(Topic ID: 237367)

CPR playfield preorders are meaningless


By tomdrum

54 days ago



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#51 54 days ago

You have to collect some deposit or payment up front. The root of the problem is not unique to CPR. I've heard the story a hundred times before and experienced it myself. People always say one thing but their wallet says the opposite. How many times does that happen when selling a pin or anything else really? Person acts serious, emails with a thousand questions, makes plans for purchase, and then nothing. Those people are the problem.

#52 54 days ago
Quoted from WW2GURU:

In general, I dont agree with any of that. Its not complicated if you know what to do or hire someone set it up for you that knows what to do. Liability is a non issue where an agreement and disclaimer is signed before the order is made. People waited up to 2 years to get the 2015 Hellcats after leaving deposits. I followed that whole scenario very closely and even then the people that got upset near the end were small in number. I find parts of, not all of his explanation more of a rationalization where other parts show where important lessons were learned and applied. Sorry but this company needs some serious outside professional advice.

1) That just adds overhead
2) That just adds too many complications
3) If there are delays or changes in the production schedules, that just causes problems.
4) Most people don't want to put down preorder money for something and just have it sit there for years in advance.
5) You run the risk of that preorder money disappearing or getting lost in a void.
6) There is turnover in collections as games come and go over time.
7) In any hobby with collectors, popularity of items waxes and wains.

The current model of adding your name to a list works well enough for both potential buyers and CPR. Yes, sometimes it doesn't work 100% for everyone, but that's what happens in a niche market like this. These things are not mass produced--each one is essentially custom made.

Consider the lists an informal market study.

43
#53 54 days ago

Guys;

I have to jump in here as well, on four issues. The first was the Xenon PFs that we ran out of last year. The Xenon's I cut were in no way shape or form ever going to satisfy the entire interest but at the time I had the wood and inserts for a very limited number of PFs. I decided that rather than idle the CNC and layoff the guys it made more since to actually make the PFs I had materials for at the time. The rest of the material had been ordered but the lead times on our materials can be HUGE! It just made since to keep everyone employed and the machines working while new supplies were on route.

The second point I have to comment on is our wood. I absolutely believe that our wood is by FAR the best in the world. We have had many suppliers over the years and in bad times have been forced to use the same wood as the other PF manufacturer uses all the time and let me tell you that doing so is our last resort. Playfield wood over the decades has often been whatever was available to the manufacturers. Many PFs especially in the 70s and 80s PFs used three layers of thick cheap filler wood with two thin layers of maple on the faces, something you could buy at your local building supply only with thicker face veneers. For decades most of the better playfield wood came from North American Plywood near Chicago. It used sweet gum as its filler cores and .040" face veneers. But in 2008 in the downturn they liquidated their custom plywood mill and everyone was scrambling to find wood, even Stern. We then shifted to Marion Plywood from Wisconsin who made two very good orders for us before they shifted their glues to a more green product that warped like crazy. We even tried a Russian Baltic Birch that had custom maple veneers glued to it. It was expensive and unsuitable for several reasons. Finally, the current supplier for Stern contacted us and offered to make our wood. This was several years ago now and we couldn't have been happier as they work directly with us to produce the very best CUSTOM wood you can buy ANYWHERE! Their standard wood for Stern is a good one side panel with 3 layers of white ash and a 0.048" face veneers. After many consultations with their tech guys we came up with what I know is the best playfield wood in the world. We use the same basic setup as Stern, 3 layers of white ash cores then we use 4 layers of maritime hard maple BUT we increased the thickness of the two face veneers by 64% to get a nominal face thickness of 0.075". These huge and thick ONE piece veneers are crazy expensive and we always get this top grade veneer on BOTH sides of your PF. This alone added $12 to the cost of each panel vs just using a second grade veneer on the bottom like Stern does. There's nothing wrong with the way Stern does it, as they just refuse any board they want and since they are so close to the mill, the mill just picks it up with the next load and credits them. We however are a $4000 freight bill away so that won't work. We pay a lot extra to get the very best wood they can produce right off the start. You get a much nicer product and a much denser and tougher PF. This wood is 25% heavier for the same size panel as our old wood and nearly a third heavier as Baltic Birch which some other playfield manufacturers use. I would love to use cheaper wood like some others do, after all why would I pay $12.50/sqft landed when I can get birch at less than $2.00sqft? We use the best densest hardest custom wood we can get because we think its worth it and we always try to make the very best product we can.

There are other point is that we intentionally make three levels of quality. Wow, really? We always try to make perfect playfields, every single time but in the past we ALWAYS did full spot color silkscreens which meant that each and every color layer is individually vectored with trapping layers built and silk screened one color at a time, one on top of the other. 14 colors means 14 trips through the screen press. 14! Even the slightest misalignment in any single layer of the normal 12-14 color process means the final product isn't a gold anymore. Its wood, a living surface so if the ink doesn't lay down into every nook and cranny of every square mm of the grain then its not a gold. If a single piece of dust get in the screen and makes its way into the print which is very hard to prevent then its really not a gold anymore. To screen press a playfield we could never do more than about 1 color a day just due to the logistics of cleaning the ink you just used out of the screen trying to save what you can, then removing the screen and washing it with cleaner and paper towels, then once the ink is out, rinsing and then using a stripper to remove the image from the screen, then rinsing, then bleaching the screen to remove all traces of the previous image, rinsing, then drying the screen. Then you have to coat the screen with a photosensitive liquid and let that dry. Then you lay on your full size and expensive direct contact positive and expose the whole thing to a powerful UV light, then immediately wash the screen once more to expose the image which means a third drying of the screen! Then mount it and align it precisely to the previous image on the screen press, which always involves a few trial and error hits on test prints. Add in a cleaned and sharpened squeegee and print your single color...... now repeat this process for each and every color on the playfield. Any misalignment at all, even as small as 1/64"in ANY layer and you may not have a gold, any mark from handing and small dropout of ink, and deep grain that the ink didn't get to and you may not have a gold anymore. Screen printing is many many times harder to do than printing it digitally. Producing artwork for screen printing is horrendously more difficult than prepping something for a digital print. We are very lucky that we have years worth of vectored artwork that can fairly easily be converted for digital use to be used on our big flatbed but you can't go the other way. If you printed 100 PFs and have 10 that are not perfect you had no choice but to sell them, hence silvers and bronze. It could take you as long as 2 weeks to reprint those 10 PFs. Now if you are doing these on a digital printer you have eliminated ANY chance of a misalignment because its a single flat image not 12-14 images laid on top of one another, the printer is spraying, so surface imperfections are easily covered and there is no screen to get contaminated. So for screen printing, since the artwork is many times more complex in comparison and the printing method is many times more complex its no wonder that we didn't always get 100% gold. Of course if you have something go sideways on a digital print it takes but minutes to sand the ink off and clean it up and run it through the printer once again, $8 in inks costs versus basically spending two weeks trying to rescreen a few seconds. But now that we have the same tech as others we can also fairly easily reprint an error so there will be much fewer silver and bronzes in our future.

Making the right number of PFs for everyone is more art than anything else. Playfields are crazy expensive to make and the production costs are all up front. In some cases royalties and licensing alone can cost as high as 25% of the full retail value of the PF, do some quick math and figure out the size of the check you'd have to write to cover that on 100 pfs!! Inserts can cost $25-$100 per PF due to minimum requirements of the molders. You can figure out our wood costs from above. Add in the costs of 2 CNCs, 2 laser cutters, a silk screen operation, a huge UV flatbed etc.... now figure that 50% of the guys who signed up don't buy!! In the case of Corvette PFs we had 75% of people who signed up didn't purchase as they promised! Have two or three of these happen in a row and anyone would become gun shy real quick or we risk losing our homes! I tried deposits when I first started this and it was a nightmare, lately we have on rare occasions used them again with much more success so maybe that's a possibility but truthfully making smaller numbers is the safest thing to do. Using the digital system instead of silk screening makes much more sense and having the ability to digitally reprint our screen printed seconds may get rid of them almost entirely.

Making PFs is complex, silk screening playfields is stoopid complex and expensive in the very small numbers we make but we do it because we love it.

Mike

#54 54 days ago
Quoted from WW2GURU:

In general, I dont agree with any of that. Its not complicated if you know what to do or hire someone set it up for you that knows what to do. Liability is a non issue where an agreement and disclaimer is signed before the order is made. People waited up to 2 years to get the 2015 Hellcats after leaving deposits. I followed that whole scenario very closely and even then the people that got upset near the end were small in number. I find parts of, not all of his explanation more of a rationalization where other parts show where important lessons were learned and applied. Sorry but this company needs some serious outside professional advice.

They've been in business for ~15 years... they are doing more right than wrong, I'm sure like any company they could benefit from outside consulting but that all comes with a cost which would like mean paying more for their products... For a boutique business serving a niche notoriously picky crowd I think CPR does a great job.

#55 54 days ago
Quoted from CPR:

Their standard wood for Stern is a good one side panel with 3 layers of white ash and a 0.048" face veneers. After many consultations with their tech guys we came up with what I know is the best playfield wood in the world. We use the same basic setup as Stern, 3 layers of white ash cores then we use 4 layers of maritime hard maple BUT we increased the thickness of the two face veneers by 64% to get a nominal face thickness of 0.075". These huge and thick ONE piece veneers are crazy expensive and we always get this top grade veneer on BOTH sides of your PF. This alone added $12 to the cost of each panel vs just using a second grade veneer on the bottom like Stern does.
Mike

So what I'm reading is Stern has cost reduced out that $12 on an almost $9000 retail LE and $8000 Premium machine to sacrifice consistently harder playfields for 12 bucks in their bottom line. Great.

#56 54 days ago

Maybe start taking credit cards.

Also, your story about rotating balances, etc. is bunk. Companies do this all the time - Accounts Receivable. It's accounting. NET 30 and all that. Are you a business or not?

#57 54 days ago

I sympathise with the OP. To have a game that you're hoping to restore and wait months maybe even years to get a Playfield just gets old.

I suppose he has the option of doing an overlay on his original Playfield if he has the skill to do that

#58 54 days ago
Quoted from timab2000:

I sympathise with the OP. To have a game that you're hoping to restore and wait months maybe even years to get a Playfield just gets old.
I suppose he has the option of doing an overlay on his original Playfield if he has the skill to do that

The irony of this issue is that after taking a 7 year break from buying, selling and fixing machines, the 1st game I bought was a Playboy. After looking for a new or nice used PF for 7 months I got fed up and sold it to a friend. (he repainted the cabinet and installed an overlay, looks awesome!) The 2nd Playboy fell into my lap as a complete cabinet and PF only. I jumped on the preorder list and started accumulating all the parts to complete it. Board set, 2nd PF, backglass, stencil set, and a lot more. Now this.....

#59 54 days ago

I think if you still have the game and all the extra parts I say hang on to it. Buy an overlay, sand that old playfield down and continue trying to restore it don't give up.

Or you could just sell everything to me and I'll do it

#60 54 days ago
Quoted from CPR:

Guys;
I have to jump in here as well, on four issues. The first was the Xenon PFs that we ran out of last year. The Xenon's I cut were in no way shape or form ever going to satisfy the entire interest but at the time I had the wood and inserts for a very limited number of PFs. I decided that rather than idle the CNC and layoff the guys it made more since to actually make the PFs I had materials for at the time. The rest of the material had been ordered but the lead times on our materials can be HUGE! It just made since to keep everyone employed and the machines working while new supplies were on route.
The second point I have to comment on is our wood. I absolutely believe that our wood is by FAR the best in the world. We have had many suppliers over the years and in bad times have been forced to use the same wood as the other PF manufacturer uses all the time and let me tell you that doing so is our last resort. Playfield wood over the decades has often been whatever was available to the manufacturers. Many PFs especially in the 70s and 80s PFs used three layers of thick cheap filler wood with two thin layers of maple on the faces, something you could buy at your local building supply only with thicker face veneers. For decades most of the better playfield wood came from North American Plywood near Chicago. It used sweet gum as its filler cores and .040" face veneers. But in 2008 in the downturn they liquidated their custom plywood mill and everyone was scrambling to find wood, even Stern. We then shifted to Marion Plywood from Wisconsin who made two very good orders for us before they shifted their glues to a more green product that warped like crazy. We even tried a Russian Baltic Birch that had custom maple veneers glued to it. It was expensive and unsuitable for several reasons. Finally, the current supplier for Stern contacted us and offered to make our wood. This was several years ago now and we couldn't have been happier as they work directly with us to produce the very best CUSTOM wood you can buy ANYWHERE! Their standard wood for Stern is a good one side panel with 3 layers of white ash and a 0.048" face veneers. After many consultations with their tech guys we came up with what I know is the best playfield wood in the world. We use the same basic setup as Stern, 3 layers of white ash cores then we use 4 layers of maritime hard maple BUT we increased the thickness of the two face veneers by 64% to get a nominal face thickness of 0.075". These huge and thick ONE piece veneers are crazy expensive and we always get this top grade veneer on BOTH sides of your PF. This alone added $12 to the cost of each panel vs just using a second grade veneer on the bottom like Stern does. There's nothing wrong with the way Stern does it, as they just refuse any board they want and since they are so close to the mill, the mill just picks it up with the next load and credits them. We however are a $4000 freight bill away so that won't work. We pay a lot extra to get the very best wood they can produce right off the start. You get a much nicer product and a much denser and tougher PF. This wood is 25% heavier for the same size panel as our old wood and nearly a third heavier as Baltic Birch which some other playfield manufacturers use. I would love to use cheaper wood like some others do, after all why would I pay $12.50/sqft landed when I can get birch at less than $2.00sqft? We use the best densest hardest custom wood we can get because we think its worth it and we always try to make the very best product we can.
There are other point is that we intentionally make three levels of quality. Wow, really? We always try to make perfect playfields, every single time but in the past we ALWAYS did full spot color silkscreens which meant that each and every color layer is individually vectored with trapping layers built and silk screened one color at a time, one on top of the other. 14 colors means 14 trips through the screen press. 14! Even the slightest misalignment in any single layer of the normal 12-14 color process means the final product isn't a gold anymore. Its wood, a living surface so if the ink doesn't lay down into every nook and cranny of every square mm of the grain then its not a gold. If a single piece of dust get in the screen and makes its way into the print which is very hard to prevent then its really not a gold anymore. To screen press a playfield we could never do more than about 1 color a day just due to the logistics of cleaning the ink you just used out of the screen trying to save what you can, then removing the screen and washing it with cleaner and paper towels, then once the ink is out, rinsing and then using a stripper to remove the image from the screen, then rinsing, then bleaching the screen to remove all traces of the previous image, rinsing, then drying the screen. Then you have to coat the screen with a photosensitive liquid and let that dry. Then you lay on your full size and expensive direct contact positive and expose the whole thing to a powerful UV light, then immediately wash the screen once more to expose the image which means a third drying of the screen! Then mount it and align it precisely to the previous image on the screen press, which always involves a few trial and error hits on test prints. Add in a cleaned and sharpened squeegee and print your single color...... now repeat this process for each and every color on the playfield. Any misalignment at all, even as small as 1/64"in ANY layer and you may not have a gold, any mark from handing and small dropout of ink, and deep grain that the ink didn't get to and you may not have a gold anymore. Screen printing is many many times harder to do than printing it digitally. Producing artwork for screen printing is horrendously more difficult than prepping something for a digital print. We are very lucky that we have years worth of vectored artwork that can fairly easily be converted for digital use to be used on our big flatbed but you can't go the other way. If you printed 100 PFs and have 10 that are not perfect you had no choice but to sell them, hence silvers and bronze. It could take you as long as 2 weeks to reprint those 10 PFs. Now if you are doing these on a digital printer you have eliminated ANY chance of a misalignment because its a single flat image not 12-14 images laid on top of one another, the printer is spraying, so surface imperfections are easily covered and there is no screen to get contaminated. So for screen printing, since the artwork is many times more complex in comparison and the printing method is many times more complex its no wonder that we didn't always get 100% gold. Of course if you have something go sideways on a digital print it takes but minutes to sand the ink off and clean it up and run it through the printer once again, $8 in inks costs versus basically spending two weeks trying to rescreen a few seconds. But now that we have the same tech as others we can also fairly easily reprint an error so there will be much fewer silver and bronzes in our future.
Making the right number of PFs for everyone is more art than anything else. Playfields are crazy expensive to make and the production costs are all up front. In some cases royalties and licensing alone can cost as high as 25% of the full retail value of the PF, do some quick math and figure out the size of the check you'd have to write to cover that on 100 pfs!! Inserts can cost $25-$100 per PF due to minimum requirements of the molders. You can figure out our wood costs from above. Add in the costs of 2 CNCs, 2 laser cutters, a silk screen operation, a huge UV flatbed etc.... now figure that 50% of the guys who signed up don't buy!! In the case of Corvette PFs we had 75% of people who signed up didn't purchase as they promised! Have two or three of these happen in a row and anyone would become gun shy real quick or we risk losing our homes! I tried deposits when I first started this and it was a nightmare, lately we have on rare occasions used them again with much more success so maybe that's a possibility but truthfully making smaller numbers is the safest thing to do. Using the digital system instead of silk screening makes much more sense and having the ability to digitally reprint our screen printed seconds may get rid of them almost entirely.
Making PFs is complex, silk screening playfields is stoopid complex and expensive in the very small numbers we make but we do it because we love it.
Mike

The technical info was quite interesting, I have a deeper appreciation of the process.

On this last Playboy run, were fewer numbers produced than were on the preorder list similar to what was described with Xenon? The preorder list ran for years. Were lack of materials the issue? If not, why not knock out an extra 20-50 because such a high production game will always have PF's in demand.

#61 54 days ago
Quoted from tomdrum:

This still doesn't explain why silver and bronze grades were available for purchase on your website before all the preorders were filled.

Good point,they should google "common courtesy"

#62 54 days ago
Quoted from CPR:

Guys;
I have to jump in here as well, on four issues. The first was the Xenon PFs that we ran out of last year. The Xenon's I cut were in no way shape or form ever going to satisfy the entire interest but at the time I had the wood and inserts for a very limited number of PFs. I decided that rather than idle the CNC and layoff the guys it made more since to actually make the PFs I had materials for at the time. The rest of the material had been ordered but the lead times on our materials can be HUGE! It just made since to keep everyone employed and the machines working while new supplies were on route.
The second point I have to comment on is our wood. I absolutely believe that our wood is by FAR the best in the world. We have had many suppliers over the years and in bad times have been forced to use the same wood as the other PF manufacturer uses all the time and let me tell you that doing so is our last resort. Playfield wood over the decades has often been whatever was available to the manufacturers. Many PFs especially in the 70s and 80s PFs used three layers of thick cheap filler wood with two thin layers of maple on the faces, something you could buy at your local building supply only with thicker face veneers. For decades most of the better playfield wood came from North American Plywood near Chicago. It used sweet gum as its filler cores and .040" face veneers. But in 2008 in the downturn they liquidated their custom plywood mill and everyone was scrambling to find wood, even Stern. We then shifted to Marion Plywood from Wisconsin who made two very good orders for us before they shifted their glues to a more green product that warped like crazy. We even tried a Russian Baltic Birch that had custom maple veneers glued to it. It was expensive and unsuitable for several reasons. Finally, the current supplier for Stern contacted us and offered to make our wood. This was several years ago now and we couldn't have been happier as they work directly with us to produce the very best CUSTOM wood you can buy ANYWHERE! Their standard wood for Stern is a good one side panel with 3 layers of white ash and a 0.048" face veneers. After many consultations with their tech guys we came up with what I know is the best playfield wood in the world. We use the same basic setup as Stern, 3 layers of white ash cores then we use 4 layers of maritime hard maple BUT we increased the thickness of the two face veneers by 64% to get a nominal face thickness of 0.075". These huge and thick ONE piece veneers are crazy expensive and we always get this top grade veneer on BOTH sides of your PF. This alone added $12 to the cost of each panel vs just using a second grade veneer on the bottom like Stern does. There's nothing wrong with the way Stern does it, as they just refuse any board they want and since they are so close to the mill, the mill just picks it up with the next load and credits them. We however are a $4000 freight bill away so that won't work. We pay a lot extra to get the very best wood they can produce right off the start. You get a much nicer product and a much denser and tougher PF. This wood is 25% heavier for the same size panel as our old wood and nearly a third heavier as Baltic Birch which some other playfield manufacturers use. I would love to use cheaper wood like some others do, after all why would I pay $12.50/sqft landed when I can get birch at less than $2.00sqft? We use the best densest hardest custom wood we can get because we think its worth it and we always try to make the very best product we can.
There are other point is that we intentionally make three levels of quality. Wow, really? We always try to make perfect playfields, every single time but in the past we ALWAYS did full spot color silkscreens which meant that each and every color layer is individually vectored with trapping layers built and silk screened one color at a time, one on top of the other. 14 colors means 14 trips through the screen press. 14! Even the slightest misalignment in any single layer of the normal 12-14 color process means the final product isn't a gold anymore. Its wood, a living surface so if the ink doesn't lay down into every nook and cranny of every square mm of the grain then its not a gold. If a single piece of dust get in the screen and makes its way into the print which is very hard to prevent then its really not a gold anymore. To screen press a playfield we could never do more than about 1 color a day just due to the logistics of cleaning the ink you just used out of the screen trying to save what you can, then removing the screen and washing it with cleaner and paper towels, then once the ink is out, rinsing and then using a stripper to remove the image from the screen, then rinsing, then bleaching the screen to remove all traces of the previous image, rinsing, then drying the screen. Then you have to coat the screen with a photosensitive liquid and let that dry. Then you lay on your full size and expensive direct contact positive and expose the whole thing to a powerful UV light, then immediately wash the screen once more to expose the image which means a third drying of the screen! Then mount it and align it precisely to the previous image on the screen press, which always involves a few trial and error hits on test prints. Add in a cleaned and sharpened squeegee and print your single color...... now repeat this process for each and every color on the playfield. Any misalignment at all, even as small as 1/64"in ANY layer and you may not have a gold, any mark from handing and small dropout of ink, and deep grain that the ink didn't get to and you may not have a gold anymore. Screen printing is many many times harder to do than printing it digitally. Producing artwork for screen printing is horrendously more difficult than prepping something for a digital print. We are very lucky that we have years worth of vectored artwork that can fairly easily be converted for digital use to be used on our big flatbed but you can't go the other way. If you printed 100 PFs and have 10 that are not perfect you had no choice but to sell them, hence silvers and bronze. It could take you as long as 2 weeks to reprint those 10 PFs. Now if you are doing these on a digital printer you have eliminated ANY chance of a misalignment because its a single flat image not 12-14 images laid on top of one another, the printer is spraying, so surface imperfections are easily covered and there is no screen to get contaminated. So for screen printing, since the artwork is many times more complex in comparison and the printing method is many times more complex its no wonder that we didn't always get 100% gold. Of course if you have something go sideways on a digital print it takes but minutes to sand the ink off and clean it up and run it through the printer once again, $8 in inks costs versus basically spending two weeks trying to rescreen a few seconds. But now that we have the same tech as others we can also fairly easily reprint an error so there will be much fewer silver and bronzes in our future.
Making the right number of PFs for everyone is more art than anything else. Playfields are crazy expensive to make and the production costs are all up front. In some cases royalties and licensing alone can cost as high as 25% of the full retail value of the PF, do some quick math and figure out the size of the check you'd have to write to cover that on 100 pfs!! Inserts can cost $25-$100 per PF due to minimum requirements of the molders. You can figure out our wood costs from above. Add in the costs of 2 CNCs, 2 laser cutters, a silk screen operation, a huge UV flatbed etc.... now figure that 50% of the guys who signed up don't buy!! In the case of Corvette PFs we had 75% of people who signed up didn't purchase as they promised! Have two or three of these happen in a row and anyone would become gun shy real quick or we risk losing our homes! I tried deposits when I first started this and it was a nightmare, lately we have on rare occasions used them again with much more success so maybe that's a possibility but truthfully making smaller numbers is the safest thing to do. Using the digital system instead of silk screening makes much more sense and having the ability to digitally reprint our screen printed seconds may get rid of them almost entirely.
Making PFs is complex, silk screening playfields is stoopid complex and expensive in the very small numbers we make but we do it because we love it.
Mike

Dude...
Where the f you been on all the dimple threads? I'm pissed now.

Vid in 5. 4. 3. 2. 1

#63 54 days ago
Quoted from tomdrum:

why not knock out an extra 20-50 because such a high production game will always have PF's in demand.

This is why I have never bought a playfield from them. I'm not getting on a list if I don't have the cash. By the time they do come out. They make such a small run I don't have a chance to get one. I'll wait and hope Hardtop starts making more classics.

#64 54 days ago

I think that Hardtops are going to be the way to go in the future. No more dealing with wood and the quality of it and all the clear coating crap that goes along with it.

I know that there are a lot of haters of such a thought, but I really like the one that I got for my EK. Would certainly buy another one for a different game.

-2
#65 54 days ago
Quoted from timab2000:

I think that Hardtops are going to be the way to go in the future. No more dealing with wood and the quality of it and all the clear coating crap that goes along with it.
I know that there are a lot of haters of such a thought, but I really like the one that I got for my EK. Would certainly buy another one for a different game.

Meh

#66 54 days ago
Quoted from tomdrum:

The preorder list ran for years.

I don't want to beat a dead horse, since my TL;DR initial counterpoint post has all these answers. But I'll state it slightly more briefly, so it becomes crystal clear for the prosterity of this thread:

Preorder lists running 2 months, or 5 years - doesn't particularly mean anything special for potential success or size of a run. In fact, the longer a preorder collects names, that is a worse sign for demand, than better. Keep in mind, case in point with Playboy: Since the preorder was up for 3 years - that means it took 3 years to hit 100+ names. Three years. No so popular as one may think. But...so be it... finally 100+ people at least, raised their hands. That satisfied us enough to go forward with the run.

A machine's original production number being huge means almost nothing. If we went by that, we'd be out of business from unsold bloated production in no time. There is rarely correlation between production number and playfield popularity. You just can't count on it. Often, it's the opposite of what you'd expect.

For example, Centaur... 3700 made. Incredibly, due to undisputed popular demand, we've re-run that playfield (8) times across 15 years. Each run with 60-100 units. Every time we'd put up a preorder, it would fill to 100+ in a mere 1-2 months. Plus - at shipping time, nearly zero no-shows.

Playboy - 18250 made. Yet it took 3 years to break the '100+' threshold, of people raising their hand. About 2/3 of that sent in their preorder in the first 2 months after we opened the inbox. Then it took a dragging 34 months for the final 1/3 to trickle in, finally taking us up and over 100. Then we flagged it as a serious re-run contender, alongside the main runs of new releases we are always doing.

Quoted from tomdrum:

why not knock out an extra 20-50

Years ago, this kinda worked for a long time. As of 5 years ago, this would be cashflow suicide. As explained in detail in my TL;DR post earlier in this thread.

Just so we're crystal clear, here is an example of the way it goes:

"Playboy finally reached 100+ people. Last count on the preorder list shows 106 people willing to buy"
"Great. Let's put it into production and start CNC cutting"
"How many should we make?"
"106 people... three years to reach that number... don't forget about ongoing 40% no-shows"
"We'll make 70"
"Sounds fair. OK, we'll go with 70"
"If things go down the way they usually do, we should have about a dozen left over"

Insert ANY playfield title into that conversation, and that's about how it goes.

The only exceptions (where it went "Outcome B" as I described earlier) has been on Xenon last year, and Playboy last month.

You simply *can't* "knock out an extra XX" and hope they will be bought. Hope isn't good enough. We go by real life evidence. We err on the side of 40% no-shows, because that has been the proven outcome, time and time again (like 95% of the time).

It's not always about stock either. (even though bloating stock ties up serious cashflow and moves so slowly) Time is also finite. If we're landing on 30-40 abandoned playfields at the end of each run... times ~10 main runs a year... that's 300 to 400 playfields we would have to sit on, store, protect... and all the equity tied into them. But the main thing people never think about -> -> -> 300 to 400 playfields *could have been* 3 or 4 other full runs of un-run titles ! Think about that for a moment.

Any abandoned extras, had we known about it up front, didn't even have to be made. Had they been avoided, across those 10 runs, we could have switched cutting the NEXT playfield in line, 30-40 playfields sooner on each run. Meaning across a year of ~10 titles, could become a year of serving 13 or 14 titles. Same number of playfields cut across 365 days. So keeping production lean, and trying to stick to predicted outcome numbers, means the hobby gets more playfields. Time isn't wasted on those 30-40 boards, times 10 runs. Maybe folks never thought of production this way, but we do.

#67 54 days ago

Thank you guys from CPR for all that you do for our hobby. I am fascinated to learn about how the whole process works and how complex it is. Thanks for sharing with us.

I know with my own business that when things get hectic sometimes customers get shut out and we hate that from all angles. Kevin, your recognition that better correspondence should be in order is a good thing.

Tomdrum, I would be at least as pissed as you.

Lastly I must confess, I apologize for backing out of my Skateball playfield order. I'll take partial blame on this whole matter.

#68 53 days ago
Quoted from arcademojo:

By the time they do come out. They make such a small run I don't have a chance to get one.

The "sold out, I missed out" problem for many, is going to be obsolete soon enough. This was a major part of our push into digital.

It's the final (third) phase of our digital suite roll-out. All the CPR legacy playfields from our past, plus finally putting up the Boutiques for order, etc. We're heading into that phase next. Phase 1 was getting all the legacy plastics back out. Phase 2 was getting all the backglasses back available, finishing with all the mirrored versions being offered (we're heading through this as we speak). Then onto the playfields. Starting a month or two away.

This way, anybody at anytime can go onto our site and order a playfield ("always in stock") because we will make you one. Once anybody lays their order and pays - we begin the process of making their playfield. Their single one. No preorders. No waiting lists. No deposits. No runs. Just one playfield. You get it 30-40 days later at your door. Made for you, and you only.

No "quality levels". No grading. "Just one single flawless quality level" as others have touted.

As for hard tops solving an unavailability issue... yes, they certainly can. But soon we will be too - think of our product as a hard top combined with a brand new gameboard & inserts body, enshrined under real clearcoat. The full package. Of course, peoples' budgets will vary. We get that.

13
#69 53 days ago
Quoted from KevinCPR:

I don't want to beat a dead horse, since my TL;DR initial counterpoint post has all these answers. But I'll state it slightly more briefly, so it becomes crystal clear for the prosterity of this thread:
Preorder lists running 2 months, or 5 years - doesn't particularly mean anything special for potential success or size of a run. In fact, the longer a preorder collects names, that is a worse sign for demand, than better. Keep in mind, case in point with Playboy: Since the preorder was up for 3 years - that means it took 3 years to hit 100+ names. Three years. No so popular as one may think. But...so be it... finally 100+ people at least, raised their hands. That satisfied us enough to go forward with the run.
A machine's original production number being huge means almost nothing. If we went by that, we'd be out of business from unsold bloated production in no time. There is rarely correlation between production number and playfield popularity. You just can't count on it. Often, it's the opposite of what you'd expect.
For example, Centaur... 3700 made. Incredibly, due to undisputed popular demand, we've re-run that playfield (8) times across 15 years. Each run with 60-100 units. Every time we'd put up a preorder, it would fill to 100+ in a mere 1-2 months. Plus - at shipping time, nearly zero no-shows.
Playboy - 18250 made. Yet it took 3 years to break the '100+' threshold, of people raising their hand. About 2/3 of that sent in their preorder in the first 2 months after we opened the inbox. Then it took a dragging 34 months for the final 1/3 to trickle in, finally taking us up and over 100. Then we flagged it as a serious re-run contender, alongside the main runs of new releases we are always doing.

Years ago, this kinda worked for a long time. As of 5 years ago, this would be cashflow suicide. As explained in detail in my TL;DR post earlier in this thread.
Just so we're crystal clear, here is an example of the way it goes:
"Playboy finally reached 100+ people. Last count on the preorder list shows 106 people willing to buy"
"Great. Let's put it into production and start CNC cutting"
"How many should we make?"
"106 people... three years to reach that number... don't forget about ongoing 40% no-shows"
"We'll make 70"
"Sounds fair. OK, we'll go with 70"
"If things go down the way they usually do, we should have about a dozen left over"
Insert ANY playfield title into that conversation, and that's about how it goes.
The only exceptions (where it went "Outcome B" as I described earlier) has been on Xenon last year, and Playboy last month.
You simply *can't* "knock out an extra XX" and hope they will be bought. Hope isn't good enough. We go by real life evidence. We err on the side of 40% no-shows, because that has been the proven outcome, time and time again (like 95% of the time).
It's not always about stock either. (even though bloating stock ties up serious cashflow and moves so slowly) Time is also finite. If we're landing on 30-40 abandoned playfields at the end of each run... times ~10 main runs a year... that's 300 to 400 playfields we would have to sit on, store, protect... and all the equity tied into them. But the main thing people never think about -> -> -> 300 to 400 playfields *could have been* 3 or 4 other full runs of un-run titles ! Think about that for a moment.
Any abandoned extras, had we known about it up front, didn't even have to be made. Had they been avoided, across those 10 runs, we could have switched cutting the NEXT playfield in line, 30-40 playfields sooner on each run. Meaning across a year of ~10 titles, could become a year of serving 13 or 14 titles. Same number of playfields cut across 365 days. So keeping production lean, and trying to stick to predicted outcome numbers, means the hobby gets more playfields. Time isn't wasted on those 30-40 boards, times 10 runs. Maybe folks never thought of production this way, but we do.

Kevin,
This level of transparency is long overdue. I get it and appreciate the time you've spent on this thread.

Tom

#70 53 days ago
Quoted from provato:

So what? I am a customer and had nothing to do with this incident and they still sold me an excellent playfield and I know that They have some playfields not shown in their webpage.
I will think twice before helping anyone in here again... everyone is a critic nowadays

May I recommend not being so publicly insulted by a ‘disagree’ thumbs down. Of course emotions run high with folks, this is a passionate hobby.

#71 53 days ago
Quoted from Travish:

Dude...
Where the f you been on all the dimple threads? I'm pissed now.

Vid in 5. 4. 3. 2. 1

At least we know vid's full of crap saying Stern's playfields are not worse because they're cheaping out on the wood. From that clear, concise, insider account, they are cheaping out on the playfield wood to save $12 per $8000 machine.

#72 53 days ago

I remember when I signed up for a Flash Gordon playfield. Notified it was manufactured, I Paid for a gold. Waited for my turn on the list. Then told I could have a gold playfield, but a secondary upper playfield. No discount was offered and I was told if this wasn’t acceptable, I could refuse and not get one at all. Not cool. I chose to get it anyway.
I look forward to the new system and hope this works for everyone.

#73 53 days ago
Quoted from KevinCPR:

I don't want to beat a dead horse, since my TL;DR initial counterpoint post has all these answers. But I'll state it slightly more briefly, so it becomes crystal clear for the prosterity of this thread:
Preorder lists running 2 months, or 5 years - doesn't particularly mean anything special for potential success or size of a run. In fact, the longer a preorder collects names, that is a worse sign for demand, than better. Keep in mind, case in point with Playboy: Since the preorder was up for 3 years - that means it took 3 years to hit 100+ names. Three years. No so popular as one may think. But...so be it... finally 100+ people at least, raised their hands. That satisfied us enough to go forward with the run.
A machine's original production number being huge means almost nothing. If we went by that, we'd be out of business from unsold bloated production in no time. There is rarely correlation between production number and playfield popularity. You just can't count on it. Often, it's the opposite of what you'd expect.
For example, Centaur... 3700 made. Incredibly, due to undisputed popular demand, we've re-run that playfield (8) times across 15 years. Each run with 60-100 units. Every time we'd put up a preorder, it would fill to 100+ in a mere 1-2 months. Plus - at shipping time, nearly zero no-shows.
Playboy - 18250 made. Yet it took 3 years to break the '100+' threshold, of people raising their hand. About 2/3 of that sent in their preorder in the first 2 months after we opened the inbox. Then it took a dragging 34 months for the final 1/3 to trickle in, finally taking us up and over 100. Then we flagged it as a serious re-run contender, alongside the main runs of new releases we are always doing.

Years ago, this kinda worked for a long time. As of 5 years ago, this would be cashflow suicide. As explained in detail in my TL;DR post earlier in this thread.
Just so we're crystal clear, here is an example of the way it goes:
"Playboy finally reached 100+ people. Last count on the preorder list shows 106 people willing to buy"
"Great. Let's put it into production and start CNC cutting"
"How many should we make?"
"106 people... three years to reach that number... don't forget about ongoing 40% no-shows"
"We'll make 70"
"Sounds fair. OK, we'll go with 70"
"If things go down the way they usually do, we should have about a dozen left over"
Insert ANY playfield title into that conversation, and that's about how it goes.
The only exceptions (where it went "Outcome B" as I described earlier) has been on Xenon last year, and Playboy last month.
You simply *can't* "knock out an extra XX" and hope they will be bought. Hope isn't good enough. We go by real life evidence. We err on the side of 40% no-shows, because that has been the proven outcome, time and time again (like 95% of the time).
It's not always about stock either. (even though bloating stock ties up serious cashflow and moves so slowly) Time is also finite. If we're landing on 30-40 abandoned playfields at the end of each run... times ~10 main runs a year... that's 300 to 400 playfields we would have to sit on, store, protect... and all the equity tied into them. But the main thing people never think about -> -> -> 300 to 400 playfields *could have been* 3 or 4 other full runs of un-run titles ! Think about that for a moment.
Any abandoned extras, had we known about it up front, didn't even have to be made. Had they been avoided, across those 10 runs, we could have switched cutting the NEXT playfield in line, 30-40 playfields sooner on each run. Meaning across a year of ~10 titles, could become a year of serving 13 or 14 titles. Same number of playfields cut across 365 days. So keeping production lean, and trying to stick to predicted outcome numbers, means the hobby gets more playfields. Time isn't wasted on those 30-40 boards, times 10 runs. Maybe folks never thought of production this way, but we do.

Also, since 100 hands in the air seems to be the target number, why not show a counter showing how close you are to the target? It would give people an idea of where they are in the list and a possible target date for production. It would give customers another reason to sign up knowing the target number was close.

#74 53 days ago
Quoted from tomdrum:

Also, since 100 hands in the air seems to be the target number, why not show a counter showing how close you are to the target? It would give people an idea of where they are in the list and a possible target date for production. It would give customers another reason to sign up knowing the target number was close.

How ever you do it it gets messy and breaks down. Wait lists, collecting deposits, filling orders, managing lists all distracts from producing product.

Silk screening is an archaic (although artful) method, costly and a bottleneck. It sounds like the new method will help all of that. But how much did that machine cost?

I am looking forward to it.

#75 53 days ago
Quoted from Toucanf16:

Microplayfields are awesome. Great quality, nice clear, great customer service!

I agree, I bought a TZ playfield from them and it is great. However the Addams Family PF I bought from CPR is already showing signs of warping.

#76 53 days ago

Please keep in mind that CPR was started with two guys working in our basements and to a great deal not much has changed, we are not Mirco with an entire German robotic army behind us. We do not have robots gluing in inserts, or spraying clear in a blitzkrieg. We have only just begun to digitally produce playfields because we were always committed to doing it the way the purists and collectors demanded. We have always tried to make them like they were originally made. We matched colors using Pantone color patches, using art experts to back date colors when the original films weren't available to confirm a certain color. We often spend over $100 to have a single ink custom mixed to a Pantone color layer.....that's per color!! I can remember having hours and hours of heated debate over a certain hue of a color. Debates on whether a tiny section with a certain hue was an actual color or an interference between a thinly screened color with an underlying color that was showing through to form a mixed hue in one tiny area. We have always tried to make PFs as original as possible and screen printed each color to make them authentic as any original only with better materials and standards. Somewhere along the way the demand to have an original style silk screened playfield gave way to "to every playfield is perfect, one standard" and the demands of the collectors that absolutely demanded a silk screen PF with historically correct colors became less important than we ever could have imaged. So we have started to come around and have moved from making them as original as possible to starting to make them using modern methods. But to my mind, they just are not the same. When silk screening, no two playfields are exactly alike and to me that was always a cool part of the nostalgia of the art of playfields. Times are changing though and although I still prefer the original techniques and the spectacular results that could be attainable we are trying to change with the times, maybe we need an army of German robots, who knows?

Mike

#77 53 days ago

This has been a great thread where there is a complaint and the manufacturer gives honest to god answers without butt hurt. After reading this, I am more likely to get a play field from CPR. Take this home. These days communication is the maker or breaker, not only in this industry, but other niche industries like those that make table top board tables. A little bit of what's really going on will get people to stick around.

-8
#78 53 days ago

I was the one who got burned on Xenon. Look I get that these guys have done awesome things for the hobby but their explanations after the Xenon debacle are IMO complete crap. Kevin you had a list, you guesstimated that 70 out of 100 might buy. You guessed wrong. Why the hell didn’t you do the simple step I outlined before as in DON’T GUESS ! One day of effort you could have easily re-confirmed the orders just before going to production, hell even asking for deposit as a show of good faith. You would have then known that you had 100 takers and upped your number. Your guys failure to plan and get information that is easily gettable is not your customers problem. Who in their right mind decides on production quantity from a pre-order list 2 years in the making with no deposit. It’s your problem. Deal with it. Don’t screw up again. Change your damn approach to something that isn’t just making up sh*t and then coming on here to try to defend a completely crappy approach to deciding how many playfields to build. This is solvable BY YOU with one days worth of effort if you chose to do so. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing all over again and expecting a different result. No business can make every customer happy. But you could make a lot more of your customers happy and stay in business more easily by trying a different planning approach

#79 53 days ago
Quoted from pookycade:

I was the one who got burned on Xenon. Look I get that these guys have done awesome things for the hobby but their explanations after the Xenon debacle are IMO complete crap. Kevin you had a list, you guesstimated that 70 out of 100 might buy. You guessed wrong. Why the hell didn’t you do the simple step I outlined before as in DON’T GUESS ! One day of effort you could have easily re-confirmed the orders just before going to production, hell even asking for deposit as a show of good faith. You would have then known that you had 100 takers and upped your number. Your guys failure to plan and get information that is easily gettable is not your customers problem. Who in their right mind decides on production quantity from a pre-order list 2 years in the making with no deposit. It’s your problem. Deal with it. Don’t screw up again. Change your damn approach to something that isn’t just making up sh*t and then coming on here to try to defend a completely crappy approach to deciding how many playfields to build. This is solvable BY YOU with one days worth of effort if you chose to do so. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing all over again and expecting a different result. No business can make every customer happy. But you could make a lot more of your customers happy and stay in business more easily by trying a different planning approach

Whoa there--it's only pinball.

Over the years, I've seen CPR always try their best, even though there have been some bumps in the road along the way--for both customers and CPR.

I also understand that producing something sometimes involves a little bit of educated guesswork based on past statistics and future demand. Anyone who makes and sells stuff in this hobby faces this issue--mod makers, ramp makers, electronics makers, suppliers, so on. Order enough materials to make enough product to have available to satisfy demand, but not so much as to leave too much sitting on a shelf with funds tied up in it that could otherwise be used for other things. CPR is certainly not the only one to deal with this issue.

Yes, there is probably room for improvement in certain areas, but I'd hardly say that means everything should be tossed out to start from scratch.

It's unfortunate that not everybody got what they were hoping for. I'd be a little miffed too. But it's not going to be the end of the world, and getting angry won't solve anything.

The availability of replacement parts these days has been nothing short of amazing, and I'm grateful for that and everyone who has contributed in some way. Pinball had much darker days not too long ago when parts were fairly scarce.

#80 53 days ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

Whoa there--it's only pinball.
Over the years, I've seen CPR always try their best, even though there have been some bumps in the road along the way--for both customers and CPR.
I also understand that producing something sometimes involves a little bit of educated guesswork based on past statistics and future demand. Anyone who makes and sells stuff in this hobby faces this issue--mod makers, ramp makers, electronics makers, suppliers, so on. Order enough materials to make enough product to have available to satisfy demand, but not so much as to leave too much sitting on a shelf with funds tied up in it that could otherwise be used for other things. CPR is certainly not the only one to deal with this issue.
Yes, there is probably room for improvement in certain areas, but I'd hardly say that means everything should be tossed out to start from scratch.
It's unfortunate that not everybody got what they were hoping for. I'd be a little miffed too. But it's not going to be the end of the world, and getting angry won't solve anything.
The availability of replacement parts these days has been nothing short of amazing, and I'm grateful for that and everyone who has contributed in some way. Pinball had much darker days not too long ago when parts were fairly scarce.

Perhaps more anger is implied in my response than I actually intended. I didn’t get my playfield. Annoying but really not the end of the world. I’ll live. And yeah I get it, this is a hobby and these guys started in a basement, and there are many machines still playing because of them. Wins above replacement still way high for them. Mirco with their recent bullying is far more worrisome. I will still buy from CPR. I said as much in the Xenon debacle

What does frustrate me is their continued presentation of this as some Sophie’s Choice. It wasn’t. They had another option of verifying pre-orders before the run with a single email. They could have set expectations for those unlikely to get a playfield with an apology. This is basic business 101 stuff. Sorry for a company that’s been doing this for 15 years they should set higher expectations for themselves. If the effort to do so was onerous I’d understand. But it isn’t, they just for some bizarre reason won’t do it. Beyond admonishment there seems to be nothing to do. When I make mistakes I admit them and try to get better. It’s the last part where they are lacking.

#81 53 days ago

Everyone would like more suppliers & more product available. To help restore & maintain the pinball games still left in the world (not landfilled). Playfields are the hardest thing to make (parts wise). Many different processes involved & the most things to add (inserts). Add in clear coats to the final process & it is insane thing to do (compared to glass or plastic parts production. Most labour intensive process from start to finish. Most expensive part to store in inventory from a production point for parts & labour.

As a pioneer in uv inkjet flatbed production (my contractors in the commercial printing business over the years). Who know the business & do it fulltime. Nothing is 100%! Maybe close but you still have the human factor, materials (plywood is not flat usually & warps over time. example: 4 x 8 sheets mostly flat stacked together from the mill. Once they are cut individually & start curing/drying they move more from being flat.) Had a few skips of the printer head on plywood not flat.

I wish more people in the business would be more honest about grading & not everything is going to be 100% all the time on product production. More producers & product available on demand is where things are going towards now & in the future. A nightmare for those trying to make goods on demand!

On my new playfield production: 3-4 years to finish all my pre order Star Gazer + new orders = 78 so far & more in production. 4th year start testing, & 5th year finally moving into production of Seawitch. Seawitch will have 15 test playfields done before final production. I have had to refund a number that gave up over the last couple of years. Star Gazer pre orders were double that of Seawitch. It is a guess to what demand is there for any playfield.

Playfields stored after finished production are going to warp or rack further over time. Nature of wood! Even overlays had problems with storage. Hard Tops maybe will be perfect, but who knows.

As a final note you think it is hard for the big guys doing this. Much worse for us few small producers buying small quantities of inserts at much higher price & sitting on them. Along with stuck inventory taking time to sell, along with not perfect grades.

#82 53 days ago
Quoted from pookycade:

Perhaps more anger is implied in my response than I actually intended. I didn’t get my playfield. Annoying but really not the end of the world. I’ll live. And yeah I get it, this is a hobby and these guys started in a basement, and there are many machines still playing because of them. Wins above replacement still way high for them. Mirco with their recent bullying is far more worrisome. I will still buy from CPR. I said as much in the Xenon debacle
What does frustrate me is their continued presentation of this as some Sophie’s Choice. It wasn’t. They had another option of verifying pre-orders before the run with a single email. They could have set expectations for those unlikely to get a playfield with an apology. This is basic business 101 stuff. Sorry for a company that’s been doing this for 15 years they should set higher expectations for themselves. If the effort to do so was onerous I’d understand. But it isn’t, they just for some bizarre reason won’t do it. Beyond admonishment there seems to be nothing to do. When I make mistakes I admit them and try to get better. It’s the last part where they are lacking.

People won't respond, they don't confirm, they forget, they miss the email. If CPR did this, there would be a thread about how "I only missed the confirmation email by 2 hours! CPR
Sucks!"

The only way to guarantee a playfield for everybody is for them to take on additional stock and risk and overproduce every title,
Building inventory costs into every other playfield, driving costs up.

.. or they could do on-demand digital printing. Man! If only there was some way to offer this..

#83 53 days ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

People won't respond, they don't confirm, they forget, they miss the email. If CPR did this, there would be a thread about how "I only missed the confirmation email by 2 hours! CPR
Sucks!"
The only way to guarantee a playfield for everybody is for them to take on additional stock and risk and overproduce every title,
Building inventory costs into every other playfield, driving costs up.
.. or they could do on-demand digital printing. Man! If only there was some way to offer this..

Not sure I entirely agree with this. Nothing is full proof. But really, are you saying that an email or several emails to confirm is a worse process than making 70 instead of 100 because you assume 1/3 of the people won’t buy one. And hey they can run their own business any way they want, but if they desire to keep the same system they at a minimum can better set customer expectations by saying 1) a position on the pre-order list does not absolutely guarantee you a playfield and 2) when they run out contact the people remaining on the list and profusely apologize. They want it both ways here: emphasize all the great things they have done for the hobby (and they rightfully deserve that tag and respect from all of us), take no responsibility for their disappointed customers other than to come on here and say it’s a necessary business decision. OK, but I’m not sure any customer relations expert would agree with that approach. When someone complains about my arcade I instantly offer a full refund and apologize that we didn’t meet their needs, whether it’s our fault or not. I screwed up royally and scheduled two parties for the same time. I made the parties free and provided gift cards to both. Keeping people happy is part of the job. You don’t want to be a total pushover, but it would serve them well in the long run than the legacy of these crappy threads. I will give them credit for responding with an explanation. I will absolutely not give them credit for showing any level of contrition whatsoever in the process

#84 53 days ago
Quoted from pookycade:

Not sure I entirely agree with this. Nothing is full proof. But really, are you saying that an email or several emails to confirm is a worse process than making 70 instead of 100 because you assume 1/3 of the people won’t buy one. And hey they can run their own business any way they want, but if they desire to keep the same system they at a minimum can better set customer expectations by saying 1) a position on the pre-order list does not absolutely guarantee you a playfield and 2) when they run out contact the people remaining on the list and profusely apologize. They want it both ways here: emphasize all the great things they have done for the hobby (and they rightfully deserve that tag and respect from all of us), take no responsibility for their disappointed customers other than to come on here and say it’s a necessary business decision. OK, but I’m not sure any customer relations expert would agree with that approach. When someone complains about my arcade I instantly offer a full refund and apologize that we didn’t meet their needs, whether it’s our fault or not. I screwed up royally and scheduled two parties for the same time. I made the parties free and provided gift cards to both. Keeping people happy is part of the job. You don’t want to be a total pushover, but it would serve them well in the long run than the legacy of these crappy threads. I will give them credit for responding with an explanation. I will absolutely not give them credit for showing any level of contrition whatsoever in the process

I've been making a list to get a gottlie playfield done by wade. Took around a year to get 20 people interested. After that I needed confirmation from all 20 plus email addresses to send to wade.
Took me almost a month to get responses from 18 of the people. 2 of them still haven't replied. And this is just for 20 people.

-4
#85 53 days ago
Quoted from Mitch:

I've been making a list to get a gottlie playfield done by wade. Took around a year to get 20 people interested. After that I needed confirmation from all 20 plus email addresses to send to wade.
Took me almost a month to get responses from 18 of the people. 2 of them still haven't replied. And this is just for 20 people.

So you now know that 18 out of 20 want the playfield. CPR would just assume that 7 out of 20 didn’t. Look if I send 1 email or even 3 emails to a person (if I’m being generous) then it’s on the person if they don’t respond. Here we put our name on a pre order list 1-2 years back and then hear nothing. And as in this case someone expecting this bought a game to restore, backglass, parts, to plan because you can’t just go to Pinballs R Us to get this stuff. But the fault lies with the customer for having such ridiculous expectations that they might expect if they preordered this from a company in business for 15 years that they should eventually receive it. Next time you end up on a presales list for two years and have to email them asking where your playfield is only to be told it sold out I’d like to see how generous you would be then

#86 53 days ago
Quoted from pookycade:

So you now know that 18 out of 20 want the playfield. CPR would just assume that 7 out of 20 didn’t. Look if I send 1 email or even 3 emails to a person (if I’m being generous) then it’s on the person if they don’t respond. Here we put our name on a pre order list 1-2 years back and then hear nothing. And as in this case someone expecting this bought a game to restore, backglass, parts, to plan because you can’t just go to Pinballs R Us to get this stuff. But the fault lies with the customer for having such ridiculous expectations that they might expect if they preordered this from a company in business for 15 years that they should eventually receive it. Next time you end up on a presales list for two years and have to email them asking where your playfield is only to be told it sold out I’d like to see how generous you would be then

Hey, it sucks for sure. But they've apologized, admitted they should have done things differently, and have hopefully learned from their mistakes. Anyone who has run a business knows that sometimes screw up's happen. The important thing is that they learn from them and do better next time. At least the one off versions of the Playboy playfields will be available in the future, so the OP will eventually get some kind of repro playfield.

-2
#87 53 days ago
Quoted from Topcard:

Hey, it sucks for sure. But they've apologized, admitted they should have done things differently, and have hopefully learned from their mistakes. Anyone who has run a business knows that sometimes screw up's happen. The important thing is that they learn from them and do better next time. At least the one off versions of the Playboy playfields will be available in the future, so the OP will eventually get some kind of repro playfield.

Yes I will still buy from them. Yes they have a new model that will eliminate this problem. Yes all businesses screw up. No, I never got an apology, an “I’m really sorry, what can we do to make any of this right”. I just got an explanation for why it happened. From what I’ve seen here, same approach, same response. An explanation is not the same as a sincere apology, or doing anything different in response to the mistake. It just isn’t

#88 53 days ago

Objective observations:

1. OP and Pooky should not be vilified for being pissed. I sympathize for their situation. Please role play if you were them and be honest, you'd be disappointed and a bit pissed.

2. CPR is running a business and doesn't want to build something and carry an inventory that may take years to sell. Role playing here, I get it. I wouldn't want to either as they're still growing and every dollar is precious.

3. CPR needs better communication to those customers who raised their hands, stayed at the ready with money in their hands, to be told sold out. Role play, that just plain sucks if it happened to you. At least an apology letter, ask to raise your hand again, and maybe a new run will be made. Doesn't matter if you're in your basement, if you decided to sell a product treat your customer like you would want to be treated.

4. Many of you jumping on OP and Pooky are afraid to speak honestly in fear of being knocked off future pre-order lists to the dreaded "sold out" email. Thumb me down all you want. This hobby is big and very small. Interesting how many of the same people get in the play field orders, post them for sale for more money, same guys time and time again. Optically, looks like the old ticket scalper game. When demand exceeds supply, amazing how many asses people kiss. Glad point #5 will change this......

5. CPR new model sounds exciting and likely will solve the supply side. Win for CPR and win for hobby. Love hearing this!

I'm not taking sides, just honest observations. Listen, what CPR is doing is awesome - making hard to find parts available again. Major thumbs up! But as they've stated, their model isn't perfect. Well intentioned, but the communication does suck in these stated cases. Doesn't matter how difficult the production process is, no free passes for lack of communication. Again, role play when you buy something - you'll admit that sucks being on the receiving end. I appluad their engagement on this thread - another thumbs up. I hope it all works out and you guys are wildly successful.

Lastly, I emailed your site but never get a reply. Will you ever re-run CFTBL Deluxe speaker panels as part of your new model? My wallet is open.

#89 53 days ago

It sucks when stuff like that happens.

I saw a tasty sparkle Stratocaster at a trade show. The Fender rep said that they were only making 50 of them, one for each Mars Music shop in the nation (50 Strats/50 Teles for a total of 100).

The next day I went to my local Mars and paid for the one they were getting in stock.

5 months latter, I hear that the guitars have been released to the stores.

I take my receipt to Mars, and they say they already sold mine, 2 weeks ago.

The manager scrambles to call every other Mars in the surrounding states, everyone is sold out.

He tells me he will give me any guitar in the store at cost.

I tell him I already have 100 guitars, I wanted THAT guitar.

He gave me a refund.
fender-Stratocaster-Limited-Edition-1-of-100-2001-Turquoise-Sparkle-big (resized).jpg

#90 53 days ago

CPR please quit screwing around on pinside and reply to my multiple emails.

#91 53 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I tell him I already have 100 guitars

very cool

#92 53 days ago
Quoted from badbilly27:

Objective observations:
1. OP and Pooky should not be vilified for being pissed. I sympathize for their situation. Please role play if you were them and be honest, you'd be disappointed and a bit pissed.
2. CPR is running a business and doesn't want to build something and carry an inventory that may take years to sell. Role playing here, I get it. I wouldn't want to either as they're still growing and every dollar is precious.
3. CPR needs better communication to those customers who raised their hands, stayed at the ready with money in their hands, to be told sold out. Role play, that just plain sucks if it happened to you. At least an apology letter, ask to raise your hand again, and maybe a new run will be made. Doesn't matter if you're in your basement, if you decided to sell a product treat your customer like you would want to be treated.
4. Many of you jumping on OP and Pooky are afraid to speak honestly in fear of being knocked off future pre-order lists to the dreaded "sold out" email. Thumb me down all you want. This hobby is big and very small. Interesting how many of the same people get in the play field orders, post them for sale for more money, same guys time and time again. Optically, looks like the old ticket scalper game. When demand exceeds supply, amazing how many asses people kiss. Glad point #5 will change this......
5. CPR new model sounds exciting and likely will solve the supply side. Win for CPR and win for hobby. Love hearing this!
I'm not taking sides, just honest observations. Listen, what CPR is doing is awesome - making hard to find parts available again. Major thumbs up! But as they've stated, their model isn't perfect. Well intentioned, but the communication does suck in these stated cases. Doesn't matter how difficult the production process is, no free passes for lack of communication. Again, role play when you buy something - you'll admit that sucks being on the receiving end. I appluad their engagement on this thread - another thumbs up. I hope it all works out and you guys are wildly successful.
Lastly, I emailed your site but never get a reply. Will you ever re-run CFTBL Deluxe speaker panels as part of your new model? My wallet is open.

Thank you. Yes. THAT. All I ever asked from them was an honest to god apology and some attempt to change their behavior. I’ve gotten neither ..... ever. I’m not the bad guy here and neither is OP. CPR isn’t the bad guy either, but they made bad decisions that caused this.

#93 53 days ago

"JUST ONE LAST CHECK BEFORE
YOU EMAIL YOUR PREORDER INFO...
- You understand your email will be taken as an order to be counted, and a playfield will be made for you.
- You understand your email will signify a promise to buy the playfield at release, when it is ready for you."

This is what I think needs changed on their Pre-order deal.... don't claim that a PF will be made for you, if you truly can't deliver that. Make people more aware that the small potential for a sell out/under production run is there & that no guarantee is made that if you are on the preorder list that you will get a PF of any grade.....

I think if some of the wording etc was changed, people who got shorted would be a bit more understanding, but the way it is worded now sure implies that product will be delivered if you are on the list & as we've seen with Xenon & PB this is not always the case.

#94 53 days ago
Quoted from ryanbrooks:

How bad is your playfield? Have you considered sending it to a playfield restoration specialist?

I can do this for 4thousand (resized).jpg

#95 53 days ago
Quoted from WeatherbyMAG:

don't claim that a PF will be made for you, if you truly can't deliver that.

No one can truly guarantee you anything.

CPR could have a flood/fire and lose 3/4 of the run, with no more inserts available to start over.

Some goofball Mars employee could sell my guitar, that I already paid $1500 for, with no more to ever be made.

If you think about it, no one can ever guarantee you anything...
DeweyDefeatsTruman-56a48e283df78cf77282f14d (resized).jpg

#96 53 days ago

I got a couple of nice guitars I'd sell you for 1500 each. 100% made in America

15515670313641169623261 (resized).jpg15515670521892078121165 (resized).jpg

#97 53 days ago
Quoted from timab2000:

I got a couple of nice guitars I'd sell you for 1500 each

They look really nice, but I only collect American & Turkish guitars.

#98 53 days ago

They're made in Las Vegas Nevada I don't know how much more American you can get than that

#99 52 days ago

Pookycade;

In your case with Xenon, I thought I fully explained this already but.... the run I made was only about 1/3 of the run and its only what I had materials for at the time. It was never going to be the entire run, I did the partial run to keep the guys employed using materials I already had on hand. I was planning on cutting the 30 PFs and then just keeping them under wraps until we received the rest of the materials and cut and glued the rest of the run. We would then print them all at once..... but, Kevin decided that he had a bit of a space in the production and went ahead and printed the ones we had ready to print, with the idea of printing the rest once we had them ready. So I understand you're upset you didn't get one of the initial part of the run but you were probably not in the first 30 guys who ordered. The rest of the materials came in and the PFs were cut and glued months ago. We are printing them this PF this coming week, silk screen by the way! Its is fully likely that you will get yours from this section of the run. The rest of the XENON run should be shipping in about 3-4 weeks.

That being said, we are a tiny operation, we finance each product on the sales of the last and on my home equity line of credit. Having anything more than a few PFs left over from the last run can get really expensive very very fast. When something like Corvette PF comes along and 75% of the guys who promised they'd buy just didn't I was left explaining to my wife WTF happened. Lets see how understanding yours would be on that!

We have tried being nice and asking people to only place an order if they 100% intend to follow through, we have tried threatening to ban people from preorders if they don't follow though on their promises, we have tried deposits. We have pleaded and conjolled.... nothing has really worked. Often we are left holding dozens of PFs that don't sell... and in a worse case scenario their costs are can exceed $500 each...... how do you think your family would handle you saying don't worry we can carry this debt because a bunch of guys backed out of their promises...??? Would your wife be understanding?

Anyway, this HUGE issue came to a head last spring at which time it meant closing CPR or finding another way to do things ..... and it could have gone either way. There was some very dour looking faces around the table when I explained this to the guys. We decided to change up the way we do things and by going more to an on demand system and spending the price of a new house on a 17 1/2' printer but it was either that or shut down. Kevin keeps touting an on demand just for you but that's not really the idea we are driving at, but we are trying to use the new tech to make drastically smaller runs, say 3-5 or even 10 instead of 100+. We can handle getting stuck with a couple of PFs but we can't afford to get stuck with 80+ PFs like we did on Corvette or Joker Poker. Over the next many months we are taking stock of the 300,000-400,000 plus inserts we have and trying to figure out which PFs we can make with these. We'll make small qtys of each title we have art and inserts for and they'll be available on a first come basis. The cool thing is we'll be able to make a few more when the first ones get low. In a perfect world we could make one for each guy as they order but, that does take time. I'd still rather make a small batch and open it on the website with actual stock numbers and every single person would know the quality of what they were getting BEFORE they ordered.

Its not perfect but it may be a sustainable model where the idea of making 100+ Pfs or glasses and getting stuck with a large percentage of the run was just not sustainable anymore, even in the short run.

Mike

#100 52 days ago
Quoted from timab2000:

They're made in Las Vegas Nevada I don't know how much more American you can get than that

Lol, I saw the sharktoothy inlays and thought it was Ibanez

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