(Topic ID: 148474)

When Will The Stern Bubble Burst?


By thundergod76

4 years ago



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  • 472 posts
  • 144 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by erak
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    #76 4 years ago

    All high end collectibles ride the tide of the overall economy. When things get bad, frivolous purchases like these are the first to go.

    Sadly some people I see here look like they will be the last to know when the pinball bubble has burst. I cringe every time I see a game room photo of someone with a $40,000 pin collection jammed into their doublewide... They simply aren't prepared for when things go sideways.

    #126 4 years ago
    Quoted from kaneda:

    My point was NIB pinball will be dead in 20 years. Of course people will still play the old stuff. But in 20 years time, almost every pinball company will be out of business. Will be a very very small boutique trade.

    I believe it will be dead or on life support as well.

    The economy will go down again, there is no doubt. For conservative arguments sake, let's say 5-7 years from now things start to go bad. Then let's say it takes another 5-7 years to START to recover. That's at least 15 years from now before things get good again. I'm 41 so I pretty much lived at the arcade when I was a kid, but not nearly as much as those who are 10-15 years older than me. By the mid to late 80s, arcades were already on the decline. Anyone younger than me really didn't have the same experience, so the nostalgia starts to decline. There are people who are into it, but it isn't the same as the percentages who were in the late 70s early 80s...

    So in 15 years I'll be 56 and those who REALLY lived the experience in their teens will be 65-70+. We can't expect that there will be as much demand when the people who really have nostalgia for it are retired grandparents (no disposable income) and/or soon to be dead...lol.

    I think it's also safe to assume that many of the barcades popping up all over will also be gone. It's a fad and there are far too many people just now getting into it. Stern will lose that revenue as well.

    This is all assuming that Stern can even stay alive during the next downturn. There may not be anyone left by the time things get good again.

    #129 4 years ago
    Quoted from MapleSyrup:

    Bunch of Chicken Littles on here!!
    Pinball is growing. Attendance is up at shows. Number of shows is up. Number of active tournament players is WAY up. People collecting way up. People buying NIB is way up. All of this is good news... Unless you're some kind of insular weirdo who doesn't like it when his secret little niche thing becomes popular.

    I'm meandering a lot here, my point is Pinball is growing. Why all the doomsayers??!!! This is supposed to be fun people.

    I don't think it is doomsayers, it is just the reality of high end collectibles in an economic downturn. The economy has always gone up and down and always will. If pin companies can survive in a downturn, then you may get new games in the future. If not, then it's done. Either way, the people that have the most nostalgia for the good ole days in the arcade will be gone some day as well. Younger generations may like the games, but they aren't passionate about them.

    A lot of people (myself included) got into arcade games while things have been good. We didn't go through the last downturn so the thought of buying a game today for $6,500 and not being able to sell it for $5,500+ seems foreign to us. It will happen. A day will come when you can't get $3,000 for your $6,500 game. That fact will turn a lot of people off and they won't spend money on new games.

    All of these things will be bad for the industry.

    #133 4 years ago
    Quoted from TaylorVA:

    When did you get in and what do you consider the last downturn?

    I started collecting around 2014, so just barely 2 years ago. I would consider the last downturn to be 2009/2010 as far as pinball goes.

    I have been a collector in other arenas for 25 years though. Sports cards, vintage console games, etc... My mom worked in high end (think White House) $100+ each holiday ornaments forever. I saw what happened to all of these industries throughout the crashes in 2000 and the one in 2008. Sports cards never recovered, at least in my opinion. Prices got absurd, the market was flooded with product, and people stopped buying.

    It is simply a fact that high end collectibles are closely tied to the overall economy. Someone who got laid off in 2010 wasn't out buying pinball machines. They were just trying to feed their families and find a job.

    My main point is that pin companies may not survive the next downturn. If they do, people may not care anymore about them by the time they feel comfortable spending their disposable income.

    #145 4 years ago
    Quoted from TaylorVA:

    Pinball is entertainment, not just a "high end collectable", which has helped it's resurgence during the last decade.

    I think anyone who collects anything would argue that their items are entertainment to them.

    #155 4 years ago
    Quoted from TaylorVA:

    big difference between collecting pinball machines and licking stamps or twiddling baseball cards.

    Agreed, but people that collect things are obsessive about them. Watch this video and tell me if you don't think these guys are enjoying what they have... Link is safe for work.

    #296 4 years ago
    Quoted from Trekkie1978:

    If prices were to crash, I wouldn't sell my games.
    Only way I'd sell, is if I needed the money.

    This is exactly why people say the economy is tied directly to the price of high end "toys/collectibles". When things get bad, and people need money, they sell. You aren't going to sell your car or house until you have no other choice. You will sell things like vacation property, boats, pins, etc... Things you and your family don't need to survive.

    Despite people saying this over and over in threads over the last week, people just don't grasp the reality. It's like 2008 didn't exist. This isn't an opinion, it is a proven fact.

    It isn't "doom and gloom", it's just being aware of the world we live in. Everything is great right now, but it won't last forever.

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