Regional Pinheads: How Are You Weathering the Pinball Market?
Just wondering what those of you here who haven't got bottomless pockets are doing that is helping you keep your spirits up.
It seems more and more I am complaining to my various friends about being priced out of the hobby. I used to be excited because there were always real possibilities around every corner. Now HUO games are bringing 20-40% more than they did just two years ago and NIB pins are backordered for months/years. I s'pose you're fine if you have a collection and you want to rotate one out. You sell your pin for a fortune and then spend that fortune to get another. Easy. But if you have a habit of taking a bath on the pins you sell (as I have), how can you possibly buy another pin with the proceeds?
To tide me over, I bought a "project" pin - my first. It's a WMS System-7 from '81. Yeah, it's OLD. I had it shipped here. It was misrepresented a bit, but when you describe a sale pin as a "project," you sort of indemnify yourself to the buyer. As in, well, what did you expect?! It's a project! So yeah, I have a lot of work in front of me before I can even plug it in. (Sent the boards off for rehab'ing today; six weeks turnaround.) I recently shopped a TZ and that was a serious grind. I said I wouldn't do it again, so I bought a Spooky pin afterward. That game disappointed in various ways, too, and I find myself yearning for a Stern again. But can I buy a NIB? Yes and no. Yes if I want to spend $7K for a PRO and get on a list and wait six months, but who wants to do that? I root around for new distributors and ask them for inventory lists, hoping to find a fresh source of worthwhile games. Right now I'm finding Beatles, STh, Beatles, Mando, Beatles, LZ, and Turtles. I will keep looking! And I will keep resurrecting this '81 System-7!