(Topic ID: 333287)

Wait, why isn't Stern doing this??

By Ollulanus

1 year ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 69 posts
  • 31 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Ollulanus
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“If Stern did a series of limited run classic re-releases (Star Gazer, Quicksilver, Meteor, Etc.):”

  • I'd pay pro prices for some or all (~7k) 16 votes
    12%
  • I'd pay Home prices for some or all (~$5k) 19 votes
    14%
  • I might buy a specific one...Maybe... 18 votes
    13%
  • Not interested 82 votes
    61%

(135 votes)

There are 69 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 1 year ago

So, with the "raging debate" about these "classic style" pins, it just dawned on me that Stern is kinda missing out on an easy and awesome opportunity: why not do a series of Stern classic re-releases? Seems like with minimal R&D to just move everything to modern boards & parts, the BOM could be below even those Home pins, and there's no licensing to boot. Maybe I'm an outlier, but I'd happily pay pro prices for the hard to find ones like SG and QS, but I bet they could move a lot, and profitably, for home pin level prices. Yeah, it's not gonna draw anyone new into the hobby, but the market is already substantial...seriously, kinda gross to say it, but $5k classic pins brand new verges on impulse buy level for much of the collector crowd, and it seems realistically profitable in my head at least.

Yes, I know Stern isn't listening, doesn't care, and probably doesn't need this money. I'm just curious how many others would be stoked for something like this?

#2 1 year ago

IIRC from one of the many podcasts I listen to, Gary shares the rights to those old games with his ex wife?

#3 1 year ago

I'd love to see this, but imagine some of the R&D required might be more difficult than it sounds. That said, I think they'd make a killing.

#4 1 year ago
Quoted from Acronymicon:

IIRC from one of the many podcasts I listen to, Gary shares the rights to those old games with his ex wife?

That’s true. Classic Stern rights are owned by Gary and the Ex. That’s why they did Beatles/Seawitch and yet made ZERO mentions to Seawitch in the credits.

Quoted from Ollulanus:

So, with the "raging debate" about these "classic style" pins, it just dawned on me that Stern is kinda missing out on an easy and awesome opportunity: why not do a series of Stern classic re-releases? Seems like with minimal R&D to just move everything to modern boards & parts, the BOM could be way below even those Home pins, and there's no licensing to boot. Maybe I'm an outlier, but I'd happily pay pro prices for the hard to find ones like SG and QS, but I bet they could move a lot, and profitably, for home pin level prices. Yeah, it's not gonna draw anyone new into the hobby, but the market is already substantial...seriously, kinda gross to say it, but $5k classic pins brand new verges on impulse buy level for much of the collector crowd, and it seems realistically profitable in my head at least.
Yes, I know Stern isn't listening, doesn't care, and probably doesn't need this money. I'm just curious how many others would be stoked for something like this?

This idea was tried around a decade ago, King of Diamonds.
Look it up, everyone was begging for it and then no one bought it.
Now the market may be different... but why risk it? They’re gonna stick with what’s popular and what’s guaranteed to sell. There are still Beatles sitting NIB with distros.

#5 1 year ago

Yeah I’m sure Stern is dying to remake a bunch of old ass pins at minimal profit.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see that happen but………….not gonna happen.

#6 1 year ago

In an interview Gomez said it would cost just as much as a new licence to remake them and not worth it . Despite not having to pay for a licence .

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from Ollulanus:

...seriously, kinda gross to say it, but $5k classic pins brand....

As always, why would they sell 5k machines when they can't even produce enough 9k+ machines to sell?
This isn't an issue of Sterns making monies, it's a pipe dream of us to get cheaper machines. Makes no sense.

#8 1 year ago

Was hoping with PF and Bond 60th we would start to see a resurgence in classic pin remakes.

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from rennervision:

Was hoping with PF and Bond 60th we would start to see a resurgence in classic pin remakes.

Not at 5k

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from Ollulanus:

So, with the "raging debate" about these "classic style" pins, it just dawned on me that Stern is kinda missing out on an easy and awesome opportunity: why not do a series of Stern classic re-releases? Seems like with minimal R&D to just move everything to modern boards & parts, the BOM could be way below even those Home pins, and there's no licensing to boot. Maybe I'm an outlier, but I'd happily pay pro prices for the hard to find ones like SG and QS, but I bet they could move a lot, and profitably, for home pin level prices. Yeah, it's not gonna draw anyone new into the hobby, but the market is already substantial...seriously, kinda gross to say it, but $5k classic pins brand new verges on impulse buy level for much of the collector crowd, and it seems realistically profitable in my head at least.
Yes, I know Stern isn't listening, doesn't care, and probably doesn't need this money. I'm just curious how many others would be stoked for something like this?

It's a fantasy.

They can't just "throw these together" and design and build them quickly and sell them cheap.

For Beatles, every single post was moved in pre-production. It's not a "re-skin" of Seawitch, it's a brand new playfield design inspired by Seawitch.

Every other remake/reskin would be the same way. They can't just scan in some 45 year old playfield blueprints (if they even have them) and go straight into production.

And they can't produce them to sell at a profit for $5K either. You know this. $5K pinball machines have plastic lockdown bars and one tiny display.

#11 1 year ago

Cause those games are boring in 2023.

#12 1 year ago

Gottlieb tried that with Orbit/Super Orbit, Royal Flush/Royal Flush Deluxe, Jacks Open/Jacks to Open, Target Alpha/Eldorado.

Not with great success, even if they did not have to pay for license.

Whoa Nellie is based on Continental cafe, with all new (and great) artwork and updated rules, but how many have you seen on location?

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from Ollulanus:

but $5k classic pins

Not possible. Hell scratch builds of these games are almost twice that. Even with sterns added abilities, you ain’t getting anything out of them for less than 7k.

17
#14 1 year ago
Quoted from PoMC:

Cause those games are boring in 2023.

Wrong.

#15 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Not possible. Hell scratch builds of these games are almost twice that. Even with sterns added abilities, you ain’t getting anything out of them for less than 7k.

Right.

#16 1 year ago

Casting aside the "under $5k!" fantasy, I think it's clear many of us would like and buy games like this for $7K, standard pro pricing.

I've wondered why Stern has no interest it, and will only do these games at inflated boutique prices.

My best conclusion is they just don't think they'd sell enough of them, and they believe that the audience is limited, so if they are gonna do it, better do it on a premium pricing model to milk the most profit out of each game. Maybe they don't think they can sell massive numbers of a thowback game like that, but they think they can sell 500 bonds or 1964 Beatles games.

Who knows? If that's it, maybe the clear success of Pulp Fiction will change that line of thinking. Right now, they are ceding the "pro" throwback market to CGC, in a big way. Very unlike Stern to just hand over a large market segment to a competitor like that.

#17 1 year ago

For me, having learned to play pinball in the 1970's and maybe for you also, the 1980's games are not boring. But for todays generation, single level playfield with almost no toys, no flashy LEDs and no display animations is a snoozefest.

#18 1 year ago

Going back to classic for Stern would be simple for them to just throw in on one of their lines like a vault and pump up price what market has been paying.
We are all suckers and would pay. PF, I think will start a new movement going forward.

#19 1 year ago
Quoted from Tuukka:

For me, having learned to play pinball in the 1970's and maybe for you also, the 1980's games are not boring. But for todays generation, single level playfield with almost no toys, no flashy LEDs and no display animations is a snoozefest.

Simply not true in my experience. I am regularly playing with younger players that while they may start out thinking that way, within a year or two prefer having era-diversity game selection.

#20 1 year ago

20k games ...

#21 1 year ago

I would be interested in seeing Stern make a brand new solid state style game that was priced like a regular cornerstone. Maybe just a Pro and and LE, no need for the Premium, same playfield on both, LE for the bling and a topper or whatever. $7k for the Pro, because let's just be realistic.

I'm not interested in paying $7k for a re-release of an old game that still plays like the original. I'll find a used one for that. Remakes at high prices only work if the originals are going for those prices already. MM and AFM made sense because you could get a brand new one for cheaper than a used one. Nobody is buying used $10k Stargazers.

Old solid states are great, they're fun, they're not worth that much money, even shiny and new. For that kind of price I want modern rule applications, I want RGB inserts, I want proper sound, and I want shots that take into account how we play pinball now, even with the old school feel.

Pulp Fiction got this right. Bond 60th got it right. Beatles is good, but imo there's only so many times you can go back to the old game design well. Seawitch worked because it has an open orbit shot that provides flow people are used to.

tl;dr - Let Keith Elwin design a single level that's not stupidly priced and stupidly limited with unnecessary score reels.

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from skink91:

Simply not true in my experience. I am regularly playing with younger players that while they may start out thinking that way, within a year or two prefer having era-diversity game selection.

Any serious pinball player will enjoy these games.

Anybody who likes playing multiplayer games will enjoy these games.

What is the percentage of 4-player games on new machines that get finished before someone loses interest and leaves, or plays something else? In my experience it's well under 50 percent.

Old-school games much more fun in this kind of environment.

#23 1 year ago

An unknown company halfway around the world, with no real guarantee they could get it done, offered a classic Bally and everyone rushed to pay over 7K for it day 1.

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

An unknown company halfway around the world, with no real guarantee they could get it done, offered a classic Bally and everyone rushed to pay over 7K for it day 1.

Good example but they did struggle to sell them , even with the upgrades , like-new code , LCD screens ,thousand watt sound system , under cabinet lighting .
People want NEW games .

#25 1 year ago

The Stern and Bally games from that era were based on the same basic board set and very similar in most ways. If Stern had considered remakes in the past, I would imagine observation of the current Haggis remake of Bally pins might help them decide not to. Haggis is remaking old Bally's and adding modern bling and new rule sets to them. Sales are in the low hundreds (not thousands) and there is ZERO buzz for these games. No FOMO, very little if any meat on the bone for flippers even with only a few shipped at this point. Not to mention that Haggis started with Fathom which is the most desirable of the Bally games of that era, so it is all down hill from here.

I would love a new Meteor and a few other games of that era and would be willing to pay, but I am in the very small minority...

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Any serious pinball player will enjoy these games.

I'm always amused at this "real players need ramps!" mantra you get, mostly from people who only own new Sterns made in the last 5 years that were all purchased NIB.

Meanwhile, the high ranked IFPA players they'll never be as good as love single level games.

I also get that it's hard to give up some modern conveniences like varied soundtracks and callouts and ball saves and modern lighting. Which is why I'm in favor of new game designs with retro flavor over strict remakes. There's a market for the former, I think a pretty limited one for the latter.

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

An unknown company halfway around the world, with no real guarantee they could get it done, offered a classic Bally and everyone rushed to pay over 7K for it day 1.

Sure, and if Stern were to find itself in the position of not being able to sell their stuff, maybe they would try it.

But right now, they have a huge backlog of $8-10K games that they can't build fast enough. They have no incentive (or additional capacity) to build cheaper games that they'll make less money on.

If operators stopped buying Pros because the economics of location play aren't working, Stern might try to start stripping down the Pros even more than they currently do. At that point, a single level old-school game might make some sense. But it would probably be easier to just build something new than try to recover some old design (for which the operators would have no special attachment to anyway).

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I also get that it's hard to give up some modern conveniences like varied soundtracks and callouts and ball saves and modern lighting. Which is why I'm in favor of new game designs with retro flavor over strict remakes. There's a market for the former, I think a pretty limited one for the latter.

I think this gets at why Pulp Fiction is an early hit - it's not *just* a retro game. It's a retro game with modern lighting, parts, code, etc., plus a desirable license. I can see Stern going this direction to a degree. Let's see more modern/retro applications instead of remakes, please.

#29 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I also get that it's hard to give up some modern conveniences like varied soundtracks and callouts and ball saves and modern lighting. Which is why I'm in favor of new game designs with retro flavor over strict remakes. There's a market for the former, I think a pretty limited one for the latter.

Tons of people come to my tournaments not because I have some hard to find in the wild games, but primarily to play Hot Rod, my EM retheme with ball save, two multiballs and light shows but with real score reels and incandescent lights. It’s literally played continuously while the others are played but more sporadically. The top players love it.

I think once you’ve played for awhile, the variety and novelty of older games starts having some serious appeal. Also not everyone wants to slog through the wood chopping on some games - you can play two complete games on Hot Rod while someone is still on ball 1 on AFM.

I think there’s a market for these types of games even at 7K+. The hobby is a lot different than it was in the King of Diamonds era. Also that game was a shit remake.

#30 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

It's a fantasy.
They can't just "throw these together" and design and build them quickly and sell them cheap.
For Beatles, every single post was moved in pre-production. It's not a "re-skin" of Seawitch, it's a brand new playfield design inspired by Seawitch.
Every other remake/reskin would be the same way. They can't just scan in some 45 year old playfield blueprints (if they even have them) and go straight into production.
And they can't produce them to sell at a profit for $5K either. You know this. $5K pinball machines have plastic lockdown bars and one tiny display.

This man knows that's up. Stern isn't a bunch of bros with a 3D printer in a storage unit slapping together homebrew quality games like spooky.

They're a legit manufacturer and with that comes a ton of overhead which would not make producing low cost products for a limited market profitable beyond what they're already doing.

#31 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Any serious pinball player will enjoy these games.
Anybody who likes playing multiplayer games will enjoy these games.
What is the percentage of 4-player games on new machines that get finished before someone loses interest and leaves, or plays something else? In my experience it's well under 50 percent.
Old-school games much more fun in this kind of environment.

One additional thing comes to mind: TGP

#32 1 year ago

I think as long as Stern continues making movie, comic book, and music themed pinball machines, there won't be any re-makes or re-imagined classic Sterns.

I would love to play the Haggis Fathom machine one day.

Stern Beatles and Spooky Total Nuclear Annihilation are on my short list of pins I hope to be able to purchase eventually.

#33 1 year ago
Quoted from DanMarino:

I think as long as Stern continues making movie, comic book, and music themed pinball machines, there won't be any re-makes or re-imagined classic Sterns.
I would love to play the Haggis Fathom machine one day.
Stern Beatles and Spooky Total Nuclear Annihilation are on my short list of pins I hope to be able to purchase eventually.

Beatles is awesome, and at this point, you can get a Gold for less than the price they were new, especially considering inflation etc.

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from jwilson:

The hobby is a lot different than it was in the King of Diamonds era. Also that game was a shit remake.

Aww. Am I the only person that likes playing that solid state King of Diamonds remake? I've played it a bunch at Flippers in Grandy, NC.

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Beatles is awesome, and at this point, you can get a Gold for less than the price they were new, especially considering inflation etc.

Funny how it was ludacris when released and now it's looking like a good deal

#36 1 year ago

And they can't produce them to sell at a profit for $5K either. You know this. $5K pinball machines have plastic lockdown bars and one tiny display.

I have a hard time imagining these costing more to produce than JP or SW home, though I agree there probably wasn't enough money in those at those prices anyway. The games are great but most have don't have a tone going on. But yeah, realistically I was thinking pro pricing, because I think plenty would happily pay that and even if they COULD make enough to justify it at 5k, there's no benefit to leaving money on the table. I'm sure they'd sell a lot more at such pricing (seriously, people would impulse buy that), but not like 50% more. I'd gladly pay 7k for the rarer ones, if not meteor and the like, and I can't imagine that wouldn't net a better profit than a cornerstone pro, but who knows.

Like I said, I know it's not happening regardless, just curious who else would be stoked if it did. Some of you guys just live to shout down any fun with your REASONS and REALITY, lol.

#37 1 year ago

I'm waiting for Stern to remake Rawhide...

#38 1 year ago

Stern has a massive backlog to keep them very busy for a long time. But it does seem like a good rainy day policy to have a modern Star Gazer that could quickly be rolled out onto the line in a pinch. It's all standard parts that they keep anyway, 3 banks of drops, pops, spinners, etc... Just a few custom ball guides, the playfield itself, and a plastic set. Toss in an autolauncher, a few simple multiball modes, and expand the ruleset a bit like The Beatles did. Alphanumeric displays to keep the game simple/retro and costs down. They could sell a thousand of them for 7500.

#39 1 year ago
Quoted from Ollulanus:

...Some of you guys just live to shout down any fun with your REASONS and REALITY, lol.

Sorry, this isn't the first time we've discussed this

#40 1 year ago

Just some devil's argument thoughts though:

- making one of these would make little sense, because yeah, it'd take some r&d to move everything to modern Mechs and boards, or they'd have to invest in "new" old parts. But a SERIES of these could solve that, as you'd really only have to do that work once - not a bunch of unique parts in individual games - and realize the benefits for 5 -6 games over a few years.

- I'd really think at pro pricing, a straight remake of Star Gazer would make a better margin than a cornerstone pro. Not sure how much more, and I could be wrong, but would help justify their existence vs. "just make more cornerstones". Cab might be an issue though, and I'd be much less excited personally if they stuffed them in the current cabs.

- I don't need anything other than a new copy of those games, straight up. But Haggis did make Stern a model if they wanted to use it - 7k classic, 9k "premium" with updated rules and maybe a new trick or two.

- I would be irrationally excited to own any of these games with IC. Damn, now I really want to live in magical Christmas land where this actually happens.

Quoted from TheLaw:

Sorry, this isn't the first time we've discussed this

Well I'm glad I could provide you with some fun to murder again, lol

#41 1 year ago
Quoted from jwilson:

I think once you’ve played for awhile, the variety and novelty of older games starts having some serious appeal. Also not everyone wants to slog through the wood chopping on some games - you can play two complete games on Hot Rod while someone is still on ball 1 on AFM.

Sure, before I downsized my collection it was half early 80s Ballys, I get the appeal. We could play a 4 player game on Flash Gordon while someone was on ball 1 of Metallica, totally relate to your experience. But I also paid like $1500 on average for them.

Discussing prices is boring, but you can't avoid the fact that at $7k people are looking for some value.

The fun of a fast, brutal, single level game is timeless. But people will gravitate to TNA over Stargazer given the choice I suspect. And it's clear that TNA struggled to sell in this new run when prices went up compared to what it went for originally. I paid $6k or something for mine, I wouldn't pay $9k.

#42 1 year ago
Quoted from Ollulanus:

- I don't need anything other than a new copy of those games, straight up.

Quoted from Acronymicon:

... Gary shares the rights to those old games with his ex wife?

Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

That’s true. Classic Stern rights are owned by Gary and the Ex...

#43 1 year ago
Quoted from Ollulanus:

I have a hard time imagining these costing more to produce than JP or SW home, .

Well good for you!

It’s funny. Nobody who starts these threads ever can imagine this, so they just keep repeating their “it can be done!” fantasy until we all give up and move on to the next thread.

But hey I’ll try again.

So take a Stern home pin, which is sold for $5,000 currently. Add a metal lockdown bar, rails, a real coin door, and 5 individual LED displays. Oh, and a playfield made out of real trees, not “MDF.” And, keep in mind they are in business not to fulfill your fantasy or make friends, but to turn a worthwhile profit.

Now can you imagine it?

#44 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Well good for you!

Again, this is we we're not pinball manufacturers.

#45 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Casting aside the "under $5k!" fantasy, I think it's clear many of us would like and buy games like this for $7K, standard pro pricing.

I've wondered why Stern has no interest it, and will only do these games at inflated boutique prices.

My best conclusion is they just don't think they'd sell enough of them, and they believe that the audience is limited, so if they are gonna do it, better do it on a premium pricing model to milk the most profit out of each game. Maybe they don't think they can sell massive numbers of a thowback game like that, but they think they can sell 500 bonds or 1964 Beatles games.

Right now $5K is too low, but at least a full year before COVID, I asked Jody live during a Deadflip stream where Jack was walking around Vegas the possibility of recreating classic era games (remakes or original titles) at that price point.

His response was basically exactly what is in the paragraph above "limited audience, juice not worth the squeeze"...etc. and that was me asking about them being $5K NIB back then, nevermind today! I'd certainly be interested in some cool classic style games at $7K, but I'm sure they have their reasons not to do that right now.

#46 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Well good for you!
It’s funny. Nobody who starts these threads ever can imagine this, so they just keep repeating their “it can be done!” fantasy until we all give up and move on to the next thread.
But hey I’ll try again.
So take a Stern home pin. Add a metal lockdown bar, rails, a real coin door, and 5 individual LED displays. Oh, and a playfield made out of real trees, not “MDF.” And, keep in mind they are in business not to fulfill your fantasy or make friends, but to turn a worthwhile profit.
Now can you imagine it?

Pinball is hard.

#47 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Well good for you!
It’s funny. Nobody who starts these threads ever imagine this.
Yet here we are.

I mean, those home pins have RAMPS, and we all know from umpteen recent threads how much THOSE add to BOM!

Seriously though, thinking a little harder I guess it would probably be similar, but I still can't see it costing more. Moot anyway, because to my mind the real issue is there wasn't enough profit in those home editions to justify their existence anyway.

But yeah, I don't manufacture pins. I make DREAMS to alleviate my boredom, fresh for you to CRUSH to alleviate your boredom. Healthy ecosystem here on pinside.

#48 1 year ago

Can we talk about producing the vault edition of Tron first? Thanks.

#49 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Any serious pinball player will enjoy these games.
Anybody who likes playing multiplayer games will enjoy these games.
What is the percentage of 4-player games on new machines that get finished before someone loses interest and leaves, or plays something else? In my experience it's well under 50 percent.
Old-school games much more fun in this kind of environment.

I have multiple friends and family that refuse to play anything multiplayer made in the past 30 years.

#50 1 year ago

Can't do this because then they'd be wasting too much manpower, and too many resources that they need for the newer licensed games. Stern would fall behind on their competitors with the licenses, and they know those make the money.

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