Quoted from jawjaw:
$3000 back then would be $5100 today so it's not like these games were that cheap. Still funny to think there was a time TZ, TAF, and FH were cheaper than a Shaq Attack.
TZ was considered a dog by operators back then because it was difficult to keep going, and consequently was VERY cheap. Take a look at old Replays and Playmeter to see what operators were charging each other for games if you want the true picture of what operators were really asking. Very few did retail back then.
Doctor Who was $600 RETAIL all day in the mid-late 90s. Lots of them got parted out because people couldn't keep the mini playfield running.
Also, I saw the thread title and was expecting 1950-1970 for the time frame of "back in the day", not the mid 90s! Wow I feel old.