(Topic ID: 227802)

Why have EMs stayed so cheap over the years?


By HandsOfStone

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 64 posts
  • 43 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by mbaumle
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    There are 64 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 1 year ago

    2 reasons.....1) The EM supply is enormous, much more than DMD or later games, (video games hadn't even begun to do well until the late '70's. 2) EM's don't offer the sound and light show the later games have, (which is a big part of the entertainment package the average Joe is looking for).

    Quoted from snyper2099:

    They are a simple, great challenge and generally MUCH more difficult than your average solid state machine. That is why I like them and I suspect those same reasons are why others dislike them.

    This statement makes the most sense although I can't say much for EM multiplayers, (can't say much for 1-ball objectives). When it comes right down to game play, both EM and DMD tables are realitivly the same size, so to me, DC current and ramps make most DMD games pretty boring to play, just not enough there. To present a challenge, the DMD game needs a ruleset that takes 10-15 minutes or longer to play within the same physical dimensions.

    #52 1 year ago

    It's mostly generational... If you were born after 1970, you probably didn't experience the golden age of EM pinball machines. People want to relive their youth, so most people in the hobby want machines from the 1980s and 1990s. And since many machines from the 2000s/2010s were basically the same as the machines from the 1990s, people want all eras of DMD machines. EM pinball machine disappeared between 1978 (when SS machines took over) and 1996 (when the Internet became popular linking collectors), and many people just forgot about EM machines during that time frame. If you were an EM collector between 1978 and 1996, you were isolated locally with very few resources other than a few arcade/vending publications. This 18 years of isolation did take its toll on future EM collectability and pricing. Overall, there's just not enough demand for EM pinball machines for them to garner the big money... Back in the early 1980s, I was buying project EM pinball machine (some working) for between $100-$300. In 2018, I'm buying project EM pinball machines for between $100-$300...

    #53 1 year ago

    They cost more than they did but they are still much less than SS or DMD. They provide a gateway into pinball and are fun to play as well - modern pins can be overwhelming (price, bling and rule sets) for those new to the hobby. Every collection can benefit from a good EM - and the artwork is beautiful ...

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    #54 1 year ago

    40 years ago project EMs sold for 50-100 dollars to the distributor. Some like TA kept them, others turned them back for credit, and those were sold in credit for 50-100 bucks off the next game in line keeping the flow going to operators. The games returned were either hoarded, or mostly sold as 'working' games to a home for 200-300 bucks. 30 years ago, those same games were being consumed and used for the same price, or even less as nobody wanted those games back from the home buyer. 20 years ago they were being tossed out or hoarded more because they were worthless, literally free for the taking. 10 years ago they were at the 50-150 range for complete but basement finds. Free to haul when someone moved, or no longer had a wife, or wife was threatening to leave, or kids moved to college. Today the same cycle is happening, and the games are 50-150 for parts and projects that are 'complete' in most cases. 300 for an EM game, it has to be a solid title, 7.7+ on the IPDB or top 100 list. Find them all the time, but definitely not like it was 10+ years ago. The reason, supply, demand, dead and dying old people, hoarders flushing market with product, difficult to find techs for it that will know or care, and customers that paid 100-200 for a game and won't flip for a 200-300 dollar 'house call' to fix the game.

    #55 1 year ago

    Shhhhhhh..... Don't tell anyone!

    Oh yeah, those nasty old EM's are horrible nightmares to work on.
    Parts are nearly impossible to find. Women hate them. Your hair will
    fall out if you play them too much. Al Gore says they cause global warming.

    I want prices to stay low so I can buy more!

    Steve

    #56 1 year ago
    Quoted from zarco:

    Shhhhhhh..... Don't tell anyone!
    Oh yeah, those nasty old EM's are horrible nightmares to work on.
    Parts are nearly impossible to find. Women hate them. Your hair will
    fall out if you play them too much. Al Gore says they cause global warming.

    I want prices to stay low so I can buy more!
    Steve

    Keep wanting. Good luck, saw garbage pale kids games at an 'auction' in a dump
    of a town at the edge of PA go for 100-150 bucks. Sadly, reality is not something
    folks care about anywhere but some TV show.

    #57 1 year ago

    Has anyone seen my grandfather??? I am looking for my grandfather??? Someone said he might be here in this thread???

    #58 1 year ago

    Smile and say 'Grampy' while looking over your sexy and smooth, newly shaved metro-shoulder???

    #59 1 year ago
    Quoted from fredsmythson:

    Overall, there's just not enough demand for EM pinball machines for them to garner the big money... Back in the early 1980s, I was buying project EM pinball machine (some working) for between $100-$300. In 2018, I'm buying project EM pinball machines for between $100-$300...

    Quoted from SuperDaveOsbourn:

    So in summary, old farts broken parts, less demand and an aging dying population

    Like I said, the EM supply is enormous, demand never caught up!

    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    Yeah, I don't play them as much as Iron Maiden, but the fun factor is pretty similar once you get an awesome game going.

    This is true of any single-player EM game vs. any DMD game.

    Also, if I have 5 minutes I know I can play a game or two, whereas I can't do that on the modern games, as some games can go 20 - 30 minutes.

    I think the main reason for this is the introduction of DC current, which I feel dwarfs the same overall playfield dimensions. The deeper rulesets are a necessity to maintain some kind of game play challenge resulting in 20+ minutes of the same shots over and over again, (reminiscent of the old EM add-a-ball repetition boredom complaints). The only thing that keeps me going is the sound and speech show in those latter stages of the ruleset.

    #60 1 year ago

    Long after many SS games are incompatible with modern electronics and in dumpsters, EMs continue to operate based on their simplicity. Antiquated is not in the gameplay, but in the personal willingness to learn how they operate and conduct regular maintenance. Prices remained low due to general demand of titles, as many felt (particularly not being able to play them in any working capacity) that all gameplay was created equal, which is untrue, but can only be verified by going to a pinball museum or owner who specializes in such titles and learning more about these aspects. In my personal case, Ted Zale "zipper flipper" games.

    #61 1 year ago

    EM's in decent condition seem to be going up, especially Wedgeheads. Don't seem to find them under $1K anymore. I'm sure it's a different market in the Pinfest area. Hope to drag a trailer up there one day.

    #62 1 year ago

    *FULLY* restored GTB wedgies bring ~700-1000 USD and that is about it, except a handful of prime examples. Most games of this era are 100-300 for projects, and 50-100 for parts machines, and 500-700 for spit-n-shine jobs. That is the retail, the find-it-buy-it at your local small town in the US is much less. I know, that is where I shop, if at all any more. Kinda boring now to drive around asking folks the same damn questions all the time, with mostly the same answers... "Man, I saw it on TV, that stuff is gotta be worth a ton of money..."

    #63 1 year ago
    Quoted from SuperDaveOsbourn:

    *FULLY* restored GTB wedgies bring ~700-1000 USD"

    I don't think so.

    #64 1 year ago
    Quoted from Electrocute:

    I'm sure it's a different market in the Pinfest area.

    It is. I had a really hard time selling a nice Gottlieb Sure Shot a year or so ago. It sat at $500 for quite some time. EMs are still pretty cheap around these parts. Even the more sought after ones, it seems.

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