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(Topic ID: 277367)

Where do all the Machines go / Anyone have a good grasp on stats?


By curban

36 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 19 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 35 days ago by Neal_W
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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    #1 36 days ago

    I've been curious about pinball numbers and whether (or how quickly) we're moving towards the dreaded 'market saturation' for modern machines (for sake of this discussion, consider modern machines to be DMD's and newer).

    How many people and/or businesses collect/own machines? If I'm looking at the Pinside Map correctly, there are about 22,000 Pinsiders globally? Of these, maybe not all are owners/collectors. Also, there are probably a bunch of owners/collectors that aren't on Pinside. So what's the number globally for owners/collectors? ~50,000? Much higher? Lower?

    How has this number changed from year-to-year? Maybe the stats on how Pinsider member numbers have changed from year-to-year could offer insight. Do we know these numbers / can they be shared? How many new collectors/owners join the hobby each year? Is there 5% growth year over year?

    How many modern machines currently exist? Are there a million machines in existence? 1/2 million? Pinside top 100 currently lists 344 machines. Maybe ~200 modern machines with average of 1500 in existence each...is this reasonable...so maybe only 300,000 machines in existence?

    Between all manufacturers, how many new pinball machines are produced each year? This seems to be a down year, but between Stern, JJP, API, and CGC...do they crank out 4000 machines a year combined?

    How many modern machines get destroyed/junked each year? I'm guessing this count is much smaller than the number of new machines produced, right? So the # of machines is increasing right? Anyone have a feel?

    So ultimately: Where do all the machines go? Are personal collections staying the same size - and the machines added each year are proportional to the new collectors/owners? Can the manufacturers keep up with demand of a growing market? Or are personal collections getting larger and larger: if so...aren't we all running out of room (I know I am)?

    Happy to receive any firm statistics or even opinions/guesstimates.

    #2 36 days ago

    I will say this, pinside is a small fraction of folks in the hobby. I actually know more pinheads in Nashville area that are NOT on pinside than are on pinside. I just found another guy at my church who has 3 or 4 pinball machines in his game room and he has never heard of pinside. I think what you are wanting to know will be tough to answer unless JJP/Stern and others release actual numbers.

    #3 36 days ago

    This will be a fun thread.

    I know of a LOT of Adams Families that are in the 3 state area where I live that are owned by families that aren’t into pinball. My uncle lives next to one. I can almost promise none of them are on Pinside or have their machines registered on any site. They aren’t into pinball per se but they enjoy their game they have at home.

    We can only speculate how many were destroyed over the years due to change in laws, or the fact that the machines were simply scrapped over a few years. Some were and still are stored improperly with people thinking they are still worth something but the environment has been eating away at them. Sadly natural disasters claim some too.

    I would say the survival rate is higher with newer games because 1) they are newer and 2) they started being produced when games were known to be sold to the home.

    In MN Pinball Warehouse/ Big Al did home sales for many decades and is hugely responsible for pinball in the home in Midwest. He very well could have saved several thousands of machines from being destroyed or abandoned.

    #4 36 days ago
    Quoted from woody76:

    I will say this, pinside is a small fraction of folks in the hobby. I actually know more pinheads in Nashville area that are NOT on pinside than are on pinside. I just found another guy at my church who has 3 or 4 pinball machines in his game room and he has never heard of pinside. I think what you are wanting to know will be tough to answer unless JJP/Stern and others release actual numbers.

    I can't imagine that any pinball manufacturer would be willing to release their market intelligence, so I figured the group on Pinside could probably provide some interesting insight/opinions.

    ...and, I'm just a curious guy. I was recently asked to produce some market estimates for my company (not AT ALL related to pinball), so this got me thinking about the pinball stats too.

    #5 36 days ago

    I would agree with you that the ammount of pinball machines currently in existance is expanding. HOWEVER. I also believe that the rate of pinball enthusiasts is growing faster than marketplace is introducing them into the market. Supply and demand is keeping up with pins in the 5k price range, but new entrants are causing the rise in prices of pretty much all the lower end Solid State machines.

    #6 36 days ago

    Also, I would put the number of pins of any given variety in existance at no less than 3 times what is listed in people's collections on pinside.

    Case in point. There are 36 Primus pins in pinsiders collections. We know exactly 100 were made.

    Theory holds that:
    1. Pinball nerds are more likely to own this machine, register it, and have it on pinside.
    2. Not everyone on pinside lists personal games in their collection.
    3. If 1/3 of one of the most likely pins to be registered are listed on pinside... logic dictates tripling any number of pins on pinside would give a more likely correct number for existing number of any type of pin.

    #7 36 days ago

    Also relevant.

    334ad37543c5346ca56e297e95fb50d193989718 (resized).png
    #8 36 days ago
    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    I would agree with you that the ammount of pinball machines currently in existance is expanding. HOWEVER. I also believe that the rate of pinball enthusiasts is growing faster than marketplace is introducing them into the market. Supply and demand is keeping up with pins in the 5k price range, but new entrants are causing the rise in prices of pretty much all the lower end Solid State machines.

    I agree with this, I'm a younger enthusiast entering the hobby, and whenever I introduce friends my age to the hobby they fall in love. I think when you see places like Seattle have pinball machines everywhere, and Seattle is flooded with younger Amazon and Microsoft employees, it makes sense that the hobby continues to attract new people.

    #9 36 days ago

    If you really want to know you can purchase a report on the market... for $2,999.

    https://www.syndicatemarketresearch.com/market-analysis/pinball-machines-market.html

    #10 36 days ago
    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    3. If 1/3 of one of the most likely pins to be registered are listed on pinside... logic dictates tripling any number of pins on pinside would give a more likely correct number for existing number of any type of pin.

    ...okay, everything you've stated seems reasonable. The Pinmap shows only 152,000 pinball machines globally (just noticed this count now). That includes pre-DMD's too. So maybe the total count of modern machines is only ~500,000 or less?

    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    If you really want to know you can purchase a report on the market... for $2,999.
    https://www.syndicatemarketresearch.com/market-analysis/pinball-machines-market.html

    I don't want to know that badly! Free is much better.

    #11 36 days ago
    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    Also relevant.
    [quoted image]

    By those numbers all our collections would look like this....

    A2108461-A859-4CBA-B946-6D92FA86130F (resized).jpeg
    #12 36 days ago

    Exactly 72% of pinball owners are not on Pinside. Of those owners (of that 72%), 22% of them only bought games to finish off the proverbial "Man Cave". 17% of those "Man Cave" games no longer run (simple things like battery leakage to the point that the machine will not boot). All these numbers were compiled by the World Pinball Consortium (WPC). They break it down a bit farther by games played on the machines which is a fascinating read. They even get into if the game was actually bought from the children, or the grand children (hint, grand kids by an overwhelming margin) and they break down income vs disposable income.

    #13 36 days ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    Exactly 72% of pinball owners are not on Pinside. Of those owners (of that 72%), 22% of them only bought games to finish off the proverbial "Man Cave". 17% of those "Man Cave" games no longer run (simple things like battery leakage to the point that the machine will not boot). All these numbers were compiled by the World Pinball Consortium (WPC). They break it down a bit farther by games played on the machines which is a fascinating read. They even get into if the game was actually bought from the children, or the grand children (hint, grand kids by an overwhelming margin) and they break down income vs disposable income.

    I’ve never heard of them?!? How on earth could they get such data?

    #14 36 days ago

    Only thing I know is that too few are in my house.

    #15 35 days ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    Exactly 72% of pinball owners are not on Pinside. Of those owners (of that 72%), 22% of them only bought games to finish off the proverbial "Man Cave". 17% of those "Man Cave" games no longer run (simple things like battery leakage to the point that the machine will not boot). All these numbers were compiled by the World Pinball Consortium (WPC). They break it down a bit farther by games played on the machines which is a fascinating read. They even get into if the game was actually bought from the children, or the grand children (hint, grand kids by an overwhelming margin) and they break down income vs disposable income.

    interesting, I actually had a number in my head of about 75% and looks like I was right on it.

    #16 35 days ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    Exactly 72% of pinball owners are not on Pinside...All these numbers were compiled by the World Pinball Consortium (WPC)...

    ...I couldn’t tell if this was sarcasm or serious. I couldn’t find anything about a World Pinball Consortium, but it sounded pretty good.

    Anyway...if the stat is close to being accurate, that means there’s ~75,000 owners: maybe 60,000 active in the hobby and 15,000 non-active. With that many active, and if the hobby is growing, I could easily believe that there is enough demand for 10,000+ new machines a year. (i.e. 1/6 of active owners buy a NIB each year) for years to come.

    Do any of these numbers seem close?

    #17 35 days ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    Exactly 72% of pinball owners are not on Pinside.

    Question of the year.

    #19 35 days ago

    It has been stated from several sources that Stern has the capacity to make 50 pins/day. Assuming there is some down time for parts issues and constantly switching from making 500 of this and 1000 that, lets say the number is 30/day.

    52 weeks in a year, but with holidays, I guess that would be 50 work weeks, and I don't think they manufacture on weekends.

    50weeks x 5days x 30pins = would be 7500 new pins per year shipped by Stern, with a potential for >12k pins a year.

    some factory tour images:
    https://pinballnirvana.com/forums/index.php?threads/pinball-expo-2018-thursday.14030/

    056-pinball-expo-2018 (resized).jpg

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