It's kind of fun to sit back and watch the new generation of pinball players/flippers (with $) bidding up the pre-1994 vintage pinball machines.
I have played pinball regularly since 1978. Whether it was at the local amusement park, after the junior bowling league, or after school at the arcade. I started collecting pinball machines in 1998 after graduating college and getting settled.
For about 14 years, since I bought my first machine (Williams Comet), and the 15 or so I have purchased since then, it has been a great experience.
The hobby for the past 18 months or so hasn't been as enjoyable. As everyone knows the price of used games has gone up, gone up to a point that I am no longer interested in collecting additional games. My focus now is restoring/enjoying the 8 pins I have now.
I received the 2/25/13 edition of Fortune magazine today and it happened to have an article on pinball (pg 10). It talked about how new pinball sales have been declining - $ 219 million which is a quarter of what it was in 2001. Of the 63,000 pinball machines on location, presently they take in an average of $67/wk which needs to be split with the location - which makes it hard to justify pinball machines on location considering their current cost of the games.
The article goes on to say " Stern - until recently the one remaining manufacturer - has tripled sales since 2009. Good for Gary Stern, who I never respected, since he copied many of Williams ideas; but what about the consumer? Many of the games his company released during the 2000-2010 era, the code wasn't even compete.
Then the Fortune article goes on to talk about Jersey Jack coming on the scene with WOZ. The article says the Jacks effort is to make " the best game ever built". I'm okay with that, but not at $ 7,000. What operator is going to buy a $7k pinball machine? I know I am not,as a collector.
Maybe alot of you never leave your house, but I do (yes, I am married). If there were games in bars or the bowling alley I would play them. That's what myself and a few friends did up until ops stop buying games. If I really liked the game on location, it would be on my want list for my basement arcade.
Time to find a new hobby.
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