Stern vs. Old Time Classics

Started 2 years ago by docscott in forum Game manufacturersStern Pinball.



Stern vs. Old Time Classics


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  • Started 2 years ago by docscott
  • 30 Pinsiders participating in this thread.
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    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Don't mean to rock anyone's boat, but it seems that some folks have a blatant prejudice against anything Stern. I don't mind anyone having a hankering for one machine or brand over another, but am I off base when I observe that it seems no matter what the newer Sterns might do, they won't get a fair shake?


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    I have battled this since I started in this hobby over a year ago. I understand why the classics get more love for build quality. We can also say the same thing about most products in our lives now. Cars are lighter and feel less solid too! I will say the some of the stern games to feel a little "cheap" and I am not a hater at all. My collection history will show that. I bought and sold TRON LE and now I am buying it again. I also have/had many classics now. They are ALL FUN. I also give props to Stern for sticking it out these past few years. It seems like Tron (thought sorta bare) and now Transformers have been a bit of a turning point for Stern. I bet AC/DC will be a great game. I also think that they are on a path to get better and better. I have a message from Stern let me know that their biggest area of concern to be working on right now is quality control. They are aware of it and working on it. I am just happy we have the "Classics" and the folks that restore them for us. I am also very glad we have Stern and now JJ. I think 2012 is gonna be an amazing year for Pinheads alike.
    My Transformers Le feels pretty darn solid too. I think it plays very well.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    I can't believe some of the negative reviews on TF. You read the positives and the negatives and you'd think they're not even talking about the same machine. I'm glad Stern is there. I loved their IM and SM and also thought the Tron rocked. Not better or worse than oldies, just different, and certainly their more modern themes have a better chance of pulling in the younger crowd to start playing pins.... I think Stern and JJ deserve some support and respect... I'd rather have them producing pins than out of business.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    I HONESTLY believe TF LE is one of the best in YEARS. It has everything you could ask for in a pin. Haters will be. Not to sounds like an ass but, I wonder if sometimes its just a little pin envy getting in the way of honesty. Then again, it all comes down to ones own opinion of a game. I like many different games. I like some that other don't. That is what makes this hobby so darn fun.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Stern deserves lots of props. I like older games mainly because that's when I grew,up. However, I've played lots of Stern games too, and believe they have their hits and misses like all companies. Their latest seem to be all hits though, good for them. And yes, thank you Stern for keeping the art form.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    i have a few of their games in my top 10 or 15 but i sincerely wonder what some of these machines will look like after 20 years of abuse. I've seen some sterns that were routed for 3 years that look worse than some williams after 15. As far as gameplay goes, they rank just a notch below my favorite 5 or so williams/bally games.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Sterns definitely have an inferior build quality....But I still enjoy their games alot. Home use with proper care, it won't make a difference. As for the problems that Sterns have out of the box, WMS/Bally/DE/Sega had the same issues....Memories are short and the 'golden' years are sometimes exaggerated with the passage of time.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Maybe I'm naive, but heck, my IM rocked. Solid, looked good, worked well, neat games. True, it didn't have twenty years of play time to see how it held up. But I had absolutely no problems with it from the second I opened the box and set it up. Now I wish I hadn't sold it. I'm gonna get a TF LE. I betcha I'll like it just as well. And I gotta point out, having a decent collection of the older machines, not a month goes by when I don't have to have my tech come out and fix this or that with the old time classics.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Based on game play alone, TF would be in my top 3. Build quality, graphics and theme knock this title down a peg or two for me, but I'd still like to own one.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    GoneFishinLvMsg said:

    Based on game play alone, TF would be in my top 3. Build quality, graphics and theme knock this title down a peg or two for me, but I'd still like to own one.

    behind dr. who and tz? I didn't check your ratings. lazy


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    I haven't rated it yet. lazy

    It's hard to say because I don't have a ton of time playing it, but I think I might like it more than TZ. It's more of a flow-based pin, so more your style (and mine).


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    GoneFishinLvMsg said:

    Based on game play alone, TF would be in my top 3. Build quality, graphics and theme knock this title down a peg or two for me, but I'd still like to own one.

    well I'm investing in one. Fact is, I'm selfish, I only care about making me happy..... As long as I like it, whether others do or not doesn't matter.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    I buy whatever I can afford, and it's usually a williams (plus that's what I grew up with). If my bank account suddenly had a surge of cash, I'd be happy to buy a used Stern.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    It's all about theme for me. I like the Bally/ Williams themes much better.Yes, it has to play good but a bad movie theme is not on my list. That's why I don't buy Stern. But an AC/DC theme I would consider.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    wesperron said:

    It's all about theme for me. I like the Bally/ Williams themes much better.Yes, it has to play good but a bad movie theme is not on my list. That's why I don't buy Stern. But an AC/DC theme I would consider.

    Agree re theme but quality is also important if I am expected to shell out 6k!


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    docscott said:

    GoneFishinLvMsg said:Based on game play alone, TF would be in my top 3. Build quality, graphics and theme knock this title down a peg or two for me, but I'd still like to own one.
    well I'm investing in one. Fact is, I'm selfish, I only care about making me happy..... As long as I like it, whether others do or not doesn't matter.

    Exactly. I am easily swayed to make choices. I am learning to listen to me and not others.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Maybe people would have less an opinion of the classics if they had done LE and pro versions.

    MM Pro would have no trolls, a non moving castle, and no dragon toy.
    ToM Pro would be without the tiger saw or the trap door. Also, no levitation mode.
    TZ with no upper playfield and magnets.

    I doubt those would be high on people's list too.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    DrStarkweather said:

    Maybe people would have less an opinion of the classics if they had done LE and pro versions.
    MM Pro would have no trolls, a non moving castle, and no dragon toy.
    ToM Pro would be without the tiger saw or the trap door. Also, no levitation mode.
    TZ with no upper playfield and magnets.
    I doubt those would be high on people's list too.

    Time to go back to making one fully featured model, with a special edition like TAF gold maybe?


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    Shapeshifter said:

    Time to go back to making one fully featured model, with a special edition like TAF gold maybe?

    Thats what I personally would prefer. But I'v never actually bought a NIB and the prices are so high now that I probably wont in the foreseeable future.

    Guess I'm not who Stern is selling to and they wouldn't care about my opinion.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Most of the beloved pinball games by Williams are just made of crap.

    How many broken boulders do you see on every WH2O? They are made of the thinnest plastic in the world!

    How many broken dragon wings do you see on MM? Again just crap.

    How many broken spiral ramps do you see on games like Comet? The plastic is maybe 1mm thick. I doubt you could make it any thinner if you tried.


    system11

    Pinball master
    2,152,950 9
    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Let's not forget burned out connectors, just .. everywhere. Gottlieb never had that problem.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    To each their own when it comes to pinball I love all the brands


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    davewth said:

    i have a few of their games in my top 10 or 15 but i sincerely wonder what some of these machines will look like after 20 years of abuse. I've seen some sterns that were routed for 3 years that look worse than some williams after 15. As far as gameplay goes, they rank just a notch below my favorite 5 or so williams/bally games.

    This is my main concern. The main reason I sold my IM was due to the fact I just didn't see it holding up over the long haul. There is a IM on location local out here and the playfield is sooo bad around the magnet that the wood has actually sunk in causing the ball to launch all over the place.

    I like many of the new designs and rules for the newer Sterns but it's the quality at which they are made that has caused me to look in a different direction when picking up new pins for my collection.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    docscott said:

    but am I off base when I observe that it seems no matter what the newer Sterns might do, they won't get a fair shake?

    Some of it has to with the cost of the newer Sterns. They compare 2010 dollars to what the WMS sold for 15 years ago, losing sight of the fact if WMS were still in business today they would cost as much, if not more, today. Some of it is anger over WMS being out of the pin business while Stern is still around. Some of it has to do with Gary Stern himself, kinda of a love 'em or hate 'em sort of guy.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    vid1900 said:

    Most of the beloved pinball games by Williams are just made of crap.
    How many broken boulders do you see on every WH2O? They are made of the thinnest plastic in the world!

    Yes, but think about how much it costs to produce those very detailed boulders especially when the entire game is covered in them. You will NEVER see a Stern pin with that much detail and effort put into the surroundings alone. So of course Williams is going to have to save some money by using thinner plastic is they're making games with so much attention to detail. It all balances out, and even though I do love some Stern games such as Monopoly, Ripley's, and TSPP, the williams games just have so much more effort and attention to detail.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    I have Transformers LE Decepticon. It has some small issues. But let's face it. a pinball machine is a very complex mechanical beast that has to be put together quickly. The machine and design is simply awesome and is in the top 10 machines of all time. Would you rather Gary Stern manufactured toilet paper dispensers?


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    ozno said:

    Would you rather Gary Stern manufactured toilet paper dispensers?

    I believe the Stern Haters would rather Gary Stern produced fully featured machines as opposed to the Pro/LE racket they have going on right now.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    C'mon guys!! Stern has made some nice machines over the years - SM, LOTR, TRON, and now
    TF-LE. Sure, everything has been made a little cheaper, but that has been applied to everything that you buy now. However, for the fun factor, these machines easily rival MB, TZ, ATF, and other
    Williams/Bally models. I think that the old collectors are a bit reluctant to take on the new Stern
    titles and have a neg. attitude toward the company from the beginning.

    But anyone who has played the newer machines, especially the TF-LE, can easily concur that they are fast and blast to play compared to most of the older machines (snobby collector values aside).
    I am so thankful that Stern is producing machines and we have a viable option instead of trying to break the bank to get the top ten classics.

    p


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    perryd said:

    However, for the fun factor, these machines easily rival MB, TZ, ATF, and other Williams/Bally models.

    I have most certainly played many Sterns, and as I said before, there are some that I like.

    However, I couldn't agree LESS with the quoted statement.


    Atomicboy

    Pinball guru
    5,483,250 2
    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    system11 said:

    Let's not forget burned out connectors, just .. everywhere. Gottlieb never had that problem

    Come on... GI connectors yes, but sys1 and sys80s need to be fully repinned for reliability more or less - they easily have the worst connectors issues.

    B/W made machines in a pinball hayday. Stern has been making machines in a time where it's remarkable that they have even been able to survive. They have both made winners and losers.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    Atomicboy said:

    system11 said:Let's not forget burned out connectors, just .. everywhere. Gottlieb never had that problem
    Come on... GI connectors yes, but sys1 and sys80s need to be fully repinned for reliability more or less - they easily have the worst connectors issues.
    B/W made machines in a pinball hayday. Stern has been making machines in a time where it's remarkable that they have even been able to survive. They have both made winners and losers.

    Systems 1's are pushing 30-40 years old at this point. How will pins from the 90's hold up at that point?


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    Whridlsoncestood said:

    Atomicboy said:system11 said:Let's not forget burned out connectors, just .. everywhere. Gottlieb never had that problem
    Come on... GI connectors yes, but sys1 and sys80s need to be fully repinned for reliability more or less - they easily have the worst connectors issues.
    B/W made machines in a pinball hayday. Stern has been making machines in a time where it's remarkable that they have even been able to survive. They have both made winners and losers.
    Systems 1's are pushing 30-40 years old at this point. How will pins from the 90's hold up at that point?

    Nobody can't see into the future for you. That question is meaningless. Besides, I have a good feeling the 90s Wms/Bally machines will hold up well.


    system11

    Pinball master
    2,152,950 9
    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    I was referring to System 3 really, which is the comparison for WPC era. I think Gottlieb were the best built machines of the time by far - especially electrically.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    ryanleblanc said:

    vid1900 said:Most of the beloved pinball games by Williams are just made of crap.
    How many broken boulders do you see on every WH2O? They are made of the thinnest plastic in the world!
    -
    Yes, but think about how much it costs to produce those very detailed boulders especially when the entire game is covered in them.

    Those boulders are vacuum formed - there is no cheaper way to mold plastic. You can do it at home (as many do to replicate their broken ones, but using thicker plastic).

    They are as thin and as crappy as Williams could possibly get away with. Even on unbroken spots, you can see that the plastic is truly paper thin.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    I played Iron Man the other day, and it was really fun. I would love to have a newer stern in my collection. Just can't touch that price tag right now. Today i played TSPP, World Porker and WoF and i enjoyed them all once i got the rules and acheviements down.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    mojozone said:

    Today i played TSPP, World Porker

    I bet World Porker would be good with applesauce!


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    I think Gary Stern and company are doing a great job. I agree that the materials used in the modern Stern pins don't seem as durable/quality as some of the older pins, but Stern has to cut expenses somewhere and the difference between an "A" and an "A+" quality is trivial at best. Having said that, the concept, dynamics, art, ball flow, fidelity to the theme, overall appearance, and of course cost are exactly what the pinball community needs and wants. Additionally, their customer support is second to none. Gary Stern has taken some financial risks in keeping the pinball community alive and actually growing. We should all support Stern as we continue to save our beloved dream from extinction.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    vid1900 said:

    Those boulders are vacuum formed - there is no cheaper way to mold plastic. You can do it at home (as many do to replicate their broken ones, but using thicker plastic).
    They are as thin and as crappy as Williams could possibly get away with. Even on unbroken spots, you can see that the plastic is truly paper thin.

    I was not referring to methods of manufacture, i was referring to the sheer number of large decorative plastics.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    I bet World Porker would be good with applesauce!


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    I think its because STERN makes pins that are licensed ONLY, not its own games like MB, MM, TOTAN, AFM, WH20, and etc and can make them look and play fantasy. Dont get me wrong, I do want a TSPP, BTDK, SM, or IM.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    When I first played IM, after hearing all the negativity, I wondered what I was missing. I'd been told it was bad, typical Stern, etc. but when I played it I liked it a heck of a lot. I agree, more money, but have you compared what a car costs now compared to twenty years ago?


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    docscott said:

    but when I played it I liked it a heck of a lot.

    I said the same thing doc- and after playing it a bit more I had to own one! The PF wear mentioned by Smassa around the magnets are an easy preventative "fix", with the 'Pinball Pal' "Stealth protectors". I do think Stern dropped the ball by not creating an LE of IM, but the PRO version still kicks enough ass on it's own!!! Plus it is roughly $2000 less than a new "LE". Which in my hands, gives me ample cause to go all out on making it better than a stock LE.
    Just my two tokens though...

    What is up KwiKi on that "too easy" nonsense anyway?
    Was it set at -2 degrees?!?
    IM is one of the hardest pins I have ever come across... PERIOD.
    Even Bowen has to throw in two death saves in the vid!


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    That's why I didn't like IM today NP........broke me down and made me cry! I like em easy....


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    iceman44 said:

    I like em easy....

    Like your, !
    Oh wait- TOO easy!!!


    Man, how many times am I going to use this pic...


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    NimblePin said:

    The PF wear mentioned by Smassa around the magnets are an easy preventative "fix", with the 'Pinball Pal' "Stealth protectors".

    I'm not sure even those will truely protect it good enough over the long haul. My Advice to any IM owner is to Pick up another Playfield & send it off to HEP or any of the other Clearcoat specialist out there & have them put a proper clearcoat on it.

    I used to have my IM right next to SM & looking at the clear on my 07' Spidey its soooo much better then what Stern put on IM. Looks like they gave it a once over & that was it.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    smassa said:

    I'm not sure even those will truely protect it good enough over the long haul.

    I did buy FOUR sets smassa!


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    NimblePin said:

    smassa said:I'm not sure even those will truely protect it good enough over the long haul.
    I did buy FOUR sets smassa!

    Did you put them one on top of the other???


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    smassa said:

    NimblePin said:smassa said:I'm not sure even those will truely protect it good enough over the long haul.
    I did buy FOUR sets smassa!
    Did you put them one on top of the other???

    I agree IM was lesser quality, but it gave me a lot less maintenance headaches than any of the older machines I own. Long term, it will probably need care. Short term, plug and play and never look back, whereas on a regular basis I have to replace or fix things on the classics. Truthfully, the constant upkeep gets old when I want to play. Nothing worse than turning on one of the classics to show a friend and frowning cause lights or boards or plastics or some such is defunct.


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #
    Donnyman said:

    I think its because STERN makes pins that are licensed ONLY, not its own games like MB, MM, TOTAN, AFM, WH20, and etc and can make them look and play fantasy. Dont get me wrong, I do want a TSPP, BTDK, SM, or IM.

    +1...........This alone is why Stern gets so much $hit. If they want to stop being trashed, they need to feel comfortable doing games that are outside of movie arena. Not only do most of these movies suck, because of license BS, they have no freedom to be creative, they are just a glorified advertisement for the movie. GARY, IF YOU ARE READING THIS, I WANT VAMPIRELLA!!!


    2 years, 3 months ago
    #

    Okay, so I have a question for you guys. Let's say Stern used real artwork, not photoshop, more games, thicker plastics, more clear coat on the pf, better quality parts in every aspect, and it raised the game price by two k. Would you rather have cheaper materials and prices or more quality materials and correspondingly more expensive list prices? You can't get all the quality you want and low prices. It is one or the other. Ready for a top notch pin coming out of the shoot at nine k?



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