(Topic ID: 19613)

Pinball price bubble -- MM as an example


By HeyYouSir

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 271 posts
  • 106 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by leonml
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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Topic poll

“Predict the future of A list pinball prices”

  • They will continue to rise with no end in sight. ($30K for a MM someday!) 55 votes
    12%
  • They will continue to rise and then take a dip (Newer technology replacing old) 119 votes
    27%
  • They will stay about the same for a long time (Still out of reach for most) 171 votes
    39%
  • I don't want to think about it and enjoy the pins that I have. 44 votes
    10%
  • I don't care. 53 votes
    12%

(442 votes by 0 Pinsiders)

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There are 270 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 6.
#150 7 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

That's what one would think would be logical........I'm in for Star Trek and RE
And let's hope that JJ slips something else in before the Hobbit!

Any of these would be very cool themes to me.

It's actually pretty amazing what a roll Stern has been on in terms of great themes (except maybe TRS) lately, and it looks like it will continue.

#151 7 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

That's what one would think would be logical........I'm in for Star Trek and RE
And let's hope that JJ slips something else in before the Hobbit!

I'd be in for star trek if it's Steve + Lyman.

#152 7 years ago

That's what one would think would be logical........I'm in for Star Trek and RE
And let's hope that JJ slips something else in before the Hobbit!

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1 month later
#153 7 years ago

Pinball price bubble about to pop?
Pins seem to be selling for reasonable prices lately.
Or are things slow during the summer?

Maybe it is human nature. Are you waiting to see what the future of pinball prices will be before you buy? Hate the thought of buying a pin just before some prices drop? AFM for example?

Consider this a bump. I like the topic and the speculation.

#154 7 years ago

Prices are definitely dropping. Don't know if it's seasonal like most say, or if it's because there are so many good new pins coming out that people would rather have, or if the market just got flooded with people trying to make a quick buck. I don't really care either way. Pin ownership is right around the corner for me, if this trend keeps up.

#155 7 years ago

Does anyone actually have some examples of A list games recently going for less?

#156 7 years ago

To the original topic, when has any collectible hobby market ever followed any other hobby market exactly? Pinball is unique, with it's own challenges in it's supply chain and a demographic that is not easy to pigeonhole. The only thing you can be certain of is that next year will not be like this year, and that will continue to be the case year after year.

The LCD subtopic was interesting, but honestly it seems to only benefit bystanders. When I play Tron the ball is rarely trapped so I never see the screen. I'm always playing with my sons at home and they know that part of the job of the bystander is to call out whenever the screen tells me that I should be shooting for something that isn't obvious by the playfield lamps.

That may mean I need to learn the audio calls and lights better, but also points out that not every game is stop and go and directs you to 'look up'. Our FastBreak table on the other hand does stop the game and actually speaks to you and says "Look UP! blah blah blah...." basically saying hey dummy, stop looking at the ball and table and look at the backboard where there is another ball and flipper to use...

No matter if it was an LCD screen, a cannon, a flipper, a rocketlauncher, 3d dancing martians, or whatever device they add to the backboard it's not where 99% of pinball players are focused 'while playing'.

Would it be cool to have LCD, lasers, smoke effects, flashing lights, toys, etc on the backboard? Sure, it's all cool. Does it change the way the game plays... sure, some games hold the ball and have you interact with the backboard by watching a clip or audio or flipping something around. Does everyone want every game to 'pause' and make you look up.. nope.

I want LCD's on my backboards because I want more information displayed. What ball am I on?? How much did that last switch award me? How fast did the ball move when the rapter pit kicker just threw it back at me? What time is lunch? How many texts did I miss while playing this game? Cool, load it up. But just don't expect me to read it all while I'm playing Pinball

#157 7 years ago

Medieval Madness is a bad example. The "holy grail" games will always command a high price, while other games won't. The market for pinball cannot be measured on the holy grails. For example, Action Comics #1 has increased in value dramatically, while Action Comics #2 has not.

#158 7 years ago

Games are already going down in price. I totally agree that MM may be the only example where that is not true but once JJP releases WOZ and a solid year goes buy...MM is gonna be what it is...an 8-10K game.

Don't be one of those guys that invested in NASDAQ 5,000 or is $300K underwater on his house.

#159 7 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Does anyone actually have some examples of A list games recently going for less?

Check the recent sales of TAF and TZ on eBay. Completed items that actually sold, from private owners, not dealers. Not too long ago there were about 3 or 4 TAFs that sold under $4k for really nice player machines, easy restore candidates. There have been about 4 or 5 TAFs on CL here in CA, all at or around $4600, and they haven't sold in months. Seems to me the median price for a nice TAF has fallen below $4k(at least, here in CA).

That's definitely down from a few months ago.

#160 7 years ago

Does anyone actually want to provide some facts or is it just "if this" and "when that" opinions?

I would like to buy some of these cheaper pins but EVERYTHING I have found recently is more than it was even 8 months ago when I bought my first...

A list and B list have both gone up, heck even older SS machines I would like have gone up.

#161 7 years ago

I saw two MM sell for under 10k recently. Watched several AFMs sit and a couple other guys struggle with A list titles priced in CQ range. Thats all been in the last two months.

#162 7 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Does anyone actually want to provide some facts or is it just "if this" and "when that" opinions?

I guess you were typing when I posted my last response. But I just checked again, and outside of the dealers' sales, most of the really nice TAF's sold right around $4k. There were even a couple that received zero bids at under $4k!

Keep in mind we're talking about eBay here, where people get stupid money for pins(as evidenced by numerous posts in numerous threads here).

#163 7 years ago

So more hand waving...

Seriously, can anyone show me some hard facts that denote a real trend? Link me an ebay auction, pinside thread, anything...
Something like, "I just bought a CQ MM for 8k" or "I just sold a routed AFM that needs some work for 5k" would even help your cause.

A MM that needs work selling for just under 10k, a few AFMs that sat more than a few weeks during the summer but eventually sold for a high price, and a couple other guys A list CQ games "struggle" to sell is just more conjecture and not real evidence of anything dropping in price all of a sudden.

#164 7 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

I saw two MM sell for under 10k recently. Watched several AFMs sit and a couple other guys struggle with A list titles priced in CQ range. Thats all been in the last two months.

The MM I sold for 92 was a working base game, I paid that for it because I like restoring games or did.
I added up the cost of the parts and decided I didn't want another game I had so much money in I can't sell so I sold it as is.
I have a whole line up of them already, my WH2O will be my last restore and I am going back to building sand rails with my buddy who has two on order, a 1850 and a 2180 on rollers.
Ironic, my last game will be Whitewater and we take the rails out to Whitewater for testing.

#165 7 years ago
Quoted from Miguel351:

I guess you were typing when I posted my last response. But I just checked again, and outside of the dealers' sales, most of the really nice TAF's sold right around $4k. There were even a couple that received zero bids at under $4k!
Keep in mind we're talking about eBay here, where people get stupid money for pins(as evidenced by numerous posts in numerous threads here).

Nice TAFs for 4k is not evidence of a price decline. Heck I picked up my nice TAF for less than 4k 8 months ago.

Maybe that is evidence that TAF is stabalized at ~4, but TAf really has not seen a rapid increase either has it?

#166 7 years ago

A couple weeks ago, I traded my very nice MM to a local friend. We had agreed that I would field other offers as we worked out the details to come to an agreement, which we both obviously felt was fair.

We did the trade. His nice bronzed-out Indy and 5500 cash, so if I decided not to keep the Indy, it is nice enough to sell for 5500-6500 meaning I sold the MM for 11-12K, probably end up at 11.5K.

What closed the deal was a plate of his mom's homemade peirogies and onions, which sit in the freezer waiting for Danny to come home.

The key to these deals-homemade Polish food, of course!

Dan

#167 7 years ago

I sold a HEP restored MM for $11k over a year ago. If routed ones are going nearly $10k, I'd say the buyer got a good deal.

#168 7 years ago
Quoted from eggbert52:

Games are already going down in price. I totally agree that MM may be the only example where that is not true but once JJP releases WOZ and a solid year goes buy...MM is gonna be what it is...an 8-10K game.

IMO, the A-list games are only commanding high prices because they represent the (retro) pinnacle of pinball and all the current manufacturers are continuing to pander to 40-year-old technology. Even WOZ is likely to be a "retro pinball" game. It is unlikely to revitalize the pinball industry - they're just pandering to the old collector market.

The only game that could change that would be P^3 and what the P-ROC people are doing.. they are the only manufacturer actually doing pinball innovation. If they manage to produce a popular pinball platform, then you can expect the value of DMD machines to drop dramatically, not unlike how SS made EM games less-valuable and DMD made SS games less valuable. I also believe if there had been more P2K titles out that platform would have made DMD games go the way of EMs in terms of popularity, desirability and value.

#169 7 years ago
Quoted from PinballHelp:

If they manage to produce a popular pinball platform, then you can expect the value of DMD machines to drop dramatically,

Good thing you said "if". "if" it's an innovation like pin2K was, it will have little, if any, effect. Holy comma crazy sentence, that.

#170 7 years ago

I'd say betting on a sharp decline in A list game prices is right along the lines of wishful thinking right now. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see it happen since I would like to be able to pickup a couple of titles I want but, I cannot afford right now. If there has been a recent leveling off, its just because of late summer and folks are tapped out right now. Wait until the first of the year, prices will probably head up another 10-15% on the top 20.

For the record, I'm wishing with you guys. Here is wishing for a 3k TOTAN and a 5K MM in 2013.

#171 7 years ago

The prices will not drop on the A titles untill better less expensive games are produced. And with what Stern just put out, a good pin with crap code doesnt help. The market right now is super hot bc of the new people getting into the hobby. New apps like Pinball Arcade are making people remember how cool pinball use to be and are stirring up many new collectors. They have well over 1,000,000+ downloads just in the Android market. Im sure there is just as many on the Xbox and PS3. RBION took a price jump when it was released on Pinball arcade and others followed. I think the market on New pins should drop out soon bc people will only spend so much b4 they chose not to be burned. Im not saying Xmen is a bad pin bc i have yet to play it. From what I have read its got some issues that "I" would not want to deal with for that type of $$.

#172 7 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

Unless they cut a big hole in the playfield and insert an LCD there, I don't see it being a "game changer."

Quetzal Captain Nemo will have that!
http://quetzalpinball.com/

#173 7 years ago
Quoted from MrWizzo:

The key to these deals-homemade Polish food, of course!

Ok, that sounds yummy and is clearly a good deal.

I am not googling all day but will just say from sales I watched its tapered. Not plummeted or dipped but 6 months ago and more it was a new price every time and sold. Now they sit and offers are out there. Thats been for about 4-6 months. Just watching it certainly looks like a trend but again. I have not done a spreadsheet.

#174 7 years ago
Quoted from bigdaddy07:

For the record, I'm wishing with you guys. Here is wishing for a 3k TOTAN and a 5K MM in 2013.

Ok, thats never going to happen. Leveling off is not collapsing and there is no indication of collapsing for quite a while. Until folks start dying...

#175 7 years ago

I doubt we'll see the games completely drop off, but I think some of the recent sales that are high are not an accurate representation of the intrinsic value of those pins - no more so than a great deal suggests that a pin should be valued much lower.

People see a game go for 2-3k what they're normally used to seeing, and they panic. It's a small enough community that we fuel these prices very quickly compared to other, much more robust, markets. If you see your game sell for a high dollar amount, at least part of you has to question whether your machine is worth that kind of money to you.

I think a lot of the rise is attributed to Pinball Arcade, or even FX2, it's reminding people about pinball.

Let us also not forget that there are other things that will have an effect on the pinball market. New technology elsewhere, for example. For those of you who do not follow video games, the current consoles are pretty old, over 6 years old. Within at least the next couple of years you will see new consoles. These DO act as an alternative for the entertainment that pinball provides (at least to a lot of people, particularly those who have been brought IN by video games like pinball arcade). They're cheaper, more versatile, loaded with technology, and who knows that next gen will be capable of.

We've seen the video game market have a real effect on pinball before. When the frustration of trying to find a reasonably priced machine becomes too much, I wonder how many will flee to substitutes. I don't think it will necessarily make prices plunge, but it could certainly have an interesting effect.

Just a thought.

#176 7 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

Ok, thats never going to happen. Leveling off is not collapsing and there is no indication of collapsing for quite a while. Until folks start dying...

I know. That's why I said "wishing" maybe I should have said dreaming. I for one don't see this supposed decline anyway. I'd sure love to own an MM someday but, 10k+ ain't happening for me. Hopefully, Stern and JJP releases some bang up pins in the coming years and this dream of an A list price bubble collapse comes to fruition and I can have my 5k CQ MM.

#177 7 years ago

A man can dream...

#178 7 years ago

If we were to imagine pins as stocks, would anyone be shorting MM? I know I wouldn't.

#179 7 years ago
Quoted from davewtf:

Good thing you said "if". "if" it's an innovation like pin2K was, it will have little, if any, effect. Holy comma crazy sentence, that.

That's only because Bally/WMS killed the whole program even though it was successful. As a result, there aren't enough games and titles out there to establish the new platform as the next generation. Imagine if only 1-2 solid state ("Spirit of '76" by Mirco was the first SS) or the first 2 DMD machines made (Data East "Checkpoint"?) were left as representatives of what that platform was capable of? P2K was a great success for its time but could have been so much better. We'll never know because the platform was scuttled prematurely.

RFM is an amazing game. If it suffers from anything, it's due to the fact that the game is overly linear in nature. It was designed to rake in quarters so players could get further along in the modes - like SWE1, it was not designed for a home environment and gets old fast, but the platform and the technology is excellent. A few more titles on this platform could have really shown P2K to be light years ahead of everything else. Both the existing titles were overly linear in their ruleset. But the projected video over the playfield is totally genius. Even P^3 looks primitive in comparison on that front. It's a true 3D pinball/video experience. And that was 15 years ago!

#180 7 years ago

They have topped out for me. I am standing pat with my current collection and concentrating on restoring ulder EMs now. I can not stomach the recent sky high prices for modern pins.

#181 7 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Nice TAFs for 4k is not evidence of a price decline. Heck I picked up my nice TAF for less than 4k 8 months ago.

Maybe that is evidence that TAF is stabalized at ~4, but TAf really has not seen a rapid increase either has it?

Well, you don't live in California. TAF's were going well over $5k strong for the last 6 months. So, yes, the they have declined, out west. Like I said, check the bay area CL for a TAF and there's more than a few right now at or around $4600. They've been for sale for months. Nobody's biting. If these guys really want to sell their machines, they'll settle for less.

Keep in mind CA prices are stupid.

#182 7 years ago

For years I've been trying to get the guy from Boston Pinball to graph multiple machine sale prices over time. Just selecting TAF is not a good representative. He should take 2-3 machines from every era and show their sales, as well as group machines by A-list and B-list and we'd get a much better idea of trends.

For example, here's the BP graph:
trends.gif

There's not enough data to claim that overall pinball values are going up. There is no distinction between EMs, SSs or DMDs. It just shows average sale price is going up, but that's more likely the result of higher-value machines being sold more often. Overall the graph doesn't seem to indicate any dramatic increase in prices. There's not enough data there, but from what we can glean, overal, there is no "bubble" (a real "bubble" would show both prices and number of auctions going up) - there's more likely a bubble in a tiny part of the market representing certain A-list games. But that could simply be the result of high demand for certain games that are not coming up for sale as often.

He only has one example using TAF:

trends2.gif

Another problem with the above graph is that it only shows price, not quantity of auctions as is in the first graph, so it's difficult to tell if the prices are really going up or down overall, or simply as a result of limited supply.

TAF is also an odd machine to use as a benchmark. It is popular, but it's also the highest-production game ever. In all likelihood, it should go up in price at a much lower rate than the rest of the average market with lower production numbers.

#183 7 years ago
Quoted from Miguel351:

Well, you don't live in California. TAF's were going well over $5k strong for the last 6 months. So, yes, the they have declined, out west. Like I said, check the bay area CL for a TAF and there's more than a few right now at or around $4600. They've been for sale for months. Nobody's biting. If these guys really want to sell their machines, they'll settle for less.
Keep in mind CA prices are stupid.

So they were going for well over $5000 in CA area but selling for $3500 every where else in the country?
Seems to me like anyone looking should have paid $400 to get one shipped from anywhere else...

Asking prices and sale prices are different. Are you sure that the same ones listed for 5000 the past 6mo actually sold and are now not just listed for $4600?

Just pointing out that all the facts I see are that good pins continue to go up (or maybe slightly leveled for certain titles), but I am yet to see any factual evidence of prices going down.

If you actually know of multiple confirmed sales of $5000 from 6 months ago and now comparable machines are being advertised for $4600 then I would still say that you are merely seeing a nice summer dip of a whopping $400 and not a real trend. When they are being sold for 20% or more less of what they were 6 months ago then you may have something to talk about. Untill then it is all just wishful thinking. Trust me, I am right there with you in the wishing dept.

#184 7 years ago

Well, we'll never know what those machines actually sold for or even if they sold, but when you see nothing but TAF's for sale at $5500, $5900, and $7000 on CL all day long, then 6 months down the road you see a bunch of $4600's, somethings changing. That's undeniable.

Also, I've been searching nationally on CL for 6 months and every TAF under $4500 that looked in great shape, I contacted the seller and they wouldn't ship it out to me. So, yes, while it seems that someone could make a lot of money buying pins from back east and selling them out west, you need sellers willing to ship it out.

#185 7 years ago

The last one that I saw for sale in person was @ Curly's open house last year over a year ago in FL.

#186 7 years ago

The boston pinball chart shows nothing more than the fact that the number of eBay sales are dropping while average price is increasing, but who knows what the reason is?

eBay is known to give premium pricing for sellers, even if fees are high, so it could simply mean sellers have migrated away from eBay while buyers haven't. It could also indicate an increase in hoarding with no increase in the actual number of buyers. Both suggestions are contrary to basic economics and the perception that that there is an influx of new buyers.

#187 7 years ago

Really nice TZ sold on eBay a couple days ago for $4250. That's definitely cheaper than normal, even for eBay.

#188 7 years ago

I welcome a drop of 50% or more! I'll fill my Gosh darn basement with 20 pins! So would a bunch of you! For that very reason, I don't expect there to be much of a dropoff anytime soon!

WHat's with all the exclamation points!?

#189 7 years ago

You tell me!!

#190 7 years ago

I think it depends mainly on what everyone's top price is. For me I would never go $10k plus because at the end of the day it's a pinball machine and I don't believe $10k could ever be justified for a pin. I bet if we found the average max price everyone would pay for their favorite pin we could figure out the crashing point of the market.

#191 7 years ago

It's close to that...

#192 7 years ago

Great discussion and some very good points.

As for me, I would love to own a MM. It is my holy grail pin.
I have a number of obstacles, price not being the only one.
My wife would be unlikely to approve the purchase even
if MM was at a ridiculously low price... At least for now.

I love my wife more than I love pinball.

#193 7 years ago
Quoted from HeyYouSir:

My wife would be unlikely to approve the purchase even
if MM was at a ridiculously low price... At least for now.

I'm just curious why this would be?

#194 7 years ago
Quoted from Deaconblooze:

I'm just curious why this would be?

Because he is married.

#195 7 years ago

by 2020, Roller Games will be $5k on average and a B rated title.

#196 7 years ago
Quoted from HeyYouSir:

My wife would be unlikely to approve the purchase even
if MM was at a ridiculously low price... At least for now.

That's funny bc my wife won't let me sell mine, even for a ridiculously high price.

#197 7 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Because he is married.

I have a few friends that are hog ringed and pussy whipped by their wives and won't let them buy a machine.
One of them I loaned a machine to and she threw a shit fit and he had to get it out of the house.
Now that their kids are raised he is divorcing her so he can have a life.
Going to cost him most of what he has but he is to the point he doesn't care anymore.
Why is divorce so expensive?
Because it is worth it.

#198 7 years ago

I have learned long ago that it is better to ask for permission
than to beg for forgiveness. As far as marriage is concerned
it is by far one of the best things that I have been blessed
with in my life. If you don't understand why I can't explain
it to you.

#199 7 years ago

Why is no one addressing the real issue? The government has printed trillions of dollars in the past four years. That money sloshes around in the real economy but starts with the wealthy financiers who have first access to it. They don't spend the same way everyone else does; they spend more on collectibles than most. Collectibles like pinball machines rise first, as well as fine art and other things you don't buy on credit.

I noticed this when I bought a used car earlier this year. Used car prices are ridiculous right now. I brought cash to buy a late model Subaru and was shocked; the dealers don't care about it because their financing for their inventory is so cheap that they aren't in a hurry to move anything and cash buyers don't mean anything to them.

Pinball machines are tangible goods. Expect things they're not making any more of (Gold, Pinballs, Fine Art) will go up. The supply and demand you should look at is not the supply of pins but the supply of money.

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