(Topic ID: 223902)

Thoughts after years offline


By Notpinhead

8 months ago



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  • Latest reply 7 months ago by ypurchn
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    #1 8 months ago

    It has been a lot of time since I checked things about pinball online. To be honest, I was quite sure pinball was going to die. I thought Stern was not going to make it.

    I am glad I was so wrong. There are new companies developing new and exciting pinballs. The remakes are happening, which I think is helping to have old great games back at locations. Sales of GB are strong; at least I see it in many places. Maybe it is, in some way, the TAF of these days. Many quality podcasts are also available.

    The only thing I think it does not seem well is LE editions. The planned and (artificial) creation of limited editions seems like too much milking. I understand LE puts extra dollars in the pinball industry. However, it is hard to believe the LE tag when there are thousands of the sister model.

    #2 8 months ago
    Quoted from Notpinhead:

    To be honest, I was quite sure pinball was going to die.

    In my opinion it is going to die after this current wave of popularity. This was fueled by the 50 up crowd reaching back to familiar things. There are not enough site-placed machines, tournaments or frankly young people to keep it going.
    The machines being created and re-introduced are not tough as the Bally-Williams, nor Operator friendly with easily replaced parts. They are in a way "Disposable" machines, with built in obsolescence, no schematics provided to the customer, and limited production for replacement parts, including price-gouging replacement boards.
    Of course pinball will live on in some fashion with EM and SS machines as long as The Pinball Resource continues and Altek makes boards.
    A recent thread highlighting thousands of once-common electronics parts no longer being produced is a big sign.
    The only saving grace at the moment is the insanely high prices on new machines, not a lot have to be built to see a profit. I sense that a lot of people are starting to balk. How long will it last?

    -3
    #3 8 months ago

    All of what Phil-Lee said is 1000% accurate.

    #4 8 months ago

    Pinball will die the day before I decide to sell off my collection for a huge profit.

    14
    #5 8 months ago
    Quoted from Notpinhead:

    I understand LE puts extra dollars in the pinball industry. However, it is hard to believe the LE tag when there are thousands of the sister model.

    People like to collect things that are rare or limited. I know a few collectors who only buy LE models. And I know a few collectors who mostly just buy pro models. Different products for different types of collectors.

    Quoted from Notpinhead:

    Maybe it is, in some way, the TAF of these days.

    Well, not nearly as many GB's were made. Buyers/operators were simply trying to capitalize on the recognition and nostalgia of the GB theme--plus it was the timing when pinball manufacturing was on the upswing and operators started taking notice of the rise in popularity. However, I've noticed a lot of collectors don't tend to keep GB for too long, and the come up for sale fairly often. So, it doesn't seem to have much staying power in a collection.

    Quoted from lurch:

    All of what Phil-Lee said is 1000% accurate.

    I disagree with many of his points.

    Quoted from phil-lee:

    In my opinion it is going to die after this current wave of popularity.

    While I agree there will probably be a downturn at some point (as with most things), I doubt there will be a total collapse (as long as there aren't any other outside world-changing factors).

    Quoted from phil-lee:

    This was fueled by the 50 up crowd reaching back to familiar things. There are not enough site-placed machines, tournaments or frankly young people to keep it going.

    A lot of younger Gen X'ers and a good number of millennials are jumping in. It's not just limited to 50+. At the show I just hosted, there was a good range of ages in attendance. I've been noticing a shift at other shows to where younger people are visiting.

    Location games have been increasing a little bit, but it's not an explosion.

    Quoted from phil-lee:

    They are in a way "Disposable" machines, with built in obsolescence, no schematics provided to the customer, and limited production for replacement parts, including price-gouging replacement boards.

    Not *all* manufacturers are doing this.

    Heck, all the classic games were only meant to be in operation for 3-5 years before they were tossed out. It's only been through the dedication of collectors and long-term operators the games have survived.

    Quoted from phil-lee:

    Of course pinball will live on in some fashion with EM and SS machines as long as The Pinball Resource continues and Altek makes boards.

    There are several other suppliers than just PBR. And several other board makers supplying after market boards.

    Quoted from phil-lee:

    A recent thread highlighting thousands of once-common electronics parts no longer being produced is a big sign.

    Yes, it is concerning that obsolete parts are ceasing to be produced. But it's not a surprise considering some parts have been in active production for 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years. But, there are still sizable stockpiles left, so it's not a mad scramble yet. Aftermarket boards have already been produced for certain sound boards that used specific sound chips have been NLA for a long time. Heck, there are two different companies producing aftermarket MPUs for gottlieb system 1--the original boards have chips that have been NLA for decades. I imagine other boards will be reproduced in the future if sourcing components for original boards starts becoming a problem. Techs, engineers, and designers are creative problem solvers.

    Quoted from phil-lee:

    The only saving grace at the moment is the insanely high prices on new machines, not a lot have to be built to see a profit. I sense that a lot of people are starting to balk. How long will it last?

    I wouldn't consider that a "saving grace". The price point is simply the manufactures trying to maximize their profit. Most manufacturers make their money on mass production, rather than individual units. The pinball industry is a bit unusual.

    #6 8 months ago

    I run location pinball and while it doesn't really make money there is interest in it. What I'm seeing is the old guard operators are being replaced by small time hobby operators that do it for the love over the dollar. One of the issues is the players are cheap AF and demand to play the newest pins for 50 cents a play and scoff at a buck. Even at a buck the ROI is slim. The saving grace at the moment is that the price of new machines is so astronomical that you can sell a piece of heavily used equipment for a decent sum still and end up with a slight profit.
    Traditional operators tend not to even bother with it.

    I have some players in their mid 20's to late 30's, but it's still a niche and most people don't care. I think pinball will continue on but an increase in interest is just an illusion created by 40 and 50 year old men with money driving the prices up trying to put a piece of their youth in the basement gameroom. Pinball won't die but will be curated by those of us with an old soul.

    #7 8 months ago
    Quoted from fattdirk:

    I think pinball will continue on but an increase in interest is just an illusion created by 40 and 50 year old men with money driving the prices up trying to put a piece of their youth in the basement gameroom.

    Demand and limited supply are what I think are driving prices up. It's been harder and harder for me to find project games--both because there are fewer of them out there and that competition for them is fierce.

    #8 8 months ago

    I went into the local pizza joint last week(toppers!)They have a mini arcade with MM. it’s in ok shape. They have a crappy shooting game and a old ca driving game. That night there were two soccer teams celebrating at the establishment. My son and I popped our heads into the arcade on the way out. Ca driving game had 0 drivers, shooting game empty.

    Must have been 10 kids crowded around that MM.
    Made me feel good about the future...

    Also there is the barcade... very popular now

    I do think Pinball is on the upswing, with a bit of a plateau coming in next few years. Dead??? Not if my buds and I have anything to do with it

    #9 8 months ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    In my opinion it is going to die after this current wave of popularity. This was fueled by the 50 up crowd reaching back to familiar things. There are not enough site-placed machines, tournaments or frankly young people to keep it going.
    The machines being created and re-introduced are not tough as the Bally-Williams, nor Operator friendly with easily replaced parts. They are in a way "Disposable" machines, with built in obsolescence, no schematics provided to the customer, and limited production for replacement parts, including price-gouging replacement boards.
    Of course pinball will live on in some fashion with EM and SS machines as long as The Pinball Resource continues and Altek makes boards.
    A recent thread highlighting thousands of once-common electronics parts no longer being produced is a big sign.
    The only saving grace at the moment is the insanely high prices on new machines, not a lot have to be built to see a profit. I sense that a lot of people are starting to balk. How long will it last?

    I'm 30, and have already been collecting for a few years. If anything, I think pinball is more attractive to millennials than other generations.

    10
    #10 8 months ago

    Pinball will die someday like vinyl did. 20 year olds just don’t listen to records. Oh wait?!

    11
    #11 8 months ago

    So I can tell my wife the reason I'm buying my next pin is because I'm keeping pinball alive. Listen, We have to buy this... Its for the greater good.

    What do you think? Think she will go for it?

    #12 8 months ago

    I actually see a lot of younger people getting into pinball. By younger I mean people in their 30s.
    In fact I was at a school function this evening where a very enthusiast parent whom I assume was in his 30s was telling me about the two pins he has and how he’s just getting into pinball.

    Also, there was a really interesting article in the South West airlines magazine a few months back about pinball. In fact it was the front cover article.
    The article said something to the effect that there are 10 times the number of pinball tournament in this country held each year relative to what there was something like 10 yeas ago.
    10 times growth doesn’t sound like pinball is going to die anytime soon to me.

    #13 8 months ago

    Pinball will never go away.

    There will always be someone with a stack of pinball machines in their house, just like there was in the early 90s when I started. There were like 4 “pinball guys” in NZ who’d buy all the old pins up. I bought all the Sys11s.

    Now there are 50 serious pinball buyers in NZ.

    Will all those dudes still be buying every pin in 10 years? Probably not. But 10-20 of them still will be.

    Will there still be 10 manufacturers of pinball machines in 10 years? Probably not. But there will probably be a couple still making them.

    Remember, in the recession of 2008-2012 is when the pinball hobby in the US took off. Exactly the opposite of what you’d think would happen.

    rd

    #14 8 months ago

    Pinball is dead.
    Long live pinball!

    #15 8 months ago

    I agree, pinball is not dead. I operate some games and when I'm working on them I see kids of all ages playing them. It will never die, it's too different and different is better. I do agree with the OP though, that the LE's have gone crazy. Remember the good old days when every machine got as many toys in it as possible?

    #16 8 months ago
    Quoted from fattdirk:

    I run location pinball and while it doesn't really make money there is interest in it. What I'm seeing is the old guard operators are being replaced by small time hobby operators that do it for the love over the dollar. One of the issues is the players are cheap AF and demand to play the newest pins for 50 cents a play and scoff at a buck.

    You need to work them into at least 75 cents/play. We initially had complainers when putting out mostly Premiums and a couple used LEs for $1/play, but when that's the only choice and the machines are kept in perfect condition, people eventually came around. The vast majority of the machines I maintain on route are $1/play premiums and they do fine. I'd do at least 75 cents and 3/$2 to give a little break if they pay for three games. Even at that, with a split (even a split favorable to you) it will take a LONG time to pay a premium off.

    #17 8 months ago

    I think it is very difficult to accurately say what pinball is going to do in future. Pinball is very different today then in the 90s. There are hard core collectors, fixer up ers, flippers, operators, business owners that just have a few machines in there place and some version of all of these. This makes for a very different Pinball climate for today and into the future. Yeah parts will go out of stock ( I remember just after y2k when you couldn't find parts and machines were robbed for their boards and such) But if there is a demand, other manufacturers produce replacements.

    #18 8 months ago

    I bought my first pinball machine a little over a year ago....which has multiplied to 3 machines currently. (You all we’re right!).
    I joined pinside at that same time. I’ve been a lurker in sports forums for all my favorite teams for 15+ years. None of those sites are as active, passionate, compassionate (usually) as Pinside.

    I’ve been a huge sports fan, from a sports family, growing up playing sports my whole life. I still read and follow my teams daily but with less passion as I age and raise my family. Mykids play sports but have no passion towards any teams really and watch sports very limitedly.
    They are not that into pinball currently but I think will have a similar nostalgia for pinball reminding them of their youth as I do.
    It’s up to the children of Pinsiders to carry the torch in the future.
    Anyways that’s my rambling thoughts this morning. My 5 year old twins are hungry for breakfast and my wife’s at my oldest daughters volleyball tournament. 16 year old sons asleep still I’m sure so it’s off to create Dads breakfast buffet. Cheers

    #19 8 months ago
    Quoted from Notpinhead:

    It has been a lot of time since I checked things about pinball online.

    pasted_image (resized).png
    #20 8 months ago
    Quoted from lurch:

    All of what Phil-Lee said is 1000% accurate.

    Just as it was TWENTY YEARS AGO when people were saying the exact same thing?

    #21 8 months ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    In my opinion it is going to die after this current wave of popularity. This was fueled by the 50 up crowd reaching back to familiar things. There are not enough site-placed machines, tournaments or frankly young people to keep it going.
    The machines being created and re-introduced are not tough as the Bally-Williams, nor Operator friendly with easily replaced parts. They are in a way "Disposable" machines, with built in obsolescence, no schematics provided to the customer, and limited production for replacement parts, including price-gouging replacement boards.
    Of course pinball will live on in some fashion with EM and SS machines as long as The Pinball Resource continues and Altek makes boards.
    A recent thread highlighting thousands of once-common electronics parts no longer being produced is a big sign.

    I kind of agree on some points and kind of disagree on some.

    I operate games at two locations and run a monthly tournament. We have a few high school kids that regularly play and most of the players are in the mid-30s range. So there is a bit of young blood out there.

    I do think we'll probably see a downturn at some point, but I don't anticipate death. I don't think the current number of boutique manufacturers can be sustained long term, but I think we'll always have new games.

    Regarding obsolescence of parts and lack of schematics, the counter argument is it has never been easier to figure things out and produce replacement parts. It is amazingly easy to design, prototype, and produce replacement boards and parts. In the last 5+ years we've seen tons of individuals reverse engineer stuff and sell replacement parts. It is only going to get easier as time goes on.

    #22 8 months ago

    It is easily possible some cultural or technological development could make pinball more popular than it’s ever been.

    #23 8 months ago

    Pinball becoming ingrained in a young persons soul happens as a side effect of being free, away from the parents and in an environment where it is offered. Yes kids love it growing up when offered in the home, but it is difficult to get my millennial to play one now. Church leagues and grassroots tournaments are great, but kids will eventually prefer the grownups to leave or be in a place where they don't show up.
    It will be years before the average kid can plunk down 6-9K for a machine (even if they have the desire to do so). That leaves rich kids, or location games available.

    Quoted from whthrs166:

    But if there is a demand, other manufacturers produce replacements.

    That is the key point, demand will wither away to boutique levels. But what about the thousands (millions?) of games in storage, collections. Fewer and fewer Repair people all the time, especially those interested in EM. I love EM and prefer to repair these but this sentiment is shared by few people. Speculators will purchase Lots and store them again waiting for a resurgence of price.
    Like the vacuum tube Market 15 years ago, purchased and moved over and over, desirable ones snapped up, specialty TV and Radio tubes worthless. Sorry to be a downer.

    #24 8 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Just as it was TWENTY YEARS AGO when people were saying the exact same thing?

    We are riding a wave right now. People who were able to play pinball in arcades as kids are keeping the market going. We are kidding ourselves if we think this will continue more than another few years. As the 50-65 age group reaches a point of saturation the hobby will start to fade. I myself am 37 and consider myself to be one of the younger members here. My friends don't understand this hobby and have no interest what so ever in it as they prefer video games..... they think this is very old fashioned. Let's do an age check here for my sanity. If there are a ton of 20 somethings here I'll shut up.

    #25 8 months ago
    Quoted from Notpinhead:

    It has been a lot of time since I checked things about pinball online. To be honest, I was quite sure pinball was going to die. I thought Stern was not going to make it.
    I am glad I was so wrong. There are new companies developing new and exciting pinballs. The remakes are happening, which I think is helping to have old great games back at locations. Sales of GB are strong; at least I see it in many places. Maybe it is, in some way, the TAF of these days. Many quality podcasts are also available.
    The only thing I think it does not seem well is LE editions. The planned and (artificial) creation of limited editions seems like too much milking. I understand LE puts extra dollars in the pinball industry. However, it is hard to believe the LE tag when there are thousands of the sister model.

    Yes. You were wrong like a bunch of folks here will be wrong. Not a bad thing. If you were right then what?

    Pinball has been around almost 100 years. Young kids to old men play pinball and always have. Poor and rich people love to play pinball and always have. Young 20-30 somethings play pinball and are hard core. You just don’t notice these players because you don’t frequent the right places, like barcades and pinball shows.

    Tons of Tech, engineering and “I can fix anything!”, folks play and collect now. Do you think they will let pinball games die and go to the curb? Especially all those WOZ’s and IMDN’s you see on trash day?

    No speculators buy pinball machines. Well maybe stupid ones?

    If you are 20’s-30’s and have no pinball friends your age than hang out with cooler people. Look for bearded folks with Skinny jeans ,drinking craft beers and small batch bourbons who work in tech. If you see someone like this ask them to recommend you a beer to get and say “Thanks!” “Want to play pinball?” All it takes.

    #26 8 months ago
    Quoted from lurch:

    We are riding a wave right now. People who were able to play pinball in arcades as kids are keeping the market going. We are kidding ourselves if we think this will continue more than another few years. As the 50-65 age group reaches a point of saturation the hobby will start to fade. I myself am 37 and consider myself to be one of the younger members here. My friends don't understand this hobby and have no interest what so ever in it as they prefer video games..... they think this is very old fashioned. Let's do an age check here for my sanity. If there are a ton of 20 somethings here I'll shut up.

    I just turned 30 and have been collecting for years. My buddy in town is in his early 30s and is up to 10+ pins. The majority of people at league are my age. I don't think it's only old guys driving this hobby based on what I've seen

    #27 8 months ago

    I'm 20, bought my first pin at 18, and first became interested in the hobby at about 11. I'm still loving it and have no plans of leaving it any time soon! My brother also really enjoys going to league. Pinball doesn't have to be a nostalgic thing for someone to get into it. I think there will always be people who really click with Pinball once they discover it.

    #28 8 months ago

    I hope you are right. Nobody here wants to see this hobby die. I'm hoping my daughter's will someday be just as excited by pinball as I am.

    #29 8 months ago
    Quoted from lurch:

    I hope you are right. Nobody here wants to see this hobby die. I'm hoping my daughter's will someday be just as excited by pinball as I am.

    Yeah. I pretty much have to live with the fact that my son or daughter will not be one of the ones who makes pinball live on in the future. Someone else’s kids will buy my games at my “estate sale”. Hopefully this sale will not be anytime soon.

    #30 8 months ago

    im 32 many people in my league are in there 30s and 40s

    #31 8 months ago
    Quoted from pinnyheadhead:

    Yeah. I pretty much have to live with the fact that my son or daughter will not be one of the ones who makes pinball live on in the future. Someone else’s kids will buy my games at my “estate sale”. Hopefully this sale will not be anytime soon.

    Sorry to hear that man. I'd loan you my kids but the wife wouldn't go for it.

    24
    #32 8 months ago
    Quoted from PinballTilt:

    I just turned 30 and have been collecting for years. My buddy in town is in his early 30s and is up to 10+ pins. The majority of people at league are my age. I don't think it's only old guys driving this hobby based on what I've seen

    It’s typical old guy nonsense where they think they still run the world.

    People have been saying this exact same thing since I first visited RGP in 1999.

    “We are old, soon we’ll die off and nobody will care about these games. It’ll be just like the jukebox hobby.”

    Here we are millions of stupid online posts later and the hobby is in better shape than ever and prices are higher than ever.

    Back in 2000 I always had to point out I was in my early 20s. Now I’m in my 40s and there are people buying and selling pins who were 3 years old when I started.

    I don’t know what to tell ya. If you really want to believe in 20 years this hobby is dead just like they said during the Monica Lewinaky scandal go right on ahead. Nothing to me indicates there is any truth to it.

    Pinball isn’t jukes. It’s not classic cars. It’s not baseball cards. It’s not beanie babies. It’s pinball and it’s way cooler. And people are just gonna keep being into it, and someone younger is gonna come along and replace your cranky ass even if it isn’t your kids.

    #33 8 months ago
    Quoted from pinnyheadhead:

    Yeah. I pretty much have to live with the fact that my son or daughter will not be one of the ones who makes pinball live on in the future. Someone else’s kids will buy my games at my “estate sale”. Hopefully this sale will not be anytime soon.

    Shotgun the SMVE and Met Pro upon your untimely passing.

    #34 8 months ago
    Quoted from ypurchn:

    Shotgun the SMVE and Met Pro upon your untimely passing.

    Do I need to check underneath my car next before I get in and turn the ignition?

    #35 8 months ago

    50 and over guys buy pinball, because, well, they are in the prime earning point of their careers most likely. Teenagers/20s people are not buying $8000 pinballs, but they will probably change their mind when they get to a certain level of disposal income. It's really a question of how the economy is doing at any given time, for decent job opportunities to allow people to buy $8k toys. Me for example, I am sorry to say but I had zero interest in pinball until a couple of years ago and I earn well enough to have bought MMR NIB. I consider myself a new recruit, and I am older then 30. There is zero nostalgia for me. My 5 year old likes to play, he just can't afford an $8k toy yet. The engineering aspect of a pinball machine is interesting as well to us.

    #36 8 months ago
    Quoted from pinnyheadhead:

    Do I need to check underneath my car next before I get in and turn the ignition?

    No. Its triggered to your seat pressure. No need to turn the key over.

    #37 7 months ago
    Quoted from KozMckPinball:

    50 and over guys buy pinball, because, well, they are in the prime earning point of their careers most likely. Teenagers/20s people are not buying $8000 pinballs, but they will probably change their mind when they get to a certain level of disposal income. It's really a question of how the economy is doing at any given time, for decent job opportunities to allow people to buy $8k toys. Me for example, I am sorry to say but I had zero interest in pinball until a couple of years ago and I earn well enough to have bought MMR NIB. I consider myself a new recruit, and I am older then 30. There is zero nostalgia for me. My 5 year old likes to play, he just can't afford an $8k toy yet. The engineering aspect of a pinball machine is interesting as well to us.

    I just retired at 48.... So much for the 50s being my earning prime

    #38 7 months ago
    Quoted from yzfguy:

    I just retired at 48.... So much for the 50s being my earning prime

    Damn, You beat me by 5yrs!

    #39 7 months ago

    Pinball isnt going anywhere. Every hobby I've had over the years has the same typical group of old codgers who proclaim the hobby is about to die after they pass on. They don't realize that the younger crowd is just as interested, they just do not socialize and discuss their hobby via the same mediums as the previous generations.

    #40 7 months ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    In my opinion it is going to die after this current wave of popularity. This was fueled by the 50 up crowd reaching back to familiar things. There are not enough site-placed machines, tournaments or frankly young people to keep it going.

    You know I really think this depends on where you live. In big cities, especially on the West Coast, there are pinball machines everywhere. In Seattle we have a dozen barcades and probably 20 more bars with enough pins to throw tournaments and there are probably 10 pinball tournaments every week, often two the same night at different venues. And the tournament and barcade scene is dominated by people in their 20s and 30s, not people in their 50s. With the Northwest Show, we've had a increase in attendance every year by a couple hundred people and when I pour through the analytics of our Facebook advertising, the people that respond to our advertising are continuously skewing younger. There is hope!

    #41 7 months ago

    1 20fb8624774048ae5f65c2ebc4120030 (resized).jpg
    #42 7 months ago

    I realize that the city where I live is not at all typical, but here goes:

    If I plan to go out and play pinball some evening, I look for where the tournament is, and then go to the place that hosted the last one.

    I don't really care for crowds, I'm in my late 40's, and I really like including my daughter, who just turned 13. None of these put me in the primary demographic of the tourney scene, which is way younger and more hip than I am. Maybe I'd feel different if there were a "senior circuit".

    Around here, I find the idea that nobody under 50 plays pinball to be utterly laughable.

    It may be true, as has been stated by others, that those players aren't the ones buying NIB games, but they sure seem to be playing the ones that other people are buying.

    #43 7 months ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    Every hobby I've had over the years has the same typical group of old codgers who proclaim the hobby is about to die after they pass on.

    Many of these people were right (I prefer to avoid the agist euphemisms). Pre-50's cars, model trains, antique engines, tube radios, component stereo systems, wooden boats/vintage outboard motors, vintage guitars/amps, collectable dolls, tobacco memorabilia, garden tractors, knives, cast iron collectables including cookstoves, Hoosier cabinets, farming items including tractors, horse-drawn equipment, all have dropped in price and desirability and beg for new,younger people to take an interest. They still have aficionados repairing, restoring, but the average age from these groups is growing older with few younger people to replace them.
    Its just a fact of life, each Generation covets those items they grew to love as a child (sometimes).Pinball machines are large, expensive, difficult to repair and the novel artwork sometimes loses meaning or becomes offensive.
    If you are ever in Kansas visit the player piano- Nickelodeon museum. Very similar.

    #44 7 months ago

    I just turned 40 and most of the people I have sold to/deal with are right around my age. I think the talk of this being a 60 and over thing is a stereo type from years past. Pricing may eventually kill the hobby as I do pretty well for myself and still NIB are tough to swallow and in the furure there will not be as many routed games to purchase. We will see but I started collecting seriously in 2008 and everyone thought stern was done than. This has been a major turn around for the hobby and I hope it continues.

    #45 7 months ago

    No way pinball is dead or dying. When I got into the collecting part of it there was NOBODY around the area and I bought up every machine I could get my hands on for next to nothing. Now there is so much competition around and the prices have gone though the roof and there seems to be no letting up. Prices will fluctuate and people will come and go but for the most part it will remain live and well because it can't duplicated in any other way shape or form.

    John

    #46 7 months ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    Many of these people were right (I prefer to avoid the agist euphemisms). Pre-50's cars, model trains, antique engines, tube radios, component stereo systems, wooden boats/vintage outboard motors, vintage guitars/amps, collectable dolls, tobacco memorabilia, garden tractors, knives, cast iron collectables including cookstoves, Hoosier cabinets, farming items including tractors, horse-drawn equipment, all have dropped in price and desirability and beg for new,younger people to take an interest. They still have aficionados repairing, restoring, but the average age from these groups is growing older with few younger people to replace them.
    Its just a fact of life, each Generation covets those items they grew to love as a child (sometimes).Pinball machines are large, expensive, difficult to repair and the novel artwork sometimes loses meaning or becomes offensive.
    If you are ever in Kansas visit the player piano- Nickelodeon museum. Very similar.

    Model trains are alive and better than ever. Kids are making up a large chunk of the consumers buying them. They don't do Lionel. They buy super detailed modern freight in HO Scale with DCC and a wireless throttle they run on their smartphones. They don't buy model Railroader Magazine. They have hundreds of Facebook groups for specific interests. Models of very specific locomotives and freight cars are being produced commercially like never before. The old guys still say the hobby is dying, because they have no idea that you can even use Facebook for special interest hobbies.

    #47 7 months ago
    Quoted from JodyG:

    They buy super detailed modern freight in HO Scale with DCC and a wireless throttle they run on their smartphones.

    Yes, my friend who is 64 does this, I would estimate he has a half-million worth of trains. He is on Fakebook and very active in the NC/VA/SC/Tenn Circuit. The analysis I gave is based on his views, yes there are movements in the direction of growth in this segment, but it is hardly booming. Meanwhile Western Flyer and Lionel languish,as they should,being from a different ERA. He is a source for these super detailed paint jobs, having done the research specifically on Southern Railways.

    #48 7 months ago

    I just sold a gorgeous Firepower yesterday to a youngish married guy on Long Island. Delivered and set it up in his basement and he's psyched beyond all belief after visiting the PBHOF in Vegas a couple times last month to help pick out his first machine.

    He was 12 years old when Williams went tits up and hadn't played a real pinball machine until a couple years ago. He's already looking for his next game.

    HOW DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?!

    #49 7 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Here we are millions of stupid online posts later and the hobby is in better shape than ever and prices are higher than ever.

    The intent of Stern and other Manufacturers is to produce Commercial machines that generate income.Designated Hobby and homeowner machines haven't really done well over the years. Pinball is a Business ,not a Hobby.A Business survives by exposing their product to new generations of customers. Several Operators I know confess they make little to no profit off of location pinball. They set a machine for several reasons, (Owner request, to locate other money makers, etc) as a loss-leader and just deal with the higher maintenance on the pinball.
    If Stern is marketing to Hobbyist they could save a lot on deleted coin ops.
    I am glad for the sporadic success stories, I expect Pinball to remain popular for awhile longer. Fact is its a dated concept that has reached the peak during the early 90's and now is in decline with throwaway machines being generated.
    Tens of thousands of machines were everywhere in the 80's, laundrymats, shopping centers, bowling alleys, put-put golf courses, pizza shops, foosball and non-alcohol arcades. Williams built THOUSANDS of certain Titles, what is the highest run modern Stern has accomplished?
    Prices are indeed astronomical, which as said before may be the saving grace for a little longer,since fewer machines need to be built to enjoy a profit. Just read a few threads here and realize this is reaching the saturation point, for hobbies as well as Operator.

    #50 7 months ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    The intent of Stern and other Manufacturers is to produce Commercial machines that generate income.Designated Hobby and homeowner machines haven't really done well over the years. Pinball is a Business ,not a Hobby.A Business survives by exposing their product to new generations of customers. Several Operators I know confess they make little to no profit off of location pinball. They set a machine for several reasons, (Owner request, to locate other money makers, etc) as a loss-leader and just deal with the higher maintenance on the pinball.
    If Stern is marketing to Hobbyist they could save a lot on deleted coin ops.
    I am glad for the sporadic success stories, I expect Pinball to remain popular for awhile longer. Fact is its a dated concept that has reached the peak during the early 90's and now is in decline with throwaway machines being generated.
    Tens of thousands of machines were everywhere in the 80's, laundrymats, shopping centers, bowling alleys, put-put golf courses, pizza shops, foosball and non-alcohol arcades. Williams built THOUSANDS of certain Titles, what is the highest run modern Stern has accomplished?
    Prices are indeed astronomical, which as said before may be the saving grace for a little longer,since fewer machines need to be built to enjoy a profit. Just read a few threads here and realize this is reaching the saturation point, for hobbies as well as Operator.

    Here's the thing - we don't NEED the industry to have 8 pinball manufacturers for the hobby to thrive. The hobby was doing just fine in 2003, 2008, 2009, 2015.

    If the industry contracts by 4 or 5 pinball companies, it's not suddenly going to make my Attack From Mars worth $2,000 and it's not suddenly going to destroy the hobby. What you are talking about are two different things.

    HOBBY prices - the prices we pay for used games we sell each other - have continued to rise, unabated, since I started collecting games in 2002. The hobby being centered on NIB games is a relatively new concept, and really not what this hobby has been based upon historically.

    The hobby isn't going anywhere. Pronouncements of its impending doom, however, will continue to grow louder, as they have for 20 years.

    I have no idea why. People like the sound of it? They want it to be true so they can buy the games they want for half what they go for now? Not happenin!

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