Full Disclosure (sorry for the long post):
I have been a fan of pinball and The Beatles for over 40 years. When the two came together, it was a lifelong dream come true for me. I wanted to purchase a Diamond or Platinum Beatles game. I had purchased a Batman SLE as a big fan and was willing to spend some serious cash on the Beatles. I called my distributor. I have spent over $200K with them in recent years and thought I would get a good deal. Boy, was I wrong. $25K plus tax and shipping for the Diamond and $18K++ for the Platinum. I then went on the Special K program. I just randomly started calling distributors. More of the same thing.
I was pissed. I really thought the Diamonds and Platinum's were not rewards for the distributors; I thought they were rewards for loyal customers. Wrong again.
So I then sent emails to Stern Pinball asking for help. Zach was kind enough to actually respond to me. I was moved by that and asked if I could go on a factory tour. Zach obliged and I can't thank him enough. I got to see all three versions on the line. I was blown away.
In the meantime, I called back some distributors who were not getting 10 packs and asked them why? It always came down to money so I made an offer. I would split a 10-pack with them and closed a deal (I will not say who - If they want to disclose themselves, it's up to them). Here is how we settled. I would pay $38K and they would pay $32K for the 10 games. I would get 1 Gold, 1 Platinum and 1 Diamond for $38K. They would get 6 Golds and a Platinum for $32K. My understanding is that they sold the Platinum for $14K and got 6 golds for $18K. Pretty good deal for the distributor.
So, I got a Gold for $8K and a Platinum and Diamond for $30K. My estimation is that I paid $12,500 for a Platinum and $17,500 for a Diamond. I can live with that. The Gold is going in my office at work. One of the other two will go in my permanent collection. The other one I will put in storage as an investment or possibly flip. Does anybody feel these games are going up in value in the future?
What would you do in my shoes?
(I am leaning towards keeping the Platinum and selling/trading the Diamond immediately)