Three years ago I bought my Shelby GT500 convertible for $41,000 with 600 miles on it. I bought it from the original owner. He gave me all the receipts for everything he had done (standard stuff for that car...exhaust and lowering). He lost $20,000 on that car in a year when he sold it to me with 600 careful miles on it. I have since put another $6000 into totally reversible extras...and the value of it has dropped another $10,000 since I bought it despite only having 8000 miles on it. Its a hobby. I have never complained about the devaluation and I expected it because it is a hobby. You throw stupid money at it, but you enjoy it in the meanwhile. I never even planned on the vehicle appreciating in my lifetime despite the fact that they only make 2500 of them a year. You buy them to enjoy them. Sure....you don't drive them in the snow or salt, and not even in the rain. But they still go down in value and thats the way it is. So why should pinball be any different? Because of increase in demand and no increase in supply.
Pinball games always depreciated like too that except for the last 6 years or so because manufacturers went out of business. Supply and demand. And the supply used to be cheap because there was little demand for it. When the internet started people found out that used pinball games could actually be acquired for home use and the cycle began. It was a situation of pent up demand. So guys bought up their favorite games from their youth for home use and kept on buying more. That trend continued. Some owners started thinking pinballs were immune to depreciation and actually started using them as investments. Friends came to peoples basements and played and they wanted one too. Guys enjoyed their hobby, turned their friends on to it and did not lose any money doing it. It worked for quite awhile.
So when older pinball games start selling for $20,000 how can anyone not think that a smart business person will make a new and improved version of it for less money for the masses who want it so badly? Stern simply accelerated the consumer process by keeping their prices at old levels while cheapening up their games. So pinheads quickly figured out they were getting more game for their money in old B/WMS games and chose them instead of new crappy games (Austin Powers comes to mind) the prices went up with no supply to fill the void.
We only have a "bubble" in certain titles because people are smart and figured out how to make money on the stupidly high prices. Game restorers did very well and provided a sorely needed service. Obviously Planetary figured out quickly that profits could be made by providing a service too, and they own the rights to many old games. If they were not in business we would not even be able to buy new parts for our older games and someone would be making them in their basement and charging much higher prices for parts. Planetary is a business, just as Bally/Williams was, and if they see a demand they would have been stupid to not supply the demand. Original perfect condition games will not be affected by this new release, but thank goodness they days of buying a beat up routed MM for $8000 are over for now.
Yes...some speculators will get burned in this. But it won't be as bad as buying a new car. We take that hit every day and don't whine about it. Get used to a little bit of depreciation if it happens. Its a hobby folks....not a stock market investment. Play your games and enjoy them.