(Topic ID: 107486)

When did pinball prices get so out of control??


By barakawins

5 years ago



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  • 50 posts
  • 40 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by thedefog
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#1 5 years ago

Crazy enough, these increased prices have to stop.
4 years ago Tom couldn't sell for 2300. Was a struggle.
Now, Craigslist posts are $7k and the gene doesn't work???
I get supply and demand buy I've never seen this title
Command this type of cash. I'm afraid
People are ruining the market. You can have a nib stern
Title for 7k of your liking. Just crazy is all

#2 5 years ago

I don't recall TOM being 2300 five years ago, perhaps I missed a great opportunity. But, Craigslist is like Ebay, just because it's listed doesn't mean that's what it's selling for. I agree prices have gone up quite a bit, but using Craigslist to determine pricing isn't the best idea. I can list Cue Ball Wizard on there for $3500, but it doesn't mean I'm going to get that, and it certainly doesn't determine the market for it. I think the best way to determine current pricing is to look at sales on here or other pinball sites such as RGP.

#3 5 years ago

The people who post crazy prices on c/l either have zero responses for months and figure out they are asking too much and lower their prices or they get several hate mail responses or someone who knows what is what calmly explains the facts to them and gets the game for a reasonable price.
Or the seller refused to listen and the game sits and rots.

#4 5 years ago

"When did pinball prices get so out of control??"

......about 10 minutes ago....

you just missed it.

#5 5 years ago

It started the moment Williams closed there pinball division, prices started going through the roof then because everyone went into a panic thinking there was gonna be no more games made and that Stern wouldn't last with the type of games they were putting out at that time. Only thing is when looking back at it now the prices seem cheap but back at that time it was almost just as insane as it is now. The big difference now is that even your moms and pops think they have gold because of all the crazy asking prices we've put on our games through Ebay and CL. Your just now seeing the result of this and everything has dried up. The days of cheap project games are long gone.

John P. Dayhuff
Battle Creek, Mi.
269-979-3836

#6 5 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

"When did pinball prices get so out of control??"
......about 10 minutes ago....
you just missed it.

"When?!?"
"Just now."
"When will then be now?"
"Soon"

#8 5 years ago

Right when I wanted to buy a pinball machine.

#9 5 years ago
Quoted from barakawins:

Crazy enough, these increased prices have to stop.
4 years ago Tom couldn't sell for 2300. Was a struggle.
Now, Craigslist posts are $7k and the gene doesn't work???
I get supply and demand buy I've never seen this title
Command this type of cash. I'm afraid
People are ruining the market. You can have a nib stern
Title for 7k of your liking. Just crazy is all

Shoot me what pins you have for sale and their prices, sounds like you're a fair trading guy.

#10 5 years ago
Quoted from barakawins:

I'm afraid People are ruining the market. You can have a nib stern
Title for 7k of your liking. Just crazy is all

People are not really ruining the market, they ARE the market.

I get the impression that things are drifting back down to less insane levels. Half baked games like TFLE, AVLE, XMLE, Mustang etc are not 7-10K games when you compare them to other existing games.

It seems enough people have been burned by chasing after "the new shiny" to actually pause and take a deep breath before jumping on the next pin with 20-30 year old technology but an ever increasing price tag.

Used games have moved upwards as what was a bargain at 1200 previously (e.g. Judge Dredd) is now much more of a relative bargain compared to a NIB LE game. And I am sure this has been typed out a thousand times previously.

#11 5 years ago

It's certainly not the only factor, but Pinball Arcade re-awakened a lot of dormant pinball fans.

#12 5 years ago

Yeah, I will never understand how people justify paying through the nose for titles like TOM, Scared Stiff, TOTAN, and FT (to a lesser extent). They are good pinball games but they were never great and never will be great. I can elaborate as to why but just search around the forums if you need justification.

#13 5 years ago
#14 5 years ago

the prices started rising when new competition entered the market to compete with stern and haven't stopped since.

#15 5 years ago

Ive been in the hobby for 4 years and Tom has never been a sub 2500 option.

#16 5 years ago
Quoted from tilted81:

Ive been in the hobby for 4 years and Tom has never been a sub 2500 option.

8 years ago it was and you had to give away a FT to move it.

#17 5 years ago
Quoted from tilted81:

Ive been in the hobby for 4 years and Tom has never been a sub 2500 option.

It was about 10 years ago. When I bought my 1st machine, the guy was also selling a TOM for 2k. I passed. Great looking game and not much else (IMO)

#18 5 years ago
Quoted from tracelifter:

8 years ago it was and you had to give away a FT to move it.

I agree about 8 years ago you could buy just about whatever you wanted at low prices.

#19 5 years ago

I haven't known Pinball without these higher prices, so much that they seem completely normal to me. Must of been nice back in the day.

#20 5 years ago

I agree. 8-10 years ago, anything was possible. AFM for 2500, sure no problem.

#21 5 years ago

When MedMad surpassed new Stern prices, at the time around $4500. When Stern saw the prices people were willing to pay, they started jacking their prices and still haven't stopped.

When other entrepreneurs saw what people would pay for stripped-down Sterns, they jumped in with both feet and further jacked the prices, and still haven't stopped.

This is an unsustainable market that has sustained itself just fine so far.

#22 5 years ago

I've been liking TOM more and more lately, would be plenty to have one in the house. The whole package is pretty great. The best? No, but TOM is better than tons of other games.

As for the market, prices when up when I got in, I always get into hobbies a few years late. Hammond Organs, late, analog synths, late, pinball, late. Now if I could just figure out what my next obsession is NOW I could get in on time and make a killing. Thing is, I'll figure it out a few years late...just like the rest.

#23 5 years ago

Eight years ago: any system 11, $800, Gottlieb system 3's, $700, it all slid down hill when retro, became pinball. The baby boomers folks passed on, and they collected big dollars from their family's. A guy buys a pool table, then a Mrs. Pacman, cause his expendable income allows him to. Soon, after.... His first pin, say a $2k whirlwind, then the pin "bug" hits, and its off to the races, with checkbook in hand. Next up is the $8k " fill in the blank"/pin, and the hobby outgrows a ton of us. Repeat, over and over for the newbies. Sad, but true. Discussed a bunch, and them are the facts, ~SpOoKy

#24 5 years ago

Just remembering the Summer of 2007. Some prices of pins that were bought by me or one of my friends through the end of that year (mostly me). All were completely working and in good shape. Good times indeed:
Dr Who 800
AF 3200
TZ 2400
STTNG 2200
CFTBL 1800
AFM 4000
MB 4000
Congo 1100
TOTAN 2800
MM 5200
JM 800
DESW 750
WhoDunnit 800
Flinstones 1000
BSD 800
MSF 1100
LOTR 2400
NF 900

#25 5 years ago

Summer of 2003, a TZ completely restored was quoted to me at $2500.

#26 5 years ago

Not sure the exact month or day, but in 2011 When JJP announced that a Pre ordered pinball machine would cost $6500. That is the beginning of prices spiraling out of control.
The prices started to plummet on October 17th 2013 at around 6:01pm central standard time.

#27 5 years ago

It was longer than 4 years ago when they started climbing out of control. It will be interesting with the new influx of new machines (And a remakes), if we don't see a reset in prices. There is only so much $$$ in this market, and while growing; I don't know if all can make it.

Its kind of ironic, we have some in the forum upset by remakes, and the other half upset about prices.

Hopefully it will meet in the middle.....

#28 5 years ago
Quoted from NPO:

Summer of 2003, a TZ completely restored was quoted to me at $2500.

You can't even take a shit these days with $2500 when it comes to pinball. You can't even take a big ol' nasty shit. It's absurd...

#29 5 years ago

The OP mentions TOM in the first post. It is a top 10 pin, so higher prices are expected. I like CV a lot better, but my question is when did TOM get in the top 10? That could get to the root of the initial impression.

#30 5 years ago

The OP doesn't make much sense at all. He talks about ToM then proceeds to say the Gene is broken. What is a Gene in ToM? Do you mean "genie"? If so, maybe you mean totan? There's no "gene" in ToM.

#31 5 years ago
Quoted from snyper2099:

Yeah, I will never understand how people justify paying through the nose for titles like TOM, Scared Stiff, TOTAN, and FT (to a lesser extent). They are good pinball games but they were never great and never will be great. I can elaborate as to why but just search around the forums if you need justification.

Besides FT the others you list are top 15 pins. FT is 37, so pretty darn good in my book still. If these titles aren't earning great prices then what should? Only NIB pins? Has the Top 100 led to higher prices for some pins?

#32 5 years ago
#33 5 years ago
Quoted from JonH123:

I'm a bit late to the party. I started my collection in July and never saw the lower prices. I could finish my collection a lot quicker at those lower prices.

The prices you are paying now will be "lower" in 5 years. Then you can reminisce like the rest of us.

#34 5 years ago

Thank social media too.

All the images of people playing games in home game rooms, has increased the demand.

#35 5 years ago
Quoted from JonH123:

Very true. I played it not long ago and went from 0 pins to 7.

Pretty soon you'll need a second TV to hold all of your pins

#36 5 years ago
Quoted from RyanStl:

Besides FT the others you list are top 15 pins. FT is 37, so pretty darn good in my book still. If these titles aren't earning great prices then what should? Only NIB pins? Has the Top 100 led to higher prices for some pins?

There are many reasons why those could be considered stinkers by some, but could be just fine for the casual player. Some are way too easy, some just have a horrible design flaw in them. FT is fairly shallow, but I do like how difficult it is with Lightning flippers. I wouldn't take the Pinside ratings so seriously when considering the purchase of a machine. The more you ignore the Pinside top 100, the better off you will be.

After you play highly rated pins 1000's of times, you begin to see some of the flaws in them more and more. A lot of folks can overlook them for a variety of reasons. Someone that just plays pinball a few times a month is probably going to be satisfied with a game flaw that would be very hard to achieve. Others that never play pinball compeptitively, are probably never going to realize a lot of the flaws of the pins in top rated lists (wether that's ipdb ,pinside or wherever). Different games for different people is a good policy here.

However, when I consider a purchase for thousands, I try to look at the decision from a perspective including things that the average buyer for a highly rated pin may never consider. One easy example, if I can't see myself playing a game 1,000 times or more during the time I own it, I probably won't buy it or at minimum, will not keep it. I turn to these considerations much more strongly, the higher the price is for a game. Call it whatever you want, but the more information you have about a game (as long as it's good info) the better off you will be, long term. If you just have to have a TZ or TOTAN and have not played one 50+ times, you should find a decent one to play 50+ times. That's one reason why shows are so great for people new to the hobby.

#37 5 years ago
#38 5 years ago

In 2004 I bought an unfaded TZ import for $1800 and a DM for $750 AT EXPO.
In 2001 I bought a TZ in decent condition but a separated front corner off ebay for $1550.
Luckily I was in the hobby before it exploded and have owned/sold most of the B/W titles.

I'm aware with my current collection of almost 1/2 new Sterns that there's most likely only downside for most of them if/when I want to sell them, but for me, it's the only exciting part of pinball anymore. Playing MMr at expo made me realize I don't miss MM in my collection as it's old news TO ME.

You just have to jump in and not worry about prices of yesteryear. Most likely with inflation the price you pay now on older games will most likely be higher in the future as well.

#39 5 years ago

More people, more leagues, social media, pinball arcade app, barcades, culture of vintage gaming being hip for 18-35 year olds, general economic inflation can all be attributed to rising prices. NIB prices rose because stern had no competition then when they finally got it the established prices were on a high.

Right now they're just trying to beat each other in quality.... not price. 8k+ is really tough and tough to make money on a route but in order for the price to go down a chinese/korean/vietnamese manufacturer will have to come in and make a nice game for 4-5k to drive down prices in the NIB dept.

#40 5 years ago

Lots of wealthy tech-nerds and hipsters got turned on to pinball VIA their iPads and Pinball Arcade/Zen Pinball. Zen Pinball released in 2008. Pinball Arcade 2012.

#41 5 years ago
Quoted from nikpinball:

8k+ is really tough and tough to make money on a route but in order for the price to go down a chinese/korean/vietnamese manufacturer will have to come in and make a nice game for 4-5k to drive down prices in the NIB dept.

Stern already makes a nice game for 4-5k. Look at IMVE, TRON, Metallica, etc. And they are made in the USA.

#42 5 years ago
Quoted from el_brio:

Lots of wealthy tech-nerds and hipsters got turned on to pinball VIA their iPads and Pinball Arcade/Zen Pinball. Zen Pinball released in 2008. Pinball Arcade 2012.

That's not too far off. Also, the gradual price dropping of LED's has led more people to install them in their games. Like em or not, they draw attention from people who might not even bother to notice a pin. Even my wife, who doesn't care at all about pinball, can usually tell the difference. "Ooo..pretty colors" I think is what she says.

#43 5 years ago
Quoted from nikpinball:

More people, more leagues, social media, pinball arcade app, barcades, culture of vintage gaming being hip for 18-35 year olds, general economic inflation can all be attributed to rising prices. NIB prices rose because stern had no competition then when they finally got it the established prices were on a high.
Right now they're just trying to beat each other in quality.... not price. 8k+ is really tough and tough to make money on a route but in order for the price to go down a chinese/korean/vietnamese manufacturer will have to come in and make a nice game for 4-5k to drive down prices in the NIB dept.

The price increase is 100% tied to late gen-x / early gen-y like myself being able to afford them now. The apps and VP tables just wet the appetite. Nostalgia factor is there, I played the games I own when I was little (minus Comet).

I don't think the hipster thing is a factor. Most of the barcades I've been to are nearly 100% vids. I guess they don't wanna deal with pin maintenance. Besides, riding around a vintage schwinn for 1/5th the cost of an entry pin in public gets you more hipster cred than a pin sitting in your house. I'm waiting for someone to mount a record player to the back of one with a tube amp running into vintage speakers. They can call it the WASP blaster.

#44 5 years ago

Getting new blood into pinball has been mentioned or asked many times since I've been on pinside, which hasn't been long at all. I'm very new. But I think JohnHarvey has a very apt point when he said

Quoted from JonH123:

I'm a bit late to the party. I started my collection in July and never saw the lower prices. I could finish my collection a lot quicker at those lower prices.

and I couldn't agree more. As a new player (with 0 pins of my own so far), the prices on the market today are the only prices I've known. If prices were to suddenly drop, I'd definitely jump on some pins. But like others have pointed out, it will probably be a gradual decline over a period of years, and I think that's due (in some small part) to having new players that only know current prices, and others that are willing to pay the NIB prices. Not that I think there's anything wrong with buying NIB, but as long the manufacturer can sell them at the prices they are asking, there's no reason for them to decline.

#45 5 years ago
Quoted from AloneMordakai:

As a new player (with 0 pins of my own so far), the prices on the market today are the only prices I've known. If prices were to suddenly drop, I'd definitely jump on some pins.

What I can suggest to you is what I have done: Find project games to restore, put some sweat equity into them. You can find beat-up/non-working project pins more often than good shape pins it seems to me.

Put some ads on your local Craigslist asking for pinball machines in any and all shape, see what people offer you. I knew nothing about repairing pinball machines a couple years ago. But I did have about 12 years of electronics experience and 8 years of doing repairs for people prior to that. The board work came naturally (as I had been doing mostly vintage analog synth gear and guitar effects boxes). The machine work/restore part was just lots of reading and some fudging where I couldn't find answers.

Sometimes you get lucky. You do need to know what you're looking at though, so it helps to bring someone along that knows what to look for, unless they're asking like $100 for a non-booting SS game.

I think this is good for anyone that is interested in owning/maintaining a collection. They break all the time, and you want to be able to fix them.

#46 5 years ago

Agreed.

In other break news:

"Holy shit, Gas is over $2.00/gallon??!!?!? WTFTFTFTFTF!!!!!!"

#47 5 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

The OP doesn't make much sense at all. He talks about ToM then proceeds to say the Gene is broken. What is a Gene in ToM? Do you mean "genie"? If so, maybe you mean totan? There's no "gene" in ToM.

Maybe he means this Gene:
image-170.jpg

#48 5 years ago

Q: "When did pinball prices get so out of control??"

A: When the consumer decided it was ok to spend insane amounts of money on paint, wood, wires, and solenoids organized into what is commonly called a "pinball machine"

#49 5 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

Maybe he means this Gene:

image-170.jpg 27 KB

Guys, he meant "game."

He basically was saying you pay $7K for a game off of Craigslist then find out it's broken after bringing it home.

#50 5 years ago

In USSA, Pinball machine owns YOU!

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