(Topic ID: 196993)

Price Check: Mata Hari - Premium for Nazi S.S slogan on dagger?


By PinPilot

2 years ago



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  • 49 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by poppapin
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#1 2 years ago

As some of you know, the original Bally Mata Hari backglass featured Mata Hari holding a dagger, inscribed with the slogan of the Nazi SS, which translated means "My honour is called loyalty".

As you may have guessed, there was an outcry against the pinball machine (or at least it's backglass), which forced Bally to remove the slogan from future production models.

I've never seen exact figures, but I suspect less than 10% of the production run had the slogan. If you look around, you'll be very hard-pressed to find one for sale. I couldn't find one anywhere in my searches.

So, in the forum's opinion, what would the price premium be over the same condition "non-slogan dagger" M.H.?

Said another way, if a non-slogan M.H. were valued at $1000, what would it be worth if it had the slogan?

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#2 2 years ago

Out of curiosity, any idea why Bally put a SS slogan (WWII) on a Mata Hari (WWI) themed game? Because WWII was more recent when produced?

#3 2 years ago

I asked for $100 more years ago. Always got it.

#4 2 years ago

I never understood the misconception of the writing on the dagger thing. I've seen and owned many MH games, both EM version and the Solid State version and I've seen more with the writing then I have of ones without the writing. Including the one sitting here in my collection right now. It seems to be the same way with Taxi and entire Marilyn/Lola thing....., seen way more Marilyn's then I have Lola's.

John

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#5 2 years ago

All the E.M.s had the slogan, I believe.

#6 2 years ago
Quoted from EarlGrey:

Out of curiosity, any idea why Bally put a SS slogan (WWII) on a Mata Hari (WWI) themed game? Because WWII was more recent when produced?

I've never understood that either. Perhaps the slogan was in use during WWI? Or Bally had Nazi sympathizers in the art department?

Strange.

#7 2 years ago
Quoted from PinPilot:

I've never understood that either. Perhaps the slogan was in use during WWI? Or Bally had Nazi sympathizers in the art department?
Strange.

Occam's Razor: the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. QED, they screwed up

My understanding is that about half the yield had the slogan, and they eventually realized their (Massive!!) mistake, and removed it. My uncle has a Mata Hari with the slogan - I think it is an EM.

#8 2 years ago

My Marta Hari has it, I have heard that actually many have this and is really not that rare. For me I guess its more great story to point out to friends who come over and play

#9 2 years ago

Here's another one that came through a few years ago.
John

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#10 2 years ago
Quoted from Dayhuff:

Here's another one that came through a few years ago.
John

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#11 2 years ago

It seems like it was more of Dave Christensen trying to slip stuff past management again. He was quite good at hiding stuff in his artwork (See the Capt. Fantastic backglass with the sexy bits covered over and ol' Adolph checking out the action in the crowd, or the "sex scene" in the Nitro Groundshaker tower.) The crazy bit is that a lot of the games with the dagger inscription were shipped to Europe and Germany in particular. There are stories around of the trouble that the German distributor got in to as a result of selling these machines. (I can't verify the story so I won't repeat it, but I believe I heard it from Gene Cunningham many years ago.)

We have two solid states. One with the writing and one without. The "writing" game is on legs, the "no-writing" backglass is displayed right next to it so I can point out the difference. I've only seen a couple of inscribed dagger games in person, I see mostly no-writing games out there, but I have no idea what the actual ratio is or what the premium would be.

#12 2 years ago
Quoted from MrArt2u:

I've only seen a couple of inscribed dagger games in person, I see mostly no-writing games out there.

This has been my experience as well. Last convention had NONE on display.

#13 2 years ago

2 out of 3 I owned had the writing

#14 2 years ago

I've seen both in roughly equal numbers in the wild. My understanding was that they changed the backless later in the run, and that the glass without the inscription is the rarer of the two. But let's face it, even if they only ran half with the inscription, 8k + examples is hardly rare.

#15 2 years ago

Couple more. Two totally different games.

John

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#16 2 years ago

So I guess the consensus is its not all that rare, but the ones with the slogan may still be worth an extra $100?

#17 2 years ago
Quoted from PinPilot:

So I guess the consensus is its not all that rare, but the ones with the slogan may still be worth an extra $100?

Sure, but then again, it more depends on the condition of the entire game. You can ask more, but if the game is a dumpster fire with an inscription, it isn't going to make it much more valuable.

As for rarity, mine doesn't have it, but my friends game does. I don't consider it that big a deal.

#18 2 years ago
Quoted from DaveH:

Sure, but then again, it more depends on the condition of the entire game. You can ask more, but if the game is a dumpster fire with an inscription, it isn't going to make it much more valuable.
As for rarity, mine doesn't have it, but my friends game does. I don't consider it that big a deal.

The premium is a matter of perception, not "scarcety" (rarity) and the stories behind them.

All things considered, if you put two exactly equal condition Mata Hari side by side, I'll probably take the one with the inscription - but $100 more would be the absolute top of the premium. You certainly wouldn't get more than that...because then, I'd take the one without it. The writing has a cool story but it isn't worth that much in cold cash.

#19 2 years ago

wow never new about this.

the more you know

#20 2 years ago

mine doesnt have it. do the repro backglasses have it?

#21 2 years ago

I prefer my games without nazi slogans; I ask how much to deduct for the writing

IPDB quote
This inscription was the motto of the Waffen SS troops in WWII and was adapted from a statement made by Hitler in 1931. Mata Hari died during WWI rendering the inscription an anachronism for this game.

#22 2 years ago

I seem to see as much of one as the other. My game has it. Would be nice to know the real numbers. Good conversation piece.

#23 2 years ago

In Europe, where mata hari is a common game, i only saw one mentioned backglass in an electronic game in 35 years.
I came across hundreds of games through the years,.
A backglass was offered for sale a few month ago on a german forum and sold for 500 euro quick.

#24 2 years ago
Quoted from cudabee:

In Europe, where mata hari is a common game, i only saw one mentioned backglass in an electronic game in 35 years.
I came across hundreds of games through the years,.
A backglass was offered for sale a few month ago on a german forum and sold for 500 euro quick.

So maybe they ARE more rare than we thought! Google "MATA HARI PINBALL FOR SALE" and you won't find ANY with the slogan. If they were 50%, half of those should have it (approximately - yes, I've taken statistics in college).

19
#25 2 years ago

Here's a even more rare version of the playfield. It was a tough call but I finally decided to let this one go.....

John

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#26 2 years ago

Yikes !!!

#27 2 years ago

That is exactly why I don't make any attempts at playfield touchup requiring artistic skill!

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from PinPilot:

So maybe they ARE more rare than we thought! Google "MATA HARI PINBALL FOR SALE" and you won't find ANY with the slogan. If they were 50%, half of those should have it (approximately - yes, I've taken statistics in college).

Well now I'm starting to think you should just double the price.

Quoted from PinPilot:

Said another way, if a non-slogan M.H. were valued at $1000, what would it be worth if it had the slogan?

$2000. There, done. Write the ad.

#29 2 years ago
Quoted from DaveH:

Well now I'm starting to think you should just double the price.

$2000. There, done. Write the ad.

You want to take it on commission?

#30 2 years ago

I've owned 3 Solid State versions. One with it and two without. Which I think is about the right ratio. All the EM pins had and about 1/4 of the SS pins had it.

#31 2 years ago

FWIW, I traded my mint non-inscription backglass plus $100 for my friend's mint inscription backglass. So it was worth $100 to me, but clearly not to him.

Quoted from PinPilot:

So I guess the consensus is its not all that rare, but the ones with the slogan may still be worth an extra $100?

#32 2 years ago

You all should list your games serial numbers to look for a pattern.

#33 2 years ago

I had a bunch, didn't see a pattern over the years on solid state. Almost 10 in my area, seemed 50/50.

#34 2 years ago

There's the pattern - they're all in Canada!

Quoted from greatwichjohn:

I had a bunch, didn't see a pattern over the years on solid state. Almost 10 in my area, seemed 50/50.

#35 2 years ago
Quoted from Dayhuff:

Here's a even more rare version of the playfield. It was a tough call but I finally decided to let this one go.....

John

is that the russian nesting doll version? Hilarious.

Personally if I had 2 side by side for sale. both with equal condition and one was $100 more than the other. Regardless of the writing, i'd take the cheaper one. The backglass still has the same size boobs on either version, right?

4 weeks later
#36 2 years ago

Its an enduring mystery that may never have any known ending, much like the Roswell incident. As a collector, I do think it adds a great conversation factor, and I would prefer it. Now would I pay an extra $100? Likely yes, if I was already paying top dollar for a clean machine.

5 months later
#37 1 year ago

I have SS #1429 and it does NOT have the inscription. Out of 16000+ I think I have a low serial number. I’d be curious to know if anyone has a higher number with the famous dagger.

#38 1 year ago

I think the dagger inscription is one of the biggest myths in pinball. It's like "they only made less then 1000 Marilyn's".

John

#39 1 year ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

I have SS #1429 and it does NOT have the inscription. Out of 16000+ I think I have a low serial number. I’d be curious to know if anyone has a higher number with the famous dagger.

Yeah, I have #9331 and it has the writing on the dagger.

#40 1 year ago
Quoted from SergioJ:

Yeah, I have #9331 and it has the writing on the dagger.

That's weird, either there really is no rhyme or reason to what machine got the glass with the dagger inscription or one of ours had a back glass change over time...

#41 1 year ago

From my "non scientific" watching of MH's for sale on eBay, Pinside, Craigslist & at shows over the last year, I'd say I'm with the 50/50 crowd.

I fully believe probably all EM's due to early production had the inscription, & somewhere along line in SS production it was phased out, my guess would be about 1/2 way through...

My SS which I don't have serial # for here at work, did not have the inscription originally. I installed a mint NOS glass with the inscription. & Then I found another decent glass with inscription at an auction & bought it as a wall hanger in my pinball room.

But of all the machines & glasses I have looked at, I'd say it is around 50/50.

I also agree that a machine with the inscription probably would be worth IMO $100 more than a non inscribed machine.... just for the pure value of another Dave Christensen Easter Egg etc. I always show people the difference in the 2 glasses when they first see my machine (most people who check out my collection are just friends who are not pinheads) & it's just an interesting conversation starter. I show them the dude banging the chick in the tower in Nitro Ground shaker, the Artists face & Jeep on my Silverball Mania etc. To me those are just interesting details that make pinball art from that time period more interesting. Faris put "Farisbuilt" instead of Peterbuilt on the grille emblem on the tractor trailer on Night Rider etc.

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#42 1 year ago
Quoted from WeatherbyMAG:

Then I found another decent glass with inscription at an auction & bought it as a wall hanger in my pinball room.

I'll trade you that roached PF I have for your glass with the inscription!

#43 1 year ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

That's weird, either there really is no rhyme or reason to what machine got the glass with the dagger inscription or one of ours had a back glass change over time...

Everyone assumes that there was a single point in time where things were “cut over” from writing to no writing. I would speculate that they were more purposeful than that. I would guess that for games going to Europe, they simply pulled backglasses from the stack without writing that they ordered once they found the issue. If it wasn’t going to Europe, then they used the backglass with the writing that they already had until supplies ran out. Nobody seemed to care here. That would account for the mix in serial numbers later on in production.

#44 1 year ago

What writing?
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#46 1 year ago

Had a few this is the first one without the writing

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#47 1 year ago

My "wall hanger"

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#48 1 year ago

Are you interested in selling your wall hanger?

My Mata Hari backglass has a nasty 6 inch scratch on it. I'm thinking about ordering a new one from Bgresto

#49 1 year ago

Shay has the EM version on his website. Send an email, maybe he has SS also.

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