(Topic ID: 249870)

Continued playfield issues with JJP and Stern

By f3honda4me

6 months ago

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#1065 5 months ago

I don't have the skill to do a swap, or the money to pay for a swap to be done, unless I cancel my Stern purchases I already have mapped out over the next year or 2. But maybe this is the future of NIB and l just need to be content not buying them anymore. Either way it's not good for me, the hobby, the distributor, or the manufacturer. Might be good for people who install playfields for money...I'd say Mirco needs to make it right, but how can you trust their product going forward?
I there going to be class action suit do you think?

#1066 5 months ago

I'm afraid to buy any mods or upgrades now. I guess that's on hold. This is going to have ripple effect...

1 week later
#1512 5 months ago

What was being done differently in the 90's?

Adam's Family sold 20,000 pins for example, so I question if production speed is the issue.

My SS was routed and definitely took a beating but the playfield is immaculate...maybe they need to go back to mylar?
Or use that whole playfield protector overlay thing?

I was going to buy a DP and JP. I don't know what to do now...

#1513 5 months ago

Another thought...can we get replacement playfields and clearcoat them ourselves?

#1514 5 months ago

Anybody considering a class action lawsuit?

#1527 5 months ago

My friend was promised a Batman 66 playfield, it's going to happen but his wait for it is 9 months already

Quoted from Whysnow:

honestly, it took probably 5 months of monthly pictures, calls, and emails. They have said they would replace, but that was over 6 weeks back and still no replacement has shown up.
If customers want this to be fixed then I suggest daily polite calls to both your distributor and Stern directly. Let them know you are not satisfied with the product and wont be buying more until they properly resolve this for you. Follow up with an email each day to document the phone call and give more photos.
They seem to have some threshold of "acceptable" which is far beyond what pretty much any customer deems acceptable for a NIB game. After the most recent frustration of being strung along for months, then being told they would replace, and still no replacement has arrived; I think their threshold is that you have to show blistering/ bunching in multiple areas that cant be hidden with a metal washer and show cracking/lifting of art.

#1528 5 months ago
Quoted from o-din:

I was talking about that with a buddy the other day.
We decided we will go play them wherever they are, but let the owners of them deal with the crappy playfields and expensive node boards.
We prefer to lead stress free lives. Slows the aging process.

Used pins have issues too, but Playfields are a critical part and shouldn't be crapping out new

#1539 5 months ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

I don't see how ANY playfield, no matter what it's painted with, is going to withstand that type of damage from a misinstalled or misdesigned ballguide. That damage those ballguides caused, and I agree its ugly, would happen on ANY playfield when a metal edge ball guide is torgued down that hard. They needed to install a washer at those ball guide rods to avoid that, to raise that metal edge so that it no longer digs into the playfield.
Incorrectly installed ball guides causing damage to playfields has been going on since they started being used. While I 100% agree Stern & JJP have had some serious artwork and clearcoat issues, one could have used the most expensive clearcoat/paint in the world and not prevented a ballguide doing damage like that when it's misinstalled.

I've adjusted lane guides on pins and there was no wear, I'm not quite sure what misinstalled or misdesigned would mean other than the ball doesn't go where you want it to?

The issue is not just with lane guides either on these pins.

I just removed my very well routed SS apron to install a shooter lane Cliffy. There was a little wear at one spot under the front edge, but it was under the edge completely. Nothing coming off in the surrounding area. I've owned maybe 25 used pins (and most routed player's condition) and I've never seen any artwork issues around lane guides even those that needed adjustment as they had moved over time. No lost artwork around posts either. This SS had a lot of broken stuff (including a slightly bent post at the crate), obviously tons of plays, yet an immaculate playfield, even where not mylared.
I've seen a lttle wear at ramp flaps on a rare occasion, but no surrounding art breaking off.

And I am talking pins that are decades old. The damage issue discussed is happening at my friend's location in as little as one week (Wonka one week, but with Sterns too) and it's not due to something installed slightly off, or loose, or designed wrong...just manufactures sending out crap and knowing they are (because it's obvious by a simple visual inspection when it's not right).

These are dark times for purchasing JJP and Stern pins. My guess is even those that do not show obvious defects out of the box will probably wear out too soon.

I guess it's up to people if going forward they want to risk it, but I need to tell my distributor and Stern I'm not buying the 2 NIB Stern pins I had budged for the next year. I don't know what to do, I'm not currently interested in any other pins (not Stern) currently out there. Maybe I'll just wait for positive change, just be happy with what I have and play other people's self-distructing pins.

#1542 5 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Well I was going to wait a year or 2 till the code was done anyway.

Well "wait until issues are resolved" didn't work out for the IM Premium I just got.

#1549 5 months ago
Quoted from o-din:

So at what point were these issues actually "resolved"?

Let me rephase that. Because IM was released so long ago, I figured that code and mechanical / electrical etc... bugs were all worked out as is hopefully / normally (?) the case with a pin after it's been inproduction for sometime. Even playfield issues (for example I'm glad there is a later model protector - stainless steel - on the playfield behind the jump ramp). But obviously I've been blindsided by this clearcoat/artwork/wood fiasco.

As for resolution, I have no info other than some people say they are getting replacement playfields at a discount or free, and that my friend's free one has not shipped in 9 months.

But unpopulated playfields don't work well at all for me for a variety of reasons in a practical or financial manner.

Anyways, sorry for my confusing text

1 month later
#2950 3 months ago

Is there some sort of support ticket process I should use in regards to my Stern playfield to get "the ball rolling"?

What have folks who have had success done?

I've got pooling in a few places on my Iron Maiden Premium, but no chipping as of yet (I typically don't play a lot at home).
I'm worried as I have one quite large pool up front, and I think a washer to cover it might interfere with balls due to the size.
It's also where the artwork is intricate, and thus probably impossible to do a paint touch up if it did chip there.

Advice appreciated



2 months later
#4379 26 days ago

Hopefully that different method of securing the posts holds up to the test of time.
I can’t recall...how did Bally/Williams do it?
For some reason I was thinking that was the way it has been done for quite some time.

But changing the artwork to camouflage chipping near posts is not a very good solution.
It's not a solution to the clearcoat deficiency.
What if the chipping extends beyond the newer artwork boundaries?

And what about chipping in other areas such as shooter lanes?
I've seen pictures of that.
I don't quite remember if I've seen pictures of it near lane guides or ramp flaps...anybody?

But my concern it if the chipping occurs at lane guides due to balls being ejected (and from what I've seen extends a good distance away from the impact area) then I would not think it unreasonable that over time there will be various areas that will also eventually chip due to repeated smaller impacts.
Some of the WOZ machines that had this sort of issue chipped around the pop bumpers and infront of the drop target and onto an insert that had artwork extending onto it (pretty much impossible to touch up).
If repeated impacts not near posts can cause chipping (such as shooter lanes), I would suspect that it's possible for air balls that land in the same areas to do the same; chip sooner rather than wear later.

That being said I'm not buying new pins. I don't want to take the gamble and nobody should have to.

I can't think of any complicated products (think of Gary Stern's speeches about how a pinball machine is equivalent to a car in man hours, number of parts, etc..) where a major defect is expected to be fixed by the customer themself (as in playfield swap)...or even a not so major one on simpler consumer devices.
I've had all categories of products where items were to be returned to a local store, or taken to a repair shop, or a tech came out; and all for free. The issues at hand were not the customer's fault.
Was there any disclaimer that you were buying these machines at your own risk? Or that you were expected to do your own playfield swap should they send you a bad one (and mostlikely noticed the item was not up to QA standards, but sent it out anyways?).
The whole thing stinks.
People at the first sign of trouble should return these machines, or file a paypal claim, or reverse their credit card payments.
Filing complaints with the bureau of consumer affairs might not be a bad idea either.
People have had to go through all kinds of hell to get anything out of Stern, and as it sounds JJP too?
Or get stuck in a loop being told to take it up with your distributer who then tells you to take it up with the manufacturer and so on.

I have a friend and his distributor who were told by Stern they were getting a replacement Batman 66 playfield and its probably been a year now (and yes he checks in every so often). I don't think he's ever going to get that playfield.

If you do decide to get a recent title, you might want to do what I did on my last (as in no more NIB or new Sterns), and find a slightly used one that shows no sign of trouble.

I certainly would never buy a pin with signs of trouble, and no...somebody throwing in an extra playfield (which might also prove to be a problem anyways) would not sway me. I not going to go though the hassle of installing a playfield as I can buy a pin that doesn't need it.
Given a choice my best bet is a legacy pin, known good used newer one, or perhaps one of those Planetary / Chicago Gaming remakes or another company that has not had issues.

But if somebody choses differently / makes an informed decision knowing the risks I'm good with that.
Everybody is entitled to do as they wish.

Hopefully things do workout will for those who have been blindsided (I'm still crossing my fingers on my IM Premium. Pooling but no chipping...very low plays however, so if it does happen it will be quite sometime and then I'm just screwed).

It will be interesting to see if the Deeproot pins workout.

I wish good luck for those who are still struggling.


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