It's not that I'm buying another silly gamble-machine so soon; it's the market. The way it works is this: you can't buy a pachinko machine when it comes out unless you have about two thousand dollars. That's what the parlors buy them for. Pachinkos may be fancy, but they don't actually cost anywhere near that much to make; it's just that they're massively profitable, so they price them how they want. It's the manufacturer's way of saying "hey, give us a little bit of those earnings, eh?" And the parlors do; they don't have a choice. Crane machine manufacturers do the same thing here, I believe.
Anyway, these things make their money, new machines come in, and parlor operators have more junk machines than they know what to do with. This is the part I'm not completely sure about: I've heard they get destroyed, dismantled for parts, all kinds of stuff. But some of them inevitably end up being sold in bulk, to dealers, for cheap, and the dealers let the collectors have at them. This is where my slot machines came from, and the home pachinko market pretty much works the same way. The turnaround time and the price depend on how popular the machine is, but they start to appear on the used market not long after release. From there, the price dips with time. The way I figure, whatever current machine I want, I can probably hopefully maybe get it around the end of next year.
I had been looking at the very nice Evangelion Second Impact machine. I'm not even a particularly huge Eva fan; the machine's just gorgeous. Lots of gimmicks and fun stuff. That link is a search for Second Impact machines on Yahoo Japan; they're around the $200 range. If only it was so easy to buy one; shipping from Japan for an item this huge is prohibitively expensive. I'd have to wait for an importer (who buy in bulk, naturally) to start getting them. The late-'04 first model Eva pachinko is already going around on Ebay, and I figure that a lot of Second Impact machines are going to start popping up too, on account of this:
Yeah, the third Eva pachinko in three years. They made good business. It'll be out next month. The video is just a long, long "here is why this machine completely outclasses Second Impact", but you can get the gist of it if you fast forward to about four minutes in.
I'm also pretty sure it says something about new Gainax animation and a variety of exciting new game modes, that kinda thing, but that's not what I'm here for. I'm here for giant, howling robot heads. Second Impact only has one howling robot head. This one's got three, man. Three. Even the totally awesome Fever Captain Harlock machine (my other candidate) doesn't have as cool a gimmick. And its gimmick is the Arcadia.
So I start saving my pennies and waiting. Maybe by then there will be a pachinko machine about Jim "The Hammer" Shapiro, and I'll buy that.