Do you remember reading about or weighing in on whether boutique manufacturers are causing competition for Stern and also whether they are causing JJP or CGC heartburn? Well, maybe the soft data can tell us something. This is the interesting part ... unceremoniously dumping of tea leaves onto a wooden floor and sweeping of them into an orderly pile.
Evidently we have had five pins in past ten years which have been judged and selected by enthusiasts to be the best pinball machines made excluding the Big3 Stern/JJP/CGC. If these games were truly standouts and if they checked all the boxes, sales might be a good place to look deeper. Listed for each are manufacturer, game, sales and manufacturer status.
American Pinball - Houdini - ceased production and retired game after shipping 1,000 games. Company currently producing OF and working on others.
Heighway Pinball - Alien - ceased production and retired games after shipping 180 games. Company was dissolved after bankruptcy.
Dutch Pinball - TBL - ceased production after shipping 50 games and nearing end of a court case with contract manufacturer. Company has been technically insolvent for years and running on fumes.
Spooky Pinball - TNA - ceased production after shipping 800 games. May be vaulted after current pin and Company is going strong making 1,200 games a year.
Spooky - ACNC - in production and shiping #200 /1500. Company is going strong.