(Topic ID: 298460)

New Pinball From China!

By Staffan

3 months ago


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  • 154 posts
  • 79 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Thermionic
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

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    There are 154 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 4.
    #51 3 months ago
    Quoted from curban:

    Don’t fool yourselves and underestimate China. If they find the pinball market worthwhile, they could dominate in no time.
    There’s far too many $’s in the design and BOM that China could reduce >50%.
    Yes, they can build good quality when they want. Yes, they’re know as ‘great copiers’, but they also have millions of good engineers and designers. Don’t ever think “they can’t”.
    I suspect they have little interest as there’s probably no market for pinball ownership in China. Most of the rising class that could afford pinball live in major cities where square footage comes at very high $’s. No 2000 sq ft basements.

    Agree with all of this, and I think the only reason that we haven’t seen Chinese-made product here yet is because the volume isn’t there. BUT someone out there must be looking at Stern’s numbers in the order backlog and saying “hmmmmm….”
    I really think it’s only a matter of time, if market demand continues at this level. I’m actually surprised that a US-based company hasn’t taken this approach yet. It’s worked out pretty good for Arcade 1UP. Especially if a company could get their product on the floor at a Sam’s Club or a CostCo…then you’re selling to a large retail outlet, by the container-load.

    #52 3 months ago

    Tbh amazon and aggrigators are streamlining the north american ways of consumerism.

    Coin op amusement is just not a big thing in China.... maybe if it were redemption.. with a big franchise like a dave and busters..

    But the problem is, there isnt any nostalgia to capitalize on, there is no, "thats american, it must be cool" as the Japanese were enamored in the 80s and the biggest obstacle is the device in everyones hand - mobile gaming.

    #53 3 months ago
    Quoted from MasterBlaster:

    Agree with all of this, and I think the only reason that we haven’t seen Chinese-made product here yet is because the volume isn’t there. BUT someone out there must be looking at Stern’s numbers in the order backlog and saying “hmmmmm….”
    I really think it’s only a matter of time, if market demand continues at this level. I’m actually surprised that a US-based company hasn’t taken this approach yet. It’s worked out pretty good for Arcade 1UP. Especially if a company could get their product on the floor at a Sam’s Club or a CostCo…then you’re selling to a large retail outlet, by the container-load.

    Im pretty sure a lot of stern BOM is manufactured overseas but with covid supply issues a lot of supply chain is trying to decentralize their options for increased flexibility and resilience to disruption.

    #54 3 months ago
    Quoted from Bublehead:

    Laugh it up funny boys, but this ain't being made for the rest of the world, more than likely they are targeting the Chinese market, which, I might add, their middle class, who have money for toys like this, is WAY bigger than all of North American markets (high, medium and low classes) combined. Its like Lego clones in China... yes, they sell to North America, but their biggest customer base is the Chinese middleclass.

    This is probably true, or at least mostly true. I wouldn't be surprised to see them build games with their own regional flair for the domestic market. I also wouldn't be surprised to see them try and build an export market. I'd suspect that for the export market coding would be the challenge. Coding can be pretty nuanced and I'd suspect some things could easily be lost in translation (although Nintendo mostly got it right in the '90's)

    #55 3 months ago

    **Stern engineers furiously taking notes**

    11
    #56 3 months ago
    Quoted from curban:

    Don’t ever think “they can’t”.

    It’s not so much “they can’t” build it as “we won’t” buy it. If they made exact copies of TZ, MM, TAF etc for $500, I wouldn’t buy them.

    I *hate* China and the trillions of dollars of IC that they have stolen from the US and other countries. They commit every atrocity known to man and the rest of the world turns a blind eye. It’s disgusting.

    *note - I hold no ill will towards the *people* of China. My sentiment is towards the Chinese government.

    #57 3 months ago
    Quoted from Damonator:

    It’s not so much “they can’t” build it as “we won’t” buy it. If they made exact copies of TZ, MM, TAF etc for $500, I wouldn’t buy them.

    Honestly, I might. If I could put exact copies of the full roster of B/W "A list" games in my gameroom for less than the cost of any one of them individually, I would probably do so.

    #58 3 months ago
    Quoted from Damonator:

    If they made exact copies of TZ, MM, TAF etc for $500, I wouldn’t buy them.

    I guess you better throw away your computer and probably another 100 things you have around the house.....

    #59 3 months ago
    Quoted from spfxted:

    I guess you better throw away your computer and probably another 100 things you have around the house.....

    There is a distinction between items legitimately manufactured in China and those that are blatantly copied without license. I think it reflects poorly on manufacturers (such as Apple) that utilize China to make their products, but that's very different than an unlicensed forgery of an existing pinball title.

    #60 3 months ago
    Quoted from NC_Pin:

    . Coding can be pretty nuanced and I'd suspect some things could easily be lost in translation (although Nintendo mostly got it right in the '90's)

    Isnt Lyman doing contract work now anyway?

    pasted_image (resized).png
    #61 3 months ago
    Quoted from Damonator:

    and those that are blatantly copied without license

    Is this fact, or spec?

    #62 3 months ago
    Quoted from spfxted:

    I guess you better throw away your computer and probably another 100 things you have around the house.....

    The iphone in ur hand, most of the parts in your car, too.

    #63 3 months ago
    Quoted from solarvalue:

    Wow, lots of nasty responses here, maybe you guys should try making a game written in Chinese characters and we'll see how that works out.
    This looks like a really good effort. I really like the cabinet design with the backlit panel and the backbox (and included topper) looks great. Flippers seem snappy and the layout is a nice simple "street level" design. The backbox seems to have an LCD screen showing scores and a view of the playfield in real time as the backdrop, there must be a camera on the topper somewhere.

    could it have been too difficult to get the translation before printing.

    #64 3 months ago

    Yuck!

    #65 3 months ago
    Quoted from spfxted:

    Is this fact, or spec?

    Seriously? Fact. Ask any large US manufacturer and they will give you plenty of examples where their product designs have been stolen and reproduced without permission.

    I have first hand knowledge of many fatalities resulting from the use of knock-off wire rope and rigging products that were blatant forgeries. Chinese companies make an inferior product that looks identical - same color, same company name on the product, etc. When the product fails under 1/8 of the rated load of the genuine product, bad things happen. It’s sad to see - but only a microcosm of a much larger problem.

    Here’s a lighter take on the situation if you care to watch:

    #66 3 months ago
    Quoted from trueno92:

    Isnt Lyman doing contract work now anyway?

    You mean Lymanson

    #67 3 months ago
    Quoted from NC_Pin:

    We all joke, but in 3 years they will have titles like "Guns n Flowers" and "Midlevel Madness" that are exact replicas of the originals.

    With the difference that they will cost 1699$ and spare parts will be practically free.
    If they seriously started making pinball machines, all the current manufacturers would be out within two years.

    #68 3 months ago
    Quoted from Damonator:

    I have first hand knowledge of many fatalities resulting from the use of knock-off wire rope and rigging products that were blatant forgeries. Chinese companies make an inferior product that looks identical - same color, same company name on the product, etc. When the product fails under 1/8 of the rated load of the genuine product, bad things happen. It’s sad to see - but only a microcosm of a much larger problem.
    Here’s a lighter take on the situation if you care to watch:

    All valid concerns, but i think it falls short on the fact that all parts (maybe with dutch pinball as exception) are allready made in china.

    #69 3 months ago
    Quoted from Damonator:

    It’s not so much “they can’t” build it as “we won’t” buy it. If they made exact copies of TZ, MM, TAF etc for $500, I wouldn’t buy them.
    I *hate* China and the trillions of dollars of IC that they have stolen from the US and other countries. They commit every atrocity known to man and the rest of the world turns a blind eye. It’s disgusting.
    *note - I hold no ill will towards the *people* of China. My sentiment is towards the Chinese government.

    I meant to suggest that they could dominate the market with new games if they wanted.

    I dont see much business in black market pinballs made from stolen IP. It’s difficult smuggling a pinball machine back home in my carryon.

    #70 3 months ago
    Quoted from curban:

    I meant to suggest that they could dominate the market with new games if they wanted.

    I don’t know if I could agree that Chinese made pinballs would “dominate the market”. It’s been attempted once and it currently holds the spot as the WORST modern pinball ever made:

    53C968AE-1754-4162-886B-CF2554FEA905 (resized).png

    Which says a lot because Hercules is REALLY bad.

    #71 3 months ago

    I'd rather play El Toro. I never in life expected I'd say that.

    #72 3 months ago

    I think the idea they are just gonna flood the world with cheap B/W replicas for $500 is insanity, it's never happening.

    Cheap mid-century modern furniture from China is still not THAT cheap. You won't come even close to the original designs or quality for under $1000.

    Pinball machines are basically big pieces of furniture with bunch of electronics inside. I'm sure if a Chinese manufacturer wanted to they are completely capable of making an exact replica of any pinball machine ever made. But will that sell for $500? An exact replica? The one they can retail for $500 in Walmart will be janky AF. An exact replica is gonna be $2500 or higher.

    Which is STILL a lot cheaper than getting a 30 year old B/W A list game.

    However they woouldn't be able to legally sell them in the states without a license anyways and I'm pretty sure Planetary would want something like $2000-$4000 per game knowing they'd still be able to sell them here for $6000-$8000.

    ---------

    But I think the interesting question is will China have some type of pinball scene of its own. They could. Plenty of people with money seeking some entertainment. Will they make some adaptation to the game that catches on in their culture? If it did would they make themes and titles for export that US/EU/AUS audiences want? We'll have to wait and see!

    -5
    #73 3 months ago
    Quoted from russdx:

    Wow some serious hate for china here, the funniest part is almost everything you own is made there!!! or certainly contains components from china! Not everything from china falls apart, only the cheaply made shit (because customers want to cheap out) Most of your high end shit is also made in china!

    Ya, it's sadly amusing. Probably a good chunk of the pinball community is older rich boomer white guys who have a pretty dated view of the world. Probably a lot of parts sourced from China from the american pinball manufacturers. If the Chinese market goes all in on pinball very possible they will rapidly get competitive.

    This could be great for pinball and drive down the absurd prices here if Chinese companies seriously enter the market and giver the Stern and JJps of the world a scare.

    #74 3 months ago
    Quoted from Obed_Marsh:

    Ya, it's sadly amusing. Probably a good chunk of the pinball community is older rich boomer white guys who have a pretty dated view of the world. Probably a lot of parts sourced from China from the american pinball manufacturers. If the Chinese market goes all in on pinball very possible they will rapidly get competitive.
    This could be great for pinball and drive down the absurd prices here if Chinese companies seriously enter the market and giver the Stern and JJps of the world a scare.

    Or have the exact opposite effect if rich Chinese really got into it and wanted to have the best American titles from today and yesterday.

    #75 3 months ago

    I have seen knockoff les pauls so anything that fits in a shipping container can make it here.

    #76 3 months ago
    Quoted from Damonator:

    I *hate* China and the trillions of dollars of IC that they have stolen from the US and other countries. They commit every atrocity known to man and the rest of the world turns a blind eye. It’s disgusting.
    *note - I hold no ill will towards the *people* of China. My sentiment is towards the Chinese government.

    LOL, the middle class of the first world is carried on the backs of the Chinese. Wait till they start consuming all those cheap products on their own. They won't need to ship it out, and they won't need to buy junk bonds anymore. When you buy that dirt-cheap, high-labour product, you are the one stealing from the Chinese, via their government and your government.

    #78 3 months ago
    Quoted from Damonator:

    I don’t know if I could agree that Chinese made pinballs would “dominate the market”. It’s been attempted once and it currently holds the spot as the WORST modern pinball ever made:
    [quoted image]
    Which says a lot because Hercules is REALLY bad.

    This crap is trotted out all the time. Ask people who actually OWN a Thunderbirds and they usually say it's good, not the best machine they have owned but overall it's fine.

    It's already been agreed by most thinking people that the Pinside "top pinball list" is all BS. Look at Madalorean - currently number one only because it's the shiny new thing. Wait six months and it will be down to 40 then 60 etc etc. This "best pinball" list is just rubbish!

    #79 3 months ago
    Quoted from curban:

    Don’t fool yourselves and underestimate China. If they find the pinball market worthwhile, they could dominate in no time.
    There’s far too many $’s in the design and BOM that China could reduce >50%.
    Yes, they can build good quality when they want. Yes, they’re know as ‘great copiers’, but they also have millions of good engineers and designers. Don’t ever think “they can’t”.
    I suspect they have little interest as there’s probably no market for pinball ownership in China. Most of the rising class that could afford pinball live in major cities where square footage comes at very high $’s. No 2000 sq ft basements.

    China makes video games and movies, but they're rarely popular in the United States. I'm not counting martial arts films, it is my understanding that those were mostly Hong Kong. Tencent publishes games that are mega-popular in the United States, but I think those games are mostly made by US developers. Pokemon: Unite being a recent exception.

    #80 3 months ago

    What about a "Designed in Chicago" pinball machine but built in China. If you could manage a quality machine for $4999 it would sell. If the rumor of a $500 price bump on a Stern Pro is true a substantially cheaper machine could have a market.

    Pinball Brothers are managing to build Aliens in Italy, no reason a company couldn't build machines in China (assuming you could save money doing so).

    (On the other hand, if this was viable, wouldn't someone already be doing it?)

    #81 3 months ago

    As someone who mfg in China I see two things; not enough volume (not even close) and they would have one goal if they decided to build; make it cheap, cut corners everywhere! Wouldn’t sell in the traditional pin market. With that said, they could make some great cardboard knockoffs that are free with 10 cereal box tops

    #82 3 months ago

    Having seen how much manufacturing we no longer have here and how that has affected us during Covid is worrying. I decided a while ago to try to support local manufacturers as much as is practical. I will pay more now rather than going for the cheapest. Yes I’m in on Fathom Mermaid. I wouldn’t buy a Chinese pinball no matter how good or bad it was. Not a racial thing I just don’t like to support the regime.

    #83 3 months ago
    Quoted from Obed_Marsh:

    older rich boomer white guys who have a pretty dated view of the world

    Wow - stereotype much? Please share what you know about me or anyone else in this thread. Hating the communist government of China and how they oppress their people, lie, cheat and steal isn’t a “dated view of the world”.

    Quoted from Obed_Marsh:

    Probably a lot of parts sourced from China from the american pinball manufacturers.

    No - not a “lot”. My understanding is cabinets, playfields, metal work, ramps are all made in the US. Microchips, LCD panels, LEDs, speakers, playfield inserts and some rubber is imported - but not entirely from China.

    #84 3 months ago

    This post got me googling a little bit and all that really comes up for Pinball and China is:

    A HomePin factory tour.

    A showroom tour of a now defunct dealer.

    And a post from five years ago on PinSide about trying to find games to play in China and finding zero.

    There appears to be absolutely zero momentum for Pinball in China.

    #85 3 months ago
    Quoted from Damonator:

    I *hate* China and the trillions of dollars of IC that they have stolen from the US and other countries. They commit every atrocity known to man and the rest of the world turns a blind eye.

    Of course the entire free world ignores the murders and atrocities, we're getting cheap products and $$$$!

    #86 3 months ago
    Quoted from Damonator:

    Wow - stereotype much? Please share what you know about me or anyone else in this thread. Hating the communist government of China and how they oppress their people, lie, cheat and steal isn’t a “dated view of the world”.

    No - not a “lot”. My understanding is cabinets, playfields, metal work, ramps are all made in the US. Microchips, LCD panels, LEDs, speakers, playfield inserts and some rubber is imported - but not entirely from China.

    Nice partial quoting there.

    I said "Probably a good chunk of the pinball community is older rich boomer white guys who have a pretty dated view of the world. "

    Are you denying that that is the sizable chunk of the pinball market? Most people I know into pinball are mid 50s or 60s. Like all age brackets that are some people more informed that others. I was referencing guys with dozens of pinball machines acting like China is some backwater and mocking their speech. Yes, those guys probably are rich boomers that think China is some backwards countey when in reality they are eating our lunch

    11
    #87 3 months ago
    Quoted from Damonator:

    I *hate* China and the trillions of dollars of IC that they have stolen from the US and other countries.

    Wish I could upvote more than once.

    Quoted from Obed_Marsh:

    Yes, those guys probably are rich boomers that think China is some backwards countey when in reality they are eating our lunch

    Yep, rich boomer here - and damn proud of it. Research some history and understand why they are ‘eating our lunch’ …at our expense. I don’t think of them as ‘backwards’ - no they keenly know what they are doing, and most in the U S are just fine with that as long as we can get our shinny stuff a little cheaper.

    Damn, this has evolved into a political discussion I’d rather avoid on Pinside.

    #88 3 months ago
    Quoted from FlippyD:

    This post got me googling a little bit and all that really comes up for Pinball and China is:
    A HomePin factory tour.
    A showroom tour of a now defunct dealer.
    And a post from five years ago on PinSide about trying to find games to play in China and finding zero.
    There appears to be absolutely zero momentum for Pinball in China.

    A great way to see how its seen in China is to use their search engines, like Baidu.

    https://www.baidu.com/s?wd=pinball&pn=0&oq=pinball&ie=utf-8&usm=4&fenlei=256&rsv_idx=1&rsv_pq=8ccd560900027d1a&rsv_t=d7faH7VohdyRrl65FWQs5bXCBBKJSP4EPOh9InfuqHSF55XSJY7LOi0kTlE

    Of course China has a different philosophy towards "knocking off" products. It is wrong of course.
    But if its a Product, then its usually a competitor, or new entry that says, "Copy this", in many cases.

    Sometimes its actually our own greed for lower prices, and our own success.

    I have had hundreds of products knocked off by my competition from Asia through the years...

    #89 3 months ago
    Quoted from SunKing:

    Wish I could upvote more than once.

    Yep, rich boomer here - and damn proud of it. Research some history and understand why they are ‘eating our lunch’ …at our expense. I don’t think of them as ‘backwards’ - no they keenly know what they are doing, and most in the U S are just fine with that as long as we can get our shinny stuff a little cheaper.
    Damn, this has evolved into a political discussion I’d rather avoid on Pinside.

    Agreed on that point. I was talking about the guys making racist "engrish" jokes and acting like China is only capable of making junk.

    #90 3 months ago

    As OLDPINGUY says, use a Chinese search engine if you are trying to find anything in China, such as Baidu (the most popular one).

    Google is banned and blocked so it won't return much, if any, useful information on anything you search for inside China.

    #91 3 months ago

    Looking at the spelling on that machine , I think it's fair to say that we know what Joe and the Paperflock team moved onto after the Stern book .

    -4
    #92 3 months ago

    Me likey bery mush

    #93 3 months ago
    Quoted from Damonator:

    There is a distinction between items legitimately manufactured in China and those that are blatantly copied without license. I think it reflects poorly on manufacturers (such as Apple) that utilize China to make their products, but that's very different than an unlicensed forgery of an existing pinball title.

    Apple is moving production out of China and into SE Asia, little by little. They see where things are headed and want to not have manufacture concentrated in an increasingly hostile power as it continues to get worse due to Xi's paranoia and new nationalism.

    #94 3 months ago
    Quoted from jackd104:

    The 1980s called. It wants your Asian slurs back.

    I guess you don't find 80's comedy movies funny when people didn't care back then or offended, just the crap pumped out of Hollywood the past 12 years because everyone is walking on pins and needles. I want the 80's back thank you!

    #95 3 months ago

    It's not just about "people want cheap shiny" it's also about corporate greed wanting to make 80% profit off everything they sell to keep the shareholders fat and happy and ceo pay in the stratosphere.

    #96 3 months ago

    Guys we aren't going to solve the trade war in this thread.

    #97 3 months ago
    Quoted from Obed_Marsh:

    Agreed on that point. I was talking about the guys making racist "engrish" jokes and acting like China is only capable of making junk.

    I think the poor engrish is in reference to the incorrect spelling on the machine in the photos.

    #98 3 months ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    Apple is moving production out of China and into SE Asia, little by little. They see where things are headed and want to not have manufacture concentrated in an increasingly hostile power as it continues to get worse due to Xi's paranoia and new nationalism.

    Lol. Apple doesn't give a shit about the slavery and endless exploitation in China as long as you don't. They will move shop when conditions (mostly wages) creep up to non-suicidal levels.

    #99 3 months ago

    The good news is that you can use the custom message on your new iPad to at least address a small part of the problem.

    20210813_092652 (resized).jpg

    10
    #100 3 months ago

    I know its common today to Bash China because of Politics over the Last few years.
    We can only start with ourselves, if we go back to the words that disagreed between Nixon and Kissinger.

    China can make anything. and they make all different qualities.
    Sometimes vendors are forced into providing a lower price to get sales.
    I know this insanely from personal experience.

    Take LEDs. To bring the bulbs to market, and to avoid the "One dead bulb, send me another for free" emails.
    I agreed to Pay .01 cent more per bulb, in a 2nd Quality control test, Pre last step packaging.
    I contracted to help with an additional build out and labor.
    When done, the 1 out of 100 issue dropped to almost nothing.

    But where do you think the failed bulbs went? Not to the Supplier that paid more, but to the one who is always negotiating
    a lower price.

    This happened in Jewelry, Puzzles, electronics, anything Ive ever had to change manufacturing to Asia, to stay in business, and meet large and small companies contracted bidding.

    Manufacturing went from NYC, to rural, to Mexico, to Asia through the last 40 years. All Labor based.

    So too often it isnt "China makes crap", it can often be their customers need and want larger margins. The result is China needs their
    profit margins too, so the only answer is to short materials, QC, or labor.

    Should China every make an LE Pinball in Mass Volume, US prices might be $3K or less. I wouldnt want the Price, if it meant
    US companies shut down. Would you?

    There are 154 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 4.

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