Ok the following is way too long but I feel I was instrumental in being the squeeky wheel that brought this about and need to post this...
I feel sorry for CGC, they are getting it from both sides and I don’t think that we have been fair.
The “can of worms” that was opened up here was the mere mentioning of a difference between quality of the build of each trim level, with people seemingly now concerned their CE or SE or even a number matched LE may have a “sub par” playfield in it. Not that you would have been able to know, actually looking at your new machine when you got it, if it had any minor defects or not, since most have no clue what an “acceptable” defect looks like compared to a “LE rejectable” defect, how this determination is made, when it is made, and what becomes “usable” in which trim level of machines.
doug_duba, thanks for letting us know to what extent CGC is grading their playfields. Historically, Churchill Cabnets knows how to make and grade playfields and even other playfield reproduction manufacturers know there are “levels” of playfield quality, or why have the differing levels gold, silver and bronze? And yes, if people look close at the old B/W playfields used in real originals, they will find ALL KINDS of defects. B/W never graded their playfields based on any trim level, they just sent the good ones down the line first, leaving the worst to be used as scrap wood around the factory or some are stripped and rescreened, and the ones with minor defects left for the end of the run. This made machines rolling off the line first usually the best machines in the run, at least as far as the playfields were concerned. Ops didn’t and still don’t give a dead rats ass if there are “minor” flaws in the playfield screening. Does it play pinball? Does it make money?, then ship that puppy.
I feel the same way now as I did back then. Nothing has changed, nothing to see here, just standard old pinball. That they are making sure my LE has as nice a pf as possible is wonderful, but if the quality of CE and SE playfields are better than OG MB playfields, can any of the trim level buyers complain and say their “recreation” is “sub par”? Be it a CE, SE, or an LE.
“Collectors” and flippers are really ruining this hobby in my mind. I always thought it was cool to have a pin in my home to play. That it was a little hammered when I bought it just meant it had given a lot of people a lot of fun before I got it. Those who want to eat off the damn playfield after owning it for 10 years are idiots, and those buying one and trying to keep it pristine are just as foolish. I buy my pins to play, like ops buy them to make money. It’s an amusement device first and foremost. You want to collect something, try stamps or coins because keeping a collectors car without driving it, a collectors gun without shooting it, or a “collectors” pinball machine without playing it is the purest form of rich man snobbery that turns my stomach. I have the money for a NIB MBrLE, I put my money down, I am waiting now, patiently, for CGC to deliver a MB experience for me like no other I ever expected to have, owning my own Monster Bash.