(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
  • They will continue to rise and then take a dip (Newer technology replacing old) 119 votes
  • They will stay about the same for a long time (Still out of reach for most) 171 votes
  • I don't want to think about it and enjoy the pins that I have. 44 votes
  • I don't care. 53 votes

(442 votes by 0 Pinsiders)

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#29 7 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.

#38 7 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.

#59 7 years ago
Quoted from sosage:

I tend to agree, but we'll see. I look at EM's or 80's arcade machines and wonder if that is the future.

I'm not sure about this. In 1985, the Chuck E. Cheese company went through a huge retraction in the number of franchises they had. That meant our local CEC was going out of business and auctioned off most of their games. We bought 5. Most memorable to me at the time were a couple of the prices: Donkey Kong $500, Q-Bert $350. That was 27 years ago(damn I'm getting old) and you'd be hard pressed to get much more than that for them now. But, factor in inflation and their actual cost has gone WAY down. The quickest way to factor inflation for me is the cost of a new Mustang in the year in question versus the current year's model and the price difference in gas(overall, not the sudden spikes or valleys) from the same time period to now, and come to a general multiplier.

Kinda scary to realize what we paid for those things! Thankfully we still have them and haven't realized the net loss, yet. The only real "money maker", if you can call it that, will be my Chexx Hockey machine. USA v USSR. Doesn't get much more Cold War than that!

#62 7 years ago
Quoted from Cliffy:

And, lets face it, vids have been simulated and can easily be perfectly emulated. Not so with pinball machines

It only takes a few guys to figure out a profitable way to repop pins, a la BBB. Not saying that was a flawless execution of how it should be done, but in the future if these things get to be too outrageous, I could definitely see this kind of thing happening more often.

I know, I know, there's a huge difference between software and hardware, but if we're speculating on the future of the market, all bets are off!

#110 7 years ago
Quoted from taylor34:

The demise of all pinball manufacturing would be the dagger in the A list prices. Seems counter intuitive, but without new machines interest in the hobby would drop as things would become too stale.

Funny, as this is the exact reason I decided to dive in to the hobby last year. I was thinking that there are fewer and fewer pins being made these days and with Stern being the last major manufacturer around, pinball machine manufacturing could eventually just die out, pretty much like arcade games have. I also thought about how if some company were to just buy Stern outright, they may decide to cease pinball operations for no reason, or as a cost-cutter, or because their profit margin is too low(it's happened to many other companies before).

With all that in mind I figured I'd jump in to the hobby, get my three keepers and be done. That's still my intention, but at least with Stern pumping out more than I thought, and with the smaller guys starting to ramp up numbers, I fully believe that while the classics are the classics and they'll always command a premium price, pinball's not in the dire situation I thought it was when I started to get into this hobby.

That said, we are already starting to see prices drop ever so slightly just because the few of each A-list title that sold in the last six months had an air of exclusivity, it seems, as they were the only ones on the market. When they sold for a higher than normal price, everyone who has one of that title and figured they might want to sell it to cash in at the "new" high price started listing them. They listed them on eBay, CL, here, Mr. Pinball, you name it. We all saw the prices, we never knew if they actually sold and/or at what final price. With the market still A-title "heavy", prices will eventually creep down as supply outweighs demand. The last few pins I've seen on eBay that people have put a high BIN but actually want to sell it have over the last couple weeks, steadily lowered in price because the sellers have had no takers at their stupid prices.

Case in point: The last couple of TZ's sold under $5k. Nice players, too! That's sounds reasonable to me.


#138 7 years ago

Did anybody see the screenshot of the WOZ that markmon posted earlier? All that information available on one screen instantly versus trapping the ball for a "Status Report"? How is that not a major improvement to overall game play? To instantly know what you have to hit and what it will accomplish is huge in pinball. How many of you knew what to do with MM when you first played? If you had someone explain the overall goal of the game before you played your first game, maybe then you would've had more fun instead of just bouncing the ball off everything you could see. Let's face it, the quicker you understand the rules, layout, and depth of a game, the more fun it is. The LCD screen, used to it fullest, can convey this information faster and with more accuracy than any other pin before it. That, my friends, is game changing.

Besides, if for nothing else than "attract mode" alone, with respect to WOZ, what better way to attract newbies to pinball than with a clip from the most popular movie of all time? Can't you see the game, sitting in the corner of a bar or amusement area, nobody playing it and then a clip comes on the LCD screen of the witch saying "I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog, too!" or some other famous line from the movie? Who in the world who has seen the movie won't at least turn their head and look, let a lone walk over and investigate? If it gets them to drop in some quarters, mission accomplished.

1 month later
#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.

#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.

#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).

#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.

#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.

#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.

#189 7 years ago

You tell me!!

#215 7 years ago
Quoted from Pinchroma:

If you are buying a pin as an investment, you are a moron.

So I shouldn't by a $3500 pin for $1500? Hmm....seemed like the right thing to do at the time.....

#219 7 years ago
Quoted from Pinchroma:

There are deals to be had but the ability to constantly turn a profit is not possible.

I'm not looking to do this consistently. I agree, a steady stream of great deals is just about impossible. But, if these dealers you see on the internet start getting these stupid prices they list everything at, us collectors are in for a world of hurt, to our wallets. They're the ones buying them from CL and estate sales, hosing them down and selling them at twice the price they paid. Even if someone haggles them down a few hundred, they still made money for hardly doing anything.

Funny thing is though, that through my deal, I'm finding a whole other level of ops and pin owners that don't care what "the market" says these things are worth. They know they'll never get that because they don't want to put the work into advertising them, or shipping them, or answering a bunch of phone calls and emails. They know what they're worth, they just can't sell them at that amount because they'll never sell.

So, guys like me come along and(hopefully) snatch a few of them up, clean them up really well, touch them up here and there, shop them out, put new parts in, get them to 100% and trade them out for what I really want! Then, I'm in the mix for a LOT less money than most. Yes, it'd be nice to sell them and take home the profit, but for a collector like me(just starting out), it's more important for me to use that equity to trade with instead of buy.

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