(Topic ID: 183666)

Trends in the EM pinball market


By phil-lee

2 years ago



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  • 169 posts
  • 51 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by pacmanretro
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    There are 169 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
    #1 2 years ago

    I am noticing a few sell-offs lately, restored machines with a (hoped for) premium price,as well as a warehouse sale (Southern US).A lot more woodrails in nice condition, a few more 300 dollar "Specials" you didn't see 5 Months ago are showing up for sale.
    Are the collectors selling off some stock? Could be. Deceased Owners collections being quietly liquidated? Not sure. I do know the customer is better educated as to the fun factor as well as value of EM Pinball, especially from places like Pinside.
    I expect a slow to medium trickle of desirable machines to continue to hit the Market at realistic prices. I also see a struggle to maintain speculative prices on Sites like E-Bay.
    Like any Antique the hours ( and parts price) necessary to restore one to working condition plays a part,as does the amount of climate-controlled room available.
    The Buyers for these machines is shrinking if dependent upon younger people. They love to play them but do not want to invest the time necessary to learn parts numbers or techniques for repair.

    #2 2 years ago

    Well, unlike a year or two back, craigslist has all but dried up around here with choice titles being sold. Just as well, as I have already acquired most if not all the ones I was after.

    I have seen elsewhere some good deals to be had, but a lot of them are asking a lot for with a limited amount of enthusiasts still looking for those particular games. Priced right, eventually they will find homes I guess.

    I imagine warehouse and storage unit prices going up is making some rethink the hoarding strategy.

    #3 2 years ago
    Quoted from phil-lee:

    Deceased Owners collections being quietly liquidated? Not sure.

    Fairly sure that this is going to happen, in the next 10 years. Older collectors, either selling stuff off before they pass on, or collections left to the kids to sell off. The adult kids might keep a pin or two, just for the memories. Unless the pins represent dad liking his pins more than his relatives.

    The next blow to EM pins will be closing of PBR, unless someone steps in to replace Steve, rather than just buying everything and just hoarding the parts. Gottlieb LLC could also falter, who knows?

    #4 2 years ago

    Sold a game yesterday and am down to one pinball again. My interest has waned. I may pick something up again if priced right. But then these days I see Fireball home models priced higher than what I sold Cow Poke or Gold Strike for a few years back.

    I think of all the aging mega-collectors and what happens to their collections when it's time to liquidate. A ton of games flooding the market to be absorbed by what few EM guys are left. Fewer and fewer each year.

    #5 2 years ago
    Quoted from AlexF:

    A ton of games flooding the market to be absorbed by what few EM guys are left.

    th (resized).jpg

    #6 2 years ago
    Quoted from Darcy:

    The next blow to EM pins will be closing of PBR, unless someone steps in to replace Steve, rather than just buying everything and just hoarding the parts

    Man, that's a scary thought.

    #7 2 years ago

    Ive been trying to sell a few games to downsize the collection and it certainly seems tight right now...Diamond Jack and a nicely restored Flipper Pool.

    #8 2 years ago
    Quoted from Darcy:

    Fairly sure that this is going to happen, in the next 10 years. Older collectors, either selling stuff off before they pass on, or collections left to the kids to sell off. The adult kids might keep a pin or two, just for the memories. Unless the pins represent dad liking his pins more than his relatives.
    The next blow to EM pins will be closing of PBR, unless someone steps in to replace Steve, rather than just buying everything and just hoarding the parts. Gottlieb LLC could also falter, who knows?

    If Steve Young doesn't have a succession plan, Mr. Personality could happily make an offer to purchase PBR and promptly wreck it.

    #9 2 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    If Steve Young doesn't have a succession plan, Mr. Personality could happily make an offer to purchase PBR

    Oh, please God, No.

    You should be banned for even thinking such horror.

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    and promptly wreck it.

    That would be a sad, sad, sad, day.

    #11 2 years ago
    Quoted from Darcy:

    The next blow to EM pins will be closing of PBR, unless someone steps in to replace Steve, rather than just buying everything and just hoarding the parts. Gottlieb LLC could also falter, who knows?

    The biggest blow will be because of their greed over Gottlieb schematics. Recently been downloading every PDF I can find on the internet still left just to make a stockpile for games I may get in the future. Yeah yeah, I know it keeps the boats afloat, but it'll cause a big issue for the future, whether that be 20 years, 30 years, or 40 years from now. Woodrails will be first, lots of information lost in time.

    I find that PinballLife and others fill a good niche at a similar price point. Will be a loss, yes, but not the end. Don't mean to be all "classic Otaku", but still have never made a PBR order and I'm doing just fine and my games aren't in shambles either.

    #12 2 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    If Steve Young doesn't have a succession plan, Mr. Personality could happily make an offer to purchase PBR and promptly wreck it.

    He'll outlive us all. The buying panic that sets in when it is rumored he is retiring, will boost sales so he can never quit.

    #13 2 years ago
    Quoted from AlexF:

    Sold a game yesterday and am down to one pinball again. My interest has waned. I may pick something up again if priced right. But then these days I see Fireball home models priced higher than what I sold Cow Poke or Gold Strike for a few years back.
    I think of all the aging mega-collectors and what happens to their collections when it's time to liquidate. A ton of games flooding the market to be absorbed by what few EM guys are left. Fewer and fewer each year.

    I have thought about this a reasonable amount lately, EMs especially. I wonder what it's going to be like when a collector passes away and his or her family is left to sell their games but nobody wants them. As much as I am looking forward to the inevitable market crash I am not looking forward to being one of the only ones left (could put a period right here too) to save every single game I see from its landfill death, meaning it's me or the trash heap if I don't want it. Talk about guilt!

    At least o-din is going to live forever, he'll have the West coast covered.

    #15 2 years ago

    (Forgot to mention/didn't care to mention the plan is to open a museum one day (sooner than later but somewhat more importantly for later on when the niche is no longer filled), not sure if the above was directed towards me or not)

    #16 2 years ago

    Space is tight around here but I have considered turning Staples Center into a major arcade.

    #17 2 years ago

    Has anyone noticed how much merchandise is "out of stock" on the site BAA.??Related???Marco has been my go to site!!

    #18 2 years ago
    Quoted from Otaku:

    The biggest blow will be because of their greed over Gottlieb schematics.

    Greed?! C'mon, son.

    #19 2 years ago
    Quoted from jahbarron:

    Greed?! C'mon, son.

    What else do you call it? Even freaking pps doesn't go that far.

    #20 2 years ago

    I don't mind paying for schematics on paper that can be more legible than originals or weak pdf files. Especially if there is no original. He has not only Gottlieb but also other brand schematics that go back before most of us were born.

    #21 2 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    I don't mind paying for schematics on paper that can be more legible than originals or weak pdf files. Especially if there is no original. He has not only Gottlieb but also other brand schematics that go back before most of us were born.

    I buy them usually too, but that doesn't make it okay to take them all down and hoard them. Just look at how much harder it is to help someone fix a Gottlieb em than a Williams. You're stuck trying to walk them through basics instead of jar pulling up their Schematic

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    What else do you call it? Even freaking pps doesn't go that far.

    This age-old argument...

    It's called a business. He OWNS the rights to produce them. I know it's hard to believe these days, but you don't have the right to take whatever you want off of the internet. Luckily for PBR, it's pretty easy to keep track of GTB IP. Imagine being a musician...

    #23 2 years ago
    Quoted from jahbarron:

    This age-old argument...
    It's called a business. He OWNS the rights to produce them. I know it's hard to believe these days, but you don't have the right to take whatever you want off of the internet. Luckily for PBR, it's pretty easy to keep track of GTB IP. Imagine being a musician...

    He has the right to, yes, but that doesn't mean that he should. This is philosophy 101 level stuff, dude

    #24 2 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Just look at how much harder it is to help someone fix a Gottlieb em than a Williams.

    Sure most modern Williams of the solid state era and up have downloadable manuals. But when I need to figure out what's going on in a 1948 Williams Speed Way and what coils I am after and where to get a map of the wires, who ya gonna call? I called Steve and he hooked me right up.

    #25 2 years ago

    There's certainly a contingent of younger folks that are interested in both EM gameplay and mechanics.

    Restoration/refurbishment and gameplay.

    It's not all doom and gloom. Very few people completely write them off anymore... Even die-hard solid state and DMD crowd folks.

    As to schematics: yes, paper forever. I despise working off a tiny blurry copy or a computer screen. You have multiple advantages to working from paper. You don't have to worry about power or batteries or whatever while you're working on them, for example.

    Shuffling someone's poorly printed copy of a manual can make a repair take longer than it should, despite my knowing exactly where the diagram I need is located. PG 32 is not really pg 32, if you see what I mean. *shuffle shuffle*

    I will pay as long as they are being produced.

    #26 2 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    He has the right to, yes, but that doesn't mean that he should. This is philosophy 101 level stuff, dude

    It is. It's also only $16.

    #27 2 years ago
    Quoted from jahbarron:

    It is. It's also only $16.

    The price is not the issue. The issue is that limiting access to them hurts the hobby. No one complains about the price of the schematics, please stop trying to detail the topic.

    #28 2 years ago

    Well then show where else to find Gottlieb, Bally, Williams, maybe Chicago Coin, Keeney, or United schematics.

    #29 2 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Well then show where else to find Gottlieb, Bally, Williams, maybe Chicago Coin, Keeney, or United schematics.

    What does that have to do with it?

    #30 2 years ago

    It has to do with the man with the files. The man that saved them and will print them and send them to you. Should that be free?

    #31 2 years ago

    I've noticed over the years interest in EMs goes up and down
    one year they are cool, the next year they are considered boat anchors

    I've visited four different collectors in the last 12 months, only one has any EMs. only two have early SS

    IMHO, unless you grew up with them (EMs & SS) then you are probably not going to add them to your collection

    #32 2 years ago
    Quoted from PopBumperPete:

    I've noticed over the years interest in EMs goes up and down
    one year they are cool, the next year they are considered boat anchors

    Retro is "in" these days. I've noticed more and more friends, and friends of friends expressing interest in owning an EM. Their price point makes them way more financially tangible than later games, especially if it'd be their first or only game.

    #33 2 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    It has to do with the man with the files. The man that saved them and will print them and send them to you. Should that be free?

    I think what Zacaj is trying to say is we should have the best of both worlds: Sell print copies for the many who want them, but don't enforce the IP on schematics and allow them to be shared online freely too (especially for non-profit use like here)

    I share the same opinion. He'd still make money there - a lot of people do want the nicely printed copies and also don't want to search/request/wait. Yeah, you could just go to Staples, but I'm sure there's a lot more people that would just save the drive AND throw it in with another order.

    #34 2 years ago

    It's bound to happen that older collectors who have hoarded games are going to have to sell games.

    I suspect only games in A1 condition will be grabbed.

    A pristine Gottlieb woodrail always seems to sell but as condition deteriorates they become a much tougher sell.

    Pinball has had such a resurgence of late that I feel it should be mandatory for SS collectors to have 1 EM to remind them of their heritage

    #35 2 years ago

    The cheaper they get, the more I will buy. Love EM's. Love the art. Love the gameplay. Love the sounds.

    #36 2 years ago

    I opted to donate to a museum instead.

    #37 2 years ago
    Quoted from Otaku:

    I think what Zacaj is trying to say is we should have the best of both worlds: Sell print copies for the many who want them, but don't enforce the IP on schematics and allow them to be shared online freely too (especially for non-profit use like here)
    I share the same opinion. He'd still make money there - a lot of people do want the nicely printed copies and also don't want to search/request/wait. Yeah, you could just go to Staples, but I'm sure there's a lot more people that would just save the drive AND throw it in with another order.

    Yep. Nowhere did I say anything about Steve providing files or anything. (although, since he had the whole database, it would be quite nice of him to send them to ipdb). Same with PPS, they don't do anything for free, they get a license fee when other companies sell their manuals. All they have to do is not go out of their way to take Manuals that other people upload down.

    Quoted from mbaumle:Retro is "in" these days. I've noticed more and more friends, and friends of friends expressing interest in owning an EM. Their price point makes them way more financially tangible than later games, especially if it'd be their first or only game.

    All my friends who are getting into the hobby love EMs, and I never have a problem finding a buyer for one after I've fixed it up. Surprisingly to me, they all cite the chimes as one of the main attractions, and are similarly attracted to early SS with chimes. Especially the ones that play a tune at the beginning. These are people that didn't grow up with any era of pinball, so it sometimes seems like they're less locked in to certain eras

    10
    #38 2 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Yep. Nowhere did I say anything about Steve providing files or anything. (although, since he had the whole database, it would be quite nice of him to send them to ipdb). Same with PPS, they don't do anything for free, they get a license fee when other companies sell their manuals. All they have to do is not go out of their way to take Manuals that other people upload down.

    You overlook all Steve Young has done for the EM hobby. He, singlehandedly, has made available so many reproduction and maintenance parts that a high percentage of games would not be as nice and viable as they are today. And you want to whine about a $16 schematic.

    Your age is showing. I know mine is and I respect the all that a person does as opposed to one aspect.

    #39 2 years ago
    Quoted from jahbarron:

    It is. It's also only $16.

    Or $14.40 with the discount.

    #40 2 years ago
    Quoted from MikeO:

    You overlook all Steve Young has done for the EM hobby. He, singlehandedly, has made available so many reproduction and maintenance parts that a high percentage of games would not be as nice and viable as they are today. And you want to whine about a $16 schematic.
    Your age is showing. I know mine is and I respect the all that a person does as opposed to one aspect.

    I totally agree. PBResource has done so much for this hobby. I have brought game wasted EM games with some of Steve's metal parts for a fraction of the price to restore/rechrome, etc.

    $16 for a schematic is peanuts......

    #41 2 years ago
    Quoted from gearheaddropping:

    $16 for a schematic is peanuts......

    Compared to $8000 for a 90s remake, it certainly is. Not many going to line up with that kind of cash to get an NIB Barb Wire or Class of 1812.

    #42 2 years ago
    Quoted from MikeO:

    You overlook all Steve Young has done for the EM hobby. He, singlehandedly, has made available so many reproduction and maintenance parts that a high percentage of games would not be as nice and viable as they are today. And you want to whine about a $16 schematic.

    Thanks to Steve, I have a nice large clear schematic copy for my rare 1953 Grand Champion. He has my full support and I hope he outlives us all including me.

    Bruce

    #43 2 years ago

    Yea, but he took the day off today! Ok, so we have about two feet of snow right now....uggh, my aching back. He probably is tinkering away on his own restoration today. He saiys he does about one a month on top ofbeing at PBR 60-80 hrs a week. Has quite a collection of woodrails, though Ive never seen in person other than a few he keeps in the same room as all those schematics. The guy never stops working, has filled orders until midnight many a time.

    #44 2 years ago

    Maybe selling these schematics is what allows him to sell only top quality reproduction parts at the lowest possible prices.

    #45 2 years ago

    What Steve Young has done for EM Pinball, Stonehenge did for rocks.

    #46 2 years ago
    Quoted from stashyboy:

    Ok, so we have about two feet of snow right now....uggh

    Snow? We had a good rainy season this year, but looks like that's over. They are talking mid 90s today. And some of the few bees that are left look to be hard at work.

    DSCN5302 (resized).JPG

    #47 2 years ago
    Quoted from MikeO:

    You overlook all Steve Young has done for the EM hobby. He, singlehandedly, has made available so many reproduction and maintenance parts that a high percentage of games would not be as nice and viable as they are today. And you want to whine about a $16 schematic.

    Again, I AM NOT COMPLAINING ABOUT THE $16 SCHEMATIC. Please stop putting words in my mouth. I happily buy one for every game I own, along with a manual. I have not once complained about it, but you people keep saying I'm whining about it. I encourage anyone who owns a game to buy them. As Otaku and I have said, we're worried about other things, like what happens when/if PBR shuts down and there's no official source for them, but all the copies have been wiped off the Internet, or how much harder it is to repair games for other people when you can't just pull up a schematic, or how it's expensive and slow to order a schematic from PBR via mail order when you're in Europe. The list goes on and on. Banning electronic copies is hurting the hobby. Steve has done a lot of great stuff for the hobby, but this isn't one of them. And I doubt he's selling other parts at a loss or something just because he makes a crazy profit margin on schematics.

    Quoted from MikeO:

    Your age is showing. I know mine is and I respect the all that a person does as opposed to one aspect.

    What are you even talking about

    #48 2 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    we're worried about other things

    There are other things to worry about. Like where are the bees? Only a fraction of what usually shows up have arrived this year. Everybody should really be concerned about something like this.

    #49 2 years ago

    I find it interesting that a Post on the state of EM Pinball evolved into a Steve PBR discussion. Bottom line a Parts Manual should be freely available on the Web to make it easier to order.Not really concerned over schematics, I rarely use them (though I did order them and the Manual for Out Of Sight recently).
    The comments show me the precarious state further EM restoration/Re-sale lies,especially the inflated astronomical ridiculous prices some people try and sell these things for. I was going to join them until I realized it was smoke and mirrors.
    I do love playing them though! Thats all that counts really, for right now anyway.
    I just do not see Generation Z spending the time necessary to keep these things nice, forget about cost,parts availability and the learning curve necessary for what is now an obsolete/archaic form of Technology.

    #50 2 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    There are other things to worry about. Like where are the bees? Only a fraction of what usually shows up have arrived this year. Everybody should really be concerned about something like this.

    Cell phone towers, GMO-ready crops- Genomic Pesticides- habitat.
    We can continue this discussion in the suitable place.

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