Pinball price bubble -- MM as an example


By HeyYouSir

5 years ago


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There are 267 posts in topic. You are on page 1 of 6.
#1 5 years ago

With the price of these A titles on the rise, like everyone else I am starting to wonder if we are getting close to a price bubble. Just how much is someone willing to pay to buy a Medieval Madness? If you can find one I see them advertised for $15k plus. Wonder what they are actually selling for?

Would be good to have a crystal ball to predict the future of pinball prices, but then again if I had a crystal ball I could sell it and make a fortune!

If you recently bought or traded for a MM and are willing to share. Let us know.

#2 5 years ago

When you look at what is going on.

New people coming in, more demand, less games, the economy isn't that great, and people with money putting it into things other than where they lost a bunch with stocks and banks.

I don't think it's topped out yet, and if the economy gets rolling, I believe prices will continue up.

LTG

#3 5 years ago

I recently let 2 go inside of 2 months, both roughly the same shape, for around 10K each.

Could I have held out for more? Possibly. But they probably would have stuck around a little longer, and I would not have ended up with the pins i have now.

Win/win for both parties. I'd had my fill of MM. Awesome game by the way!

#4 5 years ago

It helps to love a pinball game no matter what price you pay, but think of the feeling of "investing" $15k - $20k into a MM only to find the price drops two or three years after you bought it. In addition, if you are new to pinball and bought one... there is this issue of maintenance, assuming that you play it. I suppose if you can afford a MM you can afford someone to maintain it for you.

#5 5 years ago

MM is a 12K at most game. They can still be found for under 10K. I think the recent 20% jump on most titles is about it.

The Shadow used to be $1800 now its $2500.00 I think some games that are top 20 and were under 2K are not going back down.

#6 5 years ago

For now prices have topped out a bit. 6 months ago every sale created a new higher price and the titles moved. Lately not so much. May move again but clearly we have hit a price barrier.

#7 5 years ago

Interesting that the poll doesn't even give the option to vote for prices going down (there is one saying they will go up more first, then down).

#8 5 years ago
Quoted from HeyYouSir:

It helps to love a pinball game no matter what price you pay, but think of the feeling of "investing" $15k - $20k into a MM only to find the price drops two or three years after you bought it.

It's a risk.

But then how would you feel waiting for the bubble to burst and two or three years later $15K - $20K is cheap compared to what they are going for then ?

How do you feel driving a new vehicle off the lot and the price drops then and there and not over a few years ?

Lots of things to consider.

LTG

#9 5 years ago

Anytime you see a quick spike like this, one has to wonder.... It's no coincidence that we are seeing numerous posts about a "bubble".

#10 5 years ago

I think we will see a drop in prices on the classics as Stern starts implementing some new features on future pins and JJP announces their second title. I guess we will see only time will tell.

#11 5 years ago

MM went from an average of 8.5k to 12k....Huge jump,demand is high I guess

#12 5 years ago
Quoted from hank527:

They can still be found for under 10K.

Haven't seen that in a while but i'm sure there is some that can be found.

#13 5 years ago

So many of the A list pins are from the 80s and 90s. I believe that many of them hold SOME of their value because we had a great time playing them "back in the day". As younger pinheads join our ranks, they may not revere these pins to the extent that the rest of us do. Added to that, many believe that some of the pins now being released and soon to be released are very well done.

This could signal a shift in demand in the overall marketplace from the classic A listers toward NIB or recent releases. I think that there will not be a big drop in classic A listers, but rather a flattening out of demand at current high levels. I believe the growth in the market is already shifting to new titles. Examples are the popularity of ACDC, X-Men, WOZ, Predator, etc.

I must admit that I find myself more interested in the new stuff than I am in pursuing the pins that interested the most in the past. For example, I made the decision to order WOZ ECLE rather than search out an old favorite. It's a pattern I can see myself repeating in the future.

Anyone else feel this way, or am I alone on my little island?

#14 5 years ago
Quoted from txstargazer3:

So many of the A list pins are from the 80s and 90s. I believe that many of them hold SOME of their value because we had a great time playing them "back in the day". As younger pinheads join our ranks, they may not revere these pins to the extent that the rest of us do. Added to that, many believe that some of the pins now being released and soon to be released are very well done.
This could signal a shift in demand in the overall marketplace from the classic A listers toward NIB or recent releases. I think that there will not be a big drop in classic A listers, but rather a flattening out of demand at current high levels. I believe the growth in the market is already shifting to new titles. Examples are the popularity of ACDC, X-Men, WOZ, Preditor, etc.
I must admit that I find myself more interested in the new stuff than I am in pursuing the pins that interested the most in the past. For example, I made the decision to order WOZ ECLE rather than search out an old favorite. It's a pattern I can see myself repeating in the future.
Anyone else feel this way, or am I alone on my little island?

Old schoolers will always love the older games than the newer ones and yes memeries also play a big role.

#15 5 years ago
Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:

I think we will see a drop in prices on the classics as Stern starts implementing some new features on future pins

What new features ? All we've ever seen is rumors. No indication anything beyond that.

LTG

#16 5 years ago
Quoted from pinmike:

Old schoolers will always love the older games than the newer ones and yes memeries also play a big role.

And that is why the prices wont hold. There is a shift to newer pins. So collectors (old schoolers) will hold a niche for a while but like the old cars it will start to drop off.

Its already starting to split on favorite games.(just examples) AFM.MM.MB or Tron,AC/DC,SM as that continues prices will adjust.

#17 5 years ago

Weird MM is always the example for a bubble;.. for like 10 years now ? That's not a bubble in my book

Anyway as long as NIB Sterns keep on increasing in price and collectors are crazy enough to pay those prices, A list games will increase together.

#18 5 years ago

Just curious, when is the last time the market dropped on an "A" title, say after it had been out for 5 years or more? If it did on an "A" title, did it stay down?

Or, has this "bubble" been going on for the last 10 years or so. Will it go on another 10 years? It may have a small "correction" in the future, if it rises too quickly, but as always, supply and demand.

#19 5 years ago

When I "got in" 6K was high and everyone said "It's gotta/gonna be a bubble".The price just kept getting higher.I'm gonna have to actually see it before I believe it.Scott

#20 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

How do you feel driving a new vehicle off the lot and the price drops then and there and not over a few years ?

That is precisely why I do not buy new cars -- only used. In my case the MM would be worth more than the van that I would haul it in.

#21 5 years ago

New pin prices are up, so the cost of "used" games goes up as well. Most 90's titles can be had for less than the price of a NIB Stern pro, let alone the LEs. I don't buy into this "bubble" that will "pop" someday soon.

Buy what you like, enjoy it and maintain it while you have it, sell it if you tire of it. If you make a few bucks or lose a few bucks, it won't matter much if you bought it because YOU liked it and enjoyed having it at your disposal.

#22 5 years ago
Quoted from HeyYouSir:

That is precisely why I do not buy new cars -- only used. In my case the MM would be worth more than the van that I would haul it in.

x2. I never buy a new car. Buy a reliable car and learn how to maintain it. The money I've saved paid for all my pins three times over.

#23 5 years ago
Quoted from txstargazer3:

So many of the A list pins are from the 80s and 90s. I believe that many of them hold SOME of their value because we had a great time playing them "back in the day". As younger pinheads join our ranks, they may not revere these pins to the extent that the rest of us do. Added to that, many believe that some of the pins now being released and soon to be released are very well done.

This could signal a shift in demand in the overall marketplace from the classic A listers toward NIB or recent releases. I think that there will not be a big drop in classic A listers, but rather a flattening out of demand at current high levels. I believe the growth in the market is already shifting to new titles. Examples are the popularity of ACDC, X-Men, WOZ, Predator, etc.

I must admit that I find myself more interested in the new stuff than I am in pursuing the pins that interested the most in the past. For example, I made the decision to order WOZ ECLE rather than search out an old favorite. It's a pattern I can see myself repeating in the future.

Anyone else feel this way, or am I alone on my little island?

I wonder if some of the A titles have skyrocketed because they have stood the test of time.

MM was great then, MM is great now.

Same with Stern pins, but they'll need time to see which rises to the crop over time. Some of their games may well appreciate too. But you can just judge them when they come out, because no one will say that a particular model is bad because they learned they have trouble selling it later then.

Look how many said they'd never sell Ironman, and now have.

The future will be interesting to say the least.

LTG

LTG

#24 5 years ago

People should quit thinking nostalgia has anything to do with pin collectors. The first pinball I ever played was 2 years ago. Now look at my collection. I have a local friend that's 25 and he has 30 pins. I think prices for the high end A listers will flatten out. The prices for lower end titles will increase. I think the days of $1500-2000 pins are about done. I'd expect the min to be around $3000 for Williams Dmd titles like Congo, corvette, dr who, etc.

In the longer term, I think the LCD will make our current generation pins feel like Dmd does to system 11. I'd expect the demand for 20 year old machines to start dropping. I think this may impact the higher end machines but not the lower.

#25 5 years ago

Feels like a broken record around here with this 'bubble' talk.

"A" listers keep going up. That is the fact. Speculate all you want, but the longer you wait the more you will tend to pay. While some trade hands, MANY games are settling into the permenant collections of RICH people and hence the supply continues to go down.

Heck... I just found a buddy whose pops has a MINT shadow (I know it is not an "A" title) and he will not sell it for ANY price even though he only plays it less than 20 times a year. It is just a fact that many rich people would rather have the toy than the hassle. These same rich people are buying up the "A" listers with no intent of ever selling.

This bubble you speak of is not coming!

#26 5 years ago

I think, in general you will see DMD's come down. Certain classics like MM will always be a high end pin and the most you can hope for is the price to stabilize at best.

#27 5 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

These same rich people are buying up the "A" listers with no intent of ever selling.

Im betting we start to see a flood of 'A' level pins at estate sales in 15 years.

#28 5 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

"A" listers keep going up. That is the fact. Speculate all you want, but the longer you wait the more you will tend to pay. While some trade hands, MANY games are settling into the permenant collections of RICH people and hence the supply continues to go down.

It isn't just rich people.

I've seen many people hanging onto A titles. For the simple fact if they ever want to get one again. They may not find one for sale. They may not be able to afford it.

So I don't see supply getting better any time soon.

LTG

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from pinstor12:

Just curious, when is the last time the market dropped on an "A" title?

This is a great question. TS is a great example of a non A-list title that is gaining some steam, price-wise, recently for whatever reason. When that fad wears off, will it go back down to "where it should be"?

Has this ever happened before with any pin? Has there ever been a pin to rise significantly in price, for no apparent reason, only to have the price drop back down to reasonable levels after some passage of time? Nothing too short term, but maybe like over a year or more?

Let's deal in precedents here. Otherwise there are no real grounds for ANY kind of "bubble" for any title.

#30 5 years ago

Economics 101. As long as the supply is low (they aren't making any more of them) and the demand continues to be high the prices that they fetch will continue to be high. Like anything else they will sell for what people are willing to pay for them. That was the original question that I was getting at.. how much is too much for a MM or any of the other A list pins?

I do find it interesting that of those that posted on this thread very few mentioned the price that they either bought or sold their MM for recently. I did not see, "yes I recently bought one and I paid $20k for mine." As others have said, whatever you pay, one measure of success is whether you enjoy the game. (A lesson that my wife would be well advised to learn. :-))

These A listers are definitely the elite titles of the older games. They have stood the test of time as some have said and will continue to be in demand. The bubble will not burst as long as there are those that are willing to pay even more for a MM.

As pinball collectors we are all waiting for the guy/gal that wants to sell their MM for $2850 and are serious about it.

#31 5 years ago

EM tables have not gone up in price in recent years..

Solid State games are starting to get into this category as well, they just remain at a certain price point with little movement. ...

Alphanumerics are still going up and DMD pins are going as high as the sky...Once the pinball companies start incorporating the newest technologies especially LCD i dont think we will see the DMD titles doubling or tripling again. The DMDs will hold their own for a long time, but i highly doubt they will double and triple like they did in their latest run up to these levels.

#32 5 years ago
Quoted from DrStarkweather:

Im betting we start to see a flood of 'A' level pins at estate sales in 15 years.

+1

#33 5 years ago

We are already at the point where there is little difference in price between a nice MM and buying both a standard WOZ and an ACDC premium. As much as I enjoy MM, I'd go for THE ACDC & WOZ combo.

For me, the value equation has tipped in favor of the new pins.

#34 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

What new features ? All we've ever seen is rumors. No indication anything beyond that.

That doesn't matter. I think it is pretty obvious that there will be new features on Stern pins in the next two years. If you think they are going to stick to LED displays exclusively I think your in for a surprise. Just sayin.

Quoted from LTG:

So I don't see supply getting better any time soon.

There are more pins due to hit the market this year and next than in the past decade. That trend is likely to continue if JJP has success. So supply will likely be increasing at a higher rate than during the past 5 to 10 years.

#35 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Interesting that the poll doesn't even give the option to vote for prices going down (there is one saying they will go up more first, then down).

"That's because it always goes up."(TM)

The above phrase is a registered trademark of the Real Estate Crash

#36 5 years ago
Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:

LTG said:

So I don't see supply getting better any time soon.

There are more pins due to hit the market this year and next than in the past decade. That trend is likely to continue if JJP has success. So supply will be vastly increased every year.

I am sorry, I should have said I don't see the supply of Williams A titles getting better anytime soon.
With them being hung onto.

LTG

#37 5 years ago
Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:

LTG said:

What new features ? All we've ever seen is rumors. No indication anything beyond that.

That doesn't matter. I think it is pretty obvious that there will be new features on Stern pins in the next two years. If you think they are going to stick to LED displays exclusively I think your in for a surprise. Just sayin. [:wink:]

I hope so. Two more years of LEDs, moving band members, and swinging ramps will get old.

I hope Stern comes through with some great new ideas and innovation.

LTG

#38 5 years ago
Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:

There are more pins due to hit the market this year and next than in the past decade. That trend is likely to continue if JJP has success. So supply will be vastly increased every year.

It's this very fact that makes me think that at least a few of the A-list titles will level off as collectors want, and buy, the new pins. For example: they've had their TAF for 5+ years, they've mastered it, they want a new challenge, but they're short on cash. Quick sale means dropping the price a little bit to guarantee a fast sale. Just in the past couple months, a couple nice player TAFs have sold under $4k. That's no coincidence. Besides, there are more TAF's in the world than just about any other pin out there. At some point, if enough people start selling them off to buy the newest, whiz-bang pin, prices will drop from too much competition.

#39 5 years ago
Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:

I think we will see a drop in prices on the classics as Stern starts implementing some new features on future pins and JJP announces their second title. I guess we will see only time will tell.

Mmmmmmmm...maybe. "But you don't believe that?" "No, probably I don't"
Folks don't generally buy a pinball machine based on it's technology. Typically it's because of gameplay and/or nostalgia.

#40 5 years ago
Quoted from islandpinball:

EM tables have not gone up in price in recent years..
Solid State games are starting to get into this category as well, they just remain at a certain price point with little movement. ...
Alphanumerics are still going up and DMD pins are going as high as the sky...Once the pinball companies start incorporating the newest technologies especially LCD i dont think we will see the DMD titles doubling or tripling again. The DMDs will hold their own for a long time, but i highly doubt they will double and triple like they did in their latest run up to these levels.

Yes, I agree that a significant technical innovation will cause dollars to start flowing to new games. The primary reasons I'm interested in a predator are for its relatively budget price and built-in scarcity.

#41 5 years ago
Quoted from Cliffy:

Folks don't generally buy a pinball machine based on it's technology. Typically it's because of gameplay and/or nostalgia.

Times are a changing my friend with a little more youth being injected into the community. I have a feeling LCD displays will become standard and many younger/new pinheads will be drawn to them. I think the fact WOZ said it would include an LCD display was enough for many to say okay they are trying something new and I want to be a part of it. Not saying that is the way it will be just my guess.

#42 5 years ago

Personally I think that as long as MM, AFM, TZ, etc. are listed at the top of the rankings they will always command a premium no matter what the market does. Most hobbies that involve collecting (that I am familiar with) have certain items that are considered the creme-de-la-creme of the hobby and as such command the exorbitant prices (realtively speaking) due to the demand of everyone wanting them.

The most that I would see happening is the price of these titles (and most titles, to be honest) leveling off to slightly increasing. People that have $10K+ in a machine just aren't going to want to let it go for less (unless they are forced to, etc.)

Also, once a title is out of production the number of machines of that title will never go up, it will either stay the same or slightly decline over time, and so over time the only way price will go down is if demand drops faster than the gradual decay in the number of machines.

#43 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

When you look at what is going on.
New people coming in, more demand, less games, the economy isn't that great, and people with money putting it into things other than where they lost a bunch with stocks and banks.
I don't think it's topped out yet, and if the economy gets rolling, I believe prices will continue up.
LTG

I have to agree with this assesment.

#44 5 years ago

I sold an MM 6 months ago for $7500, the dearest sale I've heard of over here is $10k, and the cheapest was $4750 for one that was worn to the wood across most of the playfield. I expect that prices over here will rise if you guys keep paying $12k

#45 5 years ago
Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:

Times are a changing my friend with a little more youth being injected into the community. I have a feeling LCD displays will become standard and many younger/new pinheads will be drawn to them.

Pete that doesn't change the value of the true classics though, sorry! I'll guarantee you a cherry '70 Challenger R/T will always be more valuable than a 2010 Challenger even though, by your analogy, the 2010 model is much more technologically advanced. Yes a ton o' young guys will jump on the new Challenger but probably less because of it's technology and more because of it's lower cost than the classic original.

#46 5 years ago

I think the prices on the classics will come down with the release of newer pins in higher numbers. But in the end only time will tell there is no magic ball or other market that adequately captures the pinball market to tell one way or the other. Even if the prices don't come down on those I won't be affected by it.

My reasoning being is I will not be purchasing a 5K to 12K 20 year old pin when I can buy a new or newer one (that I haven't played 100+ times before) for the same or less. I have heard many members here and friends in the area express the same opinion regarding the matter. But I do understand what your saying I just see things a bit differently. And as always I can agree to disagree.

#47 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

It isn't just rich people.
I've seen many people hanging onto A titles.

If you can afford an A title, you would fit my definition of "rich people".

#48 5 years ago
Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:

My reasoning being is I will not be purchasing a 5K to 12K 20 year old pin when I can buy a new or newer one (that I haven't played 100+ times before) for the same or less.

Precisely. You just made my point for me

#49 5 years ago

I'm tired of reading about MM price as an investment, I actually play my games. F those that don't...............it's ruined the pinball hobby. Move along, please.

#50 5 years ago

The problem is that has been mentioned already, the price of these feature rich new pins are going up and to get better pins with new features your going to pay more. I wont be a bit surprised to see new LE Sterns getting released with an 8k price tag in the near future. Where does that put the B/W A listers? Most likely going up as well.

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