(Topic ID: 249870)

Continued playfield issues with JJP and Stern

By f3honda4me

59 days ago

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#4 59 days ago

Sounds like this issue is occurring only on Mirco produced playfields which JJP uses exclusively and Stern uses for some of their playfields. That may be why the issue isn't occurring as often on Stern games since they use other playfield manufacturers.

In regards to timing for when the issue began my best best guess is late summer 2018 when Pirates started to ship. Dialed In's produced prior to Pirates used Mirco playfields but didn't have clear pooling around posts or post chipping. Something changed with Mirco playfields during the summer of 2018 and from what I can tell they are still being made the same way.

Overall this issue is unacceptable and the last thing owners of a NIB pin should have to worry about while paying record high prices is playfield quality. Want to charge top dollar for these games? Ok but then offer top quality.

#8 59 days ago
Quoted from f3honda4me:

GOTG I think pre-dates POTC. I would love to know if Mirco was in fact used for the stern pins having the issue.

GOTG was announced in October of 2017 but is still being made. The picture of the GOTG with this issue was likely made sometime between summer 2018 and now. That's assuming the playfield in the pic was made by Mirco.

#10 59 days ago
Quoted from MikeS:

I have a Maiden Pro built in early April 2018 which has some pooling around posts, so it was happening before Summer.

Good to know. If this issue occurs on Stern games it seems limited to pooling versus chipping that is occurring on some JJP games. Has anyone seen a Stern game with post chipping made in the past two years?

#15 59 days ago
Quoted from Chicoman:

Rumor has it that JJP playfields are made in China from what I've heard recently although they do use Microplayfields too. Maybe their CE models use Microplayfields and then China for the other models.

What?! First I've heard of this. Can anyone else confirm?

#250 55 days ago

I was considering either a Wonka or JP premium but don't want to deal with playfield headaches for $6k - $10k. Picked up a nice Mata Hari today with a CPR playfield instead, will use the difference to go on a vacation. Get your act together Stern and JJP.

No chipping or pooling! Lol
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#266 55 days ago
Quoted from tbutler6:

From JP owners club...[quoted image]

Wow I thought I read a comment from Mirco that they haven't made playfields for Stern? Not sure how old that post is. Maybe the problem is the choice of clear being used between multiple playfield manufacturers?

#339 54 days ago

Not surprised by Sterns response (no widespread issues). I remember when I called them about the cabinet separating issue and was told "theres no problem, sometimes a cabinet doesn't get enough glue"...

#346 54 days ago

Imagine if this issue is occurring due to companies asking playfield manufactueres to make playfields cheaper by using a cheaper product? In the TWIP podcast that sure sounds like a possibility. That would be complete BS with how much we are paying today for pins! Charging $6k - $12.5k and you are going to save money on the clear coat process? Again, BS!

#366 54 days ago
Quoted from f3honda4me:

HEP mentioned that PFs with this issue are likely going to have much bigger problems down the road. Whether it is time or plays we don’t know, but the bubbling/chipping is indicative of a larger problem that affects the entire playfield. There are playfields that had this issue and appear to be deteriorating or having the issue spread rather quickly. Point being, the long term is affected in some way, in varying degrees depending on how bad your specific PF is affected. Covering it up now with a washer is just hiding the problem for now. Eventually, it will get worse.

Thankfully there's not been one example though of the issue spreading beyond posts. Even with on location games with thousands of plays the wear isn't going beyond the sling posts. I doubt one day clear will just start chipping randomly in the middle of the playfield. The areas that have chipped are due to the pressure being applied by posts, primarily sling posts, and the slight movement around sling posts caused by the sling solenoid activating. Owners that have covered up the chipping with rubber washers haven't had an issue.

Hell, remember how some very early WOZ's (March - May of 2013) had chipping issues? Part of that was due to no mylar being applied in certain areas but it was also playfield quality related. Wear on those games never spread to the general open playfield. I recall seeing an on location WOZ with the issue, game must have had a crazy high number of plays but the wear didn't spread beyond the reported areas.

#423 53 days ago

My final guess why this is happening. Both Stern and JJP tried to get playfield costs lower and one way of doing so is to save money on the clear process. Mirco, or whoever doesn't just suddenly lose the ability to make quality playfields after doing so without issue for years. This cost savings theory was introduced on the TWIP podcast and honestly it doesn't surprise me one bit.

If true both manufacturers have some nerve to charge record high NIB prices and then cut playfield quality of all things. Based on the TWIP discussion it sounds like the playfield creation process (the wood, applying artwork / clear, prep, etc) is the most costly item in a pinball machine so it's a decent guess to think companies would try to lower costs in that area. As a pinball company you just don't pull something like that as it would be a pure greed move on top of regularly raising prices.

Hope I'm wrong.

#428 53 days ago
Quoted from Dr-pin:

This is just speculation. I think it's an automation problem.
They are spraying on the playfields and need the solution sprayable thru nozzles. Hence they want a thinner fluid.
It's like concrete, the more water you mix in, the easier distribution, however it will not be strong enough.

It could be that too. This problem has been occurring for over a year based on build dates being reported. This is just a guess but I would think Mirco or other playfield manufacturers would have corrected the problem long ago if it was a spray issue. Stern and JJP wanting to lower playfield costs is a possibility as the problem hasn't been fixed which would make sense if they haven't told their playfield manufacturers to go back to the more expensive method of clearing a playfield.

This issue reminds me of the Stern cabinet separating debacle from a couple years back. All of a sudden out of nowhere there were reports of Stern cabinets separating. I doubt the cabinet makers suddenly lost the ability to make a quality cabinet. It's entirely possible Stern wanted cabinets made cheaper by using a cheaper material or cheaper bonding agent. If they did it backfired and quietly went back to the old method.

#431 53 days ago
Quoted from tpir:

You usually are FWIW

What's your problem? One day you are nice and the next day you are insulting someone and acting like a troll. Everyone is just speculating and guessing here. I see you still have some beef from our debate about the state of Ghostbusters code after waiting nearly 3 years. The wait sucks, the code isn't complete, time to move on

#434 53 days ago
Quoted from BMore-Pinball:

I disagree - I don't think it was an attempt to lower costs - if you have any evidence I will revoke my comments
I think it has something to do with the EPA forcing companies to stop using proven products they have for years
and the new products are either inferior and/or not being used/mixed/cured correctly

On the TWIP podcast one of the guys was talking about how some of the new clear products, including water based products, are just as durable compared to products used in the past. They were guessing it could be an issue with the clear mixture, or the playfields purposely being made cheaper.

Quoted from TaylorVA:

What if....!(total speculation on my part)!......
1......the clear and ink are affecting one another, Ink isn't fully cured or incompatible with the clear and retards it from curing.
2......once cured the clear is too brittle and creates cavities under it as it recovers from compression, causing the clear and ink to separate from the substrate.
I feel like we keep looking at the clear as the culprit, but it may not be that simple. I keep going back to the fact the ink is coming up with the clear under post, the ink has obviously melded with clear, almost melted into into it.

Yeah good points, it's likely only the playfield manufacturers know. Something changed with the playfield creation process and I bet they know what that change was and when it occurred.

#470 52 days ago

It's good Stern is including washers on some or all of the newest JP games but that is also just an admission to a playfield issue that they are saying doesn't exist...

#495 52 days ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

I actually got a disc for WOZ and Hobbit....after that they stopped (at least on my end) + their pretty useless since none of my computers use disc drives......yes they are beautiful, but for $9500 its not worth paying an additional $100 for the manual....the best thing JJP does is put the manual on the display...I've found that to be very useful

The printed JJP manuals are done so well that I find them to almost be like coffee table books. It would cost more then $100 to go to a Kinko's and print the manual on the same paper and at the same quality. The manual on the LCD is great, that is until you have the playfield lifted lol.

#578 51 days ago
Quoted from SpookyCharlie:

The chipping will occur fairly fast if it's going to happen... but it should not progress. If the neoprene washers are in there they will absorb the vibrations and prevent future wear.
Wish it had never happened... glad we solved it and appreciate the patience while we did our best to make it right.

Glad to hear that Spooky resolved this! Can you please share any details regarding the root cause of chipping around sling posts and what was done to resolve it?

#842 46 days ago
Quoted from Mike_J:

Is anyone moving forward with their 8K-12K JJP purchase?
Does the financial hit that you are going to take should you decide to sell the game bother you much?

How about moving forward with a Stern JP or any Stern purchase as well for $6k - $9k? Stern games seems just as susceptible to this issue. A variety of Stern titles made over the past 2 years have had the issue as reported as well.

#844 46 days ago
Quoted from PokerJake:

I'm keeping my JP Prem order, doesn't affect gameplay at all. Also I trust Stern to take care of any issues if they were to rise. JJP on the other hand...

Stern is not going to replace the hundreds of playfields out there with pooling, if they do it will amazing but what will most likely occur is that some level of pooling will be deemed acceptable. I can see Stern offering a replacement for severe playfield defects but it will be on a case by case basis with a multitude of claim denials along the way. A Stern purchase at this time is still playing the playfield quality lottery, just as it is with JJP.

#852 46 days ago
Quoted from PokerJake:

Agreed, but just "pooling" isn't an issue. Chipping yes.

Pooling is a sign of the issue and it can lead to chipping in some cases. Seems like a majority of people in this JP for sale thread are saying that pooling is an issue / defect and a game shouldn't be described as "flawless" with it. The clear coat pooling we are seeing now around posts, especially sling posts, wasn't occuring a couple years back so something changed with the way playfields are now being made.


#859 46 days ago
Quoted from razorsedge:

I was listening to it just feeling like something was totally off... out of touch with facts, can't work out if it is due to ignorance, bias, or some other directive. Way too much inaccurate information and misguided analysis. Curious that the week before was an episode devoted entirely to JP2....

That's very unfortunate to hear, by showing a biased towards Stern it also shows a lack of integrity. Theres no way they missed all of the reports of the same issue occurring on Stern JP games.

#874 45 days ago

If I was JJP I would tell Mirco that playfields should be made exactly how Hobbit playfields were made. Playfields on The Hobbit are the best quality Mirco has ever put out in my opinion. Dimpling is low (still happens but not as severe as we see today), and the playfield doesn't appear to wear at all as an HUO owner. Hell, I saw a heavily routed operated Hobbit without Cliffy's and the playfield still looked great.

What's sad is those Hobbit playfields were made at a time when JJP nearly went out of business and before the new owners took over. JJP playfield quality, and general quality control, has gone down since the WOZ and Hobbit days yet prices have gone way up!

#944 43 days ago

Jack speaking on a pinball podcast this week about playfield issues and then offering free replacement playfields to Pirates owners with chipping, meanwhile at Stern...

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#984 43 days ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

AND dont forget this either, just because you dont notice a pooling and/or chipping playfield for a year doesn't mean that it wasnt defective from the factory because it in fact WAS defective on day one!

All playfields are not affected by this issue. There's multiple reports of JJP Pirates and Wonka playfields that don't have the pooling or chipping issue.

#986 43 days ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

Most are though. If you don’t believe me get out of the house and go visit your local barcades. This IS a widespread issue Panzer believe me.

Yeah I know a lot of games are affected but thankfully it's not all. I have a Pirates LE, built early Feb, with no pooling or chipping. Some playfield batches were affected, others were not. Have heard similar from other owners. My game had plastic washers installed from the factory under the sling posts. Seems like most Pirates sling posts are not smooth on the bottom and have a protruding edge, see pic below. I put some mylar squares down over the post holes just incase. Game is my basement where a dehumidifier runs 24/7, not sure if that helped or not.

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Example of sling posts installed on Pirates, poor QC. Without washers underneath these things would dig right into any playfield if tightened down enough.

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Example of sling post digging into plastic factory washer

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#988 43 days ago
Quoted from MrBally:

I've completed several swaps of Eight Ball Deluxe and Centaur playfields. 20-22 hours each including troubleshooting and adjustments for me.

That's really good. Think maybe 50 hours then for a Pirates due to the amount of parts on the game?

#991 43 days ago
Quoted from Darscot:

Its not a restore, 50 hours seems very excessive to me, its still just a pinball machine and its not like there should be a lot of problems or adjustments required. I wonder how many hours it takes a company to assemble a machine.

Yeah, it's going to vary person to person. People doing the WOZ 2.0 board swaps said the entire process took 12 hours, and that's just light boards.

Quoted from LukyDuck:

Heck...if it takes MrBally 20 hours and Panzer 50 I am looking at 100!
And what would I do with all of the extra parts when I am done?

Lol, probably 100 hours for me since I've been a STTNG playfield swap for what seems like forever.

#1222 39 days ago
Quoted from mnpinball:

Remember when Bat66 came out, there was a big Stern expo party, pizza party and was supposed to be a monkey appearance but ended up dying ? Joe Kaminkow was giving out Batman hats, Gomez got a new car. Don’t think for a minute that your money was foolishly wasted it was used to cover the Ghostbusters populated playfield program.
Now here we are on the verge and the cusp of the brand new fully featured fully loaded super LE of Elvira.
It’s like déjà vu all over again.
The customer will pay for it one way or another, just like any other warranty program it’s built into the price of the game.

Lol yeah.

Maybe for playfield replacements due to chipping / pooling Stern will require a video application where applicants must state why they are worthy of a new playfield...

#1257 38 days ago
Quoted from C_Presley:

Called my distributor yesterday when he wanted final payment for jp2 LE. I asked him his position and what he’s heard. Stern is STILL saying 7 or 8 documented cases.....

Well he has prepaid for a bunch of LE's and needs to sell them...just saying. There's at least 7-8 documented cases of the issue in this thread alone.

#1259 38 days ago
Quoted from C_Presley:

Oh I know, just letting you guys know this is still being said.

Yeah. It wouldn't surprise me if Stern said theres only 7-8 documented cases. When I called them a few years back to ask if cabinet separating issues had been resolved (as I wanted to buy a NIB game) I was told "there's no cabinet issues, some simply didn't get enough glue". Still, that's a better response then Stern telling us "there are no widespread playfield issues".

#1280 38 days ago
Quoted from venom112:

The playfield problems have to be wider spread than what is being said. The LE’s should be going out to buyers by now and they aren’t. This looks like more delays just like they had with Ghostbusters. Hopefully Stern can fix this quickly because the last time this happened it was months before it was fixed.

The funny thing is that every new game that Stern installs those large metal washers on is an admission from them that the game may suffer from pooling / chipping despite their "there's no widespread playfield issues" line.

#1282 38 days ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

What about JJP? You love to Stern bash but you never say much about JJP seems like.

I've been hammering them in the playfield threads as well.

JJP has at least had an employee high up in the company, Jack, publically speak about the issue and personally call owners with severe chipping to offer a refund a replacement playfield and / or send one out for free. Stern however has only said "there's no widespread playfield issues". As of now JJP is handling this issue better then Stern but it doesn't really matter if JJP doesn't permanently correct the problem going forward. Also, it's still BS to expect customers to perform a playfield swap after spending $7.5k - $12.5k on a NIB pin.
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#1314 37 days ago
Quoted from kermit24:

I have not heard of Stern sending blank playfields to resolve a playfield issue, only populated ones. With Ghostbusters, it took a long time for them to get the playfield swap program in place and start sending them out. Perhaps it will take some time to get this ramped up, but I am confident Stern will take care of many customers. I am sure some will still not be happy, because in the past they have swapped the bad ones (crossing some sort of threshold) and not swapped some they deem to be minor.

In the case of clear pooling / chipping I can see Stern sending out populated playfields for severe chipping but not for pooling since it seems to exist in some capacity on a large number of Stern pins over multiple titles made within the past several years.

#1316 37 days ago
Quoted from Trothy:

So finally having pulled the trigger on my first machine a BNIB IMDN premium a couple of months back, I have noticed this on the orbit around the back behind the centre ramp. It appears to be some kind of blistering. I take it this isn't normal?
Sorry about picture quality. Awkward angle to get a good shot.[quoted image]

Correcting my previous post, seems to just be mylar bubbling as others below said. I can see the edge of the mylar piece near the post.

#1416 35 days ago
Quoted from shovelhed:

So Jack reponds by sending out unpopulated playfields and Stern purposely leaks photos of Elvira to take the heat off of them. Well played by both to keep f...ing there customers.

Jack's response sounds better then "hey we aren't going to admit there are playfield problems, send us $9k for our next LE" lol.

#1419 35 days ago
Quoted from cooked71:

Can’t see what’s going on there. Any idea whether they’ve fixed the post in front of the upper flipper?

It looks like theres now a small area without artwork around each star post that didn't exist on early pros?

#1458 33 days ago
Quoted from Raegor:

The no art around the post is not anything new, the older Sterns were like that. At some point they made the playfield full art and started drilling through it and that has been the problem.

Yeah. I'm all for no artwork around posts going forward, less headaches to deal with later on. However, it's a bummer to lose artwork around posts, scoops, and saucers but I guess it's better then chipping / pooling. Still a shame that the art adhesion / clear issue isn't being resolved as that is the root issue.

#1470 32 days ago
Quoted from cooked71:

I just received my Jurassic Park LE with the new Playfield fixes. Very happy. Think it’s goung to last forever.[quoted image]


Look at the flow! This is going to be the fastest game ever. Buttery smooth orbits too. I'm so glad Stern doesn't overload their games which only slows them down.

#1741 27 days ago

Another big problem with Stern not addressing the playfield issue is that it leaves Elvira buyers wondering "Will my game have playfield issues"? Do Elvira LE buyers just bank on Elvira Premiums having playfield problems that are resolved by the time LE's ship? Do Elvira premium owners then think "Guess I'm a guinea pig, hope my game doesn't have problems"? That sucks for buyers of any model considering.

#1798 26 days ago

I was looking at the playfields on my 4 JJP games last night to see how each handled artwork around the sling posts. Both WOZ and Hobbit don't feature artwork around the entire sling area. This changed starting with Dialed In. However, I haven't heard of pooling occuring on Dialed In games.

Why not just go back to no artwork around the sling area like on WOZ and Hobbit? Problem solved. Why did JJP and Stern (GB is same way) go away from this design in the first place? Hobbit also doesn't feature artwork on pretty much all non sling posts as well. This design should just be standard on all games to reduce playfield issues.

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#1896 24 days ago
Quoted from NeilMcRae:

I think we should be constructive and ask the question constructively and positively rather than the pinside torch and fork brigade.
"We notice some ongoing questions with playfield curing, what can you tell us about it? and what help can pinheads give you to solve the problem and what can pinheads do to look after their games to the best effect?"
I want to get a response from Stern knowing that they won't want to admit a problem exists, if we put them on the spot we will get nothing and that would be frustrating so lets be smart about it.

"Well, there are no widespread playfield issues. We've only had 6-8 reports of playfield problems. Don't hesitate to buy a Stern game. If you have a problem contact your distributor".

Could be word for word lol.

I would just flat out ask them "What is the cause of playfield clear pooling and chipping on recent Stern games"?

1 week later
#2164 17 days ago

Has JJP made and shipped any new Wonka SE's and LE's since Jack came out and spoke about the playfield issues?

#2177 16 days ago

Routed Game of Thrones premium, chipping was present around most of the sling posts.

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