Quoted from Pinzap:
I do tend to agree with this... but there are people out there who are betting on getting a deal if you decide to sell someday. If it's never leaving your collection, then absolutely irrelevant what others think.
It remains to be seen what the supply/demand curve for LE's will become a few years down the road. But the initial demand curve seems to have dropped a bit.
This all makes perfect sense from a business perspective and I agree 100%. BUT.....for most of us, pinball is not a business, it is a hobby and hobbies cost money.
It is interesting to me how this hobby has a different thought process then most other hobbies. Everyone (me included) would like to get most, if not all, of their money back when they sell a machine after playing it for X number of months/years. On used machines, sometimes you can find a deal that allows you to play it for months/years and make some money. NIB machines sometimes go up but that is rare and should never be counted on.
Almost all other hobbies where the actual item you "play with" guns, cars, motorcycles, etc. cost a significant amount of money compared to pinball. By cost, I mean when you sell the item, pinball machine, gun, car, etc.what was the cost of ownership vs the amount of fun you had with it.
Example: you buy a rifle, take it to the range a few times a month, and shoot a couple hundred rounds each trip. Range fee+ammo+targets+gas+travel time to the range = cost that you can never get back but you had fun. Value of the gun itself is probably similar to what you paid for it in most cases.
Cars : you like going to the track (dragstrip, road course, doesn't really matter) you will go through tires+brakes+fluid changes more often +gas +any mods you decide to do to make it faster/handle better+as a rule, most all cars depreciate at some level= costs that you can never get back but you had fun. The car will almost certainly be worth less than what you paid for it in most cases.
Pinball: plug it in and play it + mods if you want +little to no maintenance (on a new machine in the short term) = you had fun (assuming you liked the machine you bought) and sold it for a price lower that what you paid (remember, a pinball machine is not an investment) but you had fun, hopefully shared it with some friends, and start looking for your next machine.
The pinball machine will be worth close to what you paid for it, some cases more but I would never count on that. How do you put a value on the fun you have and the friends you make in this hobby?
SWLE is approximately $1200 more than a premium. Is it worth it? I don't know, haven't seen one in person but I like the pictures. Will I like the way it plays? I don't know, Jack Danger and crew sure made it look fun TO ME. Will I lose money if and when I decide to sell it? I don't know but I am excited to play it, I have been a Star Wars fan since I was a little kid so if it costs me money to find out, I am OK with that. My hope is that I love it and it stays in my collection for a long time.
With all this being said, am I happy about paying $8500 for it at this time? No. Do I feel BM66 SLE was worth $5000 more than the LE at this time? No. Will I continue to buy at these prices? Unsure at this time.
I am fortunate enough to be able to afford these machines and share them with as many friends as I can but I feel for the people that are being/have been priced out.
Sorry for the long winded post but I feel sometimes the greatness that is pinball as a hobby gets lost in the bickering over price and value. What has value to you, 90's Williams games for example, doesn't have value to me, I don't like playing most of them (not directed at anyone specific, just a general statement). That's what makes this hobby so great, there are enough choice out there to make everyone happy!
Hope everyone has a great day!