(Topic ID: 86883)

What's the Most Poorly Designed Part?

By seshpilot

7 years ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 106 posts
  • 75 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by abaxas
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

View topic image gallery

addams family bookcase assembly.PNG
IMG_20130212_144041.jpg
Taxi Spinout Ramp.jpg

There are 106 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
#1 7 years ago

What would you say is the worst designed part on any game?

Out of all the games I've worked on, I'm going to say the left ramp on Williams "Diner" takes the cake for me. That thing has to be absolutely perfect to function...

#2 7 years ago

The theatre of magic trunk likes to easily and constantly break both in ball damage and internals

#3 7 years ago

Sopranos safe, hands down.

#4 7 years ago

The tesseract in the middle of the Avengers.

#5 7 years ago

Corvette LT-5 engine . I never could get it to work right for long. Corvette regardless is a classic pinball. Gomez first pinball for Bally.

#6 7 years ago

Clock on TZ. How many originals still in use I wonder

#7 7 years ago

GnR's lower Axl plastic. Why even bother replacing it.

#8 7 years ago

Always the hardest one to find a replacement.
But seriously, most every game will have that one damn part that was a mixture of too complicated, high friction(poorly designed), high impact location or highly used. Unfortunately they usually put them in the back or under a ramp where they are hard to reach.

#9 7 years ago

My TZ still has original clock! But it's a HUO pin and is rarely powered on more than 5-6 hours at a time.

#10 7 years ago
Quoted from SealClubber:

Unfortunately they usually put them in the back or under a ramp where they are hard to reach.

I am finding out the magnet core on Dirty Harry is such a case. Easy to get a replacement, but not so easy to replace. Especially if it will only come out the top. Everything must come off. When I get it back together, I will find out if it was worth it.

#11 7 years ago

The Joker drop target on TDK

25
#12 7 years ago

the ball.. terrible design. Never goes where i want it to

#13 7 years ago

What wire dog says!
Bwahaha!

#14 7 years ago

The TZ at Knoebels has the original clock still working strong!

#15 7 years ago

Taxi spin out ramp....game is lost without it. Should have been made stronger to take a beating.

Taxi Spinout Ramp.jpg

11
#16 7 years ago

555 bulbs in recent games GI. What was the reason for that? Multibulb mode anyone?

#17 7 years ago
Quoted from PEN:

555 bulbs in recent games GI. What was the reason for that? Multibulb mode anyone?

Amen, brother

-3
#18 7 years ago

Williams system 3-7 board set. Yuck!

#19 7 years ago

Freddy glove flipper

#20 7 years ago

By my limited experience thus far, the worst game part I have run into was the "move dog" assembly on JY. Metal on metal and that little spring working against gravity. Easily fixed, but bad design.

#21 7 years ago

Another vote for the TZ clock. Poor design of how the optos interface with the switch matrix. Four bulbs that bake the components and no ventilation.

I also find optos for flipper buttons to be a very poor design choice. A leaf switch works fine and is simple.

#22 7 years ago

this thing

IMG_20130212_144041.jpg
#23 7 years ago

Funny...
This is the first thing that came to mind...and the Hulk

Quoted from ExtraCredits:

The tesseract in the middle of the Avengers.

#24 7 years ago

If it's usefullness-fragility ratio we're going by, I have to toss out the Wolverine toy on X-men.

#25 7 years ago

the same part that has sucked forever, and that is pop bumper light sockets...

#26 7 years ago
Quoted from Captive_Ball:

Taxi spin out ramp....game is lost without it. Should have been made stronger to take a beating.

I agree (as a Taxi owner) that it's a poor part, but I don't think it would be nearly as bad if someon (ANYONE!!) would make a replacement!

Seriously, there has to be some $$$ available out there for this individual who will be immediately hailed as a pinball rock star.

#27 7 years ago

A few I've encountered:

The center neutral zone target on ST:TNG bugs me big time with how poorly it registers even when you smack it dead center.

The time expander on Dr. Who jams, strips and always needs help, not to mention the self-activating switches.

Suprised no one mentioned ''Mick on a Stick" yet.

However, I'd say this one is the worst: VUK on Haunted House -- Not too many parts can actually set a machine on fire like this one!

#28 7 years ago
Quoted from Gnatty:

Williams system 3-7 board set. Yuck!

Yeah right.... besides the interconnect 3-7 issue, it is clearly the superior design. Beats Bally, stern, gtb from the same era.

#29 7 years ago

add the wolverine bash toy to the list. I've seen a number of them with arms broken off and bases cracked

#30 7 years ago
Quoted from j_m_:

wolverine bash toy

When someone re-engineers this and makes it much more reliable and bash proof, money will be made.

#31 7 years ago

The piece of plastic behind the VUK in The Shire in LOTR. A ball comes screaming down that left wire-form and will occasionally jump off the ramp and crash into that plastic (does that make the ramp a poor design then)? I have seen many broken out there!

#32 7 years ago

DE Rocky & Bullwinkle - Nell Log Motor

#33 7 years ago

Bally linear flippers

#34 7 years ago

AFM SOL hole and MB mosh pit. Lack of $5 worth of metal causes a huge blown out hole in the play field in less time than it takes for the game to begin getting dirty.

The WPC driver board was also terrible for many reasons. Game resets being a big one.

The need for flat blade screwdriver on old Gottlieb games is quite frustrating.

#35 7 years ago

IJ - Path of Adventure.

Can't be adjusted to go too far right, or it hits the ramp. Too far left, and it hits the guide at the side of the cabinet.

I'm not going to complain too much, though...IJ is still my favorite game, and the first game I ever owned.

(Actually, though...it's the HULK. Ball traps all day long, and it is a HORRIBLE design. It would be an easy fix, too...if they just let you set his arms a little bit higher so the ball would roll underneath freely. Ugh...did anyone playtest that game???)

Pete

#36 7 years ago

The control room in Jurassic Park doesn't light to start modes on many examples.

Also the Crypt and Mirror in TFTC and TOMMY.

#37 7 years ago

The lost world Jurrasic Park snagger..

but the worst was the end of the Judge Dredd ramp.. find one of those not broken off!

#38 7 years ago
Quoted from balboarules:

but the worst was the end of the Judge Dredd ramp.. find one of those not broken off!

Mine is perfect! But, I put a cliffy on it just in case.

#39 7 years ago

Me.

26
#40 7 years ago

TAF "bookcase" assembly. In fact, I'd argue that this is the biggest oversight in all of pinball, Here's why:

1.) The color. Solid blue? In a playfield covered by beautiful artwork you've got a brittle blue plastic circle with a brittle blue plastic rectangular structure jutting out from it that sticks out like, well, a big blue turd in a sea of awesome. The only thing that sticks out more on this machine is Thing's hand when he grabs your ball. But who knows, maybe the brittle blue box will fare well, it's not like it get's bashed often.

2.) Oh yeah, it's a brittle blue plastic bash toy! In order to start multiball you have to bash this brittle blue plastic obstruction 5 times. Splendid!

3.) Now you've got a broken bookcase assembly (if you can even call that disgusting blue box a bookcase, that's the biggest stretch of the imagination in pinball right there actually) because the assembly wasn't exactly flush with the play field and a stray soaring ball somehow managed to land on the plastic bit. Why are there speeding metal balls traveling across a 1/4" thick piece of plastic anyway? Couldn't they have just used a clear coated thin piece of circular wood? I mean they obviously cut a perfect size hole in EVERY single Addams Family machine ever made. Somewhere out there in a pile of scrap wood are a bunch of perfectly shaped wooden substitutes to this stupid blue plastic base.

4.) Great. You've got to replace the plastic base now because it's cracked and the ball bounces erratically all over the place when it hits the crack. All you need to do is follow the simple instructions below to disassemble and replace the piece of plastic. I'll wait for you below the image...

addams family bookcase assembly.PNG

So what route did you take? Did you remember to move the bookcase manually in the diagnostics menu before you took it out from under the play field? Oh sorry did I forget to mention that? That's right! The "bookcase" has to be not in either of it's two stationary states to get to the screws underneath it. It has to be in a quantum superposition between open and closed! HOW CONVENIENT! Just go ahead and reattach it and try again, I'll wait, AGAIN...

Alright, now that you've got the bookcase apart-wait... What's this...

The optos seem to be a bit too bulky to go through the top of this mechanical monstrosity-err "bookcase". Here's where it becomes a "choose-your-own-adventure" for replacing this piece of plastic. Do you unsolder the board from the top optos and pull the wiring harness out through the bottom? (Go to part A) Do you cut the wires and splice them back together somewhere farther down the harness because you're not completely confident with your soldering abilities yet, and when you started this you figured, "It's just a bit of plastic, how hard could this possibly be to replace?" (Go to part B) Or do you unpin the molex on the harness and pull it through the top of the assembly? (Go to part C)

A,B and C) You forgot to label the lines and accidentally reassembled them incorrectly. After putting everything back together and starting it up you are welcomed with a bookcase opto error (START OVER)

Now, you've managed to fix the mistake, the replaced bit of plastic is installed, and the assembly is functioning as intended. Congratulations! Do you want to play now? Surely it was just a fluke, I mean what are the odds that the 1/4" thick piece of plastic is going to be cracked by the speeding steel bearing, twice?! That's got to be, like one in a millio-... Dammit.

#41 7 years ago

wow, do you have a distaste for the bookcase? lololol

#42 7 years ago
Quoted from dgoett:

wow, do you have a distaste for the bookcase? lololol

Hahaha well I can look back at it and laugh now (hence the lengthy sarcastic diatribe above), but I spent hours trying to replace that stupid broken base and properly apply a decal so I didn't have to look at it anymore. There was little to no info on it, and honestly, that post probably explains in tongue-in-cheek detail how to replace it better than anything else I found.

A total mess. Absolutely brilliant idea for the machine! Just a terrible execution. Hope you enjoyed the rant though!

#43 7 years ago

Stern fork microswitches like in lotr and tspp

#44 7 years ago

How about pop bumper lights? Why in 50 years has no one come up with a better way to light a pop bumper? If the skirt breaks, which they often do, it requires snipping the line, removing the socket, and then later soldering to fix. If you designed them with larger leg "holes", you could have connectors on the end. Parts that can easily break should require basic tools only to fix. At least, that's my operator biased opinion.

Also, that jurassic park switch doesn't work in a lot of them because the bracket becomes loose. Jam something underneath it and it'll work again.

#45 7 years ago
Quoted from CadillacMusic:

How about pop bumper lights? Why in 50 years has no one come up with a better way to light a pop bumper? If the skirt breaks, which they often do, it requires snipping the line, removing the socket, and then later soldering to fix. If you designed them with larger leg "holes", you could have connectors on the end. Parts that can easily break should require basic tools only to fix. At least, that's my operator biased opinion.
Also, that Jurassic Park switch doesn't work in a lot of them because the bracket becomes loose. Jam something underneath it and it'll work again.

I think we have a winner.

#46 7 years ago
Quoted from Jakenjoi:

TAF "bookcase" assembly. In fact, I'd argue that this is the biggest oversight in all of pinball...Surely it was just a fluke, I mean what are the odds that the 1/4" thick piece of plastic is going to be cracked by the speeding steel bearing, twice?! That's got to be, like one in a millio-... Dammit.

This is freakin' hilarious from start to finish.

#47 7 years ago

Pop bumper light sockets are a never ending battle. But I would say design-wise, the kicker assembly in front of the goal on WCS94. The solenoid is 3" away from the centerline of the pivots so it pulls the non-replacable bushings at some horrible angle. Brilliant

#48 7 years ago
Quoted from CadillacMusic:

How about pop bumper lights? Why in 50 years has no one come up with a better way to light a pop bumper? If the skirt breaks, which they often do, it requires snipping the line, removing the socket, and then later soldering to fix. If you designed them with larger leg "holes", you could have connectors on the end. Parts that can easily break should require basic tools only to fix. At least, that's my operator biased opinion.
Also, that Jurassic Park switch doesn't work in a lot of them because the bracket becomes loose. Jam something underneath it and it'll work again.

I'll never understand why they didn't switch to the Bally pops, hell even black rose had them

#49 7 years ago
Quoted from Erik:

Stern fork microswitches like in lotr and tspp

That is a good one.

Here is one that bugs the shit out of me.... Early SS Bally high voltage section. When the transistors short(happens often) it pumps +50v more dc voltage to the displays than intended. This severely reduces the display life and makes burn spots. Operators probably just ignored it until all the displays cook. A home owner not paying attention could easily overlook this too if they don't have much to visually compare the displays too.

It took classic stern 4-5 years to fix this design, and bally never did fix it all the way through 1984. Over the years this has ruined countless numbers of plasma displays.

#50 7 years ago

Forgot the particle board cabinets on Fireball Classic and others.

There are 106 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside