(Topic ID: 245165)

Vote for the best pin not Stern or JJP or CGC in last 10 years.

By rai

7 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 62 posts
  • 38 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by Azmodeus
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


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    Topic poll

    “Best pin not from the big 3 ”

    • RZ 3 votes
    • AMH 10 votes
    • TNA 80 votes
    • ACNC 27 votes
    • Houdini 40 votes
    • Oktoberfest 22 votes
    • TBL 50 votes
    • Alien 42 votes
    • P3 13 votes
    • Thunderbird 7 votes
    • Dominos 2 votes
    • Mafia 0 votes
    • Jetsons 2 votes
    • Full Throttle 4 votes
    • Nemo 3 votes
    • Wooly 6 votes
    • Other 5 votes

    (316 votes)

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    #42 7 months ago

    Great poll, I picked Houdini for being unique and challenging, yet rewarding with many tight shots. Only demerits it received were because the game’s cartoon mascot was accused of assaulting a cartoon women on another pinball machine. The monkey was later acquitted when proven he had been at Oktoberfest on business, officially it was monkey business

    TBL pinball is a beautiful mirage, but with under 100 made, it really wasn’t ever produced. Plus 3/4 of TBL’s I’ve played have had issues and code needs major polishing. Alien is the best pin listed when working, but it is prone to frequent downtime and was dropped. TNA is out of contention until the scoop is redesigned to fix the high rejection rate. ACNC is still actively in the running, check back in six months after future code updates and the rest of the pins mentioned are merely good pins.

    #46 7 months ago

    A handful of choices rise to the top and the rest can be flushed into a sea of mediocre pins and drained from our consciousness. Most contenders receiving 10% of the vote should be of little surprise. There is something about trying to order five things that seems kinda natural, whereas the poll captures everyone’s #1 pick from 16. Once shortlisted, I think it appropriate to rank those. From bestest to best I’d say:


    16025CBC-9DF7-4B0B-A782-67BC5182481C (resized).jpeg

    #47 7 months ago

    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.

    #49 7 months ago

    Are these boutiques causing any harm to Big3 Manufacturers? Spooky may have had the only direct impact.

    AP had 1 pin in the past few years that sold 1k games. Nothing of theirs since has come close. Expect them to sell 500 games per year and to remain unnoticed. Zero impact.

    HP had 1 pin in the past few years that sold less than 200 games and company is gone. Most manufacturers never heard of or have played an Alien. Zero impact.

    DP had 1 pin in the past five years and less than 100 games were made. Zero impact.

    Spooky has had 2 pins make the cut in four years and they have been building 1,200+ games per year lately. Minimum impact and measurable, definitely greater than zero. Spooky built a fully functioning factory from scratch and then scaled it bigger.

    So tally things up ... Nobody but Spooky has put pressure on the big 3 and they did it by delivering games - one day at a time. Not by talking smack or making big promises, actions rather than words. Currently projected to produce 1,500 games @ $6.5k, Spooky is directing $10M away from Stern this year. That number is sufficiently large to grab Stern’s attention and force them to close the gap in features. Spooky and others probably caused Stern to move to lcd 10 years sooner than desired. ALL OTHER boutiques have added little more to the landscape than noise. Boutiques do not threaten the current market, thinking otherwise is foolhearty. Disclaimer - keep an eye on Spooky as the underdog and possible spoiler.

    #55 7 months ago
    Quoted from rotordave:

    Numbers are a bit off ...
    TNA was 550 units
    ACNC is 500 units
    Production probably more like 600 units a year would be my guess.

    Thanks for the revised numbers, it changes the dynamic slightly. Spooky sells 600 pins @ $6.5k or $4M per year. Stern sells 10k pinballs to distributors at $5k average for $50M. You might be thinking, $4M compared to $50M isn’t very much, but it is 8% of the 2 company market and normally that is a big deal. Stern probably keeps an eye on them but doesn’t need to take specific measures because Spooky facilty is maxed out. Stern will always lose 600 sales per year to Spooky no matter what it does so they focus elsewhere. That said, I’ve heard Stern relishes ensuring pinball is hard for all companies. Stern May spend less than .001% of every day planning ways to steal licenses from Spooky because they have their hands full trying to sell and ship 10k pins each year. Stern’s true competitors may come from JJP, CGC, itself or non-pinball entertainment, but certainly not any pinball boutiques.

    #56 7 months ago

    The beauty of having active boutique manufacturers is the value of their offerings which fill a market void by making pins which would otherwise not be made by Big3. Boutiques are innovating and breaking rules. To build on what rotordave said about AMH, it shifted my paradigm. For decades people fantasized about designing and building a pinball machine. There was always careful planning and plenty of hot air. Everybody knew building pins was hard and they kept dreaming.

    Along comes Ben Heck - an electronics geek / inventor with no prior knowledge of or experience in pinball. He is going to design and sell a pinball machine and sounds pretty confident about it. This has been an unreachable dream of those around the world with coin-op running in their veins. One of the biggest reasons for this was because technology required specialty software coding and hardware that was controlled by manufacturers.

    However, before long, AMH was being made and it sold out the planned run and was a real winner. AMH proved you didn’t need to design something capable of selling 3k pins to be a success because there was a new structure in place where a small run of 250 was possible. Spooky had built the worlds first micro-pinball factory, capable of taking chicken scratch on the back of an envelope and converting it to physical games on locations and in homes. AMH also showed one could control all requisite aspects needed to make a complete pinball machine. The world was a different place and my mind was blown.

    Long live boutiques. Currently enjoying Alien and Houdini and one day would like to see an affordable TBL, Kill Bill, Matrix, Predator and Godzilla themes come to life.

    1 week later
    #61 7 months ago
    Quoted from littlecammi:

    There you have it, folks, jeffspinballpalace says Underdog will be Spooky's next pin. Plus theme song is an ear worm so I won’t torture you with it here. (but it is good).

    Underdog is much funnier and would sell better than Superman. Theme song is an ear worm too so I’ll spare you. (but it is good)

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