent cash reserves. Speculation of course.

    Spooky have a model that works for them, as long as they don't invest too heavily in the contracted title. More speculation!

    Who knows about the rest.

    #15 3 months ago

    People that don't realize what is happening right now and think the pinball market will be spared have their head in the sand.
    Pinball market should be the least of everyone's worries - wait to the fed goes to negative interest rates and banks start charging you interest to hold your money

    There are a lot of people that are really going to be in for a very stark awaking

    #16 3 months ago

    ummm. No.

    13
    #17 3 months ago
    Quoted from Eric_S:

    CrazyLevi - Uh oh, looks like you're up for a response to a pinball market crash thread!
    My guess is that most collectors will hunker down and hold on to the machines they already have. If you can afford a bunch of pinball machines, you can probably afford to weather this economic storm. I do think NIB game sales will probably slow down and high end machine pricing ($5K+) may come down a bit as well, but I don't see a collapse in the pinball market overall. I'd be more concerned with some of the barcades and impacted business due to social distancing and quarantine.

    This assumes that people buying games actually have emergency savings and such.

    I would be willing to bet that most don’t.

    Pinball machines are toys. They will be one of the first things to go when people need cash after the first few missing paychecks or medical bills come rolling in.

    10
    #18 3 months ago

    In the short term I think people will hold onto their money, but this will all blow over in a month or so. Right now were in a very reactive "the sky is falling" state. As history would dictate, this will pass.

    #19 3 months ago

    gong to slow down in some areas.... operators can weigh in, but if locations get shut down... not sure if they are going to buying the latest and greatest until things stabilize.

    market down can mean less cash for discretionary items....

    People in general are going to be hunkering down for some time... fair amount of uncertainty, typically people spend less in those situations.

    Just hoping everyone stays healthy and ok for the next few months..

    #20 3 months ago
    Quoted from jandrea95:

    In the short term I think people will hold onto their money, but this will all blow over in a month or so. Right now were in a very reactive "the sky is falling" state. As history would dictate, this will pass.

    Just the past few weeks have had major ramifications for service industry businesses... a lot financial damage and waves can happen in a matter of 4 weeks.

    Don’t forget, China has been shutdown for several months. GM sells more cars to China than within the US... the global supply chain has been majorly disrupted. And this has spread beyond China.

    13
    #21 3 months ago
    Quoted from Multiballmaniac1:

    The whole economy is going down. Disposable income fuels pinball. It’s quite simple. This will be the next 2008-2009 for pinball.
    I spoke with a distributor yesterday he’s already panicking. Not mentioning name because that’s unnecessary.

    My wife and I are slowing down our purchases right now due to the (temporary) uncertainties. I work retail, and it has had a MAJOR impact on business. It only makes sense that a distributor is freaking out. The LAST thing I would buy right now is a pinball machine. But that doesn't mean it will stay that way. Nobody knows for sure what will happen. In a few weeks we coupd all be back to normal.

    #22 3 months ago
    Quoted from 27dnast:

    Just the past few weeks have had major ramifications for service industry businesses... a lot financial damage and waves can happen in a matter of 4 weeks.

    Not disagreeing or even arguing. Just choosing to remain optimistic.

    #23 3 months ago
    Quoted from jandrea95:

    Not disagreeing or even arguing. Just choosing to remain optimistic.

    I get that. We need some optimism!

    18
    #24 3 months ago
    Quoted from 27dnast:

    Just the past few weeks have had major ramifications for service industry businesses... a lot financial damage and waves can happen in a matter of 4 weeks.
    Don’t forget, China has been shutdown for several months. GM sells more cars to China than within the US... the global supply chain has been majorly disrupted. And this has spread beyond China.

    China is not shut down. It had slowed about 6 weeks ago but has picked back up. We are now getting things faster than ever. Things appear to have stabilized over there, but many people here are not taking this seriously. I see pics all over Facebook of local people having birthday parties and family gatherings with full houses of people. So the bars and restaurants close, but people still congregate. Religious gatherings too, all going on despite school closures and mandates from local governments. I saw one guy holding little league practice, saying that was social distancing, I’m thinking every time a kid touches the ball, he’s likely wiped his nose beforehand. Many people don’t believe the virus and think it’s all exaggerated. Maybe, maybe not, but the faster the numbers of infected stop going up, the faster we get back to normal life and we don’t suffer permanent negative effects.

    10
    #25 3 months ago

    I'm very excited at the thought that I might possibly be able to afford tables again only for the wife to say no anyways :^)

    #26 3 months ago

    If one needs to sell, and the title is Not in high demand, Lower prices will likely be needed to sell.

    While I received a phone call that was welcomed from a distributor yesterday, I was offered NIB Prices
    for in stock, at prices I havent heard of.

    #27 3 months ago

    I would be nervous if I was a seller of any nonessential luxury item
    Our economy is going to be reset back to 2008/09 or worse if we have a US shutdown for a week or more
    From everything I read - we are about 10-14 days away from peak virus

    #28 3 months ago

    BLUF: 1+ pinball manufacturer mortalities. Glut of older used games causing older used prices to fall. Shortage of newer used machines causing used modern games to hold value better.

    I see a short term impact with long term consequences. I see one or more pinball manufacturers going under by the end of the year. I’m #374 and would have been thrilled to get the call to get mine early 2 weeks ago, but not so much this week. What will Spooky do if/when they call people up for the rest of their pre-order money and they can’t or won’t pay? Right now the pre-order spots are going at a premium, but what happens if they don’t? That deposit money should be going for a while but I am willing to bet that right now at least some of us might think twice about writing a check for another $6,000. If I got a call from Spooky before September that some spots had opened up and did I want my machine early, I might think twice about writing the money because I’d worry about their ability to actually deliver if they had that many cancellations. I still want my Rick and Morty, but am expecting it in September as of now.

    Demand is going to crash on NIB pinball, at least in the short term, and this is going to have long reaching effects. Who-ever survives this is going to be in a much better position long term (less competition). I think from Strongest to weakest position you have: Chicago Gaming Company, Stern, Spooky, Jersey Jack, Deeproot, American Pinball. If any of these manufacturers shut down, it will buoy the price of the machines that made it to market.

    I can also see a few operators shutting down. A full 1/4th of all 2500 Addams family are listed as being on location. What would happen to the price of The Addams Family if an extra 100 or so hit the market this year? I see more modern used machines holding their value better than older machines all of the sudden.

    #29 3 months ago

    Here in Sweden its kinda starting to become harder to buy without having to ship off your whole "harem" just to afford one game LOL

    Heck even EM's are getting to mid-1980's pinball prices, and the mid-1980's pin pricing are getting close to 1990's pin prices, and the 1990's pin pricing are getting up to "brand new Stern" pricing.

    Everything seems to be shuffling forward.

    #30 3 months ago
    Quoted from BMore-Pinball:

    I would be nervous if I was a seller of any nonessential luxury item
    Our economy is going to be reset back to 2008/09 or worse if we have a US shutdown for a week or more
    From everything I read - we are about 10-14 days away from peak virus

    Except the economy is in way better shape then it was in 08-09. The impact to the economy hasn't been building for years unlike in 08-09. We have record unemployment and just 2 weeks ago another great jobs report came out.

    14
    #31 3 months ago

    If you own pinballs and are worried about their value, sell them.
    Why would anybody buy something like a pinball and be worried about what it is worth after you bought it. If so, you are in the wrong place.
    Do you worry if your house is going up or down in value? How about that big screen TV.
    You should worry about your job, as this is where the real concerns I see with this corona issue.

    If you bought games you can’t afford and need to be able to sell them at the same or more money than you paid, you should sell now and sleep good at night. And next time you go buy a pinball don’t do it on credit, or with money you need to pay rent or other essentials.

    #32 3 months ago
    Quoted from athens95:

    If you own pinballs and are worried about their value, sell them.
    Why would anybody buy something like a pinball and be worried about what it is worth after you bought it. If so, you are in the wrong place.
    Do you worry if your house is going up or down in value? How about that big screen TV.
    You should worry about your job, as this is where the real concerns I see with this corona issue.
    If you bought games you can’t afford and need to be able to sell them at the same or more money than you paid, you should sell now and sleep good at night. And next time you go buy a pinball don’t do it on credit, or with money you need to pay rent or other essentials.

    I agree with most of your points, but yes, I do worry about the value of my house going up and down. I think most home owners do.

    #33 3 months ago

    I would think most folks just hold them unless they need to sell to pay the bills.

    #34 3 months ago

    We are headed for a depression. Sorry to break it to everyone.

    So yes I feel it will collapse. The good news it will come back again.

    Manufactures will close their doors. Location pinball will go gangbusters as people will seek cheap entertainment.
    A few years down the road mfrs will make games again.

    #35 3 months ago

    Yes - it's going to collapse VERY soon. Please PM me with your reduced offers on your collections and I'll try and help out.

    #36 3 months ago

    Man I hope it finally happens this time. Shoot me some PM's with any machines that you want to sell for way less than you paid for them!

    #37 3 months ago

    Plenty of disposable income before all this panic, there will be plenty of disposable income during the panic (once it settles a little) and there will be plenty of disposable income after it’s all done and dusted, pinball will be fine.

    #38 3 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Man I hope it finally happens this time. Shoot me some PM's with any machines that you want to sell for way less than you paid for them!

    You can buy my TWD LE, Metallica pro fully modded, and my Star Trek premium for 18k.

    #39 3 months ago

    Sending my payment today for a JP Premium!

    #40 3 months ago
    Quoted from WackyBrakke:

    Sending my payment today for a JP Premium!

    Super Jelly. I got a used Pro and it rocks! Can only imagine what a moving T-Rex does for the experience.

    #41 3 months ago
    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    BLUF: 1+ pinball manufacturer mortalities. Glut of older used games causing older used prices to fall. Shortage of newer used machines causing used modern games to hold value better.
    I see a short term impact with long term consequences. I see one or more pinball manufacturers going under by the end of the year. I’m #374 and would have been thrilled to get the call to get mine early 2 weeks ago, but not so much this week. What will Spooky do if/when they call people up for the rest of their pre-order money and they can’t or won’t pay? Right now the pre-order spots are going at a premium, but what happens if they don’t? That deposit money should be going for a while but I am willing to bet that right now at least some of us might think twice about writing a check for another $6,000. If I got a call from Spooky before September that some spots had opened up and did I want my machine early, I might think twice about writing the money because I’d worry about their ability to actually deliver if they had that many cancellations. I still want my Rick and Morty, but am expecting it in September as of now.
    Demand is going to crash on NIB pinball, at least in the short term, and this is going to have long reaching effects. Who-ever survives this is going to be in a much better position long term (less competition). I think from Strongest to weakest position you have: Chicago Gaming Company, Stern, Spooky, Jersey Jack, Deeproot, American Pinball. If any of these manufacturers shut down, it will buoy the price of the machines that made it to market.
    I can also see a few operators shutting down. A full 1/4th of all 2500 Addams family are listed as being on location. What would happen to the price of The Addams Family if an extra 100 or so hit the market this year? I see more modern used machines holding their value better than older machines all of the sudden.

    I’ve had similar thoughts about Spooky.

    #42 3 months ago
    Quoted from athens95:

    Do you worry if your house is going up or down in value?

    You had me until this line.

    #43 3 months ago
    Quoted from Multiballmaniac1:

    You can buy my TWD LE, Metallica pro fully modded, and my Star Trek premium for 18k.

    Wow. If that's a more than significant discount over what you paid, you need to shop somewhere else. Besides, I already have a Met Pro.

    22
    #44 3 months ago

    Ok, here is a little “update” on the pinball market. This covid19 thing is a major risk to everything in the economy. My wife is a VP at the worlds largest health insurer, and they are taking this VERY seriously. They have shelved all internal work NOT supporting claims processing, they are mobilizing their entire workforce to do nothing but handle covid19 and corona virus related issues. They have a “get to the office” policy that is calling all workers to report to work, all work from home is cancelled, unless you are an approved tele-commuter. So, those prognosticators, yeah those health insurance handicappers are betting on a blow out overwhelming of their insurance claim systems, that this will push the system not only to the brink, but well past it. They are expecting at least 2 quarters of recession, and major hits to all finacial markets, their own included.

    These are the people who bet on how many people will get sick, need treatment, or will die. So anyone thinking this will blow over anytime sooner than 6 months are betting against what the worlds largest health insurance provider is betting on.

    If you think this won’t impact the pinball market, I enjoy your enthusiasm, but I am not in the market for any NIB pinball any time soon, and the secondary market will at first heat up as people will try and buy up other people’s poor decisions at bargain prices, but only the rich will be buying eventually, NIB or not. The disposable income glut is going to dry up fast.

    12
    #45 3 months ago
    Quoted from PanzerFreak:

    Except the economy is in way better shape then it was in 08-09. The impact to the economy hasn't been building for years unlike in 08-09. We have record unemployment and just 2 weeks ago another great jobs report came out.

    Except the impact of the virus and shutdowns is going to effect way more businesses and people than the financial crisis of 08/09

    In 08/09 - sports, theater, concerts, shows, conventions, meetings, travel, amusement parks, weddings, schools etc .... were not canceled.
    There was no mass panic to buy everything in the food store.
    This is way more broader than the issues in 08/09 - don't be fooled into thinking it's the same - THIS IS WAY DIFFERENT

    #46 3 months ago
    Quoted from J85M:

    Plenty of disposable income before all this panic, there will be plenty of disposable income during the panic (once it settles a little) and there will be plenty of disposable income after it’s all done and dusted, pinball will be fine.

    People still need the confidence to spend that disposable income - that confidence is going to take a while to return.
    In 08/09 people lost that confidence big time, which is one of the contributing factors to a very long recovery time

    #47 3 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Wow. If that's a more than significant discount over what you paid, you need to shop somewhere else. Besides, I already have a Met Pro.

    I was kidding.

    -1
    #48 3 months ago
    Quoted from Bublehead:

    Ok, here is a little “update” on the pinball market. This covid19 thing is a major risk to everything in the economy. My wife is a VP at the worlds largest health insurer, and they are taking this VERY seriously. They have shelved all internal work NOT supporting claims processing, they are mobilizing their entire workforce to do nothing but handle covid19 and corona virus related issues. They have a “get to the office” policy that is calling all workers to report to work, all work from home is cancelled, unless you are an approved tele-commuter. So, those prognosticators, yeah those health insurance handicappers are betting on a blow out overwhelming of their insurance claim systems, that this will push the system not only to the brink, but well past it. They are expecting at least 2 quarters of recession, and major hits to all finacial markets, their own included.
    These are the people who bet on how many people will get sick, need treatment, or will die. So anyone thinking this will blow over anytime sooner than 6 months are betting against what the worlds largest health insurance provider is betting on.
    If you think this won’t impact the pinball market, I enjoy your enthusiasm, but I am not in the market for any NIB pinball any time soon, and the secondary market will at first heat up as people will try and buy up other people’s poor decisions at bargain prices, but only the rich will be buying eventually, NIB or not. The disposable income glut is going to dry up fast.

    Bubble head. I repeat, sell me your games now before it's too late.

    Any other doom and gloomer who wants to cause more panic - reach out to me about how I can take those reduced pins off your hands. I want to help!

    #49 3 months ago
    Quoted from delt31:

    Bubble head. I repeat, sell me your games now before it's too late.
    Any other doom and gloomer who wants to cause more panic - reach out to me about how I can take those reduced pins off your hands. I want to help!

    Just dropped the price of my TWD le to 4500.

    #50 3 months ago
    Quoted from Multiballmaniac1:

    Just dropped the price of my TWD le to 4500.

    I'll take it! PM me

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