I had a call to help some people get their 1978 Playboy working. This game was purchased via Julien's Auctions during the Hef estate auction late last year.
The game was brought to them in pieces and assembled by delivery guys. I came in for the last mile (connectors/testing/etc.)
Not sure what to say but I believe this game has never been played before. It is in beyond mint original condition. Even the ball and tilt bob were still wrapped in plastic. The metal rails still have their plastic on them, I'll peel it off when I return with a new display. There's no way this was the Playboy in Hef's game room, it must have been in storage or something like that.
Searching their auction book, there were six 1978 Playboys in the auction and winning bids were approx $8,000, $10,000, and $13,000. Add a hefty 25 percent buyer's fee to those prices, plus their ridiculous shipping (the winners of this auction paid $2,500 to ship the pinball and also a chair they won). I believe it was simply luck of the draw which game you got, maybe one that had been in Hef's game room for decades, or maybe this one.
Well I'm sure these guys got the best one. Don't know what they paid but it must have been one of the cheaper prices - the person I was dealing with said it was about $15,000 shipped for the game and the chair.
Anyhow, look at this thing. I believe I was the first person to ever play a game on this 1978 Playboy. Only issues were a couple light sockets needed turning, one display is completely dead (it's the display, I moved it to player 4), and of course the battery wasn't pretty and needed to be cut off (the board looked ok). The apron was also loose. Game played amazing from the first go.
As an aside this is the same auction house where I obtained Dio's couch.
Check out this game, and also Hef's chair. Which is decidedly NOT mint (wouldn't want to shine a blacklight at it):