Quoted from Gritty:
I see the Mermaid version can be preordered directly from the Haggis website. Did they wave the requirement to be a member of the Haggis clan?
The Haggis clan got the exclusive right to make a deposit on Mermaid for the first 48 hours of release. After that, sales are open to anyone until the 250 are sold out.
I currently own an excellent Fathom with CPR playfield and backglass; it is my only old school SS game. I love the art, kachunk of all the drop targets resetting at the start of each ball, the theme, and the novelty of the mermaid traps, and the funky dual outlanes. There is always that moment of terror - will the 40 year old electronics still correctly pull down and reset all the drop targets? - that adds excitement to the game LOL. I'm getting a Mermaid not because it is a great investment (at 250 and availability of original fathoms, at best I think it will hold value at US $9000, if not drop a thousand or two in resale), but because it has some very unique things in the design - adding displays in the apron and updating an old pin with new rules and sound, and the option to go back and forth. This is a fascinating market test - the mid 90's W/B games remain in high demand and are still the pinnacle of integrated play, sound, callouts, and light effects, while the old school SS games can't compare. Perhaps what Haggis doing will stir up interest and cause all boats to rise for the older SS games by getting people at pinball bars to get attracted to old school play. I also want to support Haggis - they are doing some great things. I am highly dubious that they will be able to scale up production at anything like 50 per month; supply issues with just one part will kill that, and they are also moving to a new facility. If Planetary is deeply involved in the project, as in the design and production of components, then that will reduce the risk for sure. I will be happy if it shows up in a year.
Regarding the classic edition, I think it was a design mistake to put the diagnostics display in the back box, as it kills the original look. Putting it under an apron card would have been a much better choice, as you could then just cover it with a paper card to hide it, as well as maintaining production consistency with the Mermaid.