(Topic ID: 299785)

Stern's price increases may be pushing me out of this hobby

By jorant

1 year ago


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  • Latest reply 11 months ago by horseflesh
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    There are 399 posts in this topic. You are on page 7 of 8.
    #301 1 year ago

    I dunno, I guess I agree it’s becoming an expensive hobby. I bought an early Stern IronMan after playing it at Rocky Mtn Showdown in Golden, CO. It kicked my backside and I knew it was a decent game. I think it was around $5K then, my first NIB. I later bought an LoTR LE NIB for around $7K shipped to me. I was less happy with that game, don’t get me wrong… LoTR is an awesome title. I didn’t like the build quality or the ‘gold plating’ job. Haven’t bought a Stern NIB since, probably won’t. But never say never. For now, I’d rather let someone else take the depreciation and know if the title is going to be decent. Led Zep was an interesting title, but they all looked fugly to me (but that’s a whole other thread).

    #302 1 year ago

    I don’t know if Stern’s pricing me out of the hobby…JJP has the highest price NIB by far but I can tell you this, auction pricing has me out of the hobby for sure LOL!!!

    Bottom line is if you have disposable income you can afford what you budget for and want. Will these pins hold value 3-5 or 10 years down the road? That’s anyone’s guess. We have been saying this price bubble is gonna burst for years and it hasn’t happened yet. I don’t think we will ever see the valleys of the late 90’s/ early 2000’s but there will always be peaked and valleys. These prices are aren’t going away anytime soon.

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    #303 1 year ago

    Why do so many people equate Stern’s NIB pricing with cost to be in the hobby?

    If all you have is machines made in the last few years are you really in the hobby?

    #304 1 year ago
    Quoted from jfh:

    If all you have is machines made in the last few years are you really in the hobby?
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    The short answer is yes.
    Like nearly all hobbies there are different levels of collecting and involvement.
    You don’t even have to own a machine to be in the hobby.
    We have many local tournament and league player that are highly involved in the hobby that do not personally own a single machine.

    #305 1 year ago

    Well, you pretty much just made my point …

    #306 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pickle:

    I don’t know if Stern’s pricing me out of the hobby…JJP has the highest price NIB by far but I can tell you this, auction pricing has me out of the hobby for sure LOL!!!
    Bottom line is if you have disposable income you can afford what you budget for and want. Will these pins hold value 3-5 or 10 years down the road? That’s anyone’s guess. We have been saying this price bubble is gonna burst for years and it hasn’t happened yet. I don’t think we will ever see the valleys of the late 90’s/ early 2000’s but there will always be peaked and valleys. These prices are aren’t going away anytime soon.

    Especially if the influx of new collectors/players is true. Then the prices will only increase - both on new and used.

    #307 1 year ago
    Quoted from jfh:

    Why do so many people equate Stern’s NIB pricing with cost to be in the hobby?

    I suspect it's folks looking to buy their first table don't know about reputable resources to find older tables. Try doing a Google search for "buy pinball table" and see what links come back. It's all scam/high used price websites, EBay pointers, or NIB distributors for me. If that's all someone knows, it comes down to paying $14,000+ for an Addams Family they fondly remember playing, or buying a NIB table for half that price that comes with a warranty.

    Stern ends up being the NIB litmus test since they have more releases and the lowest pricing of the current main manufacturers. And hey, look, Stern has an Avengers table! Cool!

    Money laundering conspiracy theories aside, I suspect the reason the prices were so outrageous on the Banning auction tables was people hearing about the auction, getting excited about owning a table, and not realizing they were paying double market price or more. Bidders likely had no idea what market price was, or used the scam/high price websites for comparison thinking they were getting a deal.

    Quoted from jfh:

    If all you have is machines made in the last few years are you really in the hobby?

    Of course! Virtual, physical, NIB, or EM, pinball is pinball, and I'm glad to see popularity rising.

    12
    #308 1 year ago

    New and "newish" pinball machines have been outside my budget since 2004 when I started collecting. As I slowly started to make a little more money, games continued rising just out of reach. Modern stuff for me is increasingly harder to justify. Feels a little oddball here on Pinside, but over time I've just conceded to being an EM guy. I am perfectly happy with it.

    #309 1 year ago

    I am utterly gutted at the price increases, as a 26 year old trying to get into the hobby it is super frustrating, granted most people don't buy new right off the bat but it is causing used to go up as well. Still trying to save up but I feel some days its hopeless

    #310 1 year ago
    Quoted from dondon4720:

    I am utterly gutted at the price increases, as a 26 year old trying to get into the hobby it is super frustrating, granted most people don't buy new right off the bat but it is causing used to go up as well. Still trying to save up but I feel some days its hopeless

    I didn't buy my first NIB game until I was 43 (LOTR). Don't be frustrated...one day it will happen.

    15
    #311 1 year ago
    Quoted from snaroff:

    I didn't buy my first NIB game until I was 43 (LOTR). Don't be frustrated...one day it will happen.

    46 here.

    Somehow I managed to enjoy this hobby for 20 years without buying a new game.

    10
    #312 1 year ago

    41.
    Lots of folks in Cincinnati, just start buying a 12 pack and heading over

    #313 1 year ago
    Quoted from dondon4720:

    I am utterly gutted at the price increases, as a 26 year old trying to get into the hobby it is super frustrating, granted most people don't buy new right off the bat but it is causing used to go up as well. Still trying to save up but I feel some days its hopeless

    I still have never bought a NIB game. I could, but I don't want to shoulder the depreciation.

    Oddly enough, I have considered it recently for the first time, but only because I can't seem to find a GB or ACNC...and EHOH pins are still available at distros, and people ask more for used ones than NIB!!

    #314 1 year ago
    Quoted from alienpoker:

    I dunno, I guess I agree it’s becoming an expensive hobby.

    You guys are ridiculous.

    People were saying this when prices were "cheap" a decade or more ago...

    It has always been an expensive hobby.

    #315 1 year ago

    If you can be “priced out of something” you never belonged there in the first place!

    The hobby is so many different things to many different people. I see random posts like this and it is ridiculous and embarrassing. You don’t have to be able to afford to buy a new machine in order to be a part of this hobby.

    If that’s all the hobby means to the OP, I truly feel sad for you for that reason alone, and not the fact that you can’t afford a NIB any longer. No one gives a crap about that, nor should they. If they do, you have some seriously shallow expectations when choosing pinball friends and acquaintances.

    #316 1 year ago

    As a collector and arcade operator, I agree there are many ways to be in the hobby. I run a weekly league with around 50 people and 30+ show up each week. I would guess 1/3 to half own games at home. But there are many that come to learn how to be better players and the rules with out owning. Some may own a single game or EM, while others own multiple new games. My point is that not everyone has to own a new Stern, JJP, etc. to enjoy the hobby or playing.

    #317 1 year ago

    Not until my quarters are dry.

    #318 1 year ago

    Sterns prices vs banning auction prices. Steam is lost in the argument IMO.

    It’s still a good argument.

    #319 1 year ago
    Quoted from snaroff:

    I didn't buy my first NIB game until I was 43 (LOTR). Don't be frustrated...one day it will happen.

    Hey that was my first NIB too. I won’t share how old I was when I got it though cause I just misplaced my flame suit.

    #320 1 year ago

    If you have a good base collection you are fine. The rising tide lifts all boats. You can trade games in and out as you see fit. I am at personal capacity so a new game to me means something has to go. If you are new to the hobby it is getting harder to get your foot in the door. The nice thing is (at least for now) if you chose your games wisely you’re really not out anything other than your initial investment. I’ve collected for a long time and have only purchased 3 NIB and each title is now worth considerably more than I paid for it. Avoid titles like Thunderbirds and WWF and you’re looking pretty good these days.

    11
    #321 1 year ago

    TRIGGER WARNING- Truth hurts pinball

    When the community keeps demanding a " loaded " pin every time, you have got to expect to pay for it.

    I am grateful for what I have and can afford. Its not like We need these luxury items.

    #322 1 year ago
    Quoted from dondon4720:

    I am utterly gutted at the price increases, as a 26 year old trying to get into the hobby it is super frustrating, granted most people don't buy new right off the bat but it is causing used to go up as well. Still trying to save up but I feel some days its hopeless

    It’s harder than it used to be, but try to keep your eyes/ears peeled for local deals. Craigslist, FB Marketplace, garage sales, etc. My best deals came from those purchases…from non-hobbyists with a random game in their garage & they don’t know how to take the glass off & they don’t want to pay a repair person.

    #323 1 year ago

    I’m certainly out for NIB this day forward . It was a reach for me for the last 3 NIBs , but I made it happen . Now , I’ll take a pass , second hand machines from now on from owners , not flippers .

    #324 1 year ago
    Quoted from dondon4720:I am utterly gutted at the price increases, as a 26 year old trying to get into the hobby it is super frustrating, granted most people don't buy new right off the bat but it is causing used to go up as well. Still trying to save up but I feel some days its hopeless

    NIB?! Buy a Firepower and/or Grand Prix. Learn now to fix them and keep playing until you blow them up on scores and you will have more fun than these folks yelling and shaking their fists at the clouds for the past 15 years saying “$4000 for TZ is crazy!!”. Pinball has gone up in price the past 15 years. It’s not new. shhhhh! Buy one pin, whatever it is, and you are in the club and play it and love it. You got this.

    #325 1 year ago
    Quoted from Elvishasleft:

    It has always been an expensive hobby.

    Games were given away... games were just a few hundred dollars.. Plenty of people got in and thrived in this hobby for cheap. Sub 2k used to get you nearly anything in the hobby with many readily under $800 if you weren't aiming for DMDs.

    For adult hobbies, that's not too bad. Compared to buying bikes, cars, boats, guns, etc.

    #326 1 year ago

    And pinball takes up less space unless you get out of control..

    #327 1 year ago
    Quoted from dondon4720:

    I am utterly gutted at the price increases, as a 26 year old trying to get into the hobby it is super frustrating, granted most people don't buy new right off the bat but it is causing used to go up as well. Still trying to save up but I feel some days its hopeless

    If the price increase guts you that much you shouldn't of been buying nib in the first place. I only technically bought one nib game and felt like that was a mistake. Nice to have one new but lost a lot of money in the end. Lightly used games play just the same. These games are not going to just disappear. In most cases prices drop over time and you can get one down the road. Sure, you have to wait 2-3 years or more but that's how it works. Instant gratification costs extra.

    #328 1 year ago
    Quoted from jawjaw:

    I only technically bought one nib game and felt like that was a mistake.

    This is far too intriguing to pass up: What do you mean by "technically," and what game did you feel was a mistake?

    #329 1 year ago
    Quoted from dondon4720:

    I am utterly gutted at the price increases, as a 26 year old trying to get into the hobby it is super frustrating, granted most people don't buy new right off the bat but it is causing used to go up as well. Still trying to save up but I feel some days its hopeless

    There are so many good arcades now I am about to scale down a little more and just do location play for the new expensive stuff. I really do not see the need to have $100k in machines at the house anymore.

    #330 1 year ago
    Quoted from beelzeboob:

    This is far too intriguing to pass up: What do you mean by "technically," and what game did you feel was a mistake?

    For me it was XMLE.

    New cost $6600 sold for $5K

    #331 1 year ago
    Quoted from woody76:

    There are so many good arcades now I am about to scale down a little more and just do location play for the new expensive stuff. I really do not see the need to have $100k in machines at the house anymore.

    Insurance company, you need 100k replacement valve for your pinball machines? Let get your new numbers on that…..

    #332 1 year ago
    Quoted from snaroff:

    I didn't buy my first NIB game until I was 43 (LOTR). Don't be frustrated...one day it will happen.

    When you were 43, LOTR was under 4k NIB. (Unless you're saying you bought it NIB years after the end of production in which case...well.....you did it to yourself)

    When that guy is 43, whatever game is NIB will be 18k, and have less features on it.

    #333 1 year ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    When you were 43, LOTR was under 4k NIB. (Unless you're saying you bought it NIB years after the end of production in which case...well.....you did it to yourself)
    When that guy is 43, whatever game is NIB will be 18k, and have less features on it.

    I paid $4600 with Cali tax. If you invested $4,600 in 2004 (the year I purchased it) in AAPL, you'd have money to buy lots of pinball machines! (and a lot of other stuff as well The idea that ONLY pinball machines go up in value is misguided. If someone never makes/saves/invests enough, then sure, life won't be as fun.

    #334 1 year ago

    Byeeeeeeeee

    #335 1 year ago
    Quoted from beelzeboob:

    This is far too intriguing to pass up: What do you mean by "technically," and what game did you feel was a mistake?

    My MET pro was a floor model at retailer with very low plays. Looked and smelled brand new. Buying experience same as nib but technically it was used. Before that, I bought a ST pro that was nib. Forget what I paid but it was close to msrp. However, I had to pay around $600 for taxes and delivery. Later traded it for a TZ and lost more than $1000 in the end. That also does not include all the mod crap I bought for it. Another lesson learned.

    #336 1 year ago

    Lot's of good points.
    When this hobby first started I didn't care about any NIB machines. Wouldn't of even considered one.
    I was happy with acquiring the Williams WPC95 games. Over time I was able to build up a collection
    that allowed me to keep current with a small investment on my part. In away that still holds true.

    From a Routing standpoint. There is one issue. How do you increment the cost of play to account for
    the increase in price / value? How do you increment price per game to match.. 1.25 per play, 1.50 or 2.
    Not sure people going pop 2 dollars in ( especially if new to pinball ) that's an expensive lesson. Odd dollar amounts
    might encourage a replay or annoy others. That would be 8-10 dollar coin drop per league night. 5 plays...
    With people not drinking as much ( statistically speaking ) that really makes it hard to earn much. 2 dollars
    for a soda / bottled water. Non drinkers not going to make up diff. Changing demographics more platers transitioning to families.
    Conundrum for sure.

    Covid still a thing its tough... I am yet again setback into how I could open a space that even breaks even.
    Then the focus shifts and that can be hard to manage.

    If Stern / JJJP / and others went to a more electronic means of payment. Operators could increment
    cost of play by 10% to consumer.. Or perhaps there just needs to be an entire new price per play model.
    Current method of coin operation is problematic. Seems that you'd want to kick the actual Coin part of
    operation. So where does the focus for Home owners go.. Used WPC and Williams games.

    #337 1 year ago

    I'm suren Stern will still generate great sales, but personally, it has pushed me out a bit. I'm at the point where I'm pretty much only interested in what Keith Elwin puts out, because I know I'll have enough fun with his games that I can (kinda) justify the stupid ridiculous price tag.

    Bwfore, I might buy a game like Mandalorian because I wanted to get it home and really dig into it, but now, at these prices, there's not a chance.

    So, are there more people like me out there, that may have bought 2-3 games a year, and are now barely willing to buy one?

    This latest price increase has definitely impacted my buying decisions, so it'll interesting to see how others react.

    #338 1 year ago
    Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

    If Stern / JJJP / and others went to a more electronic means of payment. Operators could increment
    cost of play by 10% to consumer.. Or perhaps there just needs to be an entire new price per play model.
    Current method of coin operation is problematic. Seems that you'd want to kick the actual Coin part of
    operation. So where does the focus for Home owners go.. Used WPC and Williams games.

    It seems like they are already building in this direction. Once you get games on the net you can now take payment and initiate a game without ever having to insert a coin. I am pretty sure wifi enabled and QR codes have little to do with the ease of a home buyer updating their machine and more about building towards this model.

    #339 1 year ago
    Quoted from dondon4720:

    I am utterly gutted at the price increases, as a 26 year old trying to get into the hobby it is super frustrating, granted most people don't buy new right off the bat but it is causing used to go up as well. Still trying to save up but I feel some days its hopeless

    Mid/late 40s here for my only NIB purchase to date, Met LE MoP (have a deposit on Godzilla though for #2, at 57 years old).

    Got my first game (KISS) at around 30 for $800, top dollar at the time. Never paid attention to new releases until joining Pinside around 2008. I don't remember them being trumpeted and anticipated on rgp like they are here. I just played games at shows or whatever, liked them and bought them.

    My wife and I used to make mods before it became the full-blown industry it is today. I bought a TSPP with money just from that. Like many of us on here, I've also been able to get bargains on Craigslist or wherever, fix them up and sell them for a profit to build up a war chest for better, more expensive games. I understand this may not be as easy for a newbie without much repair experience, but given the right deal, even if you had to pay a repair guy it could be a viable option for you. Keep cash on hand so you can swoop on a deal regardless of when it pops up, and don't delay - there are more people than ever scouring Facebook and Craigslist and everything else than there used to be.

    If you're hell bent on a NIB game for your first purchase, i guess just keep saving. But you can use other games as stepping stones to get you there too.

    Final piece of advice - word of mouth is your best friend. Let everyone know you want to buy games. I've gotten my best deals from people calling ME - "hey, there's a guy with a pinball machine he wants to get rid of, here's his number".......

    Good luck, and don't lose hope. Regardless of whether you get your NIB, or an older game, they're ALL fun! (except Bally El Toro - don't get THAT turd lol)

    #340 1 year ago
    Quoted from rai:

    For me it was XMLE.

    New cost $6600 sold for $5K

    Same here on the XMLE. I'm still bitter about all the problems I had with that game and the financial bath I took finally getting it out of my house.

    #341 1 year ago
    Quoted from WizardsCastle:

    So, are there more people like me out there, that may have bought 2-3 games a year, and are now barely willing to buy one?
    This latest price increase has definitely impacted my buying decisions, so it'll interesting to see how others react.

    Yes. Regular buyers may take pause now... I have an empty space I could fill. But, an extra stool or place to sit and keeping the money in the bank has become very attractive.

    #342 1 year ago

    I’m sitting the sidelines buying any more right now. Let the chips fall where they may. I enjoy the games I have

    #343 1 year ago
    Quoted from taz:

    Same here on the XMLE. I'm still bitter about all the problems I had with that game and the financial bath I took finally getting it out of my house.

    I traded my XMLE for a TWD pro, I still have TWD pro and it's one of my favorite pins and I will likely never sell it.

    Even with the bad taste in the end say I lost on XM LE most of my other pins have broke even or made a bit so I am not crying.

    #344 1 year ago
    Quoted from rai:

    I traded my XMLE for a TWD pro, I still have TWD pro and it's one of my favorite pins and I will likely never sell it.

    That walking dead is a great game. I will get one eventually because my fiancée loves it.

    #345 1 year ago
    Quoted from dondon4720:

    I am utterly gutted at the price increases, as a 26 year old trying to get into the hobby it is super frustrating, granted most people don't buy new right off the bat but it is causing used to go up as well. Still trying to save up but I feel some days its hopeless

    When I was 26, a $60 game was a huge investment for me...

    Didn’t buy my first machine till this year, but then I bought 3 more immediately lol. I’m 41.

    About 10 years ago, I started my own business. I made a promise to myself that one day, I’d buy a Star Trek tng pinball machine as a reward for busting my ass and a symbol that my business had made it. Back then they were like 3k, and every year, they went up in price, just out of reach.

    A decade later, and while I still love that Star Trek table, time and tastes changed the landscape of pinball, and I decided I wanted a Jurassic Park premium instead as my first pin. But I’m married to a fellow pin head, so one just wouldn’t do, haha.

    Got a Godzilla premium on order, and might preorder an Elvira for next year too.

    #346 1 year ago
    Quoted from KingVidiot:

    When I was 26, a $60 game was a huge investment for me...
    Didn’t buy my first machine till this year, but then I bought 3 more immediately lol. I’m 41.
    About 10 years ago, I started my own business. I made a promise to myself that one day, I’d buy a Star Trek tng pinball machine as a reward for busting my ass and a symbol that my business had made it. Back then they were like 3k, and every year, they went up in price, just out of reach.
    A decade later, and while I still love that Star Trek table, time and tastes changed the landscape of pinball, and I decided I wanted a Jurassic Park premium instead as my first pin. But I’m married to a fellow pin head, so one just wouldn’t do, haha.
    Got a Godzilla premium on order, and might preorder an Elvira for next year too.

    That’s awesome! Sit around and complain about what’s unfair or work hard and get what you earned. Great story and congrats on your success. Want more, do more.

    #347 1 year ago

    I thought I would never own one. Never have I really justified the prices but that goes for anything. I am just a blue collar guy in a small town but at 42 years old I own 2 pre owned games now and hunting for a 3rd. I prefer pre-owned anything house,car,pinball etc. I am on the fence of Godzilla NIB. It’s a lot of money for some folks like me.

    #348 1 year ago
    Quoted from WizardsCastle:

    So, are there more people like me out there, that may have bought 2-3 games a year, and are now barely willing to buy one?
    This latest price increase has definitely impacted my buying decisions, so it'll interesting to see how others react.

    If you are "barely" willing to buy a new Stern, they will still be happy to take your money as you bitch to them about how much their mancave toy costs

    Really only matters if you are "not" willing to buy (and a lot of other people are unwilling to buy). Everything is going up in price; 10K by christmas may just be the price of a Stern Pro this time next year . It already is about that for a Godzilla pro in Canada after taxes...

    #349 1 year ago

    I have to say that I'm happy with my collection now. Love all my games. All in beautiful condition and nicely modded. Not in the least interested in adding more pins. Maybe I'll swap one out every couple years. But there are enough new ones in the wild now for me to try out and get my fix. Glad I didn't wait until now at these prices to start a collection!

    #350 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mr_Outlane:

    I have to say that I'm happy with my collection now. Love all my games. All in beautiful condition

    Ditto. One of the few advantages of having all favorites in your collection and being out of room. Will have to be a great execution of a grail theme for me to consider buying another NIB game since an existing game would have to go.

    There are 399 posts in this topic. You are on page 7 of 8.

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