(Topic ID: 161795)

Hey Stern! Are you serious?

By mayuh

3 years ago

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#156 3 years ago
Quoted from mayuh:

Just to make sure: I'm not too pissed and I think it will be solved positive. What I can not believe and this is also in title, that even after the GOT pro ghosting issues were pretty severe - at least here in Austria and among the collectors I know who bought it - that a premium like the SMVE still may leave the factory with playfields in that condition or from that supplier.
What if GB has the same issues? 3 in a row really hurts the reputation...
I know many stern games that look brand new even after 2-3 years.

If your experience is like mine Stern will send you a blank PF in hopes that will make you happy. They know most owners won't go to the ridiculous amount of effort to install it but hope the extra "value" ($$$) of a spare PF will calm you down.

It may offset the price loss when you go to sell the "damaged" machine at least... "I'm including a spare PF with this game for sale".

They SHOULD send you a populated PF and an apology for your trouble but I sure wouldn't count on it. After all you did YOUR part in the deal - you raised 8K to buy their product.

#167 3 years ago

I'm not sure what would "make it right"...? A blank PF really doesn't so only a shipped populated PF would make it right.

I don't want to come off too cynical but I wonder what the odds are of this actually happening? Anybody else ever had a *populated* PF sent to them for a warranty issue?

#172 3 years ago
Quoted from MrBally:

Yes. At least a hundred discussed on pinside over the years from Stern & JJP.
In the era of early Solid State pins, Bally sent out populated playfields to route operators when there was premature wear by all inserts. Lost World was one of Bally's worst that suffered from this problem. Eight Ball as well as Strikes & Spares also were prone to playfield replacements. Bally stood behind their products and sent out replacements. Fully populated so plug & play.

A hundred just since Pinside has been going? I know I've heard some instances but I just wondered when the last time *recently* they did this.

Companies change - they were fine sending me a new PF ten years ago but just recently a guy here had a fairly serious problem and he said they would NOT send him a new PF. And this was just for a blank... not a populated PF.

So I wonder when was the last time they sent out a populated PF to a customer? Be interesting to hear about a recent specific case.

#208 3 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Not sure when STLEs shipped, but my friend had a warped playfield in his, and they sent a populated playfield to him.

Yeah I'm glad to hear about these recent cases. Shows that even with *serious* problems the buyer might get a good solution. Maybe I can quit being so cynical

#273 3 years ago
Quoted from AlexSMendes:

Wow, what a bunch of crap!

Well that message would have been perfect maybe 10 or 15 years ago but now over 50% of pin sales goes to private collectors. In fact when Gary S finally admitted this I think the percentage was even higher. Anybody have the quote?

Makes sense too as there is virtually NO commercial locations around here... the nation's capitol. I can count on one hand the locations that have more than a pin or two.

So thank goodness for the pampered collector - they truly saved Stern. The biz would have died a while back ago without them.

#581 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Has quality at CCC dropped and Stern is now looking elsewhere?

Did you miss where the last 50 to 100 MMR customers got factory second PF's with light grey ink on the bottom castle inserts? Yeah I'd say Churchill is having some issues overall. I don't care how many years they have been making them.

#625 3 years ago

According to Gary Stern private buyers ARE the main buyers in the market. It took him a while to finally state this publicly and when he did I was surprised at the figure. It was something like 70%. I don't have the quote but somebody else here will have it.
I *could* be wrong (wouldn't be the first time) but I remember this as he was always reluctant in the past to admit the operators were in decline.

The figure makes sense though... there's no more arcades, etc anymore and hardly any pins to be found in the wild whatsoever. Just a few spots to service the small group of true believers.

And saying earlier model pins are better built is hardly "nonsense". I'd say all my 90's WMS are better built than my Sterns... sharp screen printed cabs, plastics that are NOT pixellated like Stern's STILL are, real lighting and flashers in the backbox (not a sad tube), dual wound coils, metal arches with actual art, etc.

I just got a TWD and love the play, rules, sound and lighting but the build components aren't quite there. Plastic arch, cab decals and pixillated plastics. Still solid and impressive and quite reliable though. Sound and lighting have definitely seen improvement over the years... as you would expect with tech advances.

Big improvement from the roller Coaster Tycoon days.

#627 3 years ago

That all sounds convincing and hopeful for pinball. I was just pointing out a Gary Stern quote that surprised me a bit.

You can't go by any "pin guide" for my area either... there's only a couple spots that have more than one or two machines and often none at all as it's been replaced with some hideous redemption gambling device

#744 3 years ago
Quoted from Rob_G:

My friend got a new unpopulated playfield for his MMR.

Well that's the least they can do for an eight thousand dollar purchase. Great for the customer too... get to potentially spend 20 to 30 hrs of work just to get an unchipped example. I don't think most ever bother to put them in - but a good way to shut the customer up.

I thought at first they would do that with the faded insert victims... but instead they shipped about a hundred more machines with 'em.
Sure showed me

#746 3 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

One playfield sent out won't go far in shutting the rest of the customers up, rest assured.

I dunno - most of 'em seemed content with taking it on the chin. I guess Churchill/PPS knew their customers better than I did.

#799 3 years ago
Quoted from zr11990:

Finally, someone said it. I see dimpling on every game but NOT like some of these newer Sterns. And then you see the ink starting to come off. Jeez, one would think it was a JJP game.

The newer games simply hurl the balls far more violently than games in the past - hence you'll see more dimples nicely illuminated by the blinding LEDs. Balls going airborn will do that - even if it's just off a post.

Then again - wood is an organic product (as people love to say over here) and you will see some examples softer than others. Fortunately the overall density is pretty uniform and predictable.

#864 3 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

I always thought it was odd that CV was very prone to ghosting, is there a reason that game seems much more likely to have ghosting issues than other Williams games from the same time frame?

Yeah Churchill's screw ups... CV came like that right out of the box and NGG has a small bit of it too. Both were done in the same time frame and I bought both NIB on closeout so I actually have first hand experience with that issue. I still have both machines too.

#871 3 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

A buddy was asking about ghosting when he was visiting Saturday... I tried to find an example to show him, but the only game I have with any issues is NGG.. a couple inserts have a tiny bit of ghosting at the edges. My old CV had ghosting around most of the inserts. Aside from the crummy CV/NGG/CP playfields WMS got, there hasn't been any other major ghosting issues, til now.

Yup. I'm sure you can find some odd examples of many titles but the only ones I currently own that have this issue are CV and NGG. They haven't got any worse but I rarely get to play them. I *did* look over all my other machines once this thread got going however.. it made me nervous

#874 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Sorry, that is not at all true.

I think what he is saying is that will be the END result after a whole lot of play. The loose clear will eventually chip and crack away from the surface.

#885 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

I thought you didn't play on "my team." Now I'm very confused.

Maybe it's like old time football - he plays both sides? More action that way

#892 3 years ago

She does look a little manly in that pic huh?

#916 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

There is no such thing.
What are you even talking about?
"I want a picture from the Apollo Program that justifies the SpaceShuttle Challenger disaster...."

Thank you; honestly it was getting kinda nutty near the end.

You said this: Quoted from vid1900:

I've got NOS Williams playfields with ghosting, and they've never been in a machine. They have lived their lives in factory box.
I've had brand new reproduction playfields with it.

THIS is what he wanted to see - brand new PF's that come with this defect. Like some of the recent Stern's. I don't doubt there must be some some out there but when you have to come up with a pic you call the whole thing "nutty".

Put up or shut up dude! (don't be offended - I've just always wanted to say this)

#924 3 years ago
Quoted from Jigs:

Here's the two I took....

Yet there is no ghosting... so it's A-OK!! Now this machine is in SC? Where was it floating?

#931 3 years ago
Quoted from whitey:

Say what you with about Ron Kruzman, his works the best, if he had a team to work with, a reasonable allowance I'm sure he could pull it off. But that will never happen, it's all about Money & that's it
Cheaper plywood, photo shopped artwork, paper thin clear coats, cheap inserts .I bet the next Stern game will weigh in at 150lbs before long,

I WISH they could get them down to 150 lbs as I'm not getting any younger. That's one reduction I could get behind...

#988 3 years ago
Quoted from eggbert52:

Me thinks your thread spurned the negativity thread.

Me thinks you used the wrong word.

#990 3 years ago
Quoted from eggbert52:

It's just that I can't spell...or type. Fixed!

Now see I would have gone with "spawned"

#995 3 years ago

I wouldn't worry about "negativity" accusations. If there are issues they need to be brought up... again and again if necessary. This HELPS a company put out a better product and the current pin makers actually seem to listen. So it's win-win for the company and the consumer.
Sure the interwebz acts like a big echo chamber... big deal. Sweeping things under the rug helps nobody in the end.

Look at PPS/Churchill... after screwing the last 50 to 100 customers by knowingly sending them factory second playfields with faded lower inserts... they now seem to be shipping a better product.

Is this because they finally burnt through their flawed inventory or did they finally respond to the daily drumbeat of bad press and warnings to potential new customers? Who knows...??

But the constant "negativity" sure didn't hurt... at all. In fact maybe it made a difference. One can hope

#1049 3 years ago

Like I said... a couple years ago GS said 70% of sales went to home buyers. I was surprised by how high the percentage was and also by GS finally stating it. Word was he didn't want to upset the route guys.

#1053 3 years ago
Quoted from TheZohan:

I understand. I'm simply saying I'm not sure I believe either of them.

Yeah it's all a conspiracy...to... well shit I dunno... lol

#1074 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Unqualified numbers are meaningless anyway.
Home buyers are:
80% of LE Sales?
80% of ALL sales?
80% of all sales today?
80% of all sales this week?
80% of all sales this quarter?
80% of all sales so far this year?
80% of all sales ever, including used games?
80% of all sales from 2000 - 2015?
80% of Retail sales?
80% of walk-in sales at Cue & Spa?
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics.” - Mark Twain

Me thinks thou doth protest too much...

#1088 3 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Have you ever hear Gary tell you what his favorite game is? Here's a hint... it's going to be a sales answer. I think the general premise is they will often say what they want the message to be. Selectively including and excluding things can make the numbers change significantly. Notice what you see missing from all those stat quotes? Follow up questions...

And what do you think the kids of the 60s and 70s played? Pinball was bigger and had greater market penetration in the decades prior... so why would the 80s and 90s kids somehow now represent a new dawn compared to the generation before... who played a heck of a lot more pinball than the video game generation did.

That's easy. The "baby boomers" ended up with a LOT more disposable income than the previous generation.

#1093 3 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

You need some help on the definition of baby boomers... those were the kids born after WWII - not vietnam :p

Ooops. But you knew what I meant anyways right ? You're always such a nice fellow. Must be a hoot at parties

1 month later
#1650 3 years ago
Quoted from Mitch:

my original SM and sopranos had the ribbing

Yeah those are just sanding lines from the drum sander that aggressively levels the inserts on the PF before the art is applied. Some show this right away... some look smooth and then the CC shrinks a bit with age and THEN you see the lines... etc...

Would be nice if they used sandpaper with a little less grit or did a separate pass with lighter grit... but we know that won't happen

#1679 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Take a sharply focused picture with the glass off the machine.

If the vertical lines continue right over the inserts it's absolutely not the wood grain. It's simply the sanding lines... I have this on several machines. On my LOTR you can see all the inserts share the same fine vertical sanding lines.

If the insert is not affected then it would be the wood.

There was no pic provided so no way to tell which condition was being commented on.

#1735 3 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Nice you were able to enact this provision in your purchase agreement. It makes perfect sense why someone would want this assurance, and it sounds like a viable solution for Stern too, until they can hunt down the issue and bust out a solution to the ghosting problem. Lets say Stern sets aside $100 per game, based on a 50% reject rate and an estimate of $200 shipped for a playfield.

Jeff your problem is this post just makes too much damn sense

#1765 3 years ago

It's all gone to hell since they lost L.Christmas in the inspection department

#1767 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

You know, I never noticed until now that on the left side of that apron, it looks like the buck is mounting the wolf.

I gotcha. You DO start seeing stuff like that after watching too much porn

#1777 3 years ago

I KNEW you'd trot that out!

#1794 3 years ago

The extra PF's I have at home (WMS, some Stern's) have "Churchill" printed on the edges. I don't recall seeing that in any of the GB PF pics.
So... hmmmm?

#1799 3 years ago
Quoted from Flato:

Has anyone had ghosting right after they got it or is it always a couple days after? Seems odd

Maybe not so odd. Initially seems well applied then the vibration of gameplay starts the lifting. OR maybe the inserts start moving a bit and it stresses the CC.

A little different than CV. My close-out had it right out of the box but it never got any worse either...my NGG close-out also had just a touch out of the box and both of those were done at around the same time. So Churchill had a bit of an issue for that very small time period.

#1801 3 years ago
Quoted from Dooskie:

How in the heck does a playfield end up like that? Now I'm a little freaked about the NIB ST Pro that I bought in December.

You're probably fine. I just bought a TWD a couple months ago and there have been no issues. No issues anywhere actually so I've been pretty pleased with it. Stern can indeed make them well... usually.

#1808 3 years ago
Quoted from Kiwipinhead:

Whats the date on the playfield? Might be old stock.

I seem to remember March but I'm at the beach so I can't check. I will when I get back.

#1813 3 years ago
Quoted from SeanOleary:

I may get a Hobbit over GB due to the ghosting issues. Damn Stern has gone cheep.

Kaneda you need to set up a new account and then let it sit dormant for a year. Then when you pipe up it would look more natural... like a newbie finding his voice

Instead you just wade right in determined to stir the pot. Need a little more stealth in your approach.

#1928 3 years ago
Quoted from Flato:

I see ghosting where is the crak?

All along the left side. See the sharp edges and irregularities?

#1933 3 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

This is actually quite rare to have whole insert come up, unless the insert lifts on all edges from improper installation, sealing, or wood squeezing the insert if the layering is not dry. Normally, they just "flake", after you see this ghosting, therefore the problem somewhat "disappears", after the edges are removed. PF is still damaged though.
Many 90s CCs in BLY/WMS PFs were so thin the actual insert decals and lettering came come right off.

Nah - the only pics you'll find of that are machines that are blown out after 100,000 plays. My TSPP and TWD ccoats are good (LOTR not so much) but the best and thickest are still on my WMS machines. They'll differ from machine to machine but the 90's WMS/Bally were generally extremely durable and can still look new today if they haven't haven't been abused continually on location.

I have a NF (not my favorite title) that has such a nice CC that you can close your eyes - run your hand over the PF and not feel almost any of the insert edges. And that's when your actively TRYING to feel the edges.

That's pretty rare on any PF short of a full Bill Davis job.

#1965 3 years ago
Quoted from WackyBrakke:

I am hopeful this latest batch is issue free, guess we will see

Don't worry - we'll give you the SAME empathy you showed the other MMr owners that got stuck with defective PF's

#1995 3 years ago
Quoted from Banker:

My LE so far has no issues. I buy from Cointaker , as they are a top 5 distributor, and with their help, along
with Stern, all issues get resolved.

I don't get it - what's your point? I've bought from Melissa too but they didn't magically make sure you got lucky with a decent one. And unless you've had such a problem in the past where they have had to send you a complete populated PF then this issue people are having just may not "get resolved". At least not to everybody's satisfaction.

#2101 3 years ago
Quoted from zene10:

SMVE purchased mid April 2016. Manufacture date March 11, 2016. Almost every single insert in ghosting. About 500 plays. First NIB.

Make sure you send these pics to Stern so they don't think you are another usual dimple complainer. This seems to discount the "airball theory" also as SM is hardly an incredible fling fest.

#2105 3 years ago
Quoted from jar155:

Hmmm, who is going to try this out?

How 'bout you? Seems simple enough and you'll never see the white spot under your apron... if that turns out to be the case.

#2155 3 years ago
Quoted from cooked71:

Note to self, don't buy Jar155's GBLE because it will have a milky stain under the apron.

Tell him you want to look under the apron - I've had buyer's ask for weirder stuff. Then when you see the mark tell him it's now worth $200 less to you

#2193 3 years ago
Quoted from Manimal:

But......for all of this to work, it needs to be a determined flaw, and you need a group of solid, sane, and even-tempered folks to take up the cause.

I guess we'll have to find all five or six of 'em here in the pinball hobby

#2195 3 years ago

I have a TWD Prem from March and the PF's been great so far.

#2205 3 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

Some with the cloudy window got replacement fully populated playfields N/C. Do you think they still do that now?

We are JUST about to find out. Batten down the hatches!

#2234 3 years ago
Quoted from stoptap:

The thing is your playfield could have been printed and clear coated 18 months ago and been sat in storage.
I wonder if the date stamp relates to printing/clear coating or to final assembly of the playfield ?

Well the march date is stamped on the side of the PF. I'll check all the dates again this weekend.

#2235 3 years ago
Quoted from Banker:

Cointaker and Stern have always taken care of any issues for me. That's why I own 34 of their pins.

Me too but I've never needed them to send an entire populated PF. I doubt if you have either.

So the usual little fixes Stern and their dists provide don't really apply here.

#2419 3 years ago

you must realize they employ a legal counsel and they have undoubtedly been told NOT to make any public announcements regarding any "issues" as this could make them liable for all kinds of actions in the future.

They'll take care of it as they have done in the past - offering some options to each buyer that cares enough to contact them. That's the smart thing for them to do.

As the chatter on social media becomes more positive they'll recoup any lost sales as the same buyers jump right back in again.

#2424 3 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

Production runs dont support this fact.
For example, 8000+ people buy LOTR over the course of nine production runs.
LE games did not start until 2007.
LE/Premium games are routed in larger regions.
HUO games are rebought from dealers and brokers to operators and routed.
This is not the home electronics industry.
Talk to a cross selection of distributors, dealers, and brokers.

But LOTR was a oddity in it's popularity for both home and location buyers... plus that started 10 years ago. Not a good example to represent anything.

Look Gary Stern himself stated (finally) at a show that home buyers are now 70 to 80% of his customers. I found this pretty shocking after his continued lip service to operators even as we all could plainly see pinball in the wild was withering on the vine. Sure I could drive 15 miles to find a place with more than one pin but it's NOTHING like the old days. At least near me.

#2426 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Most the serious pinball arcades I visit, ONLY have LEs on the floor.
One that comes to immediately to mind, has the Pro out first, then replaces it with the LE once available.

Can you list there "serious" pin arcades so when I travel I'll know where to look? Thanks

#2428 3 years ago

Nice rejoinder counselor...

#2440 3 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Well I was going to go into a long explanation but I just cut to the chase.
Pauley Walnuts is right, silence does not avoid liability nor does making a general statement create it.
That said, I think Stern has made a decision to deal with this on a case by case basis.
The problem is there are way too many "cases" and that pesky old Pinside is shining the light on a lot of them
I'm sure some folks will never hear about the issue unless raised by Stern or ever notice it.
Thus, case by case, however it seems to be causing an avalanche of canceled orders for the time being
Not mine though, it arrives manana between 12-5!

good luck dude... seriously! I gotta good feeling about it though

#2474 3 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

I think some of those ladies would flatten most the dudes on this forum. Pretty easily. Lol

Absolutely. They could kick some serious PS ass.

It's fun watching rugby when you don't have a clue to the rules... "let's see - they can throw it, run with it, pass it, kick it... damn near do anything with it"!!

To be fair I only watched a couple minutes but now I'm intrigued

#2901 3 years ago
Quoted from labnip:

GB has caused me to have a lot of premature related problems !

C'mon dude. Too much information!

#2941 3 years ago
Quoted from Msch:

Umm...get your money back right now. Order once they've made it right with everyone. You're part of the problem right now.

Yeah I can't believe ANYBODY would risk their hard-earned cash at the moment. The phrase "more money than sense" comes to mind.

Wait until they get things sorted out. By then the urge to buy may have passed and you'll have saved $6700. Win-win

#2999 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Most people who own pinball machines do not post on Pinside.
Just like most people who own Mountain Bikes, do not post on mtbr.com
95% of pinball clients I service have never even heard of Pinside, nor are the interested in joining.
I found a guy and his wife walking their $6,000 mountain bikes on the trail, because he had broken his chain. He had never heard of a Chain Tool (something everyone on the trail NEEDS to have under their seat, or you could be walking 20 miles alone). I fixed his chain, and told him he should check out MTBR and pick up some tips (like always carrying a little chain tool). He said "Nah, I just have the local bike shop work on my bikes".
39,000 Pinside members; but it's only the same 39 people posting every day...........

So vid did you ever test under the apron to see if this is water-based clear?

You did let everybody think you bought one after posting those pics so....??

#3016 3 years ago

Let's hope Stern doesn't take a cue from the PPS/Churchill playbook. I must be naive but I found that long episode outrageous...

I suspect Stern will make it right in the end - but as others have stated... it won't happen on a timeline anybody will be happy with.

And I think anybody that doesn't want to risk some serious aggravation should cancel any orders right away. This might help Stern get off the ball if they actually hear that there have been a recent spate of cancellations.

You know they'll eventually fix this... and you know GB Premiums will be available for years so what's the hurry? They may release a plastic kit for the airballs (like they did for CV for ball hang ups) and then you'll get the final finished package. Right now this thing screams "rush job" from start to finish.

#3019 3 years ago
Quoted from Cornelius:

I actually went to look up "bikeument" before realizing what was going on. Well played, sir.

Met can be pretty clever when he wants to

#3034 3 years ago
Quoted from Neal_W:

The GB leaks would explain the rush, and maybe the playfield issues, but not the issues with the SMVE and GOT playfields.

I didn't just mean the PF... everything seemed rushed and not tested as much as you'd like. Constant air balls, bending wire guide, outlane hopping... a huge lack of call outs to make the game more immersive, etc. It just seemed not quite fully cooked - to me anyways.

#3038 3 years ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

I honestly don't know whether to believe if this whole playfield problem is as hig of a deal as some people are trying to make it out to be or not. Obviously Stern is going to have some quality problems from time to time, just like any other manufacturers do. In the case of KPG though, he admitted in another thread that this Pin is in a garage that is not climate controlled and said that it gets very hot in there. I dont know where he lives but I live in Ohio and I can tell you that my garage gets so damn hot that I certainly wouldn't want my Pinball machines out there. If he lives in the south, its three times as bad as Ohio probably.
I am not ragging on KPG, I don't know him and he's probably a nice guy but I have to ask myself why does a guy have 30,000 dollars invested in 4 pinball machines and he wont spend another 400-500 on an air conditioner? He says the other machines are fine. I dont know if extreme heat is hard on a playfield or not, but I gotta believe that it probably is and im sure its hell on the electronics as well. I'm getting a new GB myself and yes I will be pissed if it has playfield issues, but I have a feeling that Stern may be taking some unnecessary heat and getting some bad publicity that they dont deserve on this playfield issue because of a few people on this forum. I personally love the machines they have put out over the last few years and im glad they are still around. I also believe that for the people that have serious problems that Stern will make it right.

I dunno - does your car's CC start to delaminate and fail because it's in a warm garage? Plus the chips on the boards get FAR hotter when running then when turned off in a hot garage.

I found a FT back in the day that had been stored in a shed through freezing winters and blazing summers and had to buy it because it had a perfect unfaded cab (which I knew was pretty rare).

15 years later and it's never had any electrical issues and it turned out to have one of the nicer PF's I've ever seen. So that would seem to discount the theory that a little heat would make the PF fail so spectacularly. Plus all his other pins have always been there and are fine. He did some nice work on TWD's audio for example and during all that time he never mentioned a prob with his pins.

I WISH it was just a "few people" for Stern's sake as they CAN make reliable products. The TWD I have is as nice or nicer than my LOTR or TSPP. Really nice PF on that machine.

Maybe this really IS their first foray into making their own PF's in-house? I know my other Stern's have "Weber Playfield" and "Churchill Cabinet" printed on the sides of the PF's and I have yet to hear of a GB owner seeing a company ID on the side of their PF.

#3046 3 years ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

I dont think the heat hurts the clear coat itself because obviously it doesnt hurt it on our cars. I was thinking more along the lines of maybe the wood expanding or contacting and maybe that making the clear coat seperate or crack. Im not saying it does or it doesnt, I honestly have no idea. I do for sure believe though that an extremely hot garage would be a bad environment for a pinball machine for many reasons. If this is as serious as alot of people seem to believe, then we definitely have a bad situation on our hands. I play a GB pro at a local barcade and its getting the crap played out of it and the playfield has no issues at all.

I gotcha but to be fair the Pro really HASN'T had these kind of issues. Just the entire line of LE's seem to be the most affected. I suppose we'll see if it spills over to the Premiums next.

#3048 3 years ago
Quoted from kpg:

I don't have room for an AC unit in my garage? Maybe I should be worried about my cars in such a dangerous-for-Pinball-machines, non-climate controlled garage?

I'm disappointed. I was SURE we'd see a nice vintage Yugo in your garage.

#3051 3 years ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

I dont know why a pro would be any different though unless the pros playfield is made by a different manufacturer?

That's the question. Word had it that Stern was going with in-house PF production. And if there are no other companies signature along the edge of the PF (as has been in the past) that may be an indication that this has indeed happened.

But with zero information it's just some some fun conjecture on our part. Well not so fun for the owners caught in the middle of all this.

Stern's been decent in the past about problems so I'm hoping THAT certainly doesn't change. Guess we'll see.

#3055 3 years ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

I hope they have it figured out because this couldn't have happened at a worse time. Ghost Busters could very well be their hottest selling Pin ever. I want to buy one right now but im a little afraid to. I kinda think this is being overblown somewhat but im afraid to pull the trigger on a new machine and find out. 5-8k is a good chunk of money. I expect perfection at that price.

Yeah I'd definitely wait. They'll be making them for a long time.

You wouldn't want to be in KPG's shoes right now... well unless that meant you get to drive his car every day

#3056 3 years ago
Quoted from RipleYYY:

not sure if you're talking about cc cracking or inserts ghosting (even if i'm thinking this will be linked in time... )
as lots of PRO owners (including me) are involved with ghosting

I'm sorry - I thought you had an LE? This whole thing is getting confusing... actually do you have a company stamp on the edge of your PF? Like "Churchill" ?

I'm interested in who is actually making these things... you wouldn't think it would be such a well-guarded secret.

#3059 3 years ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

He definitely has an awesome car, but I have a Spitzer dragster sitting in my garage that will smoke his so I wasn't really as impressed as he thought I would be. I know a little bit about hot cars myself, it was a nice try though.
Oh ya, and my garage has AC in it also!

lol - you guys

#3114 3 years ago
Quoted from Bing_Party:

I don't think it's the entire line of LE units. Are people that are not getting ghosting on LE's per m disti. Just a fyi

Yeah I didn't word that right at all... the problem did start with the Pro's and seemingly accelerated with the LE reports. I also didn't mean to say ALL LE's have the issues. My bad.

Still you have to wonder about the longevity of the PF's that don't show any symptoms yet... will they last as well as the standard Stern PF (which is pretty decent) or will they ghost and flake in a year? Who knows?

I also take all distr "info" with a grain of salt. Back in the day they *always* played dumb if you asked about any issues. Didn't want to slow the sales of any of their current or upcoming stock. Don't know if it's the same way today but it might be.

#3196 3 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

I can't get this image out of my head after reading some of the new member posts...

I loved that guy - good analogy also

#3213 3 years ago
Quoted from jackofdiamonds:

Somebody somewhere in the pinside universe said Stern has acquired the "pants press" a giant play field dimpler.So you would think they are doing play fields themselves.Working out the kinks?Getting the process together?
I have no proof but that's what I'm thinking based on the current data.

Yeah another indication that they might be doing them in-house is that there apparently is no other companies logo printed on the edge of the PF. It used to read "Weber Playfield" "Churchill Cabinet Co" (for Stern) and "Burkel Inc" "Oconto Falls WI" (for WMS).

So maybe teething pains after all...

#3315 3 years ago
Quoted from kpg:

Honestly it doesn't matter how high the guides are. I have the PBL kit that extends the guides very high and balls jump it pretty often still.
Basically, the ball deflects off things so quick and hits the inlane metal guide that makes it jump like a super cross rider off a jump, and right over the guide. Short of putting a backstop on top of the outlane guides, not much will stop that from happening. Just an interesting design choice, and a real head scratcher it passed during the playtesting process. It's all good, still fun.. just wouldn't keep pumping quarters into it- not a big deal in home only/free play use.

He should have designed the lanes with a 3 story build like JY. No ball ever jumps those inlanes!

And with Yeti artwork they would have looked fine.


#3348 3 years ago
Quoted from Wakky:

Yuk .. hate seeing chicks with tatts

...and ya wonder why nobody asks you to any social functions

#3603 3 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

Say Stern takes all these $5000 deposits and suddenly goes out of business. Then what happens?

Hmm. To quote another thread : "You put on yer big boy pants!"

#3748 3 years ago
Quoted from zene10:

I've had it for 22 days. Five days I was out of town. 17 days of play on a new machine and it's hammered by Sparky and starts to chip the clear coat?
I don't accept that explanation. The same problem, same location on a four month old SMVE also? Not a coincidence. Both are defective products.
Furthermore, MET is mature and been in production for years. If it had been happening this whole time and Stern didn't beef up the clear coat or find another fix, then it is just negligent on the part of the manufacturer.

It's definitely not "normal" behavior. Because of all this attention I just checked the ball drain area on all my machines and I have *nothing* like this chipping happening. My TSPP and LOTR look like new there and my TWD is too new to be an example.

More importantly my 20 year old WMS have very little to no wear in this area either. The worst I can find is on a well-played WW where there is a little fuzzy "rounding" along one edge. Nothing remotely like this chipping and flaking we see now. Heck nobody used to ever even check this area because the balls simply drop in the hole - no damage and no drama.

And if the excuse is because the game flings the balls OVER the flippers to crash back in that area... well then the game is not set up right or there are stand-up targets that need to be bent down, etc...

#3752 3 years ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Never said it was normal? Just saying i get alot of fast throwbacks from sparky magnet straight down the middle that im sure bounce off that edge very hard and why its happening so fast on met. . Unfortunately I also dont think stern will do anything unless it starts chipping in pieces up to the artwork like some of the gb pins have had happen . Same as shooter lane chipping as i dont think they will do anything about that eaither unfortunately. Hopefully all this gets figured out soon.

Yeah you have a good point about hard shots straight down the middle banging into the outhole... only machine I have that does that now and then is TWD and it's too new (4 months) to show any wear there yet.

I'm afraid you're probably right also about Stern not doing anything for shooter lane and the outhole issues ("outhole" just sounds wrong... but "ball drain" sounds even worse) lol

They sadly seem to have bigger issues to deal with right now.

#3755 3 years ago
Quoted from golfingdad1:

The larger flipper gap will obviously alllow more hard sdtm drains . Possibly causing the drain hole chipping clear and artwork.

Sure but this is also happening on new Met's and they've been making that game for a while now. Never seemed to be an issue until now.

It may indeed be Stern finally making their own PF's and having growing pains. There doesn't seem to be any other companies logo stamped on the side like before. So... hmmm?

1 week later
#4137 3 years ago
Quoted from 3pinballs:

Too bad Churchill isn't making the playfields anymore....then we wouldn't be having these discussions!!!!!

Guess you didn't follow the whole MMR thing. They make mistakes too and then DO NOT offer to fix their issues. I'm hoping Stern doesn't follow this example.

#4140 3 years ago
Quoted from 3pinballs:

what did Churchill do with respect to the MMR? thx

I'm trying to quit ranting about it but a whole bunch of people were shipped factory second PF's with faded insert printing AFTER the company was aware of it and promised a fix. The fix turned out to be be a sheet of plastic to dim your LED's and rather than printing a new batch of PF's they happily made the customer take it on the chin for their mistake. We thought they had "contained" the problem but no... they kept sending out machines with the bad PF's for months. Until they either ran out of the bad product or were shamed into printing more.

The customer ended up with a machine worth less than the earlier buyers and the company didn't have to spend a dime of profit towards printing any new PF's. It was shameful indeed.

3 weeks later
#4414 3 years ago
Quoted from SilverballNut:

Well hated to see it, but post 650 of the Ghostbusters Premium thread shows a shooter lane cracking with a playfield dated 9/8 after 110 games. I've had money down since March and I may be out now... Honestly not sure what I'll say when they call me and tell me there is one ready. It seems completely random whether the playfields withstand usage.

Exactly. Why not wait a year (or two)?

#4489 3 years ago
Quoted from MinusWorlds:

So after 90 pages and 10 months I have come to the conclusion that Stern is indeed serious.

But the thread is only 3 months old.

It sure FEELS like it's been 10 months of this though...

#4522 3 years ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

This is probably a dumb question, but how come TWD hasn't had ghosting issues? Im sure the same playfield manufacturer is making their playfields also. My WD has a Feb 2016 playfield and still looks perfect after 1100 plays. It seems like GB and Spiderman VE are the games having most of the issues. Ive seen a few GOT with problems also but nowhere near aa bad as GB. I know that GB is outselling GOT and TWD right now but there have been lots of those games sold also in 2016.

They made them with great care 'cuz they didn't want to get BIT! It's that simple

Mine was made in March 2016 and has the best PF I've seen from Stern. After this it seemed like the sh*t hit the fan. Probably not a coincidence that they supposedly started making their PF's in house.

1 week later
#4585 3 years ago

I like this page. "check out this timer you idiots!"

1 week later
#4714 3 years ago
Quoted from NeilMcRae:

I say again, less than two weeks ago, at the stern factory, in chicago - they said that the playfield issue was not fixed! They did say they were working on it and it had top priority.

Yeah nobody even knows who makes them. All the reputable companies stamp their name and info on the PF.

Since these have NO company name on them Stern is either trying to make them in-house or has hired an el cheapo operation that agreed to not even put their name on the product.

#4716 3 years ago
Quoted from Mitch:

Not sure the company name but there being made in Wisconsin now.

Burkel Inc in Oconto Falls, WI made PF's for WMS/Bally in the 90's.

But they are a reputable company that put their full info on the side of each PF. So this may not be their work.

So who knows? Since nobody has a verifiable source for any of this stuff I guess it will remain a mystery.

2 weeks later
#4963 3 years ago
Quoted from 85vett:

13,000 plays. What you saw there was a PF that was dimpled smooth. Check a game out at 500 plays and it will look like a golfball.

Yeah like MM there is no way to avoid dimples with TH because the pop up toys will hurl the ball into the air and down on the PF.

It's painful to watch your mirror-like PF get beat up but for any modern high-speed type game it's a fact of life. Now some slower games where the ball never gets airborn and there aren't loads of multiballs (like CFTBL) you may not find much dimpling at all.

1 month later
#5184 3 years ago
Quoted from kpg:

Status update of my trashed GBLE playfield:
Was originally told October by Gary Stern himself.. then was told November possibly.. now Patrick Powers latest email he wont give me a time frame and now just says "It has been pushed back".
Stern is giving the run around and might be hoping this shit will die off quietly. NOPE. Not going to happen.
I am considering taking the legal route at this point. I would want to this to help all people affected by this, as it seems no one with a GBLE has had Stern make this right with them. They seem to be more focused on selling and releasing new games, then making it right with customers who already purchased their defective products.
If they think they can pull this shit - then they will learn quickly there are some customers who won't easily disappear, thats for DAMN sure.

Well that sucks...especially since Gary even called you and purred into your ear with all the right answers to calm you down.

I assumed you'd be the FIRST guy to get taken care of considering the multiple damaged areas of the PF (and the nice car in your garage ).

Good luck with it... probably not worth the aggravation as you know it will probably work out. FWIW Stern has sent me a blank PF, a huge ramp assembly, etc all gratis so *usually* they are wonderful to deal with.

#5185 3 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

For clarification, are we talking about just sending them a new playfield? Or a fully populated new playfield?
In either case, I can't believe that they have not delivered on this yet. I'd be pissed.

It's the whole boxed populated deal...if it were just PF's everybody would have them by now as Stern is pretty quick about sending those out (at least was for me in the past).

A blank PF wouldn't make any buyer happy though as they shouldn't have to spend the time, etc to move everything over. That's if they even feel confident they could pull it off with out a hitch.

#5191 3 years ago
Quoted from Flato:

I am not even sure if i am on the list, i contacted distro in october he said my files were to big to send so i made a gmail account to add pictures to. My ghosting is bad for sure anyone have the email for me to send pictures directly to stern? should i compress the files? also i am in on a lawsuit if need be, ill be damned if my GB is 2k less then someone elses because of a manufacture flaw.

Just opening and saving them as jpg's in Photoshop will automatically reduce their file size. Plus you can save them at "less quality" (yet pretty much unnoticeable) to make the sizes even smaller.

Good luck. Call Stern on the phone and ask them WHERE to send the pics to. Ask to speak to Chas or Pat... they're nice over the phone and it gets things rolling much quicker than email.

#5230 3 years ago
Quoted from phyreteam:

16 Games/66 balls on a Premium, playfield date stamped Dec-07/2016.

Let's hope it doesn't get any worse. Looks like it can still happen even on later PF's. That's disappointing.

#5232 3 years ago
Quoted from kpg:

Something to note that I was told.. the acknowledgment by Stern Pinball Inc. on video and in writing about the defects. That is huge

Earlier on I stated the reason they were NOT making a public announcement about it was for legal reasons and exposure. Yet two lawyers over here shot me down and said "that wouldn't matter". Ice and Rob I believe (...they ARE lawyers right? Darn ballbusters )

Of course Gary's remarks matter... nothing like a recorded "confession" of the issue to move things along. See I knew I was right

Sure you can win a case *without* a "confession" but that recorded statement makes it a hell of a lot easier. I was surprised when he made that announcement actually...any lawyer worth his salt would advise his client NOT to make any statements pertaining to something that could become a legal matter.


#5233 3 years ago
Quoted from 27dnast:

Dimpling is going to happen regardless... it's not a big deal anyway

He may have seen the BM66 with the deep dimples and divots in the magnet... but if you are hoping for the wood to possibly dry and harden a bit more I doubt if a month would do it.

Not really sure why his magnet is so beat up already. Maybe they got a batch of them in with a softer alloy somehow.

#5237 3 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Win what?
Stern ain't Apple or Tesla. There aren't millions of plaintiffs and big $$$ recoveries here.
Stern has agreed to fix the "defective" PF's so what are the damages?
A lawyer is going to take some case here on a % based recovery? Seriously doubt it. And I wouldn't waste a penny on legal fees to pursue this matter.
Now IF they don't remedy the defect like they said they would then its game on. Kpg is leading the way!

I never mentioned money... in this case the "win" would be actually getting them to fix the problem. I also think they'll come through eventually but if not... not everybody will quietly roll over.

You are indeed consistent though... so far you have loudly advised against any legal action against Predator, John P and now this issue affecting a 9k game. I don't think they'll get anything back financially either but they seem to enjoy trying to corral Kevin and JP to get their pound of flesh

It's a good thing not everybody thinks like you do or a lot of lawyers would be painting houses right now

#5238 3 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I can't wait to see the lawsuit filed for dimpled PF's and ghosted inserts.

I suspect dimpling will be described by Stern as "normal wear" as they have always done in the past. Unless it's really egregious and then they simply send a blank PF to mollify the customer. I've seen that happen quite a few times.

But yeah - I can see a group of customers threatening them with legal action to get them to send populated PF's if they fail to implement their "program". Or whatever they called it. Heck people were already living with the fact that Stern gets to decide if their PF is properly ruined enough for the replacement program. Now the worry is when they'll get around to it. I think they'll take their sweet time.

#5265 3 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Sometimes shit just happens with PF's, doesn't matter where they come from.

Well at least this machine looks like it EARNED that damage in the wild. Which used to be the their purpose in life back in the day.

Now if this happened in somebody's living room...well.... then we'd grab the pitchforks

#5318 3 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

I feel their communication has been very consistent and their intent abundantly clear from the get go.
That is, to string this out as long as possible and try to sweep it under the rug. At no time has there been any change.
Some of you still seem to think it's naiveté on Stern's part, or that they're incompetently trying to resolve things. I don't think anything could be further from the truth. It's been carefully orchestrated and is going exactly according to plan.
European distributors are taking hits and replacing machines (not them), the few pf replacements (still Fun not Churchill) that have been carried out make people wait and gives them false hope, others have lost all hope and given up waiting and sold, no-one has taken legal action yet ...... and most importantly of all, people are continuing to buy even more expensive titles, one of which already seems plagued with issues (BM'66)!
Tell me how that could be any better for them?

Damn. And I thought *I* was cynical.

#5383 3 years ago
Quoted from jfh:

Three questions:
1) if a playfield has ghosting, does it get worse over time?
2) do any Churchill playfields exhibit ghosting?
3) who is making PFs for BM66?

1) Certainly did on some GB. Other titles not so much.
2) They have in the past CV had it bad and NGG has a little.
3) Need to call Stern and ask. Churchill used to be proud of the product and clearly stamped their name and info on the side. If they don't do this anymore then nobody truly knows as either nobody has asked Stern or they won't answer the question.

#5386 3 years ago
Quoted from ledge:

good question. is Stern willing to share that with prospective buyers?

During the entire GB PF drama I never saw a post that said "I called Stern and asked and they said the PF's are made by XXX"
or "I called Stern and asked and they said they couldn't share that info"...etc...

It would be funny if nobody with PF problems had actually called and asked this simple question to Stern.

Even if they wouldn't tell you it would be worth it to hear stern say " Sorry. That's classified!"

1 week later
#5466 3 years ago
Quoted from Phbooms:

Thanks Billy!!! i knew I had heard Churchill stamped there playfields, now that ive seen yours stamped CHURCHILL does anybody have a 2016-17 Churchill stamped playfield?

My spare TSPP PF has Churchill Cabinet Company stamped right on it along with other info.

Does it really matter though? They are hardly infallible as they produced the faded inserts that a lot of MMr buyers were forced to accept.

#5469 3 years ago
Quoted from Phbooms:

it only matters because people think that if Churchill makes the playfields that there wont be any issues and people are thinking they are getting Churchill playfields from Stern now but from what ive seen and heard Sterns still dealing with FUN who created this ghosting inserts, cracking clear in shooters and drain area situation within a few plays of brand new out of box games.
Did the MMr guys with faded inerts get un-populated replacement playfields?

They got exactly zilch... except the refrain "falls within specs". Well ONE guy claims to have gotten one but put out so many confusing posts people didn't know what to think.

So if Churchill is calling the shots (like in MMr) there ARE no "2nds"... you will keep what they send you and LIKE it.

#5478 3 years ago
Quoted from mayuh:

Guys, I know it's all your thread now... and I'll be better off not posting
"Clickbait" news here:
Friend plays $9500 pinball, and what then happened, you can't believe!!1111eleven!!
stay with me, it's a $0.95 incident fun. Nevertheless

Jesus...what CAN'T fail on a pinball machine?

4 months later
#6006 2 years ago
Quoted from Spyderturbo007:

Without having to read through 121 pages, what's the best way to protect the shooter lane? My new TWD is starting to show signs of clearcoat damage after ~100 plays.
I'd also like to protect the area where the ball drops into the trough.
I'm hoping this isn't signs of things to come. I waited this long to purchase because I thought the issues were resolved. Unfortunately, my build date is July 2016 and I just got it last week.

While deciding what to do or waiting for one of Cliff's protectors... get some cling vinyl from a hobby shop or Amazon. It's clear and thicker than mylar and you simply press it over the shooter lane (after you cut it to size).

Solid protection and it simply peels out with no damage when you want to try a different solution. I put it in my TWD Prem and have simply kept it there because it works so well. Hard to notice too.

2 months later
#6482 2 years ago
Quoted from vireland:

Is Weber still one of the playfield vendors for Stern, or just Churchill now? I remember the Weber PFs being crappier than the Churchill in the 2003-2007 era (?). Maybe it's a vendor issue.

I believe Weber is actually a sub-contractor to Churchill. The last run TSPP PF I have here says "Weber Playfield - Churchill Cabinet Co WoodwrkABC".

It's a nice one also. Still can't feel any of the inserts and no vertical drum sander lines, etc.

On the Kiss it's possible that they simply don't have many PF's left and don't want to pay for a run just for potential replacements... who knows.

#6491 2 years ago
Quoted from J85M:

Exactly why we wont see Stern change anytime soon, because they don't have to, ghosting is now normal, games left without code, splitting cabs, chipping clear, dodgy at best playfield replacements, wrong parts installed on games, incorrect playfields in games, mismatch of cabinet side rails, piss poor communication regarding everything just listed and they are still selling more games than they can keep up with

Let's also remember the forum megaphone effect. Yes I also don't want to do the Stern lottery NIB thing anymore but MOST customers will end up with a decent game. Let's be honest with this.

The problem happens when your number DOES come up... the hassle, worry and depending on a company's "largess" to make it right because of short or non-existent warranties, etc.

My last machine was a TWD Premium and that was virtually perfect so I'm going to go out on a high note. I have a hard time justifying the 6k and up price tag with the "fun factor" as well. Thankfully people keep buying to keep the hobby alive.

#6495 2 years ago
Quoted from paulywalnuts23:

Sorry but this isn't an acceptable approach. If they have to run pfs to correct peoples problems then they need to do it. They are the ones that created this problem not the consumer.

Hey you're preaching to the choir... I said the same thing when Churchill was happily sending out games with faded inserts.

But I guess things just don't work out that way in life

4 weeks later
#6547 2 years ago
Quoted from JoshODBrown:

Here's my sliver of ghosting, just for reference. This is about 8 months since I got it replaced and maybe 600 games. Ghosting is between the O and R on the right hand side. Again, if it doesn't get worse than that, I'll be a happy pinballer. I have no other issues with the game. My playfield doesn't have a clear date stamped on it either, but it is a replacement, and also I found it was very dusty when I got it... but just crud from manufacturing.. like plastic dust from Ramps being cut or drilled or something. Was easy to vacuum out.

Now THAT I can barely see. I'd be damn happy to get that from Stern during these current conditions. Probably never get any worse either. My CV was ghosted right out of the box and never changed an iota. Of course it was pretty obvious right from the get go but no cracking, chipping, etc in the last 20 years or so.

#6550 2 years ago
Quoted from JoshODBrown:

Here is my original playfield from March 2016 and the ghosting that formed within a week of receiving the game. You can see the sharp ridges of the clear breaking away. The insert was also slightly sunken in on that side.

Yeah I didn't mean imply anyone had been overreacting during this entire PF fiasco. I'm glad Stern did *finally* do something for their customers.

CV was a different era and Churchill had dropped the ball on virtually all of the CV PF's... plus I got it on closeout so I was still reasonably happy.

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