I think a lot of the vitriol on this thread is coming from the fear that our hobby has just taken another step in a more expensive and exclusive direction.
None of us here want to pay more, yet many begrudgingly do. Enter Stern with its preprogrammed surprise, and the future has just become frighteningly real.
We’ve seen shades of this model with the Pro/Premium/LE experiment... and pricey add-on toppers and game mods. Hell, I’ve spent hundreds (thousands?) on aftermarket mods And lights for my games. So, why wouldn’t Stern open this door? It only makes business sense.
We’ve also watched Every manufacturer crank pricing to heights that - just 3 or 4 years ago - seemed literally unfathomable. The old $10k by Christmas joke has been blown out of the water. And at every turn there more than enough buyers that reinforce these pricing strategies and encourage manufacturers to pump their next release a few hundred more.
Sterns Stranger Thing stunt is definitely eye opening and somewhat disappointing because NIB prices are already high and Stern is essentially making you pay more for a feature that was embedded at launch. It sucks, but I can guarantee that many ST owners are going to fork over the cash.
We all know it’s going to work. We also all know that it’s basically a physical version DLC, which is also coming to a game near you soon.
Big changes. Big money changes. Most collectors hate it. Many will pay for it. And the cycle continues.
As for the TPN. Not sure why anyone would waste any energy throwing negativity around. Podcasts are 10000% inconsequential and unnecessary for loving and enjoying this hobby.
I like them because They’re a place of escape where I can hear opinions and chatter about a hobby I enjoy. And also, as Kaneda has so eloquently stated, Pinball isn’t a hobby that 99.99% of friends and family really want to talk about. None... and I mean ZERO... of my closest non-pinball friends would want to talk about the Stranger Things kit. Nor would they care. Eyes would glaze over.
My best advice: smile and be happy. Don’t listen to anything that will bring negativity into your life. Listen to what you enjoy. Same goes for pinball... buy what you enjoy. Ignore the rest.
Let the TPN be. Let these guys enjoy themselves in a way that makes them happy.
I will add this: I completely understand why some of these podcasters decide to stop. They take so much crap from keyboard commandos. Why would invite that kind of weight and negativity into your life? Especially into a hobby?
Thanks to all of you guys that continue to pick up microphones and create content. I - for one - appreciate it!